Oklahoma City Bombing and Loose Talk

Oklahoma City Bombing - Loose TalkI was going to talk about juggling babies or some such nonsense today, but I noticed that it was on this day back in 1995 that the Oklahoma City bombing took place, killing roughly 169 people and injuring very many more. I remember in the early 1990s that conservatives, libertarians most especially, were very upset about Ruby Ridge and Waco. And there was a lot of loose talk about armed revolt.

At the time, I felt that the Waco siege had been mishandled. I never had a great deal of sympathy for Ruby Ridge, probably because of its association with white supremacists. I always thought that reaction of people was a bit extreme. This wasn’t exactly Nazi Germany. But regardless, after the Oklahoma City bombing, most of that loose talk of rebellion stopped. Things got very real.

Looking back, I think that had Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols not gotten around to the Oklahoma City bombing, some other pair of “patriots” would have done something similar. But the quiet and reasonableness that this horrific act brought to conservative movement was short lived. I haven’t made a study of it, but you can hear this kind of loose talk any day on The Alex Jones Show. But you will hear the same thing in a less extreme manner from Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh.

Everyone is guilty of loose talk. Children say they want to kill their parents when they get angry. But there really was something different about things in the early 1990s. There was very much a feeling of, “They raped our queen, so we raped their city, and we were right!” But in this case it is hard to see who “they” were. If McVeigh had decided to assassinate Janet Reno (and I certainly heard people talk about that), it at least made some sense; you could argue that she was culpable. But what the hell did the people who happened to be at or near the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building do that deserved death?

But that’s the problem with loose talk. When you live in a realm of theory, people become like chess pieces on a board. It’s like that kid who killed those people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church: he thought he was going to start a race war. Those people were just pawns in his grand plan. Ultimately, people have to trump any kind of high ideal — regardless of how great you think it is.

10 thoughts on “Oklahoma City Bombing and Loose Talk

  1. >It’s like that kid who killed those people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church: he thought he was going to start a race war. Those people were just pawns in his grand plan.

    Charles Manson had a similar plan. It was about as well thought out, and as successful.

    • That’s right! I had forgotten. He was going to start the revolution. I assume that’s what the SLA was up to too. But it’s not surprising. If you solution to social problems is violence, you probably aren’t a deep thinker.

  2. I remember right after Gabby was shot and Sheriff Dupnik went off on local radio out of rage, pain and feeling he failed someone he should have protected about how the right wing in this country refuse to accept they caused this by literally having a gunsight on Gabby’s district.

    All of my Republican friends were like “WE DIDN’T CAUSE THIS” and I said “yes you did. Own up to what your behavior did.”
    They never did.

    But then Dupnik won re-election so I guess it didn’t matter in that area. :/

    • I’ve never found the gunsights on the districts that compelling, perhaps because I used the same thing in a Google Maps application I wrote that had nothing to do with that. But the Republicans are responsible because they choose the right of people to have no restrictions to guns above the rights of people to live. God, I don’t want to get into it. It’s so upsetting. But the kid who shot her was and is insane. His parents knew this. How did he get a gun? He got a gun because the Republican Party wanted him to have a gun.

      • There was other stuff-saying things like “locked and loaded.” It was an over all atmosphere of permissive behavior. Loughner is mentally ill and yes, Arizona is almost as gun happy as Vermont but the permissive attitude is what caused this.

        *sigh*

        • Oh yes! I totally agree. What I was talking about was actual people talking about actually killing people. And I don’t think that has changed. I think I recall reading that the kid was reading social media where that kind of stuff was common. I do remember Palin liked “locked and loaded.” The whole thing is tragic but also ironic given that video of her out shooting with her father where it showed very clearly that it was all pretense — it wasn’t something she was genuinely interested in. It’s all just politics until people get killed — every damned day.

  3. I recall the day of the Oklahoma bombing. I was picking up or dropping off a deceased party at the mortuary on Low Gap Road, in Ukiah. I was still listening to the news reports on the return trip, when I noticed something along the roadside, at a vineyard. I pulled over to check out what it was. That something was a makeshift shrine for Polly Klass….where her body had been found two years earlier. Fun times. Seems like I was surrounded by morbidity at that time in my life.

    Many of my clients are huge gun nuts. I get really uncomfortable when one of the really manly men is being friendly and says, “ya like guns, right?” I know an honest answer about the matter…….well, how I feel about gun fanatics…….is unacceptable. Unpatriotic. I try to kinda defer the question or change the topic, but THEN they always escort me to a room with one of their collections………the most recent of which had no less than four gun vaults. Yes, that’s right, far too large to refer to as a gun safe.

    Look, I don’t hate guns. I don’t fear or dislike people who have guns. What bothers me is angry white men on every block who are nutting up over what they see as wholesale loss of their religious values….which apparently include needing large collections of firearms.

    I propose, since the cross is no longer the preferred method for offing ones enemy in public, we replace the crosses with a AK-47’s.

    • Well put. As long as the AK-47 has a 30 round banana clip, it would work really well.

      What you are talking about is a big problem. We live in a country filled with people who either have no guns or lots of guns. Of course, part of that is just what men do. If a guy is into guitars, he probably owns a bunch of them. Hey, look who I’m talking to!

      • Now, now… I only have two electrics, one bass and two acoustics…..it’s not really a ‘bunch.’ One of them is an under/over (.22/12g) LOL.
        To me, the real riot is my ability to really talk the talk with the folks. They assume I am one of them, cuz I know a lot about guns…..just because of my brother being such a gun nut.
        No surprise that 10+ people told me when they were looking for the Unibomber, they thought it was my sibling. You and I knew he did not really fit the profile, but the stereotype.

        • Yes, I would say most gun freaks are, despite what they say, very pro-authority. That was certainly true of your “sibling.” Of course “your sibling” owns no guns now. ;-)

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