By Alan Caruba
As the details about James W. von Brunn, the alleged killer of Holocaust Museum security guard, Stephen T. Jones, make their way through the media, we are sure to be told that he was “mentally ill” or at least perceived to be by those who knew him.
A deep hatred of people because of their race or religion is not so much an illness as a choice. It is a choice because it gives purpose to the life of the person doing the hating. It “explains” everything he wants to know about a very complex and often frightening world.
No doubt von Brunn, like so many others, “figured out” that the Jews were to blame for everything wrong in his life and in the world. Why stop there? He also hated Afro-Americans and, one presumes, all people of color. And, largely unreported, he hated Christians. While instantly identified in the media as an instrument of the Far Right, von Brunn was, in fact, a creature of the Far Left.
Reporting on FrontPageMag.com, Ben Johnson wrote that, “A review of his lengthy associations reveals Von Brunn hardly fits the stereotype of a Religious Right, GOP precinct captain. He denounced the Christian faith as a dastardly Jewish conspiracy, a “HOAX” invented by the Apostle Paul to “DESTROY ROMAN CULTURE” from within by undermining its pagan virility. (All screaming capitalization and grammatical errors in this piece appear in the original.) Like others on the racist fringe, the shooter proclaimed clearly: ‘SOCIALISM, represents the future of the West.’” Read the article at
So now von Brunn has entered the annals of the many “lone gunmen” who have sought to change history by acting out their fantasies, their hatreds, their grandiose view that, if they just kill the object of their hatred, they will transform history.
Some, in fact, do. The assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and John F. Kennedy no doubt sent the nation off in directions no one could have anticipated. In the 1960s assassins struck down Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the 1980s Ronald Reagan came within inches of being another assassination victim, but was spared. His would-be killer was, indeed, mentally ill.
I was not surprised that the murder scene was the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. There, where the stories, the memories of millions of innocent people are enshrined and where their suffering and death speak to us from the last century, the museum was a magnet for anyone so consumed with anti-Semitism that one suspects von Brunn wanted to martyr himself for one last chance to act upon his hatred.
The Holocaust Memorial Museum stands as testimony that millions of European Jews did die in Nazi concentration camps. The famed German efficiency was devoted to mass murder of the innocent and let it be said that the anti-Semitism that fueled the Nazi death camps exists still today in Germany, throughout Europe, and in Russia.
It exists in South America in places like Venezuela where the break-in of a Caracas synagogue led solely to the stealing of a computer disk with the names and addresses of that nation’s Jewish families. Time for them to leave, to flee for their lives.
The entire Middle East roils with anti-Semitism. Islam burns with it and that is why no peace was or ever will be negotiated with the state of Israel. The Muslims dare not admit that Jews have a right to their ancient homeland, let alone to live. They speak of Jews as monkeys, dogs and pigs. This is commonplace throughout the Middle East where Islam is the religion of citizen and state. They hold the same harsh views of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. Islam regards them all as infidels, unbelievers.
We would do well to remind ourselves that the very word “assassin” refers back to Muslim fanatics, active in Persia and Syria from about 1090 to 1272, who were dedicated to the killing of Crusaders.
The Jews are civilization’s canary in the coal mine. When they begin to die from causes other than natural death, it is a signal that something evil is loose in the world and, if history is our guide, it signals that countless thousands who are not Jews will die as well.
The Obama administration has let the world know it intends to turn away from our nation’s historic and spiritual relationship with Israel. His former pastor of two decades, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, just complained that “them Jews” around him would not let him talk with his famed former parishioner.
If things go terribly wrong in America, I am sure that, along with Barack Obama, the blame will fall or be shifted to “them Jews” in his administration.
The lone gunman has done his job though he has inadvertently focused our attention on the evil from which we want to avert our eyes. We do so at our peril.