Parkland: different response to latest mass shooting?

“This is not a political issue. This is not a constitutional debate. This is a pandemic that’s killing children.”

Unaccustomed as I am to optimism about public policy, I have found guarded optimism that SOMETHING to address the factors that led to the most recent mass casualty shooting, at the high school in Parkland, Florida, will be enacted, perhaps before the November 2018 elections.

I think that it won’t be just the same as every other time, with the predictable articles about how predictable the response will be, such as this from the Boston Globe:

Mass shootings have become so familiar that they seem to follow the same sad script. He will be a man, or maybe still a boy.
He will have a semiautomatic rifle — an AR-15, or something like it — and several high-capacity magazines filled with ammunition.
The weapon will have been purchased legally, the background check no obstacle.

The reason: it’s the anger, the rage.

From here: According to Cameron Kasky, there were many heroes at the Florida high school that former student Nikolas Cruz shot up on Wednesday, — but he see’s no heroism in the words of Republicans who only offer their ‘thoughts and prayers.’

“This is the only country where this kind of thing happens. I’ve heard from other people, they don’t have gun drills. We had to prepare extensively at Stoneman Douglas. This is something that can be stopped and will be stopped.

“This is the time to talk about guns… But there’s much more that can be done, much more that needs to be done and much more that people like Senator Marco Rubio [who was Three Billboarded] and Governor Rick Scott are not doing.”

From here: One student, identified as Sarah on her Twitter account… “I don’t want your condolences, you f@#$ing piece of s#!*;, my friends and teachers were shot. Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happening again.”

Back in February 2017 the regime made it EASIER for people with mental illness to buy guns. As a Broward County official said, “How can you come here and talk about how horrible it is, when you support these laws?”

Adding to the outrage is the news that, on January 5, the FBI received a tip to a public reporting line that Nikolas Cruz might carry out a school shooting, but failed to pass the information to its Miami field office or investigate any further.

Mother of slain Parkland teen screams in grief and leaves CNN reporter, congressman speechless.

From here.: Bess Kalb, a writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live, responded directly to condolence tweets from members of Congress by pointing out the amount of money each federal lawmaker has taken from the NRA —which has shamelessly advocated for less restrictive laws on firearms in the wake of gun-related tragedies.

“This is not a political issue. This is not a constitutional debate. This is a pandemic that’s killing children. And it’s perpetrated by hypocrites who preach a doctrine of ‘life’ but take money from a profit-driven gun lobby,” Kalb said in a tweet.

To that end, Russian Bots Hit Twitter With Pro-Gun Tweets After School Shooting.

So sure, the calls to ban AR-15s and high-capacity magazines have already run into the SECOND AMENDMENT!/Gun Bans Won’t Work In America/What if teachers had been armed? arguments

I remember the polite pleas of the parents of the adorable six- and seven-year-olds slain in Newtown, CT in December 2012. They were almost always unfailingly polite in their sadness as they unsuccessfully advocated for change. But Parkland just might be the rude political tipping point I’ve been simultaneously dreading and hoping for.

So when DO we talk about this?

“Your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to stop the next shooting. Only action and leadership will do that.”


When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and most of southeast Texas, it was NOT the time to talk about global warming because of people’s lives and homes and businesses in danger? OK, how about now? No, the recovery is still going on.

So when do we talk about Houston’s rampant growth and urbanization, which merely aggravates the problem of the city’s flat terrain? If they’re going to “rebuild,” then how and where? What are they going to do differently going forward?

I remember some towns in the Midwest that were flooded in 1993 by the Mississippi River moved entirely.

Yet talking about Puerto Rico’s aging infrastructure seemed to be fair game for at least one person, right after Hurricane Maria, a broken system that has made communication so difficult that the aid was not reaching many of the people.

“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico.” You would never have heard this in Houston or Miami.

So what’s the difference? Mark Evanier tweeted: “Puerto Rico doesn’t have water, power or humanitarian aid because of two other things they lack: Electoral votes and enough white people.” I have (jokingly? I’m not sure) suggested that some of the three million residents of the island move to some red states on the mainland before 2020.

(And I will rant that I wish some news commentators would refer to Puerto Rico as a commonwealth rather than a territory, even though commonwealth status is just plain weird.)

Over 58 people were killed and over 500 were injured in Las Vegas. “Thoughts and prayers.” But Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and husband of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot in 2011 at a constituent event in Tucson, AZ, disagrees.

Messages to the families of victims in the Las Vegas shooting, while important, are “not enough.” Kelly told reporters outside of the Capitol building with his wife at his side: “Your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to stop the next shooting. Only action and leadership will do that.”

The Onion ran YET AGAIN, ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.

So when do we talk about a ban on assault weapons that can kill people from a distance of four football fields away? Apparently, it’s just not the right time. It wasn’t the right time after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL, which was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. And it’s not time now, less than 16 months later, when we have the NEW deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

Maybe it’ll be money: After Hurricanes and Las Vegas Shooting, Countries Warn Citizens About Travel to U.S. I’m not sure what awful things will be required in order for us to have the conversations, but I better start praying NOW, because they’re going to be horrific.

Shooting off their mouths

“…that same sick politics, boiled in its broth of seething resentment and baked within its self-righteous shell.”

Referring to the 154th mass shooting in 2017, the Los Angeles Times noted:

“Even though members of Congress were attacked Wednesday by a gunman on a ball field just outside the capital, nothing is likely to change in the Washington debate over gun control, save the addition of Alexandria to the list of blood-soaked postmarks.

“The two sides of the debate are simply too dug in, the political forces too firmly entrenched, the worldview of opposing sides so vastly different it is impossible to see how the gulf narrows even slightly, however close to home the latest attack.

“Underscoring that notion, the one thing both sides shared after the latest mass shooting was the capacity to look at precisely the same event and see it in a way that buttressed diametrically opposing views.”

All that wonderful unity at the charity baseball game, yet:

A GOP Congressman Thinks It’s Obama’s Fault. Some Republicans on the far right point to “vitriolic rhetoric on the left,” which could be to blame for the gunfire that hit a GOP leader and others at a congressional baseball practice. GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa says that “the violence is incited by the leading cultural voices of the Left.”

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi responds, “How dare they?”, noting the dramatic escalation in hate crimes from the “alt right” and white supremacists, and GOPUSA scolds Pelosi for breaking the “unity”.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed by an assassin, called for sympathy and understanding, which was met with hate.

There’s a reasonable observation in the right wing Legal Insurrection about getting off the rhetorical merry-go-round: “The collective desire to be ‘right’ and to prove wrongness is hindering our ability to find even the smallest shred of consensus” is counterproductive, and other sensible points. But as Red State, another rightist publication noted, the comments section of the LI article is riddled with condemnation for the writer.

Arthur wrote: “”Claiming that only ‘the other side’ is responsible for the current disgusting nature of US politics—as always happens when there’s something like this shooting—is merely part of that same sick politics, boiled in its broth of seething resentment and baked within its self-righteous shell.”

As is often the case, the Onion gets the last word: “In the wake of [the] mass shooting in Alexandria, VA, every single American from across the political spectrum was reportedly able to cite the tragedy as irrefutable proof that they had been right about everything all along.”

Keith Lamont Scott of Charlotte, NC

Some gun person asked me, “Wouldn’t you feel safer having a gun?”

keithlamontscottYou’ve likely heard about the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man, at the hands of the police, specifically a black police officer. There were demonstrations that started out peacefully, but turned violent for a couple days.

Putting aside, for the moment, the grief over the untimely death of the individual, I was immediately concerned about the well being of my “baby” sister and her adult daughter who live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Somehow it’s different when you see a massive demonstration at the corner of Trade and Tryon, and you say, “I know exactly where THAT is.”
Continue reading “Keith Lamont Scott of Charlotte, NC”

The Body Cams’ Lament by Howard Cruse

“You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”

I am terrified, to be honest with you… Sad, and angry.

bodycam

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed unless you are a black man sitting in a car with a busted taillight.”
Continue reading “The Body Cams’ Lament by Howard Cruse”