Dylann Storm Roof diagnosis: it’s not a flag or Fox News. It’s addiction. It nearly always is; this time isn’t different.
In what many are calling an act of terrorism, Dylann Storm Roof murdered nine parishioners in an Emanuel AME Church during a bible study. His actions are blamed on everything from “this is the face of evil” to “he watches things like Fox News,” from “mental illness” to “racism,” from “someone who wanted to inflict harm [having] no trouble getting their hands on a gun” to “he was motivated by hate,” from “Confederate flags” to “right wing media,” from “there’s a sickness in our country” to “public discourse…is sometimes hotter and more negative than it should be, which can…trigger people who are less than stable.” Yet, none of these “explanations” get to the root of what happened: “Roof is a pill popping druggie who experienced impaired judgment and distorted perceptions, which caused egomania, impelling in him a need to wield power over others, which he did in his own particularly horrific style.” Or, more simply: “Roof is a substance addict—and this is the sort of act addicts, almost exclusively, are capable of committing.” To pare it down even further: “Roof is an addict—no other explanation needed.” Everything else is a distraction.
Inanimate objects such as guns and drugs (or flags) are not to blame; the person on the drug with a gun is, for which the best defense is another person with a gun. It never ceases to amaze: conservatives oppose decriminalization of drugs, while leftists want to criminalize guns. How about acknowledging we cannot keep drugs or guns out of the hands of addicts and, instead, narrow the scope of the failed war on drugs to those who cause problems for others? If we do this, we can weed out the Dylann Storm Roof’s of the world, which will go far in preventing these senseless tragedies.