When yesterday's shooting happened, my first reaction was to hope no one died. That hope was dashed not too long into the event.
My second hope was that I wouldn't have to spend day after day listening to and writing about more excuses for why these things happen. No, let me make myself even clearer. I didn't want to have to write about all the insane things right-wingers say after terrorist attacks in this country to justify their fealty to the NRA.
I didn't want to hear more idiots on Fox News and CNN tell America that we all need to have more guns, or that Good Guys With Guns are needed to defeat Bad Guys With Guns. And I didn't want to write about them either.
I hoped beyond all measure that their names wouldn't be Arabic, because then we would get to hear about how everyone from the Middle East is a terrible, evil terrorist.
That hope was dashed, as Ted Cruz proved this morning during a speech to the Jewish Republican Coalition. His remarks are in the video at the top, where he very specifically calls the San Bernardino attack "radical Islamic terrorism."
Compare and contrast his remarks there with his reaction to the shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility:
Watch Ted Cruz heed his own advice about jumping to conclusions after shootings: pic.twitter.com/KwuAHvPVzh
— Cafe (@cafedotcom) December 3, 2015
So yes, I'm going to have to write about this again and again until finally enough people can understand the hypocrisy in condemning "radical Islamists" .
Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of what ideology drives it. It doesn't matter if it's "radical Islam" or "radical Christianity." And for the love of all that matters, please stop excusing white man shooters with the claim that they are mentally ill.
There is no evidence that white shooters are any more or less mentally ill than the quiet United States citizen who married a Pakistani woman, had a child, and then decided to build a bunch of pipe bombs, legally acquire a couple of assault weapons and pistols, and off as many people as possible at a Christmas party in a facility that helps developmentally disabled people.
You will hear all sorts of hysteria about how we must eradicate the evil that is "radical Islam" from American shores, but no one will even whisper about the radical Christian warriors out there threatening women in front of health clinics (while denying through pursed lips that they support any kind of violence).
You will hear about how we have to ramp up our "War on Terror," as if that had nothing to do with anything at all with how Muslims came to be radicalized in the first place.
But the fact remains. Terrorism is not limited to brown people with Arabic names. It is what happens when people are told over and over and over again that something has been taken from them which they must reclaim, whether white supremacy, male supremacy or religious supremacy.
It is what happens when evil people concoct evil plans to control others, and that is absolutely not limited to brown people from the Middle East.
Don't let all the sound and fury distract you from the real problem here, which is that people are able to translate their resentments, anger, zealotry, and self-proclaimed righteousness into instruments of death through the utterly unnecessary guns of mass destruction our country allows them to buy.
In his speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition this morning, Marco Rubio lamented how changed our country is, and just recently, too! In a subtle way, he tried to blame that change on President Obama, but here's the reality. Over the past 30 years, the NRA has had its way here. Now it's mature and bearing the fruit they hoped for -- more Americans have died in shootings in the last 43 years than soldiers who have died in all of our wars put together.
The BBC has some advice for us:
“And you go where’s the priority?” he asked. “You talk about Congress — NRA, right? If Clinton really wants to get serious, that’s what you have to try to break, dismantle.”