By Nathan Barton
This weekend, war again came to America. My prayers are with the families of the dead, and those who are wounded, and their families and friends. I am thankful and honor those who tried to protect others and sometime died instead.
But it was war.
And as usual, the details are confusing, information conflicting, and claims abound.
One thing I think that I can safely say: with 22,000 people as witnesses, plus first responders, passers-by, and others, claims are unlikely to be made that all of this was a staged incident in which “crisis actors” played victims and family members, and that none (or most) of the 59 dead and 530+ wounded really were.
But that doesn’t mean that other claims will not be made – as indeed they are, winging their way to us all by the ether. Was the murderer really a lone wolf? Was the man who reportedly killed himself as police closed in really the killer? Despite all the dead and wounded, was it still a staged event put together as a false flag?
The Caliphate (Islamic State/ISIS) has claimed that the murderer (reported by media and family and government as being a person with no deeply held religious or political beliefs) was theirs. That he converted to Islam some months ago and therefore this is a successful attack by followers of Allah, the Prophet, and the Caliph against the Great Satan. Just as the Caliphate had promised: specifically against Las Vegas.
Stories are appearing claiming that the murderer was found with AntiFa documents in his house and the motel suite. Others claim he was a tea-party fanatic. There is no way to tell (and may never be a way) what is truth and what is not.
Some people compared it to the Texas Tower sniper incident back in 1966, where after killing his wife and mother, a man climbed the landmark tower on the University of Texas campus and killed three people. That man, as Debby reminded me, had some sort of brain condition that caused him to go crazy and kill those people. Is that what happened here? Based on the stories we are hearing, this murderer planned his attack with tremendous care and detail, and obviously for some time in advance. Just the bare facts indicate it was not a spur of the moment thing.
But this killer does NOT fit the usual profile of mass-murderers in this country. He is not a young, tormented or warped young person: not the kind who killed at Sandy Hook or Columbine or Aurora or Columbia or Orlando. He was 64. He was wealthy and apparently talented: a pilot and winning gambler. He was a traveler, a bit of a loner perhaps, but with no indications of an antisocial attitude. He did not seem to be under any outside stress; he was not known to the police – his sole interaction with them was apparently a traffic ticket!
He was born in that most American of times: 1952 or 1953. Part of the Postwar Baby Boom. The only odd thing about his childhood was that his father was a criminal and felon, and spent much of his childhood behind bars and later, on the lam. But for more than 40 years, there was no indication that his life was warped.
Keep that in mind while we look again at the Las Vegas Massacre and the reaction.
Nothing being screamed over the airwaves and the Web in the last 48 hours would keep something like this from happening: Charleston, or Virginia Tech, or Orlando. Or Sandy Hook, or Aurora, or Columbine.
Because guns are NOT the problem. It is a problem of the heart and the mind, and we can call it a sickness. A sickness in our society which manifests itself as a sickness in individual people. Not mentally sick. No, people who are morally sick: who believe that it is acceptable to initiate violence against other people for any reason whatsoever. People who have been taught, who believe, and practice the concept of violently acting against someone who says something they believe is offensive.
This guy, like those other murderers, has this sickness. But they are not the only ones: our society is liberally seeded with this kind of sick person.
Call them “antagonists.” These antagonists will act violently against someone who supports or defends someone with whom the antagoists disagree. Against someone who objects to something that the antagonists do because it is their “right” to do it. Against someone who does not endorse or encourage or celebrate something – virtually anything – that the antagonist wants to do.
These antagonists are not just Tranzis or leftists or liberals or conservatives or neo-cons. Or fascists or antifascists. They are not just statists, either. And it doesn’t matter whether they attack you or me or someone else because we don’t stand up for the national anthem or because we say abortion is wrong. Whether we don’t respect their sports team or their leader or their military or their “right” to intimidate and drive away a speaker that they don’t like. Oh, yeah, they say that they have limits – that they won’t attack for some things, just for “important” things. By their definition.
But their spiritual or moral illness is more than just willingness to aggress against others. It includes both a moral (and mortal) fear that they themselves are incapable of self-control, of civil behavior if someone isn’t watching them constantly to stop them before they go too far. And a fear that everyone else is like them: unable to control themselves and requiring a keeper, a nanny, a Leader, to tell them what to do and what not to do. And that illness is often accompanied by yet another symptom or trait: a refusal to accept responsibility for their own actions, and the idea that only they are a real person. That everyone else exists only for their benefit and purposes.
I’d call them moral cripples, but the idea of “cripple” is now so tied to “disabled” or “handicapped” (and usually viewed as someone else’s fault) that it gives the wrong mental image.
How do they get to be that way? Children are not born predestined to be evil or good: they are raised that way. It is not just their parents, or their siblings and other relatives, or even their peers in school and the neighborhood that raise them to be deficient mentally or socially or morally. (Though all of those contribute.) It is their society, the people they learn to look up to, and the institutions of that society. That includes schools and businesses and… government.
And what have they learned from those institutions? That aggression, that initiating force, that violently attacking people, and groups, and countries, is acceptable – and even the preferred way of doing things. That not only CAN people be forced to do some things and not do some things, but that they SHOULD be. They learned that in schools, and in government. And all too often in business.
No matter what political or religious beliefs (or anything else) that motivated this murderer, no matter how he justified his actions to himself, he was morally sick, a cancer (just one of many) in the body politic. He was a product of government.
And just like all the rest of those in government: he at least did his killing and maiming himself, if 1500 feet away. Those in Congress and the White House (and the Pentagon) have grunts (and I include cops in that term) to do it. And bureaucrats. And not just the killing and the maiming, but the “everyday” violence and aggression, and especially the intimidation.