Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rage Is Ageless

An 88-year-old gunman walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC today.

Yes … an 88-year-old guy with a loaded rifle!

He went from blasting Jews and African-Americans with words on his white supremacist web site to blasting people with bullets and the intent to kill. He did kill a security guard before being shot and seriously injured by other security guards.

On one hand, this guy is a delusional paranoid whack job. On the other hand, he is a high-IQ Mensa member and a decorated World War II PT boat captain.

Ironic. Contradictory. Scary.

This wasn’t the first time he entered a D.C. building with a gun. He did jail time in the 1980s after he entered the Federal Reserve Board with a handgun and a rifle, took a security guard hostage and tried to see the Fed chairman. He surrendered the guns that time without firing a shot.

Some observations about age, rage and brain power:
- Don’t assume an old guy can’t be dangerous
- Don’t underestimate the power of blind hate fueled by despair
- Don’t assume a statistically intelligent person is smart

To quote their website, “the United States Holocaust Museum inspires leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy.”

Although our democracy allows someone like this to publish his hatred in print and online, it does not allow him to kill in the name of his misguided beliefs.

Although I believe in the worth and dignity of every human, I’m not sure I believe this individual deserves the dignity of a trial.

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