April 03, 2009

Binghamton Shooter Recently Laid Off From IBM Shop Vac

More information is already coming out about the man who went on a shooting spree inside the American Civic Association in Binghamton, NY today.

Jiverly Voong, 42, was a nationalized naturalized Vietnamese-American who has been in the United States for 28 years. He began his rampage at 10:31 AM, killing 13 others and himself by 10:33 AM. There is still some uncertainty about the number of people who were wounded during the shooting who are in area hospitals.

Voong is said to have used a pair of semi-automatic handguns in his assault, once chambered in 9mm and one chambered for 45 ACP (Kudos to the ABC News staff for using my rewrite of that paragraph to report the story more accurately; they had originally used a sentence that described the weapons used inaccurately as heavy caliber automatic pistols).

Police have no known motive for Voong's attack, but some media are suggesting that his recent layoff from IBM may have been part of the reason for the for the shooting. An account of last week's layoffs from WBNG suggests a thin motive for attacking the Civic Association:

Big Blue plans to layoff 5-thousand U.S. Employees today.

IBM headquarters has not responded to calls about whether there are cuts at the Endicott site.

Conrad says Alliance has been told layoffs are taking place in Global Business Services, Systems Technology Group, and Global Technology Services.

"We are hearing that these jobs will be eliminated here in the United States and the work shifted to India, China, Asia-Pacific and Latin America." says Conrad.

It is thin and perhaps irrational reasoning that would lead an immigrant to attack other immigrants for jobs that are leaving this country, if this was indeed Voong's motive. Sadly, that is all the motive we have at this time, and no motive could every justify such a senseless act.

I would caution Americans on the left not to use this senseless tragedy to push for more gun control (New York has restrictive gun laws that obviously failed here), just as I'd advise my fellow citizens on the middle and right not to blame the current or former Presidential Administrations for the recession that led to IBM's layoffs. Congress?

That's a point that may well be worth discussing...

Update: As they so often are, earlier media reports were wrong. Voong (formerly Wong) hated America, was obsessed with guns, and hated having poor English skills.

Illiteracy kills?

Zikuski said Wong was depressed about his poor English-speaking skills, which he was teased about, and his recent unemployment.

"He was terminated from his job at a place called Shop Vac, and he was very upset about that also," Zikuski said.

Zikuski told NBC's "Today" show that people "degraded and disrespected" the gunman over his inability to speak English well.

As a result, said Mayor Matthew Ryan on ABC's "Good Morning America," he was upset about his problems with the language.

This makes his decision to attack a room full of recent immigrants, many who we can assume also faced the challenge of adopting to a new language, even less understandable.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 3, 2009 06:00 PM

Do you mean he was a naturalized citizen? I'm not sure what a nationalized citizen is. Is that like a nationalized bank? taken over by the government?

Posted by: southernliberty at April 3, 2009 06:16 PM

Considering the cost of all the government expansion and crushing multi-generational debt our Congress and President have shoved down our throats in just over two months, "nationalized" seems to be accidentally accurate.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at April 3, 2009 06:30 PM

Clearly, the only viable solution is to give all immigrants concealed-carry permits.

Posted by: Mike's Dumbmerica at April 3, 2009 09:50 PM

I can understand how someone laid off at IBM to be replaced with foreigners would take it out on foreigners.
The entire sector has seen US and western European jobs being replaced with Asian and easter European cheap labour for a decade, leading to massive frustration and angst among US and western Europeans who still do have jobs.
So now IBM fires thousands of Americans (never mind that some were themselves immigrants at one point, they're Americans now) and replaces them with Asians, while Asians working for them on H-1b permits they attained fraudulently (the process is well known, the majority of H-1b permits going to India especially are fraudulent) keep their jobs.

His motives may be flawed, but his target is quite understandable.
He took it out on foreigners, those taking his job.

Posted by: J.T. Wenting at April 4, 2009 02:40 AM

Libs believe that if 'gun laws fail' its because law abiding citizens still have guns in their possession, and that more stringent gun laws must be enacted to remove such weapons from the citizenry in order to 'avoid' these murders.
It's back handed logic, but it's the only kind most liberals are capable of.
Oh, and don't you know libs were calling for such additional gun laws while the siege was still ongoing. Why waste time.

Posted by: eaglewingz08 at April 4, 2009 11:15 AM

update: IBM says they have no record of anyone by that name ever working for them. Could of course have been an alias, but why use an alias when you're intent on killing yourself?
update: Al Qaeda (Pakistan branch) blames responsibility.

Posted by: J.T. Wenting at April 4, 2009 01:35 PM

You'd think that 28 years in America would be long enough to pick up the language.

Posted by: Tim at April 5, 2009 12:16 PM