Killing Sprees

A man goes mad and kills a load of people with licensed guns.  Out come the banal-speakers.  Psychologists make media fees telling us the absolutely obvious.  Reporters place themselves near crime scene tape and put on in-the-know voices telling us nothing.  Over more than a day it emerges that the guy was under pressure in the recession.  His killing spree lasted a long time, perhaps over three hours.  This is fairly typical for Britain, where we find it difficult to get armed response officers where they are needed on time.  At least this guy wasn’t fucked-up enough to start killing kids.

One has to share a tear with victims’ families and hope they get what help they need and what might work shorten any pain.  I’d have shot the perpetrator as surely as I would a dangerous dog savaging a child, or a suicide bomber several times to protect others and myself.  I’d have shot him in the back if he’d been running away, something English Law is not at all clear on.  The test would be whether ‘self-defence’ extends to the future.  The issue, of course, is whether we can get someone in a position sooner to bring incidents like this to an end, or contain them because we can get armed officers there quicker.  Hand-guns might be no match for shotguns and rifles, but they might help in containment.

We are supposedly preparing to be ready for terrorism.  It is clear from what was available in this incident we have a long way to go.  The taxi rank concerned is round the corner from another site of English ‘preparedness’; the remains of the pub John Paul Jones may have had a few beers in during his successful invasion.  The tragedy in which officers killed a young and very innocent Brazilian contained farcical levels of ‘preparedness’.  If international terrorists are real and determined to do real damage here, they must have noticed this incident in Cumbria and a long history of our ‘preparedness’.  In my time as a cop, the IRA could have walked into most police stations in mainland Britain and slaughtered the whole shift.  They did not choose to do this.  Fearing they might, our bosses responded by putting unarmed officers on lookout duties, merely ensuring those officers would be first killed.  At least in their own countries, today’s terrorists would gain great kudos (rather than revulsion) for crass killings of the undefended here.

We will witter on about counselling for victims and better mental health care and ‘how men are socialised’ – all valid but little to do with protecting us.  There may be no terrorist threat, no rush of nutters pissed-off with life in the recession.  We don’t know – but we can know we are not at all prepared.

Now police are telling us they could not have responded quicker and no officer got a chance to intervene to end it quicker.  Armed officers, it seems two, arrived within minutes and only missed him by a minute or so.  Most of the killings took place inside 65 minutes.  I have no wish to blame police, yet wonder why they are so quickly into denial.  Yet another psychologist is saying victims need to be amongst the love of their nearest and dearest.  Gosh!  Vicars are being rolled out, always a bad sign.  Most of the people who do this kind of crap are men.  There will be talk of socialising men not to be violent (no bad thing, yet largely irrelevant to going nutter).

The media will not help us properly analyse problems such as this and will be manipulated by various agencies, pressure groups and its own idiot notions of balance.  If Mumbai style raids happen they will be ‘unprecedented’. This poor, daft, out of it sod has just shown us a dry run, just where John Paul Jones could have made his if he had been interested in killing, rather than peaceful protest.  Imagine what some loony terrorists could do and how easily they could evade police organisation of this kind if this is what one madman in a taxi could manage.  This incident (rightly) really bothers us, yet in our morality none of us can say how many have died in Iraq or what we are doing in Afghanistan.

Playing killing spree games (Call of Duty, GTA), I’ve noticed my grandson just likes mindless violence, jaunting around killing at random with little interest in the missions on offer.  This well understood by game writers, who are now building detectors into the stuff so as to be able to provide for jaunters like the boy and more strategic mission players for others.  I’m not much interested  in the games, but I do wonder about how so many people quickly adapt to such routine fictional killing,  I’m reminded of my own childhood daydreaming when I occasionally play.  Quite why so many of us enjoy becoming killing machines may be of some relevance.

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5 thoughts on “Killing Sprees

  1. The two main advantages of having kids on the payroll are their cheapness and a gullible inclination to work. These are slightly offset by physical stature and require enhancement with Glock 40’s.

    Other major fiscal savings can be found by reducing the huge damage repair costs to our vehicles. It is time for me to make a National call to protect police cars from all unnecessary damage by civilians. I DEMAND immediate legislation requiring pedestrians to wear thick rubber suits before leaving the home.

    (A grand for every plod vote to get me in as your next CC)

    Love 2 you all in blue XXXXLOLXXX

  2. This is a tragic incident of which I believe, no-one has any real answers as to why he did this.
    Whatever was going on in his mind at the time he took to his grave with him.
    I do not believe in changing the laws about firearms either as some where saying, for what I know about it, it is so difficult to get a firearms licence now, what would be the point of changing the law.
    Someone could still ‘go on the rampage’ if that is the correct saying for what happened.
    I feel for those that were killed and the families that now have to pick up the pieces and start again.
    lets be honest it doesn’t happen that often although it should never happen at all,but it did and what can we do?
    We had no prior warning as you don’t in these cases, and then the man committed suicide.
    The last time was at Dunblane when that man Thomas Watt Hamilton went inside the school and killed those poor children and one teacher. What was going on in his mind?
    I think even pschologist have problems trying to work this out.

  3. The great flaw in Gadget-style blogs world-wide is the failure of most contributors to work out cops are supposed to do something way beyond stereotyping and groupthink. The inability to see themselves as very much part of the problem is typical of professional groups, even the ones we teach to recognise this or might expect to see it in themselves (academics are dire in this respect). Once the MOPs were suitable padded, the cops would insist this was to prevent lawful policing and demand more lethal vehicles.
    I think you are right Annette, though people who go nutter like this don’t seek out guns if they aren’t used to them. It may be best to leave well alone.

    Killings can be done on a massive scale without guns (Rwanda etc.), but in the long story I would tell, I think there are reasons for a more professional, armed police and even more severe gun control.

  4. A sound, dire warning Allcopped. In the terrorist scenario you touched on, our current `civilian` response wouldn’t even be a stop-gap and we would, as a response, have to go straight to MAC-P without passing go. As you rightly infer, as currently constituted and deployed the police aren’t even a firewall.

  5. My colleage was intrigued when reading one paragraph on your blog “… on in-the-know voices telling us nothing. Over more than a day it emerges that the guy was under pressure …” it also reminded me about the day I came across my long time friend.

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