An American white supremacist, James Von Brunn, entered the Holocaust Museum with a rifle and opened fire. The octogenarian was shot and taken to the hospital in critical condition but not before firing shots which eventually killed a guard in the museum.
It is easy to be appalled at the news that someone, an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, would walk into such a museum and threaten the lives of guards and others inside.
What is not so easy is considering the act within the context of our understanding of terrorism. But, we must. In fact, it is imperative to our future as a society.
Should Our Understanding Begin with 9/11?
After September 11th, our reaction was a combination of disbelief, horror, and fear. Americans asked who did this and why did this happen. We became enraged and the government enlisted our rage in a battle against the tactic that those involved in the action had used against America.
Americans then encouraged and let their friends and family join wars in the Middle East; first, in Afghanistan and later, in Iraq.
Both wars violated international law and our Constitution, and both were borne out of fear that others who think differently than us and who look different from us and who hate what we stand for would somehow from their impoverished country come and attack and possibly take down the supreme superpower in the world.