So botched robberies and carjackings are also be terrorism? I’m not sure if I’d call mass shootings terrorism or not, but does it make some kind of difference if we say that’s what this is? I’m not seeing it. Even if you capitalize, Acts of Terror isn’t magic words.
They’re attention seekers. They want to get revenge on the world, to be finally noticed, to make a difference, to go out with a bang. They’re not trying to effect an overall goal other than that. So they’re not terrorists.
And the best way to fight them is to not give them what they want. Make a quick note of it on the evening news if you must, but don’t wallow in this bullshit recreational grief for weeks on end.
If you’re one of the people who wallow in this, who drive the media coverage, who make this to be such a big deal, you’re giving this guy exactly what he wants. And you’re encouraging the next guy who might do something like this to do the same thing, because he saw the last guy got the results he wanted.
Shit happens. The world is a rough place. If you really cared about all this suffering instead of just recreationally grabbing onto the story of the moment, and you really cared about all the suffering in the world and all the horrible things happening to children and were affected by it all, you’d go insane. It’s stupid to pick one story out of millions and suddenly decide that’s the one you’re going to grieve over. And this mass national focus on these incidents is what spurs more of them. So I hope you feel all warm and fuzzy the next time someone thinks “well, I could just quietly off myself, or I could go out with a bang and be famous and have the whole world thinking about me” and does exactly that.
I think that’s just too vague to be terrorism. According to most definitions terrorists have some broader goal beyond carnage. It’s not so much that calling these people terrorists is inaccurate, it’s that if you want to make terrorism and mass murder the same thing, then both terms lose some of their specificity. And to ask again: say we call these people terrorists instead of just mass murdering psychos. What difference does it make? They’d still be treated differently from people in Al Qaeda because they’re not conspiring with anyone and not promoting any agenda. We’ve heard more about “lone wolf” terrorists in recent years and there are some similarities, but I’m not seeing what’s accomplished here.
A terrorist isn’t someone who kills a lot of people. A terrorist is someone who uses violence (typically against civilian targets) to advance a political or social agenda. It doesnt have anyhing to do with numbers. Killing a single person can be an act terror: lynching a black person to intimidate other blacks into subservience, or the murder of an abortion doctor to keep other doctors from offering abortions.
The only hypothetical connection to terrorism I can imagine: if al-Qaeda (or even just generic Arabs) were shooting up schools, shopping malls, and theaters there would be an outcry for more authoritarian government and the hysterics would be cranked up to 11. But it’s just a bunch of crazy white people, so just chill.