June 14, 2016—How is it possible that we live in a culture that is conditioned to accept the inevitability of mass shootings and terrorist attacks? And, why do we treat them as separate entities when the outcome is the same?
Innocent people are being murdered.
However we decide to brand this will nonetheless be motivated by political agendas on both the left and the right. The right will call for the rounding up, and the bombing of Middle Eastern Muslims, and the left will call for gun control.
Why would the intentions and the motives of the killers dictate separate classifications? One is a shooter; the other is a “terrorist.” What are we supposed to fear more?
Terrorism sounds scarier I guess, so maybe that one. I don’t know. Is there any real meaningful difference between a terrorist attack and a mass shooting?
The government definition will tell you that a terrorist attack is an attack that is done to provoke a political response.
But a school shooting or a mass shooting like that of a Dylan Roof, Elliot Rodger, or James Holmes (the Aurora shooter) – well, they’re just crazy white kids.
In reality, they’re the same thing. Innocent people were killed by people who may or may not have been deemed “legally insane,” but who no doubt were deranged and made the decision to murder.
Is there a difference? The news is reporting the Orlando gay nightclub shooting as a hate crime, a terrorist attack, and a mass shooting. The ultimate triple threat. But isn’t it a bit redundant? I mean, yeah, I assume you must have to hate someone a lot to murder them. I mean, is there a difference if the attacker killed someone because they were gay or Christian or an American? You’re still dead! The outcome is still the same. Why does the intent dictate the response?
It’s not a hate crime. It’s not a mass shooting. It’s not a terrorist attack. It’s all of these things and none of these things. Plain and simple, it’s mass murder. Is there ever a justified reason for the slaughter of a group of innocent people? No. So why are we seeking causes to justify deranged behavior? The answer is, of course, to discount the multitude of reasons for mass murder and single out one thing to put the blame on, and then to politicize the shit out of it.
It doesn’t matter why the person killed. Killing is never a logical solution to a problem. It doesn’t matter if it was a “hate crime” as the most extreme form of hate is murder. It doesn’t matter if it was because someone was bullied. It doesn’t matter if the person was killing in the name of Allah. It doesn’t matter if the killings were made because the killer was rejected by girls, or was triggered by gay men kissing. None of these reasons are justifiable for killing people.
The sickos that carry out this kind of mass violence against people are already choosing to use force. Determining a solution to the problem from these motives is invalid. So what is it? What is the real reason people open fire on large groups of innocent defenseless people? Maybe if we could discover the real reason/reasons why they do what they do, then maybe we could try and come up with a solution. Or maybe there is no solution.
1. Maybe We Need More Security, Intelligence, and Protection?
Of course, the state’s answer to all problems is more government. We already spend billions of dollars a year on security, intelligence, surveillance, military operations, and drones. What has all of that done?
Could we really solve this problem by instituting a TSA-like environment everywhere we go? Long wait times everywhere we go. Patdowns. Bag searches. Dog sniffing. X-ray screenings. Could we put this in place at every single school, mall, movie theater, nightclub, grocery store, office building, etc…?
Would we be able to eliminate mass shootings or terrorist attacks by beefing up security everywhere? Maybe. But what kind of world would we be living in? Our privacy would be gone, our individual freedoms violated and our liberty stripped away from us. Wouldn’t that be like living in prison? Wouldn’t we be living in a constant state of fear, suspicion and paranoia? What would that do to our culture? Are we prepared to live in a TSA/DMV society?
2. Maybe Guns Are to Blame?
After all, guns are the tools responsible for carrying out this devastation. Seems like an easy solution, right? Fewer guns, fewer deaths. What if we banned all weapons? Would that really work? And what does that mean exactly? We already know that all drugs are banned, yet people still find drugs, buy drugs, traffic drugs, use drugs, and overdose and kill themselves on drugs. So is a ban on guns, like a ban on drugs, the way to go?
3. What if the Answer is the Opposite?
Why shouldn’t individuals be able to protect themselves at all times? Why must we rely on the police to do it for us? What if the people in that club were allowed to be armed and had guns on them? Would that have helped? Would the outcome have been different?
What if guns are permitted for open carry everywhere? What if the state provided and encouraged gun classes and training for citizens who wish to learn to protect themselves? Have it function the same way that getting your driver’s license functions. After all, the total number of yearly gun deaths is equivalent to the total number of annual car deaths. We never think about banning cars though, do we? No. Maybe we should eliminate these tragic sitting duck gun free zones. Criminals and killers don’t respect laws. If they have the desire to kill, they will find a way, no matter what.
4. Maybe the Blame Falls on Hollywood, the Entertainment/News Media and Our Culture of Fame?
Maybe they are the ones responsible for propagating violent images, violent videos games, violent Tv shows, movies, etc. Maybe we have become desensitized to it, and maybe it has twisted people’s minds?
Maybe the fame and notoriety that one gets after committing such sick acts are the reason why? Maybe it’s our culture’s obsession with murder mystery TV shows like Making a Murderer or thriller podcasts like Serial?
We are like the fish that doesn’t know he’s in water. We are immersed in violence and don’t even know it. It is so deep-rooted in the culture. It comes from the state setting the precedent. Why is it OK to show graphic violence in television and movies, but physical acts of love are taboo?
The great philosopher Alan Watts believes the madness stems from our culture valuing hate more than love, saying:
“Expressions of physical love are far more dangerous than expressions of physical hatred, and it seems to me that a culture that has that sort of assumption is basically crazy.”
I think if we are to have a state that we look up to mold the cultural ideology, then it starts with them. Rather than being a superior military machine, they could decrease their size and allow more love and freedom to flourish. They are the ones most responsible for setting the precedent for the culture of violence we currently exist in.
5.Maybe It’s A Mental Health Problem?
Maybe the state should figure out a way to test people for psychosis and other mental illnesses. Maybe that could work? But who determines what an is and is not considered to be “mentally stable” who gets to decide the standard for that?
According to Garance Franke-Ruta in an article from The Atlantic in 2013; “More than half of Americans experience one or more mental illnesses over the course of their lives, and around 26 percent of Americans over age 18 each year experience at least one, primarily anxiety disorders and mood disorders like depression.”
Are these people to be considered potential threats? Should they be forced to have, their Second Amendment rights stripped from them and put on a government watch list?
Maybe it has to do with mood stabilizers or SSRI’s? What if we find out the killer was on Zoloft? Then what? Is the big pharmaceutical industry responsible or is it the doctors that prescribe these cocktails of prescription drugs they dish out like water?
6. What If We Ban All Muslims ?
This must be a problem that is isolated to Muslim terrorism, right? So, why don’t we ban all Muslims from entering the country? Round up all Muslims that are here and deport them? Would that work? Or maybe we should just drop nuclear bombs on the entire middle east?
What if we wipe out an entire race of people – would that help?
The data tells us that the number of Mass shootings on us soil since 9/11 are far greater than the number of radical Islamic terrorist attacks.
There have been between 150-200 mass shootings in America since 9/11. There have been only 14 terrorist attacks in America since 9/11.
The silly thing is these mass shootings are terrorist attacks! America has been the victim of the vicious, random and savage horrors of domestic terrorism for almost two decades, beginning with the 9/11 of school shootings and the Columbine attack in 1999. Why do we care what the reason is? Many of us could think of reasons we would like to kill someone over, but we don’t do it! We don’t cross that line, because we’re not killers.
7.Maybe This is the Product of a Globally Connected Modern Society of 7 Billion People, and Maybe There’s Nothing We Can Do to Stop it?
Maybe politicians don’t have the answer at all because they know there is no real solution, but instead, they lie to us and offer us a symbolic solution. They give the public some semblance of safety and security by providing solutions like stricter gun laws, or bans on assault rifles. They know this won’t do anything, but provide the illusion of safety. They accomplish their goal of appearing to offer a solution. They give the public what it demands: more security theater. And, we temporarily feel better. Government bureaus and agencies get a bump in employment, and the security, defense, intelligence, and protection industries also get what they want too: more government contracts and more money.
8.Maybe Our Multitrillion-Dollar Weapons Industry is to Blame?
Maybe the arms industry is responsible. After all, we make the most weapons and sell the to everyone and their mother across the globe. Maybe that’s why?
America is home to 8 out of the top 10 weapons manufacturers in the world. Maybe our production and distribution of the most amount of weapons in the world have something to do with it?
Multi-billion dollar companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon make weapons and sell them not just for our government, but also to anyone that wants to buy them, all around the world. Abroad, our government commits violence on a colossal scale and calls it war in the name of defending our freedom. At home, they patrol our streets with a militarized police hunting down non-violent people and locking them in cages for using drugs.
9. Maybe Obama and Other Politicians Should Lead by Example?
They want us to give up our gun rights, but they still want to be surrounded by bullet proof glass and armed guards.
Maybe Obama should take his own advice and ditch the guns? If citizens would be subjected to gun laws – so should the government and corporations that produce these death makers. They are the ones manufacturing this culture of insanity and violence that we are all now, as Obama said: “numb to.”
10. Maybe “Terrorism is the Price of Empire” – Pat Buchanan
Maybe our government should lead by example, and not commit mass murder ourselves. The Untied States government sends its military around the world to invade, occupy and kill at will. The 2003 invasion of Iraq is the largest terrorist attack in modern history according to Felicity Arbuthnot in her article of the same name.
What’s the difference between a single mass shooter using a gun to attack his enemies, and the government (military and police) doing it? Why do we isolate the problem to one sector of humanity and fail to acknowledge the fact that we live in a country built on violence?
America has been at perpetual “war” almost continually since the birth of our nation in 1776. In the past 236 years, we have been fighting some type of conflict for 214 years or about 90% of the time.
Maybe public violence is a reflection of state violence? Maybe Robert E. Lee in His letter to Lord Acton was right when he said: ” the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”
Maybe it is the state’s fault, and we’re seeing some kind of trickle-down terrorism?
The bottom line is, bad people are gonna do bad things, no matter what the laws are. Freedom is the only answer. All people must be totally free to be able to protect themselves at all times.
There are two groups of people that will get access to weapons and commit violence no matter what. They are the state and non-state criminal/murderer. And who pays the ultimate price? The innocent and defenseless people who are the target and collateral damage in between. They are the ones who get caught in the crossfire between the state and its enemies. People must be able to be free to protect themselves. Otherwise, our enemies will always win.
We must demand that the people have the same rights as the state. Violence is the easiest way to get what one wants and as long as this is allowed to be an acceptable option in our society, as long as we sit by and allow state sanctioned mass murder and cultural exploitation of violence, we’re doomed to remain a primitive, barbaric, and savage species, and we may wipe each other out and cause our own extinction.