If You Give An Ignorant White Supremacist Redneck A Gun, You’re Aiding A Terrorist

 

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In the aftermath of a mass shooting in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, that left 9 people dead and several more injured, the questions of “why” and “how” this could happen are a major part of the soul searching, however neither question is particularly hard to answer.From what we know of the suspected killer, Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year-old from Lexington, South Carolina, the collision course towards a violent outburst is painfully obvious in hindsight. Why did he do this? Roof is a white supremacist and white supremacists have a predilection towards violence.Roof was a confederate who took pride that his state and its governor, Nikki Haley, still boldly fly the “Stars and Bars” confederate flag in front of the state capitol. His license plate even featured the “Confederate States of America.” His Facebook profile picture shows him standing in the woods wearing a jacket with two badges on it: one, the flag of Apartheid South Africa, and the other, the flag of Apartheid Rhodesia – what is now Zimbabwe. Both flags have become symbols in the White Power movement of themistake of letting black people rule themselves. You don’t wear the flag of colonial white supremacy because you’re “kind of” a racist. You’re an unequivocal racist of the highest order. 

 

 

But he even made things more explicit. During his massacre, Roof reportedly told one of the victims, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”

People who knew Roof describe him as “quiet” but consumed by racism.

“’I never heard him say anything, but just he had that kind of Southern pride, I guess some would say. Strong conservative beliefs,’ he said. ‘He made a lot of racist jokes, but you don’t really take them seriously like that. You don’t really think of it like that.’

“But now, ‘the things he said were kind of not joking,’ Mullins added.”

And then there was the drugs. Roof was a “heavy” drug user, according to a high school peer. “He was like a pill popper, from what I understood. Like Xanax, and stuff like that.” He was recently arrested on drug charges.

All of this to say that when his dad gave him a .45-caliber pistol for his 21st birthday, he was filling in the “how” for us. How could this 21-year-old man do this? Because he was an unrepentant racist hellbent on causing terror in the black community — and his family just gave him the means to do something about it.

The United States has a funny relationship with its most ardent terrorist groups. White power or fringe right-wing anti-government groups kill more Americans per year than radical Muslims, but we tend to give them a pass. That’s not to say we don’t know about these groups; the FBI and terrorism watchdogs are well aware that these kinds of groups are the number one threat to American citizens in the United States — they say so themselves in their reports. Instead, we excuse them when they kill or rationalize their behavior. We almost never call them what they are: terrorists.

If we did, we would have to reckon with the fact that many people in the United States could be described as aiding and abetting terrorists. We’d have to treat these men and women as terrorist sympathizers and their actions would be considered criminal. Americans are arrested all the time for providing even cursory help to foreign terrorists. In February of this year, six Americans were arrested around the country for the crime of “providing material support to terrorists” in Syria. It’s hard to see how giving a handgun to your son whom you know is a white supremacist and drug addict isn’t providing material support to a dangerous radical with the good chance that it may someday be used in the execution of an act of terror. In fact, it only took Dylann Roof a few months from the moment he got his birthday present to the day he chose to walk into a bible study and open fire.

White supremacists with guns are terrifying and dangerous. Giving them guns should make you culpable for their actions, like handing car keys to a drunk. And if Dylann Roof is a terrorist, then arming him makes you a supporter of terrorism.

Gunman kills 9 people at African-American church in South Carolina

Police respond to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 17, 2015. A gunman opened fire on Wednesday evening at the historic African-American church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and was still at large, a U.S. police official said. REUTERS/Randall Hill
Police respond to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 17, 2015. A gunman opened fire on Wednesday evening at the historic African-American church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and was still at large, a U.S. police official said. REUTERS/Randall Hill
The NRA Kills Cops
The NRA Kills Cops
Message To Insane Gun Nuts
Message To Insane Gun Nuts

A white gunman killed nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, the city’s police chief said on Thursday, describing the attack as a “hate crime”.

The suspect, who police described as a 21-year-old white man wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and boots, was still at large hours after the shooting on Wednesday evening.

Eight victims were found dead in the church, Chief Gregory Mullen told reporters at a media conference, and a ninth person died after being taken to a hospital. One other person was wounded and receiving treatment.

Mullen said: “It is unfathomable that somebody in today’s society would walk into a church when people are having a prayer meeting and take their lives.”

None of the victims were immediately identified. But the Reverend Al Sharpton, the New York-based civil rights leader, said in a Tweet that the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor and a member of the state Senate, was among the fatalities.

The shooting occurred at the Emanuel AME Church in the historic center of downtown Charleston around 9 p.m. (0100 GMT), according to Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis.

After the shooting, a bomb threat was reported near the church, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Eric Watson said, and people who were gathered in the area were told by police to move back.

Chief Mullen told the press conference that the all-clear had been given after checks following the bomb threat.

A police chaplain was present at the scene of the shooting, and a helicopter with a searchlight hovered overhead as officers combed through the area.

Several men stood in a circle in front of a hotel near the church.

“We pray for the families, they’ve got a long road ahead of them,” Reverend James Johnson, a local civil rights activist, said during the impromptu prayer service.

Police took a man with a backpack and a camera into custody, but later said they were still searching for a suspect in the shooting.

Following the attack on the church, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, canceled an appearance in Charleston that had been scheduled for Thursday morning.

“Governor Bush’s thoughts and prayers are with the individuals and families affected by this tragedy,” his campaign team said in a statement.

Local broadcaster WCSC reported the FBI was on the scene. The FBI could not be reached immediately for comment.

The website for the church said it has one of the largest and oldest black congregations in the South. It has its roots in the early 19th century, and the current building was built in 1891. It is considered a historically significant building, according to the National Park Service.