Thursday, September 17, 2009

Road Rage in Pennsylvania reports on the former Marine arrested for shooting another motorist in a road rage incident.

A former Marine was charged in a road-rage shooting that critically injured a New Jersey motorist driving his 8-year-old daughter to her home in suburban Philadelphia, police said today.

Authorities thanked the public for helping to find suspect Christian Squillaciotti, 33, who had been at large for about a week. He was arrested Monday at his South Philadelphia home and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and other offenses.

No wonder the Philadelphia cops are so dangerous, they've got guys like this going around with guns. It boggles the mind that someone can get that angry. Maybe he didn't see the kid, maybe it happened very quickly before he'd had a chance to think, but it still boggles the mind.

The incident happened last October. It's in the news today because the trial is about to begin. The defense attorney claims that his client suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.

Police said they recovered the truck and several weapons from his house, including a gun that is the same caliber as the one used to shoot Timko. Bethel would not confirm if it is the weapon investigators believe was used in the crime.

Police released few details about Squillaciotti, except to say that he has a martial arts background and was honorably discharged from the Marines. He has no criminal record, Bethel said.

"No criminal record" must mean he owned the guns legally and up until the moment of shooting Timko, was one of the law-abiding gun owners of America. Please refer to my post entitled "The Famous 10%." Mr. Squillaciotti probably belonged to several of the categories that comprise the 10%, apparently proving one of the criticisms I've received about the theory. However, if you read carefully, you'll see that I downplayed each of the percentages and knocked off a couple points at the end to compensate for that problem.

The point is the enormous population of gun owning people in the United States includes people like this. This means it's not black and white, it's not good guys and bad guys. There is a huge gray area from which we have never-ending trouble.

What's your opinion?


  1. Mike, Because this is related to the military, you knew the Grand Prince would have to weigh in on this posting.

    Since the shooter in question was a member or former member of the military, you have to look at this shooting in the context of how the institutions of militarism in America are impacting American society. This story of a GI with a short fuse is only one of dozens of incidents that happen around the world in the over military bases the US has in foreign countries. With the Pentagon having to lower enlistment standards to fill the ranks and the statistical breakdown of the All Volunteer Force, shootings like this are far more common in countries were the US has SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) agreements than the press reports.

    Although it is nearly 8 years ago, remember the sniper terrorizing the DC and northern Virginia suburbs? Turns out he was a army trained sniper.

    If you want to learn more about the violence and racism in the military, I recommend you read the Chalmers Johnson book Empire of Sorrows, or Andrew Bacevich’s Limits of Power, the End of American Exceptionalism. As a former West Point officer and a holder of two Ph D’s, Bacevich is one smart military member and someone who embodies the honor and integrity the military instills in its officers and most of its enlisted members.

  2. The point is the enormous population of gun owning people in the United States includes people like this. This means it's not black and white, it's not good guys and bad guys. There is a huge gray area from which we have never-ending trouble.

    What's your proposed solution? If he had no prior criminal record, how would you prevent him from getting a gun (scratch that--you can't "prevent" people from getting guns--how would you prohibit him from getting a gun) without prohibiting such acquisitions by people who would never use a gun for evil?

    You claim to not be seeking to ban private gun ownership--you just want to "inconvenience" gun owners (to punish them, I suppose, for being twisted enough for wanting something so icky in the first place) as much as possible. Still, which of the "inconveniences" you advocate would have stopped him? Background checks wouldn't do it; "one-gun-per-month" wouldn't do it; banning private sales wouldn't do it; mandating "gun owner accountability" wouldn't do it; a comprehensive government database of all guns wouldn't do it; etc.

    The unfortunate reality is that people sometimes snap, and become evil. Unless you preemptively trample their rights before they do so, meaning that you trample everyone's rights, the only thing you can do is be prepared to deal with anyone who does snap.

  3. Principe, I think you're on it. Military training is where many of these bad boys learned their tricks.

    Beowulf, I don't have a comprehensive solution. We're still trying to agree on the problem.

    I do have some ideas, which I mention continually, that if implemented I believe would help.

    But, as you say, none of that would have prevented this incident.