Um… are they drunk or something? Really…?
Cheers for a South King County woman who beat a convicted child molester with a baseball bat, underscoring the revulsion society feels toward those who hurt children.
But emotions take a back seat to the laws upholding a civil society. The woman faces assault charges. This is appropriate.
Yeah, because nothing upholds civil society more than an unprovoked vigilante beating.
A Pierce County woman welcomed a Level 3 sex offender to her neighborhood by wailing on him with an aluminum baseball bat, authorities said Wednesday.
Tammy Lee Gibson beat William Allen Baldwin badly enough Monday that he was taken to a hospital for treatment of a possibly broken arm, according to court documents.
[...] Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said the attack occurred shortly after deputies posted fliers in Gibson’s neighborhood announcing that Baldwin had moved there.
What exactly is civil about a society in which the editorial page of the largest and most influential newspaper in the state cheers on vigilante justice? And if Gibson had killed Baldwin (as she’s told the media she would like to do), would the Times cheer on his family after a retaliatory beating? Wouldn’t that appropriately underscore the society’s revulsion toward murder?
I know it’s difficult for the editors of the Times to keep two conflicting thoughts in their head at once, but they’re downright dangerous when they try to get them down on paper. I can understand being empathetic toward Gibson, even genuinely sympathetic… but to cheer her on in the lede of an editorial? That’s simply irresponsible, whatever muddle of self-contradictory justification follows.
However empowered it may make one feel, there is nothing to cheer about vigilante justice; it is a dangerous, dangerous path that can only lead to tragedy, and which can never be confined to one “revulsion” or another. One man’s sex offender is another man’s terrorist, and when left in the hands of the rabble (or the editorialists) rather than the courts, the definition of what constitutes a punishable crime quickly blurs.
In the comment thread, Richard Pope points out the that the Times’ heroine has a longer criminal record than her victim.