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The murder victims of James Holmes, who slaughtered 12 and wounded 50 at the Dark Knight Rises movie premier in Aurora Colorado, were still sprawled in the theater when ABC News chief investigator Brian Ross on-air tried to link the killer to the Tea Party––without even a modicum of vetting the information, as ABC’s apology later admitted. A quick fact-check would have revealed that the Colorado Tea Party James Holmes is a 52-year-old Hispanic, not a 24-year-old white PhD candidate. Indulging another left-wing narrative cliché, CNN’s Piers Morgan tweeted, “America has got to do something about its gun laws. Now is the time.” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg chimed in as well with the “gun-control” meme, seemingly oblivious to the lack of evidence that shows strict gun control laws reduce murder-rates. Over at the Huffington Post, Michael Shank fingered America’s “highest income inequality rates in the rich world,” which correlate “strongly with high rates of social-health problems, from homicide and violent crime to mental illness and drug addiction.” This is a variation of the “poverty-made-’em-do-it” argument that the current recession, which has seen rates of violent crime go down, not up, refutes.
Here we see the enduring banality of the progressive mind, mired in discredited psychological, social, and economic theories like a fly in amber. Yet progressives fancy themselves the product of enlightenment and reason, with knowledge about human nature and behavior superior to those Neanderthal conservatives who “get bitter” and “cling to guns or religion,” as Obama said during the 2008 campaign. Those benighted, racist reactionaries are consumed with repression and fear of the “other,” full of resentment over the declining power of their “white-skin privilege,” and fiercely resistant to the improving changes engineered by their betters to achieve “social justice.” Psychotic as they are, it’s no surprise they endorse policies that compensate for their insecurities and ignorance by seeking to exclude the historical victims of oppression. And to the progressive it’s an obvious truth that a few such souls will occasionally explode into the sort of violence perpetrated in Colorado.
The fact that most of these mass-murderers are loners and lunatics with no political agenda at all hasn’t deterred progressives like Brian Ross from jumping to the same conclusions. It was just last year that their zeal to link the shooter of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords to the Tea Party blew up in their faces. No matter, the “narrative,” as they like to call it, of conservative psychosis is too politically useful, too flattering of progressive pretensions to superior intellect. The irony, of course, is that such reflexive assertions are the sign of a mind woefully lacking in critical capacity and hence vulnerable to politically and personally gratifying fairy tales.
Which brings us to the second massacre, equally revealing of progressive addled thinking. Major Nidal Hasan, the jihadist who in 2009 murdered 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood to cries of “Allahu Akbar,” had left a super-highway of evidence about his terrorist inclinations and eagerness to kill for Allah. As the recently released Webster Commission investigation into the FBI’s handling of that evidence shows, several months before his rampage at Fort Hood, the FBI and anti-terrorism task force agents had perused 18 emails Hasan had sent to Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born jihadist consigliore later killed in Yemen. In these emails, Hasan displayed his eagerness for supporting terrorist outfits like Hamas, and inquired about the theological arguments for killing his fellow soldiers and other innocents. “I would assume,” he wrote in one email, “that a suicide bomber whose aim is to kill enemy soldiers or their helpers but also kill innocents in the process is acceptable.” Other evidence for Hasan’s inclinations was available as well, including a Power-Point presentation at Walter Reed hospital that quoted Mohammad’s famous “great commission” to his disciples: “I was told to fight all men until they say there is no god but Allah”––quoted as well by the Ayatollah Khomeini and Osama bin Laden as justification for their own jihadist murders.
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