At about 5 this morning, my wife told me about the Colorado shootings. (She gets up earlier.) She told me of reports, perhaps unconfirmed, that the gunman shot a three month old baby. I really don't have the vocabulary to describe how horrible this is.
But eventually it dawned on me. Someone is going to try to make political hay out of this.
enough, ABC News' Brian Ross rushed to the forefront reporting that
someone with the shooter's name seemed to be a member of the Colorado Tea Party.
Although the network admitted that it did not know if if the tea party
member was the same guy arrested for the shooting, George Stephanopoulos
gasped. This, he said, may be "significant."
Turns out that the report was incorrect. Ross and ABC News have retracted the suggestion and apologized.
Bbut here's the thing. Whether James Holmes turns out to be a right wing
psychopath, a left wing psychopath or an apolitical psychopath doesn't
matter. The operative term is psychopath. How he chose to justify his
murderous impulse is of no great moment. The rationalizations serve the
impulse; they don't create it.
I appreciate the Grey Pomposities of the Commentariat may not choose to understand that. But it doesn't matter if he's a tea partier or a member of the Occupy movement.
Someone does not decide to gun down a theater of people because they
hear intemperate rhetoric - something, incidentally, that seems to be
spread among all political groupings. A violent nut does not reason from false premises to the conclusion that he should murder a bunch of people.
Reason has nothing to do with it. The kind of pathology that leads
to mass murder has deeper roots. The environmental movement doesn't own
the Unabomber. The political right is not responsible for Timothy
McVeigh. The left isn't to blame for Charlie Manson or Lee Harvey Oswald
I could go on. It wouldn't matter if - as appears not to be the case - the shooter was an illegal immigrant. While it's
too early to know for sure, the incident probably tells us little
about, on the one hand, gun control or, on the other, concealed carry
in public places. It is a tragic event, but it's not a political event.
Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin.