Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Wisconsin mass gun murder

It's been only a couple of weeks since the Aurora mass gun murder. And now the Sikh Temple massacre in Wisconsin, with seven dead including the shooter.

The shooter killed at the scene, white-supremacist skinhead Wade Michael Page, is obviously a "political". But the national media is painfully reluctant to point these far-right connections to mass gun murders when they show up, which they do pretty regularly, as SEK helpful describes in Dear The Media Lawyers Guns and Money 08/06/2012.

The SPLC has been noticing this guy's present in neo-Nazi/white supremacist circles since 2000: Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok, Alleged Sikh temple shooter former member of Skinhead band SPLC 08/06/2012; Mark Potok, Bulletin: Alleged Sikh Temple Shooter Former Member of Skinhead Band SPLC Hatewatch 08/06/2012; Marcy Wheeler, This Time, We Were Warned Emptywheel 08/06/2012.

I don't think these kinds of mass shootings can go on this way for much longer with the press and the elites of both parties treating them like natural events to be almost celebrated as moments of shared national mourning. How many assassinations do we have to have by "lone gunmen" from the ultra-right hate scene before people recognize it a form of lynch-murder that is rapidly becoming normalized in the US?

With the massive amounts of weapons and ammo in private hands and so many states now having these Stand Your Ground/Kill At Will laws, we probably are going to see some bloodbath where earnest vigilantes start blasting away into a crowd to shoot some other gunman. Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks has been pointing out how something like this is bound to happen eventually under these conditions.

The Los Angeles Times has conveniently provided the initial statements of President Obama and his Republican opponent on the Sikh massacre, allowing us to compare which is more vapid: Connie Stewart, Milwaukee Sikh shooting: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney statements 08/05/2012.

The candidates and their wives all send "our thoughts and prayers". The Obamas' "hearts go out" to the victims and their families, while the Romneys' "hearts are with the victims" already. The Obamas "mourn this loss" while the Romneys "join Americans everywhere in mourning."

Lord help us, before you know it there will be a section of greeting cards to express standardized sympathy for mass shootings.

Neither Presidential candidate in those statements offers to do anything that might actually reduce such incidents. They don't seem to be able to even offer the classic politician's dodge of calling for a commission to study the problem and after months or years produce a report with recommendations likely to be ignored and hope the political problem goes away by that time.


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