The good news about extremist violence in the United States: It’s vanishingly rare

The only remedy here is for pundits and political groups on all sides of the political spectrum to speak out against government excesses and civil liberties abuses even of people and groups we find abhorrent. It also means speaking up when the threat posed by these groups is exaggerated or presented without context. Extremist violence is incredibly rare in the United States. That doesn’t mean it never happens, or that it isn’t tragic and awful when it does. But it’s okay to recognize the tragedy of a particular event and conclude that there was nothing to be done about it. Doing so doesn’t mean the lives that were lost any less important or meaningful, nor does it make the sheer horror of it all any more palatable. But when a monster commits an inexplicable crime, we do no one any good by insisting that this particular monster could only have been one of an army of them– despite all evidence to the contrary — then insisting that no one feel safe until we’ve destroyed them all.