More than postal, more like jihad.
They had prepared ahead of time, he and his wife, had discussed it over their Cheerios, calmly loaded assault weapons. Revenge could be a motive, fueled with idealism, maybe, terrorist ideology. We'll have to wait to find out.
It seems unlikely that whatever their reason for gunning down innocent people wasn't a good one, and very likely, one or both assailants had a mental health problem.
The Inland Regional Center, the largest state facility of its kind in California, has programs for four different age groups, 0-3, 3-15, 16-22, 23-59, and adults over 60. The agency serves clients with developmental disabilities like autism, epilepsy and cerebral palsy, provides housing, work programs, therapy and social services to over 30,000 people. At least 550 people work there.
This being a party, the building's doors were wide open. Readers of my other blog know how I feel about this. If it were up to me every public building would have an armed security guard and a bullet-proof foyer, preferably. Let's put our veterans to work.
Farook, an environmental specialist at the San Bernardino County public health department, might have been a Chicagoan. This chills me. Did he train here?
Farhan Khan, Farook's brother-in-law, joined leaders of the Muslim community to express condolences. He is totally baffled.
"Why would he do that? Why would he do something like this? I have absolutely no idea, I am in shock myself," Khan, who is married to Farook's sister, told reporters.Here is a lesser form of going postal, one with no terrorist intent, no ideology behind it. Still, it is anger, and some of us think that murder is anger amplified, most of the time. Controlled, calculated, but still anger.
Last week, at the post office to mail off a package, a man at the counter, at the front of the line, argued emotionally with postal workers who had moved back, stationed themselves two feet behind the service counter. The customer gesticulated toward his drawn, ill-appearing partner, now leaning precariously against the line-divider. Customers usually set their packages or purses on it, waiting to get to the front of these interminable lines.
The angry customer shouted,
"How dare you! How dare you tell him to move back! Can't you see he's sick! Can't you tell when a person has to get home, or go to the doctor? What is wrong with you! This man is dying and you dare shout at him to get back to his place! I'm not letting this go. You have to apologize. No, you have to change! No, you don't deserve this job, do you? What a terrible, terrible thing, no compassion. . .He continued for a long, long time. It felt like forever.
Finally, another employee, the only one who could service customers at this point, there being only two workers, nodded to me to step forward. I asked him, "Should we call the police? Should I have dialed 911?"
He just shook his head. He didn't know.