A monster is on the loose in South Carolina


UPDATE: Suspect has been captured.

Again, South Carolina is leading national news for a horrible reason, and this time it’s even worse than the Walter Scott shooting. In fact, it’s nine times as bad.


Dylann Storm Roof

Police are giving the monster a name: Dylann Storm Roof. They say he sat with people engaged in prayer for an hour before announcing that people like them had to go, and opened fire.

This time, one of the dead had a familiar name: Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor. And the church where the shooting occurred, Emanuel AME, looms large in our history, both proudly and tragically.

There is so much that we have yet to learn about what happened exactly, but I thought I’d best go ahead and put up this post for your comments as we await more…

19 thoughts on “A monster is on the loose in South Carolina

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Heads up: Roof is from the Midlands, meaning two things:
    — If he IS the shooter, he traveled all the way to Charleston to commit murder in a church that has great meaning in the history of black South Carolinians — in fact, in the history of all of us.
    — He could be here in the area.

  2. Bryan Caskey

    The photo of him in the jumpsuit…I assume that’s from some previous arrest?

    You’re right. The photos of him are really scary looking.

    And what kind of bird-brain makes a present of a .45 pistol to someone who’s out on bond for drug and trespassing charges? I mean, that’s some weapons-grade dumb, right there.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I wouldn’t have given him a gun just going by the picture. He looks like Alex DeLarge, without the more charming characteristics…

    2. Kathryn Fenner

      The same sort of bird brain who buys her son an SUV while his license is suspended for DUI–the drunk kid who hit someone in Five Points a few years back–Coach Carlen’s step? son. Denial….”my little sweetums was railroaded, I tell you!”

  3. Bryan Caskey

    Can anyone identify the two flag-looking patches on his jacket?

    I don’t recognize either of those, but I’ll admit that my flag identification skills are pretty much based on identifying flags from the Olympics. If a country doesn’t win many Olympic medals, chances are I don’t know its flag.

  4. Doug Ross

    I’m wondering if we will once again learn that he was a young male with mental health issues like the Sandy Hook shooter?

    1. Mark Stewart

      Of course he was. And with another parent oh so willing to arm their son with a powerful weapon even given his clear failures and issues.

      Mental health is the unaddressed plague within our society.

  5. Burl Burlingame

    You can count on the NRA to treat this as a marketing opportunity. If only everyone in the church had also been armed …

    1. Mike Cakora

      I’ll bite. As Brad knows, I’m what’s referred to as a “Second Amendment” supporter, but that’s a misnomer in that I support all of ‘em: I don’t want the quartering of troops at Cakora Manor in the Barony of Forest Acres either. The Palmetto State issues permits for concealed carry, and the law allows for carry in churches (with the church’s permission).

      My point is that many concealed weapons permit (CWP) holders consider it their duty to carry concealed at every legal opportunity because law enforcement personnel are at best minutes away when seconds matter, as it did at that church in Charleston. It’s a fact that most of the horrific shootings we’ve seen over the years have occurred in gun-free zones. Why is that? The stinking perps are cowards who want to assure that they succeed, so they pick soft targets like schools, churches, and the like.

      Ironically, what we now call “gun control” was originally aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of blacks. Don’t take my word for it, go to Amazon or the Washington Post sites and search for Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms by Nicholas J. Johnson, Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law. You’ll learn about how important firearms were in the modern civil rights era, how in “1946, armed Negroes were a brake on plans to lynch Thurgood Marshall” in Columbia, Tennessee. How in “In 1956, Constance Baker Motley and Thurgood Marshall were guarded by armed Black men overnight and on the way to the courthouse when they were in Birmingham to press desegregation cases.” You can use your search engine to find out about the “Deacons for Defense and Justice,” brave men who provided a protective shield for the civil rights movement.

      The book also highlights how important firearms were in protecting black communities between the Civil war and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

      Surveying the landscape in the summer of 1892, Ida B. Wells advised, that “the Winchester rifle deserved a place of honor in every Black home.”

      So what’s your solution? Confiscation of firearms from all free folks? Or expanding the carry of firearms by all law-abiding citizens?
      Bear in mind that evil is everywhere and seeks any opportunity.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Well, Mike, as I said earlier, I don’t have a solution, at least not one that doesn’t involve magic. The problem is too many guns, period. The solution is for about 99 percent of the guns in the country to cease to exist. I know of no practical way to make that happen.

  6. Burl Burlingame

    I point out only that the NRA reacts to these mass shootings by urging that everyone be armed and ready to shoot. In other words, they’re in the gun sales business, not the gun safety business.

    1. Mike Cakora

      Brad –
      The NRA is certainly in the gun safety business with its Eddie Eagle and other programs. You might gain a greater appreciation for the NRA’s efforts if you took a class or two, or even cruised the NRA’s websites, starting with http://www.americanrifleman.org/ . To simply say that they are in the gun sales business is an oversimplification. I’ll grant you that they do benefit from ad revenue from firearms and firearms accessory manufacturers, but they’re merely catering to the interests of their members.

      What I find interesting is your statement that the NRA reacts to these mass shootings by urging that everyone be armed and ready to shoot. It’s interesting because the NRA’s point is valid and true. If every non-felon packed heat, bad guys would have to think twice about robbing, raping, or murdering others.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Mike, I didn’t say anything about the NRA. And as I said on another post…

        As for guns — do I have a solution? No, I don’t. I truly believe that it is an ENORMOUS problem that there are so many guns out there, to the extent that it’s way too easy for evil or insane people to get their hands on them, legally or illegally.

        It’s an economic problem — too many people with murderous intent chasing too many guns.

        But I have NO idea how we can fix the problem. I don’t see any practical way to address it, legally or politically.

        The problem is that too many guns simply EXIST. It doesn’t matter how strict we are about keeping them out of the hands of the criminal or mentally unstable. If on Monday all the guns in the country are in the hands of law-abiding citizens, by Friday a few of them will be in the hands of the wrong people. Burglary is not that rare a crime…

        So what can be done? Again, I don’t know…

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