1. Curse you, Moral Luck. Unless this attack turns out to have been coordinated with ISIS or other international terrorists, its timing and the fact that at least two of the suspects are Muslims and American citizens could easily be the result of random chance. Ethical analysts, pundits, advocates and politicians should resist any temptation to make this incident part of any larger narrative or use it to support any political agenda.
2. Unfortunately, if the ethical analysts, advocates and politicians shut up until they know something, all we will hear from is the unethical ones, who are far more numerous. Anti-gun zealots will immediately say, “See? Now we’re having a mass shooting every day! Ban guns!” Donald Trump will say, “See? Muslims are dangerous and out to kill us! Ban Muslims!”
3. We have yet to hear from Trump, but President Obama, as is his habit, already proclaimed the root cause of the shooting that has cost 14 lives so far. It’s all the guns. This is certainly the canny argument to make in order to mobilize the anti-gun forces while emotions run high; it signals the Post Sandy Hook Propaganda Push, Part II. That doesn’t make it right or responsible.
4. This time, President Obama very clearly stated that mass shootings occur far more frequently in the US than in other countries. That observation does not inevitably lead to the conclusions he thinks it does, but it is a factual observation. See? He can say what he means with precision and without ambiguity, when he wants to.
5. Casey Jordan should shut up. The CNN criminologist is currently on the air spouting theories with unseemly certitude, telling us that this was motivated by workplace related fury, that the wife involved in the shooting was a submissive victim of “The Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome. ” She’s just guessing. Law enforcement authorities are correct to refuse to speculate on any of the issues that she is telling CNN viewers she has already resolved.
UPDATE (12/4): As the facts have come out, it is increasingly clear that Jordan was dead wrong in every possible way. This was not primarily a disgruntled employee rampage, but a terrorist act. The wife was not just a pawn, but may well have been the prime mover in radicalizing her husband. Jordan is not an objective expert, but one with an apparent bias that slants her opinion. Her analysis, like CNN’s coverage, was calibrated to avoid any framing of the story that would be unfavorable to Muslims.
6. Watch for it: one or more prominent pundits and or politicians will accuse Republicans like Trump and Cruz of having “blood on their hands” because their harsh anti-Muslim rhetoric caused the Muslim Farook to snap and take revenge against employees of a government that he now regarded as racist and hostile to his religion.