Tuesday, December 23, 2014

BUT HE'S NOT A MONSTER

     This week in the national news, we hear of the ambush shooting of two NYPD police officers.  Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed while sitting in their patrol car on duty.  Ismaaiyl Brinsley then turned his gun on himself when cornered by police in pursuit.  Brinsley reportedly had a prior criminal record.

     In state news, the pre-trial maneuvering in the case of the Aurora theater shooter continues.  James Holmes is charged in the mass shooting that resulted in 12 dead and over 50 wounded in 2012. There is little room for doubt of his guilt, and in fact his own parents, in a letter to the Denver Post implicitly acknowledge that he committed the shooting and should be locked in a psychiatric institution for life.  “He is not a monster. He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness.”  I can understand parents going to great lengths to help their adult children, but even parental tolerance has its limits.

     In local news, the prosecution rested late last week in the trial of Daniel Bessey, accused of murdering two Monte Vista residents back in 2012.  Bessey had initially been a person of interest in the case but was not charged.  He fled the state and was later apprehended in Oklahoma and returned to Colorado for trial.

     In personal news, the man suspected of killing Jack Gordon had a prior criminal record, was living under an assumed name as a non-registered sex offender in violation of terms of his prior conviction and received material aid from his mother before eventually leaving the state in the wake of Jack Gordon's disappearance.  It must really be galling to live with the constant knowledge that someone will drop a dime on you and that it could happen at any time.  I don't know, this is all just speculation.  Maybe he will whisper a confession in the wrong ear at the wrong time in a drug-fueled haze of self pity and remorse.  Maybe an under-aged tranny hooker will get tired of his boozy breath and rat him out.  Maybe mom or stepdad's tolerance will run out. Maybe they will blame his actions on mental illness.  After all, he is not a monster...

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     Columnist Kevin Williamson writes this morning in National Review Online in an article titled "What Causes American Murders".  He makes the point that attempting to assign political motivation, or for that matter any particular motivation to a criminal such as Brinsley misses the larger point of the type of people who commit violent crime in America. 
 ,
If we could eliminate all the American murders rooted in political ideology, there would be (almost) no effect. If we could eliminate all the American murders committed by people with prior criminal records, there would be (almost) no murder. The relevant question in the matter of Ismaaiyl Brinsley isn’t what he was doing on Instagram but what he was doing on the street.


     Jack Gordon wasn't murdered because of his political beliefs.  He was murdered because a murderer determined that Jack's life was worth less than his own.  But some would say he's not a monster. 

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