I’ve been holding back on commenting on Friday’s shooting since I wanted to wait for facts to come out. Much hay is being made of the shooter’s crackpot views about the New World Order and the fact that he obtained his guns legally. Of course, this tells us very little since most gun violence does not involve political views at all and involves guns obtained illegally, according to the FBI’s own research. Focusing on these factors is once again focusing on the tiny sliver of gun violence that garners most of the media attention.
I’m going to assume the man had mental issues (based mostly on the fact that he, you know, shot up an airport). Such people tend to be drawn to crackpot conspiracy theories and anti-government views. This does not invalidate the anti-government views any more than the Unabomber’s killing invalidated environmental issues. His disturbing behavior was noticed and his dad alerted police but they just missed him. As always, this emphasizes my point that ordinary citizens are our best line of defense. We don’t see the shootings that are stopped because a parent, a teacher or a friend got scared and made sure a horrifying incident was prevented. We only see the times they aren’t able to stop it. And in a nation of three hundred million people, the odds that one person it nutty enough to kill and “lucky” enough not to get stopped beforehand are unfortunately high.
I do want to comment on one aspect. By all accounts, this man deliberately targeted TSA agents. I and many other people have been extremely critical of the TSA for their security theater, their tendency to abuse authority, their lack of accountability and the constant propaganda at the TSA blog. It goes without saying that none of us advocate violence against the TSA (if anything, this will make things worse as Pistole is likely to call for TSA agents to be armed). It is absolutely horrible that a man is dead because some nut decided he was going to kill a innocent member of an agency he didn’t like. I want the TSA disbanded, not killed.