Monday, April 30, 2007


In Des Moines, Washington, on Friday night, Monique Vance was murdered, allegedly by her husband. She'd gone to visit him, at his brother's home. It seems that they had separated, over domestic violence issues. While she was there, he pulled a gun on her at attempted to kill her, she fled, and he pursued her outside, eventually catching and shooting her dead on a neighbor's doorstep. The home's occupants were there, but they didn't let her in.

"She was screaming 'Help me! He's trying to shoot me!' " said a witness, who didn't want to be identified.
"[...W]ho didn't want to be identified."

I wondered why not. I wondered if this was the homeowner, recounting some of the last words of a woman who'd been murdered at their door. Someone who had made their choice, but didn't want it to be known.

After such events, there are always questions. These are mine. Suppose that the neighbors of Ms. Vance's brother-in-law HAD opened their door, and attempted to rescue her. And her "estranged husband" had forced his way in, shot her dead anyway, and went on to murder the home's occupants while he was there. Different people would have their own reactions, but what would the "groupvoice" be? What would others hear us as a society, say? Would we be celebrating the heroism of an attempt to save a life? Or would we be condemning an act of irresponsibility? Would the blame for all the deaths be laid at the feet of the gunman? Or would he be made to share it with his brother's neighbor? Would the lesson be that sometimes, we are called upon to sacrifice for others, even at the cost of our own lives? Or would the lesson be that one should mind one's own damn business? When it was all said and done - what would we say?

1 comment:

ben said...

I REALLY don't like guns but I'm starting to believe that, if the crazies have them it's probably not a bad idea for everyone else to have them as well. Mandate gun ownership and voting... yee haw! (only mostly joking)