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Holocaust Museum Shooting

Twitter is abuzz with word that a guard at the Holocaust Museum in DC has been shot and returned fire.  No other details yet.

WTOP:

A security guard at the National Holocaust Museum has been injured after a shooting Wednesday afternoon.D.C. Police say a suspect walked into the museum, took out a weapon and fired at a security guard just before 1 p.m. Then two other security guards returned fire, striking the alleged shooter.

No word on the suspect or guard’s condition at this time.

A third person was injured from flying glass.

AP says the shooter used “a rifle.” Not a handgun.  Not an “assault rifle.”

London Times has an odd story:

At least three people were shot today at Washington’s Holocaust Museum, after an 89-year-old white supremacist entered the building and opened fire “indiscriminately”.

Emergency services said that two adult males were taken to hospital suffering from “serious gunshot wounds” after the gunman opened fire in the museum, situated in central Washington, about one mile from the White House.

The gunman, believed to be James W Von Brunn, is in custody. Police said that he was shot by one of the museum’s guards, and sources said he was hit in the head.

JammyWearingFool has background on Brunn.

AP contradicts the multiple shootings part of the story.

U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said the gunman walked into the museum with what he described as a “long gun.” The gunman and a security guard were shot. Both were taken to the hospital, but the extent of their injuries wasn’t immediately known.

U.S. Park Police initially gave slightly different information, saying three people had been shot. Fire department spokesman Alan Etter told CNN a third person was hurt after being cut by broken glass. Several witnesses said they saw the security guard on the floor and bleeding.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    Matt Yglesias made this observation:

    Not a great deal more to say about this right now, but I hope that everyone who mau-maued the Department of Homeland Security for expressing concern about this kind of thing feel appropriately ashamed of themselves.

    Add the Tiller shooting to it, the DHS analysis didn’t seem that far fetched or slanderous after all.

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  2. Eric Florack says:

    Qucik and dirty search… He’s got a long list of links, even exclusive of the rather voluminous coverage of today’s events.

    He’s apparently got a book or two out as well.

    Ohe of them:

    A New Hard-Hitting Exposé Of The JEW CONSPIRACY To Destroy The White Gene-Pool

    Even Stormfront apparently thnks him a loon. Ponder that for a moment. How crazy you gotta be for that to happen?

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  3. Eric Florack says:

    Oh, I’ll still jump all over DHS about this one, DC. Face it, they had him pegged a loon along time ago, even without the added inuendo aimed at anyone in uniform.

    Now as to why he managed to get a long gun into the city, much less the building seems an issue the DHS won’t want to deal with.

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  4. Bithead Follower says:

    Now as to why he managed to get a long gun into the city, much less the building seems an issue the DHS won’t want to deal with.

    Nor should they, as the Second Amendment clearly protects his right to carry one whereever he pleases. The DHS shouldn’t stick their noses into it.

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  5. Eric Florack says:

    Well, remember we’re still operating within the laws of DC. Heller not withstanding>

    I should think the sight of a 90 year old walking into the Holocaust museum with a long gun should at least peak some interest from anyone, say, watching the parking lot, in supposedly gun-free DC, right?

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  6. Eric Florack says:

    Well, remember we’re still operating within the laws of DC. Heller not withstanding>

    I should think the sight of a 90 year old walking into the Holocaust museum with a long gun should at least peak some interest from anyone, say, watching the parking lot, in supposedly gun-free DC, right?

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  7. Boyd says:

    Apparently the guard, Officer Steven Johns, succumbed to his wounds.

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  8. Gee, I was going to write something to the effect that someone would be trying to score some marginally tangential political points off this tragedy in three … two … one … but I see Young Mr. Yglesias has already taken the prize.

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  9. PD Shaw says:

    A felon, sentenced to 11 years in prison — I assume he stole the weapon or it was given to him by an accomplice.

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  10. 1) The Stormfront link goes to posts that do not exactly strike me as critical of this guy.

    2) If anyone is scoring political cheap shots off this it seems to be those of you sneering at gun control laws. Maybe another time? Like after the body is cold?

    3) The DHS report warned of a potential for increased right-wing terrorism. We’ve now had an assassination and an attempted multiple murder. So as a point of information, how many such incidents would be enough to validate the DHS? Obviously two in the space of as many weeks isn’t enough. Will three do it, God forbid? Five? Let’s set a benchmark here.

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  11. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    Michael Reynolds: don’t forget the guy who shot the three cops in Pittsburgh because he was a big believer in gun control conspiracy theories.

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  12. Herb says:

    When I first heard about the shooting, my first thought was “Please don’t be another political shooting. Please don’t be another political shooting. Please don’t be another political shooting.”

    But alas…I wasn’t wearing my ruby slippers and it was.

    Question for you, Eric: Did you read the DHS report you are willing to slam? Or did you just read the media reports on the report?

    I only ask because I wonder if you got sucked into the outrage factory or if there was some kind of, for lack of a better word, principle behind it. If so, what would that principle be?

    Please understand, I’m not insinuating anything. I’m just curious.

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  13. Herb says:

    And let’s not forget that nutter who shot up the progressive church in Knoxville because of his hatred for the “liberal movement.”

    Which goes to the point I made above about the outrage over the DHS report being manufactured. After all, the DHS didn’t say “Look out for rational and reasonable conservative right-wingers of good standing.”

    It said, “Look out for right-wing extremists.”

    All these guys we’re talking about…rampage killers, self-styled assassins. To a man, extremists all of em.

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  14. […] James Joyner […]

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  15. Wayne says:

    “Add the Tiller shooting to it, the DHS analysis didn’t seem that far fetched or slanderous after all.”

    The DHS warn of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Van Brunn was a veteran from WWII a PT-Boat Captain. I suppose this mean we should have watch J.F. Kennedy for being a likely terrorist.

    Anyone saying this proves the DHS assessment was on the money is asinine. Then again maybe the liberals don’t know their history enough to know WWII veteran is not the same as Iraqi veteran.

    It’s amazing how liberals are so quick to use one or two instances to prove their prejudice but ignore it when it doesn’t fit their agenda. Not much said about the Islamic extremist who killed soldiers outside the recruitment station. Reminds of the Global warming crowd that are quick to jump on report of a record hot day as proof of manmade global warming but record cold days are just isolated incidents.

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  16. Wayne:

    The DHS did not say that the threat came primarily from Iraq/Afghanistan vets, it said they might form a small part of the problem. So the fact that this lunatic was a WW2 vet does not in any way, shape or form, by itself invalidate the DHS warning.

    I’ll ask again: how many incidents will it take before we can agree that the DHS warning had some validity? What is the magic number?

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  17. This is one of the sad consequences of a free society. Apparently some people believe they can eliminate the sad consequences by making us less free or they are at least willing to trade one set of sad consequences for another that makes them feel morally superior.

    They are of course wrong.

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  18. Mr. Reynolds, you will need to ask someone from the progressive community about the use of magic to achieve utopian perfection. You are barking up the wrong tree here.

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  19. Charles:

    No doubt you take the same measured approach in the face of Jihadist terrorism that you do for right wing terrorism.

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  20. Joe Camel says:

    Or the Jihadist Muslim who murdered two soldiers, which has been whitewashed by the MSM as they won’t call it as it is..only thing we get is a “white right wing extremist”..Yes, alas, murder is murder, is illegal and we have laws to deal with these animals, regardless of how you want to paint anyone.

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  21. Eric Florack says:

    The Stormfront link goes to posts that do not exactly strike me as critical of this guy.

    Did you notice the title… the bit about him being “sick”?

    If anyone is scoring political cheap shots off this it seems to be those of you sneering at gun control laws. Maybe another time? Like after the body is cold?

    Sneering?
    Well, no. Quietly noting that the ball got dropped, would be more like it.

    Question for you, Eric: Did you read the DHS report you are willing to slam?

    Matter of fact, yes, I did. A bit of political work from end to end, targeting groups that the current power structure doesn’t like… has a rather familiar ring to it. We ended up in a world war over the aspirations of just such people.

    No doubt you take the same measured approach in the face of Jihadist terrorism that you do for right wing terrorism.

    Ummm… do you REALLY propose putting people who fought for this country and people who fought this country, on the same shelf?

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  22. legion says:

    Ummm… do you REALLY propose putting people who fought for this country and people who fought this country, on the same shelf?

    If they commit acts of violent terrorism, then hell yes they go on the same shelf and into the same jail. Are you suggesting that having served in the military is some sort of excuse or get-out-of-jail-free card for being a despicable murdering bigot?

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  23. Eric:

    a) Yes, I was completely fooled by the title of the thread. Until I scrolled down to:

    This man sounds like a modern hero of our race!

    Americans whites are very much oppressed when they must endure the bias and hatred of Negro juries and mad Jew judges.
    It is an intolerable situation. Have we become idiotic that we allow this to happen?

    Wish that the white race was more united and FIERCE and put an end to these grave offences. Also wished that we whites would manage to produce more offspring, offspring which serves our causes and not the global bankers and their global military machine.

    And then I began to suspect maybe the title wasn’t, um, honest.

    b) Do you really propose that a right wing terrorist should be treated better than a Jihadist terrorist? Why?

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  24. An Interested Party says:

    Ummm… do you REALLY propose putting people who fought for this country and people who fought this country, on the same shelf?

    Oh, you mean like Timothy McVeigh…

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  25. An Interested Party says:

    A bit of political work from end to end, targeting groups that the current power structure doesn’t like… has a rather familiar ring to it. We ended up in a world war over the aspirations of just such people.

    You wouldn’t happen to be referring to the Nazis, would you? And if so, is that a comparison you really want to make…

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  26. Eric Florack says:

    b) Do you really propose that a right wing terrorist should be treated better than a Jihadist terrorist? Why?

    I’m suggesting that absent some mental deficiency which was pretty obvious in this case ,Or, yes, in the case of McVeigh, the chances of someone dedicated to this country, pulling a jihadi move is vanishingly small.

    hanging labels on such individuals is a pretext to exclusion of those individuals from society. We’ve seen it too often before. Usually, from left wing governments.

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  27. Eric Florack says:

    You wouldn’t happen to be referring to the Nazis, would you? And if so, is that a comparison you really want to make…

    As a matter of fact, yes, I do. Now, if you’re going to say that I’m stretching the point you may want a look into that big silver thing over the nightstand.

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  28. I’m suggesting that absent some mental deficiency which was pretty obvious in this case ,Or, yes, in the case of McVeigh, the chances of someone dedicated to this country, pulling a jihadi move is vanishingly small.

    hanging labels on such individuals is a pretext to exclusion of those individuals from society. We’ve seen it too often before. Usually, from left wing governments.

    I can’t even begin to understand this. What are you talking about? What does any of that mean. In non-oblique English, please.

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  29. An Interested Party says:

    Now, if you’re going to say that I’m stretching the point you may want a look into that big silver thing over the nightstand.

    Ahh, time yet again to call bullshit to something you’ve typed…I needn’t look in any silver things, as I’ve never made any Nazi comparisons…

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  30. Eric Florack says:

    Ahh, time yet again to call bullshit to something you’ve typed…I needn’t look in any silver things, as I’ve never made any Nazi comparisons…

    Would you feel better had I said “Communists”? It’s all the same; we’ve seen it from each, and the Nazis are only one such occasion.

    What are you talking about?

    (Sigh)

    GIven the link I placed above and what’s in it, the guy was obviously a nutbag, and anyone looking at the situation would have been able to make that dtermination even without the much vaunted DHS “report’ Yglesias is trying to score points with. The evidence has been there for decades, now.

    Same goes for McViegh, for that matter.

    Of course, as Clinton found, it’s all much easier to blame the whole thing on talk radio, and a vast right wing conspiracy, huh? to say nthing of more productive to the end of eliminating the right from the political spectrum. Tar them all with the ‘extremist label, damn them by association.

    The rest of this is fairly predictable… we’ve seen it in Germany and Russia and around half the third world over the years.

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  31. steve says:

    It is just fact that there are always a number of right wing and left wing (plus some hard to classify in that system) nuts who are willing to use violence to achieve their ends. Why shouldnt DHS keep track of these people?

    IIRC, the report suggested that a small number of disaffected ex-military would be good targets for recruitment efforts by domestic terrorist groups. That strikes me as a realistic problem rather than besmirching the reputation of all our troops. McVeigh serves as a prototype here. When I was in the service, the large majority of personnel clearly leaned to the right in their politics, some virulently so. In a time of economic uncertainty, unstable people with that background would seem to be prime targets.

    Steve

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  32. Eric Florack says:

    Yes, I was completely fooled by the title of the thread

    (Grump)
    Yeah, given the nature of the beast and the sheer size of the Google response I was skimming, in my efforts to get something useful quickly. More, the firewall I’m behind here at work blocks the site, as it happened.

    I remain amazed at the number of links this guy’s name brings up. I’ve seen legit bloggers that don’t do that well. The evidence the guy is a nutbag has been out there for quite a while for there to be that much of a build-up the the crawlers.

    So, the obvious question becomes, how does the DHS report bring anything to this party? Clearly it does not. The evidence… and actionable evidence at that, seemingly… has been out there for decades, already even absent that “report”.

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  33. Wayne says:

    “the large majority of personnel clearly leaned to the right in their politics, some virulently so. In a time of economic uncertainty, unstable people with that background would seem to be prime targets.”

    Sounds like you labeling people that lean right as more dangerous than a left leaning person. The number of cases of violence from members of left leaning groups in the last ten years outnumbers that on the right.

    Michael the outrage about the DHS report was about profiling Iraq\Afghanistan veterans as likely threats. Many in the press yesterday were ridiculing those who had a problem with that part and said this case absolutely proves otherwise. Listen to AIP comments above.

    What part of the DHS assessment does this case validate? That we have internal threats as well? Of course but to say it validate profiling veteran or right winger over the opposite is asinine which is the two traits that causes this story to be so prominent in the headlines. If it was a lone Islamic terrorist targeting troop on U.S. soil or a left wing group like ELF destroying millions of dollars in property it would get little play.

    Liberals are so against profiling or having prejudice unless it’s their type of profiling or prejudice.

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  34. Herb says:

    Matter of fact, yes, I did. A bit of political work from end to end, targeting groups that the current power structure doesn’t like… has a rather familiar ring to it. We ended up in a world war over the aspirations of just such people.

    Sorry, Erik. While I’m willing to believe that you read the report, I don’t think you read it all that closely.

    It specifically warns of “lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks,” and sorry, bud, but that describes this Von Brunn character, as well as the guy who killed George Tiller, to a T.

    Besides, I’m curious to know what you think of the DHS’s left wing extremism report that came out in January? Was that also politically motivated? Who, may I ask, do you think directed that conspiracy?

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  35. An Interested Party says:

    Would you feel better had I said “Communists”? It’s all the same; we’ve seen it from each, and the Nazis are only one such occasion.

    Also bullshit, as I’ve never made that comparison either…

    Of course, as Clinton found, it’s all much easier to blame the whole thing on talk radio, and a vast right wing conspiracy, huh? to say n[o]thing of more productive to the end of eliminating the right from the political spectrum. Tar them all with the ‘extremist label, damn them by association.

    Funny, you don’t mind doing the same thing to “The Left”…

    Listen to AIP comments above.

    And, uh, which comments would they be, pray tell…

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  36. Eric Florack says:

    It specifically warns of “lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks,” and sorry, bud, but that describes this Von Brunn character, as well as the guy who killed George Tiller, to a T.

    But we didn’t need the ‘report’ to tell us that, nor did we need to lump servicemen into that group.

    Also bullshit, as I’ve never made that comparison either…

    Didn’t say you had. You are, on the other hand, trying to avoid such comparisons and discredit them when they show up.

    Besides, I’m curious to know what you think of the DHS’s left wing extremism report that came out in January? Was that also politically motivated? Who, may I ask, do you think directed that conspiracy?

    Yes, I think that, too, was politically motivated, because for one thing, I don’t think it went far enough in many areas. At the same time, I think there was an awful lot of inaccuracies in that report, of the same sort in the one on right-wing groups and individuals. Never under-estimate how badly government wonks will mishandle intel data.

    As for who ‘directed’ it, the phrase ‘leaderless resistance’ comes to mind.

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  37. […] don’t blame Christianity or Christian leaders or even white supremacists generally for Von Brunn’s murderous action.  He is, so far as we know, a lone kook and part of no organized conspiracy.  But, really, […]

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  38. […] man who killed a security officer at the Holocaust Musuem yesterday may have had a different/additional target in mind, Ben Smith reports: FBI agents visited […]

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  39. An Interested Party says:

    You are, on the other hand, trying to avoid such comparisons and discredit them when they show up.

    Well of course…if it is your goal is to compare the Obama Administration (or other’s goal to compare the Bush Administration) to Nazis and/or Communists, such claims deserve to be discredited as the lunatic fringe bullshit that they are…

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  40. Herb says:

    But we didn’t need the ‘report’ to tell us that, nor did we need to lump servicemen into that group.

    Wait…now the report was unnecessary? Sounds like you’re grasping at straws there.

    At any rate, the report didn’t lump “servicemen into that group.” It indicated servicemen could be a recruiting target for that group. This shouldn’t be too terribly controversial.

    After all, if I were the one trying to start a violent RaHoWa, I’d want someone with military training too. A combat veteran would be even better. And if you think there’s no white supremacists in the military that are more than happy to join these groups, then you’re only fooling yourself.

    As to this…this is almost comical:

    Yes, I think that, too, was politically motivated, because for one thing, I don’t think it went far enough in many areas.

    Let me see if I get this right…

    The left-wing report didn’t go far enough. The right-wing report went too far. Considering your political persuasion, that’s almost understandable. But why pretend that you’re judging the issue on the merits? Why not just say “Left bad…Right good” if that’s the limit of your analysis?

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  41. Eric Florack says:

    Well of course…if it is your goal is to compare the Obama Administration (or other’s goal to compare the Bush Administration) to Nazis and/or Communists, such claims deserve to be discredited as the lunatic fringe bullshit that they are…

    OK, explain to us how they’re different.
    (Crosing arms, and leaning back)

    The left-wing report didn’t go far enough. The right-wing report went too far. Considering your political persuasion, that’s almost understandable. But why pretend that you’re judging the issue on the merits? Why not just say “Left bad…Right good” if that’s the limit of your analysis?

    Hardly, but apparently, that’s as far as you’d like to take the discussion… anything deeper is apparently beyond your ken.

    After all, if I were the one trying to start a violent RaHoWa, I’d want someone with military training too.

    Ah. So, the business at Seattle a few years ago was army types, huh? Again, not required.

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  42. An Interested Party says:

    OK, explain to us how they’re different.
    (Crosing arms, and leaning back)

    Umm, I don’t think so…you are the one making the comparison, so it is up to you to make the case…by the way, if you can find anyone outside of the lunatic fringe who would favorably believe in any such comparisons, do let us know…

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  43. Herb says:

    Ah. So, the business at Seattle a few years ago was army types, huh? Again, not required.

    Is that the best you got? Seriously? A knee-jerk variation of the old “I know you are, but what am I” trick?

    Lame.

    Ya know, if you re-directed half the energy you use to deliberately misunderstand something towards actually trying to understand it, you might find yourself a little less more convincing.

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  44. Eric Florack says:

    Is that the best you got?

    Since it clearly demonstrates that terrorism is not limited to those with military training, nor is it even desired on the part of the vast majority of those engaging in such activity domestically, it’ll serve very nicely, thanks. That you don’t understand that, (I’ll be kind and say, probably by intent) tells me all I need know about who is misunderstanding what, Herb.

    And my question still stands. I’m genuinely curious how you think them different.

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  45. Herb says:

    I shouldn’t have to do this, Eric, but I will:

    Similarities between Seattle Zack De La Rocha clones and white supremacists recruiting military types:

    They could be, somewhat hyperbolically, called terrorists.

    The differences:

    Seattle window-breakers want wind power.

    White supremacists want white power.

    Seattle window-breakers cover their faces with bandannas.

    White supremacists cover their faces with hoods.

    Seattle rock throwers see a conspiracy of capitalist pigs trying to control them.

    White supremacists see a conspiracy of Jewish bloodsuckers trying to control them.

    I can go on….but what’s the point? I think with all this talk of “right wing extremists” you just want to bring some “left wing extremists” into the discussion, not because they’re all that relevant, but because, well, “He did it first!”

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