Adam Ward and Alison Parker and 20-Odd Others Were Murdered With Guns Today

Alison ParkerSo it seems that some guy killed a couple of television news employees while they were broadcasting. It’s interesting that here in the US this kind of thing has become a “dog bites man” story. Steve M linked to an old story in The Onion, “No Way to Prevent This,” Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens. That was in reference to a mass shooting. And let’s be honest: in today’s tragedy, there wouldn’t be much coverage of it. After all, it only involved two murders. According to the FBI, mass shootings happen about one every two weeks. But that doesn’t include all the data. And even more important: a “mass shooting” must involve four or more people. So two deaths doesn’t even count.

But I’m not going to talk about gun control or any of that here. This is because I’ve learned that now is not the time to talk about these things. I used to think that “now” meant the time right after one of these horrific crimes. But since then, I’ve come to the conclusion that “now” means literally “now”: at the current time. We cannot talk about the easy access to guns and our over supply of guns unless it is not now. And since it is always now, we can never talk about it. Thus, I won’t talk about it, because as it turns out, it is now right now.

But I was struck by this bit of reporting by CBS News, Gunman in Deadly On-Air Attack Dies After Manhunt:

Virignia Governor Terry McAuliffe told WTOP-FM in Washington that authorities believe the shooter was a “disgruntled employee” and that the shooting was “not a case of terrorism.”

Thank God for that! It would be terrible if it were terrorism. If it had been some Indonesian Muslim we would have been required to talk about terrorism and immigration. But we aren’t. It’s strange though. There are roughly 10,000 gun homicides per year in the United States — 25 per day — one per hour. There are more than double that many suicides. Since 9/11, there have been 26 jihadist murders in the United States. There have been 48 (generally right-wing) terrorist murders. That’s a total of 74. For those arithmetic fans out there, in 14 years, we’ve had as many terrorist murders as we do on a typical three day weekend due to all causes.

Adam WardI only mean to compare these numbers because people get so freaked out about terrorism while we can’t talk about gun violence in a general sense. If this attack in Virginia had been about Islamic terrorism, we would get nonstop coverage of how we must do something about the terrorists and how the Iran nuclear deal is to blame and all kinds of other nonsense. On the other hand, if it had been right-wing terrorism, we would be hearing about how terrible it is that there are still pockets of racism in our country — and that it wasn’t terrorism. But as it is, this will just be about a disgruntled employee or a mentally unstable man. One thing it will not be about is guns, because after all, he could have used a knife or a pipe bomb.

I say we should either care about the causes of senseless killing or we shouldn’t. We could go with not: “Adam Ward and Alison Parker and twenty odd other people were killed with guns today — no story there.” Or we could go with caring: “Adam Ward and Alison Parker were tragically murdered and we must do something about it.” I think the former approach is the better one, because we all know what we are actually going to do about this horrible crime: the same thing we always do: nothing.


Despite the tone of this article, it is a tragedy that Adam Ward and Alison Parker were murdered, and my condolences go our to their friends and families.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

6 thoughts on “Adam Ward and Alison Parker and 20-Odd Others Were Murdered With Guns Today

  1. My condolences also. And my disgust with our so-called leaders and media for not even trying to deal with this. We have so much to atone for in this country. I guess McVeigh and his ilk weren’t terrorists? White men are not terrorists, only lone nuts or sometimes so not alone. But if a dark-hued man kills someone for no sane reason it’s We got trouble right here in River City and it’s spelled with a capital T and that spells Terrorism! Then we interview Lindsey Graham and he tells us to hide under our beds because they are coming for us. And Obama is weak. Only the GOP can protect us. I am so cynical anymore. If there were a way to move to another country I would do it. I could always read Frankly Curious to keep abreast of the totally insane USA.

    • Oh, you’d be missing out on so much insanity! I avoid so much — just to maintain my own sanity. Although I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of it. I need to move to Veracruz and spend all my waking hours in a bar.

    • Norm — it’s nuts. You can move to Canada, but they want you to have a marketable skill and be of a certain age (I looked into this a few years ago, and found out, yup, I’d fail.) And they’re getting more xenophobic and “free market solutions” too, so we’re all kinda boned.

      • There are a couple of other issues too. One is that there just isn’t any getting away from the US. The other is that it seems morally wrong to abandoned our brothers and sisters here. We must stay and fight! But Veracruz does call me…

  2. James, I too looked into moving to Canada and didn’t qualify. Frank, I’ll go to Vera Cruz with you as long as they have some good wines. Mexico is actually making some fine fines in the Baja area. Their beers are my favorites. Sounds better all the time. We can build a wall to keep Trump out.

    • Oh yeah, I’m sure we can find some great wines too. Trump might be able to come through on his promise: the Mexicans might just build a wall to keep him out.

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