Last week the United States experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history: at least 58 people are dead and more than 500 were wounded at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
The attack by a 64-year-old white man from Nevada is not being called a terrorist attack, but how else can you describe a sudden act of violence directed at unarmed civilians?
President Donald Trump has made it patently clear that he wants to protect Americans from “radical Islamic terrorists” as signified by his signing of the executive order to ban people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. (The order has since been revised to no longer include Iraq).
But, as reported by Vox, in the eight months since Trump took office, more Americans have been killed in attacks by white American men with no connection to Islam than by Muslim terrorists or foreigners.
While no one denies a real threat from radical Islamic terrorist groups, the violent attacks have come from white American men.
Far from being foreign infiltrators, the vast majority of jihadist terrorists in the United States have been American citizens or legal residents, states a report by New American. According to the report 85% of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. has been committed by citizens and permanent residents.
In the words of Jennifer Williams at Vox: “In fact, the country home to the biggest number of terrorists who have carried out successful attacks inside the US is the US itself.”
No wall or travel ban would have prevented these atrocities and blaming them on religious extremists clearly doesn’t cut it.
As Williams says, “Adopting extremist views and committing horrendous acts of violence in the name of some “righteous” cause, be it religion or politics or just plain old hatred, isn’t something that only Muslims, or Arabs, or immigrants, or any other group of people do. It’s something humans do.”
America doesn’t need an enemy to go to war; the country is at war with itself.
The Las Vegas mass shooting was not the only one this week, it was just the biggest one.
Keeping in mind that a mass shooting is defined as four or more people shot in one incident, not including the shooter. America has had six other mass shootings just in this past week alone.
Data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive shows clearly the gun crisis in America, unless you want to pretend that one every nine out of ten days is not a crisis.
In a country where owning a gun is protected by the Constitution, there are more guns than people and there were 1,516 mass shootings in 1,735 days.
In fact, the mass shooting in Las Vegas happens to be a routine monthly event for Chicago. The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history was just a normal September in Chicago.
One despairs at the unnecessary human toll and the stupidity of it all.