Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shooting at the Holocaust Museum

Being a political science geek, when I was in LA last month, I didn't go on any of the studio tours or 'homes of the stars' trips, I went to the Museum of Tolerance - part of the Simon Wisenthal Center. It is basically divided in to two sections, one is a Holocaust museum and the other is museum and discussion of racism in America. I walked there - very un-LA I know, particularly considering the 30 degree heat - confusing the guard slightly when he asked if I would leave my rucsac in my vehicle. On saying I didn't have one, he looked genuinely confused and asked "how did you get here?" On replying "I walked", he laughed and said "dude - you should be at the beach on day like this!"

I understood the reason for the security - full x-ray of bags and airport style metal detector - but it seemed rather sad and jarring at a museum of tolerance. But the shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC yesterday, show that the government's assessment of the likelihood of far-right violence against such targets was correct, necessitating such sadly intrusive security. It is tragic that the security guard at the DC museum, Stephen T. Johns, paid so heavily for doing his job protecting people. It could have so easily been the guy I chatted to a few weeks back.

It's even more disheartening that so quickly, bloggers - in this case, Sunny at Pickled Politics - managed to show that the murderer had gone to events where the star of the show was no other than North West England's newest MEP - Mr Nick Griffin of the BNP. The Economist also has an interesting angle on the shooting, particularly considering this is the second case of far right 'domestic terrorism' in the US in a short period after the shooting of Dr. George Tiller a couple of weeks ago.

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