The BBC World Service followed up a report on the Virginia Tech killer with a quick blurb on a car bombing in Baghdad. In a way we have a sort of perverse luxury here, don’t we? Mass killing is rare enough here that we can pour over all the morbid details whereas in Iraq it’s another day, another car bomb in a crowded street.
In both cases I think we can know profiles generally. Like most school shooters, the VT killer appears to have been a bit of loner who was into guns and left a body of disturbing writing and pictures. But we won’t stop there will we? In the coming days this shooter’s life will be picked apart. What music did he like? Video games? Movies?
We will know everything and yet it will tell us nothing we didn’t all assume the first minute we heard about this killing. Meanwhile the suicide bomber toils in anonymity – another easy profile, just not picked apart to the minutiae.