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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My shoes are really fast

Tell me I'm not the only person who blurted that out as a kid.

Seriously, when my folks would hook me up in elementary school with a new pair of Pro Keds, I would immediately lace them up and then run to the playground behind our house and yell to the other kids that I had a new pair of fast shoes.

Alas, by the time I became a slow, lumbering working man I had long since figured out that any speed I had as a child was physical. My shoes hadn't helped a bit. Wish someone had told me that when I was seven or eight.

I thought about the shoe thing earlier today, as I was reading stories by my colleagues about the death of Washington Redskins football player Sean Taylor. Taylor was shot in his Miami-Dade County home on Monday. According to police, an intruder broke in, confronted Taylor in his bedroom, and shot him in his leg. Taylor's femoral artery was apparently severed. He lost a lot of blood, and early Tuesday he died.

Taylor was shot, and somewhere in South Florida, a numbnut is walking around feeling brave, because he used a gun on an unarmed man and walked away from the face-off.

I support honest folks' right to own and carry. But guns - at least guns as used in this instance and others like it - do not make people brave. If the person holding a gun is a moron, the weapon is just gonna make his stupidity manifest 10-fold. If the person holding a gun has common sense and good intentions, the weapon is not going to seem "reckless" in his hands.

Rumors abound as to whether Taylor's death might have been the result of something other than an armed burglary attempt, especially considering his house was broken into a week or so earlier. And in this case the shooter apparently didn't take anything but Taylor's life.

Plus there was the allegation that a few years ago Taylor pulled a gun on people he thought had stolen from him. His lawyer told the Miami Herald the allegation was not true, that Taylor had not pulled a gun. I don't know who's right, or if it even matters at this point.

Another young guy is dead, and his killer, probably thinking he's the man, is walking around.

We've all heard our parents' stories about how back in the day, everyone fought with their fists. And no matter how battered, they lived to fight again.

I wish this killer had just punched Taylor. But I wish more someone had taught him when he was a kid that holding a gun wouldn't make him brave.

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  • When faced with the human stupidity and callousness that mar all that is good and holy in the human character, I tend to wax philosophical or turn to the wisdom of others.

    I find some solace in these well-known words of John Donne, Meditation 17:

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manner of thine own
    Or of thine friend's were.
    Each man's death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

    I long for the day when humankind will understand that what we do to another we do to ourselves.

    By Blogger The First Domino, at 12:37 AM  

  • On the lighter side regarding the Pro Keds. Ignorance is sometime more than bliss, it can also be amiss.

    But I don't see how the facts could take the place of those "magical" shoes. We all need a little magic in our life.

    What would life be without it?

    No Santa? No Easter Bunny? No Tooth Fairy?

    You get the point!

    By Blogger The First Domino, at 1:07 AM  

  • Too bad he didn't have a gun handy to fight back with.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 1:40 AM  

  • Violence begets violence - a never ending cycle of grief for those left behind in the wake. Why do so many think ANY type of violent behavior is the ONLY way to handle ALL problems? What does it ultimately resolve then?

    By Blogger Jeni, at 2:45 AM  

  • Violence doesn't resolve all issues- but it does resolve some of them. Islam will always be violent, and violence is the only language radical Islam understands.

    Violence between street thugs- I'm not sure how to stop that cycle. Nothing has ever stopped them from getting weapons, nothing has ever stopped them from committing violence on one another. And the more prevalent it becomes, the more likely innocents get caught in the crossfire.

    Maybe part of the answer is to figure out as way to de-glamorize it.

    By Anonymous og, at 7:52 AM  

  • I live in the DC area and you'd think the Pope died. People are setting up memorials in front of his home and at the practice field in Ashburn. They are crying in the streets. It's nuts.

    By Anonymous Franki, at 10:25 AM  

  • Amen.
    Check out Field Negro today if you haven't already.
    There are some days when something happens and I just know that my blog buddies are going to be able to shed some light on it and speak to me and for me. This is one of those days and you and FN are those, thank you.

    By Blogger WNG, at 1:17 PM  

  • Such a shame. I honestly don't get the world sometimes.

    By Blogger Winter, at 1:31 PM  

  • I once took a ball-point pen and colored the white line around my sneakers in the belief I would run faster.

    Good point about the fists. We're facing that in DC w/ the U.S. Supreme Court considering the constitutionality of the city's handgun ban.

    I wondered immediately why Taylor defended himself with a machete. I would have assumed that such a man would have a handgun to defend himself. I mean, he WAS expecting trouble.

    By Blogger M@, at 2:02 PM  

  • I'm kind of getting sick of the whole "well he was a thug who had it coming" rumor mill as well. As if we should just start waiving justice for people based on reputation alone.

    Regardless of whatever rumors might be floating around about Taylor, the fact is that the man was murdered in his own home by a gun-weilding intruder while his girlfriend and one year old daughter were in the house.

    I'm sure whatever facts there might be will come out between now and the conclusion of the investigation but it doesn't change the fact that the perpetrator committed a heinous crime. Dude deserves to have his butt flattened by the justice system.

    By Blogger qofd, at 2:26 PM  

  • It is sad that he died...there seems to be a lot of pointless killing on the news lately.

    By Anonymous marsha, at 7:31 PM  

  • It does seem like another mindless killing. A shot in the leg that caused him to bled to death. A guy defending himself with a machete. And for what?

    By Blogger The CEO, at 11:19 PM  

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