2 August 2019 – 20 dead and 29 injured in El Paso, when a man – a young, disturbed white supremacist – opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle in a crowded store. His stated, published goal was to kill Hispanic people, and he said how he would do it.
But let’s go back a bit further:
August 2019 – the El Paso murder posts hate speech, a white supremacist manifesto AND A THREAT TO KILL on numerous social media sites, just before the killings start. He had posted hate speech previously on 8chan.
April 2019 – Homeland Security ‘reassigns’ – ie disbands – the Domestic Terrorism Unit. Its job was to monitor social media for signs of potential crime. With the El Paso killer’s hate speech spread on social media sites like 8chan, then spreading to more mainstream social media sites – his clear death threats would likely have been picked up.
2013 – Web message board site 8chan opens; it is used to spread white supremacy messages, hate speech, and was cited in the Christchurch, NZ mosque and the San Diego synagogue shootings. 8chan’s users have ‘gamified’ mass shootings, and even have memes about high body counts. In the case of the San Diego killer, according to new sources “Before the California shooting, Earnest posted to 8chan a link to his anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and white supremacist manifesto. After his post, 8chan users cheered him on, hoping he would get a “high score.” More than 100,000 people visit the 8chan site every week. Its most active forum has more than 12 million posts.”
At the time of writing, President Trump has still refused to condemn white terrorism; the Domestic Terrorism Unit is still mothballed; and there is no sign that the Federal Communications Commission has taken any action against 8chan – yet the emails and telephone calls of millions of Americans are routinely recorded. Thankfully, people like Senator Richard Durbin are trying to change that; he has proposed a bill on Domestic Terrorism.
Summary: 1. We had a branch of Homeland Security, the Domestic Terrorism Unit, actively looking for would-be serial killers: they were shut down. 2. We have a President who is not only refusing to condemn white supremacists and hate speech, but who is actually stoking the fires of hate speech, with hate crimes up 106% since he took office and rising over 200% in cities where he holds his ‘rallies’. 3. We have a dark website, 8chan, used by white supremacists (and a host of other criminal elements) where users goad others into getting a ‘high score’ on actual shooting sprees; a site blocked in New Zealand and elsewhere – but not blocked in America. 4. We have antiquated gun laws written over 200 years ago which must be changed. Now.
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Please contact your elected representatives, copying in any or all (please do all of: President Trump, the FCC, Homeland Security, Mitch McConnell and Senator Richard J Durbin through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
I am reeling at the recent, senseless gun violence in America – Gilroy, Chicago, Dayton – sadly this is only a fraction of such crimes this year. Today I write to you about El Paso – where a radicalised white supremacist has killed 20 and injured 29.
He used a dark web site, 8chan, where he posted a hate-filled, white supremacist manifesto just before the killing. This was not the first time the murder used social media to spread hate – and his manifesto and other thoughts were encouraged by 8chan users and spread through the internet. The site promotes the ‘gamification’ of mass murder and its users share memes about getting a ‘high score’ ie a high body count. The site is banned in New Zealand after one of 8chan’s users massacred mosque users. I also note New Zealand is working hard to get automatic weapons off its streets after the killing. 8chan exists to promote white supremacy, violence and other crimes: it should be banned in the USA as well – before another shooter is encouraged into action by 8chan users.
I am convinced that if we still had a Domestic Terrorism Unit in Homeland Security, they might have readily picked up on the growing intensity of the El Paso shooter’s social media posts, and perhaps even stopped the El Paso shooting. The killer posted shortly before the event what guns he was going to use and how he was going to operate: if a team of professionals were monitoring this dark site, i believe lives might have been saved. I demand the immediate reinstatement of the Domestic Terrorism Unit: hate crimes are up 106%, and I note they rose after President Trump – who refuses to condemn white supremacist hate speech – holds his rallies.
On the matter of hate speech, I do not see the FCC and other relevant government agencies doing all they can to enforce laws. The billboard depicting 4 congresswomen as ‘idiots’ put up by a gun shop is felt by many, including at least one of those elected reps, to be incitement to violence. It is time hate speech is taken seriously.
Finally, I am tired of Mitch McConnell blocking bills – even blocking debates – from the House that could have stopped at least some of this carnage. I fully support HR 1296 and S.894 – Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2019, proposed by Senator Durbin. Further, in all future elections, I pledge to only vote for candidates who are supporting these bills and who are not NRA-funded pro-gun lobbyists. I will be watching all my elected representatives carefully. From today, if they are not working for gun law reform and against domestic terrorism, I hold them personally responsible for future gun massacres: which at this point in time are not avoidable.
SHORT MESSAGE FOR TWITTER – just copy and paste: Time to end NRA hold on Congress, reform Domestic Terrorism Unit, pass @SenatorDurbin ‘s Domestic Terrorism Act. Trump: address domestic terrorism NOW. McConnell stop blocking gun reform. Vote out NRA stooges @realDonaldTrump @FCC @DHSgov @McConnellPress #ElPasoTerroristAttack
Time to end NRA hold on Congress, reform Domestic Terrorism Unit, pass @SenatorDurbin ‘s Domestic Terrorism Act. Time for FCC to act on dark website 8chan where ElPaso shooter posted hate, was encouraged. Vote out NRA stooges @realDonaldTrump @FCC @DHSgov #ElPasoTerroristAttack
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Find your congressperson here: https://www.conginst.org/contact-congress/
President Donald Trump
Email: (form) https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Federal Communications Commission
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Senator Richard Durbin
Phone: (202) 224-2152
Email: (form) https://www.durbin.senate.gov/contact/email