Four Marines were shot and killed at a recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee today. The suspected gunman also died and a police officer and at least one other individual was injured. The initial report was of a “White Male” suspect. The shooter has now been identified as Mohammed Yousef Abdulazeez.
This is a developing situation, and as of this writing, the FBI is calling it an act of domestic terrorism, but is still investigating for a motive.
While this tragedy is unfolding, there are four families who are receiving a knock on their door, something they didn’t think possible since their Marines are here, stateside, at a Recruiting Station. It’s hard to imagine a description of a safer-sounding duty assignment.
Within minutes of the news breaking, before confirmation had been released of the number of dead and injured, the comments started.
From the Democratic Underground – “At a naval reserve center? Isn’t that where all the “good guys with guns” are?”
The incident began at 10:50am. This comment was posted at 12:09pm. One hour and nineteen minutes after the terrorist attack began.
To the credit of other posters, this first commenter was quickly admonished for jumping to political statements before all the facts were known. The irony that the inferred anti-gun message was attached to an article featuring a picture of the shot up door with the “no guns allowed” sticker prominently displayed was lost on one and all.
Before the name of the shooter was released as Mohammad Yousef Abdulazeez, an individual from Kuwait with ties to ISIS, when the media was still saying the shooter was a "white male", others on that site and numerous other news sites and forums were speculating that this is somehow related to Jade Helm. It was said that the shooter was probably some right wing gun nut who is all spun-up by the media-fueled frenzy over that military exercise in Texas.
Then, the name of the shooter was released and the tenor of the comments changed. Suddenly, fears that innocent Muslims would be smeared and Islam would be inaccurately blamed were the primary concern. Moments earlier, it was not just okay, but reasonable to make all kinds of derogatory statements about white males, southerners, gun-owners, conservatives and Republicans. Those weren’t racist or inappropriate comments, but justified and justifiable. The same statements made with a change only in the target are hate-speech, racist, uninformed, ignorant, bullying and even terroristic threats. The next time someone uses the words ‘liberal tolerance’ with a sneer and you’re confused, reference this.
Some of the most disturbing of all the comments echo that first one I’ve quoted above. Before crime scene technicians have cleared the location; before families are notified; before it is known if the injured will survive or succumb, snide comments about southerners loving their guns were cheered on with ‘likes’ and ‘lol-ing’. A few pretended to be above such base discourse but didn’t hesitate to add their pseudo-intellectual remarks hoping that finally, this tragedy would move some of the ‘gun nuts’ to see the wisdom in further restricting guns. I guess they didn’t notice the “no guns” sign on the photos of the shot-up door all over the media either.
The Far Right can be just as inappropriate as the Far Left.
As news broke, because of the target location, assumptions that this attack was an ISIS-related incident were made. This happened in a strip mall (later, it was confirmed there was another military location attacked) and the only business targeted was a reserve and recruiting office. It was apparent this was not a garden variety drive-by shooting.
Immediately, speculation was made that this is what we get for making a deal with Iran. Obama was being blamed for these deaths as directly as if he himself pulled the trigger.
Four Marines are dead. At least one other was wounded along with a police officer. The shooter, named Mohammed Yousef Abdulazeez is dead as well. Very little else is confirmed, though Reuters, the AP, the FBI and DHS have made further statements, qualified as unconfirmed at this point. But none of that matters as much as the first sentence in this paragraph.
Four families have by now received a knock on their doors. If they were not at home when the news broke, you can be sure they are home now, attempting to absorb news that is incomprehensible even to those of us who have received it. A loved one, a child, husband, brother or father is dead. Because they chose to put on the uniform of this Nation.
Let's save the pontificating, and worse, the disgusting glee that your opinion or agenda, whatever it is, has just been proven right. At least until the families have been notified. Expecting people to wait for all the facts, I know, is too much to ask.
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