More on US school shootings

Following yesterday’s post: Florida school shooting

(PartisanZ):

Open letter from shooting victim’s aunt: ‘We don’t want your prayers” – NZHerald …

Powerful stuff … “My friends and fellow citizens, your guns are not protecting you. Your guns are killing our kids … Why is your hunting hobby more important than my niece’s life? Don’t you see that your “second amendment” rights have been twisted and distorted beyond any rational interpretation? Why should my niece have been sacrificed at the altar of your “freedoms?”

Why don’t you trust our police to protect us from crime? Don’t you realise that mental illness has been and always will be a part of the human condition and that weapons of war should not be available to those among us who dream of mayhem and death? Don’t you see the blood on all of our hands?” – Abbie Youkilis MD

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11996270

Gezza: (Relevant to a comment I posted yesterday about screwed up competitive US mass shooters who want to beat someone else’s record.)

16 February 2018 – Washington State
https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/101526089/wouldbe-gunmans-plan-to-carry-out-a-school-shooting-foiled-by-his-grandmother

“A US student has been arrested after his grandmother reported his plans to attack a high school to police. The decision about where to shoot and kill was based on the flip of a coin.

During a search at the house, authorities said that investigators seized a rifle that had been hidden in a guitar case, as well as military-style inert grenades. “This was a student that nobody would have suspected,” Mukilteo School District spokesperson Andrew Muntz told Fox affiliate KCPQ following the news.

O’Connor is being held on charges of attempted murder in the first degree, robbery and assault on an officer, according to online booking records.

Police said in a statement on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) that dispatchers received a call early Tuesday morning (Wednesday NZT) from a grandmother who said she believed her teenage grandson had plans to launch an attack on his school. She told police she had read about the plans in his journal.

In his writings, according to the probable cause documents, O’Connor said he was preparing for a school shooting, boasting, “My aim has gotten much more accurate.”
“I’ve been thinking a lot,” he added, according to the court records. “I need to make this shooting/bombing at Kamiak infamous. I need to get the biggest fatality number I possibly can. I need to make this count.

“I’ve been reviewing many mass shootings/bombings [and attempted bombings] I’m learning from past shooters/bombers mistakes, so I don’t make the same ones.”

The journal then mentions the coin flip between Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, Washington, and nearby ACES Alternative High School, according to the court records.

Officers met with O’Connor’s grandmother and were “alarmed at the statements and detailed plans to shoot students and use homemade explosive devices,” according to the statement from police.

Officers alerted administrators at ACES Alternative High School on Tuesday and had O’Connor pulled from class, according to the court records. The records state that officers found marijuana and a knife in his possession and took him into custody.

The incident unfolded just miles from Marysville, Washington where another teenager opened fire in 2014 at Marysville Pilchuck High School. Jaylen Fryberg lured students around a lunch table and then gunned them down, killing four before killing himself, police said.”

The politician problem (not just Trump) in Don’t look to Trump for leadership after the Florida school shooting

This is no time to talk politics, we’re told by gun-loving conservatives.

This is a time for prayers, we’re told by Donald Trump.

“There really are no words,” we’re told by the local sheriff.

So it’s OK, everyone. We can get back to the latest blather about tax cuts for corporations or billions for a border wall. Those are the things that politics, and presidents, and words, can handle.

But if we can’t talk about saving the lives of our children, if our politics can’t keep our schools safe, if we can’t talk about the mass murder of innocence, then what on earth are we talking about? What’s the point of any politician if they can’t do this one simple thing: protect our youngest citizens?

If this was the eighth terrorist attack of 2018, don’t you think every member of Congress – not just Democrats – would bleat on about taking urgent action?

If Isis-inspired gunmen had just mown down 17 high school students in their classrooms, how long would it take before our president spoke in front of the nation’s TV cameras?

If an ISIS inspired gunman (it’s almost always men) had just mown down one child at school it would have got more urgent attention. But red-white-blue on red-white-blue is far more politically awkward when one of the biggest, most generous (financially) lobby groups is the National Riflemens’ Association.

Instead, we’ll have to settle for a tweet. Because when we need leadership the most, there’s no point in raising your hopes with the man who watches Fox News all day inside the White House.

It’s so heartwarming to hear this from the man who promised to end “this American carnage” in his inaugural address. Of course, at the time he was talking about gang murders, just as he did in his State of the Union address last month.

He must have forgotten to mention school shootings with assault weapons, like the AR-15 used at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. It was the same assault weapon used at the Sutherland Springs church in Texas in November. It was the same assault weapon used in the Las Vegas massacre the month before that.

It’s as if no politician could talk about protecting airplane cockpits after 9/11 because all we could was pray and send our condolences.

There have been many attempts to tackle assault weapons like the AR-15. When Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat, tried to do that in 2013, one month after the Sandy Hook school massacre, there were 60 no votes that killed the effort, including those of 15 Democrats.

Among those no votes was one Marco Rubio, the Florida senator, who told Fox News on Wednesday that now wasn’t the time to talk about gun control. “I think you can always have that debate,” he said. “But if you’re gonna have that debate about this particular incident you should know the facts of that incident before you run out and prescribe some law that you claim could have prevented it.”

Senator Rubio: save yourself the trouble. You don’t need to know the facts because the last time you heard the facts, you voted against regulating the very gun that massacred all those schoolchildren at Sandy Hook. It’s so funny how you need to be 100% sure about the impact of gun control laws when you are prepared to throw any amount of legislation and spending at the far less deadly terrorist threat to the United States.

Enough is enough is enough. If you care about our children, do something to protect them. If you want a politician who talks about our greatest threats, vote for someone who isn’t terrified of the National Rifle Association.

And if you want to make America great again, make our schools safe again.

A focus on mental health may be appropriate, if it includes the mental state of those politicians who refuse to consider that the US gun laws are hopeless and contribute significantly to one of the most dangerous problems in the US.

 

53 Comments

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 18, 2018

      Sadness ? ‘I feel horrible’ ? These words are insults.

      I don’t think that these people are feeling SAD. Grief-stricken, devastated, heart-broken…even those hardly begin to cover it, I would imagine.

  1. Corky

     /  February 17, 2018

    I hate making capital on someones grief, but some parts of this quote are incorrect.

    1- ”My friends and fellow citizens, your guns are not protecting you.”

    Guns save many Americans each day from violence and crime. It allows a little people to face a thug bent on killing, raping or thieving from them.

    2- ”Why don’t you trust our police to protect us from crime? ”

    Because American police are ill trained, corrupt, and as they have told many a victim; ” We cant act until a crime is committed.” The lady quoted would be middleclass and probably enjoy better relations with police if needed. She would live in a nice part of town where fear of crime would be minimal ( I’m guessing).

    • lurcher1948

       /  February 17, 2018

      The local representative of the NRA has just posted…

    • Gezza

       /  February 17, 2018

      “I hate making capital on someones grief”

      Bullshit.

      • Gezza

         /  February 17, 2018

        I’ll expand on that, because it deserves explanation. I call bullshit on that because the whole tenor of your comments on the gun control issue in the US is always in support of the argument people should have guns to defend themselves from criminals fuelling what’s become an endless cycle of gun crime made possible anyway by the easy availability of guns. All you have to do now to get a gun in the US these days in some cases is steal a woman’s handbag. That’s if her toddler hasn’t reached in and accidentally shot her with it.

        Everybody makes capital off somebody’s grief when these shootings happen.

  2. US schools are gun free zones, sadly

    • Blazer

       /  February 17, 2018

      you ‘re quite sad,George…too many Cowboy comics?

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 17, 2018

      And just yesterday you were advocating for all teachers to be armed … we can’t even provide teachers with pencils and ink cartridges yet you’ve got the budget to buy Glocks all round… just pathetic.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 17, 2018

    Because Prohibition was such a success followed by the equally successful War on Drugs we are sure that banning guns will be an instant magic wand to solve this problem and anyone who thinks otherwise should be shot.

    • Banning firearms is obviously not a possible or practical solution, but when mentally unwell teenagers can easily and legally buy assault weapons something is seriously wrong.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 17, 2018

        Solution is?

        • Blazer

           /  February 17, 2018

          ban ..ammunition.

        • Conspiratoor

           /  February 17, 2018

          Most people would accept a deranged man with a gun can only be stopped by other people with guns, unless a group takes him down by running at him
          .
          A solution when politicians fear the NRA, I don’t think so. But leadership with balls could put a big dent in the statistics by doing two things..

          Banning assault weapons and a long spell in the big house for possessing a rapid fire weapon
          Banning the sale of firearms to kids and the mentally unstable

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 17, 2018

        Are your facts right:

        Peter Forcelli, the special agent in charge of the ATF in South Florida, said Cruz had purchased the gun legally. “Because he’s over the age of 18, he can legally purchase an AR-15.” The arrest report said Cruz bought it last year. “Once you hit your 18th birthday, you can legally buy a rifle, if you pass the background check,” Forcelli said. “Once you hit your 21st birthday, you can buy a handgun.”

        Some of the restrictions on gun purchases include if someone has been formally adjudicated mentally “defective” by a court. One loophole is if a person voluntarily seeks mental health treatment, a measure designed to encourage people to seek help. Illegal immigrants are also barred from purchasing guns.

        “He was ticking none of those boxes,” said Forcelli.

        http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/fl-florida-school-shooting-main-20180215-story.html

        Seems the FBI blew it in not pursuing a clear and present danger warning a month ago.

        • Gezza

           /  February 17, 2018

          I read a comment by a former FBI ofgicial in one of the articles I read yesterday. He said the FBI gets a 100 notifications a day from people who’ve seen something online that suggests a poster might be a potential mass shooter.

          That’s not counting the thousands of other reports from people concerned about all sorts of odd behaviour or suspected crims, security risks etc.

          Organisations like YouTube won’t turn over identification & IP location details without a subpoena, & there is no national database that allows them to search names, many of which are usernames anyway. They simply don’t have enuf resources to try & track down, interview, & then constantly monitor suspects for every report of the type of minimal posting Cruz made.

          Most of those they do turn manage to track down & interview turn out to be harmless fantasists or people just having a sick joke.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  February 17, 2018

            Seems to be more serious than that:

            The FBI said Friday that it failed to follow “protocols” when it received a tip earlier this year about the teenager accused of killing 17 in a mass shooting at a South Florida high school.

            In January, person close to the accused shooter, 19-year old Nikolas Cruz, called the FBI’s public tipline and raised concerns about his gun ownership, desire to kill and warned of a possible school shooting.

            But the FBI never reported the tip to its Miami field office or investigated the claim, the bureau said Friday.

            http://thehill.com/homenews/news/374231-fbi-did-not-act-on-tip-warning-of-high-school-shooter

            • Gezza

               /  February 17, 2018

              Whatever the reason was, the real issue is why are they even getting all these reports – cause the kids have fucking guns!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 17, 2018

              Except they don’t legally as per above.

            • Gezza

               /  February 17, 2018

              Except he did legally buy that assault rifle-style big mag AR15 because it’s that easy in that gun-mad country – and that is why he had one in the first place.

              The country is awash with guns, legal & illegal. All good business for the NRA’s cronies. These mass & multiple shootings – in schools & elsewhere over there – will keep happening, Al. In fact I reckon they’ll keep on increasing.

              The authorities will never have enough resources & working systems to identify & monitor potential multiple & mass-shooters.

              Cruz gave off signals. O’Connor – just arrested before he might’ve carried out a similar school shooting – didn’t.

        • Gezza

           /  February 17, 2018

          I can’t locate it now, there are now too many comments. Wish I’d copied it.

          There was a comment from a student who described what it was like to go to school every day in the US, practice drills for how to survive a mass shooting or any kind of shooting incident at school & to have to be constantly aware of & the threat & keep in the back of your mind that it could happen to you. When all you are supposed to do at school is get an education.

          He thought the solution was for Congress to do what the Australians have done.

          He also thought nothing effective would be done about gun control until the current generation passed away and his generation, the first generation to have to go through the constant shooter survival drills & fears for their safety that they are all now required to do, have the opportunity to vote to reject the Politicians who oppose gun control.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  February 17, 2018

            Seems that the impact if any of Australian law is quite contentious:

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Australia

            For example NZ followed the same pattern without the same interventions.

            • Gezza

               /  February 17, 2018

              Don’t seem particularly contentious to me. Supported by most Australians I understand. Seem to have been effective in reducing gun crime & preventing multiple/mass shootings.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 17, 2018

      One of John Howard’s greatest achievements was the Australian government response to the Port Arthur shooting. Look it up and educate yourself.

  4. Patzcuaro

     /  February 17, 2018

    Open letter from an aunt of one of the victims “we don’t want your prayers”. Our thoughts and prayers are with your seems the only response of the gun lobby to another tragedy.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11996270

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 17, 2018

      Fixing the FBI instead of politicizing it could have stopped this one.

      • Gezza

         /  February 17, 2018

        How does the so-called politicising of the FBI feature in this attack?

      • David

         /  February 17, 2018

        Those ‘extraordinary steps’ didn’t stop another 500 people get killed or injured in France in the two years afterwards in terror attacks.

  5. Corky

     /  February 17, 2018

    But this is New Zealand, dude..that can’t happen here. We have rules….?

    1—–In the United States the first gun control laws were enacted during the Civil War era to prevent guns from falling into the hands of black slaves who might be inclined to attack their masters and thereby keeping control in the hands of the latter.

    2—–The Turkish Ottoman Empire established gun control in 1911, proceeding then to exterminate 1.5 million Armenians from 1914 – 1917.

    3—–The Soviet Union established gun control in 1929. Subsequently from 1928 – 1953, 60 million dissidents were imprisoned and then exterminated.

    4—–China. Gun control laws were enacted in 1935. Between 1948 – 1952, 20 million Chinese, unable to defend themselves, were likewise murdered.

    5—–Nazi Germany established gun control in 1938 enabling the government to round up 13 million defenceless Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally ill and impaired human beings, imprisoning them in concentration camps, and by a conscious process of attrition, destroyed them.

    6—–Guatemala. Gun control laws were passed in 1964: as a result, between 1964 – 1981, 100,000 defenceless Mayan Indians met their deaths.

    7—–Uganda. Established gun control measures in 1970. Predictably, from 1971 – 1979, 300,000 defenceless Christians met a similar fate.

    8—–Cambodia. Established gun control measures in 1956, subsequently from 1957 – 1977 one million Cambodians met their deaths.

    9—–Closer to home, Indonesia, another Republic, has a similar record. Out of a population of just one million people in East Timor, 200,000 have been killed over the past twenty years until the recent bloodshed when it still unknown how many thousands more have been murdered. Being promised freedom these brave people elected to vote in a referendum during which the United Nations guaranteed their safety and still they died unarmed and defenceless.

    * From link above.

    What’s the chance of whole sale slaughter in America? Maybe California.. But Texas and other southern states would deal with transgressors..

    • Gezza

       /  February 17, 2018

      “What’s the chance of whole sale slaughter in America? Maybe California?”

      On the scales you mention above? With their Congressional system of Government, & their National Guard, Defence Forces, Multiple Federal, state, & local armed Police & Security Services?

      You give the odds, bro.

    • Gezza

       /  February 17, 2018

      Exactly. So close to zero it’s not even worth attempting to. Better odds of being shot by accident, or by a nutter with a gun. Or one of your own kids.

    • Corky

       /  February 17, 2018

      Weimar Republic.
      Japanese Americans. Lucky for them America had a constitution.
      Another Great Depression..
      The halted takeover of New Zealand parliament by Maori radicals.
      Fijian Coup.
      Tuhoe homeland.

      See, little things can, if given the right conditions, spread like wildfire as a group mentality
      takes hold. Luckily most just fizzle.out. Unfortunately for Jews in Germany that didn’t happen. I’m always surprised by how few Jews saw the writing on the wall pre WW2. Others still didn’t get it when cattle trucks pulled up to transport them away. Jews have learnt their lesson from WW2. Fuck with them and you will die. Reality is a vicious but excellent teacher.

      So we get to Gezza and his comments. Those comments come from someone whose generation has never known war.( an anomaly),Who have only lived in a country where order and stability rule. He is right, but wrong at the same time.

      All those American security and military arms forces rely on stable government. When Nixon got the chop, the military, for a while, refused to accept Ford as CIC. That is technically a coup, folks.

      Then there is the soft American mentality. Cyclone Katrina saw cops abandon their posts because they couldn’t handle the situation. FMA were hopeless.

      http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/11/03/brown.fema.emails/

      Now imagine a great depression. So much for the mighty American security system. Every man for himself. Conservatives will have guns…liberals will have their keyboards.

      Yeah, good luck with that.

      • Gezza

         /  February 17, 2018

        Still waiting for your odds re California.

        What civil war broke out in the US during the Great Depression?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 17, 2018

          Corky doesn’t realise that the Holocaust was independent of WWII. It began before it.

          Even he can’t think that one person with a gun can take on armed soldiers .

          Of course the Jews knew what was coming, but if Corky would like to tell us what they could have done, I would be interested to hear it. There’s not a lot that people can do when there’s nowhere to go.

          • Gezza

             /  February 17, 2018

            I don’t think Corky’s looked very deeply into it. Armed groups were one of several problems for post-war Weimar Germany. The Nazis were the ones who sold the population on the idea only they could bring order to a chaotic Germany. They picked the Jews to label the enemy where he picks the liberals.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 18, 2018

              The Jews were a soft target. So were gays and Gypsies.

  6. duperez

     /  February 17, 2018

    • Corky

       /  February 17, 2018

      ?

    • Gezza

       /  February 17, 2018

      (CNN)
      “Slaughtered in school”
      “And still no gun control?”
      “How come, Marco Rubio?”

      That’s the message scrawled across three mobile billboards seen Friday near Sen. Marco Rubio’s office in Doral, Florida.

      Rubio: Gun laws wouldn’t have prevented Parkland

      The moving missive aims to call out Rubio just days after a gunman with what police say was an AR-15-style rifle stormed a high school in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 people dead. Its placard trio borrows from the Oscar-nominated movie, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” about a mom who rents road ads to call attention to her daughter’s unsolved murder.

      Avaaz, an online activist group, created the campaign targeting Rubio, which also was spotted rolling through downtown Miami and Little Havana.

      “Florida has notoriously lax gun laws, and Rubio, who is supported by the NRA, has never attempted to reform them,” Emma Ruby-Sachs, Avaaz’s deputy director said. “The senator ranks as one of the highest recipients of NRA contributions and has received an A+ rating from the NRA.”

      Florida’s GOP governor on gun laws: ‘Everything’s on the table’

      Rubio, a Republican who ran for president in 2016, said Thursday that gun restrictions would not have prevented the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The senator had received $3.3 million from the National Rifle Association as of October, according to The New York Times.

      A person who answered the phone Friday at Rubio’s Miami-area office declined to comment on the billboards.

      Added Ruby-Sachs: “Today citizens are asking: How come Rubio refuses to protect our children? The senator has taken fire across the country for his toothless response to the shooting, calling it ‘inexplicable’. We called (that) ‘inexcusable.'”

  7. Corky

     /  February 17, 2018

    ‘Today citizens are asking: How come Rubio refuses to protect our children? ”

    Do what? What is/was he meant to do ? Seems to me the citizens can make a choice at the next election. Of course the next guy will do little to..

    Maybe the FBI should have done something? But, like I said above, an orderly world is a very tenuous thing indeed..

    • Gezza

       /  February 17, 2018

      Absolutely the FBI have to answer for this. But how did this kid amass an arsenal including a high capacity rapid fire military style assault gun? Like other mass shooters have. Legally?

      Because it’s too easy in Florida & other states in the US. How can you stop gun crime in a country awash with guns & no comprehensive training & monitoring & control system like they have in Switzerland – where the purpose of an armed citizenry is to prevent or repel a military invasion, a threat the US simply does not credibly face.

      You can’t. You can just watch it get worse. You can just watch it continue & listen to the pointless Presidential condolence speeches & the results of the search for some police department or other agency to blame. They don’t sell the guns to these people. The NRA’s sponsors do.