O Tempora O Mores! Oh, well

With major storms headed for cities in both hemispheres and the usual political brouhaha here in America, I figure this morning’s small town standoff won’t be national news.

I didn’t know about it until early afternoon, when my son told me why we’d been hearing so many sirens. A helicopter showed up a few minutes later.

It started sweeping back and forth over the near-southwest part of Sauk Centre. I assume it was there in response to the standoff. Maybe it was with Stearns County law enforcement, or some regional news service. Seeing it through reading glasses and against a brightly-cloudy sky, I couldn’t see any markings.

The good news is that nobody seems to have been killed. This could have been much worse. But it was serious, and odd, enough to make the news here in central Minnesota — and West Virginia, of all places:

UPDATE: Suspect Who Shot Deputy With Arrow in Custody
WJON [(St. Cloud Minnesota] (September 13, 2018)

“Authorities say the suspect who shot a Stearns County deputy with a crossbow is in custody.

“Multiple law enforcement agencies are on the scene of a standoff in Sauk Centre just before 11:00 a.m. in the 7000 Block of 10th Street South.

“Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson says they are dealing with a suspect in a home who shot a crossbow at a deputy.

“He was involved in an earlier incident with one of our deputies in which he fired an arrow at our deputy.”

Gudmundson says the deputy was hit in the arm and taken to the hospital. He’s believed to have non-life threatening injuries…”

Suspect fires crossbow at Minnesota deputy; standoff ensues
Bluefield Telegraph [Bluefield, West Virginia] (September 13, 2018)

“A deputy in pursuit of an erratic driver has been struck by an arrow, precipitating a standoff at a home in central Minnesota….”

My hat’s off to St. Cloud’s WJON for reporting the incident, but I think their online article has a typo. 10th Street South makes sense as an address, since that matches where I saw the helicopter. But “7000 Block” seems more than a bit overly distant. The helicopter simply was not that far away.

A family member told me that a more local source had said “700 block.” That makes more sense. KXRA also identified the weapon as a bow, not a crossbow: which also tallies with what I’ve heard locally.

Either way, attacking police after hitting a building seems like a really bad idea.

Police involved in stand off with man in Sauk Centre
KXRA (September 13, 2018)

“Multiple law enforcement agencies were on the scene of a stand off between police and a suspect who, was holed up in a private residence in Sauk Centre on the 700 block of 10th Street South. Officers have now taken the man into custody. According to Sheriff Don Gudmundson the man was involved in a prior incident with police where he says the suspect shot an arrow from a bow at a deputy. The deputy was hit in the forearm by the arrow and taken to the Sauk Centre hospital with non life threatening injuries. He will be transported by ground ambulance to another hospital. Gudmundson says shots were fired by another law enforcement officer, but did not specify if any of them hit the suspect.

“Gudmundson says all of the immediate homes in the area were evacuated. Although all of the Sauk Centre schools are on the east side of town and the incident on the west side of Main Street, as a precaution the schools were put on soft lockdown….”

I’d planned on writing about Typhoon Mangkhut and Hurricane Florence, and probably will. Eventually. Today, I’ll share what I think about the too-close-for-comfort excitement. And what I don’t think it means.


I don’t know why someone was driving erratically, hit a building and shot a deputy.

Maybe the driver was trying to read a map, or texting, or DUI. Or seriously short on sleep. Or something completely different.

DUI seems likely, since shooting a sheriff’s deputy isn’t a particularly prudent act. But “likely” isn’t “certain,” assumptions aren’t facts, and assumptions based on other assumptions are even more dicey.

That’s one reason I won’t denounce Demon Rum. Or texting. Or crossbows. Or bows and arrows. I’m not even convinced that we need tougher crossbow/arrow laws, or that folks should pass a background check before buying a telephone.

Poodle Skirts and Cicero

I also don’t yearn for those days of yore, any more than I think poodle skirts led to punk rock, Batman, and all manner of iniquity.

O tempora o mores!” made sense when Cicero said it in his first Catiline Oration. The Roman Senate was busily shredding its reputation, and that’s another topic. Or maybe not so much.

I’ll indulge in the occasional bit of nostalgia, but we’ve never had a Golden Age. Today’s America, and world, aren’t perfect; but on the whole I’d rather live now than in the ‘good old days.’

I’m not happy that the neighborhood I grew up in is now a parking lot, and some reforms my generation wanted haven’t turned out as well as I hoped. But some have. And some are ‘good news, bad news.’ (August 20, 2017; August 11, 2017)

What hasn’t changed are the basics: unchanging ethical principles that work in all times and all places.

They’re pretty simple: I should love God and my neighbor, see everyone as my neighbor and treat others the way I’d like them to treat me. (Matthew 5:4344, 22:3640; Mark 12:2831; Luke 6:31, 10:2537; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1789)

Simple, but remarkably hard to do. I’ve talked about that before. Among other things:

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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