Community members gather near Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 20, following the mass shooting. Courtesy Photo of Geneva Heffernan

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

Our country has been besieged with hate crimes in the last ten years. Last night there was another one in a city with all kinds of security, including a critical United States Air Force facility. Take a look and prepare:

2012: The Dikh Gurdwara shooting in Wisconsin – the shooter, a skinhead band leader who had a history with white supremacy. It was categorized as domestic terrorism by authorities.

2013: The Boston Marathon Bombing killed three and injured 264. Two brothers were responsible. One was killed in a gun battle with police and the other received a death sentence.

2015: The Charleston Church Massacre, the gunman author of a racist and anti-Semitic manifesto prior to the attack was convicted in December 2016 on charges of federal murder, attempted murder and hate crimes.

2016: The June 26th, 2016 shooting spree at the Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by Omar Matee, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 more. He claimed his attack in the name of ISIS, although he had no previous connection with ISIS.

2017: White supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, by anti-semites shouting, “Jews will not replace us.” There were scores of injuries and three deaths—a senseless attack by white supremacists.

2018: Pittsburgh synagogue shooting is the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. History. The attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh by an avowed White Supremacist.

2019: White supremacist shootings in El Paso, Texas that left 22 people dead and 26 injured.

2022: The most recent hate crime occurred at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on November 20th. The perpetrator, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich is well known for his bad behavior by the police over a period of years.

There have been hundreds of such shootings with fewer casualties. Families like yours and mine are losing loved ones and all we hear is how terrible it is. When will we, the people who love this country, put an end to it? These killers have all had encounters with the authorities at some time in their past and are well known. Somebody is not watching for them to strike in a larger manner, killing off more innocent people.

You say, “It couldn’t happen in the San Jacinto Valley.” Really? Why are we so isolated from hate? I hear hate-mongers every day in our coffee shops. There isn’t a club owner in this valley that isn’t on edge that such a thing could and may well happen to us. What do we do then? We can’t go on forever saying it can’t happen to us. Wake up, folks – disaster could be just around the corner and it may be one of your beloved ones out having a good time at night which could be missing from your holiday dinner table. Just sayin’


• DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author’s articles on this Opinion piece or elsewhere online or in the newspaper where we have articles with the header “COLUMN/EDITORIAL & OPINION” do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints or official policies of the Publisher, Editor, Reporters or anybody else in the Staff of the Hemet and San Jacinto Chronicle Newspaper.

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