Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Pennsylvania Shooting

     It's all over your TV screen this morning: in Ross Township of Monroe County PA, a local with a long and acrimonious history with the township government shot up a township board of supervisors meeting, killing three people and injuring two others.  He was eventually tackled by a couple of citizens and injured by a round from his own gun.

    There are a number of issues here, including the right to be a scary-looking loner with a yard full of junk vs. public health and safety concerns* but as a high-profile shooting, it plays right into the anti narrative and the spin starts right at the source: a reporter from the local paper was at the meeting and escaped unscathed.  His description?  The people inside my TV quoted him as saying, "There were more than ten shots...it was automatic, like a string of firecrackers."  (Emphasis mine)

     No description of the weapons from police yet other than "a rifle" and "a handgun."  But full-auto fire seems unlikely, and wouldn't sound like a string of firecrackers.

     Expect renewed calls for magazine capacity limits and bans of "assault weapons" in the wake of this crime, even if he used a hunting rifle and a revolver.
* I'd like to think this is straightforward -- and then I trip over the notion of an old dead tire with a pool of water in it, full of mosquito larvae that are themselves full of West Nile virus and don't stop at the property line once they take to the air.  Or, as appears to have happened here, living without any sort of sewage system, not even an outhouse.  Where do you draw the line?  In June, the shooter told a reporter, “If I lose this property, I have nowhere else to go.”  And nothing else to lose, apparently.


Anonymous said...

Hi Roberta,
Just wanted to contribute to the thought experiment in your footnote. I offer the following comments:

My property abuts (and partially encompasses) a government-protected wetlands which is certainly producing many more West Nile-infested mosquitoes than an old tire. I cannot mitigate the mosquito threat and there will be no hope of compensation if I become ill as a result.

As regards the human feces...I wonder what the truth was. You know how accurate the media can be. I remember watching a show (I *think* it was Larry the Cable Guy's Only in America) where a family had no sewage hookup or septic, all feces were collected in buckets and properly composted, then used to fertilize their organic garden. Not my thing, but hardly a biohazard lying in wait.

Tango Juliet said...

Obama supporter too:


Roberta X said...

Do we have confirmation the page is actually his?

In the Facebook postings, he appears to have regretted his support for many of the same reasons I was disappointed in Mr. Obama -- I didn't vote for him but I figured he'd at least close Gitmo and deescalate the conflict between feds and state-legal medical marijuana providers/users. The more fool me, I guess.

(It's rather easy to spin extreme libertarianism Left or Right, but that doesn't mean it is.)

None of this really explains why the shooter lashed out.

Anon: Composting human fecal matter is highly contentious. Lots of localities won't let you do it, no matter how safe the end product. Not saying it's right, but that's the world we've got. (AT&T used to use electric-incinerating toilets at remote locations. Yow!)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like "work place violence".


Tam said...

Tango Juliet,

"Obama supporter too"

And a Second Amendment supporter, just like you.

Can we leave the blood-dancing and label-pinning to the other guys?

perlhaqr said...

Your point about old tires filled with West Nile harboring mosquito larvae is a good one. Pollution as a property rights issue is a libertarian / anarchocapitalist position.

Anonymous' point about Federal Wetlands filled with West Nile harboring mosquito larvae is also a good one. I suppose in Libertopia / Anarchotopia, either the government wouldn't own such lands, or they'd at least be responsible for the pollution emanating from them.

Disease from sewage (or whatever, really) that leaves the property that was generated by neglect of basic established science seems reasonable to charge as neglect and pollution, even in a libertopian society.

In the end, I suppose it's just a shame that nobody was willing to help the fellow out. It seems to me that if a fellow is living on his last dime, but has mechanical skill enough to build a dwelling, if he does the work to do the hookup to the septic system, the township might waive the hookup fee as a hardship case. Or if they want to be as much of a hardcase about it as the story about Davy Crockett and the Naval Widow pension, one of the Supervisors might have paid the hookup cost himself.

perlhaqr said...

On the gripping hand, perhaps those of us (and I include myself here) who don't want to put up with the restrictions of zoning and occupancy certificates should live in Unincorporated Whatever County, instead of in a city or town.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I imagine that old patriot and Pennsylvanian H. Beam Piper might have approved.

At least thus guy took out his rage on the people actually trying to screw him, and not on, say, a school full of innocent children.

Tango Juliet said...

Tango Juliet,

"Obama supporter too"

And a Second Amendment supporter, just like you.

Can we leave the blood-dancing and label-pinning to the other guys?

Not sure he was a 2A supporter just like me. I don't vote for folks who aren't comfortable with the idea of the commoners possessing firearms.

I am well aware of the other team's tactics and am tired of it. I think it does them good to have it pointed out that their team has their share of violent crazy types.

Tam said...

Tango Juliet,

According to your link, he was against the Wo(S)D, wanted Gitmo closed, opposed the police state spying tactics of the NSA, and believed in the Second Amendment right to own firearms to defend against government tyranny.

Which of those do you disagree with?

He also says he voted for Barry and spouted the same anti-bankster stuff you can read at most Ron Paul/LP/Tea Party sites.

Painting this guy to be a typical standard-bearer for the Dems is simply incorrect.

This is exactly the kind of XXXX that has me so XXXXXXX sick and XXXXXXXXX tired of party politics. Look at his views: He's as much yours as theirs.

GuardDuck said...

This is exactly the kind of XXXX that has me so XXXXXXX sick and XXXXXXXXX tired of party politics.

Yeah, but which side of his views will be broadcast by the media?

Anonymous said...

My policy of not watching TV for anything other than the Weather Channel forecasts is paying off, it seems.

Is there anyone here who doesn't suspect the premises had some sort of "no firearms allowed" rule in force. (Although my local equivalent has police and metal detectors to actually enforce that rule....)


Dave in Indiana said...

I heard a little bit about this on the morning news, but not many details other than a property dispute. I was wondering if eminent domain was in play there, Kello run amok. From what you've posted it appears so. If the government, whether local, state or federal, tried to confiscate my land I'm afraid I would do the same as that guy except my aim would be more discriminant, only hitting those who are actually responsible for the stealing of my property.

Roberta X said...

Dave: Not confiscation per se -- he owed back taxes and the property was going to be sold to pay them. There's just about nowhere in the U.S. were you can own land in fee simple; we're all essentially renting it, and from a "landlord" who raises the rent all too often.

Fuzzy et al: I disagree with the statement, "At least thus guy took out his rage on the people actually trying to screw him..." Really, he screwed himself. The game has rules; they're not a secret. If you want to own land, you have to cross the palms of .gov silver and beg their permission to make any significant improvement. They may want a little or a lot; they may have rigorous and draconian zoning rules or hardly any but none of it is hidden, merely arbitrary and prone to change with little notice. Once you enter the system, you've consented to play by their rules.

(In many ways, it's easier to be a renter. At least the landlord is a buffer between you and the .gov. Or just live in an RV and own very little they can take. If you really want to own land, follow Joel of TUATK's lead, and move the the back of the beyond, land nobody else much wants or values.)

You do NOT get to go shoot up your local officials just because you've decided you don't want to play by the rules. They're mostly a bunch of slobs not too different to you, and usually just as stuck in the same game. Most township boards are rank amateurs, doing their best to stumble through and I don't think that should be a capital offense.

Ken said...

"They may want a little or a lot; they may have rigorous and draconian zoning rules or hardly any but none of it is hidden, merely arbitrary and prone to change with little notice."

At least until the Board of Zoning Appeals (in the worst case, the small-jurisdiction busybody's playground and/or implementation of the Nation of Men) gets involved, but our proprietor is right in the general case.

I think the tradeoffs are worth it in order to have some land worth something as a productive asset (even if it's just a few tamaters and an apple tree).

Bubblehead Les. said...

Just Curious. Am I correct in assuming that this Meeting was being held in a "Gun Free Zone" Government Building?

The reason I'm asking is that my Town has declared their ENTIRE Government Complex a "Gun-Free Zone," which makes it Illegal to even take off one's Carry Piece and put it into the Trunk once one enters the Parking Lot.

But there's NO Security in any of the Buildings expect for the Police Station, which is built like a Normandy Bunker, and the Police DON'T leave except while on Patrol in their Cars. Walk over to the Building Department for a Permit, you're on your own.

Sendarius said...

I read somewhere that the shooter was shot with his own gun.

Does that mean that there will be a case against the SECOND shooter?

The FIRST shooter was (I would think) no longer a threat after he was dis-armed.