This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Calm Throughout the Storm of the Assault

"He tried to fire it [semi-automatic .223-calibre rifle] outside the mosque at two men, but the firearm jammed. That's when he took out a hand-gun and shot Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, and Ibrahima Barry, 39. After they fell, he went to their inert bodies and shot each of them again."
"As the prosecution showed photos of the mosque and his rifle, [Alexandre] Bissonnette watched intently via a large screen about three metres in front of him as he sat in a glass-encased prisoner's dock."
"As one point, the hearing had to be adjourned when Bissonnette reacted as the prosecutor read through reports listing the injuries suffered by the victims. Bissonnette turned his head away from the courtroom and his lawyer said he was not well."
Andy Riga, National Post

About two dozen members of the Muslim community remained in their seats. Others left before the videos from the mosque's security cameras were shown. This was the first day of a sentencing hearing for Alexandre Bissonnette, charged with six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder for his attack on January 29, 2017 of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in Quebec City. Since he has pleaded guilty to all charges there will be no trial. The sentencing hearing, however has commenced.

And the first of ten videos began by showing 28-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette walking calmly toward the mosque, opening a guitar case and removing and loading a semi-automatic .223-calibre rifle. This is when the two Barry cousins, just leaving the mosque after prayers saw a man with a rifle aiming at them. And then their lives were over. Those within the mosque thought they were hearing firecrackers until they saw an armed man striding toward the door.

Entering by the front door just before 7:55 p.m., holding a handgun after discarding the jammed rifle, he shot and shot repeatedly, emptying a 10-round magazine before reloading. In total reloading four times for a total of 48 rounds. Some in the courtroom who had chosen to remain, to see the videos, watched the silent recordings. To kill six unarmed men and injure many more, it took all of two minutes, start to finish. There were 46 people in the mosque 15 minutes after prayers concluded.

The security cameras recorded Bissonnettte calm throughout the rampage, retreating to a safe area to reload four times, then returning to where he had shot men with the intention of shooting them again, directly in the head, to make certain they were quite dead. Some of the worshippers had fled to the prayer room taking shelter wherever they could, attempting to keep the children present unharmed.

Azzedine Soufiane, a 57-year-old grocer and butcher made an effort to encourage other men to help him stop Bissonnette; in the end he did it himself, rushing the shooter to tackle him, but pinned against a wall, Bissonnette shot Soufiane again and again. Retreated, reloaded, and returned, shooting him again. A Universite Laval professor, Khaled Belkacemi, 60, was shot and killed.

His evening's work done, Bissonnette left and went to sit in his father's car. Twenty minutes later, he dialled 911 to report the incident. The 911 responder told him police were on their way, and tried to calm Bissonnette, asking him to remain on the line, to breathe deeply. Bissonnette was terrified of being shot by police. Stay calm, he was told, keep your hands on the steering wheel, don't behave in a threatening way.
"I was watching TV and I learned that the Canadian government was going to take more refugees, you know, who couldn’t go to the United States, and they were coming here."
"I saw that and I like lost my mind. I don’t want us to become like Europe I don’t want them to kill my parents, my family."
“I had to do something, I couldn’t do nothing. It was something that tortured me. It’s not bad at all what I did."
Alexander Bissonnette, awaiting sentencing in the deaths of six men 
The shooting occurred just after Mr Trump implemented a travel ban Reuters

Something is obviously lost in translation here. In his defense, as a rationale for his dreadful slaughter of innocent people, Alexandre Bissonnette described his fearful mind on feverish overtime after the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill and the 2016 attack on Nice, France, which left 86 people dead. He was certain, he said, that the same thing would happen in Canada. He feared for  himself, for his parents.

And so, this logic-challenged man of compromised intellectual capacity set out to meet the oncoming threat head on.

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