Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aurora Coloradis: The Colorado Dawn

I have two posts today. I sent this off to the Oregonian, but, as usual, I don't expect them to run it, so I run it here. Of course, last time I did that, they ran it anyway; so, who knows?

AP Photo: Barry Gutierrez
I am sorry, but David Sirota’s labeling the mass killing in Colorado “terrorism” does damage to the English language and turns the word meaningless, not to mention doing nothing to help understand what happened there or what real terrorism is.

Should you happen to be on the savannah and encounter a lion who terrifies you, it does not make the lion a terrorist. Even should the lion kill you, it’s not a terrorist. A terrorist is not simply one who strikes terror into another. A terrorist is a political ideologue engaged in a large-scale campaign. Terrorists do not operate alone. The lone terrorist is merely a mass killer.

That being said, all killing is madness. There is no such thing as a sane killing. There are times when killing might be necessary, but there never will be times when it will be sane. And I don’t differentiate between the soldier or the hit man, other than we may need soldiers to protect us from the madness of hit men. In any case, the killing or the need for killing is the product of madness. If you have to defend yourself from being killed, someone has gone crazy.

Trying to find a motive for the Colorado killing, trying to force it into the straight-jacket of terrorism, makes as much sense as blaming it on God or TV. It’s just someone who went crazy. There are seven billion of us on this planet; a certain percentage are going to go crazy every year, a certain percentage are going to have their wires crossed or a shot of the wrong chemistry. There is no blame, there is only tragedy.

No, this is not an issue of gun control, although I heartily favor such. Anders Breivik lived in a country with strict gun control. He killed seventy-six people. He had a long political agenda, but he was, in the end, nothing but a crazy person. He was no terrorist, either. Don’t confuse the crazed individual with the causes they espouse.

There is no cure for this kind of insanity. There is no prevention. There is no safe guard. There is only solace for the survivors and sorrow that a human could have lost his way so tragically. We will continue. We will go on. Life will continue to get better. We are people.

1 comment:

  1. Sane words, DMT, especially valuable at a dreadful time.

    Better gun laws would surely make mass killings by shooting less likely, but you're right, it didn't stop it happening in Norway, and here in the UK, where we have strict gun control laws.