Scripted safety

Yesterday a 77 year old man took a shot at a 13 year old boy with an air rifle.

The boy and a friend were throwing snowballs at the window of the man. When the man told them to stop, they didn't. So the man took out his rifle and shot the boy in his hand.

Now I'm not going to say that it was right for the man to take this measure. But what were his alternatives?

In practice, there were none.

He should have called the police. They should have come over and talked to the boy. That is the script we have written in our society. But this script clearly does not work in such mild circumstances.

Back in the day, respect for elderly people was standard. If you did not respect them you could expect a slap in the face. But because there is a line somewhere between a slap in the face and all out abuse, slapping is no longer part of the script.

In fact, there is nothing anyone can do but try to follow a script that does not work.
This kind of thing makes people feel powerless. And people that feel powerless tend to take drastic measures.

If the man could have slapped the boys there probably would not have been any problems.

Scripting makes people powerless and uncreative. We've taken scripting too far.