Another shooting spree, it’s become such an internationally recognized trademark of American culture that we should now say “as American as
Apple Pie Going Postal.”
It is always a shock — and a cause for deep sadness — when a gunman fires malevolently at crowds of innocent people. We have seen it far too often: at Columbine High School in Colorado a decade ago; on the campus of Virginia Tech two years ago; at a center for immigrants in upstate New York in April; and in downtown Orlando, Fla., where a gunman shot and killed one person and wounded five others on Friday.
We always come up with a scapegoat to avoid pointing the finger at the violent, dysfunctional character of American society that produces and reproduces these tragic episodes. The fact that Major Nidal Malik Hasan was a Muslim American is no exception; it just gives us another easy excuse to avoid looking in the mirror. Remember how after Columbine the Republicans wanted legislation to publish the Ten Commandments in all high schools so students would know that killing was wrong? As if that were the root of the problem or even remotely constitutional.
Now it must be Islam or terrorism (it was insanity, not religion or ideology, when a right-wing Christian shot up the Holocaust Museum earlier this year). Ironically, it could take a Muslim American adopting the All American modus operandi for us to finally recognize that going postal is a our own homegrown, domestic breed of terrorism, committed by Americans of all stripes.