In mid-June, a 22y/o man attacked a federal courthouse in Dallas, armed with a rifle. A reporter at the courthouse entrance managed to snap a photo of him soon after it began. The shooter managed to do little besides break some glass doors before federal marshals shot and killed him.
The various gun forums I'm on went nuts. Between a clear pic of him in action and a social media page that stayed up longer than normal meant the gunbunnies tore into him like hyenas deboning a chicken. Even allowing for the chest-thumping tacticlowning, he looked like the kind of gunbunny even gunbunnies looked at funny.
(If you've ever been a nerd, at a nerd gathering, and met that one guy that don't get socialization to save his life? The "I'm a nerd, but sit down, buddy, you need some fucking help,"? That guy. Same kinda of thing.)
The FBI still hasn't come up with a motive. He was a short-time Army infantry veteran, and nobody he served with seemed to have any clue. The gun crowd that has spoken up on him has mostly been mocking his gear, his loadout, his lack of any visible goal, and his ultimate apparent failure.
(I'll admit, I'm still at the head tilting phase. The guy was a grunt, but still impressed by the concept of 40rd magazines? Weird.)
Then came Saturday. A 69 y/o man attacked an ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington. He was armed with a rifle and several Molotov cocktails, managing to destroy a car parked outside the center. He was attempting to damage or destroy the propane tank outside the center when he was shot and killed by Tacoma police.
The man has been claimed as a member of the John Brown gun club, a far-left but heavily pro-gun antifa spinoff. Video of some of their early training sessions was, I'll just say underwhelming. He had apparently left several goodbye letters to friends and acquaintances before his attack, indicating that he didn't plan on surviving. He also left a manifesto that supposedly plagiarized some of AOC's statements concerning ICE's activities. (No, I haven't read it). Seattle antifa has claimed him as a martyr.
More than anything, these remind me of the congressional baseball shooter. Lone male attackers succumbing to despair and trying to take as many as who they blame for it with them. I readily admit this may be overly simplistic and there may be aspects of these cases I'm not aware of, but going about half as deep in detail as I used to, this is what I'm seeing.
My current takeways?
One: every government agency has seen these, and they're in no mood to fuck around. They've all seen or read enough active shooter scenarios to know the kind of damage that one asshole who doesn't care if they live can do; and know the best and easiest response is turning an asshole threat into asshole not a threat as quickly as possible.
Two: prep for a possible next level is either being dreamt up or actively being trained for. Yeah, the area 51 thing may well be meme-ridden bullshit, but I guarantee you every security forces unit within a quick flight to Area 51 is qualing on machine gun ranges as we speak, with heavier weapons ranges used as can fit into the schedules. The only thing a commander of a unit like that likes less than the idea of having to fire on unarmed Americans is the thought of being overrun and torn apart by unarmed Americans.
Three: left, right, or center, doesn't matter in the big picture. the system is an animal in unto itself. And it will defend itself. It would behoove those who would attack it to think long and hard about why and how and to what end before making an attempt.