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Are mass shootings considered acts of terrorism?

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posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 02:28 AM
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I'm genuinely curious about this. Terrorism by definition usually has some political or religious motives behind them while school shootings tend to be as a result of psychological or internalized issues of the perpetrators. On the other hand, a lot of perpetrators of school shootings (or mass shootings) tend to leave behind detailed manifestos as to why they orchestrated their acts, and they often times have quasi-political motives behind them (race for example).

So my question is if they are considered acts of terrorism why aren't they as politicized as Islamic fundamentalism for instance? On American soil you are more likely to be a victim of an act of 'domestic terrorism' than Islamic extremism:


Based on our review of the approximately 2,400 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil contained within the START database, we determined that approximately 60 were carried out by Muslims.
In other words, approximately 2.5% of all terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1970 and 2012 were carried out by Muslims.* This is a tiny proportion of all attacks.
(We determined that approximately 118 of the terror attacks – or 4.9% – were carried out by Jewish groups such as Jewish Armed Resistance, the Jewish Defense League, Jewish Action Movement, United Jewish Underground and Thunder of Zion. This is almost twice the percentage of Islamic attacks within the United States. If we look at worldwide attacks – instead of just attacks on U.S. soil – Sunni Muslims are the main perpetrators of terrorism. However: 1. Muslims are also the main victims of terror attacks worldwide; and 2. the U.S. backs the most radical types of Sunnis over more moderate Muslims and Arab secularists.)

www.globalresearch.ca...
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edit on 22-11-2015 by atlscribe because: (no reason given)


Why is domestic terrorism which is a bigger threat to national security not given as much scrutiny as Islamic fundamentalism which by and large does not have the frequency of Islamic terrorism in the U.S? Majority of acts of domestic terrorism are usually performed by people with extreme ideologies as well. You only have to look into the background of the likes of Dylann Roof and Timothy McVeigh for instance. Europe has also had its share of domestic terroirsm from individuals with extreme idealogical beliefs. Similarly there are lots of groups with extreme idealogies in America that are also a threat to certain groups in the nation whether they are minorities or people who espouse certain religious beliefs. It is almost to the point where certain religious minorities have to fear the other groups and not the other way round. Incidents such as school shootings rather than being something that both sides of the political divide seek resolve usually become a political tool for the gun control argument.

Perhaps someone can elucidate this point.
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edit on 22-11-2015 by atlscribe because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-11-2015 by atlscribe because: Edited title for specificity




posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 02:29 AM
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Nehmind

S&F
edit on 22-11-2015 by Chickensalad because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 02:35 AM
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a reply to: atlscribe

School shootings tend to be acts of desperation not terrorism.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 02:49 AM
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originally posted by: atlscribe
I'm genuinely curious about this. Terrorism by definition usually has some political or religious motives behind them while school shootings tend to be as a result of psychological or internalized issues of the perpetrators. On the other hand, a lot of perpetrators of school shootings (or mass shootings) tend to leave behind detailed manifestos as to why they orchestrated their acts, and they often times have quasi-political motives behind them (race for example).

So my question is if they are considered acts of terrorism why aren't they as politicized as Islamic fundamentalism for instance? On American soil you are more likely to be a victim of an act of 'domestic terrorism' than Islamic extremism:

www.globalresearch.ca...


Terrorism is using threats or violence for political gain. The fact that some shooters leave behind a manifesto detailing their "reasons" for committing the act does not make it terrorism. Nor does the fact that the act of shooting causes fear or "terror." By its very definition, a person committing an act of terrorism would have to have some goal in mind regarding changing the political structure. First, let's look to the fact that most school shooters work alone. Secondly, many of them commit suicide (hard to effect political change if you kill the only person that wants the change you are killing for, isn't it?)

Another thing to look at would be those manifestos you've mentioned. School shootings are what i'd say are retroactive killings, in that they are revenge murders - either for a wrong done or imagined. Terrorism involves what I'll call proactive killings in that they are done not so much in retaliation (though terrorist groups can and do retaliate), but as a means to an end.

Now, what if someone decided to shoot up a school and in his manifesto said that he wanted to hammer the point home that gun control was too lax? Would that be terrorism or lunacy? I'll let the jury decide.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 02:56 AM
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Well, you kinda answered your ow n question right here...



........while school shootings tend to be as a result of psychological or internalized issues of the perpetrators.



So yes, as the poster above me, Metallicus stated, school shootings are more of an act of desperation/mental issues
And many of those shooters have been found to have been prescribed psychiatric drugs


So no, school shootings are not the same as a terrorist act IMO
But more of a mental issue gone seriously wrong



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 03:13 AM
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a reply to: scorpio84

I like the distinction that you've made between retroactive vs proactive acts of violence. However, from a psychological standpoint I would say both involve acts of lunacy. We know this because the background of a lot of these European terrorists who go off to fight in these so called jihads are criminal in nature. A lot were already linked to non-religious criminal gangs and organizations in their home countries or were indoctrinated while doing a stint in prison. No logically thinking person would blow himself up for political motives - that in itself seems irrational. Further to the point a lot of them are on the battlefield on all sorts of drugs and opiates which is against the very ideals they claim to be fighting for, but that is another discussion entirely.

When we look at a lot of people involved in mass shootings, one can say they may have non-political motives behind them, but you can not equally say that they at necessarily sporadic in nature because a lot of meticulous preparation goes on behind some of them (including detailed manifestos as already mentioned). Furthermore a lot of these individuals hold extreme idealogical beliefs or are linked or at least sympathize with far-right organizations. If your motive for killing people is because of race or religion, is that not political? Is Dylann Roof for instance not a domestic terrorist? He targeted a specific group had held extreme idealogical belief. What separates his own homehomegrown brand of terrorism from a jihadist in Syria for instance?

You bring up the point of them committing suicide after committing these atrocities. Do a lot of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists not blow themselves up to commit atrocities? Then you say the American domestic terrorists are acting as lone wolves. Is it the act that makes it terrorism or the affiliation? Is Timothy McVeigh not a terrorist because he acted a lone? What about the D.C. snipers? I think to an extent we are dealing with nothing more than politics. Both groups I believe are terrorist and such be given equal scrutiny, because as I have already stated you are more likely to be a victim of an act of domestic terrorism than any refugee coming in from Syia.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 03:34 AM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
a reply to: atlscribe

School shootings tend to be acts of desperation not terrorism.

'Acts of desperation'. Care to elaborate?




originally posted by: snarky412
Well, you kinda answered your ow n question right here...



........while school shootings tend to be as a result of psychological or internalized issues of the perpetrators.



So yes, as the poster above me, Metallicus stated, school shootings are more of an act of desperation/mental issues
And many of those shooters have been found to have been prescribed psychiatric drugs


So no, school shootings are not the same as a terrorist act IMO
But more of a mental issue gone seriously wrong

Perhaps a lot of the incidents in mass shootings are due to diagnosed or even undiagnosed mental health issues. It's an interesting discussion, but it leads to another discussion: why is it more frequent in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world? Is it the easy access to guns or does the U.S. face unique mental health issues? Hmm..

Let's look at the broader scope of mass shootings though. What about people with clear political motivations like Roof and McVeigh? Is that terrorism or how would you classify that exactly?
edit on 22-11-2015 by atlscribe because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 04:06 AM
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Depends on your race and religion...sadly (according to the msm)
edit on 22-11-2015 by Vector99 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 04:36 AM
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Smoke and mirrors. Governments are terrified of the people so they use whatever is expedient and raise their pointing fingers to create public outrage and deflect attention to the chosen target. An enemy in common that will help achieve the intended outcome, complete subjugation of the masses that government are terrified of.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 04:39 AM
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originally posted by: Vector99
Depends on your race and religion...sadly (according to the msm)


Nail on the head, white guy shoots a school up and papers report he was 'troubled' despite numerous videos and manifestos emerging in the follow up investigation. If there black it's a gangland war, if he's brown he's an Islamic terrorist.

As an ex-journalist it's called the 'narrative' - trillions of things happen every day and the msm are there to try and fit it into an understandable narrative to the public 'good vs bad' 'political scandal' and basic fair tale stuff people are familiar with to make them think they understand the issues/situation.

Sadly there's very few journalists left as the narrative changed to asking the oublic to provide photos, opinions, via twiiter email etc..in an attempt to create some strange journalism callled 'open democracy approach',

Problem is the public don't have the slightest clue how the world works as journalists gave up giving them real news in the 80s, when the narrative crashed post-Watergate.
edit on 22-11-2015 by bastion because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 05:31 AM
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originally posted by: snarky412
And many of those shooters have been found to have been prescribed psychiatric drugs
So no, school shootings are not the same as a terrorist act IMO
But more of a mental issue gone seriously wrong


Whoever decides to kill innocent people,be it in school,at a cafe,concert or football game has mental issues IMHO. Do you think that terrorists are perfectly sane people ? Look at the terrorists from Paris. Drug addicts. Most of them already had a criminal background.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 05:42 AM
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This question is actually a bit of a can of legal worms the more you look at it.

First of all you have to give terrorism a definition, under American law there are several definitions of terrorism but the one most used is that set out under the Patriot Act stating that:




(1) ACT OF TERRORISM-

(A) CERTIFICATION- The term 'act of terrorism' means any act that is certified by the Secretary [of Treasury], in concurrence with the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General of the United States--

(i) to be an act of terrorism;
(ii) to be a violent act or an act that is dangerous to--
(I) human life;
(II) property; or
(III) infrastructure;

(iii) to have resulted in damage within the United States, or outside of the United States in the case of--
(I) an air carrier or vessel described in paragraph (B); or
(II) the premises of a United States mission; and

(iv) to have been committed by an individual or individuals as part of an effort to coerce the civilian population of the United States or to influence the policy or affect the conduct of the United States Government by coercion


Basically part IV is important, it has to be been committed for political reasons

Most school shootings are not for political reasons



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 05:49 AM
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a reply to: atlscribe

The definition should apply if the perpetrator has a motive related to political, ideological or religious notions. However, in the US, there is considerable push back against labeling a white American as a terrorist, mainly because they usually have extreme political views a certain party is aligned with and it makes people feel uncomfortable.

If they're a Muslim, then of course the right wing press instantly labels it a terrorist act before they even know anything about the circumstances. In actual fact, there doesn't even have to be an actual crime committed or any act at all. One of your "journalists" was suspended just yesterday for sharing a BOLO police alert and instantly suggesting those seen were "Muslim terrorists" based on nothing more than their skin tone.

She knew nothing about why the police needed to talk to them, but she instantly sent out "alerts" and "warnings" about a "potential threat".

Even after they were interviewed and released without charge (just a group of Muslim guys walking through town) she was STILL on Twitter suggesting they were criminals, based on nothing but her own ignorance.

Dylann Roof is a terrorist, but he won't be called that because he's a right wing Christian.
edit on 22-11-2015 by Rocker2013 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 07:15 AM
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Interesting point
Or certainly an interesting angle
If terrorism, as per its definition is to exert pressure for political gain or changes ....WHY does Islamic extremism continue with the methods that only incite a military response, the exact opposite of what they want?
Therefore is it really terrorism? because their actions, instead of gains in areas they want, just results in more western intervention, and gains for the west

a reply to: atlscribe



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: atlscribe




However, from a psychological standpoint I would say both involve acts of lunacy.


First, not really. Remember, people don't join terrorist groups, they join groups which commit terrorism. If we say joining this or that group that doesn't agree with our political mindset is "lunacy" we're on a rather slippery slope. Let's say for sake of argument that your statement is completely true. It still would not prove a correlation between A and B. Making love and rape both involve acts of penetration - yet I'm sure you would not argue that there's a connection.




We know this because the background of a lot of these European terrorists who go off to fight in these so called jihads are criminal in nature.


Source? I was under the impression that most of the jihadists were well-educated and often normal enough. Even so, criminality doesn't prove insanity.




No logically thinking person would blow himself up for political motives - that in itself seems irrational


Suicide bombers are a special breed - but they are often thinking very logically. A good many of them are poor and here is what is at stake:

a). Continue to live and struggle to provide for the (often large) family or
b). Commit suicide in the name of jihad to further a cause you believe in and die knowing that your family will be financially taken care of (by those who brainwashed you to think blowing yourself up is a good idea)

Of course, we'd say they make the wrong choice, but that doesn't make it illogical. For something to be illogical, it would have to be devoid of reasoning. For example, if I need to reach something above my head and I sit down, sitting down would be illogical.




Further to the point a lot of them are on the battlefield on all sorts of drugs and opiates which is against the very ideals they claim to be fighting for, but that is another discussion entirely.



Interesting, not surprising, but totally irrelevant to this discussion. Taking drugs means you are insane? No, of course not.




When we look at a lot of people involved in mass shootings, one can say they may have non-political motives behind them, but you can not equally say that they at necessarily sporadic in nature because a lot of meticulous preparation goes on behind some of them (including detailed manifestos as already mentioned).


Did I say they were sporadic or just spur of the moment with no planning? If I did, I retract that statement. However, a school shooter may have planned for years - planning does not make it terrorism.




Furthermore a lot of these individuals hold extreme idealogical beliefs or are linked or at least sympathize with far-right organizations.


Good for them. Unless they are shooting up a school to specifically influence the government to do what they want, it isn't terrorism. It's just some fanatic on a killing spree.




Dylann Roof for instance not a domestic terrorist? He targeted a specific group had held extreme idealogical belief.


He's a murderous racist, not a domestic terrorist. What change was he trying to force on the government? How was he trying to influence the political situation? A racist shooting up a black church is not domestic terrorism. Pro-Lifers bombing abortion clinics is domestic terrorism, because they are using bombings in an attempt to effect change in abortion laws. There are also eco-terrorists, I believe, who use their tactics to pressure government into following their demands.




What separates his own homehomegrown brand of terrorism from a jihadist in Syria for instance?



The fact that in the case of Dylan Roof, it wasn't terrorism, but good ole fashioned cold-blooded murder. As for the jihadist in Syria...which one? There are several groups fighting there right now and the term "jihad" does not refer simply to violent acts, but struggle. A jihad can be something completely internal. If Dylan Roof was actually trying to start a civil war, then it'd be terrorism, I suppose, but trying to effect political change on that scale by just shooting a church without any other back up would be either lunacy or pure stupidity.




You bring up the point of them committing suicide after committing these atrocities. Do a lot of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists not blow themselves up to commit atrocities?


When a school shooter commits suicide, then 100% of the people involved in killing people at that school died. No one is left to further whatever agenda was there - which, by the way, is not political. I don't think it's a high percentage of these terrorist groups killing themselves. For those who do, they go to their death secure in the knowledge (i.e. belief) that there will be others to carry on the agenda. You used the word illogical before - how illogical would it be to kill yourself if you were the only one who wanted the change you were killing others for?




Then you say the American domestic terrorists are acting as lone wolves.


First, my first post refutes the idea that school shooters are domestic terrorists and further more I did not use the term "lone wolves." Kindly do not incorrectly reference my statements. I said school shooters often act alone. The point of this is that terrorists are normally (if not always) part of a larger network.




Is it the act that makes it terrorism or the affiliation?


It's the intention. What did the person hope to accomplish by killing? Revenge? Murder. Get Washington to change some laws? Terrorism.





Is Timothy McVeigh not a terrorist because he acted a lone? What about the D.C. snipers? I think to an extent we are dealing with nothing more than politics.


Now you are getting away from your original premise that school shooters are terrorists.





Both groups I believe are terrorist and such be given equal scrutiny


Words have definitions for a reason - doesn't really matter what you believe about them. I can believe murder is setting someone free instead of the usual definition - doesn't make me right about it.




because as I have already stated you are more likely to be a victim of an act of domestic terrorism than any refugee coming in from Syia.


I'm very unlikely to be a victim of domestic terrorism. Also, I'm more likely than a Syrian refugee to be a victim of domestic terrorism? I beg to differ. I think they'd be the most likely targets.

I'm sure this will seem confrontational, but I'm not sure what you are really getting at with this reply you've sent me here. Your premise was that school shooters are terrorists, I refuted that, then you come up with this reply, which basically looks like a hodge-podge of hearsay and facts/ideas that don't connect to each other or even relate to your original premise. Are you in high school? I can't imagine putting together something so sloppy and unconnected would work at any university.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 07:43 AM
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Only Muslims with AK-47s and bomb vests are terrorists.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 07:45 AM
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PITA POV Warning:

Just look at the responses to this thread. All over the map. Each one thinking they have nailed it. How can they all be right?

How on Earth do we define 'terrorism'? Something that causes terror or fear. People are fearful of spiders, are spiders terrorists?

That sounds silly as we have been inundated with imagery of a suicide bomber or burning towers in connection with the word terrorist. The word has been invented and defined for us. Who chooses this imagery? Who is framing this narrative?

I am sure the folks getting shot in any of the mass shootings were terrified of the shooter. So why is he not considered a terrorist? Seems pretty straight forward but it deviates from the story line so it is as silly as the spider.

Sorry. Rant over.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 07:52 AM
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originally posted by: ABNARTY
PITA POV Warning:

Just look at the responses to this thread. All over the map. Each one thinking they have nailed it. How can they all be right?

How on Earth do we define 'terrorism'? Something that causes terror or fear. People are fearful of spiders, are spiders terrorists?

That sounds silly as we have been inundated with imagery of a suicide bomber or burning towers in connection with the word terrorist. The word has been invented and defined for us. Who chooses this imagery? Who is framing this narrative?

I am sure the folks getting shot in any of the mass shootings were terrified of the shooter. So why is he not considered a terrorist? Seems pretty straight forward but it deviates from the story line so it is as silly as the spider.

Sorry. Rant over.


Terrorism is not about just making people afraid - it's about using violence or the threat of violence to force political change. Any definition deviating from the political one is simply incorrect and you may dismiss it as such.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 07:53 AM
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a reply to: atlscribe

Not if it's done by a white Christian male.



posted on Nov, 22 2015 @ 08:09 AM
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originally posted by: scorpio84

originally posted by: ABNARTY
PITA POV Warning:

Just look at the responses to this thread. All over the map. Each one thinking they have nailed it. How can they all be right?

How on Earth do we define 'terrorism'? Something that causes terror or fear. People are fearful of spiders, are spiders terrorists?

That sounds silly as we have been inundated with imagery of a suicide bomber or burning towers in connection with the word terrorist. The word has been invented and defined for us. Who chooses this imagery? Who is framing this narrative?

I am sure the folks getting shot in any of the mass shootings were terrified of the shooter. So why is he not considered a terrorist? Seems pretty straight forward but it deviates from the story line so it is as silly as the spider.

Sorry. Rant over.


Terrorism is not about just making people afraid - it's about using violence or the threat of violence to force political change. Any definition deviating from the political one is simply incorrect and you may dismiss it as such.


Two words......

Dylann Roof
edit on 22-11-2015 by IslandOfMisfitToys because: (no reason given)



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