As Obama pointed out on Friday, the news briefings on mass shooting are all too common, to the point of routine. The Oregon shooting seems to have had a religious connection in the shooter asking students to identify themselves as Christians—if they admitted this, he shot them in the head, if not, in the legs. Early reports indicate he had a thing against organized, institutionalized religion, a common feeling, but one usually acted on by just staying away from churches.
Obama indicated frustration, a sentiment that he has displayed many times on this issue. He knows he’s largely failed in making any progress on gun control, and with only a year to go, he will leave with little accomplished.
He asked reporters there to do homework on it: compile stats on Americans killed by terrorists, and compare that to ones killed by fellow Americans in mass shootings. A few news agencies have done that, and any form of graph shows the results are obvious. The main deaths from a terrorist activity occurred on 9-11, almost three thousand killed in the Twin Towers attack. There have been a few since that, such as at the Boston Marathon, but compared to home-grown gun deaths, any terrorist plotting stutters along the bottom line, while domestic gun violence soars at stratospheric levels above. Continue reading
The shooting of twenty people in Tucson has opened up the usual media frenzy. Experts in all imaginable fields are being dragged into the studios to provide the background the producers feel we all require to understand this tragedy. In only a few days we’re already getting tired, which is an unfortunate disservice to the victims.
There’s an attempt to sort through the head of killer Jared Loughner, if they can, to discover what motive he had for the shooting. He’s not particularly cooperative, saying little to police, and apparently only providing minimum answers and a few smirks at his first court appearance. His mug shot on being charged is a clown face. The “massacre”, as some are now calling it, was likely in a sense vaguely political, but distorted enough that few of us will be able to comprehend his reasoning. Friends indicate that his opinions about government and politics were usually so bizarre that they couldn’t get a handle on just what his agenda was. He seemed to have a particular paranoia about the government, made comments about mind control and brainwashing, and had a specific concern about the US money system.
A nut case, for sure, so the attention turns to what might have set things in motion, or made his assault possible.
A certain amount of effort was initially going into trying to lay the blame for the shooting of Congressional Representative Gabrielle Giffords and nineteen other people in Tucson on the doorstep of one Sarah Palin. The style-but-no-substance Alaskan had a website that featured a US map of gun sight “targets” (one of which was Giffords), Democrats in close contests that the Republican Party should “eliminate”. It’s a stretch to feel that this alone inspired Loughner, but that map is a symptom of a larger US disease that contributed to the shootings.