With two mass shootings back to back like El Paso and Dayton, you’re going to generate a whole lot of attention on the gun issue. You’re also going to get a full discussion of the killers and their motives, which isn’t surprising. Right now, people are looking for answers. They want to figure out just what happened and why it happened.
We’re seeing a lot of that with the alleged El Paso shooter. After all, he reportedly published a manifesto that espoused some white nationalist sentiments when it came to race. Of course, the media has done a fine job of ignoring his environmentalist views, especially where he sought to reduce the number of people in an attempt to lessen the demand for resources.
Instead, they’ve focused on the part they figure they can blame President Trump for.
However, the left might want to be careful. As more and more information surfaces, the more and more it seems that the Dayton killer was part of the violent left-wing extremist group known as Antifa.
Now, the Dayton killer apparently left no manifesto, which does muddy the waters a bit. However, there’s absolutely no doubt that he was a left-wing supporter. That’s been made abundantly clear, which probably contributes to the media’s decision to not talk so much about his motives.
However, being left-wing doesn’t make you part of Antifa.
Showing up armed and masked at a Klan rally just might, though.
Hasan Karim, who knew [the killer] and grew up in Bellbrook in the same high school class, was in the crowd accompanying freelance journalists and was taking pictures of the event. Karim bumped into someone in the crowd and the man told him ‘You don’t know me.’ The two said hello to each other and Karim recognized Betts by his voice, body and mannerisms in their brief interaction.
[The killer] wore a bandanna covering part of his face and sunglasses. He carried a gun which appeared to be similar in style to the one used in Sunday’s shooting. He did not appear to be part of any group that was in the protest crowd.
Now, Karim may well be mistaken about the identity of the person. Or, this could be a fabrication told to a gullible reporter in an effort to gain attention. I’m not saying it is, mind you, only acknowledging the possibility.
Personally, I have little reason to doubt Karim myself. The rally apparently took place and there were counter-protestors. I’d think the Dayton Daily News would recall if there were no armed protestors there or not. Someone would, at least.
Further, it seems the FBI is hinting at some degree of confirmation.
Investigators have evidence that the shooter in Dayton, Ohio, explored “violent ideologies” prior to his attack that left nine dead early Sunday, an FBI official said, but there was no indication the shooting was racially motivated.
“We have uncovered evidence throughout the course of our investigation that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies,” Todd Wickerham, the FBI special agent in charge of the Cincinnati field office, said Tuesday at a press conference.
Wickerham did not describe the ideologies in question, [The killer’s] social media activities appear to show he described himself as a “leftist” and expressed support for Antifa, a violent, left-wing activist group.
While the FBI won’t say it right now, it certainly looks like the Dayton killer delved into Antifa’s ideology in a manner more involved than just reading news websites.
No, he was definitely a supporter, but could he have been something more?
As it stands, it seems that Antifa-supporting journalists are scrubbing their social media histories, purging anything the Dayton killer retweeted from them.
I’ve learnt from extremism writers that it may be helpful to look at what kind of messages terrorists promote on social media. Dayton mass killer amplified the content of @antifaintl, @AntiFashGordon, @saeen90_, @grimkim, @jaredlholt, @EmilyGorcenski, @drmistercody, @elivalley.
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) August 8, 2019
I reached out to media ethics watcher @jaredlholt about why he was stealth deleting content the Dayton mass killer had promoted of his. Holt did not respond. @EmilyGorcenski cursed me out in a message.
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) August 8, 2019
So far, there’s been no official word on the killer’s motivations for the attack. Without a manifesto or something else, it’s typically difficult for us to understand what drives someone to something like this. Even with a manifesto, it’s difficult.
However, if we’re going to discuss ideologies and how it can drive people to murder, we simply have to discuss Dayton too. For many on the left, politics is personal. They want politics to be everything. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the shooting had a political motivation.
Hell, Ohio was pushing toward things like constitutional carry, an action that this may well have killed. It’s not difficult to imagine the killer being motivated to do just that.
Of course, this is still just speculation, but I’m not about to ignore the killer’s clear affection for a violent ideology that the media typically gives a pass to. No one is defending or ignoring the El Paso killer’s hateful thinking. It would just be nice if people acknowledged the Dayton killer was just as hateful.