If Only Those Dead Indians Hadn’t Been So Cowardly

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Conservative bloggers, who blamed the Virginia Tech victims for not fighting back against the madman who attacked their school, are back for a second dip in the blame-the-victim cesspool. Here’s John Hinderaker:

I wondered earlier today how a mere ten terrorists could bring a city of 19 million to a standstill. Here in the U.S., I don’t think it would happen. I think we have armed security guards who know how to use their weapons, supplemented by an unknown number of private citizens who are armed and capable of returning fire. The Indian experience shows it is vitally important that this continue to be the case. This is a matter of culture as much as, or more than, a matter of laws.

Adam Serwer of TAP explains this attitude thusly:

This is a really strange and immature coping mechanism that manifests on the right in times of high profile tragedy. Rather than contemplate being a victim of a terrorist attack, the subject imagines him or herself as the star of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. I’d say it’s simple racism, but it really is fear masquerading as bravado, a cultural chauvinism that directs itself at other Americans as readily as it does at foreigners. It is the “short skirt” theory of violence. If it happened, you must have been asking for it.

Hm, yes. I have to say, I have never seen anyone who has actually faced combat criticize the inaction or ineffectualness of untrained, unarmed bystanders when in a life-or-death situations. (If this has happened somewhere, please feel free to correct me.) This thinking appears to be peculiar to a certain kind of conservative keyboard monkey who measures America’s strength by the size of its military and considers himself (always a him) more patriotic than liberals because he is more likely to thank a veteran for his or her service, though he himself would never serve.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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