There were two acts of terrorism last week. In both cases, a racist lowlife sought to kill innocent victims, chosen because of a pathological hatred of people different than one’s self. In both cases, murder was elevated to terrorism, due to the perpetrators’ attempt to send a political message and strike fear beyond his immediate victims. However, each evil actor chose different tools to perpetrate their crimes.
The first case is obviously the killings at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in South Carolina. A virulently racist young man shattered the peace of a prayer meeting at on of the oldest historically black churches in the country when he pulled out a concealed gun and killed 9 parishioners, wounding others.
The second case has garnered less attention on this side of the pond, especially as the 24-hour news cycle has been virtually non-stop on the Charleston killings, breaking only for the occasional piece on the New York prison break. In the second instance, a “Bosnian” man in the Austrian city of Graz ran his car through a crowd of people, injuring dozens and killing three. A seven-year old boy was among the dead. Not content with just using his car as a weapon, he stopped outside a police station where he proceeded to stab several people.
There are many who are trying to explain away the Charleston shootings as simple mental illness. Likewise, Austrian authorities are avoiding the elephant of Jihadist hatred in the room and instead are calling the individual “disturbed”. I don’t see why the two are mutually exclusive. There are plenty of racists of all ethnicities and religions that are filled with hatred. In the overwhelming majority of these cases this hatred does not spill over into pathological violence. In both of these cases it did.
Here in America, the ghouls of the civilian-disarmament complex have wasted no time gearing up to try to take advantage of the tragedy to push their hoplophobic agenda. As always, they feel like denying Americans their God-given right to keep and bear arms will somehow prevent a pathological individual from killing.
In Charleston, the perpetrator used a gun. However, in famous case of the 1963 Birmingham killings during the Civil Rights movement, which has been cited so frequently as a parallel to last week’s tragedy, it was a firebomb. This was also the case in the most deadly school attack in American history – the Bath School Killings in 1927.
In Austria, a gun wasn’t required either. The primary weapon was a car, the secondary was a knife. While I wouldn’t put it past Europeans from attempting even more ridiculous knife prohibitions, that isn’t the point. It also might turn out that any Jihadi link is tenuous at best. The point is that where there is a will do evil, evil will find a tool to use.
Last October the Islamic State issued this call to Muslims in the West: “If you are not able to find an IED [improvised explosive device] or a bullet … smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him. If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car or business. Or destroy his crops.”
Gun-control is going to help with that I am sure.