I should say, here, that even if the attack at Ft. Hood HAD occurred as the result of “Muslim terrorists”, we, the people would now be hearing only that it was a disgruntled employee. Otherwise, the government has to explain how “keeping us safer” includes allowing armed terrorists onto military installations in the middle of the United States, right?
But this essay isn’t about official “message management”, anyway. After all, what would you expect them to say? “Oh, terrorists are wandering the streets at will. Have a nice day!” Doubtful. Having said that, though, I do think we’re looking at just a single deranged gunman.
Certainly, I noticed it didn’t take 24 hours before the Empire began trying to anoint it’s next “hero”. They’re particularly fond of female heroes, too, so this was perfect. What’s her name? Lynch? Jessica Lynch? No, that’s wrong. That was their LAST female “hero”. Um…Oh, there it is, Sgt. Kimberly Munley.
Initial reports indicated that Sgt. Munley, a civilian police officer, killed one of the “Muslim terrorists” and wounded two others, getting shot twice in the process. Further review has reduced the limelight shining on Sgt. Munley. No “Muslim terrorists” were involved, only a single deranged gunman – an increasingly common occurrence in the US – and now questions arise as to whether she even brought down the gunman in the first place.
Still, trading bullets with a band of rampaging gunmen? I’d go with “ballsy” for sure, if not “hero”. Frankly, I’m glad our society has police officers who step up in times like that and if someone wants to call her a hero, that’s up to them. But this essay isn’t about patriotism-inducing, manufactured “heroes”, either.
What I’d like to focus on is the number of people killed and wounded and HOW that number got so high. Think about it for a second. The last I heard, the official count was 12 dead and 31 injured. 43 people killed and wounded.
The NRA supports concealed carry permits by pretending that if everyone is armed, no one will start anything because everyone else would simply open up on them. I think this incident shows that they are basically correct in a portion of their thinking, the “everyone opening up” part. It also shows why it’s such a stupid, stupid idea.
I submit one could hardly expect to find a more ready-armed population than that one might find on a military installation. That fact didn’t deter Hasan, did it? Hell, it might have made the post more attractive for his suicide attempt. So much for the NRA’s deterrence argument. But the other half of their thinking – everyone would open up – seems to be exactly what happened.
The problem is, nobody knew who was an actual bad guy. Nor could anybody be sure who was shooting at whom. Now, I know from a legal standpoint, Hasan started it and Hasan alone is responsible for every injured and dead person as though his bullets and only his bullets tore human flesh.
But I think that what happened on November 5, 2009 is that every armed person in the area responded to the sounds of shots fired and began shooting at the armed people they saw, even the people who were only responding to the sounds of shots fired.
Remember, Sgt. Munley was originally credited with killing one of the gunmen and wounding two. The “two” were taken into custody and later released when it was realized this was the act of a lone crazy person and not a coordinated attack…but they’d still been shot.
It would be illustrative to do a study examining exactly who’s bullets hit whom. Yes, Hasan will (and should) burn for them regardless of who pulled the trigger. But the next time you hear the NRA advocating an armed society as a “safer” society, remember what actually happened at Ft. Hood…