An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Abby Zimet follows:
Nobody knows yet what prompted Kuwait-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez to shoot and kill five people last week at a Chattanooga, Tenn. Navy support center last week; investigators have found no formal ties to overseas terrorist groups, and his family has said he was troubled and possibly suffering from mental illness. Still, the owner of Florida Gun Supply – “Best Guns! Best Service!” – has the perfect, zealous response anyway: Declare his store a “Muslim-free zone.”…
Still, Hallinan is following a fine American tradition: Fear and ban those seen as “others,” and when in doubt, use violence against them. Notes Charles Pierce, “Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was every bit an American… He had a problem he could not solve and, being an American, he reached for that most American of solutions. He reached for a gun.”
My online response to posters talking about violence in video games, attached to the above linked-to article by Abby Zimet follows:
I don’t want to be a hypocrite. In this matter, I am one, a little. I like movies and often those are movies with lots of violence in them. At the same time, I respond when I feel disturbed – which I’m capable of feeling – by a message that is being sent by people who want me to think and feel differently about important things, like violence, especially that committed by police and other instruments of repression wielded by our ‘leaders’. And so I’ve quit shows on tv (although I don’t see them via a television set, because tv is garbage) for that reason. I was loving Dexter. I stopped watching completely when one scene just took the show into a dark place I had no desire to play in. I quit Arrow and Flash when the theme was blatantly, ‘Good guys torture’. When M gave her speech about shadowy threats ‘out there’ in the last Bond movie, I decided that, as much as I loved this Daniel Craig version of Bond, that was it for me. He always was a hit man for the 1% of course. But I could ignore it before. Now, I felt like I was being enlisted, for real, into the darkness and I responded. I haven’t watched the trailer for Spectre and don’t need to, since I won’t be seeing the movie. Never mind Spectre. Spectre isn’t hidden. Law and order governments are utterly lawless and evil, which presents quite a Spectacle. There’s nothing hidden here, because people who have modified themselves into believers in inequality, who get a kick out of surviving by taking the means of life from others (Shell in the Arctic for example), don’t get that kick if we don’t notice. That kick is their glory, part of the reason they do the evil they do. Glory that’s unseen doesn’t deliver such a kick. If we were immune to deprivation (austerity and ill health from fracking and dpu and starvation), and didn’t care about the causes, that could actually slow down the exploiters. Or maybe encourage them. Who knows? But I know that they like their glory. You see it all the time.
Prove to me that all the young folks murdering for fun actually care about those who murder for real – for fun and power and money. Would those same young people play video games if they involved child porn? (If such games were available, those who might want to play them would probably feel safe enough about it, since the authorities have approved and there aren’t going to be legal repercussions.) I think some would. But I think a lot wouldn’t.
I had a conversation with my sister yesterday about people taking the easy way too often. Even good people do it. It’s just too easy, especially when it’s a habit, to not bother following through with your promises when they don’t carry the risk of consequences. You tell people ‘Yes, I’ll check out your blog’ but you never bother. You tell someone ‘Yes, I’ll check that book out’ and then immediately forget about it because you had no intention and it was just easier than saying ‘It doesn’t interest me’. You tell someone you’ll get back to them and might think that you will, but later, because it’s not high on your priority list, and you just don’t feel like it, you skip it. You wouldn’t, again, if you felt there might be some negative consequence to you for that. People lie, automatically (habit). And just because they ‘also’ tell the truth, that doesn’t mean that they can’t lie. People have convinced themselves that as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, lying is okay, when it’s ‘small’. It’s just a way to make dealing with life easier, they think. I learned long ago that it’s easier to tell the truth, often, than to lie. But you develop the habit of either lying or being honest. The difference is principles. Some of us, who are good people and consider ourselves good people, don’t hold fast to principles. They ‘can’ lie, easily, if they think it makes life for them easier and they think that no one gets hurt. Then there’s those who lie with malice. I don’t need to explain that.
I think that there should be boundaries in life. What’s hard to understand about it? I’ll play video games, but not games that involve killing living things. There’s other things I don’t like doing and wouldn’t want to do in a video game, but killing people (human or alien) is absolutely something I wouldn’t do. I think that you have to have principles in order to have boundaries.
I understand the message Jesus Christ gave his followers when he told them to take the cramped and narrow road leading to life, rather than the wide and spacious road to destruction. Those who take the wide and spacious road of no rules don’t say to themselves “I’m taking the road to destruction.” We all want life. But some of us aren’t willing to make a sacrifice and to ‘actively’ seek life and to care about ‘how’ we get life. We feel that we can take the easy way and get there. The road to life, for real, is only cramped in that sense. There are rules and boundaries. The rules make us better people and if they don’t prescribe the boundaries, which, afterall, can only be seen when a situation develops that calls for them, that’s because they don’t have to. The principled person has the idea and runs with it, naturally finding the boundaries that a decent person would find once they come into being.
“Chattanooga Shooting: American Violence Never Ends” by Charles Pierce
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
Americans are killing each other again. That is the fundamental — if politically less useful — lesson of what happened in Tennessee yesterday. An American citizen got his gun and he went to a strip mall and he killed four of his fellow citizens, killed them as dead as Michael Brown or Eric Garner, as dead as the people who were killed by Dylann Roof, who’s awaiting trial, or as dead as the people who were killed by James Holmes, who was convicted of killing them just yesterday. By all the criteria of which we boast of our exceptionalism to the world, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was as much of an American as the four people he allegedly murdered. His motivation doesn’t matter. He was a citizen. His victims were citizens. Americans killing other Americans. It’s an old story being rehearsed again with unfortunate frequency.
Dear people: Your ‘leaders’ are happy and willing, and very able (depending), to ruin your minds spiritually and mentally. They aren’t doing it for you. They don’t tell you that they’re doing it. And you won’t end up with a great country, whichever country we are looking at, when it’s done. People who can’t think clearly will only end up being used by powerful special interests and their political partners and they will only end up adding to the chaos, which elites feel they benefit from. Elites and their partners are a macho bunch. That chaos, as in Ukraine right now, can turn around and bite them on their asses. But they’re having too much fun, and getting so much glory, to care. Which is possible now that they’ve modified themselves into vicious believers in inequality. Think – actively, not passively – about it.