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Beware, the Republican response to White Nationalist mass shootings characterizes these men as disturbed and focuses on identification and removal rather than on the ideology that inspires them or the weapons that enable them.

August 5, 2019


There were three assault rife massacres in the US in little more than a week. — The first at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, then in El Paso Texas and finally in Dayton, Ohio.  Over thirty people were slaughtered and even more injured.

The assassins in two cases were young white men professing an alt-right point of view and hatred of Latino immigrants.  Mass murder by guns, especially by civilians armed with military assault weapons, has become endemic in the United States in the past thirty years and has radically increased in frequency and magnitude in the last four.   Also, more and more of these events recently have been committed by white men claiming right-wing and racist justification for their actions.

Spokespersons for the right and Republican politicians have steadfastly refused to consider any controls on guns or to place any blame on the white nationalist rationalizations claimed by the wielders of these armaments in their slaughter. Recently, in an effort to deflect criticism of their inaction, those same people who refuse to do anything of substance to halt that slaughter, appear to have begun to unite around a strategy to characterize these men as disturbed and focus the remedy on their identification and removal instead of on the ideology that inspires them or the weapons enable them.

This approach is not only wrong, but it is also a subterfuge. It arms the police only with a vague and arbitrary standard that is difficult to understand and implement and easily subverted by politics or ideology. Why empower often poorly educated and trained but heavily armed police to make decisions on issues where even those who study them disagree, rather than simply requiring them to remove the means of mass mayhem and urging the media and the spokesmen for society, including the President, to condemn the ideology that motivated them?

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