Story of a Law Abiding Citizen
A law abiding citizen walked into town. It was late at night, and the citizen carried a treasure chest full of gold. The citizen shouted, “I have a chest full of gold! Come see my chest full of gold!” The citizen opened the chest and showed it to every passer by. Some of the bystanders were friends of the law abiding citizen, others were acquaintances, and still others were strangers. Some ignored the citizen, others smiled and clapped their hands. As the night went on, the law abiding citizen walked into what was referred to as, “The bad part of town”. The law abiding citizen was not afraid, and continued to shout, “Look at my gold!”
Suddenly, a wolf appeared in the street. The law abiding citizen did not notice because the wolf was disguised as a man. The wolves of this town were always sly and cunning thieves, who could smell gold from miles away. They were trapped in the bad part of town, so they waited anxiously for anyone with gold to be foolish enough to enter. This particular wolf, however, would disguise himself as a man and go into town where all the law abiding citizens lived. The law abiding citizen with the treasure chest full of gold vaguely recognized the “man”, was relieved and comforted by seeing a familiar face, and was eager to show him the treasure.
The next morning, the treasure was gone. The law abiding citizen lay bruised and beaten in the street. The Police came to the citizen’s aide, taking the citizen to the hospital. Then the search for the wolf began. The police new they would not get the treasure back, because these wolves consume gold. Some wolves were taught to eat Salisbury steak rather than gold, but most preferred gold.
After three days of searching, the wolf was found and taken to court. The law abiding citizen was being represented by an old toad, whose reputation was as high as his cholesterol. The toad stood up, and looking to the jury said,
“Ladies and gentlemen, a crime was committed four nights ago. A law abiding citizen was attacked and robbed by a wolf!”
The crowd moaned in terror at the statement, and began to whisper amongst themselves. The judge, who was a highly educated St. Bernard, slammed his gavel repeatedly, barking for order in the court. The toad continued,
“Now it is the deeply held belief of this town, that any law abiding citizen should be able to go anywhere he/she/ or it chooses, without fear of being robbed of their gold. I thus recommend that this wolf be put down for this heinous act, and that all wolves be exiled from the community!”
The whole courtroom sprung to their feet in applause. The judge slammed his gavel a few times, and the wolf was dragged out of the court room, to be put down shortly afterward.
To the law abiding citizen’s surprise, however, the court was not adjourned. The judge then said,
“And that brings us to the case Law abiding citizen vs. Father of the law abiding citizen.”
The law abiding citizen was shocked and appalled, and the toad began to croak furiously. Despite the disbelief, the father took the stand. The toad then croaked,
“Your honor, I don’t see the point to all of this. Are we now to blame the victims of crimes!?!”
The judge growled, “This is my courtroom! I will hear what the father has to say. Go ahead.”
The father slowly walked to the stand and said, “I gave my child that treasure chest full of gold, and very clear instructions on how to keep it safe. I read the police report, and it is my understanding that my child ran through the streets showing off the gold to anyone who could see, as well as to wolves! I want my gold back!”
The toad interrupted, “Your honor, we have been over this! No law abiding citizen should have to fear having their gold stolen no matter wear they are!!! You cannot punish the victim of the crime!!!”
The crowd was divided, and began arguing with one another. The judge took off his glasses and put his head in his paws. He then looked up and said,
“You are a clever toad, and you are correct. No one should have to fear being robbed, no one is asking for it. But I lock my door every night before I go to bed. I shouldn’t have to, but if I don’t, someone will come in and steal my treasure! I should be able to leave all of my doors unlocked, but that is impossible when you live in a world where wolves disguise themselves as men!”
The crowd fell silent. He continued,
“Our actions have consequences. We don’t call these consequences justice or karma or anything, really. The law abiding citizen was acting foolishly, playing with fire. Fire does not burn to teach you a lesson. Fire burns because it is hot. The wolf was wrong. But the citizen was wrong too. The citizen new there were wolves and that wolves love gold, and wolves always come out at night. This event was not a victory for justice, but a tragedy in which no one was in the right and for which everyone will experience pain.”
He then looked to the father and said,
“Father, forgive your child, because your child has no way of repaying you.”
The father agreed and took his child home.