Thursday, May 31, 2012

If you see me on the street don't shoot!

Is there something in the air or water that's turning the world into a shooting gallery? Was it the George W. Bush notion of preemptive wars the starting point for shoot first and ask questions later that's sparked a breakdown of what used to be a somewhat civil society? Rarely as a kid did we see the carnage on the streets. A random gun fight during a bank robbery maybe but I can't recall even one of those. Even in school it was verboten to use any kind of weapon as fists were the manly method of settling scores. Only cowards resorted to armed confrontations. So a bit of a round up of the last week or so of senseless violence.

6 die in gun violence in Seattle yesterday
And in the past week there were four drive by shootings and a pedestrian shot crossing the street at the Folklife festival on Memorial Day.
There are those that would say that if their victims had been armed this wouldn't have happened. Not true Pistol Pete. In nearly all of these cases the victims were caught off guard with their backs to the shooter. They could have been armed with an M-16 and it wouldn't have helped.
Indiana - More shootings
Oregon - Five dead in Oregon, murder-suicide suspected
A man was found dead in his car seventy-five miles south of where his family was dead in a burned house.
Idaho - ETCHUM, Idaho (AP) — A south-central Idaho man wanted on a warrant alleging he shot another man in the oil patch city of Williston, N.D. has been arrested in Idaho and is jailed on $250,000 awaiting extradition.
Wyoming- CASPER, Wyo. — Police have confirmed that a Casper man fatally shot his wife with a .38-caliber revolver before killing himself.
Chicago tops the murder rate this year with 70 so far.

Okay then flip on Canadian news. Surely things are quiet up north of the border. Oh but think again Double murder suspect shot by police

It amuses my how some people tout their guns and show off massive collections. Might have been fired a few times at the range but I'd bet anything it'll sit in a night stand collecting dust. And don't forget the gun lock because junior doesn't know if it's real or just a toy. And maybe they need a registry of the mentally ill to cross check when purchasing a fire arm. That may not be a perfect solution but it's a start.

But then guns aren't the only method of thinning the gene pool. To add to the seven shootings that Seattle area had in the last week on Friday a woman showed off her cutlery skills by ending her husbands' life with a knife in a parked car. Who says a Ginsu doesn't have many purposes? If ya got em stab him

Now if all of this isn't macabre enough for you there was the case (I'm sure you've heard it) of a man by the roadside eating the face off another man. Good grief and I thought the zombie thing was over! Note to governor: A little more funding for mental health might be in order.


S.W. Anderson said...

A lot of the problem has to do with the fact we're too enlightened and humane to put the mentally ill in institutions where they're not allowed to hurt themselves or others. No, we prefer to let them live on the streets. Just give them some pills and tell them to be sure to take a couple every day. When that doesn't work out well, we warehouse many of them in city and county jails until they go too far. Then, we pack them off to state prisons, where they're sure to get better and be rehabilitated into sane, productive citizens when they get out.

The guy who's believed to have killed several people yesterday at that University District cafe and then killed another person so he could steal her SUV was said by his brother to be mentally ill.

But hey, look at all the money saved by not institutionalizing him.

Tom Harper said...

For such a politically correct and "polite" city, Seattle sure has had a lot of random murders and police brutality cases lately.

I think it was Reagan who started the trend of saving money (supposedly) by closing mental hospitals and releasing all the patients.

BBC said...

Well, in any event, it doesn't hurt to pack a gun, just in case. And be careful out there.

Demeur said...

Thought you went to the boondocks Billy.

Reagan did start the ball rolling and now with budget cuts it's set to get worse. And here's a scary thought, the state is cutting drug rehab so we'll be seeing some desperate people out on the streets looking for a fix.

Think I'd rather have a bulletproof vest. At least you might survive being shot in the back.

S.W. Anderson said...

In the late '40's and '50's a sort of popular movement gained momentum across the country to reform how the mentally ill were treated. Many mental institutions were warehouses, some of them cruel in their policies and practices. Many of the mentally ill were considered untreateable, or subjected to "treatments" like electro-shock therapy, frontal lobotomy, etc. A number of books, fiction and nonfiction, and movies exposed, sensationalized and in some cases popularized notions about pursuing more humane and enlightened approaches to understanding and caring for the mentally ill.

Two other factors sealed the deal. The first was development of new drugs that could be effective for a wide variety of mental and emotional problems. Valium for anxiety, Elavil for depression, even lithium carbonate for schizophrenia. The other factor was the desire by politicians to rid themselves and their budgets of the considerable and growing cost of state hospital systems, especially since many of those were old, in need of costly improvements and looked on with fear and suspicion by many people.

I'm not sure how much federal money went to states for mental hospitals, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Reagan and congressional Republicans cut funding. For the record, though, the skids were greased for that kind of thing before Reagan got to the White House, and it might have been done at least to some extent by the Carter administration, had he won a second term, or by Mondale had he won in 1984.

Roger Owen Green said...

I thought thet the 1st episode of the second season of the TV show 24 codified the "by any means necessary" ethos.

The Blog Fodder said...

SW has it right and it happened in Canada many decades ago, too. My daughter is a social worker in Mobile Crises and many of her clients are mentally ill street people who stop taking their drugs. "The going up was worth the coming down".
Their is neither profit nor votes in looking after those on the bottom rung.

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