Murder in Durham

This should be national news. It’s not, because it’s the mass-killings we notice, even though there’s the equivalent of a mass-killing every day in this country. In Durham, apparently, you need to be wary of teenagers as young as 12. (It’s not just Durham. One suspect lives in Raleigh; in other news, Raleigh teens recently beat a homeless man to death.) I think everyone has at least one story about trusting a stranger and falling for a con and then wondering why we put ourselves in a vulnerable position in the first place. And then sometimes we do it again, anyway. The victim here was just trying to do a good deed—for kids. It’s horrible for him and his family.

I don’t even want to think about how teenagers get guns. I hate thinking about guns, whether they’re weapons used in premeditated homicides, instruments of accidental killings, means of self-protection, sporting goods or collectibles. They all can take life in an instant, and, yeah, I admit, they scare the shit out of me, and I personally despise them. I don’t give a shit about your right to have them.

I want to write some eloquent, but, really, this is what the expression WTF was created for (as opposed to Instagram changing its terms-of-service or TLC airing a showing about the Amish mafia).

WTF.

And he wasn’t even a Muslim or an illegal Mexican…

Gunman at an Omaha Mall Kills 8 and Himself – New York Times

No, my “thoughts and prayers” are not with the victims and their families. (How absolutely miserable would a person be if he thought of the victims and victims’ families every single time he read about a shooting rampage, natural disaster, or terrorist attack?)1

My thoughts are (similar to what they were after the Virginia Tech shootings and similar incidents) that we are a country that loves the right to bear arms, with powerful people who are beholden to powerful groups that fight to ensure that everyone can own whatever guns they want, and that we prefer tax cuts to affordable and accessible healthcare. It’s admittedly not brilliant reasoning, but those are my thoughts.

1 Now, when I actually read a story specifically about one of the victims, I will likely think a lot about the victim and his/her family. But, right now, I just know the victims as “eight people who were killed”…

It’s the guns, stupid

I’m getting redundant in these postings. But people are really pissing me off, like a commenter on a news website who wrote, the following, speculating that the Blacksburg victims (and those who survived) were too “nice” to fight back:

I’m talking about teaching young men and women that lives need to be defended, even at the ultimate price.

WHAT? There’s a place for this type of existence; it’s called the military.

You’re absolutely right, that you might have been “paralyzed” as well. It has nothing to do with being “nice”.

Everyone who was killed deserved the chance to live, and everyone who survived deserved the chance to live, so how dare you suggest that those who survived ought to be racked with guilt for the rest of their lives because they didn’t all band together to fight a guy who had two assault weapons!

It’s the guns, the guns, the guns, the guns.

Read what the rest of the world has to say about this. The rest of the world GETS IT so clearly while most of America has blinders on. We have a dangerous affection for the 2nd Amendment, stubbornly clinging to the idea that everyone has the right to own whatever gun they want under almost any circumstance.

There may be some on the left who literally do want to take away your guns. But the vast number of people who do not like guns simply want COMMON SENSE restrictions on gun ownership.

There is a place where everyone can have a gun and everyone is expected to know how to defend themselves. It’s called Baghdad, where they have a Blacksburg-type massacre every other day. The dead are students and elderly and children and women and innocents from all walks of life. Their families mourn, too, or at least they try, given their typically course of action has to be to flee their homes to avoid being next.

No, teaching each other to be ready to attack right back when a threat prevents itself, in the way that you describe, is hardly the answer.

Americans love their guns.

Americans don’t want to pay for better healthcare, particularly in the realm of mental health.

We reap what we sow.

Gun Nuts: If only the campus didn’t ban guns

Virginia lets you carry concealed guns, but the Virginia Tech campus doesn’t let you bring guns on campus. Yes, it’s Virginia Tech’s fault for not allowing its community to protect itself. If only everyone could carry a concealed weapon, we’d be much safer!

This is the argument of gun nuts.

It boggles my lefty-pinko-pansy-commie-liberal mind.

Blacksburg

I am not “shocked” by much of anything, including the “Blacksburg massacre”. The incident has angered me, but not because of how the gunman destroyed so many lives. Whether this makes me heartless or truly a misanthrope and not just someone who plays on misanthrope on TV, I care not. I’m angered because I see how the media coverage is unfolding, and I find the reactions of both politicians and “everyday folk” to be hypocritical, if not remarkably naive.

The media is running stories about, “How safe are our schools?” They’re one of the safest damn places you can be, for God’s sake! I’m not going to do the research right now, but your college kid is probably thirty times more likely to be killed on his drive home for Christmas break than to be killed on campus by a gunman. The same can be said for high school kids or elementary school kids.

SCHOOLS ARE SAFE PLACES, PEOPLE. STOP BEING SO FRIGGIN’ MELODRAMATIC! (says Mr. Melodrama himself…)

I posted something to NowPublic about how something like 150 Iraqi civilians–students, professors, etc.–have been killed in 2007 in attacks. There are attacks that kill a few dozen civilians every other day in Iraq. We don’t really care. Now, I know, Blacksburg hits close to home. That’s Iraq, this was our peaceful college town. What could make someone do such a horr—

ANGRY PEOPLE DO HORRIBLE THINGS. SUCH IS LIFE.

And while we don’t know the motive yet, it’s safe to say that a knife wouldn’t have allowed this guy to kill 31 people but his gun certainly did, and I will say again, and I will say it again and again for Google to index again and again,

Americans love our guns.

I don’t want to hear that semantic garbage about how guns don’t kill people, that people kill people. NO. People with guns loaded with bullets kill people.

I blame the person with the gun, FIRST. Yes, even a left-wing nut can still recognize that the person with the gun is the one to lay most of the blame with. But then I blame everyone who wants everyone to have a gun.

We reap what we sow.

Bush: Mass-killings okay elsewhere, but not in American schools

There are some angry thoughts that I ought not share with NowPublic. This is one of them.

Schools should be places of safety and sanctuary and learning. When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community. – George W. Bush

If 30 people were gunned down at a mall or a movie theater or a restaurant or, imagine this, a marketplace in Baghdad, should people feel any less violated?

Why is a school sacred?

Bush, many of your supporters think this country would be safer if everyone carried a gun to defense themselves. You want guns in our society? You got ’em.

Again, I’ll offer this refrain:

We reap what we sow.

Please don’t say it’s “unthinkable,” “unfathomable”, or “unimaginable”

All I know of the tragedy that I suppose will come to be known as “Blacksburg” is that today Virgina Tech became the scene of the deadliest campus shooting in American history. The only source of information I’ve had as I type this is what I’ve heard on the Ed Schultz show, as I was in my car headed to and from getting lunch.

A couple of facts:

Americans love their guns and hate for anyone to challenge their right to own whatever guns they want

Americans do not give mental health parity with other medical problems when addressing healthcare concerns

We reap what we sow.

In the news

CNN’s QuickVote – Will allegations that former Republican Rep. Mark Foley exchanged sexually explicit instant messages with a 16-year-old former congressional page make it less likely you’ll vote Republican in November?
– I figured about 10% of people would say “yes”. With issues like Iraq, the “war on terror” (I will never type this phrase without quotation marks again), education, health care, and the environment, I figured most people would have a pretty good idea who they’re going to vote for next month. So I’m stunned that the “yes” number is so high. Did people just decide, “OMG, they’re NOT the party of moral values!” This is why the founders instituted the electoral college and the bicameral legislature, because they thought people were too dumb to make this decisions via popular vote only. Indeed, they are. That being said, WHATEVER IT TAKES to get the Republicans out of power next month, so be it. It’s just sad that the Foley is scandal might be what it takes to get the Dems over the hump.

Amish slaughter
– This is utterly horrific. It’s very sad. Despite my misanthropy (which as you seen, I plan to make a regular theme in here), I’ve got no hateful words for the Amish.
– If anything, people should look at this story and realize that this shit can happen ANYWHERE, and it’s not the fault of video game makers or rappers or bad parents. It’s an inevitable occurence in a society where ir’s really easy to get a gun and mental health care is sorely lacking. Yeah, I know, I should blame the guy who committed the attacks. Yeah, his fault, too. I obviously am speaking out of my ass with regard to the motives and circumstances behind the attacks, but I bet if the guy didn’t have a gun and had met with a decent therapist in the past week, I wouldn’t be writing about the Amish slaughter. And if I’m wrong, I’m sure my argument applies to some recent tragic murder-suicide.