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July 13, 2007

DC Swells Offer Armed Gunman Cheese and Wine; Gunman Puts Gun Away, Says He May Have Come To "Wrong House," and Asks For Group Hug... Which He Gets

Kind of a cute story and the counterintuitively clever gambit -- when an armed thug shows up threatening to kill you, offer him Pinot Grigio and Camembert -- paid off.

But this story will be cited for the proposition that the best way to deal with armed and dangerous criminals is to just be nice to them. Like maybe we should just be nice to Al Qaeda. I can't fault the WaPo for running such an odd and compelling story; I'll just note they're rather less eager to run stories about citizens feigning off armed thugs not through fondue and sympathy but through brandishing their own weapons.

Suddenly, a hooded man slid in through an open gate and put the barrel of a handgun to the head of a 14-year-old [daughter of one of the adults at the party].

"Give me your money, or I'll start shooting," he demanded, according to D.C. police and witness accounts.

...

The five other guests, including the girls' parents, froze -- and then one spoke.

"We were just finishing dinner," Cristina "Cha Cha" Rowan, 43, blurted out. "Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?"


...

The would-be robber, his hood now down, took another sip and had a bite of Camembert cheese that was on the table.

Then he tucked the gun into the pocket of his nylon sweatpants.

"I think I may have come to the wrong house," he said, looking around the patio of the home in the 1300 block of Constitution Avenue NE.

"I'm sorry," he told the group. "Can I get a hug?"

...

"That's really good wine," the man said, taking another sip. He had a final request: "Can we have a group hug?"

The five adults surrounded him, arms out.

If it takes some wine and cheese to get your daughter out of the hands of a gunman threatening to murder her, hey, that's wine and cheese well spent.

I just can't help but think these people are drawing the wrong lessons from this story, and telling it as a cute little anecdote about how the power of liberal yuppie sophistication can turn a violent criminal, no doubt driven to criminality by economic desperation and social alienation, into a bosom chum.

And it will be sort of forgotten the guy put a gun to the head of a fourteen-year-old girl and threatened to execute her in front of her parents.


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posted by Ace at 02:12 PM

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