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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for February 9th, 2013

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Sorry to have been away from the blog so long, but from the afternoon of Sunday, February 3 to the early morning hours of Saturday, February 9, I was involved in the premeditated murder trial of an armed citizen who killed a man who violently attacked him. On Friday, the jury came in with a complete acquittal.  At least one happy ending for an otherwise ugly week.

On the larger front, news was much grimmer.  We learned that the madman who murdered Navy SEAL hero Chris Kyle and another man, both of whom were trying to help the slayer cope with PTSD, had been set loose on society after threatening murder and suicide last September. In the rush to symbolically pillory gun owners, media and legislators largely ignore the real problem: homicidal maniacs who need to be institutionalized, and aren’t.

At this writing, Christopher Dorner remains at large. This extremely dangerous fugitive, who claims to be very heavily armed, is a fascinating study of good, evil, and madness.  His Facebook artifacts show he had a lot of ego investment in being a member of two forces of good, the United States Navy and the Los Angeles Police Department.  Feeling wronged when he failed at both, he embarked on a murder spree that is the very antithesis of the heroes he identified with.  Once a designated, uniformed protector of the innocent, he now murdered two helpless people: the daughter of a cop he didn’t think had done enough for him, and her fiancé. Nothing less than absolute evil. He then opened fire on police officers from cowardly ambush, murdering one, and fled when they returned fire. Dorner’s actions set the stage for a tragic mistaken identity shooting subsequently by police.

Dorner sent a “manifesto” to CNN, damning the private ownership of AR15 rifles, “high capacity” magazines and the like, and praising Piers Morgan and the White House for their anti-gun efforts, while committing murder with the same type of weapons. He apparently feels his hurt feelings justify the murder of those who’ve done him no harm, and that of course is madness, as seen through the prism of common sense if not through that of the M’Naghten precedent.

But then, the same hypocrisy – take things away from law-abiding citizens, because monsters use them to murder those self-same law-abiding citizens – is shared by supposedly sane people in positions of power.  I’m told that some of the media have soft-pedaled the spree-killer’s praise for the anti-gunners, but you can read the whole manifesto HERE.

Dorner’s murderous spree is unlikely to end well.  I see a possibility, though, that he’ll turn himself in to one of his heroes, perhaps Piers Morgan; there’s enough narcissism in his “manifesto” that he might want to live to praise himself longer and more publicly, like the recent mass-murderer in Norway, instead of dying in a sick “blaze of glory.”  Time will tell.

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