There have been so many “sensitive” responses to the nightclub massacre in Orlando, that I should like to add an insensitive one, for the sake of variety. I note that the pundits — and every amateur politician is a talking head these days — divide roughly along party lines on whether the shooter was an Islamic fanatic, or a generic madman. This strikes me as a “both/and” proposition, rather than an “either/or.”

Yes, Florida gun laws seem a bit lax, perhaps they should be tightened. But then I held this opinion before the massacre, keeping it to myself only because it was none of my business. Perhaps I am over-Canadian, for I tend to flinch at the open sale of battlefield weapons such as the rapid-firing assault rifle this Omar Mateen was carrying. (If gentle reader would rather describe the Sig Sauer MCX as a “modern sporting rifle” he may.) I presume that, “even in America,” the citizen’s right to bear arms does not extend to, say, nuclear weapons. Reasonable men might decide upon some reasonable limits; but between the current spokesmen for the respective political parties, I do not detect much reasonable manliness; only a propensity to grandstanding.

On the other hand, should we look beyond the glare of publicity, we will find that the proportion of gun deaths attributable to these rather theatrical weapons is small. To a mind like mine, the case is not urgent; but then to a mind like mine, such questions should be dealt with both in and out of season, and better out of season when cool heads may prevail. But this is a characteristic foible of the current political order: that “urgent” matters take up so much time and space in our media-collectivized consciousness, that “important” ones are wontedly deferred.

My own prediction is, that like other shocking public events, this one will fade. The Democritters will make as much hay as they can, while it lasts in the news, but will then “move on” as their saying goes. The Republicants will spleen then forget as usual. Both would need a slaughter daily at three o’clock to keep it up. But then, as with London and the Luftwaffe, the violence itself becomes a source more of tedium and inconvenience, than real anger. The grief, once publicly expressed, is privatized. People could remain calm about it, so long as the RAF were gravelling Germany, in reply.

“Let us be clear,” as the Obama loves to say, in his station as talking-head-in-chief. Grand displays of public grieving are invariably fraudulent. Those who knew none of the victims are faking it. Those who encourage them are morally disordered.

As a customary principle of politics, whether “electoral” or “appointive,” I think it unwise to adjust legislation, or offer to adjust it, in response to behaviour by the criminally insane. This confers too much power on them. Verily, it is a mark of our present social condition that “reforms” are guided more and more by the hardest and strangest cases. (Dare I mention the word, “trans”? Was there really a continuing national crisis in the designation of toilet facilities?)

In classical Western jurisprudence, it is considered wrong to murder people, even one at a time, in a nightclub or elsewhere. This holds regardless what kind of nightclub it is, and would apply even if the nightclub were illegal. In Shariah, as currently interpreted by Jihadis, the case is more complicated, but I do not think we should vex our minds with it. I cannot think of any omission in Western law that would make nightclub massacres acceptable; or would make any other venue for murder exceptional to the general rule. The need for new law would thus be zero.

The need, specifically, for new “hate laws” is zero, at most. Murder has never been an expression of affection, to any individual or group; specific hatreds have always been considered in the interpretation of motives. We have enough crimes already, without inventing redundant ones in accord with the latest fashions. The intention behind them is never exemplary of mental and moral hygiene.

Which points again to the deeper “problematic” (one tires of the misuse of this word) in politics as practised today. We not only legislate in response to the transient behaviour of the criminally insane. Worse, our legislators, though arguably sane to start with, get in the habit of indulging insanity, even within themselves.