A Parable

A man went to the school to pick up his son after being informed that the son had been fighting. As they sat in the car on the way home, the boy holding an icepack on his swollen black eye, his dad asked him what happened.

“Johnny said he was going to beat me up if I didn’t give him my lunch money.”

“That’s not a good reason to get into a fight,” said his dad. “Why didn’t you just give him your lunch money?”

“That’s what I’ve been doing; every time he forgets his own money, he does this. A couple of times I talked him into letting me do his homework instead.”

“So if talking was working, why didn’t you talk to him this time?”

“Working? Talking wasn’t working! He started threatening me for my lunch money even when he didn’t forget his. Nothing was ever enough, so I decided that I wasn’t going to do it anymore. He told me yesterday to give him my lunch money or else and I told him no. I’m not giving up my lunch money any more. Well, he said he’d give me until today to think about it and I told him I wasn’t going to change my mind. He told me he would not only beat me up, but he’d beat my friends up, too and I told him I wasn’t going to give him my lunch money.”

“That was yesterday?”

“Yes, Dad. And today he walked up to me when I got to school, yelling at me to give him his money and I just ignored him. Then he said, ‘Okay, just give me half of your lunch money and I won’t beat you up.’ When I didn’t say anything, he said, ‘Okay, I won’t beat up on two of your friends.’ Then he said, ‘Okay, I won’t beat up on 3 of your friends.’

“Well, that sounds like a good deal, why didn’t you give him your lunch money then?”

“Dad! It’s my money. And it’s pizza day. And if i gave him my lunch money again today, he was just going to come back again next week or the week after and demand money again. And besides, I was winning. He kept asking for less the more I refused to give up.”

“Okay, now I’m confused. You did fight didn’t you?”

“Not really. He finally got so frustrated that he ran at me and tripped on someone’s bookbag. He accidentally hit me in the eye and broke his arm when he fell. But he didn’t get my lunch money.”

So, my lovely audience: Should the boy have given Johnny his lunch money? Who is to blame for the “fight”?

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How to commit the perfect murder

Not that I condone such things, but the State of Florida and several others with their stand-your-ground laws have given us a perfect formula for getting away with murder. If you need to kill someone and live in one of these states or can get your victim to meet you in one of them, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Pick a fight. Apparently it doesn’t matter how you do this, so feel free to be creative! You can haul off and hit your victim, call him or her names, or even just follow them around in the rain. As long as you can get them to start physically attacking you, you’ve completed this step.
  2. Wait until they start kicking your ass. You need some kind of evidence to support your claim of self-defense, so you’ll need to let yourself get injured. Be careful! There’s a fine line between corroborating evidence and actually being in danger.
  3. Pull your gun and shoot. I should note, it’s a good idea to find a time and place with few or no witnesses. You don’t want any one contradicting your story when the police get there or you have to face a jury (worst case scenario).
  4. Make sure you shoot to kill. History is written by the winners after all. And firing a warning shot is not self-defense.

By the same token, if you ever get into a fight in Florida, your best bet is to kill the other person as quickly as possible by whatever means you have available. There’s a chance the other person won’t realize that two survivors can charge each other with battery and have to fight it out in court, but I wouldn’t recommend taking that chance. If they do realize, their best bet is to kill you so you can’t tell your side.

One other caveat, be careful not to attack a higher class of citizen than your are. Preston Sharpnack in Austin, Texas learned the hard way that self-defense doesn’t work if the dead guy is an architect and you’re homeless. It’s possible that Stand-Your-Ground only works one direction.