The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) referred to this week's shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed fourteen people as "just another day in the United States of America." Indeed, mass shootings have become so commonplace in our land of guns and madness that they now have to be bloody horrific to even garner more than a passing glance of public interest.
Mass killings have become an accepted part of our cultural fabric.
After the shootings in San Bernardino, national politicians coughed up the same twaddle that they keep on the shelf for all such occasions. The Democrats pleaded for sensible restrictions on the sale of guns and ammunition, such as laws that would make it more difficult for individuals who are insane, criminals, or terrorists to buy weapons and arm themselves, while Republicans yammered on about the need to pray for the dead and wounded.
Both sides knew that nothing would happen. The National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups would continue to pump money and fear into the halls of Congress and the state legislatures in a brazen bid to ensure that America remains the deadliest country on earth.
But yesterday the game changed a bit. The FBI decided that since the shooters in San Bernardino had philosophical ties to ISIS, the venerable U.S. law enforcement agency would declare that particular shooting to be an act of "terrorism." Suddenly, upon hearing that pronouncement, the Republican presidential hopefuls threw down their prayer beads and leaped for their gun cabinets. We were at war - and those political animals smelled blood in the air. There was money to be made and votes to be had! It was high time for Americans to come to their senses and elect a war-time President - hopefully someone just as fearless, ferocious, and tactically brilliant as George W. Bush.
The Republican wet dream had finally come true. One of these acts of barbarism had been officially called terrorism. Now, at long last, they were free to get angry and belligerent about a mass shooting - just like the Democrats had been doing all along.
This one was terrorism - so this one was bad. It's not about guns anymore - it's about the flag, and apple pie, and motherhood - and guns. Now is the time for every loyal, red-blooded American to hop in the truck and rush down to Walmart and buy more guns. The Mooslims are coming, the Mooslims are coming!
Of course, skeptics might argue that its been about terrorism all along. When a young man who has been raised on a steady died of bigotry and hate walks into an African American church and guns down worshipers as they kneel in prayer - and they moans in disgust about black men defiling white women - that's terrorism, whether the FBI has the cajones to call it that or not. It's also terrorism when a tool of the religious right storms into a Planned Parenthood center and opens fire - while sputtering on about "baby parts."
According to the illustrious Federal Bureau of Investigation, mass shootings are terrorism when they are inspired by right-wing Muslim extremists - but when right-wing Christian extremists inspire mass shootings, its just another day in the United States of America.
What a crock.
It's all terrorism.