Home Social Justice Opinion: Robbery a reminder of how lucky we are

Opinion: Robbery a reminder of how lucky we are

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As the saying goes, Athens happens. And at 9:24 a.m. Wednesday morning, Athens happened again. An armed robber with “strong body odor” allegedly stole $5 from his victim at Station Street Apartments off West Union Street in Athens. As of 5:00 p.m. the fugitive was still at large. “If we knew where has was, we’d have him,” Athens Police Department Chief Tom Pyle confidently told The Athens Messenger.

The elusiveness of the smelly man said to be wearing a blue sweatshirt and blue jeans forced Ohio University President Roderick McDavis to make the decision to close the Athens campus for the remainder of the day. It is scheduled to reopen Thursday morning. “We do not believe the threat is imminent, but the president is taking a precautionary measure,” tweeted Ohio Vice President of Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi.

Five dollars really can do a lot of damage these days: Thirsty on a Wednesday? Go get yourself a liquor pitcher at Lucky’s. Hungry any day of the week? Five Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers and an angry stomach coming right up. Looking forward to watching the Ohio Bobcats take on Eastern Michigan at the Convocation Center tonight? Sorry, that event has been moved to a later date for precautionary measures.

Despite the recent uptick in mass shootings and gun violence across the country, Ohio University students appear far from concerned over today’s events judging from their reactions through various social media outlets. “Why everybody acting like it’s a major situation, people get robbed all the time where I’m from,” Ohio student athlete Antwan Crutcher said on Twitter.

Perhaps the most appropriate outcome from today’s events is the inaugural #FugitiveFest that has gone viral within the Bobcat Twitter family. The hashtag combined with the upstart of #GundayFunday has created controversy online from some students as well. One called the ideas “embarrassing” while another called them “the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard of.” Despite one’s views on the political correctness of a “GundayFunday” within the recent climate of gun violence, Ohio students are doing what they do best: Work Hard. Play Harder. And why shouldn’t they?

A fugitive by definition is a person who has “escaped from a place or is in hiding, especially to avoid arrest or persecution.” This isn’t a madman on the loose with an assault rifle we’re dealing with. This is a robbery with a handgun. The fact that we students are reacting in the way we are shows just how rare events like this tend to be within our community. There is nothing insensitive about students in a town dominated by alcohol to have a little fun at the expense of a five dollar bill being stolen at gunpoint.

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that this same faction of students drinking uptown this afternoon and this evening with the inevitable “blue sweatshirt shuffles” showed nothing but sadness and remorse for the tragedies seen in the past year at locations like Sandy Hook Elementary and Aurora, Colorado.

In his song “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” Jimmy Buffet writes, “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” That line is perfectly fitting for the way the majority of Ohio University students handle moments like today. What do the detractors expect the student population to do? Should they sit inside and wallow in sorrow that there are criminals with guns committing petty crimes in our perfect little oasis known as Athens?

Sometimes the real world can hit close to home. We should consider ourselves lucky that we have a President in Roderick McDavis that cares enough for our safety to shut down the university early on in the day.

Five dollars really can do a lot of damage these days, and today of all days we should realize this. So take a deep breath, grab a liquor pitcher or enjoy a movie on this rainy Ohio evening. Because to put it simply folks, Athens happened.

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