Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Tragedy in Wisconsin

And it is. The shooting deaths of the Wisconsin Hunters is not an "incident" or a "dispute." It's a tragedy and now 6 people are dead.

The Ranger called me about this over the weekend he asked if it had "made national news." Well, it certainly has.

Drew at DarnFloor, being from the area, is keeping a close watch on how the news is covering the story..

His first post about it on Sunday has updates and a few links to other blogs and news stories.

His second post, later that day goes deeper into a Fox News article and Drew himself provides some good commentary on it, with which I agree:
This is why I don't think "hunting dispute" is an accurate description of what happened. It wasn't an argument that escalated into gunfire. Vang left the tree stand, started walking away, but then just turned around and started shooting. He was still shooting as members of the hunting party tried to get the wounded away from the scene.

He also comments on the so-called "cultural angle"

This third post discusses the SKS assault rifle that Vang used in the shooting.
Given that the shooter is a Hmong immigrant, I'd wondered if there was some sort of communications barrier that resulted in the massacre. But Vang came to the U.S. in 1980--when he was probably 11 or 12. He served in the army, is a naturalized citizen and speaks good English. So language certainly wasn't an issue. And how could he live here for two thirds of his life and not come to understand the concept of private property? I do not condone any racist behavior toward the Hmong, but I don't quite buy the "cultural differences" excuse.

Now Drew posts a link to this story, wherein Chai Vang is claiming:
...[T]he hunters surrounded him, and some started calling him racial slurs. The statement quotes him as saying he started walking away but looked back. Vang said he saw the first hunter point his rifle at him and then fire a shot that hit the ground 30 to 40 feet behind him.

Vang told investigators that's when he started firing at the group.

I don't quite buy this, considering he walked away and 6 people are dead. But I suppose all that is to be done at this point is to pray for the two living wounded, for Vang himself and for the families of the killed.