Synonyms: act of terrorism, terrorist act
Terrorist - a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities
From the New York Times: SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik met online and married two years ago, after he presented himself on a Muslim dating site as a devout young man who liked to fix cars and memorize the Quran. They registered at Target when Ms. Malik became pregnant, with a cheery newlyweds’ catalog of wishes: a car seat, diapers and safety swabs.
But for all the outward signs of suburban normality, this couple, according to the police, used their comfortable home in a middle-class community near here to stockpile weapons and build pipe bombs. And on Wednesday morning, they left their 6-month-old daughter with her grandmother before heading to a holiday party with Mr. Farook’s co-workers where, the police say, they killed 14 people and wounded 21 others. A few hours later, they died in a crush of bullets in a brutal face-off with the police.
As investigators puzzle over their motives, the couple — the husband born in Illinois and raised in Southern California, the wife born in Pakistan and recently living in Saudi Arabia — have emerged as one of the most perplexing pairs in the recent history of mass homicide. Their lives, and motives, remain mysteries to investigators, who are looking at possible ties to international terrorism but have not ruled out the possibility that this was the bloody culmination of a workplace dispute.
Mystery? Perplexing? Really?
After reading the above, what can we conclude? What additional information is required for reasonable people to agree on what category this falls under?
Communication is important. We do so primarily through words, so the language we choose should be accurate, concise, and devoid of the intent to alter or manipulate facts, particularly when lives are at stake. The lives of good, innocent, law-abiding Americans, most particularly.
So let's consider:
Is it likely that the two culprits created a bomb-making factory in their home in the months preceding the slaughter (the home where their baby lived) because the workplace of Farook was so hostile and intolerable that it laid the foundation for a workplace violence event? We suspect not.
Is it likely that the two culprits acquired an arsenal of weapons and ammunition in anticipation of Farook being treated unfairly at work or by society at large at some future, unspecified point in time? Again, we suspect not.
Is it possible that the President, who made his remarks about the need for additional gun control laws before the police began collecting the evidence or relevant facts, was motivated by a pre-existing political agenda?
If the Farooks had been denied access to firearms, as is being promoted by some as a means of preventing these acts, would they have likely not built a bomb factory in their home?
In conclusion, we believe thinking people do not have to wait for government officials to tell us this was a terrorist act. We also do not have to wait to be told their motivations - clearly, this was not workplace violence. And if it wasn't workplace violence, in the sense of the term that is being inferred, what was it? We also do not believe additional gun control laws would have prevented this, or will prevent similar acts in the future - the terrorists will use different methods to create the same outcomes.
We at Defensor care deeply about our rights - speech, the right to bear arms, religious freedom - all of them. We think the American people, our commitment to freedom, and our willingness to sacrifice ourselves to defend it for others are unique in this world. We believe history bears out that truth. And it's cold, unemotional truth, communicated without manipulation, political agenda, or diminishing the harshness of reality that will preserve them. Words matter.