Coordinated racism (of which Oak Creek shooter is at least in part a product) ought to concern us more than the truly random violence of Aurora. Yet the latter took over the public discourse for days, while the former has not. Robert Wright makes many of the important points, but I would add that James Holmes is probably especially interesting to the people who drive the public discourse, because he isn’t so far from being “one of us.” Same goes for the victims. Going to see a blockbuster is a pretty universal experience.
This made me think of Leigh Bienen’s “A Good Murder.” The perpetrator and the victims have to be properly cast in order for us to pay attention. When violence merely conforms to a pre-existing narrative, it doesn’t have much impact on public consciousness.