Friday, August 01, 2008

TRAGEDY ON A MANITOBA HIGHWAY


Tim McLean, age 22, was brutally attacked and murdered on a Greyhound bus traveling from Edmonton to Winnipeg. I'm not attaching any news video clips - you can see plenty of them on CTV or CNN news sites. What I want to say is, first:

How grieved I am for Tim's family and friends at this time. Words cannot express enough sympathy for the unbelieveable circumstances of this violent death. This young man was truly, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I'd also like to express my disgust with international bloggers who've been calling the bus passengers "wussies" (among other things I wouldn't publish on my own blog), for not rushing the assailant and "disarming him". How easy to be arm-chair quarterbacks! Someone wrote that yesterday in Pennsylvania an armed gunman tried to shoot up a store, and 27 people rushed him before he got a shot off. Well, good for those people in Pennsylvania. Too bad some airplane passengers hadn't rushed the two box-cutter wielding terrorists before they managed to fly the planes into the World Trade Center. It's easy in the aftermath of terror to decide who should've been heroes.

In the split second of an attack such as was perpetrated on Mr. McLean, human nature takes over and survival is the natural instinct. There were children on that bus - one mother near the back of the bus reportedly "threw" her toddler forward over the seats to get her child out of the way of the knife-wielding assailant. It's only police officers, firemen, and soldiers who run *towards* danger and the possibility of their own deaths. None of those on the bus qualify as being in any of those jobs.

Congratulations go to the bus driver, truck driver, and Mr. Caton, who armed themselves outside the bus, got back ON the bus to face the attacker, and were driven back by the sight of what he'd done to Mr. McLean. I can't even type the words. The bus driver had the forethought to disable the bus to contain Mr. Li. The three men pushed the passengers back off the shoulder of the road - who knew if this man also had guns? A guy packing a huge survivalist knife might easily have had extra knives or guns hidden on him. Those three men who contained the situation till the RCMP and our ETF force got there, deserve heroism medals, and no doubt they'll receive them in due time.

But to call them all "wussies"? Such idiots have obviously never encountered a full-throttle, violent, attack from an armed assailant. It's a horrific, and terrifying experience. I once had an Inspector from my police force demand to know why I hadn't "shot through the door", at a violent scene. *He* was arm-chair quarterbacking the morning after the event. Well, duh, I would've ended up shooting the nine year old boy who I could clearly see who was sitting in my line of fire.

I'm not a cop anymore. I hate armchair quarterbacks with a passion. I'd rather have a nine year old boy alive, than be a cop, and that's what happened to my career.

And I'm glad those passengers got those children and themselves off the bus and did what they had to do. None of us were there to know just how horrific it was on that bus.

Again, to Mr. McLean's family and friends, I offer my sincere condolences to you for the loss of your son, brother, friend, and companion. May he rest in peace.

2 comments:

Toni Anderson said...

Amen

Mommy C said...

Bravery is a name for when people fight against their natural instincts. Who could be faulted for fighting against their natural instincts? I used to ride that bus a lot. It is a boring, boring ride (except for that one tree between Winnipeg and Brandon). The passengers were likely either sleeping, or half asleep, and definitely not expecting an attack. Regardless, I know for a fact that armies and police units are trained that in some cases it is best to retreat, regroup and then attack. That is pretty much what some of the passengers tried to do. If you are unclear of a situation, you have to get to a position where you can read it. Also, the assailant suffers from mental illness. When people are manic, they can often have super-human powers ...now add a weapon to that. Not to mention that it was a narrow cramped bus. The people in the front rows had to get off so that the rest of the bus could be evacuated. We aren't talking about a shopping mall here. The fact that they cleared off (allowing that lady and her toddler to get off) is heroic. I'm sure there were a few who wanted to rush to the back of the bus.

I also understand how you feel about being a cop. I was an infantry soldier, and went to a military school (officer prep) in the US. It was my greatest passion, however, the ignorrance of the future leaders I was training with led me to seriously reconsider. There was a whole lot of power tripping for young men and women with zero experience as an actual grunt, or troop of any kind. I left. It makes me really emotional, sometimes because I loved it so much. But, I feel that I have a more important job for the nation's security, it's called being a mother. It is now my job to educate my children so that we will have less conflicts in the future. If our country was under absolute imminent threat, I'd lace up my boots again, in a heart beat, but right now I want to teach my children not to vote for untruthful war mongers.

I'm really glad to have found your blog. And, I'm glad you didn't fire that shot, most importantly for the sake of that little life. But, also because they would have definitely made you the scapegoat, and as you and I both know, they just love doing that to women that don't stay in the kitchen.

Oh, and thanks for the well wishes. I'm getting back in the swing of things now.