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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 12, 2012 4:08 AM. The previous post in this blog was In a deep and 'dog December. The next post in this blog is Uncle Phil's tax deal. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Loss

It turns out that one of the two innocent people shot and killed in yesterday's rampage at the Clackamas mall was a friend of a friend of ours. Our friend writes on Facebook:

His wife and children were in Macy's. He went to the food court to get a bite and was talking with his father on cell. It's just sickening. A world class dad and husband -- loved by everyone.

Words fail. Suddenly Portland has a most troubled holiday season.

Comments (34)

I agree: words fail. Is there anything any of us can do for his family?

So sad...condolences to all.

I hear my mother's voice at times like this. She was in France during World War 2 with the Red Cross so she was in wards with thousands of badly shot up soldiers who had just been in battle the day before. I mean lots of soldiers who would survive, and lots who were dying of their wounds. She paid a big price herself, of course, but she came out of it with a resolute - some might say dysfunctional - ability to look on the bright side of anything. And I do mean anything.

If she were here today, she'd express sorrow for the dead and she wouldn't be able to hide her pain talking about the young wounded girl. That is for sure.

Reading that the victim was on the phone to his dad, she might even say something maddening like, "If you had to go through an experience like that, how nice to be talking to your father during it."

I would sometimes get steamed hearing her search for a positive. I thought it was trying too hard, but she was actually dealing with things on a very specific level, just as she had looked at very specific wounds and tried to help the soldiers who had just suffered them, pull it together.

It wasn't looking on the bright side as much as saying, "Let's get right into this because you're going to need to be tough right now. Not next week or next month. We need you to be strong now. Yes, you lost your leg (or in one case that haunted her) yes, your jaw was just shot off, but you're still alive and we need you to fight through this."

Soldiers often display remarkable resilience and bravery a few days after they're shot, expressing a desire to get back to their units, etc, but my mother dealt with lots of them during those first few hours or days when they were emotionally on the edge. When they had lost it. She was an expert at projecting strength and helping them find a way back.

Then, if she were here in Portland yesterday or this morning, she would say something about just getting through the holidays. I might get a little irritated at that too - thinking how the holidays will come and go, but for these families this is from now on.

Later, I'd realize that of course she knew that the families were in for a long unimaginably painful journey. She already knew how to do that herself in a million little steps: Get through the minute, get through the hour, get through the day, get through the holidays. Get through the war.

All this has variables. I know I'm close but I'm not 100% sure what her reaction would have been to some aspects of yesterday. But I guarantee you at some point she would have said words almost exactly like this:

"10,000 people at the mall, and all those bullets whizzing around." (She would have used that exact phrase "whizzing around", already putting the hatred and anger into an inanimate object like a bullet, rather than in terms of the gunman.)

Then she would have said, "It's a miracle this wasn't a lot worse."

And as hard as it is to hear an opinion like that at a time like this, she'd be right.

Good reflection Bill McDonald. It came just at the right time for me personally as I sit here numbed by this tragedy. I've been thinking all morning of the man Jack wrote of here. And feeling weird because I live 5 minutes from the mall; my 14-year-old daughter is there a lot; and just last Friday her high school orchestra did a Christmas concert at the food court. There but for the grace of God......

Can we get a signal when the right time to talk about guns comes?

Because we're always being told, after each one of these, that now is not the time. So, I just want to make sure to not miss the moment. For all I know it's at 2;43 a.m. Until 2:49 a.m On December 27 or something like that.

And what would that conversation look like? Do you think that someone that plans to go shoot up a mall gives a damn about the Felony-C weapons charge that goes with the multiple counts of capital murder?

Gun control always sounds like a great idea until you realize that the guns are already out there, and you're not going to get them back. People that are determined to commit a crime with a gun will still commit that crime with a gun, regardless of it's legality. The crime they are looking to commit is likely worse than the gun charge. California has much more strict gun laws then anywhere else in the US, and they still have just as much gun crime as anywhere else.

Instead, can we focus on getting the mentally ill the help they need so this type of needless tragedy doesn't occur?

Well said, Fred.

"People that are determined to commit a crime with a gun will still commit that crime with a gun, regardless of it's legality."

Except in basically every other first world country.

Well said, Bill. Thank you for that wisdom.

And this wisdom:
"(She would have used that exact phrase "whizzing around", already putting the hatred and anger into an inanimate object like a bullet, rather than in terms of the gunman.)"

I hate cars and guns as well. But I hate drunk drivers and murderers more.

Except in basically every other first world country.

Oh, you mean all the ones that have always had strict gun control laws, so there aren't millions of weapons already in circulation?

This is why I said "the guns are already out there, and you're not getting them back." Unless you repeal the 2nd Amendment, that is. That's the only way you're going to be able to get them back, except on a voluntary basis.

3 years ago a disturbed man with a knife walked into a day care in a country which has some of the strictist gun control laws in all the EU, Belgium, and preceded to stab to death children and caretakers. Gun control laws didn't stop him from what he intended to do.

I agree, guns shouldn't be so easy to get and some probably shouldn't even allowed at all, but the technology is simple and has been around for centuries. Even if you managed to clamp down on them in the US, you'd couldn't do anything about the ones in Mexico that will make their way across the border.

Chuck, I'm not sure why you believe USA is unique among "first world countr(ies)" in mass shootings:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/20/us-usa-shooting-denver-mass-idUSBRE86J0K620120720

I'm not asserting anything other than the apparent fact that a sick minded individual intent on killing innocent people will do so. Regardless of laws. I would also hope that the same people who disdain gun ownership also appreciate the prevention of a mass murder about a year ago, by one Mohamed Osman Mohamud.

It's overwhelmingly a US problem. I realize you guys love guns, but to pretend that gun violence in the rest of the world comes close to what we have here in the United States is willful ignorance. A long weekend in Chicago turns out more dead bodies from gun violence than most of these shooting sprees.

Chuck, I've shot a gun maybe six times in my life. At clay pigeons or a static target. I don't love guns. I do love guitars, though.

I'm also not sure why you choose the designation of "first world countries" as a test for the degree of atrocity committed by armed lunatics(?) I'm pretty sure gun ownership is outlawed in a few 2nd, 3rd and developing countries where horrific massacres have occurred. Let's not even talk about machetes.

"It's a miracle this wasn't a lot worse."

As absolutely tragic as the shooting was yesterday, that is how I felt. A crazed madman with a semi-automatic gun in a crowded mall, only managed to kill two people.

This is an extreme expression of socially engineered cognitive dissonance designed to keep the masses perpetually polarized and therefore unable to organize or otherwise change the status quo.

Very sad statement as to the condition of western society.

It's not the spoon's fault for the obesity epidemic.

Stop the gun running.

Jail the NRA leadership for its plot agianst civility.

Require all gun owners to purchase liability insurance with a premium to cover the uninsured. Then jail those who do not buy the insurance.

I wish the media would adopt the convention to not publish photos of shooters.

Outlaw guns eh?

How did that work for drugs, or alcohol during prohibition?
The city of Chicago has the toughest laws in the nation,
and has ridiculous levels of gun violence.

The shooter at the local mall didn't obtain the weapon legally.

He stole it. Outlawing firearms or nullifying the 2nd amendment
will only result in the whole trade going black market and a huge
racket of violence springing up around it ala the drug trade.

If we outlaw guns, they won't go away, but law abiding citizens
will become helpless to defend themselves against outlaws.

More people die in car accidents each year than via gun murder.
What was to prevent this wacko from plowing into a crowd with
his car? Why are we not discussing a total car ban? Because we
all can think rationally about it....same should happen w guns.

Cars, while dangerous, do serve a purpose outside of killing things. Hand guns and assault weapons have one very specific purpose.

A long weekend in Chicago turns out more dead bodies from gun violence than most of these shooting sprees.

And Illinois is the only state in the union that doesn't allow concealed weapons of any kind. Strictest gun control laws in all 50 states, and you yourself say the body count is higher than it should be.

The strictest gun control laws before they were struck down by the Supreme Court used to be in Washington, DC; where the highest per-capita gun violence rate in the US also was.

Criminals don't care about gun laws, because they are criminals.

How about banning the use of murders for political gain?

This story was datelined at 10:25 this morning. It almost makes me wonder if Sweet Ginny set up some sort of false flag attack.

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/12/clackamas_town_center_shooting.html

Steve was my son's basketball coach. I will never forget the big grin on my son's face when Coach Forysth spoke a few words of genuine praise for him at the end of the year team banquet. Steve was a gentle and sweet man. He was always giving kids rides home that needed it and opening his home to his son's friends and teammates.

Since his death I have been hearing a lot of praise for Steve professionally. I don't doubt that Steve was good at what he did for a living. However, its all the work he did with kids that was unpaid that I think refected his true character.

The world lost a very sweet soul and his children lost a dad that doted on them. This was so senseless and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

I agree that stricter controls don't work. So how about outlawing the manufacturing and sale of handguns and assault weapons outside of police/military use, the same way in which access to explosives is regulated (unless, of course, you would argue that access to C4 is assured by the Constitution)? It won't get the guns currently on the street off the street but it would at least be much preferable to doing nothing, no?

Guns do not kill people....People kill people...

N. Anderson, you're reflection is so good to see. I've heard the same from colleagues, though I did not know Coach. Completely incomprehensible.

Chuck, I will not comment further than this, since the human tragedy is getting obscured in the details. We can outlaw all we can, all we want to, all the time. Yet this will still happen:

"The truck rental — $250. The fertilizer was about... it was either $250 or $500. The nitro methane was the big cost. It was like $1,500. Actually, lemme see, 900, 2,700,... we're talking $3,500 there... Lets round it up. I just gave you the major expenses, so go to like five grand... what's five grand?"

—Timothy McVeigh, on the cost of the preparations.

Judging from the screenshot (thread itself seems to have been removed)the kid may have given a warning on Monday.

http://i.imgur.com/XRhrn.png

There are hundreds of millions of guns in the U.S.

It would be easier to deport all the undocumented immigrants than to try and collect (or even license) all the "assault rifles" in this country.

And all the Democrats tell us that it would be impossible to do that.

http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/transparency.jpeg

Per the above graphic, from the Huffington Post, there are 88 guns for every 100 Americans, the highest rate (0.88 guns/person) of gun ownership in the world.

Multiple 0.88 x 300 million Americans, and that equals 264 million guns. I doubt that figure includes guns that are publicly owned (police/armed services).

If it's impossible to deport 20 million immigrants, then trying to reduce the firearms inventory in the U.S. is going to be even harder.

And gun sales just keep rising. The Federal Government has failed to stop illegal drug trafficking, illegal immigration, or tax evasion. What makes anybody think they would be any more successful trying to reduce the number of weapons in circulation?

There's also that pesky Constitution: it's the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Needs.

There is ALL kinds of violence out there, not just gun violence. When a women gets raped, do people call for abolishment of sex? Let's get real in our discussions and not get sidetracked by 'guns'. Or 'drugs'. Or whatever easy answer or accusation fits the current bill.

WHERE does this start to change?? I've talked with people today... talked with my sons ... went to the mall here out of a bit of defiance that what happened there does NOT bind what I'll do here. And regardless what you think of him and his opinions, I think John Canzano's take on this is a good starting point: we need to take better CARE of each other. That's a big statement, really ... where does the victim/blame/competition mentality end and community, still harboring real differences, begin?

I hope I am wrong, but I think that there will be a shooting downtown this season.
The lifestyle homeless punks are armed with brass knuckles and knives. Civil order has broken down. That is when guns come out.
I just hope that no one is hit by a ricochet bullet.

I cannot in good conscience encourage anyone move to Portland until we get a handle on crime. This is a drunken, violent city. Sam Adams is hostile to families. If they aren't his preferred sex partners (Carless, great thighs from biking,no intention of starting a family) then they aren't welcome.

In the meantime, no funds for mental health treatment- we spent it all on ugly art and bioswales. It was a Portlander who shot up the mall- just keeping things "weird."

N. Anderson, his photo looked familiar to me. If I didn't referee one of the games he coached, or perhaps one where his son played and he was in the stands, it was one of the many games for similar fathers over the past 36 years I have officiated. Fathers who gladly volunteer to teach their sons and daughters how to play a sport, how to exhibit sportsmanship, how to both win and lose with grace. A very sad day to lose this father, husband and community member.

When I first saw the photo several days ago, I thought, wow, that looks like a Cindy I used to know almost two decades ago now, mom of a classmate of my son's at the Portland Waldorf School...but the woman looks so happy and carefree, it can't be her...can it? No, just a resemblance to a girl I haven't seen in 15 years, couldn't possibly be...this evening, I decided to check, and just make sure it wasn't her. But it was her.


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