Friday, January 29, 2021

Now 7 Deaths from Capitol Riot; Two Police Suicides

Many people keep saying that five (5) people died in the Capitol riot on Jan 6th, such as Frank Bruni in today's NY Times. But now seven (7) people are dead as a result of it, and what's hard for me to understand is that the other two are suicides of police officers. 

Here are the deaths from the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol:

  • Ashli Babbitt, rioter (shot and killed, Jan 6th)
  • Kevin Greeson, rioter (heart attack, Jan 6th)
  • Rosanne Boyland, rioter (crushed, Jan 6th)
  • Benjamin Philips (stroke, Jan 6th)
  • Brian Sicknick, Capitol Police Officer (succumbed to injuries, Jan 7th)
  • Howard Liebengood, Capitol Police Officer (suicide, Jan 9th)
  • Jeffrey Smith, D.C. Police Officer (suicide, Jan 15th)
Liebengood just came to notice in the last few days; see Politico from Wednesday.

Why these suicides? Granted, the fighting there was truly medieval, it seems. You've seen the same videos I have. The NY Times has some clips today that show a friend of Rosanne Boyland trying to save her but realizing she's dead. The attack going on around her is stunning for its viciousness. You almost can't believe that such people came from ordinary American society, and are, in many cases, back in it again, walking among us. 

Did these officers who committed suicide have PTSD? Did they see and experience things they couldn't get over, things we're unaware of? Were they perhaps shamed by the intense criticism the police, and especially the Capitol police, received from some in the wake of the riot, the accusations they were collaborating? Am I failing to understand the intensity of what they went through there?

This puzzles me, and in some way worries me. I think it's because the idea of violence on that scale and intensity no longer seems unthinkable, not just at the Capitol, but anywhere now in US society. It really is the birth of a new kind of domestic terrorism. How do you root it out? Especially now that the country is armed to the teeth, including with assault weapons, true weapons of war, and many of these rioters look no different than soldiers involved in war. Politicians, acting on a subset of constituents wishes, have let the gun situation get so extreme and ridiculously out of hand that violent conclusions now seem almost inevitable. I certainly no longer find it unthinkable. That's hard to shake.


Entropic man said...

The Second Amendment was always a double edged sword.

IIRC it was intended as a defence against we British, but it has become a permit for armed anti-government groups like the Proud Boys.

Perhaps you should be grateful for small mercies. A less inept potential autocrat than Trump could have mobilised millions of armed Republicans and managed a serious coup attempt.

David Appell said...

I'm still surprised more guns weren't pulled out of backpacks at the Jan 6th riot, because I'm sure they were in there, given that crowd.

Our problem now is that the US, which has always had a gun culture, has a gun fetish. Probably feeding on itself. I don't know how you get over that.

Entropic man said...

A faction among the rioters came prepared to occupy the Senate or House chamber and take hostages. Then you would have seen the guns.

" a gun fetish. Probably feeding on itself. I don't know how you get over that. "

The best governments lead their people in the direction they need to go, not the direction they want to go. Not something seen in the US for decades.

J. D. said...

It's not just the guns that are a problem it's that the gun owners have been radicalized by extreme propaganda from right wing sources like Fox News. As if that wasn't bad enough many of them have fallen for the insane qanon conspiracy theory.To make matters even worse most of these people vote for Republicans who have done little to counter this dangerous nonsense.

Of course the election of Trump turbocharged the Republican decline. It's got so bad now that if anyone in the party steps out of line they put not only their political career at risk they also risk harm to themselves and their families. If the Republicans don't grow a back bone and start acting in the interest of America instead of their own self interest then I don't see how things can get any better.