In what is becoming a sadly common pattern, a gunmen carrying a shotgun and several propane tanks police say were “ready to blow” drove his pick-up truck onto the lawn of Arkansas State University’s busy Student Union building and sent the school into lockdown.
After police surrounded the man and his vehicle the man eventually surrendered with no shots fired. As of this writing, ASU was forced to cancel the rest of the day’s classes and the school is still on high alert. It was just another day in gun crazy America.
Details of the potential attacker’s motivations remained sparse. A police negotiator was reportedly interviewing the man as police check his truck for more explosives. One thing is clear: The man has every sign of being a right-wing extremist. He even has the flag to prove it.
Wielding a shotgun and with a “Gadsden flag” draped over his car’s roof, it’s hard to imagine that the man was not inspired by right-wing ideology. The Gadsden flag has become the symbol of the right-wing Tea Party and is often seen at anti-government rallies. The use of propane tanks as potential weapons bears a disturbing resemblance to that of right-wing terrorist Robert Dear who is accused of murdering three people and wounding nine others at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado in an attempt to stop abortion.
In a painfully desperate move, conservatives urged people not to rush to judgment about what the background of this Tea Party-flag waving gun nut. It may seem hard to believe that the group that so quickly labels any Muslim a terrorist would suddenly become concerned about exercising restraint, but here we are. Indeed, readers on Fox News’ short write up of the ASU active shooter situation shows that initially the conservative response was to declare this ISIS-inspired despite absolutely no details.
When the images of his flag and his race started coming in, the tone shifted from “blame Muslims” to “he was innocent.” Yes, really.
However, photos taken of the scene make it immediately clear that this was a very scary situation. He didn’t just “drive onto campus,” he drove through it. His tire tracks appear to suggest he slid into the lawn in front of the build at a considerable speed. He then got out and began waving around a shotgun and the Tea Party flag.
— Jama Lynn Domerese (@TheBadMammaJama) December 10, 2015
Arkansas State University is located in Jonesboro, a few hours away from the state’s capitol in Little Rock, where former governor Mike Huckabee has made quite a career out of stirring up right-wing hatred for liberals. He’s even watched his post-political career as a right-wing pundit soar thanks to the Tea Party and the increasingly powerful fringe right in America. Huckabee has been a strong advocate for gun rights, and recently dismissed the idea that America has a gun problem, blaming mass shootings instead on lack of prayer. His prayers don’t seem to be working very well.
Feature image via Twitter