If a “mass shooting” occurs, and no talking heads are angry about it, will people make a sound? The answer is: no.
This weekend, there was a concert event at the Tim Faulkner Gallery, located in Louisville’s West End – specifically in Portland. For those who aren’t familiar with the venue, Tim Faulkner’s is a 26,000 square foot mixed-use facility near the Ohio River, that is home to both artist space, McQuixote Books & Coffee, and a 10,000 square foot performance area that hosts various events. It is surrounded by warehouses, manufacturing, and a lower income homes that are slowly being gentrified by hipsters, trendy restaurants & businesses encroaching into the area. Kentucky Kustom Cycles is across the street, Louisville & Indiana Railroad is two buildings east, and Habitat for Humanity’s Louisville office is two streets south.
When 5 people are shot at 1AM, you’d think that people would be upset by this. One woman, a student at University of Louisville, died. 5 were wounded and expected to recover. After the outrage of the Orlando Nightclub shooting, all of the usual suspects were up in arms. They quickly blamed everyone from the NRA, to the firearms industry, to the GOP for enabling the killer to murder all of those innocent people.
Imagine my surprise when I saw absolutely zero mention of this weekend’s horror in my social media feeds. The same people who would wail and rend their clothes in a morbid kabuki display of virtue signaling; the social justice warriors who proudly declare that anyone who opposes gun control is a psychopath, and that the NRA is evil… why, they were silent.
24 hours later, there are no calls for gun control. No screaming about the easy availability of firearms. No talk about innocent lives lost or the societal cost of gun ownership, or how Something. Must. Be. Done.
Why on earth would that be? Simple. Here’s the event where the shooting occured:
The victims? No elementary school children. No casualties from the LGBTQ community. A distinct lack of media friendly corpses to be used as macabre props, because this is the wrong demographic. No possible hate crime, and if the shooter is caught, he will probably already have a long criminal record. It’s not as easy for the gun control movement to dance in the blood of the victims when this sort of thing happens.
It’s difficult to manufacture outrage when it’s a people being shot at a rap concert. Because of this, the personalities that generate talking points have nothing to say because their audience is just going to shrug their shoulders and go “what did you expect” when they see the event & the victims.
You see, this type of “mass shooting” doesn’t fit the narrative. Louisville’s West End is known as the bad part of town, with the city’s poverty, crime rates, shootings & drug issues all congregate to become that area middle-class mothers warn their kids to avoid.
No Facebook profile pictures will be changed to say “We stand with Portland.” The people shot will only be mentioned again as a statistic: they will be lumped in with other similar “mass shootings” to paint firearms ownership as a stain upon society.
Thus, the truth is laid bare: those who scream the loudest about gun control aren’t really invested in it. It’s not a cause they actually care about, because if it was they would be marching for the victims of Saturday’s shooting. No, gun control is merely a tool in the arsenal; a facet of tribal politics & a way for them to lash out against their political opponents. It’s something that is only mentioned when they can puff themselves up in righteous anger, and preen in their cloaks of moral righteousness; because their opinions are right and those who disagree are clearly evil. If something cannot be used as a weapon against your enemies, it is ignored.
Their silence makes it all too obvious how this is not a battle for what’s right, or to reduce “gun violence” whatsoever, but to score points off their opponents. Because, let’s face it: If these people were truly passionate about their beliefs, if they truly felt that Black Lives Matter, or that every life is precious, then they would be screaming about this sort of thing happening. Instead, we hear crickets.
The political winds do not favor gun control, thus the faithful do not need to be rallied. Better to save their outrage for whatever other convenient controversy can be manipulated.
President Obama started with a statement about the shooting of Gabby Giffords, and
That’s why we’re here today. Not to debate the last mass shooting, but to do something to try to prevent the next one.
Strange, I can’t think of any mass shootings that would have been prevented by a background check. In fact:
Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking. (Applause.) We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.
Some of you may recall, at the same time that Sandy Hook happened, a disturbed person in China took a knife and tried to kill — with a knife — a bunch of children in China. But most of them survived because he didn’t have access to a powerful weapon. We maybe can’t save everybody, but we could save some. Just as we don’t prevent all traffic accidents but we take steps to try to reduce traffic accidents.
Our right to peaceful assembly -– that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette. Our unalienable right to life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -– those rights were stripped from college students in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high schoolers at Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown. First-graders. And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
Yes, the gun lobby is loud and it is organized in defense of making it effortless for guns to be available for anybody, any time. Well, you know what, the rest of us, we all have to be just as passionate.
Seriously? Wow, let me just rush right out and pick up a new M4 at 7-11. He made this statement just seven sentences after talking about the gun lobby lying. He then went on to make this claim:
A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.
This right here is complete unvarnished bullshit. It’s got no basis in fact, guns aren’t shipped to your door from an internet sale, especially from gun dealers. There’s no exemption for background check requirements if a sale is done online. This is just an updated version of the so-called “gun show loophole” (which also doesn’t exist)
But what really galls me is this statement:
And, yes, it will be hard, and it won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen during this Congress. It won’t happen during my presidency. But a lot of things don’t happen overnight. A woman’s right to vote didn’t happen overnight. The liberation of African Americans didn’t happen overnight. LGBT rights — that was decades’ worth of work. So just because it’s hard, that’s no excuse not to try.
Gun control is not in any way comparable to women voting, or civil rights, or LGBT rights. Each of those empowered people who were previously denied constitutional protections. What the President wants, instead, is to make sure that people are victims at the whim of the state.
That’s terrible. It didn’t save Carol Browne, nor will it protect anyone else.
“Republicans care more about kowtowing to the NRA than preventing terrorists from legally buying assault rifles and explosives like the ones used in the Paris attacks here in America,” Reid said in a statement. “Shockingly, Republicans continue to preserve a loophole that allows FBI terror suspects to buy guns and explosives legally, without background checks.”
“Right now there is a major loophole that would make your jaw drop. Under current law, suspected or known terrorists who are on a no fly list can legally purchase firearms and explosives,” Schumer said.
“We have to change this law. No-fly should mean no-buy for terrorists. Right now, amazingly, it does not.”
Motherfucker, that’s not a loophole. That’s how the law was designed. I’ve called out Schumer before when he tried to use this tactic – The problem with this “terrorist loophole” idea is twofold: one, it’s yet another attack on the private selling of firearms without universal background checks, but even worse it would appear that Reid, Schumer and their ilk are saying that they no longer are even pretending to care about due process.
“outrageous that we would slam the door on women and children but allow terrorists to buy guns.”
Because, you know, it’s wrong to be worried about refugees after fake Syrian passports were used in the Paris attacks and there is a booming black market for them. I agree, it’s wrong to assume that all refugees are terrorists – but when it comes to gun control Reid, Schumer, Pelosi and the rest have absolutely no problem acting like all firearms purchasers are hardened criminals.
The hypocrisy is blatant and the fact that nobody of prominence is calling them out for it is sad.
Update: Salon.com has leapt into the fray to seize upon how the NRA is a bunch of mean meanies for wanting people to be convicted before losing their rights:
The GOP will do just about anything to cloak itself in patriotic bellicosity. They’ll send your brothers and sisters into harrowing war zones, poorly equipped and without exit strategies, with enemies blended into the population. They’ll call for the invasion and occupation of nation’s with zero connection to 9/11. They’ll tell us we can’t have a First Amendment if we’re dead. But all of that ends at Wayne LaPierre’s line in the sand. It’s been nine months since the most recent proposal to close the gun gap has been proposed and there’s no real passage in sight, knowing the NRA’s history of strong-arming legislators against the overwhelming will of the people and of common sense. The next time you have to practically strip naked in an airport security line, bear in mind that any would-be terrorist in line with you was easily able to buy a gun. You know, because liberty.
Free speech, voting rights, equal protection and privacy rights for women, and the ability for Muslim-Americans to freely practice their religion is totally up for grabs, but the ability of suspected terrorists to buy a gun shall not be infringed under any circumstances, according to the GOP. It’s difficult to accept how egregiously disgraceful this is, and in a perfect world the GOP would be scolded into submission and the NRA would be exposed for its deadly absolutism. But don’t hold your breath.
It’s a horrible thing that free speech, voting rights, equal protection & privacy rights for women and all the rest are being attacked, so Salon thinks it’s only fair that the 2nd amendment be destroyed as well.
A normal person would go “Hey, these are guns that nobody can legally buy already. The explosives are extra illegal.” The EU resposne? Make deactivated weapons extra illegal, restrict flare guns, ban semiautomatic weapons and develop a “plan” to attack the black market. Because the black market has been stopped so effectively in the past. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
There really is no better example of “let no tragedy go to waste”
There’s over 120 dead people who were all defenseless and giving them the option to fight back isn’t even considered.
With another mass shooting making headlines, the antigun extremists are out in force, from the President stating he would like Australian style gun control (and the firearms bans & confiscations that go with it), columnists not even bothering to hide that they want confiscation, to the slacktivists sharing facebook memes.
Here’s the thing, though. When they are done venting, if you ask them what their plan is to specifically address these shootings, they can’t identify what would have prevented them. Watch Charles W. Cooke do just that on Morning Joe:
I’ve got some ideas though. Pardon the coarse language, but it’s time for real talk and if you can’t handle it, you aren’t ready for a serious discussion on this topic.
Identify the current policies that are failing
All jokes about nuclear holocaust and wiping out humanity as a solution aside, I think we all can agree that the current policy of “let’s make sure that the crazy guy with a gun has a safe working environment” has failed miserably at preventing mass shootings. When you are just nutty enough to commit several death penalty felonies such as mass murder and the like, a sign on a door saying “no guns” isn’t going to stop you. With that in mind, maybe it’s time to allow people to defend themselves since there’s at least 10 instances of people with CCW preventing mass shootings or stopping them from getting any further.
As it is right now, even if your state allows you to carry at work or school, you can be fired or expelled for doing so. Maybe, just maybe, that should change.
This is not a “guns everywhere” argument. This is about being pro-choice when it comes to self defense.
Stricter enforcement of firearms violations
Most firearms crimes are felonies. It does no good to make all these felonies if you don’t prosecute. If someone is stopped on a background check because they are a felon, put them in jail. Obama has talked tough on this but hasn’t delivered
Then again, neither has any president. This is a decades long problem, across all administrations. Nobody has ever cracked down on these crimes – you know how you hear about background checks stopping [x] number of felons from getting guns? Each of those is a slam dunk fed felony with prison time up to ten years and fines up to $250k. They aren’t enforced ever so they aren’t effective deterrents – they are a toothless threat. When Colorado passed universal background checks, they touted something like 2900 criminals being stopped by background checks within the state and claimed this was a sign of success (and these were actual felons with ag assault, murder, burglaries, etc convictions). They made around 230 arrests off them. Who knows how many went to jail for it.
On top of that, a couple of these mass murderers had run ins with the cops prior to going hog wild
The Navy Yard Shooter, Alexis Aaron, had shot out some guys tires, claiming he went into a blackout rage and got his ass kicked out of the navy on another firearms charge.
The guy that shot up the Lafayette movie theater had been denied a CCW because he’d been brought in on arson and domestic violence charges. Guess what? No convictions.
Maybe, just maybe, getting some of these guys to plead guilty to felonies or putting them behind bars might have prevented them being able to buy a gun in a store.
Fixing the background check system
For those unfamiliar with the process, every time someone buys a gun from a FFL, they are put through the National Instant Background Check system that was proposed by the NRA when the 94 Brady Bill went through. The NICS system takes the info filled in on the ATF 4473 and checks it against a FBI database and returns either PROCEED / DENY / DELAY. It’s only as good as the info that gets put into it.
NICS needs to be fixed. States are inputting crap into the database, or not putting in complete records. The gun industry has a campaign to solve this: http://www.fixnics.org/factinfo.cfm
Remember the Lafayette movie theater guy? Yeah, GA removed his info from NICS, allowing him to buy a gun from a pawn shop.
Dylan Roof, the Charleston Church Shooter, had been arrested for drug charges and was pending trial, making him a prohibited person blocked from purchasing. Whoops, the reporting agency didn’t put the data in correctly and when Roof bought his gun, he was passed by NICS.
Jaylen Fryberg, the Marysville School Shooter, got his firearm from his father, who falsified his 4473. Fryberg’s father was under a permanent protective order and a prohibited person – NICS should have caught that, had the information been properly
Worried about the so called “gun show loophole”? Open NICS to the public
We hear a lot of whining about how everyone needs Universal Background Checks and the Gun Show loophole and that sort of bullshit. The facts are that most of those mass murderers bought their guns at gun stores.
The asshole that shot up Umpqua? Bought 13 guns over 3 years, all at gun stores. Background checked for each. Apparently he got chaptered out of basic too, so there’s that…
Roof bought his gun at a store, and was background checked.
Alexis Aaron, the Navy Yard Shooter, bought his shotgun from a store and was background checked.
Holmes bought his guns at a store, and was background checked.
Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, bought his guns at a store. You guessed it, background checked.
Eliot Rodgers, the Isla Vista beta bought his pistols at a store, registered them in California’s database, and underwent a waiting period for each after getting background checked – ticking off just about every gun control wish list item.
Lanza wasn’t background checked, but his mom was, and registered her guns, and complied with CT’s waiting periods and all that jazz. Even had them locked in a safe. He just murdered his mom to get to them, possibly because she was going to have him committed. So clearly background checks aren’t a factor in stopping mass shootings and aren’t going to do any good, even if you implement Universal Background Checks.
B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-but 40% of criminals get their guns from private sales! Nope. Not true. That’s based on a study that came out before the background check even was in place in 1995. On top of that, a study from U Chicago just came out that surveyed inmates in for violent crimes and they asked where they got their guns from. 2% said a store. 70% said family or fellow gang members. In IL you have to have a FOID to get ammo, nevermind a gun, so these enterprising lads would have a girlfriend with no rapsheet buy a bunch of guns, report them stolen, and turn them over to the gang. The rest came from street connections such as drug dealers who’d been traded guns for drugs.
Color me shocked that people who can figure out how to get cocaine from Columbia, superlab meth from South America, heroin from the far east and a host of other illegal shit including human beings for the sex slave trade are also able to figure out ways around obtaining firearms in order to protect their profits.
The “gun show loophole isn’t really a problem. Criminals state flat out that they don’t like buying them from strangers because they worry about stings.
So what can be done? Universal Background Checks aren’t a good idea – it doesn’t solve the problems listed above, and adds a whole host of new ones because the NICS system currently gets overloaded on busy sales days. Plus, it’s really a dick move to whine about people living in food deserts and then make them ride public transit across the county (or in San Francisco or Chicago’s case, out of the goddamn city since there’s no gun stores there anymore) and find a FFL during business hours, forcing them to take time off from their 3 minimum wage jobs…. etc etc etc to use every possible tumblr stereotype about why [proposal x] is racist.
What is a good idea? Open a public, smartphone accessible NICS portal to allow private sellers to prevent unlawful transfers – not perfect but better than nothing and a positive defense against trafficking charges. The Coburn proposal was just that. The same people shitting their pants about how we absolutely had to do something about the gun show loophole and needed UBCs voted in lockstep against it, showing that they really aren’t for making improvements, just telling gun owners to fuck off.
Blah blah blah MENTAL HEALTH
Yeah, it’s a trite thing to say and paid a lot of lip service, but something needs to be done. There need to be clear reporting policies for people who are a danger to themselves and others. This is tough because on one hand you don’t want to prevent people getting help. On the other hand, Holmes told his therapist about wanting to kill people before Aurora and she sent his journal by snail mail instead of getting the cops out there. Aurora was the result. Lanza was supposedly getting committed. Alexis Aaron had several episodes including hallucinations prior to shooting up the Navy Yard. As did Hauser in the Lafayette Theater shooting. Cho,the Virginia Tech Shooter had court ordered psych evals too. The guy from Umpqua was apparently a sperglord and on several meds as well. Notice a pattern?
And you know there’s no way Big fucking Pharma is going to allow a study to be done on what kind of psych meds all these crazy fuckers were on when they shot up the place. So the therapists need to be more proactive as they are the early warning system.
Rounding out this giant TL;DR there this Stopping things before they start
An ounce of prevention, right? Violence interruption work such as what Dr Gary Slutkin does – http://www.ted.com/talks/gary_slutk…ipt?language=en – this has worked everywhere it’s been tried from Chicago to Iraq.
See also Richmond California’s efforts which led to a 2/3 reduction of murders – http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2…-rate-gun-death – stop likely offenders before they turn into murderers by making them productive members of society. This involves police work and community outreach.
Anyhow, if you don’t like this wall of text SMDFTB
Dylan Roof, pictured below, was a poster boy of how the system has failed to stop mass shootings yet again.
He killed 9 and wounded 1, seeking out South Carolina State Senator Clementa C. Pinckney, who was the pastor for the church.
In the days after the shooting took place, the narrative began to take shape – Roof had been arrested for drug possession. Roof was awaiting trial. Somehow he’d gotten a gun – early reports stated that Roof had been given it by family. It seemed like this was going to be seized upon as evidence that Universal Background Checks needed to be passed, lest another tragedy like this take place.
The Narrative had changed. Robbed of their opportunity to blame the “gun show loophole” for this atrocity, the people upset by this pivoted and went after another the Confederate Flag which was prominently featured in Roof’s social media profile and symbolized the racist views expressed in his manifesto.
When Australia had a mass killing – I think it was in Tasmania – about 25 years ago, it was just so shocking the entire country said ‘well we’re going to completely change our gun laws’, and they did. And it hasn’t happened since.
This was important, because Australia did several things: They banned multiple classes of firearms, and they confiscated privately owned weapons under the guise of a mandatory “buy back”.
Never before has this been suggested at such a high level in this country. Previously politicians may have suggested confiscation obliquely, or in unguarded moment, but for a sitting President to state it outright was an eye opening moment.
A few weeks later, on July 16, there was another mass shooting. In contrast to the Charlestown one, this shooting was carried out by a self-radicalized homegrown Islamic extremist decided to target a Chattanooga, TN recruiting office and then a Navy Reserves center. Local law enforcement chased him down, and killed him shortly thereafter.
FBI officials and the media quickly played down any attempt to classify the shooter as a “terrorist” despite him travelling to Jordan shortly before the attack took place.
The perpetrator was revealed to be Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who carried out the attack with an AK-47 style rifle, a pistol, and possibly a shotgun. Four Marines were killed at the scene while Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith died later at a hospital.
“Some of the weapons were purchased legally and some of them may not have been,”
Attempts were made to try to highlight the need for a renewed assault weapons ban, others wanted to focus on Armslist. Instead, the public reacted in a wholly unexpected way; they were outraged that military personnel were unable to defend themselves.
Paradoxically, though, people remembered that the military areas were gun free zones – press pool photos and footage showed the front doors of the Marine recruiting center riddled with bullet holes, next to a “Firearms Prohibited” sign.
The Safeguarding Service Members’ Second Amendment Rights Act, would repeal bans on military personnel carrying firearms on Armed Forces military installations and Department of Defense (DoD) sites and prohibit the president, secretary of defense andsecretaries of military departments from enacting similar restrictions or prohibitions in the future.
You could practically see the antigun talking heads rubbing their hands with glee over this. They had their perfect example for why gun laws needed to change. Clearly there was no way that this guy had gotten his gun legally, right?
Turns out that despite a well documented history of domestic violence, arson, and involuntary commitment, Houser was never actually prosecuted. All of this could have been avoided had he been convicted for arson back in 1989, and “[c]ourt documents filed as part of a divorce say Houser had a history of hospitalizations for mental conditions.”
We have tried an experiment for the last 250 years and it’s failed miserably and we have to start a new approach. The new approach has to be guns should not be available to people generally, except if they have a significant need.
Surprisingly, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was actually ahead of this wave, stating in early July:
“I’m going to speak out against the uncontrollable use of guns in our country because I believe we can do better,” Clinton said Tuesday in Iowa City.
A few days earlier, she said in Hanover, N.H.: “We have to take on the gun lobby. . . . This is a controversial issue. I am well aware of that. But I think it is the height of irresponsibility not to talk about it.”
Fake update: It would appear that I’m not alone in noticing this trend:
Business Insider: The dark reason why guns are virtually guaranteed to be a major issue of the 2016 campaign
After years of ducking presidential-campaign battles over gun laws out of fear of the powerful gun lobby, it appears that Democrats are finally ready to go on the offensive.
Democrats are becoming more and more outspoken about gun violence in the wake of seemingly ever increasing mass shootings, despite the fact that the American public remains as opposed as ever to many gun-control measures
It remains to be seen whether this represents a turning point in election politics, or a repeat of Clinton’s 1994 mistake.