The day that the guilty verdict came down for James Holmes, the man who shot up a movie theater in Colorado, I breathed a sigh of relief. For the victims. For the community. For the families of the victims. For the families of victims of senseless violence. Three years after the fact, there was justice. Or what could be administered by our system with its due process and checks and balances. That was the moment I felt relief.
Then came the shooting in Chattanooga. We now have another accused killer. This is how we refer to Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez. There were plenty of witnesses who watched him spray two different recruiting centers with automatic weapons fire, seven miles apart. Allegedly. That would be Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat or in the more easily digested English: the burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies, And we should probably point out that Mister Abdulazeez is not around to deny his innocence or guilt. He was shot by police who arrived on the scene. Four Marines are dead. That is not an allegation. That is a reality. Still, we will keep referring to this gentleman as a suspect until the investigation is through. The hairs that can be split between criminal and terrorist acts will be split and any possible accomplices will be rounded up and that will give us all a chance for some catharsis, since surviving accomplices can be given that due process and eventually justice will be served. Cold and late, but served nonetheless.
Just in time to try and figure out how to step up theater security, at least in Lafayette, Louisiana. Three more dead, and nine injured. One of the casualties was the suspect, John Russell "Rusty" Houser. The self-inflicted gunshot that took his life was the last of the "methodical" killing that took place during a showing of "Trainwreck." Now, aside from questioning the necessity of metal detectors outside movie theaters, we can wonder what "Rusty" might have had against Amy Schumer. Allegedly. There investigation here will probably not run as deep, since the potential political and ideological questions can be swept aside. Except for that whole mental health thing. A history of mental health concerns didn't keep Mister Houser from passing a background check and legally purchasing the .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun that he fired twenty times. Allegedly.
And lest we forget that old news of Dylan Roof, suspect in the murder of nine church members in Charleston. He will be charged with hate, not with terror. Perhaps his defense might find a way to swing that: innocent by reason of hate.
It's been a rough summer. Allegedly.