someone shooting at us? quick, shoot out our own windows!

with the holidays coming up, i was trying to think of some nice, holiday-themed updates that i could attempt to work out; unfortunately, since i don’t like the holidays and since i spend most of my time riffing on whatever random stuff i find on the internet, neither my sentiments or my available topics are really “holiday-themed.” i know i should try and be sympathetic… and then i remember how i don’t really care for the holidays!

anyway, this week, we’ll start things off with a sort of humorous story so that when i get to the more sad ones, you’ll still have some nice memories to think back on.

van on the losing end of a shoot-out
so at least we know, when confronted with an armed adversary, the KC police will at least damage said adversary’s vehicle

Kansas City cops in shootout with backfiring van

now, far be it from me to make light of someone else’s poor shooting, especially since i have personally begun arguing that it’s not so much shooting accurately that i enjoy as it is the “tactile sensation of shooting a firearm,” but this is a pretty ridiculous series of events involving the police shooting. and i have to be honest here: i have seen, in my time, some strong evidence that police are not the greatest shots in America. but i digress.

“Phillip Ransom thought he had trouble Thursday night when his old van broke down on the side of the road, booming out backfires. But that was when his troubles really began. Two Kansas City police officers, mistaking the van’s backfires for gunshots, began firing at it.”

and while you might think it’s ridiculous that they were confused by backfiring, consider this: these officers began shooting at this dude and/or his van apparently before they confirmed WHO they should be shooting at. clearly someone else could have been shooting in the vicinity of the van, right? well, there’s no time to worry about that! SOUNDS LIKE GUNFIRE ARE OCCURRING! SHOOT AT THE NEAREST DUDE IMMEDIATELY!

“It was a terrifying moment for the Kansas City man, who was unarmed and said he did not own a gun. “I’m just an ordinary guy,” he said. “I go to work every day.””

i have to admit that i don’t appreciate the snide tone here, KCMO. i’m also just an ordinary guy, and i also go to work every day (as proven by my obscene sick leave balance), and yet i also own many guns. is it relevant that he was unarmed? clearly. but overall gun ownership is beside the point; it’s not like this shooting would have become reasonable if he said “yeah, i have a shotgun in my closet at home,” because he didn’t have it in the van or use it to shoot at these cops. but i digress!

“Fortunately he was not hit. At least three bullets hit the van. Ransom said he did not know how many shots were fired. “I wasn’t counting,” he said. “But it sounded like a lot.””

even worse: when you consider that they had to be shooting at the van (since nothing else was making noise or shooting at them), and that the van is the size of, well, a van, then you come to the realization that two trained police officers opened fire on a van and missed the entire van enough to reduce us to the use of the phrase “at least three bullets.” even i can hit a van!

“A department spokesman confirmed that Ransom was unarmed and said the officers have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.”

and i sincerely hope somewhere a sergeant is angrily ranting at them and slapping them periodically. “you shot at WHAT?!” “you missed a VAN?!”

“Ransom learned later that a neighbor of his was the one who made the call after mistaking the sound of backfiring for gunfire. The neighbor Friday was apologetic-“

i understand the neighbor is apologizing out of politeness for kicking this whole thing in motion, but seriously, how could you blame the neighbor? the appropriate thing for the police to do would have been to show up, confirm that no one was shooting a gun, and then move on.

“But Thursday night, Ransom, concerned that the vehicle might catch fire, stepped out of the van about the time the two officers arrived to investigate and began firing. Ransom could only stand with his hands in the air and yell that he was not shooting. “I guess they couldn’t hear me,” Ransom said Friday.”

okay, i’m going to be honest here. if two police officers starting shooting crazily at me, i would consider there to be only two serious options: to shoot back, if you’re unaware of them being police officers (and i could see that being the case here), or to get down on the fucking ground until it ends. now, the first one is not an option where i live, but i can damn sure tell you that i wouldn’t stand there in the midst of a hail of (badly-aimed) gunfire.

“Besides the damage to Ransom’s van, windows of the patrol car were also shot out — apparently by the officers as they got out of the patrol car.”

jesus fucking christ.

their OWN windows? were these guys so excited to start a gunfight that they just started wildly shooting as they exited the car without even bothering to confirm what the fuck they were shooting at and why? no, wait, i think we confirmed that that was the case at the start of this article. i don’t really have the words to describe how insane this is.

“Police and media reports initially described the incident as the police car being hit by a bullet fired from a suspect in the van.”

well OF COURSE they did.

really, i know this is a special low for police marksmanship and that the average officer is many steps above these guys, but i am having such a hard time envisioning the mindset of officers so anxious to get to shooting that they make such a mistake and start shooting so quickly and wildly. maybe this would be a good time to make some statements about the militarization of the police making them increasingly likely to shoot things up at the drop of a dime? maybe not; i’m not some kind of social-statement-making dude.

teacup Yorkshire terrier
somewhere, there’s a thief looking at this image who can only think, “ooh, BIG MONEY”

burglar steals family’s dog, Christmas gifts

again, i don’t care for the holidays, but i at least understand how sad it must be for children when, with Christmas right around the corner, someone breaks in and steals their presents and- wait, what exactly did this burglar steal?

“A Mesquite family is off to a bad start to the holiday season after burglars stole its dog and all of its gifts over the weekend.”

stole its dog? well, okay, maybe we’re talking about some ridiculously rare and valuable dog. granted, i know dogs aren’t like art, but there has to be some kind of dog out there that’s worth a ridiculous amount of money, right?

“Thieves broke into the Rusaw family’s apartment at Tri Pointe Square and stole a teacup Yorkshire terrier named Candy, wrapped Christmas gifts, electronics and jewelry.”

okay… so it was just a normal dog that’s not special in any way. plus, it’s a small dog that’s probably making a ridiculous amount of noise, which HAS to be the most relaxing thing for a team of burglars to have with them in the middle of committing a crime. “you know what would make these felonies go even more smoothly? bring that tiny yapping dog along!”

“Most of the stolen gifts belonged to 13-year-old Cameron Rusaw. But Cameron, who was too upset to go to school Monday, said he misses his dog more than anything.”

wait a minute… what kind of 13-year-old boy owns a teacup Yorkshire terrier? named Candy? and now, i’m not setting this up for a Simpsons-referencing “i think we both know the answer to that: a lucky boy” remark, even though the teacup/tea set parallel would be wonderful, because clearly a boy whose questionable dog is stolen is not LUCKY. you can only really use that reference correctly when you’re just making fun of a boy who’s still got his dog.

“I’m not worried about any gifts,” he said. “I just want my dog back.”

i told you guys that Christmas is fucking depressing.

“Stacy Rusaw said she can’t take the fact that her dog is not home safe. “Without us, we know she’s scared,” she said. “She’s a sweet little dog, and even if you are enjoying her, bring her back to us where she belongs, because it’s not fair. She didn’t do nothing.” The family said the thieves also stole small electronics, DVDs and a coin collection Cameron inherited from his grandfather.”

wait a minute, Stacy, who’s dog is this? seriously, though, it sounds mostly like someone had it in for this kid Cameron, since it’s not like stealing someone’s dog and coin collection is anyone’s idea of the crime of the century.

“Mesquite police are investigating the robbery.”

i know this is a generic statement to close out an article, but it always makes me think, “well, i should certainly hope they are!”

now, let me see if i can find something even MORE depressing…

prepare to get seriously fucking depressed

heroic Afghan dog euthanized by mistake

this story’s not incredible new at this point, but i would be remiss if i didn’t go on about it, although it is a serious downer. so, where to start? well, it seems that at one base in Afghanistan, the soldiers there had been illicitly keeping three stray dogs around…

“One night last February a Taliban suicide bomber tried to infiltrate the army barracks where 50 soldiers were sleeping. But the bomber was taken completely by surprise when the three dogs attacked him, holding him back by biting his legs, finally forcing him to detonate the 24lbs of C4 explosives he had strapped to his body. The attacker never made it to the threshold.”

so first off, there’s some definitive proof that dogs are fucking awesome. swarming on and biting a suicide bomber until he just blows himself up? not only is that quality work, but consider what would have happened if you kept stray cats around: they’d just roll out and you’d be getting blown up in your bunks by an insurgent. but, of course, this probably didn’t end well for the dogs in question; an unselfish animal like a good dog unfortunately exposes itself to these kinds of results:

“Five soldiers were injured and two of the dogs were seriously wounded. Sasha, the third dog, sustained wounds that were too severe and she had to be put down. The soldiers nursed Rufus and Target back to health.”

dogs that are so awesome they can survive the point-blank explosion of C4. seriously, these are all-time great dogs; if i could vote for one of them for office, i would do it. and that’s not hyperbole for effect; i would definitely rather have one of these dogs as the governor of my state. anyhow, so these dogs were trapped in Afghanistan, but some soldiers raised a bunch of money to bring Target and Rufus back to the US. good for them; Sergeants Duke and Young received them, respectively.

now, beyond all that, apparently these dogs had led some colorful lives:

“The heroic Target, who got her name because, according to one soldier, local Afghans made sport of trying to “off her” (she was shot in the shoulder and even run over by a car)-“

so she was shot… and run over with a car… and then blown up with C4… and still looked as friendly as in the above photo? dogs are RIDICULOUS. but this is where it gets depressing.

“-[Target] was picked up last week by animal control and brought to the Pinal County Animal Care and Control Shelter in Arizona where she was euthanized by mistake.”

what the hell? granted, i know that this kind of thing can happen when a dog is mistaken as a stray (Target was apparently loose), and that you have to do it (to some extent) at shelters… but how fast are they euthanizing these dogs in Arizona? because it seems to me like the kind of dog whose owners would be looking for her directly. oh, wait, it seems they mistakenly euthanized Target instead of another dog. that’s really sad. can we make it worse?

“”My 4-year-old keeps saying: ‘Daddy, bring Target home. Daddy, get the poison out,'” Sergeant Young, a father of three, said in a telephone interview, his voice choking with emotion.””

jesus fucking christ. that’ll do it.

okay, that’s enough for the week. i’m going to go curl up in bed and be sad about poisoned dogs now.

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