On Nov. 13, a terrorist attack in Paris resulted in the deaths of at least 130 people. Understandably, in addition to police investigation of the incident, security procedures are under review worldwide, with the object of detecting and preventing plots of violence.
In the United States, mass shootings, literally too numerous to mention in a letter to the editor, happen on a regular basis. Very few of these incidents are related to jihadist (“radical Islamic”) influence. Nine people were killed in Charleston, S.C., by a white supremacist. Five people in Minneapolis, Minn., were shot by alleged white supremacists. In Oak Creek, Wisc., six people were killed by a white supremacist. In Gilbert, Ariz., four people were killed by a white supremacist. This is a sample of incidents that have recently occurred.
My question is this: how are these incidents of mass shootings in the United States different from the jihadist attack in Paris? Number of victims? Thoroughness of planning? Determination on the part of prominent politicians to fear-monger and exploit? Just asking, because devotion to a violent ideology is certainly not one of those presumed differences.
Robert McDonald, Richland
Editor’s note: This letter was written before the Dec. 2 mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif.