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Speculate Wildly!

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

I’m continually amazed at how frequently what “everyone knows” about an event is wrong. For instance, did you know that the Columbine shootings in 1999 were actually intended to be a massive bombing? Fortunately for the students there, the bombs didn’t actually go off, but they were placed in the cafeteria. Almost nobody knows that, but almost everyone “knows” that the two shooters were part of the Trench Coat Mafia; they weren’t. Everyone knows the two shooters were bullied by jocks; they weren’t. Two girls were shot because they were Christian; also not true – Cassie Bernall’s entire exchange with Harris was when he yelled “Peek a boo” before he shot her.

So, this week we have another shooting. First reports are that three men, including a U.S. Army Major (and psychiatrist, ironically) shot dozens of people with handguns and M-16 rifles, and the Major was reported as killed by a police officer who lay fatally injured himself. Turns out, the Major isn’t dead. Neither is the cop. There are, as of now, no other shooters identified by law enforcement and none are expected. ABC reported that Hasan was a convert to Islam; his brother says they were raised Muslims. He’s been rumored to be a sleeper agent; apparently sleeping since his birth in Virginia to Muslim parents.

At this point, so soon after the shootings and while the gunman is in custody to be questioned, could everyone just take a moment to stop and NOT speculate or repeat rumors?

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
txtriffidranch
Nov. 6th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Hear hear. I have to admit that I'm much more worried about the current medical conditions of the survivors: I had a lot of old Army buddies go to Hood, and my little brother Eric was stationed there for a while in the mid-Nineties.
andysocial
Nov. 7th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
I worked very diligently in 1997 to avoid getting posted at Fort Hood.
theonides
Nov. 6th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
unfortunately, there are no consequences in the public for being wrong, and only praise for the scoop. reminds me of the bonus structure at wall street banks. Heads I win, tails I break even.
daddygod
Nov. 6th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
At this point, so soon after the shootings and while the gunman is in custody to be questioned, could everyone just take a moment to stop and NOT speculate or repeat rumors?

But.. that's so un-American!

Kidding aside, I know all too well what you mean. I was on scene for the Fairchild AFB shootingback in '94 and I am still correcting people regarding what they swear happened there.
daddygod
Nov. 6th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Dammit, sorry, hit the post button on accident.

As far as the speculation factor, during the '94 shooting we were getting the conflicting info and rumours while the shooting was still going on and we were inside taking cover.

Multiple gunmen, gunmen in more than one building at the same time, etc.

Although I concur that it's BS and everyone should wait for the released details, it's easy to see how the public runs with the speculation when it happens to the people on scene at the time too.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )