Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Those Law-Abiding Citizens

 Ah. that fuzzy 2nd Amendment. Where is the King's Army going to next attack?  To which militia do you belong? Interesting question that the pro-gun folks never answer. Rather, in Dramimine-like fashion, they rattle off something like 'law-abiding citizens' need to defend themselves. Naturally that is true. But just how many assault weapons must one possess in order to be confident that they could withstand a siege by the would-be assailants?

Yesterday one comment from one my regular pro-gun visitors denounced the one-gun per month idea floated by Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell. Apparently 12 guns/year would not adequately defend his castle upon the next siege of the bandits.

Those 'law-abiding citizens' is a cute phrase and oh-so American. As if everyone with a gun is 'law-abiding.' Who determines the law-abiding-status? Well, naturally, the gun owner is law-abiding until he wrongly shoots somebody then he is a murderer or a bank robber.

How about that handsome alleged 'Craigslist killer' who is recalled as a nice, smart boy? Neighbors in his hometown recalled Markoff as the well-behaved child of caring parents, a diligent student who excelled from elementary school through his days in the high school's National Honor Society.

Terry Law, a neighbor on Thurston Street, Markoff's boyhood street, taught Markoff in first grade and remembered, "He was smart, very smart. Good at math and science."

"They found a semiautomatic, they said on TV today," Law said, glumly. "Oh God, he was a skinny, little towhead blond boy in my class," she said.

That law-abiding citizen.

Even though Markoff doesn't seem to fit the profile of a typical killer -- he's a clean-cut medical student who was engaged to be married this summer -- looks can be deceiving.

New York forensic psychologist Michael Welner said that a good education has nothing to do with a person's character.

"So much of crime is about choices," he said. "This is a situation of someone who had everything to lose," and his choices imploded his life.

Welner said Markoff may very well have gotten in over his head during Brisman's alleged murder, "and I think more evidence going to shed light on that."

That law-abiding citizen no longer.

How many other Phillip Markoff's  are 'out there' ready to 'snap' given the right circumstances? As of now they all are law-abiding citizens- tomorrow they could be the next murderer.

Last week a law-abiding Toledo-area man barricaded himself in his home during a standoff with authorities that lasted three hours. Michael Swiergosz, 46, was indicted Tuesday by a Lucas County grand jury. He was charged with two counts of felonious assault, each with firearm specifications.

Authorities said the March 10 incident was sparked by financial concerns. Mr. Swiergosz's home was in foreclosure and had been set for sheriff's sale.  Sheriff's deputies went to the home, just south of Hill Avenue and east of North Centennial Road, on a call of domestic violence and shots fired. Authorities said Mr. Swiergosz fired two shots - one in the ground and one in the air - before deputies arrived. Mr. Swiergosz eventually surrendered to authorities.

Law-abiding citizen no longer.

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