Thursday, September 01, 2005

From Inside The Abyss

What could be going through the mind of the shooter?

“The evacuation of stranded hurricane victims from New Orleans' Superdome stadium has been disrupted after shots were fired at a rescue helicopter.
A spokesman for the Louisiana ambulance service told the BBC the crowd had grown unruly and he was concerned for the safety of his staff.”
Maybe it’s this:
“During the storm, more than 9,000 people took shelter at the Superdome, but the numbers have swelled to 20,000 and conditions there have sharply deteriorated.
The heat, humidity and sanitary conditions are reported to be unbearable, and people are crowding onto the stadium's concourse to avoid the stench…

The tens of thousands of people who are still in New Orleans are desperate to leave, the BBC's Alistair Leithead reports from the Louisiana city.
There is no electricity, and people who have lost everything are struggling to find food and clean water.”
Shooting the very people coming to your aid seems utterly insane, as has much of the behavior of the victims since Katrina began the devastation of New Orleans. The apparently savage and self-destructive behavior exhibited by the looters puzzled many at first, but though reports of opportunists stealing everything from cars and guns to prescription drugs may make us recoil, not everyone engaged in stealing or other acts are bad.

Many of the looters are just people bereft of even the most essential things---food, clean water, baby diapers, life-saving medications---who have gone days without them---and who saw a chance to stay alive and took it.

With his usual empathic compassion, Bush whips out the Stern Daddy persona that his sycophants seem to find so comforting:

"I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law," Bush said, 'Whether it's looting or price-gouging or insurance fraud."
Trapped in the city, waiting for days on rooftops or forced back inside flooded buildings without lights or air conditioning or by an unenforceable curfew, surrounded by death, sewage, stench and chaos, many of them must be driven half-mad with grief and fear. Who knows how many people have been attacked, raped, even murdered, by the marauding bands of vultures that have been roaming the streets, and how do you tell who is coming to help you and who might hurt you after awhile? Traumatized, left for days by a broken system that can’t adequately respond thanks to the financial and logistical crippling George Bush has given it, and unsure when they will be rescued, if ever, they have taken the same actions most of us would have if we were stuck in the same situation. And who’s to say that the mind doesn’t begin to cloud after all this, that after days of paranoia and trauma, you don’t become a little unhinged and just need to strike out at someone, anyone? Personally, I wouldn't hesitate a moment to break into a pharmacy for the meds my child needed, or into a store for food, water, or shoes that weren't soaked into muck.

Not much seems to have been written about this so far, but look for a goodly amount in the near future, as more people are brought out and the stories they tell become common knowledge. We won’t have just a massive reconstruction task ahead of us; we will have the repair and reconstruction of thousands of human beings, as well.

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