Two mass shootings have rocked the United States in less than 24 hours, leaving dozens dead and many more wounded. The first in El Paso, Texas was allegedly perpetrated by a white supremacist whose racist motives are outlined in a rambling “manifesto”, the second allegedly by a self-described “leftist” whose motives, like the 2017 Las Vegas shooter, are presently unknown. These incidents occurred a week after another mass shooting in Gilroy, California.
All the usual US gun control debates have of course reignited, which is understandable. Alongside this debate, however, we are seeing another, far more pernicious agenda being raised that I would like to address here.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, notorious liar and propagandist Malcolm Nance claimed that existing laws aren’t sufficient for prosecuting the El Paso shooter, because there are no laws designating his act of mass murder as “domestic terrorism”.
“I think that Congress needs to take up right away a series of domestic terrorism laws,” Nance said. “It’d be very simple: just match them to the words ‘international terrorism’, so that a member of al-Qaeda and a member of a white nationalist terrorist cell or a militia that thinks they’re going to carry out international acts of terrorism are equal all the way around. Right now there are no laws called ‘domestic terrorism law’. They can get you for firearms, they get you for hate crimes, but you are not treated as a terrorist. This act in El Paso was clearly by all definitions a terrorist attack in the United States, but of course by the nature of the person being white and American he can’t be treated like a member of ISIS or al-Qaeda. He can’t even be detained, he can only be treated as a murderer.”
(The accused, for the record, is in fact under arrest currently, and prosecutors say that they are treating it as a domestic terrorism case for which they are seeking the death penalty. This is in Texas; he’ll be dead before the next Fast & Furious movie. Nance’s notion that prosecutors’ hands are somehow tied here is silly.)
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