Jared Lee Loughner, a 22 year old White male (presumably from a Christian background), yesterday unleashed an appalling level of violence and terror by shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in the head at a public constituent gathering, which has left Giffords in critical condition. Besides shooting Rep. Giffords, Lougher also shot over a dozen others, killing six of them including a federal judge and a nine year old girl.
It is apparent that Loughner’s violence against an elected official and civilians was premeditated.
After I heard about the tragedy, heard that shooter had been apprehended, and heard no mention of the term terrorism, I immediately knew that the shooter was not a Muslim. And I knew that just in the case when Joseph Stack last year when he flew an airplane into an IRS office in Austin, TX based upon his politically extreme motives in which the media failed to labeled him a terrorist, I knew that elected officials and media would not label Loughner a terrorist either.
Terrorism according to U.S. legal code is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets.”
Now imagine if Loughner’s last name was Muhammad, or if Loughner was a convert to Islam. Elected officials such as Rep. Peter King (R-NY) would be using yesterday’s attack as further proof that American Muslims need to be watched closer and that we aren’t doing enough to stop such attacks. And no doubt, media would be discussing now the looming danger of homegrown terrorism.
Well, there have always been homegrown terrorism. In fact according to FBI statics from 1980 to 2005, ninety-four percent of domestic terrorism was committed by persons who were not of the Islamic faith. From eco-terrorists to Christianity Identity Movement member Timothy McVeigh to the Uni-bomber, we seem to have developed collective memory loss as Americans to terrorists that aren’t Arabs or Muslims.
I’d like for there to be more discussion in the media about the growing intolerance in America and the passive radicalization of America via the Tea Party Movement and their champion Sarah Palin regarding the caustic language environment that we live in which opens up the door to such attacks.