Thursday, President Obama addressed the shooting that occurred in Charleston, SC that resulted in 9 deaths. This act is being described as a hate crime involving a 21 year old white male turning a gun on members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. During the President’s speech he calls the act a “tragedy,” and mentions his advocacy for Americans to impose stricter gun laws in order to prevent such crimes against humanity.
“Once again innocent people were killed in part because, someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun….. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it.”
When the President speaks of frequency he could be referring to the mass shootings that have happened just during his Presidency alone:
- 13 people killed at Fort Hood Texas, November 2009
- 6 people killed and 13 injured in Tuscon, Arizona, January 2011
- 12 people and 17 injured in an Aurora, Colorado Movie theater, July 2012
- 6 people killed and 4 people injured at a sikh temple in Wisconsin, August 2012
- 20 children and 6 adults were killed at sandy hook elementary, December 2012
- 12 people were killed at the Washington Navy yard, September 2013
- 3 people were killed and 16 were injured in second attack at fort hood texas, April 2014
- 2 teenagers were killed and 3 injured in School shooting in Seattle June 2014
- 9 people killed in Charleston, SC, June 2015
That is a sum of 89 individuals, including adults and children’s lives put to an end do to senseless acts of violence. The president refers to the numerous killings as “tragedies” but with, as he stated, the high frequency of occurrence is it enough to call it Terror?
Many shootings listed were suspected to have happened due to the person’s extremist views or for political purposes. This includes the 2009 Fort Hood shooting suspected militant Islamic religious convictions, the Tuscon, Arizona shooting implies political motive because the target was a congresswoman, The Wisconsin shooting was done by a white supremacist, and the most recent killing in Charleston, SC that was committed by Dylann Roof who is speculated to be a white supremacist.
Peter Bergen CNN’s national security analyst accounts for additional attacks, all in the last year, which are suspected to have, motives that would qualify under terror.
• April 2014, 14-year-old boy and his grandfather shot and killed at Jewish Community Center in Kansas City and then third person killed at Jewish retirement community. Shouted “Heil Hitler” when captured
•June 2014, couple killed 2 police officers in an ambush at a pizza restaurant in Las Vegas and another person at a Walmart. Shooters possessed white supremacist paraphernalia.
•September, 2014, a police officer was killed at the Blooming Grove police barracks in Pennsylvania. Police attest shooter “has made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also to commit mass acts of murder”
•November 2014, a police officer killed in Tallahassee, Florida. According to local police, killer had planned the ambush, held anti-government political beliefs and had made previous threats against police.
At this moment Americans grieve and are extremely disheartened by this Man who has admitted to the police today that he wanted to start a “race war.” With complete disregard to a place of fellowship and worship he intentionally targeted a historic predominately African- American Church that was once a part of the underground rail road.
Muslim extremist are not the only group that falls under terror. There are specific targeted communities in this country that are being terrorized.
Call it a tragedy, Call it genocide, call it a slaughtering, or call it terror, whatever it is, this must be rectified. We have to ask ourselves, how many more must be subject to these senseless killings before this 3rd world country bands together and finds a solution.
However Roof is being charged with “9 counts of murder and one count of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.” First appearance court date is set October 23, 2015 at 2 pm and Second appearance court date is set for February 5, 2016 at 9am. Bond is set for 1 million dollars