Monday, June 13, 2016

The Orlando Horror And My Two Cents

     The gun didn't do it -- the gun was only a tool. The religion didn't do it -- the religion, or that particular slant on it, was only a spark. The man did it, and it would be just as heinous a crime if he was an atheist or a Hindu or a Quaker; it would be just as dreadful if he did it from simple hate, from envy or twisted love. It would be just as tragic if he was clean off his nut or coldly sane.

      Yeah, it looks almost certainly to be ISIS, maybe an amateur fanboy with "sudden jihadi syndrome," and that's currently near the top of the dangerous-people charts -- but a guy with a brain tumor climbed a bell tower with a rifle and tried to kill as many; a weirdo with a bomb during the Atlanta Olympics tried to kill members of the same general group. There are a lot of people in our world and even though only a tiny fraction of them ever turn unpredictably murderous, if you have billions of people, the number of dangerous ones increases in proportion.  If you can hold your nose and follow the news, you have no doubt seen something about the Hoosier arrested in Santa Monica en route to the LA Pride parade with a few rifles and what appears to be the components for some sort of explosive or incendiary device; at this writing, there is no evidence he is anything other a garden-variety, non-Islamic haterboy.  Our world is not a simple chessboard. 

      Killers are out there.  You can't stop them in advance. Lock up all the "radical Muslims" (who decides?) and a racist or a crazy or someone out to make a political point will strike next. You can only stop such killers in the act or after the fact. The sooner you grasp what's going on when things get deadly, the sooner you can do something about it.

     Lots of people in Orlando Did Something. They helped others escape. They rendered first aid. They -- some of them -- got out of the way, and that's no small feat when seconds before, you were dancing and laughing in a crowded club.

      Societal outliers are disproportionately targets.  Oh, it's still largely safe to be an out and proud  Athabascan Buddhist lesbian (etc), and I'm not talking about the checker at Piggly Wiggly making rude remarks; but if you're not snuggled under the center of all the standard-distribution demographic curves, your odds of having a dull life are lower.  Withal, the United States is supposed to be a place where it's safe to be non-violently different and don't kid yourself -- an attack on even a minority you personally find repugnant is an attack on American values.

      Whoever you are, whatever you are, the world you live in is mostly safe, but it's not absolutely safe. What'll you do if things go sideways? Have you thought about it? Maybe it's time you did.  Maybe it's time you forgot about Walter Mitty and took a long, cold look in the mirror.  What would you do? How aware will you be?  What skills can you bring to bear in the moment, under pressure?

14 comments:

D.W. Drang said...

"...at this writing, there is no evidence he is anything other a garden-variety, non-Islamic haterboy."
In fact, it now seems that he is a gun loving bisexual Hoosier who was going to the Pride Parade because he figured he would be welcome there.

Roberta X said...

The arrest reports summarized in previous news stories about this guy make him sound like a horse's ass at best.

I find it difficult to believe anyone who owns an AR-15-type rifle could be unaware of the hostility California law has towards them. So the choices are 1) idiot and 2) would-be malefactor, plus 3) all of the above.

Merle Morrison said...

I would hope that I had enough ammo to handle all the problems.

Merle

fast richard said...

Merle, enough ammo might solve some problems, but no single tool will solve all the problems. Ammo doesn't help at all in a court of law, unless you count lawyers and money as ammo. Get yourself stuck in the middle of a hostile mob, no amount of ammo is enough. Sometimes the best response to a problem is something other than returning fire.

Merle Morrison said...

I'm aware of that, but you have to live thru the initial encounter BEFORE court becomes a possible problem.

Merle

Raz Raxxaffian said...

Staying out of condition White and avoiding crowds goes a long way in insuring self preservation.

While this won't prevent future mass attacks, it will perhaps reduce the body counts.

Raz

JohninMd.(HELP?!??) said...

I recall the advice about avoiding "stupid places, people, and activities" from John Farnham. That applies here somewhere, methinks.... better than pulling a gat in a crowd, where it's illegal. (Bars and clubs selling booze, in Fla.)

JohninMd.(HELP?!??) said...

I recall the advice about avoiding "stupid places, people, and activities" from John Farnham. That applies here somewhere, methinks.... better than pulling a gat in a crowd, where it's illegal. (Bars and clubs selling booze, in Fla.)

Old NFO said...

Farnham's quote is on the money... And a choice between dying and going to court for shooting? I'm going to shoot.

Les said...

The Orlando scum did the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Twice.
His father worships the Taliban.

Mateen was a full blown jihadi just waiting for ISIS callout weeks before.

If you haven't read the Koran and studied their 1400+ year reign of terror, you're deluding yourself with " any one can flip out and if you have a billion the odds are better".

EVERY PEW POLL shows more and more Muslims here and abroad admitting they sympathize with sharia, AQ and ISIS.
Or you can keep your head in the sand and hope they don't slice it off while you aren't looking.

Roberta X said...

Right, Les, it's them awful people who are the problem and no good, white Christain has ever done such a thing. Certianly no member of the IRA, no farmers in Bath, Michigan, no hippie cult leaders....

I guess I am "deluding yourself with 'any one can flip out and if you have a billion the odds are better'." --Except it's not *anyone,* it's someone; and the more people you have, the more crazies you get, the more wacky death-worship notions you get, the more criminals you get, the more killers you get. Pol Pot's followers weren't Muslims. The Nazis weren't Muslims. Yeah, right here and now, if a guy blows you up or does a big public mass shooting, odds are good he writes backwards cursive and goes to worship on Friday -- but you are deluding yourself if you think that's the only risk. In fact, you are at more risk from a junkie or punk who wants your wallet, right now, hand it over, with a revolver wavering back and forth in his hand. He may kill you dead with nary a hint of the Koran.

It's a dangerous world. Right now, a particular religious philosophy is one of the bigger and most visible sources of that danger; and once civilization slaps them down, however many generations hence, there will be another source.

Merle Morrison said...

Agreed, but the problem I see is that civilization DOESN'T want to slap them down - just appease them. That's especially true of our illustrious government.

Merle

Roberta X said...

Merle, Mr. Obama's government -- of all people! -- seems to be appeasing the hell out of *some* of them with killer drones.

It's not a simple situation.

Merle Morrison said...

True enough - when they are "over there" but not so true once they get "over here".
Agreed, it is a confusing situation!

Merle