Absurd Spices

Fun and frustration from a gimp with an axe to grind. After all, absurdity is the spice of life. There will also be Punch and Pie

Friday, February 24, 2006

Oops! We Did It Again.

Yay! My city has made national news. In my lifetime, I can really only remember two other times where this has happened. The first was when the ethnic groups at the high school I attended started a race riot that spilled out into the street and had police in riot gear come out to join in the fun of quelling an asinine exercise in applied racism. Oddly enough, the South Mountain High School students left us White folk alone on this one. But we made national. Before that, there was the controversy over AZ not having an MLK Jr. Day that was officially observed. And yesterday, we really out did ourselves! We had a nutjob take several hostages in a Federal courtroom and threaten their lives. The Arizona Republic reports the situation here.

The great thing was that I live maybe 3 miles from the scene of the action, so it was nothing but police and news helicopters filling the downtown sky. There were many fine officers of the Phoenix Police Department present, both uniformed and undercover. In addition to this, there were several SWAT members and two robots used in hostage situations. On the Federal side, several FBI agents were onsite. Apparently, several hostage negotiators were all in the mix, attempting to get this wacko to surrender. He did so, dropping the two handguns he had with him, after authorities agreed to, and complied with, his demands to see his wife and sister.

No one has any idea why the hell this loon did what he did or chose the venue he chose. He stormed into a Labor Relations Board Courtroom, of the Federal bent, with just two handguns. Let me repeat that so it sinks in: The man, for no obvious reason, decided to tweak Uncle Sam’s nose by taking a Federal judge, some lawyers and plaintiff/defendant bystanders, hostage… with only two handguns. What. The. Hell?! The man had to have known that none of it would end well in the long run. He immediately ceded jurisdiction of the situation to the Feds when he decided to use government property for his little fit.

Perhaps he hadn’t really though about the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team. Ruthless, skilled, deadly professionals who know how to end hostage situations rather well and with extreme prejudice. Men who would undoubtedly be armed with H&K MP5’s, flash-bang grenades, and a whole hell of a lot of tactical training. The apparent lack of realization on his part as to what could be brought to bear to bring him down is glaringly obvious, in that HE ONLY HAD TWO HANDGUNS!!!

The good news in this story is that it has an ending. A happy one for the hostages, and on some level, for the hostage taker. He still gets to keep breathing and will see another day. The situation finally came to a close at 10:30 P.M. AZ time with no injuries to any parties involved. Though, I can imagine the therapy that the hostages will need and my sympathies and prayers go out to them. I am also grateful for the men and women of Law Enforcement, both local and Federal, that ended this potentially deadly situation with aplomb, smoothly and smartly.

The lesson: If you’re going to put your dick out in the chopping block, you’d better damn well know the reasons for which you’re doing it, and remember the big knives that are coming your way. Might make you think twice.

-Jesse W.


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