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RE: "Sniping" Things the public should know(13 posts)

RE: "Sniping" Things the public should knowBreakfast
Oct 9, 2002 8:20 AM
The media does what they always do and that is to use fear to sell the news.

It is awful what is happening in Maryland, as easily as one can come up with an analogy to military "sniping" one could come up to the analogy of the kid who picks off squirrels with a .22 rifle and a scope except he's driven by a homicidal urge to kill people.

The police and the media love to put evil-looking rifles and other firearms out on display and the public gets the idea that it's these things that are the problem. The fact is that the appearance of the gun has nothing to do with the fact of the cartridge the rifle uses, it all comes down to the bullet type, weight, and velocity of the projectile and whether the trajectory is aimed and accurate.

In this case, so called "assault weapons" are irrelevant. A well placed single shot from a bolt action is more effective than misses from a fast firing semi-auto. If one wants to commit a crime like this he uses a bolt or single shot and retains the fired case rather than have the fired case automatically ejected in a semi-auto. He doesn't want to leave evidence of his being there or of the caliber/type of weapon used. A .223 is not the most lethal round out there, in fact, it is used on varmit-sized animals. The military uses it in war because killing isn't the goal in battle as much as wounding and attrition by stress to the enemy's resources is. A .30 caliber is better suited for deer sized animals and is more effective on humans than the .223.

I have no idea of who is responsible or why this is happening, and considering the skill necessary to do what he's done so far doesn't make him a sniper, in the real sense, rather it puts him on the level of an ordinary hunter. The M.O. he's using is simply his signature and not based on military training, Hollywood could have wrote this story. Sadly, they will and we'll watch it on TV.

I know this guy will be caught. I hope real terrorists don't adopt this method of terror. I doubt it is terrorists from outside the U.S. since our experience has been that serial killers pop up every now and then and have different ways of killing. The criminal here will make a mistake and will be caught.
One of the news conferences...Wayne
Oct 9, 2002 8:34 AM
I saw indicated that the distances from which the victims were most likely shot did not indicate that the person had any special training.
Idle speculationTypeOne
Oct 10, 2002 11:18 AM
I never considered this a potential act of terror by someone from another nation, but this message has me thinking it is. How easy are tarot cards to get, anyway? It sounds like a pretty rare item to have in the U.S. I suppose in this internet age it would take only a few minutes to find and order. Second, if the killer addressed his message to "policeman," does anyone else think this wacko might not use English as a primary language? Why the singular form when it should be a plural noun? And "I am god" is a pretty simple sentence for even an illiterate person to construct. When they catch him, maybe he'll confess: "Me do it!"
We already know the killer is evil and sick, but he could also be very, very stupid. And I hope that gets him caught.
tarot cards are very commonColnagoFE
Oct 10, 2002 12:47 PM
i imagine you can get them at most bookstores--at least those not in the bible belt.
Tarot cards???Breakfast
Oct 10, 2002 7:01 PM
How could anyone, when considering what's happening in Maryland and Virginia give a damn about a Tarot card?

Besides, if the killer left the death card and there's even doubt about that, the bigger issue is the bullets he leaves in the bodies of innocent people.

What's curious, since there a fascination at work over these cards, is the death cards used during the Vietnam war which were ordinary playing cards except they had the emblem of certain U.S. fighting units printed on the back. The person who left the cards may have an idea of this concept. But, it's of minor importance right now to us who are not investigating the crime.
Tarot cards???TypeOne
Oct 10, 2002 8:15 PM
No, I don't give a rip about tarot cards, either. But what else do investigators have to go on? That's the only reason I'm babbling on here.
Sure, tarot cards are easy to get, but they're like camping gear - everyone knows where to get it, but do most people have it at home already? It's accesible, but not necessarily common. And if this guy is going to mimic US troops in Vietnam, wouldn't the ol' ace of spades be easier? It's a bizarre case made even more strange by the signature choice of the killer - a tarot card and a 3rd-graderish sentence.
'3rd grader-ish sentance'TJeanloz
Oct 11, 2002 4:51 AM
Not that I really care much about this story, but on last night's news they reported that the card had a much longer message - roughly 36 words, that was not released to the media. They further said that the words released weren't necessarily an exact quote, so judging the grammar and syntax might not be valuable at all.
They are a common high school gameKristin
Oct 11, 2002 5:30 AM
When I was in high school in the late 80's, there were several students who owned tarot cards and knew basically what the cards stood for. There are lots of people around who goof around with psychic stuff--though its mostly women. And its mostly men who commit crimes like this...but why do we immediately assume its a man?
Assume it's a man....Wayne
Oct 11, 2002 5:35 AM
because statistically reviewing past incidents even remotely like this probably indicates that 99.9% of the time it's a man doing it (rapists/serial killers, etc.). Same reasoning why they assume he's a young person.
"why do we immediately assume its a man?"mickey-mac
Oct 11, 2002 5:36 AM
Name some women who have been serial killers or spree killers. The few women serial killers that come to mind killed men only. Other than the girl who picked off elementary school students in San Diego because she didn't like Mondays, I can't think of a single "sniper" style shooter who was female. I don't know about anyone else, but history is what leads me to believe the shooter is a man.
because statistically there are very few women serial killers (nColnagoFE
Oct 11, 2002 9:10 AM
Spent casing...Breakfast
Oct 11, 2002 6:34 AM
Forensic investigators have examined the fired brass case left at one of the crime scenes and determined it came from either a Ruger Mini-14 or an AR-15 rifle (not an "Assault Weapon", unless you like hyperbolic labels).

When a fired case is ejected by the action of a firearm there are scratches and tool marks left in the soft brass of the case. These tool marks narrow the field of possible types of rifles down to a smaller number. The semi-autos mentioned above have aggressive types of ejection and are known to leave rather distinctive scratching patterns. The sniper or serial killer has made the mistake of leaving this valuable piece of evidence behind. Also, the white mini van keeps coming up as a possible vehicle used by the killer.
I'm surprised the killer doesn't drive an SUVColnagoFE
Oct 11, 2002 9:13 AM
Sorry...bad attempt at a little levity.