Tyler Brehm, 26, walks toward the intersection of Sunset and Vine where Gabby Grussi is turning into the McDonalds Parking Lot. They’ve never met. He taps three times on her car with a .40 caliber handgun and walks on. She has been spared.
She goes about her business (!) then hears shots behind her.
Firing, at first into the air, the gunman turns his attention to passing drivers, apparently picking them out randomly , one at a time, to aim before firing. Like he wants to kill them.
Brehm shoots, strides away and shoots again. An amateur videographer, “by chance” recording at that moment on a nearby roof, hears the shots and captures some of the shooting and some of the cars speeding away. Another gets a closer view, filming out his apartment window.
Approaching the last hour of his life with a swagger, the 26-year-old hits some and misses others, leaving bullet holes and wounded, attracting sirens. First off-duty police, then squad cars, then ambulances. Well-financed Hollywood versions.
All witnesses expect a long list of murder victims but there is only a single fatality.
Tyler does not provide much of a stand-off with police. Challenged to drop his weapon, he decides, instead, to raise it at the officers and quickly becomes the only entry in the death toll. His corpse, quite lifeless, continues to bleed, lying on the street as the crime scene investigative unit surrounds the area with yellow tape and then marks the location of each spent shell.
And the press arrives.
The KTLA channel 5 reporter on the scene begins his report by calling the event a “RAMPAGE” and concludes it by asking,
…and why did he go on this shooting rampage??”
Despite the testimony of a witness claiming, prominently on camera, to have heard the gunman shouting “Allahu Akbar!” all mainstream media omit that account from their reports. That’s on Saturday. Next day they offer some alternative postmortem analyses.
- Brehm had a breakup with his longtime girlfriend four days prior.
- She says he “was a really good person” but had been “stressed.”
- He’d been taking unknown drugs.
The breakup… the drugs… the shooting.
Cut and Wrap.
So now, here again, neatly packaged as 6 o’clock news, we have a costly object lesson for the obstinate. He that hath ears to hear let him hear.
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned*
Terrorism is a fact of life in post-Christian America.
Major terrorist attacks have more than tripled since the invasion of Iraq.
The “Lord” may be petitioned in the day of battle, we are told, but victory depends on having a good horse! We are big, rich, and powerful. We won’t put up with it. We will track down our enemies and make their blood flow. This is the meaning of “American Exceptionalism” we are told. We are better than the rest of the world. It flows from our competitive attitude, our pride; that combative willingness to fight any foe. The eye of the tiger. It is a surge of patriotic pride watching news footage of strong young men in Desert Camo standing in front of matching M1A1 Abrams tanks. It is our rage as they are repeatedly murdered by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and our indifference to the collateral damage of our efforts. It is, we are being told, the essence of “conservative foreign policy” (but by men who, in any other sphere, fail every measure of conservatism).
Breakfast where the news is read
Television children fed
Bullet strikes the helmet’s head.†
Terrorist acts are nonmilitary by definition.
While terrorist acts by foreign governments can (and should) be responded to by declarations of war and the meting out of overwhelming force, and terrorist acts by identifiable groups can (and should) be responded to by letters of Marque and Reprisal, as recommended by Thomas Jefferson and Ron Paul, acts of terror by individuals cannot be recompensed by armies as a matter of sheer practicality. It would be the same as seeking vengeance for a bee sting by hunting the bee through a school picnic with a loaded shotgun. It is not a matter of whether or not it is “morally right.” It is sheer idiocy.
Terrorism is what noncombatants do because they can’t win militarily.
The only way an army can stop private terrorism in an Islamic state is to occupy the streets of that nation, disarm their populace and purchase spies. It is to break their will by imposing a Police State. We announced our departure from Iraq after the insistent urging of their government.
The only way the army can effectively prevent domestic terrorism like that of Tyler Brehm in the streets of America, is to put a military presence in the streets, disarm the people, and tap the phone lines. It is by becoming a Police State.
Nine days before the Brehm shooting, Carl Levin, John McCain, and their other allies on the left, bolstered by Giuliani/Romney activist Andrew C. McCarthy at the formerly conservative National Review, attempted to give Barack Obama the power to remove any American’s constitutionally guaranteed Rights without due process, by accusation alone. Quite literally empowering a Police State. That’s what McCain/Levin’s s.1867 begins to erect.
Their justification was that “we” are “at war,” not with the corpse of Tyler Brehm, as the cameras found him Saturday, in the intersection by the “Sunset and Vine” McDonald’s, but with the actions he had taken without warning; his apparent sudden, unannounced, unprovoked shootings. Terrorism.
We are “at war” with this kind of, um “stuff” they tell us.
Just as we are/were “at war” with the stuff Lee Malvo and John Muhammad did.. back in 2002… at their sole discretion… for three weeks… all around the beltway… for “Allah”… until law enforcement tracked them down. Their methodology was not known until the car was impounded by police. They shot their victims with a rifle aimed and fired through two holes neatly drilled in a car’s trunk. They killed victims without warning in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.
It was police investigators that followed leads to a liquor store robbery/murder in Alabama and traced fingerprints on a magazine dropped at that crime scene to Lee Malvo because, as a legal immigrant, he had prints on file with the INS. It was Police investigation that traced Malvo’s steps to his year-long residence, with Muhammad, in Tacoma, Washington and that led them to Muhammad’s purchase of a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice in new Jersey (on the first anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks on the World Trade Center). A Police/public lookout turned up the car in a Maryland rest area and upon the arrest by police of the two men, without any further killing. The impounded car disclosed the sniper methodology.
That is the proper and legal operation of domestic police.
Let’s contrast that with the use, instead, of the military under McCain/Levin/McCarthy’s “new paradigm” war on terror.
American soldiers are not trained in, and don’t undertake investigations. They kill people and break things. And they do it really well. Had someone authoritatively pointed to John Muhammad’s blue Chevrolet and said, “that’s the terrorists” they would have been really good at destroying that car and the terrorists inside it, without further ado, or the time-consuming inconvenience of collecting evidence, reading the “enemy” his rights, arrests, trials, etc.
But what to do with terrorists once you’ve found them is not the problem. It’s how to find them. And nothing works better for that than a good police investigation. That’s what THEY do. It is the process of collecting evidence, in fact, that led them to the Beltway snipers in the first place. Doing away with the necessity of collecting and compiling evidence would not streamline the process of identifying terrorists, but it would make it much easier to blow up people who are NOT terrorists.
The McCain/Levin portions of s.1867 authorize Barack Obama, or any other President, to point at ANY blue car and tell the military “that’s the terrorists.”
But how would that have stopped Muhammad and Malvo? Soldiers couldn’t just blow up any car. It would have generated complaints. To find out who was doing the shooting, would have required thousands of soldiers swarming all over the Beltway area from Virginia to Maryland and all over DC. Armed and on the streets, waiting. For what? To hear the sound of gunfire. To capture the beltway snipers they would have had to have been on the scene, hear the gunfire, see the victim drop, ascertain that the gunfire was coming out of a little hole drilled in the back of a blue sedan. (How? A bit of smoke rising from the back of a car?) Then they could have blown it to smithereens. But another innocent victim would have had to be the sacrifice for this to succeed.
Wouldn’t any self-respecting terrorist simply wait until soldiers weren’t looking?
How many soldiers would have been necessary to spread out, lining the streets of Maryland and Virginia and Washington DC to have any faint hope of catching terrorists? And why wouldn’t anti-US terrorists just shoot a soldier?
How many American servicemen have died in just such a sitting-duck operation?
And how would the Army have prevented Tyler Brehm from shooting at Sunset and Vine? By noticing that he broke up with his girlfriend on Facebook?
*William Butler Yeats
† ©1991 Doors Music, Inc