Little is known about the twelve victims brutally murdered by Aaron Alexis, but the New York Times, in a banner article, wants you to know that their killer had an “interest in Thai culture.”
Well. That gives him a softer profile, doesn’t it? Buddhism, Thai language skills, plus dubious claims about oppression by the police, society, white folks, his neighbors, PTSD, his employment contract, the construction guys parking outside his house, 9/11, and so on, equals victimization lottery for Mr. Alexis.
Delicate embroidery of this monster’s alleged inner conflicts equals gross disrespect for the humanity of his victims.
But . . . he was interested in Thai culture.
The impulse to humanize some (not all) stone-cold killers is yet another force tearing us apart beneath the pulsing throb of identity politics. This loser killed twelve innocent people, but in the New York Times he has been vetted and given security clearance for a high-level empathy assignment based undoubtedly on his race, his hobbies, and the particular insinuations of persecution being made in the wake of his bloodbath by people who somehow managed to do nothing all those other times he used a gun to express his inside screamies.
Take his roommates, for example. They ought to trashcan their Rebel Without A Cause blather about the sensitivities of their mass-murdering “best friend.” But instead, they’re in the Fort Worth Star Telegram pleading for understanding about how the Alexis they knew felt sad if he couldn’t chip in for the utilities while he spent his time learning the right kind of foreign languages and appreciating their food culture. The roomies are more circumspect about that gun incident in 2010, when he shot through the floor of his (their?) neighbor’s apartment (missing the woman by mere feet) because he imagined she was being too loud. Then, he lied to the police about it.
Why didn’t he serve time for that? Because we live in a police state where everyone in prison has been wrongly convicted, so a neutered justice system decided not to prosecute the Thai-speaking pseudo-traumatized Mr. Alexis, perhaps.
The same result came of Alexis’ 2004 attack when he shot out the tires of a car driven by construction workers whom he also suspected of “disrespecting” him. How many times, precisely, do you have to unload a gun in the direction of total strangers without suffering consequences for it?
The “media debate” about Aaron Alexis’ twelve murders has already been slotted firmly into the usual categories: we need more gun control from the Left; we need fewer restrictions on guns so people can defend themselves from the Right. While I side with the fewer restrictions camp, I wish people on all sides would bother to add the caveat: crimes committed with guns must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Guns don’t kill people: people kill people, and especially, un-convicted recidivists kill people. Enforcing the law without leniency appears to be the one thing that was not tried.
Slapping this bastard in prison for shooting out his imaginary nemeses’ car tires in Seattle, or for shooting into his neighbor’s apartment in Fort Worth might have shaken him loose of his malaise of self pity — or maybe not — but at least it’s hard to go on a shooting spree from behind bars, and it’s hard to buy weapons when you have weapons convictions.
Why demand more gun control laws when you won’t enforce the ones you have because that might result in people you feel empathy towards serving time? Why demand unlimited rights to bear arms legally if you won’t defend the law when guns are used illegally?
At different times, Aaron Alexis told police that he had fired a gun in a “black-out . . . fueled by anger”; that he had fired a gun because he had been through 9/11; that he had fired a gun because he had been “disrespected,” and that he didn’t mean to fire a gun at the neighbor he had threatened repeatedly, but his hands were slippery and it went off.
This is what happens when laws are not enforced. In Seattle, the construction workers whose car tires were shot out by Alexis were curiously unwilling to press charges. They didn’t respond to police requests and avoided police contact. Why? Probably they were here illegally. When people won’t participate in the system because they’re also criminals, what’s left is anarchy.
And why anyone would defend anarchy while demanding more gun control laws is beyond me.
Meanwhile, the New York Times also wants you to know that Aaron Alexis was himself very extremely diverse. As if afflicted with verbal incontinence, the Times can’t stop talking about the killer’s diversity or his taste in ethnic food. Maybe the only people left in the newsroom are so marinated in this blather that they are incapable of writing anything else. Diversity is the spoon of sugar that makes the banality of evil go down:
Mr. Alexis was born in Queens in 1979 and was representative of the borough’s diversity. He was African-American, grew up in a part of Queens that was home to South Asians, Hispanics and Orthodox Jews, and embraced all things Thai while living in Fort Worth. He worked as a waiter at a Thai restaurant, studied the language and regularly chanted and meditated at Buddhist temples.
What is this, a singles ad? The bastard killed twelve people. I don’t care what he ordered at lunch.