Bellbottom Blog

Scratching A Writing Itch From Time To Time

Keeping The Peace

A story from my old hometown is the catalyst for today’s post.

Two men got in a fight outside the oldest bar in Fort Wayne the other night and the result was one of them killing the other. What was the great life ending offense, you ask? The shooter was looking or staring at the victim’s girlfriend.

Now, I know the bar in question because way back when, in my single days, I spent quite a lot of time in bars. This place is the very definition of a neighborhood bar.

I have seen almost every kind of argument possible. But why this one sticks out to me is that it seems entirely preventable.

So, according to the report, the shooter was staring at the victim’s girlfriend, which upset the victim.  The victim was a friend of the bar having done work for the owner over the years. After some prolonged arguing, the bartender called the owner, explained the situation, suggested that they were not going to calm down, and asked the owner for advice.  The owner said close the place down and have everyone leave. In the parking lot, things escalated into the fatal shooting.

What was the mistake?

Simply put, as a friend of the bar, the victim should have been given consideration over the other patron.  You throw everyone out except the victim and his girlfriend. Distance usually lessens the willingness of participants to want to continue the argument. Keep them inside with the doors locked until the antagonist leaves. Maybe call the police if he doesn’t.

Simple.  Common sense.



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One thought on “Keeping The Peace

  1. I thought this was so interesting when I first read it. Although I intended to leave a comment then, I got distracted and never made it back.

    Your solution makes a lot of sense John. I’m not so sure I’d have come to the same conclusion, but when I consider that the one killed was a long-term regular, perhaps I’d have done the same thing.

    There’s an ethical expert who writes a column in the local paper on Fridays, and I’m curious what he would’ve made of this one. You know me…I could take a question like this and chew on it for days and write a long meandering thing that weighed all options but may or may not actually come up with a solution.

    I prefer your method here. It’s very logical and would’ve saved the guy’s life. At least for the time being.

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