Second time around, it’s farce. At Fort Hood, a US Army shooter shoots at his own side in a four-minute tantrum. Before turning the gun on himself, Specialist Ivan Lopez chalks up a ludicrously low number of casualties – three dead and 16 wounded; 10 fewer fatalities than the first time this Texas army base became a shoot-to-kill firing range, back in 2009.
As George Bush Jnr is to artist, so the second shooter is to psycho-killer (from photos, only his nose looks like Robert de Niro’s in Taxi Driver – nothing else). If not for previous form – (a) former president with a reputation for poor taste and matching intelligence, i.e. the dumb dauber; (b) the military base already blighted by human tragedy, i.e. uncanny echo – neither one would fit across the Front Page.Forget farcical: the Fort Hood sequel should be up there, anyway. Not for the tawdry shooting spree, possibly sparked by a dispute about leave days and work rotas among Uncle Sam’s truck drivers; but for the truly headline heroism of Sergeant First Class Danny Ferguson. According to local sources, Ferguson held shut the door which keptthe shooter away from a roomful of innocent occupants – and got himself shot up instead.
He even looked like Tom Hanks, for chrissake.For all we know, Ferguson might have frowned upon ‘chrissake’ for taking the name ofthe Lord in vain; or he may have been a blaspheming sonofabitch. Either way, his courageous action – he chose to go From Here To Eternity – demands hero worship from the rest of us.