June 10th, 2009


attempted mass shooting at Holocaust museum

A man with a shotgun apparently attempted a mass shooting at DC's Holocaust Museum today. I've seen differing reports, but it looks like only two people wound up shot: 1) a security guard, the first person the perpetrator targeted and 2) the perpetrator, who got his ass lit up by the security team. Neither is reported dead yet. Place your bets now on the perpetrator's demographic; my money is on Islamist fanatic, like the guy who shot the two soldiers at the recruiting office recently. Perhaps this will get some more attention than that case did.

ETA: I lost that bet pretty quickly. Not only is he a white supremacist (see comments for quotes from his website), he's waaaaaaaay older than I'd expected. Guy's a WW2 veteran, a member of MENSA, author of an anti-Semitic book, and likely a certifiable paranoiac.

ETA AGAIN: And apparently a convicted felon, stemming from an incident in the early eighties where he tried to arrest the Federal Reserve. Meaning he's prohibited from having guns.

ETA AGAIN: Wow. Quoth the perp:

ACTUALLY, on the road to Damascus — brooding about Rome, relishing the bloody image of the disciple he had stoned to death; sweaty, sore footed, thinking of the blasphemous ravings of the Nazarene — Saul had an incredible, earthshaking IDEA. A light-bulb inspiration. He, Saul — a Roman citizen — suddenly realized how he could destroy Rome! Saul trembled uncontrollably with fear and joy. He would simply promulgate the insane teachings of Jesus! What better way to destroy a Nation — any Nation — than to undermine her hubris; her gods, ethics, mores, history, her gene-pool — in short, Saul would DESTROY ROMAN CULTURE. Then, as night follows day, with her foundations rotted, the Roman Empire would FALL. Saul decided to begin the HOAX by inventing a miraculous encounter on the road to Damascus with the reincarnated Jesus the Christ!

Toward that end — no different than Hollywood script-writers today — Saul created a bogus a la Spielberg docu-drama stuffed with lies, miracles, guilt trips, betrayal, virgin birth, eternal damnation, salvation — a scenario appealing to the superstitious, vulnerable, ignorant yearning sheep — he named his hoax “Christianity.”

That's pretty damn out there: CHRISTIANITY IS A JEWISH CONSPIRACY.

ETA AGAIN: The security guard, Stephen Tyrone Johns, has died in the hospital. In pace requiescat. I've seen reports that he traded fire with the killer after being shot, and others that the killer was brought down by the other security guards; regardless, Johns performed his ultimate duty: the time the killer spent fighting Johns and his colleagues was time that he didn't have to kill museum patrons. Condolences to Johns's family and friends, and thanks to the late Stephen Tyrone Johns and his surviving colleagues for a job well done.

Note, incidentally, how quickly this resolved. Very good work by the museum's security detail. This is how you stop active shooters: you kill them, or at the very least render them physically incapable of rendering further harm. (This is why, while I'm not opposed to requiring permits for civilians carrying firearms, I adamantly support the broadest possible latitude for where and when civilians can carry. Not that folks who lawfully CCW don't commit crimes, but they do it remarkably rarely, and the more people who are lawfully armed in any given place, the less chance any mass shooter will get to make the headlines he's craving.)
cass groovy

STAR TREK novelisation trivia

File under "things I didn't know before today:" the TOS novel KILLING TIME, by Della Van Hise, was pulled from the market, re-edited, and reprinted. This was because the first edition was, um. Heavy on the, um. ...apparently nobody at Pocket Books realized that Della Van Hise had come out of slash fandom, OK? The official story is that Pocket Books "accidentally" printed an "early draft." Really, they'd totally caught the gay stuff; they hadn't missed it totally and then done a hasty rewrite for reissue and put a second printing out without telling anybody what had happened.


There are at least fifty changes from the first version to the revised version, some as short as a single word, others as long as a paragraph or two. Most of the excisions involve scenes in which there is physical contact between Kirk and Spock (for example, describing the warmth of Spock's hand on Kirk's face during a mindmeld). But there was also a sentence that described Spock's realization that Kirk was the person Spock was meant to spend his life with.

Copies of the original can still be found in used bookstores and at conventions, so this book isn't completely lost yet. If the cover has raised letters for the title, it's likely to be the original; if not, check anyway, because at least some copies without raised lettering have the unexpurgated text. Better yet, just check page 41 for a passage that begins, "I understand that you were probably playing with dolls and wearing lipstick until you were twenty!" That appears only in the original.

So, there ya go -- these are little-known facts that now, you know!

APED: "the man who guards the door"

for Stephen Tyrone Johns, in memoriam, and for his colleagues Harry Weeks and Jason McCuiston, in gratitude.

When all is said, and blame is cast,
and most is as it was before,
and the chatter stills at last,
as before the gunshots' roar,
the villain set before the mast,
convictions publicized, abhorred,
judgment made, and sentence passed,
honor the man who guards the door.

The man whom most would just walk past,
his uniform, like him, decor.
Like the lobby's brick and glass,
he's scenery, and nothing more.
The deed of honor, unsurpassed
the commentators will ignore,
in their hurry to lambaste --
honor the man who guards the door.

The killer's name, his writings crass,
will run in headlines, books, and more.
But memory holds a crevasse:
as time heals over, soothes the sore,
the heroes shuffle off, en masse,
names forgotten, as before --
for those who lived, and one who passed,
honor the man who guards the door.