If mass shooters have a sick desire to become instantly infamous in the wake of their crimes — the kind of gruesome, twisted wreck of humanity that gets endlessly dissected on true crime podcasts a decade or so from now — perhaps Anthony Ferrill didn’t pick the right time. The former MillerCoors and Molson Coors employee shot five people dead at the company’s brewery complex on Wednesday before turning the gun on himself.
The 51-year-old Ferrill got some media attention, obviously, but he wasn’t as endlessly picked over as other mass shooters over the past few years. Part of it was that it was a busy week in the news, with both coronavirus and political events taking center stage. However, there may have been another reason why you didn’t hear much about Ferrill: He doesn’t fit in the narrative box the media likes to stuff mass shooters into.
Motives are sketchy at the moment, although neighbors said he talked of “spies” from the brewing giant who were sent to his neighborhood to ensure he wasn’t faking a shoulder injury that had caused him to miss work, according to the New York Post.
Lest you think he’s crazy in this department, this does actually happen: “Miller Brewing Company, now part of Molson Coors, hired outside investigators to watch an employee in Ohio over a disputed foot injury in 2000,” The Associated Press reported. “The employee sued Miller for a variety of claims, including a retaliation claim for the surveillance, but none of the claims succeeded.”
What we do know is that he was allegedly fired on Wednesday and returned to the complex with a stolen ID card to kill five people.
Beyond all of that, however, there’s a common narrative that emerges after a mass shooting when the shooter is white that it all stems from a certain brand of white male rage. Take this article from the U.K.’s Sky News shortly after the El Paso shooting in 2019: “Why are white men carrying out more mass shootings?”
Their premise was that the percentage of white males who committed mass shootings was almost identical to the number of white males in the U.S. population. Therefore, this was a Caucasian phenomenon. Ferrill, for obvious reasons, doesn’t fit that description.
“About 60% of America is white-only, while current stats show white people carry out about 58% of shootings. But as a proportion of all races and shootings, white people far outstrip others,” the article said. You unpack the logic behind that last sentence, because I gave up after five minutes of sitting blankly at my desk.
Do you think the media should give this shooting more attention?
82% (18 Votes)
18% (4 Votes)
What they did point out is that there are some shooters who have white supremacist motives, as the El Paso shooter did.
“I will say that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence, but it does include other things as well,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate committee in July, one month before the attack.
“We take domestic terrorism or hate crime – regardless of ideology – extremely seriously, I can assure you, and we are aggressively pursuing it using both counter-terrorism resources and criminal investigative resources and partnering closely with our state and local partners.”
“We the FBI don’t investigate the ideology, no matter how repugnant. We investigate violence.”
I give you the entirety of that because this is the kind of quote that always gets trotted out in a situation like this — except, of course, if the shooter is a black man whose wife was an Elizabeth Warren supporter.
As some noted on Twitter, Ferrill’s wife had attended one of Warren’s presidential campaign rallies in 2019.
Ferrill’s wife had even been part of one of Warren’s selfie lines.
The shooter was 51 year old Anthony Ferrill. His wife attends Elizabeth Warren rallies. pic.twitter.com/IKZxHahgdf
— Yim Yames (@yamesyim) February 27, 2020
This isn’t on Sen. Warren and Ferrill himself wasn’t at the event, but Heavy pointed out that Ferrill’s wife was clearly a progressive: “On her various social media pages, which have now been deleted, Ferrill’s wife posted photos of her family and expressing liberal political views. In July 2019, Ferrill’s wife attended a speech by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren at South Division High School Gym in Milwaukee. Following the speech, Ferrill’s wife took a photo with the Massachusetts senator.”
So angry? Yes, of course. Conservative? Probably not, given that most individuals don’t marry spouses with differing political opinions. Male? Yes. White? No.
There are other uncomfortable facts. Ferrill built his own guns, according to neighbors, using parts ordered out of catalogs. There’s no evidence those guns were used in the shootings, mind you — but the idea of someone being able to make their own guns undercuts, in a very small way, the gun control argument.
The point is, this just didn’t tick enough boxes for the left, so it’s been quickly falling off the radar. This is how the left reacts after mass shootings. If the facts don’t fit the narrative, it all goes away quickly. File this one in the overstuffed folder filled with evidence mass shootings are nothing more than political events for Democrats.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.