FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Senseless Acts of Killing

by

My best friend was shot to death in 1993.  I have since then had a dark fascination with these acts of what are generally called “senseless killings.”  As a world traveler with insatiable curiosity, I have met many people on all sides of this equation — friends and relatives of both victims and killers, from around the world.  I have researched and written songs about two dozen different “senseless killings.”

One thing I can say for sure is this:  whether we’re talking about random drive-by shootings in urban America or massacres carried out by teenagers in Oregon or Colorado tired of being bullied and excluded, or massacres carried out by rightwingers in South Carolina or Norway, or leftwingers avenging the deaths of Sacco and Vanzetti, or Islamists in New York or Paris or Brussels or Israeli settlers in Hebron or Palestinians from Jenin or US soldiers in Haditha or self-loathing homophobes in Orlando, there is a common thread here, aside from the obvious access to firearms or explosives or whatever:

A tiny minority of people in the world who are suffering for one reason or another will be compelled to make other people suffer, and will act on that compulsion.

This is actually a fact, and has been extensively studied by think tanks.  Politicians and media outlets talking of “senseless acts” and “evil” and “mental illness” and “lone wolves” and “home-grown jihadis” are ignoring the overwhelming evidence in order to serve an agenda which does not actually seek an end to these acts.

On the contrary, to serve their agenda, whether we’re talking about “safety through gun ownership” a la the NRA, “safety through the security state” a la the NSA, FBI, and militarized police departments, or “safety through prosecuting the war on terror” a la the US, British, French, Egyptian, Israeli or Russian war machines, what they need most of all are many more such massacres.

And, unfortunately, as long as the root causes of the suffering continue to be exacerbated by all of the aforementioned institutions throughout the world, the massacres will continue.  The next attack is coming.

David Rovics is a singer/songwriter based in Portland, Oregon.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 30, 2017
William R. Polk
What Must be Done in the Time of Trump
Howard Lisnoff
Enough of Russia! There’s an Epidemic of Despair in the US
Ralph Nader
Crash of Trumpcare Opens Door to Full Medicare for All
Carol Polsgrove
Gorsuch and the Power of the Executive: Behind the Congressional Stage, a Legal Drama Unfolds
Michael J. Sainato
Fox News Should Finally Dump Bill O’Reilly
Kenneth Surin
Former NC Governor Pat McCory’s Job Search Not Going Well
Binoy Kampmark
The Price of Liberation: Slaughtering Civilians in Mosul
Bruce Lesnick
Good Morning America!
William Binney and Ray McGovern
The Surveillance State Behind Russia-gate: Will Trump Take on the Spooks?
Jill Richardson
Gutting Climate Protections Won’t Bring Back Coal Jobs
Robert Pillsbury
Maybe It’s Time for Russia to Send Us a Wake-Up Call
Prudence Crowther
Swamp Rats Sue Trump
March 29, 2017
Jeffrey Sommers
Donald Trump and Steve Bannon: Real Threats More Serious Than Fake News Trafficked by Media
David Kowalski
Does Washington Want to Start a New War in the Balkans?
Patrick Cockburn
Bloodbath in West Mosul: Civilians Being Shot by Both ISIS and Iraqi Troops
Ron Forthofer
War and Propaganda
Matthew Stevenson
Letter From Phnom Penh
James Bovard
Peanuts Prove Congress is Incorrigible
Thomas Knapp
Presidential Golf Breaks: Good For America
Binoy Kampmark
Disaster as Joy: Cyclone Debbie Strikes
Peter Tatchell
Human Rights are Animal Rights!
George Wuerthner
Livestock Grazing vs. the Sage Grouse
Jesse Jackson
Trump Should Form a Bipartisan Coalition to Get Real Reforms
Thomas Mountain
Rwanda Indicts French Generals for 1994 Genocide
Clancy Sigal
President of Pain
Andrew Stewart
President Gina Raimondo?
Lawrence Wittner
Can Our Social Institutions Catch Up with Advances in Science and Technology?
March 28, 2017
Mike Whitney
Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below 
Mark Kernan
Memory Against Forgetting: the Resonance of Bloody Sunday
John McMurtry
Fake News: the Unravelling of US Empire From Within
Ron Jacobs
Mad Dog, Meet Eris, Queen of Strife
Michael J. Sainato
State Dept. Condemns Attacks on Russian Peaceful Protests, Ignores Those in America
Ted Rall
Five Things the Democrats Could Do to Save Their Party (But Probably Won’t)
Linn Washington Jr.
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Hiring Practices: Privilege or Prejudice?
Philippe Marlière
Benoît Hamon, the Socialist Presidential Hopeful, is Good News for the French Left
Norman Pollack
Political Cannibalism: Eating America’s Vitals
Bruce Mastron
Obamacare? Trumpcare? Why Not Cubacare?
David Macaray
Hollywood Screen and TV Writers Call for Strike Vote
Christian Sorensen
We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet
Rodolfo Acuna
What We Don’t Want to Know
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of the Electronics Ban
Andrew Moss
Why ICE Raids Imperil Us All
March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail