A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sudden Jihad Syndrome

I recently read an article by Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, entitled Perspectives: 'Sudden Jihad Syndrome' - A reason to carry firearms for self-defense.

I find the idea of "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" as coined by Daniel Pipes on March 14, 2006 in the New York Sun to be laughable. Calling it a syndrome gives it an aura of professional acceptance that it does not deserve. It is neither a psychiatric diagnosis, nor a psychological diagnosis. It is not listed in the DSM IV. It is merely a bigoted observation of events based on data that is skewed, while other significant data is ignored.

It is normal for people to want explanations for events that lead to tragedy. Bigots use this desire to demonstrate deceptive reasoning in the unreasonable, to further their personal agendas. As free thinking people, we must guard against this. Are we to assume there is a Sudden Texas Woman Syndrome in response to Andrea Yates? Are we to assume that the "N" word sets black Americans off in an uncontrollable rage? Should Colin Ferguson walk free because of Black Rage? What about Air Rage? Road Rage? Office Rage? Even Thomas Junta, who killed a fellow father at their sons' hockey practice in Massachusetts, was said to be suffering from a variant of the "rage" syndrome, Rink Rage.

There is a very real danger in this. Like Black Rage, the "N" word factor, and a host of other spurious para-psychological concepts, SJS is very likely to be used in courts of law to demonstrate that the criminals who commit these acts are not competent to stand trial, or were legally insane when they committed their crimes. This is unacceptable. We must remember that while most states require sophisticated tests based on psychiatric and/or psychological testimony, the testimony is evaluated by a jury of laypersons or a judge without psychiatric training. We simply cannot allow killers to avoid prosecution because a crackpot bigoted theory some writer conjures up is used by a psychologist whose only practice is providing testimony for defense attorneys.

We must remember that we are a nation of tolerance. When we toss our tolerance aside, we cease to be the nation our forefathers fought and died for. We have American citizens who are Muslim, who strive diligently every day, to be productive citizens. I personally work with three devout Muslim physicians who save and repair American lives. This SJS idea is as insulting to them as telling me I am a member of the KKK because I am a white Southerner. I would be ashamed to dignify the concept by even asking them their opinion of SJS while we had our hands bloody in a patient's abdomen.

The willing use of this spurious concept to justify relaxed CCW laws by Larry Pratt tells me a lot about where I want my money going in support of the 2nd amendment. It will not be to GOA. In February, 2005, Mr. Pratt wrote another article, Why Do Criminals Break The Law? In that article, he assigned responsibility of crimes to the criminal's choice to commit the crime. In fact, Larry Pratt wrote, "Also, criminals are quick to pick up on psychological jargon and get good at feeding it back to the practitioners. In other words, crooks are good at scamming mental health workers. If someone thinks they are nuts, not a crook, and that will get them out of jail, then, they quickly learn to sound as if they are mentally ill........Until criminals choose to change, they will be criminals and the rest of us make a huge mistake to ignore that simple fact."

It seems to me that Larry Pratt needs to remember that criminals are criminals because they commit crimes, not because they practice a certain religion. Bigoted concepts like SJS need to be shown for what they are, lest criminals walk free rather than pay for their crimes.

Does SCS, or Sudden Criminal Syndrome, of any sort occur? Or is there a period of escalation in actions and thought processes that allow the person who was once law abiding to become a mass murderer? If there is a period of escalation then there are markers one can look at to predict and prevent the danger before it occurs, if we consider the problem rationally.

Conversion to dogmatic religious beliefs of any sort is one indicator that a person of any race or religion is embarking on a path towards murder. The religious fervor may seem like a causative factor under quick observation, but under scrutiny it is often found that the homicidal impulse was already there. The religious dogma simply gave the previously law abiding citizen the twisted internal justification to commit heinous acts of violence, not in his own name, but in the name of his God.

The urge to commit mass murder is often brought on by feelings of inadequacy and persecution, with a desire to be remembered for something, anything. The religion only gives the killer the ability to resolve this internal conflict while transferring the responsibility from himself. Any religion will do. If there is no religion immediately available, Goth culture, Hip hop culture, PTSD, any of these excuses will do. Hell, you could even say the so-called Gun Culture provided the justification and vehicle towards murder.

Do we want Sudden Gun Owner Syndrome to be used as an excuse for murder? If we continue along this path, that door is open. It's time to condemn such notions all together, and hold all criminals personally accountable for their actions.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you considered that there might be an admittedly difficult to prove "conspiracy of silence" afoot?

Some Muslims, or former Muslims, and individuals of middle eastern descent are suggesting something like that:

Not all Muslims and/or people of middle eastern descent, of course, would necessarily feel sympathetic toward it.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Hobie said...

I guess I read the whole article incorrectly. I took Sudden Jihad Syndrome to be a sarcastic look at what is really some demented, delusional act of mulitple murder/attempted murder by Muslims.

Yeah, I think I see some Muslims as doing a murderous act in an attempt at solidarity with the "brothers" in the middle east.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous simonov said...

You rawk!

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Syd said...

Bravo, Xavier. this is well thought out and well written.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Keith Walker said...

If this guy would have said that Islamic terrorists are at war with America and then used the examples as a reason to allow more concealed carry, I would have agreed with him. This SJS stuff is nothing more than giving terrorism a less threatening label in an attempt to sanitize it. Terrorism is terrorism and SJS has nothing to do with it.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you may be confused.

I use SJS to describe those Muslims who decide that the commandments in the Koran that direct True Believers to defend the Umah by Jihad means that Western attacks (percieved) on the Umah (Muslim community, say in Iraq) justify them becoming Jihadis/terrorists. The term particularly applies to citizens of the US or UK who make this decision on their own, and train themselves and commit terror in the US or UK proper.

There are numerous examples of this, ranging from shooting up a Jewish center, running down college students with a SUV in a quad, tossing gernades into the tent of your sleeping commanders, bombing busses, etc.

I see no reason to think that using these facts to justify CCW is unreasonable, much less racist. Perhaps the article is ill written.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous root@localhost.localdomain said...

I have to agree with Hobie. I've never thought that the term "Sudden Jihad syndrome" was to be taken as anything but sarcasm. That being said, I believe it's a real threat. A Muslim in the U.S. who suddenly finds that his "Roots lie with his Brother in the Middle East" decides to take a crap on the U.S.??? This has happened several times in the last couple of years. Me? I'll continue to CCW and send money to the GOA.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Yuri Orlov said...

Anonymous: Muslim (Islam) is a religion, not a race, so you would not be racist. If on the other hand you said something derogatory about them being of middle eastern descent, that could be construed as racist.

I'm not sure if this syndrome actually exists, but there do seem to be a number of incidents such as are mentioned.

I do actually think that most Muslims are good people and want what everyone else wants, to live their lives and to be left alone. Just as the "squeaky wheel gets the grease", so do the ones doing all of the killing, bombing, beheading and rioting.

To be fair to all the religions though, I don't see any people of other faiths in the news threatening to kill me because I don't believe the way they do.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Hyunchback said...

Admitted: the phrase "Sudden Jihad Syndrom" holds no merit.

Stipulated: Not all muslims are terrorists.

It was wrong of GOA to utilize the too inflammatory article to push for national CCW.

That being said there is a lot of terrorism not being called terrorism which should cause U.S. citizens to push for increased gun ownership, abolishing unconstitutional gun laws and establishment of carry rights case law that supercede the PRIVELEDGES granted to corporations.

Here in Denver there was a muslim convert who went to his place of employment and began shooting co-workers. This is not reported as terrorism but it was. I'm certain that like most major employers the Safeway corporation insisted that their employees be disarmed victims in a right to carry state.

In Utah when the muslim shot up the mall he deliberatly chose a location where law-abiding citizens would be disarmed by the posted signs in a right to carry state.

John Lott has shown by research that right-to-carry reduces the body count for multiple victim attacks but case law that supports a corporations PRIVELEDGES to ban guns works against that effect.

Corporations are not citizens and do not have rights. They are a legal fiction and as such can only be given PRIVELEDGES. Citizens can have rights, coporations can not.

I know there is case law that says they do but this is more stupid and wrong-headed than the ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Allowing corporations to negate a citizen's rights by company policy or other cowardly fiat poses a grave threat to public health and safety. When it allows terrorists to function longer and kill more citizens the corporation's PRIVELEDGE is a threat to national security.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is people like this that make us look bad. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into a gun shop to find idiots like this behind the counter as well as within the shop.

I had a brief stint behind the counter of a gun shop. The store probably lost some customers, as I am non-white. However, the store gained many more customers. I cannot tell you how many times people have complimented me on how refreshing it is to come to a gun store and not be pummeled with idiot ideology not unlike those of the GOA!

9:54 PM  

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