Dear Amy: I saw my neighbor in the footage of the rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
After the election in November, this neighbor moved out of his house and in with his mother, and got involved in all the "stop the steal" efforts that culminated in him traveling to Washington, D.C., and storming the Capitol.
After I showed the footage to his (Biden-voting) wife, she told me she'd been texting with him during the day, telling him to stay away, and telling him that it was a federal crime to go inside, etc., but that he'd gone inside, anyway.
Later I heard that he was so excited about seeing himself on this video footage that he's planning to get it made into a photo and have it framed.
He's been my next-door neighbor for nine years. When his tree blew down, I grabbed my chain saw and helped cut it up. When my fence blew down, he came over and helped. He's jumped my car battery. I've cut his grass. Neighbor stuff.
I don't know if I should report him or not. On one hand, if those people aren't punished, they might be emboldened to do something else. I also don't believe the penalty (if any) will be significant.
Amy says: As of this writing, over 200 people have been arrested for participating in what Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called "an armed and failed insurrection attempt" in the U.S. Capitol building by a "mob ... which was fed lies, provoked by the president, Donald Trump, and other powerful people."
The FBI has explicitly asked for the public's help in identifying participants (send tips to tips.fbi.gov or call 1-800-CALL-FBI).
USA Today is publishing an updated list of those arrested, including details of their alleged crimes and how they were caught. Some have turned themselves in, but the bureau has also reportedly received over 140,000 tips leading to arrests — most from family members, friends, neighbors and people who went to high school with the rioters and recognize them from footage taken inside the Capitol.
So yes, report your neighbor, unless you have reason to believe that doing so would place you in danger.
If your neighbor is so proud of his crime and behaving so boldly now, there is a likelihood that someone else has also reported him (his wife or his mother, for instance).
Being a helpful neighbor does not preclude this person from also being a danger to the public — and the Republic.
Face fears head on
Dear Amy: I feel like I have an unhealthy fear of death. I think about it at least once a day, and always worry about my husband and baby dying, too.
I am really tired of thinking this way, but don't know how to stop. Have any advice?
Amy says: We are in the midst of a global pandemic. Over 400,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. Many of us are unable to have many of the quotidian daily experiences that serve as important distractions from this simple fact: Every living thing dies.
This fear actually connects you with others. Anyone who isn't ruminating at least a bit about death these days isn't paying attention.
Having a husband and a new baby has upped the ante for you. Your protective instincts have kicked in. Loving other living things reminds you of how precarious life is.
Address your thoughts directly. Make "friends" with your fear. Name it "Stan."
When thoughts arise, say to yourself, "Not today, Stan. I've got things to do."
Immediately and deliberately distract yourself. I suggest smelling the top of your baby's head. This scent is a tonic, guaranteed to chase away all bad things.
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