Get Off My Lawn

I can't tell if he's laughing or crying.

Tragic but Preventable?

National Post: Two dead, four injured after workplace stabbing ‘rampage’ in Edmonton warehouse.

You would think that the temperature in Edmonton this week, which is hovering somewhere around 1000 degrees below zero, would curtail the ambition required to perform a mass killing. But for 29 year-old Jayme Pasieka crazy stops for nothing. Donning body armour and a pair of knives Pasieka stabbed his way to killing two people and injuring four. This is all the scarier when one thinks of the cotext: Very few places in the world are safer to work at then a Superstore warehouse in Edmonton Alberta Canada. The statistical possibility of being brutally stabbed to death within this context must be astronomical. And yet it did happen. And this makes people afraid. If this completely random and anomalous event can occur it makes the percieved likely hood of other equally extreme events of occuring.

But was this preventable? Perhaps. Pasieka has had a history, as detailed by Paula Simon in the Edmonton Journal, of acting bat shit crazy with a side of violence. He had harassed and threatened a family a few years ago and brandished a bow and arrow, knives, and pepper spray. You combine those actions with his bizzare behaviour ie. babbling about the queen and recording devices, what we have is a man that should be locked up. But, sigh, as we often do in Canada, the judge in the case gave Pasieka the equivalent of a slap on the wrist and sent him on his way with only a bit of probation. And so another judical failure has come back to bite us in the ass.

Now, I’m not saying that having this sad creature locked up for a period of time would have prevented the stabbing that happened yesterday, but, I have concers over at what point does society show compassion and at what point do we protect ourselves? This question is all the more prevelant in light of the recent accouncement that Vince Li, a schizophrenic, who beheaded Tim McLean and began EATING HIM, is now being granted unescorted day passes from the institutionhe now resides in. And we are told at some point, now that he is taking his medication, he will be allowed to be intigrated back into a community. McLean’s family, naturally, thinks this is nuts.

So the problem is obvious. Will Pasieka become another Vince Li? That what he did was a matter of some crossed wiring and medication will sort this out, and once sorted out Pasieka will be free to go and live among civilized society? I have compassion for the mentally ill and Pasieka has not been given a diagnoses as of yet but I fear he will be. But my compassion stops at the point where, if there is a failure of the system, or a failure of the individual, and the medication stops being taken, the result isn’t just a manic episode where the afflicted may write a novel or buy something impulsively, but rather innocent people will be killed in a most brutal and violent fashion and a comminity would be destroyed.

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