Nine people were killed in Dayton, Ohio last weekend when lone gunman Connor Betts opened fire in a popular nightlife district.
Hours earlier, 20 people were killed during a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.
While the Texas perpetrator left behind a manifesto describing the “Hispanic invasion,” the Ohio shooter was a supporter of Elizabeth Warren who may have been radicalized by Antifa (that’s right, nut-jobs exist on the left too).
According to Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl, Betts had an obsession with violence and kept a “hit list” of the people he wanted to rape or kill.
A federal investigation into his social media use revealed Betts’s longtime support for Antifa – an autonomous, left-wing movement whose members use online and real-life violence against those identified as racist, fascist, or far-right. The group’s stated purpose is to fight far-right and white supremacist ideologies directly, rather than through electoral means.
While it may be impossible to clarify whether Mr. Betts identified as a member of Antifa, his support for the group is significant.
In 2018, Betts tweeted “kill every fascist” and “Nazis deserve death and nothing else.”
Last December, he contacted the Antifa gun group Socialist Rifle Association about bump stocks (the controversial gun add-on that allows semiautomatic rifles to fire faster).
In June, Betts wrote: “I want Socialism, and I’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round understanding.”
Last month, Betts described the Antifa militant who was killed while firebombing an ICE facility in Tacoma, WA as a “martyr.”
In commenting on the Dayton shooting, YouTube personality Tim Pools theorizes that Betts may have been motivated by far-left rhetoric.
“Is it possible…that Connor Betts was in this space we so often facetiously refer to where the far authoritarian left call everyone a Nazi? Is it possible that Connor Betts was looking at regular people, consumerism…people at these bars and these places as contributing to a system of climate change, of wealth inequality, and of fascism?”
“What I’m saying is, perhaps a delusional and crazy person in a paranoid state starts thinking the Nazis are out to get them because they keep seeing it over and over and over again.”
Pool admits that when he first heard about the two shootings, he assumed both perpetrators were white nationalists. “That is the bias we have in this country,” he said.
“Thus, we see politicians calling out the far-right extremists. We don’t see them calling out the far-left. In fact we see them doing the opposite. Calling for more. Praising the terrorists like Shaun King did. And that is what is truly terrifying.”