Glenn Reynolds bring us the story of a woman who was raped in a New York City subway station while two subway workers stood by and did nothing except call for the police on a cell phone. The woman's lawsuit was thrown out of court because the judge determined that the men had no obligation to help her other than calling the police. Reynolds writes:
In a previous day, in a different culture, such men would have been afraid of being called cowards for failing to help a woman under such circumstances. Nowadays, they’re probably proud of acting “sensibly.” (For the record, the story says their names are Harmodio Cruz and John Koort.) And in a different world, Judge Kevin Kerrigan would have been ashamed to describe picking up a phone as “prompt and decisive action.” But he probably thinks it is.
I haven't been in a fight since I was 19, and I've never been in a situation where my life was in danger from violence. So I can't say with any degree of certainty what I would do in this situation. But I do know what I should do, and what these two men should have done. And I do know what I should think of myself and what others should think of me if I fail to do so.