Think of the 18 year old murderer at the Uvalde elementary school facing 9 and 10 year old children with an AK 47 high capacity rifle and consider his state of mind at that moment. He was apparently not a white supremacist, per se, but I submit that his state of mind was no different than the state of mind of white supremacists (aka fascists) the world over now and deep into the past. Consider:
* The Crusades. At the pope’s orders, we assume, on the way to the Holy Land, crusaders detoured to villages along the way and slaughtered all the Jews they could find, lumping them with the infidels they were out to slaughter in the Holy Land. They saw these Jews as not human beings but as infidels who didn’t believe as they believed, and killed women, children, infants, adolescents, men, elderly, disabled, clergy, all without remorse, without compassion, without guilt, without consideration, without any feeling whatsoever, without thought except identifying who was Jewish and the satisfaction they would feel as if they were eliminating a nest of rats in a cellar hole.
* The Inquisition. Throughout the Middle Ages, the ruling Catholic Church institutionalized the torture and murder of millions of non Christians, particularly Jews, demanding they renounce their religion of birth and adopt the Catholic faith under threat of severe punishment that included torture, lengthy imprisonment and death often by immolation. They felt entirely justified performing this religious extortion, feeling no guilt, remorse, or blame. On the contrary, feeling they were doing the work of God. In 1492, all Jews were banished from all regions of France and Spain, triggering a diaspora that sent them fleeing to all parts of the globe, some retaining their Judaism but many adopting the Catholic religion out of self preservation.
* Czarist Russia. All Jews throughout this vast empire were eventually herded into a huge territory know as the Pale of Settlement where they were treated as lesser human beings than Christians. Young Jewish men were often conscripted into the Russian army and sent as cannon fodder to the front lines of insane wars of conquest. But even more lethal, were periodic pogroms where the Czar’s cossacks would attack entire villages and kill as many Jews as they could find, the last one happening in 1905, prompting my grandparents to flee the Pale (now Ukraine) for the United States.
* The Bolsheviks. And after their 1917 Revolution, more pogroms, more deportations, more Jewish harassment, more genocidal pressure on the Jewish population, prompting many to leave for Israel, if they could still escape.
* The Nazis. Needs no further explanation.
* Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, NRA, and most Republican Party members. Through relentless lies, misinformation, shaming, extortion, and death threats from cult members they continue to plot the overthrow of our democracy to be replaced by a fascist, white supremacist government.
* Domestic white supremacists. Their goal is country that is white, Christian, straight, with subservient women under a patriarchal family structure. They are gun carrying, highly aggressive, and often resort to violent demonstrations, and mass shootings of the minorities they detest, particularly Jews and Blacks.
The Uvalde mass murderer had no criminal record, had no contact with the mental health establishment, had never been expelled from school, was a loner who never participated in such activities as group school photos, but who posted violent intentions on social media. He was a loose and hidden cannon just waiting until his 18th birthday so he could legally buy weapons and ammunition to “shoot up an elementary school” as he texted a young woman in Germany just before he did just that.
After entering the building and entering the classroom, he pointed his AK 47 semi automatic rifle at the face of the teacher and said, “Goodnight” before shooting her and her co-teacher to death and then 19 little children with over 1600 bullets. Crusaders, Cossacks, Communists, Nazis, Putin’s soldiers, American white supremacists, 9/11 hijackers, ISIS, 1/6 insurrectionists, and Trump death-threatening cultists did and do just the same.
The only defense against such people is to reduce the possibility of their obtaining firearms. As a retired mental health practitioner with 35 years experience counseling people with severe mental disabilities, I can tell you that increasing mental health services will not solve this problem. Increasing security at schools will not solve this problem. Trying to decrease bullying will not solve this problem. More active shooter drills will not solve this problem. Arming teachers will not solve this problem. Because as I write, there are thousands of loose cannons like the Buffalo and Uvalde shooters out there like pressure cookers waiting to blow.
There are only two reliable solutions:
* Place a metal detector with two armed officers at the entrances of every vulnerable building in America.
* Make it near impossible to purchase military-style assault weapons in this country.
Of the first, I tried to push for a metal detector in the State building I used to work in but was told the cost, which included salary and full benefits for the two officers, was too prohibitive even for just that one building, and so, request denied.
Of the second, Republicans in Congress, lobbied by the NRA, will not even approve of laws that require safety locks on guns or locked gun cabinets so children can’t accidentally shoot their siblings let alone a total ban on military-style assault weapons.
So the mass shootings will continue as our country continues its slide towards fascism.