OPINION: Put down your guns, your beer and your baseball bats

OPINION: Put down your guns, your beer and your baseball bats

Okay people, put the beer down and listen up.

Yeah…you know who you are…you people who think it’s okay and even admirable to take the law into your own hands.

Put. The. Beer. Down.

It’s also possibly a good idea to step away from your pick up truck and turn down the country music so you can hear this message very clearly.

Vigilante justice is wrong.

It is dangerous.

And promoting it not only reveals an unbalanced streak, it reveals it to those who may be looking to you for guidance and an example – like, for instance, your children.

The Spotlight reported a couple of stories recently that resulted in head-shaking social media posts.

There was the cat that was shot in the face with a pellet gun on Allison Flats and lost an eye.

That is a horrible and senseless crime. It can only be hoped the perpetrator will be apprehended and brought to justice.

But that’s actual justice.

Not the kind of justice that has been suggested on websites and Facebook pages.

No, whoever hurt the cat should NOT also be shot in the face with a pellet gun.

No more should the person be KILLED.

Catch ‘em. Charge ‘em. Convict ‘em. Sentence ‘em.

And maybe get ‘em some counseling cause that’s extremely disturbing behavior.

A story posted over the weekend about a break-in at a local apartment building also sparked outrage. Readers seemed literally up in arms.

It’s not unusual for a discussion about theft to devolve quickly into a swapping of macho ideas about the best ways to protect one’s property.

Invariably this results in someone promising to greet any trespasser with a loaded shotgun.

Hopefully such threats are just hyperbole and posture.

Anyone who would actually take a life to save a flat screen television or a tool belt ought to have his or her name on a list somewhere.

(This is a good place to note that anyone who keeps a loaded weapon in the home is far more likely to kill his or herself, or a family member, than to shoot an intruder. Just sayin’.)

On the weekend a couple of people suggested on social media that it is time to start patrolling Princeton at night with baseball bats – and they weren’t suggested pickup games at Memorial Park.

Again, this kind of comment may be “just talk.”

But talk is not harmless, either.

There has been ample evidence of late that irresponsible rhetoric can result in tragic and misguided deeds.

Want to arm yourself? Do it with your phone.

If you are fearful for any reason, call the police.

Report crime. Don’t become a criminal.

And don’t ever condone violence to others.