Reviewing the last week or two in the news:
"A man suspected in an attempted bombing at a Denver-area shopping mall was arrested in nearby Boulder on Tuesday.
"Earl Albert Moore, 65, a former convict with an extensive criminal record, was captured at a grocery store six days after authorities found a pipe bomb and two propane tanks while extinguishing a small fire in the food court at the Southwest Plaza mall in Littleton...."
(April 27, 2011, Los Angeles Times)
"...Moore, who is considered dangerous, was released from federal prison April 13 after serving time for his conviction in the May 2005 robbery of a West Virginia bank, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Federal court records show that Moore pleaded guilty to robbing the bank in Crab Orchard, W.Va., of $2,546.
"A judge sentenced Moore to between 15 and 19 years in prison, but a federal appeals court in 2006 ruled his stiff sentence was 'unreasonable' and Moore's sentence was reduced to seven years...."
(April 25, 2011, FoxNews.com)
"...Federal law enforcement officials have called the planned mall bombing an act of 'domestic terrorism.'..."
(April 25, 2011, Fox 31 (Denver))
"A busy shopping mall near Columbine High School was evacuated on Wednesday after authorities responding to a small fire at the retail complex found two propane tanks and a pipe bomb, officials said.
"Twelve years to the day after two Columbine High School students shot dead a teacher, 12 students and themselves on April 20, 1999, the devices were discovered at Southwest Plaza Mall, about a mile from Columbine...."
(April 21, 2011, Reuters)
Nobody Got Hurt - This TimeI'm sincerely glad that Earl Albert Moore, who apparently planted that bomb, has been caught. I'm also sincerely glad that nobody got hurt or killed. And I hope - very sincerely - that the American judicial system will decide to restrain Mr. Moore for a very, very long time.
Assuming that he actually did plant the bomb - and DNA evidence points that way (CBS News) - I don't think it's particularly safe to let Mr. Moore run around loose.
So, does this prove that:
- Retirement-age men are terrorists?
- Shopping malls encourage terrorism?
- And therefore should be banned?
- American judges are nitwits?
On the other hand, all three points are (slightly) true.
#1 Retirement-age men are terrorists?No, not all men in their mid-60s are plotting to kill people. On the other hand, it doesn't look like all terrorists are poverty-stricken teenagers and twenty-somethings. Osama bin Laden is a case in point.
#2 Shopping malls encourage terrorism?In a way, the folks who say that New York City was asking for it, having a World Trade Center, have a point. America is a large, prosperous country: one which folks are trying to break into, not the other way around. That makes the high-profile examples of our economy and society prime targets for folks who can't stand the thought of anybody not in lockstep conformity with some impractical set of preferences.
That doesn't mean that I think America is the cause of all the world's ills. I've gone over this sort of thing before:
- "Genocide! Racism! Down With Columbus Day!!"
(April 8, 2009)
#3 American judges are nitwits?Let's remember that it was an American court that sentenced Mr. Moore to "between 15 and 19 years in prison." And some dude in a federal appeals court who made the April 20, 2011, attempted bombing possible.
Not all American judges are nitwits, in my opinion. But some are: again, in my opinion. I think a more charitable explanation might be that many of America's judges honestly, sincerely, believe in an ideology that looks good on paper - but has very little applicability in the real world. And that's another topic.
I do think it's interesting that Mr. Moore had been out of prison for one week, when he apparently tried to kill people at that Colorado Mall. His release date, as given in the news, was April 13 ,2011. The attempted bombing happened on April 20, 2011.
Terrorism and Having a Mean StreakI haven't run into speculation about why Mr. Moore may have planted that bomb.
It might, maybe, have been because he rejects the capitalistic warmonger policies of the white male authoritarian power structure in Amerika. I doubt that very much: but it is, based on what little I've read, possible.
Maybe Mr. Moore liked it in prison, and wants to go back. Again, it's possible. Likely? I don't know.
Or maybe Mr. Moore simply doesn't like people who didn't rob banks and get sent to prison. From some points of view, it isn't 'fair' that all those folks in the mall were free when he was in prison.
Or maybe Mr. Moore was bored, and wanted something to do that day. That, I think, is quite unlikely.
What to do With Folks Like Mr. MooreQuite a few folks say that anybody who robs a bank, or kills someone, or commits a serious crime, should be killed. From an emotional point of view, I think I understand that desire. I also think that 'feeling like killing someone' isn't a good reason for killing someone.
I also think that America is a very wealthy country. Folks who can spend what we do on Super Bowl advertising can afford, I think, to restrain the Mr. Moores among us.
Finally, I - do - not - trust - the American judiciary to make life-and-death decisions. When the United States Supreme Court can raise someone from the dead - maybe I'll change my mind.
I've discussed capital punishment (and thinking with one's endocrine system), mostly in another blog:
- "Illinois Judges Lose Their License to Kill"
A Catholic Citizen in America (March 11, 2011)
- "Killing the Boss's Flunky, Life Issues, and the Vatican"
A Catholic Citizen in America (October 27, 2010)
- "Emotions, the Frontal Cortex, The War on Terror, Anarchists, and the Illuminati"
(December 23, 2008)
- "American Terrorists and Getting a Grip"
(February 10, 2011)
- "Terrorists, America, and Generalizations"
(July 28, 2009)
- "Right-Wing Extremists Really Are Terrorists, Sometimes"
(June 6, 2009)
- "Department of Homeland Security No Longer Fears American Veterans?"
(May 14, 2009)
- "Fear of Right-Wing Extremism: Commie-Hunting in Reverse"
A Catholic Citizen in America (April 19, 2009)
- "DNA evidence led to Colorado mall bomb suspect"
CBS News (April 27, 2011)
- "Police arrest suspect in bombing attempt at Colorado mall"
Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times (April 26, 2011)
- "Nationwide Manhunt Under Way for Suspect in Colorado Mall Bombing Attempt"
FoxNews.com (April 25, 2011)
- "Southwest Plaza mall bombing suspect still at-large"
Fox 31 (Denver) (April 25, 2011)
- "Homemade bomb found at mall near Columbine high"
Keith Coffman, Edition: U.S., Reuters (April 21, 2011)
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