Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bang! another mass shooting Unwanted, unnecessary, and avoidable: GUNS

Our latest
dead hero

Active-shooter incidents like the shooting at a middle school in Sparks, Nevada, have tripled in the U.S.

They shouldn’t occur at all. They don’t have to happen. They don’t happen in other countries. We CHOOSE to let them happen. It is the consequence of our priorities and decisions. It is the outcome of our political will.

Dead is not free. Violence and lethal force are not synonymous with liberty.

Per Attorney General, Eric Holder, via NBC news. (bold in text, my emphasis added)

Active-shooter incidents have tripled since 2009: Holder
Attorney General Eric Holder says the number and the lethal nature of active-shooter incidents nationwide have soared over the past five years.
In remarks to the nation’s police chiefs in Philadelphia on Monday, Holder said the United States saw an average of five active shooting incidents a year between 2000 and 2008.
“Alarmingly, since 2009, this annual average has tripled. We’ve seen at least 12 active shooter situations so far in 2013.”
The Department of Homeland Security defines an active shooter as an individual actively engaging in killing or attempting to kill in a confined and populated area. Recent examples include the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December and the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., last month.Over the past four years, Holder said, the number of people shot and killed in these incidents is up nearly 150 percent.
“It’s become clear that new strategies and aggressive national response protocols must be employed to stop shooters in their tracks,” Holder said.
I repeat; this is a choice.

We can choose to put an end, if not to all gun violence, to the overwhelming majority of it.

Also from NBC news:

Slain teacher hailed as ‘fallen hero’ after school shooting A mathematics teacher was hailed as a “hero” after being fatally shot while apparently trying to shield students from a 12-year-old boy who opened fire at a Nevada middle school on Monday.
The slain teacher was identified by his brother as Michael Landsberry, 45, a former Marine and a member of the Nevada Air National Guard who celebrated his wedding anniversary last Friday.
Authorities suggested that Landsberry tried to protect students, but stressed they were still investigating. Two boys were wounded before the shooter took his own life at Sparks Middle School, east of Reno. The Associated Press reported that the incident was witnessed by 20 or 30 children.
Police said the first shots were fired from a semiautomatic handgun at 7:16 a.m. (9:16 a.m. ET), just before classes got underway. First responders arrived at the scene in less than three minutes, police said.
The two wounded boys, who were originally transferred to a local hospital in critical condition, were later upgraded to stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, Sparks deputy police chief Tom Miller said at a Monday afternoon news conference.
The Nevada authorities MIGHT be holding the parents criminally responsible for the actions of their son, because of allowing a dangerous firearm to fall into his hands.    The Nevada authorities are NOT, at this point, or possibly EVER, releasing the name of the 12 year old boy who did the shooting, OR his parents…BECAUSE THEY ARE GRIEVING.


Too damned bad – THEY were the ones who chose to have a gun.  They were the ones who did not keep it secure.  Their failed judgment got people killed.  Deal with the statistical probability of this kind of outcome.  It is a tragedy, but it is NOT a surprising one.  It happens ALL THE TIME.


Firearms in the home are the method for more than half of all suicides, according to the NIMH.  Almost four times as many males commit suicide as females.  Adolescents and young adults are more likely to use firearms to commit suicide.  And then of course, there is the larger fact that in other countries, strict, effective  gun control has resulted in the end of shootings like this.

Never mind the sensitivity to the other family members of the dead man, or the children who were initially hospitalized in critical condition.

Never mind the sensitivity to the needs of the rest of the nation, who are – AGAIN – traumatized by Americans with guns shooting other Americans.

Because, in Nevada, GUNS ARE PATRIOTIC; well, pseudo-patriotic, if by patriotic you really mean treasonous.  So……..we just feel bad for the parents who, in their insistence on owning a firearm (or more than the one used) and in their refusal to adequately secure it, were no doubt absolutely sure they had everything under control…until they did not.  For everyone else who got shot, either killed or wounded, and THEIR family and friends?  Well geeeze......too damned bad.  Guns are more important than you, your loved ones, or anyone's safety; or more precisely, that illusion of empowerment is.

And THAT is what needs to change.

So we have the problem with too many guns; we have a problem with too many shootings, and we have a problem with a very poorly conceived notion of patriotism.  The reality is that we would all be safer — from each other — with fewer guns, more restricted guns, and with much more highly secured guns where guns are permitted.

But the problem goes even deeper than that.

We hear, once again, that the young male who appears to have been the shooter this time, may have been bullied, apparently, more than once.

Conservatives feel they have a right to hate speech, to bullying, and to verbally abuse others, in the name of their ideology and religious freedom of speech.  Their solution to gun violence is more violence; they want to have teachers shooting students like this 12 year old who committed a murder/suicide, not try to talk him down, as we have seen so successfully done in other schools.  MORE VIOLENCE!  MORE SHOOTINGS!  MORE MORE MORE GUNS GUNS GUNS! More people in schools with guns! Arm EVERYBODY!  Shoot MORE people!Bully people FOR GOD (he'll be pleased!)


The combination of lethal force and the freedom to engage in verbal abuse and harassment gives conservatives a sense of power – a power they have demonstrated they should not have.  The combination empowers them to harm themselves and others.  It needs to stop – both the bullying, and the excessive numbers of guns, unregulated or under-regulated.  Conservative policies and values are a giant recipe for destruction.

Conservatives do not care if the outcome is destruction.  They only care about having the power to hurt others, in an effort to compel others to conform to their dark, sad little failed values.   We’ve seen this mind-set in action, in so many ways, including the hazarding of the nation in shutting down the government and in risking the debt ceiling limit and resultant certainty of global economic disaster.

Conservatives are NOT the adult in the room; conservatives demonstrate the kind of reckless bad judgment and shallow values that we tend to associate with badly hormonal teenagers having a temper tantrum.  That doesn’t go well with guns. AGAIN. STILL.  It is time to disarm the bullies on the right, once and for all — for their own good, and ours.  It is time for a more balanced respect for the rights of all, instead of giving preferential treatment to the rights of conservatives to harm others.

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