Christchurch shootings – police updates

There has been a lot of information flying around over the mosque shootings, and a lot of emotion and accusations and assumptions. The police are doing their best to inform the public, but facts are slow to emerge.

We can rightly feel horrified, but I think we need to be careful not to promote publicity for those who murdered and injured people to get publicity.

The latest police statement: Commissioner Mike Bush outlines the latest information about the shootings in Christchurch today.

He confirms that three men and a woman are in custody, but they cannot assume that there are not others at large.

He says the danger may not be over. And there were explosive devices found on cars. So it is a live situation with  lot yet to be revealed.

We shouldn’t assume danger is gone. Won’t assume there aren’t others.
A number of IEDs attached to vehicles they have stopped, made safe by defence personnel.

Earlier:

UPDATE 1

Please attribute to Police Commissioner Mike Bush:

In response to a serious ongoing firearms incident in Christchurch all Christchurch schools have been placed into lockdown.

Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.

Further information will be released as it becomes available.

UPDATE 2

Please attribute to Police Commissioner Mike Bush:

A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter.

Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.

Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.

Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed.

UPDATE 3

Police are responding to a very serious and tragic incident involving an active shooter in central Christchurch.

One person is in custody, however Police believe there may be other offenders.


UPDATE 4

Due to the ongoing serious firearms incident in Central Christchurch Police would like to remind all parents and caregivers that schools across the city remain in lock down.

There is no timeframe at this stage for when the lock down will be lifted. The children are being taken care of by schools. On advice from Police, schools will communicate directly with parents when the lock down is lifted.

The safety of the community is our priority.

We will provide updates on the incident as and when they are available and you can get these on our Facebook (link is external) page and website.

Media please note the stand up with Commissioner Mike Bush has been pushed back to 5.30pm. This will be held at the Royal Society on Turnbull Street, Thorndon, Wellington.

Trump proposes more guns to combat too many guns

President Donald trump has a proposal to combat shootings in schools – let teachers carry concealed handguns. In a country with far too many firearms and far too many killings, he has proposed more firearms.

He said this in front of people who went to the White House to implore him to do something to prevent more shootings.

In the shooting in Las Vegas last October where 58 people were killed and 851 injured, concealed handguns were no use.

Chicago Tribune: Trump’s solution for school shootings: arm teachers, post veterans with guns

Seated between teenage survivors of the Florida school shooting, President Donald Trump said during an Oval Office listening session Wednesday that arming teachers and posting gun-toting veterans in schools could deter or stop school shooters.

His comments came during an emotional meeting that included Vice President Mike Pence, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and school-shooting survivors and families who had lost children to gun violence, including a father who buried his daughter just last week. They poured out grief and anger over the lack of efforts to stem school shootings.

Trump talked about strengthening background checks and increasing mental health resources. But his most pointed and specific remarks came when he spoke about adding security to schools by arming teachers and posting gun-equipped veterans.

Trump posited that if Aaron Feis, a popular football coach, has been armed, he could have stopped the gunman who killed Feis and 16 others last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“If the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy – that coach was very brave, saved a lot of lives, I suspect – but if he had a firearm he would not have had to run. He would have shot and that would be the end of it,” Trump said.

He then proposed to arm 20 percent of schoolteachers and to hire veterans as armed school guards.

“A teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer be a gun-free zone,” Trump said. He suggested that an armed teacher on campus could reach a school shooter faster than responding police officers. “You’d have a lot of people that would be armed, that’d be ready.”

His proposal to make 20 percent of public schoolteachers ready to fire back at a school shooter would mean training and arming about 640,000 people nationwide.

I’m not sure how much ongoing training the 640,000 armed teachers would require. There’s also likely to be a reluctance by many teachers and schools to become armed fortresses.

The idea got a warm reception among some parents, but was met with swift backlash from teachers’ groups nationwide.

“Bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence. Our students need more books, art and music programs, nurses and school counselors; they do not need more guns in their classrooms,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union. The group represents 3 million educators in K-12 schools and on college campuses. “We need solutions that will keep guns out of the hands of those who want to use them to massacre innocent children and educators. Arming teachers does nothing to prevent that.”

“This is bar none, the worst theory of action I’ve ever heard,” said Shanna Peeples, a former educator who worked in Texas when she won the 2015 National Teacher of the Year award. She shared her thoughts on Twitter. “Texas law allows schools to arm their teachers. That’s not a good thing. None of us are trained to respond to threats in the way law enforcement is.”

Strictly limiting the number of high capacity assault weapons that can be bought and owned would be a more sensible approach.

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.

Snipers shoot 11 police officers in Dallas

UPDATE – 11 police officers shot, 4 of them killed.

At a rally protesting over two recent police shootings of black men snipers shot at police, killing 3, critically wounding another 3, 2 more are in surgery and 2 more were also hit (bacause the report says 10 were shot.

This substantially ramps up tensions in the US.

NZH: 10 police shot in Dallas protest, sniper at large

There is chaos in Dallas as ten police officers were shot at a protest over two recent fatal police shootings of black men.

Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown told WFAA-TV that 10 officers were shot by 2 snipers in downtown Dallas. Three are dead, 3 are critical, and 2 are in surgery.

“Tonight it appears that two snipers shot ten police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally,” Brown said.

“Three officers are deceased, two are in surgery and three are in critical condition. An intensive search for suspects is currently underway. No suspects are in custody at this time.”

Another report says that at least 11 officers were hit.

At least 11 officers shot, 3 dead after attack at Dallas protest

DALLAS — Dallas Police Chief David Brown has confirmed at least 11 police officers were shot and at least three were killed in an attack by two snipers in downtown Dallas at a protest of officer-involved shootings across the country on Thursday night.

…bystander, Richard Adams, said the protest was “a lovely, peaceful march,” until they were walking down Commerce Street near the Bank of America building parking garage when he heard what sounded like “a bunch of firecrackers going off.”

“Everybody just stopped — ‘Run, run for your lives!’ Women with children and babies and everybody was chaotically running. And then, maybe I was a half-a-block away, calming down a little bit when we heard it again. […] There must have been five times tonight — whenever we thought we were safe, people said ‘Run, people were shot!'”

Dallas is notorious for a single shooting by sniper on 22 November 1963. That shocked the nation.

This will not only shock the nation, it risks exploding into something much bigger and more widespread.

A witness says that he heard 50-70 shots fired rapidly.