The SPLC reports: "In 2010, Page, then the leader of the band End Apathy, gave an interview to the white supremacist website Label 56. He said that when he started the band in 2005, its name reflected his wish to 'figure out how to end people's apathetic ways' and start 'moving forward.' "
Why he targeted Sikhs isn't clear. Maybe the dummy confused them with Muslims? Whatever the reason, thanks to our gun laws, he had the right "tools" at his disposal. He could have bought a shovel or an ax, but instead be bought a 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol. He bought the murder weapon legally at a local gun shop,
according to a news report
. As took place in the shooting in Colorado a couple of weeks ago, there were only flimsy legal impediments to prevent him from arming to the teeth, and it was only his own stupidity and lack of forethought that prevented him from wearing body armor, as did the Colorado gunman.
If he had done so -- and there are no laws preventing anyone other than convicted felons from possessing body armor -- that cop who was shot yesterday would probably be dead, not critically injured. In fact, we'd probably have two dead cops, or perhaps more, and a lot more dead civilians.
The important thing to remember is that the decision to wear or not wear body armor was Page's, as a self-regulatory entity. Otherwise there was nothing to prevent him from making himself impermeable to police bullets.
Thanks to our system of firearm (and bullet, and body armor, etc.) self-regulation, society is open to threats not just from domestic terrorists like Page, but from foreign terrorists. This time Sikhs were targeted. Next time the victims could be any other people who fall afoul of the "tools" purchased, legally, by someone who doesn't like those individuals' ethnic origin, skin color or belief system.
This is not an outlandish possibility. Al Qaeda's ranks are said to include American citizens, and any American citizen who is a resident of a gun-permissive state like Wisconsin, Colorado or Arizona can stock up on automatic pistols, assault weapons and shotguns, as well as body armor and bullet-proof vests. It's easy to imagine two or three or perhaps 10 individuals being outfitted by such legal purchases.