The man who shot up the Family Research Council, a Christian conservative group, says he wanted to not just kill Christians, but also “smear Chick-fil-A all over their faces”. He also claims to have targeted them because they are listed on the website of the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC) as a “hate group”. In fact they are specifically targeted on a “hate map”.
I am not one to buy in to attempts to classify certain types of murder as worse than other types based on the degree of “hate” the perp may be feeling. I generally oppose hate crimes type legislation because murder is by itself the ultimate hate crime. Why punish someone more if they attack a person because they didn’t like their particular self-identified group, than if they were just attacking a person on a lark? It’s generally stupid and amounts to “thought crimes”. Still, I want to get into this case and the motivations of the perp and the general tone of the left.
When Gabby Giffords was shot we heard all about how her attacker was motivated by the anger emanating from right wing media. Indeed, any time a violent incident occurs the media is quick to look for some tangential way to link it to any group, personality or “general attitude” connected to right leaning, conservative or libertarian politics. Usually this effort fails; in fact, the media has tried this and been wrong in every instance I can remember.
Now we have a very real and admitted instance of a violent killer who is proud to admit he took his inspiration from left wing political groups. Will the media cover this? Will the media examine the violent rhetoric over at the SPLC? Will the media ask that left wing groups demonstrate greater civility? Of course not, because the media doesn’t believe their own hype any more than I do, they just look for excuses to attack folks on the right for political reasons. I am ok with this, they should just admit their bias. At least Fox News is pretty open about their editorial position.
Truth be told I don’t think the SPLC is responsible for this attack any more than Rush was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing. (Bill Clinton tried to blame Rush) Crazy people looking to hurt someone, or score some fame, or just wanting to watch the world burn will always find a reason. They will grab a cause from whatever is floating in the zeitgeist and use it as their motivation. Even if he was just so passionate about his left wing politics he wanted to kill some conservatives; that doesn’t mean the entire left wing movement shares his guilt.
Ultimately, the only one responsible is the man who pulled the trigger. Will the left wing media remember this the next time the victims aren’t conservatives? I expect not, but I am ok with knowing I am a better person.