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#138482 - 07/02/08 08:37 PM Is this the right reaction or an example of panic?
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
I've been reading a bit about the murders in the Rock Falls area of Illinois and in Missouri, as well as the arrest of the suspected killer. I also read about the cancelling of summer school classes and Little League games in the area. It seems to me that this could be the wrong reaction. See: http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2008/07/02/news/local/doc486b0da9451fb470486840.txt?sPos=1

In areas where the neighbors are out and about and looking out for each other, the people are usually safer and more secure. When people sit inside, lock their doors and stop looking out for each other, when they isolate themselves, often they become less secure as a community. In this case, the suspect was caught because a person decided to go out for dinner and recognized the person who was wanted. If they had sat at home, the suspect could still be on the loose.

Is the cancelling of the games and schools a case of panic? Is it also a case of the people who are in charge of these activities trying to do some CYA, so they are not blamed or sued for anything? Are these kind of reactions likely to make people less secure? I don't have answers, but it seems to me as that these things are worth thinking about.

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#138483 - 07/02/08 08:42 PM Re: Is this the right reaction or an example of panic? [Re: Dan_McI]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3575
Loc: TX
Quote:
Is the cancelling of the games and schools a case of panic? Is it also a case of the people who are in charge of these activities trying to do some CYA, so they are not blamed or sued for anything? Are these kind of reactions likely to make people less secure?


Yes, yes, and yes.

It's hard for many people to beat fear.

-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
Ham Radio: KI5BOG
I STILL miss OBG.

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#138492 - 07/02/08 10:20 PM Re: Is this the right reaction or an example of panic? [Re: Blast]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
I'm not sure it boils down to fear, maybe a small town reaction to a random and senseless tragedy. 8 deaths in a week, young, old and in between, that's alot, and creates a lot of uncertainty - if there's no pattern to who's being targetted it creates risk for people assembling people. The killings appear to be fairly random, so a school administrator or little league coach has to ask does it make any sense to expose 70 kids to risk of getting off the bus alone after school, walking home from a ballgame etc. It sounds too like the suspected killer had been a suspect for a while, it was a matter of locating him, and they had 70 officers looking in a place of just 25,000 people. And I'm not sure this situation resulted in fewer eyeballs on the street. Just because people aren't in summer school or playing baseball doesn't mean they aren't out on the streets. If this is anything like the smalltown I'm familiar with, there might have been just as many out with pitchforks and torches if they had a description. Anyway, strange situation, and really too bad for the victims here.

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#138521 - 07/03/08 03:46 AM Re: Is this the right reaction or an example of panic? [Re: Lono]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
canceling classes and games gives more power to those who would disrupt the society. Paranoia, fear and splitting of the culture is the purpose and method of terror.

People looking out for each other, coming together and carrying on would be, IMO, the proper response and counter to this sort of threat.

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#138540 - 07/03/08 11:55 AM Re: Is this the right reaction or an example of panic? [Re: Art_in_FL]
BillLiptak Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 259
+1 to what Blast and Art in Fla has said. When we disrupt our natural flow of life we lose. In a sense, the terrorist actions of 9/11 have won. We have as of yet to rebuild the towers, something we as a country should have done as soon as the rubble cleared IMHO. We have to deal with harassment boarding planes, inconviencing ourself just to fly. The list goes on. When something of this nature happens the best course of action, again my opinion, is to just keep on living life as if nothing has changed, with the exception of being more vigilant and observant. And being ready to bring down the wrath of the justified with exteme "enthuiasm".

-Bill Liptak

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#138542 - 07/03/08 12:20 PM Re: Is this the right reaction or an example of panic? [Re: Dan_McI]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2155
Loc: Bucks County PA
Absolutely panic - and bad in general. Many eyes can watch more than few.

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#138555 - 07/03/08 01:57 PM Re: Is this the right reaction or an example of panic? [Re: BillLiptak]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Yup. The best you can do is the best you can do. Crawl into a cave to hide, and the bad guys have won. So you venture out into the world, taking all possible precautions to ensure the safety of you and yours. Bad things can still happen, but the alternative is grim...
_________________________
OBG

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#138585 - 07/03/08 06:20 PM Re: Is this the right reaction or an example of panic? [Re: MartinFocazio]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Well, I can tell I'm in the minority on this one but I think you haven't really considered the situation fully to understand if by cancelling little league and summer school they had panicked or were afraid. Arguing by analogy doesn't work in this situation - how do the eyes of 70 students or a few dozen little leaguers improve the odds of finding a murder suspect? My point was, the 8 murders that occurred were done on unsuspecting people, out and about like any other day. In a community of ~25,000, that makes just about anyone the next likely suspect (albeit 4 of the dead were subsequently found to be known to the alleged killer, and apparently that gave the cops the suspect and description that eventually nailed the guy). Eight murders strung out along I-70 headed west would give you one indication that the killer is moving away, but these were recent kills in a fairly small locale. You don't gain anything by staying indoors and cowering, the killer might pick your house and attack you as you open the door - but you certainly don't gain anything by sending your kids off to play baseball or school, business as usual, and possibly put them in a public situation that the killer would exploit. I can't say either way, but maybe the little league ball games would be cancelled anyway for lack of players, held home by parents until the killer was caught?

I don't know where you all live, but eight dead by one hand within a couple zip codes in a week is alot of dead folks. 'Doing business as usual' is what got about 50 prostitutes killed by the Green River Killer a few years back. Brave whores, not to cower in the safety of their homes... I digress.

Everyone want to argue by analogy, let me try, change the scenario just a bit - bird flu has crossed over to humans and the first 16 victims are found dead in their beds within a week about 15 miles outside of St Louis. CDC can't say if they've localized the outbreak, probably not. Are all us brave Equipped folks going to be secluding ourselves in our homes with our stockpiles of Tamiflu and MREs, trying to avoid the coming plague, or will we be be out doing business as usual, congretating in public places? Would we be more fearful, would we be panicking, or are we just trying to cut the odds of dying?

This brings to mind a road trip from my youth, we were RV'ing our way through California in the early 70s and tracking in the papers the latest attacks of someone dubbed The Sickle Killer, who attacked unsuspecting campers with a sickle at nearby camps (slashing through tents, very graphic stuff). He took a while to catch, and hurt a bunch of people. We were near enough and in approximate camping mode to pay careful attention to his path - was that panic, or fear? I don't recall my Dad changed our itinerary at all. As kids we ate up the stories and kept our eyes open for a guy walking around with farm implements.

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#138603 - 07/03/08 10:06 PM Re: Is this the right reaction or an example of panic? [Re: Lono]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
"'Doing business as usual' is what got about 50 prostitutes killed by the Green River Killer a few years back."

While the 'Green River Killer' was an egregious case the fact is that prostitutes, run aways and the homeless are disproportionately victims of violence. Hookers get, no pun intended, coming and going. They are marginalized and kept from forming a collective defense for fear of becoming targets of law enforcement. They are forced into the dark corners of society and are seldom protected by society. For a very long time Gary Leon Ridgway, the Green River Killer, was able to do his deeds because very few people cared enough to allocate the resources to stop him.

Also, the choice is not between a labile acceptance of murder and carrying on entirely as usual or being armed to the teeth and cloistered in a fortified home. People, particularly children, can be taught to travel in groups. The green river killer didn't attack women in groups. A few police have speculated that if women jogged in groups of three, possibly nominally armed with pepper spray and cell phones, the number of attacks on joggers would plummet. Numbers, a nominal defense, and the ability to call for help quickly levels the playing field.

There is a lot of room for action and options between head-in-the-sand acceptance and living like your living in a war zone surrounded by vicious enemies.

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#138624 - 07/04/08 04:01 AM Re: Is this the right reaction or an example of panic? [Re: Art_in_FL]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
I don't think hiding at home changes the odds much with a killer like this. Even if all the murders had been totally random, how would it really change the odds if you decided to hide at home versus going to your normal places? What piqued his attention with his victims? That they made eye contact? Avoided eye contact? The color of the victim's clothes? That they had a dog under 10 pounds? The color of their front door? That they had roses growing in their yard?

You just can't anticipate what catches the attention of this kind of person. They don't think like normal people.

It would be silly to cower at home, just to find out that all a killer's victims had a small mole on their left arm.

You just can't anticipate whackos.

Sue

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