Vigilante justice is the victor as people die in petty disputes

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As one who regularly works in Washington, Pa., and frequents the community’s Shop ’n Save supermarket, it was particularly horrifying to learn on Oct. 18, 2012, that a man had been shot to death in its parking lot following an argument attributed to “road rage.” The reasonable person would conclude that a crime was committed, but this is not a reasonable era. A jury found this killing not to be a murder at all but a case of self-defense (“Jurors Acquit Veteran of Road Rage Shooting,” May 15).

A fearful man who carries a loaded gun as he goes about his daily activities used it to end the life of another who was found to have posed a serious threat. Although the logical conclusion is that no one would have died had a gun not been brought into the conflict, that does not matter in our firearms culture. So the family of the victim is told by the criminal justice system, “Sorry for your loss, but your loved one had it coming. He picked a fight with the wrong person. He got what he deserved: death. Additionally, he was killed by a war veteran, a sympathetic figure, who followed the rules of the military, so he may now go on with his life as you bury the man who started it. We have made the killer the victim.”

It is a good day for vigilante “justice” as the system of jurisprudence we once knew turns a blind eye to needless loss of life, batting not an eyelash over settling petty disputes with lethal force.

Upper St. Clair

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