Thursday, June 22, 2017

Washington shooter Hodgkinson just a troubled individual without work.

Hodgkinson, just a troubled unemployed guy
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Well I’m back home catching up on US news.  While I was away some guy, a Bernie Sanders supporter by all accounts, went on a “rampage” at a baseball practice for a congressional charity game. Leaving out the absurd idea that a bunch of millionaires and billionaires play a game of baseball to help those less fortunate than themselves, one has to be drawn to the take on this event.

A Depressed Tourist?
The man, James T Hodgkinson, is white, American, and Christian although his religion is not mentioned (and it shuldn't be) in other words, he’s a domestic killer. Americans have become quite numb to events like these as mass killings are almost a daily occurrence. This one is even mild by comparison, he wounded three and critically injured a fourth the Wall Street Journal reports today.

The FBI has determined that Hodgkinson was a “troubled man” and have mapped out his “descent” in to, I’m not quite sure what to be honest. “Descent” in to violence perhaps. At present, neither the FBI nor the Wall Street Journal, a paper not without a point of view and quite free expressing it, seem to know why Mr. Hodgkinson did what he did.

I am very impressed with the approach the FBI and the Journal are taking here. The FBI is still investigating but it does appear that the agency is looking in to the social causes of Mr. Hodgkinson’s mental breakdown rather than shooting from the hip. 

“I think he was struggling in a lot of aspects of his life.”, says Timothy Slater,  the head of criminal investigation at the FBI’s Washington office. He was running out of money, was unemployed, his marriage was not going well, “It was just a pattern of life where you could tell things were not going well” he says. heavens, is this the FBI speaking?

This is truly a sea change in the approach of any agency of the US government when it comes to crime and social issues. Search the cause, deal with the symptoms through healthy correction rather than violence and incarceration that accomplishes nothing. Understand the cause and we'll eliminate the effect.

The FBI is not concerned that Hodgkinson had more than 200 rounds of ammo in his storage locker or that he had a list of six other members of Congress on him. It doesn’t appear Hodgkinson planned this attack and a look at Hodgkinson’s Internet search history didn’t “suggest” the list was a hit list.

“We don’t know what the list was for…There’s no indication that that was a list to target or there was any threats associated with those names on the list” says Slater. The fact that Hodgkinson visited congressional buildings and took photos is nothing to worry about Slater adds, “…those appeared to be the photos of a tourist” The FBI better watch out, Bannon will be attacking it as a nest of liberals.

Shootings like this are commonplace but what is different here is the approach of the state forces. Every effort is made to avoid using the “T" word here to the point that the investigating body is functioning more like a non-profit committed to understanding and helping the homeless and mentally ill.

I wonder what it is, what is not going well in the lives of millions of Muslims and former colonial and/or Middle Eastern people that would lead them to “descend” in to the place the FBI believes Mr. Hodgkinson has descended to---what would bring them to strap explosives to their bodies and destroy any living thing around them. What would lead them to a fascistic, nihilistic life.

I wonder if Mr. Hodgkinson had been Muslim and foreign if this story would read different.

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