This does not make sense to me

Yesterday we had another mass shooting in the US where a man went to a public food festival with an assault rifle and then opened fire indiscriminately, killing three people (including two children) and injuring 12 before being killed by security. The man had apparently referenced a white supremacist book on Facebook just before he went on his killing spree. This is just the latest in violence in the US that has been committed by people affiliated with white supremacists, who seem to be emboldened by Donald Trump’s coddling of them.

An Instagram account bearing the name of the suspect – identified by police as Santino William Legan – published a picture before the shooting with a “fire danger high today” sign. A caption cited a text dating from 1890, alongside racist comments.

“Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard,” the gunman reportedly wrote. “Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?”

The gunman cut through a fence to avoid security at the festival, which attracts around 100,000 people who gather every summer to eat garlic-loaded food to celebrate the local crop, amid live music and family entertainment.

He started shooting the assault weapon close to an inflatable bouncy castle where children were playing.

What puzzles me is this. The food festival, for the first time in its 41-year history and mindful of the violent times we live it, had hired security personnel to check all the people who entered. The killer had apparently cut through a fence to bypass the security check and gain admittance. But after going through all that planning and trouble to gain admittance to the festival, he then seemed to be shooting indiscriminately. This is something that he could have done in any public place where people gather in large numbers, such as a shopping mall or a busy street, where there would not have been any armed security either. Why go to all this trouble to get into the festival?

I know that it is often futile to try and fathom the mind of someone who could do something horrific like this to innocent people whom he does not even know. But there is something a little off about this latest act of violence that makes it more irrational than most.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    “Indiscriminate”? From the linked story, two of the three killed had Hispanic names.

  2. jrkrideau says

    Disliked garlic?
    I think when we have someone crazy enough to open fire on strangers, it may be difficult to ascertain their exact reasons.

    Possibly a specific grudge against someone at the festival that drove him over the edge?

    Note to self: possibly do not visit Perth Garlic Festival this summer?

  3. file thirteen says

    Bitter, because he could never afford tickets to go to such events?
    Bitter, because he asked someone to go with him who turned him down in favour of a Latino instead?
    Hated garlic?

  4. says

    There are lots of crowded spaces, but a festival tends to be more special and people usually to go to them to have a good time. A building is just a building and a street is just a street but every year now when the next one rolls around people will remember what happened at the festival in 2019.

  5. blf says

    Disliked Gilroy, and so went after its most famous event?

    Having lived in the area for some years, I can understanding not being too keen on Gilroy. But all I did was never go to the festival, despite liking garlic… which has nothing to do with me now living in France, albeit liking garlic (and snails) is a help…

  6. file thirteen says

    He had the day off?

    The subtext to that remark, and my comment #3, is that speculation as to his motives is unhelpful. While it might be good in theory to recognise what drives people to mass murder, so that we, again in theory, can “spot the signs to perhaps prevent it from happening again”, in practice it’s just an exercise in reducing our distress, including distress at our own impotence, by finding a “reason” for it.

    Thinking we know what the “reasons” were (I am quoting “reason” because mass murder of innocents is insanity) will not bring the dead, nor prevent it from happening it again. Screw what his motives were, tighten the gun laws.

  7. says

    A garlic festival would be the perfect place to find people who don’t luurve Real White American Food ™ like he does. Just another hate filled racist.

  8. Steve Lion says

    …“hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?”…
    Mestizos and SVwt aren’t everybody but he’s singling out those at the top and those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Looks like he prolly hated virtually everyone except those in his own miserable little group. And he likely didn’t think too much of them either.

  9. Steve Lion says

    as Lofty says, garlic fest is likely the the idea place to find hoards of SVwt, hipsters and being a farming area likely plenty of spanish speakers to boot.
    A bevy of the very people he loved to hate.

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