Hate Crimes, Politics & Guns

On February 15, 2015, the BBC reported that the Islamic State had beheaded 21 Christians in Libya. On the same date, the White House issued the following statement:

The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists.  We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens.  ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds.  It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity.  This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL.

This heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL.  We call on all Libyans to strongly reject this and all acts of terrorism and to unite in the face of this shared and growing threat.  We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.

The White House’s condemnation was swift and explicit; however, the reader will search in vain for any mention of the religion of those murdered. No remarks were offered expressing outrage that these innocent men may have been targeted because of their Christianity. “Let’s not have a rush to judgment,” one might say, “After all, they issued a statement right away, so the failure to mention anything about their faith was probably an oversight.” Okay, fair point. Let’s move on.

A February 18, 2015 New York Post story about the president’s refusal to acknowledge ‘Muslim terrorists’ at a summit, quotes him:  “No religion is responsible for terrorism–people are responsible for violence and terrorism.” This administration is well-known for its fundamentalist insistence that the words Islamic and Terrorism should never be used together. We shouldn’t fan the flames of hatred against innocent Muslims, and it would be mistaken and insensitive to associate the peaceful religion of Islam with the actions of a few. Well, I guess one shouldn’t wax too fundamental when it comes to other religions like, oh I dunno, maybe Christianity, because on the same date, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf referred to the “Lord Resistance Army” as a “Christian militant group.” The in-context video may be seen HERE. So, it’s apparently okay to associate Christianity with the actions of a few, but run like crazy away from hinting anything like that about Islam.

On February 10, 2015, three Muslims were shot and killed near the University of North Carolina. Initial indications from the police were that the shooting “stemmed from ‘an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking.'” That assertion was backed by the suspect’s soon-to-be-divorced wife. Nonetheless, the call was incessant that the suspect be charged with a hate crime. Three days later, the president jumped in:

U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday described the deaths of three young Muslims gunned down in North Carolina this week as “brutal and outrageous murders” and said no one in the United States should be targeted for their religion.

The president’s statement came as the U.S. Justice Department said it would join the FBI’s preliminary inquiry to determine whether the man accused in the Chapel Hill shooting on Tuesday broke any federal laws, including hate crime laws.

“No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship,” Obama said in a statement, offering his condolences to the victims’ families.

The families had called on Obama to insist that federal authorities investigate whether the murder suspect, 46-year-old paralegal student Craig Stephen Hicks, was motivated by hatred toward the victims because they were Muslim.

Fast forward to yesterday’s shooting in Roseburg, Oregon. Although there are reports that the shooter specifically targeted Christians, the president’s statement mentions nothing about Christianity nor the outrage of murdering somebody over religion. There’s no doubt that the president, when asked, would insist that targeting Christians is wrong, and I’m hoping that consistency would motivate him to make such a statement on his own. We’ll have to wait and see, but his record indicates a protective posture toward Islam and an indifferent one toward Christianity.

Nonetheless, the alleged motive of the killer (which the president said was unknown) took a backseat to the president’s open admission that “this is something we should politicize,” and like a true politician, he maligns the arguments of his political opponents and unambiguously declares that his solutions are the only ones that should be considered. Commonsense solutions are defined as those he and his party propose. Mr. President, how about the “commonsense solution” of armed guards on campuses? What options did the students have yesterday considering Umpqua College’s firearms policy?

The school is one of many nationwide that bans the possessions of guns on campuses.

“Possession, use, or threatened use of firearms (including but not limited to BB guns, air guns, water pistols, and paint guns) … is prohibited on college property,” reads Umpqua’s safety and security policy.

The state’s laws on guns, however, are nebulous and conflicting: A September 2011 decision by the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned a ban on concealed weapons on campus, effectively legalizing the possession of concealed guns — with the appropriate permit — on college campuses. The next March, Oregon’s state board of higher education unanimously approved a policy banning guns from classrooms, buildings, residence halls and events, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Essentially, concealed weapons are legal on Oregon college grounds — except inside the buildings.

So, concealed carry is allowed, except in the classrooms where the students were shot. Mr. President, armed guards save lives. Why wait until many are murdered before the government’s armed guards (the police) show up? The vast majority of citizens are law-abiding, Mr. President, so quit trying to strip Americans of their God-given, constitutionally recognized rights, and quit trying to offer “solutions” that criminals will ignore. Also, please get better analysis on murder rates and gun ownership. When real commonsense solutions are ignored in favor of proposals that will not work, one should not be surprised to find resistance. If the president, by his own admission, is making this a political issue, he has no business complaining if others do the same. The only difference is that his opponents want to do something that works.

The president, no doubt, wants to be taken seriously, but when he’s hypersensitive about Muslim sensibilities but not to those of Christians, he exhibits a lack of principle. And when he practically blames his political opponents for the mass murders we’ve seen, be betrays an autocratic mentality. It’s either his way or the highway. A real leader would call a bipartisan meeting and announce that all proposed solutions would be on the table. That way, he could at least take the credit he seems to be looking for when something is hammered out that doesn’t restrict our right of self-defense. So, he’s either too narcissistic to work this out or he has another goal in mind–“real” gun control  confiscation and elimination.


Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™
“The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian”