February 7, 2023

OP-ED: Dangerous extremism is on the rise and Trump is only part of the problem

HOMESCHOOL HATE: The alarming white supremacist network for children – and the much larger threat

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Another hate-induced mass shooting, this time in Colorado Springs this past week.

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It was one of two mass shootings that took place in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

The Colorado Springs shooting was a direct assault on the LGBTQ community.

If not for the heroics of Richard Fiero and Thomas James, the carnage would have been far greater.

There have been hate-induced mass shootings before such as the Pulse Night Club in Orlando in 2016, the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, and the Walmart shooting in Texas in 2019.

But this one felt a little different.

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I mean, horrific pain is horrific pain.

It was, however, that one had a gut feeling that something bad was going to happen sometime soon.

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It just wasn’t sure where or when.

The water was at a point in the pot just before it starts a slow boil.

There are a lot of questions that need answering.

To be clear, mass shootings are tragically commonplace in this country.

But combined with hatred, it rips more of the fabric that this nation was built upon or supposedly stands for.

So, while predicting a new mass shooting does not make you Nostradamus, it is the hate-based mass shootings, the violent extremism mass shooting that must awaken each and every American.

And still, it did seem in fact, that it was merely a matter of time before America would be in the midst of such an event.  What has changed, if anything?  And what must we, as Americans be on the lookout for?

In matters like these, much can be speculative; but it is also predictive based on history.

If a business has been broken into ten times in the last year, it is speculative that it will happen again.

If each of those ten break-ins took place on a Sunday morning from 0200-0500 hours, a predictive-based approach would allow one to form a strategy that would catch the offender(s) in that given time frame.

Hence, the “predictive policing” approach again leads me to believe that what took place this past week in Colorado Springs will occur again, soon.

Here is the question then: Is there any correlation in terms of Trump announcing his run for the White House in 2024 and Anderson Lee Aldrich finding the will to inflict carnage on innocent people?

That is not to say at all, that this is something Trump advocated, so please relax.

The question that exists however is whether the people of Aldrich’s ilk feel more emboldened to take action?

Are the rabid MAGA lemmings leaning toward even greater intolerance, for those that don’t look and sound like them, if one can believe that, then when Trump was president?

To be fair, the Pulse Nightclub shooting took place while Obama was president.

Still, one must make a very real assumption that hatred and intolerance in this country have grown leaps and bounds since 2016; and yes, Trump and his MAGA minions did more to perpetuate this along the way.

Trump has been suspiciously quiet since announcing his run.  Undoubtedly, this will pick up the more he feels threatened. And when you are paranoid, everything is threatening.

Jack Smith will have much to do with Trump’s lashing out which is coming shortly to a theater near you.  Check your newspaper for times and listings. Trump’s SA will be standing by, their recruitment going into overdrive.…. Then what?

Far-fetched you say?  Well, Trump just played host to white nationalist Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago last week.

Fuentes and his America First Foundation are a danger to the nation.  They are constantly assaulting the truth.

And Trump wants to kiss his ring. Thus, yet another question, this time to Trump: Why is there such a connection to these people, these groups?  What is Trump thinking and why? Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, 3 Percenters and the rest of the deplorable trash awaits in the wings….The right-wings.

Ok.  Go back to my first query.

Does Trump’s actions embolden the carnage causing lunatics, to take nefarious action?

Alright, next question.  Do you think Trump will get more agitated and whoops up more MAGA Maniacs into an uproar over the next few months?

Does this uproar lead to greater horrors such as what occurred in Colorado Springs last week?

My answer to these three questions is YES! Trump lives off chaos and attention.

He couldn’t give a damn about any collateral damage. The “Aldrichs” are going to come out of the woodwork as Trump’s ramblings continue.

I fear you will see a sharp incline in these incidents. People must prepare to fight back starting now.

Right now, we have horrific stories, we get shocked, we talk about what must be done to stop it, then nothing gets done.  We are fighting a hateful scourge on our heels.

It is time to stop backing up, digging in, and fighting back with a ferocity that will send all the Aldrichs back into the slimy oozing hole they emerged from.

Then we make sure we give Trump no attention so he can dissolve into nothingness like the Wicked Witch did when water was tossed upon her.

Violent extremism and subsequent mass shootings are going to increase with Trump leading the orchestra of apathy and a wink-wink-nod-nod sublime approval.

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The culmination, the watershed moment, the apex will occur when Trump is either indicted or cast away by a Republican party that finally awakes from its pitiful slumber.

Consider yourself warned.

David Magnusson is a retired police chief with 36 ½ years of law enforcement experience, having spent 30 of these years with the Miami Police Department, retiring as an assistant chief.  He was chief of the Havelock Police Department in the Marine Corps City of Havelock, North Carolina, home to Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. He returned to South Florida as chief of the El Portal Police Department.  He chaired the COVID and Domestic Violent Extremism Committees for the Association of Miami Dade County Chiefs of police. He teaches (facilitates) Hate Crimes, Violent Extremism, and Inclusive Policing to law enforcement agencies.

A historian, Magnusson has written on military and presidential history topics.  He is a diehard baseball (St. Louis Cardinals) and boxing fan.  Magnusson resides in South Florida with his wife.  Their children and grandchildren are never too far away.

Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author.

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