Thursday, August 27, 2015

Unscripted reality TV

I couldn't bring myself to watch the horrific video of Roanoke, VA TV reporter Alison Parker (she of station WDBJ) being assassinated on air while conducting a live interview. She and cameraman Adam Ward were shot dead by former WDBJ colleague Vester Flanagan, who apparently left the station on bad terms. Flanagan himself later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Interviewee Vicki Gardner was also shot but is alive and recovering.

Given that this was a flat out ambush by Flanagan and in the state of Virginia, common sense would dictate that the usual demagoguery over guns should not have entered into the equation. After all, a military marksmen couldn't have reacted quickly enough to thwart such an ambush. And given the fact that Virginia has some stringent gun control laws, the outcry for more legislation would be just silly, right?

Within a mere few hours after the murders, Virginia Gov. Terry McAwful McAuliffe was decrying how Flanagan was able to obtain a gun sans background check without even verifying the fact the gunman actually did pass one. Seems to me a rather tedious exercise to enact more legislation when current laws are neither being followed nor enforced.

When it was revealed that the shooter was a "disgruntled former employee" of WDBJ, Deray McKesson (whom I understand is a civil rights activist; I'd never heard of him) dismissed that description.

Yeah, whoops. Not that race matters in this instance (though Flanagan himself was the one who inserted it into the discussion by declaring a "race war"), but the shooter was a black guy. Not surprisingly, Mr. McKesson deleted that embarrassing blunder.

What really has me thinking is would Flanagan have been charged with a "hate crime" had he not taken his own life? Remember last month when the indictment against Charleston, SC shooter Dylann Roof took place (a white guy who killed multiple black people)? Attorney General Loretta Lynch commended the 33-count indictment against Roof, specifically where he was charged with a "hate crime."

From AG Lynch herself:

“The federal indictment returned today charges Roof with nine murders and three attempted murders under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This federal hate crimes law prohibits using a dangerous weapon to cause bodily injury, or attempting to do so, on the basis of race or color. The Shepard Byrd Act was enacted specifically to vindicate the unique harms caused by racially motivated violence."

Emphasis was mine.

Read Flanagan's "manifesto" and judge for yourself. Could you imagine the veritable crap storm from Black Lives Matter et al had such a charge been levied?

Alas, this is what our society has become. We spend the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy discussing the political aspect of such senseless violence while the victims and their loved ones almost become an afterthought. Heck, I'm guilty of it too given everything I've just penned here. But I am committed to praying for peace and comfort for the loved ones of all the deceased while resisting the attempts by those who look to impose their legislative will by infringing upon our rights. It seems like a never-ending battle.


No comments: