#1150 – Dick Bernard: The Latest Deadly Nutcase.
This mornings headline in the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The Gunman’s Rampage At German Mall Kills 9”
This latest killing strikes me even more than most because just a few hours before the murders happened, I was visiting with my friend from Paris, who has friends and relatives in Nice, France (none of whom were in harms way during the Bastille Day truck massacre on the boulevard.)
Nice, and the earlier attacks in Paris and Brussels, Belgium, impact her powerfully, of course.
I asked a question: “what is the population of France?” I think she said 69,000,000.
In general, I said: are the people of France to be immobilized by essentially random acts of violence, perpetrated by assorted evil actors, impossible to stop?
Now we have the Munich disaster. (Munich urban area: 2 1/2 million people; Germany, 82 million; Paris urban 10 1/2 million; Minneapolis-St. Paul MN urban 3 1/2 million)
Are we to stop living every time one of these things happens? Are we to arm ourselves to the teeth to avoid the really infinitesimally tiny possibility that we’ll be next? Not for me.
I recall our dear friend, Annelee, describing being under the allied bombs when Munich was bombed nearing the end of WWII – she and her fellow prisoners, all of Munich, essentially, underground basically were waiting to die – a lifelong consequence for her was losing her hearing; my brother-in-law, Mike, an Army man, was in Munich for part of the 1972 Olympics when the terrorist hostage situation occurred there.
Recently I did a post about the 100th anniversary of the battles of the Somme and Verdun in France. My friend Jeff, in my July 7 post: “consider 100 years ago now, two ongoing battles, ending in stalemate, with 1,200,000 dead on both sides, and another 1.2 million casualties over the 6-8 months each battle lasted.”*
And now we are transfixed over yet another nutcase out to do damage: in the Munich case, killing himself rather than surrender.
Unfortunately, in the greater scheme of things, historically, Munich is hardly “news”, much less front page.
I think it was the Oklahoma City/Murrah Building disaster(April 19,1995) which began my informal inventory of such catastrophes. Afterwards came places like Columbine (in the near neighborhood of which school my son and family lived) in April 1999, etc.
I never wrote anything down but:
1. who were the killers?
2. why did they kill;
3. what did they use to do the killing;
Lots of the murders were school related; virtually all of them with an accomplice: one or more guns. We tend to forget that the mass murder by bomb in Oklahoma City were two anti-government white guys who were, if I recall, both military veterans, lifelong U.S. citizens.
Terrorism is something of a recent innovative term, and even more recently automatically and instantly attached to some scary “them”.
Even more recently, we have become perpetrators: authorized torture in Iraq and Guantanamo; celebrating talk of violence or imprisonment against a candidate for President of the United States just this week…
The enemy is ourselves, folks, till we get a grip, and understand our cause in this matter of being civil to each other..
My condolences to every member of every family who has lost someone to a killing, like Orlando, like Falcon Heights, like, now, Munich.
We need to keep this in perspective.
* Some months ago I did a bit of research to give some context to “war” as we in the U.S. have experienced it. It is here. Today we Americans and most others as well are in very safe times compared even with recent history.
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