Friday, December 4, 2009


The murder of the four officers in Lakewood, Washington is no longer on the front pages, but it has stayed with me.

It haunts me.

I have been asking myself why I have felt so impacted by this gruesome tale.

I am not sure of the answer, but here is something.

These four people were sitting at a booth in a popular coffee shop, each writing on his and her laptops.

I spend considerable time doing exactly this - sitting in cafes, writing on my laptop.

I love the new cafe culture.

Dozens of people of all ages, colors, ethnicities, and inclinations are drinking coffee and eating snacks and writing on their laptops.


Oddly enough, interacting.

Little hellos and chats sometime wander into full discussions about life or the affairs of the day or the arcane minutia that make the day interesting.

In short, these places have the air and feeling of civility.

Everyone likes to bandy about notions of the civilized society and what we aught to do to get there.

I find that these little WiFi cyber cafes have spontaneously become the best example of the civilized society.

They are comfortable and friendly and interactive, even with people staring down their computer screens.


The idea of some mad man crashing through this sense of local community and safety and neighbourliness by firing a gun and murdering people sitting in a booth working on their laptops ... my god, it's just horrifying.

To make it worse, the victims are young people, in their 30's and 40's. Trust me, that's young.

To make it even worse, they are police officers.

If ever one should feel safe, it is in a cafe with four police officers near by.

But no.

Bang, bang, bang, bang.

Clemmons, the killer, killed four real human beings.

And he has caused dreadful unimaginable pain for the surviving families of these four officers.

But he has also punched a great gaping torn hole in basic notions of civilization and community.

What an unspeakable horror.

Please, God, enough.


Gary L. said...

"But he has also punched a great gaping torn hole in basic notions of civilization and community".
Yes David, and it's not going away. The "Rules" have changed. Today there are no Rules............
Another part of "civil" removed from Civilization.

Little to cheer about today........

Captain Phil Evans said...

Well said David.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Devastating.

Anonymous said...

Most of these miserable murderers seem to have a 'reason' for what they do. Some get away with their crime: a) insanity b) revenge c) hate d) whatever. The one crime that still baffles is the Montreal Murders of women ten years ago. Algerian Gamil Gharbi (alias Marc Lapine) did the deed and yet we have some kind of idiotic media reporting that can only use the alias when the crime arrived on the scene for the tenth anniversary. Can anyone explain this?

Anonymous said...

I concur - Well said David. I am a tad further along agewise than you and I find this so very sad and disheartening. Canada - my Canada - whatever happened that it has come to this? We used to leave our doors unlocked and roam/ride our bikes in most neighbourhoods freely when I was a kid....... You in the north end David and I a bit to the east of you.