Strong reader reaction to the Discovery Channel building hostage situation has devolved into a raucous right-left argument on whether liberal concerns about the environment inspire mentally disturbed people to take strange actions.
A number of readers praise the Montgomery County police for their professional handling of the situation Wednesday afternoon, but the majority of the comments this morning concern the environmental debate and worries about overpopulation that apparently drove James J. Lee to the actions that ultimately led to his death.
Such a conversation would not be complete without an attack on former Vice President Al Gore and the scientists who have warned about global warming and overpopulation. Those attacks, of course, bring responses. Meanwhile, the complex questions about how best to treat the mentally ill and protect the rest of us from those very few who become violent wait for another day. Over 1,000 comments have been filed since the situation began yesterday.
We’ll start with davidmweiss1, who wrote, “World class job done by the Montgomery County Police. Everyone was returned safe except for the gunman. Real fine job.”
randysbailin agreed, writing “Kudos for excellent work on the part of Montgomery County Police and other law enforcement on the scene. Once someone takes hostages, the safety of the hostages becomes the paramount concern. If that means fatally shooting the hostage taker, that’s just the way it goes.”
glenmayne said, “Kill your television. Who would have thought the wholesome Discovery Channel would set off a nut.”
But miketodd1 wrote, “I feel the same frustration Lee does, especially the inability to do anything about global warming. I’m extremely disgusted watching all the news stories about ice sheets and glaciers melting, and our inability to change the way we live. The Republican approach to this is sickening. More and more denial about global warming. Guess they want to continue to funnel more profits to Exxon Mobil, as if gas prices aren’t high enough already.”
allenridge said, “……. Thanks Al Gore for creating “green nuts” like this guy. Let’s take the politics out of ‘being green’. It’s not helping its hurting…….”
biggirl90 wrote, “I knew when I clicked on the comment section that this would be a bashing of anything “liberal” and “environmentalist”. How predictable.”
andrew23boyle asked, “Environmental militant? [a term used in the story]… The man was a TERRORIST. Terrorism (n): the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes… That whole thing, “freedom fries” and other such drivel pale in comparison to some of the new-speak nonsense and spin we’ve heard from the other side recently… Quit with the PC nonsense and call him a terrorist. Or at least a “causer of man-caused disasters”, if you need to be a mealy-mouthed weakling about it.”
RoboFlop agreed, writing, “Congratulations on one of the most reasonable posts I’ve seen here. As a conservative, I reject the posts of the right-wingers who want to paint all “greeners” as terrorists. There are nut-cases on both sides of the aisle.”
huntsf said, “I agree that Lee’s approach was extreme…but his beliefs have some truth to them. We ARE killing our planet and those of you who deny it might just be the ones who deny reality….have fun and enjoy the consequences.”
freepost wrote, “It’s ironic that all of the media outlets, the Compost included have suddenly adopted “conservative” principles; that Lee the deranged individual was solely responsible for his actions. And yes, these were the actions of a sick, twisted individual who subscribed to far left views. But had this person been a bible thumper or conservative, the media would have indicted everyone from Sarah Palin to Rush Limbaugh to George Bush.”
Jindokae said, “The saddest thing about is that he was basically right. Not about taking hostages, of course… Lee saw the problem but lacked the tools or mental stability to cope with it. I hope for our kids’ sake that the rest of us wake up and begin to address the problem before it is too late.”
druvas wrote, “This guy was clearly an enviro-wacko. But he is responsible for his actions and paid the ultimate price for them. I can’t help but wonder, though, where his motivation comes from… Lee got his motivation from the militant side of the environmentalist movement. He believed he was doing “Nature’s” work. It doesn’t help the situation one bit when “climate scientists” manufacture data that says the Earth is dying. That sort of thing spurs the more crazy folks to do these sorts of things. The Earth is not dying. The sky is not falling…”
MidwaySailor76, said, “This isn’t left vs. right – it’s sane vs. insane.”
To which nosocialist1 replied, “OK MidwaySailor76, then it’s the sane right vs. the insane left. Right on shipmate!”
We’ll close with randysbailin, who wrote, “Politicizing this event, what a shock. Most Americans close to the center of the political spectrum look at extreme left AND right wingers as wackos.”
All comments on this article are here.
// By Doug Feaver | September 2, 2010; 9:14 AM ET