Some are calling what happened in Charleston last night a racially-motivated hate crime. Others say it was terrorism. Everyone seems to agree it was evil and murder most foul.
I know very little about Dylann Storm Roof. We have already given him an elevated status equal to a presidential assassin by using all three of his names. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, and Dylann Storm Roof.
In the coming hours, days and weeks we will learn just about everything there is to know about Dylann Storm Roof.
But even before he was identified as the killer people were making assumptions and jumping to conclusions about him. It would be irresponsible not to speculate, so I am going to proffer my wholly uninformed opinion of Dylann Storm Roof which is that he is crazy as a shit house rat.
I feel pretty confident of this because no sane person would slaughter nine innocent people the way he did. That does not mean, however, that he is legally insane as in “not guilty by reason of insanity.” Even if he confesses that his motive was racist that does not preclude insanity. I would argue that only a crazy person would kill people because of their skin color.
Despite my general opposition to the death penalty I will not miss nir grieve for Dylann Storm Roof if the Stater of North Carolina decides to fry, hang, shoot or lethally inject him.
As for what is the meaning of all this, there is none. His crimes mean nothing to those not directly affected. The only lesson to be learned is “crazy people do crazy things.”
That of course will not stop pols, pundits and real people from jawboning about this for days and weeks until a new shiny squirrel pops up. The race arsonist contingent will be especially noisy. But in the end it will make no difference.
Nine murders is just a bad three-day weekend in Chicago.