Given the number of years I've been in this business, it takes a lot to shock me, but I have to admit I was a bit taken aback by the reaction from some to the death of fugitive cop-killer Christopher Dorner.
Dorner is the ex-cop who initially killed three people in a one-man war he started against law enforcement in retaliation for what he saw as a wrongful termination by the Los Angeles Police Department. He died in a shootout -- whether by his own hand or that of the police remains to be seen -- in a California cabin fire, but not before Dorner killed a fourth person, a sheriff's deputy.
The details of Dorner's fiery end are still being sorted out. You would think the opinions about it would be pretty universal though, in that a normal person might think it a good thing that Dorner can't hurt anyone else. But sadly, that's not the case when it comes to the reaction on social media.
For the most part I avoid comments on Internet stories like the plague. But for whatever reason, I was compelled to read some of the reaction to the story of Dorner's death. I wish I hadn't because it made me sad. And the reaction swept across social media to the point that it became a story itself.
More people than I care to think about held the guy up as a some sort of hero for taking on the big, bad LAPD. And it seemed an equal number thought the police had faked his death.
Let's deal with that second sentence first. Shortly after the Navy SEALs took out Osama bin Laden, I made the mistake of getting into an argument with an idiot who thought the government had faked bin Laden's death. The guy was on a drunken rant and after a few minutes of listening to his nonsense about how it was a conspiracy and the government had made it up, I couldn't help myself.
"Why in the world would they do that?" I asked. "What could the government possibly stand to gain by faking bin Laden's death? All he has to do is show up on TV holding a paper with his death on the front page and the lie would be uncovered."
The guy, of course, had no answer for that, and luckily his brother decided at that moment that it was time for the idiot to go home and I didn't have to talk to him anymore.
But to all the idiots who think the cops faked Dorner's death, I now ask the same question: Why? What good could that possibly do? How would they look if he showed up three days later and killed somebody else? It's a preposterous concept with no root in reality or any utility whatsoever for the police. So please stop.
And as for the other, more disturbing, reaction, I can only say this: Anyone who has watched television or the movies in the past 30 years can infer that the LAPD isn't always a bright shining light of justice and professionalism. But no matter how corrupt the organization might be, no matter what injustice it might have perpetrated on Dorner in firing him, we should all be able to agree that Dorner suffered no wrong so egregious as to ever be an excuse for multiple homicides.
But apparently we can't. That's the world we live in now. And I think that makes me sadder than Dorner's killing spree.
Email Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.