Richard Edward and the Narrator Argue over Motive
It isn’t often in this life I am so stunned by events that my brain simply recoils in disgust and my “opinion generator” fails to start. Today, however, is one of those days.
I am reading about the senseless slaughter of ten Americans, who dared to venture into the confines of a public supermarket. My anger rises and my lizard cortex takes over. I am pissed. Fox News, as they normally do, encapsulates the events of this tragedy in a concise and professional manner. Fox writer Stephanie Pagones updates the story with the names of those killed and the name of the suspect who pulled the trigger on our neighbors.
Boulder, Colo., police officials updated the public regarding Monday’s mass shooting at the King Soopers grocery store that left 10 people dead, including the first police officer to arrive on the scene, revealing they have charged the suspect with 10 counts of first-degree murder.
Police identified the suspect as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a 21-year-old Arvada, Colo., man, though his motive for the attack was not specified at this time. Police also identified the 10 victims, whose families were notified by 4 a.m. local time. They range in age from 20 to 65 years old.
Yesterday, some reporters, nieces of U.S. politicians and twitter users immediately seized upon the “white man goes on shooting rampage” narrative.
Today, there is a different story to consider and the response to the story seems a lot quieter now. Could it be the name of the suspect is taking the mainstream media into territory they don’t really like, aren’t comfortable with? Was it really the dreaded ‘white man’, or could it have been someone else from a more protected category of identity politics?
Narrator: “Richard Edward, whatever are you writing about?”
Richard Edward: “It’s the name” I respond to no one. “It’s the suspects name. It sounds like its foreign, almost like it’s the name of someone from the Middle East.”
Narrator: “Don’t be silly. Everyone has a name. How could it be foreign sounding? Besides, if it was someone from the Middle East, the media would have buried the story on the back page.”
Richard Edward: “Well, its weird in that it’s actually four names and they all start with the letter “A.” I mean, c’mon, who has two middle names that all start with the same letter?”
Narrator: “Well, there was A. A. Milne, but its only three letters and one letter is an M. He was British anyway. That’s a tough question, Richard Edward.”
Richard Edward: “The fact that this killer’s name is so unusual and that he has allegedly killed ten people without apparent motive, well, there just has to be something more to this than meets the eye. I am going to do some sleuthing.”
So, just like the rest of the reporters in the mainstream media who were never trained to find and report news, I start with an internet search. I enter “4As.”
Expecting to find something that ties this unusual name to the Middle East and the cultures/religions from that area, imagine my surprise when my search resulted in a match with the American Psychological Association website.
Now, my search result didn’t tell me anything about names or if they were associated with any particular religion, but it did tell me about social behavior. I am starting to become nervous. Why does the search result scare me? Because the 4 As represent the four primary symptoms of schizophrenia.
According to Eugen Bleuler, the four primary symptoms of schizophrenia: abnormal associations in thinking, autistic behavior and thinking, abnormal affect (including flat and inappropriate affect), and ambivalence. These symptoms are also known as the Four As.
Now I am hopelessly confused. I so wanted this to be an easy answer – a Muslim man went on a rampage and killed ten other people, this comes shortly after Syrian territory was bombed by U.S. forces. On Feb. 26, NBC News reported: “Biden orders airstrikes in Syria, retaliating against Iran-backed militias.”
Simple, right? U.S. bombs Syria and a Syrian-born person living in the U.S. responds and kills his neighbors. One and done, I can go meet the rest of the press corps at the bar for happy hour.
Then my inner Richard Edward surfaces, kicks my lizard cortex back into hibernation and asks, “Okay, smart guy, what about the 4As connection you discovered. Is there a connection with a guy who has four As in his name and what you read on the associations website?” Nah, can’t be. Four As simply has to be a coincidence, right?
Sure, the guy might be an angry Muslim (we aren’t sure about this), but what if Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa is also a schizophrenic, and his Muslim roots have nothing to do with his violent behavior – what if it’s all about his mental illness? Ugh. Just when I think Occam was right, my 4As research tangles up my brain.
First A: Abnormal associations in thinking. I don’t know, but the guy did take a semiautomatic weapon to a grocery store. Not something I’d normally carry on a trip to the grocery store.
Second A: Autistic behavior and thinking. I don’t know, but I’ll guess that shooting ten of your neighbors isn’t found on the scale of acceptable social norms.
Third A: Abnormal affect (flat or inappropriate affect). I don’t know, but I did see his picture. There is a definite lack of ‘something’ there.
Fourth A: Ambivalence. I don’t know and who cares.
I do know that the guy is a murdering slug and regardless of his motive, religious jihad, simply bat-guano crazy or both, he is still a murdering slug.
So, his foreign name doesn’t really matter. Religious affiliation doesn’t matter. Muslim, atheist, druid, or Jonestown cultist, killers are killers. His lack of empathy for his fellow man can be the result of mental illness or religious indoctrination.
My thoughts immediately turn to the families and loved ones of those who were killed by Mr. 4 As. They may never know the real reason their loved ones were slaughtered, but the best I can hope for is for justice to be delivered swiftly and that the hearts of those surviving family members can find solace in the grace and embrace of a God who tells us that we should love one another.
Richard Edward thinks the guy’s name might be relevant as to why this happened. If you disagree or have a different theory from your sleuthing, please leave a comment.
— Richard Edward Tracy