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.