"Sir, I can't stress to you enough how important it is that you do exactly as I say. I see your gun and if you reach for it I am going to shoot you."A lot of words. He said that even as he was saying it, he was thinking what in the world am I saying?! I thought it was pretty funny. The guy was very cooperative and eventually confessed to everything. At first he said the gun was for shooting squirrels out of his yard. Then they found his robbery note that he was going to hand off to the teller. They charged him with attempted robbery and a felony vehicle code section because he falsified his license plates to conceal his identity.
Now most people just laugh this kind of criminal story off. It ends up in the news under the "Stupid criminals" section. What they don't know is that this guy was desperate. He wasn't a bad person. He had no record and had led a good life for the most part. What does it take for someone to get to this point of desperation? For this guy, it was bad. He had lost his job a week ago. His wife was recovering from surgery pertaining to an ongoing battle with cancer, and he was losing his house. This directly tells the story of America right now. Hard things are happening to everyone. People handle hardship a number of ways. While I feel heartbroken for his circumstances, it was a very poor decision that he made to rob a bank. His situtaion went from bad to worse. But, my brother's intervention may have prevented the unthinkable. If he had gone through with the robbery, would he have shot someone or multiple people? Would he have been killed himself?
Thankfully we'll never know because of the actions of my brother. It's easy to relegate these types of stories to the stupid criminal files, but everyone has a story to tell. Maybe it's because of the line of work "we" are in, but we tend to want to know the motivation behind the act. Why do people do what they do? Why don't they know they have other options? Clearly there are other factors involved other than desperation.
It's an interesting perspective at times. Pride in what my husband and brother and other loved ones do when they "get the bad guy", and yet a deep compassion and heartache for the ones who's lives have fallen apart.
Oh, and just as you might have suspected, everyone is using the "I can't stress to you enough. . . " line now. My poor brother is getting teased bad. During briefing, the Sgt. will say something like, "I can't stress to you enough how important it is that you wear your rain coats today."
In fact, I think I will start using the expression myself.