There are several lessons to be learned from this latest case of mass murder in America. The first is that profiling is dangerous and counterproductive.
The police were shot at point blank range by a man and a woman who they viewed and never thought posed a danger to them because they didn’t fit the profile. American society has had it drummed into itself that people of danger and violence are swarthy, dark skinned people with strange names and practices. Jerad and Amanda Miller appeared non-threatening enough for them to walk armed into an establishment full of people without attracting significant attention to themselves to warn of danger, approach two law
enforcement officers and shoot them in the head. They were able to do that because of a conditioned response in America that suggests even a heavily armed white person, witness the people in Texas with rifles openly carried in establishments throughout that state, are not a threat and can be sufficiently disregarded as such. That inherent assumption by those officers was their fatal mistake.
The other observation to be made is the fallacy that every law abiding citizen having access to a firearm has the potential to avert a deadly situation with the use of their own deadly force. A shopper in the Wal Mart where this tragedy ended decided on his own to approach Jerad and was killed by Amanda. Had he evacuated the premises as he was warned and as happened to everyone else who left the Wal Mart that day…he would be alive today. Many applaud his bravery but the cost he paid was meaningless. He never fired a shot and his death prevented no further loss of life than the two terrorists. No doubt a legend will build up around Joseph Wilcox and his death was indeed a tragedy but it was also in vain. He too fell to the fallacy of not assessing what he was faced with and failed to notice Amanda Miller who walked up and shot him point blank in the back of the head.
Finally make no mistake about it; the Millers are American terrorists spun from the white supremacy movement that has been around since the beginning of European domination of this country. Miller told acquaintances he was kicked off the Clive Bundy ranch and despite the rather lukewarm rebuke by Bundy’s wife, that ranch…if we were to follow common protocol established since 911 of guilt by association….should be razed to the ground because Bundy has not sufficiently disavowed the terror incited by the Millers. Of course that won’t happen but such is the strategy we’ve come to expect be handed out to terrorists and it’s just that reason why they won’t be called terrorists. Indeed, every name in the book has been tossed their way except “terrorist”. White supremacists, killers, militia members….everything except terrorists but that’s exactly what they were. Juan Cole wrote a brilliant article about why that is
1. White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”
2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.
3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen.Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.
4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.
5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.
6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.
7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.
8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.
9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.
10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.
I’m sure you can see how the media has followed Cole’s script to the letter in dealing with this latest round of senseless violence. Until we have the courage to deal with the problem of wanton violence we will continue to suffer with it. Fix this America!