As news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas broke on Monday morning, the 4Chan message boards lit up … with congratulations to a white shooter for breaking Omar Mateen’s “high score.”
“Beaten by one kill, looks like the white man is king of mass shootings again,” one anonymous 4Chan commenter posted. “Stephen Paddock is the new king.”
Police identified the Las Vegas shooter — who has killed at least 58 people — as Stephen Paddock.
One particularly nasty racist post mocked Asians for being defeated by “the white race.” This anonymous user declared, “The real news here is that the high score is back in the hands of the white race. Get f**ked Asians, Cho was never going to hold it.”
This was a reference to Seung-Hui Cho, a mass murderer who killed 32 people and wounded 17 others at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., on April 16, 2007. His “record,” however, had already been beaten by Omar Mateen, the man who killed 49 people and wounded 58 others at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12, 2016. Mateen had been investigated for connections to terrorism by the FBI, and he identified himself as a soldier of the Islamic State (ISIS) in a phone call before the shooting.
ISIS has also claimed responsibility for the Las Vegas shooting, but that claim has not yet been confirmed.
Many racist celebrations emerged on 4Chan. “I TOLD THESE BOZOS IT WASN’T ISIS LAST NIGHT AND THEY SPERGED OUT. NOW THAT IT’S A WHITE GUY THEY’RE HAPPY THAT THE US RECORD HIGH SCORE IS BACK IN THE HANDS OF THE WHITE RACE,” another anonymous user commented.
“White man back on number 1,” another user posted. To this, one user responded, “It was inevitable,” while another countered, “but Breveik was already on number 1.”
This user was referring to Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian far-right terrorist who killed eight people with a van bomb on July 22, 2011, in Oslo, and then shot dead 69 participants of a Workers’ Youth League (AUF) summer camp. Breivik opposed Islam and “cultural Marxism,” has identified as a “national socialist,” and said his religion was “Odinism.” He remains in prison, where he has been sentenced to between 10 and 21 years, the maximum sentence in Norway.
Another 4Chan user asked whether Breivik’s “record” might be beaten by Paddock’s rampage.
“His record has stood for nearly six years,” the user posted with a picture of Breivik. “With 58 dead and counting, can a challenger appear?”
Users responded, saying, “Nice edge” and “Yeah but he killed leftists.”
Other 4Chan users shot down Breivik’s “record.” This commenter wrote, “Reminder that Breivik’s record does not count as a mass shooting. He used bombs to do a lot of damage. Paddock has the new high score for mass shootings.”
4Chan can be a disgusting hub for scum and villainy, but one particular comment on the Las Vegas shooting seemed to take the cake.
“Some degenerates in vegas got wasted by some crazy f**k and I’m supposed to feel bad? In a week I won’t even remember this bullsh*t, stop trying to take away people’s rights,” a user commented. Another backed this person up, “No one will give a f**k in a few days. No one really cares apart from the people that lost family members.”
Such vile comments deserve condemnation from all sides. Perhaps the people partying Sunday night in Las Vegas had too much to drink. Perhaps they were using recreational drugs, many of which are illegal. None of this can justify cold-blooded mass murder, as any sane person knows.
Furthermore, Americans do indeed care that these people were killed. Condolences, prayers, and monetary gifts have been sent to the victims and their families, and President Donald Trump offered a special thanks to first responders.
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
This can never be enough, of course. When senseless evil robs people of their very lives, no act of charity can bring back the dead. But it remains false to say that people do not care, and anyone who refers to victims as “degenerates” will be roundly attacked on all fronts.
After the tragic shooting in Orlando last year, Chick-fil-A took the unusual step of providing free food — on a Sunday, the day Chick-fil-A locations across the country are usually closed — to all those giving blood to help the victims of the Orlando shooting. This was particularly moving, given Chick-fil-A’s management’s stance against same-sex marriage, which got the company branded “anti-LGBT.” Whatever management thinks about same-sex marriage, the company went above and beyond to serve victims who were shot at a gay nightclub.
These kinds of acts of charity make America truly great, and should remind everyone that the hatred on display in that 4Chan post is the real “bullsh*t.”