Philip Gourevich (boldface mine):
“Isolated incident” was the preferred verbiage of Ripley Rand, the local U.S. attorney. Rand said that he saw no reason to treat the targeting and assassination of these three Muslims as “part of a targeted campaign against Muslims”—as if a broader conspiracy were needed for Hicks’s crime to have broader significance.
So there you have it. Some people are sensitive about parking. One such person stood his ground. Now three young innocents are dead, and he’s being held without bond in the county jail. A lamentable affair, but, told like that, shorn of all context, it’s not unlike a song on the radio, folkloric. Our imaginations are primed to grasp it.
What’s hard to get one’s mind around is that everyone who’s singing this tune—the police, the wife, the prosecutor—seems to think that it’s reassuring. Getting blown away by a neighbor just because he’s pissed off at you for some ridiculous reason has become the equivalent of a natural disaster in our country, with our gun culture. It’s got nothing to do with the killer’s ideology, or with the victim’s identity. That’s the thinking. And, with this “parking” alibi, we’re being asked to imagine that these killings are a private tragedy, not some big public deal—not terrorism, not even like terrorism. We’re being told to believe that the vigilante killing of three young Americans is socially and politically meaningless.
A couple of years ago a recent Texas transplant to Boston almost did something similar (boldface added):
So this happened in Back Bay, Boston (boldface mine):
Officers spoke with the victim in front of 85 Marlborough Street who stated that he and his coworker had been picking up trash in the rear of that residency when a white male came out back and placed trash in the back. When the victim told the suspect to place his trash in the proper place, the suspect went back into his apartment and came back outside holding a black handgun.
The suspect then pointed the handgun at the suspect and said, “Next time you tell me where to put my trash, I’ll kill you.” Then the suspect went back inside.
What is it that gun nutters say? “An armed society is a polite society?” I’ll take more incivility and less gun pointing any day. Because potentially murdering someone over garbage is beyond idiotic.
One thing to note is that apartments at 85 Marlborough go for about $700 per sq. ft., and that’s based on a 2008 valuation (believe it or not, prices in the neighborhood have gone up since then). And 85 Marlborough is one of the cheaper buildings (here’s some photos from a block away in various directions). This is not a ‘gentrifying’ neighborhood, this is an enclave of the local gentry. Yet give someone a gun and he acts like an idiot chucklehead with a ‘Born to Lose’ tattoo.
Guns make you very stupid, and they exacerbate our very human foibles. I disagree with Gourevitch on one thing: we acquired a tolerance to multiple homicides years ago. But don’t let anything get in the way of Your Freedom to Hunt Your Slaves….