There they go again making excuses for the Paddocks
Earl O. Hutchinson | 10/12/2017, 6 a.m.
There were no such personality probes, human interest peaks, or psychoanalyst coach analysis for John Crawford III who was gunned down at a Walmart in Richland, Ohio, after a report that he was carrying a toy gun in the store. The state attorney general defended the shooting by claiming that the gun was not really a toy. Yet when an Ohio teen killed three students in 2012, he was described in a headline story as “a fine person.”
Then there’s the wildly contrasting terminology used to describe white mass killers. They will not officially be branded as domestic terrorists. Trump typified that when the best he could sum up to say about Paddock is that he and his act were “evil.” That’s obvious. But even calling a mass killer evil avoids dealing with the far deeper and more damaging fact that America has been under assault for decades by white men with guns who are not afraid to kill anyone, anytime, for any reason. The death and destruction they wreak has threatened to turn the nation into a dangerous national security state that little by little erodes even more of our personal freedoms. Paddock was a terrorist, a true blue, red-blooded American, born and bred here, not in Afghanistan or Iraq.
The perennial search to explain him again fits neatly into the perennial pattern of writing off the killer, when he’s a white male, as a kook, crank, lone wolf or nut case, or, simply, an evil man. Paddock was that. But he was much more and making back door excuses for him and the monstrous carnage men like him create do nothing to confront the causes and consequences of made-in-America terrorism and terrorists.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.