Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Vince Gets Opinionated

As much as I'm proud and willing to show off the various injuries inflicted on me in the past few weeks, I know I'm light years ahead of what some other people have gone through in other parts of the world. By most accounts, the world is not a nice place. By now, the world around is aware of a 27-year old Brazilian living in the UK that was mistaken for a terrorist bomber and shot by British police. This is a shock to most sane people, especially when you consider that the British police force have not relied on firearms between 1936 until being formally re-introduced in 2000. Even more shocking is that they shot the poor bloke seven times in the head.

On one hand, there is the need for public security. Understandably, if a person was indeed a suicide bomber, attempting to incapacitate the bomber by shooting the arms and legs would not have the desired effect, as they can still set off an explosive device. Also, if the suspect had the police themselves, it may place the public at greater risk. In these frightening times, if a person doesn't stop when told to and is wearing a thick jacket in the middle of summer, you can't be too careful, right?

But still, seven times?

The other side sees this as sliding down the slippery slope into a police state. When the police are given a shoot-to-kill directive and can freely execute somebody that they suspect as being a terrorist or suicide bomber. From reports, Jean Charles de Menezes was wearing clothing that put him out of place (thick baggy clothing that could conceal explosives). Since the guy was Brazilian, there is the possibility that he is more used to warmer climate.

By all accounts, anybody could be a terrorist. Small explosive devices would be placed in backpacks, suitcases...why not just have everybody go around naked? I mean, hey, it's summer, isn't it? But then, you could always hide a small explosive device in your rectum, but it probably wouldn't cause enough damage (plus, suicide bombers would likely survive...without an asshole). That, and it might be tough to hide wires, unless the thing was detonated by remote.

I've always been under the impression that if there was a democratic nation at the highest risk of becoming a police state, it would be America. With the PATRIOT act giving the government authorities carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want, definitions of terrorists could extend to just about anybody that steps out of line.

But the UK? I guess it's understadable, in some respects, especially given the nature of the attacks. As a result of 9/11, we've seen some pretty weird security measures in American airlines, such as banning nail clippers and forcing a woman to drink her own breast milk to prove that it wasn't contaminated with weaponized bio-agents. Had a suicide bombing attack occured on US soil, we'd likely see the more like what happened in the UK.

This world is clearly not a nice place anymore. Paranoia has gripped the "free" nations like a vice, where the people are now afraid to go on with their lives and the collective trigger fingers of law enforcement have developed a serious case of hives.

The way I got it figured, the world is going to come to an end whether we want it to or not. When that happens, I want good seats. And a beer. And a shotgun to make sure no one tries to take my beer.

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