Who Is Responsible for Domestic terrorism in the United States?

The mailing of bombs to political leaders and the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue have caused more concern than ever about escalating violence in the United States. People are debating who is to blame and searching for solutions.

The mailing of bombs to political leaders and the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue have caused more concern than ever about escalating violence in the United States. People are debating who is to blame and searching for solutions.

in Midterm, Pittsburgh synagogue, Terrorism
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Who Is Responsible for Domestic terrorism in the United States?

– By Jim Owen

Americans are reeling from the latest acts of domestic terrorism in their country.

The mailing of bombs to political leaders and the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue have caused more concern than ever about escalating violence in the United States. People are debating who is to blame and searching for solutions.

Pipe Bomber Targeted Democrats

Authorities charged a 56-year-old Florida man, Cesar Sayoc, with sending pipe bombs to 14 high-profile Democrats. Among the targets were former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

The others whom Sayoc allegedly tried to kill included Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state and the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee; Eric Holder, the first attorney general in the Obama administration; Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, possible contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination; and Rep. Maxine Waters of California, a prominent liberal on Capitol Hill. Another bomb was mailed to the CNN television network’s headquarters.

There were no injuries because the crudely constructed devices failed to explode. When investigators arrested Sayoc, they found a list of more than 100 people he was targeting, according to NBC News.

Massacre in Pittsburgh

Americans were still trying to come to grips with the attempted murders when they learned that 11 people had died and six others injured in a shooting massacre in Pittsburgh. The elderly victims were worshipping at the Tree of Life synagogue when a gunman entered the building and opened fire. Police shot the suspect, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, who survived.

Authorities consider both incidents examples of either terrorism or hate crimes, due to the suspects political and religious beliefs. Sayoc is an avid supporter of President Trump. He covered his van with images and messages praising the president and criticizing top Democrats. He often used social media to express extreme views.

Authorities have described Bowers as an anti-Semite. He allegedly told police: “I just want to kill Jews.” The man wrote online that “Jews are the children of Satan,” and slammed the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society for helping Jewish refugees move to the United States. In his final social-media message before the shooting, he wrote that HIAS allows “invaders” to enter the country and murder Americans. Bowers declared that he would no longer “sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” adding: “I’m going in.”

The Political Divide

The two suspects have become symbols of the increasing vitriol in the United States. Political discussions between conservatives and liberals have become so heated that people are extremely polarized.

A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found deep divides among voters regarding the criminal-justice system, climate change, economic inequality, illegal immigration, and other issues. Some people on both sides accuse their adversaries of being anti-American or evil, leaving little or no room for compromise.

Many Democrats argue that Trump is to blame for the rising level of discord. They accuse the president of racism and sexism, citing his inflammatory rhetoric against African-Americans, Muslims, Latinos, women and other groups.

Trump fired back on Twitter, declaring that “the fake news” wrongly holds him , along with other conservatives and Republicans ,responsible for “division and hatred” that has been happening for many years.

Democrats also use incendiary language, particularly when lashing out against the president and congressional Republicans. An angry throng of liberals recently converged on the Capitol to confront GOP lawmakers who backed the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Blaming the President

Linking Trump to Bowers is especially dubious, due to scant evidence that the president is anti-Semitic and because the synagogue shooter dislikes Trump. According to the conservative James Robbins, an official in former President George W. Bush’s administration, neo-Nazis do not believe the president shares their hatred of Jews.

In an op-ed for USA Today, Robbins wrote that calling Trump an anti-Semite is factually and morally inaccurate. The author explained that the president has a reputation for donating to Jewish charitable organizations like the Anti-Defamation League, and that the Jewish National Fund once gave him its Tree of Life Award.

The president’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, White House adviser Jared Kushner, are Jews. Trump often shows his support for Israel, like when he moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

Democrats Also Commit Violence

Tying the president to the pipe bomber is also questionable. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that no one should blame Trump for someone mailing bombs, just as Sen. Bernie Sanders was not responsible for one of his supporters shooting Republican lawmakers on a baseball field in June 2017. The attack nearly took the life of GOP Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and injured several others. Police shot and killed the suspect, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, at the scene.

The Illinois man was a big fan of Sanders, who competed with Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Hodgkinson volunteered for the independent Vermont lawmaker’s campaign in Iowa. Sanders declared on the Senate floor that the shooter’s “despicable” actions “sickened” him. The senator proclaimed that only nonviolent methods can bring about meaningful change.

Finding Solutions

The recent acts of domestic terrorism have prompted people of various political persuasions to call for more temperate public debates. Former Director of National Security James Clapper told CNN that both supporters and opponents of Trump must tone down the rhetoric. He suggested that reducing the conflict needs to start in the White House because the president is in a position to influence others in a way no one else can do.

The former intelligence chief advised Americans to question supposed news reports that dubious sources post online. Extremist views, many of which have no basis in fact, are common in social media. Many people believe that Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms should be more vigilant in weeding out comments that promote violence.

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