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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