Deadly Force Policy

Fretful Passenger, Turmoil on Jet and Fatal Shots – New York Times

Even non-bipolars sometimes act in an erratic manner. In this case, the patient’s prescription had run out while he was out of the country visiting relatives. Rigoberto Alpizar and his wife were on their way home from vacation. There he was, stuck in a small tin-can full of people elbow-to-elbow. All he wanted was to step out into the airport and get some air.

The air marshals obviously weren’t very well-trained to recognize and deal with mental illness. They are trained to quickly and brutally take charge if things don’t go smoothly. It’s called DFP – “Deadly Force Policy.” There are far more mentally ill people on planes than terrorists. The FBI was investigating fewer than 700 suspected terrorists as of November according to the Washington Post, but there are well over 3,000,000 Americans with bipolar type I. Have a clue.

Don’t even get me started on the newspeople who are suggesting that I wear some kind of bipolar judenfleck when I travel. That is just plain wrong.

If you want to get really creepy about this, people from different cultures – and even different subcultures in the U.S. – may have trouble understanding each others’ body language. Bear in mind that most people aren’t aware of non-verbal communication. They can’t just wander around wasting everyone who is “different.” If you are carrying a gun in an international airport you had best be able tell Hispanics from Arabs without stopping to consult a training manual.

I believe that this all boils down to the fact that the American people have surrendered to the terrorists, whoever they may be. We had years of time to prepare for 9-11. There was even a previous attack on one of the towers. Almost 3,000 innocent people, and not just Americans, died that day. In the following months another 300,000,000 threw themselves into the grave alongside them. I just don’t get it.

Think about how you act every day. Maybe you gesticulate and talk loudly, or maybe you avoid eye contact and don’t talk to anybody at all. These are suspicious behaviors. Maybe you have a hearing impairment so you won’t know that there is a man standing behind you waving a gun and shouting. Maybe your arthritis makes it difficult to get out of the way quickly. Are you quite sure that you won’t accidentally invite an air marshal to murder you?

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