The man responsible for attacking Sikhs in Wisconsin on Sunday has been named as Wade Michael Page.
Accepting that the police had no alternative but to stop him by force of arms, it is a shame that Page died at the scene.
It is a shame because conservatives and right wingers, whom he was apparently representing, will now regard him as a martyr. The right loves its martyrs as much as the Muslim fundamentalists and all other fundamentalists do. They’ll love him as a man prepared to act on and die for his principles.
It would have been better for Page to have survived to be subjected to the due process of law. It would have been far preferable for this man to have been placed in a court of law, like Anders Breivik, to explain his actions and to reveal to the world his irrationality and ignorance and to place himself, in his own words squarely in the ideology he represents, the ideology of the Christian right.
It would have been preferable he had not been killed and was subject to due process because that process, habeas corpus, is one of the things that separates civilisation and rationalism from people like Page. The victims of Page were granted no civilised rights by him.
Commentators in the media have suggested that Wade Michael Page may have confused the Sikhs he killed with Muslims.
Such a suggestion seems to be saying that the killings would have been justifiable or at least understandable if the slain were followers of Islam.
It doesn’t seem to register with people that it should be regarded as an act of equal horror had the victims been at a mosque rather than a temple.
Clearly, this speaks volumes about ingrained prejudices and the success of conservative propaganda about Muslims.
Meal in his mouth
Barak Obama’s response to the shootings has been typically robust. He called for national reflection. He did this after the Aurora shootings too.
What he is doing by calling for reflection, is asking the psychos and the sociopaths and the deluded, the bigoted, the ignorant and the simply mislead, to stop a moment and say, ‘Oh yeah, now I’ve thought about it, irrational acts of homicidal mayhem are not such a good idea after all. I’ll give them up.’
More than that, considering the Wisconsin killing was a racist killing, what he is asking the the nutballs to decide for themselves is that indiscriminate hate killings are bad because the black president says so.
As robust responses go, this is on a par with mopping up a tsunami with a tissue.
Reflection and prayer achieve nothing but vacuous silence while the nutters reload.
After the Aurora killings, Obama came out with an extraordinary non sequitur, saying that everyone would agree that an AK47 should not be allowed in the hands of a criminal.
Never mind that Holmes, the Aurora killer, did not use an AK47, his guns were legally held and until he opened fire in the cinema he was not a criminal.
As an alternative to vapid platitudes how about … oh no, not in an election year.