‘Crazy’ isn’t only on the right

Published 11:59 pm Friday, June 12, 2009

Over the past month, there have been three nationally newsworthy cases of an individual gunman shooting a victim in cold blood. Even more interesting has been the fallout from those attacks.

On May 31, Scott Roeder fatally shot abortion doctor George Tiller while he was serving as an usher in his church. The backlash against pro-life organizations was fierce, as every attempt was made to connect Roeder to the movement, and to suggest that his action was indicative of what any pro-lifer would do in a similar situation.

And yet, according to The Nation (no friend to conservatives), Tiller is only the eighth abortion provider murdered in the U.S. since 1977. I could be wrong, but I’m sure there have been many more members of just about any profession who have been murdered in that same time span.

Just this Wednesday, 88-year-old James von Brunn entered the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., shooting and killing a black 39-year-old security guard, Stephen Johns. Almost instantly, media reports showed up connecting von Brunn to the far-right white supremacy movement. That assertion has been muddled somewhat, following the discovery of screeds written by von Brunn that also attest to his dislike of Christianity, George W. Bush and his belief that the Sept. 11, 2001, attack was an “inside job.”

The third attack happened on June 1, when U.S. Army Pvt. William Long was shot and killed by 23-year-old Abdulhakim Muhammad outside an Army recruiting center in West Little Rock, Ark.

The same left-wing blogs and Web sites who were quick to blame “Fox News” and “right-wing hate” for the shootings of Tiller and von Brunn were relatively silent in response to Long’s death. Indeed, one could easily make the argument that the left’s constant stream of anti-military parades, literature and television shows could have helped spark the shooting of Long.

Now, I am not saying that there are no hard-core right wing extremist groups in this world. However, for every right wing extremist, there is an equally violent leftist.

If you don’t believe me, check out the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list, where you’ll find Daniel Andreas San Diego as the lone domestic terrorist. San Diego is a radical “animal rights” leftist from Berkeley, Calif., who is suspected of bombing the offices of several biotechnology and nutrition companies.

Is it so hard to say that maybe there are nutcases on all sides of the political spectrum? Maybe those loons are not “influenced” by Fox News, or MSNBC, or right-wing/left-wing/chicken-wing Web sites … maybe they’re just crazy.