Guns and Terrorism: Two Unasked Question in Tucson Mass Murder

Question:  How does a mentally unstable man who was kicked out of school and had run-ins with the law buy an assault weapon?

The weapon reportedly used in the mass murders in Tucson was an assault weapon — a Glock 19, semi-automatic pistol, with an extended magazine.  That weapon was illegal to sell in the US from 1994 to 2004 under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.  It is now legal to sell and own.  The National Rifle Association reports there are tens of millions of assault weapons is private hands in the US.

The federal background check for people purchasing such weapons only prohibits selling such weapons to people who have been legally determined to be mentally defective or found insane or convicted of crimes.  This man had not been found legally mentally defective or convicted so he was legally entitled to purchase an assault weapon.  In Arizona he was legally entitled to carry the weapon in a concealed manner.

The US has well over 250 million guns in private hands according to the National Rifle Association.  That is more, according to the BBC, than any country in the world.  In one year, guns murdered 17 people in Finland, 35 in Australia, 39 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain, 194 in Germany, 200 in Canada, and 9,484 in the United States according to the Brady Campaign.

Does the US really need tens of millions of assault weapons and hundreds of millions of other guns?  We already put more of our people in prison than any country in the world, and we spend more on our military than all the rest of the world together.  How fearful must we be?

Question:  Why is there so little talk of terrorism?

Apparently when a mentally unstable white male is accused, terrorism is not the first thing that comes to mind.

When Clay Duke, a white male, threatened Florida school board members with a gun and shot at them before shooting himself, in December 2010, he was mentally imbalanced.

When Michael Enright, a white male, was arrested for slashing the throat of a Muslim NYC cab driver in August of 2010, his friends said he had a drinking problem

When Byron Williams, a white male, was arrested after opening fire on police officers and admitted he was on his way to kill people at offices of a liberal foundation and a civil liberties organization, in July 2010, he was an unemployed right wing felon with a drinking problem.

When Joe Stack, a white male, flew his private plane into a federal building in Austin, Texas, in February 2010, he was angry with the IRS.

When a white male is accused of mass murder, terrorism is not much talked of; rather it becomes a terrible tragedy but not one where race or ethnicity or religion need be examined.

Now if the accused had been Muslim, does anyone doubt whether this would have been considered an act of terrorism?  US Muslims could have expected increased surveillance and harassment at home and the places where they work and worship.  They could have expected a Congressional inquiry into the radicalization of their people.  Oh, Representative Peter King (R-NY) has already started that one!

Bill teaches law at Loyola University New Orleans. He can be reached at Read other articles by Bill.

14 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. mary said on January 10th, 2011 at 7:40am #

    It’s like porn t some.

    The strangest and sickest one on the page is tone which bears wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with a handgun resting amongst the prezzies under the tree.

  2. Frenchy said on January 10th, 2011 at 7:42am #

    A couple of mistakes need to be corrected in this article. The Glock 19 is NOT an assault weapon. It is a semi-automatic pistol that has always been legal, even during the Assault Weapons Ban. What was illegal during the ban were magazines that held more than 10 rounds.
    The term “Assault Weapon” gets thrown around quite a bit, and usually incorrectly.
    A little Research would aid your credibility in this regard.

  3. mary said on January 10th, 2011 at 7:42am #

    Think I need a new keyboard.

    …to some .


    …is one which bears…

  4. Don Hawkins said on January 10th, 2011 at 8:02am #

    I think am on subject but on Fox New’s this morning they showed the backyard of the kid who killed all these people and a tent with a skull and crossbones. Skull and crossbones trying to think anyway they then talked of symbol’s humm symbol’s there is this show on Fox New’s that uses symbol’s and puppet’s I wonder since this kid is still alive if he ever watched that show and what he thought of the puppet’s?

  5. Frenchy said on January 10th, 2011 at 8:02am #

    “In one year, guns murdered 17 people in Finland, 35 in Australia, 39 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain, 194 in Germany, 200 in Canada, and 9,484 in the United States according to the Brady Campaign.”

    You might want to consider a more objective source for your “facts”. I might suggest the CDC and FBI.

  6. Don Hawkins said on January 10th, 2011 at 10:49am #

    Here we go as am reading some stuff on line and watching some of the new’s channel’s on Drudge it’s this kid was left wing pot head on Fox New’s a guy from the tea party express the kid was on the left. I have a feeling like many people left, right probably unsure what that really means. I like two plus two equals four left, right just an illusion in many way’s. Repeat the obvious. Maybe it will all be figured out.

  7. hayate said on January 10th, 2011 at 10:55am #

    Second Suspect Sought in Connection with Giffords Shooting Incident, White Male in His 50s

    By: Jane Hamsher Saturday January 8, 2011 6:39 pm


    Now they are saying the shooter acted alone. So what was up with claiming this older guy dropped him off at the scene?

  8. hayate said on January 10th, 2011 at 11:00am #

    Doctors optimistic about condition of Jewish Congresswoman after shooting

    Published 21:04 09.01.11 Latest update 21:04 09.01.11

    “Arizona police released a photo of another man sought for questioning who was seen at the shopping center. He is white and thought to be 40 to 50 years old.”


  9. hayate said on January 10th, 2011 at 12:32pm #

    Arrests in another assassination:

    Iranian authorities arrest suspects behind nuclear scientist’s assassination

    15:58 10/01/2011

    “Iranian Intelligence Forces managed to identify and arrest main agents involved in the terror attempt and dismantle a network of spies and terrorist group linked to Zionist regime following large-scale security measures and meticulous intelligence observations,” the Intelligence Ministry said in a statement cited by the ISNA news agency.

    “The terrorists involved in the assassination of martyr Masoud Ali Mohammadi last year have been arrested,” an informed source told FARS News Agency.”


  10. hayate said on January 10th, 2011 at 1:01pm #

    Violence: From Tucson to Datta Khel By Cindy Sheehan

    Jan 10, 2011, 00:18

    “January 8, 2011 was a tough day — six people were killed and many more wounded in a cowardly act of unspeakable violence.

    These people awakened on that day, ate their breakfasts, played with their children/grandchildren/parents/friends, made love, brushed their teeth, used the toilet, and any number of other “normal” activities we do every day, and they probably didn’t even imagine that it would be their last day on earth — beating hearts silenced by hatred, ignorance and bigotry. Lives cut short and futures canceled by a murderous and unconscionable massacre.

    I hope for the sake of the victim’s families and for international justice that those responsible for this massacre will be held accountable, but unfortunately, they are not even in custody — or even “persons of interest” in this despicable crime.

    Oh, did you think I was talking about the “massacre in Tucson” that has been in all the news? Although, that was also a horrible, unspeakable act of violence, I am actually talking about the fact that at least six people were killed in North Waziristan by a Hellfire missile dropped from one of Obama’s drones….”


  11. shabnam said on January 10th, 2011 at 1:55pm #

    Urmia, Iran — 77 passengers were killed and 33 were injured in the Iran Air Boeing 727 crash on Sunday night near the city of Urmia in northwestern Iran, announced West Azarbaijan Governor Vahid Jalalzadeh on Monday.

    The Iranian airline industry, which is heavily reliant on the second-hand Russian planes, has suffered from a series of plane crashes in recent years due to its aging fleet of passenger jets seriously affected by the Western sanctions banning the sales of planes and spare parts to Iran.


    WHILE IRANIAN PEOPLE ARE DYING, the zionist stooge, Hillary Rotten Clinton, and the JUDEOFASCIST Steward Levey based ON LIES want the Arab puppet head of states force the illegal sanction against Iran:

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday urged Arab states in the Gulf to stay focused on sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, at the start of a regional tour.

    Speaking on her plane as it landed in Abu Dhabi, Clinton advised caution when asked about new Israeli estimates suggesting Iran would take longer to acquire the capacity to build a nuclear bomb than previously feared.


    DOWN WITH ZIONIST STOOGES, CLINTON AND OBAMA THE BLack face of imperialism/Zionism. Shame on American ignorant people.


  12. hayate said on January 10th, 2011 at 4:40pm #

    This article in the ziofascist rag, the guardian, says some rather disturbing things:

    Jared Lee Loughner: erratic, disturbed and prone to rightwing rants

    Ed Pilkington in New York, Sunday 9 January 2011 19.06 GMT



    “The US constitution, the bible of the Tea Parties, features heavily, as does the suggestion that the federal government is acting against the text. “You don’t have to accept the federalist laws. Read the United States of America constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws.”

    This is evidence of extreme rightwing lunacy, according to the writer of the piece. The writer is trying to paint the shooter as extremely rightwing, that is one of the pieces of evidence. He didn’t really provide any solid evidence of the shooter’s views. I have not seen anything definitive about the shooter’s views in the media. Just a lot of speculation. In the shooter’s videos on youtube, he doesn’t really say much and they are strung together rather incoherently. He may be far right, but the zionist run media seems to be jumping the gun about that.

    But the most disturbing part of that piece is the author trying to paint support for the U.S. Constitution as extreme rightwingery. Maybe he thinks the ACLU is some kind of neonazi front and those who support the U.S. Constitution as nazis? If one wanted to undermine protections in the U.S. Constitution, that is one way in going about garnering support for doing so. The fact is, zionists are working hard to undermine the U.S. Constitution so the usa can be made into more of a fascist police state than it already is. All of the recent sabotage on constitutional protections have been strongly zionist supported, most were zionist instigated. There is already a bill prepared to make threatening a guv official a crime. How vague will the threat have to be? And what else will they dovetail into this bill?

    Dem planning bill that would outlaw threats to lawmakers By Peter Schroeder – 01/09/11 04:08 PM ET

    “Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.”


    The media is talking a lot about this hate rhetoric now, before they facilitated it. Encouraged it. Quite a turnabout. You got zionists on the guardian saying those who want the guv to adhere to the U.S. Constitution are lunatic rightwing extremeists and the zionist run media all of a sudden realising that right wing hate rhetoric they’ve been promoting is bad now. Add the brady bill that designed to ostensibly curtail hate material. But is that the real intention of the bill, or just the excuse they are using? Look at the zionist track record. Have they tried to support free speech, or prevent it? Add into this mix the massive effort the guv and corporations are putting into neutralising the web as a source of independent information.

    My bet is the ziofascists/fascists are hyping this now so they can use it as an excuse to shutdown dissent. As the same people now complaining about the hate rhetoric are the very same people who either created it, or facilitated it, it’s absurd to think this rhetoric is really their target or that they really want to curtail any of the hate. It’s one of their main tools used to keep people apart and their heads full of manure.

  13. Liberte said on January 10th, 2011 at 5:18pm #

    They need us disarmed before they can move us into the Bolshevik revolution phase. So that might be part of it. They may also use this as another internet caused incident, so they can crackdown on anti-Zio sites.

    Everyday I find more and more aware that the fauxlocaust, 911, etc. are not what they were told.

    Anyways. Dont pay too much attention to this story…why? Because the MSM is. If they care about it, I dont, thats my motto. (I do care about the lose of life and pray for their families). Anyways, Alhamdulillah, dont let them disarm us, “it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself” (Malcolm).

    I think you are my favorite poster here hayate.

  14. jayn0t said on January 11th, 2011 at 8:36am #

    “When a white male is accused of mass murder, terrorism is not much talked of; rather it becomes a terrible tragedy but not one where race or ethnicity or religion need be examined.”

    No, but, while the bodies are still warm, Zio-lefty demagogues like Chip Berlet crawl out of the woodwork and make political capital out of it. Various police forces gleefully chip in: “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry”… That may be free speech – but there are consequences”… Linked the man accused in the Tucson shooting on Saturday to an “anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government) and anti-semitic” group’.

    When Clinton was in charge, this kind of argument was used to justify two government massacres – a little one in Idaho, and a big one in Texas.

    This piece is a knee-jerk response, complaining that the police and the media are white, male, right-wing, etc.. It’s just as false and dangerous as the politics it condemns.