Terrorism: A True Story

5

Words by Tony Grands

My wife works with a bunch of women. When one works with a bunch of women, there’s always the chance that there are a bunch of kids running around. In this particular instance yes, there are kids involved, but not kids as in children. Kids as in the teenage offspring of my wife’s co-workers.

Two of the women who work with Mrs. Grands have been directly affected by the gang violence in Los Angeles. Or, the “Black-on-Black crime,” as the old people used to say. (It’s no more than 50 people in the office.) One son was murdered outside of his house (& even had a reward billboard up for the killer people to see) & another was shot multiple times at close range, rendering him severely injured for life. These are just two of hundreds of second-hand stories I could peddle about the inner city violence, but one glance of your local news & you get the gist. I’ve been a resident of Los Angeles all my life, & believe me when I tell you that I’m no stranger to the urban warfare which is, by definition, domestic terrorism.

Terrorism is the act of inciting terror, fear, panic, & hysteria in people. Any actor who perpetrates such activity is a terrorist, by definition if not action, & domestic means “at home.” If you do any of these things then you are, in fact, a domestic terrorist. Any other sub-heading is between you & your crew (& the authorities).

We’ve all witnessed the tragedy in Aurora, CO, & it’s easy to become enveloped in the story because the media has sensationalized it, milking the massacre for stories & interviews & analysis from any & every possible angle. Every channel has reporters in Colorado & San Diego, CA, to get every tidbit of information available. In all the reports I’ve heard & read so far, not yet have I seen James Holmes referred to as a terrorist.

If a man from another part of the world, with a different skin tone than Holmes’ did the exact same thing, there would be global outrage. Public defiling of whomever claimed responsibility. America would be vowing revenge, looking for an ass to kick, & purposely running out of bubble gum until we decided that we’ve punished “the enemy” enough. Nevertheless, he hasn’t been called a terrorist yet, even though all the witnesses speak of the ravaging terror that James Holmes unleashed that midnight in that movie theater.

Let’s not forget that Aurora, Colorado isn’t ground zero. Violence & homicide are synonymous with our national anthem. As American as abortion clinics & bacon milkshakes (no euphemism). There are massacres that – while not as swift & blinding as this one – are wiping people off the face of the earth, just at a slower rate. Whatever the cause, homicide (specifically gun violence) is a terrible plague in the USA & make no mistakes; it’s a form of domestic terrorism.

Take a city like Chicago, where almost routinely (as of this year) 20-25 shootings happen every weekend, with the citywide homicide rate jumping almost 40% in 2012 alone. People of all ages are being killed by gun violence, & there seems to be no safe zones available. Assuming what the statistics say is true, that’s a definitive state of terrorism, no? The perpetrators of violent crimes that affect nearby communities in such a way that they develop new ways of living out of fear are domestic terrorists. America’s government & it’s fine officers are so busy trying politicizing every aspect of our lives that they can’t see what’s happening. & think what you will, but this mass shooting will get the attention that [insert city] has been needing for years.

Gang violence is domestic terrorism & so is leveling a theater full of people with guns & tear gas. Some police precincts are even guilty of it, included the LAPD when I was growing up. One summer, my uncle took me to Magic Mountain & we got hassled by cops on the way, at the gate, & as soon as we pulled off of the freeway at home. They didn’t bother me – for whatever Godly reason – but they literally terrorized my uncle. Down the line, as I got older, I realized why, still the harassment was epic, & even at my age I knew that.

Perhaps if certain crimes were dealt with on these domestic terrorist terms, people would actually be deterred from committing them more than once. Armed robbery is a totally different charge than being arrested on acts of hijacking & domestic terrorism. I’m not even sure how that type of thing works, but I’m sure the proverbial slaps on the wrist – if such a thing exists – are still quite severe.

While the nation cringes yet sternly mourns the loss of 12 people, the survivors lick their wounds & face their memories. Meanwhile, there’s no way we can ignore the fact James Holmes legally purchased everything he had, with the exception of a homemade gas. Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that it was easy for some kid to get his hands on a gun & kill my wife’s co-worker’s flesh & blood.

Marriage has been redefined, & the same thing may need to happen with what’s considered terrorism in America.

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5 comments on “Terrorism: A True Story

  1. markdub7 says:

    Very eloquent essay, Mr. Grands. I was actually thinking he same about labeling James Holmes a domestic terrorist too, pursuaded by one of your earlier writings. He will be punished for his crimes, yet they in NRA will stand firmly its belief that all American citizens have the right to be armed when clearly, that stance should be reexamined.

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    • Gotta disagree with you there Mark. Assume that all the people who were shot/injured in the tragedy in Aurora LEGALLY (read: idealisticall) owned handguns at the time of the massacre. I doubt he would have gotten off that many rounds and killed/injured/maimed that many people. I’m all for allowing citizens the right to carry arms. I personally don’t carry a piece because I am afraid. I carry a piece because if the situation arises, I can defend myself/loved ones. I read this in article the other day and I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment:

      “When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’M LOOKING TO BE LEFT ALONE. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation… and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.”

      Though this is only a snapshot of the letter and can be taken out of context, it hits the nail on the head. If I have the right to bear arms to protect what I hold closest and most dear, I will do so. God forbid, some raph-skallion run up on one of our family members that is unarmed and is hurt or worse in a situation where if they had an equalizer (and the proper training) I’d imagine the outcome would be better if not different in favor of said loved one.

      (Steps off soap box before fruit starts flying)

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      • markdub7 says:

        I hear you, Champ, and dont fully disagree. But when a cat can so easily LEGALLY acquire 3 guns, over 6,000 rounds of ammunition, and STILL not set off any alarms til he murders 12 people and injures 50, I think that there should be tougher gun laws in place, and the ones already on the books need to be better enforced. You have proven through your discipline w/your gun that you’re worthy to walk the streets with it. I don’t know what legislation could be put in place or how the system should be enforced, but incidents like this one, and Trayvon Martin’s murder, and Columbine show that too many of the wrong people have far too easy access to these guns.

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      • Soulrise says:

        I’m 100% in support of the right to bear arms but I have to disagree with the theory that 2nd amendment folks throw around about how if everyone in the theater was armed less people would’ve been killed. If I picture everyone in the theater having weapons I envision a lot of people having the back of their heads blown off by “friendly” fire. Too many people who own guns can’t shoot for shit. And to have a sold out theater full of people with guns all firing at the same guy would be chaotic to say the least. Something like that takes discipline, training, and organized coordinated effort. SWAT and the military, etc. don’t enter into battle with multiple guns until they know exactly who’s covering what area and where they’re shooting.

        Bottom line I don’t think the answer is to make or enforce more laws to limit ways a citizen can purchase a firearm, I think the answer is to enforce a strict training course and test for those that do.

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  2. DV says:

    And we thought those right wingers was scared Obama was gonna take they guns (and money) then. Something else like this will happen again, its inevitable. Also how many colleges gotta get shot up by some one who decided to play Remy from Higher Learning for a day before somebody does something about it? As far as Chicago goes I wont be suprised if military personnel began patroling the streets soon. But the slight conspiratory theorist in me thinks this is all an elaborate plan (yes even allowing the violence to get out of hand) to disarm as many American citizens as possible before “Martial Law” and “Police State” practices are carried out in various cities across America. Call me crazy if you want.

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