A bumper crop of religious fanaticism

First, an anti-abortion fanatic gunned down an abortion doctor (and in the latter's own church, where he served as an usher). Yesterday, a spectacularly moronic and disgusting young convert to Islam shoots a man he didn't know outside a military recruiting center and then declares his conscience clean because of American military involvement in the Middle East and the allegedly concomitant need for retaliation. And today an unusually vigorous and hate-filled octogenarian White Supremacist barged into the Holocaust Museum in DC, his gun blazing, fatally wounding one guard before himself being gunned down.

Whew, what's next?

Consider the details of this last case. An 88 year-old man burst into a well guarded museum dedicated to commemorating genocide and tried to shoot random people, knowing full well that he'd almost certainly die. That kind of rage and aggression (whether at Jews or anybody else) aren't generally associated with people of such advanced age. I doubt seniors are going to start getting gunned down by trigger-happy cops any time soon, but an event like this has to affect how people in the security business profile people and calculate risk.

Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum – Yahoo! News

An 88-year-old gunman with a violent and virulently anti-Semitic past opened fire with a rifle inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, fatally wounding a security guard before being shot himself by other officers, authorities said.

The assailant was hospitalized in critical condition, leaving behind a sprawling investigation by federal and local law enforcement and expressions of shock from the Israeli government and a prominent Muslim organization.

Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the gunman was "engaged by security guards immediately after entering the door" with a rifle. "The second he stepped into the building he began firing."

Man pleads not guilty in deadly recruiting center shootings – CNN.com

An Arkansas man suspected in a shooting that killed one soldier and wounded another at a Little Rock military recruiting center was angry over the treatment of Muslims, authorities said Tuesday.

Abdulhakim Bledsoe, 23, of Little Rock, also told police he recently watched a video "pertaining to subversive activities which spurred him to commit this act," according to court documents.

Bledsoe pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday and was ordered held without bail.

He faces one count of capital murder and 16 counts of engaging in a terrorist act, said Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas. The terrorist counts stem from the shots fired at an occupied building. Video Watch scenes from Tuesday in court »

Before the not guilty plea, authorities said Bledsoe waived his Miranda rights after the shooting Monday and gave a video statement indicating that "political and religious" motives were involved.

He "stated that he was a practicing Muslim … that he was mad at the U.S. military because of what they had done to Muslims in the past," homicide detective Tommy Hudson said in a police report.

Bledsoe told police "he fired several rounds at the soldiers with the intent of killing them," according to Hudson's report.

Scott Roeder, charged with abortion doctor George Tiller's murder, says more violence is coming

The Kansas City man charged with assassinating abortion doctor George Tiller in his church a week ago warned Sunday that more violence is coming.

"I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal," Scott Roeder said in one of two phone calls to the Associated Press from prison.

  • http://hispeaceuponus.com/ Dustin

    It is interesting to note that the media will (and has) blame all three groups they come out of. The pro-life movement is to blame. Islam is to blame. White supremacy is to blame.
    But only one of those is true. Pro-lifers have condemned the killing. Muslims have condemned the killing. I don’t think white supremacists will be condemning the shooting yesterday.
    Scott Roeder and Abdulhakim Bledsoe are on the fringes of their respective groups. The 88 year old gunman is not.
    Will the media make these distinctions?

  • http://oyhabibti.wordpress.com sabiwabi

    “I don’t think white supremacists will be condemning the shooting yesterday.”
    Great point Dustin, has anyone heard any condemnations coming from any white supremacist organizations? I haven’t.

  • http://akramsrazor.typepad.com svend

    An interesting question! Well, I think they would claim that he is fringe, not that I take that a face value. I guess it depends what you consider part of his “movement”–are the more socially acceptable and seemingly law-abiding bigots who profess nonviolence and positive attachment to their own race (as opposed to negative feelings towards others) in the same movement as the militias and neo-Nazi thugs? I’d say so, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were condemnations across the White Power landscape, at least for the cameras, as they work very hard to shake off popular (and justified) associations with the lynchings of the past. They crave political legitimacy, and defending a self-evident lunatic like this should won’t serve that goal.
    Incidentally, one very prominent pro-life leader, Terry Randal, came close to justifying the Tiller murder on the grounds of it preventing many more murders. He’s unusual, though, as all his fellow travelers in Pro Life extremism are working hard to paint the Tiller murderer as completely unconnected to any major pro-life org.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/dbrutus TM Lutas

    You may want to correct the words “a man” to “two men” for the military recruitment center incident. You get it right later in the story on the shootings so I realize it’s not on purpose.
    They track violence against abortion clinics and have been doing so for a couple decades. Anyone who cares to can look up all the incidents at the FBI website (I checked a few years ago). for many years, the violence has been trending down and until this case seemed to be drifting down to a few glued locks and slashed tires. Those FBI statistics are helpful when overwrought pro-choicers demand draconian suppression of the pro-lifers based on clinic violence.