The unadorned answer is that a murder results in the death of a human being. The most central of all principles
is that life is valuable. If you agree and accept this axiom, it must follow that ALL life has worth and that EVERY person
deserves the same respect. Our entire civilization has rested upon the wisdom and truth that is codified in the Ten Commandments.
“Thou shalt not kill” is stated clearly in the King James Bible. “Thou shalt not murder” is the pronouncement from Deuteronomy 5 in the Mechon Mamre Hebrew Bible in English.
Both decree that it is wrong to take a life. Some may wish to argue exceptions under certain conditions, life
self defense; but as a rule - the dictate is clear.
What is amusing, if it wasn't so tragic, is the way Americans respond when they perceive that their own safety
may be at risk. It is natural to fear sudden death, but is it sensible to become absorbed with a hysteria created and driven
by media hype? We regret and mourn the victims of the 'Beltway Sniper'. That designation is the invention of the tabloid press.
A more proper label is that of "HOMICIDE MURDERER". Keeping it generic removes any reference to
celebrity designation. While the public eagerly awaits the next news report to air, does the level of fear, alarm or worry
warrant the national coverage and response?
Facts that nationwide, there were 18,209 murders, or 6.8 for every 100,000 people in 1997 seem tame to the of 10.2
per 100,000 in 1980 and 9.8 in 1991. Cities with populations above one million, had a murder rate of 35.5 per 100,000 in 1991,
which fell to 20.3 per 100,000 in 1997. Does the name James D. Martin, come to mind? If not, you may have better luck remembering
Linda Franklin. The media coverage for this ninth attributed murder victim, has a different ring to it from that of Mr Martin.
The press described him as "man of 55", while Mrs Franklin was characterized as "a fearless and outdoorsy FBI
intelligence analyst who beat breast cancer twice". The time line and list of deceased, gives a good account of the crimes and helps to remember the victims.
But what makes them any more special than all the other murdered causalities that the country experiences
each year? We all should experience sorrow with the fatal loss among our fellow citizens. Yet, that grief is seldom spread
evenly, when the media has motives that far outstrip the simple reporting of news. Most of us understand the nature of the
sensationalism that has lowered the bar on reporting. We have come to reluctantly tolerate that "if it bleeds it leads".
Nevertheless, the real decline in civil society can't be contributed solely to the debased and foul standards that are normal
for today's press. The public shares greatly in the blame with their infantile demand that the government must guarantee their
safety at all costs.
Protecting and serving the public is a laudable objective, but insulating "soccer moms" from the harsh realities
of life is a phony result of the cradle to grave society. Is this terrorism or a madman applying his trade? Speculation is
asinine, fabricated anxiety is cruel and emotional outrage is counterproductive. Consider what is really at stake. What are
the true consequences of every hyped alarmist situation? The cries for greater government action leaves us with more pervasive
intervention into our lives. Freedom and individual liberties are the immediate causality. Before the first victim was buried,
our society lost another portion of our collective worth.
When a federal government employee was shot, the shapers of perception rushed to memorialize her while defusing
that she could be a selected target in the sights of the crosshairs. When will the public get it? The trumped up campaign
against terrorism has the decisive goal of protecting those who are in control, while the ordinary citizen is reduced to collateral
damage. Protecting the government is the underlying purpose of law enforcement.
If you are one that accepts that government surveillance cameras bring you security, that roving spy planes
will prevent the next shot, or that executive orders banning hunting and firing of guns will make you safe - you are beyond
help. The media is in the business of manufacturing scares and the State is the beneficiary of your panic. When you cower
in fright, it is not the sniper who wins, it is the bureaucracy that gains more control over you and your fear.
How quickly many forget who are the foremost murderers of all times.
"At least 170 million people - and perhaps as many as 360 million - have been murdered by their own governments
in this century. This is more than four times the 42 million deaths from civil and international wars. When a state murders
some of the general population, it is called democide; when it murders minorities, the term is genocide. Thus genocide is
one type of democide. Democide is employed to intimidate, demoralize or subjugate and to maintain power."
If all life has value and each person possesses identical worth, why do citizens tolerate public measures
to protect the class of parasites that form the ranks of government? No doubt those officials claim a special position, and
view their role superior to ours. That's easiest enough to understand. But when the typical citizen consistently relinquishes
their natural rights and offers up their basic freedoms, we must question if the American people deserves respect. LIBERTY
is far more important than specious domestic security.
Ever wonder the kind of response we would see if bureaucrats and politicians became the preferred targets
for further salvos? Subconsciously the beltway crowd know, that their systemic betrayal can make them the prey of choice,
by the next lunatic. The most corrupt among them are even willing to risk sacrificing up some of their own, if it furthers
the reach of government power and concentration. Eating their own young, is an option. Can we reasonably conclude that the
sniper is the only deranged person? Protect and cherish all life. Retain and defend you natural rights not only from HOMICIDE
MURDERERS, but from those in your own government, who protect themselves, at the expense of your Liberty. Now you know
what the War on Terror is all about.
SARTRE - October 17, 2002