Yet another bloody weekend in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
Multiple mass shootings taking place with a completely unacceptable body count.
Let’s start at the top:
El Paso, Texas
A lone gunman travels over 600 miles in 9 hours with an AK 47 style rifle to shoot up Hispanics at a Walmart in El Paso.
- 22 Dead
- 29 Injured
A lone gunman heads out to the Oregon night life district and starts mowing down civilians with body armor and a high capacity .223 AR-15 semi-auto rifle. In this case, the shooter, who will never be given name credit by me, had added a 100 round drum magazine to the rifle in order to maximize the carnage.
- 9 killed
- 27 injured
In less than a minute.
Two mass shootings this weekend.
Both were of the Drive-by shooting variety. It should be noted that this is not entirely unheard of in Chicago, as it has a very high murder rate in spite of the most restrictive firearm laws in the nation.
- 5 killed
- 42 injured
Adding it all up for the August 4th 2019 weekend:
- 36 DEAD
- 98 WOUNDED
This is just from MASS shootings. Where the intent was to injure / kill as many people as possible in a short time.
As of the 216th day of 2019, we have had 251 Mass shootings.
Think about that.
- 251 Mass Shootings
- 216 Days
This may not literally be the worst our problem has ever been, but the steady escalation most certainly is.
Every time this happens, the Democrats start talking about gun control again.
And the Republicans?
Thoughts and Prayers.
That oughtta help, don’t you think?
The Democrats always want to re-enact the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban, citing the drop in mass shootings over the 10 year ban.
In fact, statistically it made no measurable difference at all.
Interestingly, when the ban expired, firearm violence spiked markedly in areas of Mexico bordering US states where these firearms were once again available.
Some other interesting statistics.
In the vast majority of cases:
- The firearm(s) used in mass killings were obtained legally.
- Handguns are used far more often than rifles (assault rifles).
Want to see the full database?
Here is a chart from 1982 until now.
You will note a fairly steady growth in the body count with a few anomaly years.
Go through this chart and think about these factors:
- Who was in office?
- What were the politics?
- How pervasive was Social Media?
- Who were our allies?
- Who were our enemies?
- What were people talking about?
- What were our news sources?
- What did our world FEEL like?
Let’s look at some Mass Shooting statistics in terms of who was in office at the time:
Ronald Reagan – 1981-1989
- 1981 – No Data
- 1982 – 8 Killed – 3 Wounded
- 1983 – No Data
- 1984 – 27 Killed – 20 Wounded
- 1985 – No Data
- 1986 – 14 Killed – 6 Wounded
- 1987 – 6 Killed – 14 Wounded
- 1988 – 7 Killed – 4 Wounded
- 1989 – 13 Killed – 41 Wounded
George H. W. Bush – 1989-1993
- 1990 – 8 Killed – 6 Wounded
- 1991 – 32 Killed – 26 Wounded
- 1992 – 8 Killed – 10 Wounded
- 1993 – 22 Killed – 34 Wounded
Bill Clinton – 1993 – 2001
- 1993 – 22 Killed – 34 Wounded
- 1994 – 4 Killed – 23 Wounded
- 1995 – 5 Killed – 0 Wounded
- 1996 – 5 Killed – 1 Wounded
- 1997 – 8 Killed – 5 Wounded
- 1998 – 13 Killed – 36 Wounded
- 1999 – 44 Killed – 54 Wounded
- 2000 – 7 Killed – 0 Wounded
- 2001 – 4 Killed – 4 Wounded
George W. Bush – 2001 – 2008
- 2001 – 4 Killed – 4 Wounded (WTC attack not factored here)
- 2002 – No Data
- 2003 – 6 Killed – 8 Wounded
- 2004 – 4 Killed – 7 Wounded
- 2005 – 16 Killed – 9 Wounded
- 2006 – 18 Killed – 7 Wounded
- 2007 – 51 Killed – 32 Wounded
- 2008 – 16 Killed – 24 Wounded
Barack H. Obama – 2008 – 2016
- 2008 – 16 Killed – 24 Wounded
- 2009 – 38 Killed – 37 Wounded
- 2010 – 8 Killed – 2 Wounded
- 2011 – 18 Killed – 21 Wounded
- 2012 – 67 Killed – 68 Wounded
- 2013 – 31 Killed – 13 Wounded
- 2014 – 17 Killed – 28 Wounded
- 2015 – 46 Killed – 43 Wounded < Election Cycle
- 2016 – 71 Killed – 83 Wounded < Election Cycle
Donald J. Trump 2016 –
- 2016 – 71 Killed – 83 Wounded
- 2017 – 117 Killed – 463 Wounded
- 2018 – 73 Killed – 62 Wounded
- 2019 – 57 Killed – 78 Wounded
Look at the dramatic uptick in violence during Obama’s tenure. The racial divide was widening at this time. The KKK was using Obama’s presidency as a recruiting tool – with great success. Hate crimes have been on the rise since Obama took office and have escalated even more under Donald Trump’s tenure. Why do you suppose this is?
Our current President has been more active in dividing our country than any other leader in modern times. While it is absolutely true that Obama’s presidency saw a dramatic increase in hate crimes, it was not from a direct assault on any particular group by the Oval Office. Trump on the other hand, daily issues Twitter screeds attacking whomever he feels needs a proper public dressing down. He has singled out Blacks, Muslims, Mexicans and anyone else who is not fat, white, old and wealthy it seems. White nationalism and isolationism are his goals.
He doesn’t have to step up to the camera, point his finger directly at the lens and say “I want YOU to go kill Mexicans.” for home grown extremists to get the message. This was proven to the extreme last weekend. To even for a second think the negative rhetoric spewed by our President has no direct impact on national violence statistics is delusional. There is a small but potentially violent subset of our population on the fringes. They hate anyone who is not them. Since the 60s they have been quiet, brooding in the shadows — until the 2016 election cycle stirred them up. This was the catalyst. The nasty, hateful rhetoric troweled out on Twitter and Fox News by our current President on an hourly basis emboldened these people and has brought them out of the shadows and into the light of day. They are itching for a fight. The slightest provocation can send one (or more this weekend) over the edge, out the door and bent on destruction.
And then there is Social Media…
Since the advent of social media in the late 80s, its influence has grown and evolved exponentially. While there are many benefits to social media, there are also plenty of drawbacks. It has become all to obvious that the Russians have been using social media to divide our population along race and ideological lines for years. You may have noticed you see a lot of posts that reinforce your social / religious / political beliefs. That is the algorithm employed by Facebook. They don’t feed you information to challenge and educate you. They are feeding you what you want to see. For people with dramatic racist beliefs, this only serves to reinforce and strengthen these beliefs. On any given day you will see numerous inflammatory memes that reinforce what you believe. Spend 30 seconds researching one on Google and you will find it is FAKE.
The rule of thumb for determining fake memes is very simply this:
If it sounds CRAZY – it is most probably FAKE.
Overall, hate crime has been on the rise since Obama took office.
We are seeing a dangerous increase in extremist manifestos
Currently the marginalized segments of our society are under an all-out assault. Blacks, Latinos, LGBTQ, Muslims, Women, Jews — again — almost anyone who is not a white male is under attack constantly. While our President keeps all the plates spinning in the air to distract you, Republicans are whittling away rights and stealing funds at every opportunity. The damage being done to our way of life, our very government is unheard of in the history of this great nation. #MoscowMitch McConnell is far more dangerous to our Republic than Donald Trump. His desk is the place where beneficial legislation goes to die. The Democratic House has authored no less than 100 Bills that continue so sit on McConnell’s desk with no hope of being voted on. It doesn’t take a lot of research to find the Russian influence and connections at the root of all this.
Our Election Was Hacked
By now, anyone who does not know this is living in a cave.
#MoscowMitch continues to defeat any legislation that will thwart Russian influence in the next election, guaranteeing more meddling by them. Georgia may be going back to paper ballots in an effort go guarantee a fair 2020 election.
Back to the original message…
Mass Murder in America
What is the solution?
Getting rid of all our guns will never happen. Criminals will always get them. This has been proven time and time again. Think Prohibition. Did this end drinking? It actually CREATED the MAFIA. Opportunists abound. Outlaw firearms and underground machine shops will pop up in every 10th residential garage.
This last weekend, roughly 300 million legitimate firearm owners in the US killed no one. Statistics hold that almost all of these people will NEVER kill anyone except in self-defense.
- Firearm registration on a national basis is a good idea. Do it.
- Loners: These people feel marginalized. Like no one cares about them. Engage these people. Try to include them. Be the difference. Show them someone cares.
- If you SEE something, SAY something. If someone you know or encounter is mentioning anything that indicates they’re thinking of wreaking carnage on the populace, let local law enforcement or the FBI know. Immediately. Just this last week (also in Texas) another bloodbath was averted when a 19 year old man told his grandmother of his plan to shoot up a local hotel. She convinced him to go to the hospital and seek help. Law enforcement found enough weapons and ammunition at a hotel room to create a bloodbath.
- Keeping crazy people from getting guns is a good idea.
- Connect the HIPAA database to the firearm registration database and prevent people on psychotropic drugs from obtaining firearms and remove same from those who go on these meds. Because WHEN they go OFF their meds they become very unstable. Notice I said WHEN. Not IF. WHEN is inevitable and the results will be catastrophic. Prescribing psychoactive drugs for someone means they MUST be monitored regularly. You have to get the correct drug and dosage dialed in and that takes time and evaluation. It is not a “Set it and forget it” operation. Therefore we must make absolutely sure the follow-through is complete. Looking back over time (feel free to research this) quite a few of our mass murderers have been on psychotropics when they went off the rails on a killing spree.
- Stress: There are people in this country so stressed out that ONE MORE THING is that one thing too much. The constant barrage of negativity from the media, the White House and social media has a not insignificant number of people on the edge of the abyss daily. Encouraging people to find ways to mitigate / deal with stress needs to happen. Meditation, yoga, unplugging from the daily barrage of negative information, taking a vacation far away from the big city – all these things go a long way to helping us decompress. For someone right on the edge of “going postal” though, it’s very hard to take these first steps. In Europe, 6 week vacations are the starting point. In the US you generally start with a week – after the first year. Perhaps American industry can start to see the long-term advantages of having their work force less stressed out.
Population Density is a real contributor to stress. Long ago, tests revealed that when you put too many rats in a cage, they start to attack / eat each other. Some humans also have a tolerance for being in large groups and others don’t. At a certain population density, there are individuals who can no longer tolerate the stress and snap. They act out. This can turn very violent over a short time.
Road Rage is a great example. Here in Dallas, the road rage incidents have been steadily increasing as the population increases. We are getting 79 new people a day moving into Dallas. The traffic density and “style” is very different from what it once was. When you enter Texas at any border, you see a sign that says “Drive Friendly the Texas Way”. This used to be a given. Not so much anymore.
- Get rid of the NRA lobby that is injecting millions into our the campaigns of our elected officials. They are all afraid to create any meaningful firearm legislation for fear of losing this enormous revenue stream.
- Take away the NRA’s tax-exempt status.
(I’ve been an NRA member for a long time. I do not agree with a lot of their completely inflexible logic and much of this can be held partially responsible for the mayhem created with firearms.)
- Solve the socioeconomic conditions that result in continuing inner-city murders. It’s not the guns. It’s the lack of education / employment / HOPE. Chicago has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation and continues to struggle with a very high murder rate. I’ve written about this before. Look it up.
- Take away Trump’s Twitter feed. The man stirs up hate and division on an hourly basis.
- Shut down the hate speech websites like DailyStormer and 8chan. Take these people offline and keep them offline. Make it as hard as possible for racists to find kindred spirits and receive encouragement / education that incites them to violence.
- Mandate that all the social media platforms police their ads and feed content to eliminate hate speech across the board. Germany does this. We need to use the same approach. The 1st Amendment was never envisioned to protect this kind of vitriolic content. I guarantee if you dug up and reanimated the framers of our Constitution, NONE of them would think this appropriate and the 1st Amendment would itself be amended.
- Block all Russian and Chinese based IP addresses from every router in every government building and social media data center. Their influence on our social media feeds and intrusion / hacking of government email accounts has added to the division in this country.
- Climate Change is real. The reason is irrelevant. When the temperature goes up, tempers flare among the less inhibited or simply over-stressed. Ask anyone who works in an ER. We need to do whatever we can to mitigate climate change regardless of the cause. You can debate the “why” of climate change all you want but there is no denying it is changing. If you live on a coast you had better be prepared to move. If you live inland you should be prepared for more congestion. Our power grid is going to need a massive upgrade to handle the demand. Our government currently has no interest in solving this problem because short term gains are all they think about. Flush the lot of them and let’s start over.
- Violent Video Games: There is no authoritative study finding any correlation between these games and mass killings. Do I like them? No. Do I think they are a problem? Yes. They desensitize people to violence and I think that’s a bad thing overall. As children we watched cartoons where the characters repeatedly murdered each other or died in dramatic fashion over and over again. Did any of us ever think to try these same things? No. We knew it was a cartoon. Duh! Then sometime in the 70s all these classic cartoons had the violence edited out to protect our children from all the fun. Did it make a difference? Read this when you have a couple of free weeks in your life. Japan and numerous other countries have massive consumption of violent video games and nowhere near the amount of carnage we endure. It is NOT the video games. Their contribution, if any, appears minute.
And then there is Trump.
Oy Fuckin’ Vey!
(that’s a tmesis – look it up)
His response to this weekend’s bloodbaths? A well-scripted, uncharacteristically un-animated and boilerplate response where he FINALLY decried the violence and hate groups churning in our society. He called for a bipartisan (FINALLY) investigation into violent video games (waste of time). But did he take responsibility for his part in all this?
Oh sure… Of course he did!
Under his watch numerous foxes have been put in charge of numerous hen houses. If you think he thought all this up on his own you’re giving him too much credit. He’s not that smart. Trump is a textbook sociopath. Therefore he cares only about himself, which should be obvious to even the most dull-witted of voters.
He has been constantly disseminating white nationalism, isolationism, hate, division, violence, racism and bias against the marginalized members of our society since before his run-up to the 2016 election. The things he has said about immigrants in (and coming to) our country is some of the nastiest rhetoric ever heard from a first world leader. The never-ending barrage of lies, obfuscations and outright fabrications that come out of his mouth over the course of any given day is absolutely dumbfounding. He is the single most damaging influence on our nation in history. People on the fringes hear him spew his litany of hate and think “Yeah. That’s right. That’s what I’ve been saying all along. He’s my kind of guy.” White supremacists have endorsed him for president. Think about that. If you were president would you want that kind of endorsement? Trump has no problem with it. That alone should tell you everything you need to know.
Republicans have been wanting to get rid of all the protections enacted by Democrats for decades. Trump is just their fall guy. While he is busy Tweeting slap-downs at everyone, the Senate is destroying all our wildlife, national parks, oceans, nature preserves, looting our Social Security and Medicare funds and generally decimating every single thing of value in this country. They are very simply looting the system for their own gain.
Look at this ad from #MoscowMitch’s official Twitter account on the weekend of all this carnage.
Mitch McConnel, Senate majority leader of the United States of America lets this sucker fly.
Read Amy McGrath’s response to her inclusion in this hatchet job.
And Climate Change? Pshaw! Who cares? It’s not his problem. We need to be on board with the rest of the world to reign in carbon contribution, plastic waste and anything else that contributes to a rising temperature. When the seacoast moves a mile farther inland you’re really going to see a lot of unpleasant results.
I have written blogs on how to fix this. Search for the keyword “treason” on this blog.
#HateSpeech #Racism #MoscowMitch #immigration #WhiteNationalism #DonaldTrump #POTUS #SeeSomethingSaySomething #MassMurder #KillingSpree #ElPasoStrong
I have been a subscriber to Rolling Stone for decades. It is hands-down some of the best writing you can find. Especially on politics.
My latest issue arrived last week and I finally made the time to go through it. In the August 2019 issue is an article entitled “Arming the Cartels“.
This dovetails in with what I said above about the efficacy of the 10 year assault weapons ban that ended in 2004, regarding firearm violence in Mexico.
Texas is the primary gateway through which 250,000 guns a year find their way to Mexico.
Read this Rolling Stone article.
I found it astonishing that we do not have the appropriate laws on the books to make snatching up gunrunners a simple process. We are in dire need of some revision to the existing laws so our law enforcement system can get a handle on this problem.