Friday, October 06, 2006

The Friday Furo Questus

Questus Furore - The Threat Has Changed, Again

The mind boggles at the events of the past two weeks.

First the man from Denver, who walked into a high school in Bailey, Colorado (basically the equivalent of a man from Salt Lake walking into a school in Oakley, UT), taking a classroom hostage, sending out the teacher and boys, then proceeding to molest the girls left inside. (What exactly he did has not been made clear. I'm not sure if I want to know.) When police reacted, he shot at his hostages, then killed himself, but not before mortally wounding 16-year-old Emily Keyes. Having violated her honor, he then stole her life.

Less than a week later, another one, this time in the heart of Amish country. This attacker had grand plans - but the police arrived too soon. So he attempted to execute his ten hostages, then killed himself. So far, five of his victims have died, and the survival of two more is in question. All were girls, ranging in age from seven to thirteen. Four of them were laid to rest yesterday, the fifth today.

Just as Columbine forced a reassessment in how we look at our security, so these events are forcing another. Once again the threat has changed; where once the worry was basically children escalating their conflicts to the point of violence, now the danger has arrived in the form of well-armed adult sexual predators, seeking to fulfill one last fantasy before ending it all.

The threat has changed again. Now police no longer even have time to wait for the SWAT team.

Perhaps too, this should force another look at how we approach sexual predators in our society. Can those urges ever be suppressed, or will they simply build pressure until the mind erupts? Once we have caught them, can we let them go?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions. But we had better start thinking about them.

Recommended Reading
Susan Konig, "The End of Innocence."

Victor Davis Hanson, "Traitors to the Enlightenment."

Jim Geraghty, "The Other Shoe That Dropped."

TKS - "How Long Until The Clash of Civilizations Becomes a Campaign Issue?"

Thought of the Week
"A kind Providence has placed in our breasts a hatred of the unjust and cruel, in order that we may preserve ourselves from cruelty and injustice. They who bear cruelty, are accomplices in it. The pretended gentleness which excludes that charitable rancour, produces an indifference which is half an approbation. They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate."
Edmund Burke, Letters on Regicide Peace, 1796.

Churchill Quote of the Week
"All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."
Sir Winston Churchill


At 11:58 AM, Blogger Reach Upward said...

I think we have to be careful about our perceptions of school violence. While schools are places where we concentrate a large number of children, thereby, providing an easy target for weirdos, school violence has actualy been on the decline for more than 10 years running. Nowadays every major incident makes the national news, causing a perception of something different.

Susan Konig is right when she says that evil is difficult to comprehend. But I think it's problematic to go overboard about the threat. We used to put our children through nuclear bomb drills, which was a great political motivator, but prepared kids for something that was much less likely than being struck by lightning.


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