From a compilation of several media and eyewitness accounts. The lady shot in DC today was a young black dental hygienist who according to law enforcement officials was non-political and had suffered head trauma in an accident a year ago. She was unarmed, had her 2-3 year old child in a car seat in the back and apparently either blundered into or otherwise approached some kind of unexpected checkpoint without slowing or stopping near the White House. Details are still sketchy but it appears that when confronted by officers and agents, possibly with with weapons drawn… since that’s now the first resort instead of the last… she allegedly panicked and tried to flee and a high speed chase ensued during which two officers were accidentally injured in a crash or crashes probably involving attempts to block or stop her vehicle.
She finally stopped after driving into some kind of and eyewitnesses say exited the car from the rear with both hands plainly empty and in plain sight. The incident appeared to be over when one officer suddenly fired and then it became a shooting gallery. So far, there is no indication of what triggered the gunfire and officials say only that it is under investigation.
There will no doubt be conflicting accounts for some time to come but this is the gist of what has come out so far. There is no hard evidence that this woman intended any criminal acts of any kind and tthe only known crime appears to be that of fleeing from the original scene, which may have been due to an altered mental state triggered by having a number of armed people pointing weapons at her and her child.
I describe this here because of the reactions I saw, from both sides of the political aisle who within minutes were attempting to politicize the incident and make it about the crazy lady who was out to kill some congresspeople or maybe even the president. Virtually every person posting was using it to try to get people fired up and hating whoever the poster happened to hate.
Again, within mere minutes of the first report of a “shooting incident” people on most social networks were gleefully trying to score political points off of what simply seems now to have been a tragic turn of events and raving on how horrible it was that the Capitol Police who had just “saved” all those congress folks weren’t even getting paid because of the shutdown brought about by the people they had just saved, yadayada, even as their primary assertions were starting to unravel.
I offer no opinion indictment on the rightness or wrongness of any act of anyone involved in this tragedy but if it were in my power TO indict anyone it would be the news media who… as always… milked it for all the ratings they could get from it and the people on the social networks who not only ran with the hype and innuendo put out by the media but even embellished it with hype and innuendo of their own. Hours after the actual story started to come out these were still trying to justify their initial statements, trying to make it a political issue and referring to her as that “crazy lady”. The LA Times was still calling her “the suspect in a shooting incident” as if she were something other than the victim of the only shots fired.
This is what extreme polarization does folks. This is what you get when your country is run on the basis not of simple political rivalry where one side attempts to win votes by doing the most good for society but on that of hate, vitriol and attempts to marginalize the “opposition” as some kind of foul monster who doesn’t even deserve to live. You become inured to the fact that the vast majority of people out there are simply folks like yourselves, just trying to string enough paychecks together to get by and who want the same things you do but happen to believe in a different way of achieving those mutual goals than you might.
I hope you’ll think about that next time you talk about “So and so needs to be hung” or “Somebody ought to shoot that sonofabitch”. Yes, I’m aware that I do both those things on occasion and I also hope I’m going to be a little more aware of what a steady diet of hate and venom can do to ordinary folks like you and me.
And I TRULY hope that when our corrupt news media starts trying to inflate some local situation or occurrence… like what what we currently know of today’s incident… into something of national significance that once again attempts to force us into open conflict with our friends and neighbors, … the only thing that made today’s tragic chase any more significant than all the others that take place regularly was where it happened and the opportunity it offered for political grandstanding and attention whoring by a whole nest full of grade A drama queens… you’ll sit back for a bit and wait until the story actually comes out instead of jumping on your favorite network and flinging accusations and recriminations right and left before the gun smoke has even cleared.
If you made it this far, thanks. I appreciate it. I love my country but today I can’t say I’m too proud of some of the people in it. I’d like to see things like this a dim memory before I shuffle off this hate wracked coil and I’m quickly running out of time. Let’s get this done, OK?
Update: Conflicting accounts. (Earlier) unlinked and unsourced blog account says she was shot while still in the car. She is also alleged in that blog entry to have suffered from postpartum depression since the birth of her daughter a year ago which if accurate, may be the basis for the “trauma” allegation referred to in later accounts. That was the child who was in the car when officers opened fire. Also one of her neighbors says she was definitely “crazy” while her employer and co-workers say there was never anything to indicate she would be involved in anything like this. Still nothing so far that would indicate that she had set out this morning out to inflict bodily harm on anyone.