Death in Burnsville, Minnesota

Google Street View: Burnsville, Minnesota, East Burnsville Parkway, near Highway 77. (May 2023)
Burnsville, Minnesota: East Burnsville Parkway. (May 2023) Google Street View, used w/o permission.

Sunday morning’s incident is more than three hours down the road, but still registered as ‘my part of the world’.

Among the very few ‘up’ sides is that, so far, local and regional news has paid more attention to the folks who were doing their jobs, and less on the person who caused their deaths.

This isn’t what I’ll be talking about this week, not even close. But the multiple killings feel like they happened ‘just down the road’. So I’m whipping this off Monday, making a few points before moving on to something more interesting.

News and Views

When a town that’s not one of my country’s major cities makes international headlines, it’s seldom good news. That said, this BBC News article focused on one of the folks most of us will miss.

Minnesota shooting: Wife of killed police officer says ‘he had to do what was right’
James FitzGerald, BBC News (February 19, 2024)

“…State authorities said officers were called at about 01:50 local time (07:50 GMT) to the address in Burnsville, a city about 15 miles (24 km) south of central Minneapolis.

“They were responding to a ‘report of a domestic situation’ involving an armed man, said Supt Drew Evans from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

“The responders later learned seven children, aged two to 15, were also ‘barricaded’ in the property. They went on to spend ‘quite a bit of time negotiating with this individual’.

“The attacker then opened fire, killing the three victims and inflicting non-life-threatening injuries on a fourth policeman, who was named as Adam Medlicott….”

Another breath of fresh air was that a Burnsville representative talked about “three of our neighbors who dedicated their lives to service and keeping our community safe”.

She also said that “Burnsville is a place where we take care of each other, lean on our neighbors in times of need, and act together to make our city the best it can be.” — and urged support for “our law enforcement and first responders, who show their heroism and strength of spirit every day in their line of work”.

And she didn’t once denounce the technology used by the person responsible (in my opinion) for those deaths.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors statement, however, did the conventional virtue signaling in regards to “the scourge of gun violence”. And, to the credit of that national organization, stated that “America’s mayors are heartbroken” at the deaths.

Cultural Quirks and Obsessions, Remembering Malthusian Angst

My own views are — well, a bit counter-cultural.

I think technology matters.

For example, doing research and writing is a great deal easier now than it was in my youth. But I was writing and digging facts out of archives long before word processors and the Internet came along. I still use skills developed then.

And I’m not writing now because my desktop computer makes me.

My native culture’s obsessions could be worse.

I could be seeing headlines denouncing “computer crimes” in my news feed, along with impassioned pleas for tougher computer control laws.

And ‘decent citizens’ could be striving to control what we’re allowed to post and read. Well, striving harder: and getting more traction in their efforts.

I’m also moderately pleased that the seven children, presumably part of the household involved in the domestic incident, have not been cited as contributing factors.

Back in the day, when “The Population Bomb” and Malthusian angst were in fashion, I’d have seen at least mention of people who have ‘too many children’.

At Least Four Families are Hurting

I’m very sad that four families have been directly hurt: those of the two police officers, the firefighter/paramedic/medic; and those who, for whatever reason, were not eliminated by the person who killed the first three — and is also dead.

I’ve seen nothing about whatever reason or unreason set off Sunday morning’s slaughter. That’s arguably good news. Looks like law enforcement is doing a careful investigation. And local media, at least, aren’t indulging in — I’ll stop now.

As for why I think human life matters, and related topics; I’ve talked about that before:

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About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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3 Responses to Death in Burnsville, Minnesota

  1. That mention of people with too many children brought me back to how I’ve heard my dad and his dad speak similarly here and there over the years…which I find ironic because my dad and his siblings total one number shy of double digits in terms of how many they are, and they’ve even lived working-class lives. I guess good isn’t always nice, considering their points about needing to be prepared to raise that many children, but I also think that the line between tough love and outright arrogance is quite thin, so yeah.

    • There’s a lot to unpack there: good not necessarily being nice; labels, perceptions and assumptions; and – the whole family thing.

      Deciding how many is too many – strikes me as a very complex question.

      I suspect there can be folks for whom one child would be “too many” – – no matter how much material wealth they have.

      Turn that around, and media discussions of ‘how much each child costs to raise’ – the ones I remember (it’s been many years now) reading – weren’t describing this household’s way of life. Some items can be purchased once and then maintained, others are the sort we can make ourselves, and some simply aren’t necessary.

      And, after a few years, the older kids can and do start pitching in with chores. Um. I got carried away there.

      Thanks for reading and responding!

Thanks for taking time to comment!