Sure, they have some kind of point they think they're making, some political aim or some horrific trolling; maybe both.
But they don't have a "side" in the sense that you, me, Elizabeth Warren or Mitch McConnell have a side; their rantings never add up and they're not a real part of actual politics. The instant they chose to pick up a gun (or any other means) and start killing unsuspecting innocents, -- and on this scale, even a prison exercise yard full of violent felons are innocents -- they're nothing but killers.
It's not even terrorism. Terrorism has some organizational structure working towards some kind of at least theoretical victory condition -- the UK out of Northern Ireland, everyone on the planet under Sharia law, the violent overthrow of a government, cowing a supposed underclass -- that, when achieved, will end the terror (yeah, rarely gets there and when it does, the violence often just changes focus; nevertheless). The kind of mass shootings we've seen in the last few days, months and years doesn't have any kind of genuine end state; it's just striking out.
So when people immediately head off to Facebook and Twitter and whatever information experts pull from the killer's computer or scrawled notebooks with an eye towards finding out what the killer's political leanings were, what his party affiliation might have been-- It's futile. It's pointless. Normal politics in this country, no matter how wingnutty or moonbatty, doesn't involve shooting a bunch of fellow-citizens who are just going about their lives. (It also doesn't involve dressing up in all black, covering your face and breaking windows, either; but that's for another time.)
This isn't normal. Stop trying to jam it into normal partisan molds. That's not where it goes.
6 months ago