It was at first an old wives’ tale; that when the full moon came about beings behavior got erratic. People who were moderately calm and could cope with their surroundings most of the time, appeared to suddenly fall victim to their impulses. Thus the word lunatics! Pushed to the edge so to speak by invisible forces they took extra chances or acted out on their fears instead of just dealing with life in a rational manner. Scientists have long noted the phenomena, but it seems lately that we seem to be living with a twenty four hour full moon and the new hyper can be defined as more than just out of the ordinary behavior; its armed.
This past weekend’s assaults on three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Police Officers are still under investigation. The lone, extremely armed assailant appears to have been waiting for his victims. Summoned to the residence by a“9-1-1” call the police came with the full intention of handling a domestic quarrel between a mother and son. Within minutes two officers were ambushed and mortally wounded and a third off duty police officer rushing to help killed as well. Swarms of police immediately closed off the area until the gunman was wounded and then arrested.
The ultimate discussion of why this happened will be carried on for years. Currently public attention is focusing on the assailant’s constant dosage of conservative talking head radio and literature. You have heard the rants; “the police are our enemies, they are coming to take away our guns; the dollar bill is being done away with; the market is down, it is up; the children are being taken to indoctrination camps to work for Obama; get gold bars now before its too late, maybe it is already too late; and now a word from our sponsor!” I have a friend who is into stocks and bonds and money. He lives the nightly money shows to the point that his blood pressure is higher than the Dow some nights! But he doesn’t take all his money, put it in one hedge fund and hope for the best. If he did would he blame it on the TV shows or his poor ability to manage money, probably the latter. And in the case of this young man, blaming the TV is an easy excuse but the bottom line is he committed the crime not Hannity or Limbaugh.
Sure we send guys who drive the getaway car to prison with the same people who rob the bank. And in this case some responsibility does lie with those that effected his actions, but no more than to the point then we would blame the author of a book that inspired us to be better people or to dedicate our lives to saving poor souls in the third world.
Try as we will there is no cure for mental illness or the lack of personal responsibility some are exercising in our world today. Somehow terrorists who kill themselves find vindication; if nowhere else but in their own minds. People who take the lives of innocent bystanders or those trying to stop them from committing their acts of violence have a set of values shaped by a life long series of events that only professional counseling can derail. Some say if we only knew why maybe we could help them out and that is a big maybe. Yet a country founded on the individual freedoms that we all hold dear to our hearts often reveres the person who is one step away from the pack. We have room for them. What we don’t have room for is when they turn on the pack; then things get violent in both directions. Sadly, if you took away our guns, people still would throw stones. There is something in our nature that allows us to do violence to others and it doesn’t appear to be any less today then it ever has. On the other hand, Andy Warhol called it your fifteen minutes of fame. The bottom line for us all is how do we want that served? In jail? In praise? Or in anonymity? It’s your choice; please choose wisely regardless of the moon!