Shooting at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

At a Monument of Sorrow, A Burst of Deadly Violence
Guard Killed, Suspect Injured Amid Scene Of Fear, Chaos

By Michael E. Ruane, Paul Duggan and Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, June 11, 2009

At 12:40 p.m. yesterday a man stepped through the doors of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He took two paces, lowered his rifle at a security guard and, before anyone could react, opened fire in a popular national landmark.

The guard, who did not have time to draw his gun, fell bleeding and fatally wounded to the polished floor. Other guards fired back, cutting down the assailant. Terrified patrons, many of them children, dived for safety. And what moments before had been a bright weekday in June became a tableau of violence. (...)

The suspect, identified by law enforcement sources as James W. von Brunn, 88, of Annapolis, was said to be a longtime, "hard-core" supremacist whose Internet writings contain extensive, poisonous ravings against Jews and African Americans.

The slain guard, Stephen T. Johns, 39, of Temple Hills, worked for the Wackenhut security company and had been employed at the museum for six years, the museum said.(...)

Von Brunn is said to have been a leading writer in the white supremacist fringe for many years. He also appears to be the author of a recent Internet posting suggesting that President Obama's background is being hidden from the public.

His online book, "Kill the Best Gentiles," contains hundreds of pages of conspiracy theories that include Holocaust denial, the ancient hoax of the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" and wild webs of fantasy about Jewish plotting against white people. (...)

On a rambling, racist and bitterly anti-Semitic Web site, a man who identifies himself as James W. von Brunn says he is a former World War II PT boat captain who was decorated for his conduct in battle and was an advertising executive and film producer in New York.

He says he is a member of Mensa, "the high-IQ society," and acknowledges being convicted in D.C. Superior Court for a 1981 attempted attack on a government building. He was "convicted by a Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys, and sentenced to prison for eleven years by a Jew judge. A Jew/Negro/White Court of Appeals denied his appeal," the site says. (...)

In 1968, Von Brunn was sentenced to six months in jail for punching a Dorchester County, Md., sheriff during a fight at the county jail. He had been arrested earlier on a charge of drunken driving after a brawl at a local restaurant.

In 1981, he was arrested for entering the building where the Federal Reserve Board meets, at 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, with a revolver, which he pointed at the stomach of a security guard. The guard called for help, and the gun was taken from von Brunn. When he was arrested, police also found a 12-gauge shotgun that he had concealed under his coat. According to the records, von Brunn had made it to the second floor when guards stopped him, and he surrendered his weapons.

He told police, according to charging files, that his actions were "politically motivated" and that he intended to take Paul A. Volcker, then chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and other members hostage so that he could be allowed to voice his opinions through the news media.

This man was a psycho, and what he did, and where he did it, was atrocious. My heart goes out to all those involved.

No doubt the media will label this psycho as a "right wing extremist." No doubt they will not differentiate between conservatives and a right wing fascist nut job white supremacist. No doubt they will use this as more ammo towards banning guns.

Fascism is indeed the extreme fringe of the right wing, just as Communism is the extreme fringe of the left wing, as is social anarchism. But these ideologies represent very few on either side, and are not analogous with mainstream ideas on either end of the spectrum.

As far as gun control goes, this is actually more of a proof for gun rights advocates. This man had an extensive criminal background, and I can guarantee he didn't walk into Cabelas or his local gun store to buy his gun. More than likely he bought it out of some guy's trunk. This lends proof to the idea that if guns are banned, it isn't going to stop the criminals from obtaining them, leaving ordinary citizens bringing a knife to a gunfight. Prohibition didn't stop people from obtaining liquor, in fact it just made the process ultra violent, and created a strong criminal underground. Banning guns would prove every bit as unsuccessful and dangerous.

What this man did was absolutely awful. He led a life of misery, hate, violence, prejudice and sin. It's shame the end of his life was in the same fashion. When he finally passes, it will be God's turn to sort him out.


Post a Comment

I reserve the right to delete profane, obscene, or otherwise insulting messages. So please, keep it clean.

While you're at it, visit our message boards!