Friday, March 19, 2021

One Thing Always Present

Surprisingly, it was not until Thursday night, two nights after Robert Aaron Long apparently shot nine people, eight fatally, for a prominent conservative to bring out the standard nonsense about a mass shooting incident. 

Tucker Carlson, as far as we know, has never personally conducted a psychiatric evaluation on Long- of for that matter, anyone. Yet, at 5:31 of the video below he can be seen referring to Long as "a mentally ill sex addict." A minute earlier, he had ridiculed the president of Rice University, who evidently has pointed to use of the term "Chinese virus" as a contributing factor in anti-Asian American violence. Carlson sarcastically remarked

Predictably, this escalation of racially biased hatred has led to violence so he's telling us. It was entirely predictable because once you describe a Chinese virus as Chinese, people are naturally going to start murdering Korean women. Could have seen that coming.

I hope I live long enough that an assailant motivated by racial bigotry will differentiate among Americans of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese etc. descent, If so, I will be called "Methuselah."

More seriously, though, Carlson at 2:48 claimed

Robert Long seems deranged but his obsessive and violent behavior also seems sadly familiar if you follow these cases closely.  An increasing number of Americans struggle with mental illness. It'd be worth knowing much more about Robert Long's life if only to prevent the next mass shooting. Then there's the very real question of sex addiction....

"Obsessive behavior:" "struggle with mental illness;" "sex addiction." Predictably, Carlson (other conservatives sure to follow) avoids the obvious and makes some bold conclusions about someone whose history he claims he'd like to know more about. That interest would be more credible if, for instance, his degree were not in history and he had not taken up journalism because he was told "they'll take anybody," a judgement his career has seemingly confirmed.

This is the right wing's go-to response to a mass shooting, the implication that it was prompted by mental illness.  Evidently unbeknownst to Carlson, many Americans suffer from mental illness (though they shouldn't be diagnosed from afar). Ditto, obsessive behavior and sex addiction.


One journalist makes a good point:


But a lot of people dislike Asians and a lot of men suffer from sexual rage- or other psychological problems. However, there is one thing all these mass shooters have in common, and it's not obsessive behavior, mental illness, or sex addiction.  It's so obvious it shouldn't be necessary to point it out. But it is, and thus Charlie Pierce has reminded us

Whatever the alleged killer’s motivation was, there is no ambiguity in how he was able to carry it out: this country’s insane fetish for its firearms continues to run unabated. There is some movement in the Congress again on passing sensible gun-control legislation, which means we’re all in for another absurd debate over the Founders’ weakness for dependent clauses. We will learn more about the crime and the criminal as the days go on, but this simple fact will never change: he was able to kill eight people in three places in one night because he was able to obtain the correct tool for the job. One more day of blood sacrifice to a perverse idea of freedom.

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