Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 18, 2010

Dear Sis~

Last night Utah executed Ronnie Lee Gardner by firing squad (his choice over the lethal injection alternative).  Five volunteer executioners using Winchester .30-30 rifles stood behind a cinder block wall some 20 feet away from the prisoner, strapped to an oversized chair, surrounded by sandbags (this is done indoors), and fired through slits in the wall, aiming at a picture of a heart pinned to the guy's chest.  Only four executioners fired live rounds;  the fifth executioner, selected at random, fires a blank shell, which is supposed to assuage any latent guilt over killing someone since, theoretically, nobody really "knows" if they fird a blank or a live round.  In reality, it's easy to distinguish the recoil from a live round compared to a blank.  More relevant, all of these executioners volunteered, so they obviously wanted to kill the guy, thus no guilt to free them from. The old blank-cartridge days came from the day when firing squads were drafted from the ranks and a soldier had no opt-out provision.  Anyway, you can imagine what four .30-30 rounds (designed to kill deer, hogs and black bears) does to a man's chest; they probably blew a gaping hole right out through his back.  All this is done before a room of witnesses; it's ll a macabre, riutalistic spectacle, appropriate for a country which claims to be the most advanced and civilized nation on earth, with the moral authority to preach to other countries about "human rights".  Most of our citizens are too indoctrinated (and unreflective) to see the irony in this position.  And, oh, by the way, the State of Utah bestows upon each executioner a "commemorative coin" to celebrate each shooter's actions.  Isn't that a neat token to pass down to your children?  To demonstrate what a faithful piece of the mcahine their Daddy was?  I'm sure it will make them proud of their pops!
Love, Bill

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