October 5, 2002

DEAN has lots of information on the DC/Maryland shootings. He thinks it’s domestic terrorism, or simple fruitcakeness, and has a police radio intercept looking for a white male named Robert Baker, said to be a cocaine user armed with a scoped hunting rifle, as evidence.

UPDATE: Jim Henley has more too.

ANOTHER UPDATE: William Burton agrees with Armed Liberal’s take on what a proliferation of incidents like this might mean:

We have two ‘success’ stories in dealing with terrorism this go-round. Flight 93 and LAX. I’m not suggesting that we arm passengers with handguns (although I do think we’re crazy not to have immediately allowed pilots to have them). I am suggesting that the only form of defense that is likely to work while there the bodies are still breathing is to involve every one of us as an thoughtful, active observer of our environment, and someone who is willing to act appropriately when it is called for.

In some cases, that will involve larger numbers of people with guns.

They can be officers, standing on streetcorners, costing us tax dollars, and nosing deeper and deeper into our lives, or they can be citizens. Our pilot. The ticket agent. Our neighbors.

Some of then will screw up. Some of them will do bad things.

But the reality is that they screw up and do bad things right now. And as far as I can tell from other folks’ experience, it doesn’t get better as you try and take the guns away.

And it doesn’t get worse as you let people have them, either.

I think he’s right, though fortunately we’re not yet at the point of having to defend against that many dispersed attacks. Are we?

UPDATE: Gary Hudson replies to my comments just above:

“I think he’s right, though fortunately we’re not yet at the point of having to defend against that many dispersed attacks. Are we?”

Sure we are Glenn, it’s called crime. Happens everyday.

Terrorism doesn’t leave ordinary folk any less dead than a street mugging or a “stop and rob” store holdup. Everyone has the right to self defense, with or without the State validating that right. Encouraging and promoting the widespread use of arms will have benefits beyond any minor impact on the War of Terrorism. It would mean a safer and freer society.

Fair enough.

UPDATE: Justin Katz isn’t persuaded by the “homegrown terrorist” arguments. And reader David Darlington writes:

Anyway, something I’ve been wondering: did the DC police ever catch the blowdart sniper from earlier this year? It seems this guy or guys have the same M.O. as the blowdart sniper, but a much more powerful weapon. He’s shooting at random people from consealed locations. Maybe the blowdart sniper and Maryland rifle shooter are related.

Beats me. Anyone else know?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Vegard Valberg says this looks like a scenario he pointed out last summer.

STILL MORE: Now they’re reportedly on the lookout for two “hispanic” looking men” — is it just me, or are they trying awfully hard to avoid any reference to anyone looking middle-eastern here?

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