Michelle Malkin and most of the rest of the right blogosphere are justifiably upset at reports that a Muslim man shot six women at a Seattle Jewish federation, killing one -- although they seem less concerned about the suffering of the victims than about scoring political points by demanding conservatively correct language of government officials.
(An FBI agent in Seattle was guilty of incorrect thought, you see, when he told a reporter, "There's nothing to indicate that it’s terrorism related," a statement that appeared in early versions of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's coverage of the shootings, but has been purged from the updated story, perhaps to shield the FBI agent from the wrath of right-wing yobs who'd probably track down the address of his kids' school in retaliation for something he blurted out within hours of being called in to a murder investigation.)
Now, here's something I find interesting: The Seattle Times tells us that the man in custody, Naveed Haq,
was on medication for bipolar disorder
[i]n recent years [had] found himself in a variety of courts, mostly on small matters: traffic violations, such as speeding and negligent driving, and a dispute over unemployment benefits.
In March of this year, he climbed up on a raised coin fountain inside Kennewick's Columbia Center mall and began "catcalling" women at the makeup counter at the nearby Macy's store, said Lisa Beaton, a Kennewick city prosecutor. When young women walked by his perch, Haq unzipped his pants and allegedly flashed his penis at them, Beaton said.
Haq, 30, was charged with lewd conduct -- a gross misdemeanor -- and was scheduled to stand trial in Benton County District Court on Thursday. But the trial was postponed....
And yet as the Times notes elsewhere,
Haq told Richey [a neighbor] he owned a .45-caliber handgun, which he kept locked up in safety deposit box.
[A] law-enforcement source said Haq had a license to carry a concealed weapon.
Ain't that America: A guy's bipolar and medicated, and he's arrested for a very aggressive act of indecent exposure -- but God forbid we should rethink his right to pack heat.
(I don't know what the laws are in Washington State, but a quick search tells me that in Colorado, for instance, you're supposed to be denied a concealed weapons permit if you're on medication for bipolar disorder.)
The evidence suggests that Haq is a lone nut who, in his madness, glommed onto Islamicist anti-Semitism. And Islamicist misogyny -- read the report of his indecent exposure incident. Now note that all six of the people he shot were women. And note this:
Although Haq made a point of announcing his Muslim faith before opening fire Friday, he had told the friend he was not a practicing Muslim because he was turned off by the religion's strict gender divisions.
I think a lot of men who shoot up public spaces like this are conflicted about sex. They've absorbed misogyny or homophobia or sex-phobia and they can't reconcile it with other thoughts they have. Then they lash out -- and maybe they're trying to shoot themselves in the bad thoughts.
Don't get me wrong -- I'm not being a bleeding heart. I want this guy somewhere where he can't do this to anyone again. But is he a terrorist? Not in the sense of a person who expects his act to affect the future behavior of people he didn't harm -- which is what makes classic terrorism terrorism. I don't think this guy was trying to be part of an ongoing campaign of striking fear in the hearts of Jews, or Americans, or non-Muslims. I think he just wanted to kill -- kill Jews and kill what he thought of as his own sexual demons.