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Calling the snipers bluff?(14 posts)

Calling the snipers bluff?czardonic
Oct 8, 2002 9:54 AM
Did anyone catch this morning's preen-athon featuring the various politicians taking a bold stance against the MD sniper? What exactly is the point of calling him a coward? The may as well have dared him to step up his attacks and prove that he isn't afraid of getting caught.

This was apparently some kind of ploy designed to shame him into surrendering. Do they really think that this will work?
Anyone predict copycats?ColnagoFE
Oct 8, 2002 10:03 AM
I'm just waiting for the "next" sniper killings to happen in another state. Remember what happened with the child abduction thing? How about murder suicides? Happen all the time now. You get one then it seems to tuen into an epidemic. Hope I'm wrong, but it seems that this is the way things happen these days.
My thoughts would be...Wayne
Oct 8, 2002 10:26 AM
after reading some profiler books that they are trying to crack him psychologically. I don't know how this guy fits into their profiling scheme but usually (at least in the case of serial rapists/murderers/child abductors, etc.) the crime gives them enough info. about the person to give them a clue as to how he thinks/his emotional state. I know that if they think they have a remorseful person committing a crime they really try to turn on the pressure in the hopes of getting him to turn himself in. But calling this guy a coward seems to be challenging him to try again. That seems like a very dangerous tactic especially if they have any idea who the guy is. On the other hand "coward" seems to be one of the more popular insults to public officials seem to through out at criminals so maybe they were just talking off the cuff?
So, reverse psychology or political opportunism?.czardonic
Oct 8, 2002 10:54 AM
A few journalists hypothecized that taunting the sniper was some kind of psychological tactic. If so, it would have to be the most bizarre peice of reverse psychology I have ever seen. I though that Chief Moose's words after the 13 year old was shot were very sincere and moving. In contrast, the spectacle of officials parading in front of the camera to officially announce their firm opposition to random murders (was there ever any doubt?) smacked of politics.
I hope they have...Wayne
Oct 8, 2002 11:24 AM
profilers telling them what to say on TV to help get this guy (I got this impression from those books that this was pretty standard if profilers were brought in). I'd hate to think some loudmouth politicians are going to get somebody else shot trying to be tough guys. I have a strong feeling it wasn't a coincidence that his last victim was a kid following a day or two of the media hyping the threat this guy might pose to school kids. Maybe they're trying to get him to come and take a shot at them at the news conference?
I hope they have...August West
Oct 8, 2002 11:58 AM
This guy will take everything he's given from the press. When they made a big deal of location he moved. When they locked down the schools and made news of it he attacked there. Whatever info is leaked on the investigation or where our biggest concern lies will dictate his next target. Verbal jabs like the ones passed out by local politicians are probably just the reason this guy is an outcast in the first place, not anything he hasn't heard. It's being on Tom Brokaw and the rest of the national media that will feed his will to kill more.

Strange how since the war on terrorism has began only Americans (read domestic source of anthrax) have been the terrorists?
what do you know that we don't?DougSloan
Oct 8, 2002 12:19 PM
How do you know that an "American" is the source of the anthrax? Do you define "American" as anyone who is physically present in the U.S.? Further, how do you know this guy is not a foreigner, here legally or illegally? Lots of unwarranted assumptions, unless you know something we don't. Not saying he is or isn't, buy who knows?

Greg, what's this guy's IP? I think we need to notify the FBI.

re: what do you know that we don't?August West
Oct 8, 2002 12:38 PM
The FBI know's it's domestic. That's why they're investigating old Fort Detrick staff. It's in the news. They're investigating many Americans (citizens)including many in Maryland, which would lead me to beleive the strain has been determined to be domestic. I even recall it being labeled as such about eight months ago.

All I know is what's in the Washington Post.
my takeDougSloan
Oct 8, 2002 12:01 PM
My take on this is that the authorities surmise that this guy is doing this for some misguided perceived glory, that he's going to be seen as some sort of underground hero, or maybe a real terrorist.

If so, what they are doing by calling him a "coward" may be an attempt to reduce his (assuming it's a "he") idea of self-importance or righteousness. I doubt it's any form or taunting, trying to get him to try again in the hopes of disclosing himself.

Hinkley, in his warped mind, thought that Jodie Foster would think he was cool by offing the president. If Jodie had an opportunity to call him a "dirty little cretin" for even thinking about such a thing, he may well not have tried. Who knows?

In any event, my bet is that this is not accidental or emotional, but rather a well-reasoned, if risky, response.

re: Calling the snipers bluff?Starliner
Oct 8, 2002 12:36 PM
The problem the authorities have is they don't know who they are looking for because they haven't been able to profile the shooter. Without a profile, they cannot predict where and when the shooter will shoot again. They figure as long as the shooter is on the loose, killings are likely to continue, media coverage or not. So right now, the authorities are blindly grasping for whatever straws they can get, in order to try and develop a profile of the shooter.

So, the authorities will look at any correlation between the timing of the shootings and the timing and content of the media coverage. You mentioned that bringing in the pols and calling the shooter a coward might make the shooter more likely to strike again. Another view could be that such coverage feeds the shooter's ego in a way that may make him/her back off for a bit. They just don't know yet.

From all this they hope to get a feel for what makes this shooter tick, and therefore be able to make the shooter more predictable, and stoppable.
That's a good point.czardonic
Oct 8, 2002 1:15 PM
I hadn't thought that they might be feeding his ego in hopes that he will rest on his laurels. That seems legit.

However, a few kept stressing that the shooter was not a hero and that no-one was admiring him. Would such a person care whether or not he was esteemed by the general public?

Does the guarunteed nation-wide infamy encourage the outcast type to commit high-profile crimes?
Maybe it's all about attentionStarliner
Oct 8, 2002 3:38 PM
The shooter could be somebody who simply gets off on the attention he/she/it has attracted.... whether or not the shooter is considered a hero or coward may not be important.

Perhaps the shooter lives an isolated, withdrawn life. Young (late teens, early 20's), smart, male, a techno-nerdy loner. Much time spent playing video games.
Silent Scope 2 <i>was</i> recently released.czardonic
Oct 8, 2002 3:51 PM
On 9/11 no less. Personally, I don't buy the whole "he got the ideas from playing too many video games" argument. However, I have been wating for the media to catch whiff of this particular game. If he is indeed a young male you can bet games will be dragged through the mud.
yup...and also any number of violent movies will be blamed (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 9, 2002 5:50 AM