The Spectacle Blog

Prayers and Thoughts for Brian Beutler

By on 7.2.08 | 4:34PM

Brian Beutler, a leading liberal blogger was shot three times in the stomach during a mugging, I'm told by mutual friends (then confirmed by TPM). It's especially sad as this poor guy had no business getting shot -- some desperate guy wanted his cellphone. Clearly, he wasn't one to be reasoned with -- were he, I'm confident Brian's charm and thoughtfulness would have triumphed (I've met him a few times). But ours is a crazy world, let alone a crazy city, leading to what I would assume to be a frightening ambulance ride for Beutler and his companion.

His spleen has been removed, particularly disconcerting as that will severely impact his ability to fight illness. Then there are the risks inherent in major surgery.

I can only echo Megan's thoughts about the state of crime (and crime-fighting) in this city -- it reminds me of the needless and violent murder of the New York Times's David Rosenbaum, who was left unaided, ailing on the sidewalk, ignored in his death. There's an illusion of safety in this city, conveyed by the economic development and the swollen demographics familiar from college. But we're not on college campuses where things feel safe (and are sometimes very much not). We're in a city, a particularly criminal one.

When I lived on Capitol Hill, police reports would include muggings where someone had been assaulted with a brick. Scofflaws would remove them from sidewalks under construction, then lob them at people to disable them long enough to steal a wallet or a purse or an iPod. This, in the "newly" gentrified neighborhood just six blocks east of the Capitol building.

The temptation to discuss gun control law, how this doesn't or does apply, is strong, but I think there's a more obvious philosophical point that I hope Brian derives from this tragedy -- and the miracle of his survival, and that is this:

Life is far too short, and you have to do what good you can while you live it. Brian, AmSpec wishes you the speediest of recoveries and the warmest of our wishes.

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