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Reactions to the Greyhound bus horror

Some of the reactions following the horrific incident in Manitoba are worrying and predictable.

Since I blogged about this the other day, I have am seeing posters on blogs and The Mothercorp advocating better security on buses like this fellow did:

” It’s about time that airport security is used on other forms of commercial travel – like trains, and buses. Yes it’s going to cost money, but how much is your life worth?”

As well, there are the predictable calls for the return to capital punishment.

These are knee-jerk reactions that accomplish little but raise the paranoia levels and blood pressures of the readers.

This isn’t a bus safety concern. Greyhounds pick people up in the middle of nowhere. It’s a rural bus stop system as well. How could you screen everyone who boards public transit?? Perhaps if we really do want to descend into a truly Orwellian state where personal security trumps freedom – not to mention common sense – then by all means, descend to your heart’s content.

I’ll build myself a nice little cabin somewhere.

Hell, why stop at buses, trains and other forms of public transit? Why not have checkpoints on all major highways and at the entrances to parks, community centres and arenas? Unworkable. Undesirable and they wouldn’t work anyhow, because….

there are crazies out there and, as a civil society that respects individual freedoms, we cannot regulate the presence or absence of such nut-cases…

Random acts by random psychopaths will happen and there is little we can do about it unless we are willing to severely curtail our personal freedoms and privacy.

And, of course, capital punishment raises it’s ugly head. While I cannot imagine the horror of the victim’s family and my sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to them – I am a father too – taking the life of this madman will not make up for the loss of their son.

No, I don’t think that Li (the attacker) is ever capable of being rehabilitated any more than Paul Bernardo is capable of the same. But civilized societies do not take a life in response to the taking of a life. No exceptions.

This is a nightmare just like Bernardo, Dunblane and Columbine and they are rare – happily.


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  1. trashee says:

    Well put Doug. But I’m not sure that this is the typical “hunker-down” crowd that is calling for increased security / less personal freedom. Sure, they represent a portion, but I’m increasingly sensing that the paranoia and cynicism that has permeated those most vulnerable to such feelings (e.g., those who have lower educations, or are disadvantaged or members of the Conservative Party) has extended to another social stratum.
    That REALLY worries me.
    No empirical evidence – just a hunch.
    Oh – and in a civilised society there cannot be ANY justification for the killing of children. Ever.

  2. I’ll have to agree that all the calls for increased security measures would just help make the country more of a police state than it already is. The odds of you getting on a Greyhound bus in the prairies and ending up with you head cut off are pretty slim. As for the usual comments, I’ve been told that they don’t really represent the “average” person, but tend to represent the crowd of survivalists, and so forth, with fortified basements and a hundred year supply of canned food. I do know that I was pretty turned off last week when I read the comments after a Canadian soldier murdered a two and four year old child in Afghanistan. The fact that people can firstly rationalize occupying a country thousands of miles away, and then rationalize slaughtering its civilians, and then think that this will have no repercussions here… there was world-wide shock at the murder of the Polish immigrant by the RCMP who’d spent ten hours standing in an airport without a soul lifting a finger to help him. I’m from the States, so I’ve seen all this before, as a country becomes an armed military camp, at war with the world and its own population. Murder is murder, whether committed legally by men in uniform, or by some psychotic loner. Let’s just say that the chickens are coming home to roost.

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