What happened in Colorado in the early hours of this morning was not a “tragedy” but a willful act of mass murder. Beyond his age, name, and ethnicity, nobody yet knows who the shooter is, or why he chose to do what he did. In my view, this is a blessing, albeit a temporary one; for, as has been the way in recent years, once his party registration, television-viewing habits, and random scribblings become known to the public, all sorts of hysterical speculation and unlettered accusations will burst forth.
Whole groups will be vilified, blame will be apportioned to those many times removed, and the shooter will be partially absolved of blame by those who prefer to see fault in video games or talk radio or political rhetoric or anything else that can be conscripted to explain why terrible things happen to good people. Few will point out that unless someone commits an atrocity in the name of an ideology — Timothy McVeigh, for example — their political beliefs are wholly irrelevant. Even in cases where a killer is motivated by something specific, to draw general conclusions is most often folly. America is not the land of collective guilt, and mass shootings should carve out no exception.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Clarity on Colorado
In the wake of the mass murder in Colorado, Charles CW Cooke at NRO's The Corner has some wise words: