Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Miramar Beach Killings

The crazed shooting of five Chilean exchange students at Miramar Beach is a horrible tragedy. Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims and their families.
[T]he shooting happened about 1:45 a.m. [Thursday] when Dannie Baker, 60, approached Unit 12 in the Summer Lakes townhome complex and opened fire through a window. When he was done, Adkinson said, he went back to his home at Unit 25.
Not surprisingly, news of this shocking massacre is all over the media throughout South and Central America. From that distance, understandably, the site of the slaying is perceived to be somewhere 'north' of Miami. The largest city nearby -- that is to say, Pensacola -- is getting much of the blame:
Todos estos jóvenes estaban en el barrio de Miramar Beach, en la ciudad de Pensacola, cuando en la madrugada del jueves fueron atacados por un sujeto identificado como Dannie Baker, de 60 años.
Let it be known that Pensacola and Pensacola Beach should not be confused with Miramar Beach. The site of the tragic shooting by a racist G.O.P.volunteer is near Destin. That's two counties east of Pensacola. We do not consider Miramar Beach to be "near" or envolvió a la comunidad de Pensacola. It is not "20 miles" from Pensacola; more like 50. La playa de Miramar está cercana a Destin, dos condados al este de Pensacola. No es "miles" 20 de Pensacola; más bién 50.

Miramar Beach should not be confused with what we know as the "Pensacola area" or, even more embarrassing, Pensacola Beach. We bear no more direct blame than the Walton County Republican Party does merely because the killer worked there for George Bush's 2004 reelection campaign.

Let it also be said, however, that this horrible crime is further evidence, as if any were needed, that Florida's gun laws are every bit as insane as the anti-immigrant hate-monger who shot these young students from Chile. Florida state gun laws are far too lax, far too indifferently enforced.

We have no limits on owning assault weapons, no universal background checks, no limits on large capacity ammunition magazines, no statewide licensing of gun dealers, no license requirements for gun shows, and on and on.

Check to read the entire list of reasonable regulations we don't have to see why Florida ranks 36th out of the 50 states when it comes to public safety from rogue gun owners.

We in Pensacola may have had nothing directly to do with the tragic deaths and injuries suffered by the young visitors at Miramar Beach. But along with every other voter in Florida we continue to elect cynical political poseurs to the Florida Legislature, like Durrell Peaden, who make this kind of tragedy a dead certainty by refusing to sensibly regulate the sale of guns.

So, in the most important moral sense, we did it. All of us who live in Florida. To our eternal shame, we conspired at the polls to make it possible for Dannie Baker to kill those Chilean students.

Dept. of Further Amplification


Dee said...

Pensacola Beach,
Thank you for your post. You did a great job!
This is a horrible crime and you are right, many blogs across the nation and the world are following it.
I have been following it on my blog: Immigration Talk with a Mexican American.

I do not believe the local residents are at fault. I believe the blame lies on Baker's (the murderer) shoulders. Some culpability is on the shoulders of the ANTI Immigration websites and on the AM Shock Jocks, those that spew so much hate against Immigrants, those they term "illeeegals." They do not know what an "illeegal" looks like so they take their hate and anger out on anyone who is brown and speaks Spanish, as was the case for these legal Chilean students, Marcelo Lucero, Luis Ramirez and Jose Sucuzhanay. All were murdered because the perpetrators believed they were "illeegals."
It is TIME to STOP THE HATE! Stop the Shock Jocks like Hannity, Dobbs, Limbaugh and Beck from inciting their extremist followers that commit these crimes.

Peace be with you,

BLehman said...

There are too many crazy Dan Bakers in Florida for us to have no real guns laws. We also do not fund mental health counseling enough so the Dan Bakers of this state go untreated but well armed. Like pouring gas on a fire. We can and should reasonably regulate guns. In the hands of a crazy person they can cause too much death and injury too quickly.

Anonymous said...

Most of this blog deals w the fact that Miramar beach is not involved w Pensacola. For some reason, Pensacola does not want to get the blame for it since the students went to the University of west Florida, located in Pensacola.

Needless to say, I find repulsive those people who are trying to shut down information in Pensacola. No available info is out there from PNJ or UWF. It seems that they don't want their hands stained.

Gab said...

Well, you're right, here in Chile most of the people blame Pensacola and unfortunately will keep doing it, that's the way the news spread.
I'm sorry about the misunderstanding, but I'm more sorry about the people who died, so from here, the location doesn't really matter.

H. Michael Sweeney said...

I'm doing some criminal study and trying to find the exact address this took place... strangely, most media accounts have been PULLED and media has even complained such that YouTube has closed accounts of people posting local news clips despite Fair Use law. All I can find, ultimately, are blogs citing the same media accounts that state no location and only cite Miramar. Your post seems the most knowledgeable. If you could please post the addy if known to pppbooks at comcast net, would appreciate greatly. Tx