03 April 2009

Amoklauf in Binghamton

The latest body count from an "immigration services center" in Binghamton, New York is thirteen, including the apparent shooter. Information remains very sketchy as reporters await a press conference, but speculation comes naturally. Was the gunman targeting immigrants, making this a "hate crime" as well as mass murder? Is there any possibility that it might be gang related? Or is it the more typical scenario we apparently also saw in Carthage NC, with the gunman out to kill a particular person in the building yet happy to take down anyone in his path? It's a very busy afternoon for me, but I'll update this post as I know more.

Update: the death toll is 14, the shooter included, as of 7:00 p.m. The killer is in fact an immigrant, a Vietnam native who is said to have been a familiar face at the facility but without giving warning signs of an attack like today's. I am sort of relieved to learn that the killer was not a native-born American. Now the topic will remain what it should be whenever this happens: how to reform the American gun culture (which is learned, not bred, as the current incident shows) that makes these rampages both possible and more lethal.

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