MAGAts vs. The Prince of Darkness

In John Carpenter’s classic movie, The Prince of Darkness,  a demonic spirit is contained in

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a bottle in a church.  As it strives to escape, and bring about the end-times, it emits psychic waves that grow in power.  Initially it attracts a crowd of the mentally weak on the margins of society, that take to clustering around the church, staring and waiting for instructions.  As its power grows, it is able to wreck havoc by controlling more normal people, who commit escalating acts of violence as, under the control of the demonic spirit, they endeavor to summon the Prince of Darkness to Earth.

Similarly, the Mangled Orange Hell-beast’s unveiled calls for violence influence those on the weak-minded or crazy on the margins of society, starting with pummeling protesters at rallies, moving into shooting at or running over counter-protesters at white supremacy rallies, and now sending explosive devices to liberal politicians and journalists libeled and vilified by Trump and the Right Wing Wurlitzer of Doom.

After the attack by Omar Mateen on the gay club in Orlando in 2016, I had a discussion with a reactionary on the subject.  “Omar,” he maintained, “is an agent radicalized by Isis, recruited by their propaganda and driven to acts of violence per their agenda.”  When I asked him about other terror attacks (e.g. Dylann Roof‘s murder of an African American bible study group) he was quick to dismiss them as ‘deranged loners, not part of any organized threat to America.’

Curious in the wake of the latest bomb mailings (but before the perp was revealed) I reached out to him for his opinion.  “Ridiculous,” he stated, “clearly a false flag operation.  The timing is just too good for the Democrats, on the eve of the election, and who would be so stupid as to send dud devices to folks like Clinton or Soros who obviously have their mail screened?”

Who indeed?

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Weapons of Mass Murder

170813002022-34-charlottesville-white-nationalist-protest-0812-exlarge-169A popular false equivalence floated by guns nuts after every mass murder is that “X {shovels, kitchen knives, pipe wrenches, etc} can also be used to kill,” followed by the straw man “so are you saying that we must also ban X?”

This  begs the question “What is the best weapon of mass murder?”  If we are talking sheer numbers of victims, then everybody thinks Airplane and 9/11!  2,606 killed at the World Trade Center!  Clear winner, right?  Well you must consider that there were 2 planes involved, one per tower.  If we take a single airplane strike on the North Tower there were 1,402 direct victims.  But the attack required 5 terrorists, so the effective number of victims per terrorist is 280.

Bombs? Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 with a single truck bomb, fewer than the airplane reaping, although he did manage to injure an additional 600 people.

Cars & Trucks?  In 2016 Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove into a crowd in Nice, France and killed 86 (injuring 458).

Guns?  Stephen Paddock is the current leading mass killer, murdering 59 people (and injuring 527) with his legal semi-automatic rifles converted with legal bumper fire kits to full-automatic.  In line with runner-up Omar Mateen who killed 49 (and injured 58) at a nightclub in Florida in 2016.

Knives?  Not so common in gun-friendly U.S., but we have Satoshi Uematsu in Japan in 2016 who murdered 19 (and injured 25)…but keep in mind that he was stabbing disabled people.  More realistic is the recent attack in China where 10 people killed 29 (and injured 130) at a train station – the effective number of victims per killer is 3.

Shovels, pipe-wrenches, candlesticks, etc?  Seems like people have killed somebody with just about anything at one time or another…but I couldn’t find any evidence of massacres using ‘found objects’…perhaps because these things aren’t specifically designed to kill a lot of people.

In terms of price/performance, the airplane attacks were about $192/victim, McVeigh’s bomb was $30/victim, the rental truck $6/victim, and Paddock’s gun massacre $102/victim, knives $10/victim.

Post 9/11 security has made another commercial plane suicide attack unlikely, and the cost and planning are unrealistic for the lone-wolf killer.  The truck-bombing provides low cost with a high murder rate, but requires careful planning and execution to avoid ending up on a watch-list and foiled by Homeland Security.  The truck attack offers the best price performance with a significant mass-murder effect, very little planning, simple execution and limited skills required – the clear weapon of choice.  The gun attack was surprising pricey in comparison and requires basic shooting skills, but  doesn’t require much in the way of planning.

And found objects?  Pure wing-nut bullshit.