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Not Far Away

The CNN breaking story: At least 10 dead in two-town Alabama shooting spree

(CNN) — At least 10 people were killed Tuesday in a shooting spree that spanned two small southern Alabama towns, state officials confirmed. The gunman, and the wife and child of a sheriff’s deputy were among those killed.

The shooting started in a neighborhood in Samson, a town of about 3,000 about 15 miles north of the Florida border, just after 4 p.m. (5 p.m. ET) and ended 12 miles away at a manufacturing plant in Geneva, said Alabama state Sen. Harri Anne Smith, who represents Geneva County.

Geneva is about 50 miles Northeast of me as the crow flies. It is located on the Choctawhatchee River which flows into the Choctawhatchee Bay. The bayou I live on is part of the Choctawhatchee Bay system.

When they get around to interviewing the neighbors you will hear either disbelief as the murderer “was a quiet person who kept to himself”; or “one of the friendliest people you would ever meet”.  With luck someone will admit: “he has been crazy for years and no one would do anything about him.” That is at least consistent in these incidents.

4 comments

1 John B. { 03.11.09 at 9:09 am }

no one would do anything about him.

Except continue selling him guns.

2 Badtux { 03.11.09 at 2:45 pm }

Bryan, it’s not that nobody would “do anything about him”. It’s that nobody is allowed to do anything about him until he proves that he’s dangerous to himself and others. That’s the law. Irritated the $%@! out of me back when I had to deal with crazy street people on a regular basis, but the rights of crazy people apparently are more important than getting them the help they need. Nevermind that a crazy person is in no condition to make a judgement as to whether to accept help or not — I mean, he has a chemical imbalance in his brain, it’s not as if he’s operating in sound mind and body. The law says we can’t help the poor slob unless he wants the help. And of course because his brain is befogged, he can’t want the help, because, well, his brain can’t go there.

I blame Jack Nicholson and Ken Kesey, myself. They popularized the view that crazy people weren’t sick, they were just misunderstood. Bah humbug, you and I both know different, but the law doesn’t. Sigh.

– Badtux the Crazy-recognizin’ Penguin

3 ellroon { 03.11.09 at 2:47 pm }

Jesus, Bryan. I’m grateful you weren’t out buying gas or walking…

I was expressing my confusion to my husband as to why … WHY such rampages end up with the man killing himself. Why couldn’t he kill himself first and be done with it?

My husband suggested that the gunman was cleaning up and setting things right before he left. That and plain revenge. And insanity.

Now there’s been a massacre in a German school.

Do we have to be bystanders to this bizarre cultural development, or is there a way to prevent these incidences from occurring?

Besides selling them guns. Apparently we can’t even think about going there.

ellroon´s last blog post..Stop the immigration raids

4 Bryan { 03.11.09 at 3:25 pm }

From the latest reporting on this incident it was obviously a family problem as the first person to die was the shooter’s mother, but they don’t know if she was murdered because there was a fire. The shooter headed for his grandparents house and shot everyone on the front porch, and then fired on a police car [probably hoping for “suicide by police”], continued shooting until he drove to former employer’s where he committed suicide.

There was obviously a major problem in the family, that was being hidden rather than dealt with.

I know what you mean Badtux, because my boss was constantly screaming at me for arranging to get people committed for observation whether they wanted to go or not, especially when it was really cold. My story was anyone who wanted to stay on the street in freezing weather was obviously suicidal. Down here I’ve tried twice to get people committed for observation, but without luck, so they ended up with assault convictions on their records before the system would do something. Giving people medication and putting them back on the street is not going to work when they think the doctors are conspiring to kill them, or they can’t get the top off the bottles.

What I don’t get is why the standard for arrest for mental health is higher than for a crime. Probable cause is good enough to arrest for theft, or any other crime, but people seem to believe that you need to witness an actual act of some kind when mental illness is involved. The purpose of the arrest is to ascertain the truth by submitting the issue to a professional for evaluation. A lot of people are released after further investigation indicates they weren’t guilty, and the length of detention is severely limited.

I’m wondering where the German shooter got the gun. Guns are not readily available in Germany. It is a very long process to get a hunting license which is needed before you can purchase a gun.

In this country we need to enforce the laws that are already on the damn books. Passing new laws is waste of time if we can’t get people to enforce the ones we already have. I’m surprised he found any guns in Alabama, as most of those sold end up in cities in the Northeast because ATF won’t shut down the bad dealers.