Sunday, November 3, 2013

“I wish you had taken a less confrontational view of the TSA”

Of course, I was waiting for this.
Paul Ciancia is a mentally disturbed man. Just like Jared Loughner. Just like Adam Lanza. Just like James Holmes. Just like the Virginia Tech guy. Just like the Navy Yard shooter. Just like all the other ones whose names I can't remember in the long, bloody slog of mass shootings in this country.
I categorically reject the notion that criticizing the TSA had anything whatsoever to do with "inciting" a mentally ill man to commit this crime. If the TSA didn't exist, Ciancia would've found another reason.
But sure, America, let's not put the blame where it belongs -- on the obscene dearth of mental health care, on a culture in love with violence, on a population that fetishizes if not eroticizes guns, the bigger the better (and why stop at guns? why not bazookas? why not nukes?), on the refusal to deal with the political realities in this country, on the bald, inescapable fact that sometimes, terrible things happen.

Let's not blame all that; no, let's blame those of us who stand up for civil liberties, even the civil liberties of people too cretinous to appreciate them.

It's clearly our fault for using "inflammatory" language. Ya know, for calling a spade a spade, for not retreating into euphemism, for refusing to go along with government- and corporate-sanctioned procedures that do nothing to offer security but do a great deal to control the population and make a few people very rich. It's because we've been pointing all that out for years that Paul Ciancia walked into an airport and started shooting.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports the following:
The 23-year-old man who allegedly killed a TSA official at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday was carrying a one-page “manifesto” that included references to the “New World Order,” the Federal Reserve and “fiat currency,” according to a knowledgeable source with ranking law enforcement contacts.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, who allegedly wounded three other TSA workers before being shot and critically wounded himself, also expressed antagonism toward the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its chief until she resigned in August, Janet Napolitano, the source said. Ciancia’s note called former Secretary Napolitano a “bull dyke” and contained the phrase “FU Janet Napolitano,” the source said. 
Ciancia’s language and references seemed to put him squarely in the conspiracy-minded world of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. The New World Order refers to a longstanding conspiracy theory that today, in its most popular iteration, claims that global elites are plotting to form a socialistic “one-world government” that would crush American freedoms. Often, the root of the alleged conspiracy is traced to the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve and the adoption of fiat currency — paper money that is not backed by gold, as it was once was in the U.S.

So I guess we can now blame the Federal Reserve. Perhaps if the Federal Reserve had been more "temperate" and "less confrontational" in its press releases over the years, Paul Ciancia wouldn't have gone off the deep end.

This country is reaping what it has sown. Yet it refuses to acknowledge that. That refusal, too, is part of our long, bloody, violent history.