Shawn Maxam wonders why are we so obsessed with labeling the Aurora, Colorado shooter.
definition of a terrorist - A person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.
All over the news, social media and the Internet I see people arguing over whether James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, is a terrorist? How are we defining terrorism in a post 9/11 world? Does Holmes fit into our this new definition of terrorism/terrorist? My answer is a resounding NO!
I think this is a situation where we become trapped in a dance with the English language. Holmes may have terrorized the moviegoers with his actions. He may have brought terror to a city in Colorado but he’s not a terrorist. Just because a verb or adverb is applicable doesn’t mean a noun is.
Also why are we so obessesed with defining James Holmes? On labeling him? I believe it’s because if we give him a label then we can define his motivations. Since it doesn’t seem like he will ever be able to tell us why he did what he did then we have to create a narrative. A story to make sense of the senseless. Sometimes irrational behavior can’t be rationalized. It is better left unexplained. Even if we had an explanation would that make us understand exactly why this tragedy happened?
I don’t think so. I am not sure the answer is as simple as calling Holmes a terrorist. I think the answer is far more complex and it will take more then a mere five days to try to find the reasons.
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