Who was that Masked Man?

Isn’t Batman great?  Wouldn’t it be cool to be like him?  Or, how about video games, wouldn’t it be great to have super powers, and use them to thwart crime?  We’ve all thought about it.  Heroes are something that we are trained from childhood to admire.  But the truth is that there are very few true heroes in the world.

Heroic is a superlative that is applied to all sorts of situation but in most cases it is just hyperbolae.  I have heard people refer to persons who give to charity as heroes or those who donate their time as heroes.  Honestly, there is nothing heroic about these actions.  They are definitely laudable and admirable, but not heroic.  The simple truth is that most people are never faced with a situation in which they can truly choose to be heroic.

Some people definitely are placed in situations where they have the opportunity to be heroic.  These are people who, when given the opportunity, rise to the occasion.  The perfect example of this is the World Trade Center disaster.  In this situation, lots of people took the opportunity to become heroes, and put themselves in harm’s way in the hope of saving other people.

Policemen, firemen, and paramedics are more likely to find themselves in situations where they can truly act heroically.  Soldiers, during a time of war, have even greater and more frequent opportunities to become heroes.  But, even these people have to be prepared when the opportunity to become a true hero arises.

These avenues are open for the person who has the desire to become a hero, but still there is no guarantee that a situation will arise where heroic actions are required.  This brings me to 20-year-old Tadeusz Tertkiewicz and 19-year-old Jesse Trojaniak.  These guys wanted to be heroes so they dressed up as ninjas (Really.  Wouldn’t a cape have been more appropriate?), armed themselves with knives, throwing stars, swords, nunchucks and a bow and arrows, put on some extra body armor, and went out looking for some drug dealers.

Luckily for the world, these two were apprehended by police before they could cause the mayhem that their plan (and I use this word loosely) would have inevitably have inspired.  They were charged with ‘weapons possession’ which is about the best thing that could have happened to them.  Almost every other possibility would have led to worse results.

Obviously these two are not very good a thinking logically or planning ahead.  What did they think was going to happen when they jumped out and challenged the drug dealers?  Mostly likely the drug dealers would have met their martial arts weapons with superior weapons of their own such as nine millimeter automatic pistols that fire 13 shots as fast as a person can pull the trigger.  Even if the drug dealers had surrendered immediately, the police would have these two with ‘assault with a deadly weapon(s).’  This is much worse than a mere weapons possession charge. 

Most likely the only way for them to have been effective against the drug dealers would have been for them to have a preemptive assault on their quarry.  In this case, these are only two successful possibilities, and both are bad: 1) that they simply beat the drug dealers into submission with their nunchucks, and 2) that they shoot them full of arrows before they can draw their guns.  The charges for these two crimes would have been ‘assault with a deadly weapon’ or ‘first degree premeditated murder,’ depending on the outcome of the assault.  In the end, my money would have been on the drug dealers, and their self-defense argument would have held up in any court.

I hope that if I ever have the opportunity to be a real hero that I take it.  I think I would try to save the drowning person, and would probably enter a house that was on fire if I knew there was someone in there.  But I realize in that in the case of non-violent crimes, it is the job of the police to deal with these.  And, to all kids out there: Keep your hero fantasies to the computer until you are ready to put out the effort and put your butt on the line as a peace officer, firemen, paramedic or soldier.