It seems we were just moving on from the shootings in Aura Colorado, when this latest incident happened. My first reaction when told by word of mouth was disbelief. As I found out more about it, I felt a massive internal groan. It was bad enough when, following the Aura shooting, pointless speculation about gun laws, and who might have been the perpetrator, it seems almost every something like this happens it is strongly hinted that the perpetrator may have been a Veteran. Or in the Tea Party. Or they listened to Rush Limbaugh. Of course the real reasons usually come out that the perpetrator is totally insane.
But then I found out (From the Southern Poverty Law Center no less) that this guy was an Army Veteran, and was in fact a Neo-Nazi, Skinhead, and all that jazz. Well, a broken watch is right twice a day isn't it? But the meme is in the background that Veterans are all violent closeted white supremacists. Never mind that this guy (whose name I shall not name out of pure spite) was a giant dirtbag, and never mind that he was neck deep in Clinton's Army and thus never saw any combat, they still tried to suggest that somehow his "special Army" training might have somehow lead to the methodology of the attack.
I don't suppose the fact that he was demoted for drinking on duty (an almost unforgivable sin) will matter much. Neither will it matter that he had no actual combat experience. He was at Fort Bragg and thus must have had some kind of "Special" training. I can't imagine that he would have made it through SFAS, nor does he look like anything more than a piece of scum that somehow managed to survive one hitch in the Army. But that is not the meme that people are going to hear. How many US Army soldiers died to defeat the Nazis? You don't think that we don't still as an institution view all references to the Nazis in anything more than reenactments as inherently wrong?
We will no doubt hear over the next several weeks bits and pieces as to why he did this. No doubt some idiot will make a "call for civility" which he will then promptly break calling their political opponents all sorts of names. The simple fact is that this kind of thing never used to happen, and it leaves us perplexed. We can't really fathom the kind of mindset that makes a person target innocent civilians. I saw Jaysh al-Mehdi intentionally target civilians, and it always sickened me. I've never understood True Believers, that see nothing wrong with their actions. The man that shot up the Sikh temple was probably a True Believer, and the fact that he caused a majority of his problems was probably lost on him.
I have no doubt that there are some that will gleefully point to this man as proof that America is still a racist nation. SPLC is somewhat infamous for that. I also know that this is a distraction. We as a society are taring ourselves apart. We are not paying attention to the people who are probably unbalanced, and unhinged. Had this been decades ago we could have counted on the family to keep an eye on them, before they go loony and start shooting up this place or that. The family is no longer the glue that holds our society together, so we must rely on civil servants.
I can not help but shake my head at this whole thing. I don't doubt that this fool will be held up with Timothy McVeigh, and that now it will be suggested that Fort Bragg is the hotbed of white supremacists. The Media already viewing Veterans as a potential threat will only fan the flames. Personally I'm just plain disgusted with the whole mess.