I am not of a religious persuasion such that I believe in the literal reality of demons as evil supernatural entities at work in the world. If I were, I would be sure one of them would be named “The Shooter.” It would roam the world seeking minds to subvert to its malignant purpose. It would not care what religion or political ideology the victim of its possession claimed to follow. It would open that mind to whatever false preacher of hate, fear, and destruction was most convenient and let that poisonous doctrine do its work Then, some unhappy soul would take up a gun and become The Shooter.
That’s the thing about that poison. The label on the bottle makes no real difference in the effect, any more than it does with alcohol. The rich man who sips enough of the finest and rarest vintage gets just as shit-faced and addicted as the Skid Row bum does on MD2020 or Thunderbird. Do you want your poison warm and sweet? Rum in a hot toddy will do nicely. Do you want it cold as ice? Keep the vodka in the freezer. Do you like it raw and burning? Have some white lightening. Want it smooth as silk? There are whiskeys left many long years in the wood. Whatever the label and the taste, straight, on the rocks, mixed, chilled or warm, the poison is the same. The choice is a matter of taste.
So, I don’t really care that The Shooter in Orlando may have claimed to follow the I.S. brand of Islam. The next one, and, there will be a next one, could as well claim to be a Christian, a Nazi, or fly the Stars and Bars, or profess any other brand of the poison, or, like The Shooter in the school, leave no message at all, no reason, no claim of loyalty. It is all the same poison, the same (if you like) demon. Perhaps we should erase all their personal names and refer to all of them just as, “The Shooter” at such and such a place and time.
Could we just put down the guns?