Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Blood Dancers

Mr. Helmke, Mr. Sugarmann, they are already dancing in the blood of six dead people; they were doing it before the final tally was even known and name of the step is "Guns're Baaaaaad."

They seem to think it would have been all right had the disturbed young man drove into the crowd in a car, or if he'd mixed up a batch of poison gas, or set bombs; they would have felt quite comfortable had he doused people with gasoline and thrown a match and their words imply had he only had the compassion and consideration to stride through the crowd swinging a sledge hammer at people's skulls, why, his death-and-maiming toll might even have been slightly smaller.

Or even bigger. I haven't mentioned anything that hasn't been done, mostly using items you can pick up at the hardware store of the nearest Wally World or steal from its parking lot without permit, ID or background check, right down to the makings for a cloud of phosgene-esque gas. That would be okay with the blood-dancers; it is what they want. Just as long as he didn't use a g-u-n.

Tam points put that in such situations, people go with their old familiar lares and penates. And worse besides: we look for patterns; we want it to mean something. I hopped on a bandwagon yesterday for a few minutes, wondering if the shooter wasn't someone reacting to the congresswoman's strong stance against illegal entry to the U.S. -- I was wrong, too.

Looking back over high-profile political assassinations in this country, both successful and attempted, I can come up with two or three where the political motivation is clearly a bigger factor than the shooter being crazy. --Along with page after page of wild theorizing, after-the-fact amateur detective work, innuendo and cloud-watching about each and every one. The reality is, in this country, such acts tend to be about as planned and purposeful as being hit by a bolt of lighting out of a partly-cloudy sky.

Another reality is, when it happens, humans will snatch at the merest wisp of pattern or hint of meaning; we want to know why and we're almost never satisfied with "the dice came up that way."

But they do. You -- and everyone else -- will roll them every day of your life. Public figures face (mildly) worse odds than you or I; Federal politicians even more so. They read about Lincoln and McKinley, Truman and Kennedy same as you did. They stood for election just the same.

Bad things happen. The only part of it you have effective control over is your reaction to them.

1 comment:

Mad Saint Jack said...

I guess the new x factor is, will Republican lawmakers feel the need to "do something?"

As to the Gun Banners and the media trying to convince them is a waste of breath.