Terrorism and Lunacy Are Not the Same Thing

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


What a depressing day. I can’t say I really felt like writing anything. But I will say one thing: there is a big difference between an attack coordinated and carried out by a foe (Pearl Harbor, Pan Am 103, 9/11, Paris, etc.) and an attack by a lunatic who was inspired by something or other (fame, hatred of blacks, Islamist ideology, etc.). The former is either terrorism or an act of war and the latter is an act of psychosis—and while it may be politically handy to conflate the two, it does nothing to fight either one. Banning Muslim visitors or ramping up the air war against ISIS would have done nothing to stop Omar Mateen. Banning guns would have done nothing to stop either the Paris attacks or any other act of international terrorism.

Everyone needs to keep this firmly in mind over the next few days. Obviously politicians won’t, especially a sociopath like Donald Trump, who’s more interested in using the Orlando shooting to brag about how he’s been right all along than he is in actually fighting mass shootings and international terrorism.

Trump wasn’t right, of course: Omar Mateen was born in America, just like Judge Gonzalo Curiel. But Trump doesn’t care. Crowing about his own greatness is really the only thing he cares about. What an empty, loathsome soul.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate