Christopher Dorner wanted to exact revenge for the fact that he had been fired from the LAPD. He apparently believed that the murders of Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence were necessary, yet not sufficient to fulfill that requirement. He hadn’t exacted true revenge until he called up Monica Quan’s father, Randall Quan, and taunted him about how easy it was to shoot his daughter.
What I described above tells me all I need to know about Christopher Dorner. Even in an older, more savage age, he could have been a man of honor if he were to have met Randall Quan somewhere and had it out with him man to man. Shooting the man’s daughter and then calling him up to rub it in should mark Christopher Dorner as a detestable coward, a man unfit for the role of the anti-hero. To root for Christopher Dorner is to root for genuine evil. This is America’s crappy remake of “Sympathy For The Devil.”
Yet thousands of Americans are currently doing just that. People are posting to Facebook that Dorner should run for President. One online page announces that “LAPD Cop Killer Christopher Dorner Is A Hero.”
That isn’t to say Dorner is not completely sympathetic. He clearly comes off as a lucid, intelligent man who has tried to make it in society. To his demise, he lost his job, his name was ruined and he’s forced to live with his mom. Many evil people do suffer from the slings and arrows of iniquitous fortune. Good people suffer these things as well. Good people handle them without resort to homicidal rampages. Yet that doesn’t prevent Dorner from playing the victim as he justifies his hideous deeds. RS Poster William E. Lewis offers us an excerpt from Dorner’s manifesto.
“The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse,” wrote Dorner. “I know I will be vilified by the LAPD and the media. Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name.”
Now obviously, shooting somebody’s family is not an acceptable redress to workplace unfairness. Randall Quan’s daughter was a (expletive-deleted) basketball coach. How taking out a local basketball coach will lead to glorious change and reform throughout the entire LAPD is perhaps beyond the scope of even Dorner’s 11,000-word Opus Ego.
Since I’m a fan of noir crime fiction, the part about honor and reclaiming his name struck a chord. When it comes to the concept of honor, Dorner apparently fell behind a few centuries’ worth of upgrades on his operating system. C. S. Thompson gives an apt description of how Dorner appears to perceive the concept of honor.
In 19th century America and Europe, a man who was insulted was obligated to challenge the offender to a duel of honor. The insult could be almost anything, from a failure to acknowledge the insulted party to an accusation of lying or cowardice. Insulting a woman was one of the most serious insults possible, as it implied that the men in her life were physically unable to defend her honor. None of this has anything to do with an internal sense of right and wrong. Rather, it is clear that “honor” in this context is a combination of reputation and status—to insult a man’s honor meant to insult his reputation as a man of integrity and physical prowess. Integrity itself is only part of the equation, as “honor” is mostly a question of public opinion. If your community respected you, you had “honor.” If you lost that respect somehow, you were dishonored, and to be dishonored was to be socially dead.
Christopher Dorner represents an older, more primitive code of honor that makes civilized interaction increasingly tenuous. Seeing several deranged individuals immediately pick up weapons and seek to exact their retribution without any concern for the welfare of bystanders has given me a greater appreciation for an old, much-maligned piece of Christian Scripture.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
In conclusion, rooting for Christopher Dorner to shoot more people is no better than congratulating Anders Breivik. Both men claim would claim to differ widely in ideology, but in the end they are both equally barbaric. In the end they both are destructive to the society and to the commonweal. Rooting for either individual is to cheer for the apocalypse. Instead, pray to God that nobody like either one of these people ever gets near anyone that you love or care about.