One of the more visible illustrations that our culture is on the decline has to be the willingness of (seemingly) perfectly normal people being willing to defend the unreasonable.
For example, over the last couple of years we’ve seen several criminals killed during the commission of violent crimes. In the aftermath of these situations, the families of the criminal will complain to the media that their loved one did not deserve their fate. It doesn’t matter if the criminal had a gun, was threatening grave bodily harm, or even in the process of committing a heinous act… the families invariably argue that the criminal was a “good” person who didn’t deserve to die.
Well, this ridiculous argument is rearing its head… again.
Last week Reginald Gildersleeve walked into a Chicago bodega and attempted to rob the store with what the victims all thought was a gun. Within seconds, a concealed carry permit holder had shot and killed the criminal and saved the day. Once the police arrived they determined that Gildersleeve had been armed with a paintball gun and not a “real” firearm, but the store’s patrons had no idea that the gun wasn’t real.
Now Gildersleeve’s family is arguing that the hero should be charged with killing their loved one. It doesn’t matter that Gildersleeve was a well-known criminal who was in the act of robbing a store and threatening physical harm on innocent people.
Ibginosa Oronsaye was Gildersleeve’s stepson and he believes that the real criminal was the man defending the lives and property of the people in the store. Oronsaye told the Chicago Tribune that, “Some people don’t actually know how to use guns. They go to firing ranges, but it’s not the same as a bullet going into someone’s body, it’s not the same as a bullet going into flesh. They should be able to wound first, kill next. He didn’t deserve to get shot multiple times. You just took a brother, you just took a father from a lot of people. Somebody’s got to answer for that.”
Death can be tragic, even when a person brings it upon themselves by making terrible decisions, but blaming the victim for defending themselves is abhorrent. Any rational person thrust into the same situation would choose to defend themselves as opposed to simply hoping that the violent criminal might show mercy. The death of Reginald Gildersleeve and the pain that it brings to his family and friends is sad, sadder still would be causing the harm or even death of innocents in a foolish and vain attempt to make the family feel better by prosecuting a hero for stopping a crime.
Gildersleeve caused his own death by choosing to be a violent and threatening criminal. Don’t blame the victim — blame the fool who chose a life of crime.