Have you ever seen those TV shows that play clips of robbery bloopers? Shows that are entitled “World’s Dumbest Criminals” or “America’s Dumbest Criminals,” you know what I’m talking about? Well, not to be terribly insensitive but I just had to laugh when I received an update on the Fruitvale BART situation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Having lived in San Francisco, I’m familiar with most of the BART stops and I also know this one well.

First, let me just say this: BART is not really that safe – as if I had to remind anyone who’s ever been on the train. Not long ago, a kid was shot by police while pinned down at a BART station. This past week, there were shootings at Daly City’s BART stop and a stabbing that lead to a death at the Fruitvale stop. Always remember to take safety precautions and to stay vigilant when you’re riding BART or any other mode of public transportation.

A young fellow named Victor Veliz held a knife to the throat of a visitor from the East Coast while his friend, Christopher Gonzalez, threatened to shoot the victim. Apparently, this victim had a bad feeling about the two as he got onto the train as he told his friend over the phone. (Hint: If you have a bad feeling, take the next train or get onto the next car.) In a flurry of panic, the victim managed to grab the knife, land a punch on one of the assailants and stab the other in the chest.

Bravo, Mr. East Coast Victim!

Is it bad that this thrills me? Well, imagine yourself at the movies following an innocent character. He finds himself in a sticky situation, such as the BART incident, and manages to thwart and hurt the villainous robbers. Tell me that doesn’t give you a rush!

Here’s what I find laughable: Gonzalez, who was stabbed in the chest, stumbled home and cried out for his mommy, daddy and sister. Meanwhile, his gangster buddy Victor made it to Gonzalez’s home with the “victim’s” cell phone, the damning evidence. Gonzalez fell into the arms of his father, and in epic fashion, died.

Enter the father who defends his son’s reputation and upholds his work ethic. Okay, your son might have had good intentions (though I highly doubt it) and he might have been as hard a worker as you say. But nothing changes the fact that he threatened another person and paid a big price for it. Hey, if you’re threatening to shoot an unarmed man and he grabs your friend’s knife and stabs you in the chest, I’d say you had it coming.

Do I feel bad? Sure, I do. Is it funny to me? Yes, it is. Why is it funny to me? No matter how desperate a situation can be, you still have decisions to make and you have to take responsibility for the outcomes of those decisions. Crying to your parents after you threatened to kill someone elicits a chuckle and having your father say, “I want someone to pay,” is even laughable. Sorry, daddy, but you didn’t do your job. Someone did pay for what happened – it was your son. The victim, on the other hand, is let go for self-defense.

From SF Gate

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Life is certainly a precious gift, as clich√© as that may seem, but for Kirsten Brydum life was cut far too short. At the young age of 25, Kirsten had already accomplished so much and undoubtedly changed many lives. She was an activist in San Francisco, and by a simple Google search, it’s easy to see how much she will be missed. Kristen, the organizer of Really Really Free Market in San Francisco, was brutally murdered in the city of New Orleans on September 26, 2008. The murderer fired several shots into Kristen’s head after a robbery attempt, making it difficult for her to be identified.¬† The killer is still out on the loose.

This is a sad reminder of just how wicked the world can be, so I hope that everyone can do their part in making life a little easier for everyone. Let’s not let Kirsten’s death be in vain and certainly do not let a tragedy be the only thing that motivates us to do good whenever we can. Appreciate life, appreciate your friends and family, and most of all appreciate your fellow human beings. Hit the following links for more information regarding Kirsten’s life, her contributions to humanity, and for her memorial.

Virtual Memories

Ryan Is Hungry

SF Gate