My friend Brian Beutler, a liberal blogger and journo who's been reporting the hell out of the torture and FISA stories, is in the hospital recovering from a mugging in my Washington, D.C. neighborhood. A disturbed man demanded his cell phone, then shot him three times, twice in the stomach, once in the shoulder.
It's been something, watching this unfold over gchat and e-mail. The weird fraternity of young writers in D.C. has been profiled and mocked far more often than makes sense from a public interest perspctive. But as soon as we learned about this, everybody who knew Brian acted like… well, humans. Several of us (not me, yet) traveled to the hospital to donate blood. Collaboration began on a lengthy list of "Brian Beutler Facts," inspired by the (now surely played out) list of oddball stories of Chuck Norris. Sample entries: "Lance Armstrong wears a Brian Beutler bracelet." "The active ingredient in Levitra is Brian Beutler." "Meatloaf would do that for Brian Beutler."
When DC does try to "do something", it's something stupid and quasi-fascist like locking down neighborhoods instead of putting more cops on the beat and using the advanced police tactics that are now the norm in every other city. From what I know, Fenty seems like a better mayor than DC's previous disasters, but the city government remains corrupt and incompetent. No one should have to spend their lives feeling this afraid.
Largely, I agree with Sanchez that this is a better time to wish Beutler well and raise a glass to his relative good luck (he's lost his spleen but will otherwise recover completely) than to launch into a debate on Heller.