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Safire on the sniper and terrorism...


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. -- In the endless media psychoanalysis and police profiling of the random murderer striking fear near the nation's capital, one possibility is rarely mentioned: that the sniper may be a terrorist affiliated with Al Qaeda or otherwise inspired by Osama bin Laden.

Odds are against a conspiracy. The consensus is that the multiple assassin is a domestic madman, the most recent in a long line of serial killers. Such disgruntled loners, pseudo-religious weirdos and cold-blooded psychotics lusting for fame and vengeance have plagued American society for generations.

But the venue chosen by the most recent shooter is the capital of the U.S., a primary target of worldwide terrorism. Police have speculated that the sniper might well have an accomplice, perhaps a driver or supplier, which suggests a terrorist cell. And the effect of the operation is to strike fear into ordinary Americans at the focal point of the nation's political decision-making and media coverage.

Safire is generally sensible. Most of this editorial is sensible. Until he calls for gun registration at tne very end.

Safire: You are wrong. You are giving in to the fear that is the purpose of this sniper's actions.

To contact Safire and straighten him out on this issue, email him at safire@nytimes.com. Then post your email in the comments section.


This entry was published 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0 by matthew@triggerfinger.org and last updated 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0. [Tweet]

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