Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Inconsistency in Interpretation of Current Events

OK, I normally try to rein in my thoughts related to current events and politics. While my "conservative" leanings are no secret or surprise, I am not a lock-step "right wing" person, and try to think clearly on issues. Yesterday, as I heard people trying to link the Colorado Springs shooter with "pro-life" arguments against abortion generally and Planned Parenthood specifically, I became frustrated at the false equivalence. Just because one deranged person MAY have decided to do something heinous and would claim to be acting out of a motive to punish PP for its selling of baby parts (we don't really know what his motive is other than one report released by PP claiming a remark was made to that effect) does NOT mean that the argument against abortion or PP incited this man, or is somehow responsible for the violence. And his very anti-prolife actions do not justify ending the argument in any way.

Jim Geraghty writes a daily newsletter, "The Morning Jolt." He commented on this response and the generally unbalanced way such links between violence and a "cause" are drawn today. I was so impressed, I'm republishing it here (the links provided in the content are his, not mine).

The On-Again, Off-Again Arguments about ‘Dangerous Rhetoric’ Leading to Violence 

Let me get this straight. In the eyes of the Left . . .
. . . criticism of Planned Parenthood means something like the shooting in Colorado “was bound to happen“ . . .
. . . when an event by Pamela Geller is targeted by an Islamist shooter, it is “not really about free speech; it [is] an exercise in bigotry and hatred” and the attempt to kill her means she has “achieved her provocative goal” . . .
. . . while at the same time, investigators contend we may never know what motivated a 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez to kill four Marines and a sailor in an attack on Chattanooga’s U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center last July . .
. . . a shooting by a diagnosed schizophrenic, who believed that grammar was part of a vast, government-directed mind control effort, is characterized by the Southern Poverty law Center as having views that are the “hallmark of the far right and the militia movement” . . .
. . . while the shooter who opened fire in the lobby of the Family Research Council in downtown Washington in 2012, who planned to target the Traditional Values Coalition next, does not spur any need for a broader discussion or societal lessons about the demonization of political opponents . . .
. . . but there’s little reason to ask whether the Oregon shooter’s decision to target Christians reflects a broader, societal hostility to Christians, or whether it reflects his personal allegiance to demons . . .
. . . when white supremacist Dylann Roof commits an act of mass murder in an African-American churchSalon declares, “White America is complicit” and the Washington Post runs a column declaring, “99 percent of southern whites will never go into a church, sit down with people and then massacre them. But that 99 percent is responsible for the one who does” . . .
Do I have all that right? And does that make sense to anyone?
Wouldn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that those already driven by a desire or compulsion to kill other people are going to do so, and will merely latch on to whatever “reason,” justification, or excuse is at hand or is most convenient? Isn’t it ridiculous to expect sane people to watch what they say and restrict what thoughts they express in order to prevent a rampage by someone with an inherently illogical, literally unreasonable, not-sane thinking process?
Isn’t “don’t say what you think, because it might set off a crazy person” the most insidious form of censorship, because none of us can really know what prompts a crazy person to go on a violent rampage?

We must not forget that, in a fallen world, evil people (read, "all of us at some level or another") can also be unhinged people, and that combination will always be difficult to understand and their actions to explain.