There was another shooting last night, this one at a gas station in Manassas, VA over in Prince William County. Although local law enforcement officials haven't made a direct link with serial sniper in this case, I opine that it is likely the ninth shooting victim in this rampage which has resulted in six dead and two wounded in the last week. All of this is rather disturbing, especially last night when I stopped at a gas station in Arlington to top off my car's fuel tanks. The attacker's "portfolio" indicates, I think, a desire to hit at isolated areas outside the Washington, DC area. For ZoNoters who reside in the local vicinity, I'd advise for you to look out, but if this sniper is hitting at an average distance of five baseball fields away, what exactly should you be watching out for?
The attacker has married his skill, weaponry, and an erstwhile unlikely "getaway" vehicle -- a white van -- to elude even a concrete sighting.
Something to take into consideration, and perhaps the combined DC area law enforcement people have done it already, is to have their own sniper teams trace this maniac down. The most effective profiling could come not only from the professional profilers, but from people who actually are snipers for a living.
Freedoms and Discretions
I'm sure that recording star and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte is sincere in his opposition to any offensive operations against Iraq and would of course be critical of Bush Administration officials. But his remarks comparing SecState Colin Powell to being a slave are a bit much. Conversely, Powell's subdued and classy reaction to such an incendiary attack shows that sticks and stones still break bones, but words just show up on paper.
Again, as this is America, I could get on a stool and proclaim that I think that that pink polka dots on green wallpaper are a classy fashion choice for up and coming young suburbanites, and Mr. Belafonte was merely exercising his right in this country to utter complete inanities about the federal government. Now, if the same Mr. Belafonte was in, Cuba, Iraq, or North Korea, the reaction from Dear Leader or el Jefe Maximo or whomever held the big stick and sitting on the gold throne would be to send out the Revolutionary Guards and ensure that Mr. Belafonte enjoyed the sweet hospitality of the local intelligence directorate.
So, this episode is a solid example of why America is a great country. You have the right to stick your tongue out at the state and all the state will do is ignore you. What a great American export!
"If any cleric or monk speaks jocular words, such as provoke laughter, let him be anathema." -- Ordinance, Second Council of Constance, 1418.