FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Killing for Stuff

by MISSY BEATTIE

The Oregon mall shooting’s been the “top” story most of the day (Wednesday) at Google News, dirty dancing and dipping with the fiscal cliffhanger.

Steven Forsyth and Cindy Yuille are dead.  Kristina Shevchenko, a high school student, is hospitalized, in serious condition.  The killer, Jason Tyler Roberts, committed suicide.

I wasn’t going to write about this.  I’d started another article.  One about an email I received from a friend, a man who’s talked with me about his son and only child.  This in his subject line:  OUR SON’S A SOLDIER.

I responded that I’m not happy about the news.  Sad, in fact.  And told him he knows why.  He’s heard me.  He’s sat in my family room, listened to my run-ons.

He sent another email—a statement of his hope that his son never has to take the life of another, unless in self-defense.  I thought about this.  That if his son ever has to take a life, he hopes it will be in self-defense.

Killing someone only in self-defense, killing a man or woman who is defending his or her country from U.S. invasion, Empire.

So, I was going to make that my theme.  Until, until….  Um, maybe there is a theme.  This self-defense. Defense of some thing.  Or an offense.  Perhaps, both.

What was Jason Tyler Roberts defending in Portland?

It’s Thursday now, and I just hit Google News.  This report no longer holds the number-one position, but there’s an ABC article on the page.  Jason Roberts wanted to travel.  And on his Facebook page, he’d posted:  “I’m the kind of person that is going to do what I want.  There’s no reason for another person to tell you what to do, I’m the conductor of my choo choo train.”

Then, there’s that story receiving little attention—the death of the 27-year-old mother of two who was shot and killed by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, Louis Campbell, working as a security guard in Houston.

Her name:  Shelly Frey.  And she was suspected of shoplifting.  Taking STUFF from the crime scene known as Walmart.

The gun-wielding Campbell pursed Frey, and the women who accompanied her, to the store’s parking lot, opening the door of their vehicle. As the car moved forward, Campbell shot Frey in the neck.

Two children were in that car.

The two killed at the “maul” have been described as caring and having a zest for life.

Probably, Shelly Frey was caring, had this zest, as well.  According to her father Sheldon Frey, “Shelly was the perfect mom, perfect friend, perfect daughter,” this daughter who’d moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina, for a new start with her children, one of whom is a two-year-old with sickle cell anemia.

Was Frey acting in self-defense when she allegedly shoplifted?

Was Campbell acting in self-defense—an  offense, in self-defense?  How does he feel, knowing he’s killed another human being?

What about Roberts?  His girlfriend, Hannah Sansburn, said he was happy and liked to joke, but had changed suddenly, conducting his “choo choo” to a station of violence.

And my friend’s son, a graduate of basic training, a soldier.  Will he kill?  And if he does, please let it be in self-defense. Defense of mighty righteousness.

At the mall, a cliff, a Walmart parking lot, in countries targeted by capitalist greed.  All war zones.  Killing for stuff.  Two of the stories, top news.  The other two, not so much.

Missy Beattie is in Baltimore.  Email: missybeat@gmail.com

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:
May 30, 2016
Ron Jacobs
The State of the Left: Many Movements, Too Many Goals?
James Abourezk
The Intricacies of Language
Porfirio Quintano
Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes on ISIS are Reducing Their Cities to Ruins
Uri Avnery
The Center Doesn’t Hold
Raouf Halaby
The Sailors of the USS Liberty: They, Too, Deserve to Be Honored
Rodrigue Tremblay
Barack Obama’s Legacy: What Happened?
Matt Peppe
Just the Facts: The Speech Obama Should Have Given at Hiroshima
Deborah James
Trade Pacts and Deregulation: Latest Leaks Reveal Core Problem with TISA
Michael Donnelly
Still Wavy After All These Years: Flower Geezer Turns 80
Ralph Nader
The Funny Business of Farm Credit
Paul Craig Roberts
Memorial Day and the Glorification of Past Wars
Colin Todhunter
From Albrecht to Monsanto: A System Not Run for the Public Good Can Never Serve the Public Good
Rivera Sun
White Rose Begins Leaflet Campaigns June 1942
Tom H. Hastings
Field Report from the Dick Cheney Hunting Instruction Manual
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail