A list of victims in San Bernardino reads like the wondrous cross-section of America that makes this country such a beacon to the rest of the world, so threatening to fanatics (foreign and domestic), and which is under attack by these now daily shootings everywhere.
They were Vietnamese, Latino, white, black, Jewish, Christian, gay, straight. One guy dressed as Santa Claus every year; another guy trained autistic kids to work in the cafe in the center where this happened and volunteered for the Renaissance Faire every year.
“Faire teaches us that everyone’s ideas are valid,” one man who knew him told the LA Times. “It gives us a greater understanding of each other and the world in general.”
Quite. The antidote to fanaticism is the Renaissance Faire. I buy that.
Which makes it hard, painful to watch the details of who these people were come out.
Meanwhile, this story continues to mess with our conceptions, including my own.
I’ve covered several of these and I always expect the shooters to be white American men, because so many of them have been.
This time … a mild-mannered US-born killer of Pakistani extraction, living in SoCal suburbia, perhaps radicalized by a trip to Saudi Arabia (What a surprise! When do we wean ourselves from the oil this country controls?). There, he got engaged and somehow got his woman into the country, where she was next seen shooting it out with cops Bonnie and Clyde style after killing and wounding people at a holiday party.
Still my question is: Who has a daughter six months before and decides then that today is just a great day to leave her an orphan? And why/how would you come to that conclusion?
And then why would you think that killing people you work with, who just months before had thrown you a baby shower, is the answer to your torments? If terrorism is your goal, how does taking out a holiday party in San Bernardino, far in every way from power, fulfill it?
Clearly he wasn’t insane, in the way that the South Carolina guy or Tucson or Aurora guys probably were. They were obviously planning something for a long time, with that much ammunition and weaponry on hand – all with an infant in the house. 12 pipe bombs, thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Of course, religious fanaticism is one of the few things that will deny the parenting instinct. So maybe that’s it. Saw a similar kind of fanaticism in Colorado Springs last week.