Various kinds of breaking news

So, we were at the hospital doing a standard midwife visit, and the pediatric nurse managed to fanagle me an H1N1 shot (they want caretakers of infants to have the shot). So I am now fully inoculated. We also probably have a baby name picked out, but I’m not going to say what it is.

Then, leaving the hospital and heading back north, we saw it …

I think it was an F 15, but I could easily be wrong about that. It was heading south in what looked like a circle-the-airport formation. Then a second one following the first.

I clicked on the radio and in moments heard about the shooting at Fort Hood. A dozen or soldiers 30 or more wounded. That seems to have set a trigger for making the airplanes fly around. (Yes, in theory, one can see them at any time, but in truth one does not.)

The first version of the story I’ve heard suggests that three or more people have been arrested, and that multiple shooters were involved. However, two soldiers were taken into custody, but they were released, it would seem, and a third person arrested. It is all very confusing.

The conversation is confusing because people are assuming that the shooter was overstressed and went nuts, but there is this background knowledge of multiple people possibly being in (and out of) custody.

And so far I’ve only heard one person mention that this guy could have been a crazed middle eastern terrorist. Of cosure I don’t watch or listen to Fox News…. where people will be making the link between the dead shooter’s name (Hassan) and you know who’s middle name (Hussein).

Oh, and Hussein is not the baby’s theoretical name in case you were guessing…


  1. #1 David Lee
    November 5, 2009

    Good for the flu shot! We’re going to name our baby probably,”Raven.” Feel free to start a club.

  2. #2 NewEnglandBob
    November 5, 2009

    A U.S. Army major firing two handguns killed 11 people and wounded 31 others in a shooting rampage on Thursday at Fort Hood base in Texas, a prime point of deployment for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The Army said the gunman was killed. U.S. broadcast media identified him as Major Malik Nidal Hasan, and said he was a psychiatrist who was facing an upcoming deployment to Iraq. There was no immediate official confirmation of his identity.

  3. #3 Kirk
    November 5, 2009

    We of course thought about giving our son a biblical name as they are so popular but everyone we talked to didn’t like our idea of naming our son Judas.

  4. #4 Doug
    November 5, 2009

    I guess this kind of flies in the face of the whole “shootings only happen in places that have no guns” argument.

  5. #5 Bill James
    November 5, 2009

    Heh… you misspelled Raving…

    Of course there is a certain amount of money on “Osama Greg Laden”… perhaps the Second, maybe the Third… but “William James Laden,” now that’s a name worthy the son of an Earth Federation Sky Pilot.

  6. #6 Bill James
    November 5, 2009

    I guess this kind of flies in the face of the whole “shootings only happen in places that have no guns” argument.

    Well… Yes… I suppose it does.

  7. #7 The Science Pundit
    November 5, 2009

    I guess this kind of flies in the face of the whole “shootings only happen in places that have no guns” argument.

    Curiously, it was a local policeman that shot the gunman, and as a good professional, only wounded him.

  8. #8 José
    November 5, 2009

    I guess this kind of flies in the face of the whole “shootings only happen in places that have no guns” argument.

    No. I think Fort Hood is one of those liberal gunless military bases.

  9. #9 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 5, 2009

    What they need at the base are civilians with “Conceal and Carry” permits to stop this kind of thing from happening.

  10. #10 garth
    November 5, 2009

    it’s a pretty horrible thing to happen for the people who got hurt or killed. i can’t imagine what their loved ones are feeling…thinking they’re safe at home, not in iraq, then this happens.

    note to people who are afraid or unbalanced to the point of snapping: just doing yourself works fine.

  11. #11 Mike Dunford
    November 5, 2009

    Actually, military bases are – in ordinary, day-to-day circumstances – places where very few people actually have guns at any point in time. Typically, the only people armed will be police officers (civilian and/or MP) and those soldiers who are actively conducting training that requires firearms. Even then, the soldiers will only be issued live ammo if they’re going to the firing range or on an exercise where live fire is authorized. In all other cases, weapons are kept under lock-and-key.

    State-issued concealed carry permits are not valid on federal military bases, all privately-owned weapons need to be registered with the MPs, and people who live on base and own firearms are required to store them so that they are not immediately available for firing (unloaded, with trigger locks, or with bolt removed).

    The military, funnily enough, actually has fairly sane gun control laws.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    November 6, 2009

    Mike: Exactly, and this event happened at a graduation ceremony, where there would have been security police simply because it was gathering but no livea mmo would be issued!

    I suspect, but this is a wild guess, that this off and on thing where a second, third, or fourth person is arrested and/or questioned may have something to do with how the weapon(s) got there.

  13. #13 Doug
    November 6, 2009

    Actually, I was in the Army four several years and realize that guns are not routinely carried in garrison areas. The point I was trying to make is that in the wake of mass shootings, someone usually raises an argument about such things would not happen if the populace were armed. I personally find this argument somewhat dubious, thus the rather facetious attempt to poke fun at it. I had no intention to offend.

  14. #14 rob
    November 6, 2009

    i have never seen an F-15 flying around the airport. i *have* seen F-16s though. Duluth had several in the air national guard. i don’t know if they still do. did it have a twin tail? and F-15 does. an F-16 has a single vertical stabilizer.

    since i was curious, i google mapped the airport to see if there were any fighters hanging around the tarmac. i saw a bunch of C130s, then i saw them–on the north east side of the airport, south of crosstown, at the air national guard area, there are F-4s, an F-102, a couple other 50’s era fighters i forget the name for and…an SR-71 black bird! they are all sitting there as some sort of display just off of mustang drive. there are even a couple P-51 mustangs there too.

    so, i didn’t see any F-15s, but i did see some other cool planes!

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    November 6, 2009

    I totally meant F16. One tail fin.

    I’ve actually seen the mustangs flying around, over the summer in the Western Suburbs.

  16. #16 andrew
    November 6, 2009

    “Then, leaving the hospital and heading back north, we saw it … ”

    I was thinking you might be referring to this:

  17. #17 Mike Dunford
    November 6, 2009

    @Greg (#12):

    Yeah, the graduation ceremony thing was misreporting, too. That took place a nearby, but totally different, building.

    The shootings happened at the Fort Hood SRP site. That’s the processing facility that all the soldiers have to go through both before and after deployment. Service records are checked there, vaccinations are updated if necessary, wills and advance medical directives are updated, that kind of thing.

    I doubt that the arrests were related to anything other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and looking or acting a bit strange. He would not have needed any help at all to bring the weapons on base or into the SRP.