Trump’s 2nd Amendment comment wasn’t a joke. It was “stochastic terrorism.”

‘The explicit-sounding call to violence is bad enough. But even worse is that, intentionally or not, Trump has been laying the groundwork for this idea for a while. From his talk of “rigged elections” to his suggestion that we need Russia to hack Clinton’s emails if the Justice Department won’t indict her, Trump’s message is clear: Clinton is so corrupt, and the system that favors her is so broken, that our ordinary democratic and legal processes aren’t equipped to handle it. She should be thrown in jail, but she probably won’t be.It’s a pretty short step from that idea to violent fantasies of going outside the law for real justice — even from official sources like the Republican Party of Riverside County, California, which recently tweeted a picture of a hangman captioned “Ready For Hillary.”

And there’s an unsettling parallel for this kind of rhetoric and what it can lead to, as law professor David S. Cohen pointed out Wednesday in a Rolling Stone op-ed: anti-abortion terrorism. Cohen, who has studied and written about violence and intimidation against abortion providers, points out that while anti-abortion violence is usually carried out by a “lone wolf” — like the Planned Parenthood shooter in Colorado Springs — it’s also incited, quite predictably, by the inflammatory rhetoric of prominent groups or officials. Cohen says that this phenomenon is called “stochastic terrorism”: using language and other forms of communication to incite random acts of violence that are “statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.” It’s not a legal term, but it can help us understand just how dangerous Trump’s statements are…’

Source: Vox