Picture it: you're awoken by your 8-year-old daughter screaming. You go running and you find an intruder has broken into your home through a window and taken your sleeping baby out of the crib. A kidnapping is in progress. What do you do?
I would have had a heart attack. Not Dennis Meyers. He's the Florida dad who found a strange woman in his baby's bedroom over the weekend.
Somehow, Meyers managed to grab the intruder by her hair and throw her out of the house, saving his 16-month-old baby from who knows what.
Got that, folks? He threw her out of the house. He didn't get his gun and shoot her. He didn't beat her into a bloody mess. He got the threat OUT of the house.
And when reporters asked him why, Meyers' answer was a classic. He said he didn't want his wife and daughters to witness something as horrifying as seeing him use deadly force.
I'm putting Meyers up as American hero of the week. If only more Americans would opt for the same kind of restraint, we'd have a kinder, gentler world.
Yes, vigilante justice sounds good in the abstract. There's nothing like some old-fashioned revenge to get your justice juices flowing.
But what are the costs? For some, they end up in jail along with the criminal. For others, there's the knowledge that they became the monster ... and now everyone they love looks at them differently.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the restraint that Meyers showed. We act first, think later. When we celebrate those type of actions, we overlook the unfortunate after effects.
And in case you're wondering, there was even more good that came of this. Cops have arrested a woman named Megan Jones and charged her for allegedly breaking into the Meyers home and trying to steal their baby. She's not going near them again any time soon.
The Meyers get to move on now, and with something extra good -- mom is expecting another baby soon! Imagine if she'd had to deal with three kids with her husband in jail for beating an intruder senseless ...
I know I've done things in the heat of anger that I later regretted, haven't you? What would you have done in Meyers' situation?
Image via Polk County Sheriff’s Office
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