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Sorry, no jokes here yet

A white gunman sat and prayed for an hour with members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night, then started shooting. Nine people are dead, including the church’s pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who also served in the state senate. There were only three survivors. State and federal law enforcement are investigating the shooting as a hate crime. And Jesus Christ, what is wrong with America?

WBTW News says that the suspect has been identified as Dylann Storm Roof, 21, of Lexington, South Carolina. Reuters is reporting that Roof, described by his uncle as “quiet” and “soft-spoken,” received a gun as a birthday gift in August, and that law enforcement is at the home of Roof’s mother.

The Charleston Post and Courier has tweeted that Roof is “currently out on bond in connection with recent arrests on drug, trespassing charges.”

And not to suggest that racism was in any way involved, the SPLC says that in the Facebook photo below, the flag on Roof’s jacket “appears to be that of white-rule Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.”

SPLC Charleston

NBC reports that one of the women who survived the attack told Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of Rev. Pinckney, that the gunman had specifically asked for the pastor, and sat next to him during the Bible study meeting. According to the survivor, the shooter reloaded his gun five times, despite pleas from the survivor’s son to talk him out of killing people. Johnson said the gunman told the survivor, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” That might be why the feds are considering this a hate crime, but we wouldn’t want to jump to conclusions.

As of yet, Yr Wonkette has not yet heard any moderate members of the White community call for white people to cure the dysfunction among their young people, because of course the alleged murderer is a one-off lone wolf, and it would be unfair to generalize his heinous actions and blame all white people and white culture. Needless to say, should there be even a single brick thrown during the protests that will inevitably follow Roof’s terrorist attack, all black people will be responsible. It’s also much too soon to talk about guns, of course.

Dylann Roof managed to murder more people than the Boston Marathon bombers did, and yet since he did it with a gun, it somehow feels less astonishing. Let’s give the last word to Martin Richard, who was eight years old when he died in Boston. He made this sign in response to yet another mass murder, the slaughter at Newtown.

No more hurting people. Peace.

It’s a nice idea, at least.

[NYT / NBC News / TPM / Reuters liveblog / CNN]

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