The second mass shooting in the US in just two weeks

This time it was in Oak Creek Wisconsin where an, armed to the teeth gunman, walked into a Sikh temple and opened fire – killing six people. We may never know the shooter’s motivation since he was killed as well, but authorities are piecing together what looks to be a hate crime against Sikh worshippers – who’ve routinely been mistaken for Muslims and targeted for hate crimes since 9/11.

According to early reports – the shooter was an Army veteran who may have been a white supremacist. Eyewitnesses report the shooter had a 9/11 tattoo on his arm. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence released a statement reminding Americans just how common mass shootings now are in America, saying: “There have now been 61 mass shootings since the tragedy last year in Tucson and 100 school shootings since the one at Columbine High School. Tomorrow, another 32 Americans will be murdered by guns.” But beyond gun violence, this latest mass shooting may also be a result of growing Islamophobia in America.

The shooting occurs just weeks after Congressional Republicans led by Michele Bachmann warned of an infiltration of the U.S. government by the Muslim Brotherhood. And while Sikhs are not Muslims – that distinction is often lost on the frightened and the naïve who are whipped into action by Islamophobes and encouraged to “take their country back.” Keep an eye on this developing story.


dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 42 weeks ago

use to be land of the free home of the brave right? looks like the land of the free and home of the scared to me. my birthday is 9/11. i do not have it tatooed on my arm nor did 9/11 make me one of the cowards that so many of the sheeple have become. Actually it made me really step back and notice how truly unevolved as men we really are. like i always say, "if the boogeyman wants to get get you he will". now we have to strike out into the malls and the churches and down the road and not just worry about our islamaphbia but that ilk of people who are now the truly cowardess. all of them from the gun toting neighbor hood watch hood to the red haired lunatic that we all took for part of the late night show! sad indeed. but back to 9/11, a controversy for the ages but as history recalls there have been far larger "terrorists" attacks yet how easily we hide them behind the shroud of war....

DR KALYANI GOPAL 10 years 42 weeks ago

Grew up around Sikhs in India and know first hand what an amazing vitality and spirit of hardwork, honest living, and agricultural farming community this is. They are a small community in India but have made their home state of Punjab the wealthiest by their incredible ability to work together peacefully and painstakingly as they grow grains and food for a majority of India. Their philosophy of "SEVA" or helping the poor, homeless, downtrodden and anyone who walks through their temple doors, is unique to them and they feed everyone irrespective of caste or faith. Protection of women and children is forefront of this very modern religious community that shunned casteism characteristic of the Hindus. I would be glad to answer any questions your listeners might have and can be reached at 219-736-1000. Best wishes, and thank you for discussing Xenophobia. Dr. Gopal

ron943's picture
ron943 10 years 42 weeks ago

Guns should have an annual license costing a non-trivial amount of money like $50. That money should be used to enforce the licensing procedure. You have to produce the gun when you renew the license and you have to do it in person. If you lose the gun, you get a big fat fine and cannot buy another for 3-4 years. We should have severe penalties for unlicensed guns like felonies. Gun sales are done by title just like cars. But guns require a background check. The title can only be transferred with a fee and background check. Let's get serious about gun regulations. The guns are dangerous and need to be under tight control. Other regs could be couse requirements and testing. THese things are more dangerous than motor vehicles and should be under tighter regulation. If you buy a gun, you have to be responsible for that gun and you need to watch it closely.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 42 weeks ago

"Will the real 9/11 perps please stand up?" says Kitty Carlyle.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 42 weeks ago

yup! gotta pay for a hunting license to go shoot a duck? should have to pay a yearly fee to have the gun to shoot the duck with? i like it!! now how do we sell to the gun lobby?

johnzen's picture
johnzen 10 years 42 weeks ago

i think we gotta look deepdeepinside us as a country- is the easy availability of guns especially those who get enjoyment out of an instrument of violence- is it worth the destruction of increasing number of lives in this country??- i know u 1st amendment righters r gonna beat on me thats ok- u wanna hold onto yur guns thats ok too it just defines who u r to me someone who gets enjoyment from an instument of violence- its not my thing

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 42 weeks ago

I still don't know why the NRA has such a lock on congress and our elected representativeThe AARP has 68 million mbmers. The United Methodist Church has nearly 8 million members. AARP has about 36 million members. So why does the NRA wield so much power over OUR representatives. Over 63% of people want to ban assault weapons and a majority of people want background checks.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 10 years 42 weeks ago

Elect progressive Democrats (or Republicans if there are any) and get people like John Boehner and Michelle Bachmann out of office. They belong on the sidelines not filling leadership roles in Congress. Help progressives get in office in State Houses and Congress and these terrible killers will not hear the inflammatory speeches of these cowardly Republicans.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 10 years 42 weeks ago

Bill Moyers interviewed on July 29, 2012 on his PBS program “Moyers & Company” the Viet Nam veteran Karl Marlantes on his book “What It’s Like to Go To War”, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Rhodes Scholar, author, and PTSD survivor(Post-traumatic stress disorder). Karl Marlantes’ argument revolved around the insane commitment to war where we deploy the same soldier to many tours of duty to a same war zone. One deployment, which the author experienced in Viet Nam, was too much for a person to experience, since the natural function of our brain does not comprehend killing other persons. Multiply the re-deployment experience many times to understand.

To answer your question “What can be done to prevent such murders?” we have to rethink our commitment to solving world problems with War! Maybe we can connect the dots…

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 42 weeks ago

Guns don't kill people, Turbans kill people! Maybe they should ban turbans? Wear a turban and you might get killed by a deranged US-military-trained-to-hate-and-kill white supremacist.

Of course, this is said as satire or irony. But it makes just about as much sense as banning guns. Is it really a case of a white supremacist, hayseed thumper confusing Sikhs as Muslims? White Supremacists seem to hate just about everyone with an IQ way above theirs who don't fit in with their myopic, narrow-minded, and often superstitious and ignorant beliefs.

Maybe we need to ban superstitious beliefs as they tend to make people do stupid, idiotic things. But, of course, the military tends to want this kind of warped-out, psycho killer and even brain-washes them with Christian Supremacy so that they can kill Muslims for Jesus. Anyone who is not a Christian is to be condemned to hell...right..and they even inscribe biblical sayings on the rifle barrels they use in the Middle East?

Does anyone really believe that this guy would not have been able to get hold of guns if they were banned...keeping every citizen from being able to defend themselves? That is just plain stupid. If you ban guns then you won't keep them out of the hands of people that really want them..that will walk into a theater thinking he is "The Joker" or some military-trained idiot thinking he is making America safer for White man's Christianity. Where was it I read that Jesus was really a black man....oh, well, no respectable white man will believe that...they all grew up seeing white man Jesus' picture hanging on walls.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 42 weeks ago

The massacre at Oak Creek, Wisconsin wasn't the first nor the worst...maybe Brigadier Gerneral Reginald Dyer was also a white supremacist....gee, you think?

"The incident in Jallian Wala Bagh was 'an extraordinary event, a monstrous event, an event which stands in singular and sinister isolation"...Winston Churchill

It started a few months after the end of the first world war when an Englishwoman, a missionary, reported that she had been molested on a street in the Punjab city of Amritsar. The Raj's local commander, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, issued an order requiring all Indians using that street to crawl its length on their hands and knees. He also authorized the indiscriminate, public whipping of natives who came within lathi length of British policemen.

On April 13, 1919, a multitude of Punjabis gathered in Amritsar's Jallian wala Bagh as part of the Sikh Festival "Baisakhi fair" and to protest at these extraordinary measures. The throng, penned in a narrow space smaller than Trafalgar Square, had been peacefully listening to the testimony of victims when Dyer appeared at the head of a contingent of British troops. Giving no word of warning, he ordered 50 soldiers to fire into the gathering, and for 10 to 15 minutes 1,650 rounds of ammunition were unloaded into the screaming, terrified crowd, some of whom were trampled by those desperately trying to escape.

Amritsar Massacre

"The Indians were 'packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies'; the people 'ran madly this way and the other. When fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, and the fire was then directed on the ground. This was continued for eight or ten minutes, and it stopped only when the ammunition had reached the point of exhaustion".....Winston Churchill

Dyer then marched away, leaving 379 dead and over 1,500 wounded.

Back in his headquarters, he reported to his superiors that he had been 'confronted by a revolutionary army,' and had been obliged 'to teach a moral lesson to the Punjab.' In the storm of outrage which followed, the brigadier was promoted to major general, retired, and placed on the inactive list.

''I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself.'' ......Dyer's response to the Hunter Commission Enquiry

General Dyer said he would have used his machine guns if he could have got them into the enclosure, but these were mounted on armoured cars. He said he did not stop firing when the crowd began to disperse because he thought it was his duty to keep firing until the crowd dispersed, and that a little firing would do no good.

Beautiful temple there, in Amritsar...surrounded by the Pool Of Nectar. I had a large photo of that temple hanging over my desk at work for years.

Barbie's picture
Barbie 10 years 42 weeks ago

Unfortunately, Laws are obeyed by only those who either are in favor of them, or are afraid of the consequences of breaking them.

I would like to say that a psych test performed by a bonafide doctor, sanctioned by the State or the Feds might help... but there will always be some with excellent credentials who can be bought or intimidated into providing an evaluation for some who should never have access to arms of any kind.

People who commit hate crimes don't care if someone is Sikh, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, a follower of Jainisn, Taoism, Shinto, Scientologist, Mormon or any other religion. If the person has different eyes or darker skin, or if they're gay or a member of one of the Christian fringe faiths, these racists think they don't belong in America. Some of these killers are home-indoctrinated; some are trained killers our military must take the credit for condiioning. Some are people who went to jail for something perhaps very trivial... and learned their hatred inside.

I honestly have no idea what the answers are. But I ache for the loss of lives these twisted people take, and for the fear this kind of tragedy instills in all the rest of us, no matter who we are and how we look.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 42 weeks ago

Mistaking Sikh's for Muslims just demonstrates gross ignorance.

We've reached the point where bigoted demagogary IS "YELLING FIRE IN A THEATER." Enough is enough. This combination of lies, misinformation and extreme weaponry must be stopped before we degenerate into -- -- Oh hell, we're already beyond that point.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 42 weeks ago

Our 3 letter government organizations will make sure that those who are without guns, who have a burning desire to lash out at someone, will get guns, or explosives, or whatever. They've done it in the past and they'll do it again. To replace the Communist bogeymen they need terrorists bogeymen and if they have a hard time getting them to scare us over there...they'll create patsy home-grown terrorists right here. They will, of course, play it up and take the credit for saving us from the bogie man. Those programs of the MKULTRA...have not really gone away. Through psy-ops, drugs, and perhaps hypnotism they can send out their zombie soldiers to wreak havoc amongst the citizens and get the citizens to scream "gun control"..."gun control"!!! "How to Disarm the Citizens Made Easy"

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 42 weeks ago

How can you get a government to administer the proper psych tests for possession of guns when that same government won't even take measures to protect children that come over as exchange students. One idea was to administer finger prints of anyone who seeks to take in these children in as a measure of checking and monitoring someone who would mistreat these children....but, of course, Hillary Clinton said...oh, it would be too burdensome on the system to do that. These people get paid to take in these children from other countries...and they get lots of money to do it. Some children have been squeezed into cramped and unsanitary trailers...and others have suffered various other abuses. One Buddhist Chinese girl was made to go to a Christian church every Sunday and the woman mentally tortured the girl with threats of condemnation to hell if she didn't accept Jesus into her heart.

bernie.williams's picture
bernie.williams 10 years 42 weeks ago

It never ceases to amaze me that guns are so freely available in the US.

Born in the UK, I have lived in the UK and Germany and now in Australia. All of these countries have strict gun control.

After the Port Arthur massacre of 28 April 1996 in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded, gun control laws in Australia, which had been relatively lenient before the massacre, were reviewed and tightened, requiring a Firearms Licence to own and use a gun.

The US needs to tighten its gun laws. Period. Forget the much hallowed “Right to Bear Arms” as an excuse for lack of gun control. Can you drive a car without a license? No! And its primary purpose is not to kill. So why should citizens have the right to own guns without a license!

Many thanks for your blog, Thom, which I read every day with great interest.


2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 42 weeks ago

Will someone please tell Michele the Lionheart and her Teabaggers, the Crusades are over, and because the Founders actually read their history books, SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, was included in our Bill of Rights.

Johnnie Dorman's picture
Johnnie Dorman 10 years 42 weeks ago

One thing we need to do is put a ball gag in Michele Bachman's stupid mouth. Another thing we need to do is to ban hate groups and put them in jail where the hate pigs belong. Neo-Nazis and Neo-Confederates with their stupid Nazi/Dixie flags shouldn't be able to exist in this country.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 42 weeks ago

"Killing them over there so we don't have to kill them over here" who is the biggest "hate group"?...the complacent, flag-waving, American general populace who supports our wars in the Middle East and praise "our boys" for "their bravery and dedication" while they slaughter innocent civilians, over there, with hi-tech weapons like drones and helicopter gunships? The Israel supporting Americans who believe that it is ok for Israel to commit what is tantamount to apartheid against the Palestinians? How about the biggest hate group of them all...the ones that make big money on using the military to kill people and the ones who constantly fight against a decent health-care system in the US that has/or will result in many hundreds of thousands, or millions, of American deaths? This hate group doesn't even need to burst into synagogs, temples, or movie theaters with guns blazing away to kill millions of people...they just buy off crooked politicians...make laws, and then use their bully-boy cops to bash heads at demonstrations.

I suppose when the real killing gets close to home..even though it is killing the same kind of people our military kills every day (ie: innocent civilians who just happen to look and act differently), then it seems to matter to people. They are shocked... and the first thing they want to do is punish the majority of everyone else who have a belief that guns serve a useful purpose in not only hunting but well as collectors items...and, perhaps, to keep reminding those in power that they might have a little problem when most of the people are armed and willing to defend themselves against tyranny.

Maybe we should all give in to the non-meat eaters and force everyone else to become vegans.

Maybe some would make laws that force everyone to drink water from a glass that has to be covered with cheesecloth or some sort of strainer so that we don't inadvertently swallow bugs that may be in the water thereby, heaven forbid...wait for it....kill an innocent life (the bug). Such people do exist and they are called Jains. Wait a minute....Jainism is a religious sect of Sikhs who outlaw the destruction of anything. Bottom line..there are a lot of people with a lot of different ideas...but to impose those ideas and make laws that take away one's right to have those ideas and gun ownership...should be weighed very carefully. Before you know it someone will be forcing you to drink through cheesecloth and carry a broom everywhere you go so you can sweep away any possibility to accidentally stepping on some life form.

Maybe we should outlaw and ban religion. Religion kills (except, of course, for the Jains who would probably have to kill themselves if they realized that they kill millions of bacteria everyday...and if they didn't it would kill them. Like it or not, their very existence depends on killing other lifeforms.) Dogma kills.

I have never met a Jain but I have met several Sikhs, worked with them, and have a neighbor who is a Sikh. You just can't ask for nicer people.

And although I believe that all religions are pure bunk I can understand how people can get brain-washed and pressured into irrational dogma....especially when they are exposed to it from birth and are surrounded with family and peers who have the same ridiculous beliefs...I believe people should have the freedom to believe in any old ridiculous thing they want...including going to extremes to not drink or step on bugs...or praying to statues of "the virgin" Mother Mary or of Jesus hanging on a cross(what non-sense). Some people believe in all manner of cartoon characters as gods and some even believe in alien gods. So, since all of these gods and ridiculous beliefs have resulted in various wars, auto-da-fe, witch or heretic burnings, then why are some trying to take away the gods called guns? There definitely should be a wide chasm between Church and State otherwise you will have one dominant, ridiculous church imposing their stupid beliefs on everyone else. If you don't want to be religious, don't go to church...let others that want to do this. If you don't want to worship guns then don't...but don't ban others from worshiping their "gods" either. They are all going to result in a certain amount of killing...religionists, gun owners, governments. Unless you ban all these things..guns..religions...funny fat will always have a certain amount of surprise death that will shock you..into thinking about, and arguing about, the dangers or merits of such things.

Maybe what we really need is to have public beheadings or hangings...the people have become so easily shocked and manipulated by the groups that would be threatened by a well-armed citizenry that they are willing to trade their freedoms for any illusions of safety. They won't even question the government in their role in creating the false flag operation on 911. The wolves are ruling the chicken coup and all the chickens can do is squawk "gun control!" ..."gun control!!". "Please take away any last bit of power we have so that you, the ruling elite, can continue to treat us like dirt". "Squawk!" "Squawk!" "Cluck!" "Cluck!"

Most people don't seem to mind if all the violence, done in our name, is done someplace where we can't really see the carnage. You shake your heads, perhaps, on hearing censored stories colored in such a way by the news media that it just becomes another statistic. Who is someone else...over there...who it is happening to...not who cares? When we get a little taste of it over's not so much a distant concept or just statistics anymore.

Just wait...there are many more of these military-trained "time bombs" waiting to go off. Yes...military-trained....military-trained! The military created these monsters and now the war comes to the US. Blowback!

Thoughtful_response's picture
Thoughtful_response 10 years 42 weeks ago

Is the American economy so competitive that people are cracking under the pressure picking up weapons and attacking innocent victims? Is capitalism not based on survival of the fittest? Those who can win no matter what get to pick up all of the marbles and those who lose get kicked to the curb.

Other countries have safety nets that allow people at least a minimum support level and guaranteed health care while they are finding themselves, finishing school, looking for work. Many in America on the right believe we should roll back ALL of the safety nets and let people fall off the cliff into the abyss. Capitalism is about making high profits not about nurturing people, right?

Capitalism is not democracy and democracy is not capitalism. In a democracy we should be concerned about all of the people. If not, the next Jerald Holmes might be falling through the non existent safety nets right now ready to pick up an AR-15 and attack more innocent victims.

All of the science points to a nurturing type of system as the best model for healthy growth and development. Mental health problems lurking inside the genes such as schizophrenia and psychotic behavior are triggered by the very type of stress that is created by a lack of social safety nets. The science shows that strong nurturing from parents and society can prevent mental health issues from bubbling to the surface indefinitely even if the genetic predisposition to mental illness is already there.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 41 weeks ago

Stress will definitely make you sick, both mentally and physically. And what our government has been doing, in lock step with the ruling elite puppeteers, for many years in setting the example of murdering innocent Vietnam and in the Middle East, and fostering a jingoist propaganda to aggrandize such actions will obviously filter down to trigger the kinds of things that happened in Colorado and elsewhere.

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