Maxed Out 

Sad responses to a tragedy

By G.D. Maxwell

I’m at a loss. Confused, saddened, outraged, impotent, and thoroughly, utterly pissed off. The parade’s movin’ at warp speed and I just don’t know which bandwagon to jump onto.

In a country where so few violent murders are committed each year we couldn’t produce even a single deck of Scumbag Murderers playing cards, four Mounties are gunned down in a single incident by a lone town bully from Deliverance, Alberta.

In a country where the only thing more maddening, time-consuming and bureaucratically drawn-out than getting a permit to buy a hunting rifle is waiting in line for an MRI, a nutbar with a long history of arrests, threatening behaviour, and weapons violations has an arsenal on his farm in Deliverance because the police, criminal justice system and his don’t-touch-our-guns neighbours just can’t figure out a way to deal with him, despite the federal government having burned through a billion tax dollars to institute a scandalously ineffective gun registry.

In a country that prides itself on Good Government, two generations of political leaders – those firmly and deeply ensconced in the trough and those whose greatest dream is to join them – mindlessly and opportunistically cry out for longer, tougher penalties for grow ops because the lone town bully from Deliverance was found to be growing 20 pot plants. Why no plaintive wail for longer, tougher jail sentences for people who default on their truck payments?

And in a country whose national police force enjoys a long, glorious history of always getting their man, it’s beginning to seem more and more like what started as backup to a civil seizure against a known, dangerous, town bully and certifiable head case was being choreographed by Mack Sennett instead of Sgt. Preston.

So many bandwagons; so little time.

I am saddened beyond my feeble ability to describe sadness at the deaths of Constables Tony Gordon, Brock Myrol, Peter Schiemann and Leo Johnston. If ever it can be said four RCMP constables, good and true, died for nothing, they did. I honour their memory. But no spin, no politically correct words of comfort, no lies or cover-up will change the fact their deaths were both needless and purposeless. Whatever comfort can be taken from the inevitable lessons the force and the country can learn from their deaths will be the only value received for their four young lives. It’s a pity.

I’m saddened by the knee-jerk, opportunistic way spokesmen for the RCMP initially chose to describe this horrible event as the result of busting a marijuana grow op. I’m even more saddened the national press swallowed this whopper hook, line and sinker and took more than 48 hours to begin reporting the facts about what really happened in Deliverance last Thursday.

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