The Selective Argument that Political Rhetoric Leads to Violence

by Jim Geraghty

From the first Morning Jolt of the week…

The On-Again, Off-Again Arguments About ‘Dangerous Rhetoric’ Leading to Violence

Let me get this straight. In the eyes of the Left…

….criticism of Planned Parenthood means something like the shooting in Colorado “was bound to happen”…

…but chants where people describe police as ‘pigs’ and call for them to be ‘fried like bacon’ doesn’t lead to attacks on police…

…when an event by Pamela Geller is targeted by an Islamist shooter, it is “not really about free speech; it was an exercise in bigotry and hatred” and the attempt to kill her means she has “achieved her provocative goal”…

… while at the same time, investigators contend we may never know what motivated a 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez to kill four Marines and a sailor in an attack on Chattanooga’s U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center last July…

… a shooting by a diagnosed schizophrenic, who believed that grammar was part of a vast, government-directed mind control effort, is characterized by the Southern Poverty law Center as having views that are the “hallmark of the far right and the militia movement” …

… while the shooter who opened fire in the lobby of the Family Research Council in downtown Washington in 2012, who planned to target the Traditional Values Coalition next, does not spur any need for a broader discussion or societal lessons about the demonization of political opponents…

… a California killer, who was treated by multiple therapists and already had police checking on him after posting disturbing YouTube videos, is a reflection of “sexist society” …

…but there’s little reason to ask whether the Oregon shooter’s decision to target Christians reflects a broader, societal hostility to Christians, or whether it reflects his personal allegiance to demons… 

… When white supremacist Dylann Roof committed an act of mass murder in an African-American church, Salon declares “White America is complicit” and the Washington Post runs a column declaring, “99 percent of southern whites will never go into a church, sit down with people and then massacre them. But that 99 percent is responsible for the one who does”…

… but the Roanoke shooter’s endless sense of grievance and perceptions of racism and homophobia in all of his coworkers represents him and him alone… 

Do I have all that right? And does that make sense to anyone?

Wouldn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that those already driven by a desire or compulsion to kill other people are going to do so, and will merely latch on to whatever “reason”, justification or excuse is at hand or is most convenient? Isn’t it ridiculous to expect sane people to watch what they say and restrict what thoughts they express in order to prevent a rampage by someone with an inherently illogical, literally unreasonable, not-sane thinking process?

Isn’t “don’t say what you think, because it might set off a crazy person” the most insidious form of censorship, because none of us can really know what prompts a crazy person to go on a violent rampage?

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