Friday, August 28, 2015

Can Any of Us Really Be Safe?

In the previous entry, I wrote about the reservoir of rage in rural Oklahoma against anyone who stands for the teaching of evolution, teaching about global warming or any other environmental issue, or racial equality. And I correctly indicated that this rage is found in only a small percentage of the people.

But a small percentage can ignite a mass wave of hysteria. The examples I cited last time, especially the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, are famous. And even if they do not ignite hysteria, a small number of people can wreak havoc if they have and use guns, which, as I mentioned, the Confederacy of rural Oklahoma certainly does, though they have so far chosen not to use them. And, as any of the numerous recent shootings indicate, all it takes is one person.

Yes, all it takes is one person. My example is the man, Steve Raucci, who carried out 62 acts of vandalism, including terrorist acts (setting explosives on people’s cars and trying to burn down their houses, throwing burning newspapers into occupied bathroom stalls), in Schenectady, NY. Ira Glass tells his story on the “Petty Tyrant” episode of This American Life.  Even  though the police and most of the people who were repeatedly victimized knew who was carrying out these terrorist acts, the police could not even get a warrant, not even to search the man’s office at a public middle school (an office that belonged to the taxpayers), until someone secretly recorded a nearly complete confession from the terrorist. Until that complete confession was placed in evidence, the people who worked at Mt. Pleasant Middle School were helpless, unless they had their own guns, which were not permitted at work. Raucci even had a bomb in his office, ready to use. His gripes were personal, not political or religious; imagine what he would have done if he thought himself an agent of God!

This is why I do not want to openly pursue, other than this blog and on Facebook, the story of the rural Oklahoma armed Confederacy. I will not campaign against it where I live. If any Confederates were to decide to take violent action against me, there is virtually nothing I could do to stop them. They could spray-paint my house, or try to burn it down, they could put bombs on my car, and law enforcement would be unable to stop them. (And perhaps, based on my observations, some law enforcement agencies would not try.) Steve Raucci did all of these things to his victims, without law enforcement being able to even investigate him other than to record anecdotal observations. I strongly believe Campus Security officers where I work are doing and will do whatever they can to investigate some instances of crimes already committed against faculty on our campus, but their powers are limited.

So, I have chosen to tell you all about the rural Oklahoma Confederacy and the potential dangers it poses, but I am not going to start any actions against it, even speaking out in public, except in these blog and Facebook outlets. I feel like a Syrian unable to say anything bad about Assad, or a Russian unable to say anything bad about Putin. I merely point out that the same situation exists in America, though it is not enforced by the government as it is in Syria and Russia.

Of course, the NRA would say that I could get lots of guns and have them ready to hand at any time and wherever I am. This is in fact what one NRA spokesman said regarding the Charleston church shootings: if the people in church all had guns, they could have stopped the shooter. He was seriously suggesting that people take their guns to church. I cannot have guns at my workplace, a university. I am certain that our enrollments, already low, would drop disastrously if the Oklahoma state government instituted (as has been proposed) a policy for professors to have firearms in class. Students would, rightly, fear for their safety in such an environment. And as for my home or on my person at other times? I’m not saying whether I am armed or not. But I am certain that such a defense is, or would be, imperfect.

As I wrote before, rural Oklahoma crawls with people who are angry and delusional enough that they could, if they chose, use guns against people who disagree with them about evolution, global warming, environmental issues in general, or racial equality. So far, they have chosen to not do so. And we cannot really protect ourselves against them. The story of Steve Raucci proves this.

No comments:

Post a Comment