Call It What It Is: Domestic Terrorism

Healthcare workers walk out of a King Soopers grocery store after a gunman opened fire on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. The pharmacy in the supermarket was dispensing Covid-19 vaccinations when the attack was launched. (Photo by Chet Strange/via Getty Images)

Yesterday, another gunman killed 10 people, including a police officer, in America. Witnesses called into local television stations to frantically explain that a man suddenly opened fire in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket and shoppers fled in panic while police rushed to the scene. Law enforcement officials confirmed in a briefing last night that the suspected gunman used an AR-style rifle in the attack.

Multiple people were barricaded inside the store while the shooter remained active, according to radio traffic from Boulder police that was captured by Broadcastify. At least one caller told 911 dispatchers that the shooter appeared to be wearing an armored vest. Ryan Borowski, who survived the shooting yesterday in Boulder, said he feels like “the bubble burst” after “nearly [being] killed for getting a soda and a bag of chips.”

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Monday's mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, is the seventh mass shooting in the United States the past seven days, which includes three shooting attacks on Saturday alone. This tragedy comes less than a week after eight people were killed in a series of attacks at spas in Atlanta, Georgia.

Shattered windows and the damaged facade of the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado where a mass shooting took place on March 22, 2021, and where a gunman killed at least 10 people. (Photo by Jason Connolly/via Getty Images)

A supermarket — a place where everyone in a community goes to get daily necessities — was the setting for this latest act of gruesome violence, where people were not only randomly slain, but held hostage anticipating what was to come. It’s time for everyone in America and all over the world to start calling these horrendous assassinations what they truly are: overt acts of excruciating violence meant to terrorize the nation, or domestic terrorism.

The shooting in Atlanta, that claimed the lives of 8 people so far, was done by a white male. When Cherokee County Captain Jay Baker explained what had happened to the press in Atlanta, the day after the mass shootings, he downplayed the violence by saying the suspect “was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope [and] yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.” Can you imagine what would have happened if the suspects were all Black or Muslim…we went to war when America was attacked by Muslim terrorists.

Boulder Police Officers escort a man with a bleeding leg away from the scene of the shooting at King Soopers market on March 22, 2021, but have not identified the suspect who is currently in custody. (Photo via Twitter)

It’s not surprising that some feel emboldened following the recent attack on the US Capitol Building by insurrectionists who were able to access a federal building that should have been a fortress on Jan 6. Think about all of those we saw desecrating our democracy on the day Trump urged his supporters to attack their own government— and then they did. The world saw thousands of predominantly white Americans display their full entitlement while they attempted to overthrow their own government. The world has also seen a very mixed response to that event that should have been condemned instantly by everyone.

We have a country that is roughly divided in half over the premise that white people deserve more, or deserve what they thought they had — more money, more power, more respect, the kinds of things every human yearns to have and often never gets. These domestic terrorist attacks are only increasing, because nothing has been done to send out the unified message that this behavior won’t be tolerated. In fact, this violence has been endorsed and spurred on by many members of Congress who are intent on risking anything to amass more political power — even their own lives.

Police officers in Boulder, Colorado, salute the body of fallen officer Eric Talley who was killed in the shooting at King Soopers grocery store on Monday, March, 22, 2021. (Via Getty Images)

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) used a “lynching” metaphor from the lyrics of a well-known racist country music singer to discuss the slaughter in Atlanta, primarily against Asian women. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said he would have been more afraid of the Jan 6, rioters had they been members of Black Lives Matter and antifa — basically giving public thanks that the insurrectionists were white. Johnson has also become the amplifier of conspiracy theories and disinformation now that Trump has been banned from social media, and his dangerous lies have extended to the pandemic and climate change.

The list of Congresspeople who might have been directly or indirectly involved in the conspiracy to launch the attack on the Capitol includes, Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Paul Gossar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), the newly elected leader that Trump called during the attempted coup, who confirmed that Pence had been evacuated and was vulnerable to assassination attempts, also allegedly attended a meeting at the Trump Hotel the night before the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol Building with other powerful players.

Senator Josh Hawley raised a fist to encourage Trump supporters to charge forward in their quest, just before the Capitol attack. When he was asked to re-think his messaging following the violent events of Jan. 6, he doubled down with an excuse blaming “cancel culture",” thus proving he intended for that exact narrative to continue. Hawley continued to defend violent criminals by refusing to openly and directly condemn them — and this is one reason why domestic terrorism in the United States will continue to plague our lives.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), raises his fist toward a crowd of Trump supporters gathered outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Photo by Francis Chung/via AP Images)

Domestic terrorists will continue to use AR-15 types of assault rifles and other guns to continue to hold this country hostage with constant fear, and they will do it because they know they will be insulated by some in law enforcement and in our very own government. The attack on the US Capitol was a metaphorical declaration of open season on anyone who disagrees with the white-nationalist militia mentality, that is compromised of an alarming number of law enforcement and public servants.

No one really needs to hear another mental illness or economic stress justification for actions that are undertaken in an attempt to mimic the actions of Republican leaders. Those who are employing these excuses are not truly interested in helping those with mental illness, they are the ones who continually defund every program that might help effect some change. It’s time to call this epidemic what it is: domestic terrorism that has been protected and fueled by the Republican Party.


Amee Vanderpool writes the SHERO Newsletter and is an attorney, published author, contributor to newspapers and magazines and analyst for BBC radio. She can be reached at avanderpool@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @girlsreallyrule.

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