There has been another mass shooting in America in under a week.
Earlier today, a 21-year-old gunman from the Allen, Texas (identified but who shall remain nameless) killed 18 when he opened fire at an El Paso, Texas Walmart, part of the Cielo Vista Mall, south of El Paso international airport.
Last week saw another Walmart shooting when a recently suspended employee at the Southaven, Mississippi store killed two co-workers and wounded a police officer.
Last Sunday, a gunman killed three and injured 13 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.
The El Paso shooter’s social media accounts suggest he was an avowed Donald Trump supporter who advocated a wall along the Southern border.
Although law enforcement has not yet confirmed this, a racist manifesto is supposedly also circulating via social media.
NBC News reporter Ben Collins reported:
“So law enforcement does believe that this is his manifesto. They haven’t confirmed it, but they believe it is his. It was posted on 8chan—which is an extremist website— hours before the shooting. It was deleted shortly after the shooting happened. It’s a wildly anti-immigrant manifesto.”
“It’s three pages of hatred against immigrants and people, you know, view it basically as invaders to the United States where they believe—and people generally on this extremist forum where these people get radicalized—believe that there is only so much space or only so many jobs in this country and it’s being replaced by Mexican immigrants, and in his case, he also believed in automation. So it is a racist and anti-immigrant manifesto that was posted on a site known exclusively for that. And by the way, this is not the first time this has happened. The Christchurch shooter, who killed 49 people, posted his manifesto on the same website. 4Chan, which is like a sister site to 8chan, a month after that Christchurch shooting, there was a manifesto posted by the synagogue shooter. And last week the Gilroy shooter, he told people to read a manifesto that has been posted to 4Chan literally a hundred times, it’s from the 1890s and I’m not sure he came about that in a library.”
According to The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), white supremacist violence and overt bias have surged the past two years over fears of immigration and the nation’s shifting cultural landscape.
According to Genocide Watch:
“All cultures have categories to distinguish people into ‘us and them’ by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality: German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi. Bipolar societies that lack mixed categories, such as Rwanda and Burundi, are the most likely to have genocide.”
He claimed 40,000 Nigerians would never “go back to their huts” after coming here.
It’s also no secret what he thinks of the media, which he smears with the label “fake news” and “enemy of the people” should it deign to report anything negative about what his administration is up to.
Trump refers to his political opponents as “globalists” who “want the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country.”
Those “globalists,” according to Trump, support “caravans” of “unknown Middle Easterners” en route from Central America to wreak havoc on American sovereignty.
When it comes to elections, says Trump, the “globalists” depend on millions of non-American “illegals” showing up in droves to vote.
Trump suggested Barack Obama “founded” Isis.
He has ramped up his attacks on Socialism.
He told “second amendment people” they might be able to take care of Hillary Clinton.
The white supremacist who live-streamed his slaughter of Muslims in a Christchurch, New Zealand mosque earlier this year described himself as a “regular white man from a regular family” who “decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people,” adding he used to be “a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian before coming to be an eco-fascist.“
He used his classification to justify the extermination of those belonging to another classification, and felt his was superior.
A few weeks before that attack, neo-Nazi U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, Christopher Paul Hasson, compiled a spreadsheet of targeted current and former lawmakers, MSNBC and CNN anchors, activist and author Angela Davis, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, and the Democratic Socialists of America.
In October, Cesar Sayoc mailed pipe bombs to CNN, comedian Bill Maher, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rep. Maxine Waters, Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, and six other prominent Trump critics.
That led to Rep. Cummings’ home being broken into last week.
But this is also a gun issue.
The El Paso shooter should never have been able to perpetrate this.
Although statistically mass shootings constitute a fraction of America’s more than 32,000 firearm deaths every year, the U.S. outpaces other developed countries in gun deaths.
According to United Nations (UN) data, the U.S. experienced 29.7 firearm homicides per 1 million people in 2012. By contrast, Switzerland experienced 7.7 million; Canada, 5.1 million; and Germany, 1.9 million.
The U.S. comprises about 4.4 percent of the global population but has 42 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns. Empirical research proves settings where more guns are present increases the likelihood gun violence will ensue.
In June, at a Democratic state convention in San Francisco, Massachusetts Senator and presidential hopeful, Elizabeth Warren, stated:
“It’s not just mass shootings… on sidewalks and playgrounds and people’s backyards. It’s happening family by family across the country. And it doesn’t get the same headlines. And that is wrong.”
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker already has a comprehensive plan for gun-control reform that includes licensing reform and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Speaking to CNN’s State of the Union, he said:
“We are not helpless to stop this. This is a uniquely American problem. We have carnage in our country that no other nation sees.”
“This idea that we are helpless to stop this, evidence points differently. We know that… licensing like Connecticut did, dropped gun violence in their state by 40%, suicides by 15%. We’ve allowed the debate to be framed by the corporate gun lobby which has… eroded common sense… enough is enough. We can do things about this problem. We know it. The only thing lacking seems to be a sense of moral urgency.”
Those inclined to posit we are doing nothing about this epidemic of gun deaths should know that in February, the Democratic-majority House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (HR8) requiring background checks for firearms sold at gun shows and online, closing the loophole currently not requiring checks for private, unlicensed sales.
But did the Republican-controlled Senate even consider it?
Colorado Senator and 2020 candidate, Michael Bennet, summed it up on ABC’s This Week:
“We know what’s going to happen, which is the House has passed it, Mitch McConnell will not allow it to come to a vote in the Senate, and we will not have national background checks.”
There are those who naturally trot out the “Both sides are to blame” premise.
White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney even admitted complacency when he told NBC‘s Chuck Todd:
“Let’s not get too deep into politics too soon. You’re never going to make everything perfectly safe, but we are doing a lot better on enforcement.”
In the aftermath of today’s massacre in El Paso, he tweeted (again, while golfing):
“Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!”
Nothing to the victims (unless they’re the “you all”).
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