NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Another mass shooting: Gunman reportedly kills six at Sikh temple near Milwaukee

Tragedy has struck again, this time near Wis­con­sin’s largest city:

At least sev­en peo­ple were killed, includ­ing one shoot­er, just after 10 a.m. Sun­day at the Sikh Tem­ple in Oak Creek, police said.

Four of the dead were inside the tem­ple at 7512 S. How­ell Ave. and three of the dead, includ­ing a shoot­er, were out­side the temple.

A police SWAT team entered the build­ing before noon and brought unin­jured peo­ple out of the build­ing, 7512 S. How­ell Ave.

They start­ed remov­ing injured peo­ple from the tem­ple’s prayer room.

SWAT team mem­bers were still sweep­ing the build­ing about 1 p.m. and an explo­sion was heard from the build­ing at that time. It was unclear what the explo­sion was.

The gun­man — who appar­ent­ly was act­ing alone — was report­ed­ly brought down after an exchange of gun­fire with police. One of the offi­cers, a twen­ty-year old vet­er­an of the local police force, sur­vived despite being hit mul­ti­ple times. He is being cared for at an area hospital.

Police have not released any infor­ma­tion about the alleged per­pe­tra­tor, nor con­firmed the names of the dead.

Today’s tragedy in Wis­con­sin is sad­ly just the lat­est in a series of mass shoot­ings that have claimed the lives of many good peo­ple in this coun­try over the last few years. Just a few weeks ago, a gun­man (believed to be James Holmes) opened fire in a crowd­ed movie the­ater in Auro­ra, Col­orado, killing twelve (Jonathan Blunk, Alexan­der J. Boik, Jesse Chil­dress, Gor­don Cow­den, Jes­si­ca Ghawi, John Larimer, Matt McQuinn, Micay­la Medek, Veron­i­ca Moser-Sul­li­van, Alex Sul­li­van, Alexan­der C. Teves, Rebec­ca Wingo) and wound­ing dozens.

Holmes is being pros­e­cut­ed for the murders.

Last year, Jared Lee Lough­n­er approached a group of peo­ple gath­ered for Con­gress­woman Gabrielle Gif­fords’ “Con­gress on Your Cor­ner” in Tuc­son, Ari­zona, and alleged­ly opened fire, killing six peo­ple (Christi­na Tay­lor Green, Dorothy “Dot” Mor­ris, John Roll, Phyl­lis Sch­neck,  Dor­wan Stod­dard, Gabriel “Gabe” Zim­mer­man) and wound­ing four­teen, includ­ing Con­gress­woman Giffords.

Lough­n­er is being pros­e­cut­ed for the murders.

Pri­or to those tragedies, there were the Hart­ford Dis­trib­u­tors shoot­ing in 2010 (in which eight peo­ple were killed, not includ­ing the per­pe­tra­tor), the Fort Hood ram­page  in 2009 (in which thir­teen peo­ple were killed), the Vir­gina Tech mas­sacre in 2007 (in which thir­ty-two peo­ple were killed). The list goes on, and on, and on.

Most of the per­pe­tra­tors (or alleged per­pe­tra­tors) of recent mass shoot­ings have been men, and many were men­tal­ly unsta­ble men.

Semi­au­to­mat­ic weapons (which have no use­ful pur­pose except to kill or injure human beings) were used by sev­er­al of the gunmen.

The list of loca­tions where the atroc­i­ties have been com­mit­ted includes just about every con­ceiv­able kind of pub­lic place: schools and uni­ver­si­ties, work­places, strip malls, hous­es of wor­ship, cafes (in the Seat­tle area’s case), even an Army base.

Accord­ing to Moth­er Jones, there have been at least fifty-sev­en mass mur­ders car­ried out with firearms since 1982, in thir­ty of the fifty states.

That’s a rate of near­ly three per year.

Today’s tragedy means the list will only grow longer. And unfor­tu­nate­ly, our elect­ed lead­ers’ response prob­a­bly won’t go beyond express­ing con­do­lences and com­mit­ting resources to aid in the forth­com­ing inves­ti­ga­tion by local authorities.

To their cred­it, both pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates wast­ed no time in say­ing some­thing after the news of the shoot­ings broke.

“Michelle and I were deeply sad­dened to learn of the shoot­ing that trag­i­cal­ly took so many lives in Wis­con­sin,” Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said in a statement.

“At this dif­fi­cult time, the peo­ple of Oak Creek must know that the Amer­i­can peo­ple have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the fam­i­lies and friends of those who were killed and wound­ed. My Admin­is­tra­tion will pro­vide what­ev­er sup­port is nec­es­sary to the offi­cials who are respond­ing to this trag­ic shoot­ing and mov­ing for­ward with an inves­ti­ga­tion. As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of wor­ship, we are remind­ed how much our coun­try has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broad­er Amer­i­can family.”

“Ann and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the vic­tims of today’s shoot­ing in Wis­con­sin,” pre­sump­tive Repub­li­can nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney said. “This was a sense­less act of vio­lence and a tragedy that should nev­er befall any house of wor­ship. Our hearts are with the vic­tims, their fam­i­lies, and the entire Oak Creek Sikh com­mu­ni­ty. We join Amer­i­cans every­where in mourn­ing those who lost their lives and in prayer for heal­ing in the dif­fi­cult days ahead.”

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One Comment

  1. Our friends at the Sikh Tem­ple of Wis­con­sin obvi­ous­ly have a lot on their minds right now. To ease their bur­den some­what, the Inter­faith Con­fer­ence of Greater Mil­wau­kee has stepped for­ward to accept online dona­tions to the temple’s Vic­tims Memo­r­i­al Fund at Con­tri­bu­tions are processed secure­ly online through the ICoGM Pay­Pal account, and all pro­ceeds will be trans­ferred direct­ly to the tem­ple. The ICoGM is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) orga­ni­za­tion, so your dona­tion may be claimed as a char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tion for tax purposes.

    If you pre­fer to donate the old fash­ioned way, check or mon­ey order can be sent via snail mail to:

    Vic­tim Memo­r­i­al Fund c/o Sikh Tem­ple of Wisconsin
    7512 S. How­ell Ave.
    Oak Creek, WI 53154

    You can also help spread the work by “Lik­ing” and “Shar­ing” the Face­book page at

    # by jimspice :: August 9th, 2012 at 11:29 PM
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