US shootings

News of two shootings in the US, one of Republican politicians.

Fox News:  Scalise shooter ID’d as James Hodgkinson

A gunman believed to be a supporter of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders sprayed a hail of bullets at a GOP baseball practice Wednesday morning, injuring House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others before U.S. Capitol Police took down the rifle-wielding assailant.

The shooter, who had a violent history including arrests for battery, resisting arrest and drunken driving, was identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, of Illinois, Fox News confirmed. President Trump said Hodgkinson died from injuries sustained when he was shot by police.

It’s awful to see what appears to be a political shooting. Any mass attack is bad, targeting politicians (presuming they were specifically targeted) is terrible for democracy.

Bernie Sanders responded:

“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”

This is likely to spark debate (again) on US gun laws – for example why someone with a violent history was allowed access to firearms – and divisions in US politics.

Gezza has pointed out another shooting:  UPS says employee shoots, injures 4 at San Francisco delivery facility

 UPS employee opened fire at a San Francisco package delivery facility on Wednesday, injuring four and prompting a massive police response in a neighborhood near downtown, officials said.

UPS spokesman Steve Gaut told The Associated Press that an employee fired inside the facility before the drivers were sent out to do their normal daily deliveries. Gaut said four people were injured and that he believed the shooter “turned the gun on himself.”

Employee and ex-employee shootings seem to be common in the US, I saw of another in the news recently.

Earlier this month: Orlando shooting: ‘Disgruntled’ ex-employee had planned shooting, investigators say

The gunman who opened fire at an Orlando factory had planned to kill five of his former coworkers by singling them out and shooting them before turning the gun on himself, investigators confirmed on Tuesday.

Police had confronted Neumann once before at the factory, when he was accused of battering a co-worker in June 2014. The co-worker said Neumann punched him in the back of the head knocking him to the ground, according to the incident report. But the co-worker later said Neumann chased him and then hit him on the back of the head.

No charges were filed in the 2014 incident after both men were interviewed. The co-worker was not among Monday’s victims, Demings said. Aside from the 2014 incident, Neumann also had a criminal history “minor in nature,” with arrests for possession of marijuana and DUI.

Obviously the easy access to firearms is an issue in the US.

I think that the entertainment industry (‘Hollywood’ plus the gaming industry) also has some responsibility with the normalisation of violence and shooting as a way of ‘resolving’ many things.

The Gun Violence Archive keeps track of statistics. Summary to date for 2017:

  • Total number of incidents: 27,811
  • Number of deaths: 6,878
  • Number of injuries: 13,500
  • Mass shootings: 154
  • Defensive use: 939
  • Unintentional shooting: 915

It is spread across the country where there are people, but looks to be worst in the east:

Daily averages:

  • Incidents: 170 per day
  • Number of deaths: 42 per day
  • Number of injuries: 82 per day
  • Mass shootings: nearly 1 per day
  • Defensive use: 5 per day
  • Unintentional shooting: 5 per day

It is not just a law and order problem, it is also a societal problem.

Locking criminals up doesn’t solve the problem – United States incarceration rate

In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population.

While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners.

This rate has climbed dramatically:

The US gun lobby seems to remain stronger than the public safety lobby.

The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world at about 88.8 per 100 citizens.

This is not a problem that will be easily solved. It is sad but inevitable that politicians will be included amongst the targets.

65 Comments

  1. David

     /  June 15, 2017

    Here is a prediction the debate will about Trump amping up the rhetoric. The media need to take a look in the mirror on this one and are coping it a bit from lawmakers, gun control wont be a big issue.

    • Gezza

       /  June 15, 2017

      How did the media make a man with a violent history including arrests for battery, resisting arrest and drunken driving start shooting at Republican Congressmen? Just as likely to be drunk & infuriated at loss of medical insurance cover or Trump’s tweets. Not justifying it – just saying the media hasn’t exactly been ragging Republicans to that extent.

      Used a rifle. Wonder if he’s got a permit. Just as well Trump’s rolled back the Obama plans to make it harder for unstable people to get guns & “saved the second amendment” for NRA members – not!

      Trump’s done the right thing calling for reconciliation, though. It might take this to tone down the msm’s endlessly antipathetic *Trump Is The Devil Incarnate* campaign. It’s just outrageously, & yes I will concede, possibly now dangerously, biased. Just hope some boozed up gun-crazy Trump supporter doesn’t now get it into their furious head to retaliate against the Democrats.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 15, 2017

        NYT already in the hot seat for sponsoring a play that showed Trump as Julius Caesar getting killed. Lefty media will certainly cop fallout from this lunacy.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  June 15, 2017

          Doesn’t fit your usual narrative that it’s only the loony left that conduct protests and twitter storms against sponsors, a link Maureen W posted yesterday had hundreds of comments – almost all right wing snowflake outrage. “I’ll not buy that paper”, “I’m taking my money out of that bank” etc etc etc..
          And over what exactly? … Art!

          • MaureenW

             /  June 15, 2017

            The Black and White Minstrels were art too.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  June 15, 2017

              So was Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast, what’s your point?.

              Interestingly the Black and White Minstrel show was on the BBC for 9 years before anyone complained. And Orson Welles’ show impersonated the president and caused wide spread panic – law’s broken = none.

            • MaureenW

               /  June 15, 2017

              I didn’t mention the law, only poor taste

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  June 15, 2017

              Minstrel shows date back to the 1830’s, your ‘bad taste’ is revisionism.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  June 15, 2017

              Actually you mentioned neither the law or poor taste.
              Art has always been controversial, one of it’s purposes is to generate debate.
              How come you snowflakes haven’t had this play shut down yet?

            • MaureenW

               /  June 15, 2017

              @ AC Minstrel shows date back ……..”
              Your comment doesn’t even make sense, such is your desperation to call someone a snowflake, you resort to disconnected babbling.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  June 15, 2017

              Sorry, the word I was looking for was ‘presentism’. Which is looking at history through the eyes of today, ie; Minstrel shows are racist now but in the 1830’s they were a popular form of entertainment in an era where racism wasn’t a factor.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  June 15, 2017

              ergo, whilst they are seen to be in bad taste now they weren’t when they were current.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 15, 2017

            I said that where?

        • Gezza

           /  June 15, 2017

          Well, of course they will Alan – from Republicans and Democrats, if they don’t treat this incident as seriously as it needs to be treated. NYT sponsoring thay play you mention – I’ve not read about it, just seen it referred to somewhere – deserves to be criticised harshly, whatever its *artistic freedom or merits* might be claimed to be.

          But this nutter didn’t shoot Trump.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 15, 2017

            Have you read the biography of Queen Victoria? It’s amazing how many nutters took pot shots at her. Unfortunately guns have got a lot better since then.

            • Gezza

               /  June 15, 2017

              I expect *they* were not amused. HMQE2’s my fave Queen though. They both seem to have had trouble with the kids.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  June 15, 2017

      You’ve jumped the shark this time David – blaming the media for a baseball shooting in Virginia…

      I suppose that its human nature to look for unifying patterns:
      – the right will say its evidence of unhinged lefties
      – the left will ramp up calls for gun control and point out that if the shooter were Muslim then trumpo would be tweeting terrorism right now
      But that’s just the left and right demonstrating confirmation bias, as we/they always do…

      This is a deranged individual with a violent history doing something that the vast vast majority of us would never do.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 15, 2017

        A lot of the media attacks on Trump have been completely unhinged and incessant. The authors are as derranged as the shooter, just more inhibited.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  June 15, 2017

          Thank you for demonstrating a great example of confirmation bias from the rabid-right.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 15, 2017

            B.s. Joe.

          • Gezza

             /  June 15, 2017
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 15, 2017

              Well, Trump wants everything to be American, even mass shootings.

              The last two mass shootings of Americans by (unknown to them) Americans killed more than the recent London attacks, I think.

  2. duperez

     /  June 15, 2017

    The Gun Violence Archive graph puts a context on the story about the Florida Sheriff the other day. What difference will his response, solution do to the wall of colour on the graphic in his state?
    https://yournz.org/2017/06/11/media-watch-sunday-56/#comments

  3. Gezza

     /  June 15, 2017

    Some cellcam footage shown on Aljaz – you can see into the baseball field, hear the shots, bang bang … bang bang bang … went on for ages – scary shit. Cold blooded bastard.

    • Gezza

       /  June 15, 2017

      He fired about a hundred shots, I think they said earlier.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 15, 2017

      It always seems to sound like more than it is-and if I was under a car, wetting myself with terror as I certainly would be, my guess at how many shots there were would probably be wrong,

      If his aim hadn’t been out because of the fence….it doesn’t bear thinking about.

      If these shootings had been done by Islamists anywhere else, Trump would be having a field day.

  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  June 15, 2017

    Meanwhile at a UPS depot in San Francisco 4 more left dead and two wounded following a shooting …

    … and at least 300 civilians left dead after US airstrikes last week to reclaim Raqqa, along with the coalition airstrikes that included the use of white phosphorus

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 15, 2017

      Your point is?

    • High Flying Duck

       /  June 15, 2017

      You’re right Joe – It’s hard to believe less people are dying in workplaces than in a warzone.
      What’s the world coming to?
      Thankfully there are terrorists and deranged people trying to right the balance for you.

      • Gezza

         /  June 15, 2017

        The dodgy people in the US set off the deranged people in the Middle East, North Africa, & now Europe, Asia, Eurasia, the sub-continent, Australia … & a new set of dodgy AND ignorant flamin people in the US have just set off a conflagration between the decidedly dodgy people in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, & The UAE, & Egypt which is ripping the other Sunni Muslim countries who don’t trust them, for good reason, into a major stoush with those who know the claims against Qatar are fake & are coming to Qatar’s aid & starting to screw up the plan, which is also screwing up the so-called US demanded fight against terrorism . Morons.

        • Gezza

           /  June 15, 2017

          T-Rex …. duh, there’s terrorists in the Bahraini Givernment, except they’re not terrorists so … um … HTF can anyone expect Trump to cope with the this complexity when Fox News can’t?
          https://m.youtube.com/#/results?q=tillerson&sm=3

        • Gezza

           /  June 15, 2017

          Argh!

          • Gezza

             /  June 15, 2017

            Published on Jun 14, 2017US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the decision to blacklist the entirety of the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terror” group complicates the security and politics of the Middle East.

            Tillerson said it was problematic to place the entire organisation – whose members amount to more than five million, some of whom occupy positions in governments across the region – on a “terror list”.

            His testimony on Wednesday before the House Committee on Foreign Relations comes amid rising tensions in the Gulf, part of which centre on Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 15, 2017

              Tillerson doesn’t seem to know the meaning of ‘problematic’.

  5. lurcher1948

     /  June 15, 2017

    WHO CARES,the USA lives by the gun and dies by the gun, the right to bare arms gives you the right to shoot government elected members if they affect your rights, ist amendment

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 15, 2017

      Just because you have a right to bare arms doesn’t mean the weather has to be suitable, Lurch, or that you are entitled to shoot baseball players.

      • Conspiratoor

         /  June 15, 2017

        Beat me to it Al. Some days you eat the bare, some days the bare eats you

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 15, 2017

          Blast, too late to say what Alan did.

  6. lurcher1948

     /  June 15, 2017

    3 were shot at a UPS Depot,today The USA is a fucked up country, so as i say WHO CARES

  7. lurcher1948

     /  June 15, 2017

    Gun deaths in the USA this year, dont worry about muslims WORRY ABOUT AMERICANS natural born killers…all over the world
    http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 15, 2017

      I can see a certain inconsistency in Trump defending the right of nutters like this to carry guns but deploring it when people in other countries (even those born there) carry out mass shootings and killings.

  8. Conspiratoor

     /  June 15, 2017

    Gun ownership grew exponentially under Obama. Watch for Trump to roll it back

    • Gezza

       /  June 15, 2017

      Interesting theory. He not that long ago magnificated & gesticulated at the NRA National Convention & publicly thanked them all for helping him to “save the Second Amendment”. Thanked em Big League.

      What’s the plan?

      • Conspiratoor

         /  June 15, 2017

        What woùld make you want to buy a gun G?

        • Gezza

           /  June 15, 2017

          cheap price, stuff-all difficulty getting it – somewhere to play with it – the first 2 most important. guns r cool.

          • Conspiratoor

             /  June 15, 2017

            Bad answer …so I’ll terminate the discussion. But put the persuasion filter on and think about it some more …you might join the dots

            • Gezza

               /  June 15, 2017

              If you’re talking about over there – gun nut city, usa – who’s going to take them off the good citizens who like a drink or two, have no jobs & suffer from psychological everything from ADHD to stress to personality disorders, opioid & other prescription drugs addictions, & political fundamentalism who already have them? i’d get one, believe me.

              Bad question, not a bad answer. Guessing your theory might be based on Militarised Police and other plethora of armed government agbpnts reducing crime. We’ll see. Meantime I’m looking for a cheap glock & keeping an eye on the wanky short NRA doofus next door with the AR15 & rocket launcher.

            • Gezza

               /  June 15, 2017

              FiP * agbpnts = agents

            • Gezza

               /  June 15, 2017

              He’s got a concealed carry permit, is surrounded by armed heavies wherever he goes, and promised NRA members continued easy access to guns because that’s what the NRA dimwits think Amendment #2 means. (I forgot the vet PTSD’s btw).

              How’s the persuasion going to work c? Indulge me?

            • Conspiratoor

               /  June 15, 2017

              Damn you G. It’s not about his license, security detail or the NRA. What would cause you to walk past the gun shop. Polish the filter and think some more…

            • Gezza

               /  June 15, 2017

              Over there. Feckin high prices. Get to the point or tweet cryptics to Blazer. He should be better at them.

            • Gezza

               /  June 15, 2017

              I really loved that bren gun, c. 20 rounds wasn’t enough.

            • Gezza

               /  June 15, 2017

              You can quibble with my unsupported assumptions about gun use,

              Good. I do. Doesn’t back it up with any statistics. Why assume depressed, unemployed & crims & disaffected are democrats? A good proportion of those might be unlikely to even vote. The dudes who had the standoff out in the wop wops weren’t likely to be democrats. Neither, I imagine, will some of the gung ho PTSD vets.

  9. patupaiarehe

     /  June 15, 2017

    Worth a watch, if one hasn’t already.

  10. A good move from both parties. Perhaps it’s a wake up call.

    • Brown

       /  June 16, 2017

      Nope. Its just that it was close to home so they noticed it. Self preservation 101.

    • Brown

       /  June 16, 2017

      Bollocks. Great place but, regrettably, not as free as it was. Loved Texas where people are armed to the teeth yet gun crime is lower than in NZ. Maybe its not the guns.

  11. Missy

     /  June 16, 2017

    It has been interesting how the media here have reported the Republican shooting compared to the shooting of Jo Cox (a Labour MP) last year.

    The man who shot Jo Cox was quickly described by the media as a far right wing neo Nazi terrorist by the media and the left, his schizophrenia and drug addiction was dismissed as not relevant.

    The man who shot the Republicans has been described as a Left wing activist with a violent history. No calling him far left, no referring to him as a terrorist despite the shooting being politically motivated. On Social Media when it has been called out the response from the left is that this guy was a wife beater and he was a violent person so of course he would commit a violent crime, no acknowledgement that he was motivated by his political views at all.

    Once again the hypocrisy and denial of the left at work.

    • Missy

       /  June 16, 2017

      I did a walk (well toe dip) on the bad side of town, and what a surprise the shooting of a US congressman by a lefty has garnered no comment at all. They aren’t denying it, spinning it, or claiming he was a violent thug and he is nothing to do with the left, they appear to be pretending it didn’t happen. No doubt bringing it up will cop anyone a ban.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 16, 2017

        The Lefty media deny political rhetoric and hatred leads to violence despite the obvious contrary evidence of ISIS.

        • Missy

           /  June 16, 2017

          No Alan, they only deny that political rhetoric and hatred leads to violence by the left or their pet interest group of the day / year, they are quite happy to say that political rhetoric and hatred leads to violence by the right.

      • Missy

         /  June 16, 2017

        oops, just realised I forgot to say my toe dip was into The Standard….

  1. US shootings – NZ Conservative Coalition