Sunday, March 09, 2008

What was the catalyst for death?

marjorie says...

of the word "catalyst":

  1. Chemistry. A substance, usually used in small amounts relative to the reactants, that modifies and increases the rate of a reaction without being consumed in the process.
  2. One that precipitates a process or event, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences: “A free press … has remained … a vital catalyst to an informed and responsible electorate” (Robert O'Neal).

The Journal headline this morning:

"Ex-Con's Cocaine Habit Catalyst in Run-In With Vet"

Personally, given that this story is primarily about the shooting death of a would-be robber as he fled for his life, I think this headline could have been written in a number of better ways, given the actual content of this story. Here are a few:

"Love of Guns Catalyst in Shooting Death of Father of Four by Overzealous Man"

"Machismo Catalyst in Shooting Death of Man Fleeing for Life"

"Man Struggling with Substance Abuse Gunned Down by Man Struggling with PTSD" ??

"Two Public Health Problems Catalyst for Tragic Death" ??

The problem with drug abuse that this man had was the catalyst for the robbery. Once he was running for his life that ceased to be the case.

What was the catalyst for his killer to grab his gun and chase him a quarter mile? That is the better question. And an even better one: What value do we place on life?

I am like a dog with a bone, I know it.