The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shootout in the Big City

There was a shooting the other day in New York City. At the Empire State Building. It was the result of an ongoing animosity, a feud, between two men who once worked for the same company. One of them, Jeffrey Johnson had been laid off in 2011.

By all accounts, Johnson fits the usual profile of the guy who flips out one day. A quiet loner who kept to himself but who seemed just a little strange to those around him. He wasn't laid off for any other reason than the economy. His target, his victim, was the head of sales for the store where Johnson had worked. A much younger, and much bigger, man than Johnson, Steven Ercolino appears to have been a likeable guy (as most salesmen are) but the two just never got along.

In the comments to the story linked to above, I see a lot of calls for more gun control and some misunderstandings... about how the police fired too many shots and on a crowded street (9 bystanders were wounded). Johnson had legally purchased the gun in Florida some 21 years ago. He has, apparently, no history of mental illness or a criminal record. There was no reason for him to be prevented from buying a firearm.

As for the police, they did what they needed to do. Perhaps we watch too many westerns where the sheriff shoots the gun out of the hand of the bad guy, or just wings him, and no bystanders get shot by their stray bullets, because there are no stray bullets, and we believe real life is, or should be, no different.

But you wonder... why do people snap? What triggered Johnson that particular day to go shoot the object of his anger? An anger that had smoldered for so many years? Why did he not do it the day after he was laid off, if he blamed Ercolino for the loss of his job?  He certainly had that gun sitting somewhere in his apartment at that time.


Torggil said...

So thats what it was about. Being a billion miles away, all I heard about were the bystanders. As to gun control, I have mixed emotions on it. As a libertarian, I believe that people should be allowed guns, but the problem is, people do shit like that. With great power comes great responsibility- god love Stan Lee for that line- but no one wants to accept the responsibility. The can't see past their ultimate aim, and won't take into account possible consequences. The Man who fired on his hated rival is ultimately responsible for the nine bystanders wounds, not the police. But no one will actually see that. Lawsuits will attack the NYPD, because obviously they have more $ than the initial trigger man.

Douglas4517 said...

Stan Lee? Have you never heard the term "noblesse oblige"? And you are spot on about the lawsuits.

john said... don't need a gun....polonium well...........