Over the weekend, Wade Page, who appears to be a neo-Nazi who listened to music with hate-filled lyrics, entered a Sikh place of worship in Wisconsin and murdered seven people. He was then killed by police. Apparently, law enforcement had been aware of the killer's propensity to violence.
This was a horrible event. Given the killer's background, it's reasonable to infer that he killed these innocent people out of some sort of antisocial animus against a group that was "different." There have been suggestions that he thought he was killing Muslims; if true, this suggests that we're not dealing with the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Now the president weighs in with this bizarre comment: “I think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul-searching and to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence."
What precisely does this mean? Major Hasan, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, and now Page have committed multiple murders in the last three years. Hassan was a radical Islamist who killed American soldiers out of a perverse political/religious ideology; heaven only knows what prompted Loughner and Holmes; and Page was a Nazi. None appear to be related to each other in any way.
Why do I (as part of the "we" referred to by the president) need to engage in "soul-searching" over these events? I did that a long time ago. I abhor Islamism. My father fought and was badly wounded by soldiers of the Nazi state. I have not even the slightest animus against Sikhs (what little I do know is that they are a peaceful, accomplished people and that Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, has a Sikh heritage, a fact that speaks well of them). I am unalterably opposed to randomly shooting members of Congress and the people speaking to them and I have never had the slightest temptation to kill people at the showing of a Batman movie. I even favor concealed carry laws so that we can protect ourselves from these kinds of evil men.
I'm sorry, Mr. President, I didn't commit any of these acts; all of them are morally repugnant; the perpetrators should be tried and punished. I believe that nearly 100 percent of Americans agree with me on this. So please explain why any of us need to search our souls? There are a goodly number of things I should be searching my soul about, but this isn't one of them.
Once we're through our soul-searching exercise, what will we learn? I suggest that it won't be a single thing, because everyone who would go through the exercise of searching their souls on this kind of violence are the kinds of people who would never murder another person. If anyone must search their souls, it would be Major Hasan, Loughner, Holmes, and Page (given his demise, someone may be helping him right now with his soul-searching session).
Mr. President, why is it you insist on collectivizing the guilt? Of the incidents described, the nation is not guilty: there are four people who are guilty. I suggest that they search their souls as the await their fates on death row.
Mr. Obama: why did you not make the same comments after the Fort Hood shootings, and why isn't your government willing to acknowledge a fact that is obvious to a three-year-old: Hasan killed people because he's an Islamist and the victims were American infidels? Did you ask Muslims around the world to "search their souls" about how we can prevent further violence? If you did, I don't remember it.
Finally, why is it that Major Hassan has not been tried? We're well past 2 1/2 years since he killed 13 Americans soldiers.
None of these events requires the citizens of the nation to search their souls. They require speedy justice and punishment commensurate with the crimes.
Is there some reason you are incapable of uttering anything other than meaningless platitudes? Real leaders provide clarity.