The first year of President Barack Obama’s presidency, the government released a report about domestic terror threats in our country. It determined right-wing extremism the No. 1 domestic threat to our peace and security.

Despite the report having been commissioned under Obama’s predecessor, conservative media pounced on it as an attack on red-blooded Americans. In particular, I remember hearing a clip of Rush Limbaugh saying the report demonstrated that the leftists in Washington were coming after “people like you and me.”

The report said nothing of the sort. The right-wing extremists it referred to were white nationalists, private militias and other fanatical anti-government groups, not everyday conservatives. But by making the report inclusive of every conservative and not just those in the fringe who are stashing military-style weapons and explosives like they’re a kid’s baseball card collection, it undercut the real threat facing our country.

And the report wasn’t wrong. What now is called the alt-right spawned the likes of Timothy McVeigh and Randy Weaver in the decade before its release, and the attacks on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, synagogues in California and Pittsburgh, and the Bundy family standoffs in Nevada and Oregon after.

The shooting Saturday in El Paso is just the latest example of someone with white nationalist views taking deadly action because of that cultivated hate.

It is important here not to conflate Saturday’s deadly shooting in El Paso with that in Dayton. The “why” of the Texas tragedy is quite clear given the racist manifesto posted before the assault. The suspect in Ohio — a “leftist” according to his social media account — did not provide clues to explain his motivation, though people who knew him told of a sick fixation with violence and killing going back to middle school.

There also is no great wave of leftist violence sweeping the country, save for the Antifa squads damaging businesses and assaulting alt-right activists. Leftists seem more inclined to try banning speakers from college campuses.

That still doesn’t equate to deadly, hate-fueled attacks by conservative extremists, of which there have been at least 18 this decade, including five that could be categorized as mass shootings. Comparatively, there have been two where leftist ideology has been the pre-eminent motivation — the attack on Dallas police in 2016 and the shooting at a softball game practice by Republican lawmakers in 2017.

Organized attacks by Islamic extremists during the same period? Nine.

Don’t make the same mistake as Limbaugh did a decade ago of lumping together the El Paso shooter with flag-waving, Dan Patrick-loving conservatives. They don’t belong together any more than Louis Farrakhan and Jon Stewart. In both cases, the power of the extreme side of each equation needs to be diluted.

One other point about the shootings over the weekend.

Fifty-three years ago when Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the University of Texas tower and began shooting innocent bystanders, he left 14 dead and 31 wounded in 96 minutes before police killed him to stop the rampage.

The shooter in a Dayton entertainment district early Sunday morning killed nine people and wounded 27 in less than one minute. That’s 36 people shot before the good guys with guns — police officers who were already there — could take out the shooter.

At minimum, that should be food for thought toward a productive discussion about the pervasiveness of our pro-gun culture and whether military weapons belong in civilian hands.

Michael Morris is managing editor of The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0144 or michael.morris@thefacts.com, or follow him on Twitter @factsmichael1.

(16) entries

AMP

Why do liberals insist on calling AR style SEMI AUTOMATIC rifles a "military weapon"? If I paint my truck in OD green colors, will it be considered a military vehicle? This is just the Socialist, Communist, Democratic Parties way of getting their total ban of the Second Amendment started.

rwhowi

What in the world are you talking about? Your comment is so "out there" that a rational comment would totally escape your understanding.

Bulldog

Wrong again as usual

Bulldog

I will cling to my Bible and my gun to the bitter end. I have had my AR for 2 years now and so far it has not tried to escape my vault and harm anyone.

Bulldog

Conveniently gave the leftist in Ohio a pass.

natives5

Well stated, Michael. Unbelievable how many people can be killed in a matter of seconds. There is no place for assault style weapons in our society. Just because one believes in a ban on assault style weapons, bump stocks, etc. doesn't mean they believe in a ban on all weapons. Funny how the president says we, as a country, need to condemn white supremacy and racism yet his campaign continues to use the word "invasion" in ads that he bombards his base with when referring to the border. His actions speak much louder than the words he insincerely reads from a teleprompter.

Bulldog

I wonder how many babies were murdered by Planned Parenthood today?

natives5

Typical deflection tactic.

Bulldog

You call them deflections. I call them babies.

natives5

We are discussing mass shootings not abortion but that’s what you do when you can’t sustain a rational point....deflect, deflect, deflect.

Bulldog

Well actually if you could read it was about rhetoric

natives5

Between deflections perhaps you should reread the last 3 paragraphs.

Bulldog

They want to label people and put them in convenient little boxes. Mr. Morris refers to the report where "White Nationalists" are the greatest threat. How are these people defined. How many people have been killed by "White Nationalists" this year? I know there were over 300 murders in Chicago this year alone and probably about the same in Baltimore. I would venture to guess that white people were less than %5 of the killers. What mlm label are you going to attach to these other murders?

PJBM626

Michael lies again



FBI statistics on mass shootings show no general pattern of profile, not white, not radical Islam not ANTIFA



They say the population sample is all over the board



I know you and you leftish sheep in the media need to paint this bad white guy narrative. Actually during Obama’s presidency, more people died under Radical Islam attacks. Sorry Morris I know doesn’t fit your dem talking points

PJBM626

I see the insensitive facts , didn’t print my truth article on FBI statistics

The facts and Morris don’t care for the truth just to spin dem narrative

Which is lies

PJBM626

So no noticeable signs of left wing violence, rand Paul. Repub Softball game. Dayton shooter, Portland ANTIFA shooter stopped.



Huh????

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.