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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Well, Something Was On Fire, Anyway

I really didn't want to wade into the sewage of some so-called Christians selfishly blaming atheists for the tragic and sad Colorado shootings by an obviously mentally ill individual...

I live in Arvada, Colorado, and for many years I attended the church associated with the YWAM shooting on Sunday. Earlier this year I befriended two of the young men going through the training program there, one from New Zealand and the other from England. I am numb with sorrow, and my prayers go up for the families of the victims.

The media is reporting that Matthew Murray posted the following on the web: ”I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. …God, I can’t wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you … as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”

Look at the last part of that quote closely. One wonders if Murray has been reading Dawkins or Dennett. By blaming the world’s ills on religious people do Dawkins and Dennett incite to hatred and make it more likely that tragedies of this sort can occur? I don’t know, but it is an interesting question.
-BarryA, Uncommon Descent

...but this just broke at the Star Tribune:

Guard Who Shot Colorado Gunman Had Been Fired From Minneapolis Police.

For lying.

The security guard credited with bravery for shooting a gunman at a Colorado church was fired from her job as a Minneapolis police officer in the 1990s for lying, Minneapolis police officials said today.

Investigators in Colorado said Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security guard at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, shot 24-year-old Matthew Murray when he entered the church on Sunday and began firing. Murray killed two sisters - Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16 - before he was stopped.

Authorities said Murray may have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but police and church leaders credited Assam for her bravery and say she averted a greater tragedy [emphasis mine].
On Tuesday, authorities in Minneapolis revealed more about Assam's past.

Sgt. Jesse Garcia, a Minneapolis police spokesman, said Assam worked at the department from March 1993 to November 1997, when she was fired for lying during an internal investigation.
Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said police were investigating a complaint that Assam swore at a bus driver while she was handling an incident on a city bus.

Delmonico said Assam was dealing with an incident on the bus and for some reason she swore at the bus driver as she exited the bus. The bus driver became angry and filed a complaint.
"In giving a statement about the incident, she was untruthful and she was fired," Delmonico said. The swearing was caught on tape, he said. "The union arbitrated the case and the arbitrator upheld the termination."

Assam's home phone number is unlisted and she couldn't be reached for comment.

I'm just putting this out there. I guess we'll see how this develops.

I really don't think the relatives of the victims need or want to hear "The shooter was an atheist! It's those evil atheists!" right now. And I don't think the relatives of the shooter appreciate it, either. At any rate, the shooter said, "See you on the other side" - not exactly an atheist's statement.

I'm sick of this crap. Is anyone else?

UPDATED: Coroner reports that gunman killed himself by gunshot to own head.

Gunman heard voices as early as five years ago. What I would like to know is, did he get mental health counseling? It does seem like he sat and stewed on an unreasonable grievance. Unfortunately, all too often the parents or relatives of someone with a mental illness have few resources to turn to.

Stephen Pinker on "A Brief History of Violence." Shimmies to Midwest Atheist.

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Blogger Kevin Scott said...

Everyone knows atheists are cannibals.

Losers come from every background and these shooters are all losers. They don't have the determination, perseverance or discipline to attain any level of real success in life. Instead they choose instant infamy.

Good catch you belly-dancing-atheist-cannibal.

December 11, 2007 3:43 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I was trying to lead up gently to the cannibalism, Kevin.

But seriously, John West came here and talked about how mental illness doesn't exist. And on the day after another wackjob held Hilary Clinton's campaign staff hostage, too. So I guess now they have no place to go, having painted themselves into a corner like this.

I know what your beliefs mean to you. I just don't know what their beliefs mean to them. The more I learn about intelligent design, the less I understand what it's supposed to give to people.

December 11, 2007 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's my opinion that the "hero" security guard should have shot the weapon from the assailant's hands, then broken a kneecap or to to hinder escape, so that the dirtbag gunman could be taken away to die by slow torture, veeery sloooow torture.
If there is divine justice, and I have no evidence that there is, that sleazeball is now in an unpleasant corner of purgatory, left there to contemplate the error of his ways. By that same token(divine justice), his victims were wafted into heavenly bliss.
If the toad really was crazy, he should have been dispatched as quickly as possible, mercifully. Me penchant for inflicting slow death on such beings just shows up a mean streak in myself.

December 12, 2007 7:59 AM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...

IM(not so)HO...

"Mental illness" is an impossible to define term. We throw it around to allow us to become comfortable when people do "crazy" things.

Did these shooters meet the diagnostic criteria for depression? Anti-social personality disorder? Most likely, but that doesn't mean they were unable to control their actions or saw their actions as justified in any real sense.

The shooter in Omaha made a decision to spare those close to him and kill random strangers--the point being to become infamous without harming those he cared about. The shooter in Colorado targeted specific people and obviously premeditated his plan.

These are not the actions of people who are "out of their minds"--these are people who made a choice.

We all paint ourselves into corners--me more than most--yet we make different decisions about how to get out of those corners. We may come to a place where we are so emotionally overwhelmed we need time to rest. We may even become so emotionally overwhelmed we see the only option as suicide. That is far different from being delusional.

I have little sympathy for these types of killers.

Oh, BTW...

Did you catch the latest on the security guard? Turns out the church shooter killed himself.

December 12, 2007 8:40 AM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...

Sorry, didn't catch your update.

December 12, 2007 8:52 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, I'm glad the security guard did not get hurt, being that she isn't quite the professional that she claims to be.

But then again, she credits "God," so why are people crediting her skill at all? Isn't that a contradiction?

Why is the forum on the Pioneer Press website full of heated comments like, "So what if she was fired - she took him down! The Minneapolis Police just hates Christians too! Blah, blah!" Well, she just said that God took the guy down, so...

I don't get it.

At any rate, new details are emerging about the shooter.

His mother told him that he was a “prophesied child” and that certain bible verses foretold his birth, and that he to be a preacher to the nations to bring the United States back to God.

He could not listen to rock music or watch TV. He could not have friends.

He was commenting on a forum for former evangelicals (apparently people are fleeing the movement in droves) when he posted his threats, and said that he hated the hypocrisy of Christians, of New Life Church, of Ted Haggard, and that he considered himself to be abused.

I'm not excusing the guy, but if people just look for bad guys and "heroes," this is going to happen again. When I went to the Galapagos, I was shocked (and that's an achievement) to find out how many families are torn apart by this cult mind, how many relatives are not speaking to each other because of religion, and how many women are estranged from their families because they have jobs, and "women shouldn't work."

December 12, 2007 9:33 AM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...

I agree with you, Kristine. Woman should work. At home. To please their husbands.

Look what you atheists have done to the family?

And as a woman I question whether you should be allowed to blog. Or at least you should limit your blogging to cooking and sewing tips. Don't worry your pretty little head about religion, it's for us men folk to figure out.

On a more serious note...

I call these guys losers because potential copycats need to be told what losers these guys are. When we take a shooter (like the VT guy) and spend weeks talking about all the reasons he didn't get the right treatment, how he only did what he did because no one paid attention to him, etc. we encourage other losers to follow the example.

I'm not trying to say YOU are doing that--I am saying that's why I want to be clear and call them losers.

I think his hatred of all things religious and YWAM in particular probably does have to do with the eventual disappointment many religious folks eventually come to. Every generation says "we're going to save the world for Christ," and some take that to a more personal level--"I'm the Chosen One."

When you figure out you're NOT the chosen one and the world is going to continue pretty much as is, it can be a terrible emotional shock.

Plus, everyone knows I'm the Chosen One.

Oh and why am I commenting so much on your blog? Simple: It beats working.

Plus, aren't you supposed to be some kind of muse?

December 12, 2007 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am unclear if Kevin Scott is writing very much tongue-in-cheek or if he is serious. If it's tongue-in-cheek, he is amusing. Otherwise, he's as silly as a sack of Siberian sheep.

December 12, 2007 12:11 PM  
Blogger The Rubber Chicken said...

According to a website I found yesterday and that is now buried under thousands of news reports, Jeanne Assam had four accusations made against her as a police officer. Two were dismissed, she received a 24 suspension for the third, and the fourth stated, if I remember correctly, disciplinary action had been taken. Unfortunately, you can't be a cop and do your job without someone complaining about you. A few years ago an officer was fired because he was smiling while he wrote a traffic ticket. I recommend that Assam's history be taken with some leniency and tolerance. She didn't thrust herself into the limelight. She was at the right place at the wrong time and did what she had to do to protect herself and others. Her religious explanations aside (and her sex), it takes a great big pair of brass ones to advance against an armed subject while under fire. Whatever her history as a police officer, she acted bravely and prevented a terrible situation from being much, much worse.

December 12, 2007 12:26 PM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...


I suppose you're one of those liberals who think women ought to be totally equal with men? Haven't you read "God made them male and female" and "it was not the man who was deceived, but the woman"? It isn't up to us to thwart God's Holy Order.

December 12, 2007 2:00 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Kevin just wants me to smack him, so he can turn the other cheek(y).

Unfortunately, you can't be a cop and do your job without someone complaining about you.

Probably not, and I’m willing to give Assam the benefit of the doubt for being a capable person – but not some kind of avenging angel whose hands God steadied. I think that’s a load of bunk, and besides, as I said, if she credits God then why are people crediting her? There are times when people refer to God in order to glorify themselves, and I think she did this. She did come forward.

December 12, 2007 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women aren't equal with men; they are better. Anyone who really thinks otherwise is some kinda idjut.

December 13, 2007 11:53 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

But better at what? Scarfing the last salted almond?
*Puts up hand*

December 13, 2007 11:56 AM  

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