Mass Murder on a Rampage

What's really behind the outburst of violence?

So we’ve got mass murder on a rampage, from Texas and California to Ohio and New York. Why this outburst of violence? It can’t be just a copycat phenomenon. Or can it?

I think it can. I think the mass murders inspire others. I think the crazies in one place are encouraged to act when they see others doing it. And I don’t think that any degree of gun control or mental health checks can stop it.

The Wall Street Journal recently had a lengthy discussion of “white supremacist” terrorism - as if it’s the new big thing, the latest form of modern terrorism. But, as Roger Kimball reminds us, it isn’t that at all:

Back in May, PJ Media’s Sarah Hoyt put her finger on what the rallies against “white supremacism” are really all about when she noted that “We Don’t Have a Problem with White Supremacy. We Have a Problem with Leftist Supremacy.” Bingo. “The left is obsessed with white supremacists,” Hoyt observed, “the way that children are obsessed with Santa Claus, and for more or less the same reasons.” Santa doesn’t exist, but the presents pile up every December 25 because the right people have a stake in perpetuating the myth of his existence.

Those who accuse the El Paso — and subsequently the Dayton — gunman of “white supremacism” haven’t looked at the facts, nor have they considered American mass murder over the years. The two assassins are part of a loony tradition that goes back to the roots of leftist environmentalism. The El Paso shooter was not motivated by race, but rather by a quest to maintain our lifestyle. He drafted his “manifesto” years before Trump ran for president, calling for mass murder in order to preserve our “way of life.” It reads:

The American lifestyle affords our citizens an incredible quality of life. However, our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country. The decimation of the environment is creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly overharvesting resources. This has been a problem for decades…

The government is unwilling to tackle these issues beyond empty promises since they are owned by corporations. Corporations that also like immigration because more people means a bigger market for their products. I just want to say that I love the people in this country, but god damn most of y’all re just too stubborn to change your lifestyle. So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable. 

The Dayton killer was similarly on the Left, and a registered Democrat who defined himself a socialist, favored strict gun control, and intended to vote for Elizabeth Warren.

If there is a link between the two killers, it is not white supremacism, but rather a shared conviction that there are too many people to sustain the American way of life. Mass murder is therefore the “next logical step.”

If this reminds us of anything, it is the Unabomber, who delivered bombs through the postal service to people he thought were wrecking the system. It is not the harbinger of a new phenomenon at all, but a throwback to earlier times. 

The “next logical step” indeed. The two shooters weren’t trying to kill ideological opponents; they were rather trying to keep the numbers of Americans down so they could continue to enjoy the benefits of the country’s way of life. They wanted to maintain a population level low enough to sustain traditional life styles.

Not all mass murders are the result of “big” left-right ideological conflict. Sometimes they are the result of very personal ambitions, and sometimes they derive from a desire to emulate others who are blazing some very old trails.