Mona Charen explains how individual initiative is dying in America

Mona Charen writing in the National Review Online. (H/T ECM)


A plucky teller foiled a robbery attempt at Key Bank in Seattle. But the story does not end happily. When a small man in a beanie cap, dark clothing, and sunglasses pushed a backpack across the counter and announced, “This is a ransom. Fill the bag with money,” teller Jim Nicholson ignored his training and “instinct took over.” He lunged across the counter and attempted to grab the thief by the throat, or at least to pull his glasses off. The nonplussed would-be robber bolted for the door with Nicholson on his heels. A couple of blocks away, with the help of others, Nicholson tackled the guy and held him until police arrived.

Two days later, Key Bank got in touch with Nicholson. A bonus, perhaps? A commendation? Not quite. He was fired. It seems he had violated the bank’s strict policy that tellers should always comply with robber demands. A Key Bank spokesman has not returned a call asking for comment.

It gets worse, though. OK, everyone know s that I absolutely adore birds. All kinds of birds, but especially cockatiels. Birds are the most cuddly and adorable creatures in the world and I want to make friends with all of them whenever I see them. We have Canadian geese that walk around my building and I whistle to them. They stop, lift up their heads and stare at me. Sometimes, they honk back, if I honked at them first.

Look at this tragedy:

We see Canadian geese crossing roadways all the time here in Fairfax County. Usually it’s an adult goose followed by four to six fuzzy gray goslings with another adult goose bringing up the rear. One assumes it is a family unit. Jozsef Vamosi was driving to work around 9:30 a.m. when he saw such a family assembling to cross a busy thoroughfare. “They were walking like gentlemen,” Vamosi told the Washington Post. “Like the Beatles on ‘Abbey Road.’” Vamosi got out of his car, held up a hand to stop traffic and escorted the birds to the median. He then did the same thing on the other side of the road. The geese went safely on their way. “Everything came out fantastic,” the Hungarian immigrant explained. That is, until a Fairfax County police officer arrived on the scene berating Vamosi and questioning his sanity. Vamosi was issued a ticket for jaywalking. A police spokesman advised, “We can appreciate the citizen’s response and compassion for wildlife. But a more prudent response would be to pull off the road and use their cellphone. Call the police, and have them respond.”

By the time even the most responsive police could have arrived for such a call (and don’t they have more important matters to attend to?) the geese would have been pâté. Nicholson and Vamosi acted on impulse — and I for one would not like to live in a country where such instincts have been ironed out of us.

Stop taking away all of our chances to be heroic, you stupid bureaucracy!

Oh – speaking of that, I was talking on my cell phone outside the office last week when one of our female Democrats came out. It had just started to rain really hard. So I asked her for her car keys and brought the car around for her so she would not get wet. (I got soaked!) I suppose that if the feminists find out, I would be sued. This is what men are supposed to do for women.

This is also why men (and women) should be allowed to own firearms and carry them. We should not be calling the cops when a crime can be prevented just by brandishing a firearm.

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