What if lives are not set in souls, but in numbers, simple numbers? That is the setting we see ourselves in today. A special shout out to Karl Stefanovic who rightfully backed the police and launched a scathing attack on their “timid” critics. Although I would rephrase from ‘timid critics‘ and merely categorise them as ‘fear mongering scaredy cats with a lack of knowledge‘, yet that would be merely my personal choice in the freedom of classification.
Karl is correct in a few ways, yet to see that. We need to look at the other side. My training comes from NATO and I mastered several weapons, to give you a specific setting here, which with the Remington Model 700 is really simple. The drift on 300 meters is optionally no more than 1.1936″ in a nominal setting, so if I aim for the head the brain is gone, if I aim for the chest the damage is worse as that person will not be instantly dead, but they will feel the pinch of a .308 slug and at that point, most Kevlar is useless. You see at 300 Yds the bullet impacts with 1950 lbs on roughly a square inch, in an oversimplified example a 1000 Kg hammer hits a square inch of your chest at a speed of 671 metres per second, good luck getting past that feeling! The Kevlar might slow it down but the impact will be enough to turn ribs to shrapnel and cleave its way through your chest, if the bullet gets through, it will still be mostly slim and nail shaped, leaving the recipient with plenty of optionally fatal damage. A Kevlar vest (if the person has one) might stop a pistol 9mm, even a .357, but with a .308 or .338 rifle, nope, that person becomes a write off. This is how a soldier thinks, it is them/him or me/us, we do not want to die for our country we merely make the other one die for their country/cause.
The police is a different slice of cake. They are trying to protect people from harm of self and/or protect them from harm by others. The police are there as protection for civilians, innocent or not. They have a duty to arrest and Karl is right in backing the police. The News from News.com.au is giving us “They do it sometimes with the public hating them. But they’re the first you call when you need them and they were the first to respond. I salute them this morning“, he is correct! The news also gives us: “The call comes in response to a deadly attack in Melbourne’s Bourke Street on Friday by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali — a Muslim refugee from Somalia. Ali crashed his car full of gas cylinders before stabbing three people, killing prominent Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina“, and at this point, the question from me is ‘At what stage was the police to assume that this was a terrorist?‘ You see ‘his car full of gas cylinders‘ was after the fact, yet when did the police know exactly what was going on? The police had a direct need to incapacitate to a degree, not to kill. It is that plain and simple! Their job is to evangelise and support the law, not enforce it through violence, even as that will be essential at that point. So the call ‘Shoot him, shoot him’ might come from outsiders, yet to shoot is not an easy task for them. Let’s not forget that the public has been willing to lynch a policeman using his firearm in the past, so the police is utterly willing to leave shooting as a final resort (and so for the most they should), or until there is a clear and present danger to others and even then it will be shoot to incapacitate, which with a Glock is a little harder then you think.
When we see Nine News (at https://www.9news.com.au/2018/11/11/19/18/bourke-street-terror-attack-family-say-hassan-khalif-shire-ali-was-mentally-ill), we see: “The family of the man responsible for Friday’s attack on Bourke Street insist he was not a terrorist but a mentally ill man “crying for help”“. This is optionally true and it also gives rise to the police and the caution used. They might have noticed symptoms that clearly called for caution and refrain from lethal force. Let’s not forget that the entire Martin Place event was a clear case of mental illness, so there is a precedent in all this. It merely makes the entire event sadder on more than one level. It will undoubtedly give false feelings of guilt to the police officer who discharged the lethal shot, it will give feelings of guilt to all the police and carers on the sidelines, and they should not feel guilt in any way. This man, no matter how we slice it has taken three lives, it comes with consequences.
We might even overreact when we see: “Islamic State claimed the attack but today Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there was no confirmed link to the terror group.” Yet the truth is that until people like ASIO give clear evidence that this was the case, we are merely getting an emotional push from a terrorist organisation seeking the limelight in any way they can, it will merely complicate matters in the short term and leave us with a bitter feeling in the long run. Yet we also see that Nine News is optionally wrong. As we see: “The terrorist has been named as 30-year-old Somali-born Hassan Khalif Shire Ali“, this is optionally wrong if any clear evidence of mental health is shown to be true. There is a call in the News.com.au article (at https://www.news.com.au/news/national/security-expert-says-were-feeding-the-beasts-of-terror-with-shoottokill-policy/news-story/59f2162b3427c2e2f5d0a3e6fe1babd1) with ‘Australia is “feeding the beasts” of terror and failing to prevent future attacks‘, in this Dr Allan Orr could be correct. there is no issue labeling the right person a lone wolf, or a terrorist, yet how was it done, what was planned and what was set in an emotional stage. It is order versus chaos. In addition is the man merely a terrorist because he is Muslim? Is he not merely a murderer at this point? These what I would call intentional misclassifications are also a larger problem, the media loves it to use the terrorist tag in all the wrong places and even as it is too soon to clearly determine this, we see that a police officer was used deadly force against an alleged murderer, alleged because intent needs to be shown in court, were these three people intended victims, or where they there and the man would be clearly guilty of manslaughter. In any case the police officer would be absolved of any guilt, especially if he/she had tried to resolve the issue in a non-lethal way.
There will be a political debate that is already raging on, yet the stage is larger than merely “I’ve been very open about the cancellation of visas, the numbers have ramped up, because there are some people who should not go on to become Australian citizens,” the setting of this might not be incorrect, yet when we know that ‘Permanent residency may be revoked at the discretion of the responsible Minister, for example in cases of criminal misconduct‘, if that is correct, then why would there be a political debate? It would be merely enforcing what is stated in policy, is it not?
It gets to be even more complicated when we see: “Ali was known to federal police and had his passport cancelled in 2015 amid fears the Somali-born man would travel to Syria“, the question becomes who was he going to support? Assad, Assad opposition, perhaps the direction does not matter, yet the direction does incline towards extremism, as such it cannot be ignored. It is an issue as we see that there are more sides to all this. The fact that no action was taken (apart from removing the passport) might have sufficed to some degree, his active interest to go to Syria was never explained (needed or not), if there would have been an assessment, even a mere interview and conversation on the consequence of doing that as a non-citizen might have optionally resolved the issue to some degree (highly speculative on my side). Even a limited monitoring on media and activities might have dampened the danger (or not). If these are all acts of a mental health issue, then the entire terrorist issue falls in the water and other activities might not have helped, but the knowledge of where this person was might have optionally aided the police in a few ways, and is that not important too? To give the members of the police every inch that they can use to resolve without being force to employ deadly force? It might not have been an option here, but the lack of indicators (as presently known) seems a little too staggering at present giving us the handle that not only was Karl Stefanovic correct, the officers subjected to this ordeal might be due a commendation or two (or three).
The last part is also the biggest issue. when we see both “Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he backs religious freedoms but has also called on Islamic leaders to call out the attack“, and “Those remarks that have in turn been labelled divisive by Muslim groups who say their community is not to blame for the actions of an individual and fear it could stoke Islamophobia“. It is the partial failure of Prime Minister Scott Morrison that his call, outside if the mental health scope was plain wrong. He can make that assessment after we know enough that mental health was not the stage here, and that part is still largely in question. You see, to require any religious group to lash out at mental health issues is the larger wrong and that is not seen here. Should I be wrong and the mental health part fails, then we have another issue, yet at present there has been no clear evidence to set that and whilst we accept: “Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there was no confirmed link to the terror group“, yet this is very specific, was there any other data making any extremist link likely? I get the impression that this is not the case, giving us a much larger overreaction, just like the Martin Place incident of 2014.
From my point of view, we have become Muslim polarised to a much too large extent. Consider that every religion has its mental health cases. Consider (the Times, Oct 2017) ‘Mental patient murdered neighbour hours after hospital discharged him‘, also we have ‘How 18 psychiatric patients freed by one NHS Trust ALL went on to kill‘ (Daily Mail, Jan 2018), 19 people said to have killed someone, but not terrorists as they were allegedly not Muslim. Two filters of classification in a group of people that would have been a dangerous stage in any foundation, so we need to be extra careful who gets the ‘terrorist label’ as the impact is a lot larger and the negation that actual terrorists are could also endanger a lot more lives in the future.
The victims and perpetrators might merely be numbers, yet when the numbers are wrongly stacked, the people who are forced to act might wrongly do so making matters worse for everyone around and that needs to be clearly stated, as well as the fact that Karl Stefanovic made the right call in this case and that should be recognised on a national level as well.