I don't really listen to talk radio much, but this morning was an exception. The topic of choice on two separate shows, the unreal tragedy of the Greyhound bus murder. Why I kept listening, the debates largely centered around a discussion of whether or not the other passengers acted appropriately, should they have done more to help the victim?
I listened in amazement, as people called in from their cozy, sober second thought, environments, pontificating on what they would have done, some heaping scorn on the "wimps" for reacting as they had. Apparently, many bloggers and American commentators have picked up on this theme, going so far as to say question Canadian masculinity (whatever that means). The fact the reaction is even "at issue" is what I found most bizarre, because ultimately who in the hell is anybody to pass judgement on what amounts to a real world horror show?
I found it all entirely offensive, because to my way of thinking, the other passengers were victims too. I just can't image witnessing such a macabe spectacle, it will surely imprint their souls, something they will carry with them the rest of their lives. I have nothing buy sympathy, and appreciate the folly in trying look at the reactions rationally.
By all accounts, this wasn't even a typical stabbing, if there is such a thing. This man was butchered before people's eyes, the violence so intense, there was really nothing anyone could do. Getting everyone else off the bus and containing this man, was really the only option. Good on anyone who thinks they would have reacted differently, but it's easy to judge from afar, easier still to try and fathom a situation which is really off the charts insane. I don't think bravery has anything to do with the reactions, in fact I think anything else, given the circumstances, amounts to sheer stupidity.
With that in mind, I thought I would see if others agree: