Sunday, January 09, 2011

Senseless acts of verbal violence

Oh, my God. In Tucson, of all places. 

I remember the Safeway where Saturday's shooting happened. It was where I turned on my commute home from the junky commercial Oracle Road onto Ina, beginning a drive across the luxury-territory foothills and downhill to home on the east side. I don't remember ever going in the Safeway, but my wife reminded me that when we were in Tucson again last year she had a prescription filled at a pharmacy next to it.

Several other subjects were in the queue for posting, but this has to take precedence. Why? What can I possibly say that matters? But I can't not say anything, I just can't.

My belief in an afterlife doesn't detract from the horror of this killing and maiming. No one should have to depart this life so abruptly and capriciously, leaving an ocean of grief among relatives and friends.

That said, maybe the only important comment now is to urge that we stop drawing immediate inferences and blame. Maybe the killer was pure and simply a nutter; if he had accomplices, maybe they were too; more will come out in the days ahead. But for heaven's sake, and our country's sake, let's not view this through a political or ideological lens.

Fat chance. Of course it's already in high gear.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik did not ascribe a motive to the shooting but lashed out at what he called a climate of "vitriol that has permeated the political scene and left elected officials facing constant threats.

"And unfortunately Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital," he said. "We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

He went on to point a finger at the media. "I think it's time as a country that we do a little soul-searching. Because I think it's the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out, from people in the radio business, and some people in the TV business … that this has not become the nice United States of America that most of us grew up in," Dupnik said.
Referring to the increasing vitriol, he said, "that may be free speech, but it may not be without consequences."
Who loaded the gun? Fox News, of course. Here we go:
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., a New Jersey Democrat, blamed the Fox News Channel for today’s shooting spree that left Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded and four others slain. He told a local New Jersey paper shortly after the incident, "There's an aura of hate and elected politicians feed it, certain people on Fox News feed it.”

He continued: "I'm sitting here talking to you and my Blackberry's sending alerts that say 'take caution.' Take caution? I'm in the United States of America!"
Prejudice and bigotry. Fox News. Gun culture. The Tea Party. Too-free speech. Talk radio. Immigration restriction. The Evil Eye. Probably before long somebody will claim the murders were down to blogging, and plead that bloggers should have to be licensed.

We will read again and again in the liberal media about the killer's "anti-government messages," overtly or covertly implying that anyone who wants to contract the scope of the federal government is by definition a shooter-in-training.

By the same token, if it turns out that Jared Lee Loughner ever said a good word for Karl Marx, right-wing commenters will load the blame on Marxists.

Come on, people. This is a severely divided country and the last thing we need is to ascribe collective blame for what the media will inevitably describe as a "senseless tragedy" (so unlike sensible tragedies), just before making sense of it by finding its causation in "hate speech" or opposition to open borders. It seems pretty clear the assassin was a sickbag loony, whatever confused political ideas he may have had. We don't need to indict a whole culture or any part of it. Please.



Anonymous said...

Mr. Darby,

I suspect that the powers to be are already in the process of trying to convince this mad man to blame A.R., the HBD blogsphere, and anything to the right of center for his murdering rampage in exchange for leniency.

Furthermore, God only knows what kind of draconian assaults will be made upon the 2nd and 4th amendments in the aftermath of this bloodshed. Unfortunately, the masses will go in lockstep with these assaults on their rights.


Rick Darby said...


I hate to even think it, but what you suggest is possible. With a certain amount of friendly persuasion, the shooter -- probably paranoid schizophrenic -- might be "turned" and announce that he's a longtime member of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

Reichstag fire and that.

Maria said...

Here's my take on the story--an angle which will probably be totally ignored:

Maria said...

Well, now we know: the guy was an online gaming freak who was depressed because he couldn't get a job.

Whose fault is the 10 percent unemployment rate?: