*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
There are two things that are relatively certain in America: there are regular mass shootings, and Donald Trump is bound to blame Muslim Americans or President Obama. However, this week there was a mass shooting in Houston Texas in which there was only one fatality; only one fatality is atypical for America’s rash of shootings. What has also been irregular is that there was a veritable vocal vacuum from Republican standard bearer and white supremacist Donald Trump. Trump’s silence is no mystery. Because after law enforcement killed the gun man in a shootout, they discovered he was a Nazi sympathizer wearing combat-style attire adorned with Nazi insignias; a perfect symbol of Donald Trump’s white supremacist acolytes.
The only good news in yet another mass shooting was that none of the nine shooting victims died; the Nazi wannabe wasn’t so fortunate. The Nazi gun fanatic, identified as Nathan DeSai, had opened fire on commuters near a strip mall wounding nine before police finally shot and killed him. Reports in the Houston Chronicle and KTRK reported that the man was wearing military clothes with Nazi patches and emblems on display.
In his car, police discovered 2,600 “rounds of live ammunition,” a Thompson sub-machine gun (tommy gun), a sheathed knife, a .45-caliber handgun, a notebook with Nazi symbols, and 75 spent shell casings. The aspiring Nazi came prepared for war with firearms and ammunition purchased legally; another typical aspect of America’s mass shooting plague and exactly what the National Rifle Association pays millions to Republicans to produce.
At the man’s apartment, police reported they found more Nazi military memorabilia, and military accouterments going as far back as the Civil War. Police and other authorities were flummoxed at the motivation for the shooting attack and were hesitant to speculate about what role the preponderance of Nazi emblems on the shooter’s military gear had in the attack. The acting Houston Police Chief, Martha Montalvo said “At this point, we’re very open-minded in terms of the motive,” But she said the shooting didn’t appear to be an act of terrorism. Likely because the man wasn’t from the Middle East and was sporting emblems completely in line with Aryan hero Donald Trump.
The Houston mayor, Sylvester Turner, was on a trade mission to Cuba and suggested the man, a lawyer, dressed up like a Nazi and started shooting people “because he was upset about troubles at his law practice. Turner said, “The motivation appears to be a lawyer whose relationship with his law firm just went bad.” In a different interview Turner said Mr. DeSai was “either fired or had a bad relationship with this law firm.” That assertion was hotly disputed by the deceased shooter’s law partner, Kenneth McDaniel, who said the two had worked together for 12 years before they parted ways over six months ago.
McDaniel said that DeSai was not “disgruntled” with the disbanding of the law firm or that he was “fired” from his job. Mr. McDaniel told the Chronicle,
“That’s the farthest thing from the truth. It was simply a matter of economics. We couldn’t afford to operate as a partnership anymore.”
The shooter’s father said the law firm disbanding weighed on his son, but didn’t necessarily attribute it to the shooting. The elder DeSai told KTRK that he saw his son the night before the shooting, but gave no further indication of his motivation except to say that “He’s upset about the law practice not going well — financial reasons.”
The property manager where DeSai lived said he thought the lawyer was working out of his apartment and had been recently “behaving erratically,” acting as if someone was “out to get him.” John Elmore said that in August DeSai had pulled a firearm on construction workers doing some repairs on the apartment complex’s roof, allegedly mistaking them for burglars. Elmore said, “They were scared for their life. They felt like they were going to get shot.”
Now, what makes this all-too-typical and regular American event an aberration is that like the aftermath of the Colorado Planned Parenthood massacre, there was no outrage or comment from Donald Trump or the typical Fox News-types using mass shooting as an opportunity to defame Muslims or President Obama. It is also likely that even commenting on, much less condemning, a white guy in Nazi regalia with a veritable armory in his vehicle would incur the wrath of white supremacists and gun zealots alike; both groups are ardent Donald Trump supporters.
Every American should be appalled at any mass shooting whether there are mass fatalities or nine injuries. And they should be screaming about why this Nazi aspirant was able to legally purchase a Thompson machine gun as well as a cache of 2,600 bullets.
There is a saying that an astute listener can discern more about an individual’s mindset based on what they don’t say than what they do. That there wasn’t a peep out of Donald Trump over a mad man adorned in combat gear with Nazi emblems attached shooting nine Americans and at couple dozen police officers in a twenty minute gunfight, is a not-so-stunning revelation that this was no big deal to Trump because there were no people of color or Muslims involved.