SARA BLOOMFIELD, director, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: We
do take security very seriously. We have a very high profile.
KWAME HOLMAN: Sara Bloomfield, the museum's director, said
the institution had never been threatened in the 16 years since it opened. It
has among the tightest security of any of the capital's myriad museums.
SARA BLOOMFIELD: We pay attention to everything --
KWAME HOLMAN: Bloomfield
was heartened by the turnout at the museum today. Do you think some have the --
the sense of wanting to show support for the museum?
SARA BLOOMFIELD: Yes, I do sense that, that people really
want to do it out of an act of defiance or solidarity. And I think the American
public realizes, in incidents like this, if you allow the haters to win, we
have really lost everything.
KWAME HOLMAN: Von Brunn was known to post incendiary
comments on the Internet that focused especially on Jews and African-Americans.
People near his home outside Annapolis,
Maryland, said they had long been
wary of von Brunn. Laura Era owns an art gallery in Easton, Maryland
LAURA ERA, Maryland
art gallery owner: You would call him maybe a ticking time bomb. I definitely
thought he was capable of doing something like this.
KWAME HOLMAN: Authorities say quick action by the museum's
security guards saved lives here. But, as the investigation continues into what
drove the shooter, there are indications that a combination of hatred, rage and
hard times might have been at work.
KEN PIERNICK, former FBI agent: I am concerned that there
are more lunatics like von Brunn who would act on their baser emotions. That
always concerned me. And it should concern everybody. The fact that we have an
African-American president now, in some people's minds, such as the mind of von
Brunn, might be considered a triggering event.
KWAME HOLMAN: Ken Piernick served in the FBI for 22 years in
counterterrorism and counterintelligence capacities. He says, extremists such
as von Brunn often are outliers, even within their own extremist communities.
KEN PIERNICK: What I learned as I worked on most domestic
terrorism cases, particularly among the militias and all these different
movements, is, innately, most of them really abhorred violence. In fact, it was
so apparent, that they would report to us, the FBI, and other law enforcement
the most crazy of their members, because they didn't want to be associated with
that sort of stuff.