Friday, June 01, 2012

Guest Post by RickVid in Seattle

Recently our gracious hostess had a run-in with innate fragility and mortality in the unexpected death of her neighbor, John. Here one day, gone the next. I, too, have experienced that with a well liked co-worker who dropped dead playing his regular Thursday night basketball game. What is there to say? Stop playing basketball or getting herbal massages? Nobody would suggest such nonsense. Still, how do we assess and what do we do now?

Just a few days ago, as I came home from visiting a client’s site, I heard helicopters in the area of my home, and saw police cars prowling around. You all heard about it – a mass killing at Café Racer in Seattle’s Roosevelt district. A nut job who had been 86’d from the Café a few times walked in and just started shooting people. One guy fought back and is credited with saving at least three people. The shooter ran off and later murdered a woman while carjacking her. Witnesses say he just grabbed her in the parking lot, started beating and kicking her, then shot her. Four of the five victims at the Café have died.

Here one day, gone the next. Damn.

Café Racer is in my area. I have never been there but driven by many dozens of times over the years as it is a block away from a favored pub. I did not know any of the victims, though I had heard of the band/circus (really!) to which two of them belonged, “God’s Favorite Beefcake.” An aspiring actress, an urban planner, a mother of two. And the killer who shot himself. His family said they were afraid something like this might happen. Oh, really?

Many of the usual suspects, of course, are trying to massively retaliate against the totally innocent by demanding that the State allow the City to pass more restrictive gun laws than the State has. The Mayor repeated the lies about black market guns (not applicable in this case) being primarily bought through the “gun show loophole” and that we have to “do something!” Typical pol – they have to “do” something to look like leaders. Expectable of them to take utterly irrelevant actions that would not have prevented this atrocity, targeting those who had nothing to do with it, and who would obey the law unlike the criminals who, duh!, do not obey the law.

The radio waves have been full of questions – how did this nut case get a legally purchased gun? Why was he not getting mental help? Where was his family? How can we prevent this sort of thing? Good questions, all; not many good answers. We contemplate these questions in the wake of tragedy and atrocity, but the event grows fainter and dissipates. The flowers and teddy bears and instruments and other memorial items in the photo I took will be taken away. The Café will re-open and people will come back and will hold celebrations of the lives of Drew, Joe, Kimberly, Donald, and Gloria. Then the memories will fade and normalcy return.

But, every time I go past, and soon, to, Café Racer, I will recall those questions. Who knows, maybe over a cup of Seattle’s Best Coffee or a half liter of Salvator, I may come up with an answer or two.

~Rickvid in Seattle

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