Thursday, July 24, 2008
Subject to Control
The trouble had been going on for years, apparently. She had a restraining order against him, and he was prohibited from possessing firearms. She had broken off their relationship long ago, and had moved on with the man she married. But there can be a madness among men, in many cultures around the world, that insists on owning women.
Willits is a small city with a small staff, and she was the municipal payroll officer. The first responder on the scene was the fire chief, who just happened to be going to the bank when she was shot to death in her car, in this parking lot. The gunman had killed himself immediately. Someone called 911. Try as he might, with his calming competence, the fire chief could not save this woman, this colleague, with his bare hands. He was able to rescue her girlfriend, in the car seat beside her, badly bleeding from two bullets that may have passed through her friend. The police chief arrived, and saw this woman he had gone to high school with, now dead. It happened last November. I did not know her, but this event grieved many, many people, and she will not be forgotten. The shock echoed through all of us.
Such madness is never, ever about love. It is about property, and about control.