On the Sikh temple shooting

August 6, 2012

What a fucking summer.

First the guy in Aurora, now some white supremacist shot a bunch of people in a Sikh temple in Milwaukee.

It is horrible. Tragic.

Each of these people killed had family or other loved ones. Friends. Coworkers. Teammates.

Each one of them will be missed. Each one of them was robbed of their right to have a life, unmolested.

So as you libbie-lefties are “renewing your calls to discuss gun control” ask yourselves this.

Was it any less tragic when some racist asshole ran over a guy with his pickemup truck? Or when that other racist asshole dragged a guy to his death behind, you guessed it, his pickemup truck?

And no, for the slower members of the audience I am not suggesting we renew our calls to ban the pickup truck.

I am suggesting that when you have a common root cause of hatred for those who are unlike oneself then perhaps you should focus on that. And renew your calls to deal severely with these hate groups.

Oh, wait….but that’s protected by an Amendment* to the Constitution of the US isn’t it?

No, not the Second. I’m making a point here.

No Responses Yet to “On the Sikh temple shooting”

  1. Ahzzmandius Says:

    I think you missed the entire point of the leftists.

    It’s not to ban all guns. It’s to put actual controls in place that makes it as hard to own a gun as it is to legally own and operate a motor vehicle. It’s also to put tougher controls into place for semi-autos and high capacity clips as it is to get a commercial drivers license so that you can drive a big rig .

    As it stands right now anyone can walk into a gun show and walk out with a semi-auto 30+ round capacity clip and a matching m16-civvie to go with it. You can not walk into a car dealership, plunk down cash and drive away without insurance, license, etc.

    THAT is the disparity that “libbie-lefties” like myself are trying to point out and get under control.

    You aren’t helping the conversation by smacktalking either.


  2. Cycloproffe Says:

    Ahzzmandius- that position doesn’t sound very far left. While purchasing a vehicle may have additional layers of complexity, rentals are another matter entirely. I know one can still rent a big truck, capable of storing a lot of “cargo”, without any difficulties and on rather short notice. At the end of the day, it is not the how but the why that is so troubling.


  3. It’s not the guns per se, it’s the deranged vicious white christian d00ds who indicentally love guns. So yeah, they are right, guns don’t kill people, crazyasse gun-loving white christian doodeasse motherfuckers with guns kill people.


  4. tim Says:

    Why pretend we can’t discuss aspects of tragedy quantitatively? The truck incidents you cite are a reminder that people bent on murder will find a way to use whatever tools are available to them, but shouldn’t we notice that fewer people were killed? None of these incidents should have happened and each is abhorrent. When they happen anyway, isn’t it indisputably preferable that the body count be lower?

    And there’s no zero sum game between fighting bigotry and hatred and restricting access to instruments of mass murder. Of course we should do battle with hate groups; of course legal sanction for thoughtcrime is not an acceptable or practical way of fighting them. The equivalency you attempt to draw between the degrees of freedom permitted by the first and second amendments is false; the idea that ownership of assault weapons should be as free and unregulated as speech is not in keeping with American values or legal tradition.

    So: yes, I’m thankful those assaults you mention were limited in scope as a consequence of being committed by truck and not assault weapon, and yes, we should focus on corralling hate groups. And I don’t see why this post should make me feel anyway but perfectly fine about calling for a renewed and strengthened assault weapons ban.


  5. tim Says:

    Any way, not anyway. Anyway.


  6. Lady Day Says:

    Only some douchebag who drives a gigantic SUV would be totally incapable of seeing that gun control isn’t about taking all guns away from everyone. Cough, cough.

    Anyway, just how is anyone going to go around regulating *hate*? How does one define “hate”?


  7. DrugMonkey Says:

    The temple shooter had one measly 9mm pistol, by reports. He could have probably done the same damage with a pair of revolvers and a couple of speed loaders. Not sure about the approach but it would have been simple to pull up tothe front door in a vehicle- no open carry necessary. It would be pretty far down the current gun-control slope to get to the point where this particular d-bag would have been affected.

    It makes an interesting contrast with the Aurora shooter’s hardware. Sounds as if the temple racist guy could have matched the Aurora body count if he hadn’t come back outside to shoot at the police.


  8. DrugMonkey Says:

    Lady Day- oh, I think the ADL and SPLC do a bang up job on that. A decent place to start anyway.


  9. DrugMonkey Says:

    Also, Lady Day, you will want to be careful with your line of argument…you seem to be talking yourself into a ban of your beloved pit bulls


  10. miko Says:

    Gun control and addressing hate crimes are in no way mutually exclusive. I feel like you know this and are trolling this issue for some reason. Most gun violence is not hate crimes, but I would still put these 10s of thousands of deaths in the “bad” column.

    After someone has killed gunned down Sikhs actually does seem like a good time to both “renew calls for gun control” and addressing bigotry

    We already regulate which weapons people can own and where and how they can carry them. There is no absolute 2nd amendment protection, just as there is no absolute 1st amendment protection. The mainstream “left” position on gun control is that we should close loopholes that allow people to circumvent existing regulations (e.g. gun shows) and be able to revisit, change, or expand the list of banned weaponry. Only people deluded by NRA rhetoric (or limp dick weirdos who need more and more hard steel to polish in the garage on weekends) could interpret this as unreasonable. For all of our rights, the state balances individual freedom with protecting the rights of everyone else. Do they overstep sometimes? Yes. Do they fail other times? Yes. Does any of it have to do with principled interpretations of the constitution over politics, ideology, and money? Fuck no.


  11. Grumble Says:

    Yeah, that’s right, DM, the Sikh temple shooter used a plain vanilla gun, and therefore we don’t need to regulate automatic weapons. Do you really need the flaw in this “logic” explained to you?


  12. becca Says:

    Maybe it’d be good to keep our deranged Christian white d00ds out of the military AND neuroscience PhD programs?


  13. Grumble Says:

    The Colorado killer’s derangement had nothing to do with Christianity (or, necessarily, with neuroscience PhD programs).

    Maybe we should keep deranged people away from guns. Maybe we should repeal the 2nd amendment. Maybe judges should start reinterpreting the 2nd amendment to mean government gets to regulate guns more, not less.

    Lotta maybes, and a lotta political inertia that will lead to nothing happening. If multiple massacres aren’t enough to jolt people into common sense, NOTHING will be enough.


  14. becca Says:

    Grumble- Yes, the Colorado killer did not seem terribly motivated by Christianity. I also don’t think the Colorado killer necessarily had anything to do with him being white. I brought those things up to make a point about which murderers we focus on “method” for and which we focus on “motive” for.

    Now, some people will always talk about opportunity for mass murder in the form of the “methods”, and some people will always talk about the motive for mass murder in the form of “culture”. Advocates for gun control tend to fall in the former camp, activists on police and military brutality and the Standford prison experimenters might be in the later.
    However, if overall people are more focused on “method” when the killer is a member of some groups, and more focused on “culture” when the killer is a member of other groups, that is itself telling us something about how we view violence in our society.

    In both of these recent cases, I am choosing to focus on “culture” aspects of motive. For the temple shooting, I do not think a history in the military is incidental as far as propensity to violence goes (though I’d not be foolish enough to speculate on ’cause’ vs. ‘effect’ on that one).
    For the Colorado shooting, I am fully in earnest when I equate the neuroscience PhD program with the military as far as ‘pressure cooker environments to make you go insane, and in a violent way if you are are at risk for that”. I think it’s time we consider what our institutions are doing to our youth, and not just prisons.

    Also, to make sure we are on the same page as to why I find the neuroscience PhD relevant- you do realize he bought some of those guns within hours of failing quals? And he’s reported as having been a patient at the campus mental health clinic but the university is refusing to answer any questions because of privacy legislation (not clear whether they meant HIPPA or FERPA or both)?

    Look, it’s generally impossible to know for sure what causes any given act of insane violence (using ‘insane’ literally here). But focusing exclusively on “method” or exclusively on “motive” is probably less effective than looking at both. Looking at “method” only, when it is white Christian d00ds, and looking at “culture” only, when it is brown Muslim d00ds, seems a symptom of larger ills, to my mind. Not saying you, personally, do this Grumble- but it is part of the larger discourse.


  15. Gerlag Says:

    There have been mass killing with swords that have had tens of victims. Should we ban sharp objects? The Oklahoma city bombers used fertilizers to create their bombs. Should we ban fertilizers? Most of these mass murderers are men. Should we ban men?

    The second amendment is not meant to preserve the right of people to commit mass murder, it is meant to preserve the ability of people to protect themselves from others and from government.

    I understand the reaction to want to remove all danger in the world, but humans are dangerous to each other. You are more likely to be killed by another human that you are to be killed by some natural event (tsunami, earthquake, lightning, etc). It sucks, but this is true. We would be better off by condemning hate-speech, having more intact family structures, lessening the social pressure of men to be so stoic and independent, and providing better mental health care.


  16. Lady Day Says:

    @ DM: well, to some extent, I believe that dog ownership should be regulated to only those people capable of being responsible with their dogs (and this includes abuse of dogs or other animals).

    I tend to agree with becca on this issue. Very insightful comments.

    As an anecdote: I knew more than a few college and graduate students, back in the day, who ended up diagnosed with severe depression or paranoid schizophrenia. Perhaps it was the stress of the program or the stress of being away from home for the first time, for lengthy periods, that brought out the changes in mental health. Age, too, seemed a factor.


  17. Lady Day Says:

    @ DM: just read your first comment. OK, ban all guns, even from the cops. I’m serious.

    I don’t care about hunters’ needs (most of them are white males from all classes, BTW, just check out the stats on pages 29-31 and Table 8, page 61: http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/fhw06-nat.pdf ). I am sick and tired of all the hunters who back the NRA.

    Want to hunt? Hunt big game with archery. I have friends who do that quite well – they don’t *need* guns to hunt. Yes, people can go batshit crazy and kill others with crossbows, etc., but the number of hits would be reduced.


  18. DrugMonkey Says:

    tim and miko-

    The MSM, politicians and indeed blogger/commenters do seem to have a limited ability to pursue multiple sides of complex issues. So I disagree that it is not zero sum. Every air minute or column inch devoted to “renew the gun control discussion” takes away from space devoted to the problem of hateful racists and their organizations, popularity and weapons accumulation. It takes away from pressure on political folks to act. Mayor Bloomberg is calling for Obama and Romney to take a position on what? Not on hate groups, he isn’t.


  19. DrugMonkey Says:

    When the Sikh temple shooting is being used as evidence we need to pursue gun control policies that wouldn’t have affected him and his chosen method, yes I do need that logic explained to me. Use small words please.


  20. miko Says:

    @DM – I agree with you about MSM and “they weren’t even Muslim” being a useless talking point. But the fact that the MSM cannot discuss two things at once or any one thing with nuance is not the fault of gun control advocates. I don’t think “racism and our culture of gun violence are both problems” is that complex a stance.

    “There have been mass killing with swords that have had tens of victims. Should we ban sharp objects?”

    Carrying a sword is banned in many places without a peep of protest, even though such bans are clear violations of 2nd amendment rights. Start a sword lobby.


  21. DJMH Says:

    You’re still trolling, and it’s still douchey. You seem to be having a whole lot of fun mocking “libbie-lefties”, which is a little odd because I thought that at other times on this blog you preached about listening respectfully to other people’s voices.

    Hello Captain Obvious, killing one person vs killing 6 is a significant difference. Probably at the p < 0.05 difference.

    And though I'm a very liberal person, I am nonetheless against most hate crime legislation. I don't think the courts should be in the business of deciding what someone was thinking, except insofar as they make decisions about mental capacity and premeditated vs heat-of-the-moment (which I think we can all agree is tricky enough).

    So I can't really get behind hate-crime legislation. I do, however, favor controlling guns the way we control that deadly weapon, the automobile. If we require street legal cars to have seatbelts, and drivers and passengers to wear them, why can't we require legal guns to have limited clips?

    Which, actually has direct bearing on this case: if you could limit his 9 mm gun to a 10-round clip (I don't know what he was using, but 9 mm gun clips can go up to 20 rounds), maybe half the number of people would have died. To me, and presumably to the families of those people, that would have been better.


  22. drugmonkey Says:

    He had extra ammo in his pockets according to at least one report DJMH. Again, if he had’t engaged the police he could have reloaded.


  23. As a member of the Sikh community, I am frustrated that the discussion is going to Gun Control. Gun Control would not stop the hate. The hate as been amped up in the USA immensely since 911. From my reading and listening of Sikh advocacy groups, there has been a 1600% increase in attack on members of the Sikh faith simply because ignorant people that think all Muslims are terrorists, think that Sikh men (usually the ones attacked) are Muslim.

    Does this mean that we should educate Ignorant ass people that we are not Muslim? A few may say that. Thankfully the majority of members of the Sikh community have followed the teachings of our faith and have stepped up efforts to advocate for inclusiveness of all religions. Are you Muslim? Great, have your faith and your freedom and equality. Whether you’re an Atheist, a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Scientologist, Agonist, Worhipper of Ug, you have a right to freedom and liberty. To not be judged for how you look or who you may or may not pray too.

    Take a look at Valerie Kaur</a


  24. drugmonkey Says:

    I find it fascinating, DJMH, that you feel we should not do anything about hate but need to control one set of means to express that hate. Since the list of tolerable purposes for a gun is longer than that for anti-brown-person-hatred (that would be zero) it asks some interesting questions about your logic.


  25. Lady Day Says:

    Look DM, it is difficult to regulate hate. Although you cite organizations that attempt to combat hate, they are not governmental. They exist outside of the government. They can do only so much – chiefly protest and raise awareness.

    Yes, perhaps we need government-funded programs that help to raise awareness of racism, etc. However, what do you think the military is doing when it goes to war overseas, explicitly against brown-skinned people? How can a government promote tolerance when, at the same time, it’s also using propaganda to convince a population of people to fight “evil” brown-skinned people who supposedly “hate America for no rational reason at all”? I mean, the U.S. went to war in Iraq for no legitimate reason at all, and look at the number of dead, injured, displaced, and traumatized Iraqis. That was an explicitly racist war.

    Is it a coincidence that the military dude who shot the Sikhs was also a neo-Nazi? In my book, no. Look at how our military treated Iraqis at Abu Ghraib (and many other prisons) and civilian Iraqis who were *living in their own country* in the presence of occupying troops.


  26. drugmonkey Says:

    “anti-gang ordinances”, Lady Day.


  27. K in SB Says:

    I understand what you’re saying but what does this post have to do with science?


  28. Grumble Says:

    “When the Sikh temple shooting is being used as evidence we need to pursue gun control policies that wouldn’t have affected him and his chosen method, yes I do need that logic explained to me. Use small words please.”

    Well, what I specifically wanted to know is why you seem to subscribe to the logic that because the Sikh temple shooter used a plain vanilla gun, therefore we don’t need to regulate automatic weapons. The second proposition simply doesn’t follow from the first.

    But I’ll take your bait and say that yes, we can use the Sikh temple shooting to advocate for gun control policies – even ones that wouldn’t have prevented it.

    Everyone knows that real gun control, the kind that bans or severely restricts handguns, is, at the moment, a political non-starter. Less hopeless is the proposal that automatic weapons can be more strongly regulated. That would have a real effect in reducing the death toll, even if it wouldn’t necessarily have helped in *this specific instance*.

    And once we get to regulation of weapons with ridiculous fire power, perhaps we can get from there to real gun control. So, the way to motivate people who want to stop gun violence is to bring up the fact that every day brings another gun horror story (here’s today’s). Sane people don’t care whether it was committed by Rambo-style guns or not. Sane people who come to realize what is going on just might be motivated to try to do something political to stop the violence.


  29. Lady Day Says:

    DM, are you implying that the government should classify white supremacist groups as gangs? I have no argument with you there. What about people who don’t belong to white supremacist groups, but who are still racist/misogynist/homophobic and promote hate-speech? How do we regulate their activities? In fact, from what I’ve read – and maybe I’m wrong – it seems that the Page was not necessarily still active in the neo-Nazi group? So, what about people who don’t belong to organizations, but who still target other groups with violence, individually?

    Still, I don’t see why we shouldn’t regulate firearms more (or ban them). Yes, I see your point with regard to the other means that people have of inflicting harm on others, but we can lessen the damage by regulating firearms.


  30. Juniper Shoemaker Says:

    I tend to agree with becca on this issue. Very insightful comments.

    Don’t make the head of a home-schooled brat whose parents taught her that she was a special snowflake with the magical ability to read other people’s minds any bigger than it already is.


  31. I don’t think the courts should be in the business of deciding what someone was thinking, except insofar as they make decisions about mental capacity and premeditated vs heat-of-the-moment (which I think we can all agree is tricky enough).

    Then you must think that the courts shouldn’t be in the business of deciding pretty much all criminal cases, since they almost all require establishing as a proven element of the crime that the perpetrator had the intent to commit the crime–i.e., was at some point thinking a particular thing.


  32. MM Says:

    Free speech is regulated, perhaps more than guns. You’re not allowed to yell “fire” in a crowded ballpark. You can also get into trouble with racial or sexual slurs, to give a few examples.

    Why not enforce existing regulations to keep automatic weapons away from those diagnosed as mentally ill? Why not have a waiting period? Why not limit the number of guns or amount of ammo people can buy at once?


  33. DJMH Says:

    Also, copycat shooting is often prevalent following high profile shootings (e.g. Maryland, Maine in the last week after aurora). So regardless of whether the Sikh shooter was using weapons and ammo that would be banned in DJMHLand, it’s possible he wouldn’t have acted at all if he hadn’t just had a successful shooter held up as a prime example of how to wreak havoc and terror in a confined population.


  34. bill Says:

    There’s a realpolitik counter to your zero-sum realpolitik, DM, which is that gun control may be simpler and more accessible, logistically and politically, than addressing the root cause. Root causes are usually harder to get at than symptoms, and there’s a role for palliative care in long-term treatment that’s aimed at eradicating the underlying disease.

    Sorry about the tortured metaphor but you see where I’m going.


  35. drugmonkey Says:

    You are unfamiliar with anti-gang ordinances bill? The mechanisms are established.


  36. Eli Rabett Says:

    When this crap goes down in the US, assholes buy more guns. When it happens elsewhere, they tighten up and it doesn’t happen again for a long time. Yes shithead, it happens elsewhere, but not every fucking day like here.


  37. bill Says:

    I am not familiar with the details of anti-gang ordinances, but I don’t see how they would apply unless I am misunderstanding the term badly. I can see lots of connections between gangs and race hate, but none that would allow the same laws to cope with both…


  38. Isabel Says:

    “crazyasse gun-loving white christian doodeasse motherfuckers with guns kill people”

    How do you know they were all Christians, oh superior all-knowing Jewish White Male? have you been surfing anti-gentile websites again? Fucking anti-gentiles.

    And wasn’t the shooter with the highest body count in recent memory a Korean immigrant? I guess you could say he was bullied by white christian dudes, or he”s the exception that proves the rule. However, I don’t think he’s the only exception, and as has been pointed out on your blog, this is a christian majority nation, so it’s not real surprising that the majority of shooters are of christian backgrounds. Gives you an excuse to spew more hate, just what we need!

    The one thing you are right about: they were all “doods”.


  39. drugmonkey Says:

    Well there was that one crazy woman shooter at some University, Isabel. Shot a bunch of brown people IIRC.


  40. How do you know they were all Christians, oh superior all-knowing Jewish White Male? have you been surfing anti-gentile websites again? Fucking anti-gentiles.

    Loonabel, you know the goddamn dirty jews have ruined your life. FUCKEN JEWS!


  41. Isabel Says:

    Sounds kinda vague DM. btw ya think this post and all your recent anti-racist tweeting is unconscious compensation for your support of the racist drug war (that affects millions more people)?

    And Privileged Physioprof, if you weren’t drunk you might have gotten the point- that’s exactly how your posts come off. I still haven’t figured out what “lying christians” has to do with the problems in scientific publishing. You are a hater spreading hate towards entire groups, plain and simple.


  42. Isabel Says:

    btw PPP, my life isn’t “ruined” and I never made any such complaint and have nothing against Jews (except you and it’s cause you’re a jerk, not because of your background); in fact things are going great. maybe lay off the sauce a bit.


  43. erosturannos Says:

    According to wikipedia every baptized Sikh carries a knife called a Kirpan. “The kirpan has both a physical function, as a defensive weapon, as well as a symbolic function. Physically it is an instrument of ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence. The principle of ahimsa is to actively prevent violence; the kirpan is a tool to be used to prevent violence from being done to a defenseless person when all other means to do so have failed. Symbolically, the kirpan represents the power of truth to cut through untruth. It is the cutting edge of the enlightened mind.” Firearms are the American Kirpan. The Founders, some of whom were cosmopolitan Enlightenment era philosophers, might even have been acquainted with the religious practices of the Sikhs when they drafted the second amendment. If every US citizen carried a firearm on them with the same high principles, it would make life more, not less difficult for all the crazy psychopaths out there.


  44. drugmonkey Says:

    Did the hero guy use it defensively?


  45. erosturannos Says:

    I’ve come acrossed several sites that say it was a butter knife. One Hindu paper claimed it was a kirpan. Honestly, the kirpan would make more sense to me, as the pictures of the hero and his role in the community suggest he’s devout, and he used the knife for exactly the kirpans intended purpose. It’s possible news sites know it was a kirpan, but aren’t really broadcasting it because local ordinances prevent Sikh men from wearing a combat effective knife, leaving them with something that’s as dull as a butter knife, which doesn’t fit the narrative, or, more charitably, because they don’t want the Sikh community to come off as some kind of knife-wielding cult.


  46. Isabel Says:


    “”Our nation’s long, tragic, failed war on drugs has taken a disproportionate toll on people of color,” said NAACP AOWS-AC President Oscar Eason, Jr. “To right the wrongs of the past, we need to end the drug war immediately and replace it with a common-sense approach.””


  47. drugmonkey Says:

    What does this have to do with Sikhs or hateful underemployed wackaloon white supremacists Isabel?


  48. Isabel Says:

    It relates to my comment upthread:

    Sounds kinda vague DM. btw ya think this post and all your recent anti-racist tweeting is unconscious compensation for your support of the racist drug war (that affects millions more people)?


  49. Isabel Says:

    Also, it just popped up on my Fb feed so I thought I’d share with you and your readers, as I know you all *really* care about these issues 🙂


  50. drugmonkey Says:

    btw ya think this post and all your recent anti-racist tweeting is unconscious compensation for your support of the racist drug war



  51. drugmonkey Says:

    btw Isabel, do you think your off-topic trolling and distracting is an unconscious attempt to divert attention away from the hateful racist violent behavior of your favored lower socio-economic “Scots-Irish*” white folks?

    *I hope the fact that Celtic crosses are favored tattoos of the white supremacists didn’t escape your attention.


  52. Isabel Says:

    What is your definition of “trolling”? And “off-topic”? My post was about your choice of anti-racism topics. I think it’s on topic. And your anti-anti-drug war stance is a major theme of the blog.*

    *I hope the fact that Celtic crosses are favored tattoos of the white supremacists didn’t escape your attention.

    I have no idea what you are talking about. And why the scare quotes around “Scots-Irish”?

    *incidentally, I saw a video the other day of the supposed scientific-literate drug czar you guys were raving about – what a jerk! He sounded just like you as a matter of fact! I hate to break it to you DM, but sounding just like a drug czar does not exactly signal “progressive” or “hip”.


  53. Isabel Says:

    What does that have to do with anything? Is this some kind of slur, or attack on my perceived background?


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