On Friday, a guy armed with a .223 semi-auto (like an AR-15) shot up Santa Monica, killing 5 and wounding 4 before the cops killed him. Pretty terrifying, but not the right kind of terror:
- He started by killing his older brother and father at home and then set it on fire.
- He had been treated for mental illness.
- He had a foreign name (Zawahri), but they were Lebanese (Arab, but not scary Arab) and had been in the country for 20 years.
Put it all together and what do you get? Another crazy guy with a rifle, and another story that had a little bit of national attention and then faded away.
If he had been yelling “Allahu Akbar”, or carrying some kind of IED cobbled together from an Al Qaeda website, had been attending a radical mosque, kidnapped a blonde girl in Brentwood, or had made a recent trip to the Middle East, then maybe we’d have some officially sanctioned fear. Instead, we get a story that had a little national play and then faded away.
And Baby Jesus forbid that we spend any money on a fancy database to track the cache of weapons this guy used – we save that money for the real terrorists, the ones sending around cat pix on Facebook.