Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This Way to the Club Tip Top

It was a peaceful night's sleep for me and for the other thousands of folks who live within about a ten-minute drive of the Red Mill Inn in Branchburg last night. We went to bed comforted by the fact that the FBI decreed on Tuesday that Lloyd Woodson has no known link to terrorism. In the abstract, finding out anyone has no known link to terrorism has to be a good thing; right?

One supposes that those of us who live within the aforementioned radius of the Red Mill Inn would have felt better about the declaration of Hoover's boys had Mr. Woodson's conduct on Monday not been the impetus for the FBI's sudden interest in him. What prompted their interest in him was the fact that secondary to being arrested - after being spotted acted suspiciously by a clerk at the Quick Chek store at 4:00 a.m. - Mr. Woodson first ran from and then started to fight with the police officers who were attempting to apprehend him. The police had to use pepper spray to subdue him. When they did so they discovered that he was wearing a bulletproof vest - always a must at the Quick Chek as it does get pretty physical near the coffee kiosk - and they found a loaded Bushmaster assault rifle inside his coat. He had four additional magazines carrying ball-type and hollowpoint bullets and several bent coat hangers in his jacket pocket. The rifle’s serial number was defaced and the weapon had been altered to fire .50 caliber rounds instead of the .223 rounds.

In the post-September 11 world in which we live we have apparently reduced the prism through which we view things to "terrorist" and "non-terrorist". In doing so we have inadvertently elevated the terrorist to a status above and beyond that of the garden variety bad dude. I suppose it is good - in a big picture way - that Mr. Woodson was not staying at the Red Mill Inn contemplating whether - upon making the acquaintance of his six dozen nubile companions - he wanted to be introduced to them alphabetically or by height. However it would have been of small comfort to those with whom he had come into contact had he been afforded the opportunity to use the traveling arsenal he transported with him all the way from Virginia.

Terrorist? No. Terrifying? Maybe. Maybe not. At Woodson's first appearance in court on Tuesday the judge set his bail at a surprisingly affordable $75,000. Perhaps Woodson promised him a deal on a room at the Red Mill Inn?

They do have at least one vacancy.


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