Back in March, I outlined numerous compelling reasons why authorities should release the Tennessee shooter’s manifesto, which they claimed to have. In sum, leaving such matters to the imagination of the general public allows the worst people on all sides to project their warped conceptions of the world into the void. As a result, the likelihood of unnecessary violence increases, while those who are guilty of contributing to the crime—if any—avoid scrutiny.
I recently received my wish…It was also quite underwhelming. To understand further, let us first define a manifesto:
Essentially, there must be some form of clear policy statement for something to be considered a manifesto. It must state something that makes it clear where one stands.
However, the piece Steven Crowder leaked from the Nashville Police Department evidence room was essentially three journal entries from a person not only with a disordered mind but also with minimal command of the English language.
Only one of the three pages released (out of who knows how many more, plus a 10-minute film) contains anything approximating a manifesto. It was a diary entry from nearly two months before the shooting that went on and on about killing.
If this were a true manifesto, it would have precise plans for the assassination as well as a call to action of some kind. Most people who bother to compose a manifesto before going on a shooting spree do so in the hope that others will be motivated to do the same.
The Nashville shooter’s Facebook page hints at her motivations, but wanting to kill wealthy, white “faggots” who attend a private church school makes no sense when the shooter herself is white, LGBT, and attended the same school as a youngster. She was everything her scribbles claimed she despised. If anything, this is a sign of severe self-hatred with no self-awareness.
In other words, this is more of a mad rant from a damaged mind than a manifesto. There isn’t anything to be learned from this that people can apply to save lives in the future. Focusing on the shooter’s motivations as if there were some kind of reasonable thought involved is a diversion.
I’m sure some readers will disagree, but keep in mind that if you run a private Christian school, you already know it’s a possible target for sick individuals of all ideological stripes. Instead of wasting time trying to peer into Audrey Hale’s thoughts, we should make meaningful efforts to preserve innocent lives.
There’s one valuable thing here, but we have to go through two more pages of this person’s demented babbling. First, consider what was written on the day Hale modified irregular verbs:…
The one thing that jumps out from this page: “Can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m ready…I hope my victims aren’t. My only fear is if anything goes wrong.”
On another page, we find out what Hale’s biggest fear that day was.
The shooter intended to inspect the parking lot for armed security guards upon arrival and before taking the pistols out of the vehicle.
As we now know, no security guards were discovered, and the shooter was free to enter the school at his leisure with no armed opposition. The killing did not cease until police officers entered the classroom and performed their duties (something the Uvalde Police Department in Texas could learn from).
The basic fact is that this shooter was terrified of armed security. She was unafraid of the law. There was no worry of what the Republican Party would say about transgender individuals afterward. There was no concern about what the Democratic Party would say about guns later. There was no moral outrage at the prospect of slaughtering innocent infants, so there were no moral restraints.
There may be something beneficial on the unreleased pages, but based on what we’ve seen so far, the only practical lesson is that places with vulnerable people require armed individuals to protect them. Let’s concentrate on it.