Last week, a young man in an Amish Ohio community was shot dead on the side of the road, by an irate car driver who got out of his vehicle with a shotgun, and who purposefully fired off several rounds at the victim. Of which, at least one round was fatal.
Before you jump to conclusions that this was a random act of murder; you have to know that the shooter, whom to the best of my knowledge is still not apprehended, was a man reported to be middle aged, driving a Cadillac, who was minding his own business.
As he drove by a cornfield, his car was pelted with tomatoes thrown by a group of young Amish men aged between 15 and 23. As it turns out, this is their idea of an Autumn prank, where they hide several rows in a cornfield, and when unsuspecting drivers pass by – wham!
It appears that no one in the community likes this annual throwing of the tomatoes; but what the hell, in their mind’s eye, it’s just a “prank” where a few young people are having some “harmless” fun at the expense of others. So no big deal.
But it is a big deal. No one has the right to intentionally violate another person’s self or property, especially in the exercise of just having a little fun.
I’m not sorry this guy was shot. He brought this horror upon himsrelf.
It’s not as if the shooting victim was minding his own business when the middle aged man came by with a shot gun and blew him away. The dead man initiated an attack on an individual’s right NOT to be attacked.
And the victim was warned by the shooter. Not just once or twice, but several times. And each time he was warned, he threw more tomatoes.
You might now be thinking that I’ve gone mad. How the hell can someone countenance the killing of a young man for just wanting to have a little bit of fun? It’s easy.
You tell me what kind of society you want to be living in.
Do you want to be living in a society where the perpetrators of crimes are shown more sympathy than the victims?
Do you want to live in a society where it’s alright to smash buildings in order to make a political or social statement?
Do you want to live in a society where unions can beat up people who want to work, and are willing to cross picket lines they don’t agree with?
Do you want to live in a society where politicians and other public figures are targets for a pie in the face?
Because if you do? Congratulations. We’ve arrived.
Without the application of strict taboos on aberrant behavior, our societal values will continue to decline. We have lost our moral compass. It seems as if we no longer care if something is dead wrong; like pelting someone’s private property with tomatoes.
And instead of saying screw this, and let’s teach the tomato throwing bastard a lesson, and lock him up for a few weeks, or fine him a thousand dollars, or put him to work on the side of a road cleaning up the dirt of other people, we just shake our heads and go tut, tut, tut.
Frankly – I’m all tutted out.
If we want to build a future society based upon the rights of some, to invade the rights of others, we are on the right track. At one point, our society is going to pay a price if we don’t draw the line?
I will bet the Ohio tomato throwers and their families are not laughing now. I bet they’re sitting in a state of utter shock and misery because of the killing. But, whose fault was it?
Who initiated the attack? The car driver minding his own business, who warned the delinquents? Or the delinquents who thought it was worth a good laugh to violate the rights of the car driver and others, not to be attacked ?
If our judiciary took a much harsher line with people who harm others, just for the “harmless” fun of it all, I’ll wager, that there would be a tremendous decrease in this utter lack of respect.
In our quest to be so open minded and liberally tolerant, we’ve accepted a slew of improper behavior as being somewhat tolerable. It’s not.
Without some form of real moral guidance that establishes the consequences of delinquent behavior, our society; young people and not so young people, will continue to push the envelope.
And how far do you want that envelope pushed?
Somewhere along the way, our sense of right and wrong has become so corrupted, that the bad guys seem too often to be the victims, while society in general pays the price.
This time, the jokester paid the price. I have to wonder if the community in Ohio, where the killing took place now thinks that throwing objects (tomatoes) at passing cars is no big deal.
I do not suggest that we become intolerant of the alternative lifestyles and views of others. I am quite liberal in my views of individual rights for people to live as they wish, as long as what they do does not directly harm or inconvenience anyone else.
For example: I have no problem with gay marriages, controlled legalized drugs, controlled legalized prostitution and other such social taboos.
But I draw the line when someone else’s lifestyle, business interests and sense of humor have a direct and injurious affect upon me and others who do not want to participate.
If we are not to repeat miscreant behavior which ends in hardship, bad feelings and catastrophe, we have to set the standards for acceptable behavior higher than what they presently are.
The tomato thrower’s dead. He’ll never attack anyone again. Even in jest. For him, it’s the end of the story. For the rest of us, the story continues.
Regrettably; nothing I am certain will have been learned from it.