I couldn't help but notice just how fast law enforcement slapped a terrorism label on that shooting in Tennessee.The news had just broken, only an hour or two had passed since the first reports came out, and it was terrorism. All it apparently took was learning the shooter had an Arabic name and, bang, instant terrorism case. Now they're scrambling to find some connection, any connection, with organizations such as ISIS or Al Qaeda. After all, a young man who was born in Kuwait and who still has relatives in the Middle East couldn't possibly make trips back to Kuwait for something as mundane as visiting his grandparents, could he? His travels must have been for nefarious purposes.
Let me make one thing clear -- I'm not saying those potentially nefarious reasons do not exist. Given all the reasons American foreign policy has given for Arabs to hate the United States in general and the U.S. military in particular, it is possible a connection to a formal terrorist organization will be found. What I am bothered by is the instant rush to judgement, especially in contrast to the Dylann Roof case. Roof frequented white supremacist sites on-line, clearly supported white supremacist organizations, and shot 9 people because he wanted to start a race war. . . but is he a terrorist? Law enforcement is still hemming and hawing about that one. Apparently terrorism can only be terrorism if it's foreign, not home grown.
Of course, by running around blathering about terrorism and foreign travel, everyone is conveniently distracted from asking questions like, "Just how did a guy with an Arabic name manage to acquire multiple weapons?" Then again, if those questions do start getting asked, the NRA will be on the scene pretty fast to explain why it's way, way more important why anyone and everyone should be allowed to buy whatever gun they want without anyone ever questioning it than it is to prevent more people from getting shot.
I am, incidentally, pretty confident that if the investigation reveals the shooting occurred for purely personal reasons, like if the shooter was pissed that one of the recruiters had rejected him for enlistment or he had mental health issues, we'll never hear about it on mainstream media.
A small digression that illustrates just how bad things have gotten in this country when it comes to random gun violence and mass shootings: I couldn't remember how to spell Dylann Root's name (one "n" or two?) so I Googled "Charlestown shooting." Obviously, I also couldn't remember how to spell Charleston. Anyway, I got a long string of hits for recent shootings in assorted Charlestowns around the country: West Virginia, Massachusetts, and a couple others. And my co-workers in Atlanta wondered why I wanted to retire to the middle of nowhere. . .