This picture shows the “bullet hole” in the window of the class room at the Temple Adath B'nai Israel complex in Evansville, Indiana. Rabbi Gary Mazo has been going “ballistic”, claiming that this is evidence of a hate crime designed to intimidate and silence Jews. The damage is supposed to have been done on a Sunday, the 26th of February. It was discovered Monday, and reported to the authorities on Tuesday.
You can see the damage to the window in a close up. It is clearly *not* a bullet hole. The horizontal measurement of the cone is likely about an inch. The hole in the center is almost certainly less than 1/8th of an inch. It is an obvious Hertzian cone in glass, most commonly caused by the impact of a steel BB from the common Daisy BB gun. The actual hole in the center of the cone is mostly round and very small, usually under 2 mm. I have seen dozens of these sort of impact cones caused by BB guns. If vandalism is the intention, there are usually many, many impacts. BBs are very cheap, and BB guns are nearly silent. A single impact is likely the result of accident or negligence, but seldom malice.
But malice was immediately conceived of as the obvious intent by Rabbi Gary Mazo. From thehill.com:
A gunshot fired at an Indiana synagogue classroom is being investigated by the FBI as a possible hate crime, according to an Indianapolis Star report.
The bullet pierced a window at the Adath B’Nai Israel Temple’s Sunday school, damage that was discovered Monday amid a wave of bomb threats at Jewish community centers and schools across the country.
Rabbi Gary Mazo, who leads the Adath B’Nai Israel Temple in Evansville, Ind., said he believes the shooter intended to instill fear in the community by shooting at a classroom.
Here is a description of the exact sort of damage that is seen in Evansville. From deltakits.com:
Repairable SOLID plate glass damage is generally limited to the “bullseye” type break, which is characterized by a small hole, about 1/8″ in diameter on one side of the glass (commonly caused by a BB or Pellet gun), and a cone shaped hole about ¾” to 1 ½” in diameter on the opposite side of the glass. The smaller hole is on the side of the glass that was hit by the object causing the damage.
|Image of Hertzian cone from Delta Kits|
The Evansville police were careful not to call it a “bullet hole. From usnews.com:
Evansville police say it was an act of vandalism caused by a “projectile.”
Rabbi Gary Mazo is now walking back on the idea that it was a “gunshot” or a “bullet hole”. From courierpress.com:
Mazo said investigators believe the damage was inflicted by a low-powered weapon, meaning that its unlikely that the incident, in his mind, is anything other than a “cowardly act by a bigot.”
Because anything that happens is evidence of vandalism by a bigot. The story traveled around the world. USAToday carried it. The story was carried by the Israeli National News. They did not have a picture of the actual damage, so they put up a file photo of a real bullet hole, and labeled it as such. From israrelinationalnews.com:
Anyone who has worked with real bullets and real bullet holes knows that the Hertzian cone in the plate glass window is not a real bullet hole.
|Damage to window can be seen in the upper right quadrant. It appears to be less than an inch in diameter|
It is much more dramatic to create a boogey man from a bullet hole than from a negligently fired BB.
I hope Rabbi Gary Mazo becomes educated by the investigators on what real bullet holes look like. If this incident turns out to be an accident, perhaps the Rabbi will realize that he was foolish to assume the worst.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.