All-American Mass Shooting

[UPDATE]:

Best thing I’ve read on the Dallas shootings is in the New Yorker. Read it:

THE HORRIFIC, PREDICTABLE RESULT OF A WIDELY ARMED CITIZENRY
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-horrific-predictable-result-of-a-widely-armed-citizenry

Weapons empower extremes. Allowing members of any fringe of any movement to get their hands on military weapons guarantees that any normal dispute—political or, for that matter, domestic—can quickly lead to a massacre. Our guns have outraced our restrictions, but not our imaginations. Sometime in the not-too-distant past, annihilation replaced street theatre and demonstrations as the central possibility of the enraged American imagination. Guns allow the fringe to occupy the center.

[…]

Once again, the difference in policy views is clear, and can be coolly stated: those who insist on the right to concealed weapons, to the open carrying of firearms, to the availability of military weapons—to the essentially unlimited dissemination of guns—guarantee that the murders will continue. They have no plan to end them, except to return fire, with results we know. The people who don’t want the regulations that we know will help curb (not end) violent acts and help make them rare (not non-existent) have reconciled themselves to the mass murder of police officers, as well as of innocent men and women during traffic stops and of long, ghostly rows of harmless civilians and helpless children. The country is now clearly divided among those who want the killings and violence to stop and those who don’t. In the words of the old activist song, which side are you on?

Some really good stuff here.
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I wish people would stop trying to spin this Dallas shooting as anything other than your ordinary, garden-variety, all-American mass shooting.

Like every other mass shooting, the shooter targeted a specific group. This time it was police officers. Last time it was the GLBT community. The time before that it was, gosh I don’t even remember — was it a workplace shooting? Women at a health clinic? Or was it a bunch of college kids? Gee, there are so many, it’s hard to keep track.

America has about one of these a month and each one is the same: a person who shouldn’t have access to a weapon gets his hands on one and takes out his anger against the (fill in the blanks) he blames for the world’s problems.

Micah Johnson was no different:

The man who the Dallas police say killed five officers in a barrage of bullets on Thursday was a troubled Army reservist who left Afghanistan under a cloud of sexual harassment charges made by a fellow soldier who sought an order of protection against him and said he needed mental health counseling.

We don’t know where Johnson’s guns came from. But there doesn’t appear to be anything that would have prevented Johnson from legally purchasing the SKS semi-automatic assault rifle and handgun he used in his attack on Dallas police officers, or the other weapons and ammo found in his home. Texas probably has the most liberal gun laws in the country, open carry is legal, the right-wing governor of Texas has shilled for the firearms industry and encouraged gun sales. The gun derp is strong. Should anyone really be surprised that there was a mass shooting here? That a culture of “guns everywhere” would end up being an issue for law enforcement? Please.

Wake up, America. Who thought allowing every idiot to buy a gun was a good idea in the first place?

One thing is clear after the Dallas shootings: the NRA’s talking points were all debunked in one horrifying blood bath. There were hundreds of police officers protecting the rally that night … armed police officers. The police officers shot were armed. And still, one crazy person with a high-powered rifle was able to take down five officers, wound seven more, and injure two civilians. The idea that everyone needs to be armed to protect against a mass shooting was proven to be wholly ridiculous.

It’s the guns, dammit. Get them off the streets. It’s long past time we stopped pretending this is about anything else.

12 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns

12 responses to “All-American Mass Shooting

  1. Joseph Stans

    First, I hope our favorite correspondent from Neck Acres was not involved in the flooding.

    Second, the availability of guns has reached critical mass and now anyone with a grievance, real or imagined, can arm themselves and seek vengeance. Future challenges will be for the rest of us reasonably sane folks to stay out of the way during these contests of stupidity.

    Cheers!

  2. Think of what a different attitude police officers would have when they go out on a call if they didn’t fear that a rather large proportion of the people they encounter will be armed. Every day they go to work in fear of their lives. Policing always had risks, but today it is completely different because the gun manufacturers promoted fear, and their mouthpiece, the NRA promoted the idea that everyone needed a gun because of all the dangers “out there”, including the federal government. Well, today the dangers that surround us are real, because so many people bought into the idea of fear and armed themselves.

  3. Prup (aka Jim Benton)

    A couple of very good pieces. The first is in today’s NYT, or at least on the website, discussing how the open carry laws only made the scene more dangerous for everyone — apparently the supposed ‘other suspects’ were ‘merely’ carrying their long guns legally

    Advocates have carried their rifles at the Alamo in San Antonio and outside mosques in the Dallas suburbs. But city and county leaders said the presence of armed protesters openly carrying rifles on Thursday through downtown Dallas had created confusion for the police as the attack unfolded, and in its immediate aftermath made it more difficult for officers to distinguish between suspects and marchers.

    The Dallas police chief, David O. Brown, described to CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday the amount of confusion the armed protesters initially caused.

    He said the event had attracted “20 or 30 people” who “showed up with AR-15 rifles slung across their shoulder.”

    “They were wearing gas masks,” Mr. Brown said. “They were wearing bulletproof vests and camo fatigues, for effect, for whatever reason.”

    When the shooting started, “they began to run,” he said. And because they ran in the middle of the shooting, he said, the police on the scene viewed them as suspects. “Someone is shooting at you from a perched position, and people are running with AR-15s and camo gear and gas masks and bulletproof vests, they are suspects, until we eliminate that.”

    So much for the ‘good man with a gun,’ and yes, the emphasis is mine.

    Also worth reading is this piece on a relatively new site that seems to be both liberal and business, oriented, Quartz, Solid coverage with nice statistical backing.

  4. Jim in Memphis

    Has Nashville been having mass protests the past few days? Memphis has had I-40 shut down for 4 hours and the street in front of Graceland blocked for a bit yesterday along with other protests all over the area. Thankfully nothing has gotten violent or destructive here.

  5. Democommie

    Jimbo(b)’

    Those 129 homicides were done, I presume, by people who have not been trained and vetted by various LE or public safety agencies. Those homicides, I presume , were committed by people who were pissed or scared, If those pissed or scared folks had to use knives, baseball bats or any of a number of improvised weapons, the numbers would prolly be lower.

    Professional LEO’s,otoh, are supposed to be well trained in all facets of NOT FUCKING KILLING PEOPLE THEY”RE ARRESTING.