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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another senseless one

The Miami Herald reported in great detail yesterday memorial services for Bryan Pata, a University of Miami senior student and football player.

Pata, by all accounts a good guy, a nice guy, was shot and killed shortly after returning to his apartment following football practice a week-and-a-half ago.

No suspects are in custody, and police aren't revealing much about possible motives.

But the motive doesn't matter. Every time I hear about another murder that did not appear to be something done in the heat of passion, I speculate.

I have to 'cause it's the only way to make sense of what happened?

Not condoning murder or anything, but I wonder - if not revenge for someone molesting your child, or sexually assaulting other women in your life, or sudden rage over finding out your spouse is cheating - what would compel you to kill?

Money, drugs, a funny look, a scuffed shoe, a fender bender? I know those are possible. I've reported numerous stories involving killers who cited those things as reasons they committed murder.

But how bad does your life have to be to get to that point, where murder is an acceptable response to someone offending you?

My questions are rhetorical. I don't have answers.


  • I have questions about this one. 2 shots to the back of the head does not sound like the kind of gunfire that follows a verbal argument between neighbors. It sounds like the kind of gunfire used in an execution. At the risk of sounding crude or crass, does anyone know what was Brian Pata's lifestyle was like before he was killed? There's more to this than what's been reported (i.e. who was he fighting with and over what? No witnesses? No one hears 2 shots pop off? Unlikely)
    Anyway, the real story will be uncovered in time. Until then, Rest in Peace, Brian Pata -- you were another brother cut down before his time.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 5:19 PM  

  • I feel you BD. The former crime reporter in me saw red flags and asked why would anyone shoot him in that manner.

    If he was engaged in criminal activity - God forbid, was it something he needed to be killed over?

    I guess that's what I'm asking - with all these folks killing casually, why does it seem so easy?

    People kill over simple stuff today.

    It used to be if you killed another man - and it wasn't in the course of military combat it was because you were defending your life or your family's lives.

    Even criminals had a little more honor back in the day. If one thief killed another it was probably because the victim substantially stole from him.

    Now, look at someone the wrong way and it could get you shot.

    My mom, against her better judgment, once tried to intervene when a woman was beating her toddler in a department store.

    Keep in mind, my folks spanked me. So they weren't opposed to corporal punishment. But spanking and beating are two different things.

    Anyway, my mom urged the woman to stop 'cause she was being too harsh - beating the kid like he was an adult - and 'cause she was drawing attention to herself that might bring the police around.

    The woman threatened my mom for being nosey and even said she'd shoot her if she didn't get out of her face.

    Shoot somebody for trying to calm you down?

    People are triflin'.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 6:25 PM  

  • Yeah, people gotta learn to control their anger out there. Anger commonly surfaces when things aren't going the way one thinks they should be going. Trouble is, the way some deal with this is to pop one off. My question is, Why were they armed to begin with? "Yeah, I gotta carry a weapon. Someone might cough in my face without coverin' their mouth, and that just ain't right."

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 6:45 PM  

  • Food for thought for sure.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:07 PM  

  • There's a whole host of problems that are inadvertently encouraged in our society - violence in tv, movies, games - has a way of desensitizing people to the consequences of such actions. Add to that the amazing ease with which to acquire weapons, and all you need is a little lack of self control and you've got an unfortunate situation in your hands. Ever seen Bowling for Columbine? It's a very well-done documentary that gave me a different perspective about our society.

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 11:49 PM  

  • Two suggestions:-

    Anger management classes - required for everyone

    & ban gun ownership!

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 6:31 AM  

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