Oak Creek, Wisconsin: Our New Normal

“I am sick of this”
(Michael Moore, writer, director, producer, Bowling for Columbine )

Welcome to our new normal. This time, the gun related massacre took place in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek on August 5th, 2012. The official story is that a lone gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple killing six and wounding several others. The suspect who reportedly died at the scene, has been identified as Wade Michael Page, ( aka Wade Vanbuskirk), an alleged neo-Nazi active in a number of white supremacist groups. Born on Veterans Day 1971, Page joined the army in 1992 and received a less than honorable discharge in 1998 for patterns of misconduct. It is interesting to note that he served at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as did right wing militia member Sgt. Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of participating in the Oklahoma Bombing on April 20th, 1995 . Page’s supposed 9/11 American flag tattoo was the center of mainstream media focus and gave rise to speculation that this was a hate crime committed by a guy who didn’t know the difference between Muslim and Sikhs and/or an incident of anti-government domestic terrorism. Strangely enough, this shooter grew up in Littleton, Colorado and attended Columbine High School, scene of the April 20th, 1999 massacre carried out by neo-Nazis Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

As with the Aurora gun related tragedy there were multiple perspectives as advocates and opponents of gun control doubled down into their respective positions. Given that the shooter’s army service involved a position as “psychological operations specialist”, it is not surprising that concerns were again raised as to the likelihood of it being another false flag operation. Critics of the official account find it unlikely that an army- trained psy-ops specialist would not know the difference between Muslims and Sikhs. As in Aurora, these doubters offer that motives for a staged event could include an effort by Department of Homeland Security to shift their focus from foreign to domestic terrorism in order to disarm and suppress any and all opposition and force the population to demand “greater security” from hardline government authority. Suspicions of this nature were fueled by multiple witness reports of four gunmen, dressed in black carrying out a well coordinated attack involving tear gas. Other temple members had reported two suspicious men walking around the area just prior to the assault. The FBI dismissed these accounts as either irrelevant or due to shock and confusion.

For my mind, the most interesting entry into this gridlocked discussion of gun related violence comes from Daily Kos blogger Geek2’s article, “Stochastic Terrorism : Triggering the Shooters”, reprinted from a post on January 10th, 2011 (www.dailykos.com ).Here the term stochastic terrorism is defined as the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. This is a term for what emotionally charged, popular pundits such as Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, Hannity, Savage, Coulter, Palin and others are well paid to do on a regular basis. The faithful listener who actually plants the bomb or shoots a weapon is not a stochastic terrorist, but rather the “missile” launched into motion by the stochastic terrorist who broadcasts violent memes that set them in motion. Not surprisingly, these toxic memes can and do incite unstable people to commit violent acts.

Nevertheless, stochastic terrorists succeed in maintaining their cover of plausible deniability with statements such as: “I’m not responsible for what people in my audience do”. A lone wolf- missile is captured and imprisoned, if he or she survives, while these stochastic terrorists keep their prime slots as lucrative opportunities to stir the pot and launch even more missiles. Here one may need to consider that a stochastic terrorist may be acting out of negligence, delusion and/or denial, rather like an intoxicated, high speed driver who runs people over without even realizing it. Or maybe these puffed up hate mongers are crazy enough to believe that they really and truly have had nothing to do with the level of violence in this country. When confronted, Geek2 observes that these cowardly media celebrity-terrorists will “duck, and weave, evade and deny, or at most offer the standard reply of ‘lone nuts’, oh, so sad,’ but they may also let slip a subtle hint of guilt knowledge”. As Geek2 says, it will happen again and again and predictably again. “Once is a tragedy, twice a coincidence, three times is enemy action. “

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