We have to get past this idea that we will ever understand WHY people shoot up offices, join terrorist groups which plan attacks against others, or do similarly irrational things. Most of us don’t do these things. Most of us would never consider doing these things. These types of activities are qualitatively different. They’re of a completely different category from anything we might call stress, depression or even mental illness. We have to distinguish between the desire to harm others and the desire to escape emotional discomfort.
Most of us would like to escape emotional pain or discomfort. There are a variety of ways to do so ranging from outdoor activities, exercise, constructive hobbies (like reading and sports) to substance abuse, obsessive computer game-playing, shopping addiction, small-minded gossiping or social/emotional/psychological retreat from reality. None of these responses to life’s difficulties, whether adaptive or unhealthy, come anywhere close to the actions of those who deliberately and cold-bloodedly, with full premeditation, shoot up office places or decide to follow a violent cult or religion. Those motives and actions come from a totally different place, morally or psychologically, than one to which the vast majority of us can relate. Until or unless we grasp this fact, we will never respond effectively.
Right now, from the available evidence, it looks like it was probably Islamic-inspired. Now there’s a surprise! Shooter Syed Rizwan Farook had become increasingly radicalized, CNN reports, and had been in touch by phone and via social media with more than one international terrorism subject under investigation by the FBI.
No, we are not supposed to say or think it. Islam? Why it can’t be about Islam. Right wing nuttery, or lone-wolf psychopathology, sure. But never Islam. Yet even the most self-consciously “progressive” of us all know it’s almost certainly true.
The best way to shut off debate about the subject is to say, “There are too many guns. If we had fewer guns, there would be less violence.”
Barack wasted no time doing so, this morning. I know he’s the President. But I wonder if he has any idea just how deeply, and how profoundly, about half the population wishes with everything inside them that he would just shut the hell up about gun control. “Guns kill people. Not their ideas or choices.”
It’s a convenient narrative for the politically correct. It’s the politically correct who rule us from Washington, and it’s the politically correct who dominate the media and cultural/intellectual establishment as we know it.
Yet consider the forethought that went into this shooting, based on the available facts. According to authorities:
The couple had high-powered weapons, some could pierce body armor;
There were thousands of rounds found in the couple’s home for their weapons, including 2,500 high-caliber .223 rounds;
There were three pipe bombs found and detonated in the building where the shooting occurred;
There were “thousands” of tools in the home that could be used to make additional bombs;
The couple wore GoPro cameras and body armor, and had extra ammunition stuffed into clothing;
A search of their home turned up more pipe bombs and explosives attached to remote controlled cars;
The black SUV where the couple dies had been rented some days earlier.
Now think about it. Think about the months (or even years) of forethought that went into this act of brutality. Whether it’s motivated by Islam, some personal vendetta or anything else, you have to ask yourself: Would laws outlawing guns have made it impossible for them to do what they did?
These are people who organized a small militia in their own home. They were almost certainly motivated by Islamic ideology. Perhaps they took orders from ISIS. Terrorist groups usually have ties to Iran, with whom we have a peace treaty. Does anyone actually believe that gun control laws will put an end to Islamic-inspired violence?
Should we also outlaw SUVs and GoPro cameras? Why not? Those were involved in the crime too.
You should not have to be a criminal psychology expert to understand that people who want to do these things will find a way to do them.
People who organize a personal two-person army to storm a work facility Christmas Party are not the sort who will be deterred by gun laws.
It’s the rest of us who might use a gun in self-protection who will be deterred.
We already have laws against murder, and well we should. These laws against murder do not deter people from shooting up offices, not if they wish to do so, and not if their religion tells them to do so. We should still have these laws, because murdering people is a violation of individual rights. Owning a gun, in and of itself, does not violate anyone’s rights. In fact, it can help a person protect his or her right to live.
We know that Islam is usually, and practically always, behind the motives for terrorist attacks. We’re not allowed to say so (socially), and one wonders before how long we will not be able to say so legally, either.
But truth is truth. And no matter how inconvenient it all is to the politically correct narrative, we have to face some unfortunate and difficult facts.
We are used to thinking of cults as fringe or minority movements. But radical Islam is a growing and worldwide movement. No matter how good and liberal it makes some of us feel not to criticize Islam, this is what’s happening. What are we going to do about it?
Before finding solutions, we first have to name the problem. Our President, and his kind, will never, ever name the problem. How about the rest us?
Dr Michael Hurd
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