Tag Archives: London

What makes a terrorist a terrorist?

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

As I watch the news about the latest incident in London, I couldn’t help but notice David Cameron didn’t hesitate to call it a terrorist act. When Obama refuses to call similar acts terrorism here, you wonder why? The media have often made a big deal of whether or not something is referred to as terrorism by our political leaders, and I find this semantics argument somewhat nauseating. People are dead because of a senseless act, or at least senseless to those of us not mired in dogmatic ideology anyway. Does it really matter what words we use to describe it? What we call it doesn’t change the nature of the act, but merely changes our attitude about it.

Dog Giving Birth To A Terrorist
Dog Giving Birth To A Terrorist

Being a peaceful agnostic/atheist, I think killing in the name of religion is just as senseless as killing for any other personal reason. Unless that person was about to kill you, your loved ones, or was otherwise threatening to infringe on your rights, you have no reason to use deadly force against them. Per Greg Gutfeld’s public request, I’ve attached a proper picture of a terrorist being born, so as not to give fame or infamy to the real terrorists.

Nonetheless, it seems clear that Obama avoids using the word for two likely reasons:

  1. He doesn’t want to offend Muslims at home and abroad.
  2. He doesn’t want to admit that maybe his administration is vulnerable to terrorist attacks more so than his predecessor, since he was so vocal in criticizing Bush’s handling of this issue.

I find both of these reasons pathetic, and anti-leadership in nature, but Obama seems to relish the idea of somehow being a leader who doesn’t lead.

As far as I know, there has been no official definition that we can apply to decide whether a murderous act should be called murder versus terror. I feel like I know it when I see it, but defining it with words is difficult.

To me, I feel it has something to do with sending a message. Murder is just killing someone because you have an issue with them and you want them dead, or in the case of some serial killers, because you simply enjoy the rush of killing.

Terrorism however is killing someone so that it serves as a message to others to not cross the person or party committing the act—thus spreading terror to others.

Nonetheless, since many seem to want to differentiate between murders & serial killers versus terrorists, I’ll throw it to you, my readers and people who just accidentally stumbled here via a Google search for something quite possibly completely unrelated.

How would you define terror versus murder? What quality or qualities do you think one has that the other doesn’t? Does it matter to you what the president calls it so long as he vigilantly pursues the people who commit such acts? What say you?