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 Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum

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PostSubject: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:01 pm

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By NAFEESA SYEED and DAVID ESPO, Associated Press Writers Nafeesa Syeed And David Espo, Associated Press Writers – 31 mins ago

WASHINGTON – An elderly gunman, said by authorities to have a violent and virulently anti-Semitic past, stepped inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, opened fire with a rifle and fatally wounded a security guard before being shot by other officers.

The assailant was hospitalized in critical condition, leaving behind a sprawling investigation by federal and local law enforcement and expressions of shock from the Israeli government and a prominent Muslim organization.

Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the gunman was "engaged by security guards immediately after entering the door" with a rifle. "The second he stepped into the building he began firing."

Law enforcement officials said James Von Brunn, 88, a white supremacist, was under investigation in the shooting, and a second official said the elderly man's car was found near the museum and tested for explosives. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss the investigation just beginning.

Museum officials identified the dead guard as Stephen T. Johns, a six-year veteran of the facility. In an e-mail, director Sara Bloomfield said he "died heroically in the line of duty."

Von Brunn has a racist, anti-Semitic Web site and wrote a book titled "Kill the Best Gentiles."

In 1983, he was convicted of attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board and served more than six years in prison. He was arrested two years earlier outside the room where the board was meeting, carrying a revolver, knife and sawed-off shotgun. At the time, police said Von Brunn wanted to take the members hostage because of high interest rates and the nation's economic difficulties.

Writings attributed to Von Brunn on the Internet say the Holocaust was a hoax and decry a Jewish conspiracy to "destroy the white gene pool."

"At Auschwitz the 'Holocaust' myth became Reality, and Germany, cultural gem of the West, became a pariah among world nations," it says.

The museum, which opened in 1993 and has drawn nearly 30 million visitors, houses exhibits and records relating to the Holocaust of more than a half century ago in which more than six million Jews died at the hands of Nazis. Its Web site says the museum "teaches millions of people each year about the dangers of unchecked hatred and the need to prevent genocide."

The museum was crowded with school children and other tourists at the time of the attack, but they all escaped injury in the outburst of violence.

Ashley Camp, 14, of Forsyth, Ill., on a field trip with more than 40 other students, said she heard two or three gunshots. Soon after, she recalled, a security guard ordered the group to run to the exit.

"We had to sprint as fast as we could out the door," she said. "I thought it was the movie (part of a museum exhibit), but then everyone started screaming and running."

The attack was the third in a recent wave of unsettling shootings that appeared to have political underpinnings.

A 23-year-old Army private, William Andrew Long, was shot and killed outside a recruiting office this month in Arkansas and a fellow soldier was wounded. The suspect, a Muslim convert, has said he considers the killing justified because of the U.S. military presence in the Middle East.

Late last month, abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot to death in his church.

At the White House a few blocks away from the museum, press secretary Robert Gibbs said he informed President Barack Obama of the events and the chief executive was "obviously saddened by what has happened."

Only last week, Obama visited the site of a German concentration camp at Buchenwald in Germany where he noted, "There are those who insist the Holocaust never happened." He added, "This place is the ultimate rebuke to such thoughts, a reminder of our duty to confront those who would tell lies about our history."
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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:29 pm

So, they had years of warning that this guy was bonkers, but kept letting him go?



.

The American Legal system is a complete joke anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:34 pm

I think the legal justice system suffers from the idea that some people are clincally insane.
Insane or not when someone is obviously Batsh!t crazy they need to be taken off the streets for good,for the safety of everyone.
This man was elderly,but really it doesn't matter how old someone is and this shooting just proves that point.

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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:07 pm

Hasn't the American legal system always been a joke?

People like that shouldn't be let back out. How can someone who's seen what this guy can do, just let him out, trusting in the assumption that he won't do it again?

How sad, that the security guard was just doing his job, showing up to work, planning his retirement and some psycho walks in and ends all that with one bullet, for no reason. The security guard probably knew there was a danger of that when he took up the job, but does anyone really expect something like this to happen at a memorial museum?

I guess its...fortunate that no one else was hurt during the shooting.
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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:00 am

It costs money to keep people in jail. and it costs money to keep people in a mental hospital.
So they just let them go.
But that's just sad. People are so close minded about things. It peeves me off.
Damn racists!!

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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:08 am

I think its not only the closed mindedness, but the self righteousness of people like the gunman that causes crimes like this to happen.
This guy obviously thought this was a perfectly ok way for him to demonstrate his beliefs.
I also dislike closed mindedness(is that even a word?), but I dislike the self-righteousness even more. I hate people who think their way is the absolute truth and refuse to even listen to anyone else. I guess by that definition the two are related.
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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:00 pm

"mindedness" is a word Lolita.

My stepfather told me about this, I didn't realize how wrapped up in the fascism this old topper was though. My only true bizarre thought was how most of these supremacists are all talk and hot air, but an 88 year old actually gets something done. The greatest generation lives on, even if their actions are awful. 28-year old supremacists and anti-Semitics are too busy buying the new i-thingy and talking racist smack on YouTube, but elderly man murders someone in a national event.
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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:54 pm

["We know what Mr. Von Brunn did yesterday at the Holocaust museum. Now it's our responsibility to determine why he did it," said Joseph Persichini, assistant director of the Washington FBI field office. "We have to ask ourselves did all these years of public display of hatred impact his actions."] From today's Update: Authorities: Gunman to be charged with murder

Huh???
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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:58 pm

^^Um.... he's an racist extremist, he thought he was a martyr, and he hates jews and everything (he thinks) they stand for.
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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:07 pm

Lolita Rose wrote:
I think its not only the closed mindedness, but the self righteousness of people like the gunman that causes crimes like this to happen.
This guy obviously thought this was a perfectly ok way for him to demonstrate his beliefs.
I also dislike closed mindedness(is that even a word?), but I dislike the self-righteousness even more. I hate people who think their way is the absolute truth and refuse to even listen to anyone else. I guess by that definition the two are related.

I'm with you on this. As much as I loathe racism, stereotypes in general, I think the self-righteousness is even worse.

And I'm shutting up now, because the above only barely scratches the surface of how I feel about this crime.
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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:15 am

Son of Accused Holocaust Museum Shooter Issues Statement Concerning His Father

Following is a statement by Erik von Brunn, a son of James von Brunn, the 88-year-old man accused of a shooting attack at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.:

My father's beliefs have been a constant source of verbal and mental abuse my family has had to suffer with for many years. His views consumed him, and in doing so, not only destroyed his life, but destroyed our family and ruined our lives as well.

For a long time, I believed this was our family's cross to bear. Now, it is not only my families lives that are in shambles, but those who were directly affected by his actions; especially the family of Mr. Johns, who bravely sacrificed his life to stop my father.

I cannot express enough how deeply sorry I am it was Mr. Johns, and not my father who lost their life yesterday [Wednesday]. It was unjustified and unfair that he died, and while my condolences could never begin to offer appeasement, they, along with my remorse is all I have to give.

While my father had every right to believe what he did, by imposing those beliefs on others he robbed them of their free will. His actions have taken opportunities away from many people and forced decisions not expected, nor warranted, to be made that otherwise would not have been necessary.

For the extremists who believe my father is a hero: it is imperative you understand what he did was an act of cowardice. To physically force your beliefs onto others with violence is not brave, but bullying. Doing so only serves to prove how weak those beliefs are. It is simply desperation, reminiscent of a temper tantrum when a child cannot get his way. Violence is a cop out; an easy answer for an ignorant problem.

His actions have undermined your "movement," and strengthened the resistance against your cause. He should not be remembered as a brave man or a hero, but a coward unable to come to grips with the fact he threw his and his families lives away for an ideology that fostered sadness and anguish.

I apologize to friends and family who have been inundated with the media blitzkrieg you have been suffering through. While I understand it is the media's job to report as much as possible, I can only hope they have the restraint to curb the sensationalism they have thus far been reliant upon.

Again, my father's actions are unforgiveable. I do not expect, nor will I accept forgiveness for what he has done. I realize there is nothing positive to be taken from this incident. It is empowering, however, to know our country's resistance and intolerance for such acts of hatred has been bolstered in the face of this tragedy. I humbly ask you respect our privacy and allow us to grieve and attempt to rebuild our family, along with the other families affected by what has happened.

Erik von Brunn

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PostSubject: Re: Elderly gunman kills guard at Holocaust Museum   Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:54 am

Wow. Reading that just leaves you rather speachless.

It was good of him to come out and say to any thinking his father a hero for doing what he did that he wasn't. He used the word "imperative." You don't often hear of people using that word. It's as if he is giving a military command. Just imagine what it must have been like growing up.
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