Via the West Virginia Rebel, I am directed to some commentary about the recent shooting at Ft. Hood.
For those of you perhaps not au fait with this, as it happened on 5 November, a US army psychiatrist recently promoted to the rank of major and about to be deployed to the Middle East entered a building on the base at Ft. Hood and opened fire on the soldiers and civilians there, killing 13 people and injuring at least twice that number. He himself was wounded but not, apparently, killed, and is in hospital.
Mark Noonan, who should himself perhaps consider seeing a psychiatrist, reacts with all the illiberal, childish venom I’ve come to expect from American political discourse:
A terrible event – but I don’t want anyone to call it an “act of violence” or “a terrible tragedy”. It was an attack – one or more men decided with malice to attack a US military base. We need to get right down to the bottom of this – and, liberals, if the stories of accomplices in custody are true, this is where harsh interrogation might be needed: whoever was involved in this most emphatically does not have a right to remain silent.
This shooter, however heinous his crime, is an American citizen and, before two days ago, would have been just as staunchly defended by these types as a patriot to be supported with the ubiquitous yellow ribbon.
Now, apparently, he deserves torture and the loss of his constitutional rights. Why?
Because (a) he shot some soldiers, whose lives are evidently de facto more valuable than anyone else’s, at least when they’re on home soil. And because (b) he happens to be a Muslim.
I’ve read no credible reports to suggest that this shooting was any more a ‘terrorist’ attack or any more religiously or culturally motivated than, for example, the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. What I have read is that the man is a natural-born American and served his country for decades before choosing this destructive course of action. That he is a Muslim, or the child of immigrant parents, means nothing.
Mark Noonan and his commenters, many of whom are crazier than he is, would deny this man the protections the law gives him because they don’t like what he did or the reason for it which they ascribe to him. Shooting people is a dreadful thing to do – one for which I am hard pressed to express my feelings – but overturning the rule of law because you’re a pissed-off little prick is arguably more dangerous. A gunman can only harm people within the range of his gun; a mockery of a justice system propped up by a democracy that excuses torture harms everybody.