Empire State Building shooting

The Cinch Review

Update 10:45 a.m.: So, although reports continue to be somewhat contradictory, it does appear at this point to have been an isolated shooting, based on a personal motive, unconnected to terrorism. The picture will be clearer after a few hours, but I think it would be pointless for the likes of yours truly to continue updating at this point.

So, signing off, with a prayer for the recovery of those who are being treated for their injuries as a result of this morning’s events.

Update 10:28 a.m.: Local TV now interviewing people outside kvetching about not being able to get where they’re going.

Two are reported dead, counting the gunman. Eight others reported injured.

Suspect was reportedly fired from his job yesterday, according to local CBS News television. They also report that it was the manager of the business who was shot and killed by the gunman, at about 9 a.m. today.

Update 10:15 a.m.: NY Post says it was a “dispute between coworkers” which spilled out onto the street.

Update 10:09 a.m.: Shooter was “disgruntled employee” of a business located at the building, according to a report on NBC New York.

At least 10 people shot at the Empire State Building in New York City this morning, including reportedly the gunman. In addition to the total lock-down by the NYPD around 34th St. and 5th avenue, the FBI is on the scene. At this stage all the injured are said to have been taken to hospitals.

Based on watching the police activity on TV and laying down of markers, it appears that at least some of the shooting took place right in front of the building on 5th avenue between 33rd and 34th. Some victims reportedly found in the lobby.

The obvious remark is that no one would start shooting at that location unless they were fully prepared to lose their own life in the process. It is one of the iconic sites in Manhattan were there is always a police presence and an expectation of possible terrorism. If anything, at this point, it is surprising the gunman managed to shoot so many people. But at this point what we really know is nothing. Will update this post if it seems justified.

Massacre in Aurora

The Cinch Review

This morning the United States awoke to news of at least 12 people dead and dozens more wounded after a gunman invaded a Colorado movie theatre which was filled with people at midnight going to see the new “Batman” film. The cruelty and carnage is impossible to come to terms with. The bereaved and those suffering horrible injuries badly need prayers along with all the practical help that is being provided.

The media mill is already churning out analyses, speculations and even political prognostications, while the bodies are still warm, and here even I’m writing about it. Advocates of gun control in America, from media talking heads to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have already jumped on the story to support their point of view on that issue. At this minute we don’t even know whether the apparent perpetrator, identified as James Holmes, legally owned his weapons or broke the law to obtain them, and we also do not know anything about his motivation.

The gun control debate will rev up for a while and it will pass. Maybe some localities will pass stricter regulations. Maybe there will be a push for more federal regulations. But whether you oppose guns or (like yours truly) vigorously support the right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms, one practical fact ought to be faced: Guns will never be removed from America. Even the most draconian federal gun ban (one which is politically inconceivable) would only take guns away from people who obey the law, leaving and even promoting an illegal trade in firearms. Britain has long had strict gun control, and in 1997 passed a total handgun ban. Yet gun crime has only increased since then. The United States has many more millions of guns already in circulation than Britain could ever dream of having had. America will never be even close to being a gun-free society. Continue reading “Massacre in Aurora”

Loose Change, Loose Morals, Loose Minds

The Cinch Review

People who closely followed the early reports on 22 year-old Jared Loughner, after the shooting in Tucson, would have noted some references to his interest in September 11th conspiracy theories, and specifically the notorious short film called “Loose Change.” Last weekend, a story in the New York Times delved deeper into what people who knew Jared Loughner had to say about him, and included this paragraph:

He became intrigued by antigovernment conspiracy theories, including that the Sept. 11 attacks were perpetrated by the government and that the country’s central banking system was enslaving its citizens. His anger would well up at the sight of President George W. Bush, or in discussing what he considered to be the nefarious designs of government.

One is reminded of what — back in the old days — we used to describe as Bush Derangement Syndrome. That was the tendency of many on the left (represented online by the nice folks at the Democratic Underground and Daily Kos) to be so blinded by their hatred of President George W. Bush that they literally could not think straight, and jumped from one utterly illogical thought Continue reading “Loose Change, Loose Morals, Loose Minds”

Finally, a fact: Jared Loughner and the Tucson shooting

The Cinch Review

In the midst of all the fog, hypocrisy and nonsense, one enlightening fact has now emerged to answer the question, “What could have been done, that wasn’t done, to prevent Jared Loughner’s rampage?” There are no doubt a range of possible answers to that, but, according to a piece on NPR by Laura Sullivan, there is one very big and quite definite answer. Continue reading “Finally, a fact: Jared Loughner and the Tucson shooting”