I wasn’t sure I was going to write anything about the massacre Friday morning at the Century 16 in Aurora, Colorado. It’s not an entertainment story, no matter how desperately certain media shriekers try to spin it, and it’s not something I feel like I need to pile onto, either. It’s an awful, awful event that played out on the scale it did because American gun control is monstrously negligent, and that doesn’t seem to change any time soon, so what’s another wave of text going to do?
But then Glenn Kenny posted this, and Bill at The Kind of Face You Hate expanded on it here, and I figured I could at least point you in their direction, if you hadn’t already seen it. And there is an observation that I wanted to make, after all.
Almost none of the copious media chatter following the incident raised the boogeyman spectre of “Islamic terrorism”. That feels like finally we’re turning a corner: We know this sort of thing is almost always an isolated incident — some crazy white guy who’s bought military-grade ordnance online and wasn’t detected by any of the law-enforcement organizations that are supposed to look for such behavior. And in a horrible way, that’s become a comfort in the post-Bush age.
I mean, this was undeniably terrorism, but no one will call it that, because it wasn’t the right kind of terrorism, the scary-brown-people terrorism that Dick Cheney and Fox News spent years screeching about, and never really stopped. This was a crazy white guy — and remember, it’s almost always a crazy white guy — who wanted to shoot a lot of people, and was enabled to do so because in America, you can buy an assault rifle for $650.
And as Tom Tomorrow pointed out back when a crazy white guy shot Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen other people, we won’t be having a substantial conversation about that, either. Obama and Romney will talk about “evil”, because it’s a safe, non-partisan talking point, but they won’t talk about the way that this particular evil was enabled by the policies of the NRA and right-wing media organs that have been stoking fears of The Gummint Taking Away Your Guns for decades, while simultaneously championing the rights of their viewership to purchase assault rifles and clips that can enable those rifles to fire a hundred rounds in under a minute. Because you never know when the black helicopters will come, do you?
So I want to say this as clearly as I can say it: Fuck those people. The blood isn’t on Batman’s hands, but on theirs. This isn’t news, and I’m just another voice in the ether. But hey, if I didn’t say anything, you might think I’m okay with things the way they are.