In Tuesday’s NY Times, Thomas Friedman raised an interesting, yet bogus point:
If only Stephen Paddock had been a Muslim … If only he had shouted “Allahu akbar” before he opened fire on all those concertgoers in Las Vegas … If only he were a member of ISIS … If only we had a picture of him posing with a Quran in one hand and his semiautomatic rifle in another …
If all of that had happened, no one would be telling us not to dishonor the victims and “politicize” Paddock’s mass murder by talking about preventive remedies.
No, no, no. Then we know what we’d be doing. We’d be scheduling immediate hearings in Congress about the worst domestic terrorism event since 9/11. Then Donald Trump would be tweeting every hour “I told you so,” as he does minutes after every terror attack in Europe, precisely to immediately politicize them. Then there would be immediate calls for a commission of inquiry to see what new laws we need to put in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Then we’d be “weighing all options” against the country of origin.
I think that’s the wrong point. What should have been raised if only Thomas Friedman has a brain, he might be posing this instead. “If only Stephen Paddock was a Muslim those who disagree with me would be politicizing the carnage in Las Vegas, but because he wasn’t, I’ll politicize it.”
What happens when the killer was only a disturbed American armed to the teeth with military-style weapons that he bought legally or acquired easily because of us and our crazy lax gun laws?
But Paddock wasn’t armed to the teeth with a military weapon. According to the police he illegally converted a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon, and possessing an automatic weapon is against the law anywhere in these United States.
Then we know what happens: The president and the Republican Party go into overdrive to ensure that nothing happens. Then they insist — unlike with every ISIS-related terror attack — that the event must not be “politicized” by asking anyone, particularly themselves, to look in the mirror and rethink their opposition to common-sense gun laws.
But if only Thomas Friedman had a brain he would look at his face in the mirror and decide to tell the truth. I know it would be a major change for him but what the heck…perhaps it’s time…