Get Off My Lawn

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

White, Privileged, and Angry

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On Wednesday evening, Justin Bourque killed three RCMP officers, and wounded two others in the small city of Moncton, New Brunswick. He was seen walking down the road dressed like a sad imitation of Rambo, carrying various weapons among which was the high-powered rifle used to kill and wound the police officers. A manhunt ensued and finally he was apprehended on Friday just after midnight.

This was a young man, just 24, who was reported as having a problem with authority. But someone should have told him: You are a young, blond, white male, living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. You are authority, you dumb shit. Oh please, tell me about the oppression you endured at the hands of your masters. Tell us how you have been so harshly treated by the RCMP, which may in fact be the most polite police force on the planet, tell us how they harassed you, beat you, wrongly accused and arrested you. Or maybe they ignored your complaints? Turned a blind eye while you suffered? What? None of this happened. Bourque is an insult to anyone who has ever experienced real oppression. Not this silly, perceived, slightly American right wing idea that someone, somehow, wants to take his guns. No one even bothered with this uncorked bottle of misdirected testosterone until he decided to take a stroll down a residential street armed like he was going to take on a Mexican drug cartel.

I hope what Bourque has done is not pathologized. Not given a label, a diagnosis, a reason for him to dodge even a little of the full responsibility for what he has done. Too much time, too much money (he had some expensive firearms), and an inability to just plain be accountable for the quality of his life.

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On this anniversary of D-Day the contrast between this sad fantasist and the generation of boys who stormed a beach dodging Nazi machine gun fire, many dying, is jaw dropping. These were men who picked up guns out necessity, and because their country called upon them, while Bourque made a fetish of weapons, killing an unsuspecting group of officers who I have no doubt were exceedingly kind and polite right up to the very end. Perhaps we need to pay more attention to the village weirdo who collects guns, dresses up in camouflage, wears a knife while shopping for groceries, and vehemently discusses perceived indignities that never really happened. Chances are at some point that bomb will go off, but maybe if we start being a little more nosey and a little less polite we can see the madness coming and put it down like a rabid dog.

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8 replies

  1. Can’t like it John, cause what a tragic event to take place… But excellent post and important observations to share. Well done. Amy

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  2. I have always wondered if there was anyway to stop these types of people slip over the edge. And I think until we find out the triggers and key behaviors we will always be surprised when it happens. It just amazes me sometime how the perpetrators’ families are always so totally unaware!!

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    • Probably no way to predict with any kind of thorough accuracy but I think sometimes, especially in Canada, we are far too polite. This weekend a thirteen year old boy was attacked by a 28 year old man with hammer. A hammer. The boy was walking home in a quiet suburban neighbourhood in a quiet Canadian city. The boy is in bad shape. Witnesses said they saw the man often pacing up and down the sidewalk with a hoody on, in sunglasses, and acting strange. But no one said anything.
      Same with this guy in Moncton, railing against police and getting a hard on over an AK-47, and no one says anything. I think we are too polite.

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  3. These crazy stories continue to pop up eh? Last week, we had Elliot Roger! Now we have this nutball….it isn’t even a shocker for me to hear this sort of news anymore. I live in a place called Vaughan/Woodbridge near Toronto…and in the last month or so, a series of mob hits have taken place in very public areas. It ain’t slowing down…

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    • And in Windsor this past week some poor kid was attacked on his way home by a man with a hammer. Calgary and Edmonton (where I live) have each had a mass murder/assault incident this year. I’m thinking the beginnings of some kind of Zombie rage virus. I’m never sure if these incidents are increasing or they are just being reported more.

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