Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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Editorial: Violent crimes’ true cost

M ost people enjoying their middle age have accumulated a few stories about themselves that always stir the interest of others. For Tom Urbanski, his stories include a past career as a professional wrestler. He also has a small guitar collection and a couple of red-eared slider turtles in a 4-foot tank.

Now just one story dominates his life. He was shot and paralyzed from the waist down Feb. 19 while working as a bouncer at the Minxx strip club. No one has been charged in the shooting, but felony charges related to other violence that night have been lodged against National Football League player Adam "Pacman" Jones.

Las Vegas Sun reporter Joe Schoenmann wrote at length in Sunday's paper about how this violent crime has changed the lives of Urbanski and his wife, Kathy, a teacher. Although the story centered on the Urbanskis, it also served as a window into the hardships and challenges faced by all victims of violent crime and their families.

Such is the extent of violent crime that its most salient facts are often all that is reported - a man is shot in a home invasion, a woman is beaten in a robbery attempt, a child is injured by a hit-and-run drunken driver. But for the victims and their families, the stories continue, often for their lifetimes.

The monetary cost of apprehending, trying and imprisoning criminals pales when compared to the emotional and life-changing costs inflicted upon their victims.

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