We have to Talk About the Victims Of Gun Violence
I was going to start off on the Walmart shooter of last week who walked into a Walmart and shot it up. He had been living with a bunch of Bibles and no furniture.
But now we've got another guy in Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 people dead.
We have now reached the point where more people have died in mass shootings in one year than in any other year, a trend that began back in the 1980s and has just burst through.
It is showing the world the fundamental mental illness associated with an industry, in this case the weapons industry, owning an entire political party, so that people can buy weapons that have nothing to do with sports shooting, have nothing to do with hunting, have nothing to do with "tradition" or taking your kids out in the woods or any of that.
Assault weapons. This is crazy.
Senator Chris Murphy spoke out. He said...
"The paralysis you feel right now - the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen — isn't real. It's a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits. As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets. Ask yourself - how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents".
The Colorado killer, a guy named Scott Ostrem, "oh, he was just a loner". He killed three people last Wednesday. But people killed in mass shootings now, with the 26 at the First Baptist Church, the 58 at the Las Vegas Strip, the 48 in the Pulse nightclub, the 14 in San Bernardino last year, it all is adding up to just a genuinely terrible situation.
And there are arguably multiple pieces to this.
We've got the piece of there are too many guns, particularly guns that can kill a lot of people really quickly. Too many weapons of war are floating around on our streets and at the very least we could go back to the rational and practical position that was even supported by the Reagan administration which is, why do we need assault weapons? Assault weapons are for armies and maybe for police departments in some rare situations, but not for the average person. This is crazy.
And then there's another connection here. Steven Paddock, the guy who shot up Vegas, had a habit of berating his girlfriend in public. According to a Quartz Media piece by Max de Haldevang, "Stephen Paddock shared a trait with other mass killers: He abused women." And he just goes through the list. Who were these people?
Omar Mateen - the Pulse nightclub shooter abused his former wife, Seungh Hui Cho - Virginia Tech April 2007 - harassed women, Adam Lanza shot his mother before killing children at Sandy Hook, George Hennard stalked women before he commited mass murder in Killeen, Texas in 1991.
Paddock, reports the Los Angeles Times, regularly demeaned his girlfriend in front of others at the local Starbucks, where they were regulars. "I'm paying for your drink, just like I'm paying for you," Starbucks staff recalled him saying to Marilou Danley.
In more than half of us mass shootings between 2009 and 2016, the killer (almost invariably male) shot a current or former intimate partner or family member.
Now, there's a really important concept here of cultural shift, rapid cultural shift. We're seeing this happen right now with Harvey Weinstein. It has exploded across the scene, and I think in part because Harvey Weinstein was a big "liberal", the right-wing press, the Drudge press and whatnot would give him the coverage that they weren't willing to give to, for example, Bill O'Reilly's sexual indiscretions.
So there's this moment when the press on both the left and the right are vilifying this guy and apparently with good reason, it is causing a cultural shift.
I really think in America that 10 years from now we will look back on this year and say, "you know, that was the year when it became inappropriate for men to harass women in the workplace", basically, and worse obviously.
We see these major inflection points in our culture and things shift and it takes a while for things to shift, but things shift.
If we're seeing that revolution, that change, that shift happening with regard to sexual assault, could we be seeing it with regard to gun assault as well?
Now, there's also a clear association between mass shooters and people who abuse women. So it's almost like these things are coming together.
And with regard to the Weinstein thing, I wonder to what extent does Donald Trump bear some guilt, maybe deserves some credit would be the phrase to use, for Weinstein being outed.
Because it seems that we have, after all these reports of Donald Trump assaulting and even raping some women, or the possibility of it - Trump of course is saying they're all liars - but I think that you know, especially after the Access Hollywood tape came out a lot of Americans are saying, "ok, enough, we're sick and tired of wealthy powerful men abusing people, particularly women who have less power and wealth, not going to happen anymore".
So how do we turn these mass shootings into something similar?
Now, with with women being harassed by men in the workplace, the way that that change is happening is people coming out and saying, "me too", saying, "here's what happened".
And I'm wondering if, when we start seriously telling the stories of the victims, something that the media almost never does - the closest they got to it I think was Sandy Hook, and even then it was like, "oh, we have to give these people space, we have to respect their privacy".
And I'm wondering how much of that meme is being promoted by the NRA. You know, "oh, you can't talk about the victims".
Yes, let's talk about the victims.
This is NOT a complex issue. There has been shown to be a direct correlation between how many guns are available in a country and how frequently they are used to inflict injury and death on that county's citizens. Australia is a prime example. When a consevative government clamped down on gun ownership, the rate of gun injuries dropped accordingly. Trying to complicate this issue is self-serving BS on the part of Republican politicians who are owned, "lock, stock, and barrel" by the gun lobby. America has as many guns in private hands as it has citizens, and the number just keeps increasing. One more reason we are the laughing stock of the Western world.
Oh, there are mentally defective people involved here, that is for sure! However, the mentally defective people are the elected officials who are sociopaths and have no empathy for the slaughter of our people -- which they allow/prefer over losing their "elected" positions of power over us.
We test people who want to drive a car, become a doctor, lawyer, pilot, teacher, etc. However, when we hand the very critical control of our very LIVES over to these politicians -- no tests ... never even an option!
Mankind's progress has unwittingly been retarded by these mentally defective individuals for as long as there have been written records. The internationally acclaimed expert on this issue is a Dr. Hare, of Canada. He has devised a test which can detect psycho/sociopaths and we, the people of the world, should start testing not only our politicians, but major CEOs, military leaders, religious leaders, etc.
Can you imagine where the world would be NOW, if we hadn't been historically handicapped all along by these soulless, destructive individuals?
Living in Australia (and having lived in the UK and Germany) I can only shake my head at the situation in the US. http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/charts-and-maps
I find it strange, though, Thom, that the your article is accompanied by the frequenly shown image of you with the caption "Trying out my brother's .40 cal".
Two American families - friends of mine from my time in Germany - live in the US and have NO GUNS.
Geez Thom it was smart of you to remove the pic of you showing off your brothers .40 cal. before you started posting anti gun posts.
Have you insisted he give up his gun(s)?
Lets give up ALL our rights hoping someone else will keep us safe.
Did you notice police were still on the way to the crime when the armed citizen took down the shooter?
What is crazier than gun lovers trying to blame crazy people for ruining their irrational love of guns.
Forget about the victims of gun violence! They are not important when it comes to the need for gun lovers to have, hold and caress their cherished guns.
We are just chopped liver compared to their obsession with their beloved guns. Like many drug addicts, the lives of others are unimportant compared to their uncontrollable urge to get high squeezing off a few rounds of target practice.
So what if the country is awash with guns, killing tens of thousands of people every year? Is that more important than their self-serving interpretation of the 2nd amendment?
The scary part is that they will never be convinced otherwise.
I haven't heard anyone comment about the potential danger inherent when armed citizens become self appointed law enforcement officers??? What if ole Tex had accidentally shot a couple of bystanders as he went all wide eyed and whip silly shooting at a fellow gun toter? It could have easily happened. Remember, he's becoming the judge and jury in adrenanlin rush seconds. The word vigilante comes to mind. Big difference between hunting deer and hunting people.
#1 - Common sense... is it not?
Where has that concept gone?
Hot Coffee: When did Thom ever say he wants us to give up the right to own guns? That's like me saying anti-abortionists want me to give up the right to have sex or something.
#5 - Look into the reason The Founders required gun ownership
Looks to me they had a need because there was no standing army
And, now the prevailing belief is that owning a gun is a blasted "right"
#5 - Look into the reason The Founders required gun ownership
Looks to me they had a need because there was no standing army
And, now the prevailing belief is that owning a gun is a blasted "right"
Why does rational human living in the 21st century need a gun?
I'm still amazed at the rightie uproar over a peacful display of our First Amendment, "taking a knee," and the rightie numbnuttedness in sanctifying our Second Amendment. Give me a freaking break!
#9 - You just quite graphically outlined the problem with mindset
It's okay to to have a gun without any excuse, need or requirement
(for some weird reason)
Result... death simply because weapons are available to any jerk planning for a killing
The blasted facility is there for humans to be killed
Do you not realise that gun deaths are highest in America?
A population where there happens to be almost one gun for every human in the country
Are you blind?
It seems that fear and false accusations/information have fueled the Country into owning too many guns. Were #1 in the world in gun profits, guns, and death.
I think the nightly news should have a "counter" every night of how many people were killed by a gun that day. Or, maybe we could make a quilt for each victim and spread them over the lawn on the National Mall in Washington D.C. We need to do something visual to "show" people how many we lose every day to guns. The NRA was able to get their puppet congressman to outlaw any scientific research into the problem. I think a counter that is constantly tracking the numbers might get people thinking.
When they pass drug laws...think MMJ, Prohibition,...they create a black market...then only criminals can buy and sell guns.
Why would anyone want a gun mafia?
The nanny state will not keep you safe.
Many people in this country live a hour or more drive from a police station.
Geez I live a hour away from a cell phone tower.
Organized crime received a major boost from Prohibition. Mafia groups limited their activities to prostitution, gambling, and theft until 1920, when organized bootlegging emerged in response to Prohibition. A profitable, often violent, black market for alcohol flourished. Prohibition provided a financial basis for organized crime to flourish.
In a study of more than 30 major U.S. cities during the Prohibition years of 1920 and 1921, the number of crimes increased by 24%. Additionally, theft and burglaries increased by 9%, homicides by 12.7%, assaults and battery rose by 13%, drug addiction by 44.6%, and police department costs rose by 11.4%. This was largely the result of "black-market violence" and the diversion of law enforcement resources elsewhere. Despite the Prohibition movement's hope that outlawing alcohol would reduce crime, the reality was that the Volstead Act led to higher crime rates than were experienced prior to Prohibition and the establishment of a black market dominated by criminal organizations. The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre produced seven deaths, considered one of the deadliest days of mob history. A 2016 NBER paper showed that South Carolina counties that enacted and enforced prohibition had homicide rates increase by about 30 to 60 percent relative to counties that did not enforce prohibition.
Furthermore, stronger liquor surged in popularity because its potency made it more profitable to smuggle. To prevent bootleggers from using industrial ethyl alcohol to produce illegal beverages, the federal government ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols. In response, bootleggers hired chemists who successfully renatured the alcohol to make it drinkable. As a response, the Treasury Department required manufacturers to add more deadly poisons, including the particularly deadly methyl alcohol. New York City medical examiners prominently opposed these policies because of the danger to human life. As many as 10,000 people died from drinking denatured alcohol before Prohibition ended. New York City medical examiner Charles Norris believed the government took responsibility for murder when they knew the poison was not deterring people and they continued to poison industrial alcohol (which would be used in drinking alcohol) anyway. Norris remarked: "The government knows it is not stopping drinking by putting poison in alcohol... [Y]et it continues its poisoning processes, heedless of the fact that people determined to drink are daily absorbing that poison. Knowing this to be true, the United States government must be charged with the moral responsibility for the deaths that poisoned liquor causes, although it cannot be held legally responsible."
Al Capone, the Prohibition-era leader of organized crime in Chicago.
Another lethal substance that was often substituted for alcohol was "canned heat", also commonly known as Sterno. Forcing the substance through a makeshift filter, such as a handkerchief, created a rough liquor substitute; however, the result was poisonous, though not often lethal. Many of those who were poisoned as a result united to sue the government for reparations after the end of Prohibition.
Making alcohol at home was very common during Prohibition. Stores sold grape concentrate with warning labels that listed the steps that should be avoided to prevent the juice from fermenting into wine. Some drugstores sold "medical wine" with around a 22% alcohol content. In order to justify the sale, the wine was given a medicinal taste. Home-distilled hard liquor was called bathtub gin in northern cities, and moonshine in rural areas of Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Homebrewing good hard liquor was easier than brewing good beer. Since selling privately distilled alcohol was illegal and bypassed government taxation, law enforcement officers relentlessly pursued manufacturers. In response, bootleggers modified their cars and trucks by enhancing the engines and suspensions to make faster vehicles that, they presumed, would improve their chances of outrunning and escaping agents of the Bureau of Prohibition, commonly called "revenue agents" or "revenuers". These cars became known as "moonshine runners" or "'shine runners". Shops were also known to participate in the underground liquor market, by loading their stocks with ingredients for liquors, including bénédictine, vermouth, scotch mash, and even ethyl alcohol, which anyone could purchase legally.
Prohibition also had an effect on the music industry in the United States, specifically with jazz. Speakeasies became very popular, and the Great Depression's migratory effects led to the dispersal of jazz music, from New Orleans going north through Chicago and to New York. This led to the development of different styles in different cities. Due to its popularity in speakeasies and the emergence of advanced recording technology, jazz's popularity skyrocketed. It was also at the forefront of the minimal integration efforts going on at the time, as it united mostly black musicians with mostly white audiences.
Along with other economic effects, the enactment and enforcement of Prohibition caused an increase in resource costs. During the 1920s the annual budget of the Bureau of Prohibition went from $4.4 million to $13.4 million. Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard spent an average of $13 million annually on enforcement of prohibition laws. These numbers do not take into account the costs to local and state governments.
When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, many bootleggers and suppliers simply moved into the legitimate liquor business. Some crime syndicates moved their efforts into expanding their protection rackets to cover legal liquor sales and other business areas.
Cool! A good guy with a gun took out a bad guy with a gun -- just like in the movies, by gawd! Not so cool: he's the exception that proves the rule.
It's a very rare occurance in real life, lIke waterboarding producing actionable intelligence. Why else is the right-wing so out of breath harping about it? Because it hardly ever happens! "But who cares about objective reality; it happens in the movies all the time, so it's gotta be true. Besides, that's what the NRA, the arbiter of truth, told me."
But why did the bad guy have a gun in the first place? What, 59 concert-goers and 26 church-goers are just ...gone? Collateral damage in the war to protect the right of two homegrown white male abusers of women to spray trapped, helpless crowds with military assault rifles and copious amounts of clips and ammo?
Whew! At least they weren't Muslim. Ivanka might have orchestrated another pointless missile strike in the Middle East. "How many cruise missiles and MOABS we got left, Daddy?"
Thom's got this right; the nation needs to focus on the victims instead of the self-dealing arguments framed by the gun lobby, which only ensure that escalating violence parallels escalating profits.
If we had a mainstream media that actually reported raw news without endless corporate spin, the victims' horrific stories would have, if not more, at least equal billing as the "good guy with a gun" story.
Just like war footage, perhaps if overly pampered Americans smelled the cordite and copper, so to speak, and relived the blood-and-guts carnage in every gory detail 24/7 ad nauseam (just like the survivors do for the rest of their lives), then perhaps mass shootings -- and war -- would be just as rare as "a good guy with a gun shooting a bad guy with a gun" in just the right place at the right time.
May God bless him and show mercy for all who perished.
Here is a nice gun free zone.
(CBS) — They are young and armed — thieves on the prowl. Their target? Salons and massage spas in Chicago.
As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, surveillance video is proving quite helpful.
Two teens, wearing hoods, enter Happy Feet massage spa in Norwood Park. They go straight to the front desk and start taking money. The receptionist calls out for the owner. When she enters the room, one of the teens pulls a gun on her.
“I say, ‘OK. You can take everything,’” the owner tells CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot. “I’m so scared.”
After holding the owner at gunpoint, one of the teens enters the back laundry room and takes money from a purse. He heads to the front, with a worker’s bag in hand. Then, both teens leave.
Sources say the armed robbery inside Happy Feet massage spa was one of about a dozen that took place in Chicago in just the past month.
Chicago isn’t alone. Similar crimes committed by teens have occurred in Northbrook, Gurnee, Highland Park and Waukegan.
In some cases, there have been two people who enter. In others, as many as seven have swarmed business, robbing workers and sometimes customers.
Police in Gurnee and Northbrook say they’ve arrested a total of four suspects so far. Chicago police say detectives are looking at patterns in the cases.
So 7 teens with guns...didn'tbuy them at the gun shop...where did they get them...not from law abiding citizens,
HotCoffee. Ha! Post #18 was actually a really interesting Wiki-read with lots of good info. Thanks. I put that on my list of rabbit holes to go down later.
In post #20, your pithy introductory remark followed by copying and pasting an entire article about some random collection of anecdotal stories, albeit curious, doesn't really demonstrate a larger pattern one way or the other (like black and white snow on an outdated cathode ray tube searching for a nonexistent signal).
Though I dare say, Madame, it sure do seem like yer callin' for a whole heap o' new regulaSHUNS to clamp down on all that wicked behavior and all those nefarious deeds. Shame!
BTW, gun-free zones are largely local decisions that communities deem necessary to save lives, because so many of their sons and daughters are being gunned down senselessly. In places like Chicago, OF COOOURSE they are going to be hard to enforce with illegal guns flooding in from all directions ...from gun-NON-free zones ...like the rest of the great big gawdamn Younited States a' Meerkkka! GUNS-GUNS-GUNS! USA-USA-USA! (Helluva tourist slogan!)
But, skipping back (whoopie) to the first rabbit hole for a moment, I still don't see many significant parallels between The Prohibition of the early 20th century and today's weapons-of-war-control debate, which could lead to sensible legislation that could potentially save tens of thousands of precious lives going into the future.
Different issues, different times, different circumstances, different politics, different everything except the word "BAN" -- as in ban focking military assault weapons from civilian markets!
1. An alcoholic beverage ain't no military assault weapon.
2. Moonshiners in the backwoods ain't gonna cook up no batch of military assault weapons in their bathtub.
3. We ain't seen no massive blackmarket of Tommy Guns and cannons, banned from the streets last century, arisin' up outta the right-wing swamp and sweeping the land faster 'n isotopes of hydrogen fusing in a thermonuclear bomb ...or a Trump tweet.
By definition, far-reaching analogies usually don't match outside reality, especially slippery-slope extrapolations, which can be used to argue, rather superficially, in the contrary on any topic whatsoever, you name it.
But all interesting stuff ...gittin curiouser and curiouser.
Thank you for bringing up the massacre in Lubys Cafe in Killeen TX in 1991.
You are correct it was horrific but you have your facts wrong on Texas firearms laws in in 1991. They were much stricter then as this survivor will explain. She will also educate you on how fast a committed shooter can reload a firearm and continue killing. Her testimony in congress was informative and heartbreaking.
Hep: I didn't expect you to get my comment...I never I have clue of what your trying to say either.
Outback, the gun/crime issue is simple. 10+
You use a gun in the commission of a crime, you get ten years for sure, then your sentence for the crime you committed is added. No excuses, no plea bargains, no nothing. Keep appointing judges Mr. President.
Oh! don't forget kids,
I am celebrating that our school board election went Democratic in a heavily Republican County yesterday. 60%. Puts and end to our schools decline and will help with the property taxes.People realized what Republican control does. I can hardly wait for the congressional election next year.
Also congratulations to NJ and VA on their new Democratic Governors.
Dit, dit, dit. Dit, dit, dit. This just in: Trumpism thoroughly rejected by voters in Tuesday's elections.
Congratulations on your wins and do take note of the fact you will see few if any "he's not my governor" bullshit coming from the right side. We tend to be a bit more gracious when we lose which is why I enjoy the leftie/socialists giving me Christmas morning sooo much.
BTW, in my district the socialist leaning school board members are no longer there, all replaced by a couple of moderate democrats and a fairly conservative republican. All three saw the failures of the last election where the school district dropped from 9th in the state to 26th in just two years. Congratulations to them also.
Do not forget Diane that your public schools are a socialistic organization.
@#28 Which is why private schools exist.
Yes, the Republican response to the election of Obama was so gracious. Especially the birther-bigot nut that Republicans elected as their President…The Republicans that made posters portraying Barak and Michelle as a monkeys…The key Republicans that met in a D.C. Restaurant at the very moment of Obama's inauguration, plotting to oppose and resist at every turn the new administration and promising to make him a one term president.
Yes, the Republicans really know how to roll out the welcome mat. Give me a fuckin' break!!!
I can see here on this board comprised of a bunch of malcontent leftie/socialists there is no way to compare the three mainstream networks coverage, the minor network coverage, the late night shows, the printed press, radio talking bobbleheads, and thousands of fools donning their pink pussy hats and marching while screaming into the sky so I will leave it at that. We see it differently.
I will say, I only usually listen to the first hour of so of Thoms show and I believe it is the first show I have listened to in years where he didn't sound bitter, angry, and reference Reagan, guns, or how we should have never put any money in the stock market.
Good on you Thom, you sounded almost rational for a change.
How would you know what rational sounds like?
Perhaps the NRA should be referred to as the "National Recurring Advocates for mass murderer wannabes."
Haha, good one! They certainly are aiding and abetting mass murder, which also makes them No-good Rotten Assholes.
Here, granny, sweet dreams with Big Daddy:
I think classifying Trump with the likes of FDR, James Buchanan, George Washington, Grover Cleveland, Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush, James Garfield, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the greatest philander of them all William Jefferson Clinton is a bit much isn’t it. Oh well, at least Trump appears to be in good company. Love youTube don't you?
Yeah right, like I'm going to waste any more time on you and your bullsh*t -- someone who never acknowledges the veracity of the many links provided on this blog by the rest of us to educate your dumb ass. So why would you think anyone would want to follow you down into your delusional far-right hell. After all, look where it got you...
Gabh transna ort fhéin!
The First Baptist Church massacre is called the worst mass murder in Texas but it's only a few victims more than the Lubbock, Texas cafeteria massacre. No one was willing to regulate guns then and they are not willing to do so now. They love their guns more than people.