Monday, August 10, 2009

Safety lessons from spree killers

What we’ve learned from recent spree killers:

• It’s unsafe to exercise in places dedicated to strengthening and prolonging life (George Sodini, LA Fittness, Pittsburgh, August 4; three dead).

• It’s unsafe to be an armed, on-duty police officer responding to routine calls (Richard Poplawski, Pittsburgh residence, April 4; three dead).

• It’s unsafe to be an aspiring American, an immigrant drawn to our shores by the promise of a better life (Jiverly Wong, American Civic Association, Binghamton, N.Y., April 3; 13 dead).

• It’s unsafe to want to live out your golden years at a remote retirement home (Robert Stewart, Pinelake Health and Rehab, Carthage, N.C., March 29; eight dead).

• It’s unsafe to attend places of worship (Terry Ratzman, Living Church of God, Brookfield, Wisconsin, March 12, 2005; seven dead).

• It’s unsafe to shop (Robert Hawkins, Von Maur Department Store, Omaha, Nebraska, Dec. 5, 2007; eight dead).

• It is unsafe, for the love of God, to be an Amish schoolgirl (Charles Carl Roberts IV, West Nickel Mines Amish School, Bart Township, Pennsylvania, Oct. 2, 2006; five dead).

All told, the random teachers listed here killed 47 people they’d never met and wounded hundreds more. The anecdotal tally could be higher if we included the dead who learned too late it is unsafe to go to places like work or school, but we already knew that.

None of these other-wise law-abiding individuals committed a single crime until the second they pulled the triggers on their legally purchased semi-automatic weapons.

Want to be safe?

Get a job in the U.S. Capitol.

It is there that each and every one of the more than three million annual visitors gets marched through state-of-the-art magnetometers before being allowed entry.

Want to be less safe?

Continue to live without complaint amidst the carnage and under the laws our elected officials continue to pass.


Bruce Coltin said...

A very funny treatment of a tragic situation. You made the point chillingly well.

Chris Rodell said...

Thanks, Bruce, for reading and for taking the time to comment.

Yes, with neither side budging, it seems like we're doomed to be engaged in a true eternal DEAD-lock. I see nothing that'll stop the awful random killings.

God help us all.


BJW said...

I don't know why people don't want to limit the guns that are everywhere. But i don't see how it will change. It's not like we don't have enough tragedies to warrant at least an honest discussion. But it's taboo. i don't get it.

Chris Rodell said...

I actually took a facetious stab at it in my April 6 blog: Solution to gun violence: one bullet/one gun, but no one picked up the ball.

In essence, everyone can carry a loaded revolver any place you want, any time you want. But you get just one bullet.

Use or lose your bullet, then in addition to any existing laws, you need to go before a judge and explain why you should get another bullet. It would eliminate spree killing, and murders by drunken or stoned gunmen who need about six shots before they hit their target.

Anonymous said...

You are not even safe in the Capitol!!! On July 24th 1998 two Capitol police officers were killed by a mentally ill Russell Weston Jr. On March 1 1954 5 members of the House of Representatives were injured after Puerto Rican Nationalists opened fire on a balcony of the U.S. Capitol. So you are not even safe in the Capitol. I suggest everyone start wearing bullet proof clothing and drink up, cause you never know when your last day on earth may be!!!
Your Friend,
The Conservative

Chris Rodell said...

Thanks for the well-researched comment, Mr. C. I like your idea of bullet-resistant body armor and will push for it at least until I find a lack of movement on my idea to build softer bullets.