Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Few Words on Political Violence

So the pundits on Fox News and MSNBC are pointing fingers at each other over what caused the shooting in Arizona this weekend.  The suspect is, as always seems to be the case, a "loner," a "lone nut," a guy with mental problems and not much desire to be a member of his high school glee club.  And so the commentaries come out about these "dangerous" people who don't want to be part of the crowd.  Who don't know how to think like sheep.  And from the left, the calls for gun control and from all corners, efforts to "prevent" this sort of tragedy from happening again.

Bad news, folks.  It can't be prevented.  John Carpenter talks about the "lizard brain" that lurks in all of us.  Writers of horror and crime fiction don't have any problem calling upon this part of the brain to conjure up stories about brutality and violence among humans that occurs in nature, among other animals, every single day.  We are, in the end, animals.  No different.  Our blood-thirsty drive for preservation is expressed in many creative ways (art, corporate greed, procreation, etc.), but that drive exists and will always exist.  No amount of Prozac or shock therapy or profiling of teenagers who don't want to be part of the glee club will change that.  News flash: It's a dangerous world!  Life is dangerous!  No amount of security guards at shopping malls and airports is going to change that.


  1. Just in: Palin may have influenced Charlie Guiteau to knock off Garfield.

    Good post, Alec. Every single time something like this happens the fingers start pointing.

  2. 'Was that the re-port of a pistol?'

    'It was! It was the re-port of a pistol!'

    I can tell you, from the middle of the road, the rhetoric gets tiresome. The left is of course blaming the Tea Party, whatever that actually means, and the right is trying to call the latest 'lone nut' a liberal whose favorite book was the Communist Manifesto. It's the same thing, over and over again. Entirely contrary to evolution.

    What does it matter? He killed some people who, as far as I know, weren't readily threatening his life, he committed (s.p.) a predatory act, put him in jail. If Arizona has a death penalty, fry him. Nothing is going to be accomplished by blaming an entire political ideology (s.p.) for the (alleged) actions of a lunatic.

    By the way, I'm also not a fan of the death penalty as it reeks of hypocrisy. I don't make the laws, though, and I'm glad I don't. So, whatever fate awaits this 'lone' criminal, let it be.

  3. I totally agree, Alec. Good write here.
    I'm reading Charles Gramlich's Cold in the Light. And he actually makes some amazing psychological insights that reminds me of this shooter. Very intriguing.

  4. I'll have to check that book out.

    The picture I'm getting on this (alleged) shooter is basically a wacko. Although I get what he's talking about as far as language controlling people. Writers should be well aware of that!