In reading about the coverage of the El Paso and Dayton shootings over the weekend, something stuck out at me.
The El Paso shooter was caught on a security camera wearing proper eye and ear protection.
He was taken alive.
The Dayton shooter was also equipped with ear protection as well as body armor.
He was killed very quickly, in under two minutes, because the police were patrolling that area. I think the Dayton shooter was caught off guard by how fast the police response was.
This is the first time that I can think of that mass shooters were wearing ear and eye pro. In the past, these mass shooters followed the pattern of shooting until they were killed by police or were cornered by police, then they would take their own lives.
The use of ear and eye pro indicates a desire to survive the shooting. Wearing body armor, even more so.
This is a break from the pattern of mass shooting behaviors we’ve traditionally seen.
The media has reported that the El Paso shooter was a white supremacist with his manifesto and his activities all over 8chan.
Heavy is reporting that the Dayton shooter was a leftist, going so far as to specify is preferred pronouns on Twitter. He didn’t leave a manifesto.
Truth be told, I don’t think the politics of either shooter had much of anything to do with anything.
In the days following the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting from last weekend, it was reported that the shooter was a white supremacist. The FBI now says that is wrong, and they can’t figure out a political motive for the shooting. Also, the Garlic Festival shooter killed himself, which fits the traditional behavior of mass shooters when confronted by police.
The independent investigation site Bellingcat published a piece on the El Paso shooter about the gamification of mass shootings. It’s worth a read.
It focused on 8chan, for which we have no evidence that the Dayton shooter was a part of. It is also heavily associated with white supremacism so discounts the Dayton shooter.
I think the El Paso shooting, followed very quickly by the Dayton shooting, with both shooters equipped like the want to survive the shooting shows a scary change in the direction of these types of events.
This is the zenith of nihilistic shit-stirring. The ultimate form of trolling.
Go out and kill a bunch of people just to fan the flames a bit more, then sit back and watch the mayhem.
Not sharing these shooter’s names or faces does no good. They are not in it for personal fame. They have been trolling for years behind anonymous accounts and cartoon avatars. They don’t need their name and face broadcast over TV to feel a sense of satisfaction. This is about seeing how much damage they can create.
This is the sociopathy of internet trolling brought into the real world. Anonymous people hurting others for the pleasure of it and measuring their success by the number of people hurt.
These are kids raised in the worst parts of the internet sewer.
This is going to happen again and more frequently. These guys are keeping score with each other and the more they rile up the public, the more of a kick they get out of it.
They are going to be more and more equipped and prepared because they want to survive.
We are entering a dangerous new territory of mass shooter. The internet troll shooter.
6 thoughts on “Something fishy about this weekend’s shooting”
Very cogent and thoughtful comment.
It occurs to me that this may be the natural outgrowth of the urban “game” of casually knocking down or sucker-punching someone as you walk by. That was typically treated as a “prank” rather than as the attempted murder it clearly was, perhaps because of the demographics involved.
I somewhat agree, but I think there’s a deeper meaning to it.
The profiles of the shooters indicate that they are social losers. They *may* have felt that they have no future with the internet in its usual nastiness reinforcing that belief.
And an isolated young man with no future is the most dangerous of all. Nothing to lose.
I don’t think you can discount a leftist hanging around on a ‘chan site just because of racist language. The culture on those boards is to be as broadly offensive as possible, and racist language is just the beginning of it.
Sad but true. Keep on writing, enjoy your insights.
This is the only site that has mentioned the fact they both had on headphones.
I think the implications are much more serious than shooter mindset. I don’t know but I can speculate: the headphones are a good way to relay information in real time – like a football coach.
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