We’re going there and there’s going to be all kinds of backlash from all sides about this. So be it, but before you decide to respond, do read to the end.
The bones of the story are common. A pair of people decided to shoot up an event, killing 14 and wounding (so far) 21 others. The police responded and the two ‘active shooters’ were killed.
Did the killers have some kind of grudge, or get into an argument, or some kind of beef, then go off and wreak some revenge? Not clear yet if it was a couple of people going “postal” to use the old term, or if there was a political thing happening.
Was it a terrorist act? We don’t know yet, that’s still under investigation and we won’t know for certain for several weeks, if ever, with any certainty.
Were the killers Muslims? Well, there names weren’t Jones or Smith, somewhat foreign sounding, but he was a US citizen by birth and she was his wife by marriage, possibly from Saudi Arabia, or thereabouts.
Some media are saying they were devout Muslims, but we haven’t seen the evidence. We suspect the evidence is a good headline. Odd how you never see a headline that another killer was a “hair-trigger Lutheran”, a “tightly-wound Hassidim” or a “slack-ass Sunday Catholic”. You never heard media say “Eric Rudolph, the possibly German, radicalized Baptist…” Just sayin’
Were the killers radicalized somehow? That’s still under investigation and will take a long time to make some kind of determination one way or another. CNN is quoting unnamed law enforcement sources that one of the killers was ‘radicalized’. We’ll likely never know, even if we agree on whatever the hell ‘radicalized’ means. Not making excuses here, but “unnamed sources” are sloppy reporting. I can report, right now, that “unnamed sources” suspect that you (yes, you) have engaged in rough sex with penguins several times. Until we can put a name and a context to the accusation, it’s bullshit.
Did they use legally obtained weapons to commit their acts? Yes, they did. Perfectly legal long guns and handguns, with lots of ammunition along with the home made pipe bombs which are not legal.
Were the various media outlets guessing at a lot of things during their coverage? Yes, the media were guessing, some more than others. (I was home from work and watched this all unfold live on CNN and KTLA, only a few minutes after things started happening.)
Which is our way of saying, we don’t know jack-squat right now. Be assured that various groups are pointing to this incident to prove whichever point they feel they must push to the fore to hijack the discussion.
The real discussion is when did so many people decide that the only way to solve their problems was to shoot up the place? Be it an elementary school, a movie theatre or an office party, the go-to response for settling grudges or curing untreated mental problems seems to be mass shootings.
Is it the way for the loners and losers and axe-grinders to have their fifteen minutes of fame, as they die in a hail of police gunfire with live coverage from a news team in a helicopter?
Is this what America has become?
We used to have a lot of admiration for the US. America did big things for the right reasons, to let the huddled masses yearning to be free to make their way, through hard work and little luck to get their slice of freedom and prosperity. America treated the sick, protected the weak and helped those with difficulties, without hesitation, almost everywhere in the world.
Slack-jawed, knee-jerk reactions from every corner of the political spectrum obscured by alternating fist-pumping and hand-wringing is the norm, when it deigns to interrupt the relentless pandering in the media to making stupid people famous. All wrapped in a flag that used to mean something profound, strong, kind and safe.
San Bernardino isn’t about Muslims, Immigration, Guns, Foreigners, Politics or even Jihad. It’s about America being afraid, all the time.
America used to be a good thing. It isn’t any more. You need to fix it.