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Patticus

Gun Crime in the USA ~ Shootings and Killings

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It's on CNN right now, but I can't find anything online just yet, probably because it's breaking news. It'll probably emerge shortly on all the major news websites. Apparently there were over a hundred people inside the temple, multiple people have been shot, and the gunman is still at large. $5 says the gunman thought he was shooting Muslims.

The sheer banality of the commentary on CNN is astounding, by the way.

If the armoured cars were to go any further you would see cars parked there, as they ordinarily would be, in a car park.

You go, CNN!

Edit: The BBC is also carrying the story:

US 'shooting' at Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin

_62056586_us_oakcreek_0508.gif

A shooting incident has been reported at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek in the US state of Wisconsin, local media say.

There are no details of casualties as yet but some reports say a number of people have been wounded.

Local police said that a call had been made to them at about 10:30 local time (15:30 GMT) and officers were at the scene.

Oak Creek is a town of about 30,000 people in the south-east corner of the state

http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-19138754

There may also be a second gunman and a hostage situation ongoing, if CNN is to be believed.

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Hm. I'm curious as to whether this was religiously motivated or whether it was coincidental. Not really a lot to go on at this point.

Considering the vast ignorance of many Americans regarding non-Judeo-Christian faiths, and the zealotry of many of the more vocal American "Christians" today, it's hardly beyond the realms of possibility that the gunman or gunmen are Christians of a sort, who thought that they were attacking a Muslim mosque. In any case, it'd probably be kind of hard to enter (or even scout from outside) a place like that and not realize that it's a non-Christian religious institution. They (if there are multiple gunmen) would have to know what it is, they'd have to have targeted it specifically, or else they would've contented themselves with shooting up a mall in Chicago or something.

I'd say it's quite likely that this is a hate crime of some sort, probably motivated by ignorance and religious hatred of the far-right kind, which (if you ask Texan Republicans) could've been solved by a band of 'everyman' heroes wielding concealed assault rifles. Because you know, more guns is the answer to all of life's most troubling conundrums. wink.png

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News Update: At least four people have been confirmed dead, as well as a suspected shooter, according to NBC:

An officer responding to a 911 call confronted a gunman outstide the temple and was shot multiple times, Wendlandt said. The officer returned fire, striking the victim. Wendlandt described the gunman as "down on the scene" outside the temple. The wounded officer was taken to a hospital and was expected to survive, he said.

[...]

A temple committee member, Ven Boba Ri, told the Journal-Sentinel that people inside the temple described the shooter was a white male in his 30s.

"We have no idea," he said of the motive. "It's pretty much a hate crime. It's not an insider."

Ri told the Journal-Sentinel the gunman walked up to a priest who was standing outside the temple and shot him. Then he went inside and started shooting.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/05/13130110-gunman-opens-fire-at-sikh-temple-in-wisconsin-at-least-4-shot?lite

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I'm going to go ahead and assume this is a hate crime, and a particularly gruesome one at that. I shudder to think of the great outcry this is going to arouse in our already fear ridden country. We are still in the middle of dealing with James Holmes and his insane shenanigans. This situation will only escalate the fear of our distilled populace. (But let's hope more slaughterings don't follow this one.

Now the question at the time is, "Were there more gunmen?" Some of the victims seemed to assume that there were more, but perhaps it was a bad illusion brought by the chaos.

I honestly hope that it's the later.

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Apparently the gunman was killed in a shootout with the police:

OAK CREEK, Wis. — In what the police called an act of domestic terrorism, a gunman opened fire in a Sikh temple here on Sunday, killing at least six worshipers and injuring three others before being shot and killed in the parking lot.

06shooting-map-articleInline.jpg

The New York Times

The gunman’s rampage ended in a shootout with the police. He ambushed one of the first officers who arrived at the temple, shooting him several times, before another officer killed him, the authorities said Sunday afternoon. The officer remained in critical condition at a nearby hospital, along with the other two shooting victims.

The police did not release any details about the gunman or a possible motive for the shooting.

John Edwards, the police chief in Oak Creek, said at a news conference that the F.B.I. would lead the investigation because the shootings were being treated as an act of domestic terrorism.

The rampage began about 10:30 a.m. at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, just south of Milwaukee, officials said. The sprawling 17,000 square-foot temple was crowded with men, women and children taking part in Sunday services when the gunman opened fire.

Witnesses described a scene of chaos and carnage. Some women who were cooking food for a later service hid together in closets, while others fled. Men grabbed children, finding cover wherever they could.

Jatindev Mangat, whose uncle, Satwant Kaleka, is the temple president, said he tried to call his uncle as soon as he heard about the shooting. It was not his uncle who answered the phone, but the head priest of the temple.

“He was crying, everyone was screaming,” Mr. Mangat said. The gunman was still stalking the hallways and the priest could hear shots nearby, Mr. Mangat said. The priest said he was hiding in a bathroom with four other people, including two children.

By early afternoon, tactical officers had swept the building and determined that there were no other gunmen.

At a news conference, Mr. Edwards, the police chief, described a dramatic scene when officers arrived soon after the first 911 call. The gunman ambushed the first officer who arrived, Mr. Edwards said, severely wounding him. At that point, another police exchanged fire with the gunman, bringing him down.

Bradley Wentlandt, the chief of police in nearby Greenfield, told journalists that the wounded officer was a 20-year veteran whose heroism probably saved many lives.

“That officer was shot multiple times,” Mr. Wentlandt said.

He said four bodies were found inside the temple and three were outside, including that of the gunman.

Three men suffering from gunshot wounds were admitted to Froedtert Hospital, the Milwaukee region’s main trauma center, said Nalissa Wienke, a spokeswoman for the hospital. One victim was shot in the head and extremities and another in the abdomen. The third was described as having neck injuries.

There were initially conflicting reports about whether there was more than one gunman and whether hostages had been taken inside the temple. Local news agencies, citing text messages from people inside reported accounts that two or more gunmen could have been involved, but the authorities said a single gunman was believed responsible.

“The best information is that there was only one gunman,” Mr. Edwards said a news conference.

The Sikh community around the country has seen an increase in bias attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, with its members often confused for Muslims. The Sikh religion does not have its roots in the Middle East but in Punjab, on the Indian subcontinent. Many faithful grow their beards long and, in keeping with their faith, wear turbans.

In April, Representative Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Indian and Indian Americans, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. urging that data be collected on hate crimes committed against Sikh-Americans.

In the last year alone, Mr. Crowley said in the letter, two Sikh men in Sacramento were killed, a Sikh temple in Michigan was vandalized and a Sikh man was beaten in New York.

Edited by Megatronus

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So the gunman was identified

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/sikh-temple-shooting-suspect-u-army-wade-michael-123748845.html

The man suspected of opening fire on Sunday in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., was identified by police on Monday as Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old former member of the U.S. Army.

Also

Meanwhile, the FBI is seeking to identify a man with a 9/11 tattoo who was seen in the parking lot of the Sikh temple in Oak Creek following Sunday's shooting. The man, described by police as a "person of interest," appeared to be taking video of the scene on his cellphone.

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Stupid to mistake Sikhs for Muslims. Muslims in America don't even wear turbans. You're better off screening for bushy black moustaches, I've never seen a Muslim with a turban here! Fuck this Nazi asshole.

Edited by American Ristar

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Two more high profile shootings this week. The first took place on Monday in Texas at a university:

A gunman who shot and killed a police officer and a civilian near a Texas university has been identified.

Thomas Alton Caffal, 35, opened fire on Constable Brian Bachmann as the officer was serving an eviction notice. The shooting went on for half an hour.

The attack happened within two streets of Texas A&M University in the town of College Station on Monday.

Chris Northcliff, a town resident, died after being caught in the crossfire outside.

Caffal was also shot and killed. He was not a student at the university, but rented the home.

His sister told the Associated Press of her shock at the violence.

"We are just distraught by the havoc that he has caused," Courtney Clark said. In a separate statement, Caffal's mother said he had been "ill" and that "it breaks our hearts his illness led to this".

http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-19250806

The second is breaking now; apparently it took place at the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington DC:

Fox News is reporting that the shooter denounced the FRC before firing.

http://joemygod.blog...adquarters.html

Now, I know that tougher gun laws alone wouldn't solve the whole shooting situation in this country, but there is something to be said for amending the much-vaunted 2nd Amendment (right to bear arms) to use precise, clear language which cannot be deliberately misinterpreted by the country's far-right gun associations. There is also something to be said for re-banning assault weapons, forcing gun owners to take out insurance policies like car owners have to, cracking down on unlicensed or otherwise iffy gun sellers, improving background checks and mental health analyses. Things like that. And it would all have to be forced through, because the GOP and likely a few Democrats would look at it, take it to their gun association backers and come back with obstructionism in their hearts and minds. Because moneyhats > public safety.

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I hate everyone. This. This is too much. When I army man murders a bunch of Sikhs because he thinks they are Muslims, it is too much. When violence happens it is too much. When a murderer gets a friggin' fandom (I'm looking at you "holmies", you sick a-holes!), it is too much. Screw everything, the world is doomed!

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"Assault weapons" doesn't mean anything as a term.

Also, what is the Family Research Center? A religious think tank? People in the second link are painting this as a hate crime against Christians (which is apparently a thing?), but I've never heard of the group before.

Edited by Gilda

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Family Research Council is one of the more prominent Religious Right groups, up there with the American Family Association and the National Organization of Marriage. It's significantly anti-LGBT; one of the higher ups in the organization, Peter Spriggs, supports criminalizing homosexuality, and the FRC in general believes there is a direct link between homosexuality and pedophilia.

Patticus elaborated a bit further below, I'm just recalling stuff I can remember off hand due to keeping track of this shooting myself.

Needless to say, many other religious groups affiliated with FRC are up in arms over this.

Edited by Bobbyjosh

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"Assault weapons" doesn't mean anything.

Well, maybe the term is too vague, but nobody really needs a fully- or semi- automatic rifle. If you want to defend your home, there are any number of other legal weapons you can purchase, and if you're out hunting, again there are countless other killing machines you can buy fairly and legally. The very idea that an assault rifle (and quite a few other weapons) could be necessary for the general public to own outside an actual warzone is ridiculous.

Also, what is the Family Research Center? A religious think tank? People in the second link are painting it as a hate crime against Christians (which is apparently a thing?), but I've never heard of the group before.

It's a conservative Christian group and lobbying organization; it advocates and lobbies for socially conservative policies, and advocates and lobbies against things like LGBT rights, abortion, porn and stem-cell research, among other things. It was designated a 'Hate Group' by Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010, thanks to its frankly retarded "homosexuals = pedophiles" stance.

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Well, maybe the term is too vague

It's not that the term is too vague. It is that it literally doesn't mean anything. "Assault weapon" was a political term dreamed up as a "scary word" kind of deal to push through the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Fittingly, the Assault Weapons Ban never did anything in the first place besides banning "scary" things on some weapons. For example:

ar15complete.jpg

Pistol grip? Telescoping stock? Threaded barrel? Flash hider?

All that needs is a forward grip and that would be the gun equivalent of Hitler himself, according to the terms of the ban.

KittyRifle.jpg

Fixed stock? Semi-pistol grip? Muzzle brake? Why, nothing scary at all about that at all.

That may seem like an exaggeration, but that is literally all the ban did. If a gun had a feature that looked "menacing" or whatever, than that feature was banned.

but nobody really needs a fully- or semi- automatic rifle.

Fully automatic weapons of any kind have been illegal to own without the direct approval of the Attorney General of the United States since 1934, and if the weapon is fully-automatic and was manufactured after 1986 it is illegal to own period (it is a bit more complex than that, but that's basically what it means).

As far as semi-automatic rifles go, they have made massive inroads into hunting in recent years simply because they are more practical to use than bolt action rifles (similar to why semi-auto shotguns have been hunting mainstays since the 1970s).

If you want to defend your home, there are any number of other legal weapons you can purchase, and if you're out hunting, again there are countless other killing machines you can buy fairly and legally.

A rifle is a thoroughly idiotic choice for home defense in the first place, since even shotgun rounds can over penetrate.

The very idea that an assault rifle (and quite a few other weapons) could be necessary for the general public to own outside an actual warzone is ridiculous.

Assault rifle is being misused as a term here. Assault rifle is a technical term, but it means nothing more than a scaled down battle rifle (it technically means one capable of automatic fire, but for the sake of keeping things straightforward let's ignore that). Medium caliber rounds, detachable box magazine, etc.

In practical terms when it comes to using them for hunting purposes, there is nothing particularly different from an dedicated hunting autoloader like this:

fusil-remington-750.jpg

And an AR-based hunting rifle like this:

2031Remington-R-15-450_Bushmaster_G.jpg

Except the difference in magazine and feed design (because hunting rifles are generally designed so they can accept much larger calibers whereas AR rifles max out at .308 unless you dramatically redesign the feed mechanism, because that was the most it was ever designed to shoot). And neither one is any more dangerous than the other. The only reason one would choose an AR rifle over a dedicated hunting rifle is if the pros (compact design, parts/ammo commonality, light weight) outweigh the cons (small caliber size, complex design/construction, higher maintenance).

My point is, banning them specifically would be nothing more than an arbitrary ban against "scary" things much like the original Assault Weapons Ban. You also can't ban them on the grounds of firing military ammunition like some countries (Mexico) do, because the two currently adopted NATO rifle rounds were both civilian hunting rounds re-purposed for military use by the United States.

That being said, all of the other things you mentioned would be good things that should be done; and some of them (unlicenced gun sales in particular) wouldn't even be met with much resistance if someone would actually get the stones up to bring it up.

Family Research Council is one of the more prominent Religious Right groups, up there with the American Family Association and the National Organization of Marriage. It's significantly anti-LGBT; one of the higher ups in the organization, Peter Spriggs, supports criminalizing homosexuality, and the FRC in general believes there is a direct link between homosexuality and pedophilia.

Patticus elaborated a bit further below, I'm just recalling stuff I can remember off hand due to keeping track of this shooting myself.

Needless to say, many other religious groups affiliated with FRC are up in arms over this.

It's a conservative Christian group and lobbying organization; it advocates and lobbies for socially conservative policies, and advocates and lobbies against things like LGBT rights, abortion, porn and stem-cell research, among other things. It was designated a 'Hate Group' by Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010, thanks to its frankly retarded "homosexuals = pedophiles" stance.

Thanks. Wonder why I hadn't heard of them, as I have heard of the other two Bobbyjosh mentioned.

Edited by Gilda

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Thanks. Wonder why I hadn't heard of them, as I have heard of the other two Bobbyjosh mentioned.

AFA and NOM tend to be MUCH more vocal - AFA has branches like Focus in the Family, and videos and blogs where they can speak, and NOM boycotts anything that breathes slightly to the left - whereas FRC tends to be a bit more composed.

The shooter, Floyd Corkins II, had apparently been volunteering at an LGBT help center for the past six months. So, there's motive.

Corkins had also legally bought his weapons in Virginia.

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It seems comparatively unusual for this to be a pro-LGBT shooting... I mean, when people hear that there has been an American shooting spree, folks tend to assume it's either some far-right nutcase going after Muslims, or an unhinged schoolkid killing his classmates and teachers. You don't hear about far-left, pro-LGBT et al shooters so much. It's just strange is all, I'm not trying to differentiate him from those other recent killers. They're all as bad as each other.

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No one side is barred from, or immune to, exhibiting extreme violence. To believe otherwise is erroneous.

This just seems so strange because this is apparently the first time this scenario has happened.

It's a harsh lesson, the idea that fringe violence doesn't discriminate based on ideologies. But, it is one to remember and move to correct.

Edited by Bobbyjosh

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Fully prepared for people to jump on me, but in my opinion, naming this topic "dat American Shootings thread" makes it sound like you're making light of these unfortunately frequent tragedies.

I was just changing it to something more generalized. I didn't mean to make light of anything, but that's all that came into my head at the time.

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