Why William of Occam may want his razor back.
Broken News: InvestiGATE is the new buzzword for Captains Obvious
Just in case you've been cast as the lead role of the community theatre's summer stock reprise of that old crowd pleaser by Washington Irving, 'Rip Van Winkle', here's a refresher on all too current events:
TV ANCHOR: Authorities are now opening an official terrorism investigation of that mass shooting at (ANYWHERE USA) with the promise of bringing whomsoever may have been the perpetrator... oh, yes, we have the name here (NAME FORMERLY LISTED ON WATCH LIST) will be brought to justice, if still alive, of course... oh, we're just getting word that the ALLEGED perpetrator has been shot dead... any further developments, Jed?"
LOCAL REPORTER: That's right, Ginger Snap, I can confirm that a terrorism investigation's been officially made official... not too much to add here, but as soon as the news conference takes place, we'll have it for the viewers live, complete with a number of uniformed and plain clothes officials standing behind the podium, so as to reassure the viewers and the community that the situation is in hand assuring them that it'll never happen again....back to you, Ginger."
TV ANCHOR: "Thanks so much for that, Jed....."
Omitted from this snippet is the by now hackneyed catchphrase employed by these hack broadcast journalists: 'we may never know the shooter's motives...'
Let's pause for a moment and recall a well-known rule from the sciences, known as Ockham's razor: "The simplest explanation is usually correct." [Occam's (or Ockham's) razor is a principle attributed to the 14th century logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. Ockham was the village in the English county of Surrey where he was born. More
Has this thought ever occurred to you: 'Gee, I wonder why these investigators can't see the motive of some angry lone wolf who's obtained an arsenal of NRA-promoted weapons intended for the battlefield and lots and lots of ammunition in using them, you know, at the neighborhood strip mall or military facility; is it that he couldn't find the local shooting range?'
Barack and Michelle Obama
Barack and Michelle Obama evaluating a non-vegan beer. Every president that moves into the White House adds a new feature, whether it’s a bowling alley (Nixon), a movie theater (Nixon again) or an extra large bathtub (Taft). When Obama moved in, he added a basketball court, and another first— the first presidential micro-brewery. | Photo: Getty Images |
For the sake of the republic--and simple logic--it hasn't, unless, of course, you're some lazy reporter or former roommate who is certain his or her ten minutes of 'knowing' the suspect would 'never do something like that.'
As old Bobby Zimmerman might be wont to croon, 'the answer my friend is blowin in the wind'; of course, the question is far more paramount--'Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they're forever banned? More
Indeed, Bob Dylan
has had his accusatory finger-like tongue on the rub of the affair since it first twanged into voice: if you cannot know the 'who' of the violence, maybe it's best to deal logically and rationally with the 'how' of it.
How many more apologies will 'fly' from the rational mouths of persons such as FBI Director Comey until critical mass (of morgue cases) is reached in a nation that knows, even outside of any law school, that the language of the Amendment numbered Second to the Constitution is neither sacred nor inflexible. Yes, given that there're at least twice as many guns/rifles out there in the country as persons, it's not logical or rational to expect they'll all be controllable; however, it is neither illogical nor irrational to simply (a la old Occam's razor) cut to the obvious conclusion implied by an example.
Example: if a seemingly observant Muslim is charged with DUI, perhaps the officialdom, in the name of protecting and serving, might associate such behavior as suspicious---is not this what the ordinary civilian is urged to do, 'see something, say something'? This is not profiling, inasmuch as the person is question, now deceased along with four brave soldiers (why weren't they issued firearms, given the well-known acts elsewhere on such symbols of authority and publicized urgings of terror groups like ISIL to do precisely what has been done?)
So, then, the beat(ing) goes on; is the solution to continue to blow in the wind, along with the splattered blood of clearly defensible targets?
As Mr. Dylan may have already advised: 'Don't think twice, it's alright.'
Rodney Dangerfield Jim Carrey
Rodney Dangerfield (November 22, 1921 - October 5, 2004) on Ed Sullivan. Rodney Dangerfield was an American comedian and actor. James Eugene "Jim" Carrey, born January 17, 1962, is a Canadian American actor, comedian, and producer. Carrey has received four Golden Globe Award nominations, winning two. | Photo: | Rodney Dangerfield, Jim Carrey, Comic, Icon, Legend, Eyes,