The “Militant Atheist” shooting

ABC_CHAPEL_HILL2_150211_DG_4x3_992It is all rather bizarre.

The background story is perhaps known to most – a gun loving redneck named Stephen Hicks has an ongoing dispute with his neighbours over parking, and rather tragically blows his top over that issue. In a fit of unbridled rage he ends up pulling the gun he always carried on his hip and shoots them dead.

Where this takes a rather surreal twist is when specific media outlets and various individuals with an agenda promote this as a religious hate crime. Why, well he has posted a couple of atheist meme’s on his Facebook page, and his neighbours were Muslims. So instead of reporting what this actually is, we get headlines like this …


Why not these headlines?

He was a football fan and his neighbours did not support the same team, so you could also run with …

Football fan guns down fans of opposing team

He loved guns and apparently was renowned for wandering around carrying one on his hip, so you could go with …

Pro-Gun supporter guns down Anti-Gun lobby members

He was a student, and so were his neighbours, so you could go with …

Student brawl ends in 3 deaths

What do we actually know?

What has come out is a statement from the shooter’s wife (who you will not be surprised to learn is divorcing him) in which she and others have stated that this was nothing to do with religion and that it was an on-going dispute over parking that escalated.

Despite the evidence pointing towards what this is, and the complete lack of any and all evidence that this was related to the religious beliefs of anybody, various factions of the media and also specific individuals have all claimed that this was “militant atheism” gunning down innocent muslims.

Most of the mainstream media has now, quite rightly, swerved rapidly away from that claim, but this religious twist will persist and remain, and will no doubt keep popping up from various quarters.

The killing itself is utterly tragic and yet despite that, the observation that some persist in using the bodies of those that have been brutally murdered as a soapbox to stand upon and promote a specific agenda is what makes all of this truly repugnant.

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