‘This Time Is Going to Be Different’: Confronting the NRA

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

I can’t read one more story today about the fathomless horror children, teachers, and parents experienced in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. Each new report nauseates me learning that Texas state and local government failed their most vulnerable citizens repeatedly.

Knowing that a child had to play dead after swabbing themselves in their dead friend’s blood is just…I don’t have words for this, only tears and an urge to scream and rail.

If this representative was mine, I’d be screaming at him.

Par for the course with this guy who succeeded NRA’s buddy Will Hurd for Texas’s 23rd congressional district.

Utterly useless and irresponsible, unresponsive to the needs of his constituents while doing little more than lobbying for guns.

Fortunately, the young people of Texas aren’t taking the attack on their futures lying down. We’ve seen protests after mass shootings before but this feels different — they are taking it right to the NRA.

Yeah, this really feels different.

There will be more protests tomorrow against the NRA in Houston outside the organization’s convention when big name doofuses like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump show up.

I hope more protests will occur in Uvalde against this monstrous wretch who is trying to suck up to the NRA and patronize Uvalde’s citizens at the same time. One can only wonder if polling told him to do this.

You’ll recall David Hogg is a survivor of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He continues to fight for the rights of young Americans to live without the terror of gun violence.

Hogg’s promoting the next rallies on June 11. By then Congress will be back in session.

It will take more than these rallies to make change happen, though. I hope there’s effort on the ground to encourage voter registration and education about candidates who support gun control.

146 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Good on you, kid. Tell these right-wing jackasses to beat it with their gun sales routine.

    • Rayne says:

      I expect this is very close to what he says in reality behind closed doors. He threw Cornyn at the Dems to make it look like there would be a bipartisan effort at a gun control deal but in reality this is what will happen unless it really looks like this will hurt the GOP in November.

      The Onion has been painfully on the nose for the last six years.

    • Jenny says:

      Children are so much more conscious than the adults. They give me hope for the future.

      Loved this boys response, “We need no people with guns.” Yep, that works for me too.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Your post reminds me of an earlier discussion, to the effect, that you couldn’t separate the GOP and the NRA with a crowbar. Each enables the other, neither seems to be able to contemplate life without the other, sort of like the traditional marital vow.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      earl, I agree about the mutually abusive marriage between NRA and GOP. Let’s also recall the so-called moderate Dems who’ve pledged fealty to “gun rights” in order to get elected in (especially) northern rural districts. That crowbar wields itself across the aisle, like abortion and other issues owned by the right.

      But I feel like Rayne: this time seems different. David Hogg is a genius advocate already, with a (Bill) Clintonesque talent for hearing from others and making them feel heard. And for all that I criticize corporate media, the local press has pursued the Texas stories relentlessly, and broken through nationally at last. As a long-ago local reporter I know the frustration of not being heard on crucial stories, so witnessing what’s happening now I feel hope flickering, finally, and if it’s just guns for now at least it’s a start.

      Beto did what needed to be done when he got himself thrown out by Abbott’s goons. He got the clip that made news.

  3. Peterr says:

    I’ve been talking with a bunch of teachers, superintendents, and school board members a lot over the last three years. Between COVID and the backlash against schools for wanting to stay safe, rightwing nonsense about CRT and teachers grooming kids sexually simply by mentioning the existence of LGBTQs, and Betsy Devos-style efforts to defund public schools, simply reaching out to public school folks to show support has been received with such relief that it stunned me.

    And then came Uvalde.

    I watched one of the pressers by the school district, and then happened to meet my local district’s PR person in the grocery store. I told her “I saw the presser, and thought of you. I pray that you NEVER have to organize a press event like that, or even anything close to it.” I could see her take a deep breath, and then she smiled, nodded, and said “Me too.”

    With all the abuse public schools have taken, this has been the f&#$ing cherry on top. On the one hand, teachers are getting praised for the heroism they show when schools get shot up, and on the other hand they get called freeloaders (you don’t want to work – you just want schools closed while you get paid!), groomers for pedophiles, and secret racists looking to wage war on good Christian White People.

    This is the reality that teachers and administrators have to deal with, and they are tired of it. Reach out to your neighbors who teach, send a note to your school board members, and give a call to your school’s PR person. Every one of them I have talked to, in four different school districts, ranging from small rural to large suburban districts, every single one of them had the same reaction: “That could have been my school, my classroom, my kids, me.”

    They’ve been yelled at for years by the right wing, simply for doing their jobs, and now when an 18 year old kid shoots up a school they feel as if they dodged a bullet too.

    This time.

    Call them, write them, reach out to them any way you can to tell them you appreciate them, and ask what they need. If nothing else, they need to know that they are appreciated not because they are willing to die with their arms around kids, but because they teach and make the future possible.

      • Peterr says:

        One more thing.

        Someone needs to watch out for the rank-and-file law enforcement folks who were part of this clusterf**k. I guarantee you that some of them wanted to go in, to do something, well before they were authorized to do so, and they are feeling incredible pain right now. “If only I had argued harder with my commander . . . if only I had disobeyed my commander . . . if only . . . if only . . .” If the commanders have any self-awareness, they are having the same nightmares. “Maybe we could have saved some of those kids, if I had done something different . . .”

        We don’t need any suicides on top of the homicides. Right now, though, that is a real possibility.

        [I’m not trying to excuse or minimize any of the decisions made or not made during this mess by the law enforcement folks, but simply noting that we are *really* close to having more deaths to deal with here. That doesn’t help anyone.]

        • RJames says:

          I had the same thought when I read about the delay in entering the school. I also wonder if the police had done a hardware upgrade, tactical gear, without the accompanying software upgrade, training.

        • gmoke says:

          I have a friend who is retired NJ police, both state and local, with FBI training and years of martial arts experience. When he retired, he started a training program for police on unarmed compliance. He found it was impossible to make it a business as towns don’t have money for training and individual police don’t have the time. The only consistent annual training police tend to get is an annual firearm review where they have to shoot at targets.

          This story came out a few weeks ago:
          U.S. police trainers with far-right ties are teaching hundreds of cops

          And don’t forget the military. Doug Mastriano, the Trmpist running for Governor in PA, “ended his military career as a faculty instructor in the Department of Military Strategy at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, during 2012–2017…”

          My friend can’t get any police force to learn unarmed compliance from him but a plethora of Rightwing propagandists are training the police and the military for what is probably a more than decent living.

        • Sonso says:

          The American fetishization of the gun has been crossbred with the cosplay of the military and the police, such that law enforcement is now a caricature of adolescent video games. The subjugation of the social contract to a bunch of adolescent twerps on the right has lead inexorably to where we are today. This started well over 40 years ago, and we are now reaping the seeds sewn by the fascist project so well documented by Jane Mayer in Dark Money. We need to unwind generations of bigoted, venal, and religious thought, just to get at the animus that is driving our own destruction. And the right wing blames the teachers’ unions.

        • bmaz says:

          I will hazard a guess that is exactly right. Especially in a relatively small community like that. “Why did you not just go?” will haunt them forever. And maybe it should, but that will not make it all easier on them.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          I don’t wish a self fulfilling end on anyone, but somehow the off duty border agent managed to borrow a shotgun from his barber and enter the school, blind, and save students and teachers. He didn’t wait for permission, or his kevlar vest and riot helmet, he acted.

          Being a hero means risking your life for others, with a huge potential for failure. These are personal decisions that you have to either make or live with the consequences of not making.

          I have, more than once, decided if I didn’t do…whatever, I could not live with myself. I have never regretted those decisions.

        • Commander Ogg says:

          I’m no hero, just a quiet professional Federal Security Guard and retired military. The Government that I took an oath to serve never promised me that my job would be without risk. I have been extremely lucky that I have never faced combat or an active shooter, however if it happened I would do what had to be done. And if the end result was the Final Sleep well that is what they pay me for.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Even the entire Uvalde PD was outgunned by a single shooter with an AR. Peterr, I appreciate your call for mercy. The vast majority of suicides in this country are also part of our problem with gun violence, albeit the least-often mentioned one. That may be because “sensible gun safety measures” don’t necessarily address firearms’ suicide potential; this is one category where we really do have to face the sheer proliferation of guns.

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you Peterr. EXCELLENT idea. “It takes a village to raise a child.”
      I just reached out to a teacher friend stating I wanted to support her 3rd grade class in the fall (currently on vacation). She was most appreciative and looking forward to creating a plan.

      “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    • paulumba says:

      Peterr, thank you! I am a high school teacher and luckily don’t have to deal with some of the nonsense in other districts, but we certainly have had our share of crackpots. I love doing what I do. I hope that your call to write to teachers encourages people in the most problematic districts to support their educators. Tibi maximas gratias ago.

    • Pete T says:

      I have heard little if anything about the teacher who allegedly left the entry door propped open because they heard the truck crash and called 911 in an attempt to help before all hell broke loose. Unconfirmed AFAIK.

      I emphasize alleged and I hope that person, if true, receives help and counseling and that her/his name never becomes known.

      It is said that all major events are a culmination of a series of mistakes/incidents: plane crashes, car/train crashes, etc. In this case the prime mistake/incident was selling AR15s to an 18 year old who, if anyone had checked, should have known better. And I suppose you could back up more to the lack of lawmaker common sense in gun legislation and enforcement.

      The door, again if true, was just one is a series of mistakes/incidents.

      • madwand says:

        I thought about that door being propped open also, the best I can come up with is that an employee who smoked left it open being unable to smoke inside the building. But just a SWAG.

        • MB says:

          What I had heard (or thought I heard) was that this teacher/school employee who opened the door saw and/or heard the original truck crash down the street and also heard gunshots in the near-distance. At which point, he/she ran back into the building to call 911 to report that, while failing to re-close and re-secure the door.

        • P J Evans says:

          That’s a reasonable reaction – you don’t expect someone to come in and start shooting.

  4. J R in WV says:

    I understand that Lee Greenwood, of RWNJ American Jingo pseudo-patriotic songs, much beloved by Gun Nuts everywhere, has cancelled out his scheduled performance at the NRA gun-lovers convention. I think that means the NRA boys, now bereft of their Russian dollars, may be about to hit the end of their grift. I hope so.

    I am a target shooter, since I was around 10 so for 60+ years now, when my grandma taught me how to shoot her .22 rifle on her tiny farm. She was raised in a tiny river-boat town in KY, also on a small farm, and kept and used guns all her life. Safety was number one when she began to teach me how to shoot.

    Regardless of that personal history, I believe that gun ownership should require a permit issued after a police background check. I have a state concealed carry permit (even though that’s no longer needed in my state to carry concealed) because it shows that my county sheriff is aware that I have guns and is aware that I’m NOT a crazed nut job.

    My guns are not “registered” with the state of WV because there is no mechanism of any sort in WV to register guns. I think this is a shame. Most of the gun owners I know are law abiding and peaceful people. Background checks and permits for guns and gun transactions of any kind seem like common sense to me. Right wing gun owners appear to be brainwashed by Russian-controlled political groups like the NRA and the Republican party to reject the obvious danger guns present in the hands of mentally defective people.

    • mart says:

      How do you feel about banning AR’s designed to blow large chunks of guts out the exit wound like we did in the good old days? Would hope in addition to you notes we could go back to that.

      • Fancy Chicken says:

        I can’t answer for JR, but I too live in WV with my uncle who is a serious deer hunter. With coyotes, bears, bobcats and the very occasional rabid raccoon, hunting rifles are an all season part of our lives and our neighbors.

        That said, my uncle is strongly in favor of banning assault rifles and large capacity magazines as he says they are only for hunting humans and not animals. And while you can hear gun report on many a non hunting season Saturday it is not from assault weapons. Non of the neighbors around us own one.

        But try to talk to them about any sensible gun regulation, even getting WV to start a gun registry and they freak out- they have totally been brainwashed than ANY steps toward sensible regulation is a slippery slope to having their guns taken away.

        When I’ve gotten into political conversations with some folks about the unequal representation of urban vs rural areas in the Senate they are absolutely unwilling to consider more equitable representation and really have a chip on their shoulder about it and it basically boils down to guns- they say rural states need the same number of Senators as more populous, urban states or else with their sparse numbers “they’d have nothing and no guns” because the more populous states would run over them. Another lie they’ve been told by their politicians I think, and I have no idea how to successfully engage against that twisted logic.

        • Sonso says:

          Same discussions and attitudes in Wyoming (or for that matter, the entire intermountain West). It’s literally a matter of ‘faith’, and thus reason will never enter into it.

      • russell penner says:

        Ethical hunters already abide by a mandatory 3 shot capacity rule for hunting migratory fowl, and, in Missouri at least,turkey. As a lifelong hunter and firearms owner, I would strongly support extending a 3 shot capacity limit to every firearm in the country. The problem as I see it is enforcement. In my rural county, the sheriff and deputies are among the most radical supporters of unlimited gun ownership.

  5. ThomasH says:

    I’m thinking of transposing TFG’s exhortations leading up to Jan. 6th 2021 with the NRA convention. Something like: Come down to Huston to protest the lives stolen by gun violence! Protest the NRA this Memorial Day weekend! It will be wild!

    • Pam L says:

      I would ask you not to repeat any words that Republicans use in a different context. We don’t want to amplify anything they say or normalize any of their vocabulary.

      Republicans have become masters at gaslighting, pretending their words are not dangerous. Please do not emulate them in any way.

      We must distinguish ourselves as compassionate truth tellers who work for equality and justice for all.

      • ThomasH says:

        I agree with much of what you’re admonishing me about. This came to me as a sort of gallows humor (I worked twenty five years in an OR and the fifteen years in a busy burn center; my humor is pretty dark) meant in jest. Contrasting how if one changes the political stripe, the rules change as well.

        I’m encouraged to see people on my side getting up and getting in republican and conservative faces and aggressively speaking up. We, the truth seekers, compassionate and tolerant have been censoring ourselves for too long. Meanwhile the conservatives have gotten increasingly loud, intolerant and belligerent to the point of staging a coup, that to my mind, is still going. Anyway, I take your point.

  6. harpie says:

    2:45 PM · May 27, 2022

    This morning, I met with the @FBI about its investigation into the Uvalde shooting. Here’s what I learned: [THREAD]

    1. The FBI has mobilized extensive investigative resources to examine the timeline of events in Uvalde and evidence from the scene, working alongside but independent of Texas DPS and the Texas Rangers. [MORE]

  7. Purple Martin says:

    Next time someone says “assault rifle bans are impossible because the term is undefinable,” remind them the gun industry helpfully did that already, giving their semi-automatic civilian knock-offs of the military assault rifle a distinctive name—the “American Modern Sporting Rifle.”

    It may be defined as a long gun designed with two primary characteristics:
    1) trade-off accuracy (especially the ability to hit small, single, static targets at long range), in favor of attributes promoting agility—the ability to hit multiple, human-sized moving targets at medium to short range.
    2) look scary and menacing, like it is meant to violently kill people. Usually this takes the form of sharp angles, cooling fins, unnecessary molded plastic cladding, stark cut-away stocks, ‘open-eyes’ optical assist sights, etc.

    And that one specific Modern Sporting Rifle characteristic—look menacing—may provide the best explanation of its sales popularity. A weapon designed to look like it is meant to violently kill people, to look scary and threatening, purposefully attracts people who feel compelled to buy threatening items, who feel a need to be perceived by other people as threatening and dangerous. From everyone pictured on the Massie family Christmas Card, to Three-Percenter/Oath-Keeper militia wanna-be’s, to unstable 18-year-olds, there seems to be no shortage of such people in America today.

    As a thought exercise then, should the desire to possess a Modern Sporting Rifle be considered a valid factor in identification of people who should not be allowed to legally own a firearm? I would not approve of that action—even though it well might pass Justice Scalia’s SCOTUS Heller Test as a Constitutionally-permitted arms restriction.

    Personally, I think the assault weapon ban—already found not to be in violation of the Constitution—is a better idea then registering and tracking the Menacing Massies and angry loners about to turn 18. Given Congress’s general disdain for civil liberties though, that second idea might more easily pass Congress than the first.

    • P J Evans says:

      Don’t forget large-capacity magazines, which these firearms use. NO ONE outside the military needs that kind of firepower (and *they* discourage using more than short bursts).

      • Purple Martin says:

        Yup. these are the main ones:

        Attributes minimized (reducing Accuracy) include:
        • barrel length/mass; overall weapon weight;
        • projectile mass; higher power;
        • greater receiver mass/strength;
        • static grip support;
        • telescopic sights.

        Attributes maximized (increasing Agility) include:
        • shorter, lighter barrel (for mobility and faster weapon swing);
        • open sights (optionally including wide-field ‘open-eyes’ optical assist);
        • lighter overall weight (including stock, receiver and cartridges);
        • grips assisting rapid weapon movement (pistol grip or other);
        • high fire rate (semi-automatic or fire-assist);
        • large capacity (smaller cartridge/larger magazine)
        • rapid reloading features
        • heat dissipation or shielding features (barrel guards or fins)

        But none of those are as important to sales as the primary defining characteristic: Look Scary. That’s what draws in future “active shooters.”

        • bmaz says:

          And that heat dissipation thing is really critical. A lot of AR knockoffs do not look great in that regard.

        • gmoke says:

          “Good for frying bacon” had a different connotation back in the Black Panther days and is part of the reason why CA made its own gun laws more stringent, pronto.

        • Sonso says:

          The video of Ted Cruz ‘frying bacon’ with an assault rifle is Exhibit A in the trial to prove his moronic idiocy.

  8. Building Guy says:

    100%, let’s not leave out high capacity magazines, ghost guns and any militarized weapons. Grow a brain, not a penis….

  9. bg says:

    Let’s not forget the ones who want to police women’s bodies also always support guns. Misogyny and gun loving go hand in hand. Every time we hope “this time it will be different.” What I hope is that this time it will be the youth of our nation who will rise up and vote for women’s health care and also too regulation of guns, particularly the military types of weapons that are so often used in these attacks. These bastards need to be VOTE OUT this year.

    • DAT says:

      It’s not only misogyny and guns that go hand in hand. We must recall that the 2A was demanded by slave drivers, so they could have instantaneous access to the tools they need to keep control of the enslaved.

      I think we can identify the kind of guns we can live with. If you want to shoot elk you need certain features in your gun. Likewise for waterfowl, or varments, or plinking tin cans. On the other hand, if the gun is optimized for military use we must not allow it in our civilian communities. Further, anyone who now feels the need to hord military grade hardware also holds a secret fantasy of shooting the “dusky hordes” threatening their family and their “civilization.” (It’s only the “government” they need protection from to the extent that nonwhite people are agents of that government.)

      The second amendment. Conceived in white supremacy and still serving white supremacy 234 years later.

      • MB says:

        I saw a brief interview with outgoing Sen. Bill Cassidy of LA this morning. The question put to him was “Why is it necessary for the public to have access to AR-15s?”

        His answer: “To shoot feral pigs”. I guess there’s a feral pig problem in Louisiana. Which begs the question of why can’t feral pigs be shot with a weapon other than a semi-automatic? Less efficient?

        In Neal Stephenson’s recent novel Termination Shock, one of the characters’ profession was “feral pig hunter”. He used drones equipped with some kind of remotely-aimable shooting weapon…

        • bmaz says:

          I don’t know about “feral pigs”, but we live in an urban desert area with a lot of javelina in the surrounding washes. You do not need an AR-15. Make some noise and they run off.

        • MB says:

          Welp, according to Wikipedia, feral pigs are a problem:

          Feral pigs are a growing problem in the United States and also on the southern prairies in Canada.[9] As of 2013, the estimated population of 6 million[10] feral pigs causes billions of dollars in property and agricultural damage every year in the United States


        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          They don’t justify the arms industry’s production of millions of AR-15s and their knock-offs. The argument is a one-liner from the NRA or a consultant, and makes the assumption, without evidence, one problem can be cured by making a much bigger one.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          Yeah, it’s like a bolt-action 30.06 won’t work.
          For some reason, they somehow “need” a semiautomatic. I’m surprised they don’t demand a fully automatic gun, an anti-aircraft gun, or a bazooka.

          Lucian Truscott IV is advocating banning semiautomatic weapons…

          https://luciantruscott.substack (dot) com/p/we-need-to-take-away-their-guns?s=w

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          As someone who has hunted wild pigs who were destroying a spring on a ranch, if you need an AR, you are a really crappy shot.

        • christopher rocco says:

          Yep. We hunted plenty of wild boar in the Salinas Valley with good old fashioned 30-06s and .308s with 3 round capacity magazine.

        • Eureka says:

          The original “30-50 feral hogs” reference-cum-meme from the year of our Onion twenty-nineteen:

          William McNabb (@WillieMcNabb): Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?
          12:01 PM · Aug 4, 2019

          Thread even has the yt video he linked which totally undercuts his claims.

          This was actually a comedic event at the time.

        • Eureka says:

          [well, tragi-comedy, as they all have mostly been over the last several years]

          The guy was trying to justify the need for assault rifles for said purpose, replying to:

          Jason Isbell @JasonIsbell:
          If you’re on here arguing the definition of “assault weapon” today you are part of the problem. You know what an assault weapon is, and you know you don’t need one.
          11:56 AM · Aug 4, 2019

          Cassidy is now trying to drift in this thoroughly-debunked “30-50 feral hogs” idiot’s chemtrails.

        • Eureka says:

          [well, tragi-comedy, as they all have mostly been over the last several years]

          The guy was trying to justify the need for assault rifles for said purpose, replying to:

          Jason Isbell @JasonIsbell:
          If you’re on here arguing the definition of “assault weapon” today you are part of the problem. You know what an assault weapon is, and you know you don’t need one.
          11:56 AM · Aug 4, 2019

          Cassidy is now trying to drift in this thoroughly-debunked “30-50 feral hogs” idiot’s chemtrails.

          this reply vanished (I think _vanished_ vanished, not to mod) so am reposting, FYI if a duplicate shows up

        • Eureka says:

          This is a really thorough factual explainer.

          Besides not needing an AR and other tactical issues related to shooting feral hogs (you’d only get a couple here and there on the ground; they flee/disperse to do more (crop/livestock/pet) damage; they’ve learned to take cover at the sound of rotors in re aerial hunts), MO’s method of trapping and euthanizing is apparently more effective at getting the population under control.

          30 to 50 feral hogs, explained
          Feral hogs, 30-50 or otherwise, are a serious problem for agriculture and human morality.
          By Dylan [email protected] Aug 6, 2019, 1:10pm EDT

        • DAT says:

          The Vox explainer you reference ends with a question about morality, “what do we owe ‘wild’ animals?” I put wild in quotation marks because that framing is not quite right. Pigs are an invasive species. They were a valuable ally of the colonizer. They could run loose all year, eating omnivorously the native plants and animals, altering the environment so the native people could no longer depended on it to support their way if life.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz, Daniel Patrick, and Mayor Don McLaughlin are feral pigs.

          [Let’s avoid any potential implication of violence. Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          My bad. It’s a combo of dark humor and anger; I should’ve shown more restraint.

        • ernesto1581 says:

          There are feral pigs in Louisiana, plenty of them. They live and feed heavily at the limnae of brackish and salt water, the zones people have been valiantly trying to extend further downstream in an attempt to recover lost land in the deltas with plantings, sediment diversion, etc.

          There is a pig shoot run by Fish & Wildlife every year, with folks from LSU Dept of Environmental Sciences, USGS in Lafayaette and so on joining the hunt. There are no semi-automatic weapons involved.

          Cassidy’s remark more accurately describes the LA delegation.

      • P J Evans says:

        People like to cite that “slave patrol” bit, but at the time, it was because we weren’t going to have a standing army. (See the *3rd* amendment for *why* we weren’t: lots of experience with an army being quartered upon the residents.)

    • Beth from Santa Monica says:

      anyone notice that the stage on officials confronted by Beto O’Rourke only contained men? The same men who tell women they can’t control their lives are telling the world they’re unequipped to deal with the monster they’ve created. And now the rest of us have to clean up after them. Republicans have been breaking our country since Ronald Reagan finally got himself to the White House. But they still go on television to repeatedly claim that “Democrat” policies are bad for America. I’m so done with the lying, the gaslighting, the malfeasance and misfeasance, the incompetence, and the casual dismissiveness of the rules, the law, and the constitution when these are applied to them.
      I want accountability. Now.

  10. evets says:

    I see where the texas governor is “livid” that the police lied to him. did he not realize that police lie to people? to media? to judges? to victims?
    Will he learn not to trust what they say now?

    I thought he would have us believe they are all great warriors here to keep us safe, in order to protect us they are all ready to charge into battle……oh wait. they might get shot at, even though they are more heavily armed than many nations. and that is their job. that they allegedly take pride in. (or is it just the power).

    More to the point, has he expressed being “livid” about all the death and destruction of children? i haven’t heard it. he seems to save his anger for victims.
    I hope this time is different. Naively as a white male i thought things might actually change after George Floyd. One of my black coworkers quickly dismissed that sentiment at the time.

    Really hoping this galvanizes majority rule this time instead of the fringe right wing misogynist white racists and narcissists taking back the house and senate.
    sorry, a bit depressed today.
    Glad we have Coach Kerr for my home basketball team, and surprised yet glad to see the giants manager take his anti-anthem stand until things change as well.

    thank you all at empty wheel for everything you do.

    it is cathartic to spend too much time here.

    • rip says:

      “More to the point, has he expressed being “livid” about all the death and destruction of children? i haven’t heard it. he seems to save his anger for victims.”

      There is absolutely no honest caring about the victims, the families, the community.

      It is all stroking the penis-substitute that calls forth the manna from the gods – the NRA and the wealthy libertarians.

      • Sonso says:

        Unfortunately, the fetishization of guns & weaponry is very closely aligned with sexual frustration, and various forms of penis envy and shame. It is a deeply Freudian thing, and has built an incredible tower of fantasy and myth to support itself. When combined with the puritanical, fear-based origins of America, it may ultimately fall on the women of America to school the men of same as to how to live in a modern world. Notice the (near) 100% Venn overlap between gun nuts and forced-birth nuts.

    • Chirrut Imwe says:

      As you may know, mospeck, the founders of the band Devo were Kent State art students in 1970. The shootings were foundational in the the development of the band and it’s underlying philosophy that humans have stopped evolving, and are now de-evolving (thus ‘Devo’).

        • Sonso says:

          Devo were, and still are, brilliant. Mark Mothersbaugh was just recently interviewed on WNYC and his take on things is still 100% spot on. Imagine knowing then (as, sadly, I did) that they were seeing reality clearly, and that 40+ years on, their material is so clearly relevant. They are touring this summer!

  11. GonzoDon says:

    I trust that the outspoken “Right to Life” crowd, which has secured so much political influence in this country, will show up in force on the streets outside the NRA conference in Houston, DEMANDING that we do something to halt all the repeated and ongoing bloodshed of innocent children, and DEMANDING that the gun manufacturers be held accountable for the unnecessary deaths they are making possible. With the protestors carrying lots of placards showing gory photos of the children who were mutilated by the gunfire at Uvalde and at Sandy Hook.

    Because it’s all about the sanctity of life, they tell us time and time again, and doing everything in our human power to protect it, right? Especially when innocent children are the victims?

    Somehow, though, I’m not convinced they will be there protesting. Although I hope someone is.

    • SilverWolf says:

      The ‘Pro Life’ Death Cult won’t show up. The children were not in the womb. /:-\

    • madwand says:

      I thought it interesting that in Republican arguments against abortion was the argument that you won’t find abortion listed in the constitution. One can also search in vain for any reference to an AR in the constitution. Hypocritical of course but when have Republicans been concerned with that?

      • rip says:

        Just to continue this silly (but important) analogy.

        Space Lasers weren’t mentioned in the Constitution. I guess that makes them OK for everybody.

  12. cmarlowe says:

    With the general consensus on this site (me included) for a federal ban (or at least a substantial limit) on ARs and high capacity magazines, etc., should that hope come to fruition we should not be too sanguine. We are swimming in such a huge sea of this stuff, effective enforcement against the cult will likely involve bloodshed. We should expect that.

    • rip says:

      And that’s what some of them expect, and want.
      And they also want the rest of us to be afraid. Very afraid.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        They especially want people of color, especially Black people, to feel terror everywhere. And they’re succeeding: since the Buffalo TOPS massacre, a poll showed 75 percent of Black respondents saying they feared leaving their homes/congregating in public places. This is the very definition of terrorism, and there is nothing “lone wolf” about it when mass murderers get everything from inspiration to demographic info to shopping tips in online spaces dedicated to furthering racist, xenophobic, and typically also misogynist causes.

        • Sonso says:

          So I have been mostly afraid to speak of this publicly, as it sounds almost like incitement. But, I agree that there is a large part of the right wing agenda that is based on incitement of violence by others, so that they can react in the way that is their preferred method. In some sense, this is where all this “false flag” talk started; if you can convince the nuts that the offense if from the other side, and the nuts believe that violence (especially state-sponsored) is a valid response, well then you’ve got a recipe for civil disturbance on a mass scale.

      • gmoke says:

        Funny how there is training for an active shooter just a few months before one happens, that New Orleans does a simulation of a Katrina-like event within a year of Katrina, that we have a reasonable pandemic plan all mapped out before COVID happens and all of the training goes by the board when the event happens.

        Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

  13. harpie says:

    Marcy retweeted this the other day:

    11:39 PM · May 26, 2022

    A retired Federal agent from Texas was one of 6 people in regular communication with the white supremacist Buffalo murderer. 30mins prior to the attack the shooter invited the former agent to review his attack plans and watch his live stream. [Buffalo News link]

    Authorities investigating if retired federal agent knew of Buffalo mass shooting plans in advance https://buffalonews.com/news/local/authorities-investigating-if-retired-federal-agent-knew-of-buffalo-mass-shooting-plans-in-advance/article_bd408f18-dd39-11ec-be53-df8fdd095d6f.html Lou Michel , Dan Herbeck May 26, 2022 Updated May 27, 2022

    […] “These were like-minded people who used this chat group to talk about their shared interests in racial hatred, replacement theory and hatred of anyone who is Jewish, a person of color or not of European ancestry,” said one of the two law enforcement officials with close knowledge of the investigation. “What is especially upsetting is that these six people received advanced notice of the Buffalo shooting, about 30 minutes before it happened. […]

  14. harpie says:

    9:55 PM · May 27, 2022

    Uvalde gunman threatened rapes and school shootings on social media app Yubo in weeks leading up to the massacre, users say [CNN 6:37 AM May 28, 2022]

    The users all said they reported Ramos’ account to Yubo over the threats. But it appeared, they said, that Ramos was able to maintain a presence on the platform. CNN reviewed one Yubo direct message in which Ramos allegedly sent a user the $2,000 receipt for his online gun purchase from a Georgia-based firearm manufacturer. […]
    During one livestream, Amanda Robbins, 19, said Ramos verbally threatened to break down her door and rape and murder her after she rebuffed his sexual advances. She said she witnessed Ramos threaten other girls with similar “acts of sexual assault and violence.” […]

  15. harpie says:

    12:52 PM · May 27, 2022

    The NRA’s stated goal is for the average citizen to be well-armed enough to intimidate the government.

    That is exactly what happened in Uvalde when the police didn’t move in to stop the shooter. [screenshot]

    The screenshot is of this 5/6/22 NRA tweet:

    7:42 PM · May 6, 2022

    When the government says you don’t need an AR-15, you NEED a damn AR-15! [Photo of an AR-15 lying on an American flag]

    To intimidate the government was the STATED GOAL of TRUMP-and-his-INSURRECTIONISTS, including specifically RHODES-and-his-OATH KEEPERS on #J6.

  16. silcominc says:

    Rayne, has anyone ever explained what the five ultra-right-wing members of SCOTUS see as the future of America? So far, they seem to embrace a future where women have no rights, separate but equal is (or will be) the law, the Federal Government does not actually exist in terms of Agencies or regulations, military-grade weapons are readily available and individuals can buy any election if they want and your data is not yours – it is owned by a group of conglomerates. It seems pretty dark.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s not what the five justices see but the vision of the Council for National Policy over the last several decades. They want a Christian theocracy and have been working toward it steadily. It happens to align with Putin’s efforts to destabilize U.S. democracy through application of Duginism.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Exactly. And it has been in their interest to align with Trump; his (false, if we heed the actual Mueller report) screams of “No collusion!” might as well be theirs. They too have benefited from and amplified the divisions stoked by Putin’s intelligence agencies, in that only minoritarian rule assures their continued stranglehold on the levers of power here.

      • harpie says:

        [“I’m not asking you Cleta, honestly”] MITCHELL is in the NEWS today:

        Lawyer Who Plotted to Overturn Trump Loss Recruits Election Deniers to Watch Over the Vote A central figure in the scheme to reverse the 2020 election is mobilizing grass-roots activists into an “army of citizens” trained to aggressively monitor elections. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/30/us/politics/republican-poll-monitors-election-activists.html May 30, 2022 1:05 p.m.

        […] Her latest effort is organized through the Conservative Partnership Institute, a nonprofit organization where she serves as a senior legal fellow and where Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s final White House chief of staff, is a senior partner. Mr. Trump’s political action committee, Save America PAC, donated $1 million to the group last year.

        Ms. Mitchell has described herself as a key conduit between activists and Republican Party leadership. […]

        • bmaz says:

          They have been doing that since about January 7, 2021. And are doing it here as to Secretary of State. The current SOS, Katie Hobbs, is now running for Governor, where she will probably lose to a dumber than Trump idiot, Kari Lake, leaves the office open.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Now we hear that after half an hour or more, CBP disobeyed the on-site commander’s order to wait, got the keys from the janitor, and assaulted the classroom. I think Peterr’s right to be concerned about putting the local police on suicide watch.

    There’s still no further word on how the 911 calls were communicated, and whether the on-site commander or the cops outside the classroom had that information in near-real time.

    I anticipate that there will be immense jockeying in an effort to influence the investigation of this debacle. (The FBI’s and the state’s.) Everyone will work hard to blame someone else. It appears the locals will share a big portion of the blame. The gun industry and its alter-ego, the GOP, along with state authorities, will move heaven and earth to limit damage to the proverbial few bad apples, lest this horror undercut the bipartisan consensus that neither the industry nor the police should have funding limits.

  18. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I appreciate the EoH mentioning the gun industry above. I assume greed for profit to be a motivating force for much of the gun propaganda and the industry should not escape our condemnation. Another motivation mentioned in something I read this morning arises from the unique US linkage of gun “rights” to other rw causes. The author argued this evolved beginning with reaction to Brown v. Board of Education.

    I can’t really put the following in context or assign it meaning, but it is very much on my mind. I have been involved in assisting Afghan evacuees writing their personal declarations to the US government arguing why they would face danger were they to return to Afghanistan. In the process of creating these pleas, I have been studying news articles and statistics concerning suicide bombings, car bombings, and other mass killings in Afghanistan over recent years. I have been stunned to learn the extent of the horror. Three mass killings in a week was not unusual. This has been happening year after year. We in the West never hear a peep about the vast majority of them. Some school bombing have victims numbering in the 50’s. When I consider how devastated I am by the Uvalde murders, at how much psychic and emotional energy is sapped in trying to come to grips, I wonder how my Afghan friends can still get through their days, being productive, having dreams for the future, enjoying humor.

    One man I work with had to leave his wife and four young children behind. Last week gunmen opened fire in an elementary school a six-minute walk from where his wife and children live. The government hospital refused to send ambulances. Parents and neighbors were carrying wounded children to a private hospital on their backs, flagging down cars for rides. The government gave the number of victims as in the single digits; based on word conveyed through eyewitnesses there were likely more casualties than in Uvalde.

    I apologize if this is too off-thread. One thing this tells us is just how far things can go, just how inhuman humans can behave. Knowing that things are worse elsewhere does nothing to lighten the burden of responsibility we have to improve conditions here; in fact, it makes the situation feel all the more urgent. But as I say, I’m not sure what my point is.

    • John Lehman says:

      “I’m not sure what my point is.”

      You are pointing out ….” just how inhuman humans can behave.”

  19. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I do agree that the response feels different this time, both in degree and in nature.

    It is amazing how many interconnected rightwing claims and memes are exposed in this one incident. The development of the story from initial reports of a brave school security officer saving lives by exchanging gunfire to one of 19 policemen waiting in the hall for an hour has been like watching he evaporation of one right wing meme after another. The “one good man with a gun” idiocy is exposed. The blustering, swaggering good cops protecting our society meme is replaced by all-too-human cowards saving their asses in the halls. (What could be more telling than the juxtaposition of the SWAT team photo with what actual behavior of the department?) The lying of cops is exposed. The lying of the government is exposed. The unresponsiveness of government to the people is exposed. We see vilified teachers courageously placing children first. I expect there is more. It’s as though a rock had suddenly been overturned shining bright sunlight on guilty creatures scurrying toward cover from the corpse of their victim.

    • LeeNLP says:

      I love your response, but I’m starting to temper my expectations for what might be different this time around. The nation was outraged over Sandy Hook until the story got less and less attention from the media, and all that was left was the quiet grief of the families, teacher and children whose lives were changed forever. The GOP leadership will most likely just wait things out until they can change the subject entirely. They’ve shown absolutely zilch interest in actual governance, only in power. But that’s not news to any anyone nowadays.

      I have some hope at least that Alex Jones won’t be claiming that the teachers and students were crisis actors.

  20. LeeNLP says:

    After the past six years, a cynical and sinister idea has taken hold in my mind- if you want a vile, narcissistic demagogue in control of this country, one who promises “only I can fix it” when people are desperate, if you want to gain absolute power and overthrow the Constitution, and/or if you want to hurry the second coming of Christ by doing your part to fuel the Apocalypse, then what better way than to feed volatile teenagers’ heads with lies and rage, hand them military assault weapons and stand by while the blood of innocent children runs in the streets?

    I lost all my naive, desperate hope that some honor, or at least some sense, might prevail in the Republican party during and after the 2020 election.

  21. person1597 says:

    For all whose lives are in torment… I shake…
    “The screw
    Is a tightening atrocity
    I shake
    For the reeking flesh
    Is as romantic as hell
    The need
    To have seen it all
    The Voyeur of Utter Destruction
    As beauty

  22. Badger Robert says:

    Good start. I think this stochastic terror campaign is being fought on behalf of white male hegemony. Heather Cox Richardson came close to saying the same thing.
    The psychopathic shooters are not that different than the suicide bombers of radical Islam.
    The campaign has a systematic approach to normalizing violence and using radical demonization of its enemies to push the shooters over the edge.
    The absence of any pre-qualitication, training, or supervision, for those who have the money to buy these rifles makes the next shooting just a matter of time.
    This is a campaign to restore the pre-1968 and even pre-1932 status quo.
    Ms. Richardson explains it with better historical context than I can.

    • harpie says:

      “for those who have the money” ?

      Buy NOW, pay LATER! “Approval takes seconds”!

      Gun in Texas Shooting Came From Company Known for Pushing Boundaries https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/28/business/daniel-defense-rifle-texas-shooting-gun.html 5/28/22

      […] Daniel Defense also offers a buy-now-pay-later financing option that allows qualified buyers to spread the price — some of its guns retail for more than $1,800 — over a number of payments. The approval takes seconds, the company’s website says. […]

      See more here about the gun/company:

      • posaune says:

        Kill now, pay later? what kind of lay-away plan is this?
        What if the buyer is dead by the first payment due date?
        Daniel Defense must have already saturated the market to be “giving away” weapons like this — or some lender has deep pockets. Seems like the lender should carry some liability.
        This makes me so sick!

    • rip says:

      There’s so much weaponry just lying around in this country.

      Anybody with an attitude can find some deadly capability without even going to a “store” and having a perhaps background check.

      This is also why suicide-by-gun and domestic/related deaths are so high in this “exceptional” country.

      How does the RW/NRA/USSR wing-nuts want to resolve this? They don’t – this is the purpose.

  23. Ddub says:

    It seems the elephant in the room is that anyone against GOP fascist hegemony is the ultimate target of these guns.
    And it’s also pertinent to ask what % of LE is MAGA.

  24. harpie says:

    Another aspect: The School-Shooting-Industrial-Complex:

    8:46 AM · May 28, 2022 [THREAD]

    Something I don’t see being discussed: how a whole industry emerged around school shootings, an industry of consultants and experts that have fueled nightmarish, abusive drills around the country, terrorizing students — and to what end, exactly? What have these people given us? […]

    So, unsurprisingy, one of the guys behind A.L.I.C.E. (the company behind many of these drills) left police work after a bad shooting and had been nicknamed “penie” by his cop colleagues after being disciplined for exposing himself to a coworker. […]

    As I said in April, I think we need some disruption around how we process these events. We are being scuttled down the same path, without alteration, aside from these assholes making more and more money off our pain and fear.

    What I absolutely don’t want to see is journalists turning to these so-called experts to figure out “what went wrong” in Texas, because those “experts” are part of what has gone wrong for all of us. Their greed has availed us nothing and they deserve nothing but disdain.

  25. Tom says:

    I’m hoping the June 9th public hearings of the January 6th Committee will further brand the Republicans as the party of mass murder and insurrection. As others have commented here, the gun culture (or should I say “kultur”?) and the people who carried out the attack on the Capitol are inextricably linked if not one and the same.

  26. Jucevic says:

    I understand pushing on the NRA, but the lawmakers are the ones who can actually change the laws so seems like they should be the target instead. Especially since Congress makes the rules for Washington DC, and as a group they regulate guns in the District of Columbia but prefer weaker laws around our children schools. Republicans are not immune to this, they have had control of congress in the recent years and they didn’t change the law to make guns totally legal in Washington DC, nor did they increase security for our nations children (future leaders of the USA) in their schools even though these school shootings happen all the time now. If they just made the schools as safe as the District of Columbia our kids would be a lot better off.

    • bmaz says:

      And who says that is not being done? Are you saying that? National gun laws would, of course, include DC. But the GOP will not allow any of that. The only “pressure” that counts is winning elections.

      • Peterr says:

        Or, as a commentator whose name I can’t recall said the other day, “Now if Sidwell Friends gets shot up like Robb Elementary, then things would change. Fast.” (paraphrase here)

        • posaune says:

          Edmund Burke School (private HS on DC west side, not so far from Sidwell) DID get shot at last month by a sniper across the street. Staff and kids ran out the back door.
          Woman driver on the street was hit.

        • Sonso says:

          Well, Obama’s kids went to Slide Well Friends (that’s what we called it when I was a kid growing up there), so the Republicans see it as a bastion of liberalism. There are, of course, many high-priced private schools in DC, Bethesda, McLean, etc., but I suspect that the higher-ups have shadow security for their kids (the embassy kids did back in the day).

      • Jucevic says:

        I am not saying it isn’t being done, but I don’t hear about it happening. It would be good to ask that with a camera pointed at the representative or even a Senator.

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Wonderful short video about how easy it is to buy a gun. A tall, athletic, but obviously young teenage boy is filmed by what appears to be his mother, trying to buy beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets. Clerks refuse him each time, laughing that he looks thirteen. He is. “Ain’t happening baby.”

    The clip shifts not to a street dealer but to a busy gun show. The camera looks more furtive, hidden. A dealer readily sells him for cash what looks like a heavy-caliber long gun. “This should shoot good for you.” He openly walks out with it.

    The caption reads, “There’s just nothing we can do.”


    • Peterr says:

      And by “wonderful,” I trust you mean horrifying, disgusting, and nauseating.

      Kudos to the kid, and big kudos to mom for driving. As the voice-over notes, she has to drive because he’s only 13.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Wonderful as in well-scripted, well-cut, and well-made for an amateur video on a half-hidden cellphone. It’s horrifying in that the automatic response from the clerks to his request to buy beer, cigarettes, and lotto tickets was met with an immediate, “I don’t think so,” whereas the gun dealer just saw easy money.

      It’s disgusting in what states will regulate and what they refuse to regulate. It’s nauseating when you consider the potential immediate relative harm from each attempted purchase.

      • P J Evans says:

        Back around 1990, there was a liquor store down the street from me. I went by one time, and they were closed – license suspended because they sold alcohol to a minor. That ended with them closing completely. In California, at least, they enforce that law on all businesses selling alcohol and tobacco.

  28. Obansgirl says:

    I’m desperate for hope. Could we get a billionaire to fund a campaign to buy back assault weapons at a huge markup price? I dont see how we can even make a dent in reducing 400 million guns. Sigh.

    • Sonso says:

      There is a billionaire funding gun reform: his name is Michael Bloomberg. Everytown for Gun Safety is the organization.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Thank you, bmaz, and happy Memorial Day to you too. Amid so much mayhem and immediate grief, it is worth remembering those this day was intended to honor, and why.

  29. evets says:

    For some reason Daniel Defense live chat feature is not working. I went on the day of the (recent but not most recent) massacre and quickly got connected to live chat. When i mentioned to them how they made money on dead kids i was quickly disconnected. I’ll keep trying to communicate with their live chat should it ever appear again. Chickenshits.

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