Tuesday, June 8, 2004

A Man, A. Plan, A Montage... GRANBY!

Memo to the fine people of Granby, Colorado. We understand your tragedy and trauma, and we're here to help you in your time of need. Not with rebuilding your downtown, no. We can't help with that. But we can help you not be so fucking dumb.
For those who didn't know, Granby, CO is a small town north of Denver. And on Friday, a disgruntled member of that community got in his armored bulldozer and started wrecking shit.
Because nobody was injured during the rampage, I am comfortable saying that in many ways, 52 year old Marvin John Heemeyer is my hero. Because he built an ARMORED BULLDOZER. I can't help it. I grew up watching the A-Team. When a guy feeling downtrodden by the system welds inch-thick armored plating to a bulldozer and starts knocking buildings down, all I can think is, "I love it when a plan comes together."
The only difference is, unlike Hannibal Smith, Heemeyer did not fly off into the sunset, chomping a cigar after just having slipped Mr. T some knockout drops in a glass of milk. Instead, Heemeyer, who had welded himself into the cab, allegedly took his own life before police finally blasted through the armor and managed to drag out his corpse. This is admittedly less inspiring. But still. ARMORED BULLDOZER. Wreckin' stuff.
And, in certain specific ways, the people of Granby, CO had it comin'. Please allow me to enumerate these ways in the honored tradition of my people. In my native tongue, this tradition is called ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"People knew he was building the armored bulldozer, but they didn't know why he was building it," - Shawn Nelson, proprietor and/or employee of Duke's Gunsmithing in downtown Granby. Marvin John Heemeyer was a crazy, pissed off muffler shop owner. He was building an armored bulldozer. I can understand the desire to give your neighbors the benefit of the doubt, but what possible other uses for an armored bulldozer could there BE? But wait, it gets better.
"He was talking about the sale of his business, and how he had to pay too much money for it, and how the town was involved in undercutting him, and would charge him excessive taxes and all these other fees that they had not assessed to other people. He said, 'By God, I am going to bulldoze those businesses,' the businesses of all the people who'd done this to him," - Bonnie Brown, who went out drinking with Heemeyer and other acquaintances from time to time.
So he says he's going to bulldoze everyone who'd done him wrong, and he was building an armored bulldozer, and the town of Granby, Colorado is now SHOCKED, SHOCKED that the man witnesses described as a "teddy bear" took his armored bulldozer and bulldozed everyone who did him wrong. Frankly, I don't think Granby gets to bemoan the loss of its town hall and library, because they obviously weren't being used anyway. Heemeyer did them a favor.
And here's the topper. "It's a nightmare. This is the kind of thing that happens in big cities." - Terri Hertel, who lives behind YET ANOTHER DOWNTOWN GRANBY GUN STORE. And is an idiot.
This is not the kind of thing that happens in big cities. Do you know why? Because big cities breed an entirely different kind of pissed off person than Marvin Heemeyer. And even if they didn't, in big cities, bulldozers are considerably more difficult to come by if you own a muffler shop. And even if they weren't, if you start welding one inch armor plating to a bulldozer in a big city, someone is going to notice and stop you. And even if they don't, in a big city, it's much more difficult to maneuver your armored bulldozer through traffic to hit buildings. And even if it's a light traffic day, many of the buildings in downtown big cities would shrug off an armored bulldozer like a pesky fly.
No, this kind of thing only happens in tiny, podunk towns full of hicks in gun shops where a man building a tank in his backyard is considered "quaint" and unworthy of concern, and it is subsequently a shock when said tank comes crashing through your front door. Perhaps Granby has learned its lesson. Perhaps not. After all, they are DUMB.