's Forum Archives - Non-Cycling Discussions

Archive Home >> Non-Cycling Discussions(1 2 3 4 )

Call me paranoid...(27 posts)

Call me paranoid...AllisonHayes
Oct 4, 2002 6:32 AM
but that incident in Maryland yesterday really has me unsettled. Someone taking a high powered rifle and just killing five people.

Here is what makes me paranoid:

1. It is likely whoever did it will do it again.
2. These kinds of things always seem to generate copycats.
3. Cyclists are nothing but sitting targets for these kind of things.
4. We are vulnerable enough already.

Now, the likelihood of this happening to me is extremely remote. But, I immediately thought of MB1 & Miss M and all those who are in the D.C. area.

I just don't want to hear this happening to anyone, let alone a cyclist.

...I am thinking it may be safer to just ride inside

AH (ok, so call me chicken too)
No, you're OKEager Beagle
Oct 4, 2002 6:39 AM
It's much harder to hit a small moving target like a bike with a fit cyclist on, rather than big, fat, juicy, lazy pedestrians. Or an SUV.
Austin Texas Summer 1966MJ
Oct 4, 2002 7:22 AM
that guy picked off a cyclist 16 blocks away who was moving down a hill at a good rate of speed - mind he was a US Marine trained marksman

a friend of mine's uncle was one of the cops who got shot (and killed) by the same guy (I think he got 16 in the end) - the cops didn't have any guns that could deal with the guy from the ground so they could only rush the tower - the rednecks were pulling their rifles out of their pickups and helping out...

but I agree a pedestrian is an easier shot - maybe that's not the issue
what are the odds?DougSloan
Oct 4, 2002 6:56 AM
You are more likely to get hit by lightning or attacked by bees. Five people out of several million in the area means very remote odds.

Same thing re: 9/11. Four flights were highjacked out of 40,000 U.S. flights per day. Terrible, but still the odds are not high that it will be you.

it bugged me tooPaulCL
Oct 4, 2002 7:06 AM
Picking me off with a rifle never occurred to me. The first thing I thought of was some nut sitting outside my children's school. Maybe I'm paranoid too, or a worry-wart but I'm afraid of copy cats too.

Copycat how many school shootingS did we have after Columbine? Thank god I don't understand such a sick mind.
More reason to be paranoidmoneyman
Oct 4, 2002 8:12 AM
Watch out for teenagers with golf clubs at gas stations.,1413,36%257E53%257E901828%257E,00.html

Or, just keep living your life, doing what you enjoy. Remember, news organizations are in business to make a profit, and bad news sells especially well. When was the last time you read a story headlined "All planes land safely at airport today"?

A chillingly new type of serial murder... is it Al Queida?PdxMark
Oct 4, 2002 8:13 AM
We've had to learn to comprhend the derranged gunman staking out a postion and shooting at whoever happens to be there. This includes the disgruntled employee who attacks a workplace or the gunman in a tower (Unitverity of Texas/Austin?). We've had to comprehend the sexual serial predator who attacks periodically.

This new attack doesn't seem to fit either of our old serial murder niches. The deliberateness, stealthiness, randomness, and accuracy are chilling. It's so new, so different, so deadly, it makes me wonder if it isn't an Al Qeida sleeper cell come to life...

I'm not a terrorist(formerly Communist)-under-the-bed paranoic, but this is just too, too different. Just a wild, passing notion, so no flames, please.
Chillingly premeditatedAllisonHayes
Oct 4, 2002 8:33 AM
You are right, this seems to be a new type of attack - more deadly, more deliberate and more chilling.

Is this a terrorist ploy as well? My initial reaction is no - but, on second thought, why not? Why not launch a whole series attacks like these designed to create maximum havoc?

Nah, I am just being paranoid again. Or am I?

Of course, the likelihood of it happening to me, as Doug mentioned above, is pretty low. So not to worry. Right?

(Doug -- you missed my point -- it isn't whether it will happen to me, it is the fact that it is happening in the first place and where it might lead...I think PdxMark has hit it on the head.)
Chillingly premeditatedmickey-mac
Oct 4, 2002 9:38 AM
After September 11, my concern was that terrorists might really try to strike terror into the entire country by striking randomly in unexpected places: e.g., breaking into homes in quiet residential neighborhoods in Iowa, torturing and killing everyone in the house, and leaving some type of mark as to why the act was committed. The September 11 attacks were obviously a major blow to the country, but I never got the sense that they made people in the suburbs feel unsafe in their homes or neighborhoods. In some ways, the Manson killings probably had a more profound effect on the average person in Southern California than did the September 11 attacks. I don't think the recent killings were terror-related, but I wouldn't be shocked either.
Nothing new.czardonic
Oct 4, 2002 9:54 AM
Drive by shootings are hardly a new thing. And as for the randomness, the whole incident recalls that group of punk kids that drove around for two nights blasting unsuspecting strangers (including a cyclist) with a paintball gun. If they hadn't bragged to their friends and video taped the crime, who knows if they would have ever been caught?

This is sick and tragic, but I don't see anything revolutionary in the MO.
Nothing new - maybePdxMark
Oct 4, 2002 11:01 AM
But my recollection is that classic 1980's & 1990's style drive-bys were often gang related, hitting a rival gang member or perceived rival gang members, seldom multiple victims over a several hour period, and rarely if ever so accurate -- all single bullet slayings (according to the news). A paint ball gun doesn't strike the same sense of shock in me as multiple one-shot murders.

The pieces of this recent event are certainly all old - drive-by, random victim, multiple victim, accurate.... but as a combination of these over several hours it strikes me as unique.

The time period is also part of the uniqueness for me... We've all heard about a hail of bullets or an opportunistic murderer who strikes once every few days/weeks/months... but killing over several hours seems different... It doesn't have not the emotional rage (or whatever) associated with a hail of bullets attack or the relative lulls between attacks by a "regular" serial killer. This fits between those usual situations, IMO.
Not exactly the same, no. . .czardonic
Oct 4, 2002 12:12 PM
But the paintball incident does set the precedent for a quick succession of random crimes commited purely for the "thrill" of it. And certainly there have been drawn out murderous crime sprees in the past.

Not that any of this is reassuring. I just see this is latest iteration of an evolving trend.
I don't think this comes under the guise....Wayne
Oct 4, 2002 10:53 AM
of serial killer. They would call this guy a "spree killer". I read some Profiler books on serial rapists/killers but they never talked about spree killers. I think what's so odd about this is that when this happens the perpetrators are usually emotionally at (over) their limit and they end up quickly caught or killed by the cops. Can't believe this would be Al Quaeda b/c it's so limited in scope. Remember Al Quaeda wants to topple our way of life(i.e. ruin our economy). I've told my wife their next move should be a suicide bomber in a mall early on the morning of black friday. That would do more harm to our economy than the world trade center bombings! Luckily these guys don't seem to be able to strike us as readily as the 9/11 attack might have lead us to believe.
Spree is a good word...PdxMark
Oct 4, 2002 11:09 AM
what seems odd here is that the spree ended before he/they were caught/killed. Folks need to get on with their lives, but it sure seems that the usual type of person who would do this once will do it again until they are caught... if the person is acting out of a "usual" multiple murderer mentality.

Al Quieda doesn't make much sense either, but only comes to mind because of the uniqueness of the crime. Oddly, it seems like Al Quieda could turn this sort of murder off and on, whereas a typical sicko murderer might not be able to stop...
My guess would be...Wayne
Oct 4, 2002 11:14 AM
that since the murders seem to have stopped as soon as the story hit the news, that this guy is scared now and has headed for the hills. If it was Al Queda you'd think there would be some claim of responsiblity and a threat "of coming to a town near you".
Thrill killTypeOne
Oct 7, 2002 11:40 AM
I see nothing new with this sniper - same thing with the paintball kids, maybe it's just a bored young suburbanite raised on too many video games. The police attention may cause them to cool it a little. If it is some nutcase with an agenda of some sort, I would guess he'll continue.
As for al Quaeda, I don't think this is the sort of thing to strike terror in Americans' hearts. I hate to do this sort of speculation thing, least of all on the internet, but I would have thought terrorists would detonate a few explosives in shopping malls around the holiday season. That would be symbolic and easy, and would be so random it would hurt the economy if people thought twice about going shopping near Christmas. Damn, we have been lucky so far, unlike residents of Tel Aviv.
I am paranoid.....DINOSAUR
Oct 4, 2002 8:37 AM
But I feel a lot safer riding my bike on the back country roads with the rednecks whizzing by me in their pickup trucks then driving on the good old Ca freeways. Probably getting shot by a sniper is in line with winning the lottery.

What really bothers me is those helicopters flying overhead with their video cameras while I'm riding. What is it with those guys anyway? Why are they following me? I can hear one overhead now, I'm closing out.
Yes, tho' I think the lottery would be more fun...rwbadley
Oct 4, 2002 9:10 AM
I know what you mean about the copters, we sometimes get'em here.. They can drive a person nuts.

Live your life, the chances are low something will come your way.

Ride fast! Now we can give real meaning to the expression "I dodged a bullet today" :)

not paranoid enoughDougSloan
Oct 4, 2002 9:42 AM
Those aren't helicopters; they are disguised alien space ships.
agree and sympathiselonefrontranger
Oct 4, 2002 8:56 AM
But I also must second Money's conclusion. I refuse to sacrifice my joy. If I get crushed like a bug on my daily bike commute or picked off by some random nut with a gun, c'est la vie. Life is choices, living is making them. I choose to enjoy the time I've got.

Bad stuff happens to innocent victims all the time, and our media loves to capitalize on that. If this is some kind of terrorist plot, what on earth can I do to change that? Even if I lived in D.C., I doubt I'd quit riding to work. I might vary my route but this whole discussion sort of reminds me of my habit of looking down a line of parked cars to avoid getting doored; it certainly lowers my risk, but if someone is hell-bent on dooring me, I'm probably gonna get whacked. Certainly can't change *their* thinking. I can only do my best to live my daily life and light a spiritual candle to the families of these poor souls.

I remain inspired by the acts of people who've risen above their setbacks. Last year a woman died in my field in a Fabio Casartelli type crash that I heard happen right behind me. I was sick about it for weeks and questioned my motivation for racing after that. However, rather than inciting further negative and destructive acts of grief and rage such as suing the promoter (happens all too often in cases like this), her family took courage from her passion for the sport and began a fund in her name for junior development.

As the sign on my cubicle reads:

i "I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death"
Was that the racemoneyman
Oct 4, 2002 9:20 AM
At Carter Lake? I was there, in support of my friend who rode the Cat 4 men's race. I did not see the wreck, but heard about it later. Tragic.

Your posts are always positive and informative. That's why I click on them so often.

Was that the raceJon Billheimer
Oct 4, 2002 9:38 AM
I like LFR's quotation. I think that answers the paranoia question. It seems to me that the combination of escalating populations, availability of firearms, and instant mass media coverage and telecommunications combine to make a fertile ground for the expression of sick and dangerous minds. Don't know what to do about it though.
Oct 4, 2002 10:20 AM
Thanks Money, glad to hear someone gets something out of my drivel :-)

I recall thinking at the time "geez what a horrible place to crash", then getting major heebie-jeebies when the ambulance went by. Still get heebie-jeebies on that descent, probably always will and not because it's a scary freakin' descent either (which it is).
People worry too much. . .js5280
Oct 4, 2002 10:21 AM
Although, so far there's no known treatment for death's crippling effects, still everyone can acquaint himself with the three early warning signs of death: one, rigor mortis; two, a rotting smell; three, occasional drowsiness.

Seriously though, we have no idea what's going to kill us. The lucky ones never find out. Rather than worrying about those last moments in life or other senseless garbage, take advantage of the countless ones you have up to that point. Here's some quotes that I'll occasionaly use to remind me. . .

"A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives"
- Jackie Robinson

I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death. (Thanks LFR! I like this one a lot)

Remember that the most painful death is the sad life!! (also from the RBR)

They are not gone who live in the hearts they left behind.
~Native American proverb

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

Cycling may not add days to your life
but it will add life to your days. (another RBR contribution)

"The only disability in life is
a bad attitude". Scott Hamilton

You can't truly live life till you can face death.

Lastly. . .

That which does not kill us, makes us funny
People worry too much. . .Starliner
Oct 4, 2002 3:43 PM
Good thoughts. May I add to your list a favorite of mine...

Fear not,
What is not real, never was and never will be.
What is real, always was and cannot be destroyed.
And don't forget...Eager Beagle
Oct 7, 2002 4:36 AM
just coz you are paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you....
I think it's time to get paranoidDougSloan
Oct 10, 2002 6:32 AM
I changed my mind. This guy is too much. Despite not wanting to give an impression of cowardice or giving in to this killer, if it were me, I'd start getting *real* careful. The odds are still remote, but damn, this is scary. Be careful all you area people.