Sunday, August 20, 2006

Going Postal

Today, August, 20, 2006, is the 20th anniversary of the event that started it all for the term "Going Postal'.

On Aug. 20, 1986, Patrick Henry Sherrill tucked two .45-caliber pistols into his
postal satchel, locked the doors of a post office in this Oklahoma City
suburb and systematically killed 14 people, then committed suicide.
This quote was from an article at @,2933,209463,00.html
Apparently not only the term has stuck with us, but so too the actual act of Going Postal in the most literal sense. Over the past 20 years, according t said article, there have been 50 violent deaths in the Postal Service, including the case of six postal workers who were shot earlier this year at a postal facility in California by a former postal worker who then killed herself. The article stresses how the Post Office has tried to prevent such incidents from occurring. My guess is that they have been none too successful. Maybe there is some combination of the paper dust, the glue, being a federal employee, doing the same thing day in and out, the non-stop flow of the mail, or maybe in some manner the stress of a relentless tide of mail coming in over and over again is akin to an unending invasion, much like illegal immigration. Wasn't it the character of Neumann on the old Seinfeld show, when asked by Jerry what it was about, who said something like: 'Its the mail, it never stops coming'.

I don't want you to think I am making light of the situation, I am not. It is a serious problem, and the problem is not just limited to the post office. Of course, many try to take the easy, pretty much brainless way out of this, they say it is all due to people having guns. I say not, if only because of the overwhelming number of people with guns who would never do such a thing. I also remember a day when things like this were unheard of, or at least were very rare occurrences and folks had guns then too. Now events like these seem almost commonplace in postal facilities, schools, churches, parks, other businesses, city streets, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Whatever it is, it seems, at least to me, people working for the post office are somewhat more prone to this than those employed for other businesses, though the problem seems as rampant in schools. I would think there is an underlying psychological/social cause for this, though I am not expert enough to say what it is; I am smart enough to realize that most of the so called experts are apparently full of crap when they name the reasons. My main guesstimate as to why these things happen are because of: a breakdown of a universally acceptable morality, a breakdown of people learning how to be responsible for their own actions, a lack of strict or even severe criminal penalties for such actions, a breakdown of interpersonal skills, an overall atmosphere in this country and the world of the 'everything has to be my way or no way mentality' and this leads to rage when it goes some way else.

All in all there may just be too many rats in the cage, and some should have to be eliminated. Heinous criminals who do such things may not be worth keeping around, but that is a point for another discussion at a later date. Of course, it is also a great shame that citizens are not permitted to be armed at all times, in all locations, in order to help protect against such terrible acts of criminals and madmen.

Today though, let's just try to remember those who have fallen victim to such attacks and give a thought or prayer for them. Also let us not forget those brave souls who in some way took real action to help end such attacks as they were ongoing.


Randy said...

Hi Glenn

Nice write up.

In those situations, I'd say the problem is not the presence of a gun, but the fact that there are not more guns in the hands of the intended victims.

Under policies of the USPS and of many private corporatons, your two options are hide and hope he runs out of ammo before he finds you, or run and hope he missess. (Me being me, I plan to reject the Kobisahi Maru scenario and start looking for fire axes, high pressure fire hoses, etc)

Best Regards, good luck in Blogland

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm here.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm here.