Oscar Pistorious and the Consequences of Paranoia

My new security system.

For the record, I don’t believe for a minute that he accidentally killed his girlfriend. I think this is yet another case where what could have been another case of domestic abuse turned into murder because of the availability of guns. But let’s, just for a moment, pretend we buy his defense. Basically, he’s yet another person who has become so terrified of the outside world that even inside a high-security gated community, he slept with a gun under his bed and has repeatedly…repeatedly…mistakenly thought his house was being invaded by intruders. Here’s what Slate has to say about that:

There’s no record of any burglary-like incident at Pistorius’ home. The two incidents he has acknowledged were false alarms. A year ago, the New York Times reported that according to Pistorius, “a security alarm in the house had gone off the previous night, and he had grabbed his gun and tiptoed downstairs. (It turned out to be nothing.)” Three months ago, Pistoriustweeted: “Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking its an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry!” These episodes gave Pistorius plenty of warning that his hair-trigger reactions were rash.

That’s right, the man damn near shot his washing machine! Continue reading