Pity poor America. All over the nation brooding men (and a few women) are pondering their limited options and a few will decide to do the unthinkable... commit mass murder. The most dangerous of them have been trained by the United States military and need but a few readily available tools to wreak havoc. Some covet the brass ring of notoriety and others just want to die with an Olympic sized audience watching.
The recent mass killing in Aurora, Colorado earned a large audience share because it tapped into existing and successful corporate advertising campaigns (owned by Warner Brothers, D.C. Comics, etc). But I find the fallout from last's weeks Sikh temple shooting a tad more interesting, because while the White House did its damage control with the Indian government (some of the victims were Indian nationals) the Obama re-election campaign did not send their man to Wisconsin, as they did following the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Undoubtedly the U.S. Secret Service would not allow it, because a troubling pattern has emerged in American politics - office holders rush to crime scenes. They do it because that's where the cameras are, and it is where large blocks of votes may be scooped up. The bad guys know this, and they may well set a trap for a candidate and his security detail. There will be further mass shootings in the U.S. before the November 2012 election, and it is entirely possible that one of them will be bait for a later more deadly ambush. During this federal campaign season, President Obama and GOP Candidate Mitt Romney must be kept out of the Kill Zone no matter how much their campaigns hunger to exploit human grief or respond to media baiting.
"Your rifle is only a tool. It is a hard heart that kills. If your killer instincts are not clean and strong you will hesitate at the moment of truth." - Gunnery Sergeant Hartman FULL METAL JACKET, 1987
It should never be forgotten that among the worst cases of murder in the U.S. are those which are politically motivated, and too frequently the crimes are pulled off by men who got their training in the military. The military is also the source of the only systematic indoctrination these men have ever undergone.
Much is made of, as it should be, Lee Harvey Oswald's service in the U.S. Marines. The USMC gave him small arms training, but more, it gave him the confidence that he could go up against a Presidential security detail, kill a president, and walk away from the scene.
John Allen Williams (AKA John Muhammad) also received his small arms training in the U.S. military. Sometimes known as the "Beltway Sniper" he came up with an innovation which the FBI call the "rolling sniper's nest", a car trunk modified with apertures for use as a shooter's blind. It is far more adaptable than Oswald's single elevated position along a motorcade route.
Even more dangerous potential bushwhackers are ex-servicemen like Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber. Such men prefer explosives and in their delusional reality think infamy is an honour. (In his arrest photo Mr. McVeigh chose to use his trigger finger to give his government "the finger".) One could easily imagine a scenario in which another McVeigh type prepositioned a bomb near a target (say a mosque or temple), have an accomplice commit an atrocity, and then patiently wait for the real target to show up.
President Obama could only go to Aurora for a photo-op because his security people were certain that James Holmes (aka The Joker) was a loner. In the case of the the shooting of Sikhs in Wisconsin, Wade Michael Page (who also received his weapons training and indoctrination in the U.S. Army) was part of a network of of ex-military personnel and of an angry subculture. The S.S. could not be certain that his crime was not bait for a an attempt on the President... and are still not certain. So Obama stays away. Prudence would dictate that both Obama and Romney stay away from all crime scenes until after the election is concluded.