And they would kill me for a cigarette

29 07 2013

So on what planet is the appropriate response to an obstreperous 95-year-old to shoot him with a beanbag gun?

Do I need to mention that an obstreperous 95-year-old man had already been Tasered? And that an obstreperous 95-year-old man who had already been Tasered might not be able to withstand the force of a lead-shot-filled “pillow” fired by a 12-gauge shotgun at a speed of 200-300 feet/second?

That he might, in fact, die from the resultant injuries?

But AbsurdBeats, you say, the old man was WIELDING A CANE and a SHOEHORN (?!) and a FOOT-LONG  BUTCHER’S KNIFE?  How else are trained professionals supposed to act in the face of a obstreperous 95-year-old-man who was refusing medical treatment and threatening—I say threatening!—them with a FOOT-LONG BUTCHER’S KNIFE?

I mean, it’s not like those highly trained protectors of the peace had any other options in the face of such imminent and overwhelming danger.

Similarly, you might argue that that we can all sleep better tonight knowing that the police’s first response to a man retrieving cigarettes from his own car is to shoot at him seven times*.

After all, a concerned neighbor had called the police, so, really, can you blame them for not waiting for him actually to turn around before emptying their pistols in his general direction?

Safety first, after all.

*No, the real question is: Should we feel better or worse that the police shot at him seven times and only managed to him once, maybe twice, in the leg?

~~~

I don’t know how Radley Balko tracks this shit without going insane.





Hold on

23 07 2011

Bombings are not rare.

Karachi, Mumbai, Kabul, Mogadishu. . . people are murdered every day by criminals and terrorists who see  their fellow humans  solely as means to their own bloody ends.

I don’t know why I’m particularly affected by the Norwegian killings. Do I find it easier to identify with white Europeans? Is it that this is so unexpected, as if it matters more when horrific things happen to people who live in safe places than those who are under constant threat? Is it that a bomb in that city makes me wonder about a bomb in my city? Why pay more attention to this than to what happens in Baghdad?

I don’t know why it matters more, why all those bombings and shootings don’t matter more. They all matter.

So my sympathy to all of them, all of their friends, all of their families, their communities.

This is the least we can do for each other.

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Credit: REUTERS/Berit Roald/Scanpix