Boy for the Gun Culture
New books and TV interviews are offering insights into the
psyche of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who, if he’s
going to get his message out, had better do so in a hurry
since he's scheduled to be syringed to death on May 16.
McVeigh says that he didn't know that there was a day care
center in the Murrah Federal building and that if he had known
it he might have switched targets because the day care center
represented a lot of "collateral damage." He expresses
no remorse over the fate of the children but recognizes that
it was, shall we say, bad PR. McVeigh initially acknowledged
having seen the outline of a crib in one of the windows as
he drove up to the building, but couldn't postpone his actions
because the date (April 19) was too important because its
relevance to the Waco fire. McVeigh later denied seeing the
The psychiatrist who evaluated McVeigh indicates that he
can go into tirades about the children killed at Waco but
does not relate at all to the children killed by his bomb.
He claims that when Congress banned certain assault weapons,
"I snapped." McVeigh says that, "What the U.S.
government did at Waco and Ruby Ridge was dirty and I gave
dirty back to them at Oklahoma City."
There's a familiar pattern here. McVeigh was fascinated by
guns from a young age, his parents were detached and uninvolved.
He claims to have been bullied as a child (where have we heard
that before? ) and says that he began to feel during his Army
years that the federal government was the "biggest bully
in the world." He says that he was influenced by reading
the "Turner Diaries," a novel that is near sacred
scripture to the anti-government crazies.
So what we have here is the ultimate school shooting, an
insanely criminal act that came about because of feelings
of persecution. But McVeigh's feelings of persecution are
far more insidious than those of the average high school kid.
The kid is usually really being picked on. McVeigh's feelings
of persecution are the result of a stream of disinformation
that was fed to him by a subculture that thrives and profits
from disseminating disinformation.
What we see in McVeigh is the product of the gun/militia
subculture that tells its adherents that the government and
all conventional sources of information are telling lies designed
to enslave them. Religious cults use the same technique with
some success. Groups like this will tell their people to rely
only certain sources of information – the group itself is,
of course, one of the few truthtellers. The gun subculture
has venues that religious cults never enjoyed, however - talk
radio and the Internet (although McVeigh himself probably
made little or no use of the 'Net). McVeigh is basically an
even more frightening version of the Columbine killers, hearing
only voices that reinforce his fears and coldly plotting to
do away with imaginary villains.
The Waco incident has been investigated to death and each
time it's been found that the Davidians set their building
on fire and were responsible for their own deaths. In fact,
although the children were portrayed by some as victims of
the government, five of them were killed not by the fire but
by the Davidians themselves, presumably for the crime of wanting
to live. Four were shot and one was hacked to death by a knife.
All this information is available to the public (and was available
even before McVeigh's terrorist act) but public knowledge
is rather irrelevant when you convince people that everyone's
lying to them. In fact, there are still imbeciles out there
claiming that it was a government plot and all the evidence
has been covered up.
You can check out WorldNetDaily or drop in on the loony birds
at Free Republic to see how writers like Claire Wolfe or Vin
Suprynowicz work hard to feed the psychosis of the gun culture.
They'll tell you about the New World Order, a shadowy very
powerful group that is somehow connected to the UN and is
on the verge of subjugating the U.S. But of course they first
have to take everybody's guns because they know that toothless
patriots with handguns and camouflage outfits will thwart
their efforts and drive them back to the diversity seminars
that spawned them.
The potential McVeighs haven't gone away. There have been
arrests of other militia types in recent years who were planning
terrorist acts. There is currently a crackpot named John Gray
in Texas who is facing charges of assaulting an officer and
has holed himself and his family up on his ranch, daring authorities
to come and get him. He claims to be a victim of the New World
Order (of course) and has been getting support from a local
talk show host (what else?).
McVeigh himself has no choice but to continue to believe
the lies that led to the Oklahoma City bombing. How else would
he bring himself to deal with the fact that he had killed
all those people, and was sitting in a prison cell awaiting
a poison spike in his arm because he had been misinformed?
Unfortunately, the next McVeigh is probably already surfing
the 'Net or listening to some radio talk show and becoming
convinced that dark unseen forces are controlling the world
and have to be stopped.
Fearful, insecure, well-armed people battling a supposedly
all-powerful enemy that doesn't even exist. It's probably
going to get even more people killed.