Law enforcement is currently searching for three white males who could be responsible for gunning down 20 people at a disability center in San Bernardino, California, killing at least 14. Few details about the shooters’ motives are known, but media commentators have already speculated that the attackers could be linked to the Islamic State.
“Now, we have seen some common characteristics amongst this group of individuals who have carried out these attacks. These are people who come from dysfunctional families, who are disconnected from the community, who have suffered a series of life failures, who are searching for some thing, whether it’s an organization or a cause to belong to,” John Cohen, ABC contributor and former Homeland Security Counterterrorism official, told George Stephanoupoulos.
“What is disturbing is that over the past several years, increasingly, these people are either turning to joining a group like ISIS or carrying out an attack on its behalf, or going into a school or a movie theater or a shopping mall and seeking to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” he continued.
On Fox Business Network, host Liz Claman asked former Sen. Bob Kerrey (R-NE) whether or not the annual tree lighting ceremony in New York City will be safe given the threat in California.
“Particularly since after 9/11, the law enforcement and national security domestically have done a tremendous job reducing the threat in the United States,” Kerrey said. “We have five boroughs of Muslims in New York City. We pretty well balance individual liberties with security, and we’ve intercepted the threat. You can’t let your guard down, especially against monsters like ISIS. I think we can get this job done.”
He also noted that the NRA should be left out of the current conversation. “I don’t think we need to panic. We need to feel grief and sadness and concern for the people going after the guys. I don’t think we should panic and talk about the NRA and all that stuff.”
In the same segment, Claman warned that it was still too early to figure out who was responsible, but offered the theory that the shooting could have been perpetrated by ISIS followers.
“Once the dust settles and we can figure out who’s responsible, it could be that the old disenfranchised white males — because they are being described as white males, although it’s very, very early to make any judgment,” she said. “It could be home grown terrorists or ISIS sympathizers.”
Fox News commentator Bishop E.W. Jackson also tweeted:
San Bernardino shooting sounds like planned, coordinated attack. Shooters are missing. Could it be Paris-like Islamic terrorist attack?
— E.W. Jackson (@ewjacksonsr) December 2, 2015
While most Americans believe terrorism is a Muslim problem, people in the U.S. are seven times more likely to be killed by a right-wing extremist than a Muslim terrorist. And white people have been behind 64 percent of mass shootings since 1982. Just last week, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings noted that white supremacy is a grave threat to life in the U.S.
“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Rawlings told MSNBC.