‘Shooting crazy’

Taken from an Oct. 4 audio column on prisonradio.org

A young mother, her infant quietly snoozing in the back seat, drives a car down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., where she meets a forest of barricades, and seconds later, over half a dozen cops, pistols drawn, shouting, and pointing guns at her.

Perhaps she panics and follows her instincts; she puts the car in reverse, rolls back a few feet and tries to drive away.

In seconds, the vehicle is Swiss-cheesed with bullets and the young woman is dead.

Miraculously, the child is unharmed.

Before the smoke cleared, news accounts tell of “an exchange of gunfire” and “a shoot-out” in D.C.

In fact, the 34-year-old woman was unarmed.

Miriam Carey of Connecticut, who reportedly suffered from postpartum depression, was killed by D.C. police.

Media reports are often unreliable shortly after such events, given confusion and, more often, the one-sided reports provided by police.

Later media accounts painted the woman as psychotic.

Assuming she was, is mental illness treated by semi-automatic gunfire?  Some cure.

Modern American life is intensely stressful, especially given the financial and social pressures faced by millions.

Capitalism, as in the ruthlessness of dog-eat-dog, exacerbated that stress. Perhaps these stresses overwhelmed a young mother who couldn’t get a grip. Perhaps.

But the cops didn’t solve these problems. They merely created another one for a child who is now motherless and a family without a sister, a daughter; a loved one.