Tragedy struck the military here in America as an Army psychiatrist opened fire with two handguns at Fort Hood in Texas. Twelve people have died as a result of the attack, and 30 were wounded in the attack by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, recently promoted and due to be deployed to Iraq on his first combat tour. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.
There were numerous conflicting reports coming out as the story developed, with some reports that there were multiple shooters using M-16’s. It was even reported that the shooter was killed, but it now appears he’s alive and in custody. What’s clear, though, is that Hasan was upset about his upcoming deployment, but even more disturbing, had made some comments about, among other things, Muslims rising up according to a co-worker. In addition, he’s been on the radar of federal law enforcement officials for some Internet postings made discussing suicide bombings.
Something smells fishy here, but I can’t put my finger on it. In any event, I’m not going to go overboard and say that Hasan’s actions prove that American Muslims are some kind of enemy within. I’m also not going to justify Hasan’s atrocities by the fact that he was called names because of his faith or that he was stressed about an upcoming duty tour. Those are cop-out explanations that try to absolve the killer of a measure of responsibility, and I’m not buying into it.
We’re sure to hear more about this in next few days, and hopefully we can eventually all make some sense out of it. In the meantime, remember the dead and wounded.