Musings —10.25.2014 09:06 AM—
The New York Times has a huge piece this morning, with multiple contributors, about the shooter and Ottawa (whose name I still refuse to use).
Was he an Islamic radical, or just a drug addicted loser? Here are the Times’ first few grafs:
OTTAWA — A loner. A drug addict. A criminal. A drifter. And lately, an Islamic radical.
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the bearded, 32-year-old gunman who was shot dead Wednesday after killing a soldier and storming Canada’s Parliament, aptly fit each of those descriptions. In the tumultuous wake of what Canada’s prime minister has called a terrorist act, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau’s radicalism has become the defining one.
But a closer examination of his past draws a somewhat different portrait: one of an increasingly troubled, mentally unstable man who initially may have embraced religion not as a political cause, but as an attempt to scaffold a disintegrating life.
Whatever he was, I take to view the targeting identified groups – in this case, military people – with extreme violence amounts to a hate crime in Canadian law. In prosecution, and in sentencing, these acts should be treated as such.