If Only Those Dead Indians Hadn’t Been So Cowardly

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Conservative bloggers, who blamed the Virginia Tech victims for not fighting back against the madman who attacked their school, are back for a second dip in the blame-the-victim cesspool. Here’s John Hinderaker:

I wondered earlier today how a mere ten terrorists could bring a city of 19 million to a standstill. Here in the U.S., I don’t think it would happen. I think we have armed security guards who know how to use their weapons, supplemented by an unknown number of private citizens who are armed and capable of returning fire. The Indian experience shows it is vitally important that this continue to be the case. This is a matter of culture as much as, or more than, a matter of laws.

Adam Serwer of TAP explains this attitude thusly:

This is a really strange and immature coping mechanism that manifests on the right in times of high profile tragedy. Rather than contemplate being a victim of a terrorist attack, the subject imagines him or herself as the star of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. I’d say it’s simple racism, but it really is fear masquerading as bravado, a cultural chauvinism that directs itself at other Americans as readily as it does at foreigners. It is the “short skirt” theory of violence. If it happened, you must have been asking for it.

Hm, yes. I have to say, I have never seen anyone who has actually faced combat criticize the inaction or ineffectualness of untrained, unarmed bystanders when in a life-or-death situations. (If this has happened somewhere, please feel free to correct me.) This thinking appears to be peculiar to a certain kind of conservative keyboard monkey who measures America’s strength by the size of its military and considers himself (always a him) more patriotic than liberals because he is more likely to thank a veteran for his or her service, though he himself would never serve.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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