Sitting-Duck Smokers

When murderers with machine-guns drive through the streets of Paris, or murderers with 12 inch knives stalk through the streets of London, who are those most likely to fall victim to them?

Why, those who are out on the streets, of course. And some of those are people who are using the streets for their proper purpose, which is to walk from one place to another. But others are only there because they were forced by law out onto the streets. The former are usually walking in one direction or other. And the latter are usually standing or sitting still. And, thanks to the ban on smoking indoors in public places, the latter are very often smoking.

And which are the easiest targets for the assassins?

Why, those who are sitting or standing outside, of course. It’s always easier to hit a sitting target than a moving target. A murderer with a dagger will be able to strike one blow at someone walking past him, maybe two. But the same murderer will be able to rain down a succession of blows on a sitting or standing target, before the victim is able to escape, if he or she is able to escape at all.

And so when killers armed with knives stalked through the streets of London last Saturday night, we must expect to find that, while they may have slashed or stabbed a great many passers-by, they launched their most lethal attacks on those smokers they encountered on their rampage, and on whom they rained a succession of blows.

And so (H/T Fredrik Eich) it should come as no surprise whatsoever that one of their first victims was James McMullan (right), who was drinking in the Barrowboy and Banker – celebrating the £1 million deal he’d just done to launch the educational software he’d been working on for three years -, and had just stepped out onto the street to smoke a cigarette.

He was probably standing there when a van ploughed through pedestrians walking across London bridge, a few yards up the road from where he stood (he would have been standing, because there was nowhere to sit outside the Barrowboy and Banker). He was probably facing the bridge, from which terrified people were streaming towards him, as the van drove past him, and pulled into the pavement at the pedestrian crossing at the lights at the end of the pub.

The first fugitives from the bridge were probably approaching when the murderers jumped out of the van, and ran up behind him, and stabbed him in his back, and most likely slashed his throat. He probably never knew what hit him.

Nicola, who had to be consoled by a friend as she burst into tears this morning, explained: “During the silence I was looking at the pub and was imagining James standing out there having a cigarette.

“That’s all he was doing, having a cigarette, and then this horrible, horrible thing happened.

But for the smoking ban that forced him out onto the street, James McMullen would have been alive today.

The murderers then met the fugitives streaming off the bridge towards them, and began stabbing them as they passed. This may well have been part of their plan.

And then the killers moved along what was almost certainly a pre-planned route that took them past a number of busy pubs and restaurants, outside which could be found more sitting-duck smokers.

 

The length of this journey is about 330 metres. Walking briskly at 2.5 metres/second, the three killers would have reached the Black and Blue restaurant, 200 metres from the Barrowboy and Banker, in just 80 seconds.

Inside the restaurant they seem to have encountered their first piece of determined resistance from Roy Larner, a Millwall fan (Millwall fans are renowned football hooligans), who received about 7 knife wounds as he fought with the terrorists while other customers fled out of the back of the restaurant (miraculously, he survived). Another hero, Ignacio Echeverria, died nearby while defending a woman with his skateboard.

The killers probably moved more slowly over the next few minutes, slashing and stabbing, firstly to the Market Porter pub, and then the Wheatsheaf and the Southwark Tavern, and finally the Sheaf, where police shot them dead. Outside all these pubs there were probably a number of smokers, as oblivious as James McMullen to what was happening around them.

Today, for the first time, what seems to be a full list of the fatalities has been published in Metro. It seems that most of them took place on or near London bridge. But the Metro report neglects to mention that James McMullen was smoking. It neglected to mention the fact in an earlier report as well.

It’ll probably never be known how many of the 8 dead and 40+ injured people were smokers. But the smoking ban pushes a lot more sitting targets onto the streets for terrorists to attack. James McMullen was probably just one of many.

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About Frank Davis

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15 Responses to Sitting-Duck Smokers

  1. magnetic01 says:

    There was [at least] another. Thankfully injured only. Will recover. Interviewed on TV, his mum explained that her son was outside having a cigarette and was stabbed in the abdomen.

  2. Frank Davis says:

    Probably entirely OT, but I had a call from Ipsos/MORI opinion polls just now. That’s a first for me from any opinion pollster at all. The pollster, with a broad Scottish accent, said they wanted to ask the widest possible range of people for their opinions on Current Affairs.

    But only two questions got asked. The first was: “Are you over 35 years old?”, to which I replied yes. The second was “Do you have a degree?”, to which I also replied yes. After that, he said thank you for your time, and hung up.

    Quite obviously the “widest range of people” doesn’t include anyone over 35 with a degree!

    • Oi you says:

      Lol.

      :o)

    • Jay says:

      They would have been working to a quota (to get a representative sample) covering age range, gender and SEG and would just have asked you the questions which established that you didn’t meet their shortfall demorgraphic. Nothing more sinister than that.

  3. Vlad says:

    One thing I find surprising is that he’s the only British victim out of the 8 dead people – goes to show how international London is.

  4. Frank Davis says:

    Another report about James McMullan:

    [His sister, Melissa McMullan] told Southwark News: “He went outside for a cigarette and the bouncers wouldn’t let him back in so his friends said they would finish their drinks but they were rushed back upstairs into the pub.

    “This was literally two minutes before the incident.”

  5. nisakiman says:

    But the smoking ban pushes a lot more sitting targets onto the streets for terrorists to attack. James McMullen was probably just one of many.

    That would probably be seen as an unanticipated bonus as far as Tobacco Control are concerned. All those comments on the ‘Wall of Hate’ didn’t spring out of nowhere, and the morons uttering those soundbites aren’t original thinkers. Those clichés were learned from Tobacco Control by rote

    • Rose says:

      They seem perfectly comfortable with an attrition rate of 50%, “one in two will die of smoking” which presumably covers them in their own minds for all the deaths due to their own laws too.

    • And, given how ISIS has been doing the same thing to smokers and drinkers in its own territory, it could well have been part of their planning to hit the same “vermin” population group in London.

      Very well observed Frank! And good followup catch Magnetic.

      I also believe this may not be the first documented time for this sort of problem either, although the two that are springing to memory may have both been accidental.

      First: I remember a woman sitting outside the walls of nursing home on a patch of grass being killed by a knifer while sitting in a little canvas chair next to friend. The TV reporter, perhaps with the image in mind, chose to give her report (without mentioning smoking of course, as the network would have frowned upon it) from a stance where the shot gave a VERY clear view of a large No Smoking sign by the gateway behind her head.

      Second, the setting was some sort of little luncheon/beer garden with lightweight tables outside a cafe. The vehicle ripped right through the table area killing (several?) people … and it was quite likely that the people choosing to be out there (I seem to also remember it was late fall / early winter in the UK) were there so they could smoke.

      Of course the government COULD be asked to provide better security for the smokers, but it would likely respond the way the head of Campus Security at a US University did a few years ago when asked about the usual off-campus escorts for the smokers thrown off campus by a new campuswide ban at night: “(He) said he doesn’t think the Griz Personal Safety staff should be used to escort smokers (since) ‘The whole intent of the ban is to get people to stop smoking,’ ” The web page has been wiped of course, but it’s still there for the moment at https://web.archive.org/web/20110927002804/http://www.montanakaimin.com/news/ban-places-smokers-in-dangerous-situation-1.2602457 (and as a screenshot… just in case.)

      – MJM

  6. Frank Davis says:

    And, not for the squeamish, here’s a viral video of the last few seconds of the lives of the London Bridge terrorists.

    I think it’s taken outside the Wheatsheaf on Stoney Street, Borough Market, London.

    Breitbart:

    A shocking video has emerged recording the final moments of Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane, and Youssef Zaghba.

    CCTV footage shows the terrorists attempting to force their way into the Wheatsheaf pub in Borough Market, but a makeshift barrier constructed and reinforced by landlady Magdalena Antolak blocks their way.

    A seemingly oblivious passerby can then be seen walking into view, and he is immediately set upon by 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba – the Moroccan-Italian who was reportedly identified as a terror threat before entering Britain, but could not be denied entry due to Free Movement rules which stipulate that criminals and other undesirables holding an EU nationality cannot be kept out unless they pose a “serious and present danger”.

    Zaghba is quickly joined by Khuram Butt, a star of the Channel 4 documentary The Jihadis Next Door and a former child asylum seeker from Pakistan, who forces Zaghba’s target to the ground.

    Finally, Rachid Redouane, who was identified as an illegal immigrant and refused asylum in Britain but able to enter the country after marrying in Ireland and receiving a ‘4 EU FAM’ residence card, rushes over as well, and all three begin stabbing their victim.

    A group of ordinary civilians can be seen rushing towards the scene from one end of the street, throwing chairs at the jihadis to try and drive them away – while a police car speeds into view from the other end.

    The terrorists immediately rush the armed police officers who leap from the vehicle moments after it stops moving, swinging their knives. Butt is first to be gunned down, followed by Zaghba.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Breitbart says that this is CCTV footage, but I don’t think it is. I think that is being taken using a webcam – maybe a notebook computer or mobile phone – in a window with a view down Stoney St. It’s moving around slightly. And what looks like a window frame appears at the top towards the end. It’s been edited to get just Stoney St.

  7. beobrigitte says:

    But for the smoking ban that forced him out onto the street, James McMullen would have been alive today.
    ASH et al will instantly blame the supermarkets for the “cheap” alcohol available….. Or, perhaps “smoking related” disease?

    I only heard about the attack abroad. But isn’t it time our Government gets it’s priorities right and kicks out the anti-smoking leeches who don’t care about the victims of such a malicious crime as long as they can make smokers’ lives hell?

  8. Pingback: Vapers Digest 7th June | Convicted Vapour

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