Tag Archives: shootings

Who shot first?

No, this is not about that.

I believe it is true that for decades, shooters and politically violent people (two overlapping categories) in the US were right wingers, almost always. Case in point: the white supremacists who have now all been handed (a little bit of) jail time for emptying a pistol into a crowd of protesters at a #BLM rally outside a police station in Minneapolis (and yes, they were white supremacists).

I’ve also always believed that one of the reasons the right wing has the privileged luxury of hating any kind of sensible gun law and regulation reform is because they know this. They know that they are the ones with the guns, and the libtards are unarmed.

I have no opinion on what happened today in Alexandria, Virginia, where someone opened fire on a group of Republican members of Congress playing softball. I don’t know if this was personal, political, or just “well, he was mentally ill” (I’ll leave it to the anti-ableist language mavens to rewrite that sentence and take it out of quotation marks).

But, now, suddenly, things are a little different, no matter what happened in Alexandria.

Killers with guns intent on mass slaughter are no longer just killing elementary school children. They are also killing Republicans in Congress! Yay! Maybe now Republicans in Congress will realize how the rest of us are feeling, and do something about it!

Sorry the guy got shot, though. At least he will make a rapid recovery, according to a Tweet by Fearfull Leader. The ideal scenario would have been if the shooter was a really bad shot and only hit inanimate objects.

A letter from the organization “States United To Prevent Gun Violence“:

States United to Prevent Gun Violence and our 32 state affiliates are deeply saddened that our elected officials, their staff and Capitol Police detail experienced the horrific mass shooting this morning – joining the unfortunate class of 33,000 Americans who die and 81,000 Americans injured by gun violence every year. This shooting targeting our respected elected officials is a resounding reminder that even a setting filled with the most highly trained and alert “good guys with guns” is no match the lethal and overwhelming firepower of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the hands of a mass shooter – the same weapons of war used in 28 mass shootings since the massacre of 26 children and school teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School 4 years ago.

It is unacceptable that law enforcement are forced to confront weapons of war in the hand of civilians in their line of duty. It is worrisome that Congress is, today, considering passing a bill that will deregulate silencers – the very instruments that hinder police from identifying locations of shooters – a federal regulation that was designed to prevent ambushing of police. Our Congress needs to stand up to the gun lobby once and for all and ban sales of weapons of war to civilians and say no to deregulating silencers.

Sincerely,

Julia Wyman

Guns Ownership and Control: Newtown is one more last straw in a series of many

I have been writing about this topic for years. Lately, I have been ignoring it. Last few massacres, I didn’t say or do anything. I think Gabby Gifford’s shooting was a last straw for me; I became too disgusted with our situation and I became too disheartened with the number of people who require that we Americans remain an utterly unique society in that we shoot each other at record rates. Somehow, it seems, that makes us good. Others claim that because there are problems in the world with higher body counts, this problem of guns in the US should not be addressed at all. That is utterly stupid, of course. If a person’s leg was being chewed on by a dog, and that person also happen to have cancer, would we require that the person not complain about the dog? Same logic.

Anyway, I will write something about Newtown. The timing strikes a bit close to home for me, as someone not affected at all, in ways that are true for many others. I’ve got kids in school or going soon enough. My daughter lost a classmate a number of months ago to gun violence, and my wife lost a student this week in the same way; A few years ago, a few blocks away a gun nut killed a teenager in what was essentially an ambush, and a few weeks ago, another gun nut a couple of towns over executed two teenagers in a similar situation. (The former was lauded as a hero, the latter will go on trial for murder.)

But even that amounts to nothing compared to what many people face every day. We are a heavily armed society and we resort to guns too easily.

At this point, I just wanted to point out two sets of prior blog posts on gun ownership and related issues, one here and one on the X Blog:

Scienceblogs posts on firearms

X Blog posts on firearms

My opinion about guns has not changed, but my preferred strategy to deal with the problem has. That’s been coming for a while. Newtown is just one more last straw in a series of many.