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.