Thursday, March 19, 2009

Who sent the troops to Sampson, Alabama?

Army Investigating How and Why Troops Were Sent Into Alabama Town After Murder Spree

The U.S. Army has launched an inquiry into how and why active duty troops from Fort Rucker, Ala., came to be placed on the streets of Samson, Ala., during last week's murder spree in that tiny South Alabama community. The use of the troops was a possible violation of federal law.

We are being reassured that all the troops did was help direct traffic and keep people out of a massive crime scene. The cops were short handed.

Then you call in the fire department. It's a whole crew of trained local folks who are accustomed to directing traffic and keeping people away from areas where they don't belong.

Somebody is trying to get us used to the sight of soldiers patrolling the streets. I don't like it.


Kathy said...


I'm not denying the possible "conspiracy theory" aspects of this, but it is possible it's just a straight-forward story from small-town Alabama.

The population of this town is about 2000 people, and I rather suspect that the fire department is all-volunteer, and most of them were at their jobs at the time of the shooting spree, so couldn't just be mobilized from the fire station. They may have had one or two regular-duty and paid firemen, but that might be a stretch with such a small town. Also, there were 6 different crime scenes and only 5 police officers, plus 1 of the cops had family killed in the shooting spree, so they *really* were short-handed.

I would have preferred for national guard to have been called instead of the army, or for cops from neighboring towns to have been called in to assist; and I would greatly prefer for *somebody* to stand up and say, "I made the decision, doing what I thought was right and best at the time" -- after all, somebody reports that there is somebody on a shooting rampage in a small town, and it may be a terrorist attack for all we know; and at the very least, innocent people are being murdered -- if the gunman was not stopped and it was found out that there was an army base full of soldiers who are sworn to defend our nation and our people from attacks in the vicinity who sat on their thumbs and did nothing -- then what?

Yeah, it could have been handled differently, and I wish it had been; but that doesn't *necessarily* mean that there was something deliberate about this.

I live in Mississippi, and the local talk-radio shows are buzzing about this, with some people saying one thing, and other people saying other things -- one lady said she happened to be at the Capitol when she heard about the shooting spree while it was still going on, and she called the governor, so that may have been who made the decision.

GrannyGrump said...

I still find it fishy and scary.

And I doubt that any employer would have told a firefighter not to respond had they been called. Once the shooting started, NOBODY but the cops and ambulance crews were actually getting any work done anyway. Firefighters, additional EMTs and medics, the Civil Air Patrol -- there were a lot of better options than bringing in the military.

Kathy said...

Oh, I'm not saying that volunteers would not have responded, or that employers would have had a problem with it -- I'm just familiar enough with small-town America to know that soooo many small towns don't really have very much in the way of industry, so most people will commute from their homes to their jobs 15-30-45-60 minutes away, and could not have responded in time.

Yeah, there were a lot of people who should have been called in before the army was -- the county sheriff's office at least -- but a lot of small towns don't have a whole lot of emergency response personnel of any sort (for example, my home-town has 400 people in the city limits, but has probably 1000 or so more in the outer edges, and we have a town police man, but I think he only patrols at night).

Still, I think this case is a strong proof of needing an armed citizenry. A lone gunman couldn't have gotten very far if more people were packin' pistols!

Subvet said...

The 2nd Amendment was put into the Constitution for a reason. We may be unfortunate enough to experience it firsthand.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

The soldiers being there was wrong because they were there officially, in uniform.

If it were small-town friendliness, the proper thing to would be to ask for volunteers on the base, and make it absolutely clear they were not there as military members.

When I was in the Navy I got time off to go volunteer-- civilian clothes, etc-- because they needed bodies, and trained folks would be useful. The Navy transported us, fed us, our groups were usually organized along rank-lines, but we worked within the technicality that we were there as civilians.

It's flatly illegal, and I really hope some heads roll-- because if they don't it sets up a very bad precedent.