There’s No Doubt the GOP Now Has Weapons of Mass Destruction [UPDATE-1]

[NB: Check the bylines, thanks. Updates at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

I’ve been frozen by anguish and anger, unable to write something about the mass murder in Uvalde, Texas. Whatever I dump here emerges from this, and some of it will be others’ words because they’ve said it better and more succinctly.

~ ~ ~

We’ve had some discussion in one of the threads about Beto O’Rourke’s attempt to question current Texas governor Greg Abbott about Abbott’s response to Uvalde.

Abbott’s minions shouted down O’Rourke, who as a Texan was entitled to know what the state’s top elected official was doing in response to the mass murder.

This encapsulates everything which is wrong with Abbott — he and the people he surrounds himself with don’t give a flying fuck about Texans. The Abbott administration is a goddamned joke.

This careless disregard will affect more than a couple of generations of Texans who’ve already had to deal with Abbott’s general uselessness against Texas’s isolated energy grid which killed a child along with 110 other Texans in 2021.

57.5% of Texas is not white; the largest portion of this non-white population is Hispanic/Latin, making up 39.3% of the state’s citizens according to a badly-run 2020 US Census which undercounted Texas citizens and undocumented residents alike.

Which means Texas is more than 40% Hispanic/Latin and Gov. Greg Abbott could give a flying fuck how they feel about Tuesday’s mass murder he enabled by signing an bill with the loosest open carry regulations in the nation.

He really hasn’t given but lip service after previous mass murders with assault weapons in his state, supporting increasing laxity about gun control in Texas in spite of six mass shootings since he was first elected governor in 2015.

Not just supporting increasing laxity, but doing so in the face of a majority’s support for increased gun controls from banning assault rifles to background checks before sales.

The Texas Tribune does a phenomenal job of laying out how Abbott has consistently ignored Texans’ sentiments while not pointing a finger at him alone. Abbott is doing what the GOP and its foreign-financed sponsor the National Rifle Association have wanted him to do: demoralize Texans and destabilize it so that state and federal government are undermined and lose support of the people.

~ ~ ~

We had quite a few heated discussions here in the wake of George Floyd’s murder-by-cop and subsequent protests against police abuse. The heat focused on “defunding the police” rather than the problem itself: increasing militarization of the police at all levels has not led to fewer murders-by-cop, nor to reducing the number of BIPOC Americans murdered by cop, extrajudicially executed by police who’ve more or less been granted absolute immunity because of the way “qualified immunity” has been applied.

Stop arguing about the effectiveness of the message, “defund the police.” Don’t even try to offer “reform policing” as an alternative. Not when police stood by and let a shooter terrorize and murder a classroom yesterday, restraining parents from going in to help, whisking cops’ kids to safety, coaching potential victims to yell for police help only to have the shooter kill a victim who yelled, “Help!”

These people right here:

called the U.S. Border Patrol to help them unlock a fucking classroom door.

$4 million a year –40% of its annual budget — plus grants the city of Uvalde has spent on policing only to have their police attacking frightened parents in some twisted form of crowd control as they stood there outside a locked classroom waiting for the gunman to do whatever it was he was going to do.

Greg Abbott went to a fundraiser that evening even as the blood of children and their teacher dried on the floor of that once locked classroom, as their parents’ DNA was collected for identifying the victims who had surely be turned into mincemeat by an AR-15. That was his response to the mass shooting: pay me, I’m delivering for you, he is telling his sponsors who are perfectly alright with a demoralized, destabilized Texas.

This is the response of police elsewhere: double down on what hasn’t worked since 1999 in Columbine.

[Tweet deleted by Rochester @News_8 which said police there were looking into more active shooter training]

It’s only a matter of time before we are offered the excuse that the AR-15 armed killer could take out Uvalde’s police the way the AR-15 armed killer took out the armed guard at the grocery store in Buffalo NY during a mass shooting ten days earlier.

Except there’s no comparison between a lone security guard not wearing a plate carrier and a militarized SWAT team which should have had far more training to deal with a lone gunman situation.

We’ve already heard the excuse from that malignant sluggard Abbott that the shooter was mentally ill, an assumption based on little to know evidence. And of course Abbott is responsible for the cutting funding for mental health care in Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the Uvalde school shooter had a “mental health challenge” and the state needed to “do a better job with mental health” — yet in April he slashed $211 million from the department that oversees mental health programs.

In addition, Texas ranked last out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia for overall access to mental health care, according to the 2021 State of Mental Health in America report.

“We as a state, we as a society, need to do a better job with mental health,” Abbott said during a news conference at Robb Elementary School, where a gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday. …

Texans, you can do better than this lousy lying hack. You deserve better. Se merecen algo mejor que Abbott, tejanos.

Take it all down and start over. Rethink public safety from the ground up because it’s not working and it only gives the worst kinds opportunities to grift — like Abbott’s fundraising.

~ ~ ~

Even more frustrating than the endless stream of pablum offered by stupid gits like Ted Cruz, or rebellious threats against the president like Florida’s state house rep Randy Fine is the inability to connect dots.

The mass murder by an AR-15 carrying teen and previous mass shootings have been encouraged by the GOP because they are bought and owned by the gun manufacturers’ lobby, the NRA. The NRA doesn’t give a shit about Americans; it only cares that there is a sustained market for its products. It only cares that a minority of Americans are rabid enough about gun rights to act as enforcers for the lobby’s demands.

The lobby itself has been bought and owned by Russia following the 2010 Citizens United decision; a flood of Russian money laundered through the NRA bought GOP elected officials and candidates.

The Senate Finance Committee’s 2019 report based on an 18-month investigation said the NRA was a Russian ‘foreign asset’ before the 2016 election.

Considering who the NRA continues to support with campaign donations — like Senators Mitch McConnell (total $1,267,139 )and Rand Paul (total $104,456) whose state Kentucky has also been courted with Russian oligarch money — it’s likely still a foreign asset.

The NRA continues to buy the GOP; it remains pleased with the results of its lobbying because it hasn’t changed its mode of operation no matter how many mass shootings and deaths there have been.

[Screenshot, distribution of 2020 election cycle donations by NRA to major national political parties (FEC data via OpenSecrets)]

In short, Russia is conducting war on the US through its proxies the NRA and the GOP, ensuring weapons of mass destruction remain in the hands of people who are vulnerable to messaging encouraging violence — messaging which may arise from active measures over social media as a subset of Russia’s hybrid warfare..

The GOP need not worry about Putin escalating his assault on Ukraine into a nuclear war involving the US.

They’re already killing plenty of Americans using American weapons of mass destruction on American soil without a single drop of blood spattered on Putin’s doorstep.

Why would Putin waste a single warhead when the GOP will do all the dirty work for him, sitting on their hands and taking NRA money rather than do what has been proven effective (ban assault weapons) and what is popular (background checks on all gun buyers)?

~ ~ ~

A Twitter thread recap of Uvalde’s preventable disaster:

Do something. Fucking do something constructive to stop this madness, you book-burning child-killing hacks with the R after your name.

For Democrats who were elected to serve this nation, stop enabling both the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction here in our own backyards. Stop enabling lousy policing which clearly isn’t solving the problem of mass shootings in public spaces while it punches down on the public it’s supposed to serve.

For those of us who vote D, help people get IDs to vote, help them register, make sure every voter you know is educated about the ballot in your state/county/city/precinct, and get every voter to polls for the remaining primaries and the mid-term election in November. The life you save may be your own.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 11:00 P.M. 26-MAY-2022 —

I called it.

They had gear as well as training and they weren’t willing to use it because they might have been shot. It’s called dereliction of duty.

If they don’t want to police, then fucking defund the police. Use the budget to deal with the root causes like improved local mental health care and services for precarious residents.

212 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Sick. Furious. I don’t know how to comfort my friends who have children in K-12 education, nor my friends who are teachers in K-12.

    So much has been forced on teachers with Chris Rufo’s Russian active measure pushing CRT as a threat to education and families along with goddamned Ron DeSantis’s Don’t Say Gay bullshit — and now we’re asking them to do even more than they’re already doing to keep children safe during GOP-sanctioned mass shootings? They’re deliberately destroying public education with this unending stream of crap.

    • Rayne says:

      She drove 40 miles Can you imagine what she went through just in those ~40 minutes?

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      “I’m EMBARRASSED: Texas #2 in nation for new gun purchases, behind CALIFORNIA. Let’s pick up the pace Texans.

      That’s a Greg Abbott tweet, 12:53 PM · Oct 28, 2015
      https://twitter (dot) com/GregAbbott_TX/status/659427797853536256?s=20&t=6EnCKXDxL29sDDS04JnAxA

      Then he linked an article “Texas request to buy guns tops 1 million for year”
      That’s one million gun purchases in a single year, some 6 1/2 years ago now. Unreal.

      • Rayne says:

        I saw someone point out on Twitter yesterday that the US has more guns than cars — and that’s saying something since there are more cars than drivers.

        The NRA has been up against a saturated market for years. It’s used FUD to continue hypersaturation of the market, and Greg Abbott is one of the NRA’s handmaidens serving up FUD.

        • gmoke says:

          More guns than people in USAmerica.
          More guns per person (about 120 guns for every 100 people) than anywhere else in the world. Yemen is #2 and Serbia is #3.
          About 3% of gun-owners own about half of all the guns.

          PS: Republicanist policies are not killing “Americans” because the people who die from gunshots are not usually Republicanists who are the only real and valid “Americans.”

          PPS: Cure Violence Global

          has a different idea from “moar guns!!!” to stop violence.

  2. Scott Johnson says:

    Police rules of engagement are designed to do one thing: protect the cops. Period.

    It’s why we simultaneously are told that cops are essentially given licenses to kill anyone who looks at them crossways, because they “feared for their lives” or somesuch, but it’s OK that armed officers with tactical gear and training cannot storm a classroom with an active shooter inside.

    Like many of our so-called patriots strutting around with their guns like an Afghan warlord (feel free to edit that if you think it’s out of line)… they’re cowards. Cucks. Lots of other terms that I could use and which would sting them like they deserve, but I won’t say. They’re terrified of a world in which they aren’t perfectly safe, where they don’t rule the roost, and are willing to expose the rest of us to untold dangers so they don’t ever have to worry about what it’s like to not be the a member of the upper caste.

    One interesting thing about the political culture of Texas is that Texas politicians (unlike Republicans elsewhere) are generally smart enough not to antagonize the local Latino population, and/or carefully limit their rants to “illegals” and Blacks, treating native-born Tejanos as essentially honorary white people. And this works, which is a big reason why Texas is still a red state despite no ethnic group having a majority. Anti-intersectionality (“if you vote with us, we promise to only eat THEIR faces, not yours”) is, unfortunately, a thing. How to overcome that, I don’t know.

    • gmoke says:

      Thorstein Veblen from The Theory of the Leisure Class, written over 120 years ago:
      “It is noticeable, for instance, that even very mild-mannered and matter-of-fact men who go out shooting are apt to carry an excess of arms and accoutrements in order to impress upon their own imagination the seriousness of their undertaking. These huntsmen are also prone to histrionic, prancing gait and to an elaborate exaggeration of the motions, whether of stealth or on onslaught, involved in their deeds of exploit.”

  3. P J Evans says:

    The Dems should make the Rs do a talking filibuster on this and every social program that the Rs want to block. No more 60-vote crap” – make them own it, every time. And use those votes in ads against them. Most votes never get reported in the media, so people really don’t know how their congresscritters vote.

    • Thomas says:

      It’s an OUTRAGE that Schumer has not already forced talking filibusters.
      Political malpractice.

  4. Rugger9 says:

    I completely agree and I wonder how the police union will justify the documented inaction by Uvalde’s high-priced SWAT team that apparently didn’t even think to use tear gas when they had the chance. Once the shooting was well underway, TG might have killed the kids by itself. However, the gunman didn’t have any gas countermeasures and that might have saved some lives instead of sitting on their thumbs and threatening to taze parents who wanted to go in.

    The cops like to think of themselves as ‘warriors for justice’ but we keep seeing examples like this in addition to outright criminality of all sorts and the unions demand zero accountability. If they really were warriors they’d man up. It will also be interesting to see how the Uvalde community deals with their cops at the next budget meeting.

    PJ’s right about making them talk about it on the record (see how RoJo and Cruz fled reporters) as well as making them vote for it on the record. Schumer probably won’t win the battle but this is how the Ds will win the war.

    FWIW, NONE of the GQP’s ideas have worked where they’ve been tried, so it’s time to do stuff that does work.

    • Scott Johnson says:

      No matter how corrupt and racist the NYPD was and is, at least they were heroes on 9/11.

      These chuckleheads, OTOH….

      Of course, “the cops aren’t gonna save you” is being bandied about by the usual suspects as justification for why we need moar guns, and why Mrs. Thornhumple in the second grade should have had a Glock in her handbag and eighty hours of training down at the range.

      • Ken Muldrew says:

        No matter how corrupt and racist the NYPD was and is, at least they were heroes on 9/11.

        An entire nation that had just lost its nut was advised to go shopping. Feeling this to be an inadequate response, they instead took to worshipping first responders as comic book heroes. It hasn’t really paid off (but shopping just wasn’t going to be enough to take the edge off).

        • Rugger9 says:

          Well, there are plenty of very good cops, but these days the unions shut them down from reporting the bad cops and the posers, which means the entire profession is now suspect. Add to that the training the cops get is over-the-top nuts designed to instill fear of the POC and this is what we’ll continue to see.

          If the bozo in Rayne’s pic is really one of the SWAT team, there’s a lot of explaining to do. FWIW, one thing that Biden could do (or more precisely Garland) is to have the DoJ handle the investigation. Abbott won’t like it, but it would seem that with the communications gaps already identified in the comments and the general CYA attitude at all TX government levels this can’t be left to the Rangers.

          Civil rights were violated by killing those kids and the teachers, and that would be DoJ’s leverage as I see it.

        • Scott Johnson says:

          Worship of first responders (though that term didn’t really enter the popular vernacular until after 9/11) long predates the Twin Towers. For as long as there’s been television, really, there have been cop shows and firefighter shows, most of which either portray their subject as unvarnished heroes or as anti-heroes doing what they have to do. There have been a few exceptions of course (The Dukes of Hazzard being an obvious one from my childhood–nobody cared back then that it was racist, but many objected to how it portrayed the police as buffoons).

          Prior to WWII, the public reputation of the police was far less favorable.

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            Prior to WWII, most workers understood that their best interests were in conflict with the best interests of the wealthy.

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              Possibly the most significant difference of all. And the wealthy then weren’t hogging nearly as large a share of overall wealth.

              • P J Evans says:

                I remember when Willie Mays got a contract that paid him $400K per year, that it was considered to be a really big deal.

  5. Anne says:

    The GOP, the NRA and the Court think the 2nd amendment means you can have whatever the F weapon you want and carry it wherever you want.
    The 2nd amendment was written in 1789. When they wrote “bear arms” they were thinking of the arms they knew about: 1789 weapons.
    So … an originalist interpretation would be that your unlimited right only applies to weapons having the technical characteristics of a 1789 weapon. The constitution doesn’t mention AR15s. Anything newer than 1789, sorry dude, there are rules.
    Bring on the jokes if you know anything about antique firearms!

    • SAO says:

      “Antique” guns don’t count as guns for gun control. I inherited my grandfather’s 1930s rifle. Massachusetts told me it didn’t need to be registered because it’s “antique”. The gun shop told me the barrel was clean, the rifling in great shape, I could shoot an acorn off a tree with it. However, if I’m doing the shooting and I’m close enough, I might hit the broadside of a barn.

      • P J Evans says:

        It may depend on the firearm. My father registered the “horse pistol” that his father had gotten as payment for a dairy bill, back around 1930. Officially it’s a .410 shot pistol, and legally it’s a sawed-off shotgun. He had to be photographed and fingerprinted and provide his military serial number. This was in 1993. In TX. Two (at least) trips to the sheriff’s office.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      As Goopers are so fond of saying, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Every constitutional right is regulated in some way, often when it conflicts with some other right.

      The right to peaceably assemble requires a permit. Free speech zones are created to protect politicians from embarrassment, and free speech is no longer free when it instigates probable and immediate serious physical harm. The right to competent counsel in a criminal matter is seriously hemmed in. And so on.

      Every amendment, that is, except the Second Amendment. Its text has been distorted out of all meaning by so-called conservatives on the Sup.Ct., which is about to further erode the already limited restrictions on the right to bear arms. The latter is extraordinarily radical and harmful, but it pays for the Republican Party, so all’s good. Not.

    • Rugger9 says:

      When one delves into the Second Amendment the phrase ‘well regulated militia’ is explicitly part of it. That doesn’t mean open carry, etc. would be permitted by an originalist reading, because almost none of these yahoos are part of the National Guard which is the updated version of the ‘well regulated militia’, nor are most of them part of the armed forces.

      If one looks into the drafts of the Second Amendment prior to its ratification, the case against the NRA’s position is even more stark.

    • MDAnderson says:

      It is also important to recognize the context of what those “well regulated” militias were. The militias were slave patrols and for violently putting down slave rebellion. The second amendment was the carrot to get the majority slave-holding stated to ratify the Constitution.

      • P J Evans says:

        They were because we weren’t going to have a standing army. The *3rd* amendment is WHY we weren’t going to have one.

    • Rayne says:

      Oh, I think this is going to get worse. There’s 18 minutes missing in live recordings from the police communications system, too.

      ADDER: the missing audio may be nothing, but I’m having a difficult time believing there was no persistent chatter during the entire event. The absence of audio could say the police weren’t communicating at all.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The intel community’s motto is that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. No matter how Texas LE spins this, it will be a black eye for them and the governor, a guy from a party whose unofficial motto is, “Jesus, guns, and babies.”

        It’s ironic, for example, that the best excuse Abbott’s people could come up with for this massacre was an inadequate mental health system, when the governor recently cut his own budget for that by $211 million. That suggests the real story is much worse, which seemed likely, given the panicky defensiveness from Texas LE since this horror began.

        • Rugger9 says:

          It’s standard GQP procedure to complain about stuff and then refuse to fund things that will address the problems. It allows the GQP to keep complaining about how the Ds can’t get things done and the courtier press lets the GQP do it because ‘access’ is more important than truth.

          Anyhow, I see that the Uvalde PD and LE community in general is busy trying to claim that the earlier reports of the SRO confronting the shooter were in error. It doesn’t pass the smell test with me for a couple of reasons: the SRO needs to CYA, and it’s become the solution of choice for the GQP to ‘harden the schools’ as TX LtGov Patrick put it on Hannity. So, watch for the official TX narrative to rally toward their preferred solution to arm everyone and turn schools into prisons.

          OTOH, just where were those nine SWAT members in Uvalde when the shooting started? It’s a city of just under 16,000 according to Wiki, so unless all of the cops were over at some house(s) of ill repute in mid-debauch it should have taken less than a few minutes to get there, and IIRC it was also in the initial reports that LEOs were on site within 5 minutes. Now it is claimed that a glitch delayed responses where nothing could be done about it, so sorry with thoughts and prayers for supporting the grieving.

          Clearly the powers that be all the way up to Gov Abbott don’t want to explain why a school with (IIRC) something like 70+ % Latinx and other POCs was left to fend for itself while the LEOs watched outside and kept the parents away. I would suspect the latest timeline will fall apart once all the social media inputs are collected.

          Biden and Garland need to take this investigation over from TX, no matter how sad or mad Abbott gets. The rot goes top to bottom.

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            Without even a hint of snark, I say that the GQP will not be confused by facts or human emotions. They will focus their attention on monetizing the situation. Hardening schools sounds like a potentially profitable enterprise that some old high school buddies could be given millions to tackle, or at least pretend to tackle.

      • P J Evans says:

        *I* don’t believe there was no talk going on among the cops. Outside of people being vowed to silence or unable to speak, I’m having trouble imagining any group that wouldn’t be making noises of some kind.
        And then there were the rest of the people there.

  6. !? says:

    I’m wondering if Biden could enact a regulation that all federally regulated businesses need to lock their doors on the day after a mass shootings so people could have a day of reflection and pay their respects – the regulation would include pay for the day. The pay would be based on what the employee was scheduled to work the day before the shooting.

    Republicans are into guns solely for the $, and this is a way to moderate that incentive. Banks, airlines, etc shut down would focus their attention on the real issue.

    Doing this by regulation avoids all those pesky K Streets Killers watering down or delaying meaningful legislation.

  7. JB says:

    I think the talk of the NRA being Russian assets is overblown. I say that as someone who had the unfortunate experience of representing them a couple of years ago. They’re grifters all the way down and this extremist message is what keeps the money rolling in. They could care less whether it’s from Russia or elsewhere.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL right — the GOP could give a shit who buys them as long as they get their money. That’s just plain corruption.

      You’re also enabling that corruption by marginalizing the source of the money and its motives. How convenient to blow off Maria Butina and her handler Aleksandr Torshin along with their GOP access point, Paul Erickson.

      • JB says:

        There’s nothing but corruption. It is my hope that Attorney General James will be able to reign the corruption in somewhat with her civil action. As far as I know the Russia investigations into them went nowhere as far as consequences go. These guys may be unwittingly helping the Russian cause but they’d be doing this crap with or without them. There’s an audience for it and it enables them to buy their expensive houses and enjoy their fancy private cigar bar shindigs in Alexandria. They’re currently letting their HQ including a priceless collection of historic guns rot and cutting back their gun safety courses rather than take a single paycut.

        • Rayne says:

          Unwittingly. *scoff* Please. That Senate Finance Committee report was published by a GOP-led Senate under Trump. They ALL know.

          Look, we get a lot of trolls attempting to drop all kinds of pro-Russian stuff here, obvious and subtle. You’ve got 5 comments under your belt so far which isn’t much. Try reading the fucking room.

          • JB says:

            You have my email address and therefore my last name. You’re welcome to search NRA court filings and transcripts for it. I tried to keep my name off most of that but it’s still in some. There’s nothing pro-Russia about what I said. I’ve just seen the sheer stupidity and incompetence of these people firsthand. Thanks for the warm reception.

            • Rayne says:

              And if you think we’ve never seen pro-Russian content from NY IP addresses you must think we’re not paying attention.

              • JB says:

                It’s pro-Russian to say the NRA would be advancing the same agenda with or without Russian money because they’re grifter scumbags and it’s worked for them since long before Russia took an interest? Ok then. Withdrawn, with apologies.

                  • JB says:

                    The NRA was never going to be dissolved via bankruptcy. That filing was a bullshit legal maneuver by Bill Brewer to try and escape liability from “democrat judges” in New York State Court after also trying and attempting a bullshit motion to remove via forum non conveniens to federal court (denied), filing a separate action in federal court (voluntarily dismissed) and a bullshit MDL filing (denied). The bankruptcy was ultimately tossed out for that reason. But sure if the money stopped coming in then there’s no more extremist advocacy period.

                    • Rayne says:

                      Notice I used the word “insolvency” though the story was about NRA’s LaPierre’s attempt to hide his bullshit under a bankruptcy.

                      NRA’s extremist advocacy as you called it is exactly why Russia donated so much money. That extremist advocacy is polarizing; in realization it’s demoralizing and ultimately destabilizing. What parent or teacher of K-12 students in public schools trusts either the school system or police after multiple mass shootings and dick-doodley-squat from GOP legislators to effect constructive change?

                      Just bizarrely naïve or wittingly supportive to fail to understand how Russia has used the NRA and the GOP. I think we’re done here.

            • Scott Johnson says:

              I think it’s useful to remember the distinction here between a Russian (or any other country, but Russia is the relevant nation here) “asset” and “agent”.

              An “agent” is anyone knowingly working for the Russian government. That doesn’t mean a spy (though spies would certainly qualify!); a registered lobbyist legally representing the interests of Russia inside the US would be a Russian agent. Under FARA, anyone working as an agent for any foreign government is required to register that fact; but so long as they do so and their activities are otherwise lawful, then representing the interests of a foreign state is perfectly legal.

              An “asset” is anyone whose conduct is (arguably) beneficial to Russia. This obviously would include any and all agents, but includes lots of entities who wouldn’t touch Putin with a ten foot pole but who have common enemies. The old Soviet phrase “useful idiot” is a good synonym for “asset but not agent”.

              The NRA? Certainly assets, as Russia has made little secret of its promotion of right-wing extremism in the US. Almost certainly many actual agents working for them as well; though the organization has been wracked with feuds between old-guard righties like Oliver North, who are unlikely to trust any former communists and KGB men, and others who are fully on board with the Pat Buchanan agenda of Putin-as-savior-of-white-western-Christendom.

              • JB says:

                Thanks I think that distinction is appropriate. There’s no question Russian money enabled the NRA’s quest to turn America into the Wild West but I saw nothing to indicate any attempt to nor need to influence NRA Second Amendment advocacy positions, which were already about as far to the extreme as you can get. That money was meant to support GOP politicians who would be more favorable to other policy positions Russia is advancing and that’s largely where the money went.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  The NRA was not simply a cut-out for Russian influencers, and its “policies” were not a side issue for them. Since the NRA moved from being a small gun-owners association to a mega-lobbyist, it and the GOP have become inseparable.

        • Thomas says:

          The Russian money laundering investigations are not dead.
          The bill signed by Biden a week ago removes the statute of limitations.
          Kleptocapture is not just a campaign against Russian oligarchs. Its an investigatory tornado coming after money laundering, and they have prioritized real estate. Does that make you think of anyone?
          The NRA’s shell companies and Trump’s shell companies are coming under state, federal and civil scrutiny.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Thanks, harpie, for the reminder. These are very much connected stories (see Anne Nelson, Shadow Network). Always ask cui bono? In this case the Russians certainly saw benefits in the NRA big-donor effort to exacerbate divisions, fear, and hatred. And let’s not leave out the Christian Right, who saw their own opening and jumped on Trump. The result? Our current SCOTUS.

  8. Raven Eye says:

    Two lines that intersect at the NRA…

    1. There is nothing that the NRA supports that doesn’t bring money into the NRA or its industrial supporters. Sell More Guns.

    2. When many talk about firearms and self-defense, the thing they are defending against it “Them” — Them being any part of government (and non-government supporters) that doesn’t agree with them. January 6 was just a “free sample”.

    #1 spreads the fear to #2, which buys stuff to enrich #1. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  9. Pete T says:

    One (of many) that bothers me is the suggestion that law enforcement (there) did not car about “brown people” in danger. Obviously not all of the kids were “brown”. It should not matter of course.

    But I suppose I assume the local PD and SWAT is made up of significant Latinos perhaps even Mexican-Americans. So…my mind goes numb here.

    On a technical front, any SWAT worth its salt would SEMTEX that door (not C4). Flash-bang-smoke the classroom(s) and shoot the MFer. But they waited for an effing key for 45 minutes to an hour (once the LEOS get their story straight.

    Aside from the obvious root cause problems that are never addressed beyond thoughts and prayers with this truly American Exceptionalism (sarc for the humor impaired), calling the Uvalde cops/SWAT Keystone Cops is too much credit.

    Yeah I am getting more and more pissed as this goes on too.


    We live 2 miles from MSD in Parkland, FL. My wife, a former elementary teacher, casually (not close friends) knew parents of some that were killed and was 1-2 degrees of separation from others. But the community is partially broken still to this day.

    • Rayne says:

      1 – Learn what “internalized oppression” is and how it works. Keep in mind not all Hispanic/Latinx people are from the same culture.

      2 – Flash bangs have killed children. Smoke might have been a better option, but they still had to open the fucking door to do that and they somehow couldn’t manage that until Border Patrol arrived.

  10. Anathema Device says:

    In 1996, 16 kids and a teacher died in a school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland. There has been one mass shooting since then, and no more school shootings at all.

    In the same year (and possibly in imitation of the Dunblane killer) a gunman killed 35 people in a mass shooting here in Australia, and the gun laws were drastically changed:

    In the 18 years prior to the shooting in 1996, there had been 13 mass shootings—if defined as murders of 5 or more people by gun—in Australia. Since the laws were passed, there has been one, a case in which a grandfather killed family members and then himself….The number of individual homicides and suicides by gun also fell steeply. By 2010, gun-related suicides had dropped by 74%, saving 200 lives a year, a fact that a study linked directly to the gun buyback law.

    We have never had a school shooting here.

    Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people, and people with semi-automatic weapons kill a lot of people really fast. It doesn’t matter if the people are mentally ill. What matters is the weapon they can get their hands on. In Europe, there have been many random attacks by extremists and mentally ill people using swords and knives – but they can’t kill 21 people in less than an hour.

    Sword and knife manufacturers don’t have terrorist organisations masquerading as constitutional rights campaigners fighting to allow people to carry samurai swords and chef knives into schools and churches and without any restriction whatsoever.

    If Sandy Hook, the Pulse night club, or Las Vegas didn’t shift the needle on gun laws, Uvalde won’t either. You can vote in as many Democrats as possible, you can change the law, and the present SCOTUS will throw those laws out. Your civics are buggered because of malignant foreign money perverting elections and media and an ossified Constitution which was supposed to let people live their best lives but is now used to terrorise them. But more than that, you have a very large portion of your population convinced of American exceptionalism, and that they will somehow avoid the inexorable rise of fascism by suppressing personal freedom, all in the name of preserving personal freedom.

    The people of Uvalde will vote for the GOP and the far right mayor and the corrupt policing again because they have been convinced they are keeping the very things that is being torn away from them – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    When America sneezes, Australia catches a cold. These malign forces are rising here (and are sponsored by Americans), though we have a much more agile political framework and less deified constitution which offers us a little protection – for now. This is the reason that I pay so much attention to your politics.

    • Scott Johnson says:

      But more than that, you have a very large portion of your population convinced of American exceptionalism, and that they will somehow avoid the inexorable rise of fascism by suppressing personal freedom, all in the name of preserving personal freedom.

      No. We have a very large portion of our population convinced of their own exceptionalism, and of the perfidy of their countrymen, and they are openly advocating the rise of fascism with the specific purpose of disenfranchising the caste-traitors and untouchables in the Democratic Party. They only care of their own freedoms, specifically of the freedom to mistreat those they view as beneath them.

      “Real American” means a rather specific set of things. Among others is the implicit understanding that non-real-Americans should not be permitted to exercise political power, specifically because we (“liberals”) seek to overthrow the long established (and thoroughly unjust) social order that has long dominated this country. To them, that social order is the sine non qua of what it means to be American, and our vocal and explicit opposition to it, high treason.

      • bmaz says:

        Jeebus. For the love of god, do NOT pepper us with ten 100-300 word comments serially like that. We have real work to do, and your extended thoughts on life are not that critical.

        • Sonso says:

          I would say that the comment is salient, in that a distinction between the cosplay of American Exceptionalism opposed to the self-serving nature of Individual Exceptionalism is important in unraveling the Gordon’s know am American legislative stasis. In other words, there really is no objective defense of the right-wing positions; it’s all personally subjective.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        “We have a very large portion of our population convinced of their own exceptionalism, and of the perfidy of their countrymen…”

        Those type consider themselves to be patriots, but like the old joke goes, they are the type of patriots who love their country and hate most of the people living in it.

    • Eureka says:

      When America sneezes, Australia catches a cold. These malign forces are rising here (and are sponsored by Americans), […]

      Gimme a break with your haughty Australian exceptionalism — which includes as much defeatist demoralization

      You can vote in as many Democrats as possible, you can change the law, and the present SCOTUS will throw those laws out. Your civics are buggered because of malignant foreign money perverting elections and media and an ossified Constitution […]

      as anything Putin’s bots could come up with. IOW if you really believed what you were saying you might not spend your time heaping shit but instead doing what you can to prevent that cold.

      Tell me about the malign forces sponsored by Murdoch & ilk FFS.

      And far as influence operations go, you can also file some “Spare me the noble victim act” under the degree to which Australian nationals and PR firms earn their dollar stoking “both sides”, shaping public conversation wrt any given US controversy [citation: Personal Observation].

      You can pick the rest of the splinters out of your eye yourself.

        • Anathema Device says:

          I came back to see if my previous comment to Eureka had made it out of moderation, and to ask that it be withdrawn, and to offer an apology for giving offence.

          I’m really disappointed to see your comment, Rayne. I have not, and did not, claim that America was the sole bad influence on Australian culture or politics. I am talking about a particular anti democratic – let’s call it what it is, which is fascism – and antiscience strain which is doing its very best to infect democracies worldwide, and which is at very least exemplified by what’s going on in your right wing, and at very worst promulgated and amplified quite deliberately to other countries by the same bad actors.

          I don’t see any point in continuing the argument. Again, sorry to have offended.

          • Rayne says:

            Look more carefully at how social media has been weaponized globally to spawn white nationalism EVERYWHERE. It’s not necessarily the US you can blame growing fascism on, we’re simply the largest economy which makes it more visible. The effects of Murdoch-News Group’s Fox News propaganda on the US since its inception here 1996 — a decades-long program of demoralization — began the work which social media continues.

            Australia has numerous active fascist groups of which some are newer and spawned by the Dugin-driven hybrid warfare over social media with parallels elsewhere. Some are uniquely Australian: Antipodean Resistance, Australian Defence League, Australia First Party, Australian League of Rights, Australian Protectionist Party, Lads Society, Reclaim Australia, Soldiers of Odin, True Blue Crew, United Patriots Front, etc. All of them are being amped up by the same forces amping up fascism in the US, the UK, much of the EU. News Group works in tandem with the Duginist white nationalism if you look closely enough, feeding these groups’ aspirations.

            It’s not the US sneezing economically, nor is it politically. We’re just easier to blame because we’re doing a good job of fucking up a response to a cryptic hybrid war conducted on all countries with Anglo/European citizens. We’re a lesson in what-not-to-do.

      • Scott Johnson says:

        I won’t blame all of Australia for Rupert Murdoch, but the Josef Goebbels of our time is your countryman, mate.

        • Eureka says:

          Scott Johnson, did you mean to reply to me here (an American as Rayne indicates) or instead to Anathema Device (the self-identified Australian)?

          It’s potentially confusing as while the native Australian Murdoch has directly supported some of the Australian RW extremist projects Rayne notes today @ 11:06 AM (besides what generally wafts from his trans-/international media outlets), he acquired American citizenship so he could buy more American television stations (as reported at the time and since). [Sure as shit not for any love for our country.]

          • Rayne says:

            Yeah. Nice how he weaseled around the restrictions on foreign nationals owning US media.

            • Eureka says:

              I’m also recalling things like Murdoch’s horribly timely meetings with McConnell (11/2018) and with Barr (10/2019) — and how after Barr went to see him on the eve of Parnas and Fruman’s (et al.) charges becoming public (IIRC they later picked up Correia in transit), Hannity suddenly cancelled his trip to Vienna.

              FARA’s not just a gal with an iconic poster & haircut [… not that American citizenship would except him from any such rules applying as relevant, but I do believe it helps him avoid more scrutiny — besides his power and allies].

              • Rayne says:

                Another example of the weaponization of the First Amendment. He’d claim he was acting as the press in whatever he was doing.

    • J R in WV says:

      After discussing several international locations you then say “We have never had a school shooting here.” Where the F is “here” please?? It seems like you may be in Australia, but that’s an inference, not a statement of fact. Thanks for playing…

  11. Eureka says:

    We do ourselves a disservice in some respects* by starting the clock at Columbine as the iconic turning point in common conversation. Partly because of that, I memory-graft “Columbine” as much earlier than 1999 until reminded of the date.

    Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” was 1991. [Eddie Vedder later said the song was based on two school shooting incidents: one where a Jeremy shot himself in school, and another at Vedder’s school where it sounds like a boy shot up a bunch of the school but not persons.]

    Efforts towards enacting the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons ban “intensified” around 1989, after (per wiki):

    the shooting of a teacher and 34 children, five of whom died, in Stockton, California, with a semi-automatic Kalashnikov-pattern rifle.[2][3][4]

    [Note: following this example, additional shootings are listed as inspiration for the ban. Internal links removed.]

    If you click the the link for this it goes to:

    Cleveland Elementary School shooting (Stockton)

    Not to be confused with Cleveland Elementary School shooting (San Diego).

    “Not to be confused with”…

    Also, the Cleveland Elementary School shooting (Stockton) victims were “predominantly Southeast Asian refugees”.

    *In other respects it matters very much as a turning point for more widespread active shooter drills and all of their implications especially for school children and teachers, staff. But also for other public-facing workplaces where high levels of workplace violence to include (mass) shootings tend to occur or are known as high risk. But we all live in background terror to the “stochastic” factor.

    • elcajon64 says:

      Columbine was the first time I remember seeing – live – an overly militarized police force sit on their hands while an active shooting was taking place. It was immediately clear that all the money was going towards equipment and not training. Or that gear was just for show/PR/intimidation/compensation. The police looked like a group of wargames players asked to step into a real situation.

    • EdwardB says:

      “I Don’t Like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats was about a 1979 school shooting in California. This isn’t a new phenomenon.

    • Scott Johnson says:

      And a song that was considered humorous satire back when I was a kid, but is now considered in VERY poor taste, Julie Brown’s “Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun” was released in 1984. (I’m deliberately NOT linking to the video).

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        “in very poor taste”? I’ve always thought Julie Brown’s song was a brilliant feminist pre-emptive strike. As in, see how silly this gun cosplay looks when a girl does it?

        Funny how female artists’ takes get judged as poor taste (see Kathy Griffin’s reference to Judith and Holofernes), when men just straight-up commit crimes and get treated, on the incel boards at least, as heroes.

        • Eureka says:

          [So many layers here]

          In her acts* in return-from-exile, Griffin herself ultimately went with Hillary Clinton’s comparison to a play on Perseus with the head of Medusa — sensu darn, why didn’t I just say that — and surely _because_ Clinton herself had given the interpretation while contrasting the reaction to Griffin with the utter silence surrounding similar and worse depictions of Clinton by Trumpers on t-shirts, Trumpist [MSM] media everywhere.

          When Griffin’s *Laugh Your Head Off World Tour made it to America, we were double-screened (walk-through and hand-wanded) before entry.

          That screening did not prevent me from making those split-second ‘where are the exits’-type calculations when a woman yelled, “He has a backpack!” upon a man creating a ruckus near the stage. Turns out the man was a Roger Stone-and-ilk affiliated operative (per the subsequent social media theater) conducting an early shades of Qanon feeder stunt.

          And that would not be the last time I encountered Trumpist extremists while in public spaces going about life (have you heard how much fun it is to vote with these folks around? /s). Such experiences render the surreal quite real — and the reverse. Of course you know this, Ginevra, given experiences with your parents countering Trumpist progenitors that you’ve shared.

          *Plus her appointment film about the tour and her ordeal, Hell of a Story (with Q&A with Ted Boutrous), available for streaming.

  12. Molly Pitcher says:

    Rayne, here is something positive:

    from thetnholler [IG]

    “Students at Oxford High School in Michigan are walking out of class to protest the lack of gun control laws and to show support for the victims in Texas”

    • Rayne says:

      Oxford students know exactly what’s going on.

      Unfortunately, nothing’s changed in Michigan since their fellow classmate committed a mass murder last November, but that’s because the state’s legislature is under GOP control in no small part because of gerrymandering in 2010.

  13. Doctor My Eyes says:

    The more we learn, the worse it gets. Turns out the blustering gun-lovers seem to be mostly cowards. So much for the ridiculous “one good man with a gun” theory of preventing mass shootings. Anyway, I’m checking in to point out that The Onion nails it.

    This satire is not funny, nor do I think it’s designed to be. It takes a moment to look around and see what they’re up to on the front page, so I’ll point out that they are publishing the same pointed article over and over and over again, each time in reference to a different mass shooting. Finally, if you scroll down, there is Mitch McConnell: “Get Your Crying Done Now Because We’re Not Passing Shit,” which includes the made-up and perfect quote, “And yes, we know the parents of the victims will be burying 19 young children in the coming few weeks. Seriously, none of it matters to us. I don’t know how to make it any clearer. We simply couldn’t care less.”

    Finally, the coup de grace, which I’ll just post here in full because I’m pretty sure the Onion won’t mind:

    Report: Uvalde Gunman Had Accomplices As Far As Washington, D.C.
    UVALDE, TX—Uncovering shocking new details about the Robb Elementary School shooting, FBI agents told reporters Wednesday that alleged gunman Salvador Ramos had accomplices as far away as Washington, D.C. “We have reason to believe this wasn’t a ‘lone wolf’ incident, but rather a coordinated attack carried out with the assistance of 535 individuals in the D.C. metropolitan area,” said agency spokesperson Adriana Yaroma, who noted that the case was now being investigated as a federal crime, as the co-conspirators had crossed the borders of every U.S. state. “This was a highly sophisticated operation backed by millions of dollars, and it appears to have been in the works for decades. We have evidence these men and women provided the shooter with cover as well as access to the very guns used to perpetrate the murders. If it weren’t for the cooperation of these incredibly sick individuals, the 21 victims would still be with us today.” At press time, the accomplices had reportedly fled the country before they could be brought in for questioning.

  14. James Luther says:

    As much as we bemoan conservatives’ inability to learn from history/experience on issues like gun violence in schools, we ourselves also display an identical inability to learn from history/experience.

    For decades, non-conservatives have pointed to policies and statistics that correlate with gun violence with exactly the same degree of effectiveness of convincing conservatives that our current gun policies do to limit gun violence. Yet we continue to make the same mistake over and over for decades. At what point do we recognize that changing the opinions of a group, whose defining characteristic is the complete rejection of evidence based rational decision making, simply can NOT be done using evidence based rational decision making?

    We have adopted an approach to influencing conservatives as ineffective as thoughts and prayers is at reducing school shootings. IMHO, this is a continuing skirmish in the long running battle that began centuries ago with The Enlightenment. Whether you like it or not, the rules of American society remain more influenced by tradition than reason – no matter how much blood is spilled. At this point, no rational American should be surprised/shocked by the violence, or each of the parties dutifully playing their expected role. The band plays on.

    • Anathema Device says:

      “conservatives’ inability to learn from history/experience on issues like gun violence in schools”

      It’s not inability.

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair.

      ALL of these people are paid handsomely to act like dumb bastards in the face of irrefutable evidence on what does and does not work to stop any crime, let alone gun crime.

      Stop giving them the benefit of the doubt. They’re bad, not ignorant.

      • James Luther says:

        I agree if you are speaking of GOP leadership. I was raised in an evangelical environment, and many of the foot-soldiers can’t really be described as bad or ignorant, more blinded by religious fervor. They truly believe that they are fighting evil.

        What I don’t really understand is why the Democrats act as they do, insisting on repeating a failed strategy again and again. Ignorant, or like the GOP, do they really have other goals?

        • Rayne says:

          Dude. Really? You’re going to pull that “Democrats in disarray” bullshit? There are 43 Democrats, 2 Independents, 1 Democratic Socialist, and two corrupt DINOS on the left side of the Senate aisle. The bottleneck is the corrupt DINOs. Has been, will be until enough additional Democratic senators have been elected to supplant the DINOs allowing a Democratic Senate to break the filibuster. Until then the Democrats do not actually have a true majority in the Senate.

          I don’t know how many fucking times this has to be explained to people who we presume have graduated from high school and are able to count to 100.

          I do want to point out here that yet again another new-ish commenter with (4) total approved comments to date has coughed up some hairball in a thread here. Bring a better game or begone.

          ADDER: I’ll cut you some nominal slack because your IP address says you’re in Canada. Assuming that’s true and not spoofing, you need to bone up on U.S. Senate rules specifically the filibuster before you start spouting off.

          • Thomas says:

            You are right.
            We need at least two more Democrats in the Senate.
            That would allow us to go around Manchin and Sinema on reconciliation bills, and, probably, at least get a “talking filibuster.”
            We would need more than two more Democrats to get rid of the filibuster completely.
            I think we will get six more Senators this November.
            Don’t listen to the naysayers. We can get that AND beat 40 Republicans in the House AND take control of ten states away from them.
            Why? School shootings, Roe v Wade, economy will improve, and demographic changes.
            The Republicans will lose VERY BADLY.

    • Ken Muldrew says:

      At what point do we recognize that changing the opinions of a group, whose defining characteristic is the complete rejection of evidence based rational decision making, simply can NOT be done using evidence based rational decision making?

      Since you *have* to change the opinions of that group, what strategy do you suggest?

  15. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. I knew you would express your feelings about “weapons of mass destruction.” I cried.

    A few videos to put into perspective about the NRA from Ryan Busse, former firearms executive and author: Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry That Radicalized America

    Christiane Amanpour speaks to Ryan Busse, the author of ‘Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry That Radicalized America’ and Tom Mauser who lost his son in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. They discuss the latest mass shooting to plague America- the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas


    It’s Time For Responsible Gun Owners to Save our Democracy | Ryan Busse | TEDxBigSky

  16. Leading Edge Boomer says:

    Abbott has gone to more mental health support as his solution. He has cut exactly those funds, so TX now spends the least per capita among all the states.

    • P J Evans says:

      TX wasn’t doing much even before Abbott. I lived there in the mid-90s, and social services were few and far between. The state government wasn’t all-GOP at that point, so it wasn’t insane. But it was getting there.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Texas, like Florida, is ground zero when it comes to the GOP experiment to see how little state government can do for the average citizen, while subsidizing and immunizing corporations and the wealth elite which owns them.

  17. Ddub says:

    The older I get the more these senseless killings wreck.

    The most painful irony here is that 2Aers will look at this and see it proves their point.

    My heart is with that brave little second grader who walked right by the killer in the hallway as he entered, and quickly rushed to his room to warn and likely saved more kids.

    Or the honesty of the High School senior who wanted the world to know that the killer was never bullied, rather he regularly bullied others and was known to hurt animals. Just mean he said.

    My heart also goes out to the City of Uvalde, with grace may it survive this terrible event. It’s hard for me not to imagine that this crime was aimed into the heart of the town. I hope it doesn’t succeed.

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The number of unanswered questions grows by the hour. The stories are contradictory, but Uvalde police seem to have limited their response to outside crowd control. Who issued that order? Local police and some of the Feds were so concerned that parents would take things into their own hands and enter the school to retrieve their kids (at least one mom did), they handcuffed, tackled, pepper-sprayed and arrested some of them. That’s a lot of police work directed to crowd control when so little seemed to be directed toward finding and stopping the shooter.

    The Uvalde PD radio comms must have been burning the airwaves for hours. So, why an 18-minute gap when comms were good before and after it? Can those comms be reconstructed from other sources?

    What was the comms tree for the local police? They must have had one. Who first notified the police, and who did that person talk to, and so on up the chain. When did commands start being issued and to whom? Who assumed overall command and when? Was the prearranged protocol followed? If not, what was the deviation and why?

    The big issue is why the hour-long wait before what turned out to be a federal assault team arrived and attacked the shooter? Uvalde apparently has nine SWAT team members, about half the local police force. What were they doing for that hour? Were there no state or San Antonio SWAT or similar teams available sooner?

    • P J Evans says:

      San Antonio is 80 miles from Uvalde, so about an hour, minimum, for anyone to get there. No place closer that isn’t *smaller*.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I’m pretty sure some guy named Sikorsky, originally from Kyiv, invented a flying thigamajig, whose modern versions might have gotten there in under an hour. I hear big city PDs and SWAT teams use them all the time.

      It’s possible the Feds were closer, but it still took an hour. The timeline of who called whom and when will be important to understanding what happened, what worked, and what didn’t.

    • Ken Muldrew says:

      When the shit hits the fan, paramilitaries will fall back on what they have drilled. Maybe this PD put all its effort into preparing for big BLM/antifa riots; as detached from reality as the rest of frothy right.

    • Epicurus says:

      My wife was sole secretary in a 500+ student elementary school for many years. In her final building she sat in an inner office off the hallway leading to the main entrance about 20 yards away. She could see the entrance through glass and cameras and could talk through an intercom. The entrance was a two door glass setup – main door, vestibule, entrance door – and both doors were locked and controlled by my wife. There were no cameras on service/other doors to the building and she did not control them. She only admitted people she could identify or showed identification and stated purpose of the visit.

      The schools in the city drilled a couple times a year for fire, bomb, and “intruder” drills. Intruder drills were monitored by a police person inside the building and coordinated with the police department responders. Specific protocols were followed. Room lockdowns were initiated. Police responders visited each room if only for their own familiarity, such as access availability, e.g where are the keys, and for questions/feedback from the staff.

      If someone with an AR15 wanted to kill kids/others in the school, he (most likely) would have blown away the doors and been in the building in a minute or less. At most, before she died because she would have been the first person the intruder would have seen, my wife would only have been able to yell “lockdown!” on the intercom to try to save the rest of the school while the principal in the adjoining room was calling the police.

      1. The Uvalde Police Department was unprepared. I am willing to bet there were no simulations or drills in the schools or in the department itself or real discussion among themselves about the various situations that could arise and how they would handle them. “It can’t/won’t happen here” is a powerful suppressant.

      2. Police, like the military, take orders from their designated superiors. The police were acting on orders from one or two people on the scene and those individuals in charge should be explaining right now why they responded as they did. If they deferred action based on a decision from someone not on the scene, the non-scene people should have to answer why they would know more than those on the scene and why waiting was the best option. (The whole thing looks like a miniature version of Russian decision-making and lack of training in Ukraine.)

      3. Gun ownership has become more than a right. It is a cult. People have to be de-programmed to leave a cult.

      • bmaz says:

        As to 1) the Uvalde PD SWAT team really did planning drills like that to familiarize themselves with the Robb school and gain a grip on the layout. But their SWAT squad seems to have been curiously absent in all this. 2) and 3)….yes. I have a very close relative who was a high school teacher for 26 years. Totally open campus, and they never faced worse than a fist fight in the courtyard. Guns are out of control.

        • P J Evans says:

          My HS was open in the sense that you could walk in (then). I don’t even remember fist fights – they would have been few, far between, and probably out at the far ends of the fields.
          (We couldn’t leave campus without a written note, and parking spaces were assigned. It was closed in that way. No fast-food joints around then, either.)

  19. David Lawrance says:

    CPAC members had a perfect opportunity to bone up on gun regulation in Hungary, which according to, is substantially different than here in the US.

  20. Alan Charbonneau says:

    Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, and Dan Patrick have solutions, though. Hardening the “targets”, making sure there are no back doors, metal detectors, high fences, etc.

    Maybe if they turn the schools into a fortress, shooters will have to wait for the kids to leave school at the end of the day until they can open fire. Maybe that will cause them to reflect and change their mind, like an abortion waiting period but without having to read anti-choice information. Or not.

    • Rayne says:

      The target had been hardened. That’s why they couldn’t get into the classroom.

      There’s a point when the only left to harden is the public’s resolve to stop electing morons who do the same things over and over again and expect different results.

      • harpie says:

        I don’t think those politicians “expect different results”

        I think they WANT and EXPECT the exact SAME result…
        more dead undesirables.

    • rip says:

      Guessing the next step after hardening the schools is to put the children in armored troop carriers to get between home and school. Probably need a few advance vehicles to scout for terrorists (NRA members).

      All of these types of responses are good for companies that build defenses (Halliburton and other W friends) and armored vehicle manufacturers. Win-win-win along with the gun manufacturers.

      Just wait for the NRA terrorists to insist that javelins and other anti-tank weapons fall under the 2A.

  21. rattlemullet says:

    The common denominator of the problem lies with the gun industry. A good primer on the highly unregulated gun industry is at the link from 2020.

    A few observations;

    A good percentage of Americans are very afraid and feel a gun will protect them from whatever fear they are feeling. This is a result of marketing, it is easy to prey upon fear.
    A great many of the American police force when involved in a mass shooter event are cowards. This has been demonstrated over and over again.
    The unfettered access to guns in American has only led to more gun deaths and grievously wounded citizens. For any politician think that having more guns in more locations will solve the problem are insane.
    The Second Amendment has been wrongly interpreted, in my opinion. It is a four part sentence with the subject being, “A well regulated Militia,” seems to be lost in the understanding the context. But now it seems that an AR-15 has been classified as a defensive weapon that everyone is entitled to own for self-defense. This weapon is not design for self defense.
    As it has been pointed out the voting booth is boiling down to be Americas only option to turn the tide to regulate firearms. But with 40 percent of the country insane about guns and because the 2nd Amendment is the only Amendment, coupled with gerrymandering it will be an extremely tough row to hoe.
    Gun money buys a lot of politicians.

    There are no simple solution here at this time. The best option is to ban all guns but shotgun and hand guns with limited capacity.

  22. harpie says:

    Rayne, thanks for writing this and channeling some of the rage I feel. All day I knew you’d be trying to get something up here, but couldn’t imagine how in the world you might be able to. Your working through this to give us a space to share is greatly appreciated. [hearts to you]

    • harpie says:

      NBA [yesterday]:
      8:42 PM · May 25, 2022

      Wow. The PA announcer at the Heat-Celtics game, after the obligatory moment of silence for the shooting victims, urged people to call Congress and demand common sense gun legislation. Crowd roared in approval. Thanks @NBA.

      NPR has VIDEO here:

      [after a moment of silence] Thank you. The Heat urges you to contact your state senators by calling 202-224-3121 [crescendo-ing cheering] to leave a message demanding their support for common sense gun laws. You can also make change at the ballot box. Visit HEAT dot com slash vote to register and let your voice be heard this fall.

      • Rayne says:

        Yeah. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Culture war now goes wide. Wait until K-pop fans get into this.

        The GOP knows its going to have to do something. McConnell sicced Texas’s senior senator John Cornyn on working with Democrats.

        • JackZ says:

          Note that the GOP has a history of success with Latinos in TX, and been working hard to improve their share of Latino votes in other states. McConnell didn’t give a sh*t about the Black folks killed in Buffalo, but needs to head off any qualms about voting GOP among Latinos that might be caused by Dem messaging about the Uvalde massacre. That’s what this “work with the Democrats”is about.

          • Rayne says:

            Partly — but it’s partly the state is vulnerable to swinging blue because of SCOTUS on Roe v Wade combined with the state’s anti-abortion laws as well as Abbott’s lousy governance on energy and now gun control. TX-23 where Uvalde is located is only rated R+1 right now and its current GOP House rep (who is Hispanic/Latin) is doing a shitacular job responding to questions about gun control.

            None of this has to do with Texas’s Senate seats because neither Cornyn or Cruz are up for re-election, but the spillover could affect other Senate races. I hope to goodness DNC’s Jaime Harrison has a solid bilingual team working in Florida where Rubio is up for re-election this year.

            • Eureka says:

              Re other Senate races: in the PA seat w/GOP nom now under recount, McCormick had a bunch of really really gross gun-based ads (disgusting like some of his others). But Oz will get the nom if things hold. Despite the “Pennsyltucky” stereotypes, most Pennsylvanians, like most Americans, want stricter gun laws.

              Unfortunately Oz can play this both ways: while he’d been slammed during the primary for his “liberal positions” on his TV show (&c.), he can now trot out those clips to try to appear less radical than he recently _insisted_ he is in trying to out-gun McC.

              That also leaves him in a better position than McC to hypocritically exploit Fetterman’s incident. On that issue, anyone looking to phonebank or otherwise help out should see this thread by Philly Mag journalist Ernest Owens. Owens links his own interview as well as the endorsement of Fetterman by the Philadelphia Tribune — the oldest running Black newspaper in the country.

              • Rayne says:

                Yuck. Oz is a massive national security threat. I can’t believe his candidacy has made it this far.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        NBA Finals start on Friday…

        Perfect opportunity to make a strong statement seven times to a massive world-wide audience…

        Let’s see if they have the balls to do it…

        There’s nothing stopping teams from using their visibility and media access to make statements either…

        I think we’re past the point where you can just shrug your shoulders, say ‘it’s not my problem’ and walk away…

        You need to pick a side in this one…

        According to The Insider, there have already been 214 mass shootings* in the US this year, and it’s not even June.

        *The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting to be one where 4 or more people are shot at the same time.

    • harpie says:

      YANKEES [tonight]
      6:41 PM · May 26, 2022

      In lieu of game coverage and in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Rays, we will be using our channels to offer facts about the impacts of gun violence. The devestating events that have taken place in Uvalde, Buffalo and countless other communities across our nation are tragedies that are intolerable.

      RAYS [tonight]:
      6:23 PM · May 26, 2022

      […] The Rays organization stands committed to actionable change and has made a $50,000 commitment to Everytown for Gun Safety’s Support Fund. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in America. Rather than our usual game coverage on social media tonight, we’ve partnered with Everytown to amplify facts about gun violence in America. […]

  23. Lester Noyes says:

    Let’s ask Republican politicians – heck, ALL Republicans:
    Are you pro-life or pro-guns? You can’t be both.
    Maybe put it on a bumper-sticker (though in my town that would get my car destroyed).

  24. Yancy Faith says:

    I didn’t understand this in the Pulse nightclub massacre and I don’t understand it now:
    Do we no longer have fire codes?
    Have they been gutted?
    Is anybody overseeing compliance with these codes (besides occupancy at/during music venues that attract “undesirables”?)

      • Rugger9 says:

        To give Yancy the benefit of the doubt, I think the comment addresses Cancun Cruz’s solution of single entrances (it’s stupid, and YF’s comment is one of the reasons why).

        • Sonso says:

          It’s precipitated by this sophomoric concept that schools, “soft targets”, need to be hardened by limiting access to a single entrance/exit (cue the Allmans Brothers “One Way Out”). Additionally, locked exits only serve to increase the death/injury toll when people stampede to escape.

        • Yancy Faith says:

          Yes, thank you, Rugger. I am trying to understand how the delays and failures occurred. Of course the deaths are ultimately the fault of the shooter and those who push these weapons of mass death, but while we wait for someone to pass common sense gun legislation, I’d like to know if we make it possible for intended victims (sitting ducks) to escape these psychopaths.

          I’m sorry if I derailed the flow of the conversation. It was a real question and was in no way intended to deflect from the dangers posed by these weapons of war. I do not support unfettered access to firearms.
          Again, I apologize for bringing it up.

  25. harpie says:

    Uvalde’s Congressman is Tony Gonzales (R TX-23).
    Here he is repeatedly NOT answering NBC’s Garrett Haake’s question:
    6:26 PM · May 26, 2022

    WATCH: GOP Rep. Tony Gonzales refuses to answer NBC’s @GarrettHaake when asked why 18-year-olds need to be able to buy assault riffles [VIDEO]

    GH: You can’t buy a beer when you’re 18yo. Why do you need to be able to buy an assault rifle?
    TG: You know, I think part of the conversation, we have to be unified. This country is not unified.

    GH [0:09]: I want to go back to my original question. Why does an 18yo in Texas need to be able to buy an assault rifle?
    TG: The reality is, this isn’t a new topic. There has been a lot of legislation that’s been out there.

    GH [0:19]: You haven’t answered my question, though. Why does an 18yo need an AR-15 in the state of Texas?
    TG: So, this is how the legislative process works. Congress determines the laws. Right now, we have a Congress that won’t talk to one another. There’s so much rhetoric and hate.

    • harpie says:
      Gonzales, Tony Texas 23rd R 1009 LHOB (202) 225-4511 // Appropriations

      Tony Gonzales (Republican Party) is a member of the U.S. House, representing Texas’ 23rd Congressional District. He assumed office on January 3, 2021. His current term ends on January 3, 2023.

      Gonzales (Republican Party) is running for re-election to the U.S. House to represent Texas’ 23rd Congressional District. He is on the ballot in the general election on November 8, 2022. He advanced from the Republican primary on March 1, 2022.

      BIO: Tony Gonzales served in the U.S. Navy from 1999 to 2019. Gonzales earned a master’s degree in international relations and conflict resolution from American Public University in 2014 and a graduate certificate in legislative studies from Georgetown University. His career experience includes working as a cryptologist with the U.S. Navy.[1]

      • harpie says:

        DEMOCRAT running against GONZALES: John LIRA

        BIO: John Lira served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Lira earned an associate degree in paralegal studies from San Antonio College in 2008, a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2012, and a master’s degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University in 2015.[1] His career experience includes co-founding LIRA Strategies LLC and working as a HillVets Legislative Leaders Fellow with the U.S. House of Representatives, a policy research manager with the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, and a management and program analyst with the U.S. Small Business Administration.[2]

    • harpie says:

      Two GONZALES tweets:
      3:44 PM · May 24, 2022

      My heart breaks for the city of Uvalde. Pray for our families.
      “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
      Matthew 19:14
      4:23 PM · May 24, 2022

      Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Let’s pray together.

      • harpie says:

        NYCSouthpaw has screenshots of two more GONZALES tweets:

        3/11/21 @TonyGozales4TX:

        I voted NO on the two gun control measures in the House today. I am a proud supporter of the Second Amendment and will do everything I can to oppose gun grabs from the far Left.


        The Radical Left wants to take away your guns. Not on my watch!

        Proud to defend your Second Amendment.
        [Tony Gonzales is endorsed by the NRA Political Victory Fund!]
        4:56 PM · May 24, 2022

        • harpie says:

          Facts on the House Gun Bills
 March 19, 2021

          […] Would H.R. 8 confiscate guns?
          Let’s also quickly dispatch with a comment from the House floor on March 10 by Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who opposed the bills, saying, “You want my guns. I know it. We all know it. Well, Mr. Speaker, you can come and take them.”

          There is nothing in either of the two bills passed by the House that calls for the confiscation of any guns or that prevents someone legally allowed to purchase a gun from doing so. […]

          And here’s Bill Pascrell (D NJ-09)

          8:35 AM · May 25, 2022

          440 days ago [He keeps track] we voted to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. 96% of House republicans voted against it and mcconnell republicans have been blocking it over a year. [screenshot]

        • harpie says:

          The 2 BILLS:

          H R 8 11-Mar-2021 10:48 AM
          QUESTION: On Passage
          BILL TITLE: Bipartisan Background Checks Act

          YEA: 227 [D: 219 // R: 8 > Buchanen, Fitzpatrick, Garbarino, Gimenez, Kinzinger, Salazar, Smith (NJ), Upton]

          NAY 203 [R: 202 // D: 1]
          [ONE Democratic NO vote: Golden, Jared Maine 2nd D 1222 LHOB (202) 225-6306 // Armed Services // Small Business]

          H R 1446 11-Mar-2021 12:29 PM
          QUESTION: On Passage
          BILL TITLE: Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021

          YEA: 219 [D: 217 // R: 2 > Fitzpatrick, Smith (NJ)]

          NAY 210 [R: 208 // D: 2]
          [TWO Democratic NO votes:
          – Golden, Jared Maine 2nd D 1222 LHOB (202) 225-6306 // Armed Services // Small Business

          -Kind, Ron Wisconsin 3rd D 1502 LHOB (202) 225-5506
          Ways and Means]

    • harpie says:

      Via Wendy Siegelman:
      7:19 AM · May 26, 2022

      The rifle used in the Uvalde school shooting, the Daniel Defense DDM4 V7, was chosen by an NRA Foundation fundraising arm as its ‘Gun of the Year’ in 2017 – marking the first time an AR-15 style rifle took the honor.

      The company’s founder said at the time:

      I’m very glad that [Friends of NRA] chose this product to be Gun of the Year because it finally states that [the AR-15] is a mainstream product, a product everyone should have, and a product everyone should learn to shoot. [Link]

      • harpie says:

        NEW via Laura Rozen:

        Maker of rifle in Texas massacre is deep-pocketed GOP donor by @isaacstanbecker [WaPo]

        Maker of rifle in Texas massacre is deep-pocketed GOP donor
        Political contributions by the owners of Georgia-based Daniel Defense show the financial clout of the gun industry, even as NRA spending declines 5/27/22

        […] The owners of the Georgia-based company [Marvin C. Daniel and his wife, Cindy D. Daniel] have donated more than $70,000 directly to GOP candidates for federal office this election cycle, according to a review of filings with the Federal Election Commission. Daniel Defense itself gave $100,000 last year to a PAC backing incumbent Republican senators. […]

        • harpie says:

          […] Daniel Defense manufactured about 52,000 firearms in 2020, compared to about 32,000 in 2019, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

          “The ability of the industry to use money to advance its policy agenda has increased given the dramatic rise in firearm sales that we’ve seen over the last two or three years,” said Timothy D. Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University. “The industry is much better equipped to further its lobbying interests, independent of the NRA.” […]

          They backed Hershel Walker [GA], Ernst (Iowa), Scott (S.C.) and Kennedy (La.), “as well as Eric Schmitt, the attorney general of Missouri and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in that state.”

        • harpie says:

          More donations listed [ie: McCarthy, Scalise], including statewide races.

          Daniel Defense had been scheduled to feature its wares at this weekend’s NRA meeting in Houston, where Trump, along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Tex.), are expected to deliver remarks, though the governor’s office said Thursday his would be prerecorded. An online calendar of events lists appearances by celebrity shooters at Daniel Defense’s designated booth. But an exhibitor list no longer includes the company, and a floor plan shows Daniel Defense’s original location, booth 4839, now belonging to the NRA.

  26. tbob says:

    Sorry for copying a comment I earlier sent to Charlie Pierce, but…damn, I’m steamed about this:

    On Thanksgiving of 1968, I returned from my tour of duty in the Republic of Viet Nam. Surviving the following few years was as demanding as those in RVN. In 1973 I was amazed to see civilian versions of the AR-15 being scooped up by the same people who had studiously avoided service in the aforementioned conflict.

    Forget Texas. Forget the NRA. Forget armed meter maids hesitating to “protect & serve” while innocents are being slaughtered. Forget slogans from the GQP excusing wholesale bloodshed (why permit abortion when grade-schoolers present much more entertaining targets?). This is up to the Democratic Party to immediately tackle and solve. Nationwide registration of all firearms and mandatory liability insurance on semi-automatic handguns and rifles must be pushed now, and pushed hard. Anything short of that? Forget the Democratic Party.

    • Rayne says:

      Jesus Christ, you’re in need of a math class, too. THERE ARE 50 GOP SENATORS STOPPING THE PASSAGE OF ANY GUN CONTROL BILLS.

      FIVE. ZERO.

      Add two DINOs in Manchin and Sinema who refuse to break the filibuster rule and we’re stuck because there are not 60 Democrats in the Senate.


      • Too Loose LeTruck says:

        Have you watched the speech Steve Kerr made before game 5 of the Western Conference finals?

        He repeatedly called out the 50 GOP senators for what they are – power mongering whores more interested in ruling that saving children’s lives. He was tearing up and his voice was cracking.

        I damned near got on my feet and applauded as he ended. It was spectacular. We need to hear speeches like that daily, non-top, from everybody in a position to command a mic, like he is.

        Oh, and fuck Fox News…

        • Rayne says:

          Yup. Kerr made me tear up. And yes, he held the correct people accountable.

          It’s not Democrats getting money from the NRA for a reason.

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            Steve’s a good man…

            He’s had his own tragedy to cope w/… years ago, his father was the President of the American University of Beirut. Dad got kidnapped and executed by Islamic radicals in 1984. A university president is hardly a dangerous man.

            Steve’s experienced first hand the tragedy of which he speaks. Very tough man behind that calm, soft spoken exterior. It was really something to see him raise his voice, shake in public, tear up, and slam his hands on the table.

            Enough is enough… how many more children, churchgoers, or people shopping for groceries on the weekend need to die before 50 self-centered, monstrously insensitive assholes can be goaded into one simple act of human decency?

            • Rayne says:

              Sadly, Jessica Cisneros lost to Henry Cuellar in the Democratic primary run-off on Tuesday by 175 votes. That’s all that stood between one of if not the only anti-abortion Democrats who is also in the NRA’s pocket.

              Cuellar really needed to go for a bunch of reasons and TX-28 couldn’t pull off those few votes to remove him from the ballot.

              Peterson lost in 2020 to Michelle Fischbach (R); he was a DINO. Walz is now MN’s governor. Bishop votes in line with Dems most of the time; gun control is definitely his weakspot. He has a credible R threat to his seat this time, things could be messy.

      • tbob says:

        Rayne, I get it. I direct regular hellfire at my state’s worthless shitheels sitting in the US Senate (Crapo & Risch). I have to register as a Republican in primary elections to winnow the truest crazies from the general. Idaho has no Democratic representation in D.C., nor is it likely in the near future. When I moved here we had Andrus and Church.

        Mandatory registration & liability insurance on vehicles is not primarily considered as Vehicle Control. When applied to firearms, why call it Gun Control (a term that immediately raises hackles among the banjo-pluckers in this state)? There are many responsible firearm owners in this country who would respond positively to such common sense regulation. Revenue could be used to fund buybacks, education and safety. Sell it like that.

  27. RMD says:

    “Full List of Republican Senators Who Receive Funding From the NRA”
    [source: Newsweek, May 26, 2022]
    Mitt Romney (Utah) $13,647,676
    Richard Burr (North Carolina) $6,987,380
    Roy Blunt (Missouri) $4,555,722
    Thom Tillis (North Carolina) $4,421,333
    Marco Rubio (Florida) $3,303,355
    Joni Ernst (Iowa) $3,124,773
    Rob Portman (Ohio) $3,063,327
    Todd C. Young (Indiana) $2,897,582
    Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) $2,867,074
    Tom Cotton (Arkansas) $1,968,714
    Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) $1,475,448
    Josh Hawley (Missouri) $1,391,548
    Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee) $1,306,130
    Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) $1,269,486
    Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) $1,267,139
    Mike Braun (Indiana) $1,249,967
    John Thune (South Dakota) $638,942
    Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia) $341,738
    Richard Shelby (Alabama) $258,514
    Chuck Grassley (Iowa) $226,007
    John Neely Kennedy (Louisiana) $215,788
    Ted Cruz (Texas) $176,274
    Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) $146,262
    Steve Daines (Montana) $123,711
    Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi) $109,547
    Roger Wicker (Mississippi) $106,680
    Rand Paul (Kentucky) $104,456
    Mike Rounds (South Dakota) $95,049
    John Boozman (Arkansas) $82,352
    John Cornyn (Texas) $78,945
    Ben Sasse (Nebraska) $68,623
    Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma) $66,758
    Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) $55,961
    Mike Crapo (Idaho) $55,039
    Jerry Moran (Kansas) $34,718
    John Barrasso (Wyoming) $26,989
    John Hoeven (North Dakota) $22,050
    Susan Collins (Maine) $19,638
    James Lankford (Oklahoma) $18,955
    Jim Risch (Idaho) $18,850
    Tim Scott (South Carolina) $18,513
    Kevin Cramer (North Dakota) $13,255

    It needs to be repeated: Gov Abbott signed the ‘permitless carry’ bill into law. No license, no registration, no training required to carry a handgun in Texas.

    • Charliey says:

      Suggested graphics for TV coverage
      https :// yawitz. co. il/r_senators_annotated.png

      [FYI, the link above has been “broken” with blank spaces to prevent accidental clickthrough. The site has not been vetted by us and should be used with caution. In the future please use a US-based host for images. /~Rayne]

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      And, if what I have read is correct, the only reason the NRA has that money to distribute is that Russia bailed them out of dire financial difficulties. What a great deal for Russia–launder blood money and damage US society.

    • Eureka says:

      Correction: each man’s death was announced in the popular press 5/26/2022, but White had apparently died last Thursday, and DM didn’t give a date for Fletcher’s passing.

      At any rate, for DM and the times it was hard to pass up Personal Jesus and, much more directly, People are People. But Enjoy the Silence is the song of the day.

      Back to Changes:

      Only through love changes come


      One road to loneliness
      It’s always the same
      One road to happiness
      It’s calling your name

      [… chorus]

      Change changing places
      Root yourself to the ground
      Word to the wise – Well you get what’s coming
      One word – One word can bring you round

  28. Sandwichman says:

    Militarization of the police is a subset of a more pervasive militarism. The U.S. spends 38% of the world’s total military spending. And that is with overwhelmingly bipartisan support. The rationale for that level of spending is not simply defense or national security. Arms spending is viewed as a linchpin for economic prosperity. As Michal Kalecki pointed out 80 years ago, big finance and industry will not support deficit spending for social purposes but they will support it for military. Such a huge expenditure has cultural effects. Wearing camo, body armor and carrying weapons is fashionable in some circles.

    • harpie says:

      That must be because they don’t think people there will be effective “good guys”.

  29. DrDoom says:

    All good points. One other worth mentioning is that the GOP wants to privatize education, so weakening public schools is part of their agenda as well. Making parents fear sending their kids to public school is one of several methods used to accomplish this. If it’s not shooters, it’s LGBTQ children attacking in the bathrooms who will threaten “real American” children. Grift from charter schools is also flowing to the GOPpers.

  30. Neil Burns says:

    “ They had gear as well as training and they weren’t willing to use it because they might have been shot.”

    And yet conservatives will still maintain as a matter of faith that gun control won’t work and the answer is more armed guards in schools.

  31. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As Rayne has said, the shit has not begun to hit the fan, and it will be about more than an 18 minute gap in the tapes. This thread centers around a Texas LE spokesperson’s argument, pointed out in the previous comment, that the reason officers did not enter the building sooner was that they might have been shot!

    We’ll need more facts, but the mindset makes no sense. Going into harm’s way is what LE trains for. It’s the job. It’s why we are frequently begged to pay homage to our brave heroes, who put everything on the line for us. It’s why they are given phenomenal budgets and resources, a near monopoly on the legal use of force, and myriad protections from liability.

    Somebody, several somebodies, gave those orders. I don’t want to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, or pass judgment before all the facts are in – but it’s beginning to look like the heads of some senior officials in Texas should roll.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      This thread contradicts some of the whoppers told by Abbott and Texas LE:

      The shooter was Not wearing body armor.
      There was a resource officer, but he was “nearby” at the time the shooter entered the school. So, he did not “engage” shooter.
      The door the shooter entered by was not locked and shot through, it was not unlocked, it was propped open.
      Nineteen officers were outside the classroom door, but did not breach it, because they assumed it was barricaded and that everyone inside but the shooter was dead.
      Local police outside the school prevented parents from entering the school to retrieve their kids, but some of them went inside to retrieve their own – before the shooter was taken down.

      As Dan Froomkin notes, all police lie, but some do it more often than others. Abbott and several of his top people should resign. They won’t, because as TFG (and Boris Johnson) gleefully says, accountability is for suckers. I urge Texas voters to vote for Beto.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Almost every theory tried out by the TX DPS has been debunked in almost real time. The shooter shot his grandmother (who apparently called 911) and wrecked the car on the way to Robb Elementary. He then milled about for 12 minutes shooting at apparent random (more 911 calls) before getting into the school. Uvalde’s a 16,000 person town, and gunfire is loud. Why wasn’t Uvalde PD and the SRO setting up a perimeter around the school in those 12 minutes? We don’t know but if I wonder if it had to do with the demographics of the school vs the town’s leadership. Is Robb the only school in town? Wiki doesn’t have anything about the schools there, but I would suspect it is not given that Uvalde is the county seat for Uvalde County.

        The CBP team was held up by the local cops after arriving at around 1210. Why is that important? Because there are multiple calls from students inside the classroom starting around 1203 and while several were likely dead already, even a round of tear gas would drive out the shooter and saved many lives. These 911 calls from the classroom continued for over a half hour (until 1247) debunking the DPS theory that they didn’t go in because the shooter was barricaded with no kids left alive and they might get hurt. As a side note, if that was the truth or operative theory then the only target left would be the shooter, so blast away.

        There will be more CYA lying from the TX DPS and government authorities, so it really behooves Biden and Garland to get the FBI and DoJ into Uvalde before all of the evidence is glitched into oblivion.

        Of course, the NRA is still holding their shindig in Houston (14 acres of guns, dontchaknow) in an eerie parallel to the situation after Columbine when the NRA held a convention in Denver a couple of days later. Disgusting.

        The RWNM is trying to blame everyone but the gun lobby and themselves, so I wonder how long it will be before Hunter Biden’s laptop makes another appearance on the airwaves. It was particularly appalling to see Carlson claim that Biden ‘politicized’ the discussion with his comments.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          That 40 minutes between the arrival of the BP assault team and when it finally breached the classroom and killed the shooter is hard to fathom. How many kids would still be alive had they gone in earlier?

          When the smoke clears and the funerals are over, Uvalde and Austin will be buried in lawsuits wanting answers to that question. Horribly, Congress and Texas have nearly immunized the gun industry from liability; otherwise, they might be held partially to account for the path of destruction they enable. Texas voters, though, will have a say in November.

        • P J Evans says:

          Three elementary schools, two middle schools, and a HS. That’s about right for a place that size.

        • rip says:

          Too bad (snark) that some russian-trained specialists weren’t called in to protect the most valuable assets – our children.

          Just to recall, the Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis. Chechen patriots (just like the NRA patriots) had taken control of a theater in Moscow in 2002.

          Putin ordered agents to use some form of debilitating agent – probably fentanyl or a derivative – to disable all persons within the structure.

          Next: Cue the US SWAT and all other police to get weapons that distribute opioids in a crisis. And then cue the Sacklers to make more profit.

    • pdaly says:

      I was thinking of the RadioLab podcast “No Special Duty” from Oct 2020 when I read this comment. The podcast reviews the fact that courts have said police have no special duty to protect citizens unless a strict list of criteria is met. The podcast runs through cases where private citizens were in danger/injured/killed, and the police who were aware of the situation in real time were not held responsible for not protecting those citizens.

      IANAL but apparently ‘there is no affirmative duty on the part of the state [police] to protect you’. Gets to your issue which is what is the purpose of LE if not to protect? (I also worry it will be yet another reason for the gun crowd to say this is the reason everyone (every teacher, etc) needs a gun…)

      There is a Transcript button to the right of the Listen button.

      • Rayne says:

        How can “no special duty” apply in the case of children inside a publicly-funded facility. That’s really not a question; if we’re going to cough up massive tax dollars for what we believe to be public safety services and police refuse to protect the most vulnerable citizens, what’s the goddamned point of police? What even is public safety?

        • pdaly says:

          I was wondering the same. As children are required to be in school, and it is a public school, I would hope they do meet the strict criteria set by the law or courts. But this is cold comfort to the families of dead elementary school students and their teachers. The police delay is infuriating.

          In one of the podcast examples, the police watched a citizen be stabbed by a murder suspect they were looking for in the subway, but the police stayed out of harm’s way on their side of the subway car glass door.
          The injured citizen who survived by a miracle lost a suit he brought against the police/state for failure to protect him.


    • harpie says:
      1:22 PM · May 27, 2022

      Student calls to 911:
      12:03—whispered she’s in room 112
      12:10—said multiple dead
      12:13—called again
      12:16—says 8-9 students alive
      12:19—student calls from room 111
      12:21—3 shots heard on call
      12:36—another call
      12:43—asks for police
      12:47—asks for police

      Having a hard time even breathing right now.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I can’t tell whether what we have here is failure to communicate (about the 911 calls), panicky assumptions, gross mismanagement, or reckless disregard for lives at risk. Maybe all of them.

        Apart from the nineteen officers in the hallway outside the classroom, and presumably more outside it, there was also a Border Patrol assault team, which was told to standby.

        One would think that if the site commander thought, for example, that everyone but the shooter was dead, it would be time to breach the classroom – on your timing and terms. It’s not as if the shooter couldn’t still shoot out of the classroom windows, or exit the room shooting, intending suicide by cop. It’s not as if there was an effort to negotiate – which would have been fruitless while the shooting was going on.

        • Epicurus says:

          The police were operationally incompetent in each one of those areas: communication, analysis, management, assumptions, the nature and speed of any additional help. It is just a CYA exercise now. They should just say the dog ate their homework and be done with it.

      • Jenny says:

        Horrific plus much more to be exposed.
        Abbott and Republican representatives in Texas voted to ease gun laws allowing permitless carry bill to pass. Obviously, that law doesn’t work. The problem, guns and access to guns.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Good. I’m waiting for Alex Jones et al to scream crisis actors and/or BLM and/or ‘ANTIFA’ as well as the GQP going into the ‘nobody could have foreseen’ gambit of the ‘lone wolf’. Never mind that Buffalo’s atrocity isn’t even two weeks old yet or all of the other significant school shootings or soft-target massacres. Never mind that IF the Uvalde PD and SWAT team actually did train somewhere other than at the local Luby’s with any degree of professionalism this is a scenario that would have been covered explicitly.

      No excuses would be valid here, but no doubt the TX DPS will keep trying to blame others (like I saw in the twitter feed earlier that DPS was trying to blame the teachers).

      In answer to Rayne’s tweet, Uvalde is within the 100 mile CBP zone so they do have jurisdiction.

      • Rugger9 says:

        TX DPS apologists (on all levels) = waste of sperm / lower than whale dung. Separated so the mods can nuke it if they want.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        They have jurisdiction within their remit, which is not general law enforcement. But as an armed federal agency, they were responding to calls for help from local LE.

        The site commander will rightfully come under intense scrutiny, because it does not take hindsight to see the errors. There are a plethora of other questions, such as what’s the communications flow from a 911 dispatcher, who received calls from that classroom, to LE? Who did they send the info to and why, who got missed, if anybody, because there was still an active shooter situation.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Actually, CPB, part of DHS, has broader jurisdiction. In addition to immigration-related offenses:

          CBP agents may make arrests for any offense against the United States committed in the presence of the officer, or for any felony the officer has reasonable grounds to believe (i.e. probable cause) the person to be arrested has committed.

          There were obviously one or more federal offenses involved in the illegal detention and murder of so many people – e.g., kidnapping, deprivation of civil rights – witnessed by CBP agents, so concurrent jurisdiction would not be a problem.

      • Eureka says:

        They already are screaming that and worse which has gotten at least one trans person targeted in real life besides online. The [inhabitants of the site from which fresh hell always emanates] started the trolling competition immediately. “Trans-antifa-illegal” gained some traction; IIRC it was Gosar who amplified it then deleted tweet.

        Pretty sure the account I read was by AP via Inquirer but surely others are on it.

  32. harpie says:

    Here’s a THREAD from someone who’s at the PROTEST outside the NRA Convention:
    1:18 PM · May 27, 2022

    […] Because I’ve been denied access, I will now be reporting on the protest outside.
    “How many kids have to die?” they chant.

    Hundreds are outside the convention center protesting. I didn’t have to apply for a press pass and no one has blocked any journalists from accessing the scene.

    1:34 PM [ET] Here at the anti-NRA protest in Houston, I just witnessed North Texas based right wing provocateur who goes by the name Chet Goldstein get ejected by the crowd for trying to disrupt the event [VIDEO]

  33. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I wonder how competent the police presence outside the NRA convention in Houston this weekend will be?

  34. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The 911 system exists explicitly to connect calls for help with local police, fire, and medical services. GPS chips became mandatory for all cell phones supposedly to enable its function.

    I fail to see how a 911 emergency call from a child on a cell phone in a school in Uvalde would go anywhere but to the Uvalde PD. Apart from being where the call originated, it’s also the county seat. If there was miscommunication, where did it come from, because it might be a systemic problem.

  35. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I hadn’t seen this number before, but apparently there are 17 wounded kids, on top of the 19 children and 2 adults who were killed. All in the same double classroom.

    Unsurprisingly, Abbott, the head of the Texas DPS, and the Uvalde mayor are claiming ignorance of the wrong facts – which somebody made up – and throwing the police chief under the bus.

    • bmaz says:

      Am fine with the bus rolling on the local PC, but the rote ignorance as to everything by Abbott et. al is distressing.

      • P J Evans says:

        They’re trying to blame the school police chief, who has all of five people in his department. (Six schools in Uvalde, maybe a few grade schools elsewhere in the district.)
        Anything to avoid being responsible for their own actions or lack thereof.

        • bmaz says:

          Exactly. “The fault lies with Paul Blart, Mall Cop”. STFU with that bunk. Nobody puts Paul Blart in charge of a school shooting situation. That is just ridiculous.

          • Rugger9 says:

            Especially with a nine-person SWAT squad that according to reports had trained on that very situation at Robb about 60 days ago. It looks like the school PD chief is the current designated patsy, but seriously this is something that the Uvalde PD chief at least should have taken over as OIC.

            • bmaz says:

              Would hazard a guess the Uvalde PC will be the one ultimately. Again, nobody puts Paul Blart in charge.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I’m fine with laying blame where it belongs. The locals may have enough to go round, but it’s probably not just them.

        The school police chief – what a thing, only in Texas – would not have had expertise or authority over the local PD and its SWAT team, let alone the dozens of visiting LE officers, including the federal BP assault team. Dominance and control is the first thing these guys learn, so yielding it to the chief of a local school district’s five- or six-person squad seems unlikely.

        One defense that’s being pushed is that the local police waited so long because they needed breaching equipment. Seems weak to me, but were there no alternatives? Wouldn’t the local SWAT team – nine members, half the local force – have had it? Isn’t it used frequently, serving warrants, for example? If not, wouldn’t the local fire department? Who waits for the guy with a key when a house is on fire?

        Defending criticism of LE seems more important to LE than doing their job. It begins to look like an Elon Musk marketing scam or the Wizard of Oz: poke around too much or look behind the current, and reality might set in.

        • bmaz says:

          Agree with all of that. The whole thing did not make sense to start with, and every ounce of information that latently oozes out makes it even worse and more curious. And, nope, hard to buy Paul Blart School Cop as the real problem.

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