Prospective Fact Check on Monsey Machete Attack

 

There has already been plenty of finger pointing over the attempted massacre of a group of Orthodox Jewish men in Monsey, New York. The FBI is now on the case. Whatever explanations are offered up, by whatever source, check them against the map and what we have been told about the location of the attack and the attacker’s life.

We are told that the attacker lives in Greenwood Lake and the attack occurred in Monsey, New York. This was not a resident of the same town, rather the attacker had to drive over 20 miles just to get from town to town. Further, we are given that the particular residence, the home of an Orthodox rabbi, was situated in the heart of an Orthodox community. So, the attacker, an outsider from a town 20 miles away, had to somehow know to bypass a number of other homes and to target this home before turning to the more obvious religious building next door.

As to the attacker, we are told by the New York Post that Grafton Thomas lived with his mother, that he had long term mental problems apparently starting in adulthood; that he had rambling hand-written notes and a hand-written resume that was loosely connected with reality. So, how does this fellow end up charging through the rabbi’s door swinging a machete? This is not on the same level as young black men or women accosting people on the street who wear identifiably Jewish garb.

The FBI is on this case, so Attorney General Barr is accountable for the outcome of the investigation. We should expect that he will not accept a coverup; whatever the facts may be, he should insist they be clearly told.

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  1. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I hope you mean black communities need to reform themselves (in the way we’re continually told Islam is capable of being reformed — without evidence). Social stigma worked on cigarette smoking, so now the Left is trying it on gun ownership. God help us if they succeed.

    I mean holding Black Americans to the same standards we hold everyone else. Have you ever seen video of a reporter trying to get a member of the Congressional Black Caucus to condemn Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism? It’s harder than pulling teeth.

    • #31
  2. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    The practical question is: What course of action had the best chance of preventing this (or some similar) attack? If your answer is “reducing anti-Semitism in our culture/sub-cultures,” I disagree…but sympathetically.

    Generally speaking, the best chance of preventing violent crime is to lock up offenders, early and for a long time. It is a very unpleasant option. It is generally what we have been doing over the past 20-30 years, and is probably responsible for the significant decline in crime.

    The worst cost is not the government expense of incarceration, though that is significant. It is truly terrible and tragic that so many people are imprisoned, but I think that it is necessary for the protection of others.

    I worry that this successful, though costly, approach is being rejected not only in Leftist areas like NYC, but even among conservatives. I worry about the criminal justice reform passed at the federal level in 2019, though I haven’t investigated it in detail. It did have bipartisan support, including President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Senator Mike Lee (of Utah, who is quite a solid conservative guy generally). However, it was opposed by several Republican Senators, including Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse, and Marco Rubio.

    The real issue you raise is not relevant to either attack in a house of worship this past week. The Texas killer had a long history of mental illness and a violent personality. He had a series of minor scrapes with the law. He briefly channelled that in boxing. He terrified his first and second wife. However, if we locked up all such and threw away the key, we’d need a massive system of prison colonies. The New York machete-wielder had no such reported personality or history of felony violence.

    Right. I’m not saying that early and sustained treatment for bona fide mentally ill persons—of which the New York guy appears to have been one—would be guaranteed to prevent any given mentally ill person from engaging in violence, only that it would be my first priority, given the alternatives. 

    As I’m sure I’ve mentioned elsewhere, by their own admission up to 40% of the black “martyrs” to “police violence” were diagnosed mentally ill at the time of their demise. I think there’s a strong possibility that Michael Brown was psychotic when he met with Officer Darren Wilson. 

    And I know, from familial experience, that it is difficult to access good mental healthcare for seriously mentally ill patients even when these have access to resources (knowledge, money, determined, loving, well-informed advocates).  

    I also know that mental illnesses are, statistically speaking, unlikely to lead to violence but very likely to cause significant suffering to those afflicted. Therefore, making the long-overdue major improvements to the availability and accessibility of adequate treatment would have multiple beneficial effects for our mentally-ill fellow-citizens, their families, communities and country, among which could be that random violence would decrease. 

    Not vanish altogether. Just decrease. Had Mr. Thomas (machete-guy) been adequately treated for his illness, five human beings would not be badly injured, and a whole bunch of others would not be traumatized. Which would be much better. 

    I am not, by the way, talking about locking up people like Grafton Thomas for the rest of his life: it is not a crime to be sick. It is a crime to attack strangers with a machete and so now that’s exactly what will happen.   Mr. Thomas has now —at last—been admitted to the only fully-funded public institutions presently providing long-term mental healthcare, where he will remain forever, at considerable expense to taxpayers and at the cost of the well-being of an entire community.  

    At least based on what I know now—which may not be nearly enough to be as certain as I know I sound!—the killer at the White Settlement Church of Christ wasn’t diagnosed with schizophrenia, or bipolar, or schizo-affective disorder and thus a better system for treating the severely mentally ill wouldn’t have done much in his case. It’s hard to imagine what would have stopped him other than what, eventually, did. 

     By the way, if it isn’t obvious, I would prefer that our corrections system be far more assertive when it comes to so-called “minor” or “quality of life” crimes, especially when these are committed by the young.  A kid who knocks the hat off a stranger may not, inevitably, be headed for worse and more violent crimes: his arrest presents an opportunity for intervention and re-direction as well as providing a sense of at least temporary safety and minimal justice for his victim.

    That New York is moving in the opposite direction—routinely spitting even violent people out  within hours of arrest—is, well, crazy. 

     

     

     

    • #32
  3. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    That New York is moving in the opposite direction—routinely spitting even violent people out within hours of arrest—is, well, crazy.

    And mystifying; people who live in New York must certainly be aware of the dangers that surround them – how popular can this new ‘policy’ be? 

    • #33
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    TBA (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    That New York is moving in the opposite direction—routinely spitting even violent people out within hours of arrest—is, well, crazy.

    And mystifying; people who live in New York must certainly be aware of the dangers that surround them – how popular can this new ‘policy’ be?

    People get the government they vote for, or fail to vote against.

    • #34
  5. Brian Inactive
    Brian
    @BrianJoselit

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I realize I’m not really offering any solutions.

    The conceit that all problems have solutions, especially government solutions, has caused a lot of suffering.

    I’m 100% of the opinion that any government solution will only make this worse. 
    Cultural solutions can be influenced & exacerbated by government but not changed (for the better) by government.
    There are many government “solutions” that we can point to that helped exacerbate the many family & social issues in the black community but the only way back from this in my opinion is to help them reestablish the social & Familial leadership necessary to channel peoples passions in productive & unhateful directions. I don’t mean to single out the Black community i think this is the answer for school shooters & White supremacists etc.       

    • #35
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