您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 观点 >> 正文

面对家门口的闯入者,你会开枪吗?

更新时间:2017-3-28 12:05:02 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What Would You Do With an Intruder at the Door?
面对家门口的闯入者,你会开枪吗?

LOS ANGELES — I was working at my desk the other day, overlooking my front yard, when I saw a man walk by the window and around the corner toward the back of the house. He was in his late 20s, wearing a rumpled gray sweatshirt; I’d never seen him before.

洛杉矶——不久前的一天,坐在桌前工作的时候——从那里可以俯瞰前院的动静——我发现一个男人从窗边经过,走到拐角处,奔屋后而去。他年纪在二十多岁,穿着一件皱巴巴的灰色运动衫;我以前从未见过他。

I waited, expecting him to come back around, since there is no other way out. When, after a few minutes, he didn’t reappear, it dawned on me he could be a burglar. There had been postings on Nextdoor.com about break-ins. I looked out the back window and saw him, systematically peering into windows.

我等在原处,以为他会转回来,因为没有其他出去的路。过了几分钟,他没有再次现身,我猛然意识到,他可能是一个小偷。Nextdoor.com网站上一直都有关于非法闯入的帖子。我从后窗看出去,发现他正有条不紊地透过一扇扇窗户向屋内张望。

Like many Americans, my first instinct was to grab a gun. I suspect I am not the anomaly that my friends and family think I am. I am comfortable with guns. I grew up shooting targets for sport and took part in marksmanship competitions. I have also voted for Democrats in most elections, strongly support gun control and am against the death penalty. I do not think the drafters of the second amendment envisioned concealed semiautomatic weapons and hollow-point bullets in everyone’s hands.

像很多美国人一样,我的第一反应是抄起一把枪。我怀疑自己并不是家人和朋友所以为的那种异类。我对枪支没有什么不适应。我在成长过程中以打靶为乐,还参加过射击比赛。不过我也在大多数选举中为民主党投了票,强烈支持枪支管制,反对死刑。我不认为第二修正案的起草者设想过人人都可隐蔽携带半自动武器和中空弹的情形。

I always figured that in a life-or-death situation, I could reason or talk my way out of it. But a few months ago, we heard about a 70-year-old woman in Orinda, a Northern California town near where I grew up, who was shot twice by armed robbers. Luckily, she survived. Why did the assailant shoot her? Because she tried to communicate with him, which interfered with his idea of how the encounter should go. So, as a last resort: a gun.

我以前一直觉得,在生死关头,我能以理服人或者靠三寸不烂之舌摆脱困境。但几个月前,我们听说在离我长大成人的地方很近的北加州奧林达镇,一名70岁的女士遭遇持械劫匪,挨了两枪。幸运的是,她活了下来。凶手为什么朝她开枪?因为她试图跟他沟通,打乱了他设计好的抢劫计划。因此我有了一把枪,万不得已时使用。

I am not an alarmist: Statistically, I know the chances are that I will never need one. Rationally, I know I may even be worse off with a gun. A study by epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that having a firearm in the home almost doubles the risk of a violent death there. Another study, by the Violence Policy Center, found that in 2012 there were 259 justifiable gun homicides (that is, people turning the tables on an aggressor), but more than twice as many unintentional fatal shootings.

我不是危言耸听之徒:从统计学角度看,我知道自己很可能永远也不需要枪。理性地说,我知道如果有一把枪,我的处境也许会更糟。由疾病控制与预防中心(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)的流行病学家开展的一项研究显示,家中存有枪支,几乎会让暴力致死风险高出一倍。由暴力政策中心(Violence Policy Center)开展的另一项研究显示,在2012年,共发生259起有正当理由的枪杀案(意即人们扭转局面,杀死闯入者),但意外枪击死亡事件的数量是其两倍还多。

On the other hand, friends in law enforcement and the military do keep firearms at home. A police detective friend once came over and we went through a dozen intruder scenarios, examining every possible point of entry. There was only one instance in which having a gun might possibly help me. Even so, he advised me to have one. He described situations he had encountered in which homeowners had protected themselves from intruders.

然而,另一方面,执法部门和军队里的朋友的确会在家里存放枪支。一次,一位当警探的朋友来访,我们一起推演了有人闯入的十几种情形,检查了每一个可能的闯入点。唯有一种情形之下,持枪可能会帮到我。即便如此,他还是建议我持有一把。他讲述了他遇到过的屋主保护自己免遭侵入者伤害的情况。

When an older family member decided to get rid of her shotgun and pistol because of arthritis, she offered them to me. So, without fanfare, I became a gun owner.

后来,我家里有位老人因为患了关节炎,决定处理掉自己的散弹枪和手枪,她把它们交给了我。于是,我悄没声儿地成了一个有枪的人。

Now, with this sketchy-looking stranger in my backyard, I retrieved a gun and loaded it. Then I called the police.

现在,鉴于这个鬼鬼祟祟的陌生人摸进了我家后院,我抄起一把枪,上了膛。然后报警。

The intruder was still in the backyard eyeing the windows. Maybe he was listening to see whether anyone was home before breaking in. Maybe he was waiting for an accomplice. It was odd and threatening to have a stranger hovering there. I ran through more possibilities: He could be a laborer. But he had no tools. I saw no unfamiliar cars in the street. Also, I hadn’t hired anyone.

闯入者还待在后院,透过窗户窥探着。或许他正侧耳细听,看屋里有没有人,随后便要闯进来。或许他正等待同伙。一个陌生人在后院徘徊,让我觉得怪怪的,有点被吓到了。我脑海中闪过更多可能性:他可能是一名工人。但他没带工具。我在街道上没看到不熟悉的车辆。此外,我也没雇过谁。

I tried to envision what would happen next. The police would arrive soon and handle things. But the intruder could break in at any minute. There would be a confrontation. If he was armed, I might have to shoot him. I might kill him.

我试图想象接下来会发生什么。警方很快就会赶到并处理好一切。但闯入者随时都可能闯进屋内。我们俩会发生对峙。如果他持有武器,我可能不得不朝他开枪。我可能会杀死他。

The voice of reason, the voices of my dear parents, filled my head: If there is no other way, I should shoot him. The phrase echoed for me: If there is no other way.

我满脑子都是理智的声音,我亲爱的父母的声音:如果别无选择,我应该朝他开枪。如果别无选择,这几个字在我脑海中回荡。

Then it hit me. There is another way: I could simply get myself out of the house. Then there’d be no confrontation.

然后我开了窍。还有一个办法:我可以到屋外去。这样一来就不会发生对峙了。

I sneaked downstairs, left through the garage door and waited on the corner of the street. Standing there, I realized: There is nothing in my home worth a man’s life. They are just material possessions. I can defend my life if called upon, or the lives of my family, but I don’t need to defend my stuff by shooting someone. That’s just crazy.

我蹑手蹑脚地下了楼,经由车库门离开,等在街角。站在那里的时候,我意识到:家里没有任何东西比一条人命更有价值。它们不过是身外之物。如有必要,我可以为保卫自己或家人的生命而朝人开枪,但没必要为保卫身外之物而这样做。这太疯狂了。

Two Los Angeles Police plainclothes detectives, a man and a woman, showed up. They asked me to let them into the house so that they could get to the backyard through the house (this was safer for them than approaching him in the open in the yard). I stayed in the living room.

一男一女两名洛杉矶警局便衣探员出现了。他们要我允许他们进入房子,以便他们通过房子到达后院(这对他们来说比通过院子里的开阔地接近他更安全)。我留在客厅里。

I heard the male detective talking to the trespasser, but I couldn’t make out the words. A helicopter circled above. Then he said to the man: “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m not going to hurt you.” A few moments later, they had him cuffed. They radioed for a patrol car, which came in a few minutes and took the intruder away. The detectives came back in for me to sign their police report.

我听到男探员与擅入者交谈,但我听不清他说了什么。一架直升机在上空盘旋。然后他对那个男人说:“我不会伤害你的。我不会伤害你的。”过了一会儿,他们铐住了他。他们通过无线电叫了巡逻车,几分钟后车子便开过来,把擅入者带走了。两个探员回来让我在他们的警务报告上签名。

“It seems that this guy is having mental health issues,” he said. “He was talking to God while we were with him in the backyard, asking God to forgive him and to not let us hurt him.”

“看来这个家伙心理健康有问题,”男探员说。“我们和他在后院的时候,他在和上帝说话,要求上帝原谅他,不让我们伤害他。”

“He was just out there in la-la land, staring into space when we found him,” the female detective added. “I don’t think he would have broken into the house, but you never know. The detectives downtown will make him understand that he can’t do that again.”

“他在神游极乐之国,当我们找到他的时候,他正两眼放空呢,”女探员补充说。“我不认为他会闯进房子,但你永远不知道会发生什么。市区的探员会让他明白,他不能再这么做了。”

I saw compassion in their eyes. They were not angry at the man, nor conflicted about what needed to be done. These detectives did what they were trained to do: preserve the peace, defuse the situation.

我在他们眼里看到了同情。他们对那个男人并不生气,对于该做的事情也没有什么争议。这些探员做的是自己的专业:维护和平,缓和局面。

I heard from them the next day. They reviewed my security camera footage, in which the man appeared to be very deliberately checking out doors and windows. The police speculated that his “talking to God” may have been a routine to deceive arresting officers.

第二天,他们又给我消息。他们检查了我的监控录像,其中显示那个男人似乎在非常仔细地检查门窗。警方猜测他的“跟上帝说话”可能是欺骗抓捕警员的套路。

That much was unresolved, but what of my decision to reach for a gun? After the encounter, I was off-kilter for days. The incident could have gone so differently.

这部分仍是未解之谜,但是关于我拿枪的决定又怎么样呢?这件事情之后,我有好几天都觉得心里不舒服。事情的发展本可能会非常不同。

We all know the statistics that guns don’t make us safer. But we fool ourselves into thinking that those statistics don’t apply to us, just as we all think we’re better-than-average drivers, and every gambler thinks he can beat the house. In the same way, we reach for guns because if there is a confrontation, we don’t want to be unprepared and we think we will beat the odds.

我们都知道,统计数据表明枪支不会令我们更安全。但是我们欺骗自己,觉得这些数据并不适用于我们,正如我们都认为自己是优于平均水平的驾驶者,正如每个赌徒都认为他可以打败庄家。同样,我们拿起枪,因为如果发生对抗,我们不希望自己没有准备,我们都认为自己可以打败命运。

We are a planning species. We buy fire insurance though most of us will never need it. So I’m keeping my guns nearby, just in case. It’s what feels rational, even if it isn’t. And for one more night, I will go to bed as someone who has not killed another human being.

我们是一个喜欢有备无患的物种。我们购买火灾保险,虽然大多数人永远不会需要它。所以我才会把枪支放在手边以防万一。这种事感觉很理性,即使实际上并不是这样。总之今晚入睡的时候,我仍然是一个从来没有杀过人的人。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表