Terrorism and Lunacy Are Not the Same Thing

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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.

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FACT:

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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