It is my opinion and mine alone, in this blog, that the mass shooting in San Bernadino yesterday constitutes an act of terrorism and that the shooters, apparently a husband and wife team, can be regarded as terrorists. President Obama is not sure yet that this act of violence can be called terrorism or that the motive is terrorism.
The two shooters were killed in the aftermath of the massacre that they created. Syed Farook was Pakistani, who is known to have traveled to Saudi Arabia. His wife was Tashfeen Malik, was apparently also Pakistani. Both are said to have considerable familiarity with Military style weapons and munitions. Federal Law Enforcement sources say they want to know how they attained such knowledge.Two semi-automatic handguns and two assault style rifles were purchased legally. A police raid on the home of the couple yielded additional firearms and explosive materials.
The seizure included more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition and a dozen pipe bombs. Three pipe bombs found at the attack scene, wired for remote control, apparently failed to explode.
Court records have revealed that Syed Rizwan Farook had a turbulent upbringing. As of this writing authorities have not said anything about the possibility Farook was radicalized.
Two high-profile shootings have occurred in the past five days. NBC News has reported that 31% of mass shootings in the world occur inside the USA. So far in 2015 there have been 355 mass shootings. Mass shooting are defined variously as involving at least four dead or wounded. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Global Terrorism Database reports that fifty times more Americans have been killed by guns than terrorist attacks since 9/11. This, of course, does not say anything about the wielders of the guns being terrorists or not. I suggest one can definitely define the shooters as terrorists.
A Congressional Research Service report has identified 78 mass shootings in the USA over the past three decades since 1982. The report excluded shooting for which terrorist ideology or criminal profit was the motive. Again, it is my opinion that all such shootings can easily be classified, believably, as terroristic. In most cases; a Mother Jones investigation concluded the shooters obtained their weapons legally.
Data shows that Muslim America terrorists are responsible for far fewer mass killings than the total killing in the past three decades in mass shootings. From 2009 to 2012 110 Muslim Americans were charged with terrorist crimes. In 2012 there were 14 but only ONE was charged with executing a violent attack. The rest were arrested at early stages of their plans. In just 2012 alone, mass shootings claimed lives of at least 66 Americans – “twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11,” according to sociology research conducted by Professor Charles Kurzman.
It seems clear to me that fear of Muslim terrorism inside the USA is not entirely justified. It seems more likely that one will be involved in a mass shooting carried out by non-Muslim Americans, i.e. home-grown terrorists with other motives. Domestic terror is likely to come more frequently from our so-called Christian neighbors than from non-Christian group members.
I don’t have a problem with a serious and comprehensive vetting of refugees coming to the USA or Canada, as demanded by many. I just find it very had to believe some of the haters who would make the claim that every single Syrian refugee is a terrorist who must therefore be prevented from entering the country.
Think about the reality that most of these refugees are families fleeing the mayhem of Daesh, who murder more of their own Muslim neighbors than of any European or American who fall into their clutches. Yes, they declare a desire to impose their brand of ‘faulty’ Islamic belief on the Middle East and the world. Yes they hate America using violent misinterpretation of the Quran to justify their actions. But that is exactly the point. Daesh does not represent the mainstream of Islam who, take note, condemn vociferously what Daesh is doing.
My second novel, titled A Prairie Vendetta, currently under construction explores the circumstances of home-grown terrorism in Canada. A dissident group of young Métis, angry about perceived slights and general injustice over a more than one-hundred year period plan terror to gain a redress of justice. The Canadian Anti-Terrorism Service agents led by Sean-Guy O’Dwyer-Lariviere work hard to prevent the intended terrorism actions. I’m building many twists and turns before the tale comes to an unfortunate conclusion.
Ron Stotyn, PhD. Thanks for your support friends. Good Reading.