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.
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.