In Ottawa we’re breathing a little better today, security officials aside, though two young men aren’t breathing anymore.
Thre was only one shooter, as it turns out, after we spent most of yesterday worrying about a team, one or two more of the conspiratorially unhinged. No, he wasn’t among the list of the “radicalized” 90 our secret service and police have been looking out for. Thankfully, there aren’t too many evil masterminds here in Real Life, and this tragedy now appears to be what it usually is: some damaged sap who’d lost his balance, and wanted to take somebody down with him. Thankfully, too, he may not have been a very well-organized one, or Nathan Cirillo might not have been alone in paying the ultimate price.
Maybe he – I will not name him – was just another lonely loser “inspired” by his distant, cock-eyed brother in spineless mayhem, the one who’d run over a uniformed military officer in a Quebec parking lot earlier this week. (Courage!) Like him, he may have labelled himself Hero, and felt the rush of action-film adrenaline and game-boy significance. He was Doing Something About It, whatever in twisted hell It was. Here were pathetic would-be saints of a faith they didn’t understand, Internet pawns of power-mad bigots who use religion as a means by which the lost, the undereducated, and the toxically resentful can get even, or become something of a sociopathic somebody.