Going for the kill

Is it too soon for scoring political points off this a.m.’s shooting?  Just kidding, like it’s ever too soon for scoring political points off someone else’s loved one’s dead body.

The facts that have emerged tell us the alleged shooter grew up in a community with roads and bridges.  He had good teachers – graduating from one of the top school districts in California.  He was smart, and a Degree in neuroscience requires some degree of hard work.

Despite the presence of government, family, and community in his life he chose to dress like a clown and shoot up a movie theater.  So what does that mean?  Is it fair to say that the shooter isn’t fully responsible for the rampage?  Someone else put him in a position where he had no choice but to successfully murder innocent people?

Clearly not.  Every contemporary of this guy grew up in the same general environment.  But one individual felt compelled to act on an impulse to murder.

Another argument is that the system failed.  A guy with real problems slipped through the cracks.  How do you identify the dangerous nutjobs in tomorrow’s Idiocracy today?  The Phoenix guy and this guy, so far as we know, we’re oddballs but not discernibly violent.  The only way to stop this kind of lunatic is total and completely invasive surveillance.  Like it or not it’s coming.  These sort of crimes always spawn the worst sort of hasty, poorly-thought-out response we’ve come to expect, know, and love from our lawmakers.

In ten years a guy like this won’t get three steps with a gun before he’s covered up in drones.  Some, most likely, armed.  Maybe that will be a good thing.  It’s not like government ever abuses its power.

I can’t help but think the non-stop barrage of sensationalistic news coverage drives these one day spree killers in some way.  The next 96 hours will be nothing but nutjob this and batshit that.  Maybe, just maybe, if we didn’t turn these bozos into household names it might cut down on the copy cats.  Who knows if these guys are even cognizant of reality and the media.  Why take the chance?

This type of crime is obviously a big deal.  These assholes always attack where people feel comfortable and safe, in places they know their victims will be vulnerable and defenseless.  It’s what cowards and the mentally deficient do.  I understand the scale of the tragedy and why it’s an important story.  But have a sense of dignity and decorum.  Maybe I’m just old fashioned.  There must be people out there who want to hear every survivor interviewed and see every crappy cell phone video, because that’s all you’ll get for the next week.

Unless one of the guns used is traced to Fast and Furious.  What would happen when the unstoppable force of non-stop murder coverage ran into the immovable object of shielding Obama?  Hadron, hell, a black hole might develop in the media that would consume the Milky Way.

Sorry for the crass politicizing of an addled killer’s crime.  If it’s good enough for ABC it’s good enough for me.  I guess it’s natural to want to project the worst kinds of crimes on those with whom you disagree politically.

What is it about the TEA Party that makes the media so angry?  What is it about people gathering in support of less government spending that sends them over the edge?  Why is their first instinct when whackos attack to hang it on the TEA Party?

Sure we mock the OWS crowd around the blogosphere and some folks jump up and down when they run afoul of the law.  Is it fair to compare the two?  Statistically a large group of young people is bound to have more scofflaws than a large group of middle-aged suburban folks.  So it can’t be an apples-to-apples thing.  I could do a Jeff Foxworthy bit on OWS.  If you camp in the middle of a city for six months and society doesn’t notice you’re not contributing, you might be an OWSer.  If you add more to the GDP sitting in Zuchotti Park banging on a plastic bucket than you if didn’t, you might be an OWSer.

I don’t work for ABC, though.  Do I work for ABC?  Are we an affiliate?  No.  So there’s the difference of audience.  And professional training.  And fact checkers.  And accountability.  There is accountability in the major media.  It’s what separates ABC from the common blog.

And it doesn’t get much more common than me.  There’s really nothing intelligent that can be said about this morning’s rampage at this time.  Unless his motivation was to disrupt the showing of Batman at that one particular theater he failed.  A week-long freak show in the election cycle.  Why even give him that?  I don’t want to hear the guy’s name or know any more about him outside of the verdict at his trial.

That’s why I’ll never be a big time news guy.  I just can’t get excited about a mass killing.

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  • jim_m

    How do you identify the dangerous nutjobs in tomorrow’s Idiocracy today?

    The short answer is that you don’t. Freedom implies risk. If we are free to start our own business then we risk that it will fail. If we are free to eat what we want we risk getting fat. If we are free to smoke, then we risk getting cancer. The list goes on and on.

    We could be free from this kind of risk, but the cost of that is that we would live in a prison state.

    If we are free to be individuals with quirks and oddities then we risk having real nutjobs amongst us. The answer is not reducing freedom. The answer is that we need to be responsible for ourselves and each other and we must understand that our freedom implies real risk. Nothing worth having is free. Freedom has always cost something.

  • GarandFan

    “Is it too soon for scoring political points off this a.m.’s shooting?”

    That ‘political points’ is the MAJOR part of a story is fairly recent. First mass murder’s I can recall off the top of my head were Richard Speck, followed by Whitman and the Texas Tower. Don’t recall anyone mentioning political party affiliation. After the assassination of several political figures, the finger pointing became more automatic. JFK, RFK, MLK. Attempts on Reagan and Ford. Columbine not so much (except for one fat ass who wanted to make a political statement). The Gifford shooting, of course, was – to coin a phrase – Fast and Furious. With no basis in fact.

    As to how you ID such people; if you look back at what was written, it seems people knew there was a problem. Cho, Harris and Kebow, Loughner….. Addressing the problem appeared to BE the problem.

  • 914

    “Is it too soon for scoring political points off this a.m.’s shooting

    Not for the Choom Messiah!! Campaign, Champagne and caviar.. And a little bogus on the 17th..

  • jim_m

    James Taranto has a nice article regarding media bias:

    It is reasonable to interpret Ross’s hasty unsubstantiated report as an
    expression of hostility–bigotry–toward the Tea Party and those who share
    its values, which are traditional American ones. ABC’s carelessness
    here is in sharp contrast with the way the mainstream media treat
    criminal suspects who are black or Muslim. In those cases they take
    great pains not to perpetuate stereotypes, sometimes at the cost of
    withholding or obscuring relevant facts such as the physical description
    of a suspect who is still at large or the ideological motive for a
    crime.

  • Birchstreetalum

    How come nobody shot back?

  • blogagog

    Is Wizbang left of center now? This otto guy just recently said that he doesn’t know anything about a subject, but he’s perfectly ok with commenting about it anyway, and now he’s hoping to score political points off of murder.

    WTF? Did you guys go Charles Johnson on me while I was away? These posts are horrible! Color me not amused. Baron Ottomatic seems like a VERY bad person. I’m having trouble understanding why a conservative would be ok with the things he says.

    Regardless, you won’t have to hear from me again. I’ll pull Wizbang from RSS in a few seconds, and he’ll be your problem alone. He IS a problem though. I hope you address it.

    • How long were you away? I think it’s been four years or so since Kevin threw me the keys to Wizbang and this is pretty much how I write.

      I am puzzled about the left of center accusation. You either didn’t read this or missed the point entirely. But no, I doubt you and I would see eye-to-eye on social issues. If you want to lock out people who don’t agree with you 100% on every single issue you better get used to being in the permanent minority.

      Or you could read everything else on Wizbang and skip my sporadic, lunatic rantings.

      • jim_m

        I am puzzled about the left of center accusation.

        I could see that if they were referring to David Robertson’s posts but not yours.

      • blogagog

        4 years, it seems, though I would have guessed “2” before reading your first sentence. Plus, I thought someone named Jay Tea ran this place. Guess it has been a while.

        “Left of center” because you admit that you’re willing to comment on a subject you know nothing about. Things don’t get any more left of center than that. If I read you wrong, I apologize. Hope I was.

        I care not one bit about social issues. Your stoner gay dog can have an abortion while it’s getting married to my cousin at the weed store for all I care (though in fairness, my cousin is pretty ugly and the dog would want out of that deal). I’m just about the fiscal side. And knowing what we’re talking about before speaking about it. That last part is very important to me and what bothered me most about your article. This one just added a little gravy when you said you want to make political points off of murder. That’s no ok, even for a tagline.

        • Brucehenry

          What a humorless, grumpyass dipshit this blogagog dude is. And what lack of reading comprehension! He must have an excellent spellcheck program — nobody can miss a point by that much and still be proficient in basic English.

          • jim_m

            And what lack of reading comprehension!

            That goes with his admission of being a social leftist. This guy is not a conservative and has not been here. Had he bothered to read more than one article he would recognize that this is not LGF.

          • blogagog

            I’m not a social leftist. I just don’t care about it enough to have it influence my vote. Glad to hear that this place is not becoming LGF! The commenters are kind of rude though :).

          • jim_m

            Sorry if Bruce and I don’t kiss your butt. (There’s another rare agreement between he and I, I’ll bet)

          • blogagog

            No worries. I hate shooing people away from my rear end anyway. 🙂

          • blogagog

            (just a joke. Don’t get mad. We’re on the same side it seems. Yay!)

        • Jay Tea, PBUH, was a contributor same as I am now. And hopefully will be contributing again soon. Kevin runs the site so when I say threw me the keys I mean granted me permission to post here.

          A lot of what I write is shtick. Joe Bob Briggs meets Jim Anchower for a beer with Ed Anger. Self depreciation is a big part of that. It is what it is.

          • blogagog

            Clearly I was mistaken in thinking this place was heading to the left. Happy to be wrong. Please accept my apology.

  • fustian24

    If you build a business, you didn’t build that. You had help. And if you shoot up a movie theater, you didn’t do that, you had help.

    I blame government. Government run schools, government teachers, Government programs, government employees.

    Funny they only try to claim the good stuff.