Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Safety lessons from spree killers, redux

I’ve never resorted to re-running a previous post, but yet another shooting rampage seems to call for it. Here’s what I wrote nearly a year ago to the day about after yet another rampage.
Nothing new here. Feel free to skip if it sounds redundant. Afterall, the numbing news of spree killers has become all too redundant, as well.

What we’ve learned from recent spree killers:
  • It’s unsafe exercising 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 a place 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, 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.

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