This may be obvious to everybody else by now, but it wasn't obvious to me until today.
At first (and still, to some extent), I didn't think it mattered much just what we called it--it was murder, I'd also say treason, and certainly worth the death penalty. There were plenty of more important aspects to this event. And I have no idea whether anything yet to come in the legal prosecution of this case depends upon whether it's determined to be "terrorism" or not.
Be that as it may, today I realized that it was definitely terrorism, and it isn't even a close call. The only reason it's being discussed is that nobody has ever officially defined just what terrorism is. It's been one of those "I know it when I see it" kind of things. Until now. Today, this analogy popped to mind:
If Hassan had strapped a bomb to his body, or planted it in a car, and had he then caused it to explode in an area on Fort Hood where 14 people would be killed and 38 more wounded, it would clearly be called "terrorism." The only difference between that scenario and what actually transpired is the weapon of choice.
Although analogies don't always work as a means to explain unusual events, this one seems to be pretty exact. In fact, it shows just how mundane the event was, unusual only in the fact that it occurred on American soil. I think it also puts to rest the idea that it was simply the act of a "wacky psychiatrist," a point that al Qaeda apologists seem to never tire of making.
It's time to recognize the fact that we have allowed the 9/10 mindset to creep back to life, and that fear of reprisals for "political incorrectness" prevented this terrorist from being identified and perhaps stopped before he killed.