Domestic terrorism. It’s not just about guns

Vermont was the first state to allow concealed weapon carry without a permit and to my knowledge there have been few if any crazed gunmen or mass slaughters there.

So, gun violence isn’t just about the availability of guns. Most studies have found no correlation between the strictness or laxity of gun laws and gun violence. The Tucson shooter could have easily gotten a handgun in most any state (or on the streets.) I spend considerable time in rural Utah where most everyone has multiple guns, yet shootings are extremely rare.

It’s really about the shooter, isn’t it, and about a culture that thrives on confrontation and the demonizing of opponents. But it’s getting crazy when a federal judge and congresswoman get shot, and other innocents die too. This was domestic terrorism, which is generally defined as the deliberate killing of non-combatants, even if it was done by someone who clearly has a tenuous grasp on reality.

As mentioned in my previous post, we’d see such types on the fringes at public meetings when I was in a far left group. They were troubled, not coherent, and given to rants. They float around from group to group looking for something to make the voices in their heads stop. It’s not really about politics, except of course they can be easily exploited and manipulated. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some suicide bombers are lost souls like Tucson shooter.

Some on the very far right are probably pleased at what happened. There could easily be be more violence, if copycats or the fringes decide to follow. This is a time to be calm, not accusatory.


  1. I remember many of those borderline folks at political meetings. When I first announced my run for Congress in 2006 I was attacked out of the blue by people floating bizarre and crazed accusations.

    Unfortunately, I think this dynamic of folks in public service, or candidates, getting targeted by fringe people, makes the elected eventually glaze over and become numb. Many electeds I encounter these days have a traumatized deer-in-the-headlights kind of gaze or the fake bouncy demeanor of a deal makin’ used-car salesman. Sadly, this is the state of being where good ideas and intentions can often expire.

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