We Can’t Keep Trading Our Best For Their Worst.

By | January 20, 2022 | 0 Comments


“Lone Survivor,” the book and the movie, is the story of Navy SEALs who were tasked to find a Taliban leader in Afghanistan. But they encountered a much larger group of Taliban. They fought valiantly and killed many of the enemy, but only one SEAL survived. He is Marcus Luttrell, shown third from left.

The story tells of courage and the will to survive. But it tells something else as well. It tells of asymmetry: How long can we afford to trade our best for their worst? And the answer became clear after a few more years in Afghanistan: Not for long. This principle also applies to violent conflict other than war. It applies to violent street crime.

• Sandra Shells was a 70-year-old nurse who was still working in the Emergency Department of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. For 38 years she had cared for the sick and injured, often uninsured and minorities. She was Black. But as she waited at 5 am for her bus to take her to work at Union Station, she was attacked for no reason by Kerry Bell, a homeless man. He struck her in the face, causing her to fall and fracture her skull. She died in her own hospital 3 days later. Bell’s criminal record has not been revealed, but it would be no surprise if it were a long one.

• Briana Kupfer was a 24-year-old UCLA graduate student in design. She was working in an upscale furniture store to gain experience. She was attacked for no reason by Shawn Laval Smith, a 31-year-old homeless man who was wanted in 3 states for crimes including shooting into a car containing a family with a baby. Why he was roaming free was not clear. He stabbed Brianna multiple times, then calmly entered a convenience store to buy snacks. Brianna was discovered by a customer, who entered to find her lying in a pool of blood.

Both alleged assailants are now in custody. Even with Los Angeles’ leftist DA, they face long prison terms – that is, if they are not found insane and sent to a mental hospital until they get “better.” But even if they spend the rest of their lives in prison, and even if they never threaten another human being’s life again, except for other prisoners, the question still remains:

How long can we afford to keep trading our best for their worst?

And my answer is: Not for one millisecond longer.




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