The El Paso Shooting and the Gamification of Terror
August 3, 2019 8:41 PM   Subscribe

Earlier today, a 21 year-old white male Trump supporter attacked an El Paso Walmart with an automatic rifle, killing at least 20 and injuring over two dozen in the deadliest shooting of 2019. According to a manifesto posted on the notorious imageboard 8chan, he committed these atrocities in “response to [the] Hispanic invasion of Texas”. If this manifesto is authentic, it not only echoes the anti-immigrant "invasion" rhetoric of Donald Trump, but it also would be the third mass shooting announced in advance on 8chan in less than five months. As 8chan's /pol board continues to radicalize mass shooters, investigative journalism website bell¿ngcat examines the El Paso shooting and the gamification of terror. posted by Doktor Zed (753 comments total) 75 users marked this as a favorite
 
gov. abott's immediate go-to of blaming this on "mental health issues" is so disgraceful that even by the abysmally low standards of politics in 2019, it still boggles the mind.
posted by wibari at 8:55 PM on August 3 [31 favorites]


Moments before the mass shooting, an anonymous 8chan user shared a post on the imageboard’s politics board, /pol/, claiming that it’s “time to stop shitposting and time to make a real life effort post.” That same user shared a series of links to a 74-page manifesto called “The Great Replacement.” Penned by an Australian 28-year-old named Brenton Tarrant, the main suspect arrested in connection with the mosque shootings

So he has a nexus to international terrorism. Either retire the term or start using it for white nationalists.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:01 PM on August 3 [59 favorites]


Two neo-nazi mass murders in a week and the GOP responses were "he was half-Italian and therefore couldn't have been a white nationalist" and "stay out of El Paso, antifascists." We're in a low-grade stochastic civil war and only one side is fighting.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:10 PM on August 3 [110 favorites]


We will never know the true number of casualties, because there’s a good chance that some of them won’t go to any hospital for fear of ICE taking them or their families. And a lot of people are just fine with that.
posted by Etrigan at 9:11 PM on August 3 [65 favorites]


the christchurch shooting has directly inspired at least 2 separate incidents of US domestic terror: the chabad of poway shooting and today’s el paso massacre. all three killers shared the same belief in “great replacement” theory 1/ .... i wouldn’t be surprised if there was another white supremacy inspired terror attack within the next month. many of the online spaces white supremacists gather are fully radicalized into support and glorification of violence. nowhere else to go.

Didn’t the FBI “lose” all its data in Stormfront recently?

So we have a domestic terrorist movement with international ties and communication reach spreading in power and action with sympathetic people embedded in law enforcement and the government that depends on rapidly radicalized young men and rich old men who fund their movements.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 PM on August 3 [127 favorites]


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It's obviously sad how normalized these shootings have become, and yes we definitely need to start using the T word more. This is part of an on going campaign of domestic terrorism, plain and simple. White nationalists are easily the greatest threat to the nation (hasn't really been a secret to anyone reading this.)

And I guess the sickening part is, without a doubt the Right benefits from the cycle of stochastic terrorism. I used to think these "incidents" were just the price they had to pay for their guns and loyal NRA support, inconvenient little blips, but they absolutely further their agenda. We are repeatedly traumatized by these events, the randomness, how it could affect us. And our response as humans (based on news reports) is that many of us go out and buy more guns. The news cycle moves on, but we're always aware of this threat- and then it happens again, and we go through the same thoughts/prayers/lather-rinse-repeat routine.

And it's that fear maybe that is supposed to keep us in line. That we live with this ever present threat and we can't really confront it, we just have to hope it doesn't happen to us. We will buy and consume more goods than we need, do things to the planet that we shouldn't, because we're only going to live for so long until our husband/wife/neighbor/son/daughter is taken from us. All while the cancer that is gun culture seems to benefit from this life and death mindset. I don't wish to despair this much, but I'm struggling to see a way out when these attacks implicitly help the ruling party in every possible way.
posted by andruwjones26 at 9:19 PM on August 3 [18 favorites]




are there sides in stochastic civil war?
what is the equal and opposite response to shooting spree?

did a person in public office really say a mass murderer couldn't have been a white supremacist because italians aren't white? (not really meaning to challenge you, Rust Moranis, just sputtering incredulously. i mean like, i believe it. but i don't believe it!)
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:27 PM on August 3 [10 favorites]


These people are 100% a death cult, and this will only increase as they continue to post their manifestos on 8chan and glorify those who die. I don't know how to deradicalize these people, but they are not any different than people being radicalized by ISIS. It's really, really bad and getting worse.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:28 PM on August 3 [34 favorites]


did a person in public office really say a mass murderer couldn't have been a white supremacist because italians aren't white?

Nobody in office that I know of but it was used with stunning frequency in mainstream conservative social media circles in the hours after the shooting.

are there sides in stochastic civil war?
what is the equal and opposite response to shooting spree?


Ideally, the equal and opposite response is mass mobilization to overthrow an illegitimate government that (barely-)tacitly approves of and encourages gig-economy genocide. Failing that, we could stop trying to compromise with the people who are trying to kill us.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:32 PM on August 3 [25 favorites]


These shootings have prompted many conversations among my friends wondering what role violent video games may also be playing in this, not as the major or precipitating factor, obviously, but potentially as a contributor. The topic was largely dismissed back in the Tipper Gore days, but has any information been made public on how much time these violent young men may have spent playing FPS games?
posted by PhineasGage at 9:34 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Almost all youth today are playing violent video games. Seems a canard
posted by Windopaene at 9:40 PM on August 3 [76 favorites]


Fox News coverage of the killings has included a lot of talk about violent video games and a possible ISIS connection due to the porous border. However, violent video games have not been shown to make kids more violent in numerous studies. Consider that violent video games are everywhere. The common thread among the shooters is white nationalism.
posted by xammerboy at 9:42 PM on August 3 [73 favorites]


Violent videogames are not causing this. It is propaganda targeting young men who are angry at the world and are gulled into a world where they're either incels or white supremacists and glorified for killing people. There is no game(s) inspiring these people. The reason it's proliferating so fast is because they are in self-reinforcing covens basically that are the 8chan and such boards. The internet not violent videogames is what you want if you want a thing that is directly fostering it because they can do these things: 1.) only speak to confirming viewpoints 2.) instantly transmit information back and forth 3.) the media broadcasts that they were these things.

It's really not different than the KKK meeting in someone's basement only it is insanely faster back and forth and easier with the internet. We thought the internet would have us all exposed to many different viewpoints but we neglected human nature... most people don't like to be challenged and do like to be made to feel more powerful.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:43 PM on August 3 [71 favorites]


I see it as less stochastic civil war and more as kayfabe repel the invaders, like the IRA but you know, fucked in the head and fighting a invading force/cultural war that does not exist.
posted by vrakatar at 9:44 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


‘Videogames Are To Blame,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
posted by Memo at 9:44 PM on August 3 [121 favorites]


Like imagine the movie BlacKKKlansmen only replace the shitty houses and awkward meetings with 8chan and The_Donald. Except they literally never have to leave the meeting and ramp up and up and up and up.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:45 PM on August 3 [12 favorites]


Remember after CVille the people who watch online white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups said the messaging had changed and the focus was on “Lone Wolf” style attacks? Cause I do.

If you can’t get rid of the guns then get rid of 8chan, it churns out mass shooters and manifestos. The Facebook->YouTube->Stormfront pipeline is very well documented.

One of the things keeping the militaristic right wingers like 3% and oath keepers from common cause with the Nazis and the white nationalists has been that they traditionally can’t stand each other. However, in It Could Happen shear, a journalist takes his experience covering Kiev, Syria, and Iraq to imagine what an American civi-long period of civic unrest and insurgency - might come from and look like. He notes how powerful Bundy-sequel movements are in parts of the country, the parts with all the guns, and it might not take much to get them active again.

Now these Great Replacement militant racists act more like traditional terrorists, they don’t have much in common with militias or Christian nationalists (for one thing channers aren’t big on religion) . But it’s nit hard to see how a combined great replacement ideology/the big bad government is coming to take your guns could fuse into something really scary, politically motivated, with an end goal (white ethnostate) and forces sympathetic to it in the Administration and elsewhere. Cause you know, in the US if you want to fuse divergent and at odds groups together, racism is usually the glue you use.

Now combine this with a most certain economic crash in the near future, the rapidly escalating climate crisis and its knock on effects, and an entrenched elite that refuses to budge an inch if they figure they can still wait out the clock.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 PM on August 3 [80 favorites]


Totally agree, Whelk. Any web host that harbors these violent websites should be shamed and boycotted if possible. We can't put the internet back in the bottle, but making it harder and forcing them to move makes it harder to radicalize new recruits.

And this is all about radicalization. I think of it akin to how a 3 foot barrier on a bridge dramatically lowered the suicide rate. Most people are also lazy. I spend a lot of my time trying to wrap my brain around a coherent deradicalization campaign and what it would look like. We have to show these young, white men that there are much better options to having a happy life than being angry and racist and then eventually shooting people.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:51 PM on August 3 [15 favorites]


I think the problem with violent video games is not that they make young men more likely to be shooters, but that violent 1st person shooter video games make it more likely that the people who play them will identify with shooters such as this guy, and therefore less likely to vote the party that shares the ideology of the shooter out of office.
posted by jamjam at 9:55 PM on August 3 [13 favorites]


Millions of young white men are playing with extremely-online nihilistic fascism.

Hundreds of thousands of them are taking selfies with skullmask bandannas and telling each other to read murder manifestos and perpetually living out fantasies of mass violence that feel a little more doable and inevitable every time they're replayed.

Think there aren't a few thousand of them who only need a little push and a little more reinforcement in their vile communities to go out and kill 20 or 50 people?

That's a genocide, and our official white supremacist paramilitaries in ICE, CBP, etc don't even have to lift a finger.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:56 PM on August 3 [34 favorites]


Adamvasco posted this analysis from BellingCat in the megathread of the gamification of terrorism as a means to serious ends.
Ever since the Christchurch shooting spree, 8chan users have commented regularly on Brenton Tarrant’s high bodycount, and made references to their desire to “beat his high score.”...

A thread posted fewer than two weeks after the Christchurch massacre includes a copy of The Turner Diaries, a work of fascist speculative fiction that lays out how a right-wing insurgency based around seemingly random acts of terror could bring down the United States government....

Until law enforcement, and the media, treat these shooters as part of a terrorist movement no less organized, or deadly, than ISIS or Al Qaeda, the violence will continue.
posted by xammerboy at 9:57 PM on August 3 [29 favorites]


Google released the 'playbook' for their Redirect Method, which they claim helped pry some people away from ISIS. Curious if it has been tried with these domestic terrorists...
posted by PhineasGage at 10:00 PM on August 3 [7 favorites]


> Google released the 'playbook' for their Redirect Method, which they claim helped pry some people away from ISIS. Curious if it has been tried with these domestic terrorists...

Domestic terrorism isn't a problem that the nerds are going to disrupt for us. Reason didn't get most of these assholes into the frenzied state where they dream of taking the lives of innocents, so reason isn't going to get more than a handful of them out of it.

That's not to say it's not worth doing -- certainly we should try to expose the contradictions of these ideologies and talk people down from the ledge, and if Google's yearning for positive PR is strong enough to sustain a project that saves some lives, that's great. But as long as the occupant of the White House is pushing a hateful ideology, and as long as a major cable news network is sanding off the rough edges to make it palatable to millions of voters who don't like immigrants either but aren't yet in a state where they'd murder them, this movement is only going to grow.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:10 PM on August 3 [15 favorites]


If you work at YouTube, please quit and find another job. You work for an evil organization that is objectively turning the world into a worse place via "engagement".

YouTube is scared shitless of offending the Trumpenvolk by cracking down on bigots. See this Reply All for an explanation. As long as Republicans are using racism as their core belief, they will claim political persecution for any crackdown on bigots and neo Nazis. I'd bet this is the real reason why the Barr DOJ is threatening antitrust investigations.
posted by benzenedream at 10:11 PM on August 3 [25 favorites]


"People hate the word 'invasion,' but that's what it is." -- President Donald Trump, March 15, 2019
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 PM on August 3 [30 favorites]


Reminder: The coast guard officer arrested for planning mass killings of Democrats considered creating biological weapons, such as small pox, in a home lab. His aim was "total destruction."
posted by xammerboy at 10:19 PM on August 3 [17 favorites]


The white terrorist(I refuse to use the term shooter anymore) was wearing eye and ear protection, because he assumed he would be taken alive, which he was, and didn't want to cause long term damage to his eyes and ears.

Think about that.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 11:03 PM on August 3 [116 favorites]


Video games have always been a red herring. "Look over there! Video games! Look anywhere other than the industry lobbying group that treats any weapon you please as a fundamental need more important food, water, or shelter! VIDEO GAMES!!!!!"

It's the guns. It's always the fucking guns.

Add in the free-roaming id in the Oval Office, dumping gasoline all over the fires of hatred, and there's always going to be a job for somebody at the Onion to get a shitty call in the middle of the day to update the story about there being no way to prevent this, in the only nation where this regularly happens.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:04 PM on August 3 [29 favorites]


Note that this manifesto, if legit, is pretty much the public position of folks like Oath Keepers and 3%'ers that hang with law enforcement and border patrol on a regular.

And Fox News.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:05 PM on August 3 [11 favorites]


Looks like another shooting in Dayton, Ohio.
posted by The Whelk at 11:09 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


Source for Dayton shooting.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:15 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Light Upon Light , creating space without hate


Life After Hate Founded by former extremists, we are committed to helping people leave the violent far-right.
posted by The Whelk at 11:26 PM on August 3 [21 favorites]


Local Australian media seems to have followed Jacinda Ardern's lead in never saying the shooter's name. They just call them the Christchurch shooter. I honestly could not remember it until someone quoted it here.

Maybe it's my fault for reading this post. It was nice while it lasted, not knowing.

Damnatio memoriae denies the notoriety that motivates this bullshit, but who am I fucking kidding that that's even remotely possible in 2019.
posted by adept256 at 11:26 PM on August 3 [16 favorites]


So we're at the multiple-mass-shootings-per-day point then? Did you all not send your thoughts and prayers hard enough? We better think and pray harder.
posted by Justinian at 11:31 PM on August 3 [27 favorites]


CNN is still doing live coverage of El Paso right now. Unbelievably, they're going to have to break in to their live mass shooting coverage to cover another mass shooting.
posted by Justinian at 11:33 PM on August 3 [52 favorites]


It's only about an hour drive from Dayton to Cincinnati where Trump spoke Thursday.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:37 PM on August 3 [8 favorites]


The Whelk: "People hate the word 'invasion,' but that's what it is." -- President Donald Trump, March 15, 2019

Source and context: Trump issues first veto, warning of 'reckless' resolution (Jordan Fabian for The Hill, March 15, 2019)
President Trump on Friday issued the first veto of his presidency, stymying Congress’s attempt to block him from obtaining funds for his wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without lawmakers’ approval.
...
In an Oval Office ceremony, Trump said Americans would be put at risk if the “dangerous” and “reckless” resolution became law.

“Today I am vetoing this resolution. Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it,” Trump said.
...
Opponents of the national emergency declaration denounced it as a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers. But Trump framed the vote as a referendum on his immigration agenda, rather than his presidential authority.

“People hate the word ‘invasion,’ but that’s what it is,” the president said of the situation on the southern border.

Trump also said anyone voting to overturn the national emergency is voting “against reality” and asserted that Republican voters were “overwhelmingly” against the resolution.
Sticking to his racist script that got him into office (with the help of Russian interference, lack of the media taking this threat seriously and trying to be "balanced" when there's no way to balance violent racism with "but her emails," etc.)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:43 PM on August 3 [11 favorites]


I've been thinking about what we might do to get past 2A thoughts-and-prayers absolutists, and to actually do something to start putting an end to the massacres. I hope that part of that involves getting over our collective differences and doing whatever it takes to vote out Trump. Getting new leadership in might finally result in the declaration of national emergency measures required to rid the country of assault weapons. Enough people have died already.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:48 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


The Whelk: Looks like another shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

Justinian: CNN is still doing live coverage of El Paso right now. Unbelievably, they're going to have to break in to their live mass shooting coverage to cover another mass shooting.

The massacre in El Paso is the deadliest shooting in the U.S. in 2019. The number of people killed makes it one of the 10 worst in recent American history. (NBC News with a recap of the other "top 10" in American history)

... which shifts the discussion, in a way, from the fact that this is the 251st mass shooting (4 or more shot or killed) in 2019, per Gun Violence Archive. August 4 is the 216th day of the year.

This was an act of racism and hate, and the scale of the violence is significant, but as an incident with multiple victims, gun violence is on par with vehicular fatalities -- not worth significant coverage, because it's so damned common.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:52 PM on August 3 [19 favorites]


The Drudge Report is currently hosting this guy's manifesto.

Not just linking- the link goes to an internal Drudge page. They're literally donating server space to it.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:53 PM on August 3 [16 favorites]


How long is it going to be before we get another Timothy McVeigh? One of these bigots will have planning skills eventually.
posted by benzenedream at 11:57 PM on August 3 [8 favorites]


El Paso funeral homes step up. But they should not have to
.
posted by vrakatar at 11:58 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


I know that YouTube has had a long history of inadvertently radicalizing folks to make a fast buck. I would suggest that you listen to, How YouTube's Left is Changing Minds, to see that there are methods and approaches that can utilize some platforms that have been problematic. (I apologize, I was unable to find a way to link directly to the segment. Just click and listen.)
posted by Ignorantsavage at 11:58 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


15/03/2019 - Christchurch shooting

03/07/2019 - New Zealand's first gun buyback event a success, police say

Remember when Sputnik took the lead and America was like, hold my beer, we're going to the moon! Not because it's easy, because it's hard! Because you're the best, and you can do that and other things that other nations can only dream of.

Now? You look at healthcare and gun control in other countries, and you shrug. It's too hard. You can't do it.

Ban the guns. Outlaw the NRA. Make it another moonshot. Make gun massacres history.
posted by adept256 at 12:22 AM on August 4 [105 favorites]


Local outlets are now reporting (at least) 10 dead in Dayton. So the second one today will end up one of the deadliest 25 or 30 sprees in American history. Yeah, mass shootings are distressingly common to the point of being almost unremarkable but that's a different thing from what we have now seen today with two of the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history occurring within 18 hours of one another.
posted by Justinian at 12:40 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Though it occurs to me that the very fact that we can talk about the "top 30" deadliest mass shootings is in and of itself an absolutely damning indictment.
posted by Justinian at 12:42 AM on August 4 [42 favorites]


It's only about an hour drive from Dayton to Cincinnati where Trump spoke Thursday.

I don’t even know how this isn’t being discussed more. We’re in a low-grade war with the fascists right now, as some of us predicted a few years ago. And I don’t think, no matter who we elect in 2020, anyone in power is going to stop it.
posted by corb at 12:48 AM on August 4 [34 favorites]


n the archives this morning I'm working through material on Columbine and one thing that stands out is how the killers were unmistakable white supremacists but within days the press stopped talking about that and instead focused on mental health, teen angst, media violence, etc. @drewmckevitt


This is a terrorist insurgency the law enforcement and political establishment either doesn't care about, can't do anything about, or is actively cultivating.

I'm old enough to remember feverish Op-Eds about how Islamic terrorists will shoot randomly into crowds or drive into malls. I guess we just gave the Nazis ideas.

Foucault's Boomerang. The war always comes home.
posted by The Whelk at 1:11 AM on August 4 [49 favorites]


Especially if we can’t kick them out of the Senate. Moscow Mitch will simply deny any legislative action a vote, and if there is a Democratic president again he will step up the obstruction so that no appointees are confirmed and no budgets are passed.

Also, our national narrative still can’t acknowledge that white men who mass murder are terrorists. It erases what is happening to the point that the non-combatant population mostly don’t know that they’re living in an escalating war zone. That scares me because how do you fight back against an enemy that you’re still called crazy for naming?
posted by SakuraK at 1:17 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


I’ve said it before, so here it is again:
The movement needs to be called BAN ALL GUNS.
Somebody needs to call it and stand for it.
Fuck the 2nd amendment - repeal it.
Slaves were allowed too, until owning them was banned.
posted by growabrain at 1:30 AM on August 4 [37 favorites]


Moscow Mitch

can we not? Mitch isn't doing this cause he;s under seekrit orders, he's doing it cause it furthers white supremacy and entrenches an unpopular, minority republic government, he does it cause it gives him more power, he does it cause he does not care and is a huge racist.

You don't need an outside force for that. It's pretty much as American as apple pie your genocide.
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 AM on August 4 [51 favorites]


the thing is pretty much every right wing pundit with a megaphone has been saying, for months that if attempts are made to curtail gun ownership will be met with CIVIL WAR - like Tucker Carlson says this , loudly, often. And these people are heavily armed and paranoid. Alex Jones, who still has a huge audience, is pretty much hitting that drum all the time (also the gun takers will also take your children and eat them)


Some journalists say you could make common cause with gun owners by bypassing the Carlsons by trying to form solidarity networks with them by talking reasonable gun control and not Cable News saying WELL IF YOU WANT TO TAKE A LONG GUN YOU WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO KILL US.

After-all, most gun owners who have guns for ...reasonable reasons, want the tight regulations who they can keep up legal hunting or sport shooting. The well is being poisoned by rich lobbying groups.
posted by The Whelk at 1:42 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


like the IRA but you know, fucked in the head

The IRA were plenty fucked in the head.
posted by spitbull at 1:44 AM on August 4 [31 favorites]


Whelk, I think the civil war had started already. It's just not called that yet
posted by growabrain at 1:51 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


@The Whelk: I only call him Moscow Mitch because that’s the one attack that’s ever seemed to bother him. You are absolutely right that what he perpetrates, and the horror of white supremacist violence in general, is entirely homegrown.
posted by SakuraK at 1:52 AM on August 4 [35 favorites]


Whelk, I think the civil war had started already. It's just not called that yet

I mean, I go with the It Could Happen Here thesis that its not a 'Civil War' cause no one is trying to carve out space or a secessionist movement or forming self-organization community models when the State retreats. These attacks are more classical terrorists, wanting to sow fear and discord to advance a political agenda.

but that's a first step and they could very easily fuse with a larger, more determined movement for a white ethnostate.

I'm batting for the municipalized economy in the advance of the collapse of federal power. The Manhattan Commune will be glorious, obviously.
posted by The Whelk at 2:05 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]




All the ABC (Australian, not American) news stories about these shootings lately have included this line:

Mass shootings are common in the United States.
posted by Wantok at 2:19 AM on August 4 [42 favorites]




As an only half american, I want to say, grow up, America, the rest of the world has incidents like this, but nowhere near as often as the US. And this one will be forgotten in a few days.
posted by PollyWaffle at 2:34 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


I recall that podcast The Whelk. Do you remember the story Robert told in the introduction? I think it was based upon his experiences in Mosul. You wake up to gunfire, but it's distant and you don't worry about it, you just start your day. Because you've got too much shit to do.

I feel like that is at least metaphorically true already.

I recommend everyone at least checks out the introduction. It's not nearly as alarmist as it appears, it's based on his experiences in Kiev and Mosul. It's relevant to *flails arms* ALL OF THIS.
posted by adept256 at 2:40 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Preparation for mass shootings is a part of corporate American compliance training these days, too. The message is disempowering to the point of despair: an active shooter may enter your place of work! It is your choice whether to run and hide or to stand and fight! We as your corporate employers have no opinion about your choice! Whatever you do, don’t cluster together for comfort!

That last point - not huddling together while being slaughtered by a man with an assault rifle - is the only thing that is tested in the mandatory quiz, year after year. And that is how I know this is a war zone.
posted by SakuraK at 2:52 AM on August 4 [50 favorites]


There is definitely a strange value warping in gun culture.

I once foolishly said in a reddit thread that I would never stand my ground with a firearm in a home invasion if I had the option to flee because there would be only two possible outcomes neither of which I desired: I could get killed or I could become a killer.

I was downvoted into oblivion.

So there are lots of people who think at least one of those two options are desirable. They are real life Trolly Cart Problem manufacturers tearing up the safe tracks where nobody gets run over.
posted by srboisvert at 3:37 AM on August 4 [53 favorites]


My work (a university, not a corporation) had an active shooter training day a couple years ago that consisted of instruction in actual hand to hand combat, among other things, as well as a realistic simulation. It was lead by our campus cops, and I refused to participate and pretty loudly said why. Turning civilians into some kind of paramilitary auxiliary against gun violence is saying loud and clear that we should just accept this and I adamantly do not. I don't need to learn how to disarm a maniac in the same way I need to learn to change my own tire. It teaches people that it's just as normal to get shot at as it is to run over a nail, and I refuse to participate in that normalization. If someone shoots up my office and I die because I refused to learn how to disarm someone in my work clothes, y'all have my permission to politicize it immediately. Don't even wait for the smoke to clear
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:45 AM on August 4 [137 favorites]


I hope someone has the h8chan logs, anyone who encouraged him or egged him along may be open to conspiracy charges
posted by mbo at 3:49 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Looks like another shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

Cincinnati Enquirer: Dayton police say 10 dead, including suspect, and 16 hospitalized after shooting outside bar

It's only about an hour drive from Dayton to Cincinnati where Trump spoke Thursday.

The NYT last year: Assaults Increased When Cities Hosted Trump Rallies, Study Finds

Vox: At Cincinnati Rally, Trump Turns Baltimore Violence Victims Into Political Pawns—Explicitly demeaning blue cities and states is now a feature of Trump’s campaign speeches.

Having stayed up last night to write this FPP, I didn’t anticipate updating it like this first thing in the morning.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:53 AM on August 4 [42 favorites]


Another sadly interesting background read on Slate about the history of 8chan and terrorist manifestos.

Naive, possibly stupid question: what else does it take at this point to call for shutting down 8chan? If that was a website where ISIS terrorists regularly post their manifestos and incite each other to "beat the score" it would have already been shut down, without much handwringing about freedom of speech or not. So if this shooting is indeed being investigated as "domestic terrorism", why not apply the same anti-terrorist measures?

I’ve also read this argument that shutting it down could backfire and drive users to create yet another platform for hate, and that in any case "banning 8chan won’t do much about hate fomenting in the real world, or stop bigotries that existed long before the internet" - all true - but it still doesn’t answer that question for me. Those arguments are not employed against ISIS-inspired terrorism, so why the difference?
posted by bitteschoen at 3:53 AM on August 4 [21 favorites]


This stuff is all beyond me now. I'm helpless in even trying to process it. Life is now "Duck and run!" in any largish gathering. Statistics? Oh, I know statistics. Stats told those people in ElPasoDaytonGilroy etc., that the chances of them getting gunned down in cold blood were exceedingly, almost laughably, small. Where does ending this start?
posted by Chitownfats at 3:56 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]




I’ve also read this argument that shutting it down could backfire and drive users to create yet another platform for hate, and that in any case "banning 8chan won’t do much about hate fomenting in the real world, or stop bigotries that existed long before the internet" - all true - but it still doesn’t answer that question for me. Those arguments are not employed against ISIS-inspired terrorism, so why the difference?

I don't buy that argument. Yeah, it's a game of whack-a-mole to a point. But any time that hate groups have to spend scrambling to rebuild infrastructure, find new platforms, and basically start from scratch is time they're not audience-building. Denying them access to inexpensive hosting platforms and forcing them to build from scratch, for example, means more of their resources have to be spent just to keep the lights on and not in furthering their reach.
posted by jzb at 4:23 AM on August 4 [73 favorites]


Those arguments are not employed against ISIS-inspired terrorism, so why the difference?

White people.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:24 AM on August 4 [58 favorites]


who's selling these guns? who's shipping them? who's processing the payments if they're not cash?

it's time to shut them down by any means necessary
posted by pyramid termite at 4:38 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Sure it's a game of whack-a-mole but they are evil little moles
posted by mbo at 4:44 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


We’re flying home this week for a family funeral, and when the news about El Paso came out, I did something I never thought I would do. I sat down with Mrs. Ghidorah and I told her that while we’re in the States, she needs to pay attention to what is going on around us, and, I wish this was a joke, to be hyper alert around young white guys by themselves wearing all black. It’s like a fucking uniform now, and I know I’ll be on the lookout for that, and doing my best to give them as wide a berth as possible.

And then the news of the second shooting came in.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:03 AM on August 4 [34 favorites]


I hear you, Ghidorah.

I left over 3 years ago and have only been back twice, once for work and once to visit. I don’t plan on going back. I tell people it’s because I don’t have much family and my friends are all over, so it’s hard to visit.

I always feel a bit silly that I’m afraid of a mass shooting when I went back and that it is the real reason I don’t want to go back.

Then this happens. Again. And again.

And i don’t feel silly anymore, I just feel scared for my friends and family back home.
posted by sio42 at 5:38 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


We’re in a low-grade war with the fascists right now, as some of us predicted a few years ago. And I don’t think, no matter who we elect in 2020, anyone in power is going to stop it.

You never hear about how Cassandra had PTSD, but boy howdy, based off of personal experience, I am guessing she had a whole lot of it.

I sometimes find the analogy to abusers and abusive relationships to be effective. Right now the violence is only sporadic and escalating, and the gas lighting is intense. But the stressors on teh abusers are about to increase dramatically. A recession looming on the horizon, and climate doom looming beyond that, and the steady increase in climate refugee migration are all going to increase the social pressure over the next few years.

What do abusers do in those circumstances? Because it's sure as shit not "calm down."

It's not going to stop, and it's not going to de-escalate. The rush they get from the sense of power is addictive. They abuse, and they terrorize, because it makes them feel good, and a whole other cohort of folks enables and encourages them because it makes them feel good and powerful in turn.

The usual remedy in an abusive situation is to leave. We don't have that option. Worse, the most violent lunatics have huge caches of weapons. One side has huge caches of weapons. That is a known precursor to genocide, ethnic cleansing, whatever the fuck you want to call it. Like it is a thing people know to watch out for. It won't look exactly like what it's looked like before, because it never does, but when you're talking about fucking genocide I'm not sure the details matter.

We might have a few years to neutralize this threat. But we've got to do it now. We've got to stop being afraid to call it what it is just because then we'll have to admit what's happening. Usually I kind of role my eyes at these sorts of "we must do this" comments on the internet, even when I make them, because, like, get over yourself, you know? But this time I think it matters. I think all of us calling it what it is -- incipient terrorist insurgency, a genocidal movement, all of it -- and doing this in as many places as possible is what starts to make it a reality for people.

First step to dealing with an abuser is acknowledging the abuse.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:59 AM on August 4 [71 favorites]


In a similar situation as Ghidorah. We are planning a visit end of November and the ratfuck El Paso shooter graduated from my hometown high school. Between ICE stories and this, I anticipate a lively debate with my husband about whether it’s safe to take the kids on this trip.
posted by romakimmy at 6:21 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


I don't buy that argument. Yeah, it's a game of whack-a-mole to a point. But any time that hate groups have to spend scrambling to rebuild infrastructure, find new platforms, and basically start from scratch is time they're not audience-building. Denying them access to inexpensive hosting platforms and forcing them to build from scratch, for example, means more of their resources have to be spent just to keep the lights on and not in furthering their reach.

Totally! All law enforcement is ultimately whack-a-mole! The point is to make the moles get whacked often enough that they stop and other would be moles are discouraged. If you don't whack moles you get overrun by moles. You're never going to get rid of all the moles but you can make it so that the problem is better controlled and contained by changing the incentives so the costs are higher and the rewards are lower.

Nobody sees a mole in their house and just says "There's a mole. Oh well."

You want to incubate and hothouse mass murderer and serial killer ideology? There should be a seriously high price to pay for that.
posted by srboisvert at 6:24 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


The Dayton shooter was a young white man wearing a black mask and ear protection.

celebrating 4 days 0 days 0 days since last state-encouraged far-right terrorism
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:28 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]




David Walsh
Pretty remarkable that an attempted slave uprising in 1859 so freaked out the slave power that within a year they were ready to start a civil war.

Contrast that to the decades upon decades, centuries upon centuries, of white nationalist violence. The basic point is this: the El Paso shooter was essentially the paramilitary wing of Trumpism, and the logic behind the shooting—brutality to act as a deterrent to keep Hispanics from coming here—is EXACTLY THE SAME as the guiding principle of our concentration camp system. Insofar as there is a difference between a Trump administration official—or a “national conservative” intellectual—and the shooter it’s that the former believe that you can achieve the same policy goals—keep the immigrants out!—through state mechanisms, without paramilitarism. To bring it back to John Brown and the outbreak of the Civil War, the reason—based on his manifesto—the shooter believed that paramilitarism was necessary is that he believed a political “coup” (his words) was imminent in Texas. This is why I am so frightened about 2020.

Because already—right now!—paramilitaries are being goaded into violence by the wink-wink-nudge-nudge from elected officials, whose basic argument as to why you shouldn’t just grab a gun and start shooting is “we run the government.” If and when that changes, though...
Although isn't the implication of your first point more that the first effort to, say break people put of a camp by force will lead to a massive crackdown?
You caught me. I was going to write the thread originally about how left-wing violence is treated differently by the state *because* it is not committed to further the same policy goals as the state. And you can see this everywhere in our political culture. Not just through how Antifa gets portrayed in the media.

Consider how often cops get caught coordinating with the Proud Boys! Right-wing paramilitaries exist under a cozy blanket of state support.

This is not new, either. *At all.* A brief glance at the history of the Regulators, or the union-busting Citizens Alliance, proves otherwise. This is one of the basic rationales behind nonviolence in the civil rights movement/black freedom struggle that is often overlooked—by whites, anyway. Violent organized left-wing/anti-racist campaigns—even if the violence is in self-defense!—invites brutal state suppression in a way that right-wing paramilitarism does not.

(To say nothing of paramilitary violence *supported* by the state.)
If Trump does lose in 2020, they're going to go full on ISIS.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:30 AM on August 4 [28 favorites]


Some white-nationalist apologist on Meet The Press just said we have to talk about left-wing terrorism.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:36 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]




Oh, it was just the former governor of North Carolina. No biggie.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:40 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


The Republican Party is a terrorist organization.

Its leader incites and excuses white supremacist violence.

Its propaganda network incites and excuses white supremacist violence.

They defunded efforts to track and stop white supremacist violence despite FBI data and recommendations.

They refuse to allow votes on hugely popular gun regulations.

Vote every last one of these fuckers out. The Republican Party must be utterly defeated.
posted by chris24 at 6:48 AM on August 4 [53 favorites]


The Terrorist-in-Chief.

Will Steakin (ABC)
Trump asks Florida rally crowd: "How do you stop these people" from crossing the border?

"Shoot them!" a rally attendee shouts out.

Trump: "That's only in the panhandle you can get away with that stuff. Only in the panhandle."

(*laughing)



Will Bunch:
Counties where Trump held a 2016 campaign rally saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes. He held a large rally in El Paso back in February. He held a rally in southern Ohio on Thursday night



Samuel Sinyangwe
More terrorists have cited Donald Trump as an inspiration for attacks on the US homeland over the past three years than any other person or organization on Earth.
posted by chris24 at 6:54 AM on August 4 [56 favorites]


Some white-nationalist apologist on Meet The Press just said we have to talk about left-wing terrorism.

The faces of infotainment programs get a lot of well-deserved criticism for being unprepared to handle comments like this one, but there are entire networks of producers, writers, bookers, agents, and the like who continue to perpetuate this idea of deadly serious news as entertainment or an intellectual game show. Much like someone above said that YouTube employees need to take responsibility for the work they’re doing, the people who work at the major networks and news programs (paper too, not just tv), need to take responsibility for a total failure to push back on this stuff as unacceptable. There is literally no reason that the morning after two mass shootings, a former governor of NC needs to be asked for comment on any of this. He is a failed political game player, not any sort of expert on mass violence.
posted by sallybrown at 7:00 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


Ugh, Sanders does the Republican thing of blaming it on mental health.
posted by octothorpe at 7:01 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


Fox News coverage of the killings …

I'm stuck in a hotel near Akron, OH and of course Fox and Friends was on the gogglebox at breakfast. Despite the link above, they were still saying that police were looking for a motive for the killings this morning.
posted by scruss at 7:07 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Ugh, Sanders does the Republican thing of blaming it on mental health.

Tim Fullerton:
Voted against the Brady background checks Bill FIVE TIMES.

Voted to ban the CDC from studying gun violence.

Voted to protect the gun industry from lawsuits.
@BernieSanders: Everyone in America, myself included, is devastated by the news of this latest attack in El Paso. Sadly, after each of these tragedies the Senate does nothing. That has got to change.
posted by chris24 at 7:08 AM on August 4 [51 favorites]


Vote every last one of these fuckers out. The Republican Party must be utterly defeated.

This is not the defeat you are looking for. If Trump loses in 2020, they're going to go full-on ISIS, as said up-thread. If Trump wins in 2020, they're going to go full-on Nazi.

This will not end with voting Republicans out of power. This will end with capturing and prosecuting the members of the Alt-Right terrorist organization, many of whom are our politicians and law-enforcement officers. Many of them are not going to be captured easily, and we best prepare for that.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:15 AM on August 4 [20 favorites]


Meanwhile Elizabeth Warren called white supremacy domestic terrorism five days ago.

At this point anyone who calls for de-Nazification has my vote.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:16 AM on August 4 [71 favorites]


This will not end with voting Republicans out of power. This will end with capturing and prosecuting the members of the Alt-Right terrorist organization, many of whom are our politicians and law-enforcement officers.

And we have to get rid of Republicans to be able to do the de-Nazification we need.
posted by chris24 at 7:17 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Frankly, I do not believe the United States is capable of de-Nazification/de-ISISification of itself. Germany didn't deal with its Nazi problem; the Allied Forces did.

We're going to suffer some kind of civil war/stochaistic-or-otherwise terrorism/genocide until the rest of the world has had enough of our bullshit.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:20 AM on August 4 [20 favorites]


Apologies for my ignorance on this - but post-Oklahoma City, was there a somewhat successful pushback on white nationalist terrorism? Or did other news events just pull focus away from these groups so most of us weren’t hearing about them as often? In other words, do we know of any past work US government orgs have done that’s worked to halt some of this?
posted by sallybrown at 7:21 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


post-Oklahoma City, was there a somewhat successful pushback on white nationalist terrorism?

Well, they made it harder for us to buy fertilizer. That's about it, as far as I recall. But, you know, that was a domestic terrorist that blew up a _government building_. They will (lightly) protect themselves from threats, but what happens to the rest of the population isn't as big of a deal. (eg, why it's still cash-and-carry to buy an AR-15 or AK-47-clone)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:25 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Are there any examples in history where things have gotten this bad and walked back to normalcy without an intervening period of civil war or similar? I'm wondering if we have an example or playbook of a society where things got to where we're at - with much of the standing government corrupt, ethnophobic, and steadily increasing its hold on power, and with pockets of armed terrorists and people in the police and military ready to go along - and successfully rolling it back.

I'm not trying to be a doomsayer here or take a fatalist position. I can readily see the parallels in where we're at and Germany in the 30s or other societies just before shit hit the fan. But I'm struggling to think of any examples where things seemed this dark and people managed to re-take the government and put the ringleaders away in jail without massive bloodshed. (I realize the mass shootings are a lot of bloodshed, but I'm talking about a far larger scale.)
posted by jzb at 7:26 AM on August 4 [18 favorites]


They will (lightly) protect themselves from threats, but what happens to the rest of the population isn't as big of a deal.

This is not an informed characterization of the type of people who investigate these crimes for the government, many of whom are career employees who’ve been there throughout different administrations and who are part of families filled with “the rest of the population.” I get why people want to do alarmist venting right now—I have been terrified all morning—but I’m asking for hard information.
posted by sallybrown at 7:28 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


post-Oklahoma City, was there a somewhat successful pushback on white nationalist terrorism?

Bills allowing indefinite detention of terror suspects with no legal recourse were written by Joe Biden, which were built upon as the basis of the later Patriot Act. So there's that.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:28 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


Germany didn't deal with its Nazi problem; the Allied Forces did.

Oh but *after the war* they did have to deal with it and still dealing with it now... and they did a LOT of work in that area. Even with neonazi groups still existing and a far-right political party in parliament they at least have stricter laws on hate speech and better law enforcement keeping an eye on domestic extremists and of course no NRA and no laws allowing people to buy guns that easily even before you’re the legal age to drink...

It’s not impossible to defeat domestic terrorism, and other countries have dealt with it too. Unless you think the US can never look at the experiences of other countries because it’s such an exception and so unique - and yeah each country has its own unique history but maybe it’s time to stop being such an exception in the awful things?

(It’s like with universal healthcare, endlessly debating how would it work as if other countries with a functioning system didn’t exist...)
posted by bitteschoen at 7:30 AM on August 4 [22 favorites]


Are there any examples in history where things have gotten this bad and walked back to normalcy without an intervening period of civil war or similar?

1968 - 1970 in the US? I mean we had JFK and MLK assassinated, Kent State, the Weather Underground bombings, etc. Yes, things are very bad now, but they’ve been arguably worse before.
posted by chris24 at 7:31 AM on August 4 [24 favorites]


Hell, expand this to the whole 60s. The Birmingham church bombing, the killings of civil rights workers, the Vietnam War protests, etc.
posted by chris24 at 7:33 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


1968 - 1970 in the US? I mean we had JFK and MLK assassinated, Kent State, the Weather Underground bombings, etc. Yes, things are very bad now, but they’ve been arguably worse before.

JFK was 1963, maybe you mean RFK who was assassinated in 1968.

It seems to me that in the period you cite we still had a more or less functional government, with opposition to Nixon and a supreme court that wasn't stacked in favor of a sitting wanna-be dictator. Things weren't good then, but I don't think they were this bad either.
posted by jzb at 7:34 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Ah sorry, yes meant RFK. But in my expanded 1960s timeline, we can add JFK.
posted by chris24 at 7:35 AM on August 4


It seems to me that in the period you cite we still had a more or less functional government, with opposition to Nixon...

Nixon won reelection in 1972 with 61% of the vote to McGovern’s 37% and took 49 states.

He’d also won in 1968 by conspiring with the South Vietnamese to sabotage peace talks.
posted by chris24 at 7:37 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Yeah, gonna have to go ahead and say it's objectively worse now that the cryptonazis have captured 2.5/3 branches of government and have cemented permanent structural advantages.

We have one shot to fix it legislatively, I think. We need the Senate. And then we need to do whatever is necessary to pack the Court and either stack the Senate to compensate for the small state lunatic leverage or completely hamstring it. Otherwise we are looking at the craziest 40% of the country controlling the government in perpetuity. And that's how we'll get all the worst case scenarios.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:41 AM on August 4 [20 favorites]


To follow up on my own question, it seems like over the past two decades, contemporaneous experts and commentators have seen the story of domestic terrorism as a decline in paramilitary groups (attributed to successful prosecutions and the founding of domestic terrorism units in government agencies) from 1995 to about 2005-2007, but then a new era from 2007 to now which they characterize as a rise in white nationalist hate groups. They seem to treat these as two separate things and two separate groups of people, but I wonder if a hundred years from now this will look more like one continuous flow of domestic terrorism that we failed to defeat and less like two separate eras?

Here’s a Boston Globe article from 2005 that sits at the crossroads of the decline in paramilitary training and the rise of white nationalist online groups.
posted by sallybrown at 7:56 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


I'm in such a place of numb despair that I don't think about survival strategies beyond run, hide, play dead. Otherwise I go about my life hoping it won't be me.

It's not a great place to be.
posted by emjaybee at 8:04 AM on August 4 [16 favorites]


post-Oklahoma City, was there a somewhat successful pushback on white nationalist terrorism?

IIRC, McVeigh was called a "separatist" or "anti-government" in the media, and there was no mention that he was inspired by The Turner Diaries. Initially, Muslims were blamed. Soon afterwards we declared victory on militias.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:04 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


I find it interesting, and a positive development, that at least some GOP politicians (George P. Bush) and institutionalists / career Justice officials (Rod Rosenstein) are explicitly characterizing this as “white terrorism.”
posted by sallybrown at 8:05 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


1968 - 1970 in the US?

the 60s-70s were a failed left wing revolution. Post-9/11 was a successful right wing revolution.

We have one shot to fix it legislatively, I think.

And there must be considerations for the case of missing it.

Here enjoy an unrelated Sinbad meme
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:17 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


I warned of right-wing violence in 2009. Republicans objected. I was right.
Eight years ago, I warned of a singular threat — the resurgence of right-wing extremist activity and associated violence in the United States as a result of the 2008 presidential election, the financial crisis and the stock market crash. My intelligence report, meant only for law enforcement, was leaked by conservative media.

A political backlash ensued because of an objection to the label “right-wing extremism.” The report also rightly pointed out that returning military veterans may be targeted for recruitment by extremists. Republican lawmakers demanded then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano rescind my report. The American Legion formally requested an apology to veterans. Some in Congress called for me to be fired. Amid the turmoil, my warning went unheeded by Republicans and Democrats. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security caved to the political pressure: Work related to violent right-wing extremism was halted. Law enforcement training also stopped. My unit was disbanded. And, one-by-one, my team of analysts left for other employment. By 2010, there were no intelligence analysts at DHS working domestic terrorism threats.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:18 AM on August 4 [48 favorites]


Germany didn't deal with its Nazi problem; the Allied Forces did.


German-led denazification in earnest didn't start until the 1960s, and was lead by Boomer-aged Germans (not actual boomers as there was no baby boom in post war Germany).
posted by ocschwar at 8:19 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


On the one hand, I would say that the US was objectively worse off in 1919 than it is in 2019. (And I choose that date not just because it's 100 years ago, but also because it was Red Summer, when white mobs destroyed black neighborhoods and murdered hundreds of black people; because the Klan was resurgent and utterly mainstream; because the Supreme Court had made it clear that it would block any conceivable progressive legislation; because nativists were gearing up to pass immigration restriction that would codify racism, antisemitism, and other prejudices into immigration law; because prohibition was a really dumb policy that was about to be written into the Constitution.) Really, 1919 was a nightmare on a scale that it's hard to even convey, and we did mostly recover from it. On the other hand, it took the Depression and World War II to change things, so maybe it's not a totally happy comparison.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:23 AM on August 4 [62 favorites]


I wanted to see what they were saying on conservative reddits. It's complete denial of the worst kind: this was really Antifa, the guy was a plant, etc. This is a part of it too. 8chan goes on these sites and messes with these people's heads. It's an open secret. If you see a meme with Pepe, or gray men, or what have you, that's a message designed by a channer in a cynical fashion to manipulate what they consider small minds through propaganda.
posted by xammerboy at 8:27 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]


Here is the report that the article linked by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick is about. There are a number of interesting things about it:

- it links the lashing out of domestic terrorists to economic insecurity, the threat of gun control measures, and the election of Barack Obama. However, these groups have continued to rise “despite” the Trump administration, which embraces white nationalism, loosens gun restrictions, and trumpets positive economic indicators like the stock market climbs.

- while the report was coordinated with the FBI, it was prepared by DHS, which did not exist before 2002. I wonder to what extent this impacted the analysis of domestic terror in the 90s, which the report treats as a past era.

- it makes the good point that domestic terror in the 90s was often explicitly directed against the government, literally against federal government buildings and employees. This is different than today. Maybe this does support the idea that we are in a separate era of domestic terror...
posted by sallybrown at 8:35 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Really, 1919 was a nightmare on a scale that it's hard to even convey, and we did mostly recover from it.

In many ways, we didn't. There was a prosperous "Black Wall Street" in Tulsa before it was bombed and massacred in 1921. Where's the equivalent now? There was a strong Left movement before 1919 that hasn't returned to strength in a century. Our sense of 20th century "normalcy" is defined by the victors and those who feel lucky to have merely survived.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:35 AM on August 4 [44 favorites]


Andy Levy: “blaming video games for mass shootings is meant to have the same effect on old people that jingling keys has on crying babies”

(I agree with this take, as someone who hasn’t played a video game since Goldeneye in 1998.)
posted by sallybrown at 8:41 AM on August 4 [30 favorites]


McVeigh was called a "separatist" or "anti-government" in the media, and there was no mention that he was inspired by The Turner Diaries
The extensive media coverage at the time was the first I’d ever heard of The Turner Diaries and while not perfect I don’t remember his views being as extensively whitewashed. The difference is that this predated having Fox News as a committed leader of the propaganda war or the right-wing persecution complex being so strong: mainstream Republicans had plenty of room to condemn him since the militia types viewed them as enemies, too, which is unlike now where the terrorists are citing party leaders in their manifestos.
posted by adamsc at 8:43 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


On the other hand, it took the Depression and World War II to change things, so maybe it's not a totally happy comparison.

Well, we have climate doom coming, so

cheer up

and we did mostly recover from it.

In many ways, we didn't.


But also this.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:48 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


If I recall correctly, there was also something of a national conversation about the influence of talk radio propagandists on McVeigh and his ilk.
posted by Selena777 at 8:50 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


there was also something of a national conversation about the influence of talk radio propagandists

That was all talk. Those propagandists were comfortably settled back in their power well before, let's say, "Jade Helm" in 2015. We now know that this was a Russian-backed disinformation campaign, but the radio personalities were happily on board.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:53 AM on August 4


You never hear about how Cassandra had PTSD, but boy howdy, based off of personal experience, I am guessing she had a whole lot of it.

I think also about how so many of these white men engaging in terrorism are found to have abused women on their way up to this point, and they always interview the women who are like “yep I was pretty sure he would hurt someone someday but no one believed me.”
posted by corb at 8:55 AM on August 4 [58 favorites]


Seth Masket:
But you have to admit all these guns are great for restraining tyranny and preventing the government from putting people in concentration camps.
posted by chris24 at 9:01 AM on August 4 [31 favorites]


O’Rourke: Trump a white nationalist whose rhetoric ‘encourages’ violence (Politico)
“He is encouraging this. He doesn't just tolerate it, he encourages it, calling immigrants rapists and criminals and seeking to ban all people of one religion,” O’Rourke told host Jake Tapper. “Folks are responding to this. It doesn't just offend us, it encourages the violence we're seeing including in my hometown of El Paso yesterday.” [...]

[Julián] Castro, another presidential candidate from Texas, echoed some of O’Rourke‘s statements. Castro said that while the shooter was “responsible directly for that shooting in El Paso,” the president has created an environment making the shooting possible. “Anybody who has the ability to see and hear and understand what the president has been doing since he started his campaign in 2015 knows that division and bigotry and fanning the flames of hate has been his political strategy,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” Castro added: “He's given license for this toxic brew of white supremacy to fester more and more in this country. And we're seeing the results of that.“ [...]

[New Jersey Sen. Cory] Booker said Trump is “savagely fraying the bonds of our nation” in an extended attack on what he said were the president’s moral failings. “Our president right now is using the same language of racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Booker said, adding: “He himself is using the language of hate.” [...]

Asked whether O’Rourke agreed with a fellow presidential hopeful, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, that Trump is a white nationalist, he answered in the affirmative. “Yes. I do. And again from some of the record that I just recited to you, the things that he has said both as a candidate and then as the president of the United States, this cannot be open for debate,” he said, telling Tapper that “you as well as I have a responsibility to call that out, to make sure that the American people understand what is being done in their name by the person who holds the highest position of public trust in this land.”
posted by Little Dawn at 9:09 AM on August 4 [32 favorites]


I have a feeling this is just a representation of my liberal-agenda total lack of knowledge around guns (honestly because I associate them with tragedies like this—I don’t have interest in hunting animals and don’t see firearms as potential protection but rather as objects of suffering on this scale) but, what’s the relevance of wearing eye/ear protection in this case? It’s come up a few times in the thread and it does seem notably unusual.
posted by zinful at 9:12 AM on August 4


Uh I just saw a tweet with an image of the terrorist’s manifesto and words and sentences linked in red to those from Trump’s tweets or Fox News commentators or others from the right wing. It’s not pretty. Lots of similar language. The invasion, the threat of open borders, being replaced by Hispanics, etc. Not linking to it because it does show the shooter’s manifesto directly.

This isn’t pretty either but wtf this is a new low even for him: Trump laughing and joking when one of his supporters at a rally suggests shooting immigrants.
posted by bitteschoen at 9:13 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


“yep I was pretty sure he would hurt someone someday [besides me] but no one believed me.”

just...adding that in there.

I'm pretty sure if we had the tools to look at abusers as their own demographic we'd find a juicy overlap with not just white supremacists but the current Republican party. This shit isn't local. The worldview that tells you you're entitled to treat people like things in your personal life bleeds into public life, and, I'm guessing, vice versa.

I mean, at this point, being a Republican is making a public commitment to an abusive ideology. If we took partner abuse seriously and treated it like a serious crime -- including when police do it -- I bet we'd effectively cut their movement's momentum. It's a tool we already have at our disposal, theoretically, and we can use at the local level.

Plus, you know, that's always been the right thing to do.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:13 AM on August 4 [24 favorites]


Things are bad now, but they have been worse, and we fought back from them. It used to be common for white Southern crowds to murder black men for fun. Corporations sent private armed forces to intimidate and murder workers. The US military was used to intimidate and murder workers. Bombings and assassination's were common. Women were arrested and tortured for wanting to be able to vote.

In 1877, railroad workers basically shutdown the American economy by striking.

Not to mention all the casual racism, misogyny and homophobia.

Let's not feel to sorry for ourselves.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:15 AM on August 4 [19 favorites]


I have a feeling this is just a representation of my liberal-agenda total lack of knowledge around guns (honestly because I associate them with tragedies like this—I don’t have interest in hunting animals and don’t see firearms as potential protection but rather as objects of suffering on this scale) but, what’s the relevance of wearing eye/ear protection in this case? It’s come up a few times in the thread and it does seem notably unusual.

Guns are really loud. All the people who shoot them on weeknight copaganda shows would be deaf. They also produce a cloud of exhaust from the propellant and throw off shards when they hit stuff, all of which you don't want in your eyes.

Only things you would care about if you planned on living through your mass murder because of the privilege of your skin color.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:19 AM on August 4 [25 favorites]


Honestly it's kind of facile to talk about when it was worse vs better, because there isn't just one metric. The day to day violence is better today than it was at most points in our history, but then that stability comes from the presence of powerful institutions which, if they become weaponized by, say, a genocidal regime, will be much more effective at systematic elimination. The complexity of it all kind of precludes direct comparison on most metrics.

So when I say I think it's "worse," I specifically mean that the potential for large scale genocidal state sponsored violence is worse than it's been in recent history, because the people wanting to do the killing have captured the state. And the ways we "got through" the previous genocidal periods was by destroying communities.

Things are different, now. Things are also the same. I'm not sure it's helpful to look to the past to reassure us about the future, because in the end we're still going to have to do the work to avoid a genocidal horror.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:24 AM on August 4 [25 favorites]


Only things you would care about if you planned on living through your mass murder because of the privilege of your skin color.

And if you wanted to optimize your "score."
posted by schadenfrau at 9:24 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


The more I think about it, the more 8chan meets all the definitional criteria of a terrorist network. They openly state their goal as being genocide and anarchic revolution, openly talk about a strategy of recruiting and inciting violence through media manipulation, and openly discuss how this violence will eventually tip the nation into civil war.

I once read an interview with Arthur Miller about The Crucible where he was asked why he used the Salem witch trials as a metaphor for McCarthyism, and he said that he had been wracking his brain for a way to communicate that just because McCarthy and his lot were clowns didn't mean they weren't dangerous.
posted by xammerboy at 9:26 AM on August 4 [36 favorites]


i take it for fps tactical drag in a presumed amateur, militia fetishist or incel type.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:32 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Twenty. Two. Hundred.

Natalie Martinez (MMFA)
According to Facebook's ad archive, Trump has run around 2,200 FB ads since May 2018 mentioning the word "invasion." Scrolling through, all of them seem to be about immigration.



And let’s not let Facebook off the hook. They could easily stop these racist white nationalist and inciting ads.
posted by chris24 at 9:38 AM on August 4 [48 favorites]


Matt Zoller Seitz:
If some of the Democrats currently wasting their time on unwinnable vanity runs for president decided to run for Senate instead, we could take care of some of these supposedly unsolvable problems.
posted by chris24 at 9:48 AM on August 4 [65 favorites]


to be hyper alert around young white guys by themselves wearing all black. It’s like a fucking uniform now

Wait, really? I don't want to start a big derail, but I thought all black was, if anything, the "scary radical antifa leftist" look. I'm mildly concerned as a young-looking white guy whose wardrobe is 90% black.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:04 AM on August 4 [14 favorites]


Two mass shootings in US leave at least 29 dead as Trump faces criticism (Guardian)
Some state officials in Texas have been quick to link the attack in El Paso to acts of domestic terrorism. The state’s land commissioner, George P Bush, grandson of president George HW Bush, said in a statement: “There have now been multiple attacks from self-declared white terrorists here in the US in the last several months. This is a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.”

But the Trump administration’s justice department has yet to make the link, with US attorney general William Barr issuing a short statement on Saturday calling for the individual shooter to be “held accountable swiftly and to the fullest extent the law allows”.

Last month the FBI director, Christopher Wray, told Congress that the majority of domestic terror related arrests since last October had been linked to white supremacist violence. While the Southern Poverty Law Centre, a non-profit group tracking hate organization in the US, reported a surge in white nationalist groups last year.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:05 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


And let’s not let Facebook off the hook.

Neither should we let Cloudflare off the hook. They could (effectively) deplatform 8chan in minutes.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:11 AM on August 4 [24 favorites]




BTW Robert Evans - who did the “It Could Happen Here” podcast mentioned a couple of times upthread - is also the author of the Bellingcat “Gamification” piece in the OP.
posted by pascal at 10:15 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Only things you would care about if you planned on living through your mass murder because of the privilege of your skin color.

Honestly, not necessarily. If you're planning on committing extreme violence, protecting your eyes is important (not just from your weapons but helping keep things people throw at you out of them) and dealing with a lot of really loud noise in confined spaces is jarring (I've been momentarily stunned from a pistol being shot in a small space). It's probably more about being effective.
posted by Candleman at 10:15 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Attack on Texas shoppers to be handled as domestic terrorism (AP)
The shooting that killed 20 people at a crowded El Paso shopping area will be handled as a domestic terrorism case, federal authorities said Sunday as they weighed hate-crime charges against the gunman that could carry the death penalty.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:16 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Meanwhile Elizabeth Warren called white supremacy domestic terrorism five days ago.

She also just tweeted this (after previous tweets focusing on gun violence):

"We need to call out white nationalism for what it is—domestic terrorism. It is a threat to the United States, and we've seen its devastating toll this weekend. And we need to call out the president himself for advancing racism and white supremacy."
posted by bitteschoen at 10:16 AM on August 4 [30 favorites]


Wearing eye and ear protection makes this shooting political in a way we haven't seen before, because it implies the shooter expects to go to jail and then be released come the revolution.
posted by jamjam at 10:18 AM on August 4 [13 favorites]


I'm a Latinx woman living in a mostly white middle-class Bay Area city. I was a childhood victim of gun violence and have severe PTSD from it. On Friday afternoon I was sitting in my house minding my own business when I hear my obnoxious back neighbor say "I'm gonna be honest with you, my kid just picked up a handgun so I'm going to have to call you back" and then hear him telling his kid to put the gun down and to make sure the safety is on. This is all happening 20 feet from my living room and 20 feet from my next door neighbor's yard who have small children playing out there. I knew these neighbors had a gun cause they haven't stopped talking loudly about it since they got it, but I had no way to know if it was loaded and they're leaving it just lying around unattended where their kid can pick it up, who clearly has not been taught to not just pick up guns that are lying around. So my PTSD was completely triggered and I ended up calling the police non-emergency line to see what they suggested be done about the situation and they said since there was a minor involved they were sending someone over to do a welfare check. They called me later and basically said "Oh he said he was just playing with his daughter and the gun was unloaded." Oh, great. Then later the neighbor comes over to the fence and is yelling for my ex (who moved out 9 months ago?) cause I guess he figured out the call came from here. Awesome. Now I'm afraid to even go out in my backyard.

So I spent all night having panic attacks because I'm living 20 feet away from irresponsible gun owners and then the next day a mass-shooting by a white supremacist specifically targeting Latinx people happens? I honestly don't know how I've managed to get out of bed, but I am just fucking terrified and I haven't felt this strong of a drive before to find any way to just leave this country. I'm not at all ashamed to throw in the towel. This country's obsession with guns ruined my childhood, traumatized me for life, and now is re-traumatizing me all the fucking time. And the heavy dose of racism toward my culture/ethnicity adds a whole other element to it. This is not the life I want.
posted by primalux at 10:21 AM on August 4 [124 favorites]


Ooof. I'm seeing reports that the Dayton shooter's sister and her boyfriend have been found shot to death. So up the death toll to 11 and put a check mark in the "starts with domestic violence" column.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:24 AM on August 4 [20 favorites]


Neither should we let Cloudflare off the hook.

There have been some hints in the past that Cloudflare works with the US government to keep the sites running as a way to monitor and collect evidence on terrorist orgs.
Prince hinted that government authorities had ordered Cloudflare to keep certain controversial pages online. The FBI, Justice Department, State Department, Treasury Department and White House declined to comment on that assertion.

Last year, Cloudflare disclosed that the FBI subpoenaed the company to hand over information about one of its customers for national security purposes. The FBI, which also uses Cloudflare’s services, rescinded the subpoena and withdrew its request for information after Cloudflare threatened to sue. Neither Cloudflare nor the FBI would comment on this matter.
I understand the reluctance of law enforcement to shut down a means by which they might learn of a terror attack, but if people are being gunned down by the tens, the monitoring is obviously not working well enough.
posted by sallybrown at 10:26 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Wearing eye and ear protection makes this shooting political in a way we haven't seen before, because it implies the shooter expects to go to jail and then be released come the revolution.

FWIW, his manifesto says he didn't plan to be captured alive as he thought surviving the shooting only to be sentenced to death while knowing his family despises him was a worse personal outcome. He wore gloves so that he could operate an overheated weapon longer, the eye and ear protection may have been inspired by the same rationale of racking up a higher score.
posted by peeedro at 10:28 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Ooof. I'm seeing reports that the Dayton shooter's sister and her boyfriend have been found shot to death. So up the death toll to 11 and put a check mark in the "starts with domestic violence" column.

They’ve changed it to no boyfriend and the sister was shot in front of the club with the rest, not in a car. (The boyfriend reports were that they’d been shot in a car by the club. But she’s one of the nine at the club.)

The Dayton shooter is a 24 year old white male.

And they just said 6 of the 9 killed were black.
posted by chris24 at 10:31 AM on August 4 [14 favorites]


On the one hand, it seems too simple to think that shutting down 8chan would drastically reduce or end this kind of white terrorism (wouldn’t these guys just post their manifestos on Facebook or find another discussion site? Etc). On the other hand, we know from research into suicide that even very small changes can reduce attempts. So maybe just making it a little bit harder for these guys to find each other or perform for each other would make a large change?
posted by sallybrown at 10:38 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


When Hate Came to El Paso (Richard Parker, NYT Opinion)
Most significantly though, the El Paso massacre — and that’s what it is, it is not a mass shooting but a premeditated massacre — was the inevitable byproduct of the Trump era’s anti-immigrant, and anti-Latino invective, which with its pervasive, vile racism has poisoned our nation.

El Paso-Juarez is a big, bustling desert city of over two million, straddling the United States and Mexico. My hometown has virtually zero modern history of ethnic strife; El Paso alone is over 80 percent Hispanic. We switch from English to Spanish without skipping a beat and we are fine with that. But the Trump era is not.

It has brought us walls, internment camps and children in cages. The massacre is the outcome I have feared for years now, and I can’t help but feel that its genesis lies with the president of the United States.

To put all of this into perspective, there have been other massacres of Latinos in American history. The worst was the notorious Porvenir massacre, 101 years ago, in what is now a vanished border town. Texas Rangers descended on the town in the early morning hours of Jan. 28, 1918, led off 15 Hispanic men and boys and executed them. The remaining inhabitants did exactly what Saturday’s shooter wanted: They fled to Chihuahua.

Back at MacArthur Middle School, Mr. Almanzar tucks away his phone. A Jehovah’s Witness, he had been out knocking on doors when the horror struck. Many asked him how God would allow this, and he gently responds by showing me Job 34:10, which in part reads: “Far be it from God, that he should do wickedness.” No, we both agreed, switching from English to Spanish. God did not do this.

We did. In allowing those weapons of war on our streets. In giving credence to sociopathic racists, only one of whom will be in jail tonight. In poisoning our body politic with the occupant of the White House. On the horizon, storm clouds build over the desert mesas to weep upon this desert city. And still the people keep coming, desperately bringing water to those here, quietly searching for the dead.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:44 AM on August 4 [16 favorites]


God does not have a real strong track record of intervening in atrocities
posted by thelonius at 10:46 AM on August 4 [34 favorites]


Deplatforming works. Every fucking Nazi who’s been kicked off Twitter has seen their fame, grift and influence dry up. Ending 8chan won’t stop this completely, but take away the rabbit hole of radicalization, the easy access to their peers, the gamification and encouragement, the instruction, etc. and it will reduce the harm.
posted by chris24 at 10:48 AM on August 4 [70 favorites]


It's disheartening that we're so focused on deplatforming because, I assume, nobody thinks gun control has a chance in hell of happening.
posted by Justinian at 10:50 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


I hope that if we deplatform enough of the cheerleaders for mass armament, maybe gun control can be considered.
posted by ChrisR at 10:51 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Deplatforming can be done today. We can and need to approach things on multiple fronts.

Fuck giving up on gun control. That’s not forsaken, just not immediate.
posted by chris24 at 10:51 AM on August 4 [21 favorites]


posted by wibari gov. abbott's immediate go-to of blaming this on "mental health issues" is so disgraceful that even by the abysmally low standards of politics in 2019, it still boggles the mind.

Well, here's Governor Abbott encouraging Texans to buy more guns.
@GregAbbott_TX
I'm EMBARRASSED: Texas #2 in nation for new gun purchases, behind CALIFORNIA. Let's pick up the pace Texans. @NRA

https://twitter.com/gregabbott_tx/status/659427797853536256?lang=en
Hey, Governor Abbott? Go to hell.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:53 AM on August 4 [22 favorites]


I think deplatforming is more about trying to reduce the motive and gun control is trying to reduce the means. But if we were able to conduct a federally-funded study of gun violence I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that easy availability of guns fuels in some people the desire to use them. And we know that places like 8chan help potential killers learn how they could conduct an attack. So the categories do smear together somewhat.
posted by sallybrown at 10:55 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


It's been six years, seven months, and twenty one days since Sandy Hook. If we were going to do anything about guns, it would have happened by now.

Fuck that. That’s the bullshit they want us to believe so we quit fighting. Lots of progress has been made at the state level and lots of progress made in organizing to regulate guns. I suggest everybody follow Shannon Watts of Mom’s Demand to see the fight and the progress to change these laws.
posted by chris24 at 10:56 AM on August 4 [24 favorites]


8chan founder calls forum a "receptive audience for domestic terrorists" (Axios)
The founder of 8chan has called for the site to be shut down after the suspected terrorist in the El Paso mass shooting posted an anti-immigrant manifesto on the message board, shortly before opening fire and killing 20 people at a Walmart, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: In addition to the El Paso shooter, extremist killers from the deadly attacks on two mosques in New Zealand and a San Diego-area synagogue previewed their acts of terror on 8chan. "Once again a terrorist used 8chan to spread his message as he knew people would save it and spread it," said founder Fredrick Brennan, who stopped working with the site's current owners in December. "The board is a receptive audience for domestic terrorists.”
posted by Little Dawn at 10:58 AM on August 4 [19 favorites]


So maybe just making it a little bit harder for these guys to find each other or perform for each other would make a large change?

The proof of this is that governments and corporations are just fine with deplatforming when the shooter is a young radicalized male seduced by ISIS. When you change the motive to White Nationalism then well we just don't know what could be done it's so tragic thoughts and prayers mental illness
posted by benzenedream at 11:04 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Fuck giving up on gun control. That’s not forsaken, just not immediate.

Don't give up, but isn't there a White House and Senate to win (in a country where 40-something percent of all households own guns) before you can get decent gun control? And even then, the Supreme Court has been stacked against gun control.
posted by pracowity at 11:05 AM on August 4


20 states passed stronger gun laws in 2018, including 9 signed by Republican governors.

This year, Nevada passed Red Flag and Bump Stock laws.

And yes, Heller expanded gun rights in the US, but even Scalia who wrote the opinion said that limits on gun ownership were constitutional.
"Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms... Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited... [It is] not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."
posted by chris24 at 11:11 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]


Buzzfeed News: The Justice Department Is Treating The El Paso Shooting As “Domestic Terrorism” But The Suspected Shooter May Not Be Charged As A Terrorist
Federal law includes a definition for “domestic terrorism,” and federal terrorism laws don’t explicitly rule out prosecutions for domestic acts, but historically those laws have been used for cases with a foreign connection, from terrorism planned by overseas groups to US citizens trying to join groups such as ISIS. A section in the US code defining a particular term isn’t the same as a law criminalizing specific acts.

...“Americans tend to equate terrorism with Islamic extremism, and, in today's polarized environment, with Muslims. But they don't tend to associate white supremacist violence with terrorism and they should,” said McCord, a legal scholar at Georgetown Univerity Law Center. “You can't prevent what you don't understand.”

There isn’t pending legislation to create a federal domestic terrorism law. In March, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin introduced the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which would direct the Justice Department, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security to prepare an annual report on the domestic terrorism threat, including white supremacist and neo-Nazi activities, and what agencies were doing to fight it. It would also create an interagency task force to explore white supremacist activities within the US armed forces.

Durbin’s bill has 19 co-sponsors, none of whom are Republicans, which means for now it faces little chance of movement in the Republican-led Senate.

...the First Amendment’s free speech protections have complicated efforts to official declare domestic groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and other domestic white supremacist organizations, as terrorist organizations, McCord said. That removes one way that people who carry out mass attacks in the name of racism or anti-Semitism can be prosecuted for terrorism, she said.
posted by bitteschoen at 11:12 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


Don't give up, but isn't there a White House and Senate to win (in a country where 40-something percent of all households own guns) before you can get decent gun control? And even then, the Supreme Court has been stacked against gun control.
This is why it has to be part of a long-term plan: outright bans aren’t plausible for awhile but every election which flips control to people who care about the violence helps because you can do an awful lot with, say, law enforcement getting serious about investigating radicalization, actually using existing laws suspending ownership in cases of domestic violence or threats, passing stronger laws in more places, etc.
posted by adamsc at 11:13 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Neither should we let Cloudflare off the hook. They could (effectively) deplatform 8chan in minutes.

As someone who used to describe themselves as a free speech absolutist and remain somewhat radical on the topic, I feel obligated to emphasize what an important point this is.

It is now quite clear that 8chan and a few similar sites are actively encouraging violence by allowing their platform to be used to promote, plan, and celebrate mass murder and political violence. It goes far beyond twisted people celebrating horrific acts and well into incitement to violence, among several other long standing exceptions to the first amendment. It's bad enough that not only should anyone knowingly involved with making/keeping the site available be shunned and/or shamed by individuals, but subject to government order to do so. I don't take such things lightly, but the pattern is clear enough to prove the site's active involvement in terrorism.

Keeping a site like that accessible necessarily requires the help of someone with mind boggling amounts of bandwidth to filter attack traffic attempting to keep the site unavailable, which means that there will always be a pressure point who can be identified and is considered at least mostly legitimate because it's simply too damn expensive and it requires cooperation from the public companies that own the major backbone ISPs and are thus subject to name and shame and organized boycott campaigns.
posted by wierdo at 11:14 AM on August 4 [19 favorites]


Fuck giving up on gun control. That’s not forsaken, just not immediate.

Don't give up, but isn't there a White House and Senate to win (in a country where 40-something percent of all households own guns) before you can get decent gun control? And even then, the Supreme Court has been stacked against gun control.


The classic leftist criticism of the Democrats is that they're always like "it's a good goal, but here's all the reasons it'll never work." No! People's lives are at stake, here. I don't think you can put in the same kind of effort if you start with the premise that it's impossible to win. Aim for the outcome you want, not the obstacles in front of it.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:16 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


‪Imagine how much worse all these gun massacres would be if not for our hopes and prayers‬
posted by bigbigdog at 11:17 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


This year, Nevada passed Red Flag and Bump Stock laws

You're right. Shoot up a school? nothing happens. Shoot up a country music event (right-wing culture under attack) and they federally ban bump stocks within a year.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:19 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Not for nothin, but Reagan himself signed signifigant gun control into law once the black panthers started arming themselves.

Also, Trump is apparently scrubbing his twitter feed.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:24 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]


At this point, I could give a fuck about green new deals and healthcare and dismantling amazon or whatever.

I will vote for WHOEVER THE FUCK has an actual plan to stop this.

Stop with all the presidential talking points and prayers and jeez, weren't they lucky the police were close and get up there AND DO SOMETHING.

fuck.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 11:24 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Also, anyone who says the first amendment is an obstacle to government doing anything about this is either tragically misinformed or is a liar. Any credible threat of violence can be prosecuted under any number of existing laws. Even Scalia agreed with that interpretation!

The more this happens, the more credible the threats become. Every act of terror preannounced on 8chan puts another nail in its legal coffin. All it takes is a prosecutor willing to file charges. An emergency injunction against Cloudflare or anyone else providing a similar service for 8chan could be filed today if anyone gave enough of a shit. It's not like prosecutors typically have any qualms about pushing the limits of constitutionality any time it suits them, so it wouldn't even be particularly out of character for most even if they personally felt it was a bit of a reach.
posted by wierdo at 11:25 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


...the First Amendment’s free speech protections have complicated efforts to official declare domestic groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and other domestic white supremacist organizations, as terrorist organizations, McCord said.

Meanwhile, "Black Identity Extremists" seem to have had no such First Amendment protections. If you support BIE classification but drag your feet on White Nationalists, you miiiight just be part of the problem.
posted by benzenedream at 11:31 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt : Trump is apparently scrubbing his twitter feed.

Because there tends to be a lot of misinformation every time this happens, here's Alexandra Erin:
The presidential records act doesn't forbid deleting tweets. For real. It doesn't. No, not even when he uses Twitter for official business. They are presidential communications and must be preserved but that doesn't mean "kept on Twitter".

If anything, the tweet being up is inadequate to fulfill the PRA. It's not a record, it's not something in the White House's power to control or maintain. If Twitter went belly up tomorrow, all those "records" would be gone.

That's not what archiving is.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:33 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Neither should we let Cloudflare off the hook. They could (effectively) deplatform 8chan in minutes.

After 9/11, the government was given wide berth to deplatform terrorist communications and financial networks here in the US and globally.

There is no reason (other than the obvious roadblock at this time: Republican sympathy for white nationalism) that the government could not do the same with 8chan and their carriers, and related domestic terror networks.

These are exceptional circumstances to make parts of the Constitution conditional, like we did after 9/11, but this time the need is to deal with the clear and present neo-Nazi threat in our own backyard.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:38 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


But they don't tend to associate white supremacist violence with terrorism and they should,” said McCord, a legal scholar at Georgetown Univerity Law Center. “You can't prevent what you don't understand.”


Especially when ignorance is policy.
posted by Reyturner at 11:41 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Also, Trump is apparently scrubbing his twitter feed.

Ah so that’s why I noticed some "this tweet is unavailable" in a couple of tweets on my timeline that were quoting Trump’s tweets in relation to the language used in the terrorist’s manifesto.

The presidential records act doesn't forbid deleting tweets.

Ok but so what? It may not be illegal but it sure is unethical (and pathetic), especially since he uses Twitter as his main channel of communication and announcements to the public about his ideas and policies and whatnot. What about accountability? They are records for the public, even if they’re not records for the law.

Anyway here’s the Trump twitter archive so it’s easy to check how often he mentioned words like invasion or invade.
posted by bitteschoen at 11:41 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


And yet....
8chan: the far-right website linked to the rise in hate crimes
Keeping 8chan within its network is a “moral obligation”, [Prince] said, adding: “We, as well as all tech companies, have an obligation to think about how we solve real problems of real human suffering and death. What happened in El Paso today is abhorrent in every possible way, and it’s ugly, and I hate that there’s any association between us and that … For us the question is which is the worse evil? Is the worse evil that we kick the can down the road and don’t take responsibility? Or do we get on the phone with people like you and say we need to own up to the fact that the internet is home to many amazing things and many terrible things and we have an absolute moral obligation to deal with that.”
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:42 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


> At this point, I could give a fuck about green new deals and healthcare and dismantling amazon or whatever.

I will vote for WHOEVER THE FUCK has an actual plan to stop this.


We really shouldn't have to choose between gun control and other important issues given the number of candidates we have. One of the few benefits of the "clown car primary" on the Democratic side is that there's plenty of space for candidates to hammer on a single issue and force other candidates to articulate their position on that issue. Ideally, one of the candidates who needs to make a big leap in the polls to keep from getting eliminated (*cough*Gillibrand*cough*) would get out there with a strong, forceful position that goes way beyond more background checks and restricting some features. None of it has to be politically possible -- it just needs to push the conversation away from half-measures and create space for some of the actually contending candidates to take a more aggressive stand on the issue.

(Yes, I know Gillibrand has moved far to the left on guns since she represented a conservative district, which is even more the reason for her to lead on the issue. What does she have to lose at this point?)
posted by tonycpsu at 11:47 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]




@LOLGOP:
Republicans were willing to shut down a whole religion but not one website.
posted by chris24 at 11:51 AM on August 4 [27 favorites]


And yes, Heller expanded gun rights in the US, but even Scalia who wrote the opinion said that limits on gun ownership were constitutional.

Which Massachusetts courts have cited repeatedly in upholding the state's gun-control laws - in decisions that, to date, have been upheld by federal courts.

In April, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld Attorney General Maura Healey's effort to broaden a ban on the sale of assault weapons, partly for that reason, but also because the Heller decision made such a big point about the right of self defense in the home:
In fact, when asked directly, not one of the plaintiffs or their six experts could identify even a single example of the use of an assault weapon for home self-defense, nor could they identify even a single example of a self-defense episode in which ten or more shots were fired. Viewed as a whole, the record suggests that wielding the proscribed weapons for self-defense within the home is tantamount to using a sledgehammer to crack open the shell of a peanut. Thus, we conclude that the Act does not heavily burden the core Second Amendment right of self-defense within the home.
posted by adamg at 11:53 AM on August 4 [13 favorites]


So when I say I think it's "worse," I specifically mean that the potential for large scale genocidal state sponsored violence is worse than it's been in recent history, because the people wanting to do the killing have captured the state. And the ways we "got through" the previous genocidal periods was by destroying communities.

While I agree with you (schadenfrau) that the machinery of mass death has only gotten more efficient and refined, at least from a Native American/First Nation/Alaska Native/South Americans indigenous/ Hawaiian perspective “the state” has been deployed for explicit and large scale genocidal purposes since “the state” meant England and France and Spain.

You did say “recent history,” but it is quite recent that “the state” (meaning nation states operating on the territories of “the Americas” at least) has even made any kind of pretense to being something other than a genocidal construction.
posted by spitbull at 12:04 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


8chan: A website where mass shooters post their screeds (WaPo reprint)
The site, Brennan said, is kept online largely as a vanity project for Watkins and makes very little money, helping shield it from advertiser or public pressure. 8chan does not work with mainstream digital-ad networks but sells ad space directly to companies and solicits donations from users, which Brennan believed earned the site about $100 a month.

The site protects itself from legal threats by removing copyrighted content, but allows practically everything else onto the site without limits. Its servers, Brennan said, are distributed around the world, making it more difficult to take down. The site said last summer that it had nearly 8 million unique users visit every month.

Pressure, however, is building on mainstream companies that help keep 8chan online. Cloudflare, a San Francisco-based firm that helps web companies defend against cyberattacks, has continued to work with 8chan, saying it serves websites regardless of their content. The company told The Post earlier this year that it bans terrorist-propaganda networks but would not discuss details of its 8chan partnership.

Cloudflare and its chief Matthew Prince did not respond to requests for an explanation of how 8chan is different from the other terrorist sites it bans. The activist group Sleeping Giants tweeted about Cloudflare’s connection early Sunday, “If you’re doing business with a site that helps people spread violent, racist ideologies, you are just as culpable. Full stop.”
8chan: the far-right website linked to the rise in hate crimes (Guardian)
Cloudflare has long taken the position that it should be neutral towards content in providing its services, since it does not host content itself. But in 2017, shortly after the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the company’s chief executive officer, Matthew Prince, stopped providing DDoS protection to the extremist neo-Nazi hate site, the Daily Stormer. The site was subsequently forced off the open internet and on to the so-called dark web – areas of the internet that cannot be accessed with a normal web browser. It has since returned to the regular internet.

[...] Prince argued that keeping “bad” sites within Cloudflare’s network means that the company is able to help monitor activity and flag illegal content to law enforcement. While he would not comment on specifics, he said that Cloudflare receives “regular requests” from law enforcement not to ban certain sites. “There are lots of competitors to Cloudflare that are not nearly as law abiding as we have always been,” he said. “The minute that someone isn’t on our network, they’re going to be on someone else’s network … If you do a search for the Daily Stormer now, it’s completely available. They’re not gone, and they have bragged themselves that their subscriber counts have gone up.”
posted by Little Dawn at 12:07 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I was specifically thinking of state sponsored genocide against Native Americans and other indigenous peoples when I referenced recent history. Those genocides were about as ruthless and as grimly efficient as possible given the technology, infrastructure and institutions available at the time. So advancements in all those things are...not encouraging to me, in this sense. And they only really petered out because it was so effective. None of that is makes me feel better about the current situation.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:10 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


There’s an update on Trump deleting his tweets - that was incorrect, Trump was NOT scrubbing his Twitter feed after all, that thread about it linked to above has been deleted.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:11 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


So like...recent history being the period people were talking about in that convo, starting with the 1960s. But if we're including the destruction of communities and way of life and general terror and mass murder when we talk about genocide, that was obviously state policy at the literal state level for a long time wrt to other groups, most obviously black Americans.

Just. We're a gaslighting, genocidal country, and the more tools we build that can be weaponized towards that end, the more destructive the next eruption of that violence will be.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:14 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Republicans aren't the only ones with awful takes.

Neil deGrasse Tyson:
In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings.

On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…

500 to Medical errors
300 to the Flu
250 to Suicide
200 to Car Accidents
40 to Homicide via Handgun

Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.

--

Shannon Watts (Moms Demand):
Cold take, Neil. 200+ Americans died from gun violence in the past 48 hours. And you list causes of death that are researched, regulated and also happen in other high income countries. Our gun violence crisis is preventable and senseless and driven by a special interest.

Jelani Cobb (New Yorker):
This is really not the time to be the smug counterfactual guy. Medical errors don’t evolve into ethnic cleansing. The flu didn’t lynch black people to keep them from voting. You’re ridiculously blithe to the implications of ideology-driven violence.
posted by chris24 at 12:16 PM on August 4 [82 favorites]


Neil deGrasse Tyson:

Pinkeritis. Terminal, I'm afraid. There's a reason why some folks on the left say that liberals are going to get us all murdered.

@AhmedBaba_
Did @neiltyson just “All Deaths Matter” these shootings?

posted by Rust Moranis at 12:21 PM on August 4 [34 favorites]


There's a reason why some folks on the left say that liberals are going to get us all murdered.

I fully expect wealthy liberals to embrace fascism once climate-driven mass migrations and overlapping natural catastrophes threaten their standard of living and make "chaotic and frightening" the default state of American life.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:30 PM on August 4 [19 favorites]




Even by the standards of Tyson's worldview it's a dumb tweet. How many of those 250 suicides were gun deaths?
posted by Automocar at 12:35 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


It's weird to me that we have, in parallel threads, people complaining that we not blame a possible Trump re-election on "the left," and simultaneously people already dismissing "liberals" as fascists. I mean, honestly, in the last election only one of those groups actively worked against the non-Donald Trump candidate. It's even weirder because the definition of "liberal" seems to be kind of a moving target roughly translating to "people I don't like."

Like quite literally Bernie Sanders is already carrying the mental health gaslighting bullshit water for people who want to dismiss this as NRA-enabled white terrorism, and it's.... "liberals" ...who will embrace fascism?
posted by schadenfrau at 12:37 PM on August 4 [18 favorites]


@Rekalty (some rando on twitter, since we're posting responses to NDT's flaming hot take)
We're working to prevent medical errors.
We're working to prevent the flu.
We're working to prevent suicide.
We're working to prevent car accident.
We're doing fuck all about mass shootings.

Spot the difference, Neil.
(that said, I think the mods are probably about to step in on the Tyson thread...)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 12:39 PM on August 4 [24 favorites]


It's even weirder because the definition of "liberal" seems to be kind of a moving target roughly translating to "people I don't like."

I've long defined it by the Phil Ochs standard:

In every American community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberal. An outspoken group on many subjects, ten degrees to the left of center in good times, ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:40 PM on August 4 [18 favorites]


I have no words. At. All.

I don't even have anyone in my family to talk about this because my dad and brothers are gun carrying, liberal hating, 45 supporting assholes.

It almost makes me want to cry.
posted by kathrynm at 12:40 PM on August 4 [44 favorites]


"Medical errors" is such a weird and vague category, I pretty much think, "someone's trying to manipulate something," when I see it.
posted by rhizome at 12:41 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


It's even weirder because the definition of "liberal" seems to be kind of a moving target roughly translating to "people I don't like."

Increasingly, at least in extremely-online Left circles, "liberal" means the non-ideological pro-status-quo center-to-center-left. I used to call myself a liberal, don't any longer. Whether or not the liberal/leftist dichotomy is the circular firing squad in action, I find it a necessary distinction.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:41 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


For the last few years at the Bottlerock festival in Napa, the local sherrifs set up a snipers nest on the building behind a particular bar tent. Every year, they low-key walk in behind us with suppressed rifles with big scopes, dripping with extra magazines.

They generally ask us barbacks if they can grab a bag of ice from our pallet, and I was under the impression it was something to do with their extra-fancy glassware on their guns, some kinda high-tech optics that needed to be kept cool. I could be wrong.

But even with multiple snipers up on a roof, I know those fairgrounds well enuf. One motivated white supremacist terrorist with heavy firepower bought in Nevada who picks the right entrance could wreak havoc before getting taken down.

This week is setup for Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park, SF. Again, cop sharpshooters with suppressed rifles walking around the park in and amongst the crowd. But there are lots of crowded trees and foliage to hide in. I fully believe that a committed white supremacist terrorist could get into the park and unload on the crowds. Hell, someone is probably out in the woods practicing infiltration techniques.

But if you just wanted to shoot people, the lines to get into the festival are long and crowded and publicly accessible. As long as that white male terrorist wants to kill people, and the California border is more concerned with fruit than guns, there is no safety.

Remember: 3% of the population is stockpiling HALF the firearms.

If martyrdom would spur this this young generation rises up sick and tired of shooter drills at school and ducking and covering at the festival and finally eliminates military-grade weapons from civilian possession, fucking gun me down at my bar. Take out the bar manager while my bartenders run.

I'm fucking sick of this shit. Sweet Elvis, I see those cops with BIG ass magazines and suppressors, and I look around at the density of festival crowds, and OMG, the volume of lead that could fly in both directions.

Add my name to the fucking list of the dead, as long as it's the last one.

Just fucking rise up and vote to buy back the guns, and leave a crushed piece of steel that will never shoot anyone again on my grave.

I'll be at Wine Club/Mini Golf during Outside Lands. Look for the black hat, radio, and haggard look 👀.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:41 PM on August 4 [19 favorites]


Like quite literally Bernie Sanders is already carrying the mental health gaslighting bullshit water

Speaking of Sanders, no he didn’t just mention "the mental health situation in America" - here is the extended clip where he also talks "wanting to see the passage of common sense gun safety legislation", and he specifically said "before knowing the motive, at this point it’s not known". Afterwards, when it became clear it was a white supremacist with a manifesto etc., he has tweeted more than once about that too.

(just saying, for the sake of fairness)
posted by bitteschoen at 12:49 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
EL PASO, TX—In the hours following a violent rampage in Texas in which a lone attacker killed 20 individuals and injured 26 others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Sunday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Indiana resident Janet Clark, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this individual from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past eight years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”
‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
DAYTON, OH—In the hours following a violent rampage in Ohio in which a lone attacker killed 9 individuals and injured 27 others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Sunday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Oklahoma resident Adam Lewis, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this individual from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past eight years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”
posted by Rhaomi at 12:52 PM on August 4 [28 favorites]


he also talks "wanting to see the passage of common sense gun safety legislation"

He has repeatedly had the chance to vote for common sense gun legislation and not done so.

And of course, people can change their mind. But if Biden has to answer for his bussing votes, and Harris for being a prosecutor, he needs to answer for this. And I haven't seen a good one yet. Happy to have my mind changed.
posted by chris24 at 12:53 PM on August 4 [30 favorites]


I don't want to start a big derail, but I thought all black was, if anything, the "scary radical antifa leftist" look.

For me, About Face was a good explainer on the topic.
posted by frogstar42 at 12:59 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


chris24: honestly, as a non-voting non-American I genuinely don't know about his record on that (but now I'm curious I will go look that up!), I was just referring to his statements after the shootings, it'd be unfair to imply he was blaming mental health issues and that's it (besides I think he was talking more about how crazy the US with this frequency of shootings appear to the rest of the world...). It sounded very odd if he'd just left it at that.
posted by bitteschoen at 1:07 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I remember in 2010 when I said to my Boyf that I believed that either the USA or the UK would (due to many factors) have a full on Race War within our lifetimes.

He laughed and laughed and called me paranoid.

He stopped laughing at the prospect now.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:21 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


The sister and her boyfriend being shot at the club still means domestic violence, even though it didn’t happen at home. But it also doesn’t rule out white nationalism - especially because a lot of the weird horrible flavor of that is “we have to protect our womenfolk from taint, better dead than doing something that I feel makes me look bad.”
posted by corb at 1:26 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Rust Moranis: Pinkeritis. Terminal, I'm afraid. There's a reason why some folks on the left say that liberals are going to get us all murdered.

schadenfrau: I mean, honestly, in the last election only one of those groups actively worked against the non-Donald Trump candidate.

Pinker/Tyson/Dawkins in one corner, Greenwald/Tracy/Stoller in another, and many others in varied other realms of supposed lib/left "resistance" or "praxis" or whatever (Mensch? Wiliamson? Yang? Gabbard?) are all examples of how, in my opinion, useful idiocy doesn't have a home in any one particular segment of whatever you want to call the ostensible opponents of the right. Horseshoe theory is bunk, but so also is, like, just turning it on its head.

In theory, a positive purpose of political parties is to be unifying force that can get a lot more done than would be achieved by the sub-factions working alone. That means there's a nice easy answer for whom to support during any general election: the Democratic nominee! And by exension, to a certain degree, it's correct to make a rule of always taking the party's side against the opposing side any time a difference emerges. (Do note that last bit.) It just gets a lot trickier in the other periods, when the party itself is debating what to do.

Regardless, I like to think there's plenty of room for liberalite and leftoid people to unify against the useful idiots, the conservative/Trumper/fascist-adjacent, without having to identify them as necessarily belonging together in any other sense.

(One reason I regard myself as "liberal" and not "leftist" is similar to why, per some poll I read years back, relatively millenials call themselves "environmentalists" -- I don't think I'm good/pure enough to grant myself the title!)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:27 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


G. Elliott Morris (Economist):
8chan, the website that has become a hotbed for white nationalism and where the El Paso shooter posted his racist anti-Hispanic murder essay, sends the fifth most traffic to Donald Trump's campaign website of any site on the web (according to @SimilarWeb)

1) Fark
2) Wikipedia
3) GOP.com
4) crooksandliars.com
5) 8ch.net
posted by chris24 at 2:04 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick: Frankly, I do not believe the United States is capable of de-Nazification/de-ISISification of itself. Germany didn't deal with its Nazi problem; the Allied Forces did.

Not to derail, but denazification (see WP article) of post-WWII Germany by the Allies was complex, inconsistent, incomplete, expensive, and hasty. With the rise of Soviet expansionism, Western powers — who wanted Germany as a productive, anti-communist ally — couldn’t afford the administrative efforts required, and turned over denazification to the post-war German government within a few years.
posted by cenoxo at 2:08 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


It is really unfortunate that the United States does not have a workers party, either in the form of a political party or a large and radical union. Imagine if one of the possible responses to a weekend like this one were that someone like Sara Nelson could come out and call for a general strike and that was even more of a credible threat than it was when she called for one at the end of the government shutdown.

Imagine if the candidates at the Democratic debates had to answer questions about something like that. I think that their responses would quickly sort out which of them, if any, actually has the stomach or the desire to seriously shake up the status quo.

My condolences and solidarity to everyone impacted by this weekend's events.

.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 2:11 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


8chan, the website that has become a hotbed for white nationalism and where the El Paso shooter posted his racist anti-Hispanic murder essay, sends the fifth most traffic to Donald Trump's campaign website of any site on the web (according to @SimilarWeb)

It's also literally where QAnon comes from, both the Q posts and the entire culture surrounding them.

8chan is just the less pretty face of the right-wing propaganda machine, for those who don't need Fox News's molecule-thin veneer of civilization.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:20 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


[A few things removed; if there's a worthwhile discussion to be had about academic studies about left-leaning group affiliations, maybe something for a post of its own at some point but geez howdy maybe not as an argument right now in a thread about people being shot in acts of domestic terrorism.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:46 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


self-reinforcing covens

Please let's not, OnTheLastCastle. I'm in a coven.
posted by heatherlogan at 2:58 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Are there any examples in history where things have gotten this bad and walked back to normalcy without an intervening period of civil war or similar?

Things aren't perfectly analogous and, IMO, it wasn't nearly as bad, but there was the FLQ crisis in Canada:
From 1963 to 1970 the Quebec nationalist group Front de libération du Québec detonated over 950 bombs.[5] While mailboxes—particularly in the affluent and predominantly Anglophone city of Westmount—were common targets, the largest single bombing was of the Montreal Stock Exchange on February 13, 1969, which caused extensive damage and injured 27 people. Other targets included Montreal City Hall, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, armed forces recruiting offices, railway tracks, and army installations. FLQ members, in a strategic move, had stolen several tons of dynamite from military and industrial sites, and, financed by bank robberies, they threatened through their official communication organ, known as La Cognée, that more attacks were to come.
Which cumulated in:
Members of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped the provincial Deputy Premier Pierre Laporte and British diplomat James Cross. In response, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the only peacetime use of the War Measures Act. The kidnappers murdered Laporte and negotiations led to Cross's release and the kidnappers' exile to Cuba.
what’s the relevance of wearing eye/ear protection in this case? It’s come up a few times in the thread and it does seem notably unusual.

Besides the eplanations already raised I'll note that this is the sort of equipment any informed person wears while practicing. The wearing of the equipment during the massacre can just be the gun users equivelent of baseball batter's adjusting their gloves 65 times between pitches: an ingrained habit developed over the years that the executor doesn't even think about.

God does not have a real strong track record of intervening in atrocities
He's committed more than a few and all to often they are committed in his name.
posted by Mitheral at 3:11 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


self-reinforcing covens

This may come as a shock to some, but actual real-live people in actual covens are working toward things like racial justice and gun control. Can we not use someone’s religion as a convenient shorthand for “other”?
posted by corey flood at 3:15 PM on August 4 [27 favorites]


It's the little things but I just sent this:
Dear Hot Rod Magazine,
Please cancel my subscription to Hot Rod. I enjoy the car content, but cannot abide the inside back cover of every issue having a shadowy picture of some wannabe jackoff in military-grade consumer gear overprinted with "patriot" or "alpha" or some other such bullshit.

Those ads are part of the problem, and by printing them, so are you.

X Notsnot
who remembers when Freiburger was the FNG.
posted by notsnot at 3:19 PM on August 4 [37 favorites]






[Comment and some replies removed. Like basically all forms of systemic oppression, white supremacy is not beholden to familial or friendly ties; "isn't their [x] not-white?" isn't an argument or defense we're gonna bother entertaining here.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:20 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


So how do you kill 10 people and injure 26 more in less than a minute? Start with an AR-15 and then add this:

Derek Bauman (Cincinnati NAACP):
This is the type of 100 Round double drum magazine the Dayton shooter used. No need for pesky reloading. Available to legally order online for convenient home delivery as we speak for $129.95. Perhaps we could stipulate that folks don’t need these and go from there? PIC
Even scarier when you see it loaded. PIC2
posted by chris24 at 4:25 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Mexico vows to take legal action against U.S. after deadly El Paso shooting (NBC News)
Mexico on Sunday threatened to take legal action against the United States for failing to protect its citizens after this weekend's mass shooting in the border city of El Paso. Of the 20 people gunned down at a Walmart at the Cielo Vista Mall, at least three were Mexican citizens, and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard promised Mexico City will act.

Ebrard called Saturday's shooting an “act of barbarism.”
Posición sobre la tragedia en El Paso Texas : pic.twitter.com/gIXuJcQJLy
— Marcelo Ebrard C. (@m_ebrard) August 4, 2019
“The president has instructed me to ensure that Mexico’s indignation translates into ... efficient, prompt, expeditious and forceful legal actions for Mexico to take a role and demand that conditions are established that protect ... Mexicans in the United States,” Ebrard said in a video posted on Twitter.
posted by Little Dawn at 4:29 PM on August 4 [27 favorites]


I just wanna know who's in the black Mitsubishi
posted by bookman117 at 4:36 PM on August 4


Why the FBI struggles with domestic terrorism (WaPo reprint)
Some veteran counterterrorism experts said the FBI and the federal government have done too little, despite concerns that have been building for more than a decade. Dave Gomez, a former FBI supervisor who oversaw terrorism cases, said he thinks FBI officials are wary of pursuing white nationalists aggressively because of the fierce political debates surrounding the issue.

“I believe Christopher A. Wray is an honorable man, but I think in many ways the FBI is hamstrung in trying to investigate the white supremacist movement like the old FBI would,” Gomez said. “There’s some reluctance among agents to bring forth an investigation that targets what the president perceives as his base. It’s a no-win situation for the FBI agent or supervisor.”

Gomez said that reluctance stems in large part from the public criticism President Donald Trump has launched against the FBI over the course of the bureau’s investigation into Russian election interference and the president’s conduct. “I don’t think there’s any faith by the FBI right now that the Justice Department is an independent law enforcement organization,” he said. “I think the FBI is up to the challenge of investigating white nationalism and white supremacy as a domestic terrorism threat, they just have to be allowed to do it.”

A law enforcement official denied Gomez’s criticism, saying the FBI has shown it is using all available resources to counter extremist violence. The official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the issue, spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Daryl Johnson, a former DHS analyst whose 2009 memo warning of a growing threat of domestic terrorism led to a political backlash, said elected officials have been fearful to address the issue. “Here we are ten years later, this threat is still alive and well and in some respects is actually growing. It’s very concerning,” he said. “I’m still in disbelief that the federal government response seems to be lacking. People that we elect seem to lack political willpower to tackle this issue and call it out and do something about it.”
posted by Little Dawn at 4:36 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Every time, I struggle. I grew up near Dayton, so maybe it's a bit more personal, but this viciousness is so prevalent and it gets to me.

4chan, 8chan, the pits of Reddit, Breitbart, all the cesspools, we have to speak out and make them socially unacceptable. I don't know how to do this, but I will try. The vile, lying, corrupt actual President is enabling this, with the Republican Party, and huge swaths of Americans. We need a March on Washington, as big as the Women's March after the Inauguration. We need to raise hell. This is just wrong and unacceptable.
posted by theora55 at 4:43 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Why the FBI struggles with domestic terrorism

Because to really deal with the problem they'd have to arrest most of the Republican party elected officials for incitement. The one time there was even a report saying that white terrorist could be a problem, every Republican literally screamed until they passed out until they retracted the report.

White terrorism, and eventually, genocide, is Republicans electoral strategy. The FBI cannot deal with that problem and remain subject to elected oversight.

Edit: that's genocide committed by white supremacists, not of.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:45 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


*sigh*

The Problem Isn't 8chan. It’s Young American Men

Okay. Challenge accepted. Let's deplatform young American men.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 4:46 PM on August 4 [20 favorites]


“There’s some reluctance among agents to bring forth an investigation that targets what the president perceives as his base. It’s a no-win situation for the FBI agent or supervisor.”

An open admission that the FBI knowingly allows white supremacist terrorism, and we're still asked to sympathize with them.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:48 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


“Life in public-shooting-era America: ‘You can’t just not go,’” Ted Anthony, The Associated Press, 04 August 2019
posted by ob1quixote at 4:51 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Dave Levitan
“It’s better if the president just keeps golfing” is some real failed-state shit
posted by chris24 at 4:56 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


The Problem Isn't 8chan. It’s Young American Men

The article doesn’t go into why young American men are like this, it just keeps asserting that they’ll go somewhere else. It’s...not a good argument.

Young American men are like this because they’ve been radicalized by right wing predators who have leveraged the discovery tools on popular platforms like YouTube. The discovery part is key. Those private Telegram groups are orders of magnitude less dangerous because you can’t stumble upon them; no one watches a video about world war 2 and then gets sucked into an increasingly extreme Nazi rabbit hole of Telegram groups. You have to search it out. The incremental steps provided by discovery algorithms are key to radicalization. And those steps can be wiped out. Each step you eliminate makes radicalization and recruitment that much more difficult.

This isn’t some mystery, it’s just marketing. Remove the giant fucking funnel these groups use — yes, including 8chan; if we can do it to ISIS, we can do it to white supremacists, we just have to want it — and watch their recruitment suffer.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:58 PM on August 4 [54 favorites]


Virginia Heffernan (LATimes)
When the ruling party of a nation state generously supplies terrorists with both ideology and arms, it's time to talk about those terrorists being "state-sponsored."
posted by chris24 at 5:02 PM on August 4 [51 favorites]


Pretty gross that Buzzfeed is uncritically publishing dos and donts on fighting online right-wing extremism from the dude who runs Gab.
posted by skymt at 5:03 PM on August 4 [24 favorites]


"if we don't host 8chan, someone else will" is both true and irrelevant. If you don't host 8chan, you aren't complicit in hosting 8chan. It's a complete logical fallacy that you can dissolve your responsibility this way.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:06 PM on August 4 [41 favorites]


“I don’t think there’s any faith by the FBI right now that the Justice Department is an independent law enforcement organization,” he said. “I think the FBI is up to the challenge of investigating white nationalism and white supremacy as a domestic terrorism threat, they just have to be allowed to do it.”

This is an odd argument that reads like FBI throwing Justice under the bus, except it’s from a former FBI guy, not an anonymous source. And if that DHS study is right, this is a problem that’s been festering for a decade, much longer than Trump, although no one can argue with the fact that Trump has embraced white nationalism. It would be interesting to see an accounting of how much of FBI and Justice’s resources have been allocated to domestic terrorism over the last decade and whether there’s been noticeable cuts or increases in that time.
posted by sallybrown at 5:09 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Trump tweets, stays out of sight for hours after shootings (AP)
Never seemingly comfortable consoling a nation in grief, Trump will be carefully watched for his response to the attacks, again inviting comparison to his predecessors who have tried to heal the country in moments of national trauma. [...]

His first tweet after the El Paso shooting on Saturday hit similar notes, with Trump calling it “terrible” and promising the full support of the federal government. But just 14 minutes later, he tweeted again, a discordant post wishing UFC fighter Colby Covington, a Trump supporter, good luck in his fight that evening.
How Colby Covington became the UFC's biggest villain (ESPN)
"I should have knocked him out," Covington screamed into the microphone during his in-Octagon postfight interview. "Brazil, you're a dump. All you filthy animals suck." [...] Calling Brazilians "filthy animals"? He's quick to say the comments weren't racist. "I didn't say anything racially charged," Covington says. "I called them filthy animals, but Brazil is not a race, you know. There's nothing racist about that."
posted by Little Dawn at 5:11 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Yashar Ali (New York mag)
I am *shocked* to learn from CNN that the Dayton shooter had a history of being threatening towards women.


Goldie Taylor (Daily Beast)
Seriously stunning that he was arrested with a “kill and rape list” in high school, was arrested and was later allowed to return to class.
posted by chris24 at 5:20 PM on August 4 [22 favorites]


So the Dayton guy self-identified as a leftist and had a history of misogynist violence. Is this now the thread to talk about that?
posted by schadenfrau at 5:45 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


Did he?
posted by Balna Watya at 5:59 PM on August 4


Is this now the thread to talk about that?

Yes.... yes, it is. That's an unexpected development.

[Dayton shooter]: Twitter Posts on Being a Leftist, Guns
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:03 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


This is terrifying me on a level not felt before and I don’t know why.

One of the Ohio victims was his own sister. I sit here holding my son’s 3 month old sister as I type.

I feel so powerless to put an end to this, and have no meaningful ability to comfort the victims’ families. This has been a devastating weekend for America. I want to hold you all.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:10 PM on August 4 [16 favorites]


Earlier in my post on the 100 round double drum magazine I mentioned the Dayton terrorist killed and injured 36 in under a minute before being killed.

It was actually just 30 seconds.

Ignoring all the other stupidness of the Good Guy With A Gun argument for allowing guns, this alone should end that bullshit. There were 6 cops right there who were firing back within 20 seconds and he was dead in 30, and he still ended 10 lives and forever changed 26 more.
posted by chris24 at 6:10 PM on August 4 [55 favorites]


I grew up in El Paso, so I hope no one minds scrolling a little bit extra in a long thread:

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(and for Dayton, too)

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posted by 23skidoo at 6:22 PM on August 4 [21 favorites]


I mean, there are violent misogynists and domestic abusers aplenty on the left, let's remember.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:32 PM on August 4 [35 favorites]


Of course... just dammit. The whataboutists and bothsiders will be talking about this for years to shutdown any genuine debate about right-wing terrorism.

It's a logical fallacy of course. You are not excused from dealing with your problems by pointing at other people's problems.
posted by adept256 at 6:48 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone, but

Dayton Daily News: Dayton shooting due to family breakdown, gay marriage, video games, state lawmaker says
State Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, said in a post to her Facebook page that blame for the Dayton shootings should be placed on the breakdown of the traditional family, gay marriage, violent video games, professional athletes who protest the American flag, recreational marijuana and “snowflakes, who can’t accept a duly-elected President.”
She also said, “There needs to be a time for healing before we lash out at the Constitution and one another," evidently without the slightest trace of self-awareness.
posted by perspicio at 6:48 PM on August 4 [19 favorites]


[Dayton shooter]: Twitter Posts on Being a Leftist, Guns

This is on Heavy.com, which seems to specialize in fast facts about people of interest in the news. Even so, they conspicuously mention checking and doublechecking his twitter account. Waiting for confirmation on this one from other media outlets.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:50 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


should be placed on the breakdown of the traditional family, gay marriage, violent video games, professional athletes who protest the American flag, recreational marijuana and “snowflakes, who can’t accept a duly-elected President.”

What the? Isn't this just a list of right wing hobby horses? Why not throw in blaming it on Obamacare and the Green New Deal?
posted by Justinian at 6:54 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


At the nationally televised Philadelphia Union vs DC United MLS soccer match tonight, this happened.

@MLSist
So Ale Bedoya grabbed a field-level mic after scoring his goal and shouted, live on national television:

"HEY CONGRESS, DO SOMETHING. END GUN VIOLENCE NOW."

My man. Need a lot more voices like his in pro sports.

VIDEO
posted by chris24 at 6:54 PM on August 4 [36 favorites]




@kevinroose (NYT tech columnist)
Breaking: Cloudflare CEO @eastdakota tells me the company is cutting off 8chan's access to its DDOS protection service after all, a big reversal from earlier in the day. Story update TK.
Also, I managed to read about a thousand tweets into @iamthespookster's twitter before it got suspended. It seems ... like an average MeFi megathread user, to be honest.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:55 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Anand Giridharadas:
In a country with institutions like ours, there are limits to a president’s ability to terrorize people of color through his own direct action.

Terrorism inspired by him is thus both an outgrowth and an ally of his project: to incite a race war and make non-whites live in fear.

By all indications, what we are witnessing is nothing short of terrorist proxy warfare on behalf of the president of the United States. It’s a hard truth to speak. We must speak it and end this presidency.
posted by non canadian guy at 6:58 PM on August 4 [28 favorites]


The political affiliation of the shooters important to a point, but the biggest issue remains the availability and ease of purchasing weapons of mass destruction. People (almost always men) with histories of domestic violence, violence related to mental illness or who have publicly espoused violence (among others) should not be able to purchase guns. And people who sell them guns anyways should be accountable for the deaths caused by their sales.

I'm in favor of an Australian "ban em and confiscate em" system, we should at the very least make anything that allows multiple shots per second totally illegal and unavailable.

But, yeah, own guns and utter or post threats? Your guns should be taken away forever period no backsies. You can't be trusted with a gun.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:13 PM on August 4 [27 favorites]


I honestly don’t think the contemporary political party ideology of these shooters matters so much as their embrace of violence to act out fantasies of white supremacy, male supremacy, or white male supremacy. You can call yourself a leftist but if you arm yourself with a weapon of mass destruction and tactical gear and plan a murder of strangers in cold blood...you are a domestic terrorist. And only one current political party is attempting to stand in the way of people bent on that plan, while the other is standing on the sidelines cheering for it via cable news, and that’s when partisanship matters. Not so much what sort of registered voter the killer was. But what political party is the best means for the rest of us to stop him
posted by sallybrown at 7:23 PM on August 4 [43 favorites]


Here’s CloudFlare’s blog post about terminating 8Chan’s service.

Even on the HackerNews thread, the pro-8Chan “but muh freedom a speech” crowd is more muted than usual and getting downvoted hard.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:24 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


I'm in favor of an Australian "ban em and confiscate em" system, we should at the very least make anything that allows multiple shots per second totally illegal and unavailable.

Two thoughts:

1) re: multiple shots per second: It appears to me that pretty much every AR-platform "semi-automatic" rifle is defectively designed, and they can be used as a machine gun simple by jamming the thumb of your trigger hand in your belt. THESE should be banned outright until the manufacturers design them properly for semi-automatic firing only.

2) I don't see ban + confiscate working. BUT I do advocate for strict licensing, registration, and insurance.

a) Each firearm owner must pass a licensing exam to ensure they know how to be a responsible firearm owner.

b) Each firearm a licensed person owns must be registered to them. They must be securely stored.

c) That's where the insurance policy comes in. Unless you can really store them safely, you're not getting a policy issued.

Ok, with that in place, make it a Life or the Death Penalty class crime to transfer any registered firearm to an unlicensed person.

That way, the flow of guns to criminals dries up, we know the remaining licensed owners are at least competent, ( we could make annual physical/psych exams like airplane pilots a requirement, too ) and that they're not going to be a channel for illegal arms sales.

This solves the "private to private, unmonitored sales" going on today.
posted by mikelieman at 7:29 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


I honestly don’t think the contemporary political party ideology of these shooters matters so much as their embrace of violence to act out fantasies of white supremacy, male supremacy, or white male supremacy.

That's the thing, though.. That particular twitter account had none of that on display. It was meme-y, violently anti-capitalist, and smelt vaguely of Bernie-Bro, but none of the usual supremacies.

Here’s CloudFlare’s blog post about terminating 8Chan’s service.

And they sound super disappointed that they've been forced into this.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:33 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


A large portion of the El Paso guy's manifesto would also not have looked out of place here. He talks about corporate capture of politics, environmental disaster, job loss to automation, Americans wasting resources.. I mean, the rest is basically the Turner Diaries, but reading it I got the weird feeling that there's an alternate universe where he spends his time griping in the Megathread instead of slaughtering shoppers.
posted by theodolite at 7:46 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Ecofascism? That sounded like a nonsense word to everyone but science fiction fans until pretty recently, but it's clear that plenty of the response to climate change is going to be violence against marginalized people.

I mean, that's the risk when the good old contradictions get heightened. I'm not especially sure that the left will win the upcoming crisis. It's just as possible we'll get a brownshirt New Deal, maybe even more because the @Jacks of the world can unite with working class fascists.
posted by Frowner at 7:58 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


can we not? Mitch isn't doing this cause he;s under seekrit orders, he's doing it cause it furthers white supremacy and entrenches an unpopular, minority republic government, he does it cause it gives him more power, he does it cause he does not care and is a huge racist.

When people say that Paul Ryan is a spineless or that Lindsey Graham is being blackmailed, I understand pushing back against that. Those formulations seem to imply that Ryan and Graham are good people forced into doing bad things. But that isn't true and it's annoying to see people imply that.

But #MoscowMitch is different. McConnell is called this because he worked to suppress information about Russia's meddling in 2016 and he refuses to hold votes on legislation to prevent the same thing from happening in 2020. It's about his treasonous actions. But it doesn't absolve him of his awful motivations at all, which are exactly what you stated: white supremacy and minority rule.

I really think this one is ok and we should lean into it. Although #MassacreMitch is also trending, if you like that one better.

Incidentally the miserable fucker fell down and fractured his shoulder earlier today. A small highlight in a shitty, shitty weekend.
posted by great_radio at 8:01 PM on August 4 [33 favorites]


He talks about corporate capture of politics, environmental disaster, job loss to automation, Americans wasting resources.

To add one more thought: Not long ago, just mentioning those things meant you were on the left because it was still possible for society to suppress those concerns. Now it's no longer possible, so mentioning them doesn't mean anything, only response. It's not "left" to talk about climate change; it's left to talk about a left response to climate change. I think this is a little bit difficult to keep in mind for those of us who grew up the "don't ever mention corporate capture of the state or climate change, what are you some kind of hippie vegan" times.
posted by Frowner at 8:05 PM on August 4 [31 favorites]


I took a random drive today with my son to a park today, and couldn’t stop thinking that there is literally nothing anyone can do to tell me these dozens of
kids couldn’t just get murdered in a 30 second nightmare. “Not here,” is my usual response. Why not here? There’s nothing privileged about where I live or the parks we visit.

Fuck it. Ban every single assault rifle and concealable handgun. You can have one rifle and one shotgun, kept in a safe in a licensed, certified, insured shooting club. Same with ammunition. No accessories at all for sale, anywhere, and felonies with real hard time for any violation.

“What about the other guns already out there, clearly we can’t do any of the above because of them?” Well, here’s where the “fuck it” part comes in. Full confiscation or utter destruction of whatever hidey-hole of your precious weapons you are willing to die protecting.

“We can’t take their guns because they’ll shoot back.” Society has a LOT more weapons than you do, and the people are getting very angry about your precious toys and obscene danger they pose to the rest of us.

“If we did that the people with guns would shoot back and people will die.” I guarantee you, even if every single gun enthusiast opts to fight back with maximum violence, full confiscation of all weapons will still cost FEWER LIVES than what we have now. I am not kidding.

This situation is disgusting. So disgusting I sometimes wonder, am I some sort of time traveling tourist? “Live like the Americans! Know what it was like to be in the richest country in the world when everything went completely off the rails.”
posted by bigbigdog at 8:20 PM on August 4 [44 favorites]


Eric Bradner @ericbradner

Beto O’Rourke on his way to his car was asked if there’s anything Trump can do now to make this better.

“What do you think? You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the fuck?”


There's a longer screenshot of the quote in the tweet. Worth reading. I wonder if this is the end of O'Rourke's hippy-dippy-can't-we-just-all-get-along approach to governing. Probably not. I can imagine him road tripping with Gabbard and Crenshaw later this month.

Still it's amazing to me any time I see a politician on the national level express this kind of contempt for Trump and the media. If the Dems did this regularly it could be game changing.
posted by great_radio at 8:25 PM on August 4 [50 favorites]


theodolite: He talks about corporate capture of politics, environmental disaster, job loss to automation, Americans wasting resources.

Fascists are sometimes drawn to futurism, as with the Italian Futurists, but they're often even more into primitivism, which makes sense by extension from the exaltation of a glorious past, the "Nordic/Germanic" stuff, and simple reaction. In that light (plus the rejection of establishment conservatism and its celebration of markets) environmentalism of a kind isn't so much out of place.

Earlier today I argued on Twitter with someone about gun statistics (no, not a recommended use of time) and after I put forward a summary of the evidence that violence is indeed well-correlated with the sheer prevalence of guns, he switched gears to "Don't you think it would be better if we all had swords and shields instead?" Of course I would prefer that kind of impossible hypothetical, but his framing it as a question like that set off my radar, and a closer look at the avatar gave me a sense of what specific flavor of douche I was dealing with.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:32 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Run for Senate, Beto! I love you as a Senate candidate. You're just not ready for the big show!

I have never donated to someone in Texas before for obvious reasons but, Beto, I pledge to send you a bunch of cold hard cash if you run for fucking Senate instead of tilting at Presidential windmills.
posted by Justinian at 8:34 PM on August 4 [31 favorites]


Fascists are sometimes drawn to futurism, as with the Italian Futurists, but they're often even more into primitivism, which makes sense by extension from the exaltation of a glorious past

Sure, but the corporate capture of politics rhetoric isn't fascist, it's leftist. This guy was all over the map.

I will now admit I wince and squick out when people go on about "corporate democrats" and such both here and elsewhere online. So many of the people who talk like that are... weird. Not like white supremacist murdery weird thank goodness but still, it's not a great look in general.

note: people aren't generally wrong about politicians being too beholden to money, but that particular language is shared among a subset of online types who raise flags.
posted by Justinian at 8:36 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


1) Fark
2) Wikipedia
3) GOP.com
4) crooksandliars.com
5) 8ch.net


Of these referring sites, I want to point out that crooksandliars.com is a liberal site that shines a light on the misdeeds of the right. Perhaps they (unwisely?) provide links to the bad stuff, but they are not in the business of amplifying right-wing noise. People clicking those links are for the most part just trying to educate themselves to the crazy-making outbursts on the right.
posted by sjswitzer at 8:40 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Adding to sjswitzer: Fark, the top of that list, is decidedly anti-Trump in all its subthreads, and as far as I can tell it reaches number one thanks to the sheer number of Trump "polls" it links with instructions to readers to sabotage.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:48 PM on August 4 [18 favorites]


It's sad that this is just one 72 year old state senator in Nebraska saying this and not many US Senators or congresspersons, but at least one Republican has now had enough after the El Paso shooting.
Senator McCollister:
The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country.  As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it’s the truth. I of course am not suggesting that all Republicans are white supremacists nor am I saying that the average Republican is even racist. What I am saying though is that the Republican Party is COMPLICIT to obvious racist and immoral activity inside our party.

We have a Republican president who continually stokes racist fears in his base.  He calls certain countries “sh*tholes,” tells women of color to “go back” to where they came from and lies more than he tells the truth. We have Republican senators and representatives who look the other way and say nothing for fear that it will negatively affect their elections. No more. When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing.

The time is now for us Republicans to be honest with what is happening inside our party. We are better than this and I implore my Republican colleagues to stand up and do the right thing. We all like to cite Abraham Lincoln’s Republican lineage when it is politically expedient but NOW is the time to ACT like Lincoln and take a stand.
posted by chris24 at 8:48 PM on August 4 [80 favorites]


The El Paso shooter told everyone he killed people as part of a race war in a manifesto posted to 8chan. The Dayton shooter killed his own sister as well as a bunch of random people for reasons no one understands yet. Politics may or may not have been a contributing factor, but a killing that includes one's sibling could be entirely for personal reasons.
posted by xammerboy at 8:49 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


The connection was guns.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:51 PM on August 4 [32 favorites]


Shooting up a place because you're angry has become a sort of free floating meme. It's a tactic any white male can use.

White supremacists have latched on, of course, but I'm not shocked that they're the only ones.

The connection is 1) guns and 2) the cultural cachet of the mass shooting generally
posted by BungaDunga at 8:58 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Male supremacy and white supremacy are intrinsically linked. Killing your sister and her boyfriend is a violently misogynistic act. There's your connection.
posted by sockermom at 9:03 PM on August 4 [23 favorites]


Fascists are sometimes drawn to futurism, as with the Italian Futurists, but they're often even more into primitivism, which makes sense by extension from the exaltation of a glorious past, the "Nordic/Germanic" stuff, and simple reaction. In that light (plus the rejection of establishment conservatism and its celebration of markets) environmentalism of a kind isn't so much out of place.

And it's not like racism has been totally alien to green thought anyway. See Edward Abbey's musings on immigration, say.
posted by non canadian guy at 9:10 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


It's entirely possible we'll know more about the Dayton shooter's motives in the next 24 to 48 hours so I personally am not drawing any conclusions yet about how similar or different it is from El Paso.
posted by great_radio at 9:11 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Tom Scocca, Where Taking the Concerns of Racists Seriously Has Gotten Us
Like Nixon, Stephens was simply expressing racist ideas that he supposed belonged to someone else—some figure, or mass of figures, offstage, whose point of view deserved a respectful hearing. He was writing, that is, in the dominant mode by which white nationalist ideas are presented in America: as a second-order concern, or, better yet, a third-order one, a warning that liberals, by denouncing racism, run the risk of offending or provoking the people who hold those racist views (or views that may seem, to a snobbish and uncaring coastal elite, to be racist, when in fact they reflect the reasonable or at least understandable frustrations or fears of the people who hold them).

Polite media outlets have been full of these defenses of racism, or defenses of the feelings of white people with racist opinions, since Trump’s victory. Usually, these defenses are presented as critiques of “identity politics,” or, more daringly, of “diversity.”
...
But imputed racism is still racism. No one said cannibal, yet the word crackled to life through the lips of the man who was president of the United States. No one was writing in the New York Times to demand that the future of white children be secured; they were just saying that social cohesion might be stronger if white people felt more secure in their white children’s futures.
posted by zachlipton at 9:33 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


The Dayton shooter's parents... I can't imagine.
posted by carmicha at 9:36 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


People (almost always men) with histories of domestic violence, violence related to mental illness or who have publicly espoused violence (among others) should not be able to purchase guns.

Hey, you know who already can't purchase guns? Felons. You know what would make someone a felon? Actually taking their domestic and misogynistic violence, terrorism, and stalking seriously rather than treating it as "boys will be boys shit."

Like we don't have to make a special class to prevent people with 'histories of domestic violence' from owning guns if we just commit to actually taking domestic violence seriously and violence against women as real violence.
posted by corb at 9:37 PM on August 4 [112 favorites]


At a performance today, Kacey Musgraves got an enormous audience to shout "SOMEBODY FUCKING DO SOMETHING!" If that sounds like empty celeb posturing to you, keep in mind that she is a mainstream country singer and the audience that she got to join her in this shout was a country audience. That is to say, these are people from right smack in the middle of the gun industry's demographic. And they have fucking had it, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:38 PM on August 4 [52 favorites]


but I thought all black was, if anything, the "scary radical antifa leftist" look. I'm mildly concerned as a young-looking white guy whose wardrobe is 90% black.

Yeah for better or worse I think this is a lost battle. If you're a young man, you aren't going to be trusted. I certainly feel it at some organising things with older bases, and someone on the blue said just the other day that you needn't be looking like anything or out and about at all, the very existence of young white men is an active threat to those around them completely regardless of activity, dress or location.

It is what it is, I guess. My understanding is the loose consensus has been reached that it's better for us to be alienated than for others to feel/be at risk, and I can understand that position.
posted by Acid Communist at 10:24 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


If the Dems did this regularly it could be game changing.

If candidates got together in the spirit of saving the republic to call out Trump in the same way as Beto, it would be difficult for the mainstream press to sweep under the rug, as they are doing with Trump's golf and wedding trips during back-to-back gun massacres.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:25 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


2020 Democrats lay blame on Trump’s rhetoric for shootings (AP)
At public events and on television, several candidates pointed to a need for more gun restrictions, such as universal background checks. But they directed much of their criticism at Trump, seeking to draw a link between the shootings in Dayton and El Paso that have left more than two dozen dead and months of presidential rhetoric against immigrants and people of color. [...]

Sen. Bernie Sanders opened a town hall meeting with a moment of silence and by calling for universal background checks for firearms purchases and more restrictions on assault weapons. “Assault weapons are designed for one reason. They are military weapons. And I don’t have to explain that to the people in Las Vegas who experienced the worst gun tragedy in the history of this country,” Sanders said. He urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call senators back to Washington, saying the Senate should “have a special session to address gun violence in America and let us finally have the courage to take on the NRA.”

He also called out the president. “I say to President Trump, please stop the racist anti-immigrant rhetoric,” he said. “Stop the hatred in this country which is creating the kind of violence that we see.”

The call for McConnell to bring senators back to deal with gun violence was echoed by other candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “We should vote within 48 hours on the two background check bills that have already passed the House,” Warren said. “It’s not everything we need to do on gun safety, but we could take important steps, and we could demonstrate to the American people that the gun manufacturers are not the ones who are calling the shots in Washington.”
posted by Little Dawn at 11:13 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


Banning assault weapons is a good first step, but seven people died in Chicago this weekend from handgun shootings. You won't hear about them on the news.

My own bugbear is that taggarts should be added to gunpowder. These are microscopic color coded tags that allow law enforcement to track material back to where it was purchased. Guns and other explosives would be used for less crime if they were traceable. Serial numbers are easily erased today. Guess I have a letter to write.

I would like to see something good come from these shootings, and the sooner the better. I would hate for people to think that means the problem is solved though.
posted by xammerboy at 11:48 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Speaking of dress, this article about "tactical" gear and the rise of American paramilitary fashion from February is a must-read.

There are far too many trucks like these with Punisher logos, Spartan helmets, and the monochrome US flag with the one blue stripe in the middle. Might as well have a flashing orange light that says "I have deep issues, please stay as far away as possible" on it.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:02 AM on August 5 [33 favorites]


Here at MetaFilter, we've gotten better at recognizing and discussing how white supremacy and the patriarchy are endemic and institutionalized, that these things affect and infect everyone. Our attention is always captured by the most extreme, most overt, most deliberate expressions of these ideologies, but these systems exist and function on multiple levels.

The El Paso and Dayton terrorists are distinct, yet similar. Their professed politics are quite different, but both are young white men who have embraced guns and violence. The self-identified white supremacist and misogynist in El Paso is deliberately and explicitly embracing and defending the systems of oppression from which he has benefited. The Dayton terrorist may appear to have disavowed and opposed those systems, but he wouldn't have become the person he was and wouldn't have done what he did without them -- he was empowered by them.

There's a lot of history and research that supports the idea that young men have always been exceptionally violent and play a central role in organized and sustained violence. Given this, young men as a class are fertile ground for the violent embrace of misogyny and patriarchal values.

They then differentiate by various proximate sociopolitical influences; notably so with regard to the various ways and degrees to which they are privileged (or not) and are able to leverage their privileges (or not) in service of their expression of misogynistic violence.

Both these young men have benefited from the patriarchy and white supremacy. Their privilege leads them to feel entitled, a feeling that acts as a goad to enact violence -- both because they can and because they have nurtured resentment where they believe their entitlement has been curtailed.

One of these men has explicitly and with self-awareness formed an identity around these privileges and a sense of thwarted entitlement. He explicitly embraced white supremacy (and, I suspect, misogyny) as an ideology and committed terroristic mass murder in its support.

The other of these men didn't, as far as we know at the moment, cohere a public, social identity centered on these things. Nevertheless, his actions were terroristic mass murder in their support because who he was, how he did what he did, and his public performance were built upon white male privilege and were direct expressions of his privilege.

The El Paso terrorist is alarming for the ways in which he shows how these white supremacists form group identities and organize around them, radicalizing their politics and encouraging each other into acts of mass violence in support of their ideologies. These formal social structures and methods are dangerous and must be scrutinized and dismantled.

Make no mistake, however: these two young white men are not as different as we'd like to believe. One was self-aware and part of a community that explicitly validated this social identity. The other lacked a self-awareness of his expression of privilege through violent terror, but it was an expression of privilege through violent terror, the same set of privileges.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:10 AM on August 5 [27 favorites]


I’ve been thinking about the difference between these mass shootings and “regular” (ugh) gun crime. The conclusion I’ve come to is that these mass shootings have more in common with bombings rather than gun crime. They aim to kill a large number of people indescriminantly and to stoke fear. So I think we should start treating them more like we treat bombings. After Oklahoma City, it got harder to buy large amounts of fertilizer. You still COULD buy it, but we had to make sure you weren’t going to use it to hurt people. And could you imagine how the narrative would be different if somebody was setting off bombs in American cities almost every day?
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:19 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


I believe that if fascist white men were using different explosives to kill at the current rate of roughly one attack per day, it would still be normalized and deflected onto video games and “antifa” such that the violence would quickly fade into the background of our national narrative. There is something deeply ugly welling up in US culture right now, and the dominant political forces choose not to acknowledge it which means they believe they benefit from it.
posted by SakuraK at 1:11 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


I believe that if fascist white men were using different explosives to kill at the current rate of roughly one attack per day, it would still be normalized and deflected onto video games and “antifa” such that the violence would quickly fade into the background of our national narrative.

I am reminded of the scenes in Brazil where bombs went off abs after a momentary panic, everyone who survived would dust off and return to their business as if momentarily inconvenienced. I think of those scenes three or four days after every mass shooting when the country moves on to something else.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:55 AM on August 5 [21 favorites]


We Have a White Nationalist Terrorist Problem
Mass shootings like the one in El Paso should be condemned by America’s leaders as terrorism.
By The Editorial Board/NYTimes
There can be no middle ground when it comes to white nationalism and the terrorism it inspires. You’re either for it or against it.
posted by mumimor at 1:56 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


Starting from the assumption that aw shucks, the FBI is doing its best and is just stymied by the fact that the republican party is functionally fascist seems like a mistake. Can you imagine anything like this kind of hesitancy if this scale of terrorist attack was carried out by someone other than young men confident of being captured alive? They've known about this for decades, quite apart from their own long history in supporting and enforcing institutional white supremacy. They're american law enforcement, why are we presuming that their membership is unsympathetic to at least the stated goals of these shooters?

It's also worth bearing in mind how incredibly reluctant and grudging Cloudflare were being in actually taking action against 8chan, just as earlier with Stormfront. They loved 8chan until they didn't, to the point of deliberately doxxing Dan Olson to 8chan when he forced them to face the fact that they were hosting child pornography. Cloudflare dragged their heels and only under pressure took action against them yesterday, whinging until the end about how actually supporting them is the moderate and responsible thing to do. From Matthew Prince, Cloudflare's CEO, in the guardian article linked earlier:

Keeping 8chan within its network is a “moral obligation”, said, adding: “We, as well as all tech companies, have an obligation to think about how we solve real problems of real human suffering and death. What happened in El Paso today is abhorrent in every possible way, and it’s ugly, and I hate that there’s any association between us and that … For us the question is which is the worse evil? Is the worse evil that we kick the can down the road and don’t take responsibility? Or do we get on the phone with people like you and say we need to own up to the fact that the internet is home to many amazing things and many terrible things and we have an absolute moral obligation to deal with that.”

Note as well that they're going public next month so this is all blatantly self-serving. The mealy mouthed blog post shows that Prince is just as much of a shitty techbro as before. The absolute best you can hope for from Silicon Valley is that it will be a halting, half-assed opponent of white supremacy, when it's not loftily talking about freedom of speech while actively enabling this kind of shit. We should not trust them or the FBI to act meaningfully in opposition to this kind of violence.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 2:06 AM on August 5 [15 favorites]


On guns and white nationalism, one side is right and one is wrong (EJ Dionne in WaPo):
In pursuit of a mythical middle ground, the faint-hearted will counsel against calling out the moral culpability of those who divide, deflect and evade. Meanwhile, the rationalizers of violence will continue to claim that only troubled individuals, not our genuinely insane gun policies, are responsible for waves of domestic terrorism that bring shame on our country before the world.

But sane gun laws are the middle ground, and most gun owners support them. Opposing the political exploitation of racism is a moral imperative. And refusing to acknowledge that only one side in this debate seeks intentionally to paralyze us is the path of cowardice.
posted by kingless at 2:54 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


I have no love for Cloudflare but I can understand their reluctance to adjudicate content. So I'm pleasantly surprised they decided to give 8chan the boot. That said, at the end of the day I would neither want or expect the tech behemoths to police public discourse. I don't disagree with Cloudflare's position that such policing is a political issue which requires a political mandate.
posted by dmh at 3:18 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


Banning criminals from getting guns won't help. It wouldn't have stopped either if these incidents, would it? You need to curtail access to guns for everyone, otherwise you're just taking them away from people after they've started shooting. Not necessarily ban altogether, but it's ridiculous that you can buy semi-automatic rifles, nevermind ones that can easily be converted to effectively full-auto. You can hunt with a bolt action if you really need a rifle. There is no good hunting reason for needing a handgun.

Both my parents hunt. They live in Denmark, so they've got hunting licenses to facilitate that. As well as requiring you to demonstrate a lot of knowledge about wildlife, hunting seasons, an ability to correctly identify animals (including sex for a lot of them) from distance, it requires you to demonstrate that you can safely handle a weapon. It takes a long time to get (months at least) and at the end of it, you can get a shotgun. A break action shotgun. Or a low power rimfire .22. Which you have to register, insure, and keep in a "gun locker" which is a bank vault style safe. There's a whole bunch of additional licensing and training to be allowed a rifle of any kind, and under no circumstances can you have anything that remotely resembles an AR-15.

You jo not need gun access that looks anything like the free for all that is the stats to facilitate hunting. Ban handguns, ban semi-autos, ban anything with a removable magazine or clip (yeah, I can't remember the difference in English, no this does not mean I understand nothing about guns and that my point is invalid).
posted by Dysk at 3:25 AM on August 5 [23 favorites]


Also from the extracts from the Dayton shooter's twitter, I don't come away thinking "wow, what a lefty" so much as I done away thinking "wow, what a violently angry dude, what a gun nut". Angry gun nuts are dangerous and a problem no matter what politics they profess.
posted by Dysk at 3:27 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]


Chatter on a local Dayton FB page from people who knew the shooter say he was angry that his sister was dating a black man. So yeah, it was another racist white guy.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:31 AM on August 5 [39 favorites]


On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose [...] 250 to Suicide, 200 to Car Accidents, 40 to Homicide via Handgun. (Don't miss the "also").

This is a terribly stupid thing to tweet. But specifically it reminded me of Bruce Schneier. Schneier has long compared the mortality (in the West) of terrorism v.s. cars. Schneier was still using this as a cheap shock. But what Schneier wants us to do is think rationally about security/safety measures. To think about security measures in proper proportion, and work rationally to see which measures work best. Understanding that some prominent and costly measures are "security theatre", used more for their appearance.

Performing rational identification of threats to your country requires highlighting mass shootings, gun culture, white supremacy and misogyny, and the pathetic lack of response by government. Your law makers have been unwilling to regulate the most available weapons for terror because they are in the grip of a death cult, among other reasons. If you don't address that, how the hell are you going to regulate handguns?

(And don't quote the US suicide figures as if they were independent from the availability and regulation of firearms. They are not).
posted by sourcejedi at 3:35 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]


Dayton shooter obsessed with killing, Bellbrook classmates say
The man who killed nine people Sunday morning in Dayton’s Oregon District was once kicked out of Bellbrook High School for making a list of girls he wanted to kill, the Dayton Daily News learned in interviews with former classmates and school administrators. . . .

The classmate, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the shooter once said he fantasized about tying her up and slitting her throat.
Yeah, he was a violent misogynist. And yeah, it’s never going to be “just” a personal dispute when a man guns down his sister and then shoots up a whole bunch of other people in under a minute.
posted by sallybrown at 3:41 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]


Note as well that they're going public next month so this is all blatantly self-serving.

That is actually a point of hope for me, because it suggests the culture is in a much better place on that subject than it probably would have been a decade ago. And the thing about strutures of accountability is that I care little about anyone's inner motives if they're still doing right and avoiding wrong. If assault rifles are banned, a lot of would-be killers remain would-be killers — that's a better world than ours even if horrible fantasies remain on their minds.

Regarding the Dayton shooter — prepare for the president to get ghoulish, and even gleeful, about all the lefty stuff in that web history/feed.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 3:45 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


We made our way very slowly from alt-right to white nationalist, from racially charged to racist (sometimes), maybe this can be next. Call them flat out what they are.

Evan McMullin:
Instead of saying “white nationalists,” which is the euphemistic, more legitimizing descriptor racists prefer, we should say “white supremacists” because it describes their evil ideology more accurately.

It’s especially important that the media start getting this right.
posted by chris24 at 4:08 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


The most Joe thing ever; fundraiser, gaffe.

Dan Diamond (Politico):
At a fundraiser on Sunday, Joe Biden referred to mass shootings in “Houston today” and Michigan yesterday, @LAWinkley reports. The shootings were in Dayton and El Paso, respectively.
posted by chris24 at 4:18 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


But what Schneier wants us to do is think rationally about security/safety measures. To think about security measures in proper proportion, and work rationally to see which measures work best. Understanding that some prominent and costly measures are "security theatre", used more for their appearance.

Also importantly, Schneier AFAIK, has not popped up with this sort of thing immediately after a terrorist attack but during discussions of things like adding body scanning at airports as a response. Schneier wasn't minimizing the horror of things like 9/11, simply trying to add some reason to the discussion and thinking about things that would actually work to prevent attacks.

What the hell was going through Neil deGrasse Tyson's mind when he tweeted that is beyond me. Wrong time, wrong message.
posted by jzb at 4:19 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


The wretched president has decided to publicly take the side of the El Paso shooter, tweeting a call for "strong background checks" (which he would have passed) and "desperately needed immigration reform."
posted by theodolite at 4:29 AM on August 5


Dayton shooter unfortunately providing a lot of justification for my unease with the "the solution to right wing gun culture is to form a left wing gun culture" argument. The problem isn't the politics of the specific people wielding the guns, it's the guns. A nation in which everyone who isn't a card carrying member of the DSA Is suddenly raptured is still dangerous if those who are left remain armed to the teeth with rapid death machines.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:41 AM on August 5 [18 favorites]


The only reason Cloudflare has pulled their service to 8chan right now is because they’re expecting to IPO next month & they don’t want the PR hit.

This is the same company that happily passed Dan Olson’s personal information to 8chan a few years ago when he reported them to Cloudflare for passing around child porn after all.
posted by pharm at 4:51 AM on August 5 [15 favorites]


- The El Paso and Dayton terrorists are distinct, yet similar. Their professed politics are quite different, but both are young white men who have embraced guns and violence.

- Also from the extracts from the Dayton shooter's twitter, I don't come away thinking "wow, what a lefty" so much as I done away thinking "wow, what a violently angry dude, what a gun nut". Angry gun nuts are dangerous and a problem no matter what politics they profess.

In my part of the world they’d be on the far right anyway because of the love for guns. And I would have assumed in the US too! I wasn’t aware of any current fringe of the American left that professes a love for guns and endorses shootings like this...?! where the victims are ordinary people and mostly black, too... Not that I look for coherence from murderous extremists but surely, surely no one is going to draw a line from the Dayton shooter to say Elizabeth Warren just because he said he’d vote for her? It doesn’t make any sense. I guess you don’t have to make sense when you have such an easy access to guns that any young white angry man can feel like they’re doing something political when they’re acting out murderous fantasies. Still it’d be ridiculous to seriously consider him a lefty, no?
posted by bitteschoen at 5:02 AM on August 5


I mean, not the mass shooting part (most right wing gun folks don't say "yay mass shootings" they say "mass shootings are an acceptable price for our right to bear arms"), but the embrace of guns and a rhetoric of needing them for self-defense, both individual and group? Sure.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:11 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Are you Jack Bauer? Are you John Wick? Do you spend your days hunting heavily-armored robotic dinosaurs? If not, then your need to have large-capacity magazines extends to "a hobby". Like stamp collecting. But a collection of stamps can't kill and injure 36 people in 28 seconds.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:12 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


bitteschoen I would suggest that there are definitely segments of the left that are supporters of 2A type stuff. Indeed, it is often said that socialists should not even consider handing over their means to defend themselves to the same cops they consider the threat guns are for.

Socialist Rifle Club types through to less organised "lefty gun nut" types who worship their AK variants for their anti-imperialist records of use.
posted by Acid Communist at 5:12 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


For leftist guns, see the Black Panthers. Oddly, also the only time the right was willing to regulate guns.
posted by kokaku at 5:17 AM on August 5 [15 favorites]


I'm never heard of american leftists with high school 'kill' and 'rape' lists. Betts sounds like a severely troubled individual whose rage partly landed with Satanist/metal/anti-Trump/left.
posted by Harry Caul at 5:20 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


It should be noted that the author of the piece that this post gets it's name from, Robert Evans, is a big gun enthusiast. He actually has a bounty on his head because of the investigative journalism he's done into Patriot Prayer, the Proud Boys and the chans, so far be it from me to say he's not entitled to some weaponry, but he's pretty open about the fact that he'd still enjoy firearms even without the overt need for personal self defense.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:24 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Beto O'Rourke's "keep that shit on the battlefield" response is really disturbing to me. Are guns okay as long as they are being used in America's forever wars against an exclusively PoC population? This reads like peak white liberalism to me.

1,196 people have died in mass shootings in America since 1966. In less than six years, somewhere between 151,000 to 601,000 Iraqi civilians died as a result of American bipartisanship.

Even forgetting the white supremacy of our lives mattering less if we don't have the good fortune of being in America when we're killed by guns, the gun industry and the larger military industrial complex are inexorably linked together. And as the militarization of American police forces demonstrates over and over again, what they deploy over there always ends up coming home to haunt people of color here.
posted by Ouverture at 5:28 AM on August 5 [13 favorites]


I'm never heard of american leftists with high school 'kill' and 'rape' lists.

I mean, define "leftist". Because you can hate capitalism for some pretty vapid, unselfaware, unreflective reasons that do not extend to appreciating the dignity and humanity of other people. Let's not no-true-Scotsman this.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:32 AM on August 5 [40 favorites]


I'm never heard of american leftists with high school 'kill' and 'rape' lists

I mean, not American, but the thing is I know very little about the high school lives of other leftists, and if any of you are on left twitter, you'll have seen that Betts was relatively active and followed a lot of the space, a lot of people I also listen to.

Like, as much as I'd love to minimise and say "he wasn't a real leftist" I don't think we know enough yet to say that with any sort of confidence, although I'll also say I don't mean others here are seriously trying to weasel like that, it's just an easy thought to have.

As far as I can tell, from what's available in the Heavy article or the like, he could be a great deal of people I know. There's a couple of guys, and I'd include myself, who would say they're not proud of who they were in highschool, but unless you happen to know other people who were there with them, you're taking them at their word that whatever they did was more commonly annoying 16 year old, not kill lists.

But very few leftists I know, and significantly fewer men, would say they were already a model leftist at that age, I was closer to being tempted by MRAs than the commies my teacher explained only wanted to pay me a flat rate no matter how hard or much I worked.
posted by Acid Communist at 5:33 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


Still it’d be ridiculous to seriously consider him a lefty, no?
This is an example of the no true Scotsman fallacy, I think. Assuming this guy was actually a lefty (and has it been confirmed that the Twitter account is his?), then I think his murderous impulses were probably not influenced by his politics. There's nothing in his brand of leftiness that says you should open fire on a nightclub with mostly black patrons and/or kill your sister. But leftists can be violent misogynists. They can be racists. People do not automatically get cleansed of all their sins and moral deficiencies because they have good politics.

And yeah, there are definitely lefties in the US who fetishize guns and fantasize about revolutionary violence, although from what I've heard about this guy, I wouldn't expect him to fall into that category.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:37 AM on August 5 [7 favorites]


It's not whether he was a true anything. The question is whether there was some leftist mirror 8 chan full of trolls egging him on to do what he did.
posted by ocschwar at 5:40 AM on August 5 [10 favorites]


The wretched president has decided to publicly take the side of the El Paso shooter, tweeting a call for "strong background checks" (which he would have passed) and "desperately needed immigration reform."

Yeah his tweets this morning are horrible. Basically saying he’ll consider background checks if we give in to the terrorist’s demands on immigration. And when Ds don’t and there’s another attack, he’ll blame Ds for the attack for not taking the deal. Then another tweet blaming the media for the attacks.

The 10a press conference should be a shitshow.
posted by chris24 at 5:56 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


The connection was guns.

The connection was guns AND kids with mental illness who fall through the cracks every goddamned day.

I have a plan for that. Yes, getting rid of the guns will help, but what will help more is to fully fund comprehensive mental health services in public schools.

You know what test teachers should be teaching to to ensure funding? Not some dumbass ELA or math test because seriously who the fuck CARES?

Schools should be establishing mandatory mental health programming. Things like Open Circle and other valid, data-driven social and emotional skills curricula.

And then every year, schools will administer national mental health testing. Kids who need more services will get them. Kids will be able to say, "Um, my classmate is talking about hurting himself/his mother/his school," and that kid can get help and won't feel such overwhelming anger and dismay that he decides to go around shooting strangers.

Kids will graduate from high school with mental health skills they need to navigate their world. They may still feel useless and angry and disenfranchised, but they will KNOW that the answer to those feelings is to take up boxing, not go around fucking SHOOTING PEOPLE.

The data provided by annual tests is useless. Are they learning to do school? Probably. Are they learning to deal with an ever-changing world? Absolutely not.

Stop testing their ability to read and count and teach them how to cope with life.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:58 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


The connection was guns AND kids with mental illness who fall through the cracks every goddamned day.

Respectfully disagree. The Dayton shooter looks like he probably had some mental issues, but the El Paso shooter is not mentally ill. White supremacy isn’t a disease, it’s a decision. As is using violence.

Only 1 in 20 violent crimes are committed by someone with mental illness. People with mental illness are 12x more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than people without.

Equating violence and mental illness is harmful to those who suffer from it.
posted by chris24 at 6:08 AM on August 5 [75 favorites]


Thanks for the answers to my question, I wasn’t aware of the existence of a Socialist Rifle Association. The gun culture in the States really IS something...

I didn’t mean anything like a True Scotsman fallacy - I am perfectly aware leftists like anyone can be racists and misogynists too (and conversely that there are good people who are on the right-wing, too). Professed politics are not a predictor of not being an asshole. It was more about the kind of links you can draw between the current Republican rhetoric and this type of violence, vs the links you can (not) really draw between current Democrat positions and violence. Or even an equivalent level of threat posed by a gun-loving far left vs a gun-loving far right. How influential is something like the SRA compared to the NRA? There isn’t currently a left-wing Stormfront or KKK as far as I know, right? I would imagine even in the US, even the most violent-prone fringes of Antifa haven’t committed mass killings or advocated for that level of violence targeting innocent civilians?

I’m just asking because I already see attempts from right-wingers to draw an equivalence between the political motives behind the El Paso and Dayton shootings, saying it’s hypocrite for leftists to blame Trump for one if you’re not blaming pro-gun-control-Warren for the other just because the shooter mentioned he’d vote for her. This is what sounds ridiculous to me.
posted by bitteschoen at 6:14 AM on August 5


As a member of SRA I feel it's worth saying that SRA is not "the lefty NRA" at all. It's a mutual aid and socialist political organization focused on community mutual aid. The shooting news has been handled much the same as how it is in this thread here, with additional admin-level policies against sharing the shooter's manifesto. SRA is not the enemy here, y'all.
posted by odinsdream at 6:17 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


It was more about the kind of links you can draw between the current Republican rhetoric and this type of violence, vs the links you can (not) really draw between current Democrat positions and violence

Oh yeah, in that sense I'm not aware of any serious mainstream support for SRA types from the Democrats. That whole argument falls apart if you consider that most Democrat politician types probably fear armed revolutionary types more than they do fascists.
posted by Acid Communist at 6:21 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


SRA is not the enemy here, y'all.

It's easy to be dismissive of "I would rather not have to give up my arms to the cops" when you're privileged enough to not be among the tens of millions of people in this country for whom the police are functionally a hostile occupying army that maintains control through periodic displays of state-sanctioned brutality.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:23 AM on August 5 [15 favorites]


Equating violence and mental illness is harmful to those who suffer from it.

And I'm not doing that. I am not equating mental illness with violence. I am not saying everyone who lives with mental illness becomes a mass murderer. That is not fair. I am saying that anyone who thinks it's a good idea to go around shooting strangers IS NOT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND. Would anyone really argue with that??

The Dayton shooter looks like he probably had some mental issues, but the El Paso shooter is not mentally ill.

I gotta say...diagnosing someone with mental health issues based on the internet is pretty offensive. He looks like he has mental health issues and you're diagnosing the other shooter based on what, exactly? Do you have his case files? I find it incredibly offensive to assume you can diagnose a person with mental illness based on what the internet says or by what they look like.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:23 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


That is not fair. I am saying that anyone who thinks it's a good idea to go around shooting strangers IS NOT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND. Would anyone really argue with that??

I would wholeheartedly argue with this. Fascists use violence as a political tool to achieve their goals all the fucking time.


I gotta say...diagnosing someone with mental health issues based on the internet is pretty offensive. He looks like he has mental health issues and you're diagnosing the other shooter based on what, exactly? Do you have his case files? I find it incredibly offensive to assume you can diagnose a person with mental illness based on what the internet says or by what they look like.

You literally just posted saying they had mental illness in common and when I say he might have had some issues based on what’s come out, you attack me? Sorry, but I’m done engaging with you. I made a very respectful and polite counterpoint and you’ve lost it over it.
posted by chris24 at 6:30 AM on August 5 [15 favorites]


I am saying that anyone who thinks it's a good idea to go around shooting strangers IS NOT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND. Would anyone really argue with that??

I would, because it's a cop out that lets us avert our eyes from uncomfortable truths. At least in the case of the El Paso shooter, he reached the point where taking a gun and murdering strangers in cold blood was acceptable by being indoctrinated, being told that minorities were actively looking to "replace" people like him, that they were subhuman, that they were worthless.

Just because people believe horrific things doesn't mean that they are mentally ill, and making that argument serves to stigmatize mental illness.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:32 AM on August 5 [44 favorites]


I am saying that anyone who thinks it's a good idea to go around shooting strangers IS NOT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND. Would anyone really argue with that??

I don't disagree that they are not in their right mind, but that very judgement loaded phrase does not equate to mental illness.
posted by Dysk at 6:37 AM on August 5 [15 favorites]


I am saying that anyone who thinks it's a good idea to go around shooting strangers IS NOT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND. Would anyone really argue with that??

Also, this suggests that the military is entirely mentally ill, by virtue of being in the military. That's certainly a... radical position to take. Don't think it'd go far with mental health professionals though.
posted by Dysk at 6:38 AM on August 5 [15 favorites]


I agree that the use of "mental illness" in yes I said yes I will Yes' comment is misguided but what they are suggesting is preventative mental healthcare and a focus on coping skills so that from an early age kids are taught how to manage the big emotions and thus less likely to turn outward and harm other people as a mechanism to deal with anger etc. I think there's value in that.
posted by Bacon Bit at 6:46 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


The Tyson tweet, I think he's saying you should be a million times more worried about diabetes than sharks and showing the math. Which is true. Unfortunately it comes off as both minimizing and mixing apples and origins. There are better ways and better days Neil.
posted by adept256 at 6:46 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL) on CNN: If we ban 100-round ammo magazines, people will just start using knives. Someone in Japan used a knife to kill THREE whole people! Fairly similar to what happened in Ohio, where 36 people were killed or injured in 28 seconds. So, why bother?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:50 AM on August 5 [22 favorites]


Just because people believe horrific things doesn't mean that they are mentally ill

Yes. I think our language or culture isn’t well-equipped yet to make this distinction, but there’s a difference between “The killer has a DSM-classifiable mental illness” and “the killer is wrong-headed in the sense that he believes something grotesque and beyond the pale of acceptable social behavior, but he is mentally capable of rationality and planned this attack in his right mind.”

Our lack of ability to talk about this perfectly means we need to talk about this carefully. I especially would like to see more care taken not to dismiss or categorize the Dayton shooter’s history of desire for violence against women as “mental illness” to distinguish him from the El Paso shooter’s ideologically-motivated attack. Violent misogyny is also an ideology and one that’s been repeatedly tied to mass shootings.
posted by sallybrown at 6:54 AM on August 5 [32 favorites]


The President is speaking about the mass shootings. So far, he has not suggested that 100-round magazines are the problem. He has suggested that video games are the problem.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:16 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


"The gun doesn't pull the trigger, the mental illness does"-Trump just now.
Barf.
posted by Bacon Bit at 7:18 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]




Trump repealed an Obama era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illness to buy guns.
posted by chris24 at 7:21 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]


Trump thinks the Ohio shooting happened in Toledo, not Dayton. He’s just reading words, this is meaningless to him.
posted by sallybrown at 7:22 AM on August 5 [18 favorites]


Someone please ask him if mental illness pulled the trigger at the Pulse Nightclub.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:24 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


[Folks, let's stay nominally on topic here. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:31 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Just found out that the Dayton shooter's dad was a guy I used to play trivia with.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:37 AM on August 5




"That's right folks, the real culprit is the Dungeons and the Dragons"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:56 AM on August 5 [13 favorites]


Felicia Sonmez (WaPo):
Wow. CNN says it reached out to 50 GOP lawmakers this morning; 49 declined to appear on air to discuss the El Paso and Dayton shootings. Only Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), who’s on now, said yes. Yesterday, Jake Tapper similarly highlighted GOPers who declined to appear on @CNNSotu
posted by chris24 at 7:57 AM on August 5 [29 favorites]


Perhaps the past few days will clarify for some of the Presidential candidates that they could do greater good running for Senate seats, if available, where they have a higher chance of playing a role in passing gun safety legislation.
posted by sallybrown at 7:59 AM on August 5 [7 favorites]


8chan goes offline after Cloudflare pulls support. Let's see if they find a new home, I guess.
posted by Glinn at 8:00 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]


and if any of you are on left twitter, you'll have seen that Betts was relatively active and followed a lot of the space, a lot of people I also listen to.

Apparently I was a mutual/follower of their account (got the heads up from another co-mutual, but didn't see it till after the account was suspended). As far as I can tell from the latest twitter account dump I have I never responded or retweeted anything with their @handle on, but still fucking yikes.

Also, I managed to read about a thousand tweets into @iamthespookster's twitter before it got suspended. It seems ... like an average MeFi megathread user, to be honest.

I'd normally go straight to blocking for any mutual posting misogynist or bigoted tweets, regardless of any shared politics (this includes the largish portion of scottish indy twitter that have gone TERF), so unless I missed it I'm guessing he kept that aspect of his personality quiet on twitter...
posted by Buntix at 8:02 AM on August 5


Beto's still on fire this morning:
Only a racist, driven by fear, could witness what took place this weekend—and instead of standing up to hatred, side with a mass murderer's call to make our country more white. We are so much better than this president.
posted by octothorpe at 8:16 AM on August 5 [42 favorites]


'This Isn't a Mystery': Dayton Gunman Had Documented Obsession With Violence
“This isn’t a mystery to me,” said one middle school classmate. “I’m furious.”

The classmate, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the shooter once said he fantasized about tying her up and slitting her throat. The fetish was so macabre that even the shooter admitted he was scared of his thoughts, the woman recalled him saying.

... The woman said she and her parents told Bellbrook police about the bizarre admission, but the woman said she felt she wasn’t taken seriously, despite the would-be shooter including her on a hit list.

Despite this, the shooter was able to acquire an assault-style rifle from Texas, officials say.
posted by bitteschoen at 8:26 AM on August 5 [33 favorites]


I'm seeing a lot of people talking about CloudFlare as though they were 8chan's host. If I understand correctly, they were not. They provided their DDoS protection.

While in a big picture sense, I am 135% down with anything that gets their bullshit off the web, this is an important distinction.

To make a wildly imperfect analogy, 8chan didn't get shut down because their landlord threw them out. They got shut down because their security guards were convinced to walk off the job and a mob tore them apart.

Which again, morally imperfect a solution as that is, I will take it. But it's a distinction that shouldn't be glossed over.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:28 AM on August 5 [23 favorites]


Also, I managed to read about a thousand tweets into @iamthespookster's twitter before it got suspended. It seems ... like an average MeFi megathread user, to be honest

Anyone who thinks there's something exceptional about a self-identified leftist who is also a misogynist has not been paying attention to the hordes of women who have been saying, over and over again since 2016, that a bunch of leftist men are frighteningly misogynist towards them.

You get this ridiculous pushback here, too. Like, nope, just a bunch of women saying it, can't possibly be true. Like we're somehow sharing our experiences in bad faith. Like we're just making it up. Because the inability and unwillingness to believe women doesn't start or stop with rape allegations.

And anyone who thinks you can't be a "leftist" and be in the pocket of the NRA / a gun nut / ammosexual has not been paying attention to Bernie Sanders.

It has long scared me that those two groups often seem to be one and the same. You don't have to be a misogynist or a gun nut to support Sanders, but you kind of have to be willing to tolerate people who are. And anyone who thinks all the usual arguments about enablers and moderates don't apply for some reason...well, if they don't see the hypocrisy there, it kind of seems like they really, really don't want to.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:44 AM on August 5 [71 favorites]


told Bellbrook police about the bizarre admission, but the woman said she felt she wasn’t taken seriously

Dude made a rape list, was briefly suspended, and then went back to school with all the girls who then knew he'd put them on a list of girls he wanted to rape.

Think about that. They had to keep going to school with this guy. No one cared about them at all.

Later, he made a kill list. They seemed to have cared more about that, but still, you know, not enough.

And yet according to the police there was nothing in his record that would have precluded him from purchasing a gun.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:47 AM on August 5 [66 favorites]


Anyone who thinks there's something exceptional about a self-identified leftist who is also a misogynist has not been paying attention to the hordes of women who have been saying, over and over again since 2016, that a bunch of leftist men are frighteningly misogynist towards them.

Yes, this. This is frankly a huge problem in leftist groups right now as well - leftist men engaging in gendered harassment, stalking, and assault, then trying to get off from consequences because of their stated class consciousness. In fact, in some cases it's even worse because there's a lot of 'and if the victim gets a restraining order/Involves The State, they're not a true leftist, and I, the harasser, am the True Leftist.'
posted by corb at 8:48 AM on August 5 [28 favorites]


Leftist men can be misogynists. Leftist men can abuse the women and children in their lives. And leftist men can also be mass shooters.
posted by all about eevee at 9:07 AM on August 5 [14 favorites]


To make a wildly imperfect analogy, 8chan didn't get shut down because their landlord threw them out. They got shut down because their security guards were convinced to walk off the job and a mob tore them apart.

Which again, morally imperfect a solution as that is, I will take it.


Violent Nazis being (metaphorically) torn apart by a mob because no one wants to protect them sounds like a perfectly moral outcome to me. It's the market at work!
posted by zombieflanders at 9:14 AM on August 5 [20 favorites]


AOC:
If I were a journalist/worked in news, this is what I’d do rn
1. Interview actual experts on white supremacy & give them space (more than 2mins or lines) to educate the public on WS, what to look for. Often.
2. Not frame white supremacy&racism as a “conflict” or “debate”...
The reason there’s a tendency to “both sides” every issue on TV is bc the medium is incentivized for conflict, so ppl will put the least qualified people on TV to create it (see: climate deniers). Don’t ask “is [blank] racist?” Have experts explain what to do about racism.
3. Don’t let Neo-Nazis on TV,to buff their image or couch racism in “reasonable”-seeming terms/appearance!Sounds obvious but it just happened a few wks ago. Supremacists are experts at manipulation,incl manipulating smart people. You will open a box you don’t know how to contain.
4. Also, have editors of color! Diversity not only in lowest ranks, but highest. News is behind on huge stories & coverage is suffering bc of lack of diversity. I’ve been invited to editor roundtables just utterly shocked that no poc were present. In 2019. That’s a big problem.

This from the CJR is also still relevant, from this perspective of what the media should do better:
White-supremacy threat demands its own beat reporters
posted by bitteschoen at 9:25 AM on August 5 [56 favorites]


Politicians don’t have the balls to stand up to the NRA and gun manufacturers and regulate killing machines and the right have resisted gun registries and background checks forever. Why not create ad hoc databases of gun owners nationwide? We have open source and freely available tools, let’s use them. Everyone who gives a shit could simply create a google doc listing known gun owners and NRA supporters. Build the lists at the city/ town level and then start linking the lists by county and finally states. There was someone up thread who mentioned being terrified of her neighbor who is an irresponsible gun owner. The terror comes from feeling out of control. Take control and add the fucker to the list.

Would it be heavy handed and open to abuse? Sure, but I’m tired of the 2nd amendment being used as a death pact by politicians and gun manufacturers. It seems like the only way to tackle the killing machine industry and the death cult that surrounds it is to tackle it at the grass roots level. Fuck the politicians, it’s time to act.
posted by photoslob at 9:25 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


Turning civilians into some kind of paramilitary auxiliary against gun violence is saying loud and clear that we should just accept this and I adamantly do not. I don't need to learn how to disarm a maniac in the same way I need to learn to change my own tire. It teaches people that it's just as normal to get shot at as it is to run over a nail,

But these days, it literally is. And yes, we do.

I'm in such a place of numb despair that I don't think about survival strategies beyond run, hide, play dead. Otherwise I go about my life hoping it won't be me.

Yeah, that.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:34 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


The thing I'm perversely curious about is whether the "iamthespookster" account had anything to say or retweet about either white supremacisn or misogyny. It's obvious he was steeping in both, but what form (if any) did the cognitive dissonance take? Was he (in the years after spending high school not hiding his horrific misogyny at all) ever the kind of man who uses feminism and "says the right things" to take advantage of women? Did he retweet an account decrying Republican racism before murdering black Americans?

I definitely don't dispute his being a leftist, but it's a bit more to try making sense of than, say, the man who shot and badly injured Steve Scalise, or further-past violence like the Weather Underground or the attempted assassination of Reagan.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:42 AM on August 5


Violent Nazis being (metaphorically) torn apart by a mob because no one wants to protect them sounds like a perfectly moral outcome to me. It's the market at work!

More to the point, the reason the mob acted that way is because it was the only choice left. People continued to help the bigots, even once their identity was exposed.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:46 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


I'm just going to guess that the video games they're going to weakly go after are ones that involve shooting Nazu.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:51 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


Cloudflare Ditches 8Chan

"When you have platforms that are effectively lawless like this, then maybe that shifts the responsibility further down the stack."
posted by MrGuilt at 9:52 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Kevin and Alex are the best guys to follow on 8chan website issues.

Kevin Roose (NYT)
Without DDOS protection, 8chan went down overnight. Now its admin says it is switching to another service, BitMitigate, the anti-DDOS used by the Daily Stormer. (BitMitigate is owned by Epik, the web host that took in Gab after the Tree of Life shooting.)
• Looks like Epik (which provides hosting and anti-DDOS protection for Gab, the Daily Stormer, and now 8chan) is now getting its own backend services pulled by yet another infrastructure company, Voxility.
@alexstamos UPDATE: Looks like @voxility just cut off all of Bitmitigate's prefix at their edge routers, shutting down not only their customers but Epik's corporate systems.
• New: Tucows, 8chan’s domain name registrar, which said last night that it had “no immediate plans” to boot the site, tells me it is no longer providing services to 8chan.
posted by chris24 at 9:59 AM on August 5 [55 favorites]


Which puts the lie to Prince's argument that they would just shift providers. If people refuse to do business with bigots and terrorists, they won't have any place to go.

Prince needs to resign.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:08 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


Lol, the effect of Voxility cutting off Epik is not only are Epik’s corporate systems down along with 8chan, but so is Daily Stormer.
posted by chris24 at 10:11 AM on August 5 [37 favorites]


And apparently Gab as well!
posted by zombieflanders at 10:12 AM on August 5 [17 favorites]


So who DDOSed them once the protections were down?
posted by pelvicsorcery at 10:12 AM on August 5


So who DDOSed them once the protections were down?
A Hundred Flowers Blooming?
posted by Harry Caul at 10:13 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


So who DDOSed them once the protections were down?

A good guy with a gun script.
posted by MrGuilt at 10:15 AM on August 5 [31 favorites]


I apologize for any offense caused by careless words. I did not at all mean to imply that all people with mental illness are murderers. it is not what I believe and it is not what I meant to say.

what they are suggesting is preventative mental healthcare and a focus on coping skills so that from an early age kids are taught how to manage the big emotions and thus less likely to turn outward and harm other people as a mechanism to deal with anger etc.

Yes. This is what I was suggesting. Too many young men are falling through the cracks.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 10:16 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]




Again, it turns out that there are actually few people who are actually willing to work with bigots and terrorists outright when held to account for doing so - Prince himself is a perfect example, as he has now twice folded like a cheap suit when actually held accountable for working with hate.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:17 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


I’m having difficulty wrapping my brain around this...good news?

Did the shitheads at Gab, Daily Stormer, and 8chan all just get deplatformed?

And did the Epik assholes who had been supporting them also get deplatformed?

What is this strange sensation I’m feeling?
posted by darkstar at 10:17 AM on August 5 [24 favorites]


> So who DDOSed them once the protections were down?

They weren't necessarily DDoSed with malicious intent. The natural volume of traffic coming to them in the wake of these highly-publicized events can create a natural flash crowd effect that can overwhelm a site that's not being front-ended by a content delivery network. Sites regularly partner with CDNs to allow them to scale beyond what their own infrastructure can handle. Once you take away the upstream caching that these CDNs provide and force the entire world on to your own infrastructure, it's no surprise that your site crashes.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:18 AM on August 5 [17 favorites]


Trump decried the "dark recesses" of the internet — which he said "has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts" . . . (and) announced he is directing the Justice Department to coordinate with government agencies and social media companies "to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike . . . and mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence" link

ATTN: JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
List of Dark Recesses of the Internet with Mentally Disturbed Individuals Who May Commit Violent Acts

1: Twitter.com, @realDonaldTrump
posted by mattdidthat at 10:21 AM on August 5 [40 favorites]


Did the shitheads at Gab, Daily Stormer, and 8chan all just get deplatformed?

And did the Epik assholes who had been supporting them also get deplatformed?


Turns out that the people Epik relied on to provide their infrastructure weren't keen on supporting terrorism.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:21 AM on August 5 [28 favorites]


Sidenote of dark hilarity, Epik's CEO is named, wait for it . . . . Rob Monster. Which puts him on the WH staff in 10-15 months.
posted by Harry Caul at 10:30 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]


Is Gab capable of being deplatformed now that it's a Mastadon node? I guess you need at least one morally compromised provider to run your node even if it's linked into the larger mastadon web? I suppose as a technologist I could spend the time to understand the mastadon infrastructure and figure this out but I'm finding it super hard to care here. Think I'll just choose to believe the positive "haha they're gone" until proven otherwise.
posted by phearlez at 11:12 AM on August 5


What is this strange sensation I’m feeling?

I'm happy that there are fewer online outlets for these terrorist groups. But some companies are worried about their IPO prospects. It's just a business decision.

Leaving law enforcement and public safety matters up to private companies — whose obligations are to shareholders, with all the notions of accountability that go along with that — has been a historically terrible idea.

If we had a healthy democracy, our leaders would begin banning and confiscating military and military-style weaponry, using the full might of the CIA, NSA, and FBI — agencies tasked with keeping people safe — to surveil, analyze, attack, and dismantle right-wing white nationalist terrorist networks and their financing, domestically and internationally.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:15 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


From the American Psychological Association: Statement of APA President in Response to Mass Shootings in Texas, Ohio.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:17 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


And from Ian Bogost at The Atlantic, a comprehensive look at the research and history of fears about the effect of violent video games on real-world violence.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:20 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


I'm okay with it being a business decision. We're not overthrowing capitalism overnight. We did just deplatform a fuckton of Nazis.
posted by pelvicsorcery at 11:21 AM on August 5 [13 favorites]


I'm okay with it being a business decision. We're not overthrowing capitalism overnight. We did just deplatform a fuckton of Nazis.

Besides, why isn't tolerating Nazis is bad business a public sentiment worth celebrating? There's a whole lot of moral stances I'd be super excited to become considered defacto good business strategy. I'll celebrate every single one entering the mainstream.
posted by phearlez at 11:29 AM on August 5 [35 favorites]




In which the Onion steals my observation.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:44 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Gab is still up, sadly.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:06 PM on August 5


I want to be real clear about my observation above about the distinction between 8chan being DDOSed rather than losing its hosting. I have zero reservations about bad shit happening to 8chan and I support whatever makes them go away. But I really wish we could come up with a more direct route than deadly attack->public pressure->IPO anxiety->withdrawal of DDoS support->hacking.

Any way we can shut them down is better than nothing, yes. But let's aspire to shutting assholes like this down with extreme prejudice and ruthless expediency.

I don't want to wait for them to fall into the right crack. I want them squashed like roaches on sight.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:35 PM on August 5 [11 favorites]


FBI agents are reluctant to pursue white nationalist extremists because they don't want to target Trump's base, former counterterrorism official says.
posted by adamvasco at 12:40 PM on August 5 [23 favorites]


Obama’s statement.
Michelle and I grieve with all the families in El Paso and Dayton who endured these latest mass shootings. Even if details are still emerging, there are a few things we already know to be true.

First, no other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States. No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do. Every time this happens, we’re told that tougher gun laws won’t stop all murders; that they won’t stop every deranged individual from getting a weapon and shooting innocent people in public places. But the evidence shows that they can stop some killings. They can save some families from heartbreak. We are not helpless here. And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening.

Second, while the motivations behind these shootings may not yet be fully known, there are indications that the El Paso shooting follows a dangerous trend: troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy. Like the followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they’ve been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet. That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups.

But just as important, all of us have to send a clarion call and behave with the values of tolerance and diversity that should be the hallmark of our democracy. We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people. Such language isn’t new – it’s been at the root of most human tragedy throughout history, here in America and around the world. It is at the root of slavery and Jim Crow, the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. It has no place in our politics and our public life. And it’s time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, of every race and faith and political party, to say as much – clearly and unequivocally.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:48 PM on August 5 [63 favorites]


We can’t fight domestic terror groups efficiently until the law treats them the way we treat foreign ones. I Spent 25 Years Fighting Jihadis. White Supremacists Aren’t So Different.
posted by Mrs Potato at 1:06 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


FBI agents are reluctant to pursue white nationalist extremists because they don't want to target Trump's base, former counterterrorism official says.

This is functionally no different from the FBI admitting that it's a federal violent white supremacist organization. Which should surprise nobody given its entire history, but pretty neat to hear it straight from the the fed's mouth.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:15 PM on August 5 [16 favorites]


DAYTON SHOOTER WAS IN A “PORNOGRIND” BAND THAT RELEASED SONGS ABOUT RAPING AND KILLING WOMEN
Before he killed nine people in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday, Connor Betts was deeply involved in the misogynistic, male-dominated “goregrind” or “pornogrind” hardcore music scene. It has a regional following in the Midwest and is known for sexually violent, death-obsessed lyrics and dehumanizing imagery depicting women.

Over the past year, the 24-year-old shooter occasionally performed live vocals in the band Menstrual Munchies, which released albums titled “6 Ways of Female Butchery” and “Preeteen Daughter Pu$$y Slaughter,” with cover art showing the rape and massacre of female bodies. He also performed with a group called Putrid Liquid.

Now one of Betts’ bandmates, Jesse Creekbaum, 25, is taking the recordings down. He says he’s removing them out of fear the vulgar music he produced will make a cult hero out of the murderer, who was killed by police at the scene. He’s also received death threats online because of his association with Betts.

Creekbaum, who has been writing and recording music under the name Menstrual Munchies for more than five years, says he did it mostly as a joke and now is sickened that Betts apparently took it all seriously.
Oh, ok. A “joke.” How funny.
posted by sallybrown at 1:20 PM on August 5 [48 favorites]


says he did it mostly as a joke and now is sickened that Betts apparently took it all seriously.

That's one heck of a "mostly."

One of the more important lessons of the last decade is that it's never a joke
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:25 PM on August 5 [56 favorites]


"You can't appeal to these people. You can't simply replace these people. You have to break the system that they serve. That is the obstacle. You can bang your head on the wall all you want. The wall will never feel sorry for you. You have to tear it down" They Don't Care
posted by The Whelk at 1:48 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]




Several other commentators citing parallels between White supremacist terrorism and Islamic fundamentalist terrorism:

Jonathan V. Last in The Bulwark: All the Disturbing Parallels Between Radical Islam and White Nationalism
...stripped down to the fundamentals, what’s going on is the same: An internet community where people spread a politicized ideological agenda, call for acts of terrorism, and then celebrate terrorist acts.
David Leonhardt in the NYT: Conservatism Has a Violence Problem
Over the years, Republicans have sometimes called on Muslim leaders to ask themselves why their religion has produced a disproportionate share of the world’s terrorist attacks — and to do something about the situation. I’d urge those Republicans to take their own advice. Right-wing terrorism is killing far more Americans these days than Islamist terrorism.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:57 PM on August 5 [15 favorites]


> wokescold carelord

If this isn't a sock puppet screen name in the next hour, we may as well fold up shop.

(She makes a great point, though.)
posted by tonycpsu at 2:01 PM on August 5 [31 favorites]


Another of the El Paso victims has died so the death toll now stands at 22, and may rise further.
posted by Justinian at 2:06 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Schools should be establishing mandatory mental health programming. Things like Open Circle and other valid, data-driven social and emotional skills curricula.

And then every year, schools will administer national mental health testing. Kids who need more services will get them. Kids will be able to say, "Um, my classmate is talking about hurting himself/his mother/his school," and that kid can get help and won't feel such overwhelming anger and dismay that he decides to go around shooting strangers.


I agree that schools should be adequately funded and staffed to provide mental health programming. However one of the problems with public schooling in the U.S. is that anyone with the means or motive can opt out and send their kids to private schools, or home school. Many, many religious fundamentalists home school because they don't want their children being exposed to the norms of the larger society. I'm also concerned that if we don't prioritize background checks that include things like a history of violence toward animals, misogyny, and other markers of future violence we'll be relying on peoples' medical history alone. That's not ideal for a number of reasons, especially since such a limited system would not catch anyone who has avoided mental health care services in order to own firearms. Stronger gun regulations nationally need to be prioritized because that can happen in days. Literally. Adequate funding of schools and mental heath services are incredibly important, but even more important is getting weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of every person in the U.S. who wants to have them.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:13 PM on August 5 [8 favorites]


More debunking of the 'violent video game' argument, from the Washington Post: Are video games or mental illness causing America’s mass shootings? No, research shows.
posted by PhineasGage at 2:18 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


I always figured that video games were just another example of that old-fart logic by which Seriously Bad Thing The Kids Are Doing is because of Innocuous Thing The Kids Are Doing That I Hate And Fear. Like gang violence is because rap music.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:24 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


That's one heck of a "mostly."

@NDeathcamp
I did not know Conner Betts personally, but the midwest grind scene isn't large and we spend a lot of time pushing pornogrind out of Chicago DIY.

For what it's worth men who cape hard line """""left""""" politics who still treat women like shit are not exactly a new invention.
(+ the thread).

When the DIY/grind scene is trying to drive you out for edgelording that's fairly unambiguous evidence that the joke isn't landing and you're just a bad guy.

Also discovering that twitter data dumps apparently give you zero useful information on follows/followers and @handle changes (seems @iamthespookperson was going by a different handle previously).
posted by Buntix at 2:25 PM on August 5 [11 favorites]


I always figured that video games were just another example of that old-fart logic by which Seriously Bad Thing The Kids Are Doing is because of Innocuous Thing The Kids Are Doing That I Hate And Fear. Like gang violence is because rap music.

But this assumes that people who blame video games are being earnest and actually believe what they are saying. It seems more likely to me that they don't know and don't care if video games contribute; it's simply a means of deflecting blame away from these assholes being able to walk around with semi-automatic long guns with 100 round drum magazines such that the Dayton shooter was able to kill or wound 30+ people in less than 30 seconds.
posted by Justinian at 2:36 PM on August 5 [8 favorites]


Ohio lawmaker blames gay marriage, ‘drag queen advocates’ for Dayton shooting

In a now-deleted Facebook post, State Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown, also the hometown of the Dayton shooter's grindcore band) blames, among others, Obama, Democrats in Congress, parents who defend misbehaving students, and 'drag queen advocates'--that last one is probably a reference to drag queen story hours, which have become a controversial issue where conservative Christianity intersects with the public library world.
posted by box at 2:50 PM on August 5 [9 favorites]


I agree that schools should be adequately funded and staffed to provide mental health programming. However one of the problems with public schooling in the U.S. is that anyone with the means or motive can opt out and send their kids to private schools, or home school. Many, many religious fundamentalists home school because they don't want their children being exposed to the norms of the larger society.

I can't remember if I discovered this article here one the blue: Is Christian Homeschooling Breeding a New Kind of Domestic Terrorist?
posted by LindsayIrene at 2:56 PM on August 5 [19 favorites]


Yes, this. This is frankly a huge problem in leftist groups right now as well - leftist men engaging in gendered harassment, stalking, and assault, then trying to get off from consequences because of their stated class consciousness. In fact, in some cases it's even worse because there's a lot of 'and if the victim gets a restraining order/Involves The State, they're not a true leftist, and I, the harasser, am the True Leftist.'

And if you want your assaulter to go to jail, and protest against judges who let them off, then you are an evil Carceral Feminist, and a true leftist would forgive them because that's 'restorative justice'*. Those who would feel restored by seeing their attacker go to jail, well they are worse than any rapist to them.

* Yes, I know there are people who work with genuine restorative justice sought out by the victim and that it is of great use to some of them. However, as it is used in a lot of left discourse, it's about shaming and harassing victims into not taking legal action against members of the tribe.
posted by tavella at 3:14 PM on August 5 [13 favorites]


I always figured that video games were just another example of that old-fart logic by which Seriously Bad Thing The Kids Are Doing is because of Innocuous Thing The Kids Are Doing That I Hate And Fear. Like gang violence is because rap music.

Video games, dangerous music (whether it's rap music in recent decades, punk rock and heavy metal in the Reagan years, "race music" that led to what became rock and roll, or that ever-dangerous swaying pelvis of Elvis), teaching of sexual education, access to stimulating material and/or devices... it's all about control. It's about authority, the ability of those who have had that authority to maintain it, and their ability to purge unwanted influences. Racists and hardcore fundamentalists share a common problem -- an inability to clamp down the world around them and exclude access to anything that would challenge what they feel is their rightful supremacy.

Unfortunately, the racists are generally having more success with their attempts at further recruitment.
posted by delfin at 3:14 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]


You'd think that the video game thing would have lost some of its bite by now considering that they've been around for forty years now and a lot of gamers are pretty old.
posted by octothorpe at 3:36 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


As long as the boomers don't start gaming retroactively, we will be blaming video games for the next 20 years until the last pre-videogamer is dead.
posted by benzenedream at 3:42 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Nah, there's plenty of Gen X that hasn't played a video game since Mario Bros.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 3:46 PM on August 5 [8 favorites]


The racists are betting on the fact that even if you disagree with them, even if you don't like what they say, you still love them. Because aren't you supposed to? Isn't that your role as a family member?
posted by East14thTaco at 3:47 PM on August 5 [8 favorites]


I like to say that El Paso is a 2-degree town: if I don't know you, then I likely know someone who does. Partly this is a function of my having been a teacher for over a decade. Over the years, I've had over 2000 students sit in my classroom. I think though it is also a function of the incredible connectedness of this community. El Paso feels like a small town which is miraculous in a city of nearly 700,000. It's no wonder I love this place so much.

Today was my first day back at work and my principal starkly reminded us that our students and their families shop at the Cielo Vista Wal-Mart. Our colleagues and their families shop there. It's not a matter of if we will feel the ripples of this trauma but when and we, as the helpers, must be ready to assist those that have been directly affected.

And that was reinforced today talking to my colleagues. Because the ripples of trauma have indeed reached us.

So we spent the morning processing, getting guidance, brainstorming, learning about resources of support and just generally trying to lift each other up. I plan on utilizing the resources made available to process my own trauma and begin healing my own pain because, in 7 days, students and families will return to our classrooms and hallways and we, the helpers, must be ready. As much as I might want to compartmentalize and repress my utter incandescent rage and pain, I need to be ready. I need to be strong. I'm expecting 250 students to pass through my classroom this year and I will most assuredly be called upon to lift up, intervene, bind brokenness and love and support my students in ways that I have never had to do before.

I will be ready. I will be strong.

I am very grateful that a live in a community of connectedness. I am very grateful for my friends, colleagues and the leadership at my school, district and city. We have each other and we will not be broken by this.

And, as always in dark times, I am grateful for you. I'm grateful for Metafilter. This thread has been therapeutic and sanity-saving for me. When bad things happen, look for the helpers. Thanks for helping me, ya'll.
posted by blessedlyndie at 4:40 PM on August 5 [122 favorites]


Best of luck to you. I'm sure everyone is interested in a follow up, what works and what doesn't, what resources you have and will find. I'm sorry this had to happen, but think of it as an opportunity. So many of us feel like we can't do anything substantial, please act on our behalf. You have our best wishes and support.
posted by adept256 at 4:54 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]


Thank you, blessedlyndie. I had a teacher in sixth grade who was gutted when they caught The Night Stalker; he'd been one of her students. Our teachers do so damn much and we never give you all nearly enough structurally and primarily.

      ^
     /  \    ^
    / ☆ \ /  \
/\ /       \     \
posted by tilde at 4:56 PM on August 5 [11 favorites]


The most confusing thing about these mass shootings is that in President Trump’s inaugural address he said “this American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” So, I don’t understand why it appears to be continuing. Maybe it’s not true carnage, maybe it’s American havoc or an American maelstrom or something
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:16 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]


Administration after administration have been amplifying tribalism by telling citizens that it is not only okay to bomb people who look different but it is their patriotic duty, architects of wars have been celebrated and glorified, and people have rewarded these adminstration by bestowing power upon them and cheering them on. I mean there certainly something uniquely evil in white supremacy or misogyny that justifies this act of violence but it should not be seen as separate from the act of making life itself just a statistic.
posted by asra at 5:17 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


A good friend of mine from high school moved down to El Paso about 10 years ago. They have a daughter who's in elementary school. Super-brave kid -- she's got some rare disease that they haven't been able to diagnose and is constantly in and out of hospital.

This morning, Zoey started crying when Jen was heading out to work. She was afraid her mom would get shot.

Jen assured Zoey that she could call her anytime she needed to. But Zoey wouldn't be consoled:

"If you can't answer the phone, I'll think you died."
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:31 PM on August 5 [12 favorites]


> Why not create ad hoc databases of gun owners nationwide?

The Journal News (New York) did this in on a local level. I thought I remembered discussing it here, but all I'm seeing is this comment, which sounds like it's about a related but not identical database.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:33 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


tivalasvegas, I sent you a MeFi Mail.
posted by blessedlyndie at 5:55 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


I feel absolutely terrible about the shootings and I hope me feeling this way matters to anyone here. I'm not American and I feel distant from the US experience. So I don't know what it means for me to feel things in this space. But I feel terrible. I'm not saying this as a way to prove the remove. I just feel terrible and lacking in understanding: both about what is happening and about my ability to commiserate with the very fine (& very White) folks in here. But I feel terrible.

Trumps' condemnation of white supremacy is good. Wildly insufficient, but good. And Cloudflare's rejection of 8chan is good. I cherish that, while recognizing the insufficiency. But what do I know?

Perhaps what follows belongs in one of the POC threads, but those threads are frankly too difficult for me. Briefly, I regard Metafilter as a (well-meaning) White space that provides Access to a not unimportant slice of White culture. And it helps. It helps to assimilate and infiltrate and punch above my weight. For me, Metafilter is useful in so far as it explains, contextualizes, and predicts events accurately. I don't need accusations or apologies; I just need to know which way the wind blows.

In that respect, Mefi's failure to anticipate the 2016 election result is still, well, frankly traumatic. But that doesn't negate the usefulness of the explanatory frameworks that have been brought to bear regarding the ongoing collapse of a sense of community: the misogyny, the domestic violence, & the frankly terrifying/preposterous cultural exports, the growing economic inequality..

I hope we can make space to combat & ridicule these evils, whereever they rear their ugly heads. I hope we can isolate the enemy without isolating us-selves. The despair & isolation that drives people to seek validation from messaging boards.. to me, that's just harrowing. Honestly you've got a good thing going: liberty and justice for all. Peace
posted by dmh at 5:55 PM on August 5 [8 favorites]


Trump thinks the Ohio shooting happened in Toledo, not Dayton.

Trump closed his remarks by asking God to "bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo."

WTF even is this guy.
posted by bendy at 5:56 PM on August 5 [6 favorites]


Some sort of competition between Trump and Biden as to who can get more confused about which cities these happened in.
posted by octothorpe at 6:01 PM on August 5 [7 favorites]


Florida manTM decides to call in and threaten a shooting at the Wal*Mart his mother works at.

The police department in El Paso made a statement that makes me think. This Anglo man came here ... is this the next level, road trip terrorism?
posted by tilde at 6:07 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Former W.H. Photographer Reveals Never-Before-Seen Photos of Obama's Anguish After Sandy Hook

This photo. That's not a picture of someone about to forget what the name of the city was, whatever his faults.
posted by adept256 at 6:14 PM on August 5 [13 favorites]


TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM is the headline on tomorrow's New York Times.

How sociopathic do you have to be to choose that headline?
posted by great_radio at 6:41 PM on August 5 [41 favorites]


How sociopathic do you have to be to choose that headline?

You have to have a financial interest in his reelection.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:53 PM on August 5 [22 favorites]


This follows a long history of fascists telling us it's raining while pissing on our legs.
posted by odinsdream at 6:55 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted with poster permission. Hey folks, friendly reminder this isn't a uspolitics catchall thread, and maybe let's limit the riffing etc in thread about mass shootings.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:05 PM on August 5 [10 favorites]


Wow. I think Jake Tapper just compared "conservatives" to Hamas.
"You hear conservatives all the time – rightly so in my opinion – talk about the tone set by people in the Arab world, Palestinian leaders talking about – and the way they talk about Israelis, justifying in the same way you're doing, no direct link necessarily between what the leader says and the violence against some poor Israeli girl in a pizzeria, but the idea that you're validating this hatred, and yet – and yet, I mean you can't compare the ideology of Hamas with anything else, but at the same time – either tone matters or it doesn't."
[source]
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:27 PM on August 5 [7 favorites]


El Paso congresswoman to Trump: Don't come here (Politico)
Rep. Veronica Escobar said Monday that President Donald Trump "is not welcome" in her hometown of El Paso, Texas, as the city recovers from a mass shooting that killed 21 people and wounded more than two dozen.

"From my perspective, he is not welcome here. He should not come here while we are in mourning," Escobar, a Democrat whose district includes nearly all of El Paso, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I would encourage the president's staff members to have him do a little self-reflection. I would encourage them to show him his own words and his actions at the rallies."

Later Monday, Democratic 2020 hopeful and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke — who represented El Paso until earlier this year, when he was replaced by Escobar after his failed Senate campaign — joined the congresswoman in saying Trump shouldn't come to the city. He told a reporter from the Corpus Christi Caller Times that Trump has "helped to create what we saw in El Paso on Saturday. He's helped to produce the suffering that we are experiencing right now. This community needs to heal." [...]

Trump is expected to visit both [El Paso and Dayton] this week. The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday issued advisories of VIP travel to El Paso and Dayton for this Wednesday.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:41 PM on August 5 [13 favorites]


The racists are betting on the fact that even if you disagree with them, even if you don't like what they say, you still love them. Because aren't you supposed to? Isn't that your role as a family member?

....and on a related note, my three year streak of avoiding spending significant in-person time with my mother ends in a few weeks.
posted by MrGuilt at 7:49 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


8chan: far-right site linked to shootings resurfaces – and is kicked offline again (Guardian)
On Monday morning, 8chan found another service to provide it online protection: Epik.com, which advertises itself as a “non-discriminatory provider” with “a proven commitment to liberty”. [...] This year, Epik acquired BitMitigate, the same security firm that the neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer moved to in 2017 after Cloudflare dropped it. Epik also chose to serve as the registrar for Gab.com, the “free speech” social media site used by a terrorist who killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018, after GoDaddy kicked it off following the attack.

[...] Epik, however, relies heavily on the infrastructure provider Voxility, which quickly cut off the company – and the Daily Stormer – when alerted of 8chan’s move. As of publication of this article, 8chan remained offline.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:56 PM on August 5 [12 favorites]


In alarming teleprompter slip-up, Trump condemns white supremacy instead of tacitly endorsing it (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
At a rally in Panama Beach City, Fla., in May, Trump asked about those coming across the border, “How do you stop these people?” and when someone in the crowd shouted, “Shoot them!” Trump chuckled, “That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that stuff.”

So, it seems clear that there must have been some serious teleprompter error that has prompted such a, frankly, shocking deviation from his usual rhetoric. How embarrassing that no one on his staff bothered to get something so crucial right.

Trump also offered his condolences to shooting victims in Toledo, but given the heavy burdens he carries, such a slip is inevitable. The president was busy this past weekend making cameos at weddings and supervising games of golf, and a higher level of attention to the details of tragedy could not have been expected from him.

But to speak against white supremacy instead of offering a kind of smirking, winking, tacit approbation? No, there must have been a grave mistake.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:59 PM on August 5 [10 favorites]


dmh, your link deserves its own FPP
posted by Mrs Potato at 2:13 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM is the headline on tomorrow's New York Times.

How sociopathic do you have to be to choose that headline?


"Members of the press, what the fuck?"
posted by bitteschoen at 2:35 AM on August 6 [6 favorites]


Paul Krugman/NYTimes: Trump, Tax Cuts and Terrorism
In effect, then, the Republican Party decided that a few massacres were an acceptable price to pay in return for tax cuts. I wish that were hyperbole, but the continuing refusal of G.O.P. figures to criticize Trump even after El Paso shows that it’s the literal truth.

So as I said at the beginning, the G.O.P. has become a systematic enabler of terrorism. Why? Follow the money.
posted by mumimor at 3:16 AM on August 6 [20 favorites]


Also about that NYT headline: "In fairness to the headline writer, the story under it is absolute trash" (threadreader) - this is a rewritten version by journalist Jonathan M. Katz. It starts like this, imagine if the NYT had been this accurate:
WASHINGTON -- Facing mounting condemnations over his white-supremacist rhetoric in light of a wave of racist terror, President Trump attempted a tepid denunciation of racism on Monday that quickly devolved into equivocation and blame-shifting.
Trump's White House speech, delivered half-heartedly over a Teleprompter, failed to engage with the core fact that racist killers, most recently the mass shooter who massacred at least 22 people in El Paso, echo his rhetoric in detail before embarking on their killing sprees...
posted by bitteschoen at 3:20 AM on August 6 [18 favorites]


I canceled my NYT subscription after the headline that stated Trump bombed Syria because his “heart came first.” They will not change without pressure.
posted by sallybrown at 3:36 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


NY Times changes front page headline following uproar
- Readers of the New York Times are cancelling their subscriptions after the newspaper ran a front-page headline many deemed disgraceful.
The New York Times was forced to update its lead headline for today’s print edition following an outcry from the public.

The original front page headline read “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM”, referring to President Donald Trump’s address to the nation following the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas over the weekend.

The headline was blasted by prominent Democrats who have argued Mr Trump’s daily rhetoric contributes to violent acts committed by white supremacists, accusing the paper’s headline of not reflecting this.

...The paper changed its headline for the newspaper’s next edition, now reading “Assailing hate but not guns”.
posted by bitteschoen at 3:48 AM on August 6 [11 favorites]


How sociopathic do you have to be to choose that headline?

So what the hell actually is Dean Baquet's deal?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:52 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


My guess is it’s a mistaken business decision because he thinks he needs Trump people to believe the NYT is a neutral source, and he buys the right’s strategic spinning that anything less than “MAGA!” is pro-Democrat. When in reality, even Trump fans know and accept that Trump is not a unifier (in fact, that’s why they like him). So Baquet is playing to an audience that doesn’t exist.
posted by sallybrown at 3:57 AM on August 6 [9 favorites]


The President is going to visit El Paso. Can someone check him for weapons first? Other than the nuclear football, obviously
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:19 AM on August 6


He will be received in El Paso the same way he was received in Pittsburgh after Tree of Life, and similarly his handlers will make good and sure that he is completely insulated from any evidence that he is not a beloved leader to the masses. And then he'll go back to DC and shit all over El Paso's Democratic elected officials. Same as it ever was.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:31 AM on August 6 [31 favorites]


Yeah, they spirited him into Pittsburgh, let him say a few words in front of the site to get a clip for the news programs and got him out of there quickly.
posted by octothorpe at 5:03 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Yesterday the NYT editorial board wrote that "Those who sympathize with the white nationalist ideology but who deplore the violence should work closely with law enforcement”

They've chosen a side. They've chosen fascism, as they always choose.
posted by Yowser at 5:16 AM on August 6 [33 favorites]


Well at least this time they did change the headline (though an apology and acknowledgement of the pushback as reason for changing it would have been better...), unlike when they published that profile of a nice-harmless-totally-normal-hipster-nazi and then doubled down defending it.

Even the NY tabloids did better with front page headlines.
posted by bitteschoen at 5:46 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Don't they understand that the attraction to violence comes before the ideology? They just really don't understand how angry young men think do they?
posted by bookman117 at 5:56 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Now that the narrative of the Dayton shooter’s leftist Twitter account is setting in, I would really hope the left, instead of rejecting this story, meets it as an opportunity to look inward at the misogyny that’s been permitted to grow there. There are a lot of men on the left and on this site who try very hard to do the right thing, and I think if those men accept that sexism on the left is real and can be deadly, and then put their well-meaning effort into figuring out how to fight it, it could do a huge amount of good.
posted by sallybrown at 5:58 AM on August 6 [40 favorites]


Yowser: "Yesterday the NYT editorial board wrote that "Those who sympathize with the white nationalist ideology but who deplore the violence should work closely with law enforcement”

They've chosen a side. They've chosen fascism, as they always choose.
"

But only the non-violent fascists. Give them some credit here.
posted by octothorpe at 6:43 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


In El Paso, scared Hispanic Americans rush to buy guns

Mass shootings are always great news for the gun and ammunition industries.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:52 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]




>> It's sad that this is just one 72 year old state senator in Nebraska saying this and not many US Senators or congresspersons, but at least one Republican has now had enough after the El Paso shooting.
Senator McCollister:
The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country. As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it’s the truth.

Guess what? Guess how the GOP responded?

Nebraska Republican representative John McCollister criticizes Trump for “enabling white supremacy.” State GOP responds by telling him to leave the party.
Today, Nebraska Republica Party Executive Director Ryan Hamilton called on Nebraska Senator John McCollister to tell the truth about his partisan views and re-register as a Democrat.

"John McCollister has been telegraphing for years that he has little if nothing in common with the Republican voters in his district by consistently advocating for higher taxes, restrictions on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, and the pro-abortion lobby", Hamilton said. "His latest false statement about Republicans should come as no surprise to anyone who is paying attention, and we’re happy he has finally shed all pretense of being a conservative."
posted by bitteschoen at 7:29 AM on August 6 [23 favorites]




How sociopathic do you have to be to choose that headline?

You have to have a financial interest in his reelection.


It costs a lot of money to print a big newspaper and their interests are in line with that. This is also why they post racist op-ed after racist op-ed. They are not progressives or on our side just because some of the people involved went to the same schools you did, or go to the same restaurants, or mouth the same platitudes about wanting the world to be better. The people who own and run the NYTimes are not your friends; their material interests are too different.

And think about this the next time the NYTimes posts yet another editorial about how the internet is ruining society. The internet has given us some fucked up things, to be sure, but the internet has also given us an alternative to these politely racist quislings, and for that I, at least, am grateful.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:39 AM on August 6 [17 favorites]


Trump attacks Obama for statement on shootings < Politico
Even though Trump was not named (nor was anyone) in Obama's statement. T is taking his daily marching orders from Fox and Friends again.

" Trump’s message was a distillation of a sentiment “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade expressed on air shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. The president followed up that tweet with another post paraphrasing a comment from Kilmeade’s morning show colleague, Ainsley Earhardt.

“‘It’s political season and the election is around the corner. They want to continue to push that racist narrative.’ @ainsleyearhardt @foxandfriends,” Trump continued. “And I am the least racist person. Black, Hispanic and Asian Unemployment is the lowest (BEST) in the history of the United States!”

posted by Harry Caul at 7:41 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


So....it seems like white supremacy is the oxygen, misogyny the kerosene, semi automatics are the fuel, and the president is lighting the spark that sets the fire consuming American lives.

Please do what you can and you must to suppress any or all of these things
posted by eustatic at 7:44 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Now that the narrative of the Dayton shooter’s leftist Twitter account is setting in, I would really hope the left, instead of rejecting this story, meets it as an opportunity to look inward at the misogyny that’s been permitted to grow there.

this applies as strongly (or more strongly) to Twitter, and social media in general as it does to the left.
posted by Harry Caul at 7:53 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


This is a very interesting thread to read, from sociologist Jessie Daniels:
So, today, just TODAY, I spoke with seven (7) reporters from different news outlets about violent white supremacy. In doing this work for 30yrs, that's a one-day record.
Here are a few highlights, in summation, about Things I Often Say, about the current White Supremacist Moment
Amongst other things it has a great answer about comparisons between radicalization into violent white supremacy and ISIS recruitment and how the history of the US plays into it, and it advocates deplatforming as a proven strategy. There’s no tl;dr as it’s all quotable, anyone reading this thread here might want to read the whole thing, it’s worth it.
posted by bitteschoen at 8:21 AM on August 6 [19 favorites]


PS - the author of that thread on twitter is the same Jessie Daniels who wrote this piece in 2017: "Twitter and white supremacy, a love story"
posted by bitteschoen at 8:31 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Sahil Kapur (Bloomberg)
New: GOP begins to worry about blowback due to its opposition to new gun control laws. “Republicans are headed for extinction in the suburbs if they don’t distance themselves from the NRA,” says a party donor & Trump backer.
• The landscape on guns has changed. During Obama’s first term, Americans were evenly divided on whether gun law should be stricter or same. In Trump era, stricter beats same by 31 points (per @Gallup).
• Marist poll: 57% of US wants to ban semi-automatics like AR-15s—that includes 62% of suburbanites, 74% of women in suburbs & small cities, 65% of white college graduates. This is what makes Republicans nervous. There’s no winning coalition without them.
• The 2018 election was a warning sign on the shifting intensity. Voters favored stricter gun control by 22 points. Guns were the #4 issue and Democrats won voters who cited it as their top concern by ~40 points, per House exit polls.
• “Every time the country experiences a tragedy of this nature the Republican brand takes a hit,” says ex-congressman Carlos Curbelo (R). “Because many, many Americans perceive that Republicans are unwilling to act on gun reform.”

Blooomberg: Republicans Fear ‘Extinction in the Suburbs’ Over Gun Control
posted by chris24 at 9:08 AM on August 6 [27 favorites]


Trump goes on Lou Dobbs inspired tweet storm attacking Sundar Pichai, with an interview w fired Google employee who supported Richard Spencer.
The Jackass has swung back to his racist-normal in less than 48 hours, cuz tv. Can't wait for El Paso visit tomorrow.
posted by Harry Caul at 9:32 AM on August 6 [13 favorites]


Media Matters: Sean Hannity proposes retired military, police and Secret Service secure the perimeter and be stationed on every floor of every school and mall in America
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I'd like to see the perimeter of every school in America surrounded, secured by retired police -- which you are -- retired Secret Service -- which you are -- military, and I want guys to donate 15 hours. I think we could cover every school, every hour, every day.

Add a metal detector, and I think we're going to have safer schools. Have one armed guard on every floor of every school, all over every mall, the perimeter, and inside every hall of every mall. Now, that gives us an instant response opportunity that we normally wouldn't have.
Atrios: Land of the Free
Gotta have a police state to we can all own guns to protect us from a police state. True freedom is when a bunch of minimum wage Paul Blarts with twitchy trigger fingers are everywhere.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:34 AM on August 6 [16 favorites]


"Have one armed guard on every floor of every school"

Flawless plan, Mr. Hannity.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:40 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Reminder, every time "more guns in schools" comes up -- how the hell do you tell the shooter from the other kids, when the shooter is one of the kids? How do you not shoot an innocent person, when you have a ton of armed people rushing in to save the day with their own guns?

And once a gun is inside, it's too late.

As chris24 noted: the Dayton terrorist killed and injured 36 in ... just 30 seconds.

Good (?) news: Renewed calls for gun control after dual massacres test a deeply divided NRA (Beth Reinhard for the Washington Post, Aug. 6, 2019)
The NRA’s longtime advertising firm, which helped craft its hard-edge responses to past gun violence, is battling the organization in court. Last week, three NRA board members resigned, saying they were sidelined after demanding audits of the organization’s spending. Rank-and-file members are urging changes, while other gun rights groups are seeking to capi­tal­ize on the NRA’s struggles.
...
NRA officials did not respond to requests to interview LaPierre. Marion Hammer, one of his most outspoken defenders on the 76-member board, said the group would not be distracted from its core mission.

“I don’t have a crystal ball and I never make predictions, but the one thing I can say for certain is that the NRA will fight to protect the Second Amendment as hard as we always do,” said Hammer, who lobbies for gun rights in Florida. “Protecting the Second Amendment comes first, and it always will.”
...
A handful of Republican lawmakers on Sunday endorsed stricter gun controls, but the GOP largely ignored Democratic demands that the Senate abandon its summer recess and return to Washington to address the issue. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to consider restrictions the House passed in February (NPR, Feb. 27, 2019), the first federal legislation of its kind since the late 1990s.

Although President Trump called for “strong background checks” on Twitter, in a national television address Monday he blamed “mental illness and hate” for the shootings. The only limits on gun sales he mentioned were “red-flag laws” that aim to identify mentally ill people who should not be allowed to buy firearms.
Those bills HR 8 and HR1112 (Congress.gov x2). A quick online search will show how vehemently against the bills "pro-gun" (anti-life?) advocates are.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:52 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Also not noted here yet, but something I've posted previously: in Ars Technica's coverage of NZ declaring massacre video “objectionable,” arresting people who shared it, they note:
The United States is unusual in offering near-absolute protection for free speech under the First Amendment. Most other countries—even liberal democracies—have more extensive systems of online and offline censorship. That difference has been on display this week as New Zealand authorities have begun prosecuting people for sharing copies of last week's white supremacist mass shooting in Christchurch and for posting hate speech in the wake of the attack.

New Zealand Chief Censor David Shanks has determined that the 17-minute video livestreamed during the Christchurch shooting is objectionable under New Zealand law. "It is a record of a terrorist atrocity, specifically produced for the purpose of promoting a hateful terrorist agenda," a press release from New Zealand's Office of Film and Literature Classification states.

Distributing objectionable materials online comes with stiff legal penalties. One man—the 44-year-old owner of an insulation company with alleged neo-Nazi sympathies—has been arrested and charged with two counts of distributing objectionable materials in violation of New Zealand's Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act. He is being held without bail and could be sentenced to as much as 14 years in prison for each offense.
Since the U.S. won't get there any time soon, a related question: what's stopping local communities to do their own gun buy-back programs, beyond having the budget to buy the guns?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:56 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Sean Hannity proposes retired military, police and Secret Service secure the perimeter and be stationed on every floor of every school and mall in America

Of course the fascists don’t care about massacres because they help them turn the US into a police state.
posted by chris24 at 9:59 AM on August 6 [6 favorites]


For those interested in education on some of the latest (available) research and analysis on how to reduce the gun violence in the US specifically, Coursera is offering a free course based on the Hopkins study results in 2013 on the international data. (Disclaimer: I was in the multimedia support team for the 2013 int'l conference presenting these conclusions.)
posted by Harry Caul at 10:04 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Sean Hannity proposes retired military, police and Secret Service secure the perimeter and be stationed on every floor of every school and mall in America
Nah, this is straight off the fascist playbook: legitimize pseudo-law enforcement "for our protection". These are then the people who terrorize all the unwanted people. Would you enter a mall policed by the "Trump Corps"?
posted by mumimor at 10:04 AM on August 6 [19 favorites]


Hannity's...."plan"....reminds me of one of the pages in a 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said desk calendar I had back in the '90s. One entry was a crime-fighting proposal from the early days of the telephone in which a citizen who witnessed a crime taking place would report it via the party line and everyone who was home to receive the message would grab their gun and run outside to foil the evildoer.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:21 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


I'm way behind on the comments here, but one note regarding the gamification of mass murder: the whole "high score" thing didn't originate with 8chan or Christchurch. It started on 4chan after the Virginia Tech school shooting in 2007. The full, awful phrase used to be "Cho's high score"—which squares with the idea that this awfulness has been at least a decade in the making.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:25 AM on August 6 [12 favorites]


Ahead of Trump's visit to El Paso, I've been trying to determine if his campaign ever paid the city the $500K it owed them from his previous appearance. Apparently not, the Dallas Morning news reports: Donald Trump, Who's Going To El Paso This Week, Owes City More Than $500K For His February Rally "[W]with late fees is now $569,204, according to a July 18 invoice to the Trump campaign."

Incidentally, Vox's Aaron Rupar has revisited Trump's speech at that rally (w/video): "Trump smears undocumented immigrants: "Murders, murders, murders. Killings, murders!" Crowd erupts in "Build the wall" chants."

Also, "CNN put together a montage of Trump repeatedly pushing the "invasion" conspiracy theory about migrants -- the same one that inspired the El Paso shooter -- during public statements he's made dating back to last November."

What's notable isn't just how frequently he repeats "invasion" but how many times he pushes back against criticism for his use of the word as well.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:27 AM on August 6 [19 favorites]


Hannity's...."plan"....reminds me of one of the pages in a 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said desk calendar I had back in the '90s. One entry was a crime-fighting proposal from the early days of the telephone in which a citizen who witnessed a crime taking place would report it via the party line and everyone who was home to receive the message would grab their gun and run outside to foil the evildoer.

"There's a crazy guy in his pajamas with a gun!"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:34 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


CNN put together a montage of Trump repeatedly pushing the "invasion" conspiracy theory about migrants -- the same one that inspired the El Paso shooter -- during public statements he's made dating back to last November.

Also, this: "Murders, murders, murders. Killings, murders!" -- this was what Trump had to say about undocumented immigrants during his speech last February in El Paso, where a gunman motivated by any-immigrant rage shot and killed 22 people on Saturday

>> He will be received in El Paso the same way he was received in Pittsburgh after Tree of Life, and similarly his handlers will make good and sure that he is completely insulated from any evidence that he is not a beloved leader to the masses. And then he'll go back to DC and shit all over El Paso's Democratic elected officials. Same as it ever was.

Maybe, but it may be more difficult to keep him that insulated this time, it seems no one really wants him there -

El Paso lawmakers and residents tell Trump to stay away, linking his rhetoric to the mass shooting that killed 22
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, who is a Republican, announced Trump's visit in remarks to reporters Monday, calling the invitation his "formal duty."

"And I want to clarify for the political spin that this is the office of the mayor of El Paso in an official capacity welcoming the office of the President of the United States, which I consider is my formal duty."

He said he anticipated a backlash, adding: "I'm already getting the emails and the phone calls."
Same thing with Dayton mayor Nan Whaley, who’s been even less enthusiastic when asked about the visit - "look, he’s the President of the United states and he has an official capacity as President and in my official capacity as mayor I will greet him here". And she said when asked about protesters: "You know I have lots of protesters all the time, and even my friends protest me from time to time, so I’m glad that they’re using their right to give their free speech comment. And look, he's made this bed and he's gotta lie in it, you know. His rhetoric has been painful for many in our community and I think that people should stand up and say they’re not happy if they’re not happy that he’s coming."

She also stated she absolutely plans to tell Trump how unhelpful he’s been, and when asked if the visit is "too soon", she answers "he’s got his calendar, I’ve got mine".
posted by bitteschoen at 10:38 AM on August 6 [20 favorites]


Since the U.S. won't get there any time soon, a related question: what's stopping local communities to do their own gun buy-back programs, beyond having the budget to buy the guns?

Nothing. The problem is as fast as they take guns off the streets through buybacks new ones come flooding in from states where gun purchases are easy peasy. For awhile, Boston, which makes it difficult to legally own a gun even in a state with some of the country's toughest gun laws, was doing gun buybacks on the regular, and collected lots of guns (in exchange for guns people got gift certificates for something or other).

So people with an eye for profits would just go to New Hampshire or South Carolina and buy more and then sell them in Boston. Also, an administrator at a local high school, who had worked on one of the buyback programs, shot a kid in the head because he thought the kid was going to snitch on the marijuana sales the guy was running, partly out of his school.

So we haven't had any buybacks lately and, over the past 24 hours, we've had four shootings.
posted by adamg at 10:38 AM on August 6 [6 favorites]


And I see Doktor Zed already posted a couple of those links, sorry, we seem to be following and reading the same sources!
posted by bitteschoen at 10:42 AM on August 6


I'm way behind on the comments here, but one note regarding the gamification of mass murder: the whole "high score" thing didn't originate with 8chan or Christchurch. It started on 4chan after the Virginia Tech school shooting in 2007. The full, awful phrase used to be "Cho's high score"—which squares with the idea that this awfulness has been at least a decade in the making.

4chan is part of the problem and needs to be deplatformed as well.
posted by photoslob at 10:42 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


White Extremist Ideology Drives Many Deadly Shootings (NYT)
A number of deadly white extremist shootings in the United States have been linked to similar white extremist attacks overseas. Circles show the number of people killed in all those shootings, and red circles and lines show connections from later attackers to the earlier attackers who influenced them. [infographic] Since 2011, suspects with ties to white extremism have carried out at least 17 active-shooter attacks, according to an analysis of F.B.I. and other data.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:50 AM on August 6 [10 favorites]


And I see Doktor Zed already posted a couple of those links, sorry, we seem to be following and reading the same sources!

No worries—Vox's Aaron Rupar is my go-to source for video clips of Trump's appearances. He does a better job than CNN, CSPAN, and the major networks' news channels of highlighting their significant moments and quotes. (I still have difficulty watching Trump for more than a few minutes at a time, so that's another benefit.)

He's well worth following on Twitter in general. For instance, here are his clips of Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley:
R: Your reaction to Trump coming?

DAYTON MAYOR WHALEY: He's POTUS & as he has an official capacity as POTUS - I have a capacity as mayor - I will greet him

R: What about protesters?

WHALEY: He's made this bed & he's gotta lie in it ... his rhetoric has been painful for many
And: "I'm disappointed with his remarks. I think they fell really short. He mentioned gun issues like one time. I think watching the president over the past few years on the issue of guns, I don't know if he knows what he believes, frankly."
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:54 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


4chan is part of the problem and needs to be deplatformed as well.

Just a reminder that Christopher Pool (moot) still works at Google last time I checked. Maybe now he's in charge of YouTube recommendations.
posted by benzenedream at 11:04 AM on August 6 [9 favorites]


The full, awful phrase used to be "Cho's high score"—which squares with the idea that this awfulness has been at least a decade in the making.

It goes back further in modern fiction. 1996’s horror comedy The Frighteners (Michael J Fox stars as a paranormal investigator looking into ghostly murders) features as its villain a dead serial killer (played by Jake Busey channeling his father’s intensity) who returns as a ghost looking to continue killing from beyond the grave to increase his “score” because he’s upset that a non-American serial killer currently holds the “record”. It was a fun movie twenty years ago (Peter Jackson directed) but is hard to watch now because of the serial killer and his rhetoric.
posted by Servo5678 at 11:10 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Poole disowned 4chan due to Gamergate.
posted by gucci mane at 11:11 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


> Poole disowned 4chan due to Gamergate.

Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, child pornography for the ~11 years he was in charge: totes cool, though.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:16 AM on August 6 [19 favorites]


I mean... he started the website when he was 15. It's quite possible he grew up and evolved? We don't even hold (most) 15 year olds completely responsible when they straight up murder people...
posted by Justinian at 11:23 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


4chan is part of the problem and needs to be deplatformed as well.

If we're going to go this route, it's time to think a little about the medium as well as the message.

Once upon a time, there was a discussion site based in Japan, and focused on anime and Japanese pop culture, called 2chan. This was back before UTF-8 solved so many internationalization problems, when rendering text in the CKJV languages a royal pain in the ass. Discussion sites in those languages made image uploads easier because so much discussion involved GIFs or JPGs of text. THere was also the slight matter of the site being devoted to anime/manga and the like.

Along came Moot.

He decided to start a site modeled after 2chan. Voila 4chan. Except, he was doing it on a budget, without much drive space, and did not want the drama that comes with moderating user accounts. And so the model of a chan-site was born: no logging or retention of threads. No user accounts to manage.

The dark side fo this policy wasn't immediately apparent. 4chan was first made noteworthy as the birthplace of lolcats. When 4chan threads spawned Anonymous, when they went to war on Scientology, it didn't seem so dark. Then came gamergate. And the inflitration of racists and Russian trolls.

But the point I'm coming to is that Moot didn't do anything particularly innovative. Anyone coudl have set up a site oriented towards use of images and deliberate amnesia. And now anyone CAN.

Stomping on 8chan and 4chan may reduce the frequency of these mass shootings. (May. If the FBI were allowed to hover arouond 8chan and pounce when shit is about to get real, it would be better to let it stay up instead of makign the FBI scour the net for new chan sites.)

But the formula that defines a chan site is too easy to replicate, and it will be replicated.
posted by ocschwar at 11:23 AM on August 6 [10 favorites]


> I mean... he started the website when he was 15. It's quite possible he grew up and evolved? We don't even hold (most) 15 year olds completely responsible when they straight up murder people...

He was 27 when he stepped down. I think there's a number somewhere between 15 and 27 where we should expect young men to understand the implications of hosting a free-for-all anonymous platform where hate speech and pedophilia are tolerated (or, at best, not meaningfully policed).

I'd say the number's closer to 15 than 27.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:26 AM on August 6 [20 favorites]


"[W]with late fees is now $569,204, according to a July 18 invoice to the Trump campaign."


Most of that bill is for wages. Obviously the city can't prevent the Cheeto from using their streets but can they deny access to personnel and equipment?
posted by Mitheral at 11:36 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


No, there’s still no link between video games and violence (AP)
Do video games trigger violent behavior? Scientific studies have found no link. But the persistent theory is back in the headlines following Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.

An online manifesto thought to be authored by the gunman briefly mentioned the combat game Call of Duty. Then President Donald Trump weighed in, charging Monday that “gruesome and grisly video games” contribute to a “glorification of violence.” Trump’s statements were more reserved compared with his last brush with the subject in 2018, when he called video games “vicious” and summoned game-industry executives to meet at the White House, to little lasting effect.

The Entertainment Software Association, the biggest video game trade group, reiterated its position that there is no causal connection between video games and violence. “More than 165 million Americans enjoy video games, and billions of people play video games worldwide,” the group said in a statement. “Yet other societies, where video games are played as avidly, do not contend with the tragic levels of violence that occur in the U.S.”

[...] “There are no longitudinal studies that show a link between violence and video games,” said Benjamin Burroughs, a professor of emerging media at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Certainly, there is no linkage to gun violence.” Burroughs said that some studies show a short-term increase in aggressive thoughts and feelings after playing video games, but nothing that rises to the level of violence. [...]

Patrick Markey, a psychology professor at Villanova University who focuses on video games, found in his research that men who commit severe acts of violence actually play violent video games less than the average male. About 20% were interested in violent video games, compared with 70% of the general population, he explained in his 2017 book “Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong.” [...]

“Politicians on both sides go after video games it is this weird unifying force,” Markey said. “It makes them look like they are doing something.” Another reason, according to Markey, is that video games can look disturbing to people who aren’t gamers. “They look scary. But research just doesn’t support that there’s a link” to violent behavior, he said.
posted by Little Dawn at 11:51 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


But the point I'm coming to is that Moot didn't do anything particularly innovative. Anyone coudl have set up a site oriented towards use of images and deliberate amnesia. And now anyone CAN.

Poole didn't have to allow chan culture to be born. Let's stop making excuses for him and his failures in community management - failures that, it must be pointed out, have a body count.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:53 AM on August 6 [10 favorites]


You're giving him way too much credit (for lack of a better word). Amnesia and lack of moderation are the path of least resistance. THey are inherently advantageous to anyone setting up an image based discussion site, which means if Moot hadn't done it, someone else would have. Stomping on him (and 4chan and 8chan) would put the alt-right on their back heels for a moment, which is very much a good thing. But they'll regroup and return like herpes.
posted by ocschwar at 11:59 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


How State Laws Allowed Military-Style Guns Used in Dayton and El Paso Shootings (NYT)
Gun laws vary from state to state, but more often than not, states do not restrict the type of military-style weapons and large-capacity magazines that were used in two mass shootings over the weekend. [...] Only six states and the District of Columbia have enacted bans on military-style weapons. Many cities, including Dayton, ban these types of weapons.

[...] Mass shooters have also circumvented state law by traveling to neighboring states with fewer gun restrictions to purchase weapons, or by making small modifications to other legal weapons.

[...] Only eight states and the District of Columbia have laws that restrict the capacity of magazines, most limiting them to 10 to 15 rounds, depending on the state.

[...] While a lot of states have bans or restrictions on carrying firearms in public, only six states and the District of Columbia generally prohibit openly carrying rifles.

[...] even if you live in a state with strict gun laws, the current patchwork of state regulations means that military-style weapons with large-capacity magazines can still be purchased in a neighboring state.
posted by Little Dawn at 11:59 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


To the seemingly endless stream of people coming in with "they'll just start another one" takes: please consider the amount of disruption that would be caused if MetaFilter the site disappeared right now and we wanted to rebuild MetaFilter the community from scratch somewhere else. Forget about the bespoke ColdFusion aspects and assume we're just trying to replicate the community, not the look and feel of the site. Most of us don't know each others' real names, many people use different handles elsewhere.. Maybe the most motivated of us would hit up the MeFi wiki or the fledgling off-site megathread thing to follow some breadcrumbs to the new thing, but some wouldn't bother.

Now imagine this keeps happening every week or two as we hop from site to site, trying to keep the core group together.

Y'all don't have to keep repeating the same "whack-a-mole" / "it will be replicated" arguments. We know. That doesn't mean we don't make their lives much more difficult as they try to rebuild their Anime Stormfront.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:07 PM on August 6 [63 favorites]


Republican who blamed shootings on gay marriage urged to resign (Guardian)
A Republican state representative in Ohio who blamed “homosexual marriage” and “recreational marijuana” – along with many of Donald Trump’s favourite targets – for gun massacres is facing calls from her own party to resign. [...]

Jane Timken, chair of the Ohio Republican party, told the New York Times: “Candice Keller’s Facebook post was shocking and utterly unjustifiable. Our nation is reeling from these senseless acts of violence and public servants should be working to bring our communities together, not promoting divisiveness. I am calling on Candice Keller to resign.”

Richard Jones, the sheriff of Butler county, which Keller represents, about 30 miles south-west of Dayton, tweeted: “Candice Keller should resign at once. Shame shame.”
posted by Little Dawn at 12:12 PM on August 6 [17 favorites]


Gwen Snyder:
What ACTUALLY happens when a hate site is deplatformed:

- its less-invested users give up & aren't nazified

- its nazis go somewhere more obscure

- would-be nazi recruits don't find the obscure site

- recruitment by the nazis tanks.

tl;dr: FEWER NAZIS.

#untwitter8chan
posted by chris24 at 12:14 PM on August 6 [54 favorites]


Re: Videogames, particularly shooting sims.

I think we're doing a disservice in not allowing ourselves to examine this link, because I think some people can abuse video game content in the same way some people abuse, say, pornography or even drugs and alcohol.

And that this is a super complicated issue.

I would say that a warning sign is anyone who only exclusively plays first person shooters and combat sims and nothing else, especially when there's a fetishized tacticool or gun ownership side to it especially in the specific context of being someone unbalanced enough to want to go on a shooting spree at a school or mall.

I think one of the complicated facets we're overlooking with regards to these games is how realistic some of them really are and how this actually can translate to real world tactics and shooting skills and hand eye co-ordination and how - just like porn and violence in porn - it can be desensitizing and really rather violent, graphic content that has less to do with game play and game tactics than it does being a very realistic combat simulator.

Hell I have played and will play FPS games. I'm good at it. I also used to do combat sim (not sport) paintball, and I know playing stuff even like Doom taught me stuff like strafing and how to sweep corners while paintballing. Militaries and police forces now use combat sims for training and running scenarios.

To me there is an obvious concrete link between modern gun culture - specifically combat/tacticool/whatever guns - and FPS combat sim games.

I have had I don't know how many (mostly angry white) coworkers who have had some sort of progression from playing FPS combat sims to collecting, say, realistic airsoft guns to owning real guns and otherwise being desensitized about the real violence and threat owning a bunch of combat ready firearms and gear is to either themselves or the people around them.

I'm not saying these games cause people to become mass shooters, but they sure don't help not add fuel or skills to that fire. It's a symptom and enabling feedback link that probably should be examined more carefully, and I think there is a correlation.

I would be very, very surprised if none of these young male mass shooters did not play a lot of FPS combat sim games, likely in amounts that mental health professionals would say have addictive and obsessive qualities.
posted by loquacious at 12:18 PM on August 6 [12 favorites]


Also: re 8chan in particular.

I have seen multiple reports that it has mirrors and is up on the "darknet", likely via Tor.

They would obviously have back up plans. Just because they're having DNS, CDN and DDoS issues doesn't mean it's actually down.
posted by loquacious at 12:21 PM on August 6


Why are both the guy who said the Republican party is enabling white supremacy and the woman who blamed the shootings on gay marriage and weed being censured by their party?
posted by bookman117 at 12:22 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Because the GOP leadership knows that if they can keep their head down and mumble meaningless platitudes for the next week or so, this will all blow over and they can get back to dismantling the federal government.

At least they assume they know that. And based on past acts of mass shooting and white nationalist terrorist acts, I can't say they are wrong.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:31 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


Sounds like Keller's not resigning (Cincinnati Enquirer) "Establishment moderates have never been fans of mine because I ran against their endorsement and won. As the only conservative in this race, I will be taking my Senate campaign to the voters to decide."

The Enquirer provides a little background bio: "Keller is the executive director of a Christian pregnancy resource center and made headlines for comparing Planned Parenthood to Nazis. She also spoke on a white power advocate's radio show. Keller has also pushed for banning so-called sanctuary cities." Oddly, it does not mention the ethics complaint filed against her for sponsoring a bill that would give a tax credit for donations to crisis pregnancy centers.
posted by box at 12:46 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


For several of my (male, natch) relatives, the entire rationale for owning guns is so they can prevent some theoretical government from . . . taking their guns.

These are the same idiots who are pro death penalty and want the government to mandate prayer in schools.

There is no internal coherency to political discourse in the United States. Gun control, like climate change or reproductive rights, is not inherently a partisan issue.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:53 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Well guess what, who could have seen this coming... straight from the textbook responses on right wing twitter and Fox news – White House deflects blame after shootings by invoking other shootings and linking them to Democrats
“It’s not the politician’s fault when someone acts out their evil intention. I’ll just have to say, we would never dream of blaming Elizabeth Warren for the shooter who supports Elizabeth Warren,” Gidley continued. “We would never dream of blaming [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez for someone who perpetrated a terrorist attack on a DHS ICE facility because he used the same rhetoric she uses about concentration camps. We would also never blame Barack Obama for the police shootings in Dallas. We wouldn’t blame Bernie Sanders for the shooting of Steve Scalise or other Republicans. And quite frankly, it’s ridiculous to make those connect in some way. ... You have to blame the people here who pulled the trigger.”
Video clip here (it was on Fox News obv)
posted by bitteschoen at 1:02 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]



I'm not saying these games cause people to become mass shooters, but they sure don't help not add fuel or skills to that fire. It's a symptom and enabling feedback link that probably should be examined more carefully, and I think there is a correlation


There's just been a general militarization and violence-normalizing of our culture since 9/11 - militarized cops using actual military equipment, intensified violence in the media, this obsession with open-carry...and of course, the growth of "pretend to shoot people in increasingly realistic and complex games which you can play every single day for hours at a stretch" as a hobby.

It would be astonishing if this didn't have some big effects on most people's underlying understanding of the world, since we basically live in a society with intensified, non-stop advertisements for guns and interpersonal violence. Something doesn't need to literally make people into mass murderers in order to be sorta deleterious to the general well-being.
posted by Frowner at 1:04 PM on August 6 [14 favorites]


I would never dream of saying that White House Spokesperson Hogan Gidley is a festering boil on the ass of humanity.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:08 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


We wouldn’t blame Bernie Sanders for the shooting of Steve Scalise or other Republicans.

You did.

We would also never blame Barack Obama for the police shootings in Dallas.

You did.

We would never dream of blaming [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez for someone who perpetrated a terrorist attack on a DHS ICE facility because he used the same rhetoric she uses about concentration camps.

You did.

we would never dream of blaming Elizabeth Warren for the shooter who supports Elizabeth Warren

You are, currently, right this minute
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:13 PM on August 6 [27 favorites]


Re: Videogames, particularly shooting sims.

I think we're doing a disservice in not allowing ourselves to examine this link


But people have examined this link. They have universally said that the evidence simply does not show that video games, particularly shooting sims, lead to increased violence.

because I think some people can abuse video game content in the same way some people abuse, say, pornography or even drugs and alcohol.

Well, sure. And people abuse, say, reading or even exercise and food. But according to the science, people do not "abuse" video games in a way that makes them more violent against other people than they would have been without the games.
posted by Etrigan at 1:15 PM on August 6 [15 favorites]



To the seemingly endless stream of people coming in with "they'll just start another one" takes: please consider the amount of disruption that would be caused if MetaFilter the site disappeared right now and we wanted to rebuild MetaFilter the community from scratch somewhere else. Forget about the bespoke ColdFusion aspects and assume we're just trying to replicate the community, not the look and feel of the site.


Yes. Replicating the community, one in which individual users invest in the reputation and credibility of their comments.

As opposed to a chan site, where your user handle lives as long as the thread you just posted, and the community that builds around it is composed of the 20 or so other users who saw it before it got moved off the front page by the hundreds of other threads. And then the thread dies and *poof* you start anew. For something like 8chan, starting over is as simple as finding the new domain name. And I'm sure the oh so helpful employees of the Internet Research Bureau in St. Petersburg are ever ready to assist in that.
posted by ocschwar at 1:17 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Well, sure. And people abuse, say, reading or even exercise and food. But according to the science, people do not "abuse" video games in a way that makes them more violent against other people than they would have been without the games.

This. I don't know how many times we need to go around and around on this issue. It's like relitigating the primaries or something. The evidence is not there. It's never been there, and it's never going to be there. Most gamers are women. Most shooters are white men. Stop with the video game derails. It's counterfactual and misleading and a Republican talking point.
posted by odinsdream at 1:18 PM on August 6 [25 favorites]


You're giving him way too much credit (for lack of a better word). Amnesia and lack of moderation are the path of least resistance. THey are inherently advantageous to anyone setting up an image based discussion site, which means if Moot hadn't done it, someone else would have. Stomping on him (and 4chan and 8chan) would put the alt-right on their back heels for a moment, which is very much a good thing. But they'll regroup and return like herpes.

Taking the path of least resistance is a choice, one that Chris Poole took and has faced no repercussions for making - which is the entire problem. Just because "someone else could have done it" doesn't change the fact that Poole did do it, and should be held accountable for doing.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:20 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


They would obviously have back up plans. Just because they're having DNS, CDN and DDoS issues doesn't mean it's actually down.

If 8chan is currently doing its thing on the dark web but no one knows how to find it, that’s a fine outcome in my book. Maybe once we’ve seen any evidence of its continued existence we can deal it at that point.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:41 PM on August 6 [15 favorites]


people do not "abuse" video games in a way that makes them more violent against other people than they would have been without the games.

Also, and I can't emphasize this enough, you can't actually shoot someone with a video game. Which is not true for firearms. Which should be patently obvious to anyone who is not a complete fucking idiot. Which says a lot about both our elected officials and a large slice of the general American population.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:44 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Via The Guardian:
El Paso officials continue to urge Trump to reconsider his trip to the city tomorrow as the city mourns those lost in an attack targeting Hispanic Americans.
@devindwyer: "There's a gaping wound that's still open here, and a lot of us feel that @realDonaldTrump presence in this community tomorrow is just going to be throwing salt in that open wound," #ElPaso County Commissioner David Stout @CommStout tells @ABCNewsLive.
“Regardless of what happened here on Saturday, he has constantly demonized, vilified the type of people who live in this community,” El Paso County Commissioner David Stout said. “I don’t understand why in the world anybody would think it would be a good idea for him to be in El Paso, Texas.”
posted by rather be jorting at 1:57 PM on August 6 [13 favorites]


Trump Owes Half a Million Dollars to El Paso, a City He Scorned (Abigail Weinberg, Mother Jones)
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:03 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Well.. that's.... a thing..

@HomelandDems (House Homeland Security Committee. Verified account.)
🚨BREAKING🚨: Homeland Security Chairman Thompson & Ranking Member Rogers sent a letter to 8chan owner Jim Watkins demanding he come before Congress and answer questions on the site’s extremist content.

cc: @infinitechan
Includes the content of the letter in image form.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 2:30 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


I understood that gun lobbyists in the USA had banned research into gun violence. How can we know that there isn't a FPS shooter / violence link, particularly when (as Loquacious says) modern FPS shooters are amazingly detailed and realistic? We've come a long way since the object of the games was to kill Cyber Hitler with a chaingun; now you have realistic, identifiable, named weapons, and "missions" in some games are specifically designed to teach you how to kill people without being exposed.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:37 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


I'm not a Twitterer or anything, so I wasn't aware of the @infinitechan account until now, and you just know you're dealing with a giant asshole when you see "Preferred pronouns: admin@8ch.net" in the bio.

That's if you didn't already know you were dealing with a giant asshole by looking upon his works and despairing.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:40 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


I understood that gun lobbyists in the USA had banned research into gun violence. How can we know that there isn't a FPS shooter / violence link, particularly when (as Loquacious says) modern FPS shooters are amazingly detailed and realistic?

First of all, the US has banned specifically allocating federal grant money to research gun violence, it has no effect on government orgs, private research, or non-US organizations. And second, we know because the research that is being done keeps telling us that there's no link. This has been posted over and over and over again in this thread.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:50 PM on August 6 [16 favorites]


Modern FPS shooters are playable in many other countries, yes?

It's just... odd that America is the only country that seems to delight in acting them out in real life.

(Is there a contributing effect? Perhaps. But I would suggest that it is somewhere in the range of 0 < contributing effect < anything meaningful compared to what other factors contribute. Like, say, racism and talk radio and populist rabble-rousing and tribalism. And that American FPS players can pick up real guns with unnerving ease.)
posted by delfin at 2:50 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


I also used to do combat sim (not sport) paintball, and I know playing stuff even like Doom taught me stuff like strafing and how to sweep corners while paintballing.

Even if there was a link between video games and domestic terrorism this sort of "training" would only apply if the terrorists were going up against other para military groups. They aren't. You don't have to straff and sweep the corners when you open up on a group on line at Wal-Mart.

I understood that gun lobbyists in the USA had banned research into gun violence. How can we know that there isn't a FPS shooter / violence link, particularly when (as Loquacious says) modern FPS shooters are amazingly detailed and realistic?

Well amazingly the USA isn't the only place where these games are played and where science could study the effects. IE: I bet Canada has similar rates of participation and much lower levels of gun violence and domestic terrorism.
posted by Mitheral at 2:53 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


>> How can we know that there isn't a FPS shooter / violence link

> we know because the research that is being done keeps telling us that there's no link.

And more obviously, there are similar per capita sales of video games in the UK (or Canada, or Australia) and the rates of gun violence differ by *orders of magnitude*.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:55 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


For a graphical illustration of the data Mitheral and RedorGreen and many, many others are discussing regarding gaming and gun violence in the US vs other countries, check the chart about halfway down this article.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:00 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Gidley continued. “We would never dream of blaming [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez for someone who perpetrated a terrorist attack on a DHS ICE facility because he used the same rhetoric she uses about concentration camps. We would also never blame Barack Obama for the police shootings in Dallas. We wouldn’t blame Bernie Sanders for the shooting of Steve Scalise or other Republicans.

Gidley better pull his head out, then, or he's lying, because I see this all the time on Twitter. In fact, it's the standard fallback when "Racist = Republican" is pointed out! I just had someone do it this morning! I even got a "Bill Clinton giving a 94 crime bill speech in front of a bunch of black prisoners." as a retort, so Gidley is just wrongdumb. I'd go so far as to say bringing up Scalise is predictable and a trope of rabble Repubs.
posted by rhizome at 3:00 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


He’s doing it with this very statement! That wink’s as big as if Bob Clampett drew it himself for a Looney Tunes cartoon.
posted by droplet at 3:03 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


El Paso officials continue to urge Trump to reconsider his trip to the city tomorrow as the city mourns those lost in an attack targeting Hispanic Americans.

If he does visit, I hope nobody, but NOBODY, shows up.
posted by rhizome at 3:04 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Video games = derail. In all aspects. Don't fall into that trap.
posted by agregoli at 3:04 PM on August 6 [14 favorites]


I apologize if this got posted already, but the Toledo Blade ran an interview with a woman that the Dayton gunman briefly dated and it is very disturbing.
posted by mostly vowels at 3:23 PM on August 6


Taking the path of least resistance is a choice, one that Chris Poole took and has faced no repercussions for making - which is the entire problem. Just because "someone else could have done it" doesn't change the fact that Poole did do it, and should be held accountable for doing.

I don't see how this is reasonable. I don't know if there was anything ominous he saw in the site that led him to get out when he did, but going after him at this point, especially when the question is of a derivative site (which 4chan was a derivative of a Japanese site called Futaba Channel, as 2chan).

Poole didn't have to allow chan culture yt to be born

This is not a reasonable basis for punishment, and I doubt his role rose to negligence nor recklessness. I think the most you can hope for is that his future touches the legacy of Dr. Thomas Midgley Jr., the inventor of CFCs and leaded gasoline, and who died in spectacular fashion.
posted by rhizome at 3:24 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


the Toledo Blade ran an interview with a woman that the Dayton gunman briefly dated and it is very disturbing.

The most disturbing part is how that young woman and her friends are so ready to make excuses or assume it’s not that bad or whatever because a) terrible behavior from men is so normalized, and b) women can’t confront bad behavior directly because when we do there’s a chance we die
posted by schadenfrau at 3:36 PM on August 6 [21 favorites]


Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting being investigated as domestic terrorism by FBI: An analysis of the suspect's digital media turned up a "target list" of possible targets across the country, including religious institutions, political organizations linked to both major parties, federal buildings, and courthouses.
posted by peeedro at 3:57 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


Poole didn't have to allow chan culture yt to be born


Poole didn't have to be the midwife of chan culture. But its birth was not up to him.
posted by ocschwar at 5:20 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Bingeing West Wing again. My sweet summer Bartlet White House.

Drive home thoughts:
50 states, 51 executive orders. (+/- for territories and DC) Mobilize ATF and lists of all licensed gun dealers.

Make a list of high power / capacity guns and magazines to make non-sellable.

Organize it as quietly as possible, and quickly.

Bam, drop the executive orders, stop the sales.

Start buying back the guns and the magazines from non dealers (give dealers a good price above list), melt them down.
Price kinda high to make it worth selling back, with a modifier on age (Sam buys one Friday, sells it Monday doesn't get as much as Seth who has had it for three years), also some kind of lottery on it with random bumped prices (you might get double!) and as time goes on the price falls. And not only do you get paid you don't have to pay taxes on it or the monetary equivalent for a couple of tax years. Then you start ramping up the penalties and restrictions for having outside of a controlled space as the price to buy it back drops.

Bullets are harder; California's registry is a start, expand to all 50 and applicable territories, requiring tracer stuff in bullets and in gunpowder is tougher. After about 15 years start ramping up punishments on crimes committed with bullets without the tracer stuff in it.

Much more mental health resources available and we start pushing back and calling out the shit that never fucking stops. I was dazed at dinner the other day and some dipshit in the lobby waiting with his party wouldn't stop physically bothering me. I didn't punch him like I did to the last guy that did that (he had many warnings from me and others), but I was also numb with the reports rolling in from El Paso. I finally just walked away, following that stupid survival habit of 40 years to not pick a fight or make a scene. Had a talk with a friend who had yet to quit a job I already did and told her that our boss ("Bob") is an abusive ass and she needs to get out of there. Luckily he was being an ass in front of a Canadian who looks like he is in the position to and the mood to fire "Bob" soon.


"controlled space" - like the gun clubs in Denmark. I can't find an article but here is a message board link explaining and bemoaning the restrictions.

I'm not saying Denmark is perfect, but licensing testing and gun clubs with storage ... doesn't sound bad.

---------------------------

2a'rs aren't going to protect themselves from government tyranny. They're supporting it and the white supremacy that it grew from and now more loudly fosters.

---------------------------

El Paso officials continue to urge Trump to reconsider his trip to the city tomorrow as the city mourns those lost in an attack targeting Hispanic Americans.


If he does visit, I hope nobody, but NOBODY, shows up.
They just show up and shut up when he walks up. They don't say anything, they don't do anything, they just look right through him. If must, a nod, and then a smile for his secret service special agents.
posted by tilde at 6:34 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Missed the edit window, I'm all over the place tonight

- 2a'rs who "need to arm" against government tyranny arguments. You don't need AK-style high capacity guns for hunting.


Yeah I know it's not all guns but it's a start, and just do more for people, dangit. Mental health. Stop putting up with the constant crap and calling people out on their crap. Feeding people. Housing people. Paying a living minimum wage. Access to health care, access to education.

rrrrrrrrrrrrarrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh
posted by tilde at 6:46 PM on August 6


8chan: owner of extremist site lashes out as scrutiny intensifies (Guardian)
Jim Watkins, a US military veteran who lives in the Philippines, defended the website amid growing outcry over reports that the alleged El Paso gunman, as well as several other mass shooting suspects, used the site to publish white nationalist manifestos ahead of violent attacks.

“My company takes a firm stand on helping law enforcement, and within minutes of these two tragedies, we were working with FBI agents to find out what information we could to help in their investigations,” Watkins said, in a lengthy statement read over the sounds of the military bugle call Taps as he sat before a backdrop of Benjamin Franklin. “We have never protected illegal speech, as it seems that we have been accused of by some less than credible journalists”, he added.

Watkins went on to denounce as “cowardly” the decision of infrastructure provider Cloudflare to stop providing 8chan with its services on Sunday, a move that has jeopardized 8chan’s ability to stay on the open internet. After Cloudflare cut ties, other service providers followed suit on Monday; on Tuesday, a version of the site was available, but with severely limited functionality.

Watkins also alleged without providing any evidence that a different internet platform was involved in the El Paso massacre. “First of all, the El Paso shooter posted on Instagram, not 8chan,” he said. “Later someone uploaded a manifesto. However, that manifesto was not uploaded by the Walmart shooter. I don’t know if he wrote it or not, but it was not uploaded by the murderer.”

A spokeswoman for Instagram said the company has “found nothing to support this theory”. The suspect’s Instagram had not been used in more than a year when it was deactivated on Saturday, she said, and Instagram has been cooperating with law enforcement. The Cloudflare chief executive, Matthew Prince, also confirmed on Sunday that the company had seen evidence that the manifesto was uploaded to 8chan prior to the attack.

The claim has nevertheless been repeated as fact by various rightwing pundits on Twitter.

Attempts to derail a conversation or muddy the waters with specious allegations are the lingua franca of Watkins’ site, where racist and homophobic slurs are common and anonymous users delight in the shocking and obscene. As major internet platforms try to halt the dissemination of toxic content, Watkins’ site has become an essential tool for those trying to spread it.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:51 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Watkins said, in a lengthy statement read over the sounds of the military bugle call Taps as he sat before a backdrop of Benjamin Franklin.

Wait what.
posted by odinsdream at 7:52 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


8chan is still down, but dailystormer is back.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:48 PM on August 6


‘It Feels Like Being Hunted’: Latinos Across U.S. in Fear After El Paso Massacre (NYT)
For a number of Latinos across the United States, the shooting attack in El Paso felt like a turning point, calling into question everything they thought they knew about their place in American society. Whether they are liberal or conservative, speakers of English or Spanish, recent immigrants or descendants of pioneers who put down stakes in the Southwest 400 years ago, many Latinos in interviews this week said they felt deeply shaken at the idea that radicalized white nationalism seemed to have placed them — at least for one bloody weekend — in its cross hairs.

“At least for Latinos, in some way, it’s the death of the American dream,” Dario Aguirre, 64, a Mexican-American lawyer in Denver and a registered Republican, said about the impact of the killings on him and those around him.

Mr. Aguirre moved to San Diego from Tijuana when he was 5, and was raised by his grandmother in poor Mexican neighborhoods. He enlisted in the Air Force, and later became an immigration lawyer — a classic American success story. “Many clients tell me, ‘We’re the new Jews, we’re just like the Jews,’” Mr. Aguirre said. “It’s quite a transition from being invisible to being visible in a lethal way. It’s something new to my community. We are used to the basic darkness of racism, not this.”

There are now about 56.5 million Latinos in the United States, accounting for 18 percent of the population — nearly one in five people in the country. That’s up from 14.8 million in 1980, or just 6.5 percent of the population, according to the Pew Research Center. Nearly two-thirds of Latinos were born in the United States.

From Miami to Los Angeles, many said in interviews that evidence of racism had become much more prevalent since President Trump was elected pledging to end what he called “an invasion” across the southern border of people he often characterizes as violent criminals. But the seeds of anti-Hispanic sentiment have been apparent in the country for years, they said. [...]

G. Cristina Mora, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in immigration and race politics, said the attack was likely to have generated a deep sense of unease for Hispanic Americans no matter how long they or their families have lived in the country. “This has impact beyond the first generation, the immigrant generation,” Professor Mora said. “It reverberates. It doesn’t have to be you who crossed the border. It just has to be you who are not Anglo.”
posted by Little Dawn at 8:57 PM on August 6 [16 favorites]


The Dayton shooter's ex-girlfriend released a statement here which covers the same ground as the interview linked above but in more detail. It mentions his mental health diagnoses, suicidality, and some of her observations, e.g., that he liked his sister (but not his parents, wasn't a planner, lived in squalor in a room with black-painted walls, etc.
posted by carmicha at 9:41 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


I think the most you can hope for is that his future touches the legacy of Dr. Thomas Midgley Jr., the inventor of CFCs and leaded gasoline, and who died in spectacular fashion.

This leads to an absolutely fascinating article on inventions and creations that lead their originators to an early grave.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:42 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Did you happen to think that it was weird that Trump ordered flags to be flown half mast just til Thursday? Why not all week til Friday or through the weekend to Monday. Well Thursday when the flags go back up at dusk happens to be August 8th. 8/8.

And of course 88 is Neo-Nazi code for Heil Hitler (H is the 8th letter). So either someone (hi Stephen Miller!) planned this or they're so fucking stupid and careless.
posted by chris24 at 10:05 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Seeing hidden nazi numerology in this administration is like seeing smoke and guessing that you may be on fire.
posted by adept256 at 11:40 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


When they're already running concentration camps and encouraging pogroms, you don't need to look for the Nazi wink-and-nods
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:49 PM on August 6 [23 favorites]


29% of Hispanics voted for Trump. How many Trump-voting Hispanics have changed their minds by now?
posted by benzenedream at 12:47 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


About that New York Times headline - the Columbia Journalism Review has a piece about it with an interview with the executive editor Dean Baquet.
“People think the leadership of the New York Times sat down and tried to come up with a headline that mollified Donald Trump and that’s just not the case,” Baquet tells me. Trying to make the best of a social media dumpster fire, he goes on, “People think we are an important and necessary institution and they hold us to a high standard.”

... “The print hub is not right in the middle of the news desk anymore,” Baquet tells me. “I don’t lay out the page. I don’t pick the front-page stories. I don’t think that’s the role of the executive editor anymore.” Nevertheless, he says he does take responsibility for what he calls a “bad headline”: “It’s important for me to say, if anyone is at fault, the executive editor is at fault.” For that reason, he would not name the person who wrote the original headline. He says only that “It didn’t have enough skepticism of what the president said.”

...While Baquet and the masthead no longer write or approve front-page headlines before they go to press, he says, “The masthead and senior leadership get the front page at night, and I think we’ve gotten casual about when we look at it.”

...Baquet doesn’t see himself as the vanguard of the resistance. He takes a much more traditional view of journalists as objective chroniclers of the news, leaving it to readers and pundits to decide what the facts mean. “I don’t believe our role is to be the leaders of the opposition party,” he says.
posted by bitteschoen at 2:54 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole. Nobody is asking for the NYT to lead the opposition, that's a complete straw man. People are asking for the NYT to not support fascism by framing it as reasonable and normal. Ideally, they would also stop uncritically allowing Trump specifically, but Republicans in general, to define the conversation.

When Trump or Republicans in general decide something is important, it's always front page news. How many times during the previous administration was the President able to get the NYT to focus on his agenda? Pretty much never..it was a constant struggle. Yet somehow they're always somehow "the liberal media." Sure, I guess in the sense that they aren't quite the propaganda arm of the Republican Party like Fox News..they do eventually fact check and cry about how terrible all the lies are, after the fact, separately and well after they dutifully publish what amount to press releases of the fascists framed as independent reporting.

So strange that they'd be promoting fascism, right? Sure, if you ignore the fact that they, like many of the American upper crust of the time, were very much approving of fascism and even Hitler specifically right up until he started attacking people we cared about. It's not at all unprecedented, and whether this time it's intentional support for fascism or it's a ridiculous overreaction to unfounded accusations of a left wing bias, they are doing it again.
posted by wierdo at 3:42 AM on August 7 [24 favorites]


29% of Hispanics voted for Trump. How many Trump-voting Hispanics have changed their minds by now?

Anecdata, but this post-El Paso Twitter thread from NBC's Adrian Carrasquillo is interesting:

Hispanic Americans share their stories of racism and terror [via Texas Tribune]

He notes, "I truly think the scale of how horrified the Latino community is right now is not being understood."
posted by ryanshepard at 4:29 AM on August 7 [10 favorites]


Hispanic Americans share their stories of racism and terror [via Texas Tribune]

Here’s the unrolled thread on Threadreader for easier scrolling, though it’s worth checking out the replies on Twitter. It’s heartbreaking and enraging to hear those stories.
posted by bitteschoen at 4:47 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


White non-Hispanic voters preferred Trump over Clinton by 21%. How many Trump-voting White non-Hispanics have changed their minds by now?
posted by Little Dawn at 6:09 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


Shannon Watts (Mom's Demand)
ANOTHER @NRA A-rated Republican has a change of heart: U.S. Rep. Mike Turner of Dayton, Ohio, said today he now supports background checks and Red Flag legislation, as well as an assault weapons ban and a limit on high-capacity magazines.
posted by chris24 at 6:12 AM on August 7 [14 favorites]


Some interesting reads on Hispanic voters: the WaPo cites that according to a recent Telemundo poll, "a quarter of Texas Latinos support his reelection — a figure that mirrors his national approval rating among adult Hispanics, according to Gallup. That figure has remained largely constant since his election, with an occasional dip and rise again, suggesting that there is an immovable core of Latino voters who support him, albeit a clear minority."
- The Washington Post, Trump’s Latino supporters say they’re sticking with him after El Paso shootings

- see also this article in The New Republic: El Paso Has Exposed the Ugly Reality of the “Immigration Debate” – It's not about immigration. It's about race.
... During a Latinas brunch this weekend, immigration activist and co-founder of the Women’s March, Paola Mendoza, took the stage with a fiery speech. Mendoza, who told the human stories of the migrant caravan Trump demonized during multiple visits, said the next steps are hard conversations with moms, dads, abuelos, and tias—the 29 percent of Latinos that voted for Trump, including 32 percent of Hispanic men, a figure which remains consistent with previous Republican performances with Latinos and party identification despite Trump’s historic antagonism.

“A vote for him is a vote against us because his language is dehumanizing us and leading white supremacists to kill us,” she told me after her speech. “If they don’t change and he wins in 2020 I fear what will happen to us as a community. This is a life and death moment.”
posted by bitteschoen at 6:27 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


Spoke to a Mexican Finnish friend earlier today. Her brother is somewhere in TX, can't recall so don't want to jump and say El Paso. She called it. Says "Its open season now"...
posted by Mrs Potato at 6:31 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Re: the NYT headline, as Jack Shafer puts it in Politico,
The Times deserves many of the brickbats tossed its way, so I’m not arguing that it’s above criticism. But there’s something unhinged about isolating a headline, even an infelicitous one, to urge people to end their subscriptions and demand the sacking of an editor.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:03 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Trump is selling racism and misogyny -- white, male supremacy. If you're really in favor of one of those and the other one kind of fucks you, it's not that hard to convince yourself that it doesn't apply to you, specifically, just the bad ones.

And women raised like misogyny veal from birth believe their safety and comfort and everything they value depends on the continued existence of male supremacy. It's beyond fucked, but years of abuse will do that.

They're not going to change their minds, because it would mean changing their entire worldview. It would mean admitting how wrong they've been this whole time. And people with a strong need for dominance hierarchies and authority aren't generally the types to have the internal resilience to face something like that.

The sea change won't come from his supporters deserting him. It is time to give up that fantasy. A change, if it comes, will come from the opposition waking up to collective action.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:17 AM on August 7 [17 favorites]


But there’s something unhinged about isolating a headline, even an infelicitous one, to urge people to end their subscriptions and demand the sacking of an editor.

In the 20th century I'm sure people also scolded those who wanted to ditch their subscriptions over all the individual little headline boo-boos and ill-advised stories the NYT published normalizing Hitler and minimizing the Holocaust
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:23 AM on August 7 [10 favorites]


Re: the NYT headline, as Jack Shafer puts it in Politico

The fucking Tiger Beat on the Potomac (h/t: Charlie Pierce) has some balls writing this whiny tripe, especially since we get the same "oh how dare they pick on the Grey Lady!" hand-wringing from same incestuous band of DC access journalism enthusiasts almost every time the Times does something similar, which is is looking more and more like "all the damn time." Just in the last couple of weeks they've been called out repeatedly for pointedly refusing to follow AP style regarding the use of vague euphemisms describing racism and white supremacy; had one of their Washington editors go off on a elitist, racist Twitter rant and refuse to back down; and then yesterday Haberman et al got the vapors over a Democrat disclosing donation information that was already required by federal law to be publicly available.

Also, as others have noted in this thread, the Times has an absolutely horrible and shameful history regarding their coverage of Nazis and other fascists not only recently, but going all way back to the early 1930s. But I guess asking people like Shafer to think about the impact they have on the world instead of circling the wagons is just a bridge too far these days.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:26 AM on August 7 [24 favorites]


But there’s something unhinged about isolating a headline, even an infelicitous one, to urge people to end their subscriptions and demand the sacking of an editor.

Fuck that. There’s something unhinged about the Times inability to admit mistakes and not abet fascism. If there wasn’t a loooong history of atrocious NYT editorial decisions, if they hadn’t gotten rid of their public editor, if they weren’t one of the institutions/people who are responsible for Trump in the first place, etc. etc., then... No, actually readers would still be well within their rights to protest with their pocketbooks.

People using their power in our capitalist society to encourage change is as American as apple pie and the press trying to make it seem unhinged is the unhinged and unAmerican position.
posted by chris24 at 9:29 AM on August 7 [23 favorites]


Unhinged to stop giving money to a for-profit institution because they fail at the one thing they’re supposed to be good at: telling the truth? Okay.

I’m not even going to get into how incredibly inapt it is to use the word “unhinged” to describe ANY legal, peaceable, reasonable RESPONSE to repeated state-enabled MURDERS. It’s “unhinged” to devote any time at all to criticizing people who are not 100% “logical” murder-response robots.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:31 AM on August 7 [16 favorites]


Ah, yes, the "unhinged" political correctness of not wanting to normalize ethnic cleansing. Jack Shafer's "how will I scold liberals today" schtick is nothing but an off brand glibertarian take on David Brooks' act. Pay him no mind whatsoever.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:33 AM on August 7 [12 favorites]


> TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM is the headline on tomorrow's New York Times.

...Baquet doesn’t see himself as the vanguard of the resistance. He takes a much more traditional view of journalists as objective chroniclers of the news, leaving it to readers and pundits to decide what the facts mean. “I don’t believe our role is to be the leaders of the opposition party,” he says.


The NYT may not realize it, but Trump and his followers already consider them to be members, if not leaders, of the opposition.

@realDonaldTrump this morning: "“Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism,” was the correct description in the first headline by the Failing New York Times, but it was quickly changed to, “Assailing Hate But Not Guns,” after the Radical Left Democrats went absolutely CRAZY! Fake News - That’s what we’re up against. […] ”This is an astounding development in journalism. I’ve never seen it happen before, I’ve just never seen anything like this! Is that journalism today? I don’t think so!” Mark Penn, Former Clinton Advisor. @TuckerCarlson After 3 years I almost got a good headline from the Times!"

Also last night, in the spirit of unity, @realDonaldTrump launched an extended attack on former El Paso congressman Beto O'Rourke.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:34 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


Little Dawn: “My company takes a firm stand on helping law enforcement, and within minutes of these two tragedies, we were working with FBI agents to find out what information we could to help in their investigations,” Watkins said, in a lengthy statement read over the sounds of the military bugle call Taps as he sat before a backdrop of Benjamin Franklin. “We have never protected illegal speech, as it seems that we have been accused of by some less than credible journalists”, he added.

A few things to unpack:

The Franklin Prophecy, sometimes called "The Franklin Forgery", is an antisemitic speech falsely attributed to Benjamin Franklin, warning of the supposed dangers of admitting Jews to the nascent United States. (Wikipedia)

Taps = military funeral? (For White America?)

"We have never protected illegal speech" -- when your defense is "but Freedom of Speech," it means you're saying things you recognize to be awful.

And if you're working with FBI agents after the fact, you're not helping to make things better, you're doing damage control.

Dear Media: stop giving terrible people platforms to broadcast their racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic worldviews as if they're within the realms of normal for civil behavior. At least call out the "hidden" messages and wordplay.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:37 AM on August 7 [12 favorites]


I used to be way more on the “drop out” side of things in the dem primary but if the horse race gets the media to pay attention to Dems, then fine. Give the media the horse race so they’ll at least retweet Beto telling the truth about what’s going on.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:37 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


I get the sense that a lot of folks in the media and elsewhere, and especially Trump, can hardly remember yesterday, much less last year. With the way they seem completely and militantly oblivious to trends over time, patterns of behavior, and the like.

Apparently in their lives every day is a new blank slate and it annoys them that other people have persistent, if imperfect, memories.
posted by wierdo at 9:39 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


And as if to further illustrate, the same racist moron I mentioned earlier, who has somehow managed to fail upwards to being the Deputy Editor for the DC Bureau, decided to step on another rake.

Pro-tip: If you're a white guy whose tweet sounds like it's implying that the Justice Democrats are making a point of targeting African-American incumbents, and the challenger you're talking about embarrasses you by pointing out the inconvenient fact that she is also African-American, it's probably not the best idea to come back with "but they included a photo!"
posted by zombieflanders at 9:43 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


The NYT headline was criticized by several journalists, including journalists writing for the New York Times, by politicians and members of Congress, by the Columbia Journalism Review where it was called "particularly egregious" in their list of media "letting Trump off the hook", and the executive editor himself said to the CJR "We would have recognized this was a bad headline even before we got killed on social media". But for Politico that can all be conveniently brushed away with patronizing, condescending language like "Twitter multitudes swinging caltrops and battle axes"... and blamed on people "los[ing] all sense of proportion when they sign on" to Twitter, "the delight of joining a mob", "the rush of hackitivisim", oh let’s throw in a reference to the "bloodthirsty" Queen of Hearts and jokingly invite readers to send hate mail to the author. What a troll.
posted by bitteschoen at 10:08 AM on August 7 [18 favorites]


Surprising that Shafer can even reach his keyboard from that far up his own ass.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:11 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Trump friend and radio host Michael Savage says he "was very disappointed in the president attacking white supremacy,” and predicts that it will "cost [him] thousands, if not tens of thousands of votes.” media matters

State Department ofdical has strong ties to unite the right, Richard Spenser, white nationalist groups
posted by The Whelk at 10:52 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


How exactly does one go about "swinging caltrops"?

Beyond this it's clear that Shafer doesn't seem to understand the basic idea of a headline.. The headline or heading is the text indicating the nature of the article below it. As long as there is some criticism of Trump in the article it's only lefty's going crazy again when we point out that the front page basically praised Trump.
posted by cirhosis at 10:58 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


yeah, i don't think they know what caltrops are, but i do like the idea of using something as an area-denial device against racism.
posted by rhizome at 11:21 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


The New York Times is a print newspaper, isn't it? A lot of people - probably most people - who see the front page/headline aren't going to read the article. The headline should have the same basic message as the piece itself for this reason alone.
posted by Dysk at 11:25 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


But there’s something unhinged about isolating a headline, even an infelicitous one, to urge people to end their subscriptions and demand the sacking of an editor.

The only people "isolating" the headline are those defending the Times. Most actual critics are quite clear that the problem at the NYT extends far beyond that headline, or that article, or indeed the Times itself.
posted by chortly at 11:34 AM on August 7 [15 favorites]


I get the sense that a lot of folks in the media and elsewhere, and especially Trump, can hardly remember yesterday, much less last year. With the way they seem completely and militantly oblivious to trends over time, patterns of behavior, and the like.

Which is one thing if you're a dictator wannabe with possible cognitive impairment like Trump, but news organizations -- I'm looking at you, NPR -- ignore facts that their own reporting has established. So it was inexcusable, to name only one example, to give such credence to Attorney General Barr's "interpretation" of the Mueller Report when they had already reported concerns during Barr's own confirmation hearing that he may have lobbied for the job by publicly implying he'd be biased toward Trump.
posted by Gelatin at 11:36 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


the [NYT] executive editor himself said to the CJR "We would have recognized this was a bad headline even before we got killed on social media".

You would, huh? Then it's a good thing you didn't, you know, publish it or anything.
posted by Gelatin at 11:38 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


The full CJR article is really worth reading, especially for anyone who hasn't worked in a large newsroom. I haven't heard anyone at the NYT or elsewhere defend that headline, the paper changed it, and "the NYT is willfully abetting Nazis" is a bit of a stretch. But OK, great, so Joan Walsh and the rest of y'all have canceled your NYT subscriptions. Now what?
posted by PhineasGage at 12:03 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


I suggest we don't let ourselves be dragged into a debate about words. Debating the words is one tool the right uses to move us away from demanding action on gun control and white nationalism and Trump being a complete putz. The NYT headline was shitty. Let them whine into the wind about it but don't engage them. Language debates are the mud those pigs like to wrestle in.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:12 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


Maybe someone should put up a post centered on the CJR article and supplemented with other stuff on today's journalism. I have opinions, and some relevant knowledge, but I really hesitate to bring them in here on the El Paso shooting thread.
posted by mumimor at 12:22 PM on August 7 [13 favorites]


and "the NYT is willfully abetting Nazis" is a bit of a stretch

Maybe. But if they aren't willful, they are still abetting GOP-Nazis by being terribly careless with language, at a time when we need such outlets — especially the self-described newspaper of record — to pull up their socks and take their responsibilities seriously.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:25 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Maybe someone should put up a post centered on the CJR article and supplemented with other stuff on today's journalism. I have opinions, and some relevant knowledge, but I really hesitate to bring them in here on the El Paso shooting thread.

The U.S. Politics FPP Draft wiki page is available if folks want to work together on a post.
posted by Little Dawn at 12:26 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


But OK, great, so Joan Walsh and the rest of y'all have canceled your NYT subscriptions. Now what?

Subscribe to ProPublica (or maybe the Washington Post).

Maybe someone should put up a post centered on the CJR article and supplemented with other stuff on today's journalism.

A separate FPP about covering Trump could be very interesting, if people want to brainstorm on one.

Meanwhile, Dan Scavino is flakking like a madman to convince everyone that Trump's "unity and healing tour" is not a rolling shitshow in which he can't even be trusted to make public remarks: "The President was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital, which was all caught on video. They all loved seeing their great President!"

The WaPo's Felicia Sonmez notes, however: "Reporters were not allowed inside the hospital to witness this "Rock Star" reception today."

Then Scavino tweeted: "Very SAD to see Ohio Senator Brown, & Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley - LYING & completely mischaracterizing what took place w/ the President’s visit to Miami Valley Hospital today. They are disgraceful politicians, doing nothing but politicizing a mass shooting, at every turn they can.."

CNN's Kaitlan Collins points out: "Unclear what WH is disputing. Sherrod Brown said Trump was well received by the patients. “They were hurting. He was comforting. He did the right things, Melania did the right things. And it’s his job in part to comfort people. I’m glad he did it in those hospital rooms.”"

Maybe Scavino's complaining about this (via the WaPo's Philip Rucker): "Sen. Sherrod Brown says Trump, meeting with first responders, offered to give the police officers awards. “I said, Mr. President, respectfully, the most important thing you can do for these police officers is take assault weapons off the street," Brown recalls."
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:36 PM on August 7 [16 favorites]


Scavino could be complaining about this: [Senator Brown] said that privately, some people told him they weren’t Trump admirers but “showed respect for the office.”

Anything other than complete sycophancy is betrayal.
posted by peeedro at 12:43 PM on August 7 [14 favorites]


Subscribe to ProPublica (or maybe the Washington Post).

Might I interest you guys in the L.A. Times? It's the paper most likely to be able to join WaPo and NYT as a true national paper of import.
posted by Justinian at 1:01 PM on August 7 [8 favorites]


Scavino could be complaining about this: [Senator Brown] said that privately, some people told him they weren’t Trump admirers but “showed respect for the office.”

Sooner or later, a mayor of another traumatized town should "show respect for the office" by inviting him for the standard visit, and then, with the two at a press conference, make his or her place in history. "In heaven's name, Trump, how long will you abuse our patience?"
posted by ocschwar at 1:15 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


The Discussion of White Supremacist Terror Ignores the Transnational Nature of It (emptywheel):
The really awkward thing...is that the US exports white supremacist ideology and funding — whether through the networking of Steve Bannon or the Twitter feed of Donald Trump — in much the same way Saudi Arabia enabled Islamic terrorism before 9/11.
posted by kingless at 1:19 PM on August 7 [16 favorites]


There's now a further Atlantic interview with Dean Baquet about the headline in question.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:25 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


How Climate Change Is Becoming a Deadly Part of White Nationalism (Gizmodo with professor Betsy Hartmann)
Now, there’s also a powerful apocalyptic discourse that links climate change, environmental degradation, overpopulation, and scarcity. White nationalism is already steeped in violent apocalypticism—fears about the white race coming to an end feed the impetus to mount an Armageddon-style bloody-but-cleansing race war. The manifestos of the shooters in both New Zealand and El Paso in a sense represent a coming together of a green apocalypse and a brown fascist one. This toxic mix serves as a rationale for saving nature and the white race. The El Paso shooter’s manifesto even mentions the unwillingness of Americans to change their environmentally damaging lifestyles as a reason to decrease the number of Americans through attacking immigrants.
posted by box at 1:56 PM on August 7 [9 favorites]


Reading about Klobuchar saying how rural areas need to be involved in the gun control debate brought to mind how all the mass shootings tend to be in more urban areas...

Rural areas aren't targets. Not enough people. Regardless of the obvious fact there aren't as many libs and PoC in rural areas... (not counting large Latinx populations).

These areas don't suffer from mass shootings, so, seems like a fine ideal, but not a great plan.
posted by Windopaene at 2:21 PM on August 7


I don't know how to find the twitter thread now, but there was a journalist who tweeted a bunch of DMs from Latinos about their experiences being Latino in this country. Some examples: a guy shopping was told to go back home and when he said he was a U.S. citizen, the response was "fake news." The story of some gathering in LA after the El Paso shooting where some dudes said openly, in front of a Latino, that the shooting was horrible but basically that the killer had some good ideas.

I guess the thread hit home because last night we were talking with our young one, adopted, Latino, about the relationship between Trump and the rising temperature of hate. And we were like, "Yeah, that cop who threatened to deport you because you were working while Latino? Happened after Trump. That guy with the MAGA hat who started screaming obscenities at the bus driver because he didn't want to get on the bus with Mexicans (meaning the young one)? Happened after Trump."

The young one is checked out of politics and gets annoyed by it, and he also has trouble with chronologies, so my SO and I delivered these lines with the tired patience I remember adults sometimes having with me when I was unfortunately clueless.

Also, the latest Pod Save America is worth a listen. I swear, Leavitt's voice is almost trembling with rage.
posted by angrycat at 2:22 PM on August 7 [12 favorites]


Rural areas aren't targets. Not enough people. Regardless of the obvious fact there aren't as many libs and PoC in rural areas... (not counting large Latinx populations).
I don't think this is true, for what it's worth. Sutherland Springs is 20 miles from San Antonio, but I don't get the impression that it's particularly urban. And there have been some school shootings at rural schools.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:43 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Rural areas aren't targets. Not enough people.

Smaller flyover towns still have churches, malls, movie theaters, and offices.

To pick one off the top of my head, the Heath High School shooting happened in West Paducah, Kentucky. This one sticks in my head, because my family lives there and my sister-in-law was there. Definitely rural.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:58 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


I am realizing that the grimmest part of my comment above is that saying "I know a mass shooting survivor" has gone from shocking to mundane. THERE ARE JUST SO MANY.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:01 PM on August 7 [11 favorites]


Rural areas aren't targets. Not enough people.

Little Has Changed In 20 Years Since Thurston High Shooting (OPB)
On May 21, 1998, a teenage boy wearing a trench coat walked into the Thurston High School cafeteria in Springfield, Oregon, and began shooting at his fellow students. [...] It was the end of a string of deadly school shootings — from Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Pearl, Mississippi — during the 1997-1998 school year.
Also: US Mass Shootings, 1982-2019: Data From Mother Jones’ Investigation (Mother Jones)
posted by Little Dawn at 3:05 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Thanks for posting that interview with Betsy Hartmann, Box. The "teeming masses" rhetoric of earlier years never went away and climate refugees are going to be a real thing in a few years, if they aren't already. I expect White Nationalists are preparing to take a hard turn into promoting the reality of global warming and using it to win support for even more racist, pseudo–militarised measures against brown people.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:20 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


I actually have a weird misplaced feeling of safety from mass shootings because I live and work in a city and they seem to often take place in suburbs and exurbs. That's complete anecdata though (and, you know, Tree of Life and also my back deck looks out on to the site of an ambush and mass shooting of cops 10 years ago), I have no idea what the actual stats are. I don't think it's a city though. If anything, even distribution.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:25 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I've been noticing for a while that some racists/conservatives have been saying that "we don't have an emissions problem, we have a population problem", meaning that there are too many not-white people in the world, and if we could "solve" that, we could "solve" global warming. I've been looking to make a post about it, but they are all very discreet, or maybe I don't know their outlets.
posted by mumimor at 3:31 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]


It’s about personal accountability and the person that is responsible for the Dayton shooting isn’t here to take on that responsibility. It was his own personal decision to load his vehicle with weapons, put on dark clothes, drive to the location, and take those last steps to harm innocent people. Only he was responsible for his thoughts and actions. Sure, do we have negative influences in our lives? Can we make better choices and do the right thing? Absolutely. The killer let evil consume his thoughts and behaviors, and ultimately win him over, and at the cost and detriment of many affected lives.

Action needs to happen in the political arena with our government working as a unified body, and stop finger pointing. I mean, a true consensus, roll up the sleeves and dive deep for society’s sake. If our government spent as much time together in one room as all the time and effort put into all the related posts online, then something may get done.

I feel so badly for the families and friends that are mourning for their loved ones, and for those affected by past events too.

Much love to those who are hurting.
posted by ascrabblecat at 4:15 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Trump words linked to more hate crime? Some experts think so (AP)
Overall, statistics released by the FBI late last year showed hate crimes in the United States rose 17% in 2017 compared to the previous year, the third straight annual increase. There were 7,175 hate crime incidents in 2017, and of the crimes motivated by hatred over race or ethnicity, nearly half involved African-Americans and 11% were anti-Hispanic.

But an analysis of such FBI data over the years by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino yielded more specific results when it came to intense political debates. It found that during August 2017, the month of the violent clash between white-supremacists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia — when Trump infamously said there were “very fine people on both sides” — reported hate crimes nationally increased to 663 incidents, the second-highest tally in nearly a decade. That was surpassed only by the month of November 2016 surrounding the rancorous presidential race won by Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, when reported hate crimes nationally soared to 758 incidents. [...]

“We see a correlation around the time of statements of political leaders and fluctuations in hate crimes,” said the center’s director, Brian Levin. “Could there be other intervening causes? Yes. But it’s certainly a significant correlation that can’t be ignored.”

To be sure, linking political speech, however fiery, to acts of violence can be problematic. For one, people commit hateful and violent acts for all manner of reasons that have nothing to do with the public discourse. And federal hate crime data has long been criticized as incomplete, since not all areas report their incidents to the FBI and many cases go unreported to police. Researchers acknowledge those factors but say the numbers are striking nonetheless.

A team from the University of North Texas recently produced a study that found counties that hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally saw a 226% increase in reported hate incidents over comparable counties that did not host such a rally. [...]

But the historical data also has hopeful examples, says hate crime researcher Levin. He noted that the “worst month for all hate crime” occurred around the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Six days later, President George W. Bush delivered an address to the nation denouncing anti-Muslim harassment and saying, “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.” Anti-Muslim hate crime reports dropped by two-thirds the next day and for the calendar year 2002 as well.
posted by Little Dawn at 4:33 PM on August 7 [8 favorites]


'People are afraid to be Hispanic': Trump visits an angry, grieving El Paso (Guardian)
Just before Trump arrived in El Paso, the city’s mayor pro tempore and county commissioner released a statement demanding that the president “personally condemn racial terrorism by white supremacists, in no uncertain terms”.

Claudia Ordaz Perez, the mayor pro tempore, and Vincent Perez, the county commissioner, said in the statement: “If the President fails to strongly condemn this racially-motivated terrorist attack and fails to call for an end to the use of violence against minority groups by radicalized white nationalist terrorists during his visit, his continued depiction of immigrants and migrants as a threat to our nation will only place our community at greater risk for racially-motivated attacks.”
posted by Little Dawn at 4:51 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Trump and his entourage flat-out lie about how Democrats treated him during his Dayton tour, falsely accusing them of misrepresenting how he was received in his visit.
posted by darkstar at 5:26 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


Dayton's mayor on Trump's lies: "Oh well. He lives in his world of Twitter."
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:42 PM on August 7 [10 favorites]


The discussion of white supremicist terror ignores the transnational nature of it.
US exports white supremacist ideology and funding — whether through the networking of Steve Bannon or the Twitter feed of Donald Trump — in much the same way Saudi Arabia enabled Islamic terrorism before 9/11.
posted by adamvasco at 5:43 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


CNN: Exclusive: White House rebuffed attempts by DHS to make combating domestic terrorism a higher priority
White House officials rebuffed efforts by their colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from white supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy, current and former senior administration officials as well as other sources close to the Trump administration tell CNN.

"Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get them to focus more on domestic terrorism," one senior source close to the Trump administration tells CNN. "The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on."[…]

"Ultimately the White House just added one paragraph about domestic terrorism as a throw-away line [to The National Counterterrorism Strategy]," a senior source involved in the discussion told CNN. That paragraph mentions "other forms of violent extremism, such as racially motivated extremism, animal rights extremism, environmental extremism, sovereign citizen extremism, and militia extremism." It made no mention of white supremacists.[…]

Why the White House pushed back so much is a matter of some debate. The former senior administration official noted that the White House, specifically the President, has a problem criticizing white supremacy, and says he "didn't have expectation they would get behind it" -- the brief mention of domestic terrorism as a threat in the National Counterterrorism Strategy -- "because the preponderance of it involves white supremacy and that's not something this administration is comfortable speaking out against, until the other day by the President and even that was pretty hedged."[…]

The senior source close to the Trump administration acknowledged the President's reluctance to criticize white supremacists was part of "an overlay" of all these discussions.

"You know it will trigger the boss," the source said. "Instinctively you know he's going to be averse to mentioning that."
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:27 PM on August 7 [15 favorites]


Friends Say that Sibling Murdered by Dayton Shooter Was a Transgender Man by Katelyn Burns.

Has anyone else seen this? Is this a reliable source?
posted by great_radio at 7:09 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


As reliable as any bloggy new media website, which is to say, yeah probably. They don't have New Yorker level factchecking but there's no reason to believe that they got this wrong.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:31 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Trump quietly used regulations to expand gun access (Politico)
Federal agencies have implemented more than half a dozen policy changes — primarily through little-noticed regulatory moves — that expand access to guns by lifting firearms bans in certain locations and limiting the names in the national database designed to keep firearms away from dangerous people. The administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn New York City restrictions on transporting handguns outside homes. And it pushed to allow U.S. gunmakers to more easily sell firearms overseas, including the types used in mass shootings. [...]

Perhaps the most significant change is the revocation of a regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy guns. It had been enacted by Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, after the 2012 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26. The Obama regulation had required the government to add those eligible for Social Security Administration mental disability payments to the national database and block them from buying guns. The Obama administration estimated it would have added 75,000 names to the database.

In addition, the Trump Justice Department narrowed the definition of “fugitive,” excluding people from being added to the national database and barred from buying a gun. The FBI had considered a fugitive to be a person who left the city or county where a warrant had been issued for his or her arrest. But the DOJ adopted ATF’s narrower definition, describing a fugitive as a person who either crossed state lines to avoid prosecution or giving testimony. The changes, according to a senior DOJ official, came after the department’s Office of Legal Counsel determined in 2016 that the existence of a warrant — without anything further — would not meet “that statutory threshold based on the language passed by Congress.” [...]

The administration is working on a change to the small-arms export policy that critics say would make it easier for gunmakers to sell weapons to foreign buyers. The proposal would transfer supervision from the State Department to the Commerce Department, which provides less oversight on sales. It would also make 3D printed weapons, which are largely undetectable, more easily available.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:00 PM on August 7 [11 favorites]


So all the news outlets reporting that he shot his "sister" are deliberately misgendering? That's really gross.
posted by Justinian at 8:00 PM on August 7


Ah, it says Cofer was out to only a handful of people so the news reports almost certainly simply weren't aware.
posted by Justinian at 8:01 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


The Obama regulation had required the government to add those eligible for Social Security Administration mental disability payments to the national database and block them from buying guns.

This was a breathtakingly bad policy idea in the first place. A stopped clock sort of action on Trump's part, but still. Using SSDI rolls to restrict gun ownership is cartoon liberalism.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:39 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


This was a breathtakingly bad policy idea in the first place

How so? In other countries with sensible gun laws (the UK for instance) you have to pass an extensive background check in order to get a firearms certificate/ownership licence. This includes interviews with your GP and disclosure of any mental health issues you may be receiving treatment for. Only someone who buys into the "sacred right to own guns" bullshit pushed by the NRA annd right-wing activists could believe that sensible restrictions based on using information already available in Federal government databases are a bad idea.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:13 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I would guess BD thinks that it stigmatizes people with mental illnesses without doing anything to meaningfully reduce gun violence. It certainly does the former; I'd want to see data on how many people involved in shooting deaths would fail the check to come to a conclusion on the latter but I tend to think he's probably correct (though I'm not super confident in that.)

In other words this particular regulation was probably security theater.
posted by Justinian at 9:57 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


How so?

There's very little overlap between "Noninstitutionalized people with mental afflictions severe and long-term enough to prevent work in their field" and "people who pose an unacceptable risk of shooting lots of strangers."

(edit because laptop keyboard is broken and I'm typing on a usb keyboard on top of my keyboard)
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:59 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Most obviously, there are lots of people receiving mental disability payments who are women and so pose almost zero risk of becoming mass shooters.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:03 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Social Security Recipients Barred from Owning Guns? (Snopes, Dec. 30, 2016)
What's True

A new Social Security Administration rule would add Social Security disability recipients who have been deemed unable to manage their own affairs to the federal background check system for gun purchases.

What's False

All Social Security recipients are not being barred from owning or purchasing guns, and persons affected by the new rule can appeal their inclusion in the background check database.
Under Gun Rules, F.B.I. Will Receive Health Data (NYT, Jan. 6, 2016)
Under a rule to be developed by Social Security, the administration said the agency would provide information on “approximately 75,000 people each year who have a documented mental health issue, receive disability benefits and are unable to manage those benefits because of their mental impairment, or who have been found by a state or federal court to be legally incompetent.” [...]

A mental health diagnosis by itself does not bar a person from possessing firearms, the administration said, and the rule “does not create a broad permission” for doctors to report information about their patients to the F.B.I. Rather, it said, the rule permits “limited disclosures of information” in cases where a person has been “involuntarily committed or determined by a court, board, commission or other lawful authority to be a danger to self or others, or unable to manage his or her own affairs due to a mental illness or condition.” [...]

Jonathan M. Stein, a lawyer at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia who has won many court cases for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities, called the Social Security component discriminatory. “The government is seizing on a group of people with serious mental illness who are unable to manage their money,” he said. “What does that have to do with any propensity for gun violence?”
posted by Little Dawn at 10:25 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


women and so pose almost zero risk of becoming mass shooters.

What Female Mass Shooters Reveal About Male Ones (Daily Beast, May 19, 2018)
Although it is tempting to ignore the women who commit these crimes as an extreme minority, doing so may promote false stereotypes about who is at risk [to] commit a mass shooting, and inhibit opportunities to prevent them.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:49 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]




There's also very little overlap between "meets ICD-10/DSM-V criteria for mental disorder" and "commits mass shooting" ("we should be focusing on mental health and not guns" is right-wing deflection from the problem of easy availability of firearms), but "very little" doesn't mean "none" (and part of the reason for barring people with certain mental health issues from obtaining a firearms licence in the UK is the risk that they may use the weapon to commit suicide, which is generally more or a risk for anyone with any type of mental health issue than that they'll commit a violent act).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 11:09 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


But I'm guessing there is an overlap between "meets ICD-10/DSM-V criteria for mental disorder" and "is at risk of suicide". Not allowing the sale of guns to people on disability for mental issues would have prevented my father's too-early death. Mass shootings are not the only forms of gun violence to be concerned with.
posted by LindsayIrene at 11:22 PM on August 7 [10 favorites]


I'm sorry, but while it's certainly true that Republicans use mental health discussions as a dodge to avoid talking about gun control, that doesn't mean both aren't needed. We desperately need better mental health care in the US, especially in doing more to assess potential issues and provide help to people at a young age before the problems become full blown so they have some resources to fall back on for help when needed.

Thinking about the mental health aspect only after the fact in regards to shooters misses the point. If they sought help before they took up weapons or if someone else noticed signs that these people were threats or showing signs of potentially being dangerous, then what they would be provided would be a mental health intervention, in addition to any necessary other legal actions. Talking about mass shootings as a mental health issue is entirely legitimate in that way, because the thoughts or desire to end one's own life and/or take the lives of others constitutes a crisis that unavoidably fits under the mental health rubric. In like fashion, much of the rampant anti-social attitudes that lead up to thoughts of mass harm, like embracing extreme misogyny and racism often have mental health issues of their own as part of larger issues of self worth and social integration. Not dealing with those issues and only talking about guns would be to miss out on the whole picture, even as it might indeed help in preventing higher body counts.

Talking about women not being mass shooters may also sort of be a mistake. The suggestion being that women somehow are inherently different than men rather than it being a process of socialization and the adoption of malignant attitudes and values that come from larger systemic issues surrounding men and women. Talk about video games and media not being having connection to violence will be tested in that sense as the types of socialization that were previously left primarily to boys and men are being spread to girls and women. The demand for representation in the media, while obviously a need and important in itself, is also opening the door for more young women to be socialized like young men had been in terms of seeing themselves as equally able to be violent as men. Keeping the same messages and just changing the address of who they are delivered to will provide a strong test of the importance of those values if nothing is done except gender swapping the leads while keeping the values. It's a big risk that needs attention.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:39 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


Young fascist wearing shooting eye protection harasses vigil attendees in El Paso, later parks his truck (covered in Trump shit) in front of sanctuary space Casa Carmelita, wearing latex gloves and brandishing a knife. Is arrested with a loaded gun.


From that article, the fascist in question, Thomas Bertram, drove from Houston to El Paso specifically to harass and intimidate already-traumatized people at the vigil to “make a point”. That point being, evidently, that you can be a white supremacist, brandish a knife at people of color to terrorize them, and after being detained briefly, you’ll still be let go.

Nice photo of him flashing the white power sign, too. Here’s hoping the Internet “makes a point” with his employer back in Houston.
posted by darkstar at 3:56 AM on August 8 [14 favorites]


Justinian: So all the news outlets reporting that he shot his "sister" are deliberately misgendering? That's really gross.

My understanding is that the person was at least partly in the closet, and/or had parents in denial. Hence little reason for reporters interviewing parents to know better than saying "sister".

And if they weren't fully public yet, I don't know what the non-murky ethical principle is here -- both de-closeting and dead-naming seem non-ideal.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:24 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the investor class losing money will be enough to force the GOP to give up on the NRA death cult: Some U.S. companies are now citing the risk of mass shootings in their regulatory filings with the SEC.
posted by Etrigan at 6:31 AM on August 8 [4 favorites]




President Bill Clinton: Reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban Now

And in response to the gun fetishists (and even more importantly, manufacturers) who think it's fun to rules-lawyer what an "assault weapon" is, let's make it easy on them: No sales of any semi automatic weapons or detachable magazine of larger than five round capacity.

(By the way, it seems to me that while the issues of keeping and bearing arms is thorny, the power to regulate interstate commerce is clearly in Congress' baliwick, and they certainly could regulate the sale of firearms without addressing possession of same. And that'd hit the NRA's true sponsors, the gun manufacturers, where they live.)
posted by Gelatin at 7:05 AM on August 8 [6 favorites]


Instead of saying “white nationalists,” which is the euphemistic, more legitimizing descriptor racists prefer, we should say “white supremacists” because it describes their evil ideology more accurately.

NYT: Elizabeth Warren Joins Beto O’Rourke in Calling Trump a White Supremacist
Asked in a brief interview with The New York Times if she thought Mr. Trump was a white supremacist, Ms. Warren responded without hesitation: “Yes.”

“He has given aid and comfort to white supremacists,” Ms. Warren said during a campaign swing in western Iowa. “He’s done the wink and a nod. He has talked about white supremacists as fine people. He’s done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country.”
posted by chris24 at 7:35 AM on August 8 [24 favorites]


Ten years ago, the Department of Homeland Security sent American law enforcement agencies an intelligence briefing warning of a rising threat of domestic rightwing extremism, including white supremacist terrorism.
'Blood on their hands': the intelligence officer whose warning over white supremacy was ignored..
Daryl Johnson’s team faced an official backlash 10 years ago when it issued a briefing on rightwing extremism.

How would you rate the Democratic party’s approach to white supremacist violence?
I would give them an A for effort, but not much has come out of that. The problem is, they’re caught between a rock and a hard place: they’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If a Democrat makes an effort to crack down on white supremacists, they’re playing right into the extremist narrative. It’s going to take Republican leadership, because most of these people are Republicans, and they trust the Republican party.
posted by adamvasco at 7:36 AM on August 8 [8 favorites]


adamvasco, I hope you are wrong, but fear you are right. How perverted is it that fighting white suprematism can be seen as a partisan issue?
posted by mumimor at 8:12 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


How perverted is it that fighting white suprematism can be seen as a partisan issue?

I'm old enough to remember when torture was something America's enemies did, and people at least agreed to pretend America didn't. Then the media revealed that George W. Bush's administration was torturing people, and Republicans were faced with the choice of defending it or condemning it, so hey presto, torture became a partisan issue.

Their depravity has been going on a long time and has fully set in. And it's easy to see why -- when your agenda of "transfer the other half of the nation's wealth to the top 1%" isn't popular, you have to do something to cobble your coalition together.
posted by Gelatin at 8:27 AM on August 8 [13 favorites]


As perverted as McConnell saying protecting our elections is partisan.

Look, it’s gonna have to be Ds who do something about white supremacist violence because Rs never will. It’s their base and will increasingly become so as they continue to double down on white male voters and repulse everyone else.

Tucker Carlson just a day ago said white supremacy didn’t exist and was a hoax by the left to divide America. He also said criticizing white supremacy is leading us down "the path to civil war. Obviously."

There are no Republicans who will stop this train. It would be great for Republicans to heal themselves but if they won’t - and they won’t - then we need to before it kills us all. We can’t be afraid of doing it because they might react poorly/violently. They already are.
posted by chris24 at 8:36 AM on August 8 [24 favorites]


As usual, Trump tried to make this trip all about him even if he had to lie about it: "“We had an amazing day, as you know, we left Ohio and the love, the respect for the office of the presidency. It was, I wish you could have been in there to see it. I wish you could have been there. It was no different here. We went to the hospital, just came from the hospital. We were there a lot longer than we anticipated we would be. It was supposed to be just be fairly quick. We met with numerous people. We met with also the doctors, the nurses, the medical staff. They have done an incredible job. Both places, just incredible.” Naturally, he expects everyone to take his word about this since his comms team barred the press from coming along.

The WaPo reports on what actually took place in the El Paso hospital: Some El Paso Shooting Victims Wouldn’t Meet Trump, Medical Center Spokesman Says
None of the eight victims of the El Paso mass shooting still being treated at University Medical Center agreed to meet with President Trump when he visited on Wednesday, the hospital’s spokesman said.

“This is a very sensitive time in their lives. Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president, some of them didn’t want any visitors,” UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke said.

Two victims who had been discharged from UMC and their families returned to the hospital to meet with Trump, Mielke said.[…]

The hospitalized patients also declined to meet with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who came to UMC on Wednesday, Mielke said.[…]

A number of elected officials have visited with the victims in recent days. Before Trump’s visit Wednesday, a number of city and county elected officials met with some of the hospitalized victims, as did Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.) and Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (D-Ill.)

Escobar has been visiting victims and their families at UMC each day since Sunday. She said she’s met with six patients and the families of three others who aren’t able to communicate because of medical treatment.

“The first couple days were very difficult because people were in a lot of emotional and physical pain. They have since become so cathartic and beautiful and have given me so much hope,” Escobar said.
Meanwhile, the local CBS affiliate has smartphone footage of Trump bragging about his crowd size to the hospital staff and attacking Beto O'Rourke: “I was here three months ago, we made a speech … that place was packed, the judges are respected now. That was some crowd, we had twice the number outside. Then you had this crazy Beto, Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot and they said his crowd was wonderful.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:43 AM on August 8 [18 favorites]


Slate of new Texas gun laws go into effect September 1st (Jordan Bontke, CBS Austin)
Starting September 1st, some gun laws in Texas are slated to go into effect.

Texas lawmakers passed nine gun-related bills last session, according to the Texas State law Library.

In just three weeks’ time, licensed gun owners will be allowed to carry handguns in places of worship and all places where it was previously illegal to carry unless otherwise noted or posted. […]

Also going into effect on September 1st, handgun owners can carry their concealed firearms without a permit for up to a week if a disaster has been declared.
Presumably these were passed some time ago.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:04 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


He also said criticizing white supremacy is leading us down "the path to civil war. Obviously."

"Why do you make me hurt you?"
posted by schadenfrau at 9:12 AM on August 8 [10 favorites]


Lawyer: Man Who Attacked Boy During Anthem Thought It Was Trump’s Orders:
“His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,” Jasper said. “He certainly didn’t understand it was a crime.”

Brockway allegedly told the teen to remove the hat while the anthem played, to which the boy responded: “fuck you,” sparking Brockway’s attack.

Brockway was allegedly severely injured in a car accident and has impaired judgment as a result.

“Trump never necessarily says go hurt somebody, but the message is absolutely clear,” Jasper said. “I am certain of the fact that [Brockway] was doing what he believed he was told to do, essentially, by the president.”
Kudos for the kid responding the right way to nationalist fucksticks who think that patriotism is compulsory, at least.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:35 AM on August 8 [25 favorites]


“His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,” Jasper said. “He certainly didn’t understand it was a crime.”

Unless the gentleman in question was an active duty member of the United States military, POTUS is not his Commander-in-Chief. Not that the so-called "liberal media" pushed back at all against the Republicans' ongoing attempts to conflate the terms.
posted by Gelatin at 9:43 AM on August 8 [17 favorites]


As far as I can tell, witnesses have disputed that the kid said "fuck you" (or anything else) to Brockway before the attack. I am not sure that we should buy his lawyer's spin about anything.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:48 AM on August 8 [10 favorites]


That'd be a shame, honestly, because I think "fuck you" was the perfect response.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:55 AM on August 8 [6 favorites]


And that lawyer can go fuck off as well. He's basically trying to run a variation on the gay/trans "panic" defense, saying that he 'had' to hurt the kid because he was told the behavior was 'wrong' by an authority figure.

Dude, if your client is that dangerous, then he should not be out on the streets.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:00 AM on August 8 [20 favorites]


The lawyer is saying his client thought a physical assault was okay. Well, maybe, but I doubt the law recognizes that assault is okay if you think you're in the right.

Note also that this feeble defense basically concedes that he's unquestionably guilty of the assault on a child itself, which of course occurred in front of multiple witnesses.
posted by Gelatin at 10:07 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


[Folks, we're on a pretty distant tangent here, please consider if it warrants its own thread. If not, let's let it drop here so as not to totally derail.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:20 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Look, it’s gonna have to be Ds who do something about white supremacist violence because Rs never will.

Yeah, always great when the Attorney General supports vigilante justice and extra-judicial killings.

TPM: In New Interview, Bill Barr Sees Dirty Harry, Death Wish As Justice Done Right
posted by chris24 at 10:58 AM on August 8 [10 favorites]


Shoot-'Em-Up Videogames Don't Warp Minds—Big Tech Does (Wired)
Speaking from the White House to a grieving nation, the president made the case. “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” Trump said. “This includes the gruesome and grizzly videogames that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to be begun immediately. Cultural change is hard, but each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life.”

Ironies abound. For example, right after offering condolences about the El Paso shooting, and before he would need to offer condolences about Dayton, Trump posed with a mixed-martial-arts fighter, Colby Covington, wishing him good luck via Twitter in pummeling his opponent the next day. And let’s not forget Trump’s smirking response to a Florida rally-goer who suggested that the way to stop illegal immigration was to shoot immigrants. “That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that stuff,” the President of the United States said.

Genuine cultural change would have to begin by rejecting such comments, which makes Trump an especially ineffective critic of videogames. [...] One could be forgiven for seeing a bad influence there. It seems intuitively obvious that it could lead to violence in the real world. Except researchers say it doesn’t. [...] By contrast, the denigration and mistreatment of real people in the real world—fueled by an ideology of white supremacy or hyped fears of an immigrant “invasion”—appears to lead to still more real-world violence and abuse. [...]

The misplaced focus on violence leaking from pretend digital worlds to the real world misses the glaring digital influence we’re subjected to every day: Silicon Valley companies manipulating users, trying to shape their behavior online and off to make money. That manipulation requires careful planning and testing. Notifications and rewards; tapping into anger, fear, and greed. Something as ill-defined as shoot-gun-online, shoot-gun-offline won’t get the job done, researchers have concluded.

This manipulation is sometimes known as “gamification”—making the mundane more exciting by keeping score, awarding prizes, raising the stakes.
UFC’s Colby Covington, the athletic embodiment of Trump's politics (Guardian)
Covington is the only fighter who has managed to parlay his racism and political leaning into an opportunity to meet the President of the United States. He is also the only fighter using his platform to regurgitate statements made on the President’s Twitter account, emphasizing his role in the dissemination of Trump’s controversial politics. [...]

He underlined his distaste for activism in sports by calling Colin Kaepernick a “spineless sack of shit” along with the hashtag #NikeBoycott, then doubled down by tweeting at NFL players, “You may kneel before me, but be prepared to get slapped if the National Anthem is playing.”
posted by Little Dawn at 1:52 PM on August 8 [4 favorites]




Amnesty International also issued a travel advisory for the United States yesterday, citing the threat of "rampant gun violence."
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:24 PM on August 8 [7 favorites]


that place was packed, the judges are respected now.

The guy can't form a coherent thought let alone a sentence.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:26 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


another one? damn
posted by Valued Customer at 6:17 PM on August 8


No shots were fired and no one was injured, so it's not really another one, although it's certainly not good that some heavily armed dude showed up to a Walmart and caused panic and mayhem.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:23 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


Also not good when they show up outside a migrant shelter.

Matthew Keys
#BREAKING: Armed man driving "Trump" truck arrested outside migrant shelter in El Paso after immigration group spotted him "brandishing a knife." Police recovered a fully-loaded gun in his truck emblazoned with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz support slogans.
posted by chris24 at 6:54 PM on August 8 [4 favorites]


Does anyone know what's up with the gloves? Didn't another of the shooters wear gloves?
posted by odinsdream at 7:08 PM on August 8


Didn’t this Thomas Bartram gloves/knife thing happen yesterday? I’m starting to feel like I’m stuck in the shittiest of time loops.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 7:47 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


I'm sure this is fine.
posted by transitional procedures at 8:23 PM on August 8


I see that according to The Guardian a local New Zealand telco, (and my ISP) Spark has banned 8chan.
Censor David Shanks applauded Spark’s “brave and meaningful” decision, describing the message board as “the white supremacist killer’s platform of choice”.

“These are extraordinary circumstances, and platforms that promote terrorist atrocities should not be tolerated on the internet, or anywhere else. Spark is making the right call here.” he said.

In announcing its decision, Spark said the platform was guilty of “repeated transgressions” and hosted “disturbing material”.
Good on Spark!
posted by vac2003 at 9:38 PM on August 8 [3 favorites]


Here's Trump and the third Mrs. Trump posing happily with the baby whose parents died shielding it. Baby was brought back to the hospital especially for this photo op. Because God forbid they do anything that isn't awful.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:51 PM on August 8 [13 favorites]


Here's Trump and the third Mrs. Trump

If anybody truly deserved a Mrs. Danvers to be visited upon them...
posted by rhizome at 11:03 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


The aunt and uncle in that picture were very pleased and this helped them heal. The brother of the dead father of the baby begged in an NPR interview to get a meeting with Trump the day before this “photo op”. The majority of us down here are disgusted by Trump and wish he hadn’t come. However, we are also happy to see that when he did come he made part of our family happy. This wasn’t just an awful photo op for most of us, this was an awful man stumbling into doing the right thing too. None of the hospitalized victims wanted or were not allowed to meet with him. This is also wonderful in our perspective; the hurting stood up for what they believe and were respected. The most common feeling I’m getting from people down here right now is that we wish the rest of America would go back to ignoring us. We were invaded but when we watch the national reporting on it the story is about you and your feelings. Almost none of the American media reported on other threats that appeared in our community (thanks democracy now and Univision), or the families in Juarez affected (thanks Univision and Beto) or the families in New Mexico who lost loved ones (thanks Univision). So we’re mostly happy to see Trump leave but we’re also happy to see those critical of trump leave. Interview with Tito Anchondo after visiting with Trump
posted by wobumingbai at 1:01 AM on August 9 [12 favorites]


From the Guardian: 'Dying of whiteness': why racism is at the heart of America's gun inaction
Why does the United States refuse to pass new gun control laws? It’s the question that people around the world keep asking.

According to Dr Jonathan Metzl, a psychiatrist and sociologist at Vanderbilt University, white supremacy is the key to understanding America’s gun debate. In his new book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland, Metzl argues that the intensity and polarization of the US gun debate makes much more sense when understood in the context of whiteness and white privilege.

White Americans’ attempt to defend their status in the racial hierarchy by opposing issues like gun control, healthcare expansion or public school funding ends up injuring themselves, as well as hurting people of color, Metzl argues.

The majority of America’s gun death victims are white men, and most of them die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. In all, gun suicide claims the lives of 25,000 Americans each year.

White Americans are “dying for a cause”, he writes, even if their form of death is often “slow, excruciating, and invisible”.
posted by mumimor at 1:33 AM on August 9 [3 favorites]


USA Today: A USA TODAY analysis found Trump used words like 'invasion' and 'killer' at rallies more than 500 times since 2017
Invasion. Aliens. Killers. Criminals.

Those are among the words President Donald Trump repeatedly uses while discussing illegal immigration during his campaign rallies, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the transcripts from more than five dozen of those events.[…]

A USA TODAY analysis of the 64 rallies Trump has held since 2017 found that, when discussing immigration, the president has said “invasion” at least 19 times. He has used the word “animal” 34 times and the word “killer” nearly three dozen times.

The exclusive USA TODAY analysis showed that together, Trump has used the words "predator," "invasion," "alien," "killer," "criminal" and "animal" at his rallies while discussing immigration more than 500 times. More than half of those utterances came in the two months prior to the 2018 midterm election, underscoring that Trump views immigration as a central issue for his core supporters.

He often turns to harsh rhetoric to describe gang members who are immigrants. But Trump just as often conflates the MS-13 gang, proliferating in South America and some U.S. communities, with the broader movement of immigrants across the border.

Trump has used “the hell out of our country” at least 43 times during his rallies. In virtually all of those cases, he was referring to immigrants in the country illegally.[…]

Some Trump critics have pointed to an exchange between Trump and a member of the audience at the Florida rally in May who shouted “shoot them” when the president asked how to stop an influx of people crossing the border he described as a "crisis."

“That's only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement,” Trump joked.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:44 AM on August 9 [12 favorites]


Springfield, Missouri: A 20-year old man with military clothing, body armor, a tactical rifle, another gun, and 100 rounds of ammunition is arrested at a Walmart. "As shoppers were panicking and fleeing the store, [police spokesman] Lucas said the man was taking video on his phone and making comments to people while pushing a shopping cart."

Our local alternative weekly shared this story on Facebook, and there are people legit commenting like 'He wasn't doing anything wrong--Missouri is an open-carry state.'
posted by box at 7:43 AM on August 9 [3 favorites]


From CNN’s report from the El Paso hospitals, an unnamed “hospital official familiar with the President's trip to University Medical Center” said:
"Some people didn't want any visitors. Some didn't want to meet [Trump]," the official said, adding that the patients who survived the El Paso shooting are undergoing an enormous ordeal.

"The stories and retelling of what they experienced at that Walmart will chill you to your core and break your heart."

The official confirmed that one of the two patients who were brought back to the hospital to meet with Trump was two-month-old Paul Gilbert who lost both his parents in the shooting. His relatives brought him back to the hospital and met with both Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

The official went on to say that there was a general assessment that there was "an absence of empathy" on Trump's part. When asked whether that was a fair assessment, the official said that was "accurate." Trump made other comments, like his remarks about former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the official said, that left the impression that the President was not as focused on consoling the patients as might be expected.
At a time of crisis and tragedy, it’s natural and understandable for people to turn to our elected leaders for inspiration and sympathy. Despite what pundits across the media continue to promote about Trump acting presidential in these circumstances, it’s important to remind ourselves that Trump is immutably Trump and to listen to the people who tell us firsthand what he’s like.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:52 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]


Because God forbid they do anything that isn't awful.

That godawful thumbs-up and the smile are what stick in my craw. Another gun massacre and the president is grinning like a coked-up hyena. Even the baby looked away from Trump and third wife.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:55 AM on August 9 [20 favorites]


8chan: ex-users of far-right site flock to new homes across internet (Guardian)
“Most likely, these groups are moving to alternative social media platforms where there is a pre-existing community to join,” agreed Benjamin Decker, CEO of the digital investigations consultancy Memetic. “The removal of 8chan is just crossing one more platform off the list they won’t be using for the time being, but it won’t necessarily disrupt the community structure.”

As users seek new platforms, the “gamification” of content – receiving votes for comments and posts – is key, said Decker. But what’s most important is anonymity. “At the end of the day these user communities will shift into anonymized space. They’d rather shy away from being outed for having such opinions,” Decker said.

Among the sites 8chan users appear to be relocating to is Gab, the forum frequented by the alleged shooter in the November 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack. In a statement released on Wednesday, Gab said it was adding more than 1,000 new users a day as “big tech bans people”.

[...] 8chan has also found a second life on harder-to-reach parts of the internet. In recent days, a replica of the site has emerged on the deep web, said Decker, referring to unindexed internet pages that require a special browser to access. He added that a separate mirror version of the forum went up on Zeronet, an alternative to the dark web that requires you to host content on your own computer. It’s not clear who’s behind the Zeronet version. An 8chan administrator said the Zeronet site was not built by the original 8chan team, and added he had “no idea who set that up”. Former 8chan members have warned users that by downloading Zeronet they may be inadvertently hosting child abuse images on their computers.

[...] That 8chan has been pushed further underground has both positive and negative effects, experts say. The site’s banishment to the dark web makes it less accessible to the average person, and far harder to find. But it could also make it more difficult to monitor dangerous speech, and help allow hate movements to proliferate. [...]

“One way to prevent 8chan users from migrating to alternative social media spaces like YouTube and Facebook would be to build a moat around the platforms to prevent inbound links from these sites,” Decker said. “As a researcher it is frustrating to see mainstream social sites not employ this defense strategy.” Facebook automatically blocks links from the Daily Stormer, a white supremacist message board that was widely deplatformed after it was linked to violence in Charlottesville in 2017, but links from Gab, 8chan, and 4chan are still categorically allowed.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:33 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


That 8chan has been pushed further underground has both positive and negative effects, experts say. The site’s banishment to the dark web makes it less accessible to the average person, and far harder to find. But it could also make it more difficult to monitor dangerous speech, and help allow hate movements to proliferate.

I swear, it's like a script they recite in order to not have to acknowledge that in reality, communities can't just switch over at the flip of a switch. Even though we see that deplatforming works.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:41 AM on August 9 [14 favorites]


On the idiot who cowboy'ed up and went to Walmart, I bet the right wingers who are defending him would have 100% been against Star Simpson. Anyone remember her?
posted by jclarkin at 9:11 AM on August 9


I think the quote oversells the it's out of sight downsides but it's not wrong even if it's conflating 1g of downside with 1kg of upside. If the remaining super-concentrated scum is behind TOR it's notably harder to track them down if need be. Whether it's irrelevant because chan anonymity already made it hard enough ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by phearlez at 11:03 AM on August 9


Trump Hurt, Confused Over Insufficient Praise For El Paso Trip (Bess Levin, Vanity Fair)
The president apparently thought he should’ve been nominated for sainthood for his response to the mass shooting, and reportedly threw a fit on Air Force One over not getting more “credit.” […]

While the president’s aides explained to reporters that cameras were kept out of the hospital due to logistical and privacy concerns, two White House officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said there were concerns that they could capture an impolitic moment or the president making an insensitive comment.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:21 AM on August 9 [10 favorites]


concerns that they could capture an impolitic moment or the president making an insensitive comment

Well apparently, the Guardian "mistakenly attributed to Donald Trump" a very insensitive comment and later removed it altogether from the story, but it’s the kind of comment that could have not implausibly come out of his mouth, sadly.
posted by bitteschoen at 11:42 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


I think the quote oversells the it's out of sight downsides but it's not wrong even if it's conflating 1g of downside with 1kg of upside. If the remaining super-concentrated scum is behind TOR it's notably harder to track them down if need be.

These people are not disciplined info-sec experts. It won't be hard for even the average Sue to find them if they want and law enforcement will have no trouble at all. Besides, they have to be visible enough to recruit so 100% secrecy won't work. The groups who want to plan in secret weren't using these platforms in the first place.
posted by Mitheral at 12:06 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]




Here’s a Better Reason to Unsubscribe From The New York Times

The writer is probably on to something. It has never been a paper for the general public.

But the NYTimes reportage on America's violent neo-Nazi movements  is weak — bordering on cryptically sympathetic — and that is worth serious consideration on its own merits. If it isn't the people's paper and it is behaving in a manner that is sympathetic towards white supremacists, what does that say about the attitudes of the ruling class for whom the paper is written?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:25 PM on August 9 [6 favorites]


If the remaining super-concentrated scum is behind TOR it's notably harder to track them down if need be.

So, uh, back before Ruby Ridge, the Feds regularly infiltrated militias. Since this was in-person stuff, often in small rural communities, it was logistically complicated, what with needing real people to do the infiltration with plausible backstories. A far-flung internet presence hiding mostly behind pseudonyms, and actively recruiting? A lot easier to infiltrate, and that's true no matter how many Tor nodes they use. You don't need to "crack" their hideaway, you just need to get invited in.
posted by jackbishop at 12:44 PM on August 9 [7 favorites]


And they're making it easier for the Feds, as some 8chan escapeesset up a successor site on a peer to peer platform, meaning that none of them are anonymous.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:57 PM on August 9 [5 favorites]


It is incredibly hard to be truly anonymous on the internet if the state is interested in actually finding you. If you want plausible deniability for your local police that's a different matter.
posted by benzenedream at 1:00 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


The El Paso shooter confessed, waived Miranda rights, and said he was targeting 'Mexicans' (NBC News, reporting on court documents unsealed today)
posted by box at 1:12 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]


A far-flung internet presence hiding mostly behind pseudonyms, and actively recruiting? A lot easier to infiltrate, and that's true no matter how many Tor nodes they use. You don't need to "crack" their hideaway, you just need to get invited in.

Related currently-active FPP: One Woman’s Mission
posted by Lexica at 2:10 PM on August 9 [3 favorites]


So, uh, back before Ruby Ridge, the Feds regularly infiltrated militias. Since this was in-person stuff, often in small rural communities, it was logistically complicated, what with needing real people to do the infiltration with plausible backstories

Which is why Ruby Ridge took place in the first place. The feds overplayed their hand, and the shit hit the fan. Infiltrating TOR sites is easier than doing stuff in person. But piping this stuff through a central conduit right into the NSA's maws would be a great deal more efficeint and effective.
posted by ocschwar at 4:36 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]


The machine gun Sheriffs just did a 1/2 hour posted up at my wine tent and moved on.

Good guys with guns can put hella lead into the air today at OSL.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 5:19 PM on August 9




8chan Refugees Worried They’re Downloading Child Porn

And today's award for "World's Smallest Violin Playing The Quietest Song" goes to...Extremely Online Nazis!
posted by zombieflanders at 4:25 AM on August 10 [10 favorites]




I was hoping that would be an actual quiz.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:04 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


As his environment changed, suspect in El Paso shooting learned to hate (WaPo)

Headline's kind of garbage, but they have a copy of the arrest warrant affidavit.
posted by box at 9:24 AM on August 10


Trevor Noah: America has mass shooting PTSD
posted by Mitheral at 11:58 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


Armed man who sowed panic at Walmart said he was testing his Second Amendment rights, police say (Hannah Knowles, WaPo)
His wife told him it was a bad idea. His sister reminded him of what had happened in El Paso less than a week earlier, when a gunman killed 22 people after opening fire at a shopping center and Walmart.

But Dmitriy Andreychenko went ahead with his plan for a “social experiment,” according to police. The 20-year-old used a cellphone Thursday to film himself entering a Walmart in Springfield, Mo., wearing body armor and carrying a loaded assault-style rifle. He said he wanted to test whether his Second Amendment rights would be honored in a public area. […]

Andreychenko claimed he did not anticipate customers’ reactions, a Friday statement from a Springfield police officer says.

“This is Missouri,” he told investigators, according to law enforcement. “I understand if we were somewhere else like New York or California, people would freak out.”

Prosecutors on Friday charged Andreychenko, of Springfield, with making a terrorist threat, saying he recklessly disregarded the risk of causing a building evacuation by knowingly sowing fear in the wake of the El Paso mass shooting at the same retail chain.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:16 PM on August 10 [7 favorites]


that is close enough to yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater that i wonder if he'll make a 1st amendment defense.
posted by rhizome at 1:46 PM on August 10 [3 favorites]


Universal cancels release of violent satire The Hunt after Trump criticism (Guardian)
“While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for The Hunt, after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film,” Universal said in a statement.

“We stand by our film-makers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators, like those associated with this satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.”

With trailers already on the web, the movie’s dialog seemed to confirm that the current, tense environment might not be a good moment to endorse any kind of human hunting, whether from the right or left of the political spectrum.
posted by Little Dawn at 1:53 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Here's hoping he's too stupid to use a lawyer.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:54 PM on August 10


Popehat thinks it will be tough to prosecute the Missouri asshole in an open carry state.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:10 PM on August 10


That seems right to me. If idiot lawmakers pass laws allowing you to walk around wearing body armor with high powered semi automatic large capacity weapons, it should be difficult to prosecute assholes who walk around with high powered semi automatic large capacity weapons while wearing body armor.

This is the end state of the laws they passed. Vote them out and pass better laws.
posted by Justinian at 2:28 PM on August 10 [11 favorites]


(It's complicated by the fact that this particular asshole apparently basically confessed on video to doing it to scare people, which may be enough to establish mens rea. But in general.)
posted by Justinian at 2:29 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


He was getting a rush from ostentatiously flouting his privilege. It would have been a completely different story if he weren't white.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:38 PM on August 10 [4 favorites]


He's only alive because he's white.
posted by odinsdream at 2:40 PM on August 10 [26 favorites]


Time magazine's striking cover lists the 253 US cities that experienced a mass shooting this year
“We are being eaten from within." Why America is losing the battle against white nationalist terrorism


And here's the long article from Time
But long before that young man drove to El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 3 and allegedly murdered at least 22 people at a Walmart crammed with back-to-school shoppers, it was clear that white nationalists have become the face of terrorism in America. Since 9/11, white supremacists and other far-right extremists have been responsible for almost three times as many attacks on U.S. soil as Islamic terrorists, the government reported. From 2009 through 2018, the far right has been responsible for 73% of domestic extremist-related fatalities, according to a 2019 study by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). And the toll is growing. More people–49–were murdered by far-right extremists in the U.S. last year than in any other year since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress in July that a majority of the bureau’s domestic-terrorism investigations since October were linked to white supremacy.

Yet the nation’s leaders have failed to meet this menace. In more than a dozen interviews with TIME, current and former federal law-enforcement and national-security officials described a sense of bewilderment and frustration as they watched warnings go ignored and the white-supremacist terror threat grow. Over the past decade, multiple attempts to refocus federal resources on the issue have been thwarted. Entire offices meant to coordinate an interagency response to right-wing extremism were funded, staffed and then defunded in the face of legal, constitutional and political concerns.

Law-enforcement officials say the cancer of white nationalism has metastasized across social media and the dark corners of the Internet, creating a copycat effect in which aspiring killers draw inspiration and seek to outdo one another. The suspect in El Paso was at least the third this year to post a manifesto on the online message forum 8chan before logging off to commit mass murder. More people were killed that day in El Paso than all 14 service members killed this year on the battlefields in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

“Even if there was a crackdown right now, it’s going to take years for the momentum of these groups to fade,” says Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose 2009 report on right-wing extremism was lambasted by conservatives even before its release. “I’m afraid we’ve reached a tipping point where we’re in for this kind of violence for a long time.”

Right-wing terrorism is a global problem, resulting in devastating attacks from New Zealand to Norway. But it is particularly dangerous in the U.S., which has more guns per capita than anywhere else in the world, an epidemic of mass shootings, a bedrock tradition of free speech that protects the expression of hateful ideologies and laws that make it challenging to confront a disaggregated movement that exists largely in the shadows of cyberspace.

Law enforcement lacks many of the weapons it uses against foreign enemies like al-Qaeda. To defend America from the danger posed by Islamist terror groups, the federal government built a globe-spanning surveillance and intelligence network capable of stopping attacks before they occurred. Federal agents were granted sweeping authorities by Congress to shadow foreign terrorist suspects. No comparable system exists in domestic-terror cases. Domestic terrorism is not even a federal crime, forcing prosecutors to charge suspects under hate-crime laws.

“White supremacy is a greater threat than international terrorism right now,” says David Hickton, a former U.S. Attorney who directs the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security. “We are being eaten from within.” Yet Hickton says federal prosecutors are limited in how they try domestic cases. “I’d have to pursue a white supremacist with hate crimes, unless he interfaced with al-Qaeda. Does that make any sense?”
Sorry for the long pull-quote, but it covers a lot in a few paragraphs. Also, there's much more in the article itself.

Also, when elected officials and law enforcement are cautious to even confirm an attack as a hate crime, when fucking Fox News airs a jackass saying "white supremacy is a hoax perpetrated by the left," it's more than metastasized throughout the public, it has become more of a cojoined twin with the American People at large, and to remove it will require extensive surgery and years of rehabilitation, to stretch the metaphor to the point of breaking.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:33 PM on August 10 [17 favorites]


Controlling and reducing availability of guns is absolutely a worthwhile and efficient goal. Creating new classes of crimes around ideology is problematic. As has been pointed out above, new powers to criminalize ideology will be much more likely to be used against, say, animal rights, environmental or labor activists than white supremacists. The proof is that they always are.

I mean, yeah, I want these hate cults to be investigated and thwarted, but be careful of what you wish for.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:58 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Let's just start with the baby step of banning Nazis.
posted by odinsdream at 6:15 PM on August 10 [3 favorites]


> Maybe someone should put up a post centered on the CJR article and supplemented with other stuff on today's journalism.

Thank you for the inspiration, mumimor: “The truth is more important now than ever.”
posted by Little Dawn at 6:32 PM on August 10 [4 favorites]


Florida man arrested after shooting threat on Facebook (AP)
Florida authorities are charging a 26-year-old man they say posted a threat on Facebook that he was about to have his semi-automatic rifle returned and people should stay away from Walmart.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Richard Clayton on Friday north of Orlando. The agency said Clayton posted his threat on Sunday, the day after a gunman in El Paso, Texas, killed 22 people and injured two dozen at a Walmart.

Investigators said the post read, “3 more days of probation left then I get my AR-15 back. Don’t go to Walmart next week.”

A department spokeswoman said Clayton was not on probation.

The FDLE said Clayton appears to believe in white supremacist ideology and has a history of posting threats on Facebook using fake accounts.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:24 PM on August 10 [4 favorites]






Hey, it worked for the Black Panthers.
posted by box at 10:39 AM on August 11 [12 favorites]


You know how we get gun control? Me & all Muslim men of color will buy big guns

Sure, but there are more than one way to write gun control laws. Usually we're envisioning bans and sales restrictions. They could also take the form the enhanced police powers to interpret and respond to gun use and carrying, at their discretion.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:16 AM on August 11 [2 favorites]


Armed man who sowed panic at Walmart said he was testing his Second Amendment rights, police say (Hannah Knowles, WaPo)

and what happens when he meets a Stand Your Ground yahoo who perceives him as a threat of deadly force?
posted by srboisvert at 11:17 AM on August 11 [3 favorites]


Surrogate Angels of Death: What to make of the First Lady holding the motherless child and youngest survivor of the El Paso massacre.
Posing for this photograph, the Trumps remove any last doubt about their dead-eyed cruelty and transactional view of life. Smiling emptily above this wounded little boy, whose life was shattered before he could take his first step, the president and his wife call to mind those famous safari photos taken by Trump’s sons, Eric and Don Jr. — in which they, like their father, smile brightly over the victims of their own heedless cruelty and violence. 
posted by BungaDunga at 11:18 AM on August 11 [31 favorites]


Jesus Christ The Cheeto is grinning like an idiot and actually giving a thumbs up.
posted by Mitheral at 11:53 AM on August 11


See also this on the Atlantic: Trump’s El Paso Photo Is Obscene – The president’s callousness has reached a new low: smiling, flashing a thumbs-up next to an orphaned infant.
A really exceptional work of obscenity, like a really exceptional work of beauty, exceeds the ability of its viewers to fathom what they just saw. Did that just happen? But … how? What sorcery created it? Words don’t arrive, and the stammering gives way to silence.

The latest publicity photograph of the president in El Paso, Texas, knocked me into silence for a good half hour this morning while I tried to figure out the many layers of obscenity on display. ... It is one of the most twisted things I have seen in a long time.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:17 PM on August 11 [21 favorites]


Sure, but there are more than one way to write gun control laws. Usually we're envisioning bans and sales restrictions. They could also take the form the enhanced police powers to interpret and respond to gun use and carrying, at their discretion.

I'm not sure "at a cop's discretion" could pass Constitutional muster, let alone that of the militia-nut.
posted by rhizome at 2:37 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]


We were talking about 8chan and the like today - how nazi/WP memes get passed around, people get infected and start doing things that cause chaos in the wider society ... they're not "crazy", they are infected with something dangerous ... which led to the thought "why don't we treat people infected with dangerous infectious memes the same way we treat people infected with dangerous viruses?" - we have lots of public health history that involves quarantine, treatment and release once the person is no longer infectious
posted by mbo at 3:54 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]


Mbo, your comment puts me in mind of Stephensons Snow Crash. The way the alt right memes spread, and how infectious they are, it’s like an evil namshub has been released and we don’t have an antidote.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:04 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]


Well my solution is rather tongue-in-cheek - but maybe we need to pull in an epidemiologist or two, and some English majors, and work on vaccines (carefully constructed memes that protect against infection - "how many nazis does it take to screw in a light bulb? ....")
posted by mbo at 4:09 PM on August 11


The El Paso shooting was a real thing that happened to real people and is really affecting a community, maybe find another thread for tongue-in-cheek thought experiments and Neal Stephenson comparisons.

This Is What Latinos Think Everyone Got Wrong About El Paso
A well-meaning desire to erase the shooter and his hateful ideology has instead erased the victims and their community.

posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:35 PM on August 11 [12 favorites]


Here in NZ it was different, most local media have agreed to name the terrorist as little as possible, even through the upcoming trial, however we publicly came out nationwide in support of the victims and their community (among many other things 25k out of 115k of the residents in my town showed up to a memorial, the local Mosque was inundated in flowers ....)

I guess it takes both parts, you have to go out and physically be there and offer your support as a community, but also try and erase the shooter - the protagonist of this week's shooting at a Mosque in Norway called the NZ terrorist a 'saint', we need to take away the lone-wolf-pack support for them, we've shut down 8chan, the worst will have gone elsewhere (I hope someone's tracking them) - and we do need to attack the memes that they use for recruiting and creating their community (that 'saint' thing, it's just sickening, but it's part of how they create a mythos, encourage people to repeat their terror)
posted by mbo at 9:20 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


The Atlantic: The Media Erased Latinos From the Story – It was the deadliest attack targeting Latinos in recent U.S. history. Why wasn’t that the headline?
On Tuesday morning, I happened to walk by the Newseum, the news museum in Washington, D.C., that displays front pages from across the country in its windows. They almost all looked the same—from the Portland Press Herald in Maine to The Arizona Republic to The Washington Post. The word the headlines shared in common was Trump, as they offered a variety of takes on his speech. Much of the broadcast coverage offered a similar emphasis on the president, with a few notable exceptions.

The attack in El Paso left 22 dead. Most were Latinos, some of whom were Mexican citizens. It followed a sustained and deliberate campaign by the Trump administration to demonize immigrants. Journalists should report on that. We should contextualize it. But that is only the beginning of our work.

There have been hundreds of articles and broadcast stories since the attack in El Paso, reporting with depth and compassion about this moment. But the banner headlines and the segments at the top of newscasts reflect the value editors assign to aspects of a story. The front page still speaks volumes. The top story in a broadcast signals to the audience which topics matter most. And despite the fact that the attacker purposefully targeted Latinos, that is not what most outlets chose to emphasize.

...Latin American children are being separated from their parents at the border, and hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise. The media have an important role in framing these conversations, and the lack of diversity in newsrooms hobbles their ability to do so.

...In the days since the El Paso shooting, we have seen more Latino journalists writing and appearing on television. That’s progress. But it took a massacre. And I’m worried that this improved representation will not persist when this awful news cycle comes to an end.
posted by bitteschoen at 6:12 AM on August 12 [7 favorites]


I think mbo's comment about radicalization as a disease is very relevant. The notion of violence itself as a disease has been seriously studied and has led to real-world solutions like . I think modeling the spread of hateful ideology the same way is key to preventing this from happening. Obviously gun control is important too, but for example:

Modeling Radicalization Phenomena in Heterogeneous Populations
posted by freecellwizard at 8:05 AM on August 12 [3 favorites]


Oops. Should say:

"real-world solutions like Cure Violence."
posted by freecellwizard at 8:12 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


History professor Adam Malka in the WaPo, Why law enforcement has a blind spot for white male violence:
The answer lies in the central role that white male vigilantes have played in the official policing process from the beginning, and particularly in the policing of racial minorities. Because violent white men have historically been the policing authorities, not the criminals, they helped to create a racialized legal system sympathetic to them and hostile to minorities — one that has proved deadly.
[...]
White men’s vigilantism has advanced a form of domestic terrorism over the past two centuries: it has been central to the state’s humiliation, condemnation and subjugation of minority communities. The links these perpetrators have had to the police establishment have thus muddied our definition of legitimate force, allowing white men to continue to inflict violence on society. We would do well to reckon with such history so that we may finally see the face of modern terror for what it is, and for what color it so often wears.
posted by peeedro at 1:33 PM on August 12 [7 favorites]


So if racism is a communicable disease, does that mean we should try to vaccinate against it the way we do with the flu, or somehow try to push it in the direction of being mild and temporary like the common cold?
posted by jamjam at 1:52 PM on August 12


Suicide Contagion is a real documented thing, which has known solutions, which the media mostly abides by. For instance, we don't see continuous coverage of high school suicides extolling how tragic the suicides were, because it's well known that such coverage increases the chance of more suicides.

We could apply these same rules to mass shooters and terrorists as well -- we have no reason to know the name of a shooter outside of the local victimized community, and we sure as hell don't need to read their manifestos on-air and indulge in frenzied searches for meaning in their murders for weeks afterwards. Just report it like a horrible traffic accident and focus on the victims, rather than focusing on what A MONSTER the shooter was, which is what they want. Fuck the shooters, they deserve to fade away ignominiously. Replace their name with "asshole with gun" in all news reports.
posted by benzenedream at 2:01 PM on August 12 [4 favorites]


Replace their name with "asshole with gun" in all news reports.

There is a nuanced problem here, and several articles linked above speak to it. Not giving that killer the fame they want is certainly a good, and we do seem to be making progress there. We risk, however, ignoring the bigger picture problems behind these 'lone wolves' who are absolutely not acting in isolation.

At the very least it needs to be "racist, Trump-quoting, asshole with gun", or "misogynist, homophobic, asshole with gun", etc. They are never really random shootings and the patterns matter, a lot.
posted by bcd at 2:59 PM on August 12 [11 favorites]


There is a nuanced problem here, and several articles linked above speak to it. Not giving that killer the fame they want is certainly a good, and we do seem to be making progress there. We risk, however, ignoring the bigger picture problems behind these 'lone wolves' who are absolutely not acting in isolation.

Exactly. It is an ongoing debate in the media, on which approach to use in these cases - here’s an interesting report on this very topic from NiemanReports (I’d posted this in the thread about journalism but reposting it here as it seems relevant). It explores the question of "strategic silence" about mass shooters and if it should be extended to extremist speech, misinformation, and propaganda.

For further reading, it also links to this research paper on the wider issue of how to cover extremists, "The Oxygen of Amplification – Better Practices for Reporting on Extremists, Antagonists, and Manipulators" (another related paper from the same institution is "Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online").
posted by bitteschoen at 4:14 AM on August 13 [4 favorites]


Just report it like a horrible traffic accident and focus on the victims

Quick note that coverage of shootings isn't the only way that common reporting practices encourage violence. Crash, not accident.
posted by asperity at 7:18 AM on August 13 [11 favorites]


An interesting essay by a religious scholar positing that "the social and communal appeal of these [white supremacist groups] is nearly as important to understand as their ideological, world-shaping ones."
To commit an act of terrorism may not yield the same metaphysical reward promised by radical Islam to its martyrs, but it nevertheless assures practitioners a certain kind of in-group status. So long as there is an internet, their chosen brothers will remember them.
The Religious Hunger of the Radical Right.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:17 AM on August 13 [5 favorites]


To commit an act of terrorism may not yield the same metaphysical reward promised by radical Islam to its martyrs, but it nevertheless assures practitioners a certain kind of in-group status. So long as there is an internet, their chosen brothers will remember them.

I think it's effectively the exact same metaphysical reward. I'm not a comparative theologist, but I'm practically unwilling to consider that these two conditions are very different at all in reality. Martyrs are vaunted in the West, just like (we're told) Islamic sacrifices are, and to the same or similar degree, and for the same reasons. Political violence is not drummed out of either of them, and the goal of violence is domination. Classic religious pretext.

I can't believe Islam doesn't have its more- and less-political adherents, its Evangelicals, its Timothy McVeighs, and that it's some kind of anti- phobia to pretend otherwise. That is, until I have a reason to think otherwise.

Christianity doesn't have to promise X number of virgins, because in Christian Heaven you can have whatever you want, so why limit things in advance? You might want an Escalade, too! Plus, I bet the "X Virgins" Muslim motivator is some transliterated line from the Koran's Old Testament, more than it's a professed "GUYSE I CAN'T WAIT FOR MY VIRGINS" social dynamic with t-shirts and shit.

I'm almost ready to say that these things are portrayed as completely different is a strategy to maintain the tension between them. Othering and dehumanization is harder when you can use the same terms for that guy with the thing on his head (turban, keffieyeh, John Deere hat) as you use for your friends (see also: Imam = Pastor). /rant
posted by rhizome at 2:15 PM on August 13


I've been taking a break from interacting on this site and from most of the news stuff surrounding this and other terrible shit that is happening to Latinx people and to everyone really but I just saw this on twitter and thought it would be worth sharing here:

This is Antonio Basco.
His wife of 22 years, Margie, was murdered in El Paso.
Mr. Basco says he has no other family so he’s inviting anyone, who wants to come, to attend his wife’s services in El Paso:
Friday, August 16th
Perches Funeral Home Northeast 4946 Hondo Pass
5-9pm


You can also send flowers or cards to the funeral home
posted by primalux at 6:06 PM on August 13 [19 favorites]



posted by tilde at 6:12 PM on August 13


El Paso Times: Police Complete Walmart Shooting Investigation, Turn Crime Scene Over To Company Officials
Officials did not state if the make-shift memorial at the site for the victims of the shooting will eventually be removed, although they asked the public to observe all laws if they visit the memorial.

“Walmart and the El Paso Police Department are asking the public to observe appropriate dignity at the (site) as a tribute to the victims,” police officials said in a news release.
Texas Tribune: Gov. Greg Abbott Launches Domestic Terrorism Task Force In Wake of El Paso Massacre

Reuters, meanwhile: Mexico Pushes U.S. to Designate El Paso Shooting an Act of Terrorism
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:46 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Ooh, a task force! Sounds like a real authoritative group of experts ("force"), executing a small and focused duty ("task"). I expect we should get some real answers very quickly!
posted by rhizome at 3:02 PM on August 14


Politico: House panel issues subpoena to compel testimony from 8chan owner
The House Homeland Security Committee issued a subpoena to force the owner of fringe online message board 8chan, which has been linked to mass shootings, to testify at a deposition next month on any efforts his platform has made to combat racist and violent content.

Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and the committee's ranking Republican, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, demanded owner Jim Watkins appear before the panel on Sept. 5.
No comment from 8chan.

WaPo’s Drew Harwell asks: “Where is Watkins now? 8chan tweeted last week that he was heading to U.S. from Philippines, and in a live-streamed video Sunday he geotagged a casino hotel in Reno, Nev. A rep at the hotel said no one is checked in under his name.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:19 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]


Gov. Greg Abbott Launches Domestic Terrorism Task Force In Wake of El Paso Massacre

I am confident that this Task Force will rigorously identify and prosecute Antifa members in Texas.
posted by Rykey at 6:28 AM on August 15 [12 favorites]


PBS Frontline: In Private Meeting, Trump Calls El Paso Mayor a “RINO”
The mayor of the grieving city of El Paso told President Donald Trump in a private meeting that he’s presenting “misinformation” about crime in his city, and pushed back when the president used a derogatory term to suggest he wasn’t a real Republican.

“He said, ‘You’re a RINO [Republican in name only],’ and I said, ‘No, sir. I am not a RINO,’” Mayor Dee Margo told FRONTLINE. “I said … ‘I simply corrected the misinformation you were given by [the Texas] attorney general, and that’s all I did.’”

The mayor said he was trying to debunk Trump’s false claim that El Paso had one of the highest violent crime rates in the U.S. until a barrier fence — the bulk of which was completed in 2009 — was built there. He recounted the conversation in an interview with correspondent Martin Smith and producer Marcela Gaviria for an upcoming FRONTLINE documentary.[…]

In the FRONTLINE interview, Smith reminded Margo that the president had said he was “full of crap” about the impact of the barrier. The mayor replied, “I would hope he wouldn’t say that now, given our conversation.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:56 PM on August 15 [5 favorites]


Jerry Nadler on Twitter: "It's been over 160 days since the House passed #HR8, a bipartisan bill to expand background checks to all gun sales, yet @SenateMajLdr refuses to bring this up for a vote. House Judiciary refuses to sit idly by as more communities are devastated by gun violence. On Sept. 4, the Committee will come back into session to take up a series of bills to combat the gun violence epidemic that has gripped our nation. Read more here: September 4th: House Judiciary to Markup Gun Violence Prevention Bills—Committee to Hold Hearing on Assault Weapons on September 25th"
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:45 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]




I literally teared up at my desk reading this just now. My experiences and feelings are very similar to what this writer has to say (and I'm also originally from Texas): What Does It Mean to Be Latinx in the Wake of El Paso?
posted by primalux at 2:26 PM on August 16 [5 favorites]


Mr. Basco says he has no other family so he’s inviting anyone, who wants to come, to attend his wife’s services in El Paso...

Man shocked as hundreds attend wife's funeral
About 700 people queued to pay their respects to Margie Reckard, 63, one of 22 people killed when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store.
posted by XMLicious at 9:34 AM on August 17 [7 favorites]


Man shocked as hundreds attend wife's funeral

I was amazed at the news last night, making a slightly-overlong story out of it while also not at all highlighting that they were/he is obviously living at the margins of society. They even had subtitles! My mom, who can spot a deviance from white middle-class normalcy from two blocks away, didn't even comment (i.e. yell at the TV). I hope it lasts.
posted by rhizome at 10:22 AM on August 17 [4 favorites]


And so, it would appear, ends another cycle of thoughts and prayers and absolutely nothing being done. *sighs*
posted by bcd at 9:21 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


> Ecofascism? That sounded like a nonsense word to everyone but science fiction fans until pretty recently, but it's clear that plenty of the response to climate change is going to be violence against marginalized people.

'Bees, not refugees': the environmentalist roots of anti-immigrant bigotry (Guardian)
The right’s perspective on the climate crisis has generally been one of denial, and reliance on a fringe in the scientific community that maintains climate change is a natural process. According to available research, immigration control as climate control is a similar pseudoscience. By stopping immigration from countries with low per capita emissions to wealthier nations with high per capita emissions, this thinking goes, total environmental impact will be limited, as will further damage to US wildlands and biodiversity: fewer people means less sprawl and less resource use.

There is little actual science to bolster immigration control for ecological purposes. While there is evidence that population and economic growth in total increases global emissions, recent studies show no correlation between US immigrant communities and pollution. Whether eco-nativists are using these arguments to greenwash racism, or they truly believe limiting immigration is the best way to pull the planet back from the brink, the results are the same. “You can be a genuine environmentalist and a genuine xenophobe – the two often do converge,” said Hultgren. [...] Online, an eco-fascist rhetorical revival has been wrapped in traditional white nationalist imagery and language, along with love for large guns.
Two mass killings a world apart share a common theme: ‘ecofascism’ (WaPo) (reprint)
In recent years, the mainstream environmental movement has moved strongly in the direction of social justice - the very opposite of what hate groups seek. Now the leaders of those organizations fear white nationalists are using green messages to lure young people to embrace racist and nativist agendas. "Hate is always looking for an opportunity to grab hold of something," said Mustafa Santiago Ali, a vice president of the National Wildlife Federation and an expert on environmental justice. "That's why they use this ecological language that's been around for a while, and they try to reframe it."

Michelle Chan, vice president of programs for Friends of the Earth, said, "The key thing to understand here is that ecofascism is more an expression of white supremacy than it is an expression of environmentalism." [...] There is a danger of "apocalypticism," said Jon Christensen, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who has written extensively on the use and misuse of dystopian environmental scenarios. It's important, he said, to provide people with potential solutions and reasons to be hopeful: "There's definitely a danger of people taking dire measures when they feel there's no way out of it." [Hampshire College professor emeriti Betsy] Hartmann, who has tracked ecofascism for more than two decades, echoes that warning, saying environmentalists "need to steer away from this apocalyptic discourse because it too easily plays into the hands of apocalyptic white nationalism."
posted by Little Dawn at 7:36 AM on August 19 [5 favorites]




Pittsburgh's mayor as well has had to increase his security detail following Tree of Life, because he introduced several pieces of gun control legislation for the city in response to the shooting and started getting hella death threats. Trolls love to follow him around on Twitter taunting him about how if he's such a non-fan of guns, why doesn't he just dismiss his security detail, huh, huh, huh?
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:10 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


WaPo: Trump said doctors left operating rooms to greet him after mass shootings. Hospitals in Dayton and El Paso say that’s not true.
Speaking to reporters on the White House’s South Lawn on Wednesday, President Trump claimed he was warmly welcomed at hospitals in the wake of recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, and intimated that surgeons had even deserted their patients to meet him.

“The doctors were coming out of the operating rooms,” Trump said. “There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor. You couldn’t even walk on it.”

But the hospitals he visited say that isn’t what happened — and that doctors would never pause surgery to greet the president.

“At no time did, or would, physicians or staff leave active operating rooms during the presidential visit,” Ryan Mielke, a spokesman for University Medical Center of El Paso, said in a statement to The Washington Post on Thursday. “Our priority is always patient care.”[…]

“Our physicians and staff at no time leave an active operating room, procedural area or patient room to greet anyone," Ben Sutherly, a spokesman for Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, told The Post on Friday.
(It would be nice if the headline weren’t framed as he said/they said. It as though the question is who to believe—hospital professionals speaking on behalf of doctors and surgeons, or the serial liar and exaggerator who has made over 10,000 false and misleading claims since he’s been in office?)
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:46 AM on August 23 [3 favorites]


It was too much to hope for to see this thread close automatically without another mass shooting.

CNN breaking news: 5 Killed, 21 Injured in Texas Shooting
What's happening: A shooter targeted shoppers and vehicles at shopping centers in the areas of Odessa and Midland, Texas.
Suspect: A suspect described as a white male in his 30's was shot and killed in Odessa, according to a Facebook post by the Midland Police Department.
Victims: At least 5 dead and 21 injured, according to authorities.
Now all that remains is for The Onion to update their boilerplate article “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens”.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:45 PM on August 31


When you have politicians like this nothing is going to improve very soon.
I say NO to “red flag” pre-crime laws. NO to universal background checks. NO to bans on AR-15s, or high capacity magazines. NO to mandatory gun buybacks. 3/6
YES to supporting our public schools. YES to giving every law-abiding single mom the right to carry a handgun to protect her and her kids without permission from the state, and the same for all other law-abiding Texans of age. 5/6
YES to your God-given, constitutionally protected rights. YES to God, and NO to more government intrusions. 6/6
what an arsehole.
posted by adamvasco at 8:38 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


We are nearly at the point where, because of exhaustion, fear and apathy, mass shootings are no longer national news events.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:00 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


Pretty much already there; the only ones that make any waves at all now involve multiple deaths, cops dying, or maybe something that sells. Like a gun man shooting up the pretty white girl daycare might make the news nationallly even if no one was killed. Otherwise it's regulated to local news.

The white nationalists are going crazy on twitter right now that a conspiracy is in place because the Texas shooting, by a white guy, is making the news and the Alabama Football shooting isn't because the shooter was black. But the Alabama shooter didn't kill anyone so for most people it's just local news.
posted by Mitheral at 10:58 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


We are nearly at the point where, because of exhaustion, fear and apathy, mass shootings are no longer national news events.

Just googled “mobile mass shooting” to learn about the precedent for what’s happening in Midland/Odessa and that’s how I learned that there was a mass shooting last night in Mobile, Alabama
posted by Etrigan at 5:22 AM on September 1 [2 favorites]


Victims: At least 5 dead and 21 injured, according to authorities.

Update: The death toll for the Midland/Odessa shootings is at least seven now.

. . . . . . .
posted by 23skidoo at 9:51 AM on September 1


But the Alabama shooter didn't kill anyone so for most people it's just local news.

Nor had they been writing on the internet for the past year about how the Brian Kemps out there are stealing the entire government.
posted by rhizome at 10:23 AM on September 1 [2 favorites]


Wasn't trying to defend the conspiracy or villainize/whitewash anyone. Just a demonstration of the floor of reportable violence. Nine people being shot at a hockey game in Canada, even if no one died, would be big news. Even if the person had no agenda. However there have been so many mass shootings in the US that the reportable floor has risen to the point that the only people really aware of the Alabama football shooting are locals and people exposed to white supremecy whackiness. The only reason _I_ knew about it was because something like #BlackShooterConspiracy was trending momentarily on my feed and I was all "daFuq?" and clicked through.
posted by Mitheral at 10:49 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


After nearly 24 hrs shooter named as Seth Ator and it appears that his Social media has been scrubbed.
posted by adamvasco at 6:15 PM on September 1


By request from Fox News and Breitbart?
posted by rhizome at 6:52 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


What’s wild is I only know that Heavy site because they’re always the first ones to aggregate biographical details of mass shooters

Like do they do anything else? I literally know them as the mass shooter site, which is now a thing that could exist
posted by schadenfrau at 6:58 PM on September 1 [2 favorites]


Weirdly, I knew Heavy.com from the early 00's as a sort of dude-bro site. I guess they pivoted to news in 2012, which I learned from this Slate article.
posted by primalux at 7:59 PM on September 1


I definitely think of them as a crapfactory.
posted by rhizome at 10:21 PM on September 1


Do we want to name him, and link to a crappy site that’s making money off this? I think that post should be removed.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:46 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]


[We don't have a guideline against mentioning the name of positively identified perpetrators. To discuss this further in terms of Metafilter policy, it would be best to make a Metatalk post.]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:58 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


Walmart to stop selling some types of ammunition – Company to ask shoppers not to openly carry firearms, even where legal, after series of mass shootings (Guardian) - “The status quo is unacceptable.”
posted by bitteschoen at 11:37 AM on September 3


CNBC has Walmart CEO Doug McMillon's complete memo--they really, really, want to have it both ways. Here are two paragraphs about people carrying guns in the stores:
As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers. We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.

We believe the opportunity for someone to misinterpret a situation, even in open carry states, could lead to tragic results. We hope that everyone will understand the circumstances that led to this new policy and will respect the concerns of their fellow shoppers and our associates. As it relates to concealed carry by customers with permits, there is no change to our policy or approach. This morning, we briefed your leadership team on how to communicate this change in policy to customers when needed, and they will be sharing that with you very soon. We will treat law-abiding customers with respect, and we will have a very non-confrontational approach. Our priority is your safety. We will be providing new signage to help communicate this policy in the coming weeks.
posted by box at 11:49 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Signage. Their answer is banning video games, some ammo, and signage.

You're the largest employer in a bunch of states, maybe use a bit more of that power? But no, a couple of mealy-mouthed signs.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:17 PM on September 3




ok that made me laugh REALLY hard until I figured out that their policy now amounts to requiring minimum wage workers to approach armed men and politely ask them to leave
posted by schadenfrau at 4:23 PM on September 3 [6 favorites]


I understand where the cynicism is coming from but it seems like a big deal that in one week two of the country's largest retailers and the Mormon church push back against the GOP/NRA guns-everywhere ideology. It lends cover to a lot of smaller organizations to enact the same policy and moves us towards less open carry posturing.
posted by peeedro at 4:49 PM on September 3 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I think about how public opprobrium has played a part in the decline of tobacco smoking in public. For a silver lining, maybe take this as evidence of how strong the NRA's hold is on society, and that expecting the dumbest of their adherents to accept any limits without reacting catastrophically still requires new strategies.
posted by rhizome at 6:17 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


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