Friday, June 6, 2014

The Week That Was: A Good Guy Without a Gun, A Bad Guy with a Couple of Them, Hillary and a Patio Chair, and A Toast to Those Who Were on the Beaches

The latest American model is named, Aaron Ybarra. On Thursday he walked into Otto Miller Hall on the 43 acre campus of Seattle Pacific University. NBC reports he was armed with a shotgun, extra ammunition, and a knife. He opened fire, killing one student and wounding three more, one critically.

It could have been worse. When Ybarra stopped to reload, SPU student John Meis, who was working the front desk of the building, went into action. He unleashed a stream of pepper spray into Ybarra's face, then took him to the floor. Other students jumped in and they held the shooter down until police arrived--all of which goes to disprove the tiresome mantra of the NRA's, Wayne LaPierre, which tells us, "The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." It also illustrates what happens when there are a limited number of rounds in an ammunition magazine.

The rest of the details are so numbingly familiar it is like we're all participating in a looping Twilight Zone episode which never ends. Ybarra, who isn't a student at the school, reportedly lives with his parents and is described as--you guessed it--"angry, anti social, and disaffected." He bought the weapon used in the attack two years ago. According to the NRA, the state of Washington does not require a person to obtain a permit prior to buying a shotgun, or rifle, or to carry one. Nor does an individual need to purchase a license to own either type of weapon. In addition the state doesn't mandate an owner register them with police. In other words, Aaron Ybarra, who was busily researching other mass shootings while sitting at home with mom and dad--he was particularly fond of the Columbine High School massacre--was completely off the radar.

The day before, up in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada had debuted their own version. Justin Bourque allegedly shot and killed three officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He was armed with a shotgun and sniper style rifle. At least that is what it looked like in a photo someone took of him as he wandered around a Moncton neighborhood on Wednesday.

Early this morning the Mounties got their man. Bourque was located in some woods behind a home. He surrendered without offering any resistance. NBC says members of the RCMP SWAT team found him unarmed, but discovered a cache of weapons nearby.

Reports are his Facebook page contains postings from gun rights groups and anti police rants.

When he surrendered a witness said the only thing he told authorities was, "I'm done."

Finally, on a different subject, Hillary Rodham Clinton made the cover of the most recent issue of "People Magazine." It didn't take long for right wing slugs to launch an attack.

A tweet from the Drudge Report read, "Is Clinton holding a walker?" That bit of speculation immediately spurred a tweet from the Wall Street Journal--Capital Journal, telling us, "Is that a walker? Hillary Clinton's latest magazine cover is raising eyebrows."

No, it wasn't a walker, it was a patio chair which just happened to be nearby. Although it will, no doubt, be only be a matter of minutes before some astute conspiracy theorist points out the chair was put there on purpose to support her, in order to hide the fact she really does use a walker. Indeed, first there was the murder of Vince Foster and now this terrible subterfuge. Obviously the evil chicanery of the Clintons knows no bounds.

We might as well get used to this type of bilge. The former Secretary of State's age and health are going to be center stage every time a FOX News panel sits down to analyze the coming presidential contest. They're going to howl that by 2016 she'll be 69 and therefore far too old and frail to guide the republic. Meanwhile, they will scrupulously ignore the fact their guy, Ronald Reagan was 69 years and 349 days old when he became president.

If someone does bring up Reagan's age in rebuttal, without actually saying it aloud, the same pundits will gleefully infer there is a major difference between an elder statesman and some wrinkled old lady. Just wait for it.

So there we are. The first week of June has appeared disturbingly like the last couple of weeks of May. And, it seems we have only ourselves to blame for it.

The bar is open and the first toast will be to the people who hit the beaches in Normandy 70 years ago today.

Here is to them.



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