City Hall

Dallas Mayor Is More Scared of Gun-Toting White Guys Than Syrians, Which Is Smart

Late Sunday night, The Dallas Morning News posted a banal piece announcing that Mayor Mike Rawlings had raised $30.5 million for a southern Dallas investment fund, a cornerstone of his GrowSouth initiative. The most controversial thing in the article was that the fund — which doesn't involve tax money, just the GrowSouth brand name — will be run in secrecy by a cabal of business folks. The piece did not mention guns, immigration, crime committed by minorities or any of the other things that tend to turn the DMN comment section into a rank cesspool of stupidity, and yet a cesspool of stupidity the comment section quickly became:
Gee, DMN, why no coverage of this??

Dallas Mayor ‘More Fearful’ of White Men Committing Mass Shootings Than Syrian Refugees in U.S.
Rawlings, it seems, made a brief appearance on MSNBC over the weekend, sitting for a four-minute interview in the coveted 8:42 a.m. Saturday morning time slot. He made some very measured comments about moral responsibility, particularly of "Christ-following folks" like himself, and about what assholes ISIS members are: "These are evil human beings who are doing terrible things, and we need to target our aggression and our plans against them, not children, not refugees."

And then, to Breitbart's delight, he said he was more frightened of white dudes with guns that Syrian refugees. “I am more fearful of large gatherings of young white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up."

This runs counter to the anti-Muslim hysteria that has cropped up in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, in which Islamic terrorists killed 130 people and injured hundreds more, but Rawlings here is merely expressing an uncomfortable fact: Mass shootings and acts of terroristic violence in the U.S. are far more likely to be carried out by disaffected white guys than Islamic fundamentalists. Dylann Roof, who murdered nine worshipers at a Charleston, South Carolina, church in June, was a young white man. Adam Lanza, who shot up Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, killing 20 first-graders and six adults, was a young white man. James Holmes, who opened fire during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises and killed 12 people, was a young white man. Jared Loughner, who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people at an Arizona mall, was a young white man. Also white, though not quite as young, was James Boulware, the man who attacked Dallas PD headquarters earlier this year. According to data collected by Mother Jones, 61 percent of the mass shootings in the U.S. since 1982 were committed by white men. Counting all fatal terrorist attacks since 9/11, not just shootings, the New America Foundation calculated that 48 people in the U.S. have been killed since 9/11 by right-wing extremists (read: white people) compared with 26 by jihadists. And that's to say nothing of the run-of-the-mill, day-to-day gun violence in the U.S., which kills more people in six days than were killed in the Paris shootings.

There are counter-examples. Nidal Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at an Army base in Fort Hood, was a Muslim. So were Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombers. And there's 9/11, of course. So it's not that Islamic extremists don't kill people. It's just that white guys kill more people. They also spend their Saturday afternoons holding guns outside mosques because, "It would be ridiculous to protest Islam without defending ourselves.” 

So good on Mayor Rawlings for talking sense on national TV and for not being Greg Abbott, even if only Breitbart was watching MSNBC that early on a Saturday.
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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson