What does it say about the quality of the protection at the most-protected building in the world, when a man can get over the fence, cross a large expanse of lawn, and enter the premises?
I wonder if this in one more metaphor for the ability of the “machine”. They can have all the weapons in the world, but nothing can protect against a canny individual with a goal.
This is pure speculation: the woman shot and killed in Washington yesterday was lost and scared. She became one more victim of American Gun Culture.
As I watched the video of a black car that was surrounded by men with guns, then back up and speed away, only to crash into some barrier, I recalled an incident in Washington many years ago. I had just marched in Clinton’s inaugural parade (I used the experience in my novel, Hell Is Other People) and was in a hurry to catch a flight to Los Angeles. I had a rental car and was unfamiliar with Washington. With all the crowds, traffic, and re-routing, confusion was guaranteed. At some point, I was stopped by a yelling policeman and pointed in another direction from the one I wanted to go. Fortunately, officers were less trigger-happy in January, 1997.
I can imagine a young mother from out-of-town being more confused than I was. She could have been on the wrong street and not sure where to go. Having a child to protect in her car, drawn weapons and screaming men surely scared her to death...literally.
In most instances where people claim/pretend to defend “liberty” and “freedom”, they are actually protecting or increasing their turf.
For example, during the War of Roses in England, princes fought with intrigue and then weapons to increase landholdings (many now enjoyed by the latest generation of aristocrats).
On the other side of the Atlantic and a few centuries later, the “princes” of Washington battle to increase budgets and clout. The best way to accomplish this is with war, phony or otherwise, so wars must be drummed up and sold as Freedom Fries.
The following sentence in the recent issue of Vanity Fair caught my attention, because it nicely expresses a suspicion I have harbored about Washington for years, but have been unable to put into such concise words.
“...the message of television’s scathing fly-on-the-wall cam of our government in backstage action is that We, the Put-upon American People, are at the mercy of imperious psychopaths and callow incompetents.”
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.