Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Pittsburgh shooting

Yesterday I approvingly quoted Charles Blow's op-ed about how the wingnuts are really starting to come loose, but I'm still a little uncomfortable with the use of the 23 year-old skinhead cop killer in Pittsburgh as evidence of that trend.

My objection is not that it's necessarily unseemly to "play politics" with tragedy, and pretty much all shootings seem like good arguments for gun control to me. But the pool of people who actually go on shooting rampages is thankfully too small and too fucked up to extrapolate much from their politics. It may be a cliche ("crazies on both sides"), but it seems that taking it seriously means really not caring which websites a person was posting on before they started shooting at the cops.

The argument about which political ideology is intrinsically brutal and crazy is easily winnable without deploying actual murdering psychopaths as data points.

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