Right-wingers are cherry-picking Hicks's now-blocked Facebook page in order to depict him as a lefty:
A review of the Facebook page of the man charged in these murders, Craig Hicks, shows a consistent theme of anti-religion and progressive causes. Included in his many Facebook “likes” are the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Neil deGrasse Tyson, gay marriage groups, and a host of anti-conservative/Tea Party pages.But the Daily Dot paints a somewhat different picture of Hicks:
Under "political views," Hicks expressed libertarian leanings, writing, "I don't care about parties, just each individual and the rights of such in the Constitution! Some call me a gun toting Liberal, others call me an open-minded Conservative."And, of course, there's this:
This libertarianism is reflected in his other Facebook posts, which identify him as a supporter of LGBT equality and a handgun enthusiast.
An Amazon wishlist reportedly belonging to Hicks includes numerous other combat supplies, including a rifle scope, tactical blades, and a camouflage ghillie suit, along with more everyday items like Dragon Age: Inquisition and the Val Kilmer crime thriller The Salton Sea.
Whether or not this was a hate crime, it almost certainly a crime that arose out of an American man's sense that he has the absolute right to resolve any and all disputes by pointing a gun at people.
More, from Heavy.com:
WRAL reporter Arielle Clay quoted neighbors in saying the parking in the Finley Forest complex is “confusing.” She then posted a photo that explained towing in the area....
The Raleigh News & Observer adds:
The father of two of three students shot to death in Chapel Hill on Tuesday says the shooting was a “hate crime” based on the Muslim identity of the victims....That's plausible -- but this is America, where people will shoot you for texting in a movie theater.
But the women’s father, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, who has a psychiatry practice in Clayton, said regardless of the precise trigger Tuesday night, Hicks’ underlying animosity toward Barakat and Abu-Salha was based on their religion and culture. Abu-Salha said police told him Hicks shot the three inside their apartment.
“It was execution style, a bullet in every head,” Abu-Salha said Wednesday morning. “This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far.”
I'm not saying it wasn't also a hate crime -- there's a very strong likelihood that it was. But it's also a crime that resulted from a sense of gun privilege that so many Americans feel.