I had planned for today a post about anti-heroes and outlaws, some thoughts spurred by my viewing this week of a 2010 French mini-series about the terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal. I’ve decided at the last minute, here at midnight, that it much of it might seem inappropriate given the events in Los Angeles Thursday. An ex-LAPD officer has been on a murderous rampage this week, and his shooting of three police officers, one of whom died, Thursday morning has generated the largest manhunt in LAPD history. The search for the fugitive ex-cop hunting cops is receiving national attention.
I must say that while I am saddened and outraged by the apparent ambush on the police officers, I am also disturbed about the police shooting of two innocent women delivering newspapers in Torrance, victims of mistaken identity. Evidently, the two women were traveling down the street in a vehicle that resembled the murder suspect’s and had their lights off. One woman was shot in the hand and the other in the back. They’ll be okay, yet it must have been a narrow escape as the LA Times reports that “the blue pickup was riddled with bullet holes and what appeared to be newspapers lay in the street alongside.”
I understand that in the aftermath of attacks on police, it is a stressful time for officers in the field and that emotions and adrenalin run high. At the same time, it is hard to imagine how two small unarmed women, apparently of Asian ethnicity, could have posed such an imminent threat to the officers that they would have to open fire on them.
And, of course, we deal once again with needless death caused by a sick person with an assault rifle. Yesterday’s events strike a crippling blow against the theory that people need guns to protect themselves. It doesn’t help. The police officers had guns and yet those weapons provided no protection.
I believe we should strive to become a society without any guns. In Japan, it’s illegal to have a gun, period. Their police don’t carry guns. Britain has the toughest gun control laws in the world. Most of their police don’t carry firearms either. The gun deaths in those two countries each year is but a fraction of the annual gun deaths in the United States.
Wednesday’s post was on guns, and normally I hate to do two posts in a row on the same topical subject, but sometimes that’s the way it turns out. Have a good weekend.
Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, aka ‘Carlos’: What are these dumb Japs up to?
Galeriste: What’s going on?
Galeriste: Time’s up. No one’s dead.
Galeriste: Isn’t Furuya in Holland?
‘Carlos’: So what? There’s no plane or crew! It’s useless.
Galeriste: What will you do?
‘Carlos’: Act for them. Algerian-style. Sudden bloody terror.