11 Dead In Shooting At Synagogue. Can All This Shit Please Stop Now?
8 people are dead after a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The shooter is still alive and has surrendered. Reportedly, he told police officers that "All these Jews need to die."
According to people on Twitter who have been listening to the police scanner, the suspect is 46 year old Robert Bowers, an avowed neo-Nazi with a profile on Gab dedicated to how much he hates Jewish people. Note the 1488 number on whatever that thing is in his profile photo. (Update 12:31pm: CBS has confirmed)
And a closeup of his last post, in which he stated that HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) -- a non-profit dedicated to helping refugees, "likes to bring invaders in that kill our people." He wrote "I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."
For the last few weeks, conservative media and Republican politicians, including Donald Trump, have been pushing the conspiracy theory that the refugees attempting to seek asylum in America are actually MS-13 members and "Middle Eastern terrorists" who are actually coming here to "invade" our country and do all manner of horrible things to us. Looks like this guy believed them.
The Gab profile has since been deleted, but there are multiple screenshots and an archive of his social media activity.
Bowers appears to be a neo-Nazi of the Christopher Cantwell variety -- believing that even Trump is not far-right enough to his liking.
8 people are dead. 8 human beings are dead. There are assholes over on 4chan celebrating this right now, in between people calling it a "false flag." This shit has gone too far. It wasn't cute to begin with and it's not cute now, and if we don't start taking radicalization seriously, it's only going to get worse. These are not just lonely men in their basements blowing off some steam because they don't feel special enough anymore. These people are actually dangerous. They kill people.
Update 12:45pm: Trump has, naturally, responded to the shooting by suggesting that this would not have happened had the people at the synagogue, who were there celebrating a bris, been armed.
Trump says if they "had protection [guns] inside" the synagogue, "the results would have been much better."— Philip Bump (@Philip Bump)1540658199.0
And by hoping that this will bring the death penalty back into "vogue."
Says mass shooters should get the death penalty without having to "wait years and years." "I think they should ve… https://t.co/ukMgFyjE41— Philip Bump (@Philip Bump)1540658407.0
Will update as story develops.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse