"It is simply easier for some people to believe that the United States government has concocted a vast conspiracy to take away all of our guns than it is to believe that it is too easy for a mentally ill person to acquire one and shoot anyone they want. And now those same people are taking it out on the families of the victims of gun violence after a tragedy." What Do You Say To A Roanoke Truther? Ben Collins, The Daily Beast
The Inexplicable by Karl Ove Knausgaard [The New Yorker] Inside the mind of a mass killer.
It was out of this world that the thirty-two-year-old Anders Behring Breivik stepped when, on the afternoon of July 22, 2011, he set out from his mother’s flat in Oslo’s West End, changed into a police uniform, parked a van containing a bomb, which he had spent the spring and summer making, outside Regjeringskvartalet, lit the fuse, and left the scene. While the catastrophic images of the attack, which killed eight people, were being broadcast across the world, Breivik headed to Utøya. That was where the Workers’ Youth League had its annual summer camp. There Breivik shot and killed sixty-nine people, in a massacre that lasted for more than an hour, right until the police arrived, when he immediately surrendered.
2 Deadly Shootings Within Hours in Copenhagen; 5 Wounded [New York Times]
A shooting at a free speech event featuring an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad and a second shooting hours later outside a synagogue left two dead and five police officers wounded in Copenhagen, stirring fears that another terror spree was underway in a European capital a month after 17 people were killed in Paris attacks.[more inside]
"What They Left Behind" is a 35 minute documentary produced by Sandy Hook Promise. Today, the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut honor the lives of the twenty first graders and six adult helpers who lost their lives in that school shooting. No public events will take place today in Newtown. [more inside]
Since September 11, 2001, according to the START terrorism database, there have been twenty lethal terrorist attacks in the United States, resulting in the deaths of forty-six people. There have been, at most, a handful of assassinations. According to the FBI, from 2001 to 2011, there have been nearly 250 mass shootings, defined as the death of four or more people. According to USA Today, whose data on mass shootings is considered at least as reliable as the FBI's, there have been 191 mass shootings since 2006, with 34 described as "public" shootings—seemingly random events, stranger to stranger. Nearly a thousand people have died; many more have been wounded. What America feared after the 9/11 attacks—that it would be perpetually attacked by outsiders calling themselves Americans—finally has transpired, only with an awful twist: It is perpetually attacked by Americans who call themselves outsiders.[more inside]
Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson? - According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas and wooden rounds into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling, the paramilitarization of police and media depictions of black shooting victims have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety.
California drive-by shooting: 'Son of Hunger Games assistant director' Elliot Rodger suspected of killing six in attack. Rodger embarked on his shooting spree hours after posting an online video detailing his plans for "retribution" for rejection by women. [more inside]
The AR-15 is more than a gun. It's a gadget. It's an addiction and the future of firearms manufactures. It's the most wanted gun in America and more than anything it is a symbol of the cycle of fear that drives assault weapon sales.
A Contagion Of Violence
In exploring the occurrence of violence, researchers have recognized the tendency for violent acts to cluster, to spread from place to place, and to mutate from one type to another – similar to the infectious disease model, in which an agent or vector initiates a specific biological pathway leading to symptoms of disease and infectivity.Is It Time To Treat Violence Like A Contagious Disease? [more inside]
Following the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others, Peter King (R), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, plans to introduce legislation banning firearms within 1000 feet of a government official.
At least eight people are dead in a shooting at a school in Finland. Apparently some are blaming Youtube, as the killer posted some videos of himself shortly before the attack. How to get inside the mind of kids who do these terrible things? Are they just "bad seeds" or are these killers created? Clearly marginalization and alienation play a role. Many would-be -killers seem to share these fantasies of grandiose mass spectacles , many psychologists think are inspired by their immersion in violent video games and movies. There's still controversy over the idea that watching violent TV/video games/etc can make kids more aggressive, and if that translates to violent behavior. I'm curious how often nationalist and racist rhetoric is also often deployed by these kids and wonder why that is: The Finland shooter, Auvinen called himself a "social Darwinist" who would "eliminate all who I see unfit".
Man shot and killed after viewing of "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" yesterday at Loews theatre in Pittsburgh. "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" is the title of the new movie by rapper 50 cent, who appeared on ABC's "The View" this morning- 50 Cent says he is sorry for the loss of life, but neither he or his movie is responsible. This isn't the first time that this theatre has had trouble; last Christmas a mob of unruly teenagers overran the theatre. Loews has since pulled the movie from its theatres nationwide, and will do so until the investigation is complete, which may be awhile- in the extremely crowded theatre nobody saw the attackers leaving.
Fatal Shooting at New Orleans High School. Another violent high school death. Bush should send troops to liberate New Orleans.
Riots in Cincinnati. Cincinnati city police have this odd habit of killing unarmed young black males. In November, two men were killed. One was shot, another was crushed or suffocated while already in police custody and, according to witnesses, not resisting. Several weeks later a policeman shot and killed a twelve year old out joy-riding. Saturday night an officer chased down and shot a nineteen year old he 'thought he recognized' as someone with outstanding traffic warrants. Every time someone is killed Cincinnati city council promises to look into the matter but does nothing. Today someone decided to take action, even if it was in a destructive and politically impotent form of action.
Young people today are not just getting their hands on guns and killing people, but are using any means necessary, including cars. Let's outlaw all dangerous items so that crazy kids can't do anybody any harm!