20 Dead, 26 Injured In El Paso Mass Shooting. Hate Crime Suspected.

Another day, another mass shooting and, as is becoming all too common in this country, this one appears to have been racially motivated.

At least 20 people are dead and another 26 injured in a mass shooting being investigated as a hate crime at a WalMart in El Paso, Texas:

EL PASO — A 21-year-old gunman armed with a powerful rifle turned a crowded Walmart store in this majority-Hispanic border city into a scene of chaos and bloodshed on Saturday, stalking shoppers in the aisles in an attack that left at least 20 people dead and 26 others wounded, the authorities said.

For several minutes late on Saturday morning, the packed Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall on the city’s East Side filled with gun smoke and the echo of gunfire. Workers and customers, some bloodied, fled out the doors. Others huddled in the aisles or on the ground.

“Texas grieves for the people of El Paso today,” the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, told reporters. “On a day that would have been a normal day for someone to leisurely go shopping, turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas.”

Manuel Uruchurtu, 20, had just paid at the cash register and was walking out of the store when he heard the sound of shots. He turned around and saw the gunman holding a long gun and wearing what looked like shoulder pads. As Mr. Uruchurtu fled the store, he saw two bodies on the ground outside, one surrounded by a pool of blood.

“I saw people crying: children, old people, all in shock,” he said. “I saw a baby, maybe 6 to 8 months old, with blood all over their belly.”

The authorities identified the gunman as Patrick Crusius, from a Dallas suburb. He was taken into custody after he surrendered to the police outside the Walmart. The authorities said they were investigating a manifesto Mr. Crusius, who is white, may have posted before the shooting, which described an attack in response to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

“Right now, we have a manifesto from this individual,” El Paso’s police chief, Greg Allen, told reporters, though he said later that law enforcement officers were still not clear whether the gunman had posted the document

The manifesto the chief appeared to be referring to was an anti-immigrant online screed titled “The Inconvenient Truth.” The post declares support for the gunman who killed 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand; outlines fears about Hispanic people gaining power in the United States; and appears to discuss specific details about elements of the attack, including weapons. The four-page manifesto was posted on 8chan, an online forum where the Christchurch gunman also announced his attack. It appeared to have been published at 10:20 a.m., 19 minutes before the first 911 call, according to an archived version of the website.
“Hispanics will take control of the local and state government of my beloved Texas, changing policy to better suit their needs,” the manifesto said. It added that politicians of both parties are to blame for the United States “rotting from the inside out,” and that “the heavy Hispanic population in Texas will make us a Democrat stronghold.”

The shooting came six days after a gunman killed three people at a garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif. In that shooting, the gunman shot and killed himself after exchanging gunfire with the police. The massacre in El Paso was the deadliest American mass shooting since November 2017, when 26 people were killed in a church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Tex.
President Trump was briefed on the shooting, and administration officials said they were monitoring the situation. “Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. “Reports are very bad, many killed.”

The president pledged “total support of Federal Government” to state and local authorities, and spoke about the shooting with Mr. Abbott, the governor, who headed to the scene of the attack on Saturday afternoon.

El Paso has long been both a cultural and political symbol of Hispanic Texas.

The city has had a binational feel because of its proximity and ties to its sister city in Mexico, Ciudad Juárez, and has been in the national spotlight for months. Thousands of Central American families have flooded the city and surrounding areas seeking asylum, overwhelming the Border Patrol and nonprofit groups working with immigrants.
The waves of migrants, and the difficulty the Trump administration has had providing shelter and medical care to them, have been a focus of Democratic lawmakers and Democratic presidential candidates in an election campaign in which immigration has become a central issue. But the city has also been home to generations of Mexican-Americans who consider themselves more Texan than Mexican. On a clear day, Mexico is visible from the shopping center parking lot.

Some of the wounded on Saturday were identified by the authorities as Mexican citizens, including a 10-year-old girl.

“It tells us something about the hate and the animosity that exists out there in the nation,” said one longtime El Paso lawmaker, State Senator José Rodríguez. “And it seems to always be some of these young people that they’re getting, I guess, irrationally distorted about what’s happening in the country.”

The possibility that an anti-Hispanic motive might be behind the attack angered and startled residents and officials in the city of 682,000.

“This is about hate,” El Paso’s Democratic congresswoman, Representative Veronica Escobar, said in an interview.

Officials said it was too early to discuss possible motives, but Chief Allen said the attack “has the nexus at this point and time to a hate crime. The F.B.I. will be looking into that with other federal authorities.”

The F.B.I. is reviewing evidence to determine whether to move forward with federal charges, said Emmerson Buie Jr., the special agent in charge of the F.B.I. in El Paso. But he said that the bureau had not determined whether the shooting was a hate crime, an act of domestic terrorism or some other federal crime.

The Texas authorities said they were conducting a murder investigation, with the potential for other lines of inquiry.

Mr. Crusius lived with relatives in the Dallas suburb of Allen. In an upper-middle-class neighborhood of two-story homes with neatly manicured lawns, an F.B.I. agent was stationed outside the house and prevented reporters from knocking on the door. “We’re not sure if it’s secure yet,” the agent explained. State and federal officers later blocked the streets leading to the house.

Mr. Crusius appeared to live with his grandparents. A neighbor said he saw the couple’s grandson a few times, but the young man showed no abnormal behavior or appearance.

(…)

The timestamp on security-camera footage of the gunman walking in was 10:39:35. Chief Allen said the first officer on scene arrived six minutes later, at 10:45 a.m.

Sergio Armando Samaniego, 40, a clerk in the store’s garden center, said he believed the gunman entered through the automotive section. Mr. Samaniego had been on break and was headed back to the garden center when he heard gunshots.

“I’m lucky,” Mr. Samaniego said. “One of my friends was shot. I saw another customer running out of the store with a shot in his back. I’m just shocked.”

Victor Gamboa, 18, who works at the McDonald’s inside the Walmart, said he had heard shots and saw smoke. “I saw a man on the floor full of blood,” he said. “He appeared to be dead. It happened very quickly.”

Mr. Gamboa said he and other McDonald’s workers sheltered the customers to keep them safe and huddled on the ground for 15 minutes. Officers eventually arrived and escorted the group out to a Sam’s Club store across the street.

More from The El Paso Times:

The peace that El Paso is known for was bloodied Saturday when a gunman from out of town killed 20 people at a Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall, officials said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed the death toll from the morning attack in East-Central El Paso during an afternoon news conference after he arrived in the city.

Police Chief Greg Allen said 26 people were injured. He said preliminary findings indicate the attack might be a hate crime. 

Allen said the active shooter 911 call was received at 10:39 a.m., and the first police officer arrived at 10:45 a.m.

He said the bodies of those killed will remain at the scene until the investigation is completed. 

Officials said the suspect was arrested at Sunmount Drive and Viscount Boulevard, near an entrance to the large shopping complex that includes Cielo Vista Mall, Walmart and Sam’s Club. 

He surrendered to police and only had one weapon, police said. They did not identify the type of rifle used. 

Allen did not comment on a manifesto on Facebook that appears to have been written by the suspect.

“This person did not come from El Paso,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said at the news conference. “It is not what we’re about. We are a special community and this would not have happened from an El Pasoan, I can assure you.”

El Paso has averaged 18 homicides a year in the past five years, statistics show. The death toll from Saturday’s shooting surpassed that in one day.

A video of the scene from Facebook captured the devastation.

At the start of the video, a woman runs toward the store, past a truck that a shopping cart has run into, with a body lying on the ground beside it. 

Children were holding a fundraiser at the store and some reportedly were among the casualties.

At the front of the store, victims’ bodies are shown near a table that appeared to have items for sale. The body of a man in bluejeans and a blue shirt is seen on the ground near the table, lying on his stomach, seemingly dead, as a woman rushes over to help. Near him is a woman, taking cover between a garbage can and the wall.

A person is shown lying motionless to the left of the table, under a shade covering set up over it, as a woman tries to help. Nearby, by the wall of the building, a man lies on his side in a pool of dark blood, with a bandage on his back. 

A voice tells him, “Try not to move,” adding, “Stay with me, OK?”
Wailing is heard in the background, as people tend to others lying injured nearby.

At a news conference Saturday afternoon, police said a white man was in custody. Officials said more than 1,000 shoppers were in the Walmart, as well as 100 workers.

The suspect was identified as Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, according to two law enforcement officials.  

Investigators are reviewing recent social media posts in connection with a possible motive in the assault, said the officials, who are not authorized to comment publicly.

(…)

A Facebook account apparently belonging to the suspect appeared to have been deleted Saturday afternoon.

The account belonging to Crusius had shown a young man in wire-frame glasses. The account showed three friends, including a possible twin sister. LexisNexis records listed Facebook friend Emily Crusius as a “household member” who shared the suspect’s birthday month and year.

A Twitter account in the suspect’s name, “Patrick Crusius,” using the handle @outsider609, included several tweets supporting President Donald Trump, although the account had been inactive for the past two years.

By Saturday night, it had been suspended.

A January 2017 tweet said, “#BuildTheWall is the best way that @POTUS has worked to secure our country so far!”

It could not immediately be confirmed that the Twitter handle belonged to the suspect.

To put yesterday’s events in perspective, it’s worth noting that the suspect had apparently driven from the Dallas suburb of Allen, Texas to El Paso. That’s a drive of more than 600 miles that would take roughly ten hours if one drove without stopping. It’s not clear at the time, though, if Cruisius had made the journey in one day, which would have meant leaving home around midnight Friday at the latest, or if he had been in the area for several days. It’s also not clear why he chose either El Paso or this particular location as his target, although the fact that El Paso lies along the Mexican border across the Rio Grande for the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez and is considered the hub of the Latino population in the Lone Star State does seem significant, especially in light of the manifesto apparently linked to the shooter:

Nineteen minutes before the first 911 call alerted the authorities to a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Tex., a hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto appeared online.

It spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It detailed a plan to separate America into territories by race. It warned that white people were being replaced by foreigners.

The authorities were scrutinizing the 2,300-word screed on Saturday and attempting to determine whether it was written by the same man who killed 20 people and injured more than two dozen others near the Mexican border.

Police officers were interviewing the suspect, Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old white man from Allen, Tex., a roughly 10-hour drive to the Walmart. What brought him to a crowded shopping center in El Paso is one of the many questions on the minds of investigators.

The manifesto that may be linked to Mr. Crusius described an imminent attack and railed against immigrants, saying, “if we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.”

From New Zealand to Pittsburgh to a synagogue in Poway, Calif., aggrieved white men over the last several months have turned to mass murder in service of hatred against immigrants, Jews and others they perceive as threats to the white race.

The unsigned manifesto, titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” draws direct inspiration from the mass murder of Muslims at two mosques in New Zealand in March that left 51 people dead. In that attack, the alleged killer published a manifesto online promoting a white supremacist theory called “the great replacement.” The theory has been promoted by a French writer named Renaud Camus, and argues that elites in Europe have been working to replace white Europeans with immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

Christchurch has become a rallying cry for extremists the world over. The manifesto potentially linked to the El Paso killings begins, “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

The gunman who opened fire in April at a synagogue in Poway, Calif., near San Diego, posted an anti-Semitic diatribe on 8chan, the same online message board where the El Paso document surfaced. The Poway manifesto echoed the words of the Christchurch suspect, and also drew inspiration from a massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last October. In that mass shooting, the suspect railed against immigrants, Jews and other groups.

The El Paso shooting, if the manifesto is linked to the gunman, potentially underscored the global spread of white supremacist ideology in the age of social media and at a time when immigration in America and elsewhere has become a divisive political topic.

Shortly after the mass shooting Saturday, Mr. Crusius’ LinkedIn and Facebook accounts were shut down. A LinkedIn page that circulated online after the account was closed down appeared to be several years old, and Mr. Crusius seemed to be a lost young man.

He wrote on LinkedIn while in high school, “I’m not really motivated to do anything more than what’s necessary to get by. Working in general sucks, but I guess a career in Software Development suits me well. I spend about 8 hours every day on the computer so that counts toward technology experience I guess.”

The posting concluded: “Pretty much just gonna see what technology careers present themselves to me; go with the wind.”

If the manifesto is conclusively linked to Mr. Crusius, the federal authorities may treat Saturday’s attack as a hate crime or an incident of domestic terrorism.

The F.B.I. has said that more Americans have died in domestic terrorist attacks than international ones since Sept. 11, and that domestic terrorism is increasingly motivated by white supremacist ideology.

Christopher Wray, the director of the F.B.I., told Congress last month that the bureau had made about 100 domestic terrorism arrests in the first three quarters of the year, roughly the same number of international arrests over that time period.

(…)

The words of the manifesto, in citing the “great replacement” theory, echo the slogan that was chanted during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017: “Jews will not replace us.”

The writer of the manifesto also suggested that Democrats in the United States have a strategy to gain a permanent majority by embracing the growing Hispanic population, a notion that has gained currency on right-wing radio shows for years.

The manifesto said the gunman planned to use an AK-47-style rifle, which has been frequently used in mass shootings. The four-page document said politicians of both parties were to blame for the United States “rotting from the inside out,” and that “the heavy Hispanic population in Texas will make us a Democrat stronghold.”

The manifesto also railed against automation and embraced an argument familiar in anti-immigrant circles: that immigrants are taking jobs from “natives.”

“My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president,” the document says.

Yesterday’s shooting came just a week after a mass shooting at a festival in Gilroy, California that left four people dead and twelve injured. That shooting also appears to have been at least in part politically motivated but the motives in that shooting are less clear and the fact that the shooter was killed by police means that determining a motive will take time. Additionally, as I write this there is news breaking of a mass shooting overnight in a Dayton, Ohio neighborhood that left at least nine people dead along with the shooter, and sixteen injured. That story is still in its infancy, though, and further details will likely have to wait for updates for law enforcement to determine a motive and other facts about the shooter there to provide a context. The fact that it occurred roughly twelve hours after the El Paso shooting, though, certainly does raise suspicion that it may have been a copycat attack.

Getting back to the El Paso shooting, there really isn’t much that can be said that hasn’t already been said in the aftermath of the dozens of other mass shootings that have occurred in this country and elsewhere around the world. However, there are some recent trends that are developing that are, to say the least, troubling.

Past shootings, such as those at Virginia Tech in 2007. at an event held by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in her district in 2011, at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, at an elementary school in Connecticut in 2012, and at a High School in Parkland, Florida in February 2018 were committed by people with rather obvious mental disorders.

More recent shootings, though, appear to be motivated by politics or by racial hatred, This includes the above-referenced mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand, the 2011 massacre in Norway, the shootings at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015, and the October 28 massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To that list we can also add the attempted bombing attacks apparently perpetrated by someone with right-wing political motivations. These types of crimes seem to be becoming far too common and are backed up by the recent assessment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that domestic terrorism, primarily motivated by white supremacists, has resulted in more deaths in the United States since the September 11th attacks than Islamist jihadi terrorism. The increasing frequency of such attacks is, to say the least, worrisome.

Finally, it would be irresponsible and incomplete to leave the topic of this apparently hate-motivated shooting in El Paso without making reference to the environment in which it is taking place. Over the past two weeks, the President of the United States has unleashed bitter racist attacks against four minority Congresswomen, against a long-serving Maryland Congressman, and against an African-American CNN anchorman who has been critical of the White House. This is the same man who embraced the racist birther conspiracy.  who started his campaign with unhinged attacks on Mexican immigrants, based his campaign on building a border wall, proposed banning Muslims from visiting the United States for virtually any reason a Federal District Court Judge who happened to be Mexican-American, and a Gold Star Family who happened to be Muslim It’s also the same man who sought to excuse the racism of the participants in the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that resulted in the murder of a counterprotester at the hands of a march participant. In response to N.F.L. players who were peacefully kneeling to protest racially biased police violence, he responded by calling the largely African-American players “sons of bitches.”  It’s the same President who has sought to use race and ethnicity to divide this country and stoke fear among his base for his own political benefit. Is it really that much of a surprise that we’ve seen an increase in hate-motivated crimes during this period?

This isn’t to say that Donald Trump is responsible for what happened in El Paso yesterday or in any of the other events that have happened since 2015. The responsible party in each of those cases is the person who carried out the attack. However, it is true that he has created an environment where these views are becoming more socially acceptable and creating the impression on the far-right that their racism is something to be proud of, and something to act on. Words have consequences, and the Presidents words seem to be having tragic consequences.

Update: The latest information about the shooting in Dayton, Ohio can be found here.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Crime, Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, Society, Terrorism, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just another day in Canada… I mean Switzerland… I mean Australia… Argentina? S. Africa? Fiji? Uruguay? Turkmenistan? Belarus! No, that’s not it… Give me a minute, it’ll come to me.

    This isn’t to say that Donald Trump is responsible for what happened in El Paso yesterday………… However, it is true that he has created an environment where these views are becoming more socially acceptable and creating the impression on the far-right that their racism is something to be proud of, and something to act on. Words have consequences, and the Presidents words seem to be having tragic consequences.

    No, he didn’t pull the trigger, he didn’t buy the gun or load it, but he did prime the mind of this asshole with hate and fear, and he is the leader of the political party that ensures the availability of high powered firearms that have NO, ZERO, NADA legitimate civilian uses to nutjobs like this one.

    The authorities said they were investigating a manifesto Mr. Crusius, who is white, may have posted before the shooting, which described an attack in response to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    The complete idiocy of this statement is mind boggling in it’s blatant ignorance. Texas, originally a part of Mexico, became independent after an “invasion” by Anglos. He should have gone back to where he came from. Now he’s going to Huntsville.

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  2. Mikey says:

    This isn’t to say that Donald Trump is responsible for what happened in El Paso yesterday or in any of the other events that have happened since 2015.

    The hell he isn’t.

    Stochastic Terrorism

    the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted

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  3. mattbernius says:

    it is true that [Trump] has created an environment where these views are becoming more socially acceptable and creating the impression on the far-right that their racism is something to be proud of, and something to act on. Words have consequences, and the Presidents words seem to be having tragic consequences.

    And every one of his supporters who normalizes that environment in conversations and online, who denies the racism and us-vs-them divisiveness be of his words and actions, bares responsibility too.

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  4. 95 South says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Stay classy, Ozarks.

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  5. Hal_10000 says:

    @Mikey:

    I’ve never bought the stochastic terrorism thing. I wrote a post on it long ago that’s vanished into the server crash.. It has always crossed me as a way to delegitimize views people disagree with. We’ve seen it applied not just to white supremacy but to *any* right-wing view. Should we start saying Democrats were engaged in “stochastic terrorism” that resulted in the Scalise shooting?

    That having been said … the Trumpist rhetoric seems to have crossed a line. No, it’s not “stochastic terrorism” but it is dangerous and irresponsible. They’re saying these things (mostly) for power or for laughs or for ratings. And the fact that this might feed violence doesn’t seem to matter to them. It’s not “stochastic terrorism”. But is callous disregard for what they’re doing.

    Doug is right about another thing: the mass shootings of the last few years, even without a clear white supremacy motive, are different. These are not incidents where someone “snapped” and grabbed the nearest convenient weapon. These are carefully planned attacks. We know that some of these mass shooters are studying past events, learning from them, copying their methods. The Columbine shooting, in particular, has been cited as “inspiration” by several. The Las Vegas shooter carefully planned where and when he was going to kill. The Parkland shooter used the school’s active shooter drill to up his body count. The church, synagogue and mosque shooters attacked on a holy day at a point where they knew people couldn’t escape.

    *Maybe* an assault weapons bans lower the body count slightly (although it’s always worth noting one of the deadliest shootings — at Virginia Tech — only involved handguns and the Norway shooting involved a rifle and a pistol). But we need to see this clearly for what it is: terrorism. I don’t just mean the white supremacists either. I also mean the Parkland-type shootings where the goal is to murder a bunch of people and become infamous. We’re seeing a form of social contagion, where evil people are feeding off of each other, drawing inspiration from each other, learning from each other to commit increasingly awful acts of terrorism. Even if we could wave a magic wand and make guns disappear, it would be bombs next (or cars). I have no idea how we even begin to address that.

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  6. Teve says:

    On Twitter, RWNJs are saying the shooter was Antifa and they’re passing around a fake Photoshop of a social media profile that says he’s a member of the “Democrat Party” because they’re too stupid to realize that it would say Democratic Party.

    Patriot of 1776
    @Corgimom16

    The El Paso shooter was a registered Democrat, Bernie Sanders supporter, John Brown resistance member, and a member of Antifa. If you truly want gun safety just ban the Democrats from owning one! #democratplant #democratwithagun

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Also meant to ask up above, where were all the “good guys with guns”?

    Answer: Running for the doors along with everyone else. Take note, it was the smart thing to do, I don’t blame them in the least, but why are they walking around with a gun if they aren’t going to use it as they say they intend to?

    @95 South: Thank you. I try.

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  8. Hal_10000 says:

    @Teve:

    Yeah, I’ve seen that too, and it’s dumb. It’s the equivalent of people who say, “You know the Nazi were the National SOCIALIST Party!” and talk about the Nazi’s slightly left-wing economic views while ignoring that 90% of their philosophy was about racial purity, nationalism and militarism.

    These guys usually don’t adhere 100% to one particular stream of political philosophy. I won’t read the manifesto, but the edited highlights being shown suggest far right-wing populism a la Tucker Carlson: zero sum economics, anti-trade, they took our jobs, coastal elites … all served up in a vile broth of racism.

    So, yeah, you can probably find some places he overlaps Bernie or Warren or whomever. But the driving force of this guy appears to have been a deep racial resentment.

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  9. Andy says:

    Almost certainly a hate crime. Bellingcat had the details shortly after the shooting

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Trump is to this shooting what Hitler was to Kristallnacht.

    It is morally repugnant to deny that a man who preaches hatred toward a group of people has no responsibility when that group of people is attacked. You mighty as well deny that Bin Laden inspired 911.

    It’s time to face facts. White terrorism in this country is inspired by Trump and armed by the GOP.

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  11. Teve says:

    I avoided anything about the manifesto yesterday because the first 24 hours after an event like this is full of misinformation, but it’s looking pretty reliable that the manifesto is his and it’s just your standard white supremacy shit.

  12. Teve says:

    Seen on Facebook:

    At this rate…we’re going to have to dip into the Strategic Prayer Reserve.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Pretty sure the SPR is pretty low by now.

  14. Tyrell says:

    @Mikey: I used to watch “Gunsmoke” a lot. I have never thought about shooting anyone, and have never used a real gun.

  15. Teve says:

    Democrats already passed HR8 which of course #MoscowMitch blocked, but now would be a good time for them to pass a bill that just banned semi-automatics.

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  16. Jax says:

    @Teve: Was it you who posted an excerpt from a conservative radio host admitting he just makes things up a couple days ago? I’d like to find that again, if you can send me the link. I can’t remember which thread it was on!

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    *Maybe* an assault weapons bans lower the body count slightly (although it’s always worth noting one of the deadliest shootings — at Virginia Tech — only involved handguns and the Norway shooting involved a rifle and a pistol). But we need to see this clearly for what it is: terrorism. I don’t just mean the white supremacists either.

    Second part? Yes. First part? Bullshit.

    As I’m sure you know the muzzle velocity of an assault rifle’s round is far higher and thus more lethal than a pistol round. Generally speaking a round from an AR-15 travels at twice the speed of a .44 magnum. It’s that kinetic energy that annihilates organs. You might survive being gut shot by a pistol, you won’t survive being gut shot by an AR-15. That’s why those weapons were designed: in order to kill humans.

    The Norway shooting was out of doors in an almost park like setting. So, sure, a rifle will do the trick. But in a crowded place where any pause to reload might give a victim a chance? There you want your AR with a nice fat magazine. That’s how you murder a bunch of brown or black people in a short time.

    I’m not one of those liberal gun-haters who has never fired a gun and knows nothing about them. I’ve owned guns, I’ve fired guns, I grew up around guns. Neither you nor I nor anyone with any experience of guns would choose a revolver for a murder spree if a semi-automatic pistol was available. Neither you nor I would choose a hunting rifle over an assault rifle for the job. So let’s stop pretending, shall we? AR’s are the weapon of choice for mass murder, and there’s a good reason for it.

    That weapon was in that man’s hands because of the Republican Party and the NRA. They arm terrorists.

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  18. Teve says:

    @Jax: no way would I be able to remember what thread it was on, but fortunately I remember the podcast I heard the audio on. Here is a link:

    Brenden Dilley–it doesn’t have to be true, it just has to go viral.

  19. Teve says:

    @michael reynolds: and that Las Vegas shooting where 58 people died and 422 were wounded wasn’t done with a revolver.

  20. steve says:

    Andy- Thanks for the Bellingcat link. He does a great job of pointing out that this problem goes way beyond Trump. (It is election season so every effort will be made to blame Trump.) There has been an ongoing effort on the part of the far right extremists to recruit shooters, not dissimilar I believe to the efforts made by jihadists to recruit shooters to their effort. This has been going on long before Trump became president. It has been pretty successful and while I hope law enforcement makes more of an effort to stop this, I think it will be incredibly difficult. There are too many people to monitor.

    Steve

  21. 95 South says:

    @Jax: You mean the one from Right Wing Watch about the guy that no one’s ever heard of? Why would you want that article? Hang on. Let me try something.
    ECHO…Echo…echo…echo…

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @steve:
    Anti-semitism preceded Hitler. Pretty sure we can still blame Hitler for the Holocaust.

    A person is suicidal. An acquaintance urges them to do it, kill themselves. The person does kill themselves. Does the acquaintance bear 100% of the blame? No. Do they bear 0% of the blame? No. The suicidal tendency pre-existed, the acquaintance exacerbated it, and is at least partly to blame.

    A recovered alcoholic urged repeatedly to drink up, come on man don’t be a pussy, drink up! The alcoholism pre-existed, the people demanding the alcoholic take a drink do in fact bear some responsibility.

    Thought experiment. Take a paranoid schizophrenic out of a mental hospital. ‘Frank’ spends a lot of time telling that mental patient that the cause of his pain and madness is Jews. The mental patient murders Jews. Who is responsible? The mentally ill person, or Frank?

    We keep being told that white shooters are mentally ill, not terrorists. Explain to me how those feeding hate and lies to those mentally ill people are not responsible for their actions.

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  23. Jay L Gischer says:

    Ever since a spree killing by Anthony DeGuzman in my backyard was prevented, I’ve been tracking these things. I am of the opinion that ideology plays no role in influencing whether someone goes on a killing spree or not, but it does play a role sometimes in just who the victims are.

  24. Modulo Myself says:

    The Dayton shooter killed 9 people and wounded another 26 in one minute. The idea that we, as Americans, have any use for a device that can do that to others in one minute is insane. What need does this weapon fulfill? None, except mass killing.

    If the only guns Americans could buy where revolvers, shotguns, and a hunting rifles, would we be having mass shootings at this rate? I kind of doubt it. There’s something fetishistic about the speed and detachment of the fantasy-world assault rifles and automatic handguns and body armor.

    Personally, I think it’s too late. Cat’s out of the bag. Not only with guns but with right-wing mania. The militia movement in the 90s has gone mainstream.

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  25. Modulo Myself says:

    One thing about mental illness is that being devoted to guns is not a neutral choice. If we’re going to really start screening gun purchases for mental health issues, who is doing the screening? How many therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists are out there who think fixation on weapons is a sign of a healthy person? Someone who has fantasies of defending their family from home invasions is not in a good mental place.

    Or look at all of defenses of not-calling people racists because that makes them racist. Self-awareness and accountability have gone out the window here. If you tell your hypothetical therapist who is clearing you for guns that you only became a racist because the liberals said that Donald Trump was a racist, you are not going to be getting a gun.

  26. Chip Daniels says:

    One of the reasons why these white supremacists seem to have eclectic political views is that, when ethnic supremacy is your chief goal, all other political ideas become mere tools, means to that end.
    So if white supremacy is being served by free market tools here (such as refusing to hire black people) then you trumpet that; if white supremacy requires massive government power (like militarized policing) then you demand that.

    Which is why when you look at all the bizarre policy zigzags of Trump it becomes clear that the only straight line that connects them all is whatever happens to serve the interests of while males, at that particular moment.

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  27. Mikey says:

    @Hal_10000: Trump laughed along when a person at his rally shouted “shoot them!” after Trump asked “How do you stop these people?” (crossing the border).

    Tucker Carlson on Fox “News” drools on about how “they” are coming to “replace you.” The El Paso killer’s manifesto contained a lot about “replacement.”

    This is why I do buy the stochastic terrorism thing. Because we are seeing it happen in real time.

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  28. steve says:

    Jay- Read the Bllingcat piece. It is pretty clear that people in some ideological groups are actively trying to radicalize people into becoming killers. This looks like it is limited to just a few ideological groups. It looks to me like they find people who have ideological agreements with them, then fan the flames of hate further to get them to kill. It does not look like they find people who just want to kill, then help them identify victims.

    Steve

  29. Teve says:

    Felicia Sonmez
    @feliciasonmez
    On Fox, Kevin McCarthy is talking about El Paso and… video games. “When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others,” he says. Violent video games “dehumanize” individuals, he says.
    10:11 AM · Aug 4, 2019

    That’s why there’s no mass shootings in Japan. No video games there.

  30. 95 South says:

    @Modulo Myself: 9 dead in a minute with any of those weapons would be easy.

  31. Gustopher says:

    @Hal_10000:

    That having been said … the Trumpist rhetoric seems to have crossed a line. No, it’s not “stochastic terrorism” but it is dangerous and irresponsible. They’re saying these things (mostly) for power or for laughs or for ratings. And the fact that this might feed violence doesn’t seem to matter to them. It’s not “stochastic terrorism”. But is callous disregard for what they’re doing.

    So, you just don’t like the name? You think the intent isn’t quite there?

    When pro-life extremists repeatedly referred to “Tiller the Baby Killer” on National tv, and tracked his movements and made sure that information was available to any armed nutjob…. and then a nut job murdered Dr. Tiller…. that was clear cut Stochastic Terrorism.

    This is less explicitly targeted, but not that different.

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  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Years ago, I had a Japanese exchange student in a class where we were teaching research-based argument. His thesis was that violent video games should be banned because they provoke violence in the people (most children and young people) who play them. In a discussion with him, he acknowledged that video game content was far more violent in Japanese games (this was the late 90s, times may have changed) and far more children in Japan played them, but that the content was not a problem in Japan because Japanese people were morally superior to Americans.

    He may have been onto something. (I fully expect another “get off my lawn” for this comment, BTW.)

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @95 South: 9 dead plus 26 wounded totals 35 people shot. Allowing that you are a crack shot, so the wounded were only wounded because you planned it that way (to allow that every shot hit someone), are you really saying that you can get off a shot every less than 2 seconds, innumerate, or just deluded?

    (I promise I will not feed the troll again this thread.)

  34. Jax says:

    @95 South: 9 dead, 26 injured, 35 bullets in a minute with a standard hunting rifle? I call bull. Mine holds 6, then I have to reload, and it’s kind of a pain in the butt to reload, there is no effing way i’m gonna get 35 shots off in a minute.

    And I’m totally ok with that, because I’m not hunting humans.

    I was looking for that article because my daughter and I were having a conversation about the evolution of “fake news” since the advent of the internet. Used to be the fake news was all located on end caps of grocery store checkout lanes, and they had the same philosophy back then…”it doesn’t have to be true, it just has to sell”. The difference being, back then we all knew the outrageous stories weren’t true. Or I always thought people did, anyways, I guess I could be wrong on that.

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    @95 South:..the guy that no one’s ever heard of?

    No one…except you.
    Which makes you no one.

  36. 95 South says:

    @Mister Bluster: Oh, you hurt my feelings. What do you care if I call out Teve for linking to a garbage story? If you need 100% agreement you should switch to IM.

  37. Hal_10000 says:

    Note: something that boggled my mind today. El Paso is a border town. It is also one of the safest cities in America. It was literally ranked as the safest city in the whole country from 2011-2014. I’ve been there a couple of times, when I would observe in East Texas and that reputation is deserved. It’s friendly, multi-cultural and very very Texan.

    Over the previous five years, El Paso had averaged 18 murders a year. All the guns, all the immigrants, border and everything: 18 murders. Yesterday, a guy doubled that, killing as many as the entire city kills in a year. Because he thinks immigrants are making us unsafe.

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  38. Mikey says:

    @Hal_10000: My wife and I lived in El Paso for a couple years, a while back. It was very safe then, too. If anything, I thought they just rolled up the sidewalks at 6:00 PM. (Not a lot of nightlife for a young couple with no kids…lol) But it was as you said, friendly and Texan in a really cool way. My heart aches for them.

  39. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Well first off an ar-15 can be chambered in a wide range of rounds from .17 mach 2 up to .50 beowulf. That’s why it’s such a popular hunting rifle as with one gun you can hunt everything in the USA. Second off velocity is only one factor in the lethality of a bullet (mass and round design being generally more important). A .17 mach 2 round fired from an ar-15 has a velocity of 2,100 ish FT/S but it only has about 225 joules worth of energy on impact (makes a little hole even when mushroomed properly with very little energy transfer). The 44 magnum on the other hand has a velocity around 1,400 FT/s with about 2,078 joules of energy on impact (big hole lots of energy transfer via mushrooming). The 44 is going to do vastly more damage due to the vastly higher energy from the bigger round and it’s ability to mushroom into a much bigger diameter than it’s initial starting point.

    I would by a far distance prefer to be shot by an ar-15 using .22 than a .44 magnum. Even a 36 gr HP .223 round (standard AR-15 chamber) out of an ar-15 at 3,750 ft/s only has around 1500 joules of energy on impact. In case you’re wondering a 5.56 round has around 3,000 ft/s with about 1300 joules of energy. Still vastly less damage than a .44 magnum. In The scenario of the walmart shooting the .44 magnum is more lethal by a good amount.

    You probably never watched the videos I posted showing various rounds hitting ballistics gel in slow motion. If you had you wouldn’t of made such a silly comment about velocity being all that matters. Because you would of seen that hand gun rounds were capable of doing vastly more damage than the .223/5.56 out of an AR-15.

    I’m out of time to address the rest of your post. I’m sure when I get back I’ll be downvoted like mad for pointing out some of your lies or should I call them ignorance? Mistakes? attempts at propaganda? I’m not even sure as one moment you just seem ignorant and then another moment you’re spewing outright false information.

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  40. Matt says:

    @Teve: In a way we were lucky that the Las Vegas shooter decided to use a gun. For example he had the money/resources to easily fund/build a truck bomb ala Oklahoma city. That means he also had the funds to buy a 3d metal printer if he wanted so even a complete gun ban wouldn’t of stopped that one. As he could of just printed out an m60 or any number of full auto REAL assault rifle platforms.

    In the end he intentionally hamstrung his killing ability for whatever reason and there are a lot of people alive today as a result.

    As Hal said we can play whackamole with weapons until we require someone to be 18 to buy a butter knife and that still won’t address the underlying problem with violence in this country. We’re just far more prone to violence in general than most of the rest of the first world.

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  41. Jax says:

    @Matt: I suspect a lot of it has to do with our outsized sense of entitlement. It’s like the news story about the guy who didn’t tip the gay waiter and left a nasty remark on the receipt, then he stuffed it down the (female) manager’s shirt when she confronted him on his assholery. When the cops showed up to arrest him a couple hours later for assault, he was whining about “I have the right to say anything I want, to anybody I want!”

    It perfectly encapsulated American “entitlement” for me.

  42. Jax says:

    I’m 100% certain I’ve mentioned this before on this forum, but my hardest part with raising a teenager is teaching her that just because she has “rights”, it doesn’t mean she gets to use them at the expense of other people. Her “rights” end where another person’s rights begin, and her right to “Freedom of Speech” doesn’t protect her from the consequences of running her mouth. It appears to me that a lot of school classes on the Constitution have forgotten this part, or maybe not emphasized it enough.

  43. Jax says:

    We could always take it to our ISP’s also. If the government won’t shut 4, 8Chan and it’s ilk down, free market capitalism might.
    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/03/australian-and-nz-isps-blocked-dozens-of-sites-that-host-nz-shooting-video/