Conversation With a Moron: A One-Act Play
LEARNEDFOOT: You look troubled. What's wrong?
MORON: A homeowner stops an intruder by shooting and wounding him.
LF: Oh how terrible! I mean, I'm glad that this homeowner was able to defend him or herself from the intruder and is OK. But I fear that defending him or herself from the machinations of our justice system - which I am sure would exonerate this homeowner - might take an emotional toll.
MORON: The homeowner is not charged.
LF: Oh, thank goodness! Well, happy endings then...
MORON: A dog stops an intruder by biting and wounding him.
LF: Well, that's great. A good watchdog can also be an effective crime deterrent. Say, why do you keep speaking in the present tense, anyway?
MORON: The dog is declared "dangerous" and is killed.
LF: Er... The dog is declared "dangerous" for biting an intruder? Like a criminal intruder? Or was it someone like a meter reader? Because those situations are completely different -
MORON: What is wrong with this picture?
LF: Your simplistic premise for one thing. Who the hell are you and what rock did you crawl out from under anyway?
MORON: NANCY BONER, MINNEAPOLIS
LF: Ah. I see. Well, Ms. Boner - if that is your real name - I'll try to explain it to you. You see people and dogs are different. Dogs don't quite have the rather advanced cognitive skills that humans do. Theor situational awareness tends to be a bit less nuanced than your typical (non-letter-writing) human. Thus, they can be quite unpredictable - unless they have established a pattern of violence. Nor are they able to communicate in any meaningful way what there intention were for any given incident. This makes it hard for Rover the Irritated Chow Chow to tell us after he bites the mail man "Sorry dude. My bad. I mistook you for my owner's psychotic ex, and your mailbag for an uzi." Of course, since you are a psychologist, I'm probably just going over things that you already know. Right?
LF: [Rolls eyes]
LF: Anyhoo, let's get back to your question (i.e. "what is wrong with this picture"). The "picture" you see as "wrong" can only be righted in two ways in your view: 1) Put homeowners who defend themselves by shooting burglars to sleep; or 2) Allow dangerous dogs with a nasty nature and a prior history of mauling innocent people (I am going to disregard your use of the word "intruder" since it's, well, detached from reality) to continue to keep on doing so. Oh, sure we could just lock 'em up in a kennel and throw away the key, but unfortunately money is not available to do that since we're already spending quite a bit of it locking up people who were not shot by the homeowner whose home they intruded upon.
LF: Are you beginning to see why you're a moron yet?
LF: You see, we have to take these dogs out of circulation because, as I mentioned before, unlike the law-abiding homeowner who defended himself, we simply can't predict what Fido and Bitchie might do in the future...
LF: I'm just wasting my bandwidth here, aren't I?
LF: This play is over!