There is crazy– like the guy I saw at the IMH who spent his days eating dirt off the floor– and then there is acting out a script.
Posts on Twitter report a shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Ridge Milwaukee.
According to information broadcast over police radio, a witness to the shooting told law enforcement the shooter was a white male, bald, with a heavy build. He was wearing a sleeveless T-shirt, according to Oak Creek Patch. He was last seen with two handguns.
We don’t know yet who or why, but this has the familiar feeling of the angry man who goes out in a blaze of glory. We know the script, why do we give then the props?
Is this the new normal? Like when pubs were bombed in Ireland in a pattern that made sense to political terrorists but was random to the innocent people killed and injured? Sikhs are a minority within a minority in the US. Some members of the religion stand out as ‘other’ by their dress and observance. Are we supposed to be learning a lesson here? To be more afraid? To buy more guns? Is this repeated violence serving anyone’s purpose? Maybe just the perpetrators, and all the angry souls who build a private arsenal and feel the power of what they could do.
UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune–
Seven people, including the suspected shooter, are reported dead and three are wounded, including a police officer who killed the gunman, after a shooting this morning at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee.
Greenfield, Wis., Police Chief Brad Wentlandt said in a press conference that four people had been found dead inside the temple and three people were found dead outside the temple. Officials say three people are in critical condition at a Milwaukee hospital.
Wentlandt said that after a 10:25 a.m. call to 911, officers were sent to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, 7512 S. Howell Ave., in Oak Creek, just south of Milwaukee along Lake Michigan.
“A police officer responded to the scene and when he arrived, he engaged an active shooter,” the chief said. “Gunfire was exchanged and the gunman shot the officer multiple times.”
A HATE CRIME: Today’s CNN tells a story that is too familiar…
Oak Creek, Wisconsin (CNN) — The man who shot six people to death and wounded three others during a rampage at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb was an Army veteran who may have been a white supremacist, according to a law enforcement source involved in the investigation.
The name of the shooter, who himself was killed by police after wounding an officer, may be released as early as Monday morning, the source added.
Earlier, the FBI said that it had not determined a motive for the Sunday morning shooting and that investigators were looking into whether the attack might be classified as domestic terrorism.
The article goes on to list incidents of violence against members of the Sikh religion since 9/11. Observant Sikh men wear turbans and have been mistaken for Muslims.
The investigation is just beginning, but this type of crime– a mass shooting of unarmed, unsuspecting people who exercised their right to peacefully assemble, to worship as their conscience dictates– has happened too many times in the last three decades to be called an aberration.
There’s a phrase, ‘suicide magnet’ for places like the Empire State Building, where multiple incidents finally lead to the construction of barriers.
We need to look at ‘homicide magnets’. We need to discredit the hateful ideologies that motivated a violent few, and stop giving them what they want– a glorious martyrdom. And we have to put the ‘well-regulated’ back into the 2nd Amendment and reinstate the assault weapons ban. All freedoms are moderated by all other freedoms. Our right to peaceably assemble is under attack. It’s time for sensible gun control and time for politicians to dial down the rhetoric and look at what unites us.