Sunday, July 29, 2018


I've been thinking about it all since they released the shooter's name and his family immediately said he suffered from psychosis. Many in major media covering this have not asked the questions, maybe because that would be rude? So all the headlines say shooter suffered psychosis with no corroboration or disclaimer saying *says the family*. It's just a given now.

Toronto mass shooter Faisal Hussainsuffered from psychosis. Could more have been done to stop him?

Note that the National Post headline doesn't say *If . . . * They have taken the family at its word. The press release has done its job, admirably. It doesn't make it true, but that's what sticks in the minds of readers. To this point, a week since, the narrative has never been about the shooter. It’s been about his poor family and all of the alt-right scaremongers at the Toronto SUN. The family’s press release certainly set the talking point, and straying leaves you marked.

On Twitter, people have taken sides... those who expect proof or evidence of psychosis and those who suggest those who want to know are racist Islamaphobes, and fear-mongering.

I'm not sure why I'm astonished by the number of people, ordinary people, challenging the right of the media (or other ordinary people), to question the mental health status of the murderer, but this is where we are in Canada today. It isn't new... there are lines we have to follow. Trudeau has as much as said so -- if you're pro-life? UnCanadian. Trans-skeptical? UnCanadian. Legal firearms owner? UnCanadian. And you're not supposed to talk about your point of view, or question the *correct* side.

It's been decided. This murderer suffered psychosis. Nothing else is relevant. If you challenge this, you are at best mean, at worst racist.

Let's be honest. Anyone who commits a murder, on purpose, must be mentally ill. Normal people -- sane, rational, people -- do not do this sort of thing. Normal people might be racist or radical or angry about life and their place in it -- but they don't go out and commit crimes against strangers. So, let's just all agree he was mentally ill -- it still doesn't answer, why? Why now? Why this place? Why these people? Why not the brown man in the alley?

Maybe some people think those questions are important. And maybe, because the shooter is dead, we'll never get the answers... but you know what? It is wrong to shut down the conversation on people who are asking. It's the same with the groping allegations against Trudeau... so many people were so quick to say *the woman says it's over. It's over.*

No. It's not over. It's been a week and the coverage on this tragedy and particularly, the shooter, has been abysmal.

Three days after the shooting, when we had only just learned the youngest victim's name and still had not learned the stories of the wounded, we were told this:

TerryGlavin: #TorontoStrong can be strong enough to support the shooter's parents,too

The secondary headline said:  

If people cannot find it within themselves to extend the same compassion to the Hussains that is being shown victims' families, they should be ashamed

Seriously? This was published three days after the attack. There had been no mass hysteria, no vicious retaliation, no public harassment of the family. For what reason were we being chastised into identifying with the killer's family on the same level as the victims'? We hadn't even had a chance to identify, let alone grieve the many victims. Still haven't, a week later, but somehow, a writer for a national publication thinks this is helpful, shaming us if our compassion lies first with those still picking up the pieces of the shooter's carnage? I will not feel guilty for expecting answers. I will not feel shame for not seeing an equivalency between the victims' families and the family of the shooter. And honestly, I might be more inclined to have compassion for them, if I wasn't being told that questioning the authenticity of their statement was tantamount to Islamaphobia.

Canada is getting too good at shutting down debate on important issues by tossing around the words *racist* and *alt-right*. Most people, when confronted with those words about their own worldview, won't change their worldview, they'll just keep quiet about it. It isn't wrong to ask questions and it isn't wrong to hold a differing opinion from the accepted Liberal line.



dmorris said...

There are numerous questions that should be asked on the Faisal Hussain file,but have not been. For example, when did his family immigrate here from Pakistan? What does his father do for a living? Mother?

His brother was a known drug and weapons dealer,currently in a coma from a drug overdose, and faisal's sister is said to have died in an auto crash, but again, no details on that story either.
I don't know about the parents,but the kids are sure no success story, have given absolutely nothing TO Canadian society, but certainly caused a lot of harm TO that society.

And about the politics of the family, do they belong to any organizations with questionable ties to extremist groups,or are they completely innocent of any such involvement?
What IS the story on this immigrant family,who by all appearances are among the worst families ever to emigrate to Canada, right up there with Boston's Tsarnaev family or our own beloved Khadrs.

But we'll never know the answer to those questions,will we? Our useless media only create and adhere to a narrative, never actually do any true investigative reporting.

Anonymous said...

There are some valid questions that need to be asked, and some are doing so.
1. Listen to this conversation between a liberal-leaning radio talk show host and criminal defence lawyer Ari Goldkind on this question: given the statement of condolences by the alleged murderer's family about his mental illness, can the perpetrator be considered a victim too? under the heading “Is the frontman for Hedley being used to set an example for others in the industry?” Tuesday, July 24th 2018

2. A commenter at SDA posted this link on July 29, 2018 at 12:23 am under the thread "Reader Tips":
Another interesting conversation.

However, having a rational dispassionate conversation seems almost impossible in the heated rhetorical climate we’re living through these days. I would like to think that sanity will prevail but there seems to be little chance of that at this time.
-- Gabby

canadianna said...

dmorris - Those are all valid questions, but given the nature of discourse in this country, I doubt they will be answered any time soon.

Gabby, People just seem to be so extreme these days. I always feel I take the middle ground on most things... but these days the middle ground seems to have ceded to radicalism. There just seems to be so much hate - on both sides. I think it makes people just want to shut down, and sometimes, I wonder if that isn't the point. If people like us just stop talking because we don't want to deal with the vitriol of the extremes, then those in power can just take up the void and do what they want.
Thanks for sharing the links.

Anonymous said...

"If people like us just stop talking because we don't want to deal with the vitriol of the extremes, then those in power can just take up the void and do what they want."
You're right. I hope rational people, even those who may be partisan -- I believe one can be both -- continue to fight the good fight without sinking to the vulgar & vile levels that is the currency of some social media.

canadianna said...

Absolutely! Twitter can be a nasty place. I'm hopeful it isn't representative of the real world, but I don't talk politics outside of my blog except for with my kids.