Not all acts of mass murder are terrorism

Calling Vegas ‘terrorism’ is another way of downplaying the Islamist threat.

What’s driving the demand to brand the Las Vegas massacre an act of terrorism? As soon as it was revealed that this mass murderer, this slaughterer of 59 music fans and injurer of an eye-watering 525 more, was a white man, the following cry went out from the so-called liberal set: ‘This must be called terrorism.’ It’s no good, they said — and it might even be racist — to refer to this barbarism as simply mass murder, or to describe the shooter Stephen Paddock as a ‘lone wolf’, or to diminish his evil by calling him ‘mad’. No, just as we call ‘brown people’ terrorists every time they carry out an act of mass violence, so we must call Paddock a terrorist, too, columnists and the Twitterati insisted. The challenge was set: are you going to be racist and call this act ‘mass murder’, or are you going to be progressive and decent and call it ‘terrorism’?