Focusing on Fort Hood Killer's Beliefs Is an Easy Out to Avoid the Deeper Reasons for the Massacre
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It's hard to pinpoint what's the most shocking thing about Army Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan's shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas.
I'll start with this: There's nothing all that groundbreaking about it. It happens all the time, it's just that we're a nation of amnesiacs who forget all the unpleasantries and refuse to learn the valuable lessons.
Fort Hood is located in Killeen, Texas -- where one of the deadliest rampage-shootings in American history took place in 1991, when an unemployed ex-Navy enlistee, George Hennard Jr., crashed his pickup into a popular cafeteria, pulled out two handguns (Hasan also used two handguns), and killed 23 people before taking his own life.
The day before the massacre, Hennard was eating a hamburger in a local restaurant watching the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and, according to the manager, "When an interview with Anita Hill came on, he just went off. He started screaming, ‘You dumb bitch! You bastards opened the door for all the women!' "
So yesterday's Fort Hood shooting isn't the worst, or most deranged, mass killing in Killeen's history -- not by a longshot. The mainstream media is enabling the screaming about the Muslim traitors in our midst, but Hasan killed far fewer Americans than the white, racist Hennard. And they were bested by the federal government in nearby Waco, in 1993, when federal forces slaughtered 75 men, women and children at the Branch Davidian compound.
But in what may seem like a strange coincidence, Hasan and Killeen are connected to another American shooting rampage.
Killeen held the record for America's worst shooting massacre until 2007, when Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 33 fellow students. Hasan graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997.
Both Hasan and Cho were bullied and harassed -- Hasan's cousin told reporters that after 9/11, his military comrades regularly abused him, calling him "camel jockey." But the cousin insisted that Hasan's opposition to the war didn't grow out of the bullying, but rather from the stories he heard while interning as a psychiatric counselor to veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Hasan had even hired an attorney to try to come to a settlement with the government and leave the service, but it wouldn't settle and instead forced him to deploy. He apparently fought it up to the day before his deployment -- and instead of going to the war, he brought the war to the U.S. military.
As is often the case, the wrong lesson was learned, and the solution was more guns and more militarization of society: after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, a pro-gun student group formed and called for the arming of as many students as possible. The group is called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, and today it claims over 40,000 members on over 363 campuses.
Likewise in 1991, after the Killeen shootings, the state of Texas responded by enacting a law freeing up gun owners to carry concealed weapons. Gov. George W. Bush signed the law as in 1995, and in 2008, it was he who signed the first federal gun-control law in 13 years, after the Virginia Tech massacre.
So Hasan, whose parents came to the U.S. from Palestine, had plenty of personal connections to "Made in the USA" violence and massacres; and yet there's a frantic attempt to make him out to be a crazy Muslim monster hell-bent on killing Americans.
Why would he need to take inspiration just from them when Americans already provided so many excellent examples of how to mass murder fellow Americans?