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MURDER OR TERRORISM? The watchword of all media in these days of fear is that any attack publicly carried out is a ‘Terror Attack’. Such that the meaning of ‘terror’ has been devalued. If we are to suggest that everything is a terror attack, then surely all the school shootings, the killing of many in…
MURDER OR TERRORISM?
The watchword of all media in these days of fear is that any attack publicly carried out is a ‘Terror Attack’. Such that the meaning of ‘terror’ has been devalued. If we are to suggest that everything is a terror attack, then surely all the school shootings, the killing of many in Sandy Hook et al, are acts of ‘terror’.
Originally the use of the words ‘terror attack’ was assigned to any group with an ideology committing an attack on the public at large.
Yes, of course every attack on the public at large is a terror attack. Of course it is. What we have done though is to suggest that behind every attack on the public, is an organisation with an ideology opposed to our own. Planning by a group or organisation with intent to disrupt and sow the seeds of fear into our culture.
A friend of mine Mark Anthony Rossi, a poet and writer, recently wrote a blog about fear. He was timely in his remarks.
The most recent attack in New York when a lone man, armed with a BB gun and a paintball gun had hired a “truck” (in fact, what we in Australia would call a Ute). He paid with his own name, at the cost of nineteen dollars a day, and drove the rental into a bicycle lane, killing eight and injuring many. It was said that this man was a truck driver. He then rammed a school bus.
The question I would ask the media is ‘Was this really within the bounds of a terror attack?’ Was it organised by a group like ISIS? Or was it simply just another disenfranchised, angry, crazy individual acting alone? I ask this because it would seem that any organised group would have had access to real guns. The fact that this man was unable to purchase a real gun suggests that he acted alone and unaided. To rent a ute when he had the facility to drive a large truck into people just seems crazy. Then to ram a school bus, (a heavy, solid vehicle) with his small, empty ute was an act of stupidity that makes him look like nothing more than a stupid, enraged individual.
That is not to say that he did not terrify.
The problem we are now facing is to ask ourselves who the real terrorists are in this case. It was an act of murder, but the news media have much to answer for in their reportage of the event. It gained hours and hours of ‘breaking news’ with entire programmes dedicated to interviews, commentary, and live crosses to the scene of the incident.
The media is terrifying the public. Social media takes up the cry as it always does, and the incident is escalated beyond what it really appears to be. Just another crazy engaging in an act of murder. Perhaps the news media and social media encouraged this madman to commit the offense. It seems quite insane to rent a vehicle under his own name, rather than hijack a vehicle, or use the truck he was employed to drive. It seems insane to be armed with a BB gun and a paintball gun. Any ‘terrorist’ organisation would easily be able to supply guns, and they would not use a rental car. Not when a truck was available. It just does not make sense as what one should call a ‘terrorist attack’. After all anyone can shout allahu akbar. It does not always mean ISIS or other Islamic group had anything to do with it.
I call the news media and social media to account. We are making murder into terrorism, and in doing so we are devaluing the use of the word terrorism.
We may as well call everything terrorism. Any act committed by anyone which terrifies anyone is an act of terrorism. That’s a fact.
The politics of fear is alive and well. The more these acts are reported, in the way they are reported will only encourage more madmen and madwomen to commit these acts.
NOTATIONS: None of these were reported as “terrorism”
April 28, 2000. An unemployed immigration attorney named Richard Baumhammers who believes “non-white immigration” should be banned shoots and kills five people in the Pittsburgh area.
Sept. 15–Oct. 4, 2001. Mark Stroman, a lifelong criminal with connections to the Aryan Brotherhood, shoots three South Asian men in the Dallas area—killing two—in what he describes as revenge for 9/11.
July 27, 2008. Jim David Adkisson shoots and kills two people during a childrens’ performance of a musical at a Unitarian Univeralist church in Knoxville, Tennessee, telling police that he intended to target individuals who had voted for liberals and Democrats.
April 4, 2009. Richard Andrew Poplawski, a frequent poster on the white supremacist Stormfront website who apparently believes a national “gun ban” is imminent, kills three Pittsburgh police officers.
April 25, 2009. Joshua Cartwright kills two Okaloosa County, Florida sheriff’s deputies. Per a police report, Cartwright’s wife says he was paranoid about the U.S. government and “extremely disturbed” by Barack Obama’s election.
Feb. 18, 2010. Joseph Andrew Stack flies a plane into an Austin, Texas IRS office, killing one person.
May 20, 2010. A father-son pair named Jerry and Joseph Kane (who conduct “seminars” about how “sovereign citizens” can evade debt) kill two West Memphis, Arkansas police officers.
Sept. 26–Oct. 3, 2011. Avowed white supremacists David Joseph Pedersen and Holly Ann Grigsby kill Pedersen’s father and stepmother in Washington, a man they believe is Jewish in Oregon, and a black man in California.*
Aug. 5, 2012. A white supremacist named Wade Michael Page kills six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Aug. 16, 2012. “Sovereign citizen”-movement adherents Brian Smith and Kyle Joekel, who are now awaiting trial, allegedly kill two Louisiana sheriff’s deputies in a trailer-park ambush.
April 13, 2014. Frazier Glenn Miller, a 73-year-old with a long history of KKK activity, kills three people in the area of a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas.
June 8, 2014. Jerad and Amanda Miller kill two police officers in a random attack at a pizza restaurant in Las Vegas, then kill a customer at a Walmart. The Millers had spent time on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s property during protests related to Bundy’s dispute with the federal government.
June 17, 2015. Dylann Roof murders nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Nov. 27, 2015. A 57-year-old religious fanatic named Robert Lewis Dear shoots and kills three people, including a police officer, at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.
May 26, 2017. Two men are stabbed to death on a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon by a “known local white supremacist” named Jeremy Joseph Christian.
Nov 5th 2017 Devin Kelley murders 25 in Baptist church. Unknown motive.