The Texas Shooter was a terrorist, plain and simple – Our View

What happened in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was a tragedy. Twenty-six people didn’t go home to their parents, spouses, children, friends, neighbors or pets. They lost their lives because of a crazed man, whose name we will not mention because it would only glorify him, who decided to systematically shoot and kill churchgoers in this small Texas town.

Our president, when asked if this attacker would be considered a terrorist, didn’t have much to say on the matter other than that this was a “mental health problem” and that neary a day after the attack it was still “too soon to talk policy.” Just days before, however, he had hardly waited 24 hours to declare the New York attacker, who had driven a truck onto a biker path in New York City, “an animal” and deemed his actions a terrorist attack.

This type of behavior from the highest-ranking politician in our country perpetrates the idea that one attacker, the white male, was mentally ill and undeserving of the “terrorist” label while the other attacker, a non-white male, was obviously a terrorist with no mention of the man’s mental state whatsoever. Both of these men were out to hurt as many people as possible and are more than deserving of being called a terrorist despite their nationality, race or religion.

This man was a domestic terrorist, a terrorist brewed in our own country gets labeled is “mentally unstable” while the New York attacker, a man of Uzbek origins, is immediately labeled a terroris. Terrorism isn’t based on the place you come from or the god you worship. A terrorist attack is a terrorist attack, and it’s time that the mainstream media and politicians of our country call it what it is.

Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. While the terrorist in Texas didn’t profusely make his cause well-known, his actions spoke loud enough that it was clear his motive was, at the very least, an attack on Christians. An attack on religion correlates with an attack on political beliefs in today’s society because the two have become so intertwined – see conservatives on abortion and gay marriage for more information.

When Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine people in a historically African American church in 2015, tried inciting, in his own terms, a “race war” he was laying the foundation for a case that could be made that he was a terrorist committing a terrorist attack. His only motive for the shooting was to kill as many African Americans as possible to, presumably, anger them and incite a race war between white and black people. In the time of the Black Lives Matter movement, police killings of unarmed black people and numerous other racial “hot points,” Roof’s motives were definitely political-based.

Yet Roof was neither deemed a terrorist nor tried under any crimes with the word “terrorist” associated with it. If Roof had been a Muslim, unassociated with ISIS, al-Qaeda or any other extremist group, or even a black man, he’d most certainly have been labeled a “thug” or a “terrorist.” Republicans and conservatives alike threw an absolute fit when then-President Barack Obama seemingly refused to say “Islamic terrorist,” yet it’s their party that seems to refuse to call white mass shooters exactly what they are – terrorists.

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