Jun. 2nd, 2010 06:58 pm
paraxeni: (tree sky)
[personal profile] paraxeni
 A man, Derrick Bird, has gone on a killing spree in Cumbria, killed 12 people and shot 25 others.

I feel ill, shocked and sad.  Not only because I've spent a lot of time in that area (frequent holiday destination as a kid) but because my community has a similar make-up - semi-rural, high unemployment, poverty and depression, and a lot of shotgun owners.   It has a twin history of economic deprivation, isolation and flat-out bad luck.   It's literally, and metaphorically close to home.  In my community 12 dead and 25 injured would mean no family was unaffected, it would cause chaos in terms of unprepared emergency services and support staff, as well as the gaps left behind.

My heart goes out to all affected in Cumbria (and further afield) today, I am truly sorry for your losses and the pain and devastation that's occurred.  I'm sad that one man felt so angry at the world, for whatever reason, that he took a rifle and a shotgun and killed and wounded people at random, and that he took his own life, so we'll probably never know why.  Apparently he was a 'nice, normal bloke', they always are, aren't they?

I try to find a tiny kernel of good, of hope, in even the worst situations, but this is so horrific and tragic that I wish it wasn't real.  It's a beautiful day outside, birds are singing and it's half-term so kids are playing outside everywhere, and to think that not so far away from here (would take us about an hour and a half to get there), this beautiful day has turned into something so wrong, is just surreal.  We were going to go to the same area in the next couple of weeks, when Lisa has some time off, it seems funny going from one set of green countryside to another, but the scenery up there is beautiful, and I have happy memories of the place.  I think we need to rethink that now, it wouldn't seem right.

Date: 2010-06-02 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
12? Shit. It was "more than 5" when I left work, bloody hell.

Date: 2010-06-02 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know, I originally saw "shot a cyclist dead" and then popped onto reddit for a while, and there it was. It's a tragic state of affairs when someone feels that's the only choice they have left, for whatever reason.

I remember Hungerford, I remember Dunblane, and it's always some quiet guy from a rural area who just snaps, and starts firing almost at random, they all seem to follow the same narrative, it's almost spooky.

Date: 2010-06-02 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It certainly brings back Dunblane for me, being only 50 miles away so i know sort of how you feel.

Date: 2010-06-02 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember I'd skived off college the day of Dunblane, and was at my friend's house. We honestly thought it was a joke when we saw it, because at 17 we couldn't envisage someone actually doing that.

I can only hope that certain tabloid publications don't do to today's community of victims what they did to those in Dunblane, using it as a disgusting excuse for sensationalist muckraking.

Date: 2010-06-02 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Reading what people have to say about him, it's bewildering. But like you said, it's the same narrative.

Date: 2010-06-02 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've just seen that on the news. :(

Date: 2010-06-02 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I couldn't bring myself to watch the news, because even the Beeb webpage on it made me cry, it was just instinctive revulsion and horror. Mother Toad said the tv footage was heartbreaking so I thought it best not to watch.

Date: 2010-06-03 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was pretty bad.

Date: 2010-06-02 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so sorry. Crime like this in the states is fairly common and I know how awful it is to a community.

Date: 2010-06-02 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's a terrible thing, like I said to Maddy above, that anyone feels that's their only recourse left. He was obviously broken by something, and I think if someone has been depersonalised by some awful event, or by the system, that they shut off and stop viewing everyone else as humans too.

It's lose/lose isn't it, really?

More info on him here:

I wonder if we'll ever know what was going on.

Date: 2010-06-02 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you for the link as I hadn't googled it yet and don't have a t.v. to watch CNN. Dear God, by all accounts he seemed like such a wonderful and well liked man. "Funny, popular and a laugh. A new Grandfather" Not one negative word about him. For most of the Americans that snap and go on shooting sprees, they have really troubled pasts and people who know them often aren't surprised. I think your summary of being broken and depersonalizing people is accurate.

What a horrible impact on that community and they all have my thoughts and prayers. I live so rurally that he would have killed and/or shot each neighbor I have within a good thirty miles in any direction.

Take good care of yourself. &hearts


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