Ted Rall for August 14, 1999
The city of Hajji-Tarkhan, later known as Astrakhan, was shocked by a senseless mass murder-suicide this week. A silk trader named Toqtamish entered a home near the main mosque, stabbed 4 men with a spear, and then turned the weapon on himself. All of kipchak reacted with shock - but shock soon gave way to recrimination. I blame stress! Silk traders are always getting robbed! Circassians have abandoned family values! Let's ban spears! Some people said that spear violence has gone too far. Screw the law - private citizens don't need more stabbing power than a standard dagger! Spears don't poke heads - people poke heads with spears! I have the right to defend my family against Timurids! Others disagree. In the end, however, it all stopped mattering. Tamerlane has killed... everyone.