Lafayette, LA -- Jillian Johnson 33, and Mayci Breaux, 21 had their lives stolen from them by an insane and vile maniac who shot up a movie theater Thursday night.
While I usually avoid writing in first person on the Free Thought Project, for the purpose of this story, I will have to, as it is a personal one.
It was in 2005 that the young and vibrant Jillian Johnson walked into our Downtown T-shirt shop with aspirations on high. Her talent was limitless, her artistic ability, unprecedented.
Jillian was going places, and she knew it.
Over the next ten years, we would become friends. She would team up with my then business partner to create the largest local clothing line in the area. Four stores and three cities later, Jillian was an active member of the community and loved by all.
All that would come to a grinding halt on Thursday, when a man, whose name doesn't deserve to be typed out, would walk into a movie theater three miles from my home and begin shooting random people. Nine were injured, one still critical, and two of Lafayette's most promising young women were killed.
The parish of Lafayette is small, only around 230,000 people. But our community has a lot of heart; so much so, that Lafayette was rated the Number 1 overall city in America in which to live.
This shooting has affected everyone in town, yet no one is taking to social media to speculate on this tragedy to push their agenda. No one is blaming the shooting on anyone except the evil man who pulled the trigger, and rightfully so, as no one else pulled that trigger for him.
That being said, after taking a brief scroll through Reddit, the people of Lafayette, and their reluctance to blame someone besides the shooter, seem to be an anomaly.
Immediately after this putrid man's name was released, a feeding frenzy began. The blood was not mopped up, the theater is still closed, and the bodies still warm, yet the vultures began tearing them apart.
Of course, letting the public know that the shooter had a history of mental illness is certainly newsworthy, and people positively want to know about these things. However, that is not the issue here.
The first group of vultures to take their bite was the Westboro Baptist Church, who is likely salivating at the opportunity to promote their bigotry and rake in some cash by spewing their vitriol.
As we have pointed out in the past, their demented religious views are only half of the reason the Westboro Baptist Church conducts these controversial protests. The Free Thought Project's John Vibes, exposed in his June report,
The Westboro Baptist Church actually loves to get attacked by counter-protesters, and they also love it when towns attempt to block them from protesting. That is because the Westboro Baptist Church is a business, that is designed to provoke people into doing things that can get them sued. They may or may not believe the hateful rhetoric that they promote. However, their true motivation is a financial one that has nothing to do with their alleged religious beliefs.
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But these nutcases weren't the only vultures on the scene. The wonderful and caring folks from the Southern Poverty Law Center swooped in to feed as well. This morning the SPLC began tweeting that the shooter had ties to "Anti-government conspiracies" and that he was a racist.
Perhaps this speculation would have been warranted had this sicko attacked black people and/or government. However, he did not. He attacked completely random and innocent people who were not affiliated with the state and who happened to be white.
Next up was the mainstream media, who seemingly couldn't wait to stoke divide by demonizing entire populations through their attempts to link the shooter to certain groups, who are less than enthusiastic about the establishment.
It was reported that this vile inhuman piece of filth was a member of the Tea Party Nation, as if all people in the tea party are neo-nazi lunatic gunman.
Unfortunately, these guilt by association tactics are what often lead to evil idiots being duped into carrying out murder against innocent people because they are perceived as the enemy for alleged connections with rival groups.
Ever hear of the Us vs. Them tactics of manipulation? Creating a bunch of "Thems" can be dangerous, no matter who the "Us's" are.
During the feeding frenzy it was also reported that the gunman didn't like Obama. Well, news flash -- Myself and the millions of otherswho dislike the president aren't going around killing innocent people.
As "Team us" was calling him an "Obama hater," the other side of the two-party paradigm, "Team them," was calling him an "Obama lover!" You really cannot make this stuff up. News Flash Number two -- The millions of people who like the president don't go around murdering innocent people!
Sadly, every time Americans experience a tragic shooting, whether it's Charleston, Aurora, Sandy Hook, or mainstreet USA, there is an overwhelming response by supposed "objective" media and political groups alike, who use death and destruction to promote their agenda.
Now for the final news flash. If you have to use murder and violence to get others to accept your ideas, you may need to rethink your ideas.
The murderous villains in all of these cases have already used this death and destruction to make their point. And you're going to do what? Ride their coat tails? You're going to use their violence to promote your ideas, in turn immortalizing evil? Through this action, you are doing exactly what these psychopaths wanted. You are perpetuating the turmoil that these savage criminals sought out through the use of violence. For what?
It could take decades for psychologists to study these killers in an attempt to find reasons for their heinous crimes. Yet still, we may never know what goes on in someone's head for them to be able to kill so many innocent people.
However, one thing is certain, and that is that blowhards attempting to demonize their political enemies through guilt by association, cannot and will not ever obtain that reason by jumping on these death bandwagons; neither will you and neither will I.
The bottom line is that an evil and obviously sick person killed innocent people and no amount of speculation about putting the blame on rap music, heavy metal, video games, violent tv, or political affiliation will change that fact. Anyone who attempts to garner support for their cause through associating their political opposition with an insane killer is acting within the same skewed reality of evil mass murderers and will be complicit in the horrid society that ensues.