Mass killings by lone gunmen
Everyone and their auntie seem to have been discussing the latest mass murder in Orlando in the USA, apparently the biggest yet, and speculating about the motives of the killer.
I wasn’t going to comment on it, as it seemed that everything that could be said had been said, except that three days later it seems that two obvious questions still weren’t being asked, or at least I hadn’t heard them being asked.
Most of the questions seem to have been on the lines of: Was he a member of a terrorist group? What radicalised him? Did he hate gay people? Was he gay?
Some have asked whether he had received terrorist training because he shot so many people in such a short time. But the fact that he had been a security guard should answer that. Most security guards are trained in the use of firearms, and anyone with an automatic or semi-automatic rifle in a crowded nightclub would have no difficulty in hitting someone.
He was reported as having visited the nightclub several times before, and that, to me, raises the first question that no one seemed to be asking: Had he quarrelled with anyone there? Had he quarrelled with the management? Did he bear a grudge against someone, perhaps because of something that had happened on a previous visit?
What radicalised him?
Could it have been reading something like this?
Afghanistan 2015 onwards
Most recent strike: June 8 2016
Total strikes: 324-329
Total killed: 1,546-2,044
Civilians killed: 75-103
Children killed: 4-18
We are told that his parents came from Afghanistan, so an obvious question to ask would be whether any of his relatives had been killed or wounded since the American invasion in 2002, as a result of American military action. But if anyone has been asking it, I haven’t seen it in any of the media reports. Either it has not occurred to the media to ask it, or else they are keeping very quiet about it.
I know that it is very politically incorrect in America right now to say that “All lives matter”. American lives matter, yes. But Afghan lives? Not so much.
Yet people do get worked up about such things even when they are not directly involved, and I’ve seen 2nd generation children of Cypriot immigrants marching to the Turkish embassy chanting “Turkish troops out of Cyprus” even though the Turkish troops went into Cyprus before many of them were born.
I’ve sometimes marched with them myself, because I think the Turkish invasion of Cyprus was a bad idea, just as I think the US invasion of Afghanistan was a bad idea.
In most countries that’s as far as it goes, an annual protest march, like the French commemorating Bastille Day, or South Africans commemorating Youth Day.
But only in America can someone who is worked up about such things just walk into a shop and buy a military semi-automatic weapon with a high rate of fire and act out his fantasies of revenge.
The answer to these questions may be no.
No, he didn’t have relatives killed in Afghanistan.
No, he hadn’t quarrelled with anyone at the nightclub.
But it’s strange that nobody seems to be asking them.