Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 21, 2012

Aurora

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on July 21, 2012
I’ve wandered lone
for longest hour
to ask the eyes with no reply
is just as sour

I see the still
and feel the chill
please understand the light
has left me quiet tonight

Aurora
Save me from the fallen shadows
Pull me out of my dream
Aurora
Wade me through the phantom shallows
Shelter me from the screams

you hear me call
and shine your eyes
blind my heart, linger inside
beneath your skies

an ancient sense
reveals your charm
such a delicate grace
of embrace within your arms

Aurora
Save me from the fallen shadows
Pull me out of my dream
Aurora
Wade me through the phantom shallows
Shelter me from the screams

Shelter me from the screams
That I see in my dreams
Shelter me from the pain
Appear to me in my dreams

Aurora
Save me from the fallen shadows
Pull me out of my dream
Aurora
Wade me through the phantom shallows
Shelter me from the screams
The scream
The scream

By The Sexual Side Effects (December 2011) 

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4 Comments »

Comment by Michael Brady

July 21, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

Thank you Philip.

When prose fails there is always poetry.

I am no poet so I am stuck with words…

Some initial impressions of the Batman Massacre.

When James Holmes’ mother was approached by reporters early Friday morning her initial unguarded comment, “You have the right person,” suggests the family knew he was troubled in some way. We won’t know for some time but, like Jared Loughner, Holmes is of an age when schizophrenia frequently takes profound hold.

Why there, why now? An unnamed source said the the Holmes described himself as “The Joker” after his apprehension. We need not blame any one movie though. When it comes to ideation there is no shortage of historical, social, and media cues. It would be hard to count the number of “faceless, black-clad tactical officers” featured in films and TV. Glocks and Remington 870s are traditional weapons of law enforcement, both on TV and in the real world. The AR-15 is this generation’s idea of the rifle and standard kit for American police and the US military on the news and in the movies. Ludicrous amounts of firepower wielded by heavily armored bad guys was on display at the North Hollywood shootout and in action pictures like “Heat.”

The scene at Holmes’ apartment is chilling. The mad bomber who sets booby traps in his home is straight out of “Speed.” Cleverly-crafted, homemade bombs were Theodore Kaczynski’s calling cards. The use of a bombing primarily as a distraction was arguably Anders Breivik’s intention. One hopes the bomb squad can safe the scene and then collect the evidence needed to help authorities better understand Holmes’ intentions, or at least the depths of his illness.

Does art imitate life or vice versa? We sit in movie theaters and in front of our giant flat screens watching our heroes and villains dish out and absorb impossible amounts of violence and mayhem. We pull the trigger on nests of aliens, invading armies, and hoards of zombies in ever more realistic “first person shooter” video games. We do these things to entertain and distract ourselves. In this horrible case Holmes’ seems to have been impressed by many of these action entertainment tropes, enough so that he spent thousands of dollars on real arms and equipment in the last couple months.

Unlike cases of massacre followed by suicide, Holmes is alive, which may permit a clinical diagnosis. But even if the etiology of Holmes’ rampage comes to be completely understood there will be little comfort for the victims, their friends and family, the community, and my peers in the security profession. The idea that a bright young man descended into madness, hatched a horrible scheme, acquired a powerful arsenal, and perpetrated a vicious attack on his neighbors will remain a tremendous tragedy and a sad legacy for us all.

There are reflexive calls for more gun control, without any serious consideration for how such an idea might be implemented in the real world. On the other extreme there is a newer voice, that from proponents of the “Shall Issue” citizen concealed carry movement, for even more guns in more Americans’ pockets, just in case something like this happens. One hopes there will be time for us to consider how to prevent these communal horrors while protecting our threatened sense of American individualism. For now, perhaps we can all agree that the world would be a better place if James Holmes had not been able to acquire the weapons he used to cut down his neighbors Friday morning.

http://eclecticbreakfast.blogspot.com/2012/07/you-have-right-person.html

Comment by John Comiskey

July 21, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

My thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.

Michael,

You’re the Forest Gump of the Aurora-descriptors. I say that as a compliment in that Forest had a way of being human and just describing his environs.

IMHO, James Holmes should not have had access to an arsenal. Society could have and should have prevented Holmes easy access to automatic weaponry at a minimum. This would not have prevented the attack; it might have decreased the severity. Public safety first. Right to bear arms in not absolute and is second to public safety.

IMHO, this is not terrorism. This is a public safety and mental health issue. If you see something say something includes identifying people with certain mental health issues. Again, public safety first.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

July 22, 2012 @ 4:23 am

Michael and John, Today, Sunday, it has been one year since Anders Breivik killed 77 in Norway. Breivik had an explicit political purpose, which in my book (and most law books) made his massacre an act of terrorism. Norwegian courts have not yet ruled on Breivik’s sanity.

James Holmes was not as efficiently deadly as Breivik, but his plotting and costuming are reminiscent. As far as we know he had no political purpose. Sounds like Holmes recently lost touch with what I understand to be real.

From a homeland security perspective: we are horrified by lone wolves, but beyond immediate range we are not “terrorized” by them. In contrast, when we perceive such behavior is part of a wolf pack (no matter how small) our social/political response is considerably amplified… and in my judgment, becomes much more erratic. Which is often precisely the goal of the wolf pack.

Comment by Michael Brady

July 26, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

John

You’re the Forest Gump of the Aurora-descriptors. I say that as a compliment in that Forest had a way of being human and just describing his environs.

I’ve been called many things in the course of my professional and personal life, but “Forest Gump” is something new. Thanks…I think.

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