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Claire McCaskill Asks Why Boston Bombing is Labeled Terrorism, But Newtown Isn't (VIDEO)

Categories: Crime, Politics

mccaskill hearing.jpg
via
Senator Claire McCaskill at a hearing yesterday.
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing this week, officials across the country have labeled the attack an act of terrorism, even at this early stage in the investigation, in which little is publicly known about potential suspects.

But U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, raised an interesting question yesterday that has since gotten her a lot of attention.

"Based on the evidence at this point, is there any difference between Sandy Hook and Boston other than the choice of weapon?" McCaskill asked, referencing the Newtown elementary-school shooting last year. Check out her full comments in the video below.

Via Politico:

See also:
- Boston Bombing: St. Louis Runner Recalls Cry of "What Kind of World Do We Live In!"
- Roy Blunt, No on Gun Control: "We Must Do Everything We Can to Prevent Tragedies"
- Boston Bombing: St. Louis Family Just Missed Explosion: "It Was Sickening"

McCaskill directed her question to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during a congressional hearing yesterday.

The topic was particularly timely given the Senate's high-stakes vote on a bipartisan gun control bill that would have expanded background checks to gun shows and online sales. McCaskill voted in favor of the bill and her Republican colleague Roy Blunt voted no. It didn't pass.

That legislation was sparked in part by the devastating school shooting in December that left twenty children dead in Connecticut.

Here are excerpts of the exchange yesterday after McCaskill asked about the difference between Boston and Newtown:

"In terms of intent for death and destruction and injury, no," Napolitano said, "Methodology, yes. And we don't know the motivation behind, certainly, Boston -- we don't know whether it was domestic, it's international...."

"Or if it was identical to the motivation in Sandy Hook," McCaskill suggested. "It's impossible for me to sit at the table today and say they are identical except in effect and impact," Napolitano said....

"We are so quick to call Boston terror," McCaskill said. "Why aren't we calling the man with the high-capacity assault weapon and the high-capacity magazine, why aren't we calling him a terrorist?"

"I don't know the answer to that question," the secretary replied.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


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21 comments
Norm Carter
Norm Carter

I agree with the Senator, I asked the same question.

James Madison
James Madison

Ms. McCaskill needs an education. Newtown was one boy with mental problems striking back at his mother - a teacher. He killed those he thought she loved more than her own son. He set out to hurt her, not the community, town, state, or nation. Eventually killing her, then himself, he demonstrated that warped thinking. The Boston marathon bombers set out to hurt hundreds. To make thousands scared, and to have the lives of millions changed. Ms. McCaskill, if you really needed to know this, you do not belong in Washington making laws, especially laws that are suppose to be protecting us. You clearly do not understand the real threats against society. It is not the criminal insane. It is not even the terrorists. It is ignorant politicians making laws denying our freedoms.

ThatsMyTattooo
ThatsMyTattooo

It's only "terrorism" when you're not white. Go Claire! Call it what it is. Anyone spraying rapid fire bullets is wreaking terror, thereby proclaiming themselves a terrorist. A group/org must be applied? Puhlease, I think Sandy Hook folks feel pretty flippin' terrorized right now. As do many Americans of every color & nationality by these ridiculous assault weapons so freely available to anyone seeking to inflict terror. smh at the sheer ignorance..... 

johnas19
johnas19

Better question would be why isn't the ft. hood massacre labeled a terrorist act?


JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

"A rose by any other name..."  What f*ing difference does it make what it is called? The Newtown lunatic is dead. Terrorist? Perhaps. Murderer? definitely. Crazy MF? Absolutely. Then we can get to the heart of Ms. McCaskill's ignorance - "Why aren't we calling the man with the high-capacity assault weapon and the high-capacity magazine, why aren't we calling him a terrorist?" It is not whether the rifle has a high capacity or not. It is whether the person holding the rifle aims and pulls the trigger at innocent people.

Carl Ballinger
Carl Ballinger

Perhaps because McCaskill doesn't understand what terrorism, just as she doesn't understand much of anything else.

Justice Rising
Justice Rising

in order for it to be3come terrorism on must belong to an organization..

Keith McNees
Keith McNees

Anytime innocent people are killed at random, it's terrorism!

Kelly Kaufmann
Kelly Kaufmann

Good point, but badly written article that has wording that represents the point she is attacking. Why does the article say "even at this early stage in the investigation, in which little is publicly known about potential suspects."? Why does it matter WHO did it to determine if it is a terrorist event? Is it possibly, oh I don't know, because our bigoted fear-mongering media has tied the word 'terrorist' to Muslims so extensively that the term is now exclusively associated with Muslim-driven events? Despite the CIA's own statistics that illustrate that a minority of U.S. terrorist plots & attacks are by Muslims, our public has been so saturated by overreporting on Muslim crime that they now think only terrorist attacks are done by Muslims.

Matt Rygelski
Matt Rygelski

Using that logic, doesn't every crime terrorize people? In fact, bullying is terrorism. Driving too slow, saying bad words in a conservative town, and dressing provocatively could terrorize people too. Are we sure we want to sit back and allow this kind of mccaskill slipperiness?

Kurt Boemler
Kurt Boemler

We don't like to call it terrorism if we know white people did it.

12judges
12judges

McCaskill said. "Why aren't we calling the man with the high-capacity assault weapon and the high-capacity magazine, why aren't we calling him a terrorist?"  As if we needed more proof that at the end of the day these anti-gun politicians equate owning certain types of weapons with terrorism.  I am not a terrorist.  Neither are the overwhelming majority of gun owners that have them.  We are not criminals.  We are not terrorists.  We are not Adam Lanza.  We are Americans excercising our right to keep and bear arms in common usage for sport, recreation and defense.  STOP DEMONIZING US.  STOP TRYING TO FIGHT A CULTURE WAR USING THE US LEGISLATURE.  Because you won't, we will keep fighting to keep our rights...and winning.

Geoffrey Partlow
Geoffrey Partlow

Semantics ..... Politicians love to argue over " definitions". Quit wasting everyone's time

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

gee...i don't know, claire? why is fort hood just a "workplace shooting"?

Randall OftheFamily Dedert
Randall OftheFamily Dedert

Did claire take an oath to the constitution to take office? Does she always break her word? And how about cispa claire? Its time she stops asking question and start answering some.

Greg Erickson
Greg Erickson

The Plutonium Files - Radiation Experiments on US Citizens ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkMNfRxKQLs Mar 13, 2012 ... 73 disabled children were fed oatmeal laced with radioactive isotopes. 829 pregnant women were served "vitamin cocktails" (so they thought

Marc Seleman
Marc Seleman

By definition they are all terrorist episodes. But in this country media uses the word to sensationalize the story and politicians use it to strip our civil rights.

kellyk79
kellyk79

@James Madison The New Orleans Mother's Day shooter set out to hurt many people - should he be considerd a terrorist?

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