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Raising Arizona

Posted 01-13-2011 at 03:26 by Critias

Before I start, let there be no misunderstanding; what happened to the people of Arizona over the weekend was an unmitigated tragedy. A horrible person did a horrible thing, and I feel for every single person whose life was ended, altered, and disrupted by this event. I disagree with some of those people politically, but I wished them no ill personally.

That little girl, in particular, is a heartbreaker.

The shooting was monstrous, the shooter is a monster, and I wish for nothing more than that eventually the judge's gavel will ring like thunder as they sentence him to die for his crime.

BUT...

I'm disgusted by how eager some people are to point the finger at anyone but that deranged killer. Just as much as I hate it when violent video games, role playing games, rock music, rap music, single parents, ethnicity, or firearms are blamed...I hate how quickly the Right is being blamed, now.

In part I hate it because I, well, I just always hate it. I hate blame shifting. I hate it when a finger gets pointed anywhere but at the murderer. I hate it when excuses are made for the actions of violent offenders. I hate it when someone invariably then wants to start banning things or otherwise infringing on the rights of good, decent, people, for the actions of the violent minority. I hated it when they tried to take firearms or firearm accessories out of the hands of law-abiding Americans, and I hate it now that they're moving towards, instead, silencing political figures and Right-wing media figures. It's wrong to punish the many for the sins of the deranged few, rather than simply punishing the deranged few.

Another point, though? I hate the ridiculous double standard of it.

When Nidal Hasan started shooting his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood in November of 2009, we were all told that it was "premature to reach conclusions about what motivated" him, despite a history of making outlandishly anti-American comments, and perhaps (according to some claims) him even shouting "Allahu Ackbar" as he murdered US military personnel. It's clear that the guy justified his actions based on his personal religous beliefs, but it was taboo for anyone to come out and say that he was a Muslim extremist who was acting according to his violent interpretation of a wildly popular faith.

And yet before the bodies were even cold in Arizona, folks were pointing at Sarah Palin's now-infamous "crosshairs" and the ramblings of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc, etc, etc...and somehow it was a-okay for Democratic politicians and the media to immediately claim that the political rhetoric of the Right was to blame for that violence. Never mind that this worthless loser of a 22 year old good-for-nothing was more clearly and obviously unhinged than Hasan, and much less politically motivated -- his Youtube videos alone show you how scattered his thoughts were, and how lacking in focus he was as a human being -- suddenly it was the Right's fault.

So, honestly, the double standard is infuriating. How can it be okay to immediately blame Sarah Palin and Anne Coulter for what some 22 year old wackjob does, but NOT to blame Allah (or, rather, one wackjob's interpretation of Allah) for his actions?
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