These are the worst times. Sometimes it happens at a high school, sometimes at a college or at a place of work. Just after midnight today, it happened in a movie theater.
Sometimes, it's around the corner from you. Maybe this time, it's some place you've visited. More likely, it's as remote to you as the moon.
Still, it's the worst time. Maybe next time it will be somewhere nearer. Maybe you will know a victim next time, or even worse, it will be someone you love.
Shit, next time it could be you.
Once in a blue moon, planes crash into buildings. But more often, sickeningly more often, some fucking nut with a gun kills a bunch of people.
Who are these people? What can we learn? How can we protect ourselves and our loved ones?
Nobody knows much, but one pattern emerges. The killer is almost always male, and people describe him as "quiet and kind of a loner."
I'm male. I'm quiet and kind of a loner.
I honestly don't mean you any harm.
Some young black males are criminals. In the minds of people who couldn't find logic with a road map, a flash light and a GPS implanted in the back of logic's neck, this means all young black males are suspicious. Some of these dim bulbs think that means they should follow young black males in their car, get out and confront a young black male on a dark, wet night and when they are losing the fist fight, shoot the young black male dead.
This particular brand of dim bulb is thankfully rare. Sadly, the kind of dim bulb who will send such a murderous idiot money appears to be as common as muck.
I'm a loner. I know it sounds flip, but some of my best friends are loners. In general, we are pleasant enough people. The social skills may not be top notch, but there's not a mass of viciousness lurking just under the surface. For most of the loners I know, a little too much alcohol brings out their deep knowledge of something like Babylon 5, not their deep seated hatred of mankind.
But right now, the public is afraid and they want some place to focus that fear. The odd and the different are the most convenient target ten times out of ten. If some murderous bastard is a Catholic, we know it can't be Catholicism that drove him over the edge. We know plenty of non-murderous Catholics. If some murderous bastard is Islamic, well, maybe we don't know that many Muslims. The odd trait must be the problem.
I'm one of the people you are told to hate right now. I swear on my love of Leonhard Euler, I'm really not the threat.
I'm just quiet and kind of a loner. Most people I talk to really don't want to talk about Leonhard Euler or any of a number of topics that interest me, so mostly I just listen.
This blog is still alive, just in semi-hibernation.
When I want to write something longer than a tweet about something other than math or sci-fi, here is where I'll write it.