You have every reason to fear that another White nationalist might be in your midst, lying in wait to do the same. I explained why in commentaries like “New Normal Comes to New York City…,” October 21, 2017, and “Norway’s Timothy McVeigh Perpetrates National Massacre,” July 23, 2011. The latter includes this excerpt:
What far too many of us forget is that long before al-Qaeda terrorists struck the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in D.C., a good ol’ American boy named Timothy McVeigh struck a government building in Oklahoma. This should have made it painfully clear that, when it comes to terrorism, we have as much to fear from domestic/Christian terrorists as from foreign/Muslim ones.
Well, it seems this domestic form of terrorism has come to Norway. For preliminary reports are that a man as native to Norway as McVeigh was to the USA perpetrated what is being described as that country’s 9/11. …
But let this be a reminder that we do not need al-Qaeda when one of ‘our own’ can visit such devastating terror – the worst gun rampage by a single man in history ‒ upon us.
Whites vs. Muslims
Of course, the massacre in Las Vegas heads a list of the many other massacres non-Muslim terrorists have perpetrated since then. I duly commented in “Target Las Vegas: Another Mass Shooting in Gun-Crazy USA,” October 2, 2017.
The point is that these massacres make a mockery of Western efforts to distinguish between hate crimes/mass shootings, which purportedly only Whites perpetrate, and terrorist attacks, which purportedly only Muslims perpetrate. This is self-deluding and deadly, and I have decried it in many commentaries.
I can think of no better commentary on or response to this latest massacre than these defiant and reassuring words New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered, according to CNN:
“We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism [or] because we’re an enclave for extremism. We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things: because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it…You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you.”
As usual, world leaders rushed to phone in (or tweet) condolences and support. But it is self-evident that, for the first time in history, such an offer coming from the president of the United States rang hollow, and might even have seemed insulting. Not least because President Trump has shown time and again that he’s only concerned about violence and hate crimes when non-Whites (particularly illegal immigrants) perpetrate them against Whites.
It would have been understandable, even fitting, if Ardern had made a public show of snubbing Trump. But I suspect she’s too polite.
The more salient point, though, is that everyone would’ve expected every one of Trump’s predecessors to offer the defiant and reassuring words Ardern did.
Trump stands for HATE
Instead, we must face the troubling fact that the motivation for this terrorist attack is an ideological and logical extension of so much of what motivates Trump to “HATE” – an acronym for:
- Hailing White nationalists (like the terrorist who perpetrated this mass murder) as “very fine” men.
- Advocating a travel ban to keep Muslims out of this country.
- Talking about a border wall to keep Hispanics out of this country.
- Elevating anti-immigrant rhetoric that demonizes migrants and asylum seekers as diseased, murdering “invaders” to the point of provoking and justifying violence against them.
This trademark HATE is why the blood of the Muslim victims of this White-supremacist terrorist attack is on the hands of this president of the United States.
In any event, it’s only a matter of time before New Zealand begins the gun-control debate that invariably follows these massacres. Unfortunately, in America, they are always too partisan to be constructive, as I have decried in commentaries like “This Gun-Control Debate Is Insane,” April 5, 2013. But New Zealand’s will be all the more interesting given this, according to The Seattle Globalist:
“NZ has a firearm-related death rate of 2.66 per 100,000 people, per year [;] the U.S. is almost five times that. And unlike in the States, gun legislation rarely becomes mired in the political fog, despite the fact that the country has a similar frontier mentality and outdoorsy culture to the U.S. [including pride in unfettered ownership of all kinds of guns]. [The application process for getting a gun is] a tremendous pain in the ass. But it’s a pain in the ass that appears to be saving lives.”
Change will come
In other words, no country seemed as able and willing to manage the rabid proliferation of guns without suffering the ravages of gun violence. But this massacre will surely cause New Zealand to undergo the kind of national soul-searching sister country Australia underwent after a similar massacre in 1996.
Australia’s reaction resulted in banning all kinds of guns pursuant to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) ‒ perhaps wittingly trolling the infamous National Rifle Association (NRA) with its initials. Whatever the case, the effect of the NFA remains indisputable, according to the Harvard Bulletins:
“While 13 gun massacres (the killing of 4 or more people at one time) occurred in Australia in the 18 years before the NFA, resulting in more than one hundred deaths, in the 14 following years (and up to the present), there were no gun massacres.”
I’ve said it before
With that, I will only add two recurring laments, which I fully appreciate are becoming like trees falling in the woods…The first is from “Massacre in Omaha,” posted December 7, 2007:
I don’t know why the media always reward these psychopaths by giving them the fame they covet; that is, by plastering their pathetic mugs all over television and reporting pop psychology about why and how they did their dastardly deeds? Isn’t it clear to see, especially in this age of instant celebrity, why some loser kid would find this route to infamy irresistible?
You’d think that – given the record of these psychotic and vainglorious episodes since Columbine – we would have figured out by now that the best way to discourage them is by focusing our attention on the victims and limiting what we say about the shooter to: May God have mercy on your soul as you burn in Hell!
Nothing vindicates this lament quite like this Christian terrorist livestreaming his massacre of Muslims on social media, and the mainstream media recklessly propagating it – complete with readings from his White-nationalist, anti-immigrant manifesto as if it were the friggin’ Holy Bible.
Ratings and eyeballs
Trust me, no matter their feigned outrage, news anchors are all too happy to stoke the fear which images, videos, and rantings related to these massacres invariably cause. They know that nothing boosts revenue-generating ratings quite like doing so. (Nothing is better for gun sales too, as the NRA touts unashamedly.)
And, of course, boosting revenue-generating hits is the reason social-media companies do so little to block these images, videos, and rantings, despite their claims of doing all they can to do so.
But this vindication also extends to the way New Zealand authorities are holding news conferences to do little more than pat themselves on the back, as well as to the way news organizations there are featuring lucky survivors regaling us with tales of their harrowing heroics.
The point is that the record is clear: Wallowing, wall-to-wall media coverage does nothing to stop these attacks. It only incentivizes the next loser to plot his day of infamy.
My second lament is from “London 7/7 Terrorist Attacks,” posted July 8, 2005: It must be understood that, no matter their collective resolve, there’s absolutely nothing law-enforcement officials can do to prevent such attacks.
Could have been me
God bless those in New Zealand who have been affected. But let us not forget that there but for the grace of God go you and me.
And beware the galvanizing effect this attack will have on Muslim jihadists. It is bound to continue the march of folly towards the Huntingtonian Clash of Civilizations (a theory that people’s cultural and religious identities, rather than sovereign countries, will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world).
Anthony L. Hallis a native of The Bahamas with an international law practice in Washington, D.C. Read his columns and daily weblog at www.theipinionsjournal.com. Click on this commentary at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.