Two mass shootings over the weekend followed on the heels of the Gilroy, California attack leaving a total of 32 dead and several dozen wounded between the three. The internet is on fire with the blame game and President Trump is a central target, as is the NRA and the typical list of “gun-lover boogiemen” and congress and… and… and the list goes on.
All three of the shooters have been lumped into a “white supremacist” Trump supporters pot however, the three have differences as noted in the Secret Service’s MAPS report. The motives of two are still unknown, but one has an attributed manifesto.
What do we know?
It’s different in all three cases.
The attack on the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California is the oldest of the three incidents and we know the most. Three people were killed, including a six year old and a highschooler. The attacker cut his way through a perimeter fence to gain access.
The gunman who killed three people and injured 13 others at a garlic festival in Gilroy fatally shot himself after exchanging gunfire with police officers, the authorities said on Friday, updating previous accounts in which they said the officers had killed him.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair said investigators had no reason to believe the shooter was targeting any particular characteristics Sunday. They were still reviewing his social media and digital media forensics, among other pieces of information.
So in summary…
Motive: Unknown, witness reports saying he claimed he was, “just angry” or some variation. Weapon used was an AK or SKS, I’ve been shown third hand conjecture on both. Either would be illegal in California if the magazine could be changed, which a witness said was done in front of them. A picture of police around an underfolder model AK has made rounds online but I have no confirmation if it is the Gilroy rifle purchased in Nevada.
The attack in Dayton, Ohio killed nine and wounded many more, 37 treated is the last number reported from trample injuries and gunshot wounds. The shooter attacked a popular nightlife location with an AR. He fired, at minimum, 41 rounds in the incident. Officers who engaged him fired nearly twice that number with 48 .45 ACP, 16 .223, and 1 12ga spent shells recovered from officer weapons.
Among the dead was the shooter’s own sister. Motive remains unknown at this time, speculation is around the theory that the Dayton shooter is a copycat with the fascination typical of copycats for other serial and mass killers. A political motivation is not a top contender for reasoning. No demands or manifesto has been attributed to Dayton, which happened several hours after El Paso. The El Paso shooting itself, sans motive, may have been a triggering factor.
Unlike the other two shootings, El Paso has been attributed to a political motivation. The shooter who killed twenty and wounded dozens posted a manifesto that held racist, xenophobic, and eco-facist/eco-terrorist views. He blamed environmental problems on Hispanics and appears to have deliberately targeted them during the attack. The El Paso shooter is a copycat of the New Zealand attack and the manifesto attributed to the shooter specifically cites his praise for the Christchurch terrorist.
The El Paso shooter used an AK to attack the Wal-Mart and shopping center that was packed with back to school shoppers.
In El Paso, Gilroy, and Dayton responses to the shootings on the ground were swift and decisive. The Dayton shooter was engaged and killed in under a minute. The Gilroy shooter was fired upon and commited suicide, a common response to force arriving against an active killer.
In El Paso, citizens stepped up into the emergency and the most visible face has been Glendon Oakley.
Oakley was there, concealed carrying, and when the shots started ringing out he acted decisively to save lives. Carrying kids to safety and getting them into the hands of responding law enforcement. His example is an exemplary
The shooter in El Paso was apprehended and is being held on Capital Murder charges.
The communities of Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton are going to necessitate a serious recovery time period, the attacks have left them shaken.
The anti-gun voices have never been louder and those normally seen as pro-gun are… well…
Support for Red Flag laws, the pre-due process firearm confiscation orders already legal in several states, is receiving mass national attention. As is the TAPS Act which reads like something out of minority report and has an equally broad capacity for abuse.
While better data and criminal predictive modeling is a valuable tool for safety and security within the United States, anything that looks to remotely circumvent due process must be looked at with the highest scrutiny and modified to protect the civil rights of the people.
There is no civil right to “feeling safe” and there never can nor will be. There are civil rights to your person and property being unjustly attacked and seized. There are civil rights that allow you to take steps to protect yourself and your family. As we speak the masses are crying out to “feel safe” in their communities and the government will happily respond by taking rights.
A push on gun control.
These attacks are too close together and too public to let cooler heads take the reins this time. Despite evidence that should level the emotions, no one wants to be told they’re being emotional when people died so publically. Anyone who does so will be vilified.
Neil deGrasse Tyson was attacked on social media for calling perspective to the deaths, a little early perhaps and his tone came off as callous, however that does not change the fact that the public and shocking nature of these three attacks don’t change their actual place in the deadly threat hierarchy of the nation as a whole.
Tyson has apologized for the post but not the information.
We need to use all the information, the real information to formulate effective defenses against violence in all its forms.
Most importantly we need to shift our perspective back to seeing our neighbors as neighbors and not enemies, those who disagree with you politically are not your enemy and shouldn’t be treated as such. They just disagree. We have cultivated a culture of “acceptable” violence as long as you think aren’t a wrong thinker.
There’s evidence floating around that the Dayton killer was a Democrat. That doesn’t matter! The fact that he, at 1am, chose to go on a killing spree that included familicide does matter. The fact that a soft entertainment target was hit so hard does matter.
The reactions of police, ems, and citizens responding to the injured and threats at all these three tragedies and saved lives. That matters!
The tidal wave on this one is just beginning.