Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mugging as Amusement

A long time ago (at least in blogtime), I wrote about a young actress, Nicole duFresne, who was shot and killed in a mugging. There wasn’t a lot to the story then, but now the bad guys are on trial as reported in the New York Times.

Tatiana McDonald was one of the muggers. She agreed to testify against the shooter, Rudy Fleming. Her testimony gives a chilling look at how some people live their lives.

She and six others (two females and five males) decided to go out after midnight and find people to hurt. For amusement. The five men wanted the two women to fight any girls they came across. Again just for amusement.

They saw a young man in a white leather jacket and Fleming wanted the jacket. Another mugger hit the guy in the jacket so hard that his hand became swollen. The guy in the jacket escaped with his jacket and his life by running.

Our “wilders” came across another man who made a motion like he was reaching into his jacket for a gun. They left him alone. Wow, what a thought. Even the appearance of being able to defend yourself with a gun is enough to avoid a mugging. For all we know the man may have been intelligent enough to actually be armed.

After a little while they ran into Nicole duFresne with her fiancé and another couple. Out of the blue, Fleming pistol whipped duFresne’s fiancé. DuFresne looked at her fiancé’s damaged face and yelled, “What are you going to do, you going to shoot us? Is that what you wanted?” Fleming pushed her and she yelled at him again and he shot her.

The gun didn’t shoot her; Fleming did it using a gun. He could have stabbed her just as easily because they were close enough when he shot her that he couldn’t straighten his gun arm. He killed her because she didn’t give him the “respect” and fear that he felt he deserved.

These muggers were young people who should’ve been worried about school or jobs. Instead they come from a subculture that finds enjoyment and a sort of weird fulfillment in terrorizing other people. They evidently didn’t plan to kill anyone that night, but their actions led to them to it. Now they or at least Fleming will go to prison for a long time.

The problem isn’t guns and it isn’t because duFresne had the gumption to stand up for herself. The problem is a belief that other peoples' pain and suffering is entertainment. If you want to understand gun deaths in America, including school shootings, you have to look at the twisted morality of people who disassociate themselves from their own humanity.

You have to look at a subculture where going out to hurt people is fun and where believing another person has given you the slightest bit of “disrespect” is a motive for killing. Forget about gun control figure out how to fix this.

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