Apologetic Felons…

Yet another case of a contrite robber… With double to fun…

During the first robbery, on Aug. 13, the robber apologized to the clerk, saying, “Sorry, I have to do this,” and taking $600, police said.

A week later, he returned and ordered a clerk to empty the cash register. Then he thanked the clerk and again said he was sorry before fleeing. – [Yahoo/AP]

Stories like these make me think about what really makes a person a criminal. Sure robbing someone at gunpoint is wrong, but does that automatically make you a bad person? This guy was obviously quite conflicted. Does robbing a bank out of necessity make you a “robber”? Or a “criminal”.

I know it does in eyes of the law, but the law is blind. Why would you ever let a blind lady with and old fashioned scale drive your car? So I generally look at things from a more moralistic view. But I don’t really subscribe to the idea of intention based morality, so can’t argue that this guy really didn’t want to hurt anyone, and is therefore not a “robber”. But I think it bears a little deeper examination.

To use another more well defined (on the surface at least) example, what makes a person a killer. When someone says: “Be careful with that guy, he’s a killer!” what exactly does that mean? People kill for lots of different reasons. You can’t very well lump the scared house wife that kills the rapist who broke into her house with her husbands snub nose .38 in the same category as the guy who shoots another because he “looked at me funny”.

There is obviously a big difference. Here’s what I think. A killer, or criminal, is a person who’s first solution for everything is to resort to criminal activity. They are unwilling or unable to see alternatives. It’s kind of like Abraham Maslows’ famous saying: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

I think a killer kills because to them it is the best solution they have for many of their problems. A felon steals or robs because to them, it is the only solution they know to implement successfully. If you look at it this way, then these people are all suffering from one problem. Either an absolutely uncompromising level of ignorance, or a debilitatingly severe lack of imagination… Are you bored yet? 🙂

Man sorry but robs store anyway- twice – [Yahoo/AP]


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