10 June 2009
Amoklauf zum Museum: A Scumbag's Last Stand
James Von Brunn might think he scored a bonus today, having killed a black security guard in his attempt to blast his way into the Holocaust Museum in Washington. He may not know what he's done, since I understand he took a head shot in the exchange. Despite the low body count I feel justified in calling this an amoklauf because I presume that he meant to kill people inside the museum in some sort of last stand against "ZOG" or whatever he calls the Jewish master of his imagination. While he may have resemblances to the cranks of today (a violent hostility toward the Federal Reserve, for instance, that he acted upon years ago), his age alone suggests that today's crime was the closing act of a slow burn rather than an outburst provoked by any recent upsurge in anti-government or right-wing extremism. He's old enough to be the dad of most of the people who might be scapegoated for his antics. Indeed, when Homeland Security warned earlier this year about veterans' susceptibility to right-wing extremism, I don't think they meant veterans of World War II. And when we get to people like this suspect, I think the "right-wing" label becomes irrelevant. I doubt this guy was much motivated by economics or thoughts on the proper size and scope of government. I also wouldn't want to dignify his psychoses with the label of ideology. He was a mad dog and was treated as such, but not before he could do awful damage that we should all regret.