“Victim Of Society”

Ahmad Al-Issa, the man responsible for the mass-shooting in Boulder, Colorado which occurred on 3/22/2021, has officially proven just how much progress this country has made racially. To see exactly what I mean, just read this excerpt from a Breaking 911 report the following day:

The alleged shooter’s brother told CNN he suffers from mental illness, was bullied in school for being Muslim & people “made fun of his name.”

Ahmad Al-Issa has officially entered the club usually only afforded to white mass-shooters: Someone who is a “victim of society” and therefore not responsible for his actions. As Michael Moore tweeted that same day:

The life of Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa shows that people can come from all over the world and truly assimilate into our beloved American culture.

Of course, Al-Issa is not the first mass-shooter to get this treatment (albeit, he might be the first Muslim shooter too by mainstream media). After killing eight-women in Atlanta, Georgia, Robert Long tried to pull this same stunt. As Jay Baker said during a press conference on this very shooting:

He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as …. a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.

And out came the far-right. Daily Wire commentator Matt Walsh opened the 3/22/2021 edition of his podcast by stating that actually, we should be talking about pornography and how it caused this killing and not the racism of Long. Notice how one narrative blames the killer for his actions, and the other does not.

There’s nothing America loves more than finding a reason to blame everyone for the actions of a lone nut. After the Columbine shooting on 4/20/1999, the media found every reason possible to not blame the people actually involved. According to our national dialogue, it could have been the fault of Doom, guns, Marylin Manson, Natural Born Killers, atheist, evolution, the medication one of the shooters took, the fact that the shooters weren’t on medication for this or that illness, bullying, Nazis, communists, and basically everything except two people named Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. The House Majority Whip at the time, Tom Delay, specifically said the shooting happened:

[B]ecause our school systems teach our children that they are nothing but glorified apes who have evolutionized [sic] out of some primordial soup of mud.

But remember, he ran the party of personal responsibility.

In general, I find all this speculation to be in rather poor taste as well as just idiotic. The two kids who shot up Columbine died that day, so it’s not as if they could tell us what exactly inspired them to kill. Of course, the one thing that could have actually given us insight into their motives, those being the infamous basements tapes, was withheld from the public and since been destroyed. Basically, we can’t know what it is because the very same people who want to tell us what caused it also won’t let us see the shooters telling us what caused it.

When Marylin Manson was interviewed for Michael Moore’s 2002 film Bowling For Columbine, named that because of reports that both shooters went bowling the day of the massacre (which were later debunked), he said something that I think everyone should keep in mind. When Manson is asked by Moore what he would have said to the two shooters if he got the chance, Manson said:

I wouldn’t say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say and that’s what no one did.

Well, guess what, now it is literally impossible to listen to them because nobody is allowed to see the Basement Tapes. Lost Media Archive reports that there are at least three tapes still unavailable to the public, although summaries of them do exist. (Mind you, without the raw footage we have no idea just how accurate these tapes are.)

Is it possible that viewing these tapes would debunk the “victim of society” narrative that was making the rounds in the media at the time? Maybe they would maybe they wouldn’t, but it’s at least worth thinking about why we stupid proles are just not allowed to see these videos, especially considering how important Columbine was at the time. After Columbine, many schools across the country put safety measures into place that would have been unthinkable even as recently as the start of 1999. Once again, shouldn’t we know what exactly caused these two kids to kill their classmates according to the kids themselves before we start making sweeping policy changes? According to the media, as well as those in positions of power, the answer is an obvious no.

(To be clear: The above is not me saying that the Columbine shooting was some kind of “false flag operation” done by the United States government. I simply do not have the evidence to back that claim up, nor do I have the evidence that even the “official narrative” about Columbine is incorrect. All I say in the above is that there is evidence that exists that I do not have but that the people who are in positions of power did at the time of the massacre. I am genuinely surprised just how few conspiracy theories exist about the Columbine shooting exist, however, especially considering what I said above.)

However, for a long time, there has been an unspoken rule about this narrative of a “victim of society”, the killer has to be white. On 9/14/2001, the late Jerry Falwell said the following in an interview with Pat Robertson about the terrorist attack that had happened three days before:

The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”

Now, that’s bullshit. I shouldn’t have to tell you this but blaming all the things you don’t like for the biggest terrorist attack in US history is not only bullshit, but also disgusting bullshit. Falwell was even forced to apologize for the statement in question, as did Robertson who said “I totally concur” after Falwell said this bullshit, and when you get Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to apologize — you know they said something fucked up.

In 2007, Dinesh D’Souza also took a stab at this narrative with his book The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. The thesis of the book is simple, not only is social liberalism bad, but it’s also what caused 9/11. As such, in order to stop terrorism, we should become more socially conservative — which is also coincidentally what Dinesh D’Souza was already advocating for. For this, D’Souza got stern takedowns from everyone who read the book, including National Review which got various conservative writers together specifically to attack the book — although they only did this after letting D’Souza publish a 6,500-word article defending his claims. In their large response, Roger Kimball summed up the book as the following:

The problem with The Enemy at Home is — well, everything. What I mean is that it’s not a matter of this or that argument going astray.Starting out from that mistake, D’Souza takes readers on a fantastical voyage in which white is black, day is night, and a dozen jihadists plowed jetliners into skyscrapers because of Britney Spears–or maybe it was because of Hillary Clinton, America’s high divorce-rate, or its lamentable practice of tolerating homosexuals instead of stoning them to death.

But this was not only a right-wing thing, the left-wing peace activist Ward Churchill got infamous for his 9/12/2001 essay “On The Justice Of Roosting Chickens,” which argued US foreign policy is what caused 9/11. Here’s how he ended his infamous essay:

As for those in the World Trade Center… Well, really, let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire — the “mighty engine of profit” to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved — and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to “ignorance” — a derivative, after all, of the word “ignore” — counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in — and in many cases excelling at — it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.

Once again, all three of these men were mocked, hated, and attacked all throughout the media. However, I ask, how is this any different than what the media does after any other mass shooting? How is a member of the religious-right blaming gay people for 9/11 any different than the entire media blaming a rock-singer and a game where you kill aliens after Columbine? Both claims do the same thing, they turn the responsibility of the attack from the people who actually did it onto something else.

After the Health High School shooting in 1997, a Flordia Attorney named Jack Thompson came onto the national scene by blaming the actions of the shooter on violent video games. (This was quite a while after the 1993 and 1994 Congressional hearings on the subject of violent video games, specifically focusing on Mortal Kombat, Night Trap, and Doom, which led to the creation of the ESRB rating system.) Throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, Thompson became famous for claiming violent video games like Doom and Grand Theft Auto were “murder simulators.” (The Retro Replay goes over these claims here and finds them to be rather simplified versions of the truth. Ironically, Retro Replay also has endorsed gun control, while gun-control activists make the same basic arguments that Thompson once did.)

Now, I’m not saying that the concept of outside factors leading to a mass shooting is impossible. James Holmes, the man who shot up a movie theater showing The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, openly said that one of the reasons he committed the attack was because he was inspired by The Joker in both that film and The Dark Knight. However, it is worth noting that Holmes was later given a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

In truth, the major person who’s to blame in the case of any mass-shooting is the person in question. Whenever you hear about motivations for mass killers, there are two people I want you to keep in mind.

The first of those is Brenton Tarrant, the man responsible for the Christchurch Mosque Shooting in New Zealand on 3/15/2019. His manifesto said people like Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens inspired the attack, with Owens later threatening to sue people who pointed this out. However, his manifesto also blamed video games — not violent ones like Call Of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Halo, but cartoonish ones like Spyro The Dragon and Fortnite.

It should also be noted that Tarrant is not the only killer who enjoyed non-violent media. Adam Lanza, the man responsible for the Sandy Hook shooting on 12/14/2012, was also an avid gamer. As such, violent video games were blamed by everyone from NRA President Wayne LaPierre to then-Vice President Joe Biden. However, Lanza did not play violent video games, he instead played video games like Super Mario Bros. (which was reported as his favorite) and Dance Dance Revolution. To quote the final report, released in November 2013:

[Lanza] played video games often, both solo at home and online. They could be described as both violent and non-violent. One person described the shooter as spending the majority of his time playing non-violent video games all day, with his favorite at one point being Super Mario Bros.

Yet, even some of the police officers in Newton, Connecticut (ironically, the same state Joe Liberman, the man who kickstarted the Congressional hearing on video game violence all the way back in 1993 had represented in the US Senate) believed that violent video games Lanza didn’t even play were the cause of his killing.

The other one is a name I assume you’ve heard of, even if you’ve heard of no other killer mentioned in this post, and that man is Charles Manson. The full story of Manson is a rather long and complicated one, as well as one I simply do not have the time to go into here (as this article is already on the long side and I still have some points left to make). However, it’s worth noting the major thing that Manson said sent him off.

For those unaware, Manson ran a cult that warned of an upcoming race-war, which also believed the killings they committed would start. Manson came to this conclusion, once again, according to him, because of the lyrics of the Beatle’s song “Helter Skelter.”

In truth, no law could stop a man like Manson from doing what he did. If it weren’t a Beatles song that caused this, it would have been anything ranging from real white-nationalist writings to other songs from that era. Someone who is so far gone they think a race-war is going to happen, and that they better be the one who starts it, anything can trip them off.

It should be noted that just how true Manson’s claims that he killed because of the song are have been debated. One former follower of Manson, Catherine Share, actually argues that Manson simply felt the song said what he already knew. (Considering Manson was big into the music scene in the late 1960s, even writing some songs for The Beach Boys, it’s not impossible that The Beatles would have heard of him and his belief system.)

To quote Share directly:

When the Beatles’ White Album came out, Charlie listened to it over and over and over and over again. He was quite certain that the Beatles had tapped in to his spirit, the truth — that everything was gonna come down and the black man was going to rise. It wasn’t that Charlie listened to the White Album and started following what he thought the Beatles were saying. It was the other way around. He thought that the Beatles were talking about what he had been expounding for years. Every single song on the White Album, he felt that they were singing about us. The song “Helter Skelter” — he was interpreting that to mean the blacks were gonna go up and the whites were gonna go down.

Now, after all of this, there is one more Elephant in the room I need to address. Last week, I published an article saying that the American media had a bias against Asian countries, especially China. Some might say I’m being hypocritical, because in that article (as well as on my podcast) I argued that it’s possible that the media’s anti-Asian narrative might have led to him targeting Asians.

While it would be simple to just say that my argument and the argument I’m debunking are clearly different, it is worth taking a minute to take a further look.

First off, I know some people are arguing that Robert Aaron Long, the man who killed eight-people in Atlantia who caused the conversation around Anti-Asian bigotry, wasn’t actually a racist. Considering one witness literally reported him screaming he wanted to kill all Asians, I think it’s fair to say that he was a racist.

Second off, I never said that Long wasn’t at fault for his actions, it was his anti-Asian bigotry that caused the shooting. However, I do believe that media coverage had to do with him forming the anti-Asian bigotry that led to the shooting.

My belief is simple: Nothing can make you kill, although outside factors can change who you kill. Going back to James Holmes, it was his mental state that led him to kill, but it was The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises which led him to kill those people specifically at that time.

With that said, this does not mean that we can stop those attacks through censorship, as I know some might suggest. In truth, we can never know what that next one is going to be until it actually happens. Nobody who made Spyro The Dragon even considered it was possible that a few decades later someone would shoot at a Mosque in New Zealand.

In truth, all of this nonsense makes us forget who’s actually responsible for murders: The murderer.

Political Commentator; Follow My Twitter: @EphromJosine1