Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Another 'random gallery of lone shooters'

I see that Michelle Malkin is continuing apace in her career focus -- namely, providing bigots with excuses for their bigotry -- by offering up, in the wake of Friday's gun rampage at the Jewish Federation in Seattle, a gallery of 'lone shooters' who all just happen to be Muslim.

It's all part, you see, of her campaign to prove that the notion of a lone Muslim gunman is just "a myth."

Well, folks in Seattle already know that Malkin really has no shame when it comes to exploiting human tragedy as a way to advance her political agenda.

And her old animus towards Seattle -- largely ascribable, I think, to the fact that her career ran into some rocky shoals here that were almost purely of her own making -- has come floating to the surface with the Haq incident. Funny how an entire article to which she links us can discuss "Seattle's culture of victimology and the shooting of Jews" without once mentioning either David Lewis Rice or Buford Furrow.

So, just as a handy reminder, here's another "random gallery of lone shooters":

This is Joseph Paul Franklin, a serial killer who not only murdered 20 people (a large number of them mixed-race couples) but also attempted the assassinations of both Larry Flynt and Vernon Jordan. Franklin was a longtime Klansman who subscribed to white-supremacist Christian Identity beliefs about race-mixing.

This is Paul Hill, a Florida anti-abortion zealot who gunned down an abortion provider and his bodyguard outside a Pensacola clinic. Hill, who was executed in 2003, expressed no remorse for the murders, and told reporters he expected "a great reward in Heaven."

Hill, incidentally, was only following in the footsteps of another "lone gunman" named Michael Griffin, who had gunned down Dr. David Gunn outside an abortion clinic two years earlier in Pensacola. [Couldn't locate his picture.]

Then there was John Salvi, who walked into a Brookline, Mass., clinic in December 1994 and opened fire, killing a receptionist and wounding three others. At trial, Salvi testified that he acted out of a belief in a conspiracy against the Catholic Church. He later committed suicide in prison.

Another abortion-doctor sniper was James Kopp, who was convicted of murdering Dr. Bernard Slepian at his home in 1998, but who also was responsible for a long string of anti-abortion sniper shootings. He was an active member of the anti-abortion group "Lamb of Christ." His trial is currently under way.

And let's not forget our bravest Aryan warrior, Buford O. Furrow, who walked into a Jewish day-care center in Los Angeles and began shooting at children and women -- that, after having gunned down an unarmed Filipino postman on his route. Furrow was a longtime Washington state resident and Christian Identity follower, active at the Aryan Nations in northern Idaho.

Of course, all these folks were considered "isolated incidents" at the time. Certainly, no one at the time connected them with mainstream Christianity.

This was, in fact, simple common sense. Most Christians reject murder in their names categorically -- it's hard to imagine a more un-Christian act. No one stooped to smearing all Christians with the acts of these fringe, often mentally unstable, figures whose "Christianity" is a perversion of the religion's core beliefs. In fact, not only did even the harshest critics steer clear of any such suggestion, but it became something of a faux pas to point out that these folks do, in fact, claim to be "Christians".

Too bad Michelle Malkin and her cohorts can't say the same when it comes to radical Muslims who go on "lone gunman" rampages. It is true that dismissing these cases as "isolated incidents" is nonsense -- as I've just said, the wellsprings of hate are many these days, and we can't be certain where Haq's arose, though radical Islam certainly is a prime candidate.

Neither can it be said, however, that these men any more reflect mainstream Islam than Buford Furrow represents mainstream Christianity. Saying so, in fact, is just another kind of hate.

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