Saturday, November 19, 2016

No Disrespect

She was his girlfriend, in her mind, and as such she had certain rights to his time and attention.

He was over her. Therefore, she had no claims to make.

She called him.

He ignored her calls.

She shot him.

Katrina Harris had known the young man since they were kids, riding that first wave of hormones in junior high. They became a couple and she attached meaning to the relationship that only a first love can hold. Terms like soulmates are often applied by those without the life experience to really understand what that means. In her mind, it was forever.

After the initial whiff of infatuation wore off for him, however, it was time to move on. After all, when a young man attends high school and starts meeting other people, and forming other friendships, those childhood crushes fade away into the realm of pleasant memory.

In Katrina's case, that was not an acceptable outcome. She had her man and she intended to keep him. Sure he said it was over, but she believed in her power to persuade him, to make him see things clearly. Words would accomplish her goal. She would talk to him and convince him that they were still a couple, and he was mistaken.

A girl can't very well convince a boy if he won't talk to her. If he won't take her calls or texts.

One day, when his phone was ringing, he handed it to someone else. Tell her to stop calling me, he might have said. Maybe it was his new girlfriend who was the messenger.

The police aren't saying, but you can picture it all in your head. He's had enough and doesn't want to talk to Katrina, so he has the new lady in his life tell the ex to stop calling. Nothing says 'It's over' like the replacement lover saying it. Pretty much spells things out.

With that, Katrina felt the full force of her man's disrespect. At any rate, that's how she perceived it. Her boyfriend had disrespected her by not talking to her when she demanded that they chat, and then he really disrespected her by having someone else take one of her calls and tell her to stop calling.

What's a girl to do?

In one part of American culture, the girl would run off sobbing to her girlfriends who would then spread malicious gossip about the ex, painting him as the worst dregs of humanity.

In another part of American culture, the part that is infamous for the indiscriminate use of guns, a girl gets a weapon and shoots the boy.

Katrina Harris has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, among other things. There is no doubt that it was a crime of passion, considering the fact that she left her purse behind with all her identification in it. Pretty easy to figure out who did the shooting when the cops have your work I.D. in hand, retrieved at the scene of the crime.

Teens do stupid things, to be sure, but is it stupidity that drove 16-year-old Katrina Harris to try to murder another human being because she felt disrespected? Or is there something deeper, more sinister, something that won't be solved by lawmakers barking about curbing gun violence with new legislation? Not everyone uses a gun to settle a question of honor. At least not in the 21st Century. Except in certain segments of America, where the notion of personal honor has become a matter of life and death.

Maybe when you don't have much else you can call your own besides your honor, you tend to exaggerate its importance. Maybe when it's all you have, you can't walk away from the bruise to the ego that is a break-up.

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