This is the essence of a man worshiping his fetish object, his source of power - in his mind his source of power, if ONLY in his mind. THIS is the reality of our gun culture, our culture of violence and lethal weapons as ideals, as solutions to problems.
In the story below, the bold / enlarged type is my emphasis - DG
From MSNBC..com and the AP:
The issues I see in this story are ownership of a private arsenal of weapons, the gun culture which elevates and makes a fetish power focus on weapons, particularly firearms, and the underlying premise of the gun culture that firearms are the solution for many problems which could better be resolved by alternative methods and means, and perhaps the most significant aspect of this and similar tragic shootings is the emotional component of the shootists conduct.
Manhunt for Iraq vet after Rainier ranger killedUpdated at 4:40 a.m. ET: Tourists stranded in Mount Rainier National Park amid the search for a gunman who shot dead a park ranger have begun to leave Paradise Lodge, NBC News reports.APPark Ranger Margaret Anderson, 34, was fatally shot Sunday.
Five cars at a time were leaving with an armed escort. The evacuations were due to continue through the night.
Updated at 11:54 p.m. ET: MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. -- A Mount Rainier National Park ranger was fatally shot following a New Year's Day traffic stop, and the 368-square-mile park in Washington state was closed as dozens of officers searched for the armed gunman over snowy and rugged terrain.
Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said late Sunday afternoon that Benjamin Colton Barnes, a 24-year-old believed to have survivalist skills, was a "strong person of interest" in the slaying of Margaret Anderson.
A parks spokesman said Barnes was an Iraq war veteran. Authorities recovered his vehicle, which had weapons and body armor inside, Troyer said.
Barnes was also a suspect in the early Sunday morning shooting of four people at a house party south of Seattle, police said.
Authorities believed the gunman was still in the woods, with weapons. They asked people to stay away from the park, and for those already inside to leave.APBenjamin Coulton Barnes is seen in this undated photo provided by the Pierce County Sheriff's Dept. Officials said Barnes is a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a park ranger at Mount Rainier National Park, Jan. 1.
"We do have a very hot and dangerous situation," Troyer said.
Tracks in snow
Troyer said authorities were following tracks in the snow they believe are from the gunman, and crews planned to bring an airplane through the area with heat-seeking capabilities.
"We believe we have a good track on him, but he's way ahead of us," Troyer said.
Kevin Bacher, a spokesman for the park, said about 125 people would spend Sunday night in the visitor center basement along with five law enforcement officers protecting the facility.
He said crews had considered removing them in armored vehicles, but decided not to take any risk. There was enough food at the center, but Bacher said diapers were running in short supply.
The park would remain closed Monday, officials announced late Sunday.
Jason Simpson, 29, of Kent, said his parents were still trapped at the visitor's center after traveling to the mountain for a day hike. His parents were able to make a call explaining their situation, and Simpson drove to the park entrance to wait.
"It's very distressing," Simpson said.
Sgt. Cindi West, King County Sheriff's spokesperson, said late Sunday that Barnes was connected to an early-morning shooting at a New Year's house party in Skyway, Wash., south of Seattle that left four people injured, two critically. That incident happened about 3 a.m., and stemmed from an argument over a gun.
West said three people fled the scene. Two were located, and West said authorities were trying to find Barnes and had been in contact with his family, trying to have them convince him to "come to the police and tell his side of the story" in the Skyway shooting.
At Mount Rainier around 10:20 a.m. Sunday, the gunman sped past a checkpoint, Bacher said. One ranger began following him while Anderson eventually blocked the road to stop the driver.
Before fleeing, the gunman fired shots at both Anderson and the ranger that trailed him, but only Anderson was hit, Bacher said.
150 officersEd Troyer / APIn this pool photo provided by the Pierce Co. Sheriff's Dept., a police officer examines a car on a road at Mount Rainier National Park, Jan. 1. The car is believed to have been driven by Benjamin Colton Barnes, who officials say is a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a park ranger at the park Sunday morning.
"We do not know what resources the shooter has. We're not sure what we're up against," Bacher said. "We know that he has a weapon, but we don't know how many."
About 150 officers, including officials from the Washington State Patrol, U.S. Forest Service and FBI, were on the mountain.
Authorities said earlier that Anderson's body had been removed from the park, but Troyer said police have been unable to get to her because of concern over potentially being in the line of fire.
Park superintendent Randy King said Anderson was a mother of two young daughters. She had served as a park ranger for about four years.
King said Anderson's husband also was working as a ranger elsewhere in the park at the time of the shooting.
"It's just a huge tragedy — for the family, the park and the park service," he said.
Adam Norton, a neighbor of Anderson's in the small town of Eatonville, Wash., said the ranger's family moved in about a year ago. He said they were not around much, but when they were Norton would see Anderson outside with her girls.
"They just seemed like the perfect family," he said.
The town of about 3,000 residents, which is a logging community near Rainier, is very close knit, he said.
"It's really sad right now," Norton said. "We take care of each other."
It has been legal for people to take loaded firearms into Mount Rainier since 2010, when a controversial federal law went into effect that made possession of firearms in national parks subject to state gun laws.
The shooting occurred on an unseasonably sunny and mild day. The park, which offers miles of wooded trails and spectacular vistas from which to see 14,410-foot Mount Rainier, draws between 1.5 million and 2 million visitors each year.
The Longmire station served as headquarters when the national park was established in 1899. Park headquarters have moved but the site still contains a museum, a hotel, restaurant and gift shop, which are open year-round.