Join 3,414 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


From protests to hostages.
September 1, 2010 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Right now, James Jay Lee has hostages at the Discovery Channel buildings in the DC area. the DCist information on the situation.

This is a story about him from February 2008.

this is his manifesto.

This is a link to a local TV news station's live coverage of the situation.

Apparently, the daycare was evacuated successfully.

(I first heard about it from the twitter feed from ThinkGeek of all places.)

Also, MrMoonPie posted about this in MetaTalk; I thank him for the DCist link - I only had the WaPo link.
posted by mephron (300 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
His manifesto wasn't loading for me so here's the cached version.
posted by ghharr at 12:07 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


MSNBC coverage of the situation.
posted by mephron at 12:07 PM on September 1, 2010


I believe we talked about him here previously.
posted by quin at 12:08 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


His venture will be unsuccessful because he hasn't centre-aligned his manifesto.

Schoolboy error. Schoolboy...
posted by Jofus at 12:10 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hope this all ends as safely as possible and no one gets hurt. I would love to be able to make fun of this guy for all his extreme craziness, but not if there's going to be a tragedy. (Mostly I hope everyone's OK for the sake of being OK, obviously.)
posted by phunniemee at 12:11 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


quin: Crap. I'm sorry. I had written a "previously" link to him when I did this, and lost it in the transfer from text editor to here. Thank you for that link. (I did mean to have it there!)
posted by mephron at 12:11 PM on September 1, 2010


Oh yes, I've got a bit pile of making-fun I want to level at this guy, but not a word gets said until everyone is out safe.
posted by quin at 12:13 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Someone on Reddit shared a photo of the standoff from his office window earlier.
posted by Gator at 12:13 PM on September 1, 2010


You know, it's not that hard to understand his views on "parasitic humans" when the primary human he interacts with is himself.
posted by phunniemee at 12:14 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


From the manifesto:

2. All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions.

If he doesn't kill anybody, I'm going to donate to his defense fund.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:16 PM on September 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


fearfulsymmetry: MetaFilter Prophet
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:16 PM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


To be fair, the Discovery Channel has been holding our hearts and minds hostage for years.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:16 PM on September 1, 2010


Here are his demands, posted recently. I think some are entirely reasonable, especially the bit about filth.


Cache


he wants to save:
"The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels. "

froggies?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:17 PM on September 1, 2010 [17 favorites]


This is your obligation. If you think it isn't, then get hell off the planet!

You first, douchebag.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:17 PM on September 1, 2010


Fuck. So that's it, then. This guy just made environmentalism public enemy number one, as far as Fox News will be concerned, from now until the end of the Obama administration. No chance whatsoever now of getting any substantive environmental legislation passed in the next congress either.

Damn. We're fucked. Thanks assholes.

Last one out, don't forget to turn out the lights.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:18 PM on September 1, 2010 [27 favorites]


And I thought that the flame wars between the childfree and the breeders were bad on the *internet*...
posted by Jacqueline at 12:19 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think maybe we're being a little judgy with all the "redefining batshit insane" comments (including in the OP, WTF?) His manifesto is not that out there, incongruous racism aside.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:20 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to live a block from there and it's crazy to watch this go down. I really, really hope no one is hurt and I'm glad that the kids were evacuated safely.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:20 PM on September 1, 2010


"Filthy human children?" Apparently this guy is Invader Zim.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:20 PM on September 1, 2010 [28 favorites]


I always quite liked Daniel Quinn, although his analysis seemed a little too pessimistic. James Jay Lee is obviously a major Quinn nut. If you're familiar with Quinns writing, you'll find fragments of his ideas all over James Jay Lees site (see cached site)
posted by memebake at 12:20 PM on September 1, 2010


Except for #5... I can't really argue.. What taking hostages will do or why Discovery is specifically responsible for all of this, I don't know.
posted by cmoj at 12:20 PM on September 1, 2010


Birth of parasitic humans? Is that what Deadliest Catch is about?
posted by furtive at 12:21 PM on September 1, 2010


The demands in that manifesto are all over the board. Did I miss the part about brown M&Ms?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:21 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


This guy just made environmentalism public enemy number one.

This guy's primary platform is that humans should stop breeding. I don't know any environmentalist who has seriously promoted that idea, even if they believe overpopulation is going to end our species.

Of course he's accomplishing nothing except promoting more advanced security systems for office buildings.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:21 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't think crazyman is going to derail environmental efforts. I mean, maybe a little bit, but it's like getting pinched while dying from ebola, or something.
posted by angrycat at 12:21 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


                          | exclamation points |
Manifesto Batshit Index = ----------------------
                              | sentences |

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:21 PM on September 1, 2010 [79 favorites]


"I think maybe we're being a little judgy with all the "redefining batshit insane" comments"

I think he's being called "batshit insane" primarily because he decided that the best way to achieve his goals was to go to the Discovery Channel building with bombs and guns and start taking hostages, not just because of what he wrote on the internet.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:22 PM on September 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


Flagged as newsfilter, editorializing, and mocking the mentally ill.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


Reading his manifesto, I'm somewhat torn; on the one hand, I find his views on immigration rather abhorrent, but on the other hand, I am unabashedly pro-froggies.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2010 [20 favorites]


Someone on Reddit shared a photo of the standoff from his office window earlier.

Interestingly, that person appears to work at Discovery. That view is showing the New York and Company on the corner of Georgia and Ellsworth. That angle appears to only be visible from within the Discovery Building.
posted by god hates math at 12:24 PM on September 1, 2010


Yeah, I'm three blocks away at work, with my daughter in tow. All the roads are stopped so I'm waiting to make sure that things are clear before I head home.
posted by frecklefaerie at 12:24 PM on September 1, 2010


I blame AlGore for creating climate of hate against human beings!

Glad to see no one is seizing on this to score cheap political points.
posted by lukemeister at 12:25 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think maybe we're being a little judgy with all the "redefining batshit insane" comments (including in the OP, WTF?) His manifesto is not that out there, incongruous racism aside.

His manifesto posits that no one should have children at all, ever; he refers to children as "pollution." He requests that the ingenuity of the human animal be turned towards ending war (which, okay) and turning the clock back on human civilization.

He rails at the Discovery Channel for the crime of encouraging the human race to continue to exist. I'm not paraphrasing for effect there.

His manifesto also holds the Discovery Channel responsible for I don't even know what, but his plan to save the planet consists of having one channel air only new shows which promote his point of view, and having them continue to air these until it works and there are no more babies.

In other words: What?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:25 PM on September 1, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm just going to reiterate that the problem of consumption and pollution isn't equal for every child born- a first world child who grows up buying new coltan/plastic electronics every year, driving an SUV, and supporting a military with an air carrier that burns 1 million barrels of oil a year, is going to have a bigger environmental impact than a farmer using an ox, even if they have 12 kids.

I hope everyone gets out safe, and this situation is just another argument for both a better education system and universal health care.
posted by yeloson at 12:25 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Stop all shows glorifying human birthing on all your channels and on TLC.

Aw, fuck, no! You'll pry my "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant", "18 Kids and Counting", "Make Room For Multiples", and "Quints by Surprise" from my cold, amniotic-fluid-soaked fingers!

You can have "Jon and Kate Plus 8", though.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:25 PM on September 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


He's really serious about reducing the human population. I don't think this is going to end well.
posted by Azazel Fel at 12:26 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


First of all, good god I hope everyone gets out of this alive and intact.

Secondly, do we expect even a single news outlet to mention the "anchor baby" part of his manifesto, instead of just spinning this as lefty ecoterrorism?
posted by Navelgazer at 12:27 PM on September 1, 2010


The combination of insane and Discovery made me think this was going to be about Sarah Palin...
posted by 445supermag at 12:27 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is your obligation. If you think it isn't, then get hell off the planet!

You first, douchebag.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt


Yeah I think that will be resolved before the end of business.
posted by timsteil at 12:28 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


First of all, good god I hope everyone gets out of this alive and intact.

well, usual form is that he won't.
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on September 1, 2010


You know, this really makes the LOLINSANEWEBSITE posts that pop up around here occasionally seem a lot less funny.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:29 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Glad to see no one is seizing on this to score cheap political points.

Oh give me a break. That idiot's twitter feed show she's about as intelligent as our hostage-taker. There are morons on all sides of the political spectrum.
posted by Dasein at 12:29 PM on September 1, 2010


Fuck. So that's it, then. This guy just made environmentalism public enemy number one, as far as Fox News will be concerned, from now until the end of the Obama administration. No chance whatsoever now of getting any substantive environmental legislation passed in the next congress either.

On the plus side, there will be some hilarious talk radio soundbites.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:29 PM on September 1, 2010


He's really serious about reducing the human population.

Meh. The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement did it first, and better.
posted by Gator at 12:29 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Video of Lee inciting a small riot across the street of the Discovery building in 2008
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:30 PM on September 1, 2010


he sort of lost me at "anchor baby filth".
posted by GuyZero at 12:31 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


No love for the slugs, though, dude? I thought not. Hypocrite.
posted by contessa at 12:32 PM on September 1, 2010


Fox News is boring, so far. Nothing about "crazed environmentalist" yet.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:33 PM on September 1, 2010


Video of Lee inciting a small riot across the street of the Discovery building in 2008

From the 2008 thread, a small bit about Lee's apparent cash-for-protest tactics that MrMoonPie linked.
posted by cortex at 12:34 PM on September 1, 2010


The Discovery Channel building has a whole lot of neat stuff on display in the lobby-- a replica T. Rex skeleton, some big mechanical contraption, and other cool things. For several years now I've been planning to go inside and check it out. Now I'll never be able to see it. Thanks a lot, James Lee, you ass.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:34 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


This guy's primary platform is that humans should stop breeding. I don't know any environmentalist who has seriously promoted that idea, even if they believe overpopulation is going to end our species.

You honestly think Americans make or care about such fine-grained distinctions? The guy's upset about animal populations dying off. That makes him, using the same kind of hand-wavy, fuzzy-to-the-point-of-being-incoherent reasoning that makes the current administration both Muslim and solely politically responsible for both the financial crisis and the bank bailouts that congress passed at the behest of the previous administration.

In the course language of American culture, aided with some gentle prodding by media manipulators who know a good opportunity when they see it, this will read: "Environmental terrorist takes hostages. Can any environmentalist be trusted?" Mark my words.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:34 PM on September 1, 2010


Also, instead of proving the dangerousness of environmentalism, this situation really suggests that we need more funding for community mental health programs rather than less.
posted by Azazel Fel at 12:34 PM on September 1, 2010 [10 favorites]


I think maybe we're being a little judgy

The guy has a gun and he's holding people hostage, threatening to kill them. This is taking the tedious Metafilter PC Patrol a step too far.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:35 PM on September 1, 2010 [46 favorites]


Not sure how many people this affects but a friend of mine was in the building and just tweeted that at least some of the company's divisions have been evacuated and are safe. So there's at least some good news so far.
posted by dhammond at 12:35 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


In my opinion, there are three types of crazy:

1. People who are known to do wacky or outlandish things. Sometimes fun at parties. Not mentally ill, just prone to doing wild or unexpected things.
2. The mentally ill. These people should not be called crazy, as they have a treatable illness. We should help them the best we can.
3. People who are a combination of 1 and 2 where their insane behavior fuels the mental illness and they actively avoid treatment or do actions that nullify or endanger their mental/physical health.

I think this guy is #3, so I have no problem calling him crazy. The system has likely failed him to an extent, but he was given a legal wake-up call previously.
posted by mikeh at 12:35 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


So his demands are basically that the Discovery Channel saves the world. The Discovery Channel.
posted by iamck at 12:35 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Manifesto Batshit Index

*ctrl-f "!"*

36?!
posted by quin at 12:36 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah? Just wait. It's early yet. It's already started:

ECO-TERRORIST HAS STORMED THE DISCOVER CHANNEL HEADQUARTERS IN MARYLAND, SHOTS FIRED, HOSTAGES TAKEN
posted by saulgoodman at 12:36 PM on September 1, 2010


I live two blocks away from the Discovery building, and have lived within four blocks of it for the past four years now. I was wondering what all the sirens were earlier, and when I first heard of this, I was a bit shocked. To know that it is the same nutbar that was protesting there before does not surprise me.
posted by X-Himy at 12:36 PM on September 1, 2010


fearfulsymmetry: MetaFilter Prophet

Right, I'm not weirded out by that at all... sigh, hoping for the best whilst expecting the worst.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:37 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wasn't there a TED talk with this Swedish statistician showing a time-based correlation in the decline in fertility or birth rates and the GDP of industrialized countries? It would be interesting to see an environmentalist propose expanded industrialization as a means to get human population under control.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:37 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fox News is boring, so far. Nothing about "crazed environmentalist" yet.

He's manifesto talks about "Anchor babies" and they don't want to risk alienating their base.
posted by quin at 12:37 PM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Glad to see no one is seizing on this to score cheap political points.

My first thought as I started reading his "manifesto," before I even knew where he was going, was that this was going to be cheap-political-point-o-rama. Although, to be fair, I hadn't realized that Al Gore's work to stop tsunamis, flooding and the destruction of populated land was "creating a climate of hate against human beings."

And by the way -- this gunman's target for changing the world is the Discovery Channel? Not, say, a network or a news channel? I mean, the Discovery Channel couldn't even stop Kate Gosselin.
posted by PlusDistance at 12:38 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


For a little more background, here's his forum, where he engages with some residents/trolls about his protests in 2008.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:38 PM on September 1, 2010


Look, this guy is obviously dangerously insane. If anyone should be taking political advantage of this it's gun control advocates.
posted by Mister_A at 12:39 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Manifesto Batshit Index

Well, if you do a view-source on the cached version of his manifesto, you'll see that he created it in Microsoft Word. Surely that should count for something, evil-by-association at the least.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:39 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't know any environmentalist who has seriously promoted that idea

There's a whole organization for it and everything.
posted by jedicus at 12:39 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


My "it's complicated" works for Discovery and I was just there last Thursday picking him up after work (he's safely back in LA-land this week, thank goodness), but I initially found it hard to imagine why anyone would attack Discovery, other than agents from another cable network (that's not entirely true, as the place is littered with Eames LCW chairs and I've spent four years trying to figure out how to criminally stroll off with set of chairs, but the place is all open and airy and bristling with cameras, so it's just not happening).

On the other hand, the Discovery Company's TLC channel (emphatically no longer "The Learning Channel," in their branding) has become the official network of uncontrolled religious idiot baby machines and fertility treatment disaster freakshows, so I can see why he'd head over there, after reading his moronic rambling manifesto (do manifestos ever produce anything but more crazy?). Oy.

Just hoping things fizzle out without harm.
posted by sonascope at 12:40 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whoops, Gator got there first. I'll just slip in the Wikipedia article for antinatalism, which has an incredibly fitting portrait of Schopenhauer looking his Scroogy best.
posted by jedicus at 12:41 PM on September 1, 2010


And everybody who visits his site or reads his blog gets targeted as a potential fellow traveler.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:42 PM on September 1, 2010


Glad to see no one is seizing on this to score cheap political points.
Left Wing Terrorist Hold Hostages in DC Area
Discovery Channel Hostage Takers Demands [Left wing enviro basket case]
etc.
posted by sanko at 12:42 PM on September 1, 2010


Jacqueline:
I think he's being called "batshit insane" primarily because he decided that the best way to achieve his goals was to go to the Discovery Channel building with bombs and guns and start taking hostages, not just because of what he wrote on the internet.

mephron:
this is his batshit insane manifesto.

Right there in the OP we call the man crazy just for his opinions. His methods are deplorable, to be sure I'm just not ready to demonize him for having unorthodox opinions. Maybe having children should not be the ne plus ultra of reality shows, maybe cable can stop glorifying weapons and wars, and I would personally picket to run more shows about "Darwin until it sinks into the stupid people's brains until they get it!!"

Dave Chappelle:
“The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It’s dismissive. I don’t understand this person so they’re crazy. That’s bullshit. These people are not crazy. They are strong people. Maybe the environment is a little sick.”
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:43 PM on September 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


Fuck. So that's it, then. This guy just made environmentalism public enemy number one, as far as Fox News will be concerned, from now until the end of the Obama administration. No chance whatsoever now of getting any substantive environmental legislation passed in the next congress either.

Damn. We're fucked. Thanks assholes.


Fox only has enough bandwidth, and (more importantly) their viewers only have enough of an attention span to focus on a few things at a time. If they direct their focus to the environment, perhaps that will minimize their coverage of other legislation.
posted by zarq at 12:43 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blaming this on environmentalists would be like blaming the Reagan assassination attempt on Jodie Foster.
posted by hermitosis at 12:43 PM on September 1, 2010 [27 favorites]


Fuck. So that's it, then. This guy just made environmentalism public enemy number one, as far as Fox News will be concerned, from now until the end of the Obama administration. No chance whatsoever now of getting any substantive environmental legislation passed in the next congress either.

Wait, you said that like it wasn't *already* the case.
posted by aught at 12:44 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeahh, gotta hand it to Fox News. Office neighbor just popped in and shouted that some guy watched Al Gore's movie and now he's taken the Discovery channel hostage. I asked him where in the world he got the Al Gore part from -- yeah, fair and balanced.
posted by cavalier at 12:44 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Anybody else have Bloodhound Gang stuck in their head right now?
posted by Asparagirl at 12:45 PM on September 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Blaming this on environmentalists would be like blaming the Reagan assassination attempt on Jodie Foster.

Google-fu failed me. I had a really funny joke but reality didn't play along.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:45 PM on September 1, 2010


I hope you're right, mister_a. But in my experience, opportunists know how to make hay out of a lot less than this. and there are people in this very thread arguing (mistakenly) that his views are not that crazy.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:46 PM on September 1, 2010


Flagged as newsfilter, editorializing, and mocking the mentally ill.

Honestly, it's not great framing and while the dude is obviously not in a good place mentally none of us mods are in love with how the post uses the "batshit insane" framing. That said, it's weird big breaking developing news and I think it's more of a You Get The Post You Get situation here than something where nixing and hoping for a reboot might be pretty weird too. The whole situation here is weird and edge-casey.

So if folks can focus on making the thread good and try and let the not-great framing go, we can probably make this work.
posted by cortex at 12:46 PM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Didn't we agree that LiveNewsFilter was bad back in the wake of Balloon Boy? There is nothing fantastic about this (boy possibly floating away in a balloon), and while it's "stupid" news, there's an ugly element of LOLBatShitInsane!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:46 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


He has the opportunity, why did he not demand that Oprah no longer redub BBC documentaries?
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 12:46 PM on September 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Should have previewed, sorry cortex
posted by filthy light thief at 12:46 PM on September 1, 2010


I don't think anyone is LOLing.
posted by hermitosis at 12:47 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


(he's safely back in LA-land this week, thank goodness)

I have a buddy who works in LA at a cable provider; he reports that his workplace has been semi-locked down because they're some kind of uplink.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:48 PM on September 1, 2010


Right there in the OP we call the man crazy just for his opinions.

So, when exactly do we get to call someone crazy?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:48 PM on September 1, 2010 [10 favorites]



Yeahh, gotta hand it to Fox News. Office neighbor just popped in and shouted that some guy watched Al Gore's movie and now he's taken the Discovery channel hostage. I asked him where in the world he got the Al Gore part from -- yeah, fair and balanced.


MSNBC is reporting the same thing: Lee said he experienced an ‘‘awakening” when he watched former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental documentary ‘‘An Inconvenient Truth.”
posted by sanko at 12:49 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think maybe we're being a little judgy with all the "redefining batshit insane" comments

Shots were fired, he may be wearing an explosive device, all because he believes that a cable TV channel should be broadcasting his shows which will force people to fix the planet and that they should stop encouraging people to procreate.

What's *your* standard for batshit insane? Would love to know.
posted by micawber at 12:49 PM on September 1, 2010 [12 favorites]


There's a thin line between ZPG and psychopathic antisocial personality disorder.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:50 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


to be sure I'm just not ready to demonize him for having unorthodox opinions

Thats fine, but don't pretend he's just trying to get Jon & Kate off the air. There's:

"That means stopping the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies!"
"Programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that"
"FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THEM TO STOP THEIR HUMAN GROWTH AND THE EXPORTATION OF THAT DISGUSTING FILTH!"

These are not opinions about rational ways to, maybe, slow human population growth. He wants a total collapse of civilizaiton, and believes we should get rid of humans for the benefit of other species. While I'm 100% for considering other species more than we do now, his positions are beyond extreme.

But what really makes him crazy is his proposed solution, which involves... the Discovery Channel? That combination of extreme ideas + unworkable solution pushes him firmly into crazytown for me.

--

Although, as someone above pointed out, this really does seem like Zim's MO. And I can totally imagine Gir inserting the bit about Froggies....
posted by wildcrdj at 12:50 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


His methods are deplorable, to be sure I'm just not ready to demonize him for having unorthodox opinions.

Did you seriously read the whole thing?

He believes that it is the reponsibility of the Discovery Channel to broadcast programming which advocates voluntary extinction, and he takes them to task for their perceived wrongdoing since he is certain they already know that humanity is terrible and must be wiped out, but they won't do anything about it.

Which I guess is a bit of an unorthodox opinion, yeah.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:51 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


...froggies?

Like Kermit, dont'cha know?
posted by ericb at 12:51 PM on September 1, 2010


Oh yeah? Just wait. It's early yet. It's already started:

From Political Byline, not a news source. The site's tagline is: "I will NOT tell you what you want to hear. However, I WILL tell you what I THINK and what YOU need to know!"

I'm sure it'll spin up into some "eco-terrorist" noise, but for now, nothing mainstream is going that way. And nothing of the sort queried by Google's news crawler (at least in the headlines) - it's all about a "gunman" or "armed man," nothing of the message.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:53 PM on September 1, 2010


dear god, i just hope everyone makes it out okay.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:54 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


fearfulsymmetry: MetaFilter Prophet

What's doubly weird is I've got no memory of writing that... But I still think he looks like a nut-job. If only if I could use my powers for good...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:55 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck. So that's it, then. This guy just made environmentalism public enemy number one, as far as Fox News will be concerned, from now until the end of the Obama administration. No chance whatsoever now of getting any substantive environmental legislation passed in the next congress either.

Damn. We're fucked. Thanks assholes.

Last one out, don't forget to turn out the lights.


Yup.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 12:55 PM on September 1, 2010


Fuck. So that's it, then. This guy just made environmentalism public enemy number one, as far as Fox News will be concerned, from now until the end of the Obama administration. No chance whatsoever now of getting any substantive environmental legislation passed in the next congress either.


Please please please don't do this, okay? Don't take a very real and very seriously bad situation in which innocent people are in danger and re-contextualize it in real-time as part of some suspicious metanarrative. First, it never happens like this. Secondly, you may not realize this, but you are stripping the victims of their humanity.

You know what the metanarrative is? A lot of people feel alone and alienated. A lot of those people are depressed and despondent. Some of those people are mentally ill. Some of those people are very seriously mentally ill. And some of those people have guns.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:55 PM on September 1, 2010 [26 favorites]


Well, to be honest, Zim's MO would involve a giant robot disguised as a hotdog or something.

Which I'd vastly prefer. It has more style.
posted by quin at 12:55 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]



Yeahh, gotta hand it to Fox News. Office neighbor just popped in and shouted that some guy watched Al Gore's movie and now he's taken the Discovery channel hostage. I asked him where in the world he got the Al Gore part from -- yeah, fair and balanced.

Try to look at this positively: if Fox News wants to devote non stop coverage to this they would have to admit that terrorists aren't always Muslim.

So there's that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:56 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Myspace profile, wherein he describes his mood as "vibrant"
posted by randomination at 12:56 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


From his Myspace profile:

Children: I don't want kids

Understatement of the year.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:57 PM on September 1, 2010 [17 favorites]


TBD is liveblogging:
UPDATE 2:33 p.m. This was an the e-mail sent to Discovery employees

Subject: URGENT: Employees Should Go Home - Don't Return to 1DP Until Further Notice Employees at 1DP should go home for the remainder of the day. No employee should return to 1DP for any reason. Employees with cars at 1DP should not return to the office, but instead use an alternate mode of transportation.

The children from Discovery Kids Place are safe and with their teachers at the McDonald's at the intersection of Colesville and Second Aves. Parents should meet their children there and go home for the remainder of the day.

posted by zarq at 12:57 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


“The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It’s dismissive. I don’t understand this person so they’re crazy. That’s bullshit. These people are not crazy. They are strong people. Maybe the environment is a little sick.”

It's one thing to call somebody crazy as a way of diminishing their point of view.

It's another entirely when it's an accurate assessment of the person's thoughts and actions.

While, yes I do agree that overpopulation and war and pollution are valid and ongoing concerns, I am personally, a very big fan of civilization despite those flaws. I like running water, and Medical care, and vaccinations, and safe food, and heat in winter, and mountain bikes, and internets and so on and on and on. I suspect I'm not too far in left field on this viewpoint.

In any event, taking hostages at a TV station is not an appropriate way to address these environmental concerns. It's a shame this guy didn't get the help he needed before this, and it's really unfortunate that he thought this course of action made sense.

That having been said, he is pretty fucking crazy.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:58 PM on September 1, 2010


As for opportunists, Sean Hannity led off his show with a lengthy reading of the manifesto's craziest hits - and expressed his wish that the gunman not be captured alive.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:58 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


(and yes, obviously he is crazy.)
posted by saulgoodman at 1:00 PM on September 1, 2010


Does the Bat signal work during the day?
posted by The Whelk at 1:01 PM on September 1, 2010


Don't take a very real and very seriously bad situation in which innocent people are in danger and re-contextualize it in real-time as part of some suspicious metanarrative. [...] You know what the metanarrative is? [...]

Now I'm lost. Is re-contextualizing as part of a metanarrative a bad thing or not?
posted by Zed at 1:01 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese: "As for opportunists, Sean Hannity led off his show with a lengthy reading of the manifesto's craziest hits - and expressed his wish that the gunman not be captured alive."

Wow, seriously? What a wretched excuse for a human being.
posted by brundlefly at 1:01 PM on September 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Can we delete the batshit references here? I realize this is a breaking news item (so there's the OMG LOOOK! factor; but haven't we said that's not really what MeFi is for?), but this could be handled so much better. Either remove the "batshit" editorializing, or take the post down and put up a more neutral one in its place.

There's not much funny about mental illness, and marginalizing it like this (LOOK! LOOK AT THE CRAZY OF THIS CRAZY CRAZYPERSON!) is probably not helpful to those suffering from mental illness, or the stigma associated with seeking treatment.
posted by Eideteker at 1:02 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


yes, I overeditorialized in the initial post. I see that now.

but when I read his "manifesto" the first time, I had moment after moment of "wait what" as he fused ideas past the far realm of Eco-activism with ideas of the anti-immigration right into one incoherent whole, and it was just painful to try to understand.

so, yes, minus rather a lot of points for framing.
posted by mephron at 1:03 PM on September 1, 2010


Wow, seriously? What a wretched excuse for a human being.

Yup. He's been one before today though.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:03 PM on September 1, 2010


[Couple comments removed. Can the fuck you stuff, please consider taking side arguments to email.]
posted by cortex at 1:05 PM on September 1, 2010


I'm usually okay with liveblogging, but I think disclosing the exact location of the daycare kids to the world isn't the smartest move.

Sure, it's nice to know they're safe and Mr. Gunman can't get to them, but I don't know if I'd want the media to suddenly converge on the McDonald's before I can pick up my kid.
posted by CancerMan at 1:05 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


thsmchnekllsfascists: "Yup. He's been one before today though."

You'll get no argument from me.
posted by brundlefly at 1:06 PM on September 1, 2010


No point in going to MeTa. Not much else left to say.

It's just sad that there's a crazy guy holding hostages in the Discovery building (and no matter what happens next, there will be more sad consequences to follow).
posted by saulgoodman at 1:06 PM on September 1, 2010


But what really makes him crazy is his proposed solution, which involves... the Discovery Channel?

Actually, for me it's the GUN.

But, you know, YMMV.
posted by micawber at 1:06 PM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm usually okay with liveblogging, but I think disclosing the exact location of the daycare kids to the world isn't the smartest move.

And if I'm a parent who went out on a sales call, I am VERY THANKFUL that I have no doubt at all that my children are safe, and where they are, and I don't have to panic and try to figure that out, or drive like a maniac back to the building, possibly endangering myself or other drivers, because I think my child is trapped there.
posted by micawber at 1:08 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


i wish he had not taken hostages.

he seems a bit off his rocker and maybe needs meds, but i'm pretty sure i remember a time when the Discovery Channel had more science stuff and less "look we have so many babies we ran out of names" shows. i don't even watch it that much but every time i see it on somewhere, it's about children and women giving birth and families with a ton of kids.

of course, mtv used to show music videos.

i don't mean to be glib at all, he took hostages, he could kill them, he could hurt a lot of people.

but wow. i actually am still trying to form a response even after reading the comments here and his manifesto and some of the news.

part of me is like, go dude, and the other part, is "why hostages, man????" i cannot wrap my mind around this in a neat package.
posted by sio42 at 1:08 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THEM TO STOP THEIR HUMAN GROWTH AND THE EXPORTATION OF THAT DISGUSTING FILTH!

"With all due respect, I think you're taking Dirty Jobs a little too seriously."
posted by mattdidthat at 1:09 PM on September 1, 2010


The Twitter image aggregation (self-link, but relevant):

http://twitcaps.com/s/discovery
posted by BoatMeme at 1:10 PM on September 1, 2010


Read his myspace blog entries, he didn't even like An Inconvenient Truth:

I finished reading Al Gore's book, and inconvenient truth a few days ago. It was very enlightening. However, at the end he didn't offer any real solutions, as if changing a lightbulb would even put a scratch in the global warming epidemic. The book was half good, which means the part about science was good.
posted by The Straightener at 1:11 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would go completely out of my head with rage and despair at humanity if I found myself sitting in my home, not interacting with the outside world, and watching TLC/Discovery programming 24 hours a day. I say this not to make a joke, or to excuse his deplorable actions, but to merely bring up the idea that the environment we live in and the messages we receive every day might be pretty damn insane too.
posted by naju at 1:11 PM on September 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


Can I still say "fuck you Sean Hannity"? Because fuck you Sean Hannity.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:13 PM on September 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


also, if the mods would be so kind as to remove the pejorative from my link to the manifesto, I think many would appreciate it.

and yes, Hannity is pretty vile, but I don't expect much from him
posted by mephron at 1:14 PM on September 1, 2010


part of me is like, go dude

Work on that part.
posted by escabeche at 1:14 PM on September 1, 2010 [31 favorites]


I'm usually okay with liveblogging, but I think disclosing the exact location of the daycare kids to the world isn't the smartest move.

I think the Washington Post coverage said they'd all been picked up, though I wouldn't swear to it.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:16 PM on September 1, 2010


I finished reading Al Gore's book, and inconvenient truth a few days ago. It was very enlightening. However, at the end he didn't offer any real solutions, as if changing a lightbulb would even put a scratch in the global warming epidemic.

So, not completely crazy.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:17 PM on September 1, 2010


Re: this guy killing environmentalism... I disagree with the premise that being a supporter of an idea or group makes you somehow responsible for answering for the actions or beliefs of other supporters.

There are always Wackos in every group. No exceptions. It's when the whackos are the group that people need to answer for them.
posted by gryftir at 1:18 PM on September 1, 2010


posted by naju I would go completely out of my head with rage and despair at humanity if I found myself sitting in my home, not interacting with the outside world, and watching TLC/Discovery programming 24 hours a day. I say this not to make a joke, or to excuse his deplorable actions, but to merely bring up the idea that the environment we live in and the messages we receive every day might be pretty damn insane too.

Next time you feel that way, try turning off the TV.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:20 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are always Wackos in every group. No exceptions. It's when the whackos are the group that people need to answer for them.

We will be expected to answer for him. Fox news is going to pound this into everyones head for the next week or two.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:21 PM on September 1, 2010


also, if the mods would be so kind as to remove the pejorative from my link to the manifesto, I think many would appreciate it.

Can do, though the lede is as much of a problem if not more. If we're gonna get your blessing on a rare edit, I could snip about eight words from there as well and significantly improve the situation.
posted by cortex at 1:23 PM on September 1, 2010


Don't take a very real and very seriously bad situation in which innocent people are in danger and re-contextualize it in real-time as part of some suspicious metanarrative.

I just want to clarify in this thread that despite this previous comment, at no point has anyone here suggested this situation is "suspicious" or anything other than the senseless tragedy it appears to be. Obviously, this is a lone, very disturbed individual with a long history of acting out violently. My comments above were meant only to point out what I see as another tragic aspect of the situation, not to "frame it" or diminish the gravity of it in some way.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:24 PM on September 1, 2010


But overpopulation isn't a problem anymore -- things have swung sharply in the other direction in the last ten years or so.

Sigh.
posted by droob at 1:25 PM on September 1, 2010


Lee's message board, which consists of a good chunk of people trying to talk sense to him back in '08, and /b/tards posting today.
posted by SansPoint at 1:25 PM on September 1, 2010


cortex: go for it, sir. I trust your judgement implicitly.
posted by mephron at 1:27 PM on September 1, 2010



Anybody else have Bloodhound Gang stuck in their head right now?

The Bad Touch.
posted by philip-random at 1:28 PM on September 1, 2010


Please please please don't do this, okay? Don't take a very real and very seriously bad situation in which innocent people are in danger and re-contextualize it in real-time as part of some suspicious metanarrative. First, it never happens like this. Secondly, you may not realize this, but you are stripping the victims of their humanity.

But this is what environmentalists are now going to have to deal with. It is part of a metanarrative: the Right will once again talk about crazy environmentalists, and once again we will have to reestablish credibility... People are suffering outside of the Discovery building too. And some of that suffering is because of ecological problems. And this man's actions are going to hurt the efforts of activists who want to address those problems.

So I ask you: please please please don't lose your head and forbid us from thinking about wider ramifications every time something tragic happens.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 1:29 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I, for one, support disgusting human babies and the Discovery Channel.
posted by LakesideOrion at 1:31 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Done. The "batshit insane" references snipped in both spots, Lee's name inserted in place in the shortened lede for clarity.

For the sake of anyone for whom this is their first rodeo, let me just be super clear here that this is not something that we do more than once in a blue moon. Thanks for being a sport about it, mephron.
posted by cortex at 1:31 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


part of me is like, go dude, and the other part, is "why hostages, man????"

Dangerous people are dangerous. It doesn't matter if your manifesto is about putting a stop to a genocide, or the healing powers of marshmallows and your insistence that they be put into use as a form of medical treatment, once you cross that line from yelling about something and putting a gun to an innocent and demanding your point of view be taken seriously, everything good or bad you might have stood for stopped being relevant and you became the Bad Guy
posted by quin at 1:32 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


(don't forget the tags)

Thank you for fixing this (OP & cortex) without a whole messy MeTa thing. I'm glad I didn't bring it over there, because who knows how long and ugly that would have gotten.

"We will be expected to answer for him."

I don't know who this "we" is; I don't even know the guy. However, if anyone says that this is somehow your fault, ask them how they voted in regards to universal mental health care. Folks will always be crazy. The least we can do is not make it harder for them to get care (and that includes by stigmatizing mental illness).
posted by Eideteker at 1:33 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


His manifesto is not that out there, incongruous racism aside.

...

All human procreation and farming must cease!

One of these things is not like the other.

Now I'm lost. Is re-contextualizing as part of a metanarrative a bad thing or not?

Apparently only recontextualizing as part of a suspicious metanarrative is a bad thing. Other metanarratives are OK.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:34 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


the environment we live in and the messages we receive every day might be pretty damn insane too.

Next time you feel that way, try turning off the TV.

I couldn't tell if that was directed at me, but if it was, my TV isn't even plugged in. But good luck preaching that as a solution to the rest of America.
posted by naju at 1:36 PM on September 1, 2010


“The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It’s dismissive. I don’t understand this person so they’re crazy. That’s bullshit. These people are not crazy. They are strong people. Maybe the environment is a little sick.”

The Dave Chapelle quote is in VERY different context. He's specifically talking about being an actor of color in Hollywood, how -he- got called crazy for quitting the show and taking a vacation in Africa and how other actors, who have shown themselves to be very composed and strong, snap under hostile environments. He most certainly wasn't talking about people holding folks hostage or advocating genocide.

Perhaps this guy has a hostile environment, etc. but basically, we don't know that, and frankly, anyone who is threatening violence, I really don't have a problem calling crazy. It's not impossible to both recognize someone unbalanced as a dangerous threat and, after the threat is over, have empathy for whatever condition or situations they're in.
posted by yeloson at 1:38 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why hostages? Because the guy is a very predictable and boring lunatic following the usual script for lunatics of that type, and everything else is set dressing.

Basically all of this is build up to the cresendo of his personal martydom story, which will most likely be him getting his diseased brains blown out, and TBH the only problem I have with that part is he didn't stay home and quietly do it on his own.

It's all just a regular part of what happens in societies where crazy people are allowed to have guns.
posted by Artw at 1:38 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


OMG, thankful they got the kids out . . . before he thought to go there.
posted by theredpen at 1:40 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hopefully none of his hostages try the "please, I have kids" line
posted by $0up at 1:42 PM on September 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


I finished reading Al Gore's book, and inconvenient truth a few days ago. It was very enlightening. However, at the end he didn't offer any real solutions, as if changing a lightbulb would even put a scratch in the global warming epidemic.

So, not completely crazy.


Brings to mind the Unabomber, who I really don't know much about to be honest. But I remember a friend following his case rather carefully (starting well before the arrest). As I recall, he (the friend) had a lot of sympathy for the Unabomber's motives, and even became an apologist for a while. But eventually, post-arrest and as the sordid/mad details started to play out, friend had to acknowledge that the guy really had taken initially rational grievances WAY TOO FAR.

There's a bunch of lessons in here, I suspect. Things like staying on your meds regardless of what those voices may be whispering to you, being suspicious of one's own self-righteousness, being conscious of how slyly, how incrementally, bad (mad) ideas subvert good (rational) ideas ... usually via one of the good ole Church of Rome's Seven Deadly Sins.
posted by philip-random at 1:43 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's all just a regular part of what happens in societies where crazy people are allowed to have guns.

To which I'd add a measure of deep narcissism.
posted by philip-random at 1:45 PM on September 1, 2010


Re: this guy killing environmentalism... I disagree with the premise that being a supporter of an idea or group makes you somehow responsible for answering for the actions or beliefs of other supporters.

There are always Wackos in every group. No exceptions. It's when the whackos are the group that people need to answer for them.


Well, you think that. And I think that.

But Fox News and its viewers have been operating on the idea that Muslims are evil because of the attacks on 9/11 since they occurred. It's the basis of the current "Ground Zero Mosque" idiocy.

So, yeah, this pretty much allows the conservative media to drive the environmental movement into a pit that's going to be difficult to claw its way out of.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:49 PM on September 1, 2010


It is part of a metanarrative: the Right will once again talk about crazy environmentalists, and once again we will have to reestablish credibility...

And I suppose the guy who flew the plane into the IRS building....

The problem is the left....well, this.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:52 PM on September 1, 2010


That's amazing, Steely Dan. Thanks for linking that!
posted by cavalier at 1:53 PM on September 1, 2010


"Why hostages" is the least perplexing of a host of questions here.

Lee sees himself as the leader of some kind of revolution. It's possible that he jumped on the Al Gore train, but I remember him saying that he had some kind of revelation after reading Daniel Quinn's work.

He believes that he wrote something clear and inspirational, and thought that people would start following him, because according to him nobody else is doing anything to improve the environment. So, for a couple of years, he has been putting energy and money into this. He even bought ads in the paper. And he has been ignored, mocked, and occasionally arrested, for his efforts. Because yeah, he's protesting the Discovery Channel. And people, by and large, love the Discovery Channel, especially in Silver Spring. Nothing around him was pointing to the idea that he was making any progress with his revolution, yet he persisted in the same spot, among the same people, doing the same pointless actions, and expecting something to change.

I am all for promoting mental health and discouraging the stigma attached to "mental illness." This dude, however, seems literally crazed by the internal cynosure of his revolutionary planet-saving mission. I'm OK with calling him crazy. Intelligent people who love kittens and make some logical arguments and dress in clean clothes can also be dangerous zealots who pursue ideas that have no realistic merit.
posted by zennie at 1:57 PM on September 1, 2010


It's all just a regular part of what happens in societies where crazy people are allowed to have guns.

Seriously. That people with restraining orders are allowed to carry weapons is as crazy as the people with those same restraining orders.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:57 PM on September 1, 2010


According to the live stream from WUSA, they shot him and the hostages are out and safe.
posted by SansPoint at 2:00 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hostages all safe, cops say.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:00 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Just so everyone knows, the Police Chief for Montgomery County has just announced that a police officer has shot the man in question and it appears that an explosion may have gone off but that is unconfirmed. They believe that there might be other devices in place in the building which they will need to remove.

All of the hostages have gotten out safely and he believes that there are no injuries but that has not yet been confirmed.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 2:00 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hostages all safe, cops say.

That's a huge relief.
posted by zarq at 2:02 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now that everyone is safe can we begin to compare him to various Batman Villains?
posted by The Whelk at 2:02 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


That would explain the 5 police cruisers I saw fly by me on 495 today...
posted by codacorolla at 2:04 PM on September 1, 2010


[Couple things removed. Not so much with the weird for weird's sake or whatever, please.]
posted by cortex at 2:08 PM on September 1, 2010


"It's all just a regular part of what happens in societies where crazy people are allowed to have guns."

???

Crazy is crazy. As we've seen on planes: if not guns, they'll find something else. Similarly, if someone wants to hurt you, they're going to find a way to hurt you. The best way is to defuse the conflict ahead of time, and nip it in the bud. In this case, the conversation really needs to be about the state of mental health care in this country.

Fox is going to spout whatever they're going to spout. The question is, what are you going to do about it? Make fun of a guy? Wow, hope that makes you feel better about yourself. As I stated on Facebook: "Typically, the left is so pants-shittingly frightened of the right (esp. FoxNews) that they can't betray their values and principles fast enough."

Way to play their game. You cannot win by being on the defensive. Any kid who's played a few games of Tic-Tac-Toe knows that. You're continually being reactive, playing catch up. Go on the offensive. Steer the conversation to "traditional values" like raising the costs and limiting access to healthcare, and stigmatizing mental illness.

This guy is SICK. He needs help (and jail time—there's always personal responsiblity), not scorn and derision. But by all means, continue to marginalize if it makes you feel better. It makes you feel better, but does it make you better?
posted by Eideteker at 2:10 PM on September 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


They aren't saying one way or another as to "suspect has been shot" means that "suspect has been killed".

That said, Whew. The hostages are safe.

---

So:

All programs promoting War and the technology behind those must cease. There is no sense in advertising weapons of mass-destruction anymore... Also, keep out the fraudulent peace movements. They are liars and fakes and had no real intention of ending the wars. ALL OF THEM ARE FAKE!

I will now prove this point by creating a ton of program regarding a weapon of mass destruction used in the context of trying to demand programing which promotes peace. I will do this because I do not understand the concept of irony!

Civilization must be exposed for the filth it is.

I will fail to demonstrate this by creating a situation where the first thing people do is selflessly save other people's children.

You're also going to find solutions for unemployment and housing. All these unemployed people makes me think the US is headed toward more war.

Because, Discovery Channel, you as a TV network, are responsible for providing shelter to the homeless and preventing war.

I believe I mentioned this in my previous memo: WHY AREN'T YOU DOING MORE TO STOP DARFUR SPEED NETWORK?!!?!

---

To sum up, Dear Mr. Lee.

I honestly hope you are not dead. Because, besides pissing off Hannity, I want you alive and well to see the kind of ridicule people are about to heap on you.
posted by quin at 2:12 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


That people with restraining orders are allowed to carry weapons is as crazy as the people with those same restraining orders.

They're not.
posted by electroboy at 2:12 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


1. The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's "My Ishmael" pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done ... A game show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science .... Do all until something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilization building STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!

I demand you make a show with my crazy ideas! Also, make sure it's snappy so people watch!

Seriously. That people with restraining orders are allowed to carry weapons is as crazy as the people with those same restraining orders.

was he allowed to carry a gun? I actually thought people with restraining orders against them were not allowed to carry guns, and DC had some very tough gun laws (as in, you couldn't have them in the city. At all) but those were recently struck down by the supreme court. I don't follow this stuff that closely. But I think it's likely this guy was breaking various gun laws by having it on him, even before walking into the building.
posted by delmoi at 2:14 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, he got what he wanted. Good riddance to the crazy fuck.

Now, America, have you maybe considered stepping up your game on healthcare for the mentally I'll? Or gun control. No? Business as usual then. See you next time.
posted by Artw at 2:14 PM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


As much as I'd like to tie this to Heller somehow, this happened in Maryland, not the District.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:16 PM on September 1, 2010


Any kid who's played a few games of Tic-Tac-Toe knows that.

The only winning move is not to play.
posted by kmz at 2:17 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Crazy is crazy. As we've seen on planes: if not guns, they'll find something else. Similarly, if someone wants to hurt you, they're going to find a way to hurt you. The best way is to defuse the conflict ahead of time, and nip it in the bud. In this case, the conversation really needs to be about the state of mental health care in this country.

Well, I think it's actually the case that making things more difficult for people can prevent them from doing something they otherwise might. I think if anyone could buy as much C4 as they wanted on the internet, there would be a lot more bombings. Making it more work to get a gun would probably reduce the ability for crazy people to get them.

I'm not all that sure how you can 'diffuse conflict' with someone who wants to stop both war and human reproduction.
posted by delmoi at 2:18 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


They're not.

Yes, actually, they are, except in the case of abusive spouses or relatives against which a restraining order has been issued. From your link, electroboy:
According to State and Federal law, if you have a PO that was issued by a state civil court against your abuser and meets Federal law requirements, your abuser cannot have a gun in his possession or buy a new gun. * In order for your Protective Order to qualify under Federal law, the defendant (a person who the order is against) must:

Be served (given) notice of the court hearing. In other words, the defendant must have been given paperwork that told him or her about the hearing.
Have an opportunity to attend the court hearing.
Note: The abuser does not have to be at the hearing, but s/he has to have the opportunity to come to the hearing.
Be an "intimate partner" of the victim, which includes:
A current or former spouse
A person with whom you share a child
A person you live with or have lived with in the past **
MD law also includes persons related by blood, marriage or adoption, parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, and vulnerable adults.
The order against Lee didn't qualify under federal law, according to the Maryland law you cited.
After Lee's arrest, a magistrate ordered a doctor's evaluation, but court records do not immediately indicate the result. Lee was convicted by a jury and served two weeks in jail. He was also ordered to stay 500 feet away from Discovery headquarters.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:20 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman called it perfectly. The main headline on FOXNew.com right now:

"Armed Man Takes Hostages, May Be Environmental Protest"

No mention of anchor babies or his immigration beliefs in the main article, even though one of FOXNews.com's main sections is "Immigration". The article talks a lot about his environmental protests though.
posted by formless at 2:21 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


MSNBC confirms he's dead.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:22 PM on September 1, 2010


Now, America, have you maybe considered stepping up your game on healthcare for the mentally I'll? Or gun control. No? Business as usual then. See you next time.

Seeing you next time is good for ratings.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:26 PM on September 1, 2010


I bet the discovery channel is already casting for the dramatic re-enactment to air next week
posted by tehloki at 2:29 PM on September 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


He's obviously a fan of They Might Be Giants.
posted by empyrean at 2:30 PM on September 1, 2010


Seeing you next time is good for ratings.

As is pretending that each of these guys is special and different, and chewing over their bullshit manifestos for "clues". Which in turn encourages mentally ill idiots with guns to go down this route to get some attention for their stupid whittering... So the media very much becomes part of the problem.
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on September 1, 2010


What Hannity wants, Hannity gets.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:33 PM on September 1, 2010


glad the situation ended without any physical injury to the three hostages
posted by tustinrick at 2:33 PM on September 1, 2010


I just hope the Sierra Club or any other pro-environment group doesn't have offices within 3 blocks of that building, because they will be pressured to move; out of respect.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:35 PM on September 1, 2010 [21 favorites]


Well, to be honest, Zim's MO would involve a giant robot disguised as a hotdog or something.

Maybe the cops resolved the standoff by feeding him waffles.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:36 PM on September 1, 2010


This guy is SICK. He needs help ...

Not anymore. The fucker is dead.
posted by ericb at 2:39 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


here's his youtube channel.
posted by delmoi at 2:39 PM on September 1, 2010


A witness’ cell-phone video of Lee's February 2008 protest at the Discovery building.
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on September 1, 2010


No mention of anchor babies or his immigration beliefs in the main article

Actually, seems like he just took the "anchor baby" think a big farther then most people.

MSNBC confirms he's dead.

What about Netcraft?
posted by delmoi at 2:45 PM on September 1, 2010


Obligatory Charlie Brooker link
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:45 PM on September 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


So the only person who watches Discovery Health is now dead?
posted by geoff. at 2:45 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


He's really serious about reducing the human population.

Apparently he and the Montgomery County PD found some common ground on that issue.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:46 PM on September 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


I wish everyone could refer to him as "Malthusian" rather than an "ecoterrorist." For one because it's more accurate, and for another because the FoxNews audience doesn't know what it means.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:48 PM on September 1, 2010 [22 favorites]


So the only person who watches Discovery Health is now dead?

Not a problem. Discovery Health is being changed into the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on January 1st. Seriously.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:50 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sometimes, people need a little help. Sometimes, people need to be forgiven. Sometimes, they need to go to jail. And every now again, they need killing. We don't have to like it. I don't. But there it is.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:51 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Is Obama a Malthusian?"
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes. Let's all celebrate that the mentally ill man was killed by the police.
posted by ecurtz at 2:55 PM on September 1, 2010 [17 favorites]


Yes, actually, they are, except in the case of abusive spouses...

So, only in the type of restraining order that most people are talking about when they say restraining order. Or are we referring to restraining orders that prevent patent infringement as well?

It's somewhat irrelevant whether they qualify under Federal law, because Maryland has pretty strict laws about who can possess a gun and under what circumstances.
posted by electroboy at 2:55 PM on September 1, 2010


I'm usually okay with liveblogging, but I think disclosing the exact location of the daycare kids to the world isn't the smartest move.

Sure, it's nice to know they're safe and Mr. Gunman can't get to them, but I don't know if I'd want the media to suddenly converge on the McDonald's before I can pick up my kid.


I went back and forth with this myself while tracking information and doing updates on We Love DC. I wasn't yet monitoring the police band when they took them to McDs but I heard the communication when they moved them to another location a block or so away.

I wasn't pondering it regarding media; I jokingly call myself a "fake journalist" but in this sense I wasn't any different than any other media: I was listening to information broadcast on an open channel for the purposes of repeating it if it was news worthy.

So let me assure you. If a 'fake journo' like myself knows to fire up the police band there's nothing there that any other on-site journalist can't find. If any danger exists in sharing that location it's not from journalists knowing to go there.

Now, as far as sharing that information when they moved to another location? I considered - is there a risk to broadcasting that location? I eventually decided no, and included the information in my update. My reasoning was two-fold.

One, the radio dispatch's whole purpose was to make sure that callers to MoCo police were given the correct information. So it's not like this was anything anyone was trying to keep secret - the police have procedures for communicating secure information and they're well aware that at any given moment there's hundreds of us listening to them. During an event like this they know it's even more.

Two, I had not a moment of doubt that the people watching those kids are being careful about who they release children to. In all probability they had police assistance and were more secure than they are on most days.

Aside from all that, what's more likely? That a nutter is going to come in to try to snatch/harm a child or that a parent, already near snapping from fear, is going to show up at the McDs because they haven't gotten word their kids have moved?

That situation is traumatic enough. I think it was the right thing to make it known to the world that the children were safe across the street and being cared for and I think it was the right thing to publicize when they moved. I've been in a few crisis situations in my life and in every one the worst part was a lack of information.
posted by phearlez at 2:55 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes. Let's all celebrate that the mentally ill man was killed by the police.

AMERICA FUCK YEAH!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:55 PM on September 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


No mention of anchor babies or his immigration beliefs in the main article, even though one of FOXNews.com's main sections is "Immigration". The article talks a lot about his environmental protests though.

Here is my scripted re-enactment of a Fox News Producer's inner monologue upon review of the manifesto:

"Words....words...words...anchor baby"
*fist pump*
*looks side to side to make sure nobody saw that and continues reading*

"...words...words...'Mathusian'"
*Stops. Long pause. Googles "Malthusian"...reads Wikipedia entry and scrunches forehead whilst skimming article**spots "Marx" and excitedly scribbles in notebook...continues reading*
"words...evolution"...
*scribbles again...stops reading...picks up phone and screams: "Patch me into HANNITY! NOW!"
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:59 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


I've been in a few crisis situations in my life and in every one the worst part was a lack of information.

Yeah I was positing from the presumption that contact info for parents and caregivers was already on hand, that in this day and age there's almost a speed-dial set in everybody's phone or PDA for emergency notification.

It was pointed out to me that not everyone has the same setup, and that contact lists are usually secondary compared to ensuring the child's safety.
posted by CancerMan at 3:02 PM on September 1, 2010


I wish everyone could refer to him as "Malthusian" rather than an "ecoterrorist." For one because it's more accurate, and for another because the FoxNews audience doesn't know what it means.

That's a good point. He hardly qualifies as an eco-terrorist. The only part of his manifesto that would vaguely fit the bill is #6, about finding alternatives to oil (the answer apparently is "JUST DO IT").

Let's all celebrate that the mentally ill man was killed by the police.

"You know what? I'm happy."
posted by mrgrimm at 3:02 PM on September 1, 2010


Yes. Let's all celebrate that the, armed, mentally ill man holding hostages at gunpoint was killed by the police before he hurt anyone.

Amended that for you.
posted by MikeMc at 3:04 PM on September 1, 2010 [17 favorites]


Metafilter: Delusional mentally-ill people are the best grist for snark!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:07 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


That the hostages survived should be viewed as a success. That the perpetrator was killed should be viewed as a failure. No one should be satisfied. If the authorities view this operation as more than a partial success, no improvement will be made in their procedures and the response to the next occurrence of this sort will be the same: Show up in Kevlar and shoot the guy.

This is not good because many of these people are in fact committing suicide. And if that's the case, and the conclusion is foregone, why not take a few others along?

I think we need better non-lethal solutions. Ones that work well enough that there is not a choice to be made only as to who's going to die.
posted by Trochanter at 3:07 PM on September 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yes. Let's all celebrate that the mentally ill man was killed by the police.

If you knew people inside the building, you would, too.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:10 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm glad the outcome was on the "less horrible" side of the continuum.
posted by sciurus at 3:15 PM on September 1, 2010


This could have been worse, a lot worse. Can we not take some comfort in that?
posted by tommasz at 3:18 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wish everyone could refer to him as "Malthusian" rather than an "ecoterrorist." For one because it's more accurate, and for another because the FoxNews audience doesn't know what it means.

"Oh, he's from China, Earl."
posted by dirigibleman at 3:19 PM on September 1, 2010


Sean Hannity hoping for the gunman's death was contemptible. (Or at least that seemed to be the agreement.)

The comments here celebrating the gunman's death - because the hostages were safely rescued, of course! - are presumably something else.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:26 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cant say I'll weep for him.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:30 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hostage situation unfolds real-time on Twitter.
posted by ericb at 3:31 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wish everyone could refer to him as "Malthusian" rather than an "ecoterrorist." For one because it's more accurate, and for another because the FoxNews audience doesn't know what it means.

But they don't know what ecoterrorist means either, or terrorist, or bill of rights, or rule by law, or fair and balanced. Hell, Fox can't get it's D's and R's right when someone is caught in scandal.

You could use any word, really, because Fox News is synonymous with "Doesn't know what anything means".
posted by yeloson at 3:31 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Can't say I'll weep for him

I'd settle for an absence of high-fives and comments that he "needed killing".

I respect cortex's decision to give this thread a chance. But I think we can officially add "police shootings of crazed gunmen" to the list of topics we don't do well.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:39 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, I'm not happy that he died. He obviously was very sick, and we shouldn't ever rejoice in anyone's death by a sniper bullet.

However, this man was taking hostages, people that also didn't want to die and certainly could have under his reign of terror. If this guy had to take a bullet to protect the lives of three unarmed people whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time, then so be it. I'll even go so far as if I were to ever hold anyone hostage with deadly force, not only do I give permission for me to be shot dead to save them, but all of you on here can even be glad the situation ended as well as it did. One dead hostage taker might be deplorable, but I would trade it in a heartbeat for one or more dead hostages.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:41 PM on September 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


That the hostages survived should be viewed as a success. That the perpetrator was killed should be viewed as a failure. No one should be satisfied. If the authorities view this operation as more than a partial success, no improvement will be made in their procedures and the response to the next occurrence of this sort will be the same: Show up in Kevlar and shoot the guy.

While I concur with where you're coming from, Trochanter, this doesn't seem to be the situation here. The police kept a dialog open with him and fired when he threatened one of his three hostages with a gun. They stated he'd been all over the place emotionally, so reacting to his aiming at a hostage seems a reasonable response to me. I hope that if he'd been more consistent in his behavior they wouldn't necessarily have escalated that way.
posted by phearlez at 3:42 PM on September 1, 2010


Sean Hannity hoping for the gunman's death was contemptible. (Or at least that seemed to be the agreement.)

The comments here celebrating the gunman's death - because the hostages were safely rescued, of course! - are presumably something else.


Why would they be something else? It's different people having different opinions. Despite what some people say, Metafilter is not a monolith.
posted by inigo2 at 3:46 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, it wasn't just cortex... Jessamyn suggested it be taken to the Blue.

But yeah, I agree that the celebration of someone's death is kind of oogy, even if it may have been the only way to resolve the situation.
posted by hippybear at 3:49 PM on September 1, 2010


I actually thought people with restraining orders against them were not allowed to carry guns

Yes,you are right, under federal law, if the order qualifies. The same is true as to anyone convicted of a federal felony. States have additional laws which may make carrying a gun illegal. For example, in Washington anyone convicted of a state felony (or qualifying DV offense) may not possess a gun.

Many states, as well as federal law, also prohibit possession of guns by and/or transfer of guns to people who are mentally ill.

It may not do much good. It's worth noting China's spate of child murders at schools by presumably mentally ill men . . . with weapons like cleavers, knives and hammers.
posted by bearwife at 3:51 PM on September 1, 2010


being suspicious of one's own self-righteousness

You're aware of where you're posting this?
posted by mattholomew at 3:55 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


But I think we can officially add "police shootings of crazed gunmen" to the list of topics we don't do well.

Not really. If the original FPP had been framed without editorializing, and without descriptions of the gunman as both "utterly batshit" and "batshit insane," this thread would most likely have looked quite different. The end results of a thread are often dictated by how a post was framed.
posted by zarq at 3:56 PM on September 1, 2010


I think we did just fine on this topic. You might not feel that way, but that hardly means we did badly.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:59 PM on September 1, 2010


Did you read this post afterwards or while it was in progress? The reason I ask is, it went a lot better after cortex rewrote the post. A handful of comments were also deleted.
posted by zarq at 4:15 PM on September 1, 2010


James Lee's grievance with Discovery Channel seems misplaced. If he was so opposed to "parasitic human infants," he should have been protesting at the set of Jersey Shore.
posted by mattdidthat at 4:19 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


FWIW Though it would be great if people did not choose this form of elaborate and annoying suicide I'm going to have zero sympathy for the next crazy nut with a gun and a bullshit manifesto either, and will cry no tears over their inevitable deaths ( by their own hands or those of the police) as well.
posted by Artw at 4:20 PM on September 1, 2010


There's an assumption by some in this thread that James Jay Lee was mentally ill. How do any of us know this? An honest question.

Was Ted Kaczynski's decades-long crime spree of lethal bombings a result of "mental illness?"

What about this year's Craigslist killer, Philip Markoff? Was his violent criminal spree targetting 'escorts' a result of "mental illness?"

What and who defines the motivation for these crimes? For those tried in court for similar terrible crimes, how often does the insanity defense actually work?
posted by ericb at 4:27 PM on September 1, 2010


BTW -- I do know that 'mentally ill' 'insanity.'
posted by ericb at 4:30 PM on September 1, 2010


It seems to me that if the usual outcome of these situations is a bloodless anticlimactic incarceration, it will lessen the encouragement of suicidal people to act this way.
posted by Trochanter at 4:31 PM on September 1, 2010


Were the DC sniper (John Allen Muhammad) and his teenage accomplice "mentally ill" when engaged in their reign of terror in the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks that killed 10 people?
posted by ericb at 4:35 PM on September 1, 2010


It seems to me that if the usual outcome of these situations is a bloodless anticlimactic incarceration, it will lessen the encouragement of suicidal people to act this way.

It seems to me this is a not terribly realistic proposition. In any event, I think the burden of ending such a situation bloodlessly falls on the hostage-taker.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:43 PM on September 1, 2010


...it will lessen the encouragement of suicidal people to act this way.

We don't know if this was indeed a case of such, but 'Suicide by cop' is very real.
posted by ericb at 4:43 PM on September 1, 2010


Yes. Let's all celebrate that the mentally ill man was killed by the police.

If you knew people inside the building, you would, too.


Let's not presume to know what other people think. Not everyone wishes death on people, even the mentally unbalanced people with guns.
posted by tzikeh at 4:49 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you knew people inside the building, you would, too.

What kind of goofy horse-shit is this?
posted by everichon at 4:55 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man told NBC he had several bombs.
posted by ericb at 5:00 PM on September 1, 2010


There's an assumption by some in this thread that James Jay Lee was mentally ill. How do any of us know this? An honest question.

I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you trying to say that we can't know if he had a medical condition unless he had been formally diagnosed by a doctor? Yes, of course.

But surely you don't think that a lack of formal diagnosis prevents us from accurately asserting that he was not acting sanely. He entered the building wearing what appeared to be an explosive device, fired a gun and announced "No one is going anywhere." He made threats and demands online that seemed quite divorced from reality. He took three hostages and engaged in an armed stand-off with police.

Whether his condition was temporary or not, he was mentally disturbed. Those are insane and perhaps even suicidal acts.
posted by zarq at 5:02 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did someone say froggy? (SLYT to Zeno's Poison Dart Frog remix of The Widdler's Froggy Style)
posted by symbioid at 5:04 PM on September 1, 2010


Was Ted Kaczynski's decades-long crime spree of lethal bombings a result of "mental illness?"

His court ordered psychiatrist diagnosed him as paranoid schizophrenic. His brother has always indicated that he was mentally ill. He was brilliant, too, but yes, it seems likely his behavior was a product of long standing mental illness.

Re how often the insanity defense "works," hard to answer that, for several reasons. First, the definition of "insanity" varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Mine has a particularly tough standard, the "McNaughton" standard. Also, sometimes people are not held responsible because their ability to form the requisite intent is considered to be impaired. This is the "diminished capacity" defense, which is in play a lot in criminal cases involving mentally ill people but wouldn't be included in a measurement of how much the insanity defense "works." And, a lot of people don't face criminal sanctions at all for criminal behavior, because they are so impaired that they aren't even competent to stand trial. They are likely then to be routed for civil commitment. Finally, many, many criminal cases involving mentally ill people are resolved by agreement, so the insanity defense isn't tested before a jury.

Mental illness is certainly real, and the legal system has a pretty definite view that it mitigates and at times eliminates criminal responsibility.
posted by bearwife at 5:13 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Was Ted Kaczynski's decades-long crime spree of lethal bombings a result of "mental illness?"

I'm not a doctor, but as a layperson who -- a while ago now -- read most of the Ted Kaczynski papers (they're at the Labadie Collection in Ann Arbor), I think I'm qualified to say that if not mentally ill, he is at least cuckoo.

(Spoiler: at one point he describes mistaking an avocado for a baked potato!)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:42 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I believe I mentioned this in my previous memo: WHY AREN'T YOU DOING MORE TO STOP DARFUR SPEED NETWORK?!!?!

There's Pakistan Flood blood on your hands, Country Music Television.

The cynical, politically corrupt gerrymandering of congressional districts has gotten way out of hand but Fox Soccer Channel is just gonna sit there and twiddle its thumbs.

Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of two things melting: The polar ice caps, and your empty, black soul, TELEMUNDO.
posted by mreleganza at 6:05 PM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


It seems to me this is a not terribly realistic proposition.

It will remain unrealistic as long as we accept this result as optimal. And as long as it's high fives all 'round for a job well done when in fact we have had to use deadly force, which is our last, worst option.

In any event, I think the burden of ending such a situation bloodlessly falls on the hostage-taker.

No, the responsibility doesn't rest on the nutbar. It rests on the non-nutbars.
posted by Trochanter at 6:07 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


here's an assumption by some in this thread that James Jay Lee was mentally ill. How do any of us know this? An honest question.

Well, here's an honest answer, sorry to get all Darth Vader-y, but if some guy has a backlog of written material to suggest they have a grudge against children near a day care center and obviously has a gun and claims to have several bombs and takes hostages then, frankly, I don't give a damn if he has a mental illness or not. I'm not being snarky or celebrating his demise or anything else. Disagreeing with another position on the matter does not mean snarking. Sometimes, if you ask too hard, you get what you ask for. And this guy asked way too hard.
posted by umberto at 6:11 PM on September 1, 2010


Kaczynski is not crazy, and this guy wasn't crazy either. If you don't believe me, read Lee's self-criticism on his forum, and Kaczynski's writings from jail. Their political views are even somewhat logical (ignoring Kaczynski's robot fetish and Lee's love of frogs), and the feeling of urgency that drove them to act is pretty easy to understand. I don't think there's much to conclude from either case beyond "hurting people is wrong and will not prove your point about anything".
posted by shii at 6:16 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sooooo, how long until Michelle Malkin says we should put everyone who's ever said anything about unrestrained human population growth being a bad thing in camps, "just to be safe?"
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:28 PM on September 1, 2010


Sane people don't hold people hostage over their political views in a country with a functioning democracy.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:34 PM on September 1, 2010


Like symbioid, I'd like to return to the topic of the manifesto. Because "The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels." Really? Humans need to stop reproducing for the squirrels? I mean... ever been to the suburbs? Or a park? Squirrels are sort of in the "Least Concern" category.
posted by maryr at 6:38 PM on September 1, 2010


I personally think this demonstrates he need for employees to be trainiend in weapons usage and have gun lockers available. We have defibulators, first aid kits, fire alarms and floor safety captains. I think a well stocked weapons cabinet with riot gear, vests, night sticks, tasers, pepper spray and few glocks would seem prudent. Or at least could trained, responsible individuals such as myself be allowed to exercise our constitutional rights and bring our guns to work. Maybe of more DC residents could legally carry these Tea Party folks would find somewhere else to hold their hate fests.
posted by humanfont at 6:41 PM on September 1, 2010


tim, I don't think you'll find much agreement that the United States has a properly functioning democracy. Just because taking innocent people hostage is wrong doesn't mean the people who do it are necessarily insane, unless if "insane" is synonymous with "immoral".
posted by shii at 6:45 PM on September 1, 2010


shii, you have no way of knowing that they were definitely not crazy.

You're right that "crazy" or "mentally ill" are not synonyms for immoral.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:10 PM on September 1, 2010


Kaczynski is not crazy, and this guy wasn't crazy either. If you don't believe me, read Lee's self-criticism on his forum, and Kaczynski's writings from jail.

That's true. You're only crazy if everything you do, say and think is crazy.
posted by mreleganza at 7:17 PM on September 1, 2010


There's an assumption by some in this thread that James Jay Lee was mentally ill.

More than that: there's a claim being made by several people that, if only we had a proper mental health care system, Lee's illness would have been successfully diagnosed and he would have been successfully treated or restrained before it caused him to lash out and hurt others.

What does such a system look like? How would it avoid the false negatives? Metafilter's previous discussion of Lee called him "a man who really, really does his research" and "does have a point", and although people disagreed with him nobody expressed fear for his sanity or desire to have him get a psychiatric evaluation. Many of us currently think that where he clearly stepped over the line into "insane" is when he started threatening people's lives... but if we wait until that point it's usually too late.

But do we run all the strange people by psychiatrists, involuntarily if we have to, just to be safe? Many people here probably sympathize with 20-40% of his manifesto; should we have them all checked out ahead of time? How would such a system avoid the false positives? I'd like to see a lot of more-successful repeats of the Rosenhan experiment first.
posted by roystgnr at 7:34 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


You know what? I am going to weep - rhetorically speaking - for James Jay Lee (1967-2010).

Even if you judge him to have been something less than human by the time he died, he didn't start that way.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:35 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do not celebrate that something terrible happened; I do, however, express gratitude that something more terrible did not happen. I do not know the man well enough to know if he was mad or evil. For the moment, I will err on the side of madness, and express my sadness that sometimes diseases of the brain prove fatal.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:40 PM on September 1, 2010


If you knew people inside the building, you would, too.

What kind of goofy horse-shit is this?


I know guys at Discovery. I didn't know if they were dead or alive. When I heard Lee was dead and none of his hostages were, I was glad. If you want to call that horseshit, go right ahead.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:41 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think a well stocked weapons cabinet with riot gear, vests, night sticks, tasers, pepper spray and few glocks would seem prudent.

So... ok... then instead of having to accumulate his own stockpile the workplace shooter could head directly down the hall to the handy ammo dump? And countermeasures to that hindering the basic intent of having a self-defense weapons cabinet ready, etc. etc.

This sort of thing doesn't happen often enough to require fundamental structural changes anyway. Not that I wouldn't get a kick out of training riot shield use every third Thursday of the month with Pam and Bob two cubicles down the hall.
posted by furiousthought at 7:49 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


More than that: there's a claim being made by several people that, if only we had a proper mental health care system, Lee's illness would have been successfully diagnosed and he would have been successfully treated or restrained before it caused him to lash out and hurt others.

It's a long day, maybe I missed them or forgot them, but I'm not sure anyone put it that plainly. I saw a number of comments expressing, maybe with too much pith, frustration about the current state of mental health care in the U.S. and the notion that this is one of the sorts of things that a better state of affairs on that front might help prevent or reduce or mitigate. That's a reasonable frustration and hope to express.

Of course no system can be perfectly preventative without also being draconian, but the shite state of funding for mental health services and the relatively crappy and uninformed state of public awareness on mental health issues is something that could be significantly, significantly improved without even sneezing in the general direction of some paranoid dystopia where everybody has mandatory conformity screenings or whatever.

Even if you judge him to have been something less than human by the time he died, he didn't start that way.

Absolutely. It is a terrible thing that Lee died this way. But it's a terrible thing that he directly actively threatened other people's lives and precipitated that death. I think that non-violence is a good policy to follow as far as possible, but let's-decide-who-dies-in-this-situation is a motherfucker of an edge case and it takes a lot of effort not to perceive why plenty of folks are going to be relieved that the dead person in this case ended up being the armed guy who threatened other people's lives in the first place, and not the innocent bystanders he was threatening.
posted by cortex at 7:51 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


rhetorically speaking.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:01 PM on September 1, 2010


So... ok... then instead of having to accumulate his own stockpile the workplace shooter could head directly down the hall to the handy ammo dump? And countermeasures to that hindering the basic intent of having a self-defense weapons cabinet ready, etc. etc.

Shooters don't seem to have trouble accessing weapons in our society. Also CEOs might think more carefully about raiding the pension fund and fair compensation practices if they had an armed workforce. Finally some prudent safeguards could be implemented such as having a few designated people with the keys, and putting a loud alarm in place when the cabinet is opened.
posted by humanfont at 8:03 PM on September 1, 2010


Let's all celebrate that the mentally ill man was killed by the police.

Strange thread to be coming across tonight. I was walking home from the park this evening with my kids. We stopped in the median on Broadway waiting for the light to turn. My son was dribbling the soccer ball, and I asked him to pick it up so that it wouldn't roll into traffic. For some reason that set off a guy who was sitting on the bench in the median. He leaped up and told me he was going to slit my kids' throats. Got way up in my face, clearly disturbed and very threatening. I asked him what the problem was, and he repeated the threat. After a few seconds more, the light turned, at which point we crossed the street and I reached for my phone to call 911. Seeing this, the guy then came across the street, screaming that he was going to kill me and my kids. I told them to run into the grocery store while I backed down the block talking to the 911 operator as this guy moved toward me. There were a lot of people around, so the guy eventually just walked past and kept going. I followed him for a block as I talked to the 911 dispatcher, then went back and got the kids from the store. We waited for a squad car, which showed up about five minutes later. I gave them a good description of the guy and they said they'd be looking for him, but I'm not holding out hope they'll find him.

If the cops had shown up while this guy was coming at us, screaming that he wanted to kill my children, and had shot him dead . . . celebration might not have been the right word, but I would not have felt the least bit of remorse about it. In fact, I'd be quite content.
posted by stargell at 8:13 PM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Also CEOs might think more carefully about raiding the pension fund and fair compensation practices if they had an armed workforce.

Oh, ick.
posted by rtha at 8:26 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh fer gossake, who let the libertarian militarists in here?

We don't live in a world of "armed citizens" because even normal people get pissed off enough now and then to lose control and break stuff. It's bad enough people can use cars and common objects to wreak havoc, but you think it's fine for everyone and his kid brother to be carrying because that will "make people behave more civilly?" Please.

Also, I know quite a few responsible firearm owners who get pretty damn frightening when they've had a few drinks. Which one do you think you'll have an easier time keeping control of, booze or legal guns?
posted by zoogleplex at 8:29 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like playing a game called MetaFail in which past characterizations are proven to be indubitably false by current events. Look, here's one from two years ago:
Whaling the Planet with Modern Whalers
January 29, 2008 11:42 AM RSS feed for this thread Subscribe
Some people hate cilantro. Some people hate shrimp. But Lee really, really hates Discovery Channel. (via)
posted by MrMoonPie (60 comments total) [add to favorites] 3 users marked this as a favorite [!]

I don't know about "really, really hates".
He just sort of hates them.

posted by mrnutty at 11:45 AM on January 29, 2008 [+] [!]
posted by WhitenoisE at 8:30 PM on September 1, 2010


What fun that must be for you.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:38 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh fer gossake, who let the libertarian militarists in here?

Oh, I'm sorry, should we lock the doors? I pride this place on not being one monolithic bloc that has to ridicule the very idea of dissenting points of view. I think his suggestion is rather unhelpful to this whole ordeal, but don't try to act like some unfortunate drunk stumbled into your drawing room while you were holding a social gathering. They have just as much right to be here as you, so please don't do that.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:50 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, the responsibility doesn't rest on the nutbar. It rests on the non-nutbars.

I'm sorry, Trochanter, but I really think this is pure bullshit. It's a nice sentiment, but it doesn't mean anything when you take it from the realm of abstraction and impose it on a real world situation wherein a man is holding a gun on innocent people. His insanity is irrelevant now. It doesn't matter why he's doing it, all that matters is that he is. Every minute that he's doing it is another minute in which someone could be killed. If you think that the greater good is served not by removing that threat as quickly and efficiently as possible, but by passing up opportunities to end the situation thus until every possible non-violent means of ending the situation is exhausted, then I think your priorities are not mine and not those of most anybody, because you're willing to play dice with innocent people's lives in order to save the life of the person who is threatening to kill those people. If you believe that, ultimately, the life of an assailant is of the same value as the life of their attacker, then that's very zen of you but I don't buy it for a second. I don't think his death is to be celebrated, but it sure isn't something to regret.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:00 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's kind of spooky to think about Lee's final moments. He was under the impression that he had some control of the situation, and that perhaps he could hold on and see some kind of desirable outcome. He had no idea that he was in the sights of a sniper and was actually only continuing to live at the discretion of the police.

I have to say, I don't disagree with much of the substance of his grievances with Discovery Channel. Too bad he couldn't have seen better ways advance his cause.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:21 PM on September 1, 2010



What fun that must be for you.


Yup. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from treating the internet like SERIOUS BUSINESS.
posted by WhitenoisE at 9:21 PM on September 1, 2010


Well you're right of course, LC. I formally retract the first line of my comment.

Stand by the rest of it, though. I'm also a "responsible gun owner," which to me means
I leave my guns at home locked up in the appropriate secure containers when I go out in public.
Unless I'm going to the range or if I were to go hunting, of course. I would do this even if I lived in a state or country that allowed me to carry a gun wherever and whenever.

I very strongly disagree with anyone who thinks everyone ought to be able to carry lethal ranged weapons on them at all times.
posted by zoogleplex at 9:24 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


How did we get from this:
as long as it's high fives all 'round for a job well done when in fact we have had to use deadly force, which is our last, worst option.

to this:
the life of an assailant is of the same value as the life of their attacker

I'm not saying there aren't many other terrible ways this scenario could have ended. And I'm not saying that anyone in this case acted wrongly.

What I'm saying is that we should be hard at work finding ways and methods to render the perpetrators in these situations harmless without killing them. Because I think there are other poor bastards out there scribbling away at their manifestos who see this and dream of going out in a similar blaze of glory. Being led away to a police cruiser is not so romantic.

I don't lose any sleep at all that Jeffrey Dahmer is dead, but I can still think it's shitty that the penal system is so fucked that he had his brains knocked out in the prison gym.
posted by Trochanter at 9:38 PM on September 1, 2010


posted by humanfont I personally think this demonstrates he need for employees to be trainiend in weapons usage and have gun lockers available . . . I think a well stocked weapons cabinet with riot gear, vests, night sticks, tasers, pepper spray and few glocks would seem prudent. Or at least could trained, responsible individuals such as myself be allowed to exercise our constitutional rights and bring our guns to work. Maybe of more DC residents could legally carry these Tea Party folks would find somewhere else to hold their hate fests. . . . Also CEOs might think more carefully about raiding the pension fund and fair compensation practices if they had an armed workforce. Finally some prudent safeguards could be implemented such as having a few designated people with the keys, and putting a loud alarm in place when the cabinet is opened.

A friend of mine who works in the Justice Department has remarked on more than one occasion, "I get calls and letters from people who think the solution is for everyone to carry guns, and for schools and workplaces to have arsenals. And then of course, the people proposing these measures say they're the ones who should carry guns and have keys to the arsensals, like they're vigilante volunteer standby police officers. They remind me of sports fans who wear official jerseys to games, complete with their name and number, like 'Hey look, I'm on the team too!' We see this a lot in the people who fail the psychological parts of the applications to police academies and departments. Personally, I think they're fearful and deeply insecure and they try to compensate by attempting to assert a mantle of authority they're unqualified to have. Deep down, you can hear the fear in their voices, and in a way I feel sorry for them, because it must really suck to live in fear like that."
posted by mattdidthat at 9:41 PM on September 1, 2010 [17 favorites]


METAFILTER: one monolithic bloc that has to ridicule the very idea of dissenting points of view
posted by philip-random at 9:48 PM on September 1, 2010


For those tried in court for similar terrible crimes, how often does the insanity defense actually work?

In the U.S., it's attempted in less than 1% of all criminal cases, and has a success rate of 26%. Where successful, 90% of those successes involve a defendant previously diagnosed with some form of mental illness.
posted by fatbird at 9:49 PM on September 1, 2010


Pretty slippery slope from vigilante police to people who wear replica sports jerseys.
posted by proj at 9:49 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ask coaches what they think of all the Monday morning quarterbacks.
posted by zoogleplex at 9:55 PM on September 1, 2010


We see this a lot in the people who fail the psychological parts of the applications to police academies and departments.
(emphasis mine)
Ding ding ding... This.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:09 PM on September 1, 2010


What I'm saying is that we should be hard at work finding ways and methods to render the perpetrators in these situations harmless without killing them.

I have no expert knowledge on police tactics and training, nor was I there to witness what happened today, but do we know that the police didn't make every effort to end things peacefully? What could or should they have done differently?

The first thing that came to mind when this whole thing went down was this hostage situation with a very different outcome.
posted by kmz at 10:22 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have to say I am slightly creeped out by the people who are saying that Lee 'had a good point'. No he didn't. Civilization is not filth, having kids is not evil and his obsession with the Discovery Channel was disturbing.
posted by clockworkjoe at 10:52 PM on September 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


So... ok... then instead of having to accumulate his own stockpile the workplace shooter could head directly down the hall to the handy ammo dump? And countermeasures to that hindering the basic intent of having a self-defense weapons cabinet ready, etc. etc.

I hope that you guys are misinterpreting humanfont's post. It read like a joke to me. If it was serious though...ugh.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:52 PM on September 1, 2010


> I have to say I am slightly creeped out by the people who are saying that Lee 'had a good point'.

That's a false quote there. No one is saying he had a "good point", but rather some of his disagreement with how the Discovery Channel seems to have a lot of shows that portray man as an antagonist against nature. He certainly could have chosen a much better path than he did, and it's likely that he was using TDC as an outlet. But, again, I don't see anyone saying what you're saying.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:03 PM on September 1, 2010


> I have to say I am slightly creeped out by the people who are saying that Lee 'had a good point'.

again, the precedent here is the Unabomber.
that is, an entirely rational grievance can inspire an irrational action.

I'm sure Aristotle had something to say about it, and Shakespeare.
posted by philip-random at 11:07 PM on September 1, 2010


So the only person who watches Discovery Health is now dead?

The irony is that he'll be making a roll-on guest appearance in the next episode of Dr. G.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:11 PM on September 1, 2010


A friend of mine who works in the Justice Department has remarked on more than one occasion, "I get calls and letters from people who think the solution is for everyone to carry guns, and for schools and workplaces to have arsenals. And then of course, the people proposing these measures say they're the ones who should carry guns and have keys to the arsensals, like they're vigilante volunteer standby police officers. They remind me of sports fans who wear official jerseys to games, complete with their name and number, like 'Hey look, I'm on the team too!' We see this a lot in the people who fail the psychological parts of the applications to police academies and departments. Personally, I think they're fearful and deeply insecure and they try to compensate by attempting to assert a mantle of authority they're unqualified to have. Deep down, you can hear the fear in their voices, and in a way I feel sorry for them, because it must really suck to live in fear like that."

I think that's a rather arrogant view. Does the first amendment only apply to specific trained media professionals employed by the state? Is some independent blogger who dares to express their views just some wannabe member of the press corps? Did learning CPR make me a wanna doctor?
posted by humanfont at 5:56 AM on September 2, 2010


I'm sure Aristotle had something to say about it, and Shakespeare.

Though this be madness, there's method in't
posted by Trochanter at 6:05 AM on September 2, 2010


Sorry: Though this be madness, yet there's method in't
posted by Trochanter at 6:10 AM on September 2, 2010


“No Problem of Human Destiny is Beyond Human Beings” – President John F. Kennedy

I wasn't aware of this quote until Obama had it put on his new Oval Office rug. Human extinction is not a preferred solution to human mismanagement.
posted by rocket88 at 6:38 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I get calls and letters from people who think the solution is for everyone to carry guns, and for schools and workplaces to have arsenals....Is some independent blogger who dares to express their views just some wannabe member of the press corps? Did learning CPR make me a wanna doctor?

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong, can you tell which thing is not like the others, by the time I finish my song?
posted by rollbiz at 6:39 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think that's a rather arrogant view. Does the first amendment only apply to specific trained media professionals employed by the state? Is some independent blogger who dares to express their views just some wannabe member of the press corps?

The first amendment doesn't say "well regulated", certainly. That having been said, it's been long established that there are limitations on speech, and so it is permissible that regulation should follow from that.

I own firearms. I like them, and I use them regularly.

Vigilante firearms enthusiasts and american gun culture I could do without.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:45 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


posted by humanfont I think that's a rather arrogant view

If you think installing and having a key to a cabinet filled with "riot gear, vests, nightsticks, tasers, pepper spray and guns" in a work environment will make you safer, you clearly have psychological issues involving fear and authority that gun ownership is going to exacerbate and not solve.
posted by mattdidthat at 6:53 AM on September 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know what's weird? I listened to the NPR news for two hours this morning, and didn't hear a mention of this incident. I guess I might have missed it, while I was getting everyone ready, making lunches and whatnot, but it struck me as odd after the first hour, so I listened to the mostly replay during the second hour...and didn't hear it then either.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:02 AM on September 2, 2010


He hated humans yet he was human.

Seems he should have taken a different route.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by stormpooper at 8:31 AM on September 2, 2010


assoholics + the mentally ill ... often one and the same.
posted by philip-random at 8:50 AM on September 2, 2010


philip-random: "assoholics + the mentally ill ... often one and the same."

Uh, what? No, not at all.
posted by ShawnStruck at 9:06 AM on September 2, 2010


What I'm saying is that we should be hard at work finding ways and methods to render the perpetrators in these situations harmless without killing them.

And you have ignored my post indicating that in fact, yes, they worked very hard to find a way to defuse the situation without shooting him. It would probably take you about 15 seconds of looking at news stories about the incident to find a description of their ongoing negotiations and how they only fired when he menaced a hostage. Or you could make a pass with occam's razor and consider that since it went on for several hours they clearly didn't rush right into blowing his head off.

This took me 9 seconds to find on Google News. It's right in the lede.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — As the three hostages at Discovery Channel's headquarters appeared ready to make a run for it, police said Thursday that a SWAT team officer quickly shot and killed the increasingly agitated gunman who had explosives strapped to himself, ending the four-hour standoff.

After several hours of negotiations, the tactical officers moved in. Authorities saw the hostages begin to move on building security cameras and heard a "pop" they believed to be a gunshot or an explosive device, Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger said. That's when an officer shot the gunman, James J. Lee, in the lobby of the building in Silver Spring, just outside the nation's capital. None of the hostages were hurt.

posted by phearlez at 9:22 AM on September 2, 2010


If you think installing and having a key to a cabinet filled with "riot gear, vests, nightsticks, tasers, pepper spray and guns" in a work environment will make you safer, you clearly have psychological issues involving fear and authority that gun ownership is going to exacerbate and not solve.

I am trained in continuity of operations planning and have participated in multiple planning activities and exercises during my professional career. Rather than simply dismiss my views because of your own fears of guns, you should consider carefully the assessment of people who have studied and simulated events. Workplace violence is an ongoing problem. It is uncommon, but most everyone with a long enough professional career has a story about the ex-coworker who punched out someone, smashed up office equipment, or punched a hole in the wall. Fistfights happen, and other forms of emotional violence. However many companies do little to prepare their employees to react to these incidents. Usually a few burly people break up the fight, or someone calls security, or the cops (if security even exists at the building).

My view is that companies should have clear security plans that include flexible options with training for employees of what to do in the event of these situations. Secure weapons lockers may be a bit extreme; but not in every instance. A guns, pepper spray, etc are just tools. A box cutter, the ammonia and bleach in the cleaning closet are equally capable of being used by a malicious employee to cause harm.

The building I work in is a mix of government and private companies. When my company moved into our space we replaced an agency that had its executive offices there. Our part of the building included its own gun range, weapons lockers and a secure space in the parking garage that housed a number of armored personnel carriers. The secure space is now a loading dock, the gun range and weapons lockers are gone. My office window still has a specialized blast protection coating with a special break point for fire axes to break through. Apparently the agency that occupied our building previously felt that these additions made their workplace safer.
posted by humanfont at 10:30 AM on September 2, 2010


Resources are limited. Is it more practical to train your employees to use guns and know where the key to the gun locker is (and trust that these employees are not the ones who will go off the deep end and use those weapons against their co-workers when they get laid off or have a bad day), or is it more practical to train them in CPR, basic first aid, and what to do in the event of an earthquake/tornado?

What was the business of the agency that had the gun range and blast-proof windows? Are you suggesting that they were just some ordinary business, and their amenities should be standard?
posted by rtha at 10:47 AM on September 2, 2010


.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:03 AM on September 2, 2010


this situation really suggests that we need more funding for community mental health programs rather than less.

I'd posit that anyone who gets all of their information from television will eventually end up with mental health issues.
posted by any major dude at 11:04 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rather than simply dismiss my views because of your own fears of guns,

You are mistaken. Your views are dismissed because you communicate exactly how sensible they are by also writing pro-violence nonsense like "Also CEOs might think more carefully about raiding the pension fund and fair compensation practices if they had an armed workforce."

Lynching, what a knee-slapper!
posted by phearlez at 11:14 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


phearlez, I didn't miss your post. The point I am making is about the tactics between the point where negotiations fail, and the killing of the perp. When I talk about rendering the perp harmless, I'm not talking about the negotiating process. I'm talking about nonlethal force. I'm not even saying that these nonlethal methods exist currently. But if we accept this outcome as optimal, we don't work at developing nonlethal methods to end these situations.

Therefore, the perpetrator doesn't stand trial, and we send the wrong message to future offenders.

I think this fellow, at some level, wanted to be killed and the fact that we obliged him should not be viewed as a success.

We have saved the hostages, and that's really, really good, but Mr. Lee escaped justice because our methods are crude, and I don't think that's good enough.
posted by Trochanter at 11:42 AM on September 2, 2010


posted by humanfont most everyone with a long enough professional career has a story about the ex-coworker who punched out someone, smashed up office equipment, or punched a hole in the wall. Fistfights happen, and other forms of emotional violence. However many companies do little to prepare their employees to react to these incidents. Usually a few burly people break up the fight, or someone calls security, or the cops (if security even exists at the building).

Everyone I know has been trained to react to these incidents, by picking up the phone and dialing 9-1-1.

Companies with employees who smash office equipment or punch each other are the last places that need a locker full of guns. These companies need to hire better managers, get a functioning HR department, and train employees in conflict resolution. With regards to your view that a locker full of guns will somehow prevent violence or protect people, I'm dismissing it because it's utterly delusional.
posted by mattdidthat at 12:06 PM on September 2, 2010


James Lee smuggled immigrants from Mexico into the US for the people who robbed him in Tijuana.
posted by lukemeister at 12:08 PM on September 2, 2010


Companies with employees who smash office equipment or punch each other are the last places that need a locker full of guns. These companies need to hire better managers, get a functioning HR department, and train employees in conflict resolution.

What's delusional is to blame the victims of violence. Workplace violence happens everywhere, just look at the recent incident in University of Alabama, Huntsville. Contrast this with the New Life Church Shooting incident.

Don't let a little thing like actual incident reports stand in your way, you keep pretending I'm disillusion, while you are the one clearly avoiding reality because of some as yet unexplained fear of guns. The fact is when trained weapons users are on site and able to act lives are saved.
posted by humanfont at 2:02 PM on September 2, 2010


Audio of Discovery gunman released: 'I have a bomb and a gun'.
posted by ericb at 2:18 PM on September 2, 2010


What was the business of the agency that had the gun range and blast-proof windows? Are you suggesting that they were just some ordinary business, and their amenities should be standard?

They were a government agency, not a private business. Extreme security makeovers have been pretty common in DC post Oklahoma City, 9-11, etc. Still when businesses like Discovery, Schools and others have threatening nutjobs screaming out there, one has to consider options.
posted by humanfont at 3:41 PM on September 2, 2010


: I'm talking about nonlethal force. I'm not even saying that these nonlethal methods exist currently. But if we accept this outcome as optimal, we don't work at developing nonlethal methods to end these situations.

Trochanter, I don't believe anyone sees this outcome as the best possible outcome of this type of situation. It was only the best they could do at the moment they had to make the decision.

I'm not sure what you're envisioning, because quick, non-lethal, non-endangering capture from a distance is fantasy. Researchers have been trying to develop so-called soft kill weapons for ages (mostly for war situations). Even though they haven't made a whole lot of progress, they're still working on it because few people see having to execute people as optimal.


: Extreme security makeovers have been pretty common in DC post Oklahoma City, 9-11, etc. Still when businesses like Discovery, Schools and others have threatening nutjobs screaming out there, one has to consider options.

I've seen and experienced the security makeovers in DC-- not to mention Bethesda, Northern Virginia, Baltimore, etc. The Discovery building is an office building for one of the hundreds of high-profile organizations in the immediate area. If you think people in this area take security lightly, or don't take a look at whether high-expense security is necessary for high-profile sites, you are simply face-down wrong. It is highly likely that your solution was considered and rejected. Because in addition to the expense, people don't want to live that way! We carry enough visceral tension just thinking about the real threats to this area.

I'm more likely to be threatened at gunpoint in the street in front of my house than I am to experience the kind of scenario that went down at 1 Discovery. That doesn't mean I'm going to wear body armor or campaign for neighborhood sharpshooters.
posted by zennie at 7:33 AM on September 4, 2010


« Older Sleazefest: The Movie [rather nsfw] is a documenta...  |  BLADE RUNNER revisited >3.6 gi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments