A mentally ill, former military man murders a dozen indiscriminately in public *Yawn* This is America, after all. Could you reasonably have expected otherwise?
Yesterday I was watching my local CBS 5pm news when I saw the anchor Scott Pelley give a 20-second teaser for what to expect on tonight's broadcast. Pelley soberly reported the latest about the Navy Yard massacre and told us that 12 were dead, there may be an accomplice on the loose and we aren't sure what his motive was. Lastly, Pelley, assured us that this was not terrorism.
And that's when it hit me: Scott Pelley and CBS are awful at their jobs.
Terrorism is only when a brown man bombs in the name of Allah and a white person gets hurt.
Here is when it's not terrorism: When the mass murderer is the product of the United States Army and has psychological disturbances. It's also not terrorism when the illeaglly-invasive NSA didn't know about this former employee of the United States who murders 12 strangers. No, they only monitor "terrorists". If anyone else goes crazy, causes terror and murders 12 innocent people, that isn't terrorism.
Only the state gets to use that sacred, nation-rallying, gilded-and-platinum-plated-lily, word to control your reaction. It's only terrorism when the President or Department of Homeland Security tells you it is.
If someone went crazy and said they will indiscriminately murder every Latvian person they see tomorrow, the news wouldn't report this as terrorism. It would report it as a hate crime, or a racially-motivated multi-murder plot.
Only the government gets to anoint the gravest of grave crimes as "terrorism".
If every insane person who shot up a group of people were just blindly labeled "terrorism", then how can your government go the extra mile in convincing you to go to war with more brown people? What would their trump card be?
The United States government would love nothing more than to trademark the word "Terrorism" and apply it only when it could benefit them later. If a crazy brown man kills in the name of Allah, the United States can than use that crazy criminal as a rallying cry for war. Our government can remind us of the fear and terror we felt the day, and how that criminal took our innocence and feeling of peace, and how we need to go to war because this IS worth fighting for! If one crazy guy did this, we can assume everyone in his home land is the exact same too! So let's bomb them so we can be safer!!
But when an American Army veteran who hears voices in his head gets a gun legally and fires enough shells into a crowd to kill 12 people, that isn't terrorism. Sure, people on the scene may have watched a dozen people die, and then wondered, "how many more mentally ill people in our country have guns? Can I be sure this won't happen again tomorrow??". But that isn't worth fighting for. That's something you'll just have to get used to.
We Got the Government We Deserve
The truth is that more people in this country can get a gun in 3 hours than could get in front of a psychiatrist in 3 hours. Is that an indictment on our government?
Let's think about it with a quick heuristic. What's one country you KNOW you could get a gun in 3 hours and a country you are equally certain you could get an appointment with a psychiatrist- or at least where you think you'd be most likely. I'd go with Yemen for the gun and maybe Switzerland for the psychiatrist appointment. Now of those two countries which would be likely to have the other part of this equation? I'm sure only very few can meet with a Psychiatrist in Yemen and I bet its difficult to get a gun in Switzerland. So in this example, Switzerland has the best of both worlds (few guns, good health care) and Yemen has the worst. Now, Do we feel it's safe to say the Swiss government is superior to the Yemeni government in real life, regardless of our example? Yes we do.
So this is may indicate that better mental health care access and fewer guns tend to be found in thriving countries. Who knows, maybe it's among the requisites for a dominant modern society. That in tandem with strong early education, high employment, low poverty, access to higher education and staying out of wars ought to make a country pretty competitive in the global marketplace.
Well unfortunately the US can boast of none of those right now.
When a muslim murders a group of American we effectively say, "Their whole culture sucks. Let's just bomb the country he's from" and blame their religion, their homeland's politics and their culture. But when an American murders a group of Americans, we don't blame our government or religions, we glibly say they were a troubled soul or perhaps the victim of an indecent pop culture. They were such a troubled soul that that even having access to mental health care and no access to guns probably couldn't have saved them, we assume (since they already got one and not the other and are now dead and we won't ever know).
The mentally-disturbed boy who shot up Sandy Hook had an assault rifle 40 feet from where he slept. If instead of a murder machine next to his bad, he had a Psychiatrist 40 feet away, do you think that tragedy would have happened?
Whose fault is that it's easier to get a gun than it is an appointment? Who makes gun laws and insurance regulations? The federal and state governments- and those of us that vote them into office.
So let's see what's new in Colorado- the home of Columbine and the Aurora movie theater shooting: NRA gets more power in a state that's been twice devastated by guns. Ok, so I guess guns aren't going anywhere. Maybe some politicians are increasing access to health care and counterbalance the gun proliferation problem.
Congress recap: Republicans have voted to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act 40 Times.
So it's gonna happen again. That murdery scene in DC we say yesterday will happen again. I know it and you know it.
Our government won't change if our people don't change, and it looks like certain pockets of this country love their guns now more than ever.
So get used to this sort of thing, America. Just add "unfortunate mass murders" to your list of regularly-occurring inconveniences like a rain shower or forgetting your cell phone charger.
We have the government we deserve. We deserve to have the mentally-unwell roaming homelessly throughout our country with access to firearms and meth amphetamines but no access to health care professionals or medication. That may sound terrifying, but it's not "terrorism" because we created this mess and we deserve it. Terrorism is when an outsider invades and erodes the quality of your life just because he can.
When a mentally-unsound American obtains a military-caliber assault weapon and goes on a murder spree that erodes the quality of our American life, that's not terrorism. That's a window into the new way of American life.
Scott Pelley was right. There is nothing terrifying about a man who hears voices in his head impersonating a United States military officer and legally has a loaded weapon in public.
No, a man as brave as Scott Pelley stood up that crazy guy and said, "You don't scare me!" Only foreign boogey-men as labeled by the State Department can scare me!".
You can hear more from Mr. Pelley on his news network which I assume stands for Conformist Broadcast Network, or is it Cattle Broadcasting Network?