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Friday, October 2, 2015

Something for everyone

The latest mass killer, Chris Harper-Mercer, is a bundle of contradictions who will probably prove a telling Rorschach test for many.

He's of mixed race, meaning that in this country, he's be considered black. And he had sympathized with Vester Flanagan, the gay black man who killed that reporter and her cameraman recently. But Harper-Mercer had also condemned the killing of random policemen, and said that Black Lives Matter bore partial responsibility for that.

Most notably, Harper-Mercer singled out Christians to kill, asking various students if they were Christian before killing them. (If they weren't, he shot them in the leg.) And he belonged to an organization called, I Hate Organized Religion. Yet he idolized the Irish Republican Army, which was largely a Catholic organization. And he also an admirer of the Nazis, having ordered Nazi memorabilia on at least two occasion.

So, no matter your racial or political outlook, Harper-Mercer provides plenty of grist.

Barack Obama, of course, wasn't going to let this crisis go to waste: he called for more gun control the very next morning. (In Obama's world, whenever a white kills blacks, as with Dylann Roof, it's proof of what a horribly racist society we live in. Whenever a black kills whites, as with Vester Flanagan or Harper-Mercer, it's proof that those dastardly Republicans are keeping us from getting the gun control we need.)

Other interested parties will undoubtedly also react as expected.

Harper-Mercer had also shown interest in both the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook shootings, having recommended documentaries on each -- proof, once again, that the media should be belittling these killers, not making them larger than life. (I wrote about this before regarding Adam Lanza.)

Rather than mention Harper-Mercer by name, they ought to just refer to him as "the latest loser" and scoff at him. ("Did he have any idea what the Nazis would have thought of him? They would have considered him subhuman. And why did he have to advertise for girlfriends? Could he not hold onto one? And how did he get to age 26 without accomplishing a single worthwhile thing? It's always most the pathetic losers who lash out like this.")


jova said...

the publicity on these mass killers unfortunately does give these losers the idea to kill people.... some of these men are also crazy and they are not copying other killers because of the notoriety as much as they see a way to express their rage and anger toward society. They are so angry because they have pathetic lives and because they have no friends and they are mentally disturbed so they cannot see any solution to their plight.

thus if the media only referred to the perpetrators as losers they would still be inspired by the mass killers, because we cannot hide the pain these lunatics cause...and it seems their main goal is to inflict pain on others, and not so much to obtain infamy.
Most of the time the media does portray these men as pathetic losers , which may be why other pathetic losers identify with their heinous actions. I suspect if he was mocked for his strange admiration of the Nazis it would have just fueled his rage against others and add to his list of grievances against society. These people have mental problems and trying to reason with them just makes them more angry, which is one reason they have no friends.

but you are correct, this maniac will get less coverage (thankfully) because of the reasons you mentioned.

John Craig said...

Jova --
True, the media can't do anything about the rage these guys feel, or about their craziness or pathetic lives. But I do think there's an element of wanting to be enshrined in the pantheon of badass killers. Look at the way Harper-Mercer said that guys like Vester Flanagan were suddenly famous, and everybody knew who they were. (I read that somewhere, maybe in the article I linked, I'm not sure.) And look at the way he had recommended documentaries on the Virginia Tech and Newtown shootings.

And yes, he would have been enraged for being mocked for his admiration of the Nazis, but I wasn't suggesting doing this to anybody while they're still alive (or still free), only after they've committed a horrible crime, so that potential copycats wouldn't get the idea that they were going to be in some hall of fame so much as that they would be put in some hall of shame.

Anonymous said...

As a result of having unpredictable, unbalanced (hostile) people in our midst, I would not do away with guns, firmly believing in a citizen's right for self-protection, self-defence. Gun control is a crock. People should be able to use powerful weapons to take out the bad guy.


Steve Hourihan said...

ha insulting them... I reckon that would actually work.

jova said...

I feel these losers actually know it is a hall of shame, if the Virginia Tech killer was portrayed as being a big s jock on campus with a cheerleader girlfriend I suspect this guy would not have identified so closely with him. which is why these guys do not imitate men like the Boston Bombers and join a terrorists organization to use their hatred to advance some cause.

from my perspective these men were shown to be losers , not in any way have I seen the media glorify these men. They are mocked and shown to be the losers they are, these copycats identify with their fellow losers.

While the Boston Bombers were portrayed as normal men before becoming terrorists , and the younger brother had his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone looking like a rock star...yet this recent killer decided to emulate those who were portrayed as losers by the media. Maybe if they portrayed the Newton killer on the cover of Rolling stone (using CGI to give him muscles) and stated he had a girlfriend was an IRA terrorists this recent killer would not have been obsessed with him.

John Craig said...

Birdie --
The people who agitate for more gun control all the time are the same ones who protest so violently against stop and frisk. A cursory look at the murder statistics shows that the vast majority of firearm murders are committed with illegally-owned guns, and the majority of those are committed by non-Asian minorities. If you seriously want to cut down on those murders, you have to get the guns in the inner cities off the streets. But if that means a disproportionate number of black and Hispanic youths get stopped and frisked, then the liberals are against it. But that would be by far the best way to cut down on firearm murders. The mass murders that get all the publicity amount to a very small percentage of overall murders.

Another big liberal red herring is "assault weapons." The percentage of murders committed by "assault rifles" is between 1 and 2%. (I've always objected to that term anyway since all firearms are effectively "assault weapons." (Likewise, they can all be used for defensive purposes as well.)

John Craig said...

Jova --
Good point about the Tsarnaev brothers.

But yes and no to the hall of shame thing. I agree, at a certain level all of these mass murderers know they're doing something terrible. But in a way I'd liken them to serial killers, who are also completely aware that they are doing something terrible, but at the same time take a perverse pride in it, and are actually sometimes competitive about the number they kill. (Which is why some of them have laid claim to more than they've actually killed.) They all want to be big and bad and larger than life. Richard Kuklinski, the Iceman, was not a typical serial killer in that there was no sexual element to his killings, he was mostly just a hit man; yet he claimed 200 victims, and seemed to take pride in doing so. And far fewer than that were ever confirmed. They revel in their badness, and I actually think that some of the mass murderers of the type we're discussing do the same.