As a fellow I once new said to me “Man, the problem is in your culture.” What we were discussing was of no great importance, but that comment comes back to me when I think about the recent shooting in London.
From the New York Times:
“LONDON, July 22 - It was around 10 a.m. on a sunny, summery Friday when London crossed a once-unthinkable line in its unfolding war on terror.
In a city where most police officers do not carry guns, the shock from the shooting death of a man in a subway car was palpable. It raised questions about police firearms practices, kindled uncertainty among Muslims and deepened the anxiety of a city that looks, these days, under siege”
Now as a West Virginian by birth and a Kentuckian by choice, I understand that when someone in a uniform has a gun drawn and yells stop in my direction that I have two options. One, stop and say “yes officer what can I do for you? ”; or two, run and possibly have an intimate encounter with several rounds from a Glock automatic.
Unfortunately the British and most Europeans don’t have the years of conditioning most Americans have. The British people particularly are not used to seeing armed police officers on their streets.
Again from the New York Times:
“People milled through the streets and pubs of Stockwell on Friday night, trying to sort through confused, sometimes contradictory, emotions.
"I think it's disgusting that they had to shoot him," said Carol Marriner, a 41-year-old homemaker. "He could just have been late going to work. I can understand the political situation, but they could be shooting any innocent person."
But then, said Lois Cowley, a 17-year-old student: "One of my friends was on that tube, and to be honest I'd rather this guy got shot than him blow up my friends. Death is too good for him. The police did what they had to."
Not so, said Benjamin Rogers, an 18-year-old student: "Shooting him five times is overkill. They could have wounded him and jumped him. The police officer who did that should be fired.’ "
Mr. Bush and his accomplice Mr. Blair have sown the whirlwind of terrorism by their actions in Iraq. Now the British people are reaping that crop and the very nature of society and culture in Britain will be changed.
And not for the better I fear.