In Melbourne on Monday morning a fine upstanding citizen and a backpacker from overseas did the right thing by trying to stop a man from assaulting his girlfriend. Apparently, this man and this woman had been fighting in a taxi and as they stepped out into the street, the ruffian continued to hit her.
So the fine upstanding citizen, a husband and father of three young children confronted the scumbag and was rewarded with a bullet which killed him. The other good samaritan is fighting for his life in hospital and his parents are making the traumatic journey from Europe to be with their son who is in intensive care.
The scumbag, a member of the Hell’s Angels bikie group, is on the run. The police have said that he is a violent specimen with a criminal reputation. His girlfriend is in hospital with gunshot wounds.
Now I no longer remember the names of the two heroes and isn’t that the way with heroes, but I bet that their families will never forget that their sons, husband and father rushed in where angels fear to tread.
This is a tragedy of monumental importance because it reminds us what a sick and horrible world this is. A world in which no good deed ever goes unpunished.
We are all grieving at the waste of life, at the futility of the defenders’ actions and we have to rethink our attitude about what we owe another human being. After this, more people will hesitate about interfering when someone is being bashed in the street. We will become even more cynical because we have had a very sad confirmation that the world is a dangerous place and that perhaps we should think twice about helping others. And how soul-destroying is this lesson. Moreover, we should accept the fact that if we are in trouble, then fewer people will be prepared to come to our rescue.
Who can blame us for wondering what we would do and perhaps deciding that it’s just not worth it?
I know one thing for sure, though. When the scumbag is finally caught he will be offered the best criminal defence lawyer that legal aid can supply. And this high-profile lawyer will probably defend his client by trying to make him a victim of circumstance.
I can already hear the violin strings bleating.
And there will be a memorial service for that other lawyer, the good samaritan who was murdered by the scumbag and then life will go on as before.
The scumbag has just turned himself in to the police. His mummy and daddy begged him to do so because they love him.
His girlfriend whom he had bashed up has left hospital and refuses to co-operate with the police. Ain’t that the way!
Was it worth dying to save the life of such a person?
I don’t believe that all human life has equal value.