When "see something, say something" fails
February 15, 2018 7:18 AM   Subscribe

 
IMO this shooting is worthy of discussion (versus "just another school shooting" newsfilter) because this was a clear case of all the warning signs being there and people reporting them as they were supposed to but it still wasn't enough.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:20 AM on February 15 [33 favorites]


They weren't enough because, in this country, this man could legally purchase an AR-15 despite his mental health issues and explicitly violent attitude.

This country is sick with a disease called guns.
posted by lydhre at 7:23 AM on February 15 [78 favorites]


What needs to change?

The fucking gun laws, obviously. This isn't some kind of goddamn mystery.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:23 AM on February 15 [109 favorites]


It's the same thing with health care, our country is so myopic that the conversations on easy basic public policy issues are both sides thinking that they need to deduce shit from first principles.

What do we do about guns? Restrict them.
How do we improve schools? Give them money and resources irrespective of their local tax base.
How do we reduce poverty? Give poor people money and services.
How do we improve our declining infrastructure? Use taxes to fix and build shit.
How do we improve high speed internet? Take it away from monopolistic cartels that overcharge and underdeliver.
How do we have fair and secure elections? Paper ballots, mail in ballots, and no insecure opaque electronic voting machines.

These are solved goddamn problems; we just need the will and the votes to push them through.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:26 AM on February 15 [285 favorites]


From The Guardian:
John Crescitelli, a family doctor and 15 year-old Sarah Crescitelli’s father, was shaking as he was reunited with his daughter. He feared she had been killed.

“These school shootings have to stop. This is crazy. My son’s football coach died. It’s horrible,” he said. “It’s like Columbine across the street from my house.”

Asked by the Guardian if the tragedy should lead to stricter gun control for people with mental health issues, he replied: “I don’t want to get into a gun debate. I really don’t. What are you going to do? Confiscate everybody’s guns? We have millions and millions of weapons … I’m a gun owner. I don’t want the government taking my gun.”
How do you reason with people like this??
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:27 AM on February 15 [233 favorites]


Repeal the Second Amendment.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:28 AM on February 15 [47 favorites]


How do you reason with people like this??

You don't. You outvote them.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:32 AM on February 15 [113 favorites]


"Don't boo, vote."
posted by sweetmarie at 7:35 AM on February 15 [29 favorites]


"just another school shooting" newsfilter

I’m not saying you’re wrong, but that this could be considered a thing is horrifying.
posted by Artw at 7:36 AM on February 15 [28 favorites]


.................
posted by Fizz at 7:37 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


What are you going to do? Confiscate everybody’s guns?

I saw somebody on Twitter suggest confiscating guns and offering thoughts and prayers in return, since those are obviously so powerful and valuable in the face of loss.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:38 AM on February 15 [217 favorites]


The proposed solution to having the government restrict guns in any way is to set up a police state that... What, preemptively arrests people? Even the dimmest 2nd amendment type has to see the irony in that. And excuse me if I don't trust the current administration (nor any past) to have that power.
posted by codacorolla at 7:39 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


The age old problem of restricting people's freedom when they act even a little weird (e.g. James Taylor) versus giving them too much freedom when they could be a danger.
posted by Melismata at 7:41 AM on February 15


On the same day that the NSA has a shooting. Reading the BBC news this morning, I too was horrified to find myself idly wondering if the news would reach the blue and whether it was "just another" school shooting in America.

Student who survived school shooting: “We need to dig out of this hole… there is something seriously wrong here. And some of our policymakers... need to look in the mirror and take some action because... without action, ideas stay ideas and children die.”
posted by infini at 7:41 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


I watched the videos these poor high schoolers took during the shootings and was heartbroken. Then, I watched them again, imagining what it was like for the six year-olds at Sandy Hook to go through the same thing. Then, I drank a bunch of whiskey.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:41 AM on February 15 [28 favorites]


I work at a school district. Our flags are at half-mast again today. I'm beginning to wonder why they aren't just left that way permanently.
posted by SPrintF at 7:41 AM on February 15 [21 favorites]


As I posted in the megathread (slightly edited):

According to the Gun Violence Archive, this brings the total number of people killed in mass shootings (defined as incidents in which at least four people are injured or killed) in the US so far this year — over 45 days — to 58.

At this rate, we can expect another 412 deaths in mass shootings this year.

If lawmakers are at a loss for ideas on what they can do besides offering "thoughts and prayers," last November Scientific American proposed four laws that could reduce that number, with supporting evidence.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:42 AM on February 15 [27 favorites]


***By the way, if you find any of this news distressing and you need a warm place to commiserate with other MeFites, head on over to the 'MetaHugs' MetaTalk thread I created yesterday. It's ok to pull away from this type of stuff if you need that kind of a mental/emotional break.***
posted by Fizz at 7:44 AM on February 15 [34 favorites]


They weren't enough because, in this country, this man could legally purchase an AR-15 despite his mental health issues and explicitly violent attitude.

I didn't include this in the OP because I was aiming for a neutral framing to allow for open-ended discussion, but here's a relevant link that chris24 posted in the open politics thread:

USA Today (February 2017): Trump signs bill reversing Obama rule to ban gun purchases by mentally ill
posted by Jacqueline at 7:45 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


On the same day that the NSA has a shooting.

to be fair, that was quite likely a highway layout / planning / signage issue (and a recurring one; the facility is right off a major highway and its exit is right close to other regular exits and traffic in the area is often nightmarish and it's surprisingly easy to make a wrong turn and end up right at a security gate)
posted by halation at 7:45 AM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Foundational poltical/economic issues are never discussed in any mainstream setting, and when it comes to gun laws the core question is: what is the political motivation for second amendment absolutism? It's not merely the business interests of gun manufacterers. It's definitely not an originalist interpretation of the Bill of Rights. (Not even close.) No, it's this: so-called gun culture is low-grade right wing terrorism, the entire purpose of which is to intimidate left-progressive voters and politicians. "If we don't like how you vote, we have second amendment remedies." That's why it's there. That's why it has staying power. We must suffer with this stochastic terrorism to be always reminded that a more organized potential lies just behind it.

Until there's organized political pushback against rightism, as a coherent narrative, the situation will. not. change.
posted by mondo dentro at 7:46 AM on February 15 [96 favorites]


The journalism teacher at the school, who followed active shooter training drill instructions to hide students in the closet, said "that we see shooting after shooting and the same thing is said, it's not the time to talk about gun control, it's not the time - that hasn't gotten us anywhere."

"We did everything that we were supposed to do, Broward County Schools has prepared us for this situation and still, to have so many casualties for me, at least for me it's very emotional because I feel today like our government, our country has failed us our kids and didn't keep us safe,"
posted by sweetmarie at 7:51 AM on February 15 [66 favorites]


And if you think I'm exaggerating, I'll remind you of this. At least now the NRA is more overt about it.
posted by mondo dentro at 7:51 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


I would not use the words "neutral framing" to describe a post that asks the question "what needs to change?" and includes several links related to the shooter's history of mental health issues, but none related to the fact that he was only able to kill so many people because he had easy access to firearms. We're not talking about 17 dead if he had the same mental health issues and a knife or a machete. Citing mental health and only mental health as a factor is not neutral by any means.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:51 AM on February 15 [75 favorites]


No, it's this: so-called gun culture is low-grade right wing terrorism, the entire purpose of which is to intimidate left-progressive voters and politicians. "If we don't like how you vote, we have second amendment remedies."

I got kicked out of a gun-rights group on Facebook a few years ago when (presumably white) conservatives were decrying black people assassinating police officers in Texas and I asked them what did they think armed resistance to government tyranny was going to look like?

That and the NRA failing to speak up about Philando Castile makes it pretty clear that a lot of the people defending the second amendment as being necessary to protect our rights really only care about a subset of the population's rights. Everyone else can get fucked by the government with their blessing.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:52 AM on February 15 [117 favorites]


This is really the stuff of nightmares, to lose a child and to something so horrific.

It is also a challenge to democracy. As mentioned upthread, outvote them. It was not always like this.

The lack of any constructive response from the government, all three branches, is disgusting, repugnant, cowardly.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:53 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I'm not entirely clear on why the Florida shooting feels like it's generating so much more heat and press than the recent Kentucky shooting. There were "only" two dead in that one, I guess is the difference maker. But one of those was the second baseman on my niece's baseball team, so it felt like a pretty big deal to my extended family.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:53 AM on February 15 [27 favorites]


I can't understand why every teacher in America doesn't just refuse to show up for work until Congress enacts sensible gun control laws. They are not paid to be human shields for AK-15s.

There is no reason we cannot have laws that require safety standards for guns, proper training for gun owners, and ways to remove guns from people who abuse their responsibilities or prove to be threats to other people - as in Domestic Violence abusers.

We regulate cars, we regulate cold medicine, we can regulate guns.

Also, if you haven't yet joined MOMS DEMAND ACTION, I encourage you to do so today.
posted by pjsky at 7:53 AM on February 15 [12 favorites]


Curiously, the UK just convicted Ethan Stables based on a tip-off that he planned and announced his intentions to do a terror attack. Talking about doing an attack, obtaining the means for the attack, and preparing for the attack (by scouting locations) is more than a "little weird."

But, as much as I agree that the lack of gun control is a big problem, another dimension is that American adults don't give a fuck about school health and safety, except maybe where your own kids are concerned. Teen shooters are the visible tip of the iceberg on that score. Kids were talking about Cruz and his history of violence. Why did no one listen?
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 7:54 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


This country is sick with a disease called guns.

Also, yet AGAIN, the shooter turns out to be a well-known domestic abuser (yes, even in high school), who was angry his girlfriend had dumped him.

Toxic masculinity and domestic violence are the most reliable indicators of upcoming shootings, and yet both are literally mandatory for working in the current White House. They are our culture. Hurting women and wanting to hurt other people when women try to get away from you are the fabric of our lives. Guns make that rage extra lethal, but the root causes are ALWAYS the same, and ALWAYS ignored as unknowable.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:55 AM on February 15 [183 favorites]


My kid is currently homeschooled, and it's good for him for now, but I keep thinking that he might really benefit from the facilities (especially labs) and interaction of a good-quality high school when he gets to that age. I'm wondering if I should move so that can happen.

And then I think "I wonder if we'll do anything about our gun problem in the next four years when he'd enter high school," and the answer is "most likely no."

I don't know how to weigh the risks for him. Not even when he goes to college because in Texas you can carry on college campuses too--I guess we might have to pay more to send him out of state or to a private college if we want to get away from that. But again, am I overreacting to the risk? Who can tell?

I'm sure the parents who sent their kids in that day tried not to think about shootings, tried to take comfort in the overall low likelihood of it happening to their particular kid.
posted by emjaybee at 7:56 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Jacqueline, that's why I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that the only way forward is, so to speak, to go backward: the left spectrum (and here I include left libertarians, leftists, liberals, SJW's...) needs to heavily arm, rigorously train, and form militia groups. Like Redneck Revolt is doing. I am not advocating violence--in fact, this needs to be done entirely within a nonviolence framework, based on civilian defence.

The only way the rightists will take gun control seriously is if they are made to understand that they do not have a monopoly on mob gun violence.
posted by mondo dentro at 7:58 AM on February 15 [36 favorites]


Here’s what I’m struggling with. YouTube user Ben Bennight, who was named in the Buzzfeed article, reported Nikolas Cruz’s comment about “growing up to be a school shooter” to the FBI. He did this the way back in September. The FBI immediately replied and interviewed the YouTube user, asking him if he “knew anything” about Cruz. This should have been a slam-dunk identification effort. Cruz USED HIS REAL NAME in the YouTube comment!

And yet the FBI apparently never followed up. They only managed to follow up with Bennight after the shooting had already taken place.

I have uncovered the real identities of quite a few people online from minimal clues. This is really easy to do with just a bit of deductive logic - it requires no special technical skills or expertise. Surely the FBI is better at this than me. So why aren’t they doing it?

This isn’t just a FBI problem, of course. I called the Boston police in advance of the “free speech” fascist rally last summer with information about the very-easy-to-find public social media communications between the organizers. It was stuff that comprehensively refuted the bullshit notion that the organizers were just Concerned First Amendment Lovers, instead of the white supremacists they actually, obviously were. I know I was not the only person vocally pointing this out to law enforcement. Yet far as I could determine, this was not followed up on or barely followed up on.

There’s two depressing possibilities here. One: The FBI and our law enforcement are legitimately worse at identifying people’s real identity from their social media accounts than me, some rando former reporter. Two: The FBI and law enforcement are perfectly capable of identifying people online but just can’t be arsed to do it until after people die. Even when concerned citizens are actively feeding them the exact information they need.
posted by faineg at 7:59 AM on February 15 [58 favorites]


The deaths of children (and adults too obv) is the acceptable price a majority of Americans will pay in order to make sure gun laws remain toothless. People can wring their hands and go whyyyyyyy but absolutely resist the idea of gun reform. Because again, they won't say it to your face, they are perfectly fine with the price being the death of others. Thoughts and prayers get trotted out as a limp acknowledgement of "oh yes, this is so tragic, whatever could have caused this, etc".

The fact that there is a shooting nearly every week and it often doesn't make national news until the body count gets high says a lot and none of it good.
posted by Kitteh at 7:59 AM on February 15 [17 favorites]


I'm not entirely clear on why the Florida shooting feels like it's generating so much more heat and press than the recent Kentucky shooting.

The sense I'm getting is that what is different is that literally everyone who knew this kid saw it coming, but no one had any ability to stop it from happening, because everything he did was legal riiiiiight up until he started shooting, and reporting him made no difference.

Also, kids livetweeting the event from inside the locked down school.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:00 AM on February 15 [48 favorites]


I can't understand why every teacher in America doesn't just refuse to show up for work until Congress enacts sensible gun control laws. They are not paid to be human shields for AK-15s.

.... because money and they need said money to do things like buy food? They're not paid to be human shields but they're also not paid (or, to be frank, valued, if we go by their salaries) to go be the people storming the barricades. Why shouldn't that be the parents of the 30 students in each of their classes?
posted by phearlez at 8:00 AM on February 15 [46 favorites]


Just last evening, a conservative family member had the gall to send an email forward called "enigmas," where they pondered why leftists want to confiscate every gun in America.

It is a deliberately bad-faith framing of the issue, making the voice of reason seem absurd, to get people all riled up about something that isn't even on the table. Nobody, nobody has proposed confiscating all the guns. But this is what NRA fans are upset about. So when reasonable people propose reasonable restrictions on the sale of military-grade weapons to people with a history of violent ideation and untreated mental illness, it goes nowhere.

So I'm adding this to the list of things to push back on whenever I hear someone casually opining about guns being confiscated.
posted by witchen at 8:01 AM on February 15 [15 favorites]


This seems to get framed a lot of the time as "People don't want to face reality"; I'm seeing a lot that on Twitter. I think if that were the problem it would be a lot simpler. It seems obvious to me, after this much carnage, that people think dozens of dead children are an acceptable price for unfettered access to guns. They genuinely don't care if other people's children die. Just don't care. We live in a society where we literally value guns more than we value children, just as long as those children have parents that aren't us. And I don't see how we fix that problem. We can't force people to feel for other people.
posted by holborne at 8:01 AM on February 15 [23 favorites]


.... because money and they need said money to do things like buy food?

If only their unions hadn't been vilified and denigrated for decades.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:03 AM on February 15 [15 favorites]


I also found these Tweets extremely telling.

Older folks who don’t understand why us millenials feel so angry and betrayed: you decided in 1999 that it was OK for us to be slaughtered in school.
posted by faineg at 8:05 AM on February 15 [81 favorites]


People don't value guns more than they love their children. They hate liberals more than they love their children. More than they love reason, truth, economic well being... they hate liberals. More than they love the planet, they hate liberals.
posted by mondo dentro at 8:05 AM on February 15 [78 favorites]


The only way the rightists will take gun control seriously is if they are made to understand that they do not have a monopoly on mob gun violence.

I am with you in theory, but look how that worked out for the Black Panthers. They will find a way to control POC and other undesirables trying to gun up.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:05 AM on February 15 [18 favorites]


The FBI and law enforcement are perfectly capable of identifying people online but just can’t be arsed to do it until after people die.

Repeat after me, and keep repeating until this sinks in: Law Enforcement Does Not Exist To Protect You. Law Enforcement Exists To Enforce The Law After It Has Been Broken.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:05 AM on February 15 [44 favorites]


And yet the FBI apparently never followed up. They only managed to follow up with Bennight after the shooting had already taken place.

I have uncovered the real identities of quite a few people online from minimal clues. This is really easy to do with just a bit of deductive logic - it requires no special technical skills or expertise. Surely the FBI is better at this than me. So why aren’t they doing it?


Because it's way easier to apprehend and charge someone with violent crimes if you pick them yourselves and then glad-hand them all the way through coming up with a plot and then connect them with fake suppliers of terror tools. Going actively after where there might be white people you'd have to arrest is not a priority.
posted by phearlez at 8:06 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


I am perfectly aware that law enforcement does not exist to protect us. What is telling to me is how obviously they’re *not* attempting to stop school shootings. It’s emblematic of the fact that the right kind of crimes (committed mostly by white males) are tacitly permitted to happen.
posted by faineg at 8:07 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


A broken windows approach to domestic abuse comes to mind.

But you know, get rid of all the guns.
posted by Artw at 8:09 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


Citing mental health and only mental health as a factor is not neutral by any means.

IMO what makes this shooting especially notable is that many people spoke up about warning signs, mental health interventions and other preventative measures occurred, everyone apparently did what they were supposed to do, and he STILL went on to shoot up a school.

Between this shooter (he was sent to counseling and simply stopped going) and the Vegas shooter (he was rich and could have afforded all the psychiatric care he needed), it seems like we can now give a Trumpesque "sounds good, doesn't work" response to anyone who says we need improved access to mental healthcare instead of gun control. And I say that as someone who is generally against gun control.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:11 AM on February 15 [19 favorites]




Well, if we want law enforcement to become involved in cases like this, we need to craft some laws such that the shooter violates some of them before the obvious ones of stepping onto school property with a firearm, or .. you know... 17 counts of murder and some more counts of attempted murder.

Maybe abusing his girlfriend should have been a crime?

Maybe instagram posts about torturing animals or becoming a school shooter should have been a crime? (I mean, making a bomb threat is already a crime. why not threatening to shoot up a school?)

Maybe an 18 year old owning an AR-15 should have been a crime?
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:12 AM on February 15 [45 favorites]


Pointing to the Second Amendment as a reason why things have to be like this is just the "appeal to authority" fallacy. Our founders had some good ideas and some bad, but there's nothing inherently better about the 2nd than some college student's back-of-the-napkin idea for a replacement. The founders explicitly provided a way for us to amend the Constitution and we should use it. If we look at the 2nd as stated, pretty much everyone agrees it's confusing and ambiguous as written and wildly varying over time in how it's interpreted. So why not ditch it and replace it?

We could write something that affirms a right to hunt and a right to self-defense. Those are the reasons for guns that make the most sense to me. If I look back at US history and think about the times when having unfettered access to basically any crazy kind of weapon has somehow preserved our liberty or been of some other benefit, I come up blank. Am I missing something?

I personally don't want to be associated with guns at all, but if I was interested in say, trying hunting, I'd want to go to a (non-NRA) gun range and check a gun out of a locker to practice, then ideally go to a hunting area and check another copy of the same model out from a park ranger, go hunting, then go check it back in. I don't and won't tolerate guns around my family. The idea that someone living in the US might just suddenly need an AR-15 on the spur of the moment seems loopy to me.

Let's evaluate:

* whether the current 2nd amendment has really accomplished anything for us
* what legitimate reasons people might have to want or need guns rather than the "just because" argument
* whether people's quality of life would truly be lessened by *not* having unfettered access to guns

And then start over. That's what I want. As it stands, the 2nd amendment is probably my least favorite, maybe even including the 18th.
posted by freecellwizard at 8:13 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


Charlie Pierce: More Kids Are Dead
Until he opened up and killed 17 people in the school from which he’d been expelled for being dangerously violent, Nikolas Cruz had broken no laws. That’s because this was Florida, and in Florida: a) you don’t need a permit to buy a gun or to register the weapon once you do; b) you don’t need a permit to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun, just a handgun, and it’s hard to believe the NRA let that one slip by; c) you can buy as many guns as you want; d) there are no regulations on military-style weapons or the amount of ammunition you can buy for them, and e) if you want to sell guns, you don’t need a license. The state does require a three-day waiting period, which clearly was effective in this case.

And, in case you were feeling relieved that you don’t live in an armed asylum like Florida, don’t get comfortable. Right now, in the Congress, there is pending something called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This would allow people from armed asylums like Florida to carry concealed weapons without penalty, and without notifying local authorities. In December, two months after a well-armed lunatic named Stephen Paddock shot 58 people to death in Las Vegas, this dog’s breakfast of a bill passed the House of Representatives, in which you cannot carry a gun, concealed or otherwise. It may not pass the Senate. It’s probably unconstitutional as hell. But it got 231 votes in the House. There are 231 members of Congress who thought this was a good idea, even in the wake of mass murder in Nevada.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:14 AM on February 15 [48 favorites]


The flood of tweets from journalists badgering people in an active shooter situation (or other emergency) for #content after a perfunctory "Hope you're safe!" is just sick.
posted by ODiV at 8:14 AM on February 15 [22 favorites]


I am with you in theory, but look how that worked out for the Black Panthers.

That's not a counterargument, Meatbomb. That's empirical evidence that motivates my view. Of course, the Man will always fight back. It's a never ending struggle. But the last time we had serious gun laws was when the "nice" white folks were scared of POC with guns.
posted by mondo dentro at 8:15 AM on February 15 [28 favorites]


From the POTUS 45 mega (MAGA?) thread: Evidently he was already on the FBI's radar for threatening a school shooting online. People did 'see something / say something' and it didn't help.

posted by halation at 6:36 AM on February 15 [13 favorites +] [!]


This tragedy is horrible and regrettable, but I have some hope that it is a perfect storm, wherein an anecdote defies all of the arguments used by pundits to resist regulation of firearms. It can illustrate that all of the other actions we might, and in many cases should take are insufficient to stem the violence and what we need are rational controls on gun ownership and usage, including a national registry of guns. And sometimes the only thing that convinces those who distrust statistics and research is an anecdote.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:28 AM on February 15 [+] [!]
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:15 AM on February 15


Until he opened up and killed 17 people in the school from which he’d been expelled for being dangerously violent, Nikolas Cruz had broken no laws.

Except that's not true. He'd abused and stalked/harassed his ex-girlfriend, brought a weapon to school, abused animals, and made numerous threats online and off. All of those are against the law. They just didn't bother to enforce those laws, probably because he was a white teenage boy in an upper-class school district.

Like how can he write "expelled for being dangerously violent" before the comma and "Nikolas Cruz had broken no laws" after the comma? "Being dangerously violent" is breaking the law.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:19 AM on February 15 [77 favorites]


As a Twitter user pointed out, lockdown drills and other preparedness programs don't work when the shooter participated in them.

Which should have been obvious. A lot of school shooters are students or former students, and will come in knowing exactly how schools prepare for shooters.
posted by maxsparber at 8:19 AM on February 15 [100 favorites]


>Citing mental health and only mental health as a factor is not neutral by any means.

IMO what makes this shooting especially notable is that many people spoke up about warning signs, mental health interventions and other preventative measures occurred, everyone apparently did what they were supposed to do, and he STILL went on to shoot up a school.


This is rapidly getting meta, but:

I didn't include this in the OP because I was aiming for a neutral framing to allow for open-ended discussion, but here's a relevant link that chris24 posted in the open politics thread:

USA Today (February 2017): Trump signs bill reversing Obama rule to ban gun purchases by mentally ill


It feels like what makes this notable is that, much like MANY OTHER SHOOTINGS, restricting gun purchases could have prevented them. It is notable because it fits the overall pattern of gun control being a workable solution to the problem of people shooting other people, for which the common denominator is guns, and not because it's a wacky outlier, and treating it as a mental health issue ('neutral framing') and a suggestion of gun control as somehow non-neutral is inherently reframing this as a debate about mental health rather than one about guns.

I don't think that's what you were trying to do, since I do hear you saying (I think) that the restrictions that Trump repealed are ones you would support. But neutrality should stem from fact and not from averaging partisanship; neutrality should mean we look at what works, and not ignore what works and leave it to a side comment.
posted by cjelli at 8:24 AM on February 15 [15 favorites]


He sounds winded. The kids reading 'Pet Goat' in front of GWB had a more natural cadence than him.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:24 AM on February 15


Isn’t a “perfect storm” supposed to be infrequent?
posted by Artw at 8:27 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Trump just now (paraphrased): We're here to do anything we can to help the victims of this tragedy... whatever they need.

NATION: Whatever they need? How about stricter gun control?
posted by Rykey at 8:28 AM on February 15 [14 favorites]




One data point I saw recently: while there was a gun-buying boom during the Obama era, it was mostly existing gun owners (and typically paranoid rightwingers) stocking up. The distribution of guns became more uneven, with fewer Americans being armed.

The upside of this is that there are fewer gun owners voting, and theoretically more of a chance of enacting gun control. Of course, a potential downside is that people who aren't pig-biting mad extremists are literally outgunned.
posted by acb at 8:31 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


His address to the nation didn’t mention the word “gun” or “guns” once.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:34 AM on February 15 [23 favorites]


Trump just now (paraphrased)

He never once mentioned guns.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:34 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Many American leftists have totally bought in to the propaganda that they're safer with a gun.

(sorry, no stats, just hell twitter)

Just thought, you should know.
posted by Yowser at 8:35 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I got carded when buying Super Glue the other day.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:36 AM on February 15 [54 favorites]


He never once mentioned guns.

To Republicans there are no bad guns, only people who inconvenience bullets.
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on February 15 [12 favorites]


RobotVoodooPower: "I got carded when buying Super Glue the other day."

I bought two cans of air for cleaning electronics at Target and had to have my driver's licence scanned.
posted by octothorpe at 8:37 AM on February 15 [27 favorites]


We're not talking about 17 dead if he had the same mental health issues and a knife or a machete.

My dad is an aging conservative, but we both live in Canada, where gun controls are much stricter. Four years ago, in his adopted hometown, a knife attack at a house party left five dead. He spent some time scoffing about how maybe the government should now enact "knife control laws." I cannot help but think if the mentally ill man had shown up at the party in 2014 with an AR-15, things would have gone even worse.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:37 AM on February 15 [9 favorites]


All I can think is--look, I've taught through an episode of campus violence. I vividly remember trying to soothe my students, make sure that they had access to the information they needed for the coursework, and encourage them to keep us all informed at once; on that particular day, I believe the stabbings began literally minutes before my first of two discussion sections was set to meet. So I was finding out about the violence happening about a block away as they were.

The thing I remember running through my head the whole time was: thank fuck it's a stabbing. Thank fuck it's just a knife. Thank fuck it's not a gun, I don't know what magic kept him from getting a gun but thank fuck it's just a knife, because knives limit death tolls. That was information I was using to keep my students calm, do you hear me? None of this concealed carriers saving us bullshit; I was running students through potential worst case scenarios and what we would do if things got worse as I ran my damn sections. I was very clear with them that a knife is just straight up harder to mass kill with than a gun because it takes longer to reach people, because you can take an arm wound and fight the knife away if you have to. I told them the best strategies for different kinds of attacks. It was grim as all hell.

The experience has made me even more viciously pro gun control than I was already. Imagining the same incident with a gun is... horrifying. So horrifying.
posted by sciatrix at 8:38 AM on February 15 [46 favorites]



There’s two depressing possibilities here. One: The FBI and our law enforcement are legitimately worse at identifying people’s real identity from their social media accounts than me, some rando former reporter. Two: The FBI and law enforcement are perfectly capable of identifying people online but just can’t be arsed to do it until after people die. Even when concerned citizens are actively feeding them the exact information they need.


It's obviously #2, but the problem is just how many of these tips they get, on people with varying degrees of risk, and how many man hours they can ration into following up on it.
posted by ocschwar at 8:39 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Of course, a potential downside is that people who aren't pig-biting mad extremists are literally outgunned.

Well a given person can only fire so many guns at once, and a lot of these dudes are not in great shape or even good marksmen.

There's a reason the high casualties are in crowds or close-up shootings. And once a shooter outs themselves in that situation, they don't get another chance at it.

I do think that's why more of these assholes** don't grab their four favorite guns and go out rampaging; they know they'll end up dead or in prison at the end of their spree. It's the fringe of the fringe** that actually act.

I mean, the cops suck, but they will still go after an active shooter and take them out.

**still far too many, still totally preventable with enforcement of DV and better gun laws
posted by emjaybee at 8:42 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


My personal take is that this was an act of misogynistic terrorism, based on the reports that girls at the school avoided him because he was "creepy," that he abused/harassed/stalked his ex-girlfriend, and that he was eventually expelled for threatening her new boyfriend -- and why did they wait until he threatened another boy to expel him? Why wasn't his behavior towards his ex-girlfriend enough? I don't think Valentine's Day was a coincidence.

But it won't get called terrorism because misogyny isn't considered a political belief. Hell, even Elliot Rodger escaped being branded a terrorist despite publishing an explicitly misogynistic manifesto. Apparently hating girls/women is just boys being boys right up until they murder a bunch of people and then it's just random mental illness. No investigation into how they were indoctrinated into believing they are entitled to sex/attention from women and that murderous rage is a justifiable response to not being given their due.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:43 AM on February 15 [161 favorites]


I cannot help but think if the mentally ill man had shown up at the party in 2014 with an AR-15, things would have gone even worse.

I believe it was shotguns but yes that happened in Seattle and it was worse.
posted by Artw at 8:44 AM on February 15 [6 favorites]


It feels like what makes this notable is that, much like MANY OTHER SHOOTINGS, restricting gun purchases could have prevented them.

Perhaps purchasing assault rifles should be viewed as more akin to drunk driving. The driver weaving down the road after six gin and tonics may not have killed anyone yet, but the potential is there, and the potential for injury or death is much higher now.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:44 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


A broken windows approach to domestic abuse comes to mind.

But you know, get rid of all the guns.


Why not both?


Nobody, nobody has proposed confiscating all the guns.

Thankfully, this isn't true. If it were, it would be sad to see an entire nation having just given up on sanity like that.
posted by Dysk at 8:44 AM on February 15 [12 favorites]


Let's evaluate:

* whether the current 2nd amendment has really accomplished anything for us


I believe there's ample support for the idea that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to suppress insurrection by slaves.

We have made slavery illegal, therefore I see no reason not to repeal the 2nd Amendment.
posted by mikelieman at 8:45 AM on February 15 [27 favorites]


He spent some time scoffing about how maybe the government should now enact "knife control laws."

Logic fail. If knives were causing the kind of carnage that guns are, we should absolutely talk about knife control.
posted by Rykey at 8:46 AM on February 15 [8 favorites]


He spent some time scoffing about how maybe the government should now enact "knife control laws."

Knives are regulated vastly more strictly than guns in a lot of places. Hell, nunchucks are completely illegal in California, and they're only a hazard to their wielder.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:48 AM on February 15 [35 favorites]


(The UK has knife control, by the way, because of the prevalence of knife crime. Probably so prevalent because guns are largely banned. It still sucks, but compared to what you lot are dealing with, it's a bloody good problem to have.)
posted by Dysk at 8:49 AM on February 15 [15 favorites]


If knives were causing the kind of carnage that guns are, we should absolutely talk about knife control.

...so should we be talking about truck control? 86 killed and 458 wounded is a lot of carnage.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:49 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Ban trucks and replace them with efficient public transport is a lower priority than banning guns and restricting knives, but it's still absolutely on the to-do list for my personal luxury gay space communist utopia.
posted by Dysk at 8:51 AM on February 15 [33 favorites]


...so should we be talking about truck control?

Conservatives turned that one into calls for muslim control.
posted by peeedro at 8:52 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


...so should we be talking about truck control? 86 killed and 458 wounded is a lot of carnage.

"Anything can be an improvised weapon so why not just make it easier on people who want to kill people and just let them have easy access to the most efficient method?"
posted by Talez at 8:54 AM on February 15 [46 favorites]


@AP: BREAKING: Florida sheriff says high school campus had an armed officer who never encountered the suspected shooter during attack.

So more guns in schools is worthless as a response to this too.
posted by Artw at 8:55 AM on February 15 [28 favorites]


Cities are actively working on truck control.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:57 AM on February 15 [8 favorites]


...so should we be talking about truck control? 86 killed and 458 wounded is a lot of carnage.

I will whole-heartedly support implementing a level of restriction, training, and licensing on guns that is equivalent to commercial driver's license holders, yes, thank you.
posted by phearlez at 8:57 AM on February 15 [96 favorites]


...I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that the only way forward is, ... to heavily arm, rigorously train, and form militia groups. ... I am not advocating violence-- ...

Sorry, but you certainly are. It is the nature of firearms that they are stored-up, potential extreme violence that is easily released. Trivially easily released, by infants, drunks, inattentive, careless, and angry people. Also by highly trained law-enforcement officers, gun-safety instructors, gun-range masters, and all manner of "good guys," who accidentally shoot themselves, each other, and random bystanders with alarming frequency. The presence of a firearm in any situation dramatically increases the likelihood that someone will be seriously injured or killed, and that's true even if the person carrying the thing is well-trained and well-meaning.

I have no desire to live in a militiaed-up America. In fact, I live in one of the most gun-controlled of the states, and I like it. More guns is not an answer to gun violence, regardless of who carries them.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:58 AM on February 15 [34 favorites]


My personal take is that this was an act of misogynistic terrorism...

The Valentine’s Day timing is unlikely to be a coincidence. Incels celebrated this act, and there is a slight possibility that the shooter identified as an incel and planned the shooting on their new forum (new since they were kicked off reddit).

Link to wehuntedthemammoth.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 8:58 AM on February 15 [17 favorites]


Shocked to see only one comment talk about how this is misogynistic terrorism (oops, now two, if I may abuse the edit window).

THIS IS MISOGYNISTIC TERRORISM. Full stop. Honestly, it's not really gun control (although yes, let's take their guns away, fuck, let's take away all the guns) and it's not about mental illness (it's shocking to me how ableist that language is), this is about misogyny. These mass shootings are nearly always perpetrated by men who have track records of domestic violence. If we cared about women and treated them like full people in this society these unspeakable events would not happen at this rate.

Oh and also take away the guns, yes, we need "gun control" and have needed it for quite some time now.

...............
posted by sockermom at 8:58 AM on February 15 [72 favorites]


Nobody, nobody has proposed confiscating all the guns.

Not to snark, but seriously, I propose confiscating all the guns. Easy access to guns doesn't end until civilians don't have them. Farmers in northern China have single-shot rifles to kill moles and wolves and properly declared and packed antique muskets are allowed across nearly every national border in checked luggage. No country anywhere has a total gun ban. You don't win armed insurgencies without military-grade hardware, which most successful or lasting ones either find in existing arms depots or obtain through organized foreign military aid. Insensitive though it be to point out, ISIS and Syrian militants are what armed rebellion against modern tyranny looks like, not Joey the Gun Buff down the street with his AR-15 and bugout bag. Tasers, pepper spray, and any number of other non-lethal weapons can incapacitate individual attackers in cases where self-defense is required. Exceptions exist for all these scenarios, but I'm right most of the time, as proven by the copious lack of shooting deaths elsewhere in the world.

I am actually proposing confiscating all the guns, and while I understand that politically it's a long shot, it's only that way because of hyperbole, a 250-year old piece of paper, and the conscious decision of millions to keep doing this to ourselves. Yes, this liberal is coming for your guns, with my vote and my donations and my opinion, because you need that Glock in your closet exactly as much as you need a bucket of nuclear waste in the laundry room.
posted by saysthis at 8:58 AM on February 15 [87 favorites]


Conservatives turned that one into calls for muslim control.

That's another thing that gets me steamed. If the Florida school shooter had been a brown Muslim kid instead of just another creepy white boy, and if he seemed to hate the government instead of girls, then I bet the authorities would have been a lot more interested in investigating and monitoring him.

But they're too busy arresting Muslim kids for building clocks.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:00 AM on February 15 [31 favorites]


The thing that gets me the most depressed about that day of teaching is--like...

I took that campus violence event very, very seriously. I have something of an interest in these acts of violence, and I've made it my unprompted, untrained job to think about how to keep my students safe. And I was so very clear with them precisely because I needed them to not panic but also to take the violence seriously, and that's a hard fucking path to tread. I was blunt and I made every student I talked to tell me what our plans would be if we heard it was guns, if they didn't feel safe going home since the stabbings happened very close to a large student dorm, if if if-- whether deaths were likely from the information we had of photos of bloody students standing in shock on Twitter, what the consequences were likely to be.

I was honest and I took everything absolutely seriously and I kept my students calm as best I could.

And when I talked to people later, I got a lot of "oh well why did you have to scare them like that? don't you think you were overreacting?" from other faculty and TAs. The hell of it is, no, I wasn't fucking overreacting; I was just being as honest as I could.

Meanwhile I was also very honest with the students from my sections the next morning about how much training their faculty and staff got on dealing with this shit, especially when they were a little incredulous that the only official response many had seen was the presence of therapy dogs on the main campus thoroughfare the next day.

The students were rather shocked to realize that the full extent of our training is a series of plaques with advice installed near the doors of all the classrooms. They were further shocked when I gently pointed out that their faculty were probably as lost for what to do as they were.

And that just--it still makes me so angry. That's all.
posted by sciatrix at 9:00 AM on February 15 [19 favorites]


...so should we be talking about truck control?

every shithead in a vehicle who has menaced me on my bike was driving a truck so fuck yes we should
posted by indubitable at 9:00 AM on February 15 [24 favorites]


I did not know what incel meant until looking it up recently. Holy shit, there's a lot of fucked up shit there.

Preview: what sockermom said.
posted by Melismata at 9:01 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


For me, the least intolerable anti-gun-control viewpoint is the attitude that any reform would be inherently unfeasible, that actually curbing guns is somehow beyond the scope of our government to do, period. I very strongly disagree, and I think about half the people saying it are disingenuous. However, it's much less angrifying than when someone thinks we could prevent these massacres... but it wouldn't be worth it, because something something "rights". Or the million similar bullshit "killers would just use knives" arguments. Please tell me massacres are inevitable, rather than the price of freedom. Tell me you're deluded and not downright evil.

Of course, all these rationalizations are interlinked. The same basic social forces inform the drafting, and passing, and enforcement of laws. If and when there isn't a will to make new gun control laws, there won't be a will to provide for enforcement. And, more hopefully, vice versa.

It's like the inverse of how people talk about immigration -- I've had frustrating real-life conversations with people who, after they've been dissuaded from the assumption that just anyone can "get in line, jump some hoops, become a citizen", are like "Fine, if the policy is too onerous, then we can change the policy. But in the meantime, the law is the law!" It's tricky to express how, if the country is collectively saying "We have to enforce this admittedly stupid law because it's the law", then the law won't change because everyone shouting for the enforcement of xenophobic law amounts to a generalized endorsement of the xenophobia.

In the case of guns, the mindset of"We shouldn't have to improve the law because the existing law is supposed to be enough" is going to mean the existing law wont' be enough. All the agents responsible for law enforcement aren't law-executing robots; they absorb the zeitgeist. If there's a general view that guns are precious tokens of liberty, then an FBI agent is less likely to investigate the dealer who's skipping background checks, assuming they have the resources to look into it. And even if the agent is supportive of background checks, what does their boss think? Their coworkers?

But if we can make guns increasingly toxic, that frees up all the participants in the system, from elected officials to factory inspectors to mental health professionals to the local police, to act accordingly.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:02 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


They write down your drivers license information when you buy a box of Sudafed. Hell, for that matter, they write down your name when you buy a damn gun, too. They're just not legally allowed to enter any of that information into a computer, because then it could be searched and cross-referenced against things like domestic violence. (No kidding, read how crazy this is.)


I would really like to live in a nation where the population is allowed to own firearms for sporting and self-defense purposes.

I just can't argue that the United States is that nation (anymore?). We're apparently not capable of safely doing so.

I do know that there are MANY European nations (largely the ones where firearms are manufactured) that I, as a gun owner, would still be able to own and operate most, if not all, of my stupid arsenal. The restrictions are largely on the times and places one can carry them about, where they may be stored, and in what condition; and not for self-defense purposes, mostly. The Europeans rather frown on that last one. Seeing how our stupid male population escalates road-rage into a shooting, or how we believe we should be able to shoot a fleeing burglar on "self-defense" grounds; maybe they're not entirely wrong.

The major difference is that our (mostly male, mostly white) population has some severe violence and entitlement issues to work through, and maybe it'd be a good idea to limit the damage a violent outburst could cause until that problem is solved.

Perhaps purchasing assault rifles should be viewed as more akin to drunk driving. The driver weaving down the road after six gin and tonics may not have killed anyone yet, but the potential is there, and the potential for injury or death is much higher now.

We don't even treat Drunk Driving as a major crime in this country. You know how Germany treats Drunk Driving? First offense, no license for a year. Second offense, no license forever. Driving without a license? Go immediately to jail. (Granted, zoning laws are different, public intoxication is not a crime, and the German drinking culture is different from ours.)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:02 AM on February 15 [27 favorites]


Yeah I am very on board with having a serious discussion about male terrorism where we identify it as such.

It should probably include “domestic violence” (call it intimate partner terrorism or something), stalking, harassment, sexual assault, and, of course, mass shootings.

Let’s stop pretending these are independent things. They’re all part of the same fucking poison.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:02 AM on February 15 [42 favorites]


so should we be talking about truck control? 86 killed and 458 wounded is a lot of carnage.

OH FOR FUCKS SAKE.

I'm so fucking pissed at this bullshit right now that I'm just going to quote this tweet from Jason Kander instead of saying something banworthy:
We required a drivers test and insurance, then we lowered speed limits, cracked down on drunk driving, and passed seat belt laws. Since we started actually trying stuff, about 17,000 American lives have been saved per year.

But please continue your analogy.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:03 AM on February 15 [116 favorites]


These mass shootings are nearly always perpetrated by men who have track records of domestic violence

If police valued women more than the valued the criminal record of “nice white boys”, a significant majority of the shooters would have been stopped. Domestic violence is a felony, before it gets bargained down by prosecutors who don’t want to “ruin their lives”. You can’t legally buy guns in this country with a felony conviction.

Lock them up when they start hurting women, and they won’t graduate to killing more. But really, you should lock them up because they’re hurting women, and you care about their lives and think they have value.
posted by corb at 9:04 AM on February 15 [62 favorites]


There’s two depressing possibilities here. One: The FBI and our law enforcement are legitimately worse at identifying people’s real identity from their social media accounts than me, some rando former reporter. Two: The FBI and law enforcement are perfectly capable of identifying people online but just can’t be arsed to do it until after people die. Even when concerned citizens are actively feeding them the exact information they need.

or Three: the FBI are racist, have always been, and are racist in a way that reflects modern US society. so besides regularly terrorizing and harassing Arab-Americans, they are now focusing their efforts on 'black identity extremists' instead of mass shooters who tend to be young white men
posted by runt at 9:05 AM on February 15 [23 favorites]


This “neutral framing” not mentioning gun control, by one of MeFi’s most outspoken gun enthusiasts, is really disingenuous and an insult to intelligence and, most importantly, a transparent attempt to control the narrative.
posted by Rumple at 9:05 AM on February 15 [31 favorites]


Jacqueline, that's why I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that the only way forward is, so to speak, to go backward: the left spectrum (and here I include left libertarians, leftists, liberals, SJW's...) needs to heavily arm, rigorously train, and form militia groups. Like Redneck Revolt is doing. I am not advocating violence--in fact, this needs to be done entirely within a nonviolence framework, based on civilian defence.

The only way the rightists will take gun control seriously is if they are made to understand that they do not have a monopoly on mob gun violence.


I agree with this, and I'm a gun owner who gladly advocates for extreme gun control of the "just fucking take all the guns away" variety.
posted by odinsdream at 9:07 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


...so should we be talking about truck control? 86 killed and 458 wounded is a lot of carnage.

Hi there, we have mandatory licensing and insurance requirements for vehicles, but you knew that already
posted by Existential Dread at 9:07 AM on February 15 [23 favorites]


THIS IS MISOGYNISTIC TERRORISM. Full stop.

More-than-semi-related: Courtney Barnett dropped a new single today and ...

"I wanna walk through the park in the dark / men are scared that women will laugh at them / I wanna walk through the park in the dark / women are scared that men will kill them / I hold my keys between my fingers / Go on, tell me you're just kidding"
posted by uncleozzy at 9:07 AM on February 15 [37 favorites]


Control the messaging. Deemphasize guns and gun-usage (especially guns used in violent acts) in broadcast media and on the internet. Treat advertisements for guns like advertisements for cigarettes, and ban them on TV.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:09 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Nothing needs to change. America chose this, deliberately. We want children to be killed by guns, we consider it one of our civic virtues. Guns are Our Moloch.
The gun's power to do good is matched by its incapacity to do anything wrong. It cannot kill. Thwarting the god is what kills. If it seems to kill, that is only because the god’s bottomless appetite for death has not been adequately fed. The answer to problems caused by guns is more guns, millions of guns, guns everywhere, carried openly, carried secretly, in bars, in churches, in offices, in government buildings. Only the lack of guns can be a curse, not their beneficent omnipresence.
posted by Nelson at 9:10 AM on February 15 [17 favorites]


From last year: FBI's 'Gamergate' file says prosecutors didn't charge men who sent death threats to female video game fans — even when suspects confessed

They absolutely do not take the precursors to this shit seriously enough.
posted by Artw at 9:12 AM on February 15 [70 favorites]


Yes, I think racism is absolutely one of the central reasons why the FBI isn’t bothering to follow-up on even the most obvious tips about future mass-shooters.

The white male gun cult in this country is a really incredible thing.
posted by faineg at 9:13 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


It's obviously #2, but the problem is just how many of these tips they get, on people with varying degrees of risk, and how many man hours they can ration into following up on it.

Googling, there are about 14000 FBI agents. If they spent 1% of their time tracking and investigating white domestic terrorism, they'd have about three person-years to do so every week.

Likewise, there are about 2800 law-enforcement officers in the Broward County Sheriff's Office. One percent of their time would mean a person-year of tracking and investigating their local population of angry young men every two weeks.

They have the resources to pursue this. They just don't care to do so.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:13 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


This “neutral framing” not mentioning gun control, by one of MeFi’s most outspoken gun enthusiasts, is really disingenuous and an insult to intelligence and, most importantly, a transparent attempt to control the narrative.

I included "guncontrol" in the tags of the post and asked the open-ended question "What needs to change?" because I knew the immediate response in the comments would be "gun laws" and that y'all would take it from there. I didn't think I should attempt to make the argument for your side or otherwise put words in your mouth.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:13 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Also, NRA ratings for congresspeople should be turned into poision. "A+" should mean more than likelihood of supporting NRA agendas. It should also be a marker of approving use of guns to kill the innocent.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:13 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


I hestantly checked out my resident right wing nutjob facebook friend's feed to see what talking points are bubbling up. It seems like they are fully latching onto the "FBI was notified but did nothing" aspect of this story - but framing it as "because they are too busy engaging in political witch hunts" (ie, Russia investigation).

sigh.
posted by Roommate at 9:13 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


The shooter had previously been through lock down training at the school which is why he pulled the fire alarm first to flush his targets into the open.

Safety training will not save your children. The killers will just adopt new tactics. The only thing that will save them is gun control.
posted by JackFlash at 9:14 AM on February 15 [71 favorites]


So, when we're hypothetically confiscating everyone's firearms, we're disarming the cops too, right?
posted by indubitable at 9:15 AM on February 15 [23 favorites]


I have located the personal identities, addresses, and phone numbers of social media users - who were actively trying to hide their real identities - in as little as 15 minutes. For free. And I don’t think I’m particularly brilliant at this stuff.

Surely the FBI could spare 15 minutes for the most egregious potential threats. For example, in the Cruz case, they actually went to the trouble of meeting with the YouTube user who reported it.
posted by faineg at 9:15 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


fyi - Florida has a dedicated NRA gun lobbyist and has been used as a laboratory for state level policies that reduce gun control
GROSS: Now, does everyone else in the legislature know that the bill was actually drafted by an NRA lobbyist?

SPIES: Everyone in the Florida legislature knows that every gun bill is drafted by an NRA lobbyist.

GROSS: And that doesn't make a difference.

SPIES: Makes no difference. I think a lot of, you know, one of the dirty secrets, especially in state politics in this country, is that lots of bills are drafted by lobbyists but the bills that the NRA produces are of a very unique variety. And no, nobody - I mean, Democrats care, but they have been in the minority for a very long time with the state, so it doesn't really matter what they think. And Republicans don't care, no.
posted by runt at 9:16 AM on February 15 [24 favorites]


One thing I noticed about the Twitter discourse of gun defenders (with caveats that Twitter is a largely toxic place that I should spend less time in) is the total disregard for the toll of gun suicides. It's been demonstrated that access to guns increases the rate of suicides in young men especially, but there seems to be this attitude of "Oh, well, he only committed suicide so that one's okay." The fact that we can't even have the CDC study the effects of gun ownership on suicide/homicide/accidents/etc, and if they did the results would still be discounted by those with a vested interest in guns, is a major blockage for lessening the amount of carnage in our streets and schools.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:16 AM on February 15 [21 favorites]


There is the UK approach: disarm most of the cops, and have specially trained firearms officers who can be called in when needed.
posted by acb at 9:17 AM on February 15 [30 favorites]


So, when we're hypothetically confiscating everyone's firearms, we're disarming the cops too, right?
Totally.
Nobody needs a fucking gun.
posted by chococat at 9:17 AM on February 15 [32 favorites]


The only way the rightists will take gun control seriously is if they are made to understand that they do not have a monopoly on mob gun violence.

A novel presentation, and with some bold new flavours, but this is still just accelerationism, and has all the same problems.
posted by Dysk at 9:18 AM on February 15 [11 favorites]


gun enthusiasts are also a fan of Florida's gun laws - https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=26492
Florida is by far the leader in the amount of concealed weapons permits that have been issued. They have more people holding their license than any other state in the nation. Some people are surprised that Florida beats out Texas, but surprisingly enough Texas does not come near the over 900,000 permits that are held in Florida.
posted by runt at 9:18 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


THIS IS MISOGYNISTIC TERRORISM. Full stop. Honestly, it's not really gun control (although yes, let's take their guns away, fuck, let's take away all the guns) and it's not about mental illness (it's shocking to me how ableist that language is), this is about misogyny. These mass shootings are nearly always perpetrated by men who have track records of domestic violence. If we cared about women and treated them like full people in this society these unspeakable events would not happen at this rate.

Yes this. It's not an either/or, it's a both/and. Keep these guys from getting their hands on weapons of mass murder, but I'm willing to bet that few of them started with mass murder out of the blue. Start paying attention when these guys start off harassing and assaulting the women (and others) around them.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 9:19 AM on February 15 [15 favorites]


In the age of cell phones, how come we have stand-alone fire alarms to be pulled, anyway? (Genuinely curious as to what the issues could be)
posted by Melismata at 9:22 AM on February 15


In remembrance of one of the victims:

Football Coach Aaron Feis, 37-years-old, was a victim of gun violence yesterday when he jumped in front of his students to protect them from the shooter. Rest In Peace.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:23 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


Cell phones are often confiscated from students if seen in use, for one.
posted by sciatrix at 9:23 AM on February 15 [9 favorites]


So, when we're hypothetically confiscating everyone's firearms, we're disarming the cops too, right?

You're not worshipping Moloch correctly. The right answer is of course every citizen should have a gun too. So they can engage in gun battles with the police. Who escalate by buying military grade weaponry and acting like an occupying army. That's the America we've chosen to be. I hope you have good aim.
posted by Nelson at 9:24 AM on February 15 [9 favorites]


Florida also helped pioneer the exceedingly racist Stand Your Ground law which has really only been used to justify the murders of black folks by white people
Roman also found that Stand Your Ground laws tend to track the existing racial disparities in homicide convictions across the U.S. — with one significant exception: Whites who kill blacks in Stand Your Ground states are far more likely to be found justified in their killings. In non-Stand Your Ground states, whites are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person; in Stand Your Ground states, that number jumps to 354 percent.
posted by runt at 9:24 AM on February 15 [23 favorites]


That seems a bit of a non-sequitur? What do mobile phones have to do with fire alarms?
posted by Dysk at 9:24 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan said the House would have a moment of silence this morning and then didn’t.

Perfect encapsulation of the Republican response.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:24 AM on February 15 [55 favorites]


The point of having a fire alarm was from the days when the only phone in the building was in a (locked?) teacher's office, or maybe one payphone, and the fire department had to be called immediately. Nowadays, almost everyone has a phone on them, so this is a moot problem. If he had not pulled the fire alarm, the situation would have been different.
posted by Melismata at 9:26 AM on February 15


That seems a bit of a non-sequitur? What do mobile phones have to do with fire alarms?

I guess the idea is that someone can call 911 instead of pulling the fire alarm? I don't think that makes sense; the idea of a fire alarm is to get people out, fast, and calling the fire department does not seem to do that.
posted by thelonius at 9:27 AM on February 15 [12 favorites]


The point of having a fire alarm was from the days when the only phone in the building was in a (locked?) teacher's office, or maybe one payphone, and the fire department had to be called immediately.

Well it's also to make the bells ring so everyone can evacuate the building.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:27 AM on February 15 [11 favorites]


So, when we're hypothetically confiscating everyone's firearms, we're disarming the cops too, right?

A gun being on the scene is the usual excuse for the police shooting unarmed civilians, so yes, over time it would help, I imagine. Zero tolerance on domestic abusers handling guns would weed out a lot of bad cops quite quickly as well, I would imagine.
posted by Artw at 9:27 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


The main purpose of a fire alarm is to alert the occupants to a fire, so they can evacuate. That need is not addressed in any way by phones, mobile or otherwise.
posted by Dysk at 9:27 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


Part of the point of having a fire alarm is so that the entire building can be alerted IMMEDIATELY that there's a fire. You gonna whatsapp all the students and staff?
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:27 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Umm, fire alarms, including pull fire alarms, have a legit use for saving lives, such as when a fire is in a spot where it might not trigger the smoke detectors. I don't think removing a fire alarm system in order to attempt to reduce loss of life in a shooting situation makes a ton of sense
posted by Existential Dread at 9:28 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


If he had not pulled the fire alarm, the situation would have been different.

FYI, reports are now that he did NOT pull fire alarms; they were set off by gunsmoke.
posted by blue suede stockings at 9:28 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


I was working on the 6th floor of a chemistry lab building once, when the fire alarm went off. That was a speedy evacuation!
posted by thelonius at 9:29 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


[Y'all let's not go ten rounds on Not Having Fire Alarms: A Radical New Solution To Gun Violence in here. Please drop it now.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:30 AM on February 15 [48 favorites]


...so should we be talking about truck control?

Such as, say, concrete barriers to prevent vehicles from entering areas that are temporarily pedestrian-only for large gatherings? Which a lot of places already do?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:31 AM on February 15 [16 favorites]


Artw: Isn’t a “perfect storm” supposed to be infrequent?

Normally yes, but remember that this is America, which is Exceptional, and strives to form a more perfect Union.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:32 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


It isn't like OSHA hasn't written extensive documentation on this.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:32 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Paul Ryan said the House would have a moment of silence this morning and then didn’t.

Paul Ryan: we offer our thoughts and pra....look, just gaze into my big sad dewy eyes for a second and then let's all get back to trying to starve babies, OK?
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:32 AM on February 15 [11 favorites]


This isn't some kind of goddamn mystery.

How is it that The Onion doesn't have a Pulitzer Prize already?
posted by fuse theorem at 9:33 AM on February 15 [17 favorites]


He spent some time scoffing about how maybe the government should now enact "knife control laws."

Well why not have knife control laws if they save people's lives?

In the UK under 18s can't but knives and anyone carrying a blade more than 3 inches long better have a pretty good reason why if stopped by the police.
posted by biffa at 9:33 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


the only way forward is, so to speak, to go backward: the left spectrum (and here I include left libertarians, leftists, liberals, SJW's...) needs to heavily arm, rigorously train, and form militia groups

No. No, no, no. We cannot win this by accepting the narrative that the only valid response to violence is more extreme violence. All that changes is which group's wackos will go off the deep end, and which targets they'll chose.

We need government support - enforcing the laws we already have even when white boys are the criminals - but since we're not getting that anytime soon, we need stronger social constraints. We need teachers who point out that angry young boys become lonely old men. We need media reviewers to point out that "die free, shiny and chrome" is a myth - nobody remembers or cares about the hundreds of white warrior boys who died in Fury Road; they remember the ones who died helping other people. We need families to say, "no, you're not welcome at this gathering; I won't have you corrupting the kids with your racist lies." News reports of how even the limited gun laws we have aren't enforced. Employers who refuse to hire Nazi sympathizers, or if that doesn't happen, co-workers who inform each other about who believes some of their staff and clients aren't fully human.

And we need the other side, too: "you're welcome to come with us on the roadtrip if you will follow our house rules." More coverage of ex-nazis and how they realized they were being played. More college men to say, "once I started treating women as people, I got laid all I wanted." More offers of help with reform. Spiritual support that says "it's never too late to do better." Social media sites focused on helping people sort out the web of racist, sexist lies, that focus on the end goal: What kind of person do you want to be, the kind who hates, or the kind who is respected, loved, honored in your community?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:34 AM on February 15 [19 favorites]


THIS IS MISOGYNISTIC TERRORISM. Full stop. Honestly, it's not really gun control

And yet the entire rest of the world is also full of misogynists and collectively has had over a decade of mass shootings on a scale that we have in months or even weeks. Saying "it's not really gun control" cedes the moral high ground to the gun nuts, and I'm not prepared to do that. It's misogyny and it's guns. It doesn't have to be one or the other, nor does one have to necessarily be more of an issue. The access to guns is what gave these misogynists the power to make murder an industry, and we can not let that become a separate issue.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:34 AM on February 15 [31 favorites]


More college men to say, "once I started treating women as people, I got laid all I wanted.

Jesus no, please not this. Women's bodies are not a fucking prize for Good Men any more than they are for reddit alpha assholes.
posted by Dysk at 9:37 AM on February 15 [129 favorites]


In the UK under 18s can't but knives and anyone carrying a blade more than 3 inches long better have a pretty good reason why if stopped by the police.

KKK types are pretty big on carrying knives and instigating tussles so they can use them so I am all for this.
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


(sigh)

One every three or four days.

Here's today's. WBAL Baltimore: "Loch Raven High School on lockdown; @bacopolicefire at the scene. Individual showed another individual a weapon. Heavy police presence at the school, SkyTeam 11 reports"

Maybe we'll do something when it's one every day.

Or two every day.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:41 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I don't know where I need to sign to add my name to "Yes, I would like to take your gun away. Yes, you. No, I don't fucking care" but my pen is out.

Two weeks ago, my own son's school (he's five, he's a baby) was placed on modified lockdown for an entire day because some shithead in Florida thought it would be hi-larious to announce over a gaming chat that he wanted to shoot up schools in Pittsburgh and keep killing until the police killed him. He was quite specific. He cataloged his arsenal. Someone on the chat with him recorded it and sent to the a local news station, who passed it along to the police. It wasn't clear at the time that he was in Florida, for all any of us parents knew he was right down the street.

Meanwhile, every time I go on my back deck, I look out on an empty lot that used to have a house on it. That house was the site of the murder of three police who were ambushed by a white male fucko who thought Obama was gonna take his guns. I lived three blocks away at the time and spent the morning hiding in my basement listening to semi-auto gun fire. Now that I've moved around the corner, I see the site of a mass murder daily.

I don't care whose feelings it hurts or who has to find a new goddamn hobby. If my preferred hobby involved a tool that suddenly hundreds of people were using to kill and maim children on purpose, I'd run my car over all my tools and find a new hobby. I hear knitting is very soothing.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:41 AM on February 15 [119 favorites]


Maybe we'll do something when it's one every day.

Or two every day.


It just won't make the news at that point, and will be largely forgotten. You know, like all your regular gun murders.
posted by Dysk at 9:43 AM on February 15 [9 favorites]


Honestly, it's not really gun control

It's 100% gun control. And that is something we can and should act on immediately.

New York City's Department of Education has a School Safety Program that works in conjunction with the NYPD. The program is mostly transparent: statistics are released to the public quarterly. The police are called when a student is found with a weapon in their possession, either through a metal detector (6% of city schools have them) or by other means. A total of 1,673 weapons were seized in schools in 2015, 2,053 in 2016 and 2,120 last year. Often, those were knives, not guns.

In addition to this, New York City has some of the strongest gun safety laws in the country. Our state licensing requirements for handguns require an interview, background check (which is also required at gun shows and for private sales), fingerprinting, photos and character references. We treat gun ownership as a privilege, not an automatic right. And we punish illegal possession severely. The state bans ownership altogether of certain kinds of guns, including assault weapons. They also have banned high-capacity mags. But NYC is even stricter -- there are guns you can't legally own or carry here that are legalized outside of the five boroughs. Also, felons can't buy guns. And the state maintains an ownership database.

Our cops go after the people who have guns and have shown a propensity to use them: specifically gang members.

All of this has added up to a reduction in gun violence. We're near the very bottom of the list for gun deaths. 2017's homicide rate was a record low. The lowest in almost 70 years.

The only way to solve gun violence is through gun control. We're an example of how it can work. Until this country embraces gun control, children will keep being slaughtered in our schools.
posted by zarq at 9:45 AM on February 15 [55 favorites]


The week after a terrorist attack on OSU's campus that ended with the student who drove his van into a group of students and then stabbed some people shot dead in front of my building, a militant group (unaffiliated with the university) held an open carry on campus to show that they were not intimidated by terrorism and to advocate for open carry to protect students. The university decided they could not regulate this because of Free Speech. It was incredibly scary to have a group of men walking around heavily armed and hassling people. It was incredibly infuriating that the right-wing and pro-gun response after a mass shooting is not to politicize things, not to look for political solutions to what is clearly a structural failure in the United States, and yet here this group was, inflicting more fear on a recently scared and traumatized campus. It was infuriating. It continues to infuriate me.

I was going to try to find an article about it to link to here, but the only articles that show up on google are from pro-gun and open carry websites arguing that if open carry was allowed at Ohio State, none of this would have happened. That, of course, is nonsense. The only person who shot anyone was the campus police officer who killed the student driving his van (and also hit a few bystanders, who ended up with minor injuries). People panicked when they heard the gunshots; there's no way that having more guns in this situation would have improved anything.

This is an absurd, horrifying, obscene piece of American culture. I'm sitting in Jakarta listening to people talk about how scary the United States must be. We're morally bankrupt and we're all complicit until we change our relationship with firearms - in our approach to civilian ownership, and in the way we wage war, and in our approach to policing, and in our arms dealing.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:45 AM on February 15 [25 favorites]


re knives in Texas, at least after that fucking stabbing I mentioned they waited a whoooole 2.5 months before the Lege decided that open carry of fucking swords is fine now and abolished all legal limits on open carry of knives by size

I mean the existing limit was 5.5 inches for legal carrying your damn knife around in public but I guess that was too fucking draconian huh
posted by sciatrix at 9:47 AM on February 15 [12 favorites]


Republic of Florida, a white supremacist group, is claiming in a phone call with the ADL that the shooter was associated with them and attended one or more of their training events.

If that's confirmed, it would make this the second school shooting by a white supremacist in two months.
posted by zachlipton at 9:47 AM on February 15 [26 favorites]


Simple campaign ad idea. Anyone running against an incumbent who has uttered any combination of the phrases "now is not the time" or "it's too soon," take the video of the person saying that, and freeze the frame on them as they finish, so we can clearly put a face to them. Run text across the add, to finish the phrase for them:

"It's too soon" to take steps to ensure the safety of children in schools.

"Now is not the time" to earnestly discuss measures to stop the mass shootings that have become just another part of our daily lives.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:50 AM on February 15 [6 favorites]


The week after a terrorist attack on OSU's campus that ended with the student who drove his van into a group of students and then stabbed some people shot dead in front of my building, a militant group (unaffiliated with the university) held an open carry on campus to show that they were not intimidated by terrorism and to advocate for open carry to protect students.

We've had this kind of bullshit down here, too. After the incredibly unpopular-on-campus passage of SB 11, which allowed concealed carry on campus, we had some of these assholes actually openly plan to fake a school shooting on campus grounds to advocate for more students carrying guns on campus.

Thank fuck the University told them they were not required to let them pull that shit and sent them off campus, so they just enacted the same fucking shit juuuuuuust off campus on a busy street of restaurants frequented by students instead.

Nothing makes me hate guns and want to advocate for no guns for anyone ever, melt 'em down forever and the hell with your deer hunting like gun rights advocates. It's enough to make me want to cry.
posted by sciatrix at 9:51 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


I mean the existing limit was 5.5 inches for legal carrying your damn knife around in public but I guess that was too fucking draconian huh

The irony.
posted by Talez at 9:52 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


My second-most-vocal Republican relatives live in this area and have had kids at this school (all graduated) so hopefully this will change their votes.

I think gun control would be a good first step here, and if school massacres by other means go up then by all means start addressing that. There's evidence from other countries (Australia for example) that it helps. But also, death by gun violence not just at school shootings but at other times impacts significantly on the US child mortality rate. "While child mortality progressively declined across all countries, mortality in the US has been higher than in peer nations since the 1980s. From 2001 to 2010 the risk of death in the US was 76 percent greater for infants and 57 percent greater for children ages 1–19. During this decade, children ages 15–19 were eighty-two times more likely to die from gun homicide in the US."
posted by warriorqueen at 9:52 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Women's bodies are not a fucking prize for Good Men any more than they are for reddit alpha assholes.

Guys who accept women as people don't treat their bodies as prizes they get for being good. They do, however, stand a much better chance of finding women who would like to enjoy sex with them.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:53 AM on February 15 [8 favorites]


As usual, We Hunted The Mammoth has better reporting on the misogynstic aspects and influence of this shooting than the more 'mainstream' media outlets: "Incels Hail 'Our Savior St Nikolas Cruz' for Valentine's Day School Shooting."
The Internet’s incels long ago adopted Isla Vista killer Elliot Rodger, the maladjusted twentysomething who murdered six in cold blood as a kind of revenge for his “involuntary celibacy,” as a patron saint of sorts.

Now they are doing the same with Nikolas Cruz, the Florida teen who allegedly murdered 17 students and teachers at a high school in Parkland, Florida today. On Incels.Me — the web forum that Reddit’s incel population migrated to after the admins at Reddit shut their forum there down — one enthusiastic commenter got the discussion started by posting a thread titled “A hERo rises on this day of incel exclusion (Florida Valentines Day School Shooting).” (All links in this post go to archived pages.)

The capitalized “ER” in “hERo” is of course a reference to Elliot Rodger.

In the thread, assorted incels cheered as the details of the shooting came out over the course of the day, declaring their “immense respect” for their new “HERO.” And some wondered — with more than a little justification — if the shooter wasn’t one of their fellow commenters on Incels.Me.
CW: We Hunted The Mammoth quotes original quotes from these horrible fuckers for their sourcing, which is why I could only quote the opening.
posted by corb at 9:53 AM on February 15 [36 favorites]


Guys who accept women as people don't treat their bodies as prizes they get for being good. They do, however, stand a much better chance of finding women who would like to enjoy sex with them.

As soon as you use this logic to advocate for good behaviour, you're using us as a reward.
posted by Dysk at 9:55 AM on February 15 [42 favorites]


multiple sources reporting now that perpetrator trained with/was a member of a local white nationalist group (according to the group's leader)
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:56 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


Or, put in a different way, if you're saying you'll stop manipulating and using people, because then they'll do what you want, we'll, you haven't actually stopped at all. Being a Nice Guy to get laid is not, in fact, being nice.
posted by Dysk at 9:59 AM on February 15 [21 favorites]


Steve Kerr: "It Doesn't Seem to Matter to Our Government That Children Are Being Shot to Death"
It doesn't seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day in schools. It doesn't matter that people are being shot at a concert, in a movie theater. It's not enough, apparently, to move our leadership, our government, people that are running this country, to actually do anything. And that's demoralizing.

But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people's lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they've financed their campaign for them. So, hopefully we'll find enough people first of all to vote good people in, and hopefully we can find enough people with courage to help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues. Not building some stupid wall for billions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semiautomatic weapons from just slaughtering our children, It's disgusting.
Kerr is the head coach of the NBA's Golden State Warriors. He recently let the Warriors coach themselves and they beat the Suns 129-83. if they don't need him full time maybe he could run the country in his spare time.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:00 AM on February 15 [30 favorites]


I feel like "if you treat people like people you'll have better relationships with people" being summarized as a reward is sort of an excessive hair-splitting, similar to well it's not really charity if you're doing it because it makes you feel good.
posted by phearlez at 10:02 AM on February 15 [12 favorites]


You cannot fight misogyny by attempting to weaponize or mobilise misogyny.
posted by Dysk at 10:04 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


I feel like "if you treat people like people you'll have better relationships with people" being summarized as a reward is sort of an excessive hair-splitting, similar to well it's not really charity if you're doing it because it makes you feel good.

I doubt we're going to solve the long-running philosophical debate about consequentialism vs. virtue ethics in this thread, but I'd like to invite anyone who is into that sort of thing to watch The Good Place and then join us over on Fanfare.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:05 AM on February 15 [18 favorites]


Sorry to sound cynical, but we've already had our chance. If Sandy Hook didn't inspire tougher gun laws, nothing will. I guess we're just going to have to live with things like this.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:06 AM on February 15 [8 favorites]


Hey, the 'reward' pushback came from LEF's comment, [we should encourage] "More college men to say, 'once I started treating women as people, I got laid all I wanted.'" which is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from teaching kids to respect people's inherent human worth.
posted by turkeybrain at 10:06 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


All you do is replicate the dynamics that lead to make resentment and entitlement bubbling over in the first place - 'I did what I was supposed to, but they're still not sleeping with me!'

You're just recreating internet fedora Nice Guy incels over again.
posted by Dysk at 10:07 AM on February 15 [22 favorites]


Sorry to sound cynical, but we've already had our chance. If Sandy Hook didn't inspire tougher gun laws, nothing will.

This is only true if the makeup of our government is static. The current crowd is certainly not going to do anything and the short-term prognosis is indeed bad, but it is apathetic garbage to conclude that this means we're fucked forever. We need to vote them out, and we need to pressure their replacements. Entrenched systems can be changed.
posted by contraption at 10:12 AM on February 15 [11 favorites]


I concede that it may be impossible to phrase "treat women like people and you will have a better life, which is very likely to include sex," that doesn't come across as yet another "here's the set of actions you need to do to get laid."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:13 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


The same system that creates mass shooters creates thousands of incidents of sexual assault and intimate partner violence every day. And if you're repeatedly turning a blind eye to that, how are your background checks going to be effective?

Giving a shit about violent misogyny is a necessary part of any background-check law. It's a necessary part of "see something, say something." I'm getting a bit tired of finding out after the fact that men who made credible threats, and had restraining orders or were barred from the premises were not taken seriously as threats because that's just background noise for our culture.

And ok, let's say you wave a magic wand and stop all mass-shooter incidents (which is a good goal), that's still just a good start on corralling the pandemic.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 10:15 AM on February 15 [21 favorites]


It's the guns, stupid.


The US government adamantly opposes researching gun violence and its prevention. You can't sue gun manufacturers or sellers for their results. You can buy all sorts of serious weaponry, semi-automatic guns included, quite legally and easily, and as much ammo as you want. Large magazines to hold extra ammo. Bump stocks. Gun shops are booming and more of them are opening. In my area, a new gun store/ range recently opened, and a small gun shop expanded to be a great big gun store and range. But you aren't required to have any sort of safety training. The NRA has developed its own weird momentum, and gun manufacturers are making gobs of money.

There are constant stories of toddlers shooting people with the gun in the house, car, purse. People who do not properly secure those weapons are virtually never prosecuted despite what is often genuinely gross negligence. If I had a young child at home, I would start asking people about their guns before my kid could visit.

Americans had to choose between guns and the safety of children. They chose guns.
posted by theora55 at 10:16 AM on February 15 [24 favorites]


Just over two weeks ago, the president said, "We must defend those who cannot defend themselves. I urge the Senate to reconsider its decision and pass legislation that will celebrate, cherish, and protect life."

Someone needs to point out that there are plenty of children who can't defend themselves, who could use the protection of legislation that prevents harm to them.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:18 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


Sorry to sound cynical, but we've already had our chance. If Sandy Hook didn't inspire tougher gun laws, nothing will. I guess we're just going to have to live with things like this.

With all due respect, fuck defeatism. Imagine where the civil rights movement would be today if people gave up every time they suffered a massive, heartbreaking, fatal defeat.

Kids, women, and minorities have no choice but to keep fighting because they're predominantly the ones dying from misogynists and white supremacists and coming into a thread and effectively telling those people to give up because it should've happened already is aiding and abetting this shit. If you think this is wrong, this is not the time to rally for apathy.
posted by notorious medium at 10:19 AM on February 15 [44 favorites]


Giving a shit about violent misogyny is a necessary part of any background-check law. It's a necessary part of "see something, say something." I'm getting a bit tired of finding out after the fact that men who made credible threats, and had restraining orders or were barred from the premises were not taken seriously as threats because that's just background noise for our culture.

One thousand percent.

And let's stop this nonsense about "Well the restraining order has expired so I guess the threat has too." If you violently assaulted someone you were intimate with - someone the duty was on you to keep safe and you perverted it enough to try to fucking harm them - then it doesn't matter if you can somehow manage to keep from hurting them for one year, you have demonstrated yourself to be outside the bounds of civil society.

My ex called me on the phone literally the fucking hour his restraining order expired and started regaling me with abuse. When I tried to do something about it, they told me he would have to commit a new violent incident for me to get the restraining order continued.

Women saw things. They said them. The police didn't fucking care. As always.
posted by corb at 10:21 AM on February 15 [72 favorites]


hi I still work here, as notorious medium pointed out.

I don't know what to do about it, though. A gay male friend of mine told me after Pulse, surely this... and it was all I could fucking do to stop myself from actually laughing in his face as I explained that this will change nothing. There is no surely this. There's just people rolling up their sleeves and screaming down the NRA's spoonfed rhetoric until critical masses of them drown it out.

And I don't know how to make people scream.
posted by sciatrix at 10:22 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


there are plenty of children who can't defend themselves

We should train these defenseless children in marksmanship and give them guns. Sort of like being an altar boy, only for Moloch.
posted by Nelson at 10:22 AM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Ok, please amend my earlier statement (in which I also said "take away all the guns" twice, but who cares about context?) to read "it isn't really just gun control."
posted by sockermom at 10:24 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


The neo-nazi group that the ADL reported on seem to have borrowed their faux 3 legged swastika from South Africa's own homegrown bunch of ultra-right assholes the Afrikaner Weerstand Beweging.
posted by PenDevil at 10:27 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Also the AWB also claim it isn't a modified swastika, it's three 7's arranged in a circle to refer to God... but... c'mon.
posted by PenDevil at 10:32 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I concede that it may be impossible to phrase "treat women like people and you will have a better life, which is very likely to include sex," that doesn't come across as yet another "here's the set of actions you need to do to get laid."

That's because it is the very idea of using sex, of using "... and women will sleep with you" carrot for behaviour or attitude change that is the problem, not your phrasing.
posted by Dysk at 10:35 AM on February 15 [14 favorites]


There's evidence from other countries (Australia for example) that [gun control] helps.

Let's be a lot more definite than that. Since 1996, the Port Artur massacre, Australia has passed a fairly restrictive gun control regime. It primarily aims to reduce how quickly someone can shoot. It included a ban on semiautomatic rifles and pump-action shotguns and rifles and also initiated a program for buyback of firearms.

It's been very effective. There have been no major mass shootings since (a couple of incidents, but those that would hardly bear reporting in the US these days).

Primary research paper here.
posted by bonehead at 10:35 AM on February 15 [16 favorites]


An example of seeing something and saying something working, in Everett, Washington yesterday. (Or working so far; it's not clear if there was a second person involved in the plans.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:36 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


An example of seeing something and saying something working, in Everett, Washington yesterday.

Doesn't always work
posted by rhizome at 10:38 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


i wonder if we can convince the gun nuts to get on board with a registry/mechanism for arms control if we told them it would be handled via a blockchain
posted by anem0ne at 10:40 AM on February 15 [14 favorites]


Its the guns.

I live in New Zealand. We had one mass shooting in 1990 where someone with mental health problems used assault rifles to kill 13 people. We banned assault rifles. No more mass shootings.

We banned assault weapons and have had fewer deaths from mass shootings in nearly thirty years than the US has had THIS FUCKING WEEK.

American is collectively insane.
posted by happyinmotion at 10:44 AM on February 15 [76 favorites]


That's because it is the very idea of using sex, of using "... and women will sleep with you" carrot for behaviour or attitude change that is the problem, not your phrasing.

I don't believe it's unethical to have a goal of "I want to have sex more often." I don't believe it devalues other people's humanity to ask the question, "what would I have to do, to have sex more often [with whatever type of people I would prefer to have sex with]," any more than it devalues people to say, "I'd like to go dancing more often; what would I have to do, to get people to dance with me?"

The problem is in the notion that sex is an object that's received rather than an activity shared with someone. If sex is something you "get," rather than something you "do," the partner becomes a "provider" instead of a participant.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:47 AM on February 15 [12 favorites]


Ok, please amend my earlier statement (in which I also said "take away all the guns" twice, but who cares about context?) to read "it isn't really just gun control."

My point was that we have the ability to make immediate, positive changes through gun control and I believe that's what we should be focusing on. This has worked to curtail gun violence in other countries as well as this one.

American culture worships guns. The government makes gun ownership easy. Americans give gifts of guns to adults and bb guns to children. Our history is filled with people hailed as heroes who tamed the frontier with guns, like Daniel Boone. Vigilantes in film such as Clint Eastwood, Rambo and Chuck Norris used guns to get what they wanted. Americans equate freedom and personal safety with gun ownership.

Social change is extremely important and we should be working as hard as we can toward it. But it's also long term. The only way to make a cultural shift quickly in this case is to take away peoples' ability to do otherwise. Remove the option. Take their guns away.
posted by zarq at 10:49 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]



The problem is in the notion that sex is an object that's received rather than an activity shared with someone. If sex is something you "get," rather than something you "do," the partner becomes a "provider" instead of a participant.
posted by ErisLordFreedom


Right. So if you could please do your part and NOT refer to sex as a prize to be won, that would be helpful, and you wouldn't get the pushback you did. That's all anyone was pointing out.
posted by agregoli at 10:51 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


From last November: NYT - What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer
The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns. Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the global population but own 42 percent of the world’s guns.
posted by cjelli at 10:51 AM on February 15 [24 favorites]




Yep, this guy was a white supremacist who went and trained at a white supremacist terrorist training camp. Just like the "radical islamic terrorists" that go to Pakistan or whatever to train.

When will the President say the words radical white christian terrorism?
posted by Justinian at 11:12 AM on February 15 [26 favorites]


[Folks, drop it with the cyclical arguing about the sex-as-reward thing. This is going nowhere, badly.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:13 AM on February 15 [24 favorites]


It's not an either/or. It's both a tragedy that Cruz was able to purchase multiple high-capacity magazines, AND it's a tragedy that his history of hate and violence didn't set off any warnings. We should be talking about both, and not shove the latter under the carpet with statements like "It's 100% gun control." No it's not. It's not even just "gun violence," it's the knife attack in Portland and Kerrice Lewis shot and burned alive as well. It's the thugs with sticks and a car in Charlottesville.

We have movements that are weaponizing young men and providing cover for their threats as "trolling" and "shitposting." We have a criminal justice framework that tolerates abuse short of homicide. They should be a topic for discussion here.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 11:26 AM on February 15 [18 favorites]


Yesterday the Miami Herald was reporting the name of the shooter as Nicolas de Jesus Cruz. Today I see it reported as Nikolas Jacob Cruz. I can find no explanation from the Miami Herald for the change, nor even a retraction of the original report. Does anyone know what happened? Did they really make a serious oopsie and ninja edit it with no comment?
posted by Justinian at 11:27 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


We have movements that are weaponizing young men and providing cover for their threats as "trolling" and "shitposting." We have a criminal justice framework that tolerates abuse short of homicide. They should be a topic for discussion here.

This is absolutely true, but it's also true for much of the rest of the world. The difference in death toll is the difference in access to guns. It's the low hanging fruit for reducing deaths. It won't fix society, not by a long way, but it will lower the body count.
posted by Dysk at 11:37 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


Did they really make a serious oopsie and ninja edit it with no comment?

Unfortunately the seamless edit is common among newspapers; the AP does it with their stories all the time, whether the changes are trivial or complete paragraphs are excised and added. From a liability standpoint there's not a necessity to make a public to-do about changing something inaccurate, if they were worried about someone named Nicolas de Jesus Cruz going after them for libel.

They still have material identifying him that way on their site but it reads like a wire story despite no indication that it is one. The wayback machine's link to that old story shows the original quote was "The shooter, a former student identified by law enforcement sources as Nicolas de Jesus Cruz," which sounds like they didn't have an official statement yet when this first publshed and updated it when Broward County LE officially identified him.

Looking at the half-dozen reporters who worked on this piece is seems more like this was less stealth-edit than it was the Herald doing constant re-writes on this as they got bits from reporters at different locations.
posted by phearlez at 11:39 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Thanks phearlez, that's useful.
posted by Justinian at 11:40 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


The explicit agenda of the Trump administration to refocus domestic anti-terror efforts from White Nationalism to Black Identity groups is a perfect example of letting race hatred drive politics. And shootings like the one yesterday are a human cost of that moronic policy choice.
posted by idiopath at 11:42 AM on February 15 [19 favorites]


Teacher story re: "see something, say something": while subbing in Seattle a couple years ago, I had a freshman who was sitting around being a passive-aggressive pain in the ass. Lots of little stuff like talking out of turn, blowing off things I said, and I kinda got the vibe that he was encroaching on girls' space (not much to say about that but conversational stuff). Finally I called him over to my desk.

I started off by trying to be easy and asking him, "Hey, did I disrespect you somehow today?" I wanted to give him the benefit of a doubt and a route to talk to me, 'cause hell, maybe I did screw something up, y'know?

Two things happened: First, the whole class got real quiet, and second, he puffed up and said, "Respect has to be earned."

I didn't know what's going on with him so I fought back the urge to roll my eyes and slap that down. I didn't know if the class silence was standard teen eavesdropping or something more. We went back and forth a couple times with me just trying to get him to chill out and finally I sent him back to his desk. No more trouble.

I figured I'd be in that classroom again and hey, the faculty knows me here, so I went to talk to my favorite vice principal just to ask, "Do you know this kid? Does he have something going on? Triggers or whatnot?"

She didn't know him (it was early in the year), but she said, "Let's take a look." She called up his record. Turned out he was suspended from his middle school the previous year when he was caught with a backpack full of knives ranging from kitchenware to more serious stuff. And literally no other details about it.

The VP would not have known about it if I hadn't brought it to her, and nor would his regular teacher have known if I didn't follow up with her the next day. And honestly, I didn't expect anything dangerous, I just wanted to know if there was a good way to talk to this particular kid or things that were known to set him off and make him bratty. They don't flag these sorts of things for teachers or staff. When there's a new cohort of students, you don't get a visit from their previous admins that says, "Here's who you have to look out for." And even this boy, with the knives and the confrontational behavior? You can't put him in a box somewhere and forget about him. He's a kid.

To be really, really blunt: sometimes kids just do stupid shit and then they learn and never do it again. Childhood is hard and sometimes kids only learn by screwing up, and then they get worse if people never let them let go of that screw-up. Other kids are genuinely dangerous. But the thing I can't let go of is how so many of the pro-gun politicians and lobbyists want to scream about it being a "mental health issue" while they actively work to cut funding for mental health care and make it harder to access, and oh yeah, they're totally fine with cutting funds for schools where this shit might be caught earlier if everyone wasn't completely overworked and overwhelmed.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:43 AM on February 15 [40 favorites]


If you're not into looking at this kind of homicide as political terrorism, perhaps scroll on to the next comment rather than openly dismissing the idea.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 11:43 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Justinian: There was apparently a mixup. They initially thought his name was Nicolas Cruz and mistook him for a Nicolas de Jesus Cruz who is of similar age but has a different birthday according to the database of registered FL voters.

As usual, I take in these situations knowing that the will of the American people means nothing in face of the Supreme Court. Just as with free speech, every time Americans take a stand on something that is measurably harmful to society SCOTUS shits out a Heller decision.

My mother, a former school teacher, called me today and mentioned that it is now possible to buy bullet resistant whiteboards to help protect you in the event of an active shooter situation. Wow, that's comforting.
posted by xyzzy at 11:46 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


Regarding either/or, it's not even a both/and situation; we're talking about two sides of the same coin. Where there is willingness to control guns, there is a willingness to recognize and stop toxic masculinity, because the one problem is a manifestation of the other. I do think that guns are the theoretically-simpler-to-tackle part of it (in terms of immediate benefits in lives saved), but you're really not going to get a sea change on one without the other naturally following anyway.

I do wonder if that's universal; I'm not aware of any far-right macho racists in Europe pushing for "American-style" gun laxity, any more than they clamor for an American-style healthcare system. The actual attachment of our nation's conservatives to guns may be historical accident of white supremacy. But regardless, they're joined at the hip here.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:46 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Matt Wilstein, Daily Beast: Fox News anchor Shepard Smith took several minutes out of his live coverage of the devastating mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida to list every fatal school shooting that has occurred in the 19 years since Columbine. “Since Columbine in 1999, there have been 25 fatal, active school shootings at elementary and high schools in America,” an emotional Smith told Fox viewers.

Video on Twitter - it takes Shep Smith a good 2 minutes just to read the list.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:51 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


Mark me down as another supporter of a blanket "you shouldn't get to own guns". And no, I don't give a shit about your special snowflake stories about how you just REALLY love hunting, it's CULTURAL, you shoot guns for SPORT, you're a COLLECTOR, you just APPRECIATE them. So fucking what?

You shouldn't get to own guns.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 11:58 AM on February 15 [43 favorites]


I had a guy pop into my twitter feed today to say he was a responsible gun owner and didn't appreciate being lumped in with the irresponsible ones.

I blocked him. I have as little patience for that now as I do for "not all men" or "not all whites" or whatever defensive posture people go into whenever their group receives the slightest amount of criticism.

Every bad gun owner was a good one until the moment they weren't.
posted by maxsparber at 12:01 PM on February 15 [34 favorites]


Yeah dude... you don't get a cookie for not killing people with your gun.
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:06 PM on February 15 [31 favorites]


In light of Trump's "children need to feel safe at school" comments, is there an ongoing list of DACA students being detained at school by ICE? I've found individual accounts but an overview would be helpful.
posted by misterpatrick at 12:13 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


it's a tragedy that his history of hate and violence didn't set off any warnings.

It did set off warnings. He was expelled from school. He was made to go to counseling. Someone even called the FBI on him. Didn't help because he was apparently never prosecuted for any of the crimes he committed -- abusing/harassing his ex-girlfriend, threatening her new boyfriend, bringing a weapon to school, abusing animals, posting terroristic threats online, etc. -- leading up to the shooting.

He set off TONS of warnings and law enforcement simply chose not to act until it was too late.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:28 PM on February 15 [35 favorites]


chose not to act

The only meaningful way they could have affected this outcome would be to take away his guns and his access to guns. And they won't do that.
posted by amanda at 12:32 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]


You shouldn't get to own guns.

Like, fucking seriously. There are cops who carry personal guns as "backup" to their department-issued service weapons. It's fucking ridiculous, is what it is.

Even *IF* you wanted to be true to the 2nd amendment and have an actual fucking militia, just fucking have the guns stored in an armory and owned by the registered, regulated militia. STILL you don't need personal gun ownership.
posted by odinsdream at 12:33 PM on February 15 [13 favorites]


I live in Denver. My girlfriend's brother was at Columbine and she started there the next year.

Last weekend we went out to lunch and there was a cop car up on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. As theserver took our order we asked what was up. Apparently someone left their gun on the bar. The bartender, naturally, called the police. The gun's owner came back to get it but by that point the police already knew there was a gun loose and had to check it out. The owner was furious.

But here's the kicker. They gave him his gun back after running their checks! If your metro area can both be shorthand for mass shootings and have that story happen your society has a fucked up relationship with guns.

Also after my dad shot himself they asked if I wanted his guns. I did not.
posted by East14thTaco at 12:35 PM on February 15 [28 favorites]


Here's one of the things I think lefty types would benefit from by getting more involved in gun ownership and whatnot, even if they personally support gun control: You get to see how brazen gun ownership is, how loopholes in laws are exploited, and the exploitation flaunted so openly. You get to see the racism, the white supremacy, the toxic fragile masculinity on full, unguarded display. It makes it all feel very much more real and urgent, and it's something lefty types are willfully avoiding.
posted by odinsdream at 12:37 PM on February 15 [12 favorites]


Do we really need to meet the toxic white men in person? I feel like it should be enough to read the flattering NYT profile.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:41 PM on February 15 [50 favorites]


The @NRATV account has been blissfully silent for the last 24 hours since its last tweet about Elizabeth Warren and the "violent socialist left."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:44 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Apparently a guy writing for the InfoWars website posted articles there claiming the shooter was a left wing/communist/antifa, when he's a known member of a white supremacist group and there's actually a picture of him in a MAGA hat. Twitter account Respectable Lawyer had an amusing takedown thread of that writer, although also saddening because of how quickly InfoWars moved to reposition breaking news as confirming the worldview of those in its thrall.

It ends with "All that I am saying, Kit, is that there is no reason to burden your soul with the knowledge that you spent your life maliciously lying to multitudes of frightened malcontents while wrecking the national discourse all as part of a scheme to sell pills that turn you red."
posted by JHarris at 12:45 PM on February 15 [17 favorites]


The only meaningful way they could have affected this outcome would be to take away his guns and his access to guns. And they won't do that.

If he'd been convicted of a felony or any domestic violence charge or committed to a mental institution (and from what I've read, there were grounds for all three) then he would not have been able to pass a background check to buy a gun. Maybe he would have still gotten his hands on one, but it wouldn't have been as easy. And if he still got guns and then was showing off his guns on social media, anyone who knew that he wasn't allowed to have them legally would have had an opportunity to report him then.

There are gun control laws already on the books that could have stopped him if his earlier crimes have been prosecuted. Again, I think being a white boy in an upper-middle-class school district had a lot to do with the lack of consequences for his behavior.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:46 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]




Trying to take all the guns is counter productive. People hunt, people live on farms, people compete in shooting sports, work in bear country, and generally have lives outside your middle class suburban experience. Calling for a total ban is counter productive, trust me.

I'm 100% for much stricter gun control, no concealed carry permits at all AND restrictions on what can legally be sold but I'm not for banning all gun ownership. That's not helpful. We need LESS emotional knee jerk from both sides and more practical solutions.

Register, restrict, track, educate and monitor.
posted by fshgrl at 12:51 PM on February 15 [10 favorites]


i cant wait for this whole "rural folk as chosen people and ultimate embodiment of american exceptionalism" meme to be dead and buried
posted by entropicamericana at 12:57 PM on February 15 [61 favorites]


I don't think anyone needs a handgun or a gun capable of killing dozens in a few seconds. Hunters, people who live on farms - they can have a shotgun. People who compete in shooting sports can check out guns at a range. People in bear country can have a shotgun. I don't see the need to have lethal people killing machines for any of that. That's not knee jerk - I've thought about it a lot. I will admit to being emotional about it though. Because people, including children, are dying every day needlessly.
posted by agregoli at 12:57 PM on February 15 [34 favorites]


Calling for a total ban is counter productive, trust me.

No. It pushes the overton window, which right now is literally in the vicinity of "give guns to teachers."

I am on the side of repealing the second amendment and disarming the population, and anyone who thinks they have special cause to own a gun had better be pretty convincing. And the worst thing that's going to happen from me saying so is that maybe we can get a reasonable discussion of gun control going, because right now that is off the table.

We need a million people calling for a total ban. When we do, maybe we'll get some traction. But until then the window looks like this:

[ALL GUNS ------------------------- MAYBE SOME GUN CONTROL]

And in the middle of that, in the realm of the reasonable, is mass death of children by teenagers.
posted by maxsparber at 12:59 PM on February 15 [62 favorites]


I am entirely for a blanket ban on all guns. That Overton window isn't gonna shift itself. Ban all guns, repeal the 2nd Amendment, do this already.
posted by XtinaS at 1:02 PM on February 15 [16 favorites]


If someone can use the "truck control" canard with a straight face, I don't see why a discussion of a blanket ban should be off the table.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:03 PM on February 15 [21 favorites]


all as part of a scheme to sell pills that turn you red.

I get the joke but these clowns mostly have a history with shit that turns you blue.
posted by phearlez at 1:04 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Since 9/11 we have had FBI proactively recruiting muslims into honeypots so that they could be neutralized before taking part in real attacks. If we used this sort of tactic with white supremacists we could prevent atrocities like this one. As a bonus we'd also get a shitload of Republicans taken off the voting rolls.
posted by idiopath at 1:06 PM on February 15 [20 favorites]


Harry Moroz: URBAN NATION: Narrowing the Gun Violence Map
Based on the CDC data, almost 60 percent of U.S. firearm homicides occur in the 62 cities of the country’s 50 largest metros. However, only 27 percent of suicides do. In 2006, firearm suicides were a primarily suburban (and non-central city) phenomenon
So, yeah. What's actually counterproductive is smarmy bullshit about how this is just a bunch of smug urban and suburban liberals who can't respect the Noble Rural Bootstrapping Shooter when they're by far the ones feeling the brunt of the impact.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:09 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]


the only group of people I'm sympathetic to "needing" guns are indigenous subsistence hunters (like, hunting seal in the arctic type hunters). and even then they don't need AR-15s.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 1:12 PM on February 15 [17 favorites]


I'm 100% for much stricter gun control, no concealed carry permits at all AND restrictions on what can legally be sold but I'm not for banning all gun ownership. That's not helpful. We need LESS emotional knee jerk from both sides and more practical solutions.

i mean, after decades of being all like, "hey, can we do this relatively mild thing that will help everyone" and the other side being "fuck you suck on the barrel of my gun" which has only led to almost-daily mass murders with guns...

maybe, just maybe, the people finally being all "fuck this shit, nobody should get guns because of all those irresonspible fuckers and their fucking irresponsible enablers" might not be the baddies here?

but yeah, let's both sides this
posted by anem0ne at 1:12 PM on February 15 [73 favorites]


If we used this sort of tactic with white supremacists we could prevent atrocities like this one.

I feel like the FBI used to do this - I remember times when it was a joke that half the members of the KKK were FBI investigators - but somehow they seem to have stopped doing that, right around the time there was a report saying Neo Nazis were trying to infiltrate law enforcement...

...nah, no problem here, I’m sure.
posted by corb at 1:13 PM on February 15 [17 favorites]


i mean, in that twitter thread JHarris linked you legitimately have someone being all, "your words are super hurtful and this is the worst thing" rather than engaging with the fact that the thread is pointing out vile propagandism that emboldens and radicalizes more white terrorists who will find it remarkably easy to get guns

but yeah, saying that banning guns is the "kneejerk" reaction

got it
posted by anem0ne at 1:17 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


As a nation, we are unable to foster a culture of "responsible" gun ownership. Our beliefs and attachments surrounding guns are toxic, and are literally killing people. We've had about 250 years to figure out how to make gun ownership work in a (nominally) free society and we've so thoroughly fucked it up that, indeed, it's time to take away all the guns. No more guns on demand. We've proven we can't be trusted with them.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:23 PM on February 15 [27 favorites]


the only group of people I'm sympathetic to "needing" guns are indigenous subsistence hunters

thank you, i get really anxious about always posting this exception in gun threads.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:27 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]


Slate points out that over 150,000 Americans under the age of 40 have lived through a primary or secondary school shooting.

"After Wednesday’s rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, you can add 3,000 more kids to that list. Together, America’s school shooting survivors would make up a city the size of Savannah, Georgia or Syracuse, New York. A whole city knowing the trauma of what we still, wrongly, insist on calling the unthinkable."
posted by Iridic at 1:27 PM on February 15 [28 favorites]


Slate points out that over 150,000 Americans under the age of 40 have lived through a primary or secondary school shooting.

All of a sudden I got real depressed about my nieces--ages 6 and 8--going to school. (Not that I wasn't already depressed about the immense sexism they will face their entire lives.)
posted by Kitteh at 1:31 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


The Onion, Gorilla Sales Skyrocket After Latest Gorilla Attack
“After seeing yet another deranged gorilla just burst into a public place and start killing people, I decided I need to make sure something like that never happens to me,” said 34-year-old Atlanta resident Nick Keller, shortly after purchasing a 350-pound mountain gorilla from his local gorilla store. “It just gives me peace of mind knowing that if I’m ever in that situation, I won’t have to just watch helplessly as my torso is ripped in half and my face is chewed off. I’ll be able to use my gorilla to defend myself.”
posted by kirkaracha at 1:33 PM on February 15 [34 favorites]


I'm waiting for the day when bullet proof vests become part of everyday wear for teachers. It's coming.
posted by LilithSilver at 1:34 PM on February 15


Slate points out that over 150,000 Americans under the age of 40 have lived through a primary or secondary school shooting.

to put that into perspective for conservatives, that's three times as many people as there are coal miners in the united states
posted by anem0ne at 1:34 PM on February 15 [42 favorites]


OK the doggy account on twitter made me cry.
(click for cute doggo)
posted by idiopath at 1:35 PM on February 15 [14 favorites]






The sad thing about Artw's Onion article is that there are, in fact, at least two survivors of yesterday's shooting that are making the rounds on all the networks pleading with lawmakers to do something about this.

That's what gun culture has done, turning the lives of school children into an Onion article before they can even publish it.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:39 PM on February 15 [18 favorites]


And Jesus, just typing that out is.making me cry.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:41 PM on February 15 [7 favorites]


Republic of Florida, a white supremacist group, is claiming in a phone call with the ADL that the shooter was associated with them and attended one or more of their training events.

Update: there are increasingly a bunch of reasons to possibly doubt this, and it's primarily based on is the word of a white supremacist who wants attention for his group. Experts who follow such groups are skeptical.
posted by zachlipton at 1:49 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Trump renews nation’s commitment to simply ignore gun violence and hope it goes away (Alexandra Petri, WaPo), in its entirety:
On Thursday, President Trump spoke to Americans who were so devastated and enraged that, after 17 people were murdered in one day at a Florida high school, they could not keep pretending to be unaware of how many incidents of gun violence were occurring in schools, as they have done on every other day so far this year.

“Wait, are we supposed to be noticing every time something like this happens?” a distraught nation inquired. “Don’t we live in a country where it barely cracked the news cycle that a gunman murdered four people and was prevented from entering an elementary school by teachers? Don’t we live in a country where the president had to delete his tweet after sending condolences to the wrong shooting victims — Sutherland Springs, Tex., and not Rancho Tehama, Calif. — because there were so many shootings that he got confused? I thought we had tacitly agreed after Sandy Hook to ignore that this was going on in order to be able to get through our days and look ourselves in the mirror, sometimes.”

“I thought we had decided on purpose that if we ignored it, it might stop on its own, unlike every other problem we have had as a nation,” one father said, on the way to lie to his son that he could feel safe at school and the adults in his life were working hard to prevent anything bad from happening to him. “I didn’t realize we thought there was something we could do about it and we just…weren’t.”

Trump tried to soothe the nation, addressing its children and promising them that they were “never alone, and you never will be,” as though we had not, as a nation, also tacitly agreed that this was just something that would keep happening, and we would do nothing to stop it.

“It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference,” Trump said, affirming that as a nation, we stand firm in our resolve that, in order to prevent future gun tragedies, we will do our level best to move on by lunch. This will send a strong message to anyone seeking notoriety from committing this sort of atrocity: You picked the wrong country. Something is fundamentally broken in us and this doesn’t faze us anymore!

Then, Americans went back to lunch and tried to act as though they did not realize that this was the 18th incident with a firearm in a school zone since the beginning of 2018 and the 138th death in a school shooting since Sandy Hook in December 2012; or remember that, in spite of the broad national consensus that AR-15s belonged in the hands of NO ONE, nothing had changed. If they had to remember both of these things all the time, they would have been continually paralyzed with horror for the past six years.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:49 PM on February 15 [15 favorites]


Republic of Florida, a white supremacist group, is claiming in a phone call with the ADL that the shooter was associated with them and attended one or more of their training events.

Update: there are increasingly a bunch of reasons to possibly doubt this, and it's primarily based on is the word of a white supremacist who wants attention for his group. Experts who follow such groups are skeptical.


But if IS or someone claimed him there wouldn't be any doubts at all, right?
posted by infini at 1:50 PM on February 15 [16 favorites]


> Slate points out that over 150,000 Americans under the age of 40 have lived through a primary or secondary school shooting.

I was wondering this morning what the average degree of separation between any given American and a victim of a shooting - any shooting - would be.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:53 PM on February 15


The Onion thing keeps on going: Jason Roeder, the person who wrote that iconic headline for The Onion ("No Way To Prevent This, Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens") just remarked that he never expected it to hit so close to home, as he lives about a mile from the school.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:55 PM on February 15 [29 favorites]


Update: there are increasingly a bunch of reasons to possibly doubt this, and it's primarily based on is the word of a white supremacist who wants attention for his group. Experts who follow such groups are skeptical.

I don't know whether or not he actively trained with a white supremacist group, but I know he was in the business of terrorism, and fascism and white supremacy is reinforced by the misogyny and bigotry he displayed.

He praised Eliot Roger and scared everyone who knew him. Whether he formally trained with a Nazi group or it's all a 4chan stunt, I don't know. But I do know that other students said he exhibited racism at school, and he was wearing MAGA hats while trying to make himself look intimidating.

I'm comfortable saying that he's in the business of white supremacy, whether or not he got the T-shirt.
posted by corb at 2:00 PM on February 15 [23 favorites]


I was wondering this morning what the average degree of separation between any given American and a victim of a shooting - any shooting - would be.

Between one and zero, I would have thought.
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Adam Gopnik (NYer): Four Truths About the Florida School Shooting:
The claim of this lobby’s complicity in murder is not exaggerated or hysterical but, by now, quite simple and precise: when you refuse to act to stop a social catastrophe from happening, you are responsible for the consequences of the social catastrophe. If you refuse to immunize your children and a measles epidemic breaks out, you are implicated in the measles. If you refuse to pay money for sewers and cholera breaks out, you are complicit in the cholera. Acts have consequences. This complicity includes all of the hand-wringers and the tut-tutters and the “nothing to be done”-ers as much as the N.R.A. hardcore. Many people have predicted, repeatedly, that one gun massacre would lead to the next—and that more gun massacres would probably take place in one year in America than in the rest of the civilized world combined—and they have been proved right, and then right again.
posted by TwoStride at 2:03 PM on February 15 [31 favorites]


Chuck Todd's hot take was that all of these school shooters seem to be males between about 15 and 30 so school resource officers (which I guess is the current euphemism for "armed guard") need to start worrying about that.

Hey Chuck, that's every male student at the school. Heckuva job, Todd.
posted by Justinian at 2:07 PM on February 15 [17 favorites]


Jesus this link hit me hard: David Hogg, a senior from the school, is 17 goddamn years old and just survived a shooting and sounds more mature than any national debate we've managed to hold:

“On a national scale, I’m not surprised at all,” he said of the shooting. “And that’s just sad. The fact that a student is not surprised that there was another mass shooting — but this time it was at his school — says so much about the current state that our country is in, and how much has to be done.”

The violence must stop, he said, issuing a call to pressure lawmakers to act to make schools safer.

“We need to do something. We need to get out there and be politically active. Congress needs to get over their political bias with each other and work toward saving children’s lives.”

In an interview with CNN earlier on Thursday, Mr. Hogg expressed his frustration with politicians in simpler terms: “We’re children,” he said. “You guys are the adults.”
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:16 PM on February 15 [47 favorites]


"But if IS or someone claimed him there wouldn't be any doubts at all, right?"

ISIS claimed the Las Vegas shooter and pretty much nobody believed them.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:18 PM on February 15 [10 favorites]


A simile I've been dropping elsewhere on the web: This idea pushed by some, that gun usage is "merely the symptom" or "just the tool" and we have to focus on mental health, society, culture, etc as the "root causes"... is like someone saying "No more chemotherapy, no more radiation. Those are quick fixes to make us feel good about ourselves. The only mature thing the medical community can do is cure cancer itself!" It's both an absurd dichotomy, and a dangerous one if taken seriously.

(I hope that parallel also makes it clear that I have no problem with anyone tackling social/emotional causes. Fixing cultural toxicity is like curing cancer in more ways than one, a very complex, and maybe unmeasurable, but still noble goal. The problem is when it is used as a shield, especially by people who actually have no intention of addressing it anyway, since they're the first ones to act like emotional intelligence or awareness of abuse warning signs is for "snowflakes". Plus, well-crafted gun control will have immediate effects in lives saved, just as non-cure cancer treatments have extended/saved many, many lives just in the past twenty years.

It also occurs to me that keeping guns out of someone's hands can be considered part of their mental health treatment. A violent/troubled person accessing a gun has spent resources they could have used for self-improvement, and the sheer fact of having the gun around increases their tendency to contemplate using it, whether on others or themself.)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:37 PM on February 15 [13 favorites]


gun culture
That's the thing. An ever-increasing majority of ALL Americans want something done about this and want sensible gun control. And if you break it down to specific, so-called "common sense" issues, you'll find, for example, that ~90% of Americans want background checks for ALL gun sales. And it can't get done because of 9 academics on a bench who are happy to make gun rights individual and provide blanket amnesty for police making poor decisions and just $6 million in NRA donations. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE.
posted by xyzzy at 2:44 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]


Enough with these deplorables and their MAGA hats. Trump owns this. Also: the GOP, the NRA, The Koch bros. The whole “vast right wing conspiracy.” You built this!

The right encourages this toxic culture of resentment as cover while they loot the commonwealth.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:53 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


And, speaking of how I'm no longer convinced that gun culture in America is a real thing: Michael Harriot | The Root | The NRA Is a Terrorist Organization
Even though polls show that 90 percent of Americans have no problem with mandated background checks as a prerequisite to purchasing a gun, the NRA opposes it. According to Gallup, 8 in 10 Americans favor legislation banning assault-style weapons, but the NRA fights against it. Eighty-two percent of those polled favor outlawing attachments that allow guns to fire rapidly, but the NRA lobbies against the effort.

The NRA’s crusade against gun reform has nothing to do with the will of the people. It is an ideological war that kills and injures thousands of innocent people every year. It is based on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Second Amendment not shared by the American people.

It is terrorism.
posted by xyzzy at 3:01 PM on February 15 [41 favorites]


It's shocking how fast Infowars and Laura Loomer jumped out there with "The shooter was a registered democrat, islamic Antifa." Posting out of context screenshots, incorrect voter rolls, and pictures of the wrong guy sourced from 4chan.

Fast enough that when the truth that he's a mentally ill kid with MAGA hats and (possible) ties to white supremacist organizations comes out everyone can shake their heads and conclude that we will never really know the truth.

Republicans are quick to say mental health is the problem, not gun access, but at what point will we ever see them lift a finger to make mental healthcare more available? Hell, I'd be happy to see them do ANYTHING other than repeatedly offer thoughts and prayers and keep taking NRA bribes.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:02 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Came here to post The Root article. In case anyone forgot about what the NRA is these days, here they are calling for an eliminationist civil war against “them.”
“We will meet the violence of their lies with the clenched fist of truth.”
This isn’t normal.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:23 PM on February 15 [14 favorites]


Nothing will change until all the people who support sensible gun control laws actually get off their asses and VOTE. The current gung ho gun nuts that may be a minority have one significant advantage over the vast majority of Americans who say they support background checks -- the gun nuts actually VOTE. And they also write letters, make phone calls and show up at state capitals, at legislators offices, screaming like banshees about their god-given, indisputable, unconditional 2nd Amendment Rights. Time to get off the sidelines, make some noise and vote these motherfuckers out of office.
posted by pjsky at 3:25 PM on February 15 [7 favorites]


Tweet from reporter Eric Lipton of the Nazi Yes Times:
Impressive how articulate and well educated these kids are from this school. Obviously a good school. Another sad reason for yesterday's events.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:29 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Gun culture is absolutely a thing. It's an ugly child of toxic masculinity and racism and American exceptionalism.

I don't have a problem with guns. I'd kinda-sorta like to own a revolver or a shotgun. I think civilian ownership is okay. Nothing like what we've got in this country now, though. Y'know what has prevented me from buying a gun? It's the first two minutes I have spent in any gun store.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:30 PM on February 15 [15 favorites]


Impressive how articulate and well educated these kids are from this school. Obviously a good school. Another sad reason for yesterday's events.

"We will mourn these clean and articulate children, whose pants were pulled up."

Keep hitting it out of the park, NYT.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:36 PM on February 15 [60 favorites]




Yes, gun culture is a thing, but the thread I'm picking at is the idea that Americans, in general, are NRA-loving gun nuts who think all the child murder is just part of living in a free society.
posted by xyzzy at 4:06 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


> Keep hitting it out of the park, NYT.

Here's his attempt to do damage control:

And not saying it would be less sad it there were poor kids, obviously. Just such a waste to see kids with so much opportunity before them wiped out.

What the fuck is in the water over there?
posted by tonycpsu at 4:11 PM on February 15 [35 favorites]


11,004 Gun Murders in US vs. 26 (equiv. 130) in England Annually
Most Americans don’t have or want a gun, and 50% of all guns in the US are owned by 3% of Americans, i.e. some 6 million people out of 320 million.
The Guardian view on gun control: good came from the evil of Dunblane
posted by adamvasco at 4:14 PM on February 15 [11 favorites]


Trying to take all the guns is counter productive. People hunt, people live on farms, people compete in shooting sports, work in bear country, and generally have lives outside your middle class suburban experience. Calling for a total ban is counter productive, trust me.

I'm 100% for much stricter gun control, no concealed carry permits at all AND restrictions on what can legally be sold but I'm not for banning all gun ownership. That's not helpful. We need LESS emotional knee jerk from both sides and more practical solutions.


Trying to take all the guns is only counterproductive if you wuss out and just try to take some of the guns. Actually taking all the guns away? Like, really doing it, as other countries have already done? That wouldn't be counterproductive at all. It would be productive.

If you want less emotional knee-jerk reactions, let's start with this one: "We can't get rid of these guns because I love guns and people I know love guns". It seems to just flow out of gunlovers mouths without thinking, and it's not true. Emotional? Check. Knee-jerk. Check.

Getting rid of all guns would be helpful AF for reducing all the mass shootings in the USA.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:16 PM on February 15 [16 favorites]


Another old chestnut that keeps getting pulled out after these shootings is that we don't need more gun laws, we just need to start enforcing those we do have. This seems extremely disingenuous and I'd love to see some examples of what laws aren't being enforced and why exactly they aren't.
posted by misterpatrick at 4:19 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Fast enough that when the truth that he's a mentally ill kid with MAGA hats and (possible) ties to white supremacist organizations comes out everyone can shake their heads and conclude that we will never really know the truth.

While it does appear that, in this case, the shooter did suffer from depression, I really wish we could take mental illness out of the narrative when it comes to situations like this. By situations like this, I mean where the shooter is a white male with a history of domestic violence, so, you know, a good percentage of mass shootings in the US. Because the media tends to use mental illness as a way to erase the history of domestic violence, which is insulting both to people with mental illness and survivors of domestic violence. And then there's the matter of agency, because one does not choose to be mentally ill, but one sure as fuck makes a choice to inflict such violence.
posted by Ruki at 4:20 PM on February 15 [26 favorites]


Jesus this link hit me hard: David Hogg, a senior from the school, is 17 goddamn years old and just survived a shooting and sounds more mature than any national debate we've managed to hold

David Hogg was one of the kids I was talking about in my comment about the Onion, and--get this--he was interviewing his classmates about gun violence during the shooting. Fuck all those ghoulish motherfuckers from network news, this is a kid that gets shit done literally under fire. He's got a promising career in either activism, politics, journalism, or some combination of the three, and I for one want to see where he goes from here.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:24 PM on February 15 [30 favorites]


Looks like @NRATV woke up, earlier than last time -- telling us we can't be safe until we learn the guy's *real* motive, and have more armed security in schools.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:27 PM on February 15


"On behalf of every teacher I know who got dressed and went to school today, on behalf of every parent who kissed their child and sent them to school today, on behalf of every student I know who had to face their fear and go to school today, I called my representatives and asked them what they are going to do to keep our children safe.

Please, call. Call often. Call even if you know they are in the pocket of the NRA. Call even if you know they already support gun control. Call and let them know that we are watching, and we do not accept inaction. Call and let them know that our children's lives are more important to us than anything else. And we vote."

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:47 PM on February 15 [12 favorites]


Looks like @NRATV woke up, earlier than last time -- telling us we can't be safe until we learn the guy's *real* motive, and have more armed security in schools.

as an aside, you know what would be nice in schools? since they obviously have a budget for armed security guards?

better teacher pay, schools supplies teachers don't have to pay for, new textbooks...
posted by anem0ne at 4:49 PM on February 15 [20 favorites]


Listening to this interview with Dr. Kevin Menes was sort of instructive. You may know him as the ER doctor who brilliantly triaged a torrent of victims of the Las Vegas massacre.

This guy is obviously a great ER doctor. But the thing that comes up in that White Coat Black Art interview I linked is this - towards the end of the segment, the host, Dr. Brian Goldman, also an ER doctor, asks him from a Canadian perspective about his thoughts on guns in the U.S., because, you know.... And holy shit if his answer revealed that he's part of a problem that keeps him in fucking business. Not shocking, mind you. Moloch is alive and well.

But I don't know what it says about a person that he can manage the triage, intubation, and resuscitation of hundreds of gunshot victims in a single night - shot by one single man, and do it to the point of exhaustion - and still say, in essence, "Yep, I believe this is fine."

The cognitive dissonance between the thinking of an ER doctor ("People keep dying. We obviously have a flaw in how we do things. Observe data. Fix it.") and ("I believe in the second amendment.") is staggering.

But he's a symptom of a larger problem.

600 people shot in Las Vegas all at once kind of went away as a "holy shit" moment. That's fucking bananas.

Have a friend or family member who's a member of the NRA?

Treat it like an intervention, because it's literally a matter of life and death. Here's a script:

"I no longer feel safe around you and you are not welcome in my home. I will not answer your messages, and I will call the police if you come to my house. You will be welcome back into my life once you seek help for the affliction that's killing people across the country. You are helping to kill them. Stop now."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:53 PM on February 15 [34 favorites]


At the vigil for the 17 people murdered, the crowd spontaneously broke into a chant of “no more guns, no more guns.” But, y'know, I guess it's just one of those counterproductive, knee-jerk emotional responses from a bunch of folks who can't understand lives outside their middle class suburban experience.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:05 PM on February 15 [29 favorites]


Pardon, but I don't think anyone in this discussion is using "root causes" as a "shield" to prevent gun control.

No, misogyny, anti-LGBTQ bigotry, and racism isn't "unmeasurable." We can count it to note that hate crimes against LGBTQ people have increased four-fold in the last year. I suspect similar numbers exist for women and racial minorities. The number of explicitly acknowledged terror attacks -- the most violent and brazen -- have exploded in the last two years. Most hate crimes never get labeled as such.

Holding the toxic right accountable for their violence isn't giving them a shield, it's denying them the easy rationalization of the exceptional lone gunman.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 5:12 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


World Health Organization: Understanding and addressing violence against women
Reduce gun ownership and strengthen gun laws

Studies consistently show an association between ownership of guns, particularly handguns, and perpetration of intimate femicide. Research from the USA has even found an association between women’s acquisition of a gun for their own protection and an increased risk of intimate femicide at the hands of a partner. Women were found to be three times more likely to be murdered if there was a gun in their home.

There are recommendations that gun ownership be restricted for all people. More specifically however, research has found that stronger gun laws related to men previously cited for or convicted of intimate partner abuse are of particular importance in reducing rates of femicide.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:15 PM on February 15 [15 favorites]


Violence Policy Center: When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2010 Homicide Data (pdf)
Many women—those in abusive relationships, those who have left such relationships, those who fear, in general, for their safety—have considered bringing a gun into their home as a measure of protection. Yet, gun ownership contains clear risks that should deeply concern women. One study that examined the risk factors of violent death for women in the home in three United States counties found that when there were one or more guns in the home, the risk of homicide increased more than three times. The increased risk of homicide associated with firearms was attributable to homicides at the hands of a spouse, intimate acquaintance, or close relative. Furthermore, a gun in the home is a key factor in the escalation of nonfatal spousal abuse to homicide. In a study of family and intimate assaults for the city of Atlanta, firearm-associated family and intimate assaults were 12 times more likely to result in death than non-firearm associated assaults between family and intimates.

A 2002 study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that although the United States represented only 32 percent of the female population among 25 high-income countries, it accounted for 84 percent of all female firearm homicides. The study’s lead author, Dr. David Hemenway, concluded that “the difference in female homicide victimization rates between the U.S. and these other industrialized nations is very large and is closely tied to levels of gun ownership. The relationship cannot be explained by differences in urbanization or income inequality.”

The picture that emerges from When Men Murder Women is that women face the greatest threat from someone they know, most often a spouse or intimate acquaintance, who is armed with a gun. For women in America, guns are not used to save lives, but to take them.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:17 PM on February 15 [16 favorites]


"Modern Sporting Rifle Facts"
...groups wanting to ban these rifles have for years purposely or through ignorance spread misinformation about them to aid their cause.
...
Remember, that if AR-15-style modern sporting rifles are banned, your favorite traditional-looking hunting or target shooting semi-automatic firearm could be banned, too.
...
If someone calls an AR-15-style rifle an “assault weapon,” he or she either supports banning these firearms or does not understand their function and sporting use, or both. Please correct them. “Assault weapon” is a political term created by California anti-gun legislators to ban some semi-automatic rifles there in the 1980s.
...
And, they are a lot of fun to shoot!
Wikipedia, Assault weapon
Phillip Peterson, the author of Gun Digest Buyer’s Guide to Assault Weapons (2008) wrote:
The popularly held idea that the term 'assault weapon' originated with anti-gun activists is wrong. The term was first adopted by manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearms owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.
And, they are a lot of fun to shoot!
posted by kirkaracha at 5:22 PM on February 15 [7 favorites]




"writer for the NYT" is sort of becoming the new Aristocrats.

"sorry it was read that way" ? what a fucking twerp.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:30 PM on February 15 [20 favorites]


And, they are a lot of fun to shoot!

And that sadly is the #1 defense I hear from people I personally know who've bought these and helped create the market for them and or sold them on privately. Its pitiful. There is no reason all of these firearms shouldn't have been registered from the get go and a database maintained that flags ammunition sales and stock piling. Not that they ever should have been sold but they were.
posted by fshgrl at 5:32 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Yeah it is probably fun to drive a tank too, doesn't mean we should own one.
posted by ian1977 at 5:35 PM on February 15 [9 favorites]


Yeah, when people write something like "I go to the range and it's a lot of fun" as an argument against gun control... I think 'so fucking what.' You value some corny pastime over stopping preventable tragedies?
posted by defenestration at 5:36 PM on February 15 [13 favorites]


I asked earlier about why existing gun laws aren't being enforced as this is a huge talking point with the pro-gun crowd. I heard it trotted out twice by politicians today. I've been doing some reading and found a nice synopsis on CNN.

As I suspected it's a lack of funding and huge amounts of red tape when it comes to enforcement and prosecution of the various laws. Many of the laws on the books are written, intentionally, to make them extremely difficult to enforce or prosecute.
posted by misterpatrick at 5:40 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Yeah, when people write something like "I go to the range and it's a lot of fun" as an argument against gun control... I think 'so fucking what.' You value some corny pastime over stopping preventable tragedies?
posted by defenestration at 9:36 AM on February 16 [+] [!]


FWIW I can shoot off all kinds of assault rifles in China and fricken' rocket launchers in Cambodia...at the shooting range, where the guns live. "I go to the range and it's a lot of fun" is not an argument against gun control or even an outright ban of civilian ownership.
posted by saysthis at 5:41 PM on February 15 [26 favorites]


Apparently the police had been called to the shooter's home literally dozens of times. One of his former neighbors said the way they knew he moved out was the police stopped coming to their street.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:48 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


I predict this event will be followed by immediate and comprehensive inaction.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 5:53 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Old comment from the shooter: "Elliot rodger will not be forgotten"
posted by Jacqueline at 6:17 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


He managed to stay under the radar but not buying anything dangerous and illegal like Kinders Surprize eggs.. Sadly however he was very easily able to buy something even more dangerous and LEGAL, a F-ing assult rifle.
posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 6:20 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Also, because it's a gun control debate and this is a particular hobby horse of mine, 3D printed guns exist, the technology exists to make fully functional metal handguns using entirely 3D-printed components, and a company called Defense Distributed sells a CNC mill called a Ghost Gunner for $1500 that can manufacture AR-15 components to produce untraceable AR-15's (process detailed in this Wired article). That article is from 2015. Yes these things require specialized knowledge and persistence and patience to make today. In 20 years, who knows?

In the short and medium term, registries and background checks and licenses decrease immediate availability to firearms for those who don't already own one. Long-term, these technologies mature underground, and gun manufacturing becomes decentralized along with most other types of light manufacture. They're a fool's errand in the long run. Ammunition is harder to make in your garage, so that might be a more effective choke point, but at root, we have one single question to answer as a society, which is how we react to someone who carries a gun.

In Indonesia there are metal detectors and guards at the entrances to hotels and malls. They're afraid of suicide bombers, but guns would get you arrested just as quickly as explosives. I'd rather get a patdown than risk getting shot, but it's disturbing that I can't think of a more rational and less dystopian response to US gun violence. Ban guns. Period.
posted by saysthis at 6:24 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


I'd rather get a patdown than risk getting shot

I would be fully onboard with as many anti-gun patdowns as needed as soon as they are not also potentially looking for my reefers.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:29 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]




"Every Member of Congress Who Took Money From the NRA and Tweeted 'Thoughts and Prayers' to Parkland"

So much white on that list, I wondered if the contrast on my monitor was broken..
posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 7:38 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


And, they are a lot of fun to shoot!

What makes them fun to shoot is mostly the same as what makes them good for mass killings. A .223 AR has really low recoil, great ergonomics, and the ammunition is crazy cheap. For that matter, the guns and accessories are stupid cheap, too, since all the R&D costs were paid for by the US military decades ago. (I just checked, and you can buy good quality 30 round magazines for under $10 each, for example.) So you can shoot all afternoon without getting sore, and without hurting your budget; it works just as well if you are a misogynistic nutjob who wants to kill people.

It's crazy that we allow civilian ownership of these guns, and I say that as one of the few Mefites who will admit to not just owning guns, but owning an AR.

I would be fully onboard with as many anti-gun patdowns as needed as soon as they are not also potentially looking for my reefers.

I live in a state where pot is legal and guns are semi-regulated; there's no reason that increasing or decreasing penalties for one of them should impact the other.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:49 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]


What's up with that ritualized invocation of gratitude to first responders in the NRA hypocrites' tweets? Is that a new rhetorical tic? It'd be nice if Republicans had about a hundredth of the respect for teachers, several of whom actually did die heroically in this mess, as they do for law enforcement, but that's clearly too much to ask.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:55 PM on February 15 [10 favorites]


What's up with that ritualized invocation of gratitude to first responders in the NRA hypocrites' tweets?

"Thank Our First Responders" = "Support Our Troops" when discussing the ritualized shedding of our own blood instead of that of foreigners.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:00 PM on February 15 [32 favorites]


Update from your favorite Florida locality, House District 72 (Tuesday's Blue Wave flip.)

Every Thursday at 4 PM, the local chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Campaign Violence shows up at the area's busiest intersection, carrying signs and waving to motorists. Usually there are about 20 people there, all retired folks who have the time. I honk in support as I drive home a little after 5.

Today, though... after some serious despair last night I knew I needed to join them. So I put in for a couple of hours of personal time off and went on down.

I wasn't the only one. About 100 people turned out, from seniors to moms with little kids. Two news crews showed up and did stories. David Shapiro, the Democratic Congressional candidate opposing local plutocrat Rep. Vern Buchanan this fall, showed up and worked the line. We made plans for what's next and for coordinating with Moms Demand Action.

And I'm pleased to report that we got about 100 honks of support and thumbs-ups for every one dude (and they were all dudes) flipping us off.

We may not be able to sway bought-and-paid-fors like Marco Rubio, but maybe we can replace 'em. This is how it starts, I hope.
posted by martin q blank at 8:06 PM on February 15 [48 favorites]


Someone noted on Twitter that David Bowie released a song about school shootings in 2013. It was called "Valentine's Day."

I've posted it before (sigh) but Detroit news legend Bill Bonds's commentary on "These Damn Guns" after the murder of John Lennon is as poignant as ever:

But…no, Americans must have their guns. We know there is no shortage of good, strong, sensitive, talented men and women; we can afford to kill them. Our guns are signs of our freedom. Someday maybe all 220 million of us will own a weapon. Perhaps then we will appear as barbaric to ourselves as we must appear to the rest of the world.

Finally, I would draw everyone's attention to Carl Bogus (a law professor at Roger Williams U) and his thesis that the Second Amendment was written to exempt fugitive slave patrols from control of the federal government, lest the federal government deliberately underfund / underman them. Links at Bogus's personal website (the article on "The Hidden History of the Second Amendment" has all the nitty gritty) and a pop journalism condensation of his argument, by Thom Hartmann at Truthout, here.
posted by dhens at 9:13 PM on February 15 [12 favorites]


tl;dr: 103 Republicans, 1 Democrat [via]

What I hate about the two party system is how both sides are exactly the same.
posted by great_radio at 9:23 PM on February 15 [26 favorites]


I worry that the Overton window is broken: that there are no ideas or policies that can be constructively debated by both sides. Not just that the "NRA is a terrorist organization" vs "Fist of truth" people can't agree, but there is nothing that can possibly be agreed upon. The center a no-man's-land attacked by both sides.

Gun restraining orders are law in a few states now, and could possibly have helped here since they allow threats that aren't by themselves criminal to temporarily limit gun ownership rights. They can be ex-parte, so the first the restrained person knows of it is when the police arrive to collect their guns. However, they are subject to hearings, and filing a false or harassing order is illegal. Combined with a mandatory background check, it might have been enough to prevent this without a general ban.
posted by netowl at 9:36 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


I worry that the Overton window is broken: that there are no ideas or policies that can be constructively debated by both sides.

You're right. Conservatives love, love, love Civil Asset Forfeiture. Which is as unconstitutional as a thing could possibly be. Seriously - the cops can pull you over, take everything you have, and send you on your way with not even a ticket.

But to do that to someone with a gun would be ZOMG TYRANNY.

Some people cannot be reached.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:45 PM on February 15 [21 favorites]


Many of the laws on the books are written, intentionally, to make them extremely difficult to enforce or prosecute.

A long time ago, mid-eighties, I had a friend whose brother was a lawyer. He had a hard time finding a job, so he went to work for the NRA out of desperation. His job was to write bad gun control laws to be handed to collaborating legislators. He said there were two kinds that his office produced. There were ones so bad that no one would support them. These were intended to displace the reasonable ones. Then there were the laws that were written is such a way that they could never be successfully implemented even if they passed. These were intended to be passed in lieu of reasonable ones that were implementable.

So, yes, many of the state and local gun laws were intentionally written to be impossible to implement.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:51 PM on February 15 [23 favorites]


$9,900 is a pittance for these campaigns and could easily be refused. It's not the money. It's one of two things--they're sociopaths who are apathetic to child murder or they're cowards afraid of NRA attack ads during campaign season. Because $9,900 for an election campaign just isn't enough to justify doing nothing. (Though, to be fair, being on the receiving end of Dana Loesch's apocalyptic fear mongering and vicious lies would probably give me nightmares.)
posted by xyzzy at 10:02 PM on February 15


You're right. Conservatives love, love, love Civil Asset Forfeiture.

In Biloxi MS, the police cars have their bumpers emblazoned with something to the effect of "THIS VEHICLE PAID FOR BY DRUG DEALERS"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:46 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


From a Letter to the editor from a DA and Sheriff in Alabama called "Don't gut asset forfeiture":
Participants in these programs are not convicted of a crime, so under the proposed change, the only way to deprive them of their ill-gotten gains would be to prosecute them.
...
What incentive would local police and sheriffs have to invest manpower, resources and time in these operations if they don't receive proceeds to cover their costs?
They aren't even trying to hide it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:05 PM on February 15 [19 favorites]


There’s two depressing possibilities here. One: The FBI and our law enforcement are legitimately worse at identifying people’s real identity from their social media accounts than me, some rando former reporter. Two: The FBI and law enforcement are perfectly capable of identifying people online but just can’t be arsed to do it until after people die. Even when concerned citizens are actively feeding them the exact information they need.

I think you may have missed Three: Reining in gun violence is now widely perceived as a Leftist position, and the FBI and law enforcement are simply not capable of remaking themselves as friends of the Left.

Florida sheriff says high school campus had an armed officer who never encountered the suspected shooter during attack

Who'd have thought?

I concede that it may be impossible to phrase "treat women like people and you will have a better life, which is very likely to include sex," that doesn't come across as yet another "here's the set of actions you need to do to get laid."

The point the incel brigade continues to miss: if a person you intend to have sex with is not in every way your equal, then what you're intending to have is not sex, and you will get nothing from it that you couldn't get more easily from xhamster and a handful of astroglide.

I mean there's nothing wrong with wanking, obviously, but if that's what you're going to do then you really ought to be honest with yourself about it, and hurting other people in the process really ought to be off the table.

I had a guy pop into my twitter feed today to say he was a responsible gun owner and didn't appreciate being lumped in with the irresponsible ones.

Refer him to Jim as well.

also saddening because of how quickly InfoWars moved to reposition breaking news as confirming the worldview of those in its thrall

Just spent a couple days sharing a hospital ward with one of these people. He was all sad because he couldn't enjoy the smell of electrical storms any more. Apparently lightning strikes smell "putrid" these days because the lightning burns so much of the aluminium the planes have been seeding the air with to "control all this global warming bullshit". And it must be true, because every time his girlfriend calls the RAAF to complain about it, somebody there just blows her off.

And, they are a lot of fun to shoot!

As Jim puts it:
Now as I said, I am all for your Second Amendment rights. I think you should be able to have guns. It's in your Constitution. What I am not for is bullshit arguments and lies.

There is one argument, and one argument alone, for having a gun, and this is the argument:

"Fuck off! I like guns!"

It's not the best argument, but it's all you've got. And there's nothing wrong with it! There's nothing wrong with saying, "I like something, don't take it away from me". But don't give me this other bullshit.
I worry that the Overton window is broken: that there are no ideas or policies that can be constructively debated by both sides.

It's not so much broken as bifurcated. Republicans and Democrats each have their own Overton window now, and they no longer overlap; in fact they slide along axes that are pretty much orthogonal.
posted by flabdablet at 4:00 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


It's perfectly possible to have a gun licensing system in which most hunters would be able to pass a back-ground check, pass a safety test, get character references and get a rifle permit without too much hassle, and somebody like the shooter in this crime wouldn't be able to get a permit to purchase firearms because they had obvious reasons that would have come up in a reasonably though back-ground check to deny one.

This actually exists in other countries. Ten states in the US have gun licensing requirements. (zarq's described how this works in New York state upthread.) Yes, there are 2nd amendment advocates that insist the amendment trumps all other rights, but the Supreme Court has not agreed with them. They've been explicit in saying the government has a right to regulate firearms, and licensing requirements and restrictions on the types of firearms civilians can own are constitutional.

What I want to see is an effective, workable nationwide licensing system. Given the way the Supreme Court has interpreted the 2nd amendment, it's legally feasible to so. And from the experience of other countries, we know it can work and be effective. We're not faced with an all-or-nothing choice between keeping things as they are and banning all civilian use of firearms.

There are some advantages to a licensing system. You can require a back-ground check that's a bit more thorough than you could expect clerk at a sporting goods store to do. Once you get license, all clerk has to do is verify that you have a valid license. Currently, someone who's denied a permit in their home state can purchase a gun in another state that doesn't have a permit require and then bring home to murder someone. A national system would put an end to that. It also means that if something comes up in a back-ground check that warrants a more thorough check, say a couple restraining orders in another state or something similar, the police in the applicant's jurisdiction can request the police in the jurisdiction where they occurred to look into it.
posted by nangar at 5:22 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]


With all due respect to the people, their parents, loved ones, friends and relatives who have died in mass shootings or any other type of murder, maybe we should show the victims AFTER they have been shot by an assault weapon rather than before. The media thrive on sensationalism. There are been plenty of videos and photos taken of the dead. If the American people actually saw the result, maybe (maybe) they would be outraged enough to demand that something be done in this most violent of countries.
posted by DJZouke at 5:34 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


There are some advantages to a licensing system.

And couple this with mandatory gunowner insurance, and manufacturer product liability. Gun owners and industry should bear the full social costs of their sick obsession, and we can make them while still preserving the letter of the 2nd Amendment. It doesn't say anywhere that gun owners have the right to be fully subsidized. We already do this with cars. And a million other things. We can place so many burdens on the right to gun ownership that it effectively becomes inaccessible to the vast majority and not run afoul of anything the Supreme Court said even in the terrible Heller case.

Although without changing SCOTUS the next gun case will of course probably be even worse than Heller.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:37 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


You can require a back-ground check that's a bit more thorough than you could expect clerk at a sporting goods store to do.

It's a lot better than nothing, and does prevent some sales, but the current background check system is basically a joke. That is the change I would most like to see -- converting the current cursory process into a much more substantive process in keeping with the dangers of firearms. And that's just the buying part; I think many people would be surprised at how casual and lax the process is in many states for getting a concealed carry license, for example. (Here, all it takes is filling out a form, having your fingerprints taken, and paying a small fee; as long as you don't show up in the system as having convictions/warrants/restraining orders, you are good to go. No training, interview, or anything else is required.)

I do know that there are MANY European nations (largely the ones where firearms are manufactured) that I, as a gun owner, would still be able to own and operate most, if not all, of my stupid arsenal.

Yeah, this. It would cost more and come with more regulatory hoops to jump through, but in much of Europe I'd be able to own all or almost all of my guns, and be able to use them in exactly the way I use them now (shooting paper targets at the range). There's a huge middle ground between the extremes of "any idiot can buy any gun with no oversight" and "no guns at all" that would allow normal, legal gun ownership while dramatically lowering the risks of accidents and murders.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:00 AM on February 16 [8 favorites]


"Although without changing SCOTUS the next gun case will of course probably be even worse than Heller."

An aspect of Heller is the USSC's ruling means that licensing and registration DO NOT INFRINGE, so a national system of license, registration, and insurance aren't Constitutionally problematical.
posted by mikelieman at 6:19 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


And really, shouldn't we have a practical exam before licensing PROVING they know gun safety? "All guns are always loaded. etc. "
posted by mikelieman at 6:20 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


So, we have a funded organization that is trying to track Russian troll activity on social media.

We also have an unorganized group of volunteers that stare into the abyss that is Incels and the like and tell us what is going on in those cesspools.

Is anyone trying to see if there is overlap here? At this point we have to consider whether the Incels forums and other MRA venues, alt right, et cetera, now have Russian trolls who are specifically acting to goad people into going ballistic.
posted by ocschwar at 6:39 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]


I understand that blaming everything in Russian trolls is very fashionable these days, but really, the incel beta MRA PUAs are perfectly capable of whipping themselves and each other into frenzies all on their own. This can no more be blamed on the Russians than the KKK can, and I'm not sure that the desire to turn this into yet another avenue for attempting to revive the Cold War is productive.
posted by Dysk at 6:48 AM on February 16 [8 favorites]


yet another avenue for attempting to revive the Cold War

No one wants to revive the fucking Cold War. Russian interference - online and otherwise - is a real thing and evaluating the extent of it is emphatically legitimate.
posted by lydhre at 6:58 AM on February 16 [27 favorites]


If I hear "responsible gun owner" from someone with a handgun or a AR-15 like weapon, I'm liable to roll my eyes clear out my head.

Lets take the UK for example-- a Authorised Firearms Officer needs twelve weeks of training to carry a gun, and ongoing training throughout their career, if they fail any of the tests, then no gun for them. 12 weeks initially, and they only get to carry a gun as required by their job.

Now flip to the USA where a lot of people can carry a gun around full-time if they want, how many hours has the average gun holder been through training, include all those responsible owners? Have they been given gun-shot medical care training or trained in deescalation of situations and other forms of self defense?

Oh, they've just shot at targets at their local range on occasion-- huh. How is that even slightly relevant to a real-life situation under the most rare of stressful conditions? Responsible, sure. Get training exceeding law enforcement, and yes-- that'll be expensive and inconvenient, too bad.

Ban concealed carry-- require them to wear a fucking yellow luminescent sash across their torso with their ID and last training expiry date printed all over it. You're still welcome to keep your gun in your homes and kill yourself or your own children, but if you want to take it into polite society, you need to advertise the fact. People caught with guns without their valid-sashes on get mandatory sentences and a lifetime ban.

If it makes everyone feel better, rename the quarterly training schools as 'armed militia training'.
posted by Static Vagabond at 7:02 AM on February 16 [15 favorites]


Coverage seems different this time. I’m seeing a lot less tolerance for the usual bullshit and a lot more focus on angry victims. Everyone seems super pissed off at this rather than the usual resignation.
posted by Artw at 7:15 AM on February 16 [12 favorites]


[Few things removed. I need this not to keep ranging into exciting new arguments; I need folks not to try and do long-form metacommentary in here when you know it's not the place for it. And, as much as the subject is at halfway to a derail from the word go in here, there is an ongoing issue of folks lazily conflating e.g. "concerns about specific actions by Russian governmental entities" with "the Russians" that is not great and we could use less of. Being a little more precise in your language and managing thereby not to sound casually xenophobic is a win-win for the site, please make more of an effort.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:34 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Someone on Twitter said that we should rename schools to uteruses. That way Republican lawmakers will give a shit when children die inside them.
posted by Talez at 8:01 AM on February 16 [17 favorites]




"Have they been given gun-shot medical care training or trained in deescalation of situations and other forms of self defense?"

Insights Training Center (where I trained) covers all that. We spent as much time learning how/why NOT to shoot someone as we spent learning to shoot. Rather than type out a very long comment on my phone, you can read about my training experiences in a previous guns thread: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

If some sort of national firearms owner licensing program is instituted, I hope Insights gets to design the curriculum. (Sadly, the contract will almost certainly go to the NRA, unless of course they get taken down as a criminal organization for laundering Russian campaign donations. A girl can dream!)
posted by Jacqueline at 8:17 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


If I hear "responsible gun owner" from someone with a handgun or a AR-15 like weapon, I'm liable to roll my eyes clear out my head.

Things I'd check to confirm the claim of "responsible gun owner":
* Insurance in case of injuries
* Fingerprint trigger lock
* Gun and ammo kept in separate, locked places
* Access to local shooting range

If they don't have those, I'm treating the person just like someone who says "I carry grenades, but don't worry; I'm totally responsible with them."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:22 AM on February 16 [8 favorites]


In the wake of Wednesday’s Parkland, Florida school shooting, which resulted in 17 deaths, troll and bot-tracking sites reported an immediate uptick in related tweets from political propaganda bots and Russia-linked Twitter accounts.

Yeah, there are bots involved in US politics. But this is them getting involved in a sudden national gun control debate after a major incident, not inciting the incident or being responsible for the MRA problem, as was alleged earlier.
posted by Dysk at 8:40 AM on February 16


From Pogo_Fuzzybutt's comment upthread:

From a Letter to the editor from a DA and Sheriff in Alabama called "Don't gut asset forfeiture": [...] What incentive would local police and sheriffs have to invest manpower, resources and time in these operations if they don't receive proceeds to cover their costs?

Uh, I was under the impression that taxpayers were paying the DA and Sheriff? Why do they need to use proceeds of asset forfeiture to cover their costs?

Or do hookers and blow and new armored tanks for the department count as costs?
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:49 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Thanks Jacqueline-- their site seems to indicate the courses are one day events, though perhaps you did a few, of which you attended 15 years ago. And partially because of that you'd rate yourself more responsible then most, right?

It's not even close to being enough, and the majority of people are far worse then your experience level. Like, comparing it to your truck example earlier in the thread-- my father took his heavy goods vehicle license, it took a couple of months from start to end, medical tests, simulations, practicals with a trained professional, exams etc, and he had to redo it every few years-- and as you get older, I believe you have to do it every year.

Essentially all gun owner have zero knowledge of how they'll react in a real adrenaline racing, fast moving, quick thinking situation, but yet they're willing to bet other people's lives on their hunch.
posted by Static Vagabond at 8:59 AM on February 16 [15 favorites]


Even if we accept the underlying premise of a right to firearms for personal protection, it's obvious that many, many gun types and features fall way outside that limit, to a point that is blatantly counterproductive to "protection". The NRA's whole schtick on AR-15s is that any infringement on the most ludicrously dangerous devices available is a slippery slope to limiting arms for "personal defense" (not that I give much to that notion anyway).

That's like if someone who believes in a fundamental right to medical care (like I do!) insisted that, by extension, the FDA and medical boards should be abolished, because if even one doctor is stopped from prescribing secret LSD to an unsuspecting healthy person (because said doctor is secretly Timothy Leary), well, that's the first step to "banning medicine". In fact, everyone everywhere should consume all the drugs they can, because medicine is "healthy"!

Of course, we really should ban all the guns. But regardless, the two positions aren't strictly linked, at all.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:00 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Any NRA training would be 9/10ths establishing plausible deniability when shooting at unarmed minorities.
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]




@Jacqueline - I think there is a difference between how immensely deregulated weapons purchasing is now vs. folks having an actual reason to buy a gun. there are lots of subcultures that feel like they have a good reason to purchase weapons but probably really there won't be a virus anytime soon that will turn us all into zombies

which is also to say I think it might be beneficial if we were, for example, to regulate the purchase of guns that drastically decreases the chance that your really horrible stalkers have of getting their hands on a gun (and other horrible men like George Zimmerman) while keeping the window open for folks like you. I think the point about other countries banning gun ownership is evidence against the claim of gun collecting guns for a nuclear apocalypse or suburban home self-defense (from criminals ie black men) - other countries with similar disparities have fared relatively well in this regard. similarly, there is no reason for the culture that led to the buying up of massive amounts of AR-15s post weapons ban when sales of those were relatively low and stagnant in the years preceding

people, with training, who aren't actively psychotic or depressed, should have access to firearms in limited quantities and for reasons specific to self-defense from documented threats and not just idle hobbies. and our laws should have a very high bar for proving self-defense in cases of killings by weapons - not our current system where unarmed black men are murdered and it's the exception when the white man behind the killing is sentenced

which is to say that I don't understand the position of needing the second amendment to be as powerful as it currently is given your situation - if anything, it seems like it would be beneficial to you if it were limited
posted by runt at 9:06 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]




Speaking of training etc, there's some nonsense going around among the NRA and other obfuscators who want to talk about how gee, Israel has all these guns and things and they've gotten themselves armed school guards and everything there seems cool maybe let's look at that instead of talking assault weapon ban here, k?

So if you run across this horseshit, feel free to tell them you'd LOVE to adopt the Israeli model and BTW, Israel says they should STFU about them because they are nothing like us when it comes to private gun ownership. Want a gun in Israel? Go through the application process where 80% are denied, permits are for 3 years and not automatically renewed, get police screening and medical screening and additional training beyond their military service and only allowed certain types of guns and and and and...

So tell em you're willing to take the Israel model and look forward to their support making it happen.
posted by phearlez at 9:15 AM on February 16 [18 favorites]


There may be a use for carry laws on an extremely limited case-by-case basis, but absolutely not in the way they exist now in most of the country. From an overall perspective, CCL has proven to be ineffective at best and dangerous at worse, and open carry is just flat-out dangerous. The latter, in particular, is increasingly being used by hate groups to intimidate and suppress marginalized groups, and IMO should be abolished entirely from US law. Way too many people believe their right to bear arms overrules others' right to speech, assembly, protest, and prayer. "Stand your ground" has essentially become license to hunt PoC, and similarly has no place in our country. All of which, I should point out, are merely symptoms of the problem that the 2A (like much of our legal system) is realistically only for white men.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:23 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


"Thanks Jacqueline-- their site seems to indicate the courses are one day events, though perhaps you did a few, of which you attended 15 years ago"

IIRC, when I went, their defensive handgun course was something like 30 hours over three days. I also took their unarmed, pepper spray, and folding knife courses. The pepper spray one was short but I think the others were 2 days. They had more advanced handgun courses but I didn't get around to taking them before I moved away.

I've since taken the required training for concealed carry licenses in Nevada and Virginia and they were relatively perfunctory. They also only covered legalities.

Whereas one of the things I most appreciated about Insights' training philosophy was how much emphasis they put on the moral aspects of gun ownership. Like how if you carry a gun, you have a higher moral duty to avoid conflict than other people because any violent confrontation you get in automatically has the potential to become deadly. For example, one of the instructors said he researched crime rates and found that most fights in Seattle-area bars take place between 1 and 2 and most fights outside of bars take place between 2 and 3. So, as someone who carried a gun, he felt he had a duty to go home no later than 1.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:27 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Speaking of Zimmerman, his behavior was so antithetical to Insights' teachings that I bet they're probably using him in class now as a case study of What Not To Do.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:36 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Highline College, in Des Moines (south of Seattle) is currently on lockdown. When we're tallying up the damage from our gun culture, we should consider all the school lockdowns as well; my kids have both been through several, and they're KIDS. Even if the threat turns out to be a false alarm, it's wasted time at best and trauma at worst.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:37 AM on February 16 [13 favorites]


I'm treating the person just like someone who says "I carry grenades, but don't worry; I'm totally responsible with them."

I'm hesitant to put yet another comment here in the vein of "all weapons are abhorrent", but this has been on my mind all day, and writing it down helps me shape the idea. I posted a few comments back that someone with minimal tools and skills can actually build their own AR-15, which is an even deadlier tool than a grenade. Combine with the horrifying Slaughterbots speculative fiction video (every trigger warning in the universe applies to this thing if you haven't seen it, it's about hummingbird-size autonomous drones with facial recognition technology and a C4 explosive payload programmed to fly into the side of a particular individual's head, or maybe just anyone's head, released in swarms from suitcases or aerial droops, the video makes the point that this is something we have the technology to build now), and it's hard for me to see a future where centrally registered and legally available lethal weapons is effective at keeping guns, grenades, or anything else away from people determined to use them.

The more I think about it, the more I think the mere fact of owning weapons is scary. I get it, swords, guns, and explosives are cool, I've played with them, they are seriously fun as toys. But they were not designed as toys. An AR-15 is a grenade is a Slaughterbot is a C4 vest is a land mine is...they're tools of mass slaughter, and that's the whole reason they exist in the world, and I do not want to live in a world where someone can walk down the street with a machete, let alone a suicide vest or machine gun.

If the primary purpose of a tool or toy is killing another human, that's my line. I want it out of civilian hands, maybe at a shooting range on the outskirts of town, but not at my neighbor's house. I want a safe space where I know I won't die because someone is having a bad day, and that's where I will direct my taxes.

Edge cases exist (tasers? do we allow tasers?), but handguns and assault rifles are not that. If your cultural honor requires you to wear a kris, I say reexamine that culture. I want a culture that says unequivocally, "Less murder is a net good." We seem to be moving to a world where we can all make our own weapons anyway, so trying to keep track of them won't work. The only group defense we have against spontaneously generating deadly weapons that can effectively keep them off the streets is collective abhorrence and seizure upon sight. Airport security everywhere.

In much of the world where suicide bombers are a problem, a nascent form of this attitude already exists. Considering that sooner or later, with 3D printing tech already out there and just a few decades away from being universal, guns are going to be as easy to make at home as bombs, we really, really need a different angle for gun control than waiting periods, licensing, and registries.

Taking violence against women seriously is necessary. Taking genocidal and racist statements seriously is necessary. Funding effective intervention is necessary. There is, however, no more immediate or reliable warning sign of imminent gun usage than having a gun immediately available. Assuming people who have a gun will use it for its intended purpose and taking steps to stop them is probably the best thing we can do to stop gun violence.

So tell em you're willing to take the Israel model and look forward to their support making it happen.
posted by phearlez at 1:15 AM on February 17 [1 favorite +] [!]


100% A+++ would model my country's gun control laws on Israel's again. Most importantly in the Israel model is that they are used to dealing with improvised weapons, which our model doesn't even account for, but which are the future of weapons. Which is why I think

IIRC, when I went, their defensive handgun course was something like 30 hours over three days. I also took their unarmed, pepper spray, and folding knife courses. The pepper spray one was short but I think the others were 2 days. They had more advanced handgun courses but I didn't get around to taking them before I moved away.

should be mandatory in high school, or mandatory citizen training, or something. Other countries teach their citizens about weapons through mandatory military service, I don't particularly like that idea, but I do think it's important that an awareness of what threats exist and how to counter them be part of our basic social education.

At this point I'm rambling, but the US is the worst of all possible worlds on this issue, and the outcomes are exactly what you'd expect. We have to change.

Highline College, in Des Moines (south of Seattle) is currently on lockdown. When we're tallying up the damage from our gun culture, we should consider all the school lockdowns as well; my kids have both been through several, and they're KIDS. Even if the threat turns out to be a false alarm, it's wasted time at best and trauma at worst.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:37 AM on February 17 [+] [!]


OH FFS I CAN'T EVEN GET THROUGH ONE SCREED ON THE INTERNET WITHOUT THE DAMN THING HAPPENING ON PREVIEW I MEAN *$#) COME ON PEOPLE. (ok, thoughts coherent again, now I'll really quit the thread)
posted by saysthis at 9:42 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


The corpse in the library - So far our first kid has been in lockdown because her school was in range of Cafe Racer and our second kid has been in lockdown at daycare because one daycare was near the Cafe Racer shooters intial spree downtown and again because the daycare she went after that was near SPU when the shooting happened there. It's horrifying how it's become normalized. I'm not sure either of those shootings even made national news.
posted by Artw at 9:47 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]


If I hear "responsible gun owner" from someone with a handgun or a AR-15 like weapon, I'm liable to roll my eyes clear out my head.

I don't think it's possible to be a "responsible" owner of any kind of gun, even if the person believes they have a legitimate reason to own one (self defense, sport, animal control, occupation), even if they're trained, even if they keep it locked and have insurance. Find another way to accomplish those things without a gun if you want to be considered a responsible person.

I'm coming for all the guns. I don't really care why you think you should be able to have yours. Your chance for gun "regulation" was two decades ago. Millions of lives have been lost while "responsible" gun owners were content to let the NRA turn our kids' schools into war zones. Time's up.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:48 AM on February 16 [30 favorites]


I'm coming for all the guns.

Amen.
posted by JackFlash at 9:53 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Whatever happens, it needs to apply to everyone, including the police.
posted by linux at 9:53 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


I don't think it's possible to be a "responsible" owner of any kind of gun...

Agreed. What is a responsible way to own the means to instantly end another person's life? Especially when that means does that thing so easily that infants can use it to do that?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:54 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Considering that sooner or later, with 3D printing tech already out there and just a few decades away from being universal, guns are going to be as easy to make at home as bombs, we really, really need a different angle for gun control than waiting periods, licensing, and registries.

Why? That's been pretty effective at dealing with bombs and bomb making supplies, despite the ease with which those can be built. So why wouldn't it work for guns too?
posted by Dysk at 9:55 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


So if you run across this horseshit, feel free to tell them you'd LOVE to adopt the Israeli model and BTW, Israel says they should STFU about them because they are nothing like us when it comes to private gun ownership. Want a gun in Israel? Go through the application process where 80% are denied, permits are for 3 years and not automatically renewed, get police screening and medical screening and additional training beyond their military service and only allowed certain types of guns and and and and...

So glad to see that article, because it debunks pretty much every NRA talking point. Only two school shootings in Israel in 40 years, and both of those were terrorist-related. Lightly armed Israeli guards and military personnel are a visible, public presence in many locations. Not unusual for people to take a bus and see an armed soldier riding along with them. Gun control is much stricter there than here.

The guns are there, but the people who have them are professionally trained and won't use them except as a last resort.

Worth adding that Israel is a really small country. Only about 8 million people there and it's a little larger than New Jersey, which is the 5th smallest US state. There's less open space, and fewer people. That helps with gun control management.
posted by zarq at 9:59 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


So, I'm just now able to write anything about this. One of my closest friends lives in Parkland and her daughter attends Douglas high school. I spent most of Wednesday afternoon on the phone with her as she waited and waited to get to her daughter, listening to her read every text out loud and wondering if it was the last one she would get. I can't even begin to describe the absolute horror those parents and students went through.

Parkland is a 1% community. The average income is 700k and it's majority white. People move there FOR the safety and the schools. It's definitely a "this could never happen here" type of place. This community is ANGRY. The students are ANGRY, the parents are ANGRY and local government/law enforcement are ANGRY. They aren't quiet about it-they're loudly and publicly calling out Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Trump and the rest of the GOP for being in the NRA pocket.

My friend, who is pretty apolitical but always voted a straight R ticket because rich and Catholic is now talking about organizing a march to Rubio's home to confront him. She's joined Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety. All the other mothers she knows (and there's a lot of them) have also joined. She told me "this town has money and if money talks, this shit will end. Jersey moms don't play".

So maybe, hopefully, finally enough people that always voted R because of taxes or "family values" will be angry enough to put the pressure on and make credible threats that these legislators are going to lose their comfy seats. I hate that it takes rich people being affected to finally mobilize something, rather than just any of the other massacres we've had-but whatever it takes is fine with me. As long as it works.

As an aside-my daughter teaches 4th grade in a primarily black school. She doesn't feel prepared to handle a situation like this. Her school, since it's in a not wealthy part of town is literally surrounded by a 6 ft high fence with razor wire on top and you absolutely can not get on campus without going through the vice principal. She told me that she's not as worried as she could be and that her kids aren't scared because as she pointed out-these shootings have been in primarily upper middle class suburbs/towns and carried out by white men. Her students are terrified of guns, because they have family members who've been shot and died and some have seen it happen in front of them. That's completely heartbreaking in itself, but at least she doesn't worry about some disgruntled parent/former student coming on campus with a gun.
posted by hollygoheavy at 9:59 AM on February 16 [33 favorites]


I don't think it's possible to be a "responsible" owner of any kind of gun, even if the person believes they have a legitimate reason to own one (self defense, sport, animal control, occupation)

I spent my teen years in Arkansas. There's at least one more reason: Hunting for food, which a number of poor families rely on. (And "animal control" includes both "omg bear in the driveway!" and "omg cottonmouth in the woodpile!" Guns are part of how you keep your family safe from critters that will kill you.)

However - those are long-range rifles or shotguns, not assault rifles. And it'd be easy to have a gun license program that had a box for "purpose: hunt for food," along with verification of a hunting license and a statement of which local hunting-legal location is preferred. "Purpose: home defense against animals" would allow a limited range of weapons, and would not include large-caliber handguns - something smaller and quicker is better for pretty much any animal problem.

Special exemptions for historical or heirloom value? Sure: show us your security measures, and sign an extra form saying that if the gun is ever fired - by anyone - apart from state-sanctioned historical display events or at a licensed shooting range, there's an additional fine equal to 6 months of your income, minimum $10k, AND the gun will be confiscated and destroyed. No excuses; if it gets stolen, it loses its heirloom status. Better keep the ammo very, very separate, or alter it so it can't actually shoot.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:04 AM on February 16 [8 favorites]


I want them to succeed but the community of Columbine was rich and that didn't change a thing.
posted by agregoli at 10:08 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


How about we cross the 3D printing bridge when we get to it. Right now, that's not really a viable way for a random angry 19 year old to get a gun. And you'll note that other countries that have the same access to 3D printing technology are not awash in plastic guns. (I know nothing about 3D printing guns, but I work with 3D printers periodically at work and... the basic-but-not-cheap printers we have produce objects that are fine, it's cool that you just created a 3D object out of basically nothing, but they are not precision instruments, and they break down and have to be fixed by a person who knows what they're doing. It's not really at the level of "push button, receive firearm" yet.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:08 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


guns are going to be as easy to make at home as bombs, we really, really need a different angle for gun control than waiting periods, licensing, and registries.

Sure - limit the ammo, which can't be 3d printed. Must have gun license for the requisite type of gun to purchase ammo. No direct-today ammo purchase; must order today, pick up in 48 hours. Set up a standard of "Order on Friday, pickup on Monday" for gun shops.

The issue isn't, "can we eliminate all possible forms of illegal gun access?" Of course we can't. But we could cut legal gun access way down, and make illegal access a lot more difficult and legally risky. Requiring licenses, seatbelts, airbags, and carseats hasn't ended car accidents, but it's sharply reduced the damage they do.

We could require at least the same kind of awareness of laws and skill check that we use for cars. Even if we grandfathered in all existing gun ownership, requiring a safety skills test and registry for all new gun purchases would be a start. And that's the "well, gotta let them have some..." approach; I don't particularly believe that's the case.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:15 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


"What is a responsible way to own the means to instantly end another person's life? Especially when that means does that thing so easily that infants can use it to do that?"

The average man has the strength to beat the average woman to death with his bare fists. Handguns are the most effective way to counter this inherent disparity.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:16 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Yet guns are used far more regularly to enact violence against women than to defend against it.
posted by Dysk at 10:22 AM on February 16 [49 favorites]


There's at least one more reason: Hunting for food, which a number of poor families rely on. (And "animal control" includes both "omg bear in the driveway!" and "omg cottonmouth in the woodpile!" Guns are part of how you keep your family safe from critters that will kill you.)

I call bullshit on this. I lived around hunters. Most of them are honest enough to admit that they don't come close to breaking even on hunting. The equipment, guns, trucks, processing, freezers, wasted time that could be used for wage earning employment. It's an expensive hobby like most hobbies.

Even for the most serious hunters, hunting contributes a tiny percentage to their annual food supply. This idea that there are numbers of poor subsistence hunters in the lower 48 is rancid mythology. There are far better ways to help the poor than giving them guns.

And no, I've lived with bears and snakes and you don't need a gun. More bullshit.
posted by JackFlash at 10:23 AM on February 16 [18 favorites]


@jasonroeder: When I wrote this headline, I had no idea it would be applied to the high school a mile from my house.
posted by Artw at 10:27 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


"Yet guns are used far more regularly to enact violence against women than to defend against it."

[Insert almost anything here] is used far more regularly to enact violence against women than to defend against it because violence against women in general is so common and women are less likely to fight back.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:30 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Handguns are the most effective way to counter this inherent disparity.

Good grief, I really didn't need as clear an example of America's absolutely toxic relationship with guns as this. Western nations share a lot of the same problems with the US - we have racism, crappy laws and poor enforcement, brutish cops, misogyny, mental illness, and Russian meddling. But you know what makes the US different? Why it has so many mass killings at schools or otherwise? Its that belief that a gun is your right and is the best way to enforce your rights and freedom. Until that underlying toxicity is addressed I don't know how you can ever end gun violence in your country.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:33 AM on February 16 [41 favorites]


We Hunted The Mammoth (tracks a lot of the white male hate post-Trump) has another post up about the intersection of right-wing extremists, anti Semitic hate on the rise in this country, and the shooting: On Gab, some are blaming yesterday’s school shooting — by a possible white supremacist — on the Jews (CW: hate groups quoted being hateful)
posted by corb at 10:44 AM on February 16


I lived around hunters. Most of them are honest enough to admit that they don't come close to breaking even on hunting. The equipment, guns, trucks, processing, freezers, wasted time that could be used for wage earning employment. It's an expensive hobby like most hobbies.

The hunters I knew lived well below the poverty line, in places where they taught 12-year-olds to hunt because 16 and up requires a license, and that extra $20 a year was an actual financial hit. I grant that it's mostly an expensive hobby; it's also a substantial portion of the food some families get. And if they're only 1% of hunters, they'll still be brought out front-and-center as "you can't ban guns because these people need them."

But if they're honestly using guns to hunt, then they shouldn't have any problem with a registry and safety courses to get the license. Hell, offer incentives - for the first six months of the program, the courses are free, and getting your gun registered as a hunting weapon pays for the hunting license that year. Free professional cleaning (you get to keep the kit after) thrown in. Encourage registration by offering bonuses that cut off the "but I'm too poor for this" arguments. And push hard the message of, "only criminals are afraid to let people know they have guns."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:47 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Every time the “a gun could defend you against scary men” comes up, all I can think is there’s no way I could shoot at another human being without, like, a “armies in the streets, I’m an insurgent” level of change. Me with a gun is 100% more likely to lead to “ if they didn’t have a gun before they do now!” situation unless I was pretty sure I couldn’t kill someone.

Statistically, my understanding is that in rare “big scary guy with a gun” situations my best defense is a phone and my best action is to run away in a zig zag formation. See also: big scary animals with less running.

In a mass shooting situation my best course of action is to hide, my second best is to run, and my third best is to rush a single shooter while he’s reloading. None of these require a gun, and personally that makes me a lot happier than the idea I should arm myself. I do semi-regularly imagine those three scenarios because it just makes sense to prepare oneself.

More guns in a mass shooting situation leads to a harder time identifying the shooter, more dead ends to chase down, and a not insignificant chance that the person who responds to a shooting with a gun will be mistaken for the first shooter or might even kill additional people. This happens even when he shooters are police. And the gods help us all if one armed bystander goes after another armed bystander triggered by an initial shooter; I mean holy fuck.
posted by Deoridhe at 10:47 AM on February 16 [11 favorites]


The average man has the strength to beat the average woman to death with his bare fists. Handguns are the most effective way to counter this inherent disparity.

Citations needed.

But even assuming that is a thing that can be shown with research from non-gun-industry-funded studies, oh well. We don't always get to do the "most effective" thing, because we live in a society and sometimes the "most effective" thing has massive negative externalities like, say, children being regularly murdered (often by those same people the guns were supposed to protect against).

So, like with bears, find another way; be the adult. Or, be complicit, make children assume the risk, and choose the gun; we can't stop you (yet).
posted by melissasaurus at 10:50 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Good grief, I really didn't need as clear an example of America's absolutely toxic relationship with guns as this. Western nations share a lot of the same problems with the US - we have racism, crappy laws and poor enforcement, brutish cops, misogyny, mental illness, and Russian meddling. But you know what makes the US different? Why it has so many mass killings at schools or otherwise? Its that belief that a gun is your right and is the best way to enforce your rights and freedom. Until that underlying toxicity is addressed I don't know how you can ever end gun violence in your country.

This, so much this. Myself and others have been presenting the overwhelming evidence that the issue of violence against not just women, but PoC and LGBTQ and many other groups is magnified enormously by gun ownership and gun culture specific to the US. The inability of so many Americans to fathom that this premise is valid is a major factor in the problem festering and spreading.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:50 AM on February 16 [16 favorites]


The average man has the strength to beat the average woman to death with his bare fists. Handguns are the most effective way to counter this inherent disparity.

When a gun is present in a situation of domestic violence, it increases the risk the woman will be killed fivefold.

A case-control study of 11 cities found that in a domestic violence situation, the perpetrator’s access to a gun increased the odds of femicide by more than five times. Don't take my word for it. Run the numbers yourself.

In other words, "where there are more guns, more women die."
posted by zarq at 10:53 AM on February 16 [50 favorites]


Guns are part of how you keep your family safe from critters that will kill you.

Just shows the ridiculous lengths gun owners will go to justify their fetishism. I've lived in the most remote wilderness of Alaska and we didn't need guns to keep our family safe.

The critters causing the most deaths in the U.S. -- bees, dogs, cows!, horses and spiders. Bears and snakes are way down the list and don't require guns to keep you safe.
posted by JackFlash at 10:57 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


[A few comments removed, and folks, I need everybody to take a goddam breath. There is absolutely nothing new to the fact that (a) gun violence is a huge and systemically unaddressed problem in the US and (b) people have often personally complicated and mutually conflicting feelings about the non-murder-spree uses of guns. We're not going to suddenly solve that by getting increasingly shitty in here. This is an awful situation, in specific and in general, and I need folks to recognize where they are making a MetaFilter discussion more useful and where they are just venting in the face of awfulness or defensiveness about other people's rhetoric or so on. This is a tiring fucking thread to try to keep up on and it doesn't need to be quite so much.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:57 AM on February 16 [12 favorites]


“big scary guy with a gun” situations

The situations you describe seem to be random crime, mass shootings, etc. Defending against those is very different than defending yourself against someone who is specifically targeting you personally.

When you're the target of a violent stalker or politically motivated assassination attempt, "just run away" doesn't work because they're not going to give up and go find an easier victim. They will keep coming for you until they are stopped.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:00 AM on February 16


When you're the target of a violent stalker or politically motivated assassination attempt, "just run away" doesn't work because they're not going to give up and go find an easier victim. They will keep coming for you until they are stopped.

The violent stalker, in this case, decided to murder a bunch of children at the target's school.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:08 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


On Gab, some are blaming yesterday’s school shooting — by a possible white supremacist — on the Jews

I'm sure this will come as a shock the the people who attended at least two funerals that were held today because Jewish parents had to bury their children before the Sabbath.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:12 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


"The violent stalker, in this case, decided to murder a bunch of children at the target's school."

And if police had taken his violent stalking seriously, a domestic violence conviction would have prevented him from passing the background check to buy his gun.

This guy committed literally dozens of crimes in the years leading up to the shooting. Why wasn't he prosecuted???
posted by Jacqueline at 11:13 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


The critters causing the most deaths in the U.S. -- bees, dogs, cows!, horses and spiders. Bears and snakes are way down the list and don't require guns to keep you safe.

That has to do with conditional probability - because humans on aggregate have several times more encounters with cows etc. than bears. It doesn't indicate anything about how dangerous a particular animal will be in a specific situation. I don't actually know if guns are a good or even okay way to protect against bears, just, bad argument there.

What I do know is that it's possible to have some gun owners in a society without having crazy levels of gun violence. There have been tons of examples of reasonable gun control in this thread. People are "coming for all the guns" (which is fine by me personally) not because they are civilization-ending weapons of mass destruction, but because Americans particularly have shown that we're not grown-up enough as a society to handle the responsibility of having gun owners.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:20 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]




And if police had taken his violent stalking seriously, a domestic violence conviction would have prevented him from passing the background check to buy his gun.

So, we need guns because of misogyny, but they aren't effective at combating misogyny because misogyny....?

Like, I get that these are your firmly held beliefs and that you have expressed them consistently on this site for years. So, in that sense, I don't want to allege that you're participating in bad faith. But, it really feels like you're being purposely obtuse at times on these issues. Especially considering that the chance that you personally will ever be prevented from owning a gun in your lifetime is close to zero, absent committing a felony or moving to another country. I've stated in this thread that I am coming for all the guns -- this is a political organizing goal and I say it so that it's clear what my position is, I don't want to give the illusion that I'm interested in working out exceptions and then just continually move goalposts. But everyone in this thread knows that it will take all of our political power and organizing work, consistently, for the rest of our lives, to achieve even an iota of gun regulation. I'm not sure what the purpose of leaving this comment is, other than to maybe urge you to reconsider how forcefully you advocate for guns, given that there's no real danger of you ever losing your right to own one. The devil doesn't need any advocates and neither do guns in America. Why is this one thing so important to you? I'm legitimately asking, because I cannot contemplate wanting to own a gun so bad that I would continually advocate this hard for it, including in every thread about a gun massacre.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:29 AM on February 16 [45 favorites]


On Gab, some are blaming yesterday’s school shooting — by a possible white supremacist — on the Jews (CW: hate groups quoted being hateful)

This is not new. White supremacists routinely say that mass murderers in these incidents are Jewish, or are controlled by Jews or Jewish organizations. Or by Israeli intelligence (the Mossad). Or by the US government. Doesn't matter if the victims are Jewish, or if (as in this case) the killer is not Jewish. Unless he's clearly a different minority, they'll call him Jewish and say the presence of Jewish victims is a hoax or deception.

Today's anti-semites sound very much like anti-semites from prior generations. Their rhetoric would have been a perfect fit for Streicher's Der Stürmer.
posted by zarq at 11:31 AM on February 16 [9 favorites]


The entire purpose of Gab is to be a place where people can blame shit on the Jews.
posted by rhizome at 12:12 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


It's like someone rewrote the children's book Maybe a Bear Ate it but made it hateful and stupid
posted by phearlez at 12:25 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


And to make this nightmare circle complete, our despicable governor (with an A+ NRA rating) has called for the FBI director to resign. Playing right on cue with the White House script.
posted by hollygoheavy at 12:50 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


That has to do with conditional probability - because humans on aggregate have several times more encounters with cows etc. than bears.

Which is why we require seat belts in cars but not meteorite shields over our houses. People don't need guns to protect their families from bears and snakes. A gun -- for a snake? Some people have spent too much time watching Gunsmoke.
posted by JackFlash at 1:26 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


I mean- whenever I hear from friends who have scary snake encounters where they are forced to kill the beastie because it’s super poisonous and it’s way to close to the house and the kids- the implement they use to dispatch the snake is almost always a shovel or a rake. Shooting a snake with a gun isn’t just silly, its less effective than a shovel!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 1:35 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


.22's and .38's loaded with frangible ammo (shot pellets as opposed to hard bullets) were sometimes used to kill poisonous (pit viper) snakes that endangered people, livestock or horses in North Texas while I was living there. The gun allows you to keep a little bit of distance from a rattler, copperhead or cottonmouth when you're trying to kill it. Those snakes are fast, and they often get into places where it's not really safe to reach into the dark or a corner with a shovel or a rake.
posted by zarq at 1:37 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Yeah, bullets can be used to kill snakes.

Of course, considering that there are 5-6 fatal snakebites per year — less than a third the number of people who died from the shooting Wednesday — you're still far more likely to use a gun to shoot and kill your lover, child or neighbor than a snake.

And, according to everything I have ever read on the subject, the overwhelming consensus is the best way to deal with a snake is leave it alone. If you're worried about livestock or horses, set out snake traps.

A huge percentage of snake bites are actually the result of people trying to kill snakes.

Not that Zarq was using the snake thing as an argument against gun control, but I hear it come up.
posted by maxsparber at 1:45 PM on February 16 [19 favorites]


Of course, considering that there are 5-6 fatal snakebites per year — less than a third the number of people who died from the shooting Wednesday — you're still far more likely to use a gun to shoot and kill your lover, child or neighbor than a snake.

Yes. There are around 7-8000 people bitten by snakes per year but those bites are almost always non-fatal. Part of the reason for that is that many kinds of snakes have no venom. (There are at least couple of snake species in North Texas that look venomous and scary as hell but have no poison. ) But mostly, we live in a country where health care is accessible, (if not necessarily affordable) and treating a snakebit with anti-venin is common. In the United States, you're nine times more likely to die of being struck by lightning than you are from a snake bite.

And, according to everything I have ever read on the subject, the overwhelming consensus is the best way to deal with a snake is leave it alone. If you're worried about livestock or horses, set out snake traps.

Also true. Especially with pit vipers. Leave 'em alone and they'll leave you alone.

Not that Zarq was using the snake thing as an argument against gun control, but I hear it come up.

Definitely not. My comment was just to provide an experiential counterpoint to JackFlash and Homo neanderthalensis' comments about guns for snakes.
posted by zarq at 1:54 PM on February 16


If you need an AR-15 against snakes, you might have an Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark situation going on...and then your problem is bigger than a gun.
posted by agregoli at 1:55 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin: video game guns are the problem, not real guns
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:58 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


My comment was just to provide an experiential counterpoint to JackFlash and Homo neanderthalensis' comments about guns for snakes.

I would characterize it as less counterpoint than confirmation. The silly claim that you need guns to protect your family from snakes is probably an indication that the person in question is just the sort that shouldn't be trusted around guns.
posted by JackFlash at 2:06 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Clearly the video game designers just need to draw bigger, better guns for the good guys.
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:08 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


I'm a high school teacher, recently found out my district won't rehire me because "it's not a good fit." So I was already a little down this past week, and before the shooting, I decided to have my students analyze Holden Caufield's emotional state and write him a letter if they felt he needed help.

Today, a very socially isolated 14 year old handed this in:

"Dear Holden,
I’ve been getting concerned about your mental health recently. You’ve been talking about your own death for a while now, as you’ve been saying things like “I thought probably I’d get pneumonia and die” and “I hope to hell when I do die someone has sense enough to dump me into a river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddamn cemetery”. Talking about your own death is a sign that you may need to see a specialist about this issue, and I know how much you dislike them, but trust me on this one. One place I’d recommend is the NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) in Boston. Their address is 529 Main Street, Boston Massachusetts, and their mission is to help families/persons who need assistance with mental health. They can help you keep dark thoughts out of your head, and make sure you stay safe. Another service that I’d definitely recommend is the Suicide Health Line if you were gonna try and end your own life. Their phone number is “1-800-273-8225” and they can help you calm down when in you are in danger. As long as you just have thoughts about your death but aren’t acting on them, you don’t need to use that number. The last recommendation, and one I’d most certainly say you should go to soon is a psychiatrist office. One of the higher rated ones here is NAME REDACTED. A psychiatrist can help you get rid of any depressing thoughts and any thoughts of your death. They can help you become a much happier person.
Sincerely,"

and I essentially lost my shit, because even though adults don't give two fucks about saving their lives, even the saddest, most miserable kids want to help each other.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:21 PM on February 16 [72 favorites]


Well, this was the event that finally left me with no capacity for patience when my dad started dragging out the right-wing talking points on Facebook.

Our kid is starting high school next fall, and in the past couple of weeks we've had orientation events, and visits by the middle school band to perform with the high school band, and meetings about the International Baccalaureate program she'll be participating in, all sorts of high school related stuff. And I've been having a really difficult time setting aside my anger about this shooting (and the one before that, and the one before that, and on and on and on) and our COMPLETE failure to do anything about it. I quoted a relevant line from John Scalzi on my facebook wall, and dad made some snide remark, and I just straight up told him to fuck off.

He's written a small essay of recrimination in response, and I suppose that I should feel badly for making him feel embarrassed, but I just don't. I don't have it in me to feel badly. Am I off base for being resolved not to apologize? I don't know, but it doesn't matter, because I'm still seething angry, and have been all day, to point where I can't focus on my job, so even a pretend apology is beyond me right now. Hope me, metafilter.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:43 PM on February 16 [20 favorites]


If you need an AR-15 against snakes, you might have an Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark situation going on...and then your problem is bigger than a gun.
Elon Musk's flame thrower might be more appropriate in that case.

Ben Dickman, a police officer in Broward county (where Parkland is), made a public FB post today documenting his surrendering of his personal AR-15-style weapon (AR-FiveSeven) cuz there's not a single good goddamned reason to have one.

And to all those *#()@*$()# 2a touters, I say FINE. WE'LL REGULATE.
posted by tilde at 2:49 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


Rick Scott has called for the FBI Director to resign, a totally-not-politically-motivated stance.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:06 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Am I off base for being resolved not to apologize?

For crying out--no, no you aren't. The most important tactic we can take, as progressives, as sane Americans, as Americans in favor of safety for our children, is to take the moral high ground and not yield.

If your dad didn't want to be embarrassed, he could have taken five fucking seconds to think about your feelings before he said that post. Mild embarrassment is a much smaller penalty to pay than the possibility of someone else's kid getting shot. and who the fuck knows: maybe letting him sit with his embarrassed feelings will make him think twice about passing that normalization of these inane gun laws in the future.

Are you female? Because especially if you are, no no no you should not apologize. You are not any more responsible for his feelings than he is responsible for yours, and there is absolutely no reason for you to reach out and take care of his embarrassment for acting poorly when he clearly didn't give any thought to your own comfort, family, and care.
posted by sciatrix at 3:12 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


I just. We need anger behind this. We need anger and moral framework and pure unapologetic fury and passion for right and sanity and safety to re-enter this country. We need those things to effect any change at all.

We cannot keep apologizing for wanting children to feel safe in their classrooms.
posted by sciatrix at 3:14 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


As a teacher, I want to see every one of us go on strike until assault weapons are banned. Imagine the effect that would have. What can they do, fire ALL of us??
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:19 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


> And it'd be easy to have a gun license program that had a box for "purpose: hunt for food," along with verification of a hunting license...

Special exemptions for historical or heirloom value? Sure: show us your security measures, and sign an extra form saying that if the gun is ever fired...

News Zealand has several categories of firearms licenses. A class-A license is relatively simple to get, but it's intended for hunting and only covers rifles and shot guns. Pistols are the kind of weapon that people most frequently use to murder people and that people buy for self-defense. It's a lot more you have to do to get and maintain a license for one, because they're much more likely to be used to shoot people. A firearms license is also required to buy ammo, and you can only buy ammo for the type of weapon you have a license for. If you inherit an old rifle or other firearm, you can get a collector's license (class C), but you have to store it securely and you can't buy ammo for it. There are other license categories for dealers and people who work in sporting-goods stores that sell firearms.

There are a lot of things that make sense in New Zealand's licensing system and seem pretty well thought out. A gradiated firearms licensing like this system is doable, and it works. NZ has pretty low homicide rate.
posted by nangar at 3:21 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


What can they do, fire ALL of us??

yes they’ll say, yes they will. Yes.

Don’t dump the responsibility for sane gun legislation on the backs of America’s educators.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:25 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


We’re already targets.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:27 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


We’re already targets.

That's my point. Talk about unsafe working conditions. We're the ones being put into life-threatening situations and being murdered.

We went to school to educate children, not put our lives on the line protecting kids from murderers. I refuse to believe US teachers are powerless in being part of the solution. We teach children to become active thoughtful participants in life. Why not actually practice what we preach?
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:53 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]




Women's March is hosting a national school walkout on March 14th: Enough
posted by ruetheday at 3:56 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


From Kevin Drum:
"After Wednesday’s school massacre in Florida, I see that we’re being presented with our usual options:
    We can ban certain kinds of weapons that have no real use except as mass-killing machines.
    Or we can turn our schools into armed camps.
Unfortunately, one of these is fascism."

...and the other involves Orcs?
posted by JackFlash at 4:01 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Women's March is hosting a national school walkout on March 14th: Enough

A walkout is a fantastic idea! An amorphous online call for a general strike of all US educators is ... venting.

(Which I definitely appreciate after this week, mind.)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:01 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


(apologies. I guess this is still pretty raw for me. as a precariously employed educator, the thought of shouldering Congress’ job at the risk of losing one’s own just really irked me. I know we’re on the same side, yes I said... stepping away from thread.)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:10 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]




Trump was at the hospital with shooting victims for exactly 20mins. Met with a doctor and the media. Apparently not with any actual victims.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:49 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


> We need anger behind this. We need anger and moral framework and pure unapologetic fury and passion for right and sanity and safety to re-enter this country.

Anger is good, but not if it's blinding, not if it brings out pre-existing hatred and prejudices.

I'm a working-class Democrat. My parents were farmers, and I grew up in a rural area. I'm in favor of a better gun-control system than the very minimal and ineffective one we have now. I've talked about what I'd like to see and work for in a couple comments upthread.

It's hard to have a conversion about this (or any topic) with people who clearly can't see me or people like me as human. I've had to force myself not respond to some comments in this thread. It's been better than some previous threads, and no slurs have gotten thrown around yet. I appreciate that.

We need to work together to get better gun control measures implemented in the US and reduce our homicide rates. (It's not going to happen with current congress and president, obviously. But we can change that.) To do that, we need upper-middle-class white Democrats to recognize that people who're not from the same back-ground and that they regard as subhuman might actually have some the same concerns and might be angry about some of the same things.

(I want to make it clear, sciatrix, though I'm responding to your comment, I'm not talking about you personally; I'm talking about the places some people's anger has gone in this thread and previous threads.)
posted by nangar at 5:55 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Apparently not with any actual victims.

For the best really, probably he shouldn’t have visited at all. Would have been good if any of them had gotten to tell the avatar of the forces that tried to murder them to fuck off though.
posted by Artw at 5:58 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile in Texas, a bad guy with a gun was stopped by a good guy without a gun. There were no causalities until the police arrived and shot him. [via]
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 6:07 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Trump was at the hospital with shooting victims for exactly 20mins. Met with a doctor and the media. Apparently not with any actual victims.

Such a contrast to how Obama visited the families in Sandy Hook.
posted by daybeforetheday at 6:42 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Would have been good if any of them had gotten to tell the avatar of the forces that tried to murder them to fuck off though.

Imagine if he had met with this young woman?
posted by uncleozzy at 6:59 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


I live in Parkland, not too far from the school. Got texts from people that the shooter was on the loose in the area, and ended up in an interior room clutching my cellphone until the news came out that he was in custody. Harrowing.


Our community is devastated. The vigil last night was so full that people couldn't get in. Lots of funerals, today and tomorrow. Lots of us suddenly breaking into tears in the middle of unrelated conversations. Staggering amounts of rage here, too.

One thing I'm not seeing talked about much is that Parkland is, by and large, a very affluent community. There are a lot of available resources here...and it looks like they're mobilizing. Lots of politicos, lawyers, doctors, and highly placed corporate folks had their kids in this school, or attended themselves. Including some government officials. I'm hoping that the amount of connection and influence present in the community will be used as a lever for change. Couple this with the activism swell happening since the popular vote loser came into office, and maybe this time we'll move toward reform.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 8:29 PM on February 16 [33 favorites]


Meanwhile, on the opposite coast:
Two Santa Maria High School* students were investigated by police for social media posts sent out Thursday suggesting possible local gun violence.

The first incident took place Thursday morning when a ninth-grader posted a screenshot on SnapChat alluding to Wednesday’s Florida massacre, commenting “just wait until that same headline comes up on your mom’s television one day, but it will have Santa Maria High School instead, and over 500 dead.”

The second incident came from a 12th-grader who sent out an image Thursday night at about 11:30 p.m. of a handgun with the caption “F--- it!” Santa Maria police later determined the weapon was a BB gun pistol.

Police interviewed both students, who were not arrested because their posts didn’t meet the legal standard of criminal threats, police said.
*just up the coast from Santa Barbara
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:29 PM on February 16


This thing seems to have stirred up threats all over the place. In addition to the incidents above, there have been reports of threats to schools in MA and NJ.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:55 PM on February 16


CNN: Group chat messages show school shooter obsessed with race, violence and guns

Yet more evidence that this was a radicalized white nationalist.
posted by idiopath at 9:33 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


I found this cartoon tribute to Aaron Feis by Canadian artist Pia Guerra moving: Hero's Welcome.

I hope people will remember Coach Feis' name long after forgetting the shooter's.
posted by Harald74 at 9:34 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


And my deepest respect to math teacher Shanthi Viswanathan who used quick thinking and decisive action to keep her kids safe: A heroic math teacher saved her students during the Florida shooting by covering the classroom windows and refusing to let even the SWAT team in

Fortunately Mrs V is still with us, unlike many others.
posted by Harald74 at 9:45 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Marshall Ramsey of the Jackson, Miss. Clarion-Ledger also paid tribute to Coach Feis.

The thing that struck me about the "incidents" in Santa Maria was how both could be interpreted as veiled threats OR as anti-gun messages in easily misunderstood California-high-schooler snark. (I've had a lot of years dealing with that misunderstood snark... barely outgrew it myself)
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:04 PM on February 16




I keep seeing a tweet (that I can't locate at the moment) that shows two guns, almost indistinguishable from each other. One has the caption "Used in war", the other "Used in school shootings", with the inference that the weapons (AR15s and their like) shouldn't be available for sale to anyone who isn't in the military.

But the inference I get is you are at war, and White Supremisists have chosen their weapon of choice. The US is being pushed into a new civil war. That the militia are targeting safe-spaces like churches and schools is no mistake. The fact that they're preying on the young and the damaged is not a anomaly. These are tactics that have been used the world over by violent groups to gain control at any cost.

White supremacy has raised the stakes. They now have a man masquarding as the President, a government who masquerade as Christians for their own financial benefit, ICE acting on his wishes to chuck out perceived undesirables (non-white people) against your own laws, and an actual beneficiary from terrorist activities, the NRA, who has the GOP in their pocket.

I disagree with the defeatist attitude that "if not Sandy Hook then never". I really don't know what your options are because they all end with a lot more bloodshed, but the fact that your younger generation is fucking furious and has now decided to lead a fight is encouraging.

Support them, and get out of their way.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:01 AM on February 17 [16 favorites]


I'm hoping that the amount of connection and influence present in the community will be used as a lever for change.

I'd like to hope that, but I can't. Newtown, CT has a household median income of well over $100k (they're well within commuting distance of NYC), and all that money did nothing.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 6:08 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Support them, and get out of their way.

But like I said there's a serious effort to murder those young people so they can't create a cause, so make sure they're safe too.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:18 AM on February 17


As a high school teacher and speaking with other high school teachers, something else we worry about, besides being shot at work, is the absolutism that happens after a school shooting.

The murderer becomes a bad person, or a crazy person, or some other easily-digestible "other" so we can all ignore that mental health services for kids and teens is essentially non-existent and one of the cores of this issue. Call them crazy and we don't have to think about how to help them, right?

Then, teachers and staff who are murdered become elevated heroes and angels which then turns it all into this noble bullshit conversation. Like, if we talk about their fast pass to heaven, we can ignore that they were murdered at school and that is a thing that should not be happening.

These horrific situations which could be solved with better mental health services for kids and better gun control end up turning into the most basic angels and devils crap which just continues to completely miss the real problems at hand.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:34 AM on February 17 [19 favorites]


A simple question: would the US would need fewer mental health initiatives if they got rid of guns / implemented proper gun safety? Removing the threat of guns would make you safer, no?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:15 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


I think you are seriously over-estimating the spread and effectiveness of any school-based and/or child-focused mental health initiatives in the US. It's not like school systems are awash in mental health professionals. It's not an either/or situation. Reducing access to guns capable of high death counts is just step one, it certainly doesn't eliminate the need for more and better mental health care for kids (or adults, for that matter. )
posted by soundguy99 at 7:46 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Removing the threat of guns would make you safer, no?

In every country that has done this it is an unequivocal yes. You don't need a gun to be free. If you can't see that, you're part of the problem.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:14 AM on February 17 [16 favorites]




As the parent of a school-aged child, I basically just have to not think about it in order to function on the daily. I tell myself dumb bullshit in order to drop him off every morning: this kind of thing always happens in white suburbs, which is the opposite of his school; I know the school security is good because I have to run that gauntlet every morning and evening to drop him off and pick him up; his school is laid out like a rabbit warren, like a particularly difficult FPS level. It's all complete nonsense and deep down I know it, but I can't just stop my life and do what my instincts are telling me to do (gather my family, abandon our house and jobs and go back to Canada), and I can't let on to my son that I think any of these thoughts.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:15 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


CNN: Group chat messages show school shooter obsessed with race, violence and guns

The tone of the CNN headline and also how CNN chose to write the article is really horrifying.
He talked about killing Mexicans, keeping black people in chains and cutting their necks. The statements were not made in jest...

There are no indications in the group chat that any member, including Cruz, is or was part of a white nationalist or white supremacist group.
If you are part of a group white supremacist chat where people talk about hating black people, Jews, gay people, and people in interracial relationships, you are, by fucking definition, part of a white supremacist group. You may not be part of an organized and funded one, but you are part of a group that has chosen to withdraw from society to talk about your hate. You are a white supremacist group, and it doesn't matter if he is or isn't part of Republic or Florida, this is white supremacist terrorism and I would really like to know why the media is dancing around calling it that.
posted by corb at 9:23 AM on February 17 [40 favorites]


I think because a lot of orgs messed up so badly first time around and were tricked by another white supremacist group, they're a bit shy to call him a member of a WS group.
posted by Yowser at 9:44 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I know I don't need to tell MeFites this, but if you're an American citizen who wants the U.S. to have gun control, make it political suicide for a politician to support the NRA by making sure you never again vote for someone who takes donations from the NRA. Here's a list of senators & members of congress who took money from the NRA in 2015/2016. Vote them all out.
posted by orange swan at 9:48 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


I want to know if the shooter was a member of the NRA. I wouldn't be surprised if he were. He definitely learned to shoot at a JROTC marksmanship program that was funded by the NRA. It's actually sort of interesting to me that we never hear whether mass shooters were NRA members. I'm sure we would hear about their membership in any other organization that promoted a political agenda.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:22 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


Vote them all out.

Tammy Duckworth - $50. Uhhh, what? That doesn't make sense. Why would they give her $50?
posted by Justinian at 11:07 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


>Vote them all out.

Tammy Duckworth - $50. Uhhh, what? That doesn't make sense. Why would they give her $50?


Because it's not only a list of donations from the NRA:
This table lists candidates receiving money from this organization in 2015-2016. The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals may include subsidiaries and affiliates.
In other words: that $50 isn't necessarily from the NRA in any meaningful sense. Which isn't to say that it's not from the NRA, either; just that we need to be careful with data and assumptions.

Similarly, that list of direct donations from NRA PACs and related individuals completely misses the fact that the VAST majority of NRA campaign support doesn't come from direct campaign donations, but rather from direct NRA spending on their own campaign ads (not that they'll call them campaign ads, for legal reasons, but that's what they are). Look at the NRA's overall profile for 2016: a million in direct contributions. Fifty million in non-direct campaign contribution spending, much of which really was intended to boost or attack certain candidates for office. $50 is a rounding error next to $50 million -- even assuming that $50 was really from the NRA and not from an immediate family member who doesn't actually work for the NRA but still shows up on that report somehow.

Looking at the NRA's outside spending targeting candidates is going to be more helpful, in general, although even there an absolute line in the sand isn't particularly helpful: according to Open Secrets, the NRA spent $19,756,081 against Clinton's 2016 run -- and $265 for her run. Assuming that's accurate, $265 in support of Clinton is hardly a reason to vote against her; the $19 million (-ish) speaks a lot more loudly.

I get the appeal of an absolutist position, but the actual data tends to be messy and 'Vote out people who receive significant support from the NRA' would get you most of the way there. (Asking candidates to return donations from the NRA is also a thing, if the $50 or $265 really worries anyone.)
posted by cjelli at 11:43 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Apologies if someone has posted this and I missed it: assault weapon ban proposed.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 12:37 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


CNN announces town hall with students, parents affected by Florida shooting.

A hell of a speech from Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Emma Gonzalez at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale (link goes to Twitter video). Her fury gives me hope, not that some Republican lawmakers will feel even the smallest scintilla of shame, because lol they never, ever will, but that kids like Emma and the ones who hear her will take up the vanguard and help us vote those motherfuckers out.

I am really, really proud of these kids, even as I'm furious that this is what it's come to, teenagers having to advocate for their own right to not be murdered in school.
posted by yasaman at 12:55 PM on February 17 [33 favorites]


It's interesting: I've seen so many things on Twitter about how amazing these kids are, which is true, and how there must be something special in the water at that school, which I don't think is true at all. There were a bunch of kids from my local high school who volunteered with me for the Democrats during the 2016 elections, and these kids remind me of them. They were so smart and on-the-ball and sophisticated about politics, and they ended up taking on a lot of responsibility for running and organizing things, because they could totally handle it. I think there are a lot of really smart, engaged kids out there, and that gets lost in a lot of bullshit about the youth today with their smartphones and their Tide Pods and whatnot.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:10 PM on February 17 [14 favorites]


In the midst of this tragedy, it's worth taking note of the namesake of the school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. She was an extraordinary woman.

She was a journalist, writer and feminist. She wrote The Everglades: River of Grass in 1947 which was an ecological defense of the Everglades decades before ecology became a household word. Her book is regarded as being as influential for environmentalism as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring which came two decades later. She also worked on women's suffrage and civil rights. She lived to the age of 108, dying in 1998. The school was named in her honor in 1990.
posted by JackFlash at 1:19 PM on February 17 [27 favorites]


and how there must be something special in the water at that school

Anything to "other" them and remove oneself from concern about the issue. "Oh, that can't have anything to do with me, those kids are too special."
posted by rhizome at 1:50 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


I wonder how the NRA is going to try to ratfuck them.
posted by rhizome at 1:51 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Apologies if someone has posted this and I missed it: assault weapon ban proposed.

It's a nice gesture but there's no way it breaks filibuster and there's no way it hits the floor of the house. Any Republican that breaks ranks would be primaried out of their seat on a rail.

If anything does happen with that bill besides dying in committee I'll eat my left shoe.
posted by Talez at 1:58 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the risk is that nominal changes are suggested and they suck all the air out of real movements. The NRA (and their agents) would love to poison the cause with things that have already failed.
posted by rhizome at 2:01 PM on February 17


I've been trying to think up slogans, how does "ISIS is Iraq's NRA" work? Trying to be profoundly incisive, natch.
posted by rhizome at 2:03 PM on February 17


In Wake of Florida Massacre, Gun-Control Advocates Look to Connecticut

After Connecticut’s General Assembly passed the package of gun laws, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, signed it into law, gun-related deaths started to drop. According to the chief medical examiner’s office in Connecticut, the number of deaths resulting from firearms — including homicides, suicides and accidents — fell to 164 in 2016, from 226 in 2012.
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


I was asked to speak at a rally today with Massachusetts Congresswoman Katherine Clark. She hugged me and it was way cool. Here's what I said:

I'm a high school teacher and I'm angry. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry we are failing our children. Last week, before the mass murder in Florida, my students were reading Catcher in the Rye. I asked them to write Holden Caufield a letter.
Here is an excerpt of one letter:
"Dear Holden,
I’ve been getting concerned about your mental health recently. You’ve been talking about death for a while now. Talking about death is a sign that you need to see someone, and I know how much you dislike adults, but trust me on this one. There are people who can help you keep dark thoughts out of your head, and make sure you stay safe. There are places that can help you calm down when in you are in danger. People can help you get rid of any depressing thoughts and your thoughts of death. There are people who will help you become a much happier person. I won't give up on you."

Kids don't give up on each other. But kids are dying and it's because we're failing them. I say to you as a teacher, we are failing our children.

Parents expect their kids to come home with too much homework, come home feeling stressed, come home overwhelmed at times. But now, parents can just be happy if their kids come home alive. Something is wrong and we are failing our kids.

Schools should not need to have active shooter drills. Schools are failing kids with mental health issues. We can't provide mental health support but instead provide access to automatic weapons.

I'm a teacher who's tired of failing my students. I'm angry that schools don't have proper safety nets for kids who need help. I'm angry at administrators who put test scores above child safety. I'm angry that kids in crisis don't know where to turn. I'm angry that our government is willing to let children die.

I'm angry that a gun lobby has a louder voice than children hiding in a closet, listening as their friends are murdered and wondering if they're next. I'm a teacher. I'm angry. And I'm sorry.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:48 PM on February 17 [47 favorites]


I adore Katherine Clark. She's one of the politicians I follow on social media and she's been consistently outspoken abut gun control. This video made the rounds again on my FB feed.
posted by Ruki at 3:33 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


I don't know if anyone posted this above, haven't read through the whole thread. It's a really powerful piece by a young engineer, parent, veteran.
posted by mareli at 4:44 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I checked first to see if this had been posted:
On Friday, April 20th we want students to attend school and then promptly WALK-OUT at 10:00 am. Sit outside your schools and peacefully protest. Make some noise. Voice your thoughts. "We are students, we are victims, we are change."
@SchoolWalkoutUS (10:05 PM - 16 Feb 2018)

That's the anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
posted by XtinaS at 6:10 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


If people start walking out on the anniversary of EVERY schools shooting, there wont be much schooling, something will change pretty quickly
posted by mbo at 6:13 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


I'm really glad to see the #walkout thing on Twitter. It's something and it helps. "Helps" meaning it makes me feel better. I retweeted it at my principal. Maybe that's not okay but that's what he gets for following my personal account. My school got a threat last week. Thirty percent of my students were absent on Monday because of that threat. Lots of my students asked me how I would defend them and I told them. Then another threat for 2/14 and 2 high schools in my area were locked down and I knew because former students of mine are older siblings of my current students and they called, FaceTimed or texted wanting to talk to me because I can't lie, I'm a fucking Lakota Truth Speaker, those kids know that I will tell them the truth so if I tell them, "Stay put, stay in the gym, just wait. That's the safest thing to do." They believe me. I can't tell you how true that Tumblr post was: I didn't know that my teachers loved me but MY students fucking KNOW that I love them and will defend them to death. It's not right though: I do NOT get paid enough to be anyone's human shield against an AR-15. I didn't get into this business to be anyone's human shield or monster killer but it's where I'm at and it's what I've got to do because I love my students. I love all of them.

I'm sick to death of this. I was done with Sandy Hook. I'm ready for us to go and get all the guns and neutralize them. I'm the single mommy monster killer for my little angel 8 yr old but it's too much to ask that I also be the monster killer for 125 students, children who do not actually belong to me. You're asking too much of me, America, and not fucking paying me enough for all this fucking bullshit that You want me to deal with.

Anyway, I'm posting this because I'm fed the fuck up and only feel like I can say that here and also I'm really grateful for other secondary educators who've chimed in and made me feel less alone.
posted by blessedlyndie at 7:12 PM on February 17 [37 favorites]


To the teachers in this thread who have voiced their thoughts - you guys are fucking rad. You should be paid all the money. You should have a national holiday. And you for sure shouldn't have to decide how/if you would take a bullet for your students because no one should have to decide how or if they would take a bullet for school children. This is not normal. It is fucked up. You should not have to run mass shooting drills. This is not normal. It is fucked up. You should not have to make speeches begging for gun control and your students should not have to walk out of school to demonstrate how serious they are about not wanting to get shot. This is not normal. It is fucked up.
posted by supercrayon at 8:34 PM on February 17 [19 favorites]


2nd Amendment absolutists always talk about how gun control isn't going to work, but today I was wondering: what are some examples of gun control laws that failed? I guess by "fail" I mean "caused a rise in gun crimes," but it just seemed to me that all of the gun control laws, worldwide, have basically always worked. Of course, stated aims can be unsatisfied, but have they ever made crime worse, or oppression? Unless it's all just "Hitler," has a government banned guns before starting in on massacring the populace, as part of the strategy?
posted by rhizome at 8:51 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Oh, that Tumblr post from that teacher, XtinaS...
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:45 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Snopes: A Little Gun History.

Final paragraph,
"Based on the actual evidence at hand, we find it reasonable to conclude that gun confiscations, facilitated by laws requiring the registration and/or licensing of firearms, played a crucial role in the carrying out of twentieth-century genocides. However, gun control per se — properly defined as a set of laws regulating gun ownership that can range from minimally restrictive to outright prohibitive — is neither a cause nor even a reliable predictor of mass exterminations, whereas the presence of a repressive military dictatorship most certainly is."
And if you read the article, those confiscations were targeted at populations either already marked for elimination or in the middle of actively resisting the repressive dictator.

So the absolutists' position is 90% bullshit, 10% misinterpretation of history.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:50 PM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Thanks, Snopes is not where I would have thought to go!
posted by rhizome at 9:55 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]




Charlie Kirk @charliekirk11
The @NRA is the only organization in America that gets routinely blamed for things their members did not do

abdul @Advil
as someone named Abdul i’ll never understand what it’s like to be generalized by the actions of a few. must be rough, thank you for sharing your story.

Also, just fuck right off, Charlie Kirk and your NRA-astroturfed Turning Point USA 501(c)(3) shill: AP—Shooting Suspect Was On School Rifle Team That Got NRA Grant
Records show that the Stoneman Douglas JROTC program received $10,827 in non-cash assistance from the NRA’s fundraising and charitable arm in 2016, when Cruz was on the squad. The school’s program publicly thanked the NRA Foundation on its Twitter feed.

A spokeswoman for the NRA declined to comment on Friday. The top officers of the foundation are all current or former executives of the NRA.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:46 AM on February 18 [3 favorites]


The Parkland students are calling for a march on Washington on March 24
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:48 AM on February 18 [8 favorites]


This letter to my local paper hit me pretty hard this morning:
Every new mass shooting reinforces the fact that America doesn't care

“I want to shoot people with my AR-15” is reported to be a videorecorded quote, posted on a social media site, from Wednesday’s mass killer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

I believe at this point — following the mass shooting at the Florida school, after the shootings at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, at Pulse in Orlando, at the Christmas party in San Bernardino, at Virginia Tech, at Columbine High School — I can speak for the totality of our country, through the experiences cited here and others:

We don’t care.

To be sure, there will be thoughts and prayers, tears, petitions and lamentations that there were no good guys with guns on the scene, but that doesn’t change that we as a country do not care.

Clearly, when mass shootings occur closer to home — a ranch house in Stanton Heights, a backyard in Wilkinsburg, the Ronald Taylor and Richard Baumhammers rampages — we will raise our reaction to a more empathetic level of not caring.

We should care enough to keep semi-automatic weapons of war, bump stock automatic-fire attachments and armor-piercing bullets out of the hands of aspiring killers and care enough to close the loopholes that allow those who have forfeited the right to bear arms to purchase them. Some will respond that no change in law will be perfect — but explain how this status quo is preferable.

The next American mass shooting may take scores of lives in Wisconsin, Georgia, Massachusetts or Oregon, or in Butler, Washington, Fayette or Allegheny County, in your movie theater, workplace, church or school. It may take the life of your spouse, parent, son or daughter. Rest assured that your country will say to you:

We don’t care.
posted by octothorpe at 7:58 AM on February 18 [15 favorites]


It's worse than that. We say to your face how much we care, and then continue to do -nothing-.
posted by Archelaus at 11:20 AM on February 18 [2 favorites]


If people start walking out on the anniversary of EVERY schools shooting, there wont be much schooling, something will change pretty quickly

Yeah. Red state legislatures will make laws against walking out of school during school hours and start sending the kids to prison.
posted by Talez at 11:28 AM on February 18 [6 favorites]


Have you learnt nothing Talez?!? Don't tempt The Writers
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:33 AM on February 18 [2 favorites]


If anyone wants to follow the student organizers on Twitter, their public twitter account seems to be @NeverAgainMSD.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:57 PM on February 18 [6 favorites]


Guardian: Rapid fire rifle device on special offer in salute to Trump

‘Bump stock’ used by Las Vegas shooter in promotional tie in with presidential campaign slogan
posted by porn in the woods at 6:30 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Yeah. Red state legislatures will make laws against walking out of school during school hours and start sending the kids to prison.
posted by Talez at 3:28 AM on February 19 [3 favorites +] [!]


1. Obtain civics teachers. (check)
2. Obtain rebellious angsty teenagers. (check)
3. Make civics classes mandatory. (check)
4. Introduce real-life civil engagement as valid educational strategy (check)
5. Find Republican scandal, make lesson plan (it's the GOP, none of them are clean, so, check)
6. Aim teenagers at Republican lawmakers
7. If teenagers are ineffective, apply reminder of who refuses to f**king pass gun control legislation ("Now kids, about that active shooter drill we just had, let's take a look at this slide of which of your legislators voted against gun control, which ones took substantial NRA donations, and which ones have little prosecutable flurries of shady dealings with local businesses going on...")
8. PROFIT!!! (from avoided grift and lifetime GDP of people not murdered, because lives saved isn't a good enough argument to stop gun proliferation I guess, maybe monetary terms will work, who knows)
posted by saysthis at 7:14 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure if maybe everyone is thinking about this but we're not supposed to say it out loud yet, or if maybe it's just too far down the road to be discussing it yet, but it's been giving me some optimism/daydream fodder: after we make the manufacture and retail sale of these weapons illegal, we're all gonna start buying them up on the used market in order to destroy them en masse, right?
posted by contraption at 8:20 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


> After we make the manufacture and retail sale of these weapons illegal, we're all gonna start buying them up on the used market in order to destroy them en masse, right?

"Australia had buyback programs in 1996 and 2003. Both programs were temporary and involved compensation paid to owners of firearms made illegal by gun law changes and surrendered to the government. Bought back firearms were destroyed."
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:42 AM on February 19 [5 favorites]


And for jaded cynics like me ("If nothing happened after Sandy Hook, nothing will happen after this either") here's a different perspective:

WaPo Analysis: Why Parkland students have emerged as a powerful political voice
For a generation that grew up preparing for mass shootings the way those who are older grew up with fire drills, this shooting is part of an endemic problem that’s been with them their whole lives. ... This is the first premeditated mass shooting at this scale that involved people who both grew up entirely in a world in which mass shootings were common and which targeted people old enough to have a voice.
Which, if I think about it for more than 5 seconds, is its own unique tragedy and reduces me to tears, but...
“This world-weary defeatism is self-fulfilling in its own way.” ... In the wake of the massacre, they made this point plainly on social media and in interviews: Something can be done, and yet you haven’t done it. It was not a complaint about intractability; it was a complaint about inaction.

posted by RedOrGreen at 8:49 AM on February 19 [12 favorites]


They'll be active voters in 2020
posted by infini at 9:38 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Some of them will be active voters in 2018.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:05 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


I am with you in theory, but look how that worked out for the Black Panthers. They will find a way to control POC and other undesirables trying to gun up.

I thought that the racist history of modern gun control laws was common knowledge, but in conversation just now I found out that my coworkers had no idea, so just in case there are MeFites who are unfamiliar with it too, here are some resources:

The Atlantic: The Secret History of Guns

Al Jazeera: Gun control's racist past and present

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership: "No Guns for Negroes" Part 1, Part 2

That's why I'm skeptical that any new gun control measures won't also be structured in such a way as to have a disparate impact on black, Hispanic, and Muslim people. If nothing else, gun control laws can be selectively enforced against minorities, which seems likely given that white supremacists have been deliberately infiltrating law enforcement for over a decade.

I hope that the Democrats and other progressives' thirst for new gun control legislation doesn't lead to inadvertently throwing PoCs and religious minorities under the bus. Please be very very wary of any proposals with "bipartisan" support because it seems very unlikely that Republicans will support anything that would actually white men or gun manufacturers.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:37 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Can't worry about the 2nd amendment not applying to black people if there's no 2nd Amendment.

How about we actively work against proliferation of guns AND widespread racism?

👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on February 19 [17 favorites]


So there's a video out on CNN now of the shooter "practicing" outside his house. It's a very short clip and he's just randomly firing a handgun in a ridiculous manner. What struck me was how the CNN anchor quips that "it's probably a bb gun judging from the sound" and that just reminded me that people don't know what real guns sound like because of movies and stuff. The recoil sure makes it look like at least a 22 caliber.
posted by odinsdream at 11:36 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


That's why I'm skeptical that any new gun control measures won't also be structured in such a way as to have a disparate impact on black, Hispanic, and Muslim people.

As opposed to now, when there is, in fact, gun control for black, Hispanic, and Muslim people, in the sense that the police literally feel justified in executing them if they believe them to have guns?
posted by maxsparber at 12:42 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


Rolling Stone: 4 Pro-Gun Arguments We're Sick of Hearing
posted by Artw at 1:14 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


November 2013: Fla. School District Trying To Curb School-To-Prison Pipeline

Broward County. The article claims it was just for "nonviolent misdemeanors" but I wonder if the policy change is why Cruz wasn't prosecuted for stalking, fighting, bringing bullets to school, etc.?
posted by Jacqueline at 1:48 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Authorities Were Called To Alleged Florida School Shooter Nikolas Cruz's House More Than 35 Times

It certainly sounds like there was enough going on for a domestic violence conviction but he wasn't even arrested.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:54 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


> Jacqueline:
"November 2013: Fla. School District Trying To Curb School-To-Prison Pipeline"

Yeah, because with all the other things schools are tasked with fixing, pencil supplies, drug possession, sexting, Common Core...prosecutorial priorities are surely the next important thing.
posted by rhizome at 2:03 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


I sort of suspect that the educational practice of stitching up minority students for escalating disciplinary actions and the practice of not reporting relationship violence against women likely share some of the same root causes.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 2:16 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Artw: "Rolling Stone: 4 Pro-Gun Arguments We're Sick of Hearing"

I've been sick of those arguments for at least thirty years.
posted by octothorpe at 2:40 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


But if Rolling Stone is on the case then hopefully now even Boomers are sick of them.
posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Outside White House, teens demonstrate for gun control after school shooting

Get them cookies, doctor's notes, lawyers, and solidarity walkouts and protests stat.

And if someone so much as mouths the first syllable of "millenials" I swear I'm gonna ooh boy I dunno what but it ain't gonna be pretty. I'm banning words that start with "m" in solidarity with the...the...activists who are trying to _ake this country a better place, the people who the adults need to go stand with now.
posted by saysthis at 4:05 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


About 300 high-school and junior-high-school kids staged a solidarity walkout and march (twitter link: sorry, but it has the best pictures) in Iowa City, IA today. As far as I can tell, it was completely organized by students, and the idea originated at one of the junior high schools. Local news story.
And if someone so much as mouths the first syllable of "millenials" I swear I'm gonna ooh boy I dunno what but it ain't gonna be pretty.
Kids in high school right now aren't millennials. They're whatever comes after the millennials, and apparently they're kind of amazing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:17 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


I just scrolled down past the new-comment box to the Related Posts box. I am having a despair right now.
posted by XtinaS at 4:32 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


They're Gen Z, not Millennials. Millennials are turning 40.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:38 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


not yet?

The earliest millennials were born in '80, and I think quite a few of them would bristle at turning 40 two years early?
posted by anem0ne at 5:29 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Different demographers use different start years, ranging from 1976 to 1980.

I'm definitely a Millennial wrt typical Millennial characteristics and I was born in 1978.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:43 PM on February 19


A millenial is a person who likes The Sandlot more than The Bad News Bears.
posted by rhizome at 6:23 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]


what generation are you, there, a definitive answer
posted by XtinaS at 6:27 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


I hope that kids all across this country walk out of their schools and stay out until the revolution comes.

P.S. As always, when talking about generations, ignore Strauss & Howe and seek out Joshua Glenn.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:28 PM on February 19


Christ on toast, NYT
The anger inevitably gets directed at the N.R.A., those who support gun rights, and the politicians who refuse to do anything while children die.

Many of us walked this emotional path. But we may end up doing more harm than good. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it is that guns have become a cultural flash point in a nation that is unequal and divided. The people who defend gun rights believe that snobbish elites look down on their morals and want to destroy their culture. If we end up telling such people that they and their guns are despicable, they will just despise us back and dig in their heels.

So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points.

posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:03 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points.

FUCK OFF, NYT. What the ACTUAL FUCK do they think we've been DOING for the past two decades??????? Red America has led us straight into the slaughter and always will. Their turn is fucking over.
posted by yasaman at 9:14 PM on February 19 [31 favorites]


This, from the amazing New York Times opinion page that I've heard so much about?
posted by rhizome at 9:14 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Big suprise that the NYT solution to gun violence... is to show more respect for gun violence. Way to go, nazi-huggers!
posted by Artw at 9:46 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


I really want to know what fucking happened to the NYT. Have they always been like this and I just hadn't noticed? I just always imagined them to be reputable
posted by flatluigi at 12:46 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Have they always been like this and I just hadn't noticed?

Pretty much, yeah.
posted by flabdablet at 3:21 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


As of right now, there are THREE planned national protests.

March 14, National School Walkout
at 10:00 am. The Women's March Youth Empower group is asking for all students and staff to walk out of their schools nationwide at 10:00, for 17 minutes, one minute for each person killed at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School.

March 24, March for Our Lives--students, educators and anyone else who wants to join will march on Washington and cities across America (there's one planned in Boston).

April 20, National School Walkout, led and organized by students. This is the anniversary of the Columbine murders.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:30 AM on February 20 [10 favorites]


>FUCK OFF, NYT. What the ACTUAL FUCK do they think we've been DOING for the past two decades???????

It's an op-ed by David Brooks specifically, not on behalf of the NYT as a whole or even the editorial page as a whole. The news side of the NYT has written, consistently, articles that directly undercut and refute Brooks claims and arguments (some of those articles have already been linked in this thread).

That being said, the NYT has spent basically two decades continually employing David Brooks to write op-eds like this, so. There's a lot that's wrong on the editorial side, and that has been wrong on the editorial side, and the NYT is long overdue in fixing it, which really is entirely on them as an institution.
posted by cjelli at 5:11 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


NYT opinion page is separate from the news desk, but has always been the East Coast home of the most scorching of hot takes by conservative pundits.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:55 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]




I’m joining whatever political party those kids in Florida just started
@RheaButcher (6:18 PM - 16 Feb 2018)
posted by XtinaS at 6:29 AM on February 20 [23 favorites]


In the UK, we had a school shooting in 1996. We banned handguns, and we've never allowed assault weapons. We've never had another mass shooting
Gun crime does exist, in a very small way, but mass shootings? No. We solved that. Of course restrictions on gun ownership reduce gun violence. Of course they do. No one is trying to claim that gun control laws will instantly eliminate all violent crime, but it has been proved again and again and again that it massively reduces it. How is that not a good outcome?
People don't want it to work, because if they accepted that it did, they'd have to openly admit that they just don't care. They just don't care as much about a generation of dead, injured and traumatised children as they do about their murder toys.
And you know, I'm in the UK and I am a gun owner. I'm a reenactor, and we have a fully functional gun in the house. It's a barrel loading musket and fires about four rounds a minute if you're really good at it, but you could shoot someone with it. We have to have a licence, renewed every few years, and to be able to prove that we store it securely. It's not a big deal. Gun control doesn't have to mean No More Bang-Related Fun Times For Anyone. It means if you want to own a weapon, you have to jump through a hoop or two to show you're capable of acting like a grown responsible adult about it.
posted by BlueNorther at 7:13 AM on February 20 [16 favorites]




.
posted by mikelieman at 7:34 AM on February 20


I'm sure that gun's actual owner was a nice, responsible, reasonable gun owner.
posted by anem0ne at 8:03 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]




@elongrwe:
Part of why the Parkland students are so effective is they're assigning blame. They're saying YOU are the cause of this problem. As opposed to "we" or "America" or "humanity," which is the usual lazy posturing.

These kids have identified the cause of the atrocity.


@sethdmichaels:
it's organizing 101: your target is a *person*, with a *name*, who has made a *decision* and could decide differently. blaming "politics" is useless, cowardly and demoralizing.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on February 20 [24 favorites]


The flipside, of course, is that the enemy does the same thing in considerably dirtier fashion.
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on February 20


The same people that said 13 and 14 year olds were perfectly mature enough to date Roy Moore are now saying 17 and 18 year olds are too immature to have opinions on gun control.

those same people will do anything to protect "the kids" from trans people using bathrooms while simultaneously refusing to consider that maybe guns don't need to be everywhere, so.

i don't think the people saying that shit really have a viewpoint that needs to be heard, david brooks notwithstanding.

especially since trans people have killed far, far, far fewer children than guns owned by responsible, reasonable gunowners, let alone unreasonable ones.
posted by anem0ne at 2:20 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


I've seen some tweets making the rounds, reminding folks that 17 year olds can register to vote as long as they'll be 18 by election day. Mefites who work with or have 17 year olds, assemble!
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:22 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


In the wake of the Florida legislature's refusal to ban assault rifles, Republican ghoul Dinesh D'Souza has taken to Twitter to figuratively dance on the graves of murdered children.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:24 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


*convicted felon dinesh d'souza
posted by anem0ne at 2:26 PM on February 20 [19 favorites]


Welp, I got myself a little Twitter timeout responding to Dinesh and noted pond scum Lucian Wintrich. These folks are absolutely revolting.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:34 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


let me guess--twitter isn't taking down d'souza's vile tweet?
posted by anem0ne at 2:35 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


It's still there. I sent him a few choice obscenities. It may be on its way to getting ratio'd, though; comments have doubled in the last few minutes.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:38 PM on February 20


How Banks Could Control Gun Sales if Washington Won’t (Andrew Ross Sorkin, NYT)
[…] Visa, which published a 71-page paper in 2016 espousing its 'corporate responsibility,' could easily change its terms of service to say that it won’t do business with retailers that sell assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, which make semiautomatic rifles fire faster. (Even the National Rifle Association has said it would support tighter restrictions on bump stocks.)

If Mastercard were to do the same, assault weapons would be eliminated from virtually every firearms store in America because otherwise the sellers would be cut off from the credit card system.

There is precedent for credit card issuers to ban the purchase of completely legal products. Just this month, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America banned the use of their cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

To be clear: Those three banks won’t let you use your credit card to buy Bitcoin, but they will happily let you use it to buy an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle — the same kind of gun used in mass shootings in Parkland; Newtown, Conn.; San Bernardino, Calif.; Las Vegas; and Sutherland Springs, Tex.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:46 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Looks like D'Souza's execrable tweets were taken down immediately after I reported them. You're welcome, world.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:53 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


It's too bad Twitter thinks he has anything of value to say.
posted by anem0ne at 2:58 PM on February 20


theyre still up as far as I can tell . . .
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:58 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Supreme Court leaves in place California's 10-day wait for gun buyers, rejects 2nd Amendment challenge:
The Supreme Court made clear again Tuesday that the government has broad power to restrict and regulate firearms, dismissing a 2nd Amendment challenge to California's 10-day waiting period for new gun purchases.

While the court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns, the justices have repeatedly refused to go further by blocking strict gun regulations, including state bans on the sale of semi-automatic weapons or limits on who can carry a weapon in public.
Justice Thomas's dissent relies on the well-know conservative legal tactic of whataboutery, Clarence Thomas, in Dissent, Asserts Gun Rights Aren't 'Favored' at High Court:
“If this case involved one of the court’s more favored rights, I sincerely doubt we would have denied certiorari,” Thomas wrote. “I suspect that four members of this court would vote to review a 10-day waiting period for abortions, notwithstanding a state’s purported interest in creating a ‘cooling off’ period. I also suspect that four members of this court would vote to review a 10-day waiting period on the publication of racist speech, notwithstanding a state’s purported interest in giving the speaker time to calm down.”
posted by peeedro at 2:58 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


lol its like he doesn't even know that financial institutions only care about "corporate responsibility" when it doesn't impact their bottom line.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:03 PM on February 20


*convicted felon dinesh d'souza

At least that means the jackass can't buy any guns!
posted by zabuni at 3:10 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I mean technically he COULD (extra-legally) buy one online/at a gun show, as long as the non-dealer seller didn't have reasonable belief he was a felon BECAUSE THIS IS A GIANT LOOPHOLE THAT OBAMA NOTED AFTER NEWTOWN and nothing has been done about it.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 3:15 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


I mean technically he COULD (extra-legally) buy one online/at a gun show, as long as the non-dealer seller didn't have reasonable belief he was a felon BECAUSE THIS IS A GIANT LOOPHOLE THAT OBAMA NOTED AFTER NEWTOWN and nothing has been done about it.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:15 AM on February 21 [3 favorites +] [!]


I feel like there's room for activism here, in which people to go gun shows dressed like felons, buy guns, and then plaster video all over the internet as bait to prosecute gun dealers. What do I mean by dressed like felons? Exactly. It'll be like knocking out a killer robot by jamming a power main into its chest.

If this is not feasible, or if there is actual guidance out there for what "doesn't have reasonable belief purchaser is a felon" means, I'd love to see it.
posted by saysthis at 3:34 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Looks like D'Souza's execrable tweets were taken down immediately after I reported them. You're welcome, world.

I think Twitter hides tweets from you as soon as you report them.
posted by BeginAgain at 3:40 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Litmus test - put your money where your mouth is. Florida real estate developer Al Hoffman and big time Republican donor says he won't support Republican candidates unless they support a national ban on assault weapons.
It's weird to feel positive about the influence of money in politics.
posted by spamandkimchi at 3:41 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]




Florida House votes down motion to take up weapons ban with Douglas students present - Final vote was 36-71 on first day of lobbying for students

I lobby the Florida legislature on environmental issues. I was in the building when this went down. The vote was a party-line vote.

The Republican-majority House voted to refuse to debate an assault weapons ban with dozens of high-school students from Parkland and elsewhere in Florida watching. The sound of the kids weeping was audible outside House chambers.

The same body voted that porn is a health risk today.

The Florida House: More concerned about porn than kids getting killed.

I mean, fuck these people.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:01 PM on February 20 [49 favorites]


Dinesh has managed to pull off a rare feat: getting disinvited from CPAC for being too much of a shitbag.
posted by delfin at 5:26 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


NYT opinion page is separate from the news desk

Oddly enough, I have seen the very same point made by people defending the "objectivity" of Fucks News.
posted by flabdablet at 5:41 PM on February 20


I have to think that D'Souza is like this only because he can't bring himself to get a job at Target, which I suspect is the only other job he could get.
posted by rhizome at 5:51 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I read D'Souza's tweets and I want to break stuff.

*deep breath*

Instead, I am going to write a note tomorrow to the kids at Stoneman Douglas High, as requested by their teacher Diane Wolk-Rogers. Even if it's an Internet hoax (which I don't think it is), I am going to do it anyway:
I was contacted on Facebook by a teacher from Stoneman Douglas High in Florida. She would love it if her students had letters of support when they return. Please send to:

Diane Wolk-Rogers
Stoneman Douglas High School
5901 Pine Island Road
Parkland, Florida 33076
Stamps are cheap, yo, and these kids are awesome.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:23 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


(They may now asking for laminated banners to hang up, or a GoFundMe contribution, but I am sure a postcard can't hurt.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:32 PM on February 20


I feel like there's room for activism here, in which people to go gun shows dressed like felons, buy guns, and then plaster video all over the internet as bait to prosecute gun dealers.

A former co-worker did exactly this last Friday. He and a friend went around NYC with hidden cameras as different versions of "The Worst Person You Could Sell a Gun To" looking to see how easy it is to buy a gun. Looking forward to the finished product.
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:36 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I hope it doesn't resemble James O'Keefe's work.
posted by rhizome at 8:21 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


Florida Republican's aide fired for false suggestion shooting survivors are actors (Sam Levin, Guardian)
Benjamin Kelly, an aide to Republican state representative Shawn Harrison, was terminated after a reporter published his email attacking the students who have become vocal advocates for stricter gun laws after surviving the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school massacre that killed 17 people last week.

Kelly emailed a Tampa Bay Times reporter on Tuesday, saying two of the outspoken high schoolers “are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen”. When asked for evidence, Kelly sent a link to a YouTube conspiracy video targeting one of the students, the newspaper reported.

Late Tuesday, Harrison announced that Kelly had been fired and said he was “appalled at and strongly denounce his comments”, adding that he was “sorry for any pain this has caused the grieving families of this tragedy”.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:40 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Now if only Jack Kingston was also fired for that scummy as fuck conspiracy theory.
posted by flatluigi at 9:02 PM on February 20


dressed like felons
...
"The Worst Person You Could Sell a Gun To"


I'm wondering how one does this without engaging in a lot of classist and racist stereotypes?
posted by Jacqueline at 5:18 AM on February 21 [10 favorites]


dressed like felons
...
"The Worst Person You Could Sell a Gun To"

I'm wondering how one does this without engaging in a lot of classist and racist stereotypes?
posted by Jacqueline at 9:18 PM on February 21 [1 favorite +] [!]


I'm not sure one can, but hopefully it's done in a way that exposes the biases that make a "reasonable belief" standard unreliable. I don't know what a felon looks like until I see a police record, and neither do you. If they're judging by looks, we have a problem.
posted by saysthis at 5:40 AM on February 21


The person doing the video is a comedian and performance artist. "The Worst Person You Could Sell a Gun To" will definitely engage in classist and racial stereotypes. I think the point is to a) see how easy it is to buy a gun b) see whether classist and racial stereotypes change how easy it is to buy a gun.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:58 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I don't know what a felon looks like until I see a police record, and neither do you. If they're judging by looks, we have a problem.

Isn't that the point of the exercise?

Have a bunch of people in their normal clothes, plus a bunch of people (who are not felons) dressed in way that would tweak a racist's ideal of Felon, and then compare the results. It's literally a blind experiment on the gun-sellers then, right?

(On Preview: apparently yes, this is exactly the point.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:00 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Conservatives attacking children directly has a grimly positive implication, that they're totally desperate, for lack of real arguments. I mean, I like to think I could muster up sympathy for the survivors of a massacre even if those survivors went pure-white-xenophobe and declared the problem was immigration. (Heck, I know that's how I felt when some bereaved families have stood with Trump as he ranted about the "illegals" responsible for loved ones' deaths.) Like, surely it's possible to say some grieving people are simply very mistaken, without resorting to harsh personal jabs?

But thinking about this more, it's not merely the absence of real defensible pro-gun arguments. These people have been playing the "liberal snowflake tears game" for a long while now; mocking some devastated kids is the logical result, as a goal in itself. I bet a few these right-wing creeps are grateful for this opportunity to smear children in a context where a maximum number of people find it horrifying. Less sympathetic victims would mean less general shock from Middle/White America, and hence less of an opportunity for some smirk-faced "my facts trounce your feelings" vice-signaling.

To put it another way... conservatives had an even more widespread and intensely hateful villification of Trayvon Martin, a high-schooler who was outright killed. The current smear campaign seems uglier to the nation in part because fewer Americans implicitly identify with the person who originally pulled the trigger. (Not that other factors are unimportant: the staggering death toll, the national sense of weariness with school shootings, the survivors' ability to vocally fight back, etc.)

And as a tangent from that... trying to make an even marginally race-related argument for gun control, on a neutral stage, can and will backfire. Even the whitest whites are mostly receptive to the notion of abolishing the AR-15 without anyone needing to inform them that black people can buy them. Plus, gun dealers can't be "baited" into breaking the law in so dramatic a way that they'll be prosecuted; the whole problem is the laws lack teeth. We need to change the law enough that dealers feel real fear at the possibility of breaking it.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:25 AM on February 21 [16 favorites]


"And these children, that you spit on as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware what they're going through." - D. Bowie

I am insanely proud of these kids. This link is of ACT UP laying our bodies (I am in that photo) in front of the white house compared with the kids this week laying their bodies down.

Our friends and lovers and sisters and brothers were dying.
Their friends and lovers and sisters and brothers are dying.

We knew the government was doing nothing when there was so much to be done.
They know the government is doing more than nothing when there is so much to be done.

We were angry and sad and put that anger and sadness into action.
They are angry and sad and putting that anger and sadness into action.

Bless them. Their grief and anger will save us all. I would do anything to assist them.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:51 AM on February 21 [37 favorites]


Trump is scheduled to have a "listening session" with the shooting survivors this afternoon. Is that going to be in person? Or via some sort of tele/videoconference so that a WH staffer is able to hold down the mute button on his end?

If it's in person, I hope there's live TV coverage because it's going to be a total shitshow. Unless the student participants are VERY carefully hand-picked by GOP operatives, they are going to eat him alive.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:06 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I don't know what a felon looks like until I see a police record, and neither do you. If they're judging by looks, we have a problem.

Then I hope their "experiment" / performance piece / whatever they're calling it includes actual felons in suits and ties trying to buy guns too. It's NYC, after all -- I'm sure you can find plenty of "white collar" felons who already own the necessary attire. (What are the Enron folks up to these days?)
posted by Jacqueline at 9:10 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Right, Jacqueline -- a real test, gathering real data! Which gun people hate!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:31 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Right, Jacqueline -- a real test, gathering real data! Which gun people hate!

Hey, I'm "gun people" and I think the ban on federal funds for gun violence research is bullshit. I also don't think that gun manufacturers should be protected against product liability lawsuits. Neither are in the interest of actual gun owners.

Stupid laws like that are one of the reasons I hate the NRA -- they lobby to protect the interest of the gun industry, not gun owners. Like with many other industries, the best interests of the producers and consumers are not always aligned, and it's ridiculous that the NRA gets away with claiming they protect the latter when they are really all about the former.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:37 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


While I'm sure it will be tough for them I hope the Sandy Hook parents bring talk at length about Trump's endorsement of Alex Jones by appearing on his show. I would hope that Trump has no actual idea who Jones actually is (but if he does it makes it a lot worse I guess); that he was merely told to appear on some talk radio show by Bannon/Miller and on finding out about how Jones tormented Sandy Hook parents it drives him into another apopleptic rage and another round of White House firings.
posted by PenDevil at 9:55 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping for a coordinated walk-out on Trump if there's a listening session. Just everyone involved standing up right in the middle of his innane, useless speaking to walk out and march to an impromptu press conference while media files out with them leaving him and his crew in the dust.
posted by odinsdream at 10:03 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Forced myself to watch FOX News' take on the walkout just now. The anchor's talking to fake Parkland high school student David Hogg (Narrator voice: He's an actual Parkland high school student).

Her take on the student's claim that it's time for sensible gun laws: Well, good news, classmate of dead gun violence victims! President Trump's tweet about how the shooter was obviously mentally ill proves he's making "greater strides" on this issue than presidents before him!

I'm on a work laptop, so I closed the tab at this point to avoid smashing it to bits in frustration.
posted by Rykey at 10:13 AM on February 21


And sorry to threadsit, but:

I'm hoping for a coordinated walk-out on Trump if there's a listening session.

Nobody who's not a fucking moron (so, not Trump) would ever set this "listening" session up as anything other than seven or eight hand-picked students in a small, controlled room. I hope I'm wrong—I'd love to see Trump called out in only the way high school kids can do it—but it seems unlikely.
posted by Rykey at 10:17 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I'm hoping for a coordinated walk-out on Trump if there's a listening session.

Walking out would be such a waste of the opportunity. I'm hoping they DRAG HIM.

"President Trump humiliated on live TV by high school students" would make for such a lovely headline.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:25 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Unless the student participants are VERY carefully hand-picked by GOP operatives, they are going to eat him alive.

Then he'll try to fire them.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:29 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Trump is scheduled to have a "listening session" with the shooting survivors this afternoon.

I can't believe they're going through with this. Even up until yesterday they hadn't confirmed whether survivors from Parkland would be in attendance, only that there would be high school students and teachers.

This is a terrible idea for Trump. Really not good. There is a disturbingly high chance this is an epic disaster.
posted by Justinian at 10:30 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


@KevinMKruse: "When nine black teenagers integrated Central High School in Little Rock, many segregationists insisted they were paid protesters who had been imported from other states"
posted by rhizome at 10:33 AM on February 21 [13 favorites]


PenDevil: While I'm sure it will be tough for them I hope the Sandy Hook parents bring talk at length about Trump's endorsement of Alex Jones by appearing on his show.

If they ask whether he thinks Sandy Hook was fake, and they drop Obama's name while doing so -- as in, "Do you think Obama rigged a massacre, with crisis actors, so he could push gun control?" -- I give a solid 50% or better chance that Trump says: Yes, it might have been fake, probably was fake, who really knows?

Saying so to survivors' faces would be a Surely This to top many a Surely This. Ergo, I have no idea what the ultimate political effect would be. It could easily become the new thing for Republicans to shrug at. Incumbent senators will tell reporters "You're asking me, did a school shooting really happen in Parkland, Florida? Probably it did, yes. But I'm not going to get bogged down in such delicate, political questions. Different people can have different views, and we need to move forward." And soon enough, your uncle is saying the same thing. Yikes.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:40 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


My (cynical) prediction as to why Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland students are invited to the listening session: Columbine and Sandy Hook were under other presidents' watch. Trump's going to use that as an opportunity to say "Those other loser presidents, they clearly didn't care about safety in schools. But I do, believe me. Watch how awesome I handle THIS school shooting."

No fucking way he's not going to make this about Obama.
posted by Rykey at 10:44 AM on February 21 [11 favorites]


The idea of these weeping, passionate, furious kids and their parents, finding themselves face to face with Trump, on video, sort of breaks my brain. I can't really imagine it happening. Which is why I find it hard to believe in...surely there will be some sort of weaselly event that is not that. Or a cancellation.
posted by emjaybee at 10:45 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


I'm pinning all my hopes on the WH being so disorganized that no one really thought it through when they scheduled it.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:48 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I have this persistent nagging fear that the stonewalling of gun regulation is also part of a plan to get parents to pull kids out of schools and destroy public education entirely
posted by The Whelk at 10:53 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


My questions have hit the singularity, "Why do you want unlicensed people to be able to buy unregistered guns?"
posted by mikelieman at 11:07 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


My questions have hit the singularity, "Why do you want unlicensed people to be able to buy unregistered guns?"

I like this framing, because it implies that "registered guns" are the norm, so the average person is likely to say "Of course the guns should be registered, that's not the point, the problem is [parroted pro-gun talking point]." As with immigration, one side may currently benefit from a presumption that "common sense" rules exist which actually don't (ie, that not just any 19-year-old can plunk down the money for an assault weapon without passing some kind of test, it can't possibly be that simple), and hence no more needs to be done.

So when you then explain the actual state of gun registration, with ludicrous requirements of paper-only systems like something out of Blade Runner 2049 or Brazil, maybe they shift in their views. Maybe.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:33 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I hope all the Parkland students decline Trump's invitation. Deeds not words.
posted by rhizome at 11:42 AM on February 21


@scaryblackdeath I gotta say the emergence of these powerful student voices isn't the least bit shocking. That school has like 3000 kids. In a school like that, there are always standout student leaders who leave you thinking "Holy shit is kid really only 15/16/17?" And after a situation like this shooting, you have even more students now fully invested because this is about their lost friends and their continued survival. They're motivated as hell. The only smart things to do are either get behind them or get out of the way. (thread-crossing from the main oligarchy-takeover thread).

One of the greatest political changes recently here in Scotland was lowering the voting age to 16. Guessing that is a one-single-thing_thing that could create a sea-change in U.S. politics, particularly in the gun-fetish debate. The youngs are comparatively better informed, less biased, less brainwashed, and much more optimistic and motivated towards dragging the arc of history back on track.

Also a fan of the (presumably previously mentioned) nascent movement to relentlessly attack the NRA and their cohorts with dildos at every opportunity.
posted by Buntix at 11:49 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


I called my Senator Ernst (R-IA) to apologize for having previously said that Nikolas Cruz was trained by a white supremacist militia, because in fact the militia was taking false credit for the killings; however it still appears that Cruz was a racist Trump supporter and was in an online chat room with other racists discussing how to obtain powerful weapons thanks to policies championed by people like Senator Ernst who received three million dollars from the NRA and whom I consider morally culpable for the deaths of the students.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:49 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Has anybody linked yet about the student protests in DC?
posted by MtDewd at 12:16 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Upon learning that National Rifle Association Board Member Ted Nugent was claiming that the victims of the shooting at the high school in Florida were paid actors, I once again called my Senator Ernst (R-IA) and asked whether she has issued a statement regarding whether the victims were paid actors (she has not), and I urged her to return the three million dollars she eagerly received from the National Rifle Association even after the same NRA board member Ted Nugent famously said “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:31 PM on February 21 [12 favorites]


More on Facebook about today's rally in DC.
posted by MtDewd at 12:47 PM on February 21


From @KikkiPlanet on Twitter:
CNN’s Blitzer to Student: “Cameron, what do you say to conspiracy theorists who say you’re paid actors?”

Cameron: “Had they seen me in our production of Fiddler on the Roof, they’d know no one would ever pay me to act.”

I. Love. These. Kids.
#NeverAgain #ParklandStudents

posted by zarq at 12:51 PM on February 21 [59 favorites]


Texas school district threatens to suspend students who protest gun violence

Reminder that even a lot of "moderate" Second Amendment advocates place it above the First.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:51 PM on February 21 [19 favorites]


I have this persistent nagging fear that the stonewalling of gun regulation is also part of a plan to get parents to pull kids out of schools and destroy public education entirely

61.1% of American families with children have two parents who work. The number of people who can just peace out on sending their kids to school entirely for 12 years is pretty small. Now, people with the means to send their kids to private school? That's a larger number but shootings also happen at private schools, so if anyone does actually use that as an excuse you can pretty confidently label them as "looking for an excuse besides racism/classism."

Here in Pittsburgh, the students at our public performing arts school walked out and assembled in Market Square. They're usually the kids first to engage in direct actions because a) they're awesome and b) their school is located downtown and an easy walk to public squares and government offices. My husband works down there and went out to support them.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:54 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


The NRA is sending national spokeswoman Dana Loesch to participate in CNN's nationally televised town hall tonight with students, parents and community members who were affected by last week's school shooting. Several of the surviving students will be attending, and have been warned to duck when Loesch brandishes the Clenched Fist of Truth.

The poise that these students are showing in the face of crisis actor accusations, online harassment and death threats, and other gun-nut outrage is impressive. Then again, if I'd watched friends being murdered and then watched my state legislature blow off my pleas for action, I too might decide (quite rightly) that what the hell do I really have to lose by speaking out?
posted by delfin at 12:55 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


The Pro-Trump Media Has Its Match In The Parkland Students (Charlie Warzel, Buzzfeed)
Outside the fever swamps, the attacks against the Parkland students have been largely regarded as the logical conclusion of a media apparatus with a knee-jerk reaction toward conspiracy theories to counter factual reporting and spin political narratives. But for those who’ve paid close attention to the pro-Trump media’s tactics, the attacks on the Parkland students feel different — and not just because of their toxicity. By antagonizing underage survivors of a national tragedy, the pro-Trump media abandoned its usual play for the moral high ground and made an uncharacteristic miscalculation: It chose a popular, deeply sympathetic, nonpolarizing political enemy. More specifically, it chose a political enemy effectively born onto the internet and innately capable of waging an information war. […]

They use platforms like Twitter to call out and put pressure on politicians. They address prominent critics like Bill O’Reilly not with bland, carefully written statements, but by dunking on them, and they respond to misinformation in real-time with their own viral, emoji-laden posts. Rather than take the bait on the crisis actor narrative, they opted to have fun with the conspiracy theories by mocking them. “I’m thankful that there are people out there finding my doppelgangers for me. I’ve always wanted to have a party with a room full of people who look like me,” Emma Gonzalez, a Parkland student, told BuzzFeed News. By dismissing the conspiracies for what they are — a tired, rather boring page in the Infowars playbook — Gonzalez and her classmates have stripped them of their power. Before the pro-Trump media can finish its line of attack, the students, unfazed, have moved on, staying one step ahead of their political enemies and owning the story.

The pro-Trump media will no doubt continue its onslaught. And because the online ecosystems that undergird all of these interactions are deeply broken, the assault against David Hogg and his classmates will likely continue to spread across platforms like YouTube and Facebook and Twitter. But unlike the pro-Trump media’s usual enemies, the Parkland students innately understand how to use this broken system to their advantage. They know intuitively what the pro-Trump media has known (and used to its benefit) for years now: The way to win an information war is not to shy away from conflict online, but to lean into it.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:55 PM on February 21 [32 favorites]


Texas school district threatens to suspend students who protest gun violence

These kids are too smart and motivated to not realize that would be an opportunity to spend even more time organizing around gun control and school safety. I read somewhere over the weekend that Emma Gonzalez doesn't plan to go back to school once it is reopened, and while she'd probably like to eventually get a HS diploma, I cant imagine anything she might miss in the last three months of school would be more important (to her) than devoting the absolute maximum amount of effort towards fixing this problem.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:59 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Rep. Claudia Tenney (R, NY-22): "many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats." [tweet w/ link to radio show]

The district is considered competitive for 2018 ("Republican Toss-Up" per Cook) and her Democratic challenger (pending primary) is Anthony Brindisi, who has been outraising her and, in some cases, outpolling her. However, the district has about 30k more registered GOP voters than registered Dems.

(Note, she also recently supported Rob Porter.)
posted by melissasaurus at 1:09 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Here is the link to watch the "listening session" on CSPAN, whenever it starts:
https://www.c-span.org/video/?441479-1/president-trump-meets-students-teachers-florida-shooting
posted by Jacqueline at 1:19 PM on February 21


these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats

I've seen that elsewhere. Is that based on the Scalise shooting alone?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:21 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Looking for reason behind a tweet like that is a mug's game.
posted by Justinian at 1:23 PM on February 21 [15 favorites]


The NRA is sending national spokeswoman Dana Loesch to participate in CNN's nationally televised town hall tonight with students, parents and community members who were affected by last week's school shooting.

Anyone familiar with Loesch and her videos will know that this is an attempt at intimidation by the NRA, it being a terrorist organization.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:24 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


So far there is an awfully distinct lack of listening and an awfully large amount of speechifying by the administration in this "listening session". We've had a bullshit prayer, a speech by Pence, and now a speech by DeVos.
posted by Justinian at 1:26 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Mom blogs are giving tips on how to debunk conspiracy theories (paid actors) and how to report such posts on FB.
Following the most recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, a scourge of conspiracy theories has arisen regarding so-called “crisis actors.”

Each of these theories is patently false and easily proven so.

And yet, the human shit-stains who create these false posts somehow manage to get enough traction on Facebook and Twitter to attract millions of views.
They link to a MSD grad on Twitter who made a video of him flipping through his damn yearbook to prove that David Hogg is a student.
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:27 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


It says video unavailable, but here is live audio:
https://www.c-span.org/networks/standalone/?autoplay
posted by Jacqueline at 1:28 PM on February 21




Kid to Trump: "Thank you for everything, you've done a great job"

Yeah, it's looking like they very very carefully hand picked which students to invite to the "listening session"

:(
posted by Jacqueline at 1:31 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


This is an extremely delicate situation. So I hate saying this, but unless this listening session becomes a lot more substantive then this is nothing but a glorified photo op. Lockdown Drills? Really? That's... not a solution. That's not even a step towards a solution.

Did they prescreen the participants to make sure none of them had any thoughts about guns?

The next student said "I appreciate the direction the country is going in". So, yeah, I think these were hand-picked participants.
posted by Justinian at 1:32 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


This is a total softball game so far. Not surprised, but still shocked.
posted by Rykey at 1:33 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Holding out hope that someone snuck themselves in as a sleeper. "Oh yes, West Wing Staffer, I am a very freedom-loving young person! Guns don't kill people, people kill people etc! #MAGA What time do I arrive for a listening session with Dear Leader?"
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:34 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Kid to Trump: "Thank you for leading this country. You're a great leader. I really appreciate the direction the country is going in."

Yup. Hand-picked Trump supporters. What a fucking joke.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:34 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


None of these students or their parents are going to mention gun control. This is a Potemkin Listening Session.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:35 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


I'm guessing that when it comes to Trump, there is a (valid) concern that publicly speaking truth to power (to his face, even as unpopular as he is,) is likely to backfire on them as a sign of grave disrespect.

Few people probably thought Colbert was wrong about then-President George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents Dinner. But there was a significant segment of the country was annoyed and outspoken about it that he'd said them to Bush's face.

The problem is, there's no greater opportunity to push Trump to do the right thing than right here, at this moment. Because Trump will only hear "they said I'm doing a good job. I'm a good boy." and discard the rest unless someone rubs his nose in how he's complicit.
posted by zarq at 1:37 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Parent just mentioned gun control. Age restrictions, licenses, taxes. Good guy, dad.
posted by zrail at 1:37 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


One guy did just talk about guns! Said its ridiculous you arent old enough to buy a beer but can buy a gun. I'm not sure what Israel has to do with anything (?) but he talked about how in Israel you have to be 21, have to receive all kinds of training, and have the guns taxed. At least he talked about guns.
posted by Justinian at 1:37 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Perhaps these children were all absent from school on the 14th?
posted by wenestvedt at 1:37 PM on February 21


This tweet was from earlier today, from Kaitlan Collins of CNN:
Wolf asks Parkland student Cameron Kasky if he was invited to attend the president's listening session.

"My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail."

Is he a paid actor?

"If you had seen me in my school's production of Fiddler on the Roof, you would know I wasn't..."
Kasky is one of the kids leading the #neveragain movement. I'm sure it's a purposely friendly audience for Trump today.
posted by marshmallow peep at 1:39 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Any school that size will have conservative as well as activist students. If they successfully screened out any that were demanding change, that would be surprising only in that it appears to be competent rather than bumbling evil.
posted by emjaybee at 1:40 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Can't watch right now.
Are you seeing the same students who have been on the interviews and viral posts? Because if it's not them, then yeah, this was a bunch of hand-picked photo op kids. Either by school administrators afraid of embarrassment or by the White House or both.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:42 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Perhaps these children were all absent from school on the 14th?

No, some were present. I don't blame the students for saying what they are feeling even if what they are feeling is that there should be more Lockdown Drills (which would do less than nothing.) This isn't on them, they've been through something horrifying.

It's on the organizers who obviously screened out any Parkland students who might say something "problematic" from the administration's point of view. For example, Parkland is 61% white. The speakers from Parkland have been 100% white. (There was an African American student who spoke but she wasn't from Parkland).

Or what emjaybee said.

Some of the adults have been talking gun control and assault weapon bans. It's a lot harder to intimidate and screen out parents I guess.
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


Boy, those “by invite only” listening sessions sure do skew favorably, don’t they? All that reality tv training paid off in this instance.
posted by valkane at 1:45 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the most forceful and heartbreaking speaker was just on. A man who lost his daughter. Absolutely shattering. He also said that it isn't about gun laws and not to talk about them right now. So.
posted by Justinian at 1:46 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


One guy did just talk about guns! Said its ridiculous you arent old enough to buy a beer but can buy a gun. I'm not sure what Israel has to do with anything (?) but he talked about how in Israel you have to be 21, have to receive all kinds of training, and have the guns taxed. At least he talked about guns.

See here, upthread.

There's a meme that's been floating around conservative media that has been talked about on FoxNews, which says we should be more like Israel in terms of our gun policies. That guns are everywhere in Israel, and they have no mass murders by guns. That Israel "used to have a lot of school shootings but they changed their gun policies and now that doesn't happen anymore." This is a meme that the NRA raises every single time a school shooting floats up into the national US consciousness.

The entire thing is bullshit. (That link is from 2012.)

It is difficult to get a gun in Israel. It is difficult to license one. Israel has strict rules for licensing. You have to explain why you want a gun and what it will be used for. There are various mental health and background checks that are stricter than the IDF's military training. Licenses are temporary. They last only 3 years. Oh, and 80% of applicants get denied. Gun ownership is much, much lower per capita there than here. There have been two school shootings in 40 years and both are related to the Palestinian conflict. More here.

Guns are everywhere, though. IDF soldiers carry them around. Lightly-armed soldiers travel on buses and walk through crowds. They're at airports and sometimes, in public spaces.

But those guns aren't loaded. And they're being carried by professionals. Who are trained to fire them only as a last resort.

We should be so lucky, to adopt Israel's gun control model.
posted by zarq at 1:47 PM on February 21 [25 favorites]


Angry father of dead child says problem is protecting schools, not gun laws. His son says "censorship has to stop." Other son refers to "very effective meeting" with trump before the session.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:48 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


"you have to listen to radical ideas from both sides". I mean... This is just surreal and comes across as really odd with a dash of asskissing. Sad fucking look.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:48 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Don't forget that two parents of killed students did ask for gun control at this session: the mayor of Parkland read their messages off her phone. Apparently they weren't invited. Surprise.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:49 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


The dad of one of the students who was murdered is a huge Trump supporter, so I'm going to guess that's the guy who just spoke.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:49 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


They obviously screened out any of the activist students we've been seeing. Extremely effective. Because how do you criticize something where grieving parents are yelling about never being able to see their children again. That they have to visit their daughter in the cemetery... so don't talk about gun laws?

It's a NRA dream meeting.
posted by Justinian at 1:50 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


HOLD THE PHONE. Kid talking now advocating Australia's approach to school shootings.
posted by Rykey at 1:52 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


Parkland student Samuel Zeif brings up guns in a very moving speech.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:53 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Yep, Samuel Zeif, a student, is now absolutely going after gun laws. So they couldn't screen out everyone. I am very impressed with him. He's talking about the Australian experience after Port Arthur.

The founder of Sandy Hook Promise is speaking now.

My guess is they just front loaded the softball stuff.
posted by Justinian at 1:53 PM on February 21 [12 favorites]


"let ideas flow", "consultants", "not about parties", "look at the TSA after 9-11, this building had a guard in the elevator, we need that in schools, they fixed it..."

Super icky.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:53 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


"you have to listen to radical ideas from both sides".

i mean, no? because one side's radical ideas (ban/severely restrict gun access) seems to have worked everywhere else in the world, and the other side's radical ides (let's give guns to every single teacher!) is FUCKING INSANE.
posted by anem0ne at 1:55 PM on February 21 [24 favorites]


Student Samuel Zeif is bring up guns in a very moving speech.

His Twitter
posted by Jacqueline at 1:55 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I think that's the longest I've ever seen Trump not talk. Did someone dose his Diet Coke with Xanax?
posted by Jacqueline at 2:00 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Trump gives a mini interlude speech and now points to specific persons to speak...? Let's see how this goes.
posted by RolandOfEld at 2:02 PM on February 21


It's very weird, it seems almost like there was an intro session that could be covered by Fox and for Commander Short Attention Span, then everyone else gets a chance to speak. It gives the adminstration and the press a way to engage in bothsiderism and the wingnuts to play the "fake news" angle. Gross.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:05 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I guess I expected (foolishly) something else. Like the rep from Thurgood Marshall told a tragic story about his family. I feel for him. But it was an unburdening of his feelings rather than anything which moves us towards solving the issue. Ditto with a lot of the speakers.

Catharsis is important but it's a personal matter and not one which is particularly useful going forward.

Oh, here is Trump asking for recommendations to stop shootings. And the first guy who answers is talking about MORE GUNS IN SCHOOLS. Oh my god.
posted by Justinian at 2:06 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


By the way, there were armed guards in the school. It did nothing.
posted by Justinian at 2:07 PM on February 21 [17 favorites]


School resource officers. Sworn police.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:09 PM on February 21


"A custodian could be an undercover policeman."

Real quote. This is a fucking travesty.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:09 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


Here it is, Trump pitched a "solutions" question to someone that said first responder times were too long and that 'a custodian could be an undercover policeman' and teachers should have guns and we should arm guidance counselors. Because 5 or 6 or 7 minutes is JUST TOO LONG TO WAIT.
posted by RolandOfEld at 2:09 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


This has basically become a MAGA rally. It's sickening.
posted by Justinian at 2:11 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Something something reviews what percentage of custodians in schools (at least where I am from in Alabama) are African American something....
posted by RolandOfEld at 2:11 PM on February 21


Talking about school shootings like they're INEVITABLE is sickening.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 2:12 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm guessing there's research being done right now on each of these people. It'll be very interesting to see what's discovered about why they might have been selected as guests. A big bonus would also be a leak out of the White House detailing the process, so here's hoping.
posted by Rykey at 2:12 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


The whole "arm the teachers" thing is so infuriating. So stupid it's insulting. That's not about protecting anyone. It's about protecting gun culture by spreading it in the hopes that kids will grow up used to being around guns. Numb to it. And, y'know, increasing sales.

Literally nobody who advocates this is giving any serious thought to what the presence of a gun would do to a classroom environment. What it would do to expression, to trust, to creativity, to learning. Nobody is giving a second thought to all the practical nightmares of putting a lethal weapon into a classroom. They're not thinking about any of that, because they don't care.

The only goal is more guns.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:13 PM on February 21 [24 favorites]


Oh god, now Trump's saying we should have more asylums to lock up people with mental health diagnoses who haven't done anything.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 2:13 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Now Trump is bemoaning the closure of mental hospitals? Wasn't that a huge Republican push back in the day? That was before my time but I heard it was a thing in the 80s that has been a huge PITA for prisons and was, of course touted as a cost savings measure.
posted by RolandOfEld at 2:14 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Him first.
posted by emjaybee at 2:15 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


I'm a teacher btw, of kids with special needs and lots of mental health issues. The idea of interacting with my kids while I HAVE A DEADLY WEAPON ON MY PERSON makes me feel sick, honestly. I love my kids so much and this is horrifying.

GUNS ARE *THE PROBLEM*
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 2:16 PM on February 21 [27 favorites]


Trump: "When we see someone in trouble, we have to nab 'em."

Advocating arming more staff now. "If that coach had a gun, that would be it." He keeps saying "it's called concealed carry," like he had just heard of it. Now advocating putting "Marines who have been let out" "all around the school." Fuck.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:17 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Has anyone suggested machine guns mounted on turrets throughout and on top of schools, controlled remotely by police or maybe even the military? Or drones with guns constantly patrolling the halls and school grounds? And maybe the guns should have guns.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:18 PM on February 21 [11 favorites]


Ah. Airline pilots carrying guns is what has made flying safer. Correlation and causation, big surprise, eludes Trump on yet another occasion.
posted by RolandOfEld at 2:18 PM on February 21


"I'm not saying we should turn our schools into prisons, but"

Not a great way to start.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:18 PM on February 21 [11 favorites]


This is obviously a coordinated campaign. I won't continue quoting everything, but Trump's little mini speech here is hitting exactly the same points as the guy who just called for MORE ARMED GUARDS, including factoids about response times and so on. You're telling me that our famously ignorant president just happened to have at his mental fingertips the exact numbers about response times and such?

Trump calls for solutions and the only two we hear are more armed guards and more checkpoints?

I was prepared to be disappointed by this thing but I am honestly finding it absolutely enraging. I am turning it off because I have things to do and I can't afford to get this angry today.
posted by Justinian at 2:18 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


10+ years teaching and I've had firearms training. I flatly don't believe anyone who advocates this shit has actually worked in a room full of children -- elementary, middle school, or high schoolers. They might have passed through, but they have no idea of the day to day of it. Of all the nightmares that could happen when you've got a weapon like that in a classroom.

Not unless they figure there'll just be some acceptable level of lethal problems to go along with it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:19 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


him first for all of it - ending gun-free zones? sure, fine, now you can concealed carry in the white house and on capitol hill. shouldn't be a problem with all those trained, armed security personnel all over, right?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:19 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


If people want to talk about arming teachers, I like to point out that 11 year old girls have 2nd Amendment rights, and if we're going to declare schools war-zones, then shouldn't they be able to protect themselves.

Yes, it's a reductio-ad-absurdum+++, but here we are.
posted by mikelieman at 2:19 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Daniel Dale (who is doing the lord's work and listening so I don't have to): "This is really something - Trump's most enthusiastic proposal, in his "listening session" on school shootings, is: A) encouraging teachers and coaches to carry guns; B) sending a company of armed veterans into schools."

uhhhhhhhh this is completely fucking bananas
posted by marshmallow peep at 2:19 PM on February 21 [14 favorites]


also, facts: even according to their own reporting (which id take with a mountain of salt) NYPD officers are 18% effective when firing their weapons. but im sure your average school custodian would do better.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:20 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Chris Hayes: Good. More guns in schools. Perfect. Jesus Christ.
posted by Justinian at 2:20 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


im surprised no one has advocated having the hallways patrolled by ed-209 or possibly a robotic richard simmons
posted by entropicamericana at 2:20 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]




After talking at length about why all the schools should have a bunch of armed guards, Trump asked for a show of hands about the idea -- first for, then against. Seeing more hands against, he acknowledged it was "controversial".

To me, him asking to see a show of hands against something he just extolled implies some remarkable delusion on his part; I can't imagine his ego would have let him do it if he'd known, in advance, that the room would oppose it.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:25 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


May this completely pointless and loony listening session fuel the fire of all the young activists who were not invited and sustain them in their fight.
posted by marshmallow peep at 2:26 PM on February 21 [47 favorites]


One speaker: in Australia they banned gorillas in 1999 and there have been no gorilla killings since then.
Ten speakers: now is not the time for politics or debates: we need solutions. Please give janitors gorillas to eliminate school gorilla violence mister president.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:30 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


Welp, that was lame. They obviously stacked the room with 95+% sycophants.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:33 PM on February 21


One speaker: in Australia they banned gorillas in 1999 and there have been no gorilla killings since then.
Ten speakers: now is not the time for politics or debates: we need solutions. Please give janitors gorillas to eliminate school gorilla violence mister president.


but we have to have rational discussions on both sides, because both sides are the ones with kneejerk reactions, both sides are the ones with crazy radical ideas, both sides are the ones who are arguing emotionally

both-sides is the biggest crock of bullshit trotted out in the name of "objectivity"
posted by anem0ne at 2:35 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Everyone involved in this sham is either an NRA/trump shill (paid, or otherwise) or they're being played for saps. The same goes for every Democratic congressman who's ever sat with the president to discuss legislation or exchange ideas about the course of national policy. This administration is constitutionally incapable of acting in good faith. Every public overture they make towards working to reach a bipartisan consensus is a straight up lie. It is only ever about legitimizing and pushing their own agenda.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:37 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


I don't understand anyone who would want to live in a country where virtually every authority figure is legally authorized - encouraged, even - to carry a gun.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:38 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]




When one person said that teachers should not have to bear the burden of carrying lethal force, it got a smattering of applause. Of the people given an opportunity to speak, more were in favor of the idea, but not all of them.

Theoretically, for the sake of making a mark, someone could have tried the Clinton debate tactic of baiting Trump himself. But that's a very high-risk approach.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:48 PM on February 21




@davidmackau: Trump's crib notes during the WH gun violence listening session: "5. I hear you" [PHOTO]

Complete with the 45-embroidered cuffs. This is a profoundly low point.
posted by zachlipton at 2:52 PM on February 21 [28 favorites]


No one throughout the entire session suggested arming the children. The problem in this country is we expect everyone else to do everything for us. My tax dollars already feed these kids, kids without jobs, who get shuttled by parents to their fancy state-sponsored daycare where they spend all day getting encouraged and amused by "teachers", again paid for by my tax dollars, and now I'm supposed to pay for their bodyguards?

Just once I'd like to see someone take responsibility for themselves. Why is it on the teachers to have guns and take the bullets? A gun for every child. Now.

/not serious
posted by saysthis at 2:54 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


@davidmackau: Trump's crib notes during the WH gun violence listening session: "5. I hear you" [PHOTO]

How long until someone figures out whos handwriting that is? its obviously not president bone spurs. my money is on Hope Hicks but maybe SHS?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:59 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


This joke about this joke of an idea is almost 40 years old. And here we are.
posted by mcdoublewide at 2:59 PM on February 21


So, the narrative veers towards using the crisis to create cadres of armed volunteers.

Well.
posted by Devonian at 2:59 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


He also summed up his plan to arm school staff with "I think it could very well solve your problem." Your problem. Because he doesn't consider any of it his responsibility.

He still thinks of his job the same way he did before he ran, when he sat there watching Fox News and transcribing his angry rants at the TV into tweets. He tosses off some random thought without the slightest effort to understand the issue, thinks "being President is so easy, any idiot could do better," and then convinces himself he is that idiot. And here we are. The nation has a serious problem, he proposes the first dumb thing to come into his mind, and expects gratitude for solving everyone else's problems.
posted by zachlipton at 3:01 PM on February 21 [24 favorites]


my money is on Hope Hicks but maybe SHS?

Kellyanne Conway was in the room too, so I'd keep her on the possible list.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:02 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


"By the early 21st century, the American people were feeling frustrated and confused over the inability of their armed forces to score a definitive military anywhere in the world. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan - the litany of failure went on and on. Surely, there must be something they could do that would prove them to be the foremost military power in the world.

"President Trump was studying the Syrian situation one day when the solution came to him in an orange flash.

"Americans, he concluded, needed a truly worthy enemy. Americans needed to invade themselves."
posted by pyramid termite at 3:02 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


@davidmackau: Trump's crib notes during the WH gun violence listening session: "5. I hear you" [PHOTO]

I thought "Wow, these Photoshoppers sure are fast with the jokes" and then I realized that it was real.

Now I really want to know what the rest of the crib sheet said. Like did it start off with "1. Keep your mouth shut. 2. See #1" or what?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:12 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I know it's a joke, saysthis, but we've seen in this thread people argue (contrary to all available evidence and polling) that women need guns to protect themselves from domestic and random violence, and that not arming marginalized groups is a viable solution supported by said groups. I've seen people, some of whom who have participated in this thread, accuse gun control advocates of being misogynist and racist for those reasons. I've seen others accused of being anti-Semitic because they pushed back on the (itself anti-Semitic) bullshit that gun control made the Holocaust worse. In the wake of the Charleston shooting, someone who had once claimed that Trayvon Martin was on homebrew PCP made from Skittles and watermelon-flavored soft drinks thought it would be a good idea to rant about the Huey Newton Gun Club as a potential solution.

So, as much as it appears to be a joke, it's not particularly different than some of the horrible shit people that consider themselves "responsible gun owners" and "moderates" will spew at the drop of the hat.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:12 PM on February 21 [14 favorites]


Trump's crib notes during the WH gun violence listening session: "5. I hear you" [PHOTO]

Please, please, please, please, please, please, please tell me that's not real.

If that's real...it might be the thing that breaks me, at long last. He has to have written notes to remind him to act like someone who can understand and relate to other human beings -- humans who have been hand-picked to pose no threat to his world view. And yet he has control over nuclear weapons and over the economic well-being and security and health of hundreds of millions of human beings.

I can often be found quoting Dr King's "This country is sick" in threads about police shootings and other injustices, but I'm now convinced we're beyond sick. We are lost.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:13 PM on February 21 [13 favorites]


Please, please, please, please, please, please, please tell me that's not real.

I wish that I could, but I can't.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:15 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


I'm sorry. The photo is real (and this is a good place to credit Carolyn Kaster, the AP photographer who took it). We are absolutely nowhere.
posted by zachlipton at 3:15 PM on February 21 [15 favorites]


It's also in the AP's written reporting: Trump held in his hands a small notecard with a list of key points. Number five, the last one, read: "I hear you."
posted by peeedro at 3:18 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Is there any indication he read or used those notes? I've never seen him even come close to feigning compassion?
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:19 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


It was overshadowed by all the other insanity in the meeting but Trump's insane idea about people with mental illness that we need "somewhere to send 'em" is horrifying.
posted by odinsdream at 3:20 PM on February 21 [12 favorites]


But Obama teleprompter!
posted by maudlin at 3:21 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


This was the first time I've literally had to walk away because of my fury. I guess I found my line; Trump using the bodies of dead children and a potemkin listening session to push his narrative. At least I know exactly where my limit is I guess.
posted by Justinian at 3:24 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Why's he holding the checklist facing away from him? He must be checking the back!

(6) I feel your pain.

(7) Crime. Boy, I don't know.

(8) Have you guys seen the real photos of my inauguration?

(9) #MAGA!

(10) Who wants ice cream? One scoop!
posted by kirkaracha at 3:27 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


How to Follow the Teens

#5: Get Over Yourself
David Brooks, as usual, has contributed yet one more memorable little nugget to the think piece economy. We must “respect” gun owners, he declared in a recent New York Times op-ed, for only when we stop hurting their feelings will they lead us all to a gun-free Utopia! “If you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points,” Brooks explains.

Thinking that the obstacle to better gun control legislation is individual gun owners is willfully naive.

The problem is not that some people own guns. The problem is that there is a well-organized, well-funded lobbying organization, the NRA, which floods the national discourse with anti-gun-control propaganda and donates massive amounts of money to politicians to make sure meaningful gun control legislation does not get passed. The problem is not that individual gun owners haven’t had their hearts touched yet. It’s that structural corruption has led politicians to knowingly endanger their constituents. Structural change requires structural solutions. This isn’t a problem won't be solved by door-to-door requests to have gun owners in America politely acknowledge that, yes, child murder is bad.

posted by emjaybee at 3:30 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


AP Twitter feed: BREAKING: Sheriff: Deputies to begin carrying rifles on school grounds in Florida county where shooter killed 17.
posted by maudlin at 3:42 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


The way I see it, the push to arm teachers is about (in order of importance):

1) Giving big state contracts to gun manufacturers to provide lots of guns.

2) Redirecting money from already strapped state education budgets to purchasing guns and gun training, thus reducing money for staff, programs and supplies.

3) Removing teachers who refuse to participate in the new state-mandated gun programs and replacing them with teachers who are willing to carry guns, thus getting liberal teachers out of schools, busting unions, and replacing them with good gun owning teachers.

4) Normalizing guns so kids feel comfortable purchasing guns.

It is in no way related to actually addressing the problem of school shootings. It is entirely about marketing guns and further destroying education. And if there's still massacres? Clearly, its because we didn't gun enough so we must gun more.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:43 PM on February 21 [40 favorites]


AP Twitter feed: BREAKING: Sheriff: Deputies to begin carrying rifles on school grounds in Florida county where shooter killed 17.

When that doesn't work maybe they should try body armor, armored personnel carriers, and mounted .50cal machine guns.
posted by Justinian at 3:43 PM on February 21


These are Republicans talking, there's not going to be any new money from the government to purchase guns. They'll just allow (or require) teachers to purchase their own and that will be one more burden placed on educators and taken out of their paycheck.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:46 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Because armed law enforcement on campus will make black children feel so safe. In Florida.
posted by nakedmolerats at 3:47 PM on February 21 [12 favorites]


The NRA has released a statement opposing a policy of requiring people to be 21 years old to purchase assault rifles.
posted by Justinian at 3:47 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Has anyone else seen any other information/commentary about this actually being set up by the NRA?
posted by rhizome at 3:48 PM on February 21


Because armed law enforcement on campus will make black children feel so safe. In Florida.

You joke, but it is actually intended to terrorize them. This is an opportunistic leap for the creeping police state.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:50 PM on February 21 [23 favorites]


So, as much as it appears to be a joke, it's not particularly different than some of the horrible shit people that consider themselves "responsible gun owners" and "moderates" will spew at the drop of the hat.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:12 AM on February 22 [2 favorites +] [!]


And that's why it's horrifying. They apply absurd talking points with a straight face until they become reality. Slow-boil envelope-pushing until the "moderate" position defaults to weapon-worshiping death cult, until the answer to all shootings is shootings, until bulletproof windows and body armor before leaving the house become the norm.

AP Twitter feed: BREAKING: Sheriff: Deputies to begin carrying rifles on school grounds in Florida county where shooter killed 17.

The NRA has released a statement opposing a policy of requiring people to be 21 years old to purchase assault rifles.

...

Sometimes the slippery slope is real.
posted by saysthis at 3:50 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


That's why you have to go in hard. My stance is "yes, I'm coming for your guns" and "make gun crimes strict liability."
posted by rhizome at 3:55 PM on February 21 [13 favorites]


This is all completely insane. I think we're in general strike territory for students, and those who can manage it.
posted by odinsdream at 3:56 PM on February 21 [19 favorites]


I cannot fucking believe this "arm the teachers" shit is still going.
This is like watching people flip an actual switch to turn off their brains.
And what's scary about that is I felt the same way seeing people show up to Trump rallies and support him. That fucker got elected.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:04 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Honestly, I'm surprised no one suggested the solution was to lower the drinking age to 18.
posted by SpaceBass at 4:09 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


I wrote a long comment and deleted it to be replaced with:
I am a teacher.
The idea of arming teachers is a shit idea and I hope that anybody who perpetuates this shit idea gets horrible karma right in the fucking face
posted by angrycat at 4:14 PM on February 21 [53 favorites]


There's so much wrong with that idea. There's so much wrong it's insulting to even have to argue about it. You can game out the disasters and the consequences faster than you can say them or type them out. No good comes of that for anyone--except the people selling the guns and the bullshit accessories and the NRA-certified training courses.

It's so dumb it's insulting.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:22 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Also, Jim Jordan announced that Cornyn's background bill must also include concealed-carry reciprocity. (Stealing from T.D. Strange in the other thread.) That is not a typo. Jordan wants to use Parkland to essentially invalidate concealed-carry legislation and regulation in every other state. To make it FAR easier for red-staters to carry concealed weapons everywhere they'd want, and actually privileging them above those in formerly more stringent states.

Every day that Jim Jordan does not wake up without nine or ten raging boils is a day that bacteria should be shamed for shirking their responsibilities.

If the Trumpoids want to keep the rest of us laser-focused on sustained outrage, this is how they should do it.
posted by delfin at 4:27 PM on February 21 [20 favorites]


Better photo of the note.
posted by peeedro at 4:29 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


My guess for #3 is "Do you think 'see something say something' is effective?"
posted by peeedro at 4:31 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I didn't watch but did he work any/all of his talking points into the listening event?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:35 PM on February 21


He did ask for ideas. Primarily as a way to throw it back to the GIVE EVERYONE MORE GUNS GIVE THE JANITOR A GUN GIVE THE COOKS A GUN GIVE THE MASCOT A GUN GUNNNNS guy.
posted by Justinian at 4:37 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


It's so strange watching the coverage this is receiving on MSNBC and CNN. You would never know how pro-gun and pro-NRA-positions the actual session was if you only saw the news reports. They are playing the 1-2 pro-gun-control speeches over and over and, while talking about the pro-arming-everyone stuff, aren't conveying how dominant that narrative was.

I certainly wouldn't call it fake news by any means but it does show you how coverage can influence public perception.
posted by Justinian at 4:43 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


The idea of arming teachers is a shit idea and I hope that anybody who perpetuates this shit idea gets horrible karma right in the fucking face

The point is that everybody knows the idea will go nowhere, at the most/least the cops who are already in schools (and more to come) will carry guns (didn't work so well at Columbine). It's a non-suggestion, an idea that is intended to displace actual change.
posted by rhizome at 4:50 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


The way I see it, the push to arm teachers is about (in order of importance):

The way I see it, the push to arm teachers is about being willfully obtuse and having no interest in actually solving the gun issues in our country.
posted by Brak at 4:56 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


I've seen a whole lot of good come from School Resource Officers (SROs) in schools. My professional experience with them has been that they come from a mindset of "I'm not here to bust you" and they really are more interested in steering kids away from trouble than leveling consequences. I've seen them go for the most painless possible fix time and again. They generally aren't recruited for being hard-asses. Most approachable cops I've ever met.

But I sure as hell can't speak for every school and every population. It's not hard to find the usual stories of police abuse of authority among SROs if one goes looking for them. And even apart from that, this absolutely isn't a fix to school shootings or mass shootings in general. SROs didn't stop anything in Parkland.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:57 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


10,000 people in Tallahassee at the Florida Capitol building today, including many kids from Parkland. This was absolutely the largest rally that I've ever seen here. (This article says 5,000 but FDLE has stated 10,000. *citation needed?)

I got to meet quite a few of the Parkland kids. They were awesome. They are going to change things.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:02 PM on February 21 [44 favorites]


Judging from the pre-townhall speechifying at the CNN thing this is very much not going to be a friendly crowd towards the Republicans like the Trump listening thing was. Rubio and the NRA are gonna get roasted on a spit.
posted by Justinian at 5:32 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the superintendent of schools just spoke and he's not going to be mollified by "thoughts and prayers":
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie just took the stage to thank the teachers and first responders who saved lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, and called on America to seize the moment.

"We have a moral responsibility to the next generation and future generations that we move this conversation beyond thoughts and prayers and sympathies to real action," Runcie said. "Our children deserve nothing less. Out of the ashes of grief and despair, we see sparks of hope and optimism. Our young people at Stoneman Douglas have ignited a national movement for sensible gun laws [and] better funded mental health."
posted by murphy slaw at 5:41 PM on February 21 [16 favorites]


For an idea of how this is gonna go, Ben Nelson was introduced to cheers and applause and called for the assault weapons ban in his statement, to thunderous applause.

Rubio was introduced and you could hear a pin drop.
posted by Justinian at 6:07 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Modify my views on guns, or vilify traumatized teens? I have chosen the latter. (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
I am very concerned about the children. I am concerned that the act of telling the story of the thing they have lived through will be too unpleasant for them. Not for me, never for me! I understand that these things sometimes happen. What is obscene is not that they happen at all, but that they are being forced down my throat like this. If someone who had been burned in a fire came on television, I would be upset that we saw the protuberance of bone and melted skin.

The shame is that we are being forced to see it. Not that it happened. Not that they are begging us for it to stop.

Somehow I maintain all these things at once. The children are being coached, and paid, and also they are too traumatized to be allowed to talk. They should be ashamed, the people who have given them a podium should be ashamed too. I should not be ashamed. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Get them away from me. I don’t want to look at them anymore.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:10 PM on February 21 [16 favorites]


Oh man, Marco Rubio is having a well-deserved very very bad night on CNN.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:16 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


This is so uncomfortable. Rubio is an idiot for doing this.
posted by Justinian at 6:17 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Please tell me the NRA stooge isn't there and won't be speaking.
posted by Justinian at 6:18 PM on February 21


Tapper said that there would be an NRA representative later in the night.
posted by zrail at 6:19 PM on February 21


Oh god. I won't liveblog this, I'll just say that Rubio is getting crushed.
posted by Justinian at 6:20 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I know Rubio is the worst, but he was just reelected, he's the safest Republican pick to be up there. Rick Scott is nowhere to be seen and he's the one likely facing Ben Nelson this fall after having signed a shitload of pro-gun bills in the last several years. Rubio is taking one for the team here, because there's nothing to be done about him for 5 more years.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:27 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


"That's a valid point."
posted by rhizome at 6:29 PM on February 21


Video: Rubio scores an own goal when he says the assault weapons ban "would literally ban every semi-automatic rifle that's sold in America" and the crowd erupts in cheers

It is hard to overstate just how poorly this is going for Rubio.
posted by zachlipton at 6:31 PM on February 21 [62 favorites]


Oh wow. That felt like a watershed moment. Like collectively they all just laughed at the nonsense of the GOP.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:37 PM on February 21 [11 favorites]


I guess the NRA sent Dana Loesch and she'll be out later. If I were her I'd be faking a heart attack right about now. But I suppose this is what all that sweet NRA blood money is about. Plus I've never seen a right wing radio host that had a soul so probably just another day at the office for her.
posted by Justinian at 6:39 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Hell no, she's fucking bloodthirsty. I wouldn't be surprised if it was more like the event she's been preparing for her whole life.
posted by rhizome at 6:42 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Rubio's showing what's wrong with the morally and intellectually bankrupt GOP, they can't argue their policies on the merit of their substance anymore. Fox news and the outer fringes of the right wing media have provided them with a crutch for too long, their only argument is "our opponent's ideas are bad because they are bad people." That's why they're attacking the credibility of the Parkland student activists, because they can't directly make the personal attacks that they rely on to score their only points in any policy discussion.
posted by peeedro at 6:44 PM on February 21 [22 favorites]


On the NRA buying elections: "Our democracy is a little broken" and the crowd erupts in cheers.
posted by Justinian at 6:47 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Wow does this make a contrast with Trump’s carefully baby-proofed event. He looks like an utter coward.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:49 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


Cameron Kasky just went up on stage and from a few feet away told Rubio that it was hard to even look at him without seeing Nikolas Cruz and the barrel of an AR-15.

If anyone isn't watching this, you should be.
posted by Justinian at 6:49 PM on February 21 [27 favorites]


Cameron Kasky asked Rubio if he'll vow not to take NRA money. Huge huge cheer.

Rubio is weaseling around and refuses to answer.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:51 PM on February 21 [17 favorites]


If Loesch actually goes up there, it'll be an era-defining grotesque spectacle. The audience's concentrated collective hatred could bring about a Scanners-esque outcome.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:52 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


I had to turn it off. It was more uncomfortable than a Lars von Trier movie.
posted by rhizome at 6:52 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


This town hall has been a compelling demonstration of the fact that every single pundit who has called for "civility" and tried to tone police "the discourse" has stood in the way of accomplishing anything. Fuck politeness; we need a lot more people like Kasky who say what they mean and demand real answers.
posted by zachlipton at 6:54 PM on February 21 [53 favorites]


When'll Kasky be old enough to run for president?
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:56 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Calls for civility and politeness when it comes to these sorts of issues are a tool of the powerful to maintain their oppression of the less powerful.
posted by Justinian at 6:56 PM on February 21 [35 favorites]


Rubio's showing what's wrong with the morally and intellectually bankrupt GOP, they can't argue their policies on the merit of their substance anymore. Fox news and the outer fringes of the right wing media have provided them with a crutch for too long, their only argument is "our opponent's ideas are bad because they are bad people."

He straight-up opened with a plea about division in America and said people don't talk to each other anymore and only look at media that reinforces their own views. This is simultaneously true and also another gigantic own-goal.

People on the left do look at what the right says. They keep looking for room to compromise. It never appears. And more and more, the right isn't even interested in saying anything that makes any sense at all, which is how we got to people talking about teachers needing guns.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:56 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


I love these kids. They make me look forward to 2020, when they'll be voting in their first presidential election.
posted by palomar at 6:57 PM on February 21 [28 favorites]


Calls for civility and politeness when it comes to these sorts of issues are a tool of the powerful to maintain their oppression of the less powerful

So is his drive to define the terms of the debate.
posted by rhizome at 6:57 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Michelle Lapidot: "To the NRA and their puppet politicians: Was the blood of my teachers and my classmates worth the NRA blood money?"
posted by Justinian at 6:58 PM on February 21 [45 favorites]


This is incredible
posted by zarq at 6:59 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Tapper looks stunned. He doesn't know how to handle this. This is one of the most amazing political events I have ever seen on television.
posted by Justinian at 7:00 PM on February 21 [21 favorites]


Is Loesch just not going to show?
posted by schadenfrau at 7:03 PM on February 21


It wouldn't surprise me if she bailed on showing, with some bullshit excuse about being worried about her safety.
posted by palomar at 7:04 PM on February 21


I honestly hope she does not. Read the room.
posted by Justinian at 7:04 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Imagine if we asked pointed blunt question questions of our politicians all the time, and they were expected to answer them.
posted by zachlipton at 7:05 PM on February 21 [32 favorites]


Sorry, but Ben Nelson is like a cross between Fire Marshal Bill and a guy in a car crash.

Rubio is trying to use Obama's speaking style.
posted by rhizome at 7:05 PM on February 21


Rubio giving ground on magazine size? Or at least "willing to reconsider" it under pressure.
posted by Artw at 7:05 PM on February 21


So this kid isn’t necessarily the easiest to follow, but she is clearly not taking any of their shit, she is not giving back the microphone, and she is PISSED OFF
posted by schadenfrau at 7:06 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I don't know enough to know how significant that bit is.
posted by rhizome at 7:07 PM on February 21


Artw:

Sam Stein: You think activism doesn’t work? Look at what these kids and teachers have gotten Rubio to agree to just this night: Positions he likely never would have taken, at least not this publicly.

That's my thought. Rubio is a bit of an empty suit but hes not a complete moron. He can feel the wind blowing and the earth quaking.
posted by Justinian at 7:07 PM on February 21 [26 favorites]


Rubio's all "we can pass these 12 things in the Senate," knowing full well that they all die in the House. I hope someone calls him on it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:08 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


So, if they raise the age to buy a gun to 21, they can still give those guns to kids?
posted by rhizome at 7:09 PM on February 21


He is winging his position changes on stage, as we’re watching this. His staff must be losing their minds.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:09 PM on February 21 [16 favorites]


Damn, that was a good equal protection question.
posted by rhizome at 7:10 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


So Rubio’s running in 2020 huh
posted by schadenfrau at 7:12 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


If Rubio's running in 2020, he's doing a bang-up job of alienating future voters in his home state right this second
posted by palomar at 7:13 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Oh my god, they're bringing out Loesch after the break. Please someone talk sense into her.
posted by Justinian at 7:14 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Obviously I turned it back on, and this Deutch guy is a little too pat. People gotta watch out they don't get mollified.
posted by rhizome at 7:15 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Right now, somewhere in a well-appointed Georgetown townhouse, Pat Toomey is praying fervently to his weird version of God that Pennsylvania steers clear of any major preventable tragedies involving teenagers for the next 5 or so years because he knows he'd have to end his streak of awkwardly avoiding all contact with actual Pennsylvanians in a similar humiliating fashion.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:15 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


This is from earlier in the town hall, for anyone who missed it. Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was shot in the back and killed, unleashes righteous fury on Marco Rubio.
posted by zarq at 7:19 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


Rubio is a bit of an empty suit but hes not a complete moron. He can feel the wind blowing and the earth quaking.

Rubio seems closer to the fire exit than any other Republican. I'm guessing he's going to be buried by the blue wave, but I'd bet money he's going to be sprinting for the doors when it happens, and he's probably going to be in the best place to pick up his career after 2020 as a result.
posted by Merus at 7:20 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Loesch is not going to get away with changing the topic. These kids are not going to tolerate that shit.
posted by zrail at 7:23 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Loesch is basically decrying the lack of national list, which the NRA has fought upon every appearance.

And damn, the sheriff brought the hammer down.
posted by rhizome at 7:25 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


God damn, the kids are good.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:25 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


I think going after Loesch on "well regulated militia" is a pretty serious tactical error.
posted by Justinian at 7:26 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


History teacher to Dana Loesch: what is a well-regulated militia? And using supporting detail, explain to me how an 18 year old with a military weapon is well regulated?
posted by zarq at 7:27 PM on February 21 [16 favorites]


I think going after Loesch on "well regulated militia" is a pretty serious tactical error.

I mean, none of these militia are ever actually going to overthrow tyranny, we all understand that, right? The closest America has come to a police state was when America deployed tanks against its own citizens in Ferguson, and the militias turned up on the side of the goddamned cops.
posted by Merus at 7:30 PM on February 21 [20 favorites]


Has anyone asked her about her seeming thirst for the blood of the innocent?

I mean, that's what those NRA ads are about, aren't they?
posted by Yowser at 7:30 PM on February 21


I really want someone to ask Dana Loesch about her NRA ads that seem to call for gun violence.
posted by guiseroom at 7:30 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


The NRA has opposed every effort to curtail gun ownership and background checks. Every goddamned effort. How dare Loesch sit there and pretend otherwise.
posted by zarq at 7:31 PM on February 21 [15 favorites]


The NRA creature is not going to answer a single fucking question, is it?

Marco Rubio has more humanity than this thing.
posted by Artw at 7:31 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Yeah none of these people are political strategists or are particularly television-savvy. What they are is angry. And they don’t believe a damn thing that Team Guns has to say.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:31 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


I mean, none of these militia are ever actually going to overthrow tyranny, we all understand that, right?

Sure, but arguing about "well regulated militia" turns the conversation into a debate about historical norms and terms, it fights the battle on the NRAs ground, and it takes the wind out of the emotional sails in the room. Thankfully the Sheriff brought it back to gun control and such.

I don't blame the history teacher, I'm sure she lives and breathes history. I was just speaking as an observer. That was the weakest part of the night.
posted by Justinian at 7:32 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


You spoke too soon.
posted by rhizome at 7:34 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


The NRA kind of begrudgingly sad negative things about bump stocks, but then turned around and opposed legislation in Congress that would have banned them.
posted by zachlipton at 7:35 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


You spoke too soon.

Well, yeah. I feel so terribly for this mother but reading an essay calling for bulletproof glass and stuff isn't going to move the needle anywhere useful.
posted by Justinian at 7:36 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


How about the fucking NRA pays for all this crap?
posted by Artw at 7:36 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Like, we know it's literally impossible to harden schools right? Bulletproof glass? It's insanity.
posted by Justinian at 7:37 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


I want to hear what the NRA's proposal for a Department of Pre-Crime is because that's pretty much what they're proposing as the solution here as if it's, like, a thing. "Oh, none of these people should have had guns." Oh yeah? What exactly is the line between "legally assemble an arsenal" and "banned from guns 4ever"? I think we can all agree that a domestic violence conviction should get you on some kind of list but... a tiny fraction of domestic violence is actually dealt with through law enforcement. So... we gonna interview friends and neighbors? Case the joint? Lie detector? What? Exactly what?
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:39 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


My friend (she's there right now and texting me) knows Lori, the mother who's speaking now and screamed at Trump last week. The heart shape she made with her hands after she finished speaking was one her daughter Alyssa made in all her pictures. My heart is just breaking.

This is hard core Rubio territory and he's getting a lot of credit for showing up when Trump and Scott refused. Also, the NRA woman is getting shouted down a lot for her dismissive attitude. People were shouting "stop saying crazy" because that word is so offensive.
posted by hollygoheavy at 7:40 PM on February 21 [24 favorites]


@dat_BCB: PLEASE someone ask Dana about her videos. She all but calls for people to take to the streets. Hell, show one on scoreboard. EVERYONE needs to see the NRA's real message and not these carefully prepared deflections and talking points.
posted by zachlipton at 7:41 PM on February 21 [26 favorites]


It seems like Loesch is arguing for universal licensing and registration. She just doesn’t seem to know it.
posted by zrail at 7:42 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


I have to say I was completely wrong about what would happen when Loesch came out. I thought the metaphorical bloodbath would continue and she would join Rubio in getting pummeled. But she is an absolute pro and the town hall went from pure electricity in the first 80 minutes to a slogfest debating minutiae in the last 25.

She has earned every blood-stained piece of silver from the NRA tonight.
posted by Justinian at 7:47 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


It is actually remarkable to me that Loesch hasn't caused the stage to be mobbed or for the audience to at least to start roaring and not stop.
posted by loquacious at 7:47 PM on February 21


I won't lie, I kinda would rather just have the Jabari grunt shut down whatever vapid, mendacious vomit spews out of conservative mouths when it comes to shit like this.

They are incapable of having a reasoned discussion.
posted by anem0ne at 7:47 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


CNN is supposedly a news network. How can they not play Loesch’s NRA ads. They’re certainly fucking topical. Relevant to the discussion, one might say.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:47 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


It seems like Loesch is arguing for universal licensing and registration. She just doesn’t seem to know it.

Yeah, that's what I was noticing before. Maybe they don't actually say they're changing their stance when they do. We'll see if all the "I ain't lettin the govmint put my name on no list" people go along with it, which I think "not."
posted by rhizome at 7:48 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Holy SHIT, Loesch is arguing that there were automatic weapons in the 18th century (there weren't) and therefore they're included in the 2nd Amendment.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:49 PM on February 21


Mother fucking puckle gun bullshit.
posted by Artw at 7:49 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Mother fucking pickle gun bullshit.

Didn't Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a letter from little Pickle Gun?
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:50 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Oops, she's dropping the ball now. And she was doing so "well" before. But she's doubling down on the failures in law enforcement and such and the crowd is not having it for a minute.
posted by Justinian at 7:51 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Nobody there is also available to really do the kind of rebuttal, "using supporting detail," of all of Loesch's lies by citing the NRA's actual positions as opposed to what she is saying now (though the Sheriff is trying some). She can talk all about how "crazy" people shouldn't have guns (and damn am I proud of that audience for shutting down that kind of talk), but it's meaningless when the NRA consistently opposes universal background checks and every other measure that would prevent someone from obtaining a gun.
posted by zachlipton at 7:53 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


And damn, the sheriff brought the hammer down.

Scott Israel impressed the hell out of me, especially his final word in the Loesch segment.
posted by mikelieman at 7:53 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Per my friend in the audience, Loesch is not going over well AT ALL with the parents and the students are almost apoplectic. These people have gone super anti NRA in the last week. And Rick Scott not being there isn't going to help his Senate campaign one bit.
posted by hollygoheavy at 7:53 PM on February 21 [26 favorites]


Did CNN change the audio mixing?
I'm not watching, but I'm curious.
posted by Yowser at 7:55 PM on February 21


"using supporting detail,"

I see that "using supporting detail," thing as the final twist of the teacher-y knife in her heart. The Students ate it up. They've heard it before in class.
posted by mikelieman at 7:58 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Loesch left the building immediately after her segment was over. Apparently the building was rumbling from people shouting "Shame on you" at her as she was hustled out with security.
posted by hollygoheavy at 7:58 PM on February 21 [38 favorites]


I just watched a fucking Grammy-winning performance, and I'm crying like a fucking baby.

#showstopper
posted by mikelieman at 8:01 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


I hope there's a little unspoiled planet left for these kids to make something of in ten or twenty years.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:04 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Sounds like i missed out. If anyone becomes aware of a youtube link to this please do post - all I am getting are CNN snippets, I'd like to watch the whole thing by the sound of it.
posted by Golem XIV at 8:05 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


So...... how do we get this cnn shit out to show what bullshit trumps thingie was? Any ideas? Maybe it’ll go viral? Gosh, I certainly hope so.
posted by valkane at 8:09 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Sounds like i missed out.

The first 80 minutes was incredible. As you can see from my comments I think the NRA shill successfully bogged down the event for about 20 minutes but then it ended pretty strongly. I'm not sure if missing the first hour was a media strategy by the NRA but it was highly effective. I suspect it indeed was deliberate. You had riled up students wanting to ask the NRA about their blood money and puppet politicians... and they couldn't. Because Loesch wasn't present.

The NRA may be evil but they're apparently competent.

But like I said it ended strongly and a lot of it was just stellar and electric. Poor Rubio is wondering why he didn't think of skipping the first half.
posted by Justinian at 8:14 PM on February 21 [11 favorites]


Sounds like i missed out. If anyone becomes aware of a youtube link to this please do post - all I am getting are CNN snippets, I'd like to watch the whole thing by the sound of it.

it does seem like the whole thing is here , although yes broken into snippets, if you start from the bottom and work your way up (note the time stamps in the upper left corners.) i got interrupted halfway through but everything I'd already seen does appear to be on this page, in order from the bottom. maybe someone who saw the whole thing confirm.
posted by robotdevil at 8:37 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


ah shit now that i'm watching it I don't think it's all there. still, though, a lot of it.
posted by robotdevil at 8:42 PM on February 21


Yeah, somebody needs to take a soundbyte of that kid saying “thank you Mr. Rubio for showing up when our bullshit president and governor couldn’t be bothered” and vine that shit right up the white house diet pepsi button.
posted by valkane at 8:42 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


@DLoesch: Everyone wants to classify everything as a "mental health issue" so it absolves people of responsibility for their own actions.
posted by Artw at 8:46 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Archie Bunker's suggestion to arm everyone on airplanes to prevent skyjackings aired 46 years ago. It was such a laughable idea then that the All in the Family bursts out into, well, laughter.
posted by zachlipton at 8:53 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


I didn't realize that Reagan supported the 1994 assault weapons ban. Though I guess he had some direct experience with unconventional weapons (Hinckley used a revolver with exploding bullets.)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:08 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


@behindyourback: after this I'm going to start yelling at teens to get on my lawn

posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:11 PM on February 21 [36 favorites]


OT: TIL the "white genocide" anti-semitic conspiracy theory is at least as old as All In The Family.
posted by Yowser at 10:53 PM on February 21


There is a transcript up on CNN from the town hall last night.
posted by meowf at 3:12 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]


Thank you guys for your live posting and more thoughtful discussions. I can’t handle watching any of the videos yet. I just keep thinking of my own kids and how things would apply in my classroom...

I have been lucky enough to start therapy for my anxiety and depression recently and my therapist is basically like, “well, as long as there are school shootings, it’s not unreasonable for you to cry in the bathroom at work.”
So, thanks.
posted by MsDaniB at 4:32 AM on February 22 [22 favorites]


Cameron Kasky's entire set up to asking Marco Rubio if he would refuse NRA money was absolutely brilliant (this clip starts after he shook hands with the three politicians on stage). It is a stunning moment.

I love these kids with all my heart.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:03 AM on February 22 [17 favorites]


It's so strange watching the coverage this is receiving on MSNBC and CNN. You would never know how pro-gun and pro-NRA-positions the actual session was if you only saw the news reports. They are playing the 1-2 pro-gun-control speeches over and over and, while talking about the pro-arming-everyone stuff, aren't conveying how dominant that narrative was.

Whereas Fox and Friends this morning only played clips of the father who said we don't need new gun laws and the kids who sycophantly told Trump how great he is. They also said "everybody uses notes" and tried to make it sound like the coverage on "the other networks" was all about ridiculing Trump's crib sheet.

Ugh they are so terrible. Although I suppose the upside of having to listen to them yammer on every morning is the anger helps wake me up.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:22 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Now Fox and Friends is talking about needing a centralized national database of the mentally ill.

There are so many things wrong with that idea I can't even.

1) People will avoid seeking mental health treatment for fear of ending up in the database.

2) People will be added to the database for political reasons.

3) It will end up being used for things other than gun purchases, much like how our social security numbers are now used for almost everything.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:37 AM on February 22 [27 favorites]


”I have immense admiration for those kids” - former Australian ambassador to the USA, Kim Beazley. Short video in a news article.
posted by harriet vane at 5:42 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


It’s s funny how the whole “small government” thing goes out the window for a lot of Republicans when they want to exert control over a minority group.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:29 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]


We need stuff centralized nationally, and in the right context a national EHR with all treatments isn't a bad idea.

This isn't that context.

State and local gun control laws are a joke. You can drive from Chicago, with tight restrictions, in an hour to Indiana and buy one privately face to face.

We need National laws to prevent unlicensed people from buying unregistered firearms.

Laws so that every owner gets licensed in the next year, including exams on safety, and storage requirements.

Laws so that every licensed owner registers the firearms they own.

Laws so that no licensed owner can sell guns to unlicensed people.

Laws so that licensed owners prove they won't lose them, and can secure them properly.

Laws so that the last licensed owner is criminally prosecuted for any crimes committed with guns they "lose", but haven't reported lost.

BUT the NRA won't even allow discussion of it.
posted by mikelieman at 6:31 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Now Fox and Friends is talking about needing a centralized national database of the mentally ill.

Niemöller must be doing about 10,000 RPMs right now
posted by entropicamericana at 6:38 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Oh, and a BIG "WELL DONE" to the producers of last night's CNN Town Hall. It exceeded all my expectations, and hopefully set the bar for the continued discussion.
posted by mikelieman at 6:38 AM on February 22


Now Fox and Friends is talking about needing a centralized national database of the mentally ill.

There are so many things wrong with that idea I can't even.


It's been kind of bewildering over the past few years to see the anti-government conservative position become "we need actual literal thought police" as a way of worming their way out of a serious conversation about gun control. Because that's what it would take to accomplish a solution to this if you're really serious about it being a mental health problem. Quite a bit more invasive than a background check.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:39 AM on February 22 [20 favorites]


Start talking about a centralized registry of domestic abusers who should not own guns and see how long the NRA is in to it.
posted by Artw at 6:43 AM on February 22 [43 favorites]


Our national sex offender registry worked so well that we elected one to high office.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:44 AM on February 22 [14 favorites]


A set of gun-nut fallacious articles of faith that need to be dismantled in full, loudly and repeatedly:

1. The Second Amendment is absolute. None of the Bill of Rights amendments are absolute.

The First Amendment -- the most important and nation-defining of them -- is far from absolute. If you yell Fire in a theater, if your speech or writings are incitement of violence, if your expression is judged to be obscene (and that one's a whole kettle of worms by itself), if your religiously-motivated actions violate the rights of other people, freedom of speech/expression is not a free pass. Courts have held time and time again that said freedom must be balanced against the health, welfare and safety of the general public. So to suggest that THOSE restrictions are valid but restrictions on Machines That Kill People are unconstitutional infringements is absurd at best.

Particularly when the Constitutional Fundamentalists point to the second half of the Second Amendment -- the "shall not be infringed" part -- and willfully ignore the well-regulated part at the beginning. And they are _already_ subject to regulation, no matter how much Ted Nugent hates that. We have background checks. We have limitations on sales. We have whole classes of weapons that are prohibited; no one runs down to the corner store and walks out with an M60, a Gatling gun and a case of hand grenades. Felons lose their "not to be infringed" right instantly. So we're already at the point where the Second is not absolute and on completely Constitutional grounds; we're merely arguing over the degree.

2. There are groups of people who are inherently trustable with deadly weapons. This is where the Hannity arm-the-schools idea should be laughed out of town. The police? We have entire movements protesting _active_ cops' brutality towards we common folk, especially common folk of the wrong skin color, and we're supposed to buy that retired cops will be perfectly stable and fair-minded sentinels of vigilance? Certainly all retired military vets are perfectly stable, free of bias, free of mental trauma, well trained to operate in public places? The same public-school teachers that conservatives mock as liberal indoctrinators are now potentially qualified gunslingers?

Putting guns in schools does two things. It increases the number of potentially misusable deadly weapons in every school from zero to a finite number at any given time. ("I don't even have to bring my own gun, now. I just have to roll the Algebra II teacher or the old guy snoozing at the front door.") It also puts guns in the hands of people who conservatives argue are above question to have them. This is not to accuse them as a group of being inherently deserving of reproach -- far from it. But the point is that _no one_ is above question. No one in this country should have carte blanche to carry deadly weapons without thorough and repeated oversight, training and precautions, and to hold up law enforcement and military as a privileged class is wrong.

3. Gun laws do nothing to stop evil people, because they don't care about laws. There is a grain of truth to this -- if a nutcase has a gun and wants to use it, laws saying "you cannot have that gun" or "you cannot use that gun in that way" don't matter to them. Their demand for weapons of death will always be there.

So if the demand is there, what can be done? Eliminate as much of the supply as possible. The Second Amendment stipulates that there is a right to bear arms. It does not stipulate that the government cannot limit the supply of arms, the types of arms available, the types and number of arms that can be legally owned, that arms manufacturers cannot be more heavily limited and regulated, that destruction of existing weapons cannot be incentivized, that negligence in storing and handling guns cannot be more significantly punishable. We may not be able to use the law to stop a nutjob from misusing a gun that he has, but we can work to keep him from getting that gun in the first place.

I will end my blather here so as not to fill up the next five pages with it.
posted by delfin at 6:45 AM on February 22 [25 favorites]


Trump's empathy crib notes from the town hall were likely written by Ivanka, per this guy's analysis.
posted by zakur at 7:04 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


As shootings increase eventually we are going to get one started by a teacher, the fallout from that is going to be quite a thing.
posted by Artw at 7:04 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


On the subject of gun registries... earlier I mentioned the "paper-only systems" in place, but that's not fully accurate. For one thing, individual states aren't barred from tracking guns how they wish (as far as I know), so I shouldn't have used the plural "systems". Meanwhile, the federal government's system isn't limited to paper. But there does exist a flabbergasting barrier to its own data collection, resulting in inefficiency literally for the sake of inefficiency.

The gun registry at ATF can involve computers, but it can't be "searchable", all thanks to the Firearms Protection Act of 1986. So they have a whole bunch of physical files, and they can either browse them like a card catalog, or view scans of the files on a computer one at a time. Also, when on the computer, the scans can't be in any meaningful order, e.g by date. If it were in a novel satirizing bureaucracy, you'd expect a rewrite for realism.

The ATF’s Nonsensical Non-Searchable Gun Databases, Explained
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:04 AM on February 22 [9 favorites]


Excuse me, director, I have some questions about my role in the spring play as crisis actor (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
I just think the role of Crying Girl with Sign is actually the heart of the production and we overlook this at our own risk. I am already off book (no big deal, I am very devoted to my craft), and I have some ideas about how to expand my part. Right now, I am instructed to cry while holding a sign, cry while not holding a sign and then, into a microphone, say, “I’m not a crisis actor.” […]

I also want to know if you plan to do anything about the fact that Laura Jenkins never says her line right. I am not confident in her ability to cry on cue (when I was Factory Worker 3 and she was Fantine, I noticed that she brought a damp sponge with her backstage right before “I Dreamed A Dream”) whereas I can cry at the drop of a pin; I’m literally crying right now as I type this.

I cry easily just by imagining — what if this weren’t a play? What if this were real? What if there actually were 17 dead kids and teachers, but some people were so in denial that they decided it would be easier to imagine a whole cast of children being paid to be crisis actors than have to confront the world we live in? Maybe I’d never stop crying.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:05 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]




Dana Loesch now says that "many in legacy media love mass shootings"

Remember 12 hours ago when she called for civility?
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:23 AM on February 22 [10 favorites]


Actually this seems the most likely outcome:

@hoarsewisperer:
Prediction:

Some small, very red township will arm teachers.

A teacher will be involved in a shooting death of a student.

The liability lawsuit will bankrupt the school district.

I give it two years.

posted by Artw at 7:25 AM on February 22 [20 favorites]


As shootings increase eventually we are going to get one started by a teacher, the fallout from that is going to be quite a thing.

When I was a Freshman in high school, we had a spate of fires being set in trash cans in the girls' restrooms (it was an all-girls school). We'd get evacuated to the gym (a separate building) and then read the riot act about one of you is doing this fess up someone knows something etc etc etc...

Yeah, it was a teacher. A male teacher. He was being laid off at the end of the year (the school was being merged with another so he wasn't the only one) and was setting the fires as a way to get back at the administration.

I know that literally no one who isn't a complete ammosexual loon (or, like, our President) thinks that arming teachers is a good idea but really IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA. Not all teachers are saintly angels. There are a lot of adults in a school on any given day, who have the various clearances necessary to work with children (it's a bar that is set at exactly "do you have a history of abusing children or committing felonies?" and no higher) and boy howdy are there plenty that no one should trust with a gun around a vulnerable population.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:26 AM on February 22 [13 favorites]


I give it two years.

I don't like to predict terrible things, but this timeline seems too far in the future. In the world we're living in, I'd be surprised if a teacher doesn't shoot a student within the next week.
posted by maxsparber at 7:28 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


And OMG the sexual abuse cases where an "official" gun is used to threaten the victim on school grounds?! Can you fucking imagine?! It's horrifying.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:29 AM on February 22 [15 favorites]


Our national sex offender registry worked so well that we elected one to high office.

You’re being sarcastic, but I very, very, very much want a national database of violent domestic abusers, and I want inclusion in that database to carry consequences.

Violence against women should be treated seriously for its own sake, but it’s also the best predictor of a whole bunch of other sorts of criminal acts.

But then we’d have to reckon with the fact that, as a group, police have some of the highest rates of domestic abuse out there. Dealing with violent abusers would remove some of the most rotten apples, so...they’re not gonna like that.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:30 AM on February 22 [16 favorites]


Then there’s a shitshow when the first unarmed black student is shot by a teacher “standing his* ground”.

* most likely.
posted by Artw at 7:31 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]


I like this take from @JesseLaGreca

Dana Loesch is a paid crisis actor

Let's appropriate this term

Dana Loesch's "crisis" was OBAMA'S GONNA TAKE OUR GUNS but now that doesn't work she is here with weasel words defending the NRA

posted by emjaybee at 7:32 AM on February 22 [16 favorites]


Our national sex offender registry worked so well that we elected one to high office.

Just to be accurate: sex offender registries are State-level, not Federal.
posted by phearlez at 7:38 AM on February 22


The liability lawsuit will bankrupt the school district.

Not to mention, arming teachers could prevent schools from getting any liability insurance. From 2013: Schools Seeking to Arm Employees Hit Hurdle on Insurance [nyt]
During legislative sessions this year, seven states enacted laws permitting teachers or administrators to carry guns in schools. Three of the measures — in Kansas, South Dakota and Tennessee — took effect last week.

But already, EMC Insurance Companies, the liability insurance provider for about 90 percent of Kansas school districts, has sent a letter to its agents saying that schools permitting employees to carry concealed handguns would be declined coverage.

“We are making this underwriting decision simply to protect the financial security of our company,” the letter said.
(The pro-child-murder state legislatures would then likely change state tort laws to restrict awards and causes of action in those cases so there's no liability and/or the NRA would start selling insurance to schools.)
posted by melissasaurus at 7:41 AM on February 22 [10 favorites]


There’s a natural savvy at work here from kids who have spent the last few years creating communities on their laptops and phones. Now, instead of communities dedicated to TV shows, music, sports, fashion, and who’s zoomin’ who in fourth-period Bio, the communities being created are being created to design ongoing political action on an issue that literally was life and death a week ago.

This is how the anti-war movement, and the Civil Rights movement, got themselves going in the media Stone Age. It can happen faster now, and it can spread around the world, and these kids know that better than anyone else does.

posted by infini at 7:47 AM on February 22 [13 favorites]


and/or the NRA would start selling insurance to schools.)

I doubt this, just because the NRA is first and foremost a trade group looking to grow its and gun companies' profit margins, so they'd hang any of their supporters out to dry in an instant if doing otherwise would cost them a buck. And it would be hilarious to watch.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:47 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


A scenario that I could envision would be that there was some sort of incident at a school that turned out not to be a mass shooter situation, but before that became clear, an armed teacher pulled out a gun. Then the SWAT team showed up, saw someone with a gun, and shot the person on sight, which is what SWAT teams are trained to do when they see people with guns. When I did active shooter training at work, one of the things that they impressed upon us was that you cannot be holding a gun when the cops arrive, because they will shoot you. They have no way of knowing who is a bad guy and who is a good guy.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:51 AM on February 22 [16 favorites]


Then there’s 3rd graders “going for guns”.
posted by Artw at 7:57 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: They have no way of knowing who is a bad guy and who is a good guy.

Epony-terrible.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:59 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I doubt this, just because the NRA is first and foremost a trade group looking to grow its and gun companies' profit margins

The NRA already sells insurance to individuals and "firearms related" businesses. Selling it to state and local governments would be a great way to siphon off more public educational funds into private right-wing coffers. (Not that they'll actually pay out on a policy when something inevitably happens.)
posted by melissasaurus at 8:01 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Teachers want to be armed, but not with guns

Lindsey Paull, a primary school teacher in Iowa wrote she would leave her "dream job" of teaching if she was asked to carry guns in the classroom.

"#ArmMeWith with books because six year olds need to learn to read not to be scared in class," she wrote on a poster in her photograph.

posted by infini at 8:02 AM on February 22 [13 favorites]


A scenario that I could envision would be that there was some sort of incident at a school that turned out not to be a mass shooter situation, but before that became clear, an armed teacher pulled out a gun.

And what if the armed teacher gets shot and is incapacitated or killed? Then there's another gun floating around a chaotic situation that's not under anyone's control. This is just the stupidest idea. I can't believe multiple states have already passed laws to this effect.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:04 AM on February 22 [9 favorites]


A set of gun-nut fallacious articles of faith that need to be dismantled in full, loudly and repeatedly:


4. The founding fathers wanted the citizenry to be able to defend itself against the government. If we don't defend our country against the government, who will?

The reality is that nowadays no one can defend themselves against our government if it comes to it, not even entire other countries; in 2018 we'll spend over $600 billion on the military. We shouldn't sacrifice thousands of lives every year because people are nostalgic for the days when a scrappy band of local patriots took on the redcoats.
posted by carmicha at 8:05 AM on February 22 [13 favorites]


Many school districts have poor lighting because reduced maintenance budgets don't allow for window-washing or immediate replacement of burned out lightbulbs. As a result, teachers should also be issued night vision goggles to be worn at all times.

Well, OK, maybe not. But given the speed at which local police forces militarized their gear in the past ten or so years, where would we stop in what teachers should be issued? Kevlar vests? Will "personal protective gear" be a new tax-deductible expense (where "classroom supplies" are no longer)? In the cramped confines of an over-crowded classroom (i.e., more than 30 students per teacher), a rifle or shotgun is impractical; can those teachers carry only a carbine? And many teacher already have their hands full; can their rifle be secured at the front of the room while they walk arouind to assist students, or must they use a carry strap to keep it available? Many LEOs suggest a shotgun is best for home security because rifles slugs penetrate walls; will we subsidize the purchase of shotguns for teachers who now only own a rifle? Will thee be caliber limits on what weapons a teacher may use in their classroom? What about field trips?

*sigh* Jesus, this is a depressing though experiment/ad absurdum.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:11 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


The founding fathers wanted the citizenry to be able to defend itself against the government.

The Brutal Origins of Gun Rights
Our national mythology encourages Americans to see the Second Amendment as a result of the Revolutionary War—to think of it as a matter of arming Minutemen against Redcoats. But, Dunbar-Ortiz argues, it actually enshrines practices and priorities that long preceded that conflict. For centuries before 1776, the individual white settler was understood to have not just a right to bear arms, but a responsibility to do so—and not narrowly in the service of tightly regulated militias, but broadly, so as to participate in near-constant ad-hoc, self-organized violence against Native Americans. “Settler-militias and armed households were institutionalized for the destruction and control of Native peoples, communities, and nations,” Dunbar-Ortiz writes. “Extreme violence, particularly against unarmed families and communities, was an aspect inherent in European colonialism, always with genocidal possibilities, and often with genocidal results.”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:12 AM on February 22 [32 favorites]


*sigh* Jesus, this is a depressing though experiment/ad absurdum.

c.f.: 11 year old girls have 2nd Amendment Rights, too. Why aren't ALL students allowed to carry?
posted by mikelieman at 8:24 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


The Brutal Origins of Gun Rights

I'm reading "The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772–1832", I expect on the recommendation of a fellow MeFite, and it's pretty clear about the fear of slave and black uprising, threatened the "Security of a free(sic) state" and thus the Well Regulated Militia's need to keep and bear arms.
posted by mikelieman at 8:27 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


The reality is that nowadays no one can defend themselves against our government if it comes to it,

Yeah, like them and their buddies have a chance against even the most modestly armed SWAT team...
posted by mikelieman at 8:28 AM on February 22


I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News

It's not a contradiction if you read it as he never said to GIVE teachers guns. He probably means for them to supply them as out-of-pocket expenses, like school supplies.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:31 AM on February 22 [13 favorites]


The reality is that nowadays no one can defend themselves against our government if it comes to it, not even entire other countries; in 2018 we'll spend over $600 billion on the military. We shouldn't sacrifice thousands of lives every year because people are nostalgic for the days when a scrappy band of local patriots took on the redcoats.

I think this avenue of argument is missing the point, honestly. I'm all for just flat-out disarming everyone, civilians and cops. But, let's also be realistic: the US military is a total failure at dealing with armed insurgencies. Sure, they could *very easily* take on single people or groups, but if we were realistically looking at a large-scale fight, our densely-armed populace would put up a decades-long fight against, uh, essentially itself. It's madness and therefore completely ridiculous to try and extract some kind of policy out of arguments that stem from it.

But, what we *should* be focusing on is that the folks who bring up the "rise up against the government!" thing are white supremacists to a one. They aren't like, fuckin', democratic republic enthusiasts or something. They're fucking white supremacists, and they are using this as an excuse and cover for their goal of exerting white supremacist power over others.
posted by odinsdream at 8:33 AM on February 22 [16 favorites]


The reality is that nowadays no one can defend themselves against our government if it comes to it

Yup. Whatever the original rationale for the second amendment, the whole "defense against tyranny" ship has sailed unless you think private citizens should be able to own tanks, rocket launchers, etc.

So while my knee-jerk Libertarian response is to be nominally against any encroachment on gun rights, I'm also not going to throw a shitfit if they end up being regulated the same as cars/driving.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:35 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I'm relatively young and haven't always paid close attention, but I feel like this "let's arm teachers" idea is the first time I've so clearly seen the process of a clearly batshit idea being normalized so that a significant number of people are earnestly arguing for it or at least arguing that it should be considered. Give it a few months and some pundit will suggest that actually, we should be arming some of the older and more responsible students. After that idea catches on, the idea of arming teachers will be the reasonable moderate position.
posted by geegollygosh at 8:43 AM on February 22 [12 favorites]


Only 21% of adults in the U.S. own guns. It might seem a mystery how such a tiny minority can control the legislative process around guns. It isn't just because the NRA spends a lot of money buying congressmen. It's because most of that 21% are Republicans who are single issue voters. If the NRA tells them not to vote for someone, they won't.

Democrats don't necessarily need gun owners to win an election. But Republicans absolutely must toe the NRA line to win. Even in a 60-40 Republican district, if the NRA siphons off 20% of your vote because you anger them, you lose. Republicans have to vote with the NRA every single time or they cannot be elected.

The only way to beat the NRA is to vote out Republicans and that includes a filibuster proof majority of senators. Until that happens, don't expect anything of significance to happen regarding gun control.
posted by JackFlash at 8:45 AM on February 22 [15 favorites]


The defence against tyranny argument is an argument for unlimited, unregistered private stockpiles of explosives.
posted by LarsC at 8:46 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Hey thanks to Wayne LaPierre for warning about the dangers of the Democratic Socialists on campus, we just had a small membership spike after.
posted by The Whelk at 8:52 AM on February 22 [33 favorites]


I feel like the premise of the gun lobby is false. Granted, some people need guns to hunt for food.

But by and large, for a lot of gun enthusiasts, they use guns for fun.

There is an implied narrative that they are play-acting out, where a gun owner can aspire to be a gun-slinging hero defending his homestead.

But a majority of the time, they don't use guns for actual defense. Guns are part of a costume, so that they can pretend to be cowboys or GIJoes.

And when they hunt, they hunt for recreation, because it's a cultural tradition, but not because they need to for sustenance.

I feel like their actual argument is "more people have to die so that I can have my toys".
posted by ishmael at 8:52 AM on February 22 [24 favorites]


But, what we *should* be focusing on is that the folks who bring up the "rise up against the government!" thing are white supremacists to a one.

No we aren't.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:59 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


On the subject of normalization, I periodically hear bits of This American Life as my wife listens to it; while I like it, it's not part of my podcast rotation. The one she was listening to last night was called Words You Can't Say and the final piece was interesting/infuriating on the subject of guns. I suggest listening to get an idea of the level of intractability and willingness to go to the mat just on whether guns can be talked about even as not-great.

The tl;dl is that a consistently conservative state lawmaker wanted to make it an explicit crime to bring a replica weapon into a school. The amount of fight she got from her own party on it, even though it wasn't really in any way actual gun control, is informative in how unwilling they are to do anything that fails to normalize guns as perfectly a-ok.
posted by phearlez at 9:13 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]


I've seen it here and there that this is the generation who's going to fight back- the ones who were born post-Columbine, grew up immersed in school shooting culture and fear, and are now entering the voting pool. After watching both Trump's pathetic listening session, and then the amazing CNN town hall- holy shit, do I believe it. It's very telling that the fucking president was AFRAID to face the criticism of a group of teenagers. It demonstrates how incredibly powerful they really are. And no wonder- it could not be more obvious that of course they're right, and boy do they deserve to be angry. They have the power of truth and common sense on their side, but something even more powerful is the fact that they have nothing left to lose. They have no financial ties to anybody. They're saying what everyone is thinking, and SHOULD be saying, but aren't, because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And thanks to the internet and social media, this power is now quickly being backed by the only other power that seems to matter, money. I donated to their campaign. The Clooneys, Spielberg and Oprah have all donated 500K to their campaign. All the comments are amazing: "Keep fighting. Don't give up. You're on the right side here. WE SUPPORT YOU." I don't think it's going to stop or go away. All these dumb ideas- arming teachers, allowing 18 year olds to buy assault rifles at gun shows without background checks, the argument that the second amendment today is at all comparable to when it was written- have now been publicly mocked and rejected, and the pro-gun arguments looked more absurd then ever, not to mention how pathetic and evil they look for trying to discredit and talk shit about a bunch of teenagers who just watched their friends die in front of them.

I feel like for a long time it's been truth versus money, with money clearly winning. But now that there are a group of people publicly, shamelessly and fearlessly fighting back, people are lining up to fund it. On the one hand, I want to think it's kind of sad that it had to be a bunch of teenagers who had to be the ones leading this fight. But on the other hand, it kind of makes sense and maybe it had to happen this way to finally crack this thing open- they really are in a unique (and unfortunate) situation. In any case, it gives me hope after a lot of very real despair. I am going to continue looking for ways to support these kids and I'm very happy to know they are entering the voting pool, and that teenagers across the country are feeling the exact same way and can't wait to vote either.

tl;dr if you haven't seen the town hall you should
posted by robotdevil at 9:16 AM on February 22 [13 favorites]


Only 21% of adults in the U.S. own guns. It might seem a mystery how such a tiny minority can control the legislative process around guns. It isn't just because the NRA spends a lot of money buying congressmen. It's because most of that 21% are Republicans who are single issue voters. If the NRA tells them not to vote for someone, they won't.

Citation, please? Because it seems to be a myth. "...people who own guns and people who don't own guns are exactly as likely to vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on that issue" (emphasis original).

And that figure is 60-61% "could still vote for" a political candidate who you agree with on other issues, but not on the issue of gun control, regardless of gun ownership.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:17 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


There have already been four mass shootings since Parkland.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:18 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


I watched the townhall last night, and I am floored, absolutely floored, by those kids. I never had that kind of bravery when I was that age, even in the face of injustice. I still struggle to speak up when politicians and my representatives are ignoring my concerns and allowing injustices to continue.

Maybe there's hope for this country after all, if we can keep the Tim Kaines and Chuck Schumers of the world from paternalistically patting young people like this on the head and ignoring them so that they (Kaine et al) can continue to concede ground to the Republicans on any number of issues.

Lately I've been fantasizing about going to gun shows and NRA conventions and protesting outside of them with some re-purposed Monty Python lyrics:

Every gun is sacred
Every gun is great
If a gun is regulated
God gets quite irate


But I'm afraid of two things:
1) They wouldn't recognize that they were being mocked and would sincerely adopt the song as a battle cry

2) They'd see a black guy talking about guns, holding a sign and shoot me, using the magical incantation of "I feared for my safety because he was talking about guns and being angry and holding a long cylindrical object" to avoid consequences for doing so.

I'm not even joking about reason #2.

Finally, actual props to Dana Loesch: she came across as pretty slick and composed -- she should move up the ladder and join the Trump WH, because she handled a hostile situation a lot better than the vast majority of his spokespeople.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:22 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]


There is an implied narrative that they are play-acting out, where a gun owner can aspire to be a gun-slinging hero defending his homestead.

Right now I'm arguing on FB with a guy who is righteously proclaiming his commitment to "protecting our way of life, our freedoms and the pursuit of happiness." It all seems like a fantasy in which people get to puff their chests with pride as they imagine Red Dawn-style scenarios in which they bravely face down jack-booted thugs, willing to go down in a blaze of glory that inspires songs and legends. It's not real. But when challenged, these folks then start proclaiming how terrible such a scenario would be to establish plausible deniability regarding enjoying daydreaming about their future noble heroics. It's incredibly simplistic and childish.
posted by carmicha at 9:23 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


robotdevil: It's very telling that the fucking president was AFRAID to face the criticism of a group of teenagers. It demonstrates how incredibly powerful they really are.

1) Trump can't handle criticism (warning: opinion piece from August 2016, when Trump was a mere presidential candidate), which is why he used to receive a folder full of positive news about himself twice a day, and 2) teenager can be fierce.

They have the power of truth and common sense on their side, but something even more powerful is the fact that they have nothing left to lose. They have no financial ties to anybody. They're saying what everyone is thinking, and SHOULD be saying, but aren't, because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Very true, and well said. I'm devastated that these kids have to advocate for themselves to be safe in their own school and community, but I'm thrilled that they're doing it so well.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:25 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]


There have already been four mass shootings since Parkland.

That list only goes to Feb. 18. If you click on the Last 72 Hours tab, you'll see even more, including this one yesterday in Phoenix.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:28 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


This is a worthwhile, somewhat graphic, article from a radiologist who treated Parkland victims about gunshot wounds from assault rifles: What I Saw Treating the Victims From Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns.
posted by peeedro at 9:29 AM on February 22 [10 favorites]


I feel like their actual argument is "more people have to die so that I can have my toys".

I read this article from 538 last week and specifically the data viz halfway down that I've been mulling over. I debated posting about it, because I don't want to move the conversation away from mass shootings and I especially don't want to say "what about white men tho" but, well, here are the numbers:

About two-thirds of all gun deaths are suicides;
White men are about 54% of ALL gun deaths, which far outpaces their actual demographic;
That number is high mostly because 70% of ALL suicides by gun are white men.

Again, I'm absolutely not going for "what about white men though". But the NRA and the GOP worship white men. White men are the GOP's bread and butter. But the NRA and GOP are both willing to sell a fantasy that white men are more likely to use a gun as a heroic savior instead of on themselves.

As you say, they are in fact willing to let 15,000 white men - their likely voters, no less - kill themselves every year so that the rest can have their toys.
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:31 AM on February 22 [9 favorites]


it seems to be a myth ... figure is 60-61%

That survey doesn't say what you think it says. It is saying that 60% are willing to ignore a candidate's gun position. It does not say whether that candidates position is pro or anti gun control. It does not say that 60% will vote for a pro-gun control candidate.

There is definitely something wrong with that survey and its wording. It claims that 60% of all voters would ignore gun issues. It says that 60% of non-whites would ignore gun issues. It says that 60% of gun owners would ignore gun issues. It says that 60% of conservative Republicans would ignore guns issues. Do you believe that survey says what you think it says?
posted by JackFlash at 9:37 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Dana Loesch today at CPAC:

"Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it," Loesch said. "Now, I'm not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media."


12 hours later she's telling gun nuts that "legacy media"* are promoting white genocide. Such civility.

*she means Jews.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:50 AM on February 22 [19 favorites]


As you say, they are in fact willing to let 15,000 white men - their likely voters, no less - kill themselves every year so that the rest can have their toys.

The pro-gun argument against the link between gun ownership and suicide is that gun control is useless because people will just find another way to kill themselves. This is false, research shows that the longer it takes to obtain a weapon the less likely they are to act on the impulse to kill themselves.

But to apply their own pro-gun logic to making schools safer by adding more guns, that would just make the potential shooter pick a different location. If someone was determined to shoot up a crowd, they'd just move on to an easier target like a church, a mall, a movie theater, a subway station, etc because if they're determined to do it they'll just take the easier option. It doesn't solve the problem of gun violence, it just moves it to a different location.
posted by peeedro at 9:51 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


"Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it," Loesch said. "Now, I'm not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media."

2015: Gun Industry Executives Say Mass Shootings Are Good for Business
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:55 AM on February 22 [15 favorites]


> "Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it," Loesch said. "Now, I'm not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media."

The sheer gall. You know who loves mass shootings? The NRA, because all the nuts get nervous that the government might actually pass something restricting their access to guns and ammunition in some tiny way - hundreds of thousands of dead people and no legislation as evidence to the contrary - and rush out to buy more.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:56 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


The NRA serves the interests of gun manufacturers, not gun owners. IMO, the NRA is toxic and should be replaced by separate organizations, e.g., a manufacturers industry association, a retailer industry association, and a gun owners consumer protection organization.

Unfortunately, the NRA has duped a lot of gun owners into supporting them because they have permeated every aspect of gun ownership from children's safety programs to firearms instructor certification to range membership requirements to sponsoring sporting events. I have no idea how to go about opening the eyes of enough other gun owners to successfully decouple the NRA from all these activities.

So I think the best strategy is probably to try to take out the entire organization by pushing the money-laundering investigation.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:57 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Which is why they want everyone to be armed.
posted by agregoli at 9:57 AM on February 22


As you say, they are in fact willing to let 15,000 white men - their likely voters, no less - kill themselves every year so that the rest can have their toys.

You’re not looking at it correctly from the NRAs point of view: every gun suicide is also a gun sale, white males included. That’s why they don’t care about white male suicides either, the white guy bought the weapon first.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:58 AM on February 22 [12 favorites]


I didn't watch the forum on CNN last night, but in catching up with the comments here and some online commentary about it, I can't get a clear read on how good of a job NRA spokesmonster Dana Loesch did with her obvious bullshitting about the NRA supporting background checks. People are saying that it wasn't well-received in the room, and I see she "clarified" her position on Twitter today, but most of what I'm reading seems to be about "LOL Rubio got owned." I'm far less interested in what a laughingstock GOP Senator said than I am in whether the NRA succeeded in muddying the waters. Has anyone seen any mainstream-ish punditry taking the idea of a kinder, gentler NRA seriously?

Meanwhile, it appears Loesch's "the media loves shootings" quip is part of a coordinated strategy: The NRA just released an absurd, offensive video blaming the media for mass shootings
posted by tonycpsu at 10:00 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]



You’re not looking at it correctly from the NRAs point of view: every gun suicide is also a gun sale, white males included. That’s why they don’t care about white male suicides either, the white guy bought the weapon first.


And from the GOP point of view, it's one less person who needs mental health or medical services. The party of Trump only likes "winners."
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:07 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Has anyone seen any mainstream-ish punditry taking the idea of a kinder, gentler NRA seriously?

One non-pundit person who seems to be taking it seriously is the President, who, in remarks earlier today called for raising the age restrictions on purchasing some guns from 18 to 21 years of age, saying
"The NRA is ready to do things. People like to blame them."
...
On long gun age restrictions: "It should all be at 21... And the NRA will back it."
(They aren't ready to do anything; they aren't going to back any proposal that would increase age restrictions on gun purchases without gigantic giveaways in other areas that cancel out the proposal's benefits, viz., current attempts to add concealed carry reciprocity to gun control bills.)
posted by cjelli at 10:09 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


So, I just read the article peeedro linked to upthread about the radiologist and now I am more sure than ever that the AR-15 and like weapons need to be completely banned. The damage they do to the human body is obscene. It is not like a handgun or a rifle. Also, they are used for two things: 1) mowing down a horde of humans or 2) having fun at a range. Since absolutely no one needs to be mowing down humans as there actually is NO zombie apocalypse, then they are just for fun. Which means they are toys. Which means that these people are fighting for a toy, because they're fun to play with. There is absolutely no reason I can see not to ban a toy that kills hundreds of people each year. Can we all get on board with that argument.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:16 AM on February 22 [20 favorites]


Has anyone seen any mainstream-ish punditry taking the idea of a kinder, gentler NRA seriously?

One non-pundit person who seems to be taking it seriously is the President


See also:
"What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing."
I would say he's going to be disappointed but I don't think he will remember that he believed this for long enough to be disappointed when it doesn't happen.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:17 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


There is absolutely no reason I can see not to ban a toy that kills hundreds of people each year. Can we all get on board with that argument.

Certainly lawn darts were banned for a lot less. But the National Lawn Dart Association was notoriously stingy on contributing to politicians' campaigns and here we are.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:22 AM on February 22 [9 favorites]


Could You Survive Three M16 Bullets to the Chest?
Three Kings gunshot wound scene is a graphic simulation of what happens inside your body if you get shot.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:25 AM on February 22


@pixelatedboat: NRA gets killed by children, which is the exact opposite of what they want to happen
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on February 22 [18 favorites]


The meta-myth behind so many pro-gun talking points is that there's a one-to-one relationship between the outcome of a given instance of gun use and the moral valence of the people using guns (a valence which is binary and absolute).

Everyone is either a good or bad guy, and any deaths that do or don't happen are a direct result of their inner virtue, because "people kill people", guns are entirely incidental. They love to frame liberals as personifying guns, "blaming" them, irrationally "hating" them. In reality, maybe a lot of us do hate guns, but that's also very beside the point. We want to set policy so fewer people die. Worry later about "blame", about whether or not certain weapons ought to arouse feelings of warmth or fear or anger or whatever. The fact that gun control fucking works doesn't care about your feeling that guns are "fun" or "patriotic".

They treat "criminals" as a very weird monolith, capable of total rehabilitation (if we take the NRA's "mental health" assertions seriously and not as the con they are), but incapable, so long as they remain in the "not good guy" category, of being thwarted by even the toughest legal measures in their attempts to kill. They treat suicidal people as similarly impossible to keep from suicide. In short, they think means and opportunity are 100% inconsequential.

They find it incoherent that someone might not trust themselves (or someone else they consider generally trustworthy) with a gun. That's because (despite supposed deep knowledge of firearms) they treat guns as extensions of pure intentionality, like the powers of the Green Lantern.

So when it comes to the ways guns are actually used, time and again -- for suicide, muggings, assaults, murders, massacres, accidents (so many accidents), and simple personal disputes that escalate -- they pretend it could never have been otherwise, that the scenario is the same if the people in each instance had knives instead.

Escalating disputes make up a lot of the inflated statistics of people using guns to "defend their lives". At the specific moment a second gun was drawn, maybe that's not inaccurate, but can we possibly say there's always an unequivocal good/bad guy there? And can we possibly say it was good, or even just inevitable, that the two guns were there in the first place? It would be absurd to argue that Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in "self-defense" even though that has a certain truth to it, because their duel was totally avoidable; neither one had to be a "bad guy with a gun" in the first place. (Come to think of it, the implicit acceptance of dueling is another really good reason to question the founders' wisdom on this.)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:41 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]


(They aren't ready to do anything; they aren't going to back any proposal that would increase age restrictions on gun purchases without gigantic giveaways in other areas that cancel out the proposal's benefits, viz., current attempts to add concealed carry reciprocity to gun control bills.)

In the TAL episode I linked above, one of the encounters the conservative legislator pushing the no-fake-guns-in-school bill is with the NRA. After a week of talking to them and attempting to work with them on her bill, the NRA refuses to even state on the record that they have no position on the bill. They won't simply say a bill about non-functional gun replicas is irrelevant to the 2nd Amendment. She's not asking them to support her bill, simply to go on record saying they don't officially oppose it. That's too far.

So yeah, they ain't supporting any proposal restricting the real thing.
posted by phearlez at 10:48 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]


I'm reading "The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772–1832",

Excellent book! I did not reccy it here, so maybe someone else did. I have shelf full of stuff on the generally-related topic and area of interest, if you want more to peruse.
posted by mwhybark at 11:03 AM on February 22


"I want to make this super obvious point," Loesch said. "The government has proven that they cannot keep you safe. And yet, some people want all of us to disarm. You heard that town hall last night. They cheered the confiscation of firearms. And it was over 5,000 people."

"I had to have a security detail to get out," she said of the Sunrise, Fla. event. "I wouldn't be able to exit that if I didn't have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming burn her.


The kids are all right.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:07 AM on February 22 [17 favorites]


The government has proven that they cannot keep you safe.

Do the cops, soldiers, and firefighters y'all are constantly falling all over yourselves to worship know you feel this way?
posted by Rykey at 11:16 AM on February 22 [22 favorites]


RobotVoodooPower: The @NRATV account has been blissfully silent for the last 24 hours since its last tweet about Elizabeth Warren and the "violent socialist left."

The Whelk: Hey thanks to Wayne LaPierre for warning about the dangers of the Democratic Socialists on campus, we just had a small membership spike after.

NRA Leader Warns Conservatives Of 'Socialist Wave' In Wake Of Shooting (NPR, February 22, 2018)
Just over a week after 17 people were killed at Parkland, Fla., high school, National Rifle Association executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre gave a fiery, defiant speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, on Thursday in Washington, D.C. LaPierre defended Second Amendment rights and warned of a "socialist agenda" intended to strip firearms away from law-abiding citizens.

"As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain," LaPierre said, adding that 20th century community organizer "Saul Alinsky would have been proud of the breakneck speed for gun control laws and the breathless national media eager to smear the NRA."

LaPierre, who was not listed on CPAC's official schedule, accused Democrats of making gun control a political issue in order to achieve their ultimate goal to "eradicate all individual freedoms."
1) LaPierre is a rotten hypocrite, as is all of NRA, who make every (mass) shooting into an opportunity to drum up sales ("if only there were more guns!") and stir up some conspiracy to take away guns from all the good gun owners;

2) Good to see that CPAC is so strongly behind the NRA that ... wait, they didn't list Wayne or crisis actor, Dana Loesch, on the agenda? It's like they didn't want anyone to protest at the NRA's hate speech;

3) THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS would welcome ANY new gun control laws.

In summary, Fuck the NRA and its shitbag CEO.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:24 AM on February 22 [16 favorites]


NRA Leader Warns Conservatives Of 'Socialist Wave' In Wake Of Shooting

Red tide comin,' Wayne.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:26 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


I think the argument about how a gun wouldn't let you stop the government these days is misguided in the same way as arguing with Loetsch over the meaning (in the 18th c) of "well regulated militia". They'll just come back with a not completely wrong argument that it's not about defeating the government in a standup meeting engagement but an armed insurgency and we've seen armed insurgencies be quite effective against the USA and blah blah blah blah. It bogs things down in detail which isn't really necessary or productive.

My argument, and I think its the best one, isn't that the right to bear arms isn't an individual right or that guns can't serve the purposes that were intended in the 18th century but that like all rights in the Constitution it is not unlimited and is subject to reasonable restriction and regulation. I think a good goal would be reinstatement of a more comprehensive and less loophole-filled assault weapons ban.

Once that happens we can start arguing about the details and limits of the 2nd amendment.
posted by Justinian at 11:40 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


I'm 30. I remember seeing that photo from the Kent State shooting in high school, and wondering what it must have been like to live in a time where people my age felt as desperate and besieged and enraged as the 14-year-old girl in that photo. Sure, Bush was president, we were all pissed about that, but it wasn't the same thing at all. Nobody was shooting at us.

I guess it was naive to think that a time like that wouldn't come around again. But this feels the same to me, even if it's not officially licensed government employees holding the guns. I hope it will have a similar impact. I believe it can - I believe in these kids.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:41 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]


My argument, and I think its the best one, isn't that the right to bear arms isn't an individual right or that guns can't serve the purpose that were intended in the 18th century but that like all rights in the Constitution it is not unlimited and is subject to reasonable restriction and regulation.

I agree. And in a vacuum, I think the argument "the government is too powerful to resist by force anyway, so screw it" is actually a pretty scary one. But there are absolutely a million ways to preserve the second amendment while still massively reducing the number of guns in America and the number of people with access to them, while increasing the number of specific regulations on them. I don't have an ideological issue with the existence of the right to bear arms but the implementation of that right has so clearly failed us in such a deadly way that there is no sensible argument for not making massive changes.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:47 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


A million teachers with guns would mean accidental or intentional Kent States every single year. Probably multiple ones. It's a stochastic act of war against the country's children.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:47 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]




I'm 30. I remember seeing that photo from the Kent State shooting in high school, and wondering what it must have been like to live in a time where people my age felt as desperate and besieged and enraged as the 14-year-old girl in that photo. Sure, Bush was president, we were all pissed about that, but it wasn't the same thing at all. Nobody was shooting at us.

I was in college at the time, and, yes, it was a punch to solar plexus when I heard about Kent State. The idea that the government would murder young people for exercising their rights to be in a public space turned my world upside-down. The horror of school shootings—so frequent many don't make much of a dent in the national news—has brought these kids to the same level of fear and disbelief, and at a much younger age than I or my cohorts were. I think a general strike is in order now. The GOP/Trump chimera has dragged the country down so far that only a massive intervention to stop their destruction and to right the ship will preserve what is left. Mueller's investigation is still at risk of derailment as long as the GOP controls all three branches. The career politicians need to fear for their professional lives if we are to do anything about the looting of our commons.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:54 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


I love that these kids are adopting Bush's anti-terrorism posture for this issue -- you're either with us or you're against us. They aren't interested in convincing the NRA or politicians with arguments about antique muskets or government tyranny. They're claiming the moral ground and forcing politicians to explain why they disagree with the kids. I mean, 97% of the American public agrees with universal background checks, 83% support a waiting period, 67% support a national assault weapons ban. We've already won the argument; we don't need to waste time and energy doing the cognitive work to try to convince the few stragglers on this issue. These kids seem to recognize that the inaction is because we've had an organizing problem, not a persuasion problem.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:54 AM on February 22 [51 favorites]


We had Sheriff Jones from Ohio on the radio here in the UK a little while ago, offering free training to teachers, janitors and others in concealed carry weapon use and other 'arts'. His line was: guns are here, so we have to deal with it. He also said that countries like ours have our own knife and sword problems, with people 'coming in from other places' to attack
posted by Myeral at 11:59 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


From Nixonland:
Two Students, Two Guardsmen Dead, the local paper reported. Those two students had it coming, much of Kent decided.

A respected lawyer told an Akron paper, "Frankly, if I'd been faced with the same situation and had a submachine gun...there probably would have been 140 of them dead." People expressed disappointment that the rabble-rousing professors - the gurus - had escaped: "The only mistake they made was not to shoot all the students and then start in on the faculty."

When it was established that none of the four victims were guardsmen, citizens greeted each other by flashing four fingers in the air ("The score is four / And next time more")...

It was the advance guard of a national mood. A Gallup poll found 58 percent blamed Kent students for their own deaths. Only 11 percent blamed the National Guard.

A rumor spread in Kent that Jeff Miller, whose head was blown off, was such a dirty hippie that they had to keep the ambulance door open on the way to the hospital for the smell. Another rumor was that five hundred Black Panthers were on their way from elsewhere in Ohio to lead a real riot; and that Allison Krause was "the campus whore" and found with hand grenades on her.
posted by theodolite at 12:02 PM on February 22 [19 favorites]


A rumor spread in Kent that Jeff Miller, whose head was blown off, was such a dirty hippie that they had to keep the ambulance door open on the way to the hospital for the smell. Another rumor was that five hundred Black Panthers were on their way from elsewhere in Ohio to lead a real riot; and that Allison Krause was "the campus whore" and found with hand grenades on her.

People have always been horrible; the internet just lets the horribleness spread faster and farther.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:04 PM on February 22 [23 favorites]


Regardless of the power of a given nation's army, isn't it inherently contradictory for any government to respect a right to armed revolt? Like, if you insist on keeping weapons for the purpose of resisting the law -- not any type of law in particular, just the law in general -- then surely you've waived any part in demanding the legality of those same weapons. Maybe you prefer that "legality" disappear altogether because you support anarchy; that's an arguable position, but obviously not one held by the NRA or the Republican Party.

Of course, it's an especially hypocritical stance for the right, with their worship of the nation's uniformed authorities (See Clickhole: It’s Our Duty To Support The Troops And The Second Amendment In Case We Ever Need To Kill Them All).

But it's just generally nonsensical for anyone, independent of where they fall on the spectrum. Should governments enshrine a generic right to assassinate elected officials, in case neither impeachment nor recall votes achieve hoped-for results? Justifications can be made for coups and uprisings in general, even violent ones, but not for the idea that Constitutions should literally be suicide pacts. How the hell is that supposed to cohere into an actual philosophy?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:10 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


We saw “resisting tyranny” with firearms at Malheur two years ago. It was pseudo-Nazi cosplay garbage.
posted by Artw at 12:20 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


I was thinking of writing up something to compare the extreme, maximalist positions of today's NRA and the 1850's anti-abolitionists, but it turns out Josh Marshall has more or less just done so (and better than I could have, obvs), "Gun Rights, ‘Positive Good’ and the Evolution of Mutually Assured Massacre":
But this basic concept: more guns, paradoxically, means more safety informs almost every aspect of current pro-gun politics. The concealed carry movement is a good example. Lott’s argument was more concealed carry permits would make people and society at large safer. A big driver of concealed carry is people who just want to walk around armed, either to make themselves feel more safe, more cool, more macho, whatever. But the policy arguments from gun rights advocates mostly come back to John Lott: more guns in private hands means more safety. Same with open carry and a bunch of other parts of the “gun rights” agenda. It’s pervasive. It’s gospel.

I think we can only understand this development by looking back to an earlier period of American history, particularly the last two decades before the Civil War. In the first decades of American history, there were many slaves and many slaveholders. But there were very few defenders of slavery per se. Virtually all respectable Southerners understood slavery as an evil, perhaps a necessary evil or an evil there was no simple way to end or perhaps an evil that would be done away with at some undetermined point in the future – almost always with the expulsion of freed slaves back to Africa. This began to change in the 1830s and 1840s as slavery came under more genuine and immediate threat. There was more anti-slavery agitation in the North. Great Britain had begun a process of gradual emancipation.

The fate of slavery and the protection of slavery became much more real and immediate problem. This spurred a basic rethinking of the matter for a simple reason based on human nature: no one wants to go into a critical argument with the basic assumption that you’re actually wrong. This was the spur for the so-called “positive good” theory of pro-slavery politics.

Quite simply, far from being a necessary evil or a flawed and unjust institution slaveholders’ ancestors had saddled them with, slavery was not only a good thing but the only foundation of a just society. It was right that Africans should be slaves and that whites should be their masters. Full stop. This explicit abandonment of the concept of equality led many Southern intellectuals in the 1850s to rework their entire theories of politics and government – sometimes with startling outcomes that went far beyond slavery.

[...]

In retrospect, this evolution seems inevitable. People can’t go to literal or figurative war with an ambivalent commitment. The need for a positive defense of slavery was critical.
posted by mhum at 12:24 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


"I had to have a security detail to get out," she said of the Sunrise, Fla. event. "I wouldn't be able to exit that if I didn't have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming burn her.

Such a damn liar. My friend was there, texting me the entire time. Nobody rushed the stage, nobody screamed burn her. She ran off the stage, was immediately surrounded by her private security detail and people shouted "Shame On You!" which is a far cry from "burn her".
posted by hollygoheavy at 12:28 PM on February 22 [37 favorites]


Wayne LaPierre gave a fiery, defiant speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Groddammit NPR, stop calling National Harbor Washington D.C. It's in fucking Maryland. It's in fucking Maryland and the part of DC it's closest to is S.E. which was among the omg don't go there the overly-melanined will mug you locations that Trump inauguration attendees were warned away from. Letting them continue to claim they hold this event in D.C. - which they have not for years - is obnoxious and you should know better since your fucking headquarters are in D.C.
posted by phearlez at 1:16 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


@TimfromDa70s:
Chris Kyle the greatest american sniper in military history was shot and killed when confronted by a "crazy guy" with a gun. So we just have to train the teachers a lil bit better than Chris Kyle.
posted by Artw at 1:38 PM on February 22 [31 favorites]


I keep thinking back to what an inflection point Sandy Hook was. After that horror, there was, like now, some sense of hope we might finally do something, anything, and the NRA went off to form a very serious "National School Shield" committee to study the issue, got Asa Hutchinson, the whole thing. And I feel like a lot of us, because we were idiots, expected the slightest bit of compromise. Nobody expected much, but kids were dead, and there was a tiny moment where it seemed like we'd have a serious discussion about who could have guns.

And then Wayne LaPierre got up there at an incredible press conference, blamed movies and video games, and declared the solution was more guns in schools. And he was near-universally derided as batshit crazy for this. And now these are the positions, almost verbatim, of the President of the United States.

And sure, we were idiots to ever expect anything from the NRA in 2012, but I don't think it was quite that misguided. No less an authority than...Wayne LaPierre...declared in 1999: "First, we believe in absolutely gun free, zero tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America's schools period, with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel." The NRA routinely tells audiences what they want to hear: insisting it doesn't want guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them while consistently opposing any efforts to require universal background checks. After Las Vegas, they made noises about banning bump stocks, then opposed all legislative proposals that would actually do so. If you weren't paying close attention, you really could have believed they were interested in a serious plan.

So when LaPierre stood up there and told a grieving nation that he had the solution to what ailed us—yet more damn guns—, that was it. Either you want our children surrounded by more killing machines, or you don't. And the NRA and its politicians showed us, then and now, exactly which side they were on. Since that press conference, there has been absolutely zero point to talking to the NRA (and yet I've seen the hardcore gun lovers complaining the NRA hasn't said enough this week and pledging loyalty to the Gun Owners of America, the group that thinks the NRA is a bunch of sellouts).

That moment last night when Rubio complained that Democrats want to "literally ban every semi-automatic rifle that's sold in America" and the crowd erupted in cheers really sums it up. The NRA made it clear in 2012 that there would be no "commonsense middle ground" position here, not even some ineffective feelgood tweaks.
posted by zachlipton at 1:40 PM on February 22 [17 favorites]


I feel like in 30 years the NRA has transformed from a common-sense hunting safety organization to a group of nutters advocating an entitlement to armed and open carry onto any property.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 1:41 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I feel like in 30 years the NRA has transformed from a common-sense hunting safety organization to a group of nutters advocating an entitlement to armed and open carry onto any property.

More accurate: in 30 years they transformed from a group of entitled nutters to a right wing paramilitary, now edging toward white supremacist death squads.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:45 PM on February 22 [16 favorites]


GenderNullPointerException: I feel like in 30 years the NRA has transformed from a common-sense hunting safety organization to a group of nutters advocating an entitlement to armed and open carry onto any property.

You are almost correct, but you need to go back another decade, to 1978 and the Revolt in Cincinnati.
posted by Superplin at 1:51 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


the NRA hasn't been a common-sense anything since the 1970s at least -- 1960s, more properly. You can trace the NRA's current ghoulishness in an unbroken line all the way back to at least Harlon Carter's time -- a true piece of shit who literally argued against any gun control laws at all, including a screening process for violent felons, because the resulting murders are the “price we pay for freedom.” (quote from 1975, but he was NRA president during LBJ's effort to get gun control laws passed)
posted by halation at 2:02 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


You are almost correct, but you need to go back another decade, to 1978 and the Revolt in Cincinnati.

I wonder how difficult it would be to organize a counter-revolt.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:03 PM on February 22


I wonder how difficult it would be to organize a counter-revolt.

Ask James Brady.
posted by JackFlash at 2:09 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Aside from the direct benefit to their gun-manufacturing clients, the NRA's new push for generally "securing" schools (by considering entry points, bulletproof glass, student drills, etc) reminds me of something similar involving an industry we rightly compare to them a lot, Big Tobacco. A while ago, tobacco companies pushed for the fireproofing of everything, an effort to shift responsibility on cigarette-caused fires, a hazard of any place with frequent smoking. Chicago Tribune, Big Tobacco wins fire marshals as allies in flame retardant push

The campaign exists today, though it's wound down a bit, and it's a key reason asbestos and other questionable flame retardants are prevalent. When you also consider that both asbestos and tobacco cause cancer, the parallel with "arm the teachers" is even eerier. It's like if the tobacco companies also made the asbestos, and every asbestos-related incident somehow inspired smokers to stockpile cigarettes, in a feedback loop of death and more death.

But finally, American culture is turning more and more against both monsters. Finally, life is winning.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:11 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


Ask James Brady.

I mean, how difficult would it be for a group of moderates to becoming dues-paying members of the NRA and show up at the national meeting and elect new leadership?
posted by Jacqueline at 2:20 PM on February 22


If you can take a bullet in the head for Saint Reagan and still not get any sympathy from the NRA crowd, I think that's a lost cause.

The NRA would just change their membership rules if anyone else attempted to take it over.
posted by JackFlash at 2:29 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


Very very difficult, and distasteful, since funding the NRA means directly funding unapologetic child murder.
posted by agregoli at 2:29 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


The school resource officer at Parkland has resigned after the sheriff reviewed video which showed, contrary to the cops original claim, that he basically hid outside and never went in to the school to engage Cruz.

Guess that whole "good guy with a gun" thing didn't work out.
posted by Justinian at 2:31 PM on February 22 [24 favorites]


I wasn't aware of what the national was doing when I was a teen. The gun culture I grew up in was about a high level of safety, respect, and only carrying at the range or for licensed hunting. This idea of turning everyone into a movie cowboy was considered ridiculous, because without training you'd be more likely on the worse end of a fight.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 2:31 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I mean, how difficult would it be for a group of moderates to becoming dues-paying members of the NRA and show up at the national meeting and elect new leadership?

The answer to that is probably found in this Mother Jones article, Fully Loaded: Inside the Shadowy World of America’s 10 Biggest Gunmakers. The NRA is not accountable to its members, it's accountable to its benefactors.
posted by peeedro at 2:32 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


I thought they already had, to prevent exactly that scenario? Something about needing to be a member for a period (years) before gaining voting rights?
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 2:32 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Very very difficult, and distasteful, since funding the NRA means directly funding unapologetic child murder.

Yeah, if you want to fund an armed paramilitary organization it should probably be a local left-wing one and not the national/apparently-international one that wants to kill you.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:33 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


@passantino:
Broward sheriff says video shows the Parkland school resource officer took position but did not enter building and engage shooter, he has now resigned and is under investigation
Basically, the good guy with the gun did not try to stop the bad guy with the gun.
Sheriff says the school resource officer, who was armed, remained outside the building for about 4 minutes during the shooting. “He took up a position and stayed where he was.”
posted by zachlipton at 2:36 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


our brave law enforcement officers

should have reported an unarmed black teenager, and he'd have rushed in guns a-blazin'
posted by entropicamericana at 2:39 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


Can’t blame him - guns are dangerous.
posted by Artw at 2:41 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


No serious blame from me against that officer. I expect the gun lobby will turn it into a story about how everyone, everywhere has to be willing to confront/kill shooters, simply as a condition of working at a school.

I can only think of the Jim Jeffries standup routine on gun control (there are rather problematic parts, but it's worth checking out):

They go, “We’ll put an armed security guard at every school across America.” Yeah, that’ll work out. The average security guard in America earns $16 an hour. Not a lot of wiggle room to be a fucking hero! Someone comes onto the school [mimicking machine gun]...

and you’ve got Kevin. Now, I’m sure Kevin’s shit-hot at Call of Duty, but it might not fucking cut it, ladies and gentlemen.

posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:45 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


The best exchange in reply to the Twitter link about the resource officer was this:

@clicclic: I'm guessing this 'resource officer' did not have kids...
@turntxblue18: or maybe he did.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:53 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


"The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a True Scotsman with a gun." - FOX News, probably soon
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:09 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]


I am ambivalent about the school resource officer. On the one hand, this is why we pay you. It's why far too many people will let you murder unarmed people with impunity in the hope that if there is ever a deranged gunman you will still be on the street to actually do something and you completely failed. So why are you given so much slack?

On the other hand we shouldn't be expecting anyone, cops included, to take on dudes wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles with a pistol.

Kooky solution; dont let people buy the assault rifles.

Republican solution; give all cops assault rifles.
posted by Justinian at 3:13 PM on February 22 [17 favorites]


we've had an organizing problem, not a persuasion problem.

posted by melissasaurus at 11:54 AM on February 22 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


This. Right now CPAC is going on. CPAC organizes the wing-nut right outside of any party structures and has been extremely effective in pulling the GOP to the right by violently pushing and pulling at the Overton window.

There are no equivalent organizations on the left. None. We make a good argument to the press and then sit back and wait for everyone to come to their senses. It doesn't work that way. These kids know that it takes more than that, it takes well organized, sustained action on the ground .
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:15 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]


Welp.

Good luck to Ms. Loesch on her job search, as she will surely be fired now for her anti-semitic remark.

Right?

Hello, is this thing on?
posted by Yowser at 3:28 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


the Jim Jeffries standup routine on gun control
I find the NRA to be hard work, for the fact that they always think the answer is more guns. After Sandy Hook happened, the NRA said, and I quote, "none of this would have happened if the teachers had guns."
Soo...points for consistency, I guess?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:29 PM on February 22


"The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a True Scotsman with a gun." - FOX News, probably soon

Ach. But the True Scotsman would have a sane response to such a massacre - see Dunblane, and the attendant outlawing of most handgun ownership in the UK.

Also, I've been following some of the CPAC stuff today. If you need me, I'll be petitioning my MP to close the US/Canada border - from the Canadian side.

Sorry - it's been swell.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:34 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Good luck to Ms. Loesch on her job search, as she will surely be fired now for her anti-semitic remark.

@danielradosh: This is out of context. I abhor Loesch as much as anyone but she's making a just-desserts joke about Sanchez getting fired for saying Jews run the media. Search her feed +Jew and you'll see it's all calling out antisemites. I mean, she's vulnerable enough to *good*-faith attacks!
posted by zachlipton at 3:36 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


WAPO breaking news. The armed school resource officer was in the building, heard the shots, and went outside and waited. He is no longer employed. So much for more guns in school. The hired guns were there, and ran away from the situation. The Sheriff didn't feel well after watching the tape of this, after the funerals, and consoling.
posted by Oyéah at 3:37 PM on February 22


I think we can all agree that a domestic violence conviction should get you on some kind of list but... a tiny fraction of domestic violence is actually dealt with through law enforcement. So... we gonna interview friends and neighbors? Case the joint? Lie detector? What? Exactly what?

This is a known problem, and the FBI has even recommended solutions to the problem of unprosecuted domestic violence. From the FBI's website:
When a first-responding police officer conducts a basic domestic violence investigation, 70 percent of the time prosecutors do not file criminal cases...
The FBI suggests simple steps that could be, but generally aren't, followed in domestic violence cases to increase the chance of prosecution, such as taking photographs, interviewing witnesses, which police often don't bother to do, arresting the suspect, and adding other charges, such as child endangerment when the domestic violence involves a child.

Like, we don't need to get to levels of proactively looking when the prosecutors aren't even choosing to prosecute the majority of reported domestic violence cases. We need to change that level significantly.
posted by corb at 3:39 PM on February 22 [18 favorites]


At least the armed teachers would be trapped in the school and have no choice in being shot at.
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on February 22


I love these kids with all my heart.

Same.

I finally feel like now, when adult relatives and friends ask how I can stand working with teenagers every day, I have video proof of why teenagers are the most wonderful, huge-spirited, smarter-than-whips, passionate people on the planet.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:49 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


I think we can all agree that a domestic violence conviction should get you on some kind of list but... a tiny fraction of domestic violence is actually dealt with through law enforcement. So... we gonna interview friends and neighbors? Case the joint? Lie detector? What? Exactly what?

Well, actually, one mechanism among others (the first and foremost one being, at bare minimum, even half-assed-decent basic due diligence by the authorities in instances of suspected domestic violence, as corb mentions) could be something like the following...

If you do not have a licence, if your licence has expired, or if you want to get a PAL for a different class of firearm, use form RCMP 5592.

What does form RCMP 5592 (pdf) ask? Among other things:

Information About Current Conjugal Partner (Refer to Information Sheet)

If the signature of your current spouse, common-law or other conjugal partner is not provided, the Chief Firearms Officer has a duty to notify them of your application.

[...]

F - Information About Former Conjugal Partner (Refer to Information Sheet)
Provide information about your former conjugal partners. This includes any person, other than the person named in Box 18, with whom you have lived in a conjugal relationship within the last two (2) years. If you need more space, list the information on a separate sheet of paper.

[...]

If the signature of your former spouse, common-law or other conjugal partner is not provided, the Chief Firearms Officer has a duty to notify them of your application.


...buuuuut I don't think this sort of thing is what the NRA has in mind. PALs expire every five years. Kinda like a passport. But for guns and the people who want to buy them legally.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:01 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


WAPO breaking news. The armed school resource officer was in the building, heard the shots, and went outside and waited. He is no longer employed. So much for more guns in school. The hired guns were there, and ran away from the situation. The Sheriff didn't feel well after watching the tape of this, after the funerals, and consoling.

I'm pissed, too, but we should understand that militaries and police forces grapple with this shit constantly. All the training and screening in the world cannot make for a sure thing. Big hero-looking dudes freeze up all the time, and it's not even necessarily a matter of courage. Sometimes it's much more about the reluctance to take lives. Professionals who study this will tell you it's impossible to know until it happens, and even then someone who has pulled the trigger in the past might find out they're just done when faced with the decision again.

The real takeaway here this injecting more guns into this situation doesn't do any good. That dude was a trained and certified police officer. It didn't help. Throwing guns to people with even less training and screening than him sure won't make shit better.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:20 PM on February 22 [41 favorites]


Throwing guns to people with even less training and screening than him sure won't make shit better.

The dominant talking points in the conservosphere right now are (1) this officer is a disgusting coward who deserves punishment, perhaps death, (2) every level of law enforcement failed, just goes to show that you can't rely on the police to help you and you have to protect yourself, and (3) a person under immediate threat is more motivated to use a gun to protect themselves, and therefore it makes more sense to have armed teachers inside the building than armed cops outside it.

(3) is amazingly prevalent for how insane it is. A rational person with any critical thinking ability will know that normal humans with a gun unexpectedly pointed at them don't immediately turn into action-movie supersoldiers. The gunfolk are beyond reason and will not be reached.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:41 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


I look at it like this. He got paid for doing nothing, but given a lot of power among the young and able to flirt with authenticity, and pretend authority. When it came right down to risk taking for those he swore to protect, nah it was just profitable cosplay.
posted by Oyéah at 4:42 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


half the reason we're taught to slobber the knob of any former high school bully who managed to squeeze into a blue uniform is because "they put their lives on the line to protect us"

officer gutless did neither
posted by entropicamericana at 4:47 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


...I really didn't think MeFi would be the place to run straight to the "he's a coward" stereotype, but somehow, here we are.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:51 PM on February 22 [15 favorites]


You guys might want to consider just how hard it is to make sure someone will face a gunfight and take a life when faced with the situation. You might also consider how good it is that this isn't something that can be trained into a person with certainty.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:55 PM on February 22 [24 favorites]


it is literally what he is paid for
posted by entropicamericana at 4:59 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


If the officer had gone in there and confronted the gunman it may have just resulted in more lives being lost.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 5:00 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


That's a mischaracterisation. I think people are saying he's a coward generally, not specifically because he ducked out on confronting an armed gunman, which is of course an insane thing to do.
posted by Merus at 5:00 PM on February 22


i agree, which is why we should get rid of cops in schools right after we get rid of guns
posted by entropicamericana at 5:01 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


it is literally what he is paid for

Have you ever studied this issue of when professionals don't shoot? Like ever? Do you have any familiarity with this at all?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:07 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


If the officer had gone in there and confronted the gunman it may have just resulted in more lives being lost.

Such was the logic of the police in Columbine. FWIW, I find this inconsistent with their oath to give up their lives to protect the innocent. They KNOW they may be asked for the Ultimate Sacrifice when they put on the badge.
posted by mikelieman at 5:08 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Have you ever studied this issue of when professionals don't shoot? Like ever? Do you have any familiarity with this at all?

Well don't be coy, some of us viewers would also be interested in seeing more information.
posted by rhizome at 5:12 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Friend of mine who eschews fame and glory but is a longtime lurker here said in passing today, "In an ironic reversal, the past few days the NRA has been getting killed by children."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:15 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


FWIW, I find this inconsistent with their oath to give up their lives to protect the innocent.

But courts have repeatedly ruled that police are under no obligation to protect citizens. Certainly not at the expense of their own precious lives. Between that and the constant absolution of cops killing unarmed civilians because they got scared... well, "not all cops" and all that, but I definitely put no stock in the solution to mass shootings being "more armed guards/cops/teachers/anyone".
posted by Roommate at 5:26 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Have you ever studied this issue of when professionals don't shoot? Like ever?

I know a lot of conscientious objectors who were soldiers who grew to believe they couldn’t take another life. They still volunteered to deploy, sans weapon. Some of the most amazing heroes have been people who could not morally justify taking another life.

I don’t judge him for realizing in the moment he couldn’t shoot. I blame him for waiting outside of the conflict for six minutes rather than going in to draw fire and save children’s lives.

Freezing up happens. It’s real. But then you force yourself - and you and I both know men and women who have - to get up and do the scary thing because people are counting on you.

If kids in ROTC, with the most cursory training, mostly in drill and ceremony, could risk their lives to save others, you bet I can expect it of a grown adult who has devoted his life to the service of arms.
posted by corb at 5:33 PM on February 22 [13 favorites]


Tin soldiers and Trumpoids coming
We're finally on our own
posted by delfin at 5:36 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


I'm thinking that one problem with the constant background rhetoric that soldiers and police "give up their lives" is that it implies the possibility of deliberate, intentional self-sacrifice, like pressing a button, making a deal with the gods. My life for theirs, done. That's just not reality, nearly all the time.

People choose whether or not to risk their lives, in all sorts of contexts, but the end result of taking such risk is, often, just so much goddamn luck. If he'd gone in, that probably would have been heroic. Maybe some kids would be alive in addition to him, or instead of him, whatever. Maybe he'd just be dead and that's it. Or maybe he'd have interfered in the path of escaping people. And if he'd fired his weapon, that might have been exactly the right call, or it might have been horribly stupid.

The easy answers involve everything that happened before the shooting, not so much during it.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 5:38 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


I'm ... done. I'll take whatever legislation I can get to get closer to it, but my position from now on is no guns. You want to use a gun? Join the armed forces. There's your well-regulated militia. And you leave it at the base when you go home. Everyone else? Sorry. You want to hunt for sport? Learn to use a bow and arrow.

People are dying. Kids are dying. People are being murdered every day. I'm done.
posted by kyrademon at 5:38 PM on February 22 [15 favorites]


Well don't be coy, some of us viewers would also be interested in seeing more information.

Book for you.

If you dig around on this subject, you'll find a lot of stuff from a guy named SLA Marhsall... whose stats and research aren't entirely accepted. It's difficult to know for sure how many people freeze, or just don't shoot, and why, but it happens.

If kids in ROTC, with the most cursory training, mostly in drill and ceremony, could risk their lives to save others, you bet I can expect it of a grown adult who has devoted his life to the service of arms.

Hell, Peter Wang was a freshman. I doubt he had even the most cursory training at all for what he faced, yet he saved lives. I'm not so much interested in defending the SRO as I'm bothered by the reflexive worst read of him based on a couple of initial articles alone. These issues are never sure things.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:41 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


In the end, police are trained to enforce the law first and service the community a distant second. Their job is not to be heroes and not to singlehandedly take down people with military weaponry. There aren't many (any?) individuals qualified to do the job of a SWAT team; any person with those powers is probably killing people overseas for money right now. I don't like cops but it's not fair to give them an impossible job and then blame them for not dying while pantomiming the security theater.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:41 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]




The old joke is, "How many police does it take to screw in a light bulb?

"Six, one to screw it in and five to provide backup."

You can't expect one SRO to do the work of a SWAT team.
posted by peeedro at 5:52 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


guys if you're defending cops from criticism while [prominent conservative mefite] is criticizing them, you may want to turn in your liberal credentials
posted by entropicamericana at 5:55 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


This recent Radiolab episode about the neuropsychology behind risking your life to save someone else has become tragically much more timely.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:14 PM on February 22


Or just maybe it’s not as simple as everyone retreating to their respective corners and declaring the issue solved, entropicamericana.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:16 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


Their job is not to be heroes and not to singlehandedly take down people with military weaponry.

This guy just got fired, and is still being investigated, for not doing that. Rightly or wrongly, standard protocol in the US for police is no longer waiting for SWAT teams and backup, but rather to go towards the shooting immediately. Potentially confronting people with military-grade weaponry is now part of the job, and it turned out that this guy couldn't do it.

I sympathize, because I don't know if I could do it and I don't know if it is a reasonable thing to ask of anyone, but it's what he was getting paid for.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:34 PM on February 22


He shoulda totally pulled down on the kid. I mean, the way we’re going, backed up by the White House, it’s totally WestWorld. Teacher’s wearing their low slung .45 rigs in the classroom, slapping leather at the mere suggestion of a threat. It’s gunfight at the OK Corral. In our schools. Take your guns to town, teach. Don’t leave your guns at home, Sir. Let’s all take our guns to school.
posted by valkane at 6:58 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


First National Bank of Omaha drops NRA
The bank's move Thursday came after it found itself on a list earlier this week of businesses that do business with the NRA. The list sparked a sharp reaction among gun-control advocates and others on social media.

[...]

“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA," the statement said. "As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card."
posted by zakur at 7:03 PM on February 22 [31 favorites]


In the end, police are trained to enforce the law first and service the community a distant second.

I would put a few more cynical things above enforcing the law.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:20 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Enterprise, National and Alamo rent-a-car have all withdrawn their NRA discount too.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:23 PM on February 22 [47 favorites]


I am pretty sure this guy running in and getting himself killed wouldn't have helped anything whatsoever.
posted by Artw at 8:04 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


cow·ard (kou(ə)rd) noun
1. a person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.


As a person-who-wasn't-there, I can't, with any certainty (nor should I), find it fair to, personally I mean, call this resource officer a bona fide coward.

... but as someone who has the multitudinous experience of

A) having attended a high school in the US, while
B) a friend and fellow student committed suicide on campus with a firearm causing a lockdown situation, not to mention
C) having personally dealt with school resource officers in an unrelated, but very serious up to and including multiple felony convictions of sexual assault, incident, and as someone who now
D) has kids, and (once they're old enough to attend)
E) believes the public school system as a whole should be given a chance against all the woes it faces from above and all surrounding directions, stereotypes of violence and safety not the least among them...

As that person, I hope this resource officer faces every. possible. investigation. and full fucking force of whatever panel or review board that is relevant in that field of employment, up to and including civil charges of malfeasance and wrongful death or whatever the fuck because if there's not a fucking good reason for them to exit the building as opposed to going to help when students are possibly being gunned down... then fuck that person for accepting the job and role playing as one of Mr. Rodger's helpers.

If the principal and the head football coach at my school had the wherewithal and courage to go (unarmed FUCKING OBVIOUSLY since that needs to be said these days and fuck you mr trump and the horse your rode in on for suggesting anything else is needed from our teachers) above and beyond and continue to try to talk a gun away from one of their students while he threatened self harm then this sworn, trained, and armed officer had better have a good. fucking. reason. for exiting stage left when things got hairy. You had best believe that is the bare minimum those students and families deserve from this particular person and whatever subsequent investigation of how the events went down can produce.

I'm sorry. I can't see anything but red.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:06 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


MIT and UMass Amherst tell prospective applicants that being disciplined for walking out of school for a gun protest won't count against them.
posted by adamg at 8:24 PM on February 22 [43 favorites]


Groddammit NPR, stop calling National Harbor Washington D.C. It's in fucking Maryland.

I reported this as an error; it seems to have been changed now!
posted by reductiondesign at 8:38 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Context collapse.
posted by Artw at 9:07 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


"After Columbine over 10,000 school police officers were hired just in case a school shooting happened. Two decades later, they haven't stopped a *single* school shooting. Instead they've arrested over 1 million kids, mostly students of color, for routine behavior violations. 70,000 students were arrested at school during the 2013-14 school year alone. Two-thirds were students of color. Not one case where a school police officer intervened and stopped a school shooting." - Samuel Sinyangwe
posted by gwint at 9:44 PM on February 22 [77 favorites]


The Second’s Missing Half
Emblazoned across the front of the NRA headquarters in Washington, D.C., is half of this amendment–the second half. It’s a testament to how well the NRA does its job that most Americans probably don’t know about the first half, with its clunky and inconvenient dependent clause. But that’s how the Founding Fathers wrote it. The NRA’s reasons for focusing on its backside are fairly obvious, but what do the courts say about the Second Amendment?
Fuckin' commas.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:48 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Instead they've arrested over 1 million kids, mostly students of color, for routine behavior violations.

On a related note, On Guns, Liberals Are Flirting With the Politics of Fear. That’s Scary, which also goes into detail on the rise in arrests that come from having police on campus. The article makes a case that the argument needs to be centered around guns and gun control broadly, for the entire community, not turning schools into prisons or giving police more power out of fear.
posted by zachlipton at 9:53 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Dana Loesch's Life Used To Be A Mildly Successful 1990s Jim Carrey Movie
NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch talks a tough game when she’s describing how gun-totin’ Americans need to fight for freedom with the “clenched fist of truth.” But on Twitter, she’s talked about crapping her “pannies.” And eating “strawberries and cream cheese.” And her struggles going up and down stairs. When you put all of them together, it paints a picture of an incredibly scared, clumsy person whose house might actually be trying to harm her.
...
This person thinks there are too many restrictions stopping her from owning guns.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:13 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


What You Should Know About NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch
In June 2017, Loesch starred in a recruitment ad for the NRA that became the center of controversy. She narrated:
They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance. All to make them march, make them protest, make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia and smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding — until the only option left is for police to do their jobs and stop the madness. And when that happens, they'll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.
I got your "clenched fist of truth" right here.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:13 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]


Holy SHIT, Loesch is arguing that there were automatic weapons in the 18th century (there weren't) and therefore they're included in the 2nd Amendment.
First of all, neither the Belton gun nor the Puckle gun ever was a viable weapons system. Neither one ever worked and the British Army gave up on both of them long before the Constitutional Convention, at which, I would guarantee you, hardly anybody even had heard of them. (As for Loesch’s contention that the Continental Congress put in an order for a Belton gun, the overwhelming historical consensus is that Mr. Belton was a bit of a sharper, and that the gun ordered by the suckers in Philadelphia may not even have existed.) These are the kind of things that impress Ms. Loesch’s regular audience of paranoid shut-ins, but that wasn’t who was listening to her last night.

Second of all, who the hell cares? What kind of an omadhaun throws out historical trivia—and inaccurate historical trivia at that—to win a minor debating point over a teacher who a week ago saw her students slaughtered in front of her? This little moment simply reeked of desperation.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:18 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]


The old joke is, "How many police does it take to screw in a light bulb?

"Six, one to screw it in and five to provide backup."


I prefer the alternate punchline:

Q: How many police does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: We didn't touch him, he fell down the stairs.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:52 AM on February 23 [14 favorites]


Instead they've arrested over 1 million kids, mostly students of color, for routine behavior violations. 70,000 students were arrested at school during the 2013-14 school year alone. Two-thirds were students of color. Not one case where a school police officer intervened and stopped a school shooting.

On the upside, students are now much better protected against the threat of home-customized digital clocks.
posted by flabdablet at 4:05 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


I'm torn by any slam against the hiding officer that involves comparing him to the people who acted heroically, because it implicitly turns their courageous actions into ho-hum ones. Like, a recent comment literally called the the act of running into fire both "the bare minimum" and "above and beyond". That makes little sense. This resource officer was human. The gun he had complicates things considerably; running toward the shooter brings another gun closer to him, though in the end it's very possible he could have saved more lives.

(I'm also not going to concede that every anti-cop assertion ever made has merit, on pain of "turning in my liberal credentials", or else I'd have to endorse a fair amount of fatphobia.)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:27 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


I have a lot of time for the hiding officer. It takes real guts to put your life and your responsibility to your own family ahead of your reputation and your career when forced into circumstances like that.

Scot Peterson's choice not to engage the shooter reflects no failure of judgement or nerve on his part. Rather, it's a predictable and predicted consequence of the stark and simple fact that attempting to prevent students being shot by adding more guns to their environment is a stupid, broken, bassackwards idea that benefits nobody but arms manufacturers and which only utterly unprincipled fuckwits could ever support as policy.
posted by flabdablet at 5:05 AM on February 23 [25 favorites]


Most security guards are paid to be visible deterrents, not a one man SWAT team.
posted by PenDevil at 5:40 AM on February 23 [15 favorites]


Perhaps it's not fair that the cop is receiving this vitriol for his behavior. He may be a perfectly lovely person who froze in the moment.

But it's happening because his profession as a whole seems to be filled with massive fucking cowards who, when wearing body armor and surrounded by back-up, panic and gun down an unarmed man for not putting his hands up fast enough. Who gun down unarmed black teenagers because they seem "dangerous." Who refuse to ever take any risks for their own safety even if it means possibly killing a bunch of a bystander civilians as they spray gunfire into a crowd. Who expect to be treated as heroes for all these selfish cowardly actions.

So yes, when one of them actually has a chance to be a hero and instead just stands around twiddling his thumbs for five minutes while listening to the gunfire and screams, people are gonna be pissed.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 5:52 AM on February 23 [24 favorites]


Well, I'm not going to insist that Peterson should've gone in guns blazing. But I'm pretty sure that if he'd seen warning signs of unstable behavior, he would've --

The sheriff’s deputy who did “nothing” while Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen people also refused to share information on Cruz with state social services during a 2016 investigation into his home life.

[Emily Litella] Never mind.
posted by delfin at 5:53 AM on February 23 [20 favorites]


(And also I'm mad because I went to a majority black high school with armed officers on campus and it literally never even occurred to me that they were there for any reason except to threaten the students, and it didn't seem to have occurred to them either. They were never there to protect us from outside threats, they were only there to make students feel like criminals, and this whole idea of adding more guns to campus is just going to be more of the same, white supremacist violence that supports the white supremacist power structure.)
posted by the turtle's teeth at 5:56 AM on February 23 [40 favorites]


I would echo the turtle's teeth that it seems the only things cops seem to be any goddam good at are panicking and covering up each other's crimes, and that this cop's refusal to do anything useful even while common schmucks like us were dying for each other is par for the fucking course. There's nothing especially interesting about it; it's just another dreary example of how useless these goons are.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:10 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


There's nothing especially interesting about it

And (reading through some of the twitter thread about him refusing to give info on Cruz to the social services investigation) it looks like the MAGwanks are really piling in on making the narrative about the RO and sheriff's office; they've even found a pic of Sheriff Israel with Hillary Clinton...
posted by Buntix at 6:20 AM on February 23


@ciccmaher:
The NRA: “Arm teachers!”

*Philando Castile, a legally licensed and armed teacher, shot dead by police*

The NRA: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

posted by Artw at 6:53 AM on February 23 [45 favorites]


I was reading a local news article the other day about a suburban school district (blindingly white, natch) where the parents are all freaking out because there's not enough security and not even any metal detectors!!!11!

At first I was like, huh, that's weird, every secondary school I've been in recently has had metal detectors (I've been in a few because of my previous job doing educational research), a single point of entry, and alarms on all the other doors and then I realized: I have mostly been inside city schools. Where the black kids go. Those schools got heavy security and metal detectors yonks ago because of everyone freaking out about black kids being criminals. And all the suburban districts smugly used the fact that their schools didn't need those things because their lily white children would never as proof of their superiority. It's ~those people~ in the city who need the extra security precautions.

So, while I'm sympathetic to parental freakings-out (I too am a parent with a school-aged child), I'm, um, less sympathetic to this particular freak-out than I otherwise would be.

(Also, my feelings about the arm teachers malarkey are copious and could probably fill this entire thread so preemptive tl;dr: I AM REPELLED BY THIS IDEA AT A SUBATOMIC LEVEL.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:14 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


One thing that did surprise me about the CNN town hall was the handful of speakers who talked about the need for more metal detectors and safety drills with the same righteous tones as the mass of the crowd emphasizing gun control. I was taken aback when one bereaved parent, after getting cheers calling for action, was like "WHERE is our bulletproof glass?"

Perhathe NRA made sure she was there. But in another case, I think the speaker (a surviving student) was under the impression that one side of the issue supported metal detectors and such in tandem with increased gun control such as banning the AR15, while the other was in favor of doing nothing, or something like that. I think a lot of people's have an incomplete sense that politicians "do nothing" in general about this, when the truth, when it comes to NRA-funded ones, is obviously more sinister.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:38 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Arm the teachers, you say.
Teachers who are trained in the use of their guns and have licenses, you say.

What could go wrong?
posted by anem0ne at 7:41 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]




I can't believe how effectively the minority viewpoint continues to get traction and attention. It's maddening to me that we are talking about arming teachers. That just won't happen. As pleasing as it is for our stupid brains to both-sides the important debate about arming teachers and come to a conclusion, it's just a diversionary tactic. Just get rid of the damn guns. Stop talking about this bullshit. (Edited to add, not directed at you all, but at the media and "well-meaning folks" who won't engage at the core issue and double-down to vote and act the way that they poll.)
posted by amanda at 8:33 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Both First National Bank of Omaha and Enterprise Holdings (Enterprise, Alamo, and National car rental) announce that they're ending their discount programs with the NRA.
posted by octothorpe at 8:42 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Douglas High School sophomore Sarah Chadwick: "We should change the names of AR-15s to “Marco Rubio” because they are so easy to buy."

My god these kids.
posted by gwint at 8:52 AM on February 23 [65 favorites]


I want three of these kids to run for Senate stacked on top of each other under a trenchcoat like Vincent Adultman
posted by saturday_morning at 8:56 AM on February 23 [30 favorites]


I want three of these kids to run for Senate stacked on top of each other under a trenchcoat like Vincent Adultman

Honestly, these kids on their own merits are making a fair number of duly elected full-grown-adult politicians look like Vincent Adultman
posted by halation at 9:06 AM on February 23 [14 favorites]


Florida school shooting: Sheriff got 18 calls about Nikolas Cruz's violence, threats, guns
In February 2016, neighbors told police that they were worried he “planned to shoot up the school” after seeing alarming pictures on Instagram showing Cruz brandishing guns.

About two months later, an unidentified caller told police that Cruz had been collecting guns and knives. The caller was “concerned (Cruz) will kill himself one day and believes he could be a school shooter in the making,” according to call details released by the Sheriff's Office.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:08 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


The nice thing about the national government being transparently incompetent is, it makes people who are socially 'supposed' to doubt themselves think "well, hell, I could do better than that!"
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:08 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


One thing that did surprise me about the CNN town hall was the handful of speakers who talked about the need for more metal detectors and safety drills with the same righteous tones as the mass of the crowd emphasizing gun control. I was taken aback when one bereaved parent, after getting cheers calling for action, was like "WHERE is our bulletproof glass?"

Perhathe NRA made sure she was there.


She was there because she belonged there.

Lori Alhadeff had just lost her 14 year old daughter. She's the mom who had screamed in anguish into a camera begging President Trump to do something. She was grieving and in pain. Angry and looking for answers.

This is what she said:
This horrific incident has to be the catalyst that finally puts things in action. Let's make our schools safe again #AlyssaAlhadeff. In 2013, the NRA released a 225 page report to call for more security at schools. It detailed security guards, teacher training, bomb sniffing dogs, expanded police presence in schools. Here we are five years later and nothing has been done. Our teachers need to be properly trained to teach our children how to handle a code red. We can visually mark hiding areas in the classrooms to protect our children from being gunned down.

Where are our metal detectors? Where is our bullet proof glass? Where are children's ID badges with the photos, names and the ability to open locked doors? Where are the new versions of Amber Alerts before school safety? Where are the lists of things to do and the ability to do them that every school needs to have in order to provide safety for our kids. Where is the funding to protect the ones who will be the future of our nation? Who is the funding safety - - who is funding the safety protocols? How are state and Federal teams working together?

How do the local police forces support our schools? Who will lead the programs to pass new laws that require security cameras, bulletproof shields in classrooms, more drills for teachers to help manage things such as things that they have faced?

Where are the school psychologists? Who is helping to put a plan for that in place? And why hasn't anything been done since Sandy Hook? How many more of these do we need to endure before something happens. We need an emergency meeting now! Put politics aside and put our children first. I don't want to see another parent lose a child in this senseless way! I want us to all send our kids to school with the feeling of security in the name of #alyssaalhadeff and the 16 others who lost their lives and the thousands who are traumatized and speaking up for their rights. We must bring about change. Clear calls to action to make our school safe again. How do the NRA and lawmakers work together? Who is going to pay for this? What is the plan to put things into action? These are my questions? And we all want a clear answer. Enough talk! What is your action?!
I hate the NRA and think the only solution to these problems is to ban guns. But that mother clearly believed what she was saying and she had a right to say it just as anyone else in that hall did, without accusations that they are liars or deceptive actors or NRA plants or anything else. People can disagree on these issues without us raising the specter of conspiracy theories.
posted by zarq at 9:10 AM on February 23 [21 favorites]


I may have missed it, but in case it hasn't been stated explicitly in this thread: The whole "arming teachers" thing is just a classic Trumpian distraction to move the debate from "should we ban assault rifles" to "should we arm teachers" He talked about it more at his CPAC speech today. The more he talks about that "solution" the more air it takes in the room at the expense of talk about gun control.
posted by gwint at 9:16 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


I hate the NRA and think the only solution to these problems is to ban guns.

Ditto. I couldn't agree more. But I also agree with this bereaved mother. If the NRA, the government, anyone, really cares about solving the problem, then why haven't these measures been put in place? What is the plan?

/rhetorical
posted by rubbish bin night at 9:48 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


The business flight from NRA continues: Insurer Chubb says will stop underwriting NRA insurance for gun owners
posted by zakur at 9:49 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]


Way up thread, mhum: I was thinking of writing up something to compare the extreme, maximalist positions of today's NRA and the 1850's anti-abolitionists, but it turns out Josh Marshall has more or less just done so (and better than I could have, obvs), "Gun Rights, ‘Positive Good’ and the Evolution of Mutually Assured Massacre".

If you haven't read it yet, let me add my recommendation: you should read the article. It is clarifying, dark, perfectly explanatory, and paradoxically it fills me with hope - the NRA understands that they are on the losing side of the argument.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:56 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


We can visually mark hiding areas

Um...
posted by Dysk at 9:57 AM on February 23 [22 favorites]


The business flight from NRA continues: Insurer Chubb says will stop underwriting NRA insurance for gun owners

I thought one of the reforms all y'all wanted was for gun owners to carry insurance? This seems like a step backwards.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:15 AM on February 23


The hiding areas, along with a bunch of the other NRA suggestions, falls down if the shooter has had the exact same training their fellow students have.

And again the question remains “who pays for that crap?” - with any answer other than the NRA and the gun industry being unacceptable.

(It’s all fucking stupid anyway)
posted by Artw at 10:19 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]



I thought one of the reforms all y'all wanted was for gun owners to carry insurance? This seems like a step backwards.


I'd like gun owners to be required to carry gun-injury liability insurance, not get a discount on car insurance.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:21 AM on February 23 [28 favorites]


I’d like it not to be an NRA profit center, because fuck the NRAs profits.
posted by Artw at 10:23 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


I'd like gun owners to be required to carry gun-injury liability insurance, not get a discount on car insurance.

That's what the insurance program they stopped underwriting was for.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:23 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


I thought one of the reforms all y'all wanted was for gun owners to carry insurance? This seems like a step backwards.

This doesn't stop that. It just means that Chubb will no longer give NRA members a deal.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:25 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


The program Chubb stopped participating in is the NRA Carry Guard, which has been called murder insurance.
posted by peeedro at 10:26 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


I want the insurance requirement AND for no company to offer the insurance. The insurance requirement isn't an unreasonable limitation on your theoretical right to a weapon, and the government isn't the one outlawing anything - so yeah this would be a lovely end around to ban certain types of weapons.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:29 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


The program Chubb stopped participating in is the NRA Carry Guard, which has been called murder insurance.

Call it whatever you want, but it included civil liability coverage for shootings. I thought that's exactly the type of insurance all y'all wanted gun owners to purchase?
posted by Jacqueline at 10:30 AM on February 23


Going by what was said at the CNN event, the NRA does fund some programs for the non-weapon-based school security measures. Like I said before, see how tobacco companies literally funded fire companies and fire marshals.

I choose poor words when I mentioned the NRA in connection with the woman calling for bulletproof glass. I just meant they might have a hand in the process of selecting which subset of grieving people (whose loss I absolutely cannot imagine) get their voices heard. But that sort of possibility probably applies much more to the President's "listening session" than to the CNN event.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:33 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


>The business flight from NRA continues: Insurer Chubb says will stop underwriting NRA insurance for gun owners

I thought one of the reforms all y'all wanted was for gun owners to carry insurance? This seems like a step backwards.


You're conflating a few different groups of people and a few different ideas here, so, no, there's no unified stance on this, and it's also not a step backwards.

Some people have called out the voluntary purchase of insurance as a mark of a responsible gun owner; some other people have called for fewer guns, even if that means responsible gun owners can't have guns; some other people have called for mandatory insurance purchases for gun owners, like we already do for motor vehicles, and which is exactly what this program is not -- a discounted, NRA-backed voluntary insurance program.

I thought that's exactly the type of insurance all y'all wanted gun owners to purchase?


No, you are incorrect; some people did, who are not the people saying they're happy about this because some of us just want fewer guns, and some of us want mandatory insurance requirements, and so on.
posted by cjelli at 10:34 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


I'd like gun owners to be required to carry gun-injury liability insurance

And I'm also 100% okay with making getting that liability insurance super fucking expensive and very fucking hard to get. And making each bullet $5,000 and only purchasable if you have said insurance.

You know, kinda like how it's "possible" to get certain types of healthcare in backwards states, but the restrictions are so onerous that it's actually not easy at all.
posted by anem0ne at 10:35 AM on February 23 [27 favorites]


I'm on Team Yes I'm Coming For Your Guns but in the meanwhile I'm on Team Make The Personal Costs of Gun Ownership Commensurate With The Social Costs.

Whatever insurance program that financially penalizes gun owners who do not keep their guns secure, who have them lost or stolen but don't report it, who own certain types of weapons known to be more lethal and more frequently used in murders, and which raises premiums on anyone who has an "accident" with their gun is the program I want. If you are the gun-owner equivalent of a male 16-28 who owns five Lambourghinis and has 7 accidents and moving violations on his record, you need to be paying the equivalent amount for your gun insurance. (I.e., a lot.)

But it still shouldn't be arranged through a political lobbying group and nobody should be getting a discount through said group.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:37 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


I thought that's exactly the type of insurance all y'all wanted gun owners to purchase?

Not to harp on this too much, but to try and be clearer: you've made the point repeatedly that Not All Gun Owners all feel the same way about guns and gun control, so please understand that not all proponents of people being not shot by guns also differ in their preferred approaches to how to achieve that goal.

Yes, voluntary insurance purchases are a thing some people wanted; but no, it's not 'exactly the type' that 'all' people wanted.
posted by cjelli at 10:38 AM on February 23 [16 favorites]


Team Yes I'm Coming For Your Guns

that's so two weeks ago, im now on Team Yes I'm Here for the Affluent White Children Coming For Your Guns - after all what are these going to do about it, shoot them?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:40 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Oh and also, not voluntary. Mandatory. I can't have a drivable car without insurance on it (*and* I have to get it inspected annually to make sure it's safe) why should guns be different?
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:41 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Call it whatever you want, but it included civil liability coverage for shootings. I thought that's exactly the type of insurance all y'all wanted gun owners to purchase?

If your insurer actually monitors your behavior and takes affirmative steps to confirm that you're a safe and trained gun owner, that's great.

But if all they do is take your money and give you a letter, then I'd rather you not carry insurance.
posted by ocschwar at 10:42 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Welcome to AP U.S. History! Everyone say hi to the tank and the 150 heavily armed men. (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
Per the president’s instructions, 150 trained ex-Marines and a tank will be sitting in with us this semester. Everyone say hi! And get cozy. There isn’t a lot of room here because we decided that, of all the possible ways we could have sought to ensure our children’s safety, this was literally the only approach we could try.

Quick update to the syllabus: We are not watching “Saving Private Ryan” because it contains movie violence, which President Trump is concerned may give us bad ideas. And, also, because it will be difficult to see on the portion of the projector screen not obscured by the tank turret. I can’t wait for our class discussion of the Seneca Falls Convention and the civil-rights movement. I look forward to having a rigorous debate of the intent of the founders when they used the phrase “well regulated militia”! But, of course, not too rigorous.

No, Charisse, you cannot go to the bathroom; the armed escort is still in there with Tim.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:46 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


davekarpf (@davekarpf): Okay, allow me to be the cranky strategic political communication professor for a minute.

I've got some stuff to say about this ludicrous "arm the teachers" gambit. (1/?)


Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:48 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Right now the only way that owning guns impacts your insurance is if their aggregate value is enough to need additional coverage. But that's just property coverage, like for theft or fire; it's not any special coverage otherwise.

Perhaps naively, I would have thought owning guns would add a measurable amount of additional household liability risk that would be reflected in insurance rates.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:51 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


If your insurer actually monitors your behavior and takes affirmative steps to confirm that you're a safe and trained gun owner, that's great.

Yeah I was reading through the NRA Carry Guard policy info just now and it looks like you don't even get a discount if you've completed training, much less have mandatory training as a condition of buying a policy. IMO that's just a dumb business decision on their part. Especially since the NRA has captured such a huge segment of the training market and it could thus be a great cross-selling opportunity.

I should be in charge of the NRA.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:53 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Perhaps naively, I would have thought owning guns would add a measurable amount of additional household liability risk that would be reflected in insurance rates.

One reason gun owners buy additional gun-specific insurance is that regular homeowners/renters insurance often doesn't include liability for intentional actions like self defense.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:56 AM on February 23


And I'm also 100% okay with making getting that liability insurance super fucking expensive and very fucking hard to get.

I am completely on board with this because, after all, it's the Invisible Hand of the Free Market at work! Off the top of my head:

1) Insurance companies offer firearm liability insurance and sell it en masse
2) Gun owners are found at fault for a variety of incidents involving loss of life or limb, not of the "mass murder" type but more along the lines of accidents and negligence and careless storage
3) Insurance companies get soaked for huge settlements repeatedly
4) Insurance companies go "well then" and the cost and difficulty of obtaining said insurance skyrockets, because the risk/return ratio is atrocious from their perspective

Nobody said you had a right to ammo.

On a related note, the Second Amendment states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. Nothing says that any form of government is required to promote and encourage that right. Nothing says that the right to bear arms cannot be, as it is already, balanced and rebalanced against the general public's safety, health, welfare and needs. Nothing says that the government is required to, without banning bearing of arms outright, make bearing arms easy, convenient and cheap.

The trick, of course, is that gun fetishists will accuse the government of enacting regulations that are deliberately impossible or extremely difficult to overcome. To which the response should be "so, you'll stop doing the same thing for abortion clinics, then?"
posted by delfin at 11:06 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


I thought one of the reforms all y'all wanted was for gun owners to carry insurance? This seems like a step backwards.

Chubb is just the underwriter. This is insurance branded and sold by the NRA. The NRA makes a profit on this insurance.

And just who the fuck is "y'all"?
posted by JackFlash at 11:11 AM on February 23 [20 favorites]


Trump just now at a press conference with Aus PM Turnbull, on arming teachers:

"These security guards, they don't love the students, they don't have the motivation to protect them. The teachers love the students and will want to protect them."

Unimpeachable logic from an apparently unimpeachable president.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:32 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Teachers love the students, but to arm them means they have to be willing to kill any one of those students at any moment if/when a crisis occurs suddenly.

Arming teachers changes the whole nature of the relationship. An armed teacher is no longer an educator. An armed teacher is an occupying force against a presumed-hostile population.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 11:37 AM on February 23 [38 favorites]


It's not a new idea: Step inside the Texas school district that already arms its teachers

The article is just about one school district, but it mentions that there are 170 school districts in Texas that allow teachers to concealed carry. No idea how well it's working in the other 169 districts.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:44 AM on February 23


Parkland Survivor: ‘I’ve Never Been So Unimpressed By A Person’ After Trump Call
Samantha Fuentes, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School― where a former student killed 17 people after opening fire on the campus― was at the hospital when the president called her. Fuentes, who was shot twice, told The New York Times that the president “didn’t make me feel better in the slightest.”

“He said he heard that I was a big fan of his, and then he said, ‘I’m a big fan of yours too.’ I’m pretty sure he made that up,” she told the Times. “Talking to the president, I’ve never been so unimpressed by a person in my life.”

posted by zarq at 11:48 AM on February 23 [23 favorites]


No, Charisse, you cannot go to the bathroom; the armed escort is still in there with Tim.

On my town's FaceBook group for school parents just this very day there is a conversation going on about a new rule where school interior doors are locked, and teachers are escorting middle schoolers to the bathroom now so in order to prevent too many class interruptions kids can only go a few times per hour or something ohGodIstoppedreading and I Just Cannot Even any more.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:54 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


“He said he heard that I was a big fan of his, and then he said, ‘I’m a big fan of yours too.’ I’m pretty sure he made that up,”

This is the standard pick up artist technique of leading aggressively with "you know you want me" and daring you to deny it.
posted by JackFlash at 11:58 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Offering up a "well, it maybe kinda if you squint hard works in [insert location here]" rebuttal in response to arguing against arming teachers just further contributes to the attempts to muddy the waters. The very first school district to do this was also the first one to have an "accidental shooting" incident. In terms of this policy, one incident was already one too many, but there have already been many, many incidents, and e haven't even touched on the teachers just itching to blow away children of color.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:58 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]


A distant acquaintance just posted on Facebook an extended description of Trump's motorcade which he passed him on multiple occasions and which has multiple armored SUVs, motorcycle officers, hardened limo, etc. He then quipped "I propose we replace all that expensive protection with a schoolteacher."
posted by phearlez at 12:00 PM on February 23 [19 favorites]


“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA," the statement said. "As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card."

Who the fuck has an NRA Visa card? Wayne LaPierre, I give you. Ted Nugent, sure, but beyond that?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:00 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


On my town's FaceBook group for school parents just this very day there is a conversation going on about a new rule where school interior doors are locked, and teachers are escorting middle schoolers to the bathroom now so in order to prevent too many class interruptions kids can only go a few times per hour or something ohGodIstoppedreading and I Just Cannot Even any more.

How do these parents think their kids are going to handle it when they go out into the working world as adults in workplaces that don't have armed guards and aren't in perpetual lockdown?
posted by palomar at 12:09 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


One reason gun owners buy additional gun-specific insurance is that regular homeowners/renters insurance often doesn't include liability for intentional actions like self defense.

Self defense shootings are vanishingly rare and I can understand why insurance for that is separate. It's the risk of things like accidental/negligent shootings that I would have thought would raise rates, but maybe they are rare enough to not push rates up.

As a gun owner, I'm just a bit surprised that I'm not having to pay extra for what is a real (albeit likely small) amount of risk, or at the very least show that I have a gun safe. They care about what kinds of locks are on the door and if there is a fireplace, but they do not care how many guns I own, how they are stored, or what safety features those guns might or might not have.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:14 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Jesus, every Trump comment manages predictability combined with too-stupid-for-entertaining-parody. In the bit quoted by Rust Moranis, Donald has apparently decided to extrapolate one security guard's actions to "these security guards". Then he charts new territory in conservative rhetoric, elevating teachers above the cops and the cop-esque.

So I have to wonder whether he'd make an equivalent assumption reading the story about the teacher who accidentally shot her own leg? Like, I wouldn't put it past him to start mocking her, turning it into some general smear of teachers ("unions will make us pay extra for the clumsy ones!"), and then only God knows what.

ricochet biscuit: Who the fuck has an NRA Visa card? Wayne LaPierre, I give you. Ted Nugent, sure, but beyond that?

Members of the NRA would? I'm not getting the confusion here.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:20 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


As a gun owner, I'm just a bit surprised that I'm not having to pay extra for what is a real (albeit likely small) amount of risk, or at the very least show that I have a gun safe. They care about what kinds of locks are on the door and if there is a fireplace, but they do not care how many guns I own, how they are stored, or what safety features those guns might or might not have.

That's because the insurance companies have determined that their odds of having to pay out, no matter the level of negligence or dereliction, is practically zero. The laws are in their favor.
posted by JackFlash at 12:22 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]




I think the fact that the shooter survived plays a role in that. We didn't hear much of the Planned Parenthood shooter after the initial details emerged, either, though there wasn't the same focus on the survivors, natch.
posted by rhizome at 12:32 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Offering up a "well, it maybe kinda if you squint hard works in [insert location here]" rebuttal in response to arguing against arming teachers just further contributes to the attempts to muddy the waters. The very first school district to do this was also the first one to have an "accidental shooting" incident. In terms of this policy, one incident was already one too many, but there have already been many, many incidents, and e haven't even touched on the teachers just itching to blow away children of color.

Thanks, Cunningham's Law!

I'd seen a few different articles from different sources all focusing on that one school district and I wondered if they were cherry-picking but my Google-Fu was failing me for trying to find information on the other districts that already allow armed teachers because recent news is completely drowning out the results.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:38 PM on February 23


I think the fact that the shooter survived plays a role in that.

Yeah, no need to endlessly speculate about why the shooter did what he did because presumably he'll eventually tell someone.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:40 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Definitely some momentum, here. More businesses cut NRA ties: MetLife, Symantec/LifeLock, SimpliSafe
posted by zakur at 12:47 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]




The Spring Awakening of the Stoneman Douglas Theatre Kids
For former high-school-theatre kids, it’s a point of pride to see one of our own elevated to civic hero. “All these kids are drama kids, and I’m a dramatic kid, so it really meshes well,” Emma González, one of Kasky’s compatriots, told Emily Witt. (Kasky had just left drama class when the shooting began.) On Thursday, the morning after Kasky asked Senator Marco Rubio if he would promise not to take any more donations from the N.R.A. (he wouldn’t), Kasky tweeted, “Using my in flight chat to learn my Spring Awakening lines.” He was referring to the Tony Award-winning rock musical from 2006, by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. From the lines he posted (“can we at least consider the fitness of the conjecture?”), it seems he’s playing the lead, Melchior Gabor.

“Spring Awakening” had already been on my mind as I watched Kasky, González, and their classmates show more moral clarity and vision than we’ve seen in the gun debate for a long time. Based on the 1891 play by the German dramatist Frank Wedekind, the musical shows what happens when neglectful adults fail to make the world safe or comprehensible for teen-agers, and the onus that neglect puts on kids to beat their own path forward. The unregulated weapon, in the show, isn’t guns but sex. Melchior and his classmates are burning up with hormones, but in a repressive society that insists on ignorance over truth, sex is never explained. It’s up to the kids to figure it out—badly. At the end of Act I, Melchior and the object of his affection, Wendla, have sex, and when Wendla becomes pregnant she has no idea why. “Why didn’t you tell me everything?” she screams at her mother, who shuffles her off to a botched abortion.

In the musical’s final scene, Melchior visits the grave of his friend Moritz, who killed himself under the weight of school exams and his father’s expectations. “Moritz, my old friend,” he says, kneeling on the grave. “Well, they won’t get to me. Or Wendla. I won’t—I won’t let them. We’ll build that world, together, for our child.” He looks around at “all these little tombs,” before discovering, to his horror, a fresh one for Wendla. Attended by their ghosts, he sings
I’ll walk now with them,
I’ll call on their names.
And I’ll see their thoughts are known.
Not gone.
Not gone.
; _ ;
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:01 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


The NRA is being supported by these companies. That article is being updated as companies abandon the organization.

On an average day, 96 Americans are killed with guns.

On average there are nearly 13,000 gun homicides a year in the U.S.

For every one person killed with guns, two more are injured.

Over the last five years, there were more than 200 non-fatal firearm injuries each day.

Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of firearm deaths in the U.S. are suicides.

Of the 169,395 firearm deaths in the US from 2011 to 2015 (the most recent five years of data available), 105,183 (or 62 percent) were suicides.

Seven children and teens (age 19 or under) are killed with guns in the U.S. on an average day.
(Rates of firearm injury death increase rapidly after age 12. And unintentional shootings of children and teens are underreported in the CDC data, possibly because of the difficulty of characterizing a child’s intent after he or she has killed himself or a playmate with a firearm.)

Unintentional shootings involving children, which occur every 34 hours, on average.

In an average month, 50 women are shot to death by intimate partners in the U.S. And more than half of all women killed by intimate partners in the U.S. are killed with guns.

America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other high-income countries.

Background checks are a central component of America's efforts to keep guns from criminals: since their inception, they have blocked over 3 million gun sales to prohibited purchasers.

Black men are 13 times more likely than non-hispanic white men to be shot and killed with guns.

Black Americans make up 14 percent of the U.S. population9 but are victims of more than half of all gun homicides.

When a gun is present in a situation of domestic violence, it increases the risk the woman will be killed fivefold.

--
All of those deaths throughout the years and those companies continued to support the NRA. After Sandy Hook and 20 murdered little kids. After dozens of mass shootings. These are rats abandoning a sinking ship, and they do not deserve our business.
posted by zarq at 1:04 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


I want the insurance requirement AND for no company to offer the insurance.

For me the requirement for getting insurance coverage is that their underwriters are going to require best-practices secure storage, which is a 30 minute/side UL listed safe AND a monitored alarm system.

The idea being, with an average response time of 15 minutes, they're still trying to get your guns when the cops arrive, preventing their loss.
posted by mikelieman at 1:08 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


OH, and insurance companies will have a premium commensurate with the risk. Defectively designed AR rifles which can be trivially used as machine guns are going to have one whopping surcharge.
posted by mikelieman at 1:13 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Sources are reporting that, in addition to the school resource officer, there were at least three Broward county deputies who were first on scene and did not enter the school. Reportedly they did not even enter the school when Coral Springs police arrived and went in after Cruz.

Anyone want to defend that as not-cowardly? There were 4 armed officers on scene who never went in. Four.
posted by Justinian at 1:37 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


I admit I'm pretty shocked. One officer, yes, that's a very tough situation. FOUR who don't even go in when officers from other departments are busting down the doors and storming inside... I don't have words.
posted by Justinian at 1:39 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


I'm developing a theory that that's why Sheriff Israel was Good Cop the other night, because he already knew his people shirked their jobs.
posted by rhizome at 1:40 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


That insurance is being sold in NRA's name. NRA is profiting coming and going from death.
posted by Yowser at 1:46 PM on February 23


I admit I'm pretty shocked. One officer, yes, that's a very tough situation. FOUR who don't even go in when officers from other departments are busting down the doors and storming inside... I don't have words.

Don't forget the thirty-plus times the police were called about Cruz before this happened. I want to say "what the hell is going on with that police department", but I'm kind of moving strongly towards the position that police departments are acting more in their own interests than the citizens', these days.
posted by corb at 2:00 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


The SRO who didn't go in when the shooting happened is the same SRO who also didn't follow up on the tip given to the local police department last year that people were concerned that Cruz was going to shoot up the school.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:18 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


The transcript of the call to the FBI from January had so many red flags that weren't acted on, but the list of 23 calls to Cruz's home is worth looking at. There are a number of times someone needed to act in the last couple years, including warnings he would shoot up a school. There were also several instances where mental health professionals were present and told police he wasn't a danger to himself or others, and I'm not sure what the police are supposed to do with that. And years before that, there's a long string of calls that seem like a mother having a lot of trouble with all her kids (calling police because your 11-year-old, a different child, is "hitting door with pool equipment" is unusual).

The pattern in these calls does make a compelling case for "red flag laws" or gun violence restraining orders, though it also makes a compelling case for not having so many damn guns everywhere.
posted by zachlipton at 2:19 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Looking at that list of business providing discounts to the NRA membership, it seems like FedEx is the one most vulnerable to social pressure.
posted by Rumple at 2:25 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


it also makes a compelling case for not having so many damn guns everywhere.

And for disarming the police.

NB: Police in Florida shot and killed 58 people last year, according to WaPo's database (including 6 unarmed people and 1 with a toy weapon).
posted by melissasaurus at 2:35 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Am I the only person who is shocked and just finding out that multiple big companies offered goddamn NRA discounts?! Sure, I have AAA and use it for discounts, but.... that's a travel and transportation company?! Why the hell were car rental places giving out discounts for "people who like guns a whole lot"?!
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:44 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


There were also several instances where mental health professionals were present and told police he wasn't a danger to himself or others, and I'm not sure what the police are supposed to do with that.

So this list also color-codes what the police think needs to be reconsidered post-shooting, right? "Incidents under internal review", and there's only two- the times he was specifically being referred for a possible school shooting.

But in my eyes, there's a lot of stuff there that raises real flags about incorrect police work, and a lot of it has to do with how domestic violence by teenaged males is not taken seriously when they're white.

11/2012: "Linda Cruz requested deputies as Nikolas hit her with a plastic hose from the vacuum cleaner" then goes to "Deputy responded, incident changed to information call, no report initiated."

1/2013: "Alleged she was thrown against wall because she took away Nikolas's Xbox game system...Behavioral Health responded and advised a Baker Act was not warranted at this time."

11/2014: "Nikolas admitted to shooting the airsoft rifle but denied shooting chickens, Owner of animal refused to press charges"

All of these, post-shooting, were found by the police 'no policy violation'. But - why? Why is a son committing actual violence against his mother not a crime? If he committed the same acts against a stranger, he would have been charged, but because it's his mother, it doesn't count because that's "normal teenage behavior"? I have a (female) teenager and she has never even come close to striking me. That is abnormal. That is abusive. And it's also criminal.

Similarly, why didn't they follow up on the animal abuse? Sure, the owner didn't press charges, but there's a lot of crimes the police choose to press whether or not the victim files charges. Why not this one?
posted by corb at 2:51 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


The situation with the accusations that CNN told a student what question to ask has gotten increasingly ridiculous, complete with an altered email. Erik Wemple tells the story.
posted by zachlipton at 4:17 PM on February 23


The superintendent of the schools for Broward, Robert Runcie, is on CNN now commenting on the reports that there were at least 4 armed officers who stood outside Parkland and never went inside even after the officers from Coral Springs arrived and began clearing the school room by room.

Coral Springs is being very careful about official statements as there is obviously a large scale investigation going on but reading between the lines the cops from Coral Springs were appalled by the behavior of the Broward County deputies and the SRO.
posted by Justinian at 4:24 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


Sources: Coral Springs police upset at some Broward deputies for not entering school
...many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff's deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school.
So four armed, trained men punked out while kids were being murdered inside.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:47 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


Holy shit.
Yeah, one officer freezing up is bad, but not entirely surprising. At least he resigned, because regardless of whatever went on in his head he shouldn't be a cop. But four of them?

That whole department needs to be put under the microscope.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:05 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Texas school district threatens to suspend students who protest gun violence

@UConn: "UConn would like to assure students who have applied or been admitted to the University that disciplinary action associated with participation in peaceful protests will not affect your admission decision in any way."

Good for them.
posted by lalex at 7:27 PM on February 23 [22 favorites]


My son told me today that our town's school committee allegedly supported a walkout in support of anti-gun demonstrations elsewhere, but the deans -- two disciplinary administrators at the high school -- torpedoed it. Nice.

Pretty sure that Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District says that there will be no special punishment for such an event, you two jerks.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:52 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


If it's administration sanctioned it's not really a walkout and is more of a spontaneous school field trip, really.
posted by Justinian at 9:08 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


I can't believe how effectively the minority viewpoint continues to get traction and attention. It's maddening to me that we are talking about arming teachers. That just won't happen.

According to this completely rigorous and not at all astroturfable MSNBC online poll, arming teachers currently has 78% popular support.
posted by flabdablet at 9:20 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


I wonder what will happen the first time a white cop encounters an armed Black teacher while responding to an active shooter situation?

Assuming the cops trouble to enter the building, that is.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:41 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Parkland shooting survivor's family shops doctored emails with CNN to media outlets
CNN says that Stevenson and Colton agreed on one question that Colton would ask, but that Haab's father, Glenn Haab, intervened, sending a lengthy speech (see below) that he wanted Colton to read, which included three questions for lawmakers.

Stevenson responded that the speech was "way too long" and that Colton "needs to stick" to the question they agreed on. Glenn then responded that he and his son "are not actors" and that Colton would not participate in the town hall if he could not read the full speech.

On Friday afternoon, Fox News and the HuffPost reached out to CNN to verify emails between the Haabs and Stevenson that they received from Colton.

A CNN source provided Colton's version of the emails, as well as their versions of all of the communications between the Haabs and CNN, to Business Insider.

In CNN's version of one email, Stevenson told Glenn that Colton needed to stick to a question that he and Stevenson "discussed on the phone that he submitted." But in the version of the email provided by Colton to Fox and HuffPost, the phrase, "that he submitted" is deleted.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:59 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


According to this completely rigorous and not at all astroturfable MSNBC online poll, arming teachers currently has 78% popular support.

Yes, it would be particularly bad if someone were to dash off a quick Python script to just hit the "no" vote link over and over. 👀
posted by XtinaS at 4:31 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


History will look back at Trump's solution to arm teachers as the greatest political red herring of all time. He knows the country is demanding immediate action and is forcing his hand to propose a solution that will both placate the NRA and can be chanted by Fox news, so "arm teachers" it is.

His people abso-fucking-lutely know this will never happen nationally.

Social media is blowing up with #ArmMeWith and outrage and national debates about this. It's all we're talking about.

With all our attention on a non-starter of a solution, what we're not doing is discussing gun control laws, banning automatic weapons and increasing mental health services. Millions of us are focused on debating something that's never going to happen, and that's the plan. His supporters clap back with, "He HAS a solution and this is ANOTHER reason why libtards and teachers are ruining this country. They don't WANT to help kids."

"These security guards, they don't love the students, they don't have the motivation to protect them. The teachers love the students and will want to protect them."

Oh, fuck you and your sexist stereotypes. Sure, most of us keep teaching because we DO love kids and we're so passionate about education that we will accept being unappreciated and underpaid and overworked.

But to take that and assume we love kids enough to die for this job? Uh, no. Talk to teachers behind closed doors and you'll hear us tell you that there's no way we'd die for this job. The fucking stone cold truth is yeah, we would definitely get kids in closets and lock doors, but none of us are willing to die for the kids, and any teacher who says they'd go out and confront anyone with an automatic weapon is a) lying, b) someone so delusional that you don't want them anywhere near a firearm, or c) both.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:44 AM on February 24 [14 favorites]


The football coach was.

The geography teacher who was shot after unlocking his classroom door to let students in was.

But that is, as heroism should be, an opt-in situation. I don't think any of us knows just how we would react with a shooter staring at us until it happens. And the ONLY priority for Trump and legislators should be to try to ensure that no one else has to find that out.
posted by delfin at 5:00 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


The football coach was.

The geography teacher who was shot after unlocking his classroom door to let students in was.


No, no, NO. No, this is exactly what teachers are angry about. This is exactly what we refuse to get twisted. Those teachers did NOT try to engage the shooter with their handguns.

There's a fine line of horrible but reasonable expectations. We are prepared to protect the kids by getting them into secure spaces, by pulling them into classes, by locking and barricading doors.

What we're NOT going to do is carry guns in school with the understanding that AFTER we've gotten kids as secure as we can, we're going to leave those kids and try to engage in a gunfight using our revolver against an automatic weapon.

It's one thing to expect us to sacrifice ourselves to get kids into a safe space, it's quite another to expect us engage in a gunfight.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:08 AM on February 24 [43 favorites]


"UConn would like to assure students who have applied or been admitted to the University that disciplinary action associated with participation in peaceful protests will not affect your admission decision in any way."

Ditto UMass and MIT.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:29 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


It's one thing to expect us to sacrifice ourselves to get kids into a safe space, it's quite another to expect us engage in a gunfight.

Except, of course, for the clone army of General Kelly teaching history in every school in America. Those guys will get in a gunfight quick as lightning, and you will be so happy with what we're doing, believe me.

(checks notes)

I hear you.
posted by flabdablet at 5:32 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]




No one who is sane expects teachers to engage in gunfights, and I have no clue how you read "they should" out of my comment. The goal is to keep guns out of schools, not to escalate their arms race voluntarily.
posted by delfin at 7:12 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Here in Pittsburgh, the high-school students who demonstrated last week won't get detentions.
posted by octothorpe at 7:18 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Is anyone making a list of colleges that have said they won't penalize applicants for suspensions for peaceful protest? Someone should. Add Northeastern to that list.

As far as I can tell, admissions at the university where I work doesn't look at anyone's high-school disciplinary record, which is actually a little weird.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:36 AM on February 24


Delta and United have cut ties with the NRA.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:08 AM on February 24 [22 favorites]


Just the fact that we're talking about arming teachers makes me so angry. The right is so fucking good at changing the topic of conversation and making everyone talk about something completely stupid instead what we should be talking about, "banning guns" in this case.
posted by octothorpe at 9:31 AM on February 24 [24 favorites]


It's one thing to expect us to sacrifice ourselves to get kids into a safe space, it's quite another to expect us engage in a gunfight.

Even this is a huge ask. If working in the hospital meant the understanding that I might have to herd my patients to safety and hide them from an active shooter, I would walk. Absolutely. No one should have “hide people from someone trying to gun you down with an automatic weapon” be a part of their de facto workplace duties. Jesus. What has gone so wrong with America that this is considered acceptable?

The right is so fucking good at changing the topic of conversation and making everyone talk about something completely stupid instead what we should be talking about, "banning guns" in this case.

Omg yes. The Right are the masters of making us argue on their turf. We wind up using up all the air in the room debating them about something entirely ludicrous and then never even touch the meat of the problem. We need to do better about checking our impulses to go after the low hanging fruit. Every time their stupid talking points are repeated - even to mock - we’re reifying them.
posted by supercrayon at 4:03 PM on February 24 [12 favorites]


No one should have “hide people from someone trying to gun you down with an automatic weapon” be a part of their de facto workplace duties. Jesus. What has gone so wrong with America that this is considered acceptable?

We had an active shooter training at work last year that was led by or campus police and included shit like hand to hand combat practice. I refused to participate and was actually furious that we'd even been asked. I absolutely reject the notion that I, a middle aged civilian of dubious physical fitness, need combat training in order to work in a basement office on a college campus. I refuse to normalize this. It's fucked up in the extreme.

Most other people I work with went (and some were legit traumatized by the simulations) but I can't be a part of making this fucked up situation were in seem like just another day at the office.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:19 PM on February 24 [26 favorites]


active shooter training at work last year that was led by or campus police and included shit like hand to hand combat practice

Did they play a video of Die Hard for scenario training?
posted by benzenedream at 6:00 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


What possibly motivates them to think thats a good idea? You're far more likely to hurt yourself slipping on the stairs getting down to your basement office than needing goddamn hand to hand combat skills to stop an amok shooter. So much more likely that just being forced to make the comparison is kind of insulting.

Do you hold walking down the stairs drills?
posted by Justinian at 7:29 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Who are some political folk trying to ban AR-15s, at least? I'd like to go throw money at them. I get occasional "sign this petition!" emails, but I've never seen any sign that e-petitions have been worth anything.
posted by XtinaS at 7:37 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Who are some political folk trying to ban AR-15s, at least?

I've never been for a ban, and wonder if this is more NRA reframing it by getting everyone on the "ban" page, where they're totally safe.

What I want is to stop unlicensed people from buying unregistered firearms. Period.
posted by mikelieman at 12:16 AM on February 25


Who are some political folk trying to ban AR-15s, at least?

Here's some:
Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.)
State Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith, Loranne Ausley and Ramon Alexander, all of Florida. The last two are Republicans, and it looks like all the Democratic reps voted for an assault-weapon ban.
Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City
SC Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Phil Noble
Ohio state Sens. Michael Skindell and Charleta Tavares
U.S. Sen. candidate Jane Raybould of Nebraska

Sen. Ben Nelson is currently in favor of banning the things, but he voted against renewing the assault-weapon ban we used to have. No doubt he has nuanced reasons for his apparent waffling.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:53 AM on February 25 [4 favorites]


There is literally no reason for any civilian to have any semi-automatic weapon.

Let them own weapons that require an action to reload. The most frequent time for an active shooter to be taken down by unarmed civilians is during reloading. Manual reloads and small magazines are proven methods to discourage and make massacres smaller.
posted by Talez at 5:00 AM on February 25 [12 favorites]


For instance, Australia in 2014 had a siege by a wannabe Islamic militant at the Lindt cafe in Sydney. He could only arm himself with an unregistered 1950s era pump-action shotgun and in the ensuing siege between the first shot fired and the police storming the building he only killed one person.

This is what gun laws banning semi-automatic weapons do. They turn statistics back into infrequent tragedies.
posted by Talez at 5:12 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]


I'm definitely for banning ALL assault rifles and handguns. You don't need one, and I don't trust you with it.

Anyone who wants to own a gun. I don't trust you.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 5:12 AM on February 25 [10 favorites]


Kirth Gerson: Thank you very much!
posted by XtinaS at 6:03 AM on February 25


Do I’m seeing this get passed around and widely mocked, which makes me think hypervigilance as regards “red flags” isn’t really going to work out: Students claim square root symbol looks like gun, sparks police investigation

The article tells a differen