Two seemingly unrelated incidences occurred one after another this week. The commonality at this point seems only to be the senselessness of the violence and the carnage that resulted.
In Bulgaria a group of Israeli families were on there way to enjoy a beach vacation on the Black Sea. Oblivious to what was about to happen, they were safe in the thoughts that they would be out from the shadow of violence that every Israeli lives under. The children were excited to be off the plane, a pregnant women was glad to be off her feet and teenagers were busy being teenagers. The driver for his part was too busy doing his job, and maybe even hoping for a better tip that day, to think anything was amiss. When the long haired stranger got on the bus the passengers may of thought him strange maybe even funny but a danger surely not. That would be the last moment for many of their lives and the start of many years of recovery for those that survived.
As if one senseless tragedy was not enough about a day later, at a theater a continent and a ocean away, another unexplainable act of terror was about to unfold. Families were similarly looking forward to enjoying some time away from their busy lives. Fathers and sons, teenagers, and mothers too were set to enjoy a night of Hollywood fantasy. The only violence they were anticipating that night was the classic fight between good and evil to be played out on the big screen. As they prepared to watch Batman battle personal demons and demonic villains they were unaware there was a true evil in their midst. He walked calmly to the front of the theater dressed in black as though he was one of the movie premier props. Out of place and maybe sensing something was wrong a young aspiring TV intern started tweeting and parents started wondering if they should be concerned. As he put on his gas mask and pulled out his weapons the crowd was caught in a moment of disbelief, a disbelief that was soon to turn to terror. When the shooting stopped the scene of horror far out shown any that the crowd that night would of witnessed on the silver screen.
As far as is known both acts were independent of each other with only their evil in common.
The first is now being blamed on Iran, a fact, although likely, it is yet to be proven. What is almost for certain is that it was an act of Islamic based violence. What is also known is that it will most certainly will beget more violence. The victims can be self-assured that the attack will not go unpunished; call it vengeance or call it justice, the Israeli government will see to that.
The motive of the second tragedy is, as of yet, unknown but the shooter apparently has told the police he is the Joker and an arch enemy of Batman. All that is known for sure is this was the act of a man with an evil and contorted mind. Unlike the Jewish families, those that survived the horror at the Dark Knight movie premier do not seem to have a evil ideology or a just as evil regime to blame and upon whom they can focus their anger. All they are left with is a mad man and the emptiness that comes when there is no good reason why.
As with all tragedies where evil strikes and logic cannot seem to find a reason why the instinct is look for who to blame. This is where the two tragedies seem to diverge. The Israeli’s have their boogeyman and the know where to find him. The media in the U.S. has no such luxury so they will likely feel compelled to invent one
When Representative Giffords was shot in Arizona they media came out of the woodwork to blame conservatives and the Tea Party and most of all Sarah Palin. A free for all ensued in the worst case of political exploitation of a tragedy the U.S. had seen in recent memory. Not all of the garbage being printed was based in cold political calculation (although much clearly was), a lot was the result of a liberal media looking for someone to blame. Who else would they turn to but those they like to blame everything else on, that is those that oppose their ideas. The fact is the shooter in the Giffords’ case was a-political with no reasoned ideological axe to grind. He was just insanely evil.
Too little is know of the Colorado man who took so many lives to make firm judgements on why but one thing is certain, he is a twisted evil man. Unfortunately even before the crime scene was cleared and all the families notified the media was jumping at the chance to pin this on conservatives. ABC was one of the first out of the gate. Checking the mad man’s name against Tea Party memberships they thought they struck gold reporting breathlessly someone with that name is a Tea Party member. The insinuation was soon proven false as the name is common and ABC was left with egg on their face. Apparently the idea that they could pin this on one of the most non-violent mass movements in the country’s history was too good to wait for the facts.
The ABC story is bound not to be the last of its kind. Insinuation and finger pointing is going to happen. The right will probably point out if the general public would not have been banned from carrying guns into the theater, Colorado is a concealed carry state, the killer would not have gotten so far. The left will likely go on tirades against guns in general even though some of the worst mass killings have been done in European nations with much stricter gun laws than the United States. These types of arguments are expected and can even be called part of having a healthy public debate. What is not healthy or even respectable is the naked exploitation for political gain that happened with the Giffords’ tragedy. It would be nice to think the media would not stoop that low with a tragedy this dramatic. Unfortunately if the ABC report is a sign of anything it shows that this tragedy too will be used for political advantage by those whose agenda trumps decency and common sense.
Tomorrow will come and time will tell how things will unfold. As for tonight, it might be a good time to hug your loved ones and say a prayer for those who will never get that chance again.