According to media reports, “Four children were found dead in the Louisville, Kentucky, apartment of a Somalian immigrant who entered police headquarters on Friday and announced, ‘I killed my family,’ police said.”

Well, let’s consider this for a moment. The guy turned himself in. He didn’t do a murder/suicide thing, leaving us without answers. He didn’t commit “suicide by cop.” He actually stopped committing violence, and turned himself in.

Wow. Maybe somebody, even a lone blogger like me, should say, “You did the right thing, at that point. Thank you.” So often, when people commit horrible crimes (and his crime was truly horrible) critics go back to some earlier point, and say, “Why didn’t you let the hostage go? Why did you kill all the people who were witnesses, after you killed the one you were seeking? Why didn’t you surrender to the police when they had you surrounded, instead of shooting it out?”

Yet when somebody actually rethinks what they are doing and STOPS, when does anybody say, “Good. You did the right thing”? Instead, all criticisms are directed at the evil which actually took place, and it’s often the “why didn’t you” critique. And yet, here in this instance, he DID ACTUALLY STOP. We could have easily found ourselves in an alternate reality where he didn’t, and then people would say, “Gee, why didn’t you surrender to the police after you saw what you did and felt it was wrong?”  

Maybe horrible crimes would be minimized if, sometimes, positive feedback were offered for the stuff the criminal did RIGHT, after they did so much WRONG. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be punished. He should. But part of being punished for wrongdoing would have to be reading all the condemnation of what you did, the criticism, the editorializing.

When a criminal actually stops, does one thing right, that should be acknowledged. In fact, it should become a habit in the media, so that criminals engaged in mid-bloodbath would think, “Maybe I could stop now. Maybe the media will say something positive about my decision to stop, now, and praise that decision.”

So often, the criticism of a bloody criminal is “you should have done such and such.” Here, one actually did. He stopped. He surrendered. He confessed. God and man have mercy upon him, he did the right thing after doing the wrong thing, and his right decision should be praised just as his wrong decision should be condemned.  

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