Posts Tagged ‘mass shootings’

Gilroy. El Paso. Dayton. How many more?

August 5, 2019

Gilroy. El Paso. Dayton. How many more

On Sunday morning, Dayton, Ohio suffered the 251st U.S. mass shooting this year. 9 people were killed and 27 injured. The day before, in a shooting at an El Paso shopping mall, 20 people were killed and 26 injured. The preceding Monday, in Gilroy California, a gunman killed 3 people and injured 15. 3 gunmen perpetrated 32 gunshot homicides and 68 gunshot casualties in one week.

Three people were able to commit that human carnage because they used variants of assault rifles designed for the battlefield and equipped with high-capacity magazines. The gun industry has cynically re-branded these military-style firearms as “modern sporting rifles,” though they are designed to tumble when they hit a target and would shred game animals and blast 6-inch exit holes. That’s what happened to this week’s victims. It’s true that most of America’s yearly 40,000 gunshot fatalities are committed with handguns, but you don’t have mass shootings without weapons capable of mass shootings. Reinstituting the assault weapons ban is a good place to start.


18th US School Shooting of 2018

February 15, 2018

18th US School Shooting of 2018
17 are dead and at least 15 others wounded at a Florida high school after a former student returned to campus with an assault rifle on Wednesday. This is the 18th school shooting in the first 45 days of 2018. Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County’s Parkland is the 10th deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. So far. The Republican congress continues working to further weaken America’s gun laws.

Wednesday’s alleged high school shooter, a former JROTC member who was on the school rifle team, showed obvious signs of instability while he was still a student, according to former classmates: “All he would talk about is guns, knives and hunting.” “I’ve seen him wear a Trump hat.”


“Florida School Shooting: ‘No Words’ as 17 Die in a Barrage of Bullets,” Audra D.S. Burch and Patricia Mazzei, New York Times

“17 People Died In The Parkland Shooting. Here Are Their Names,” Laurel Wamsley, NPR

“Trump, Who Made It Easier for Mentally Ill People to Buy Guns, Blames Mental Health Issues for Florida Shooting,” Inae Oh, Mother Jones

“Trump Calls For Mental Health Action After Shooting; His Budget Would Cut Programs,” Vanessa Romo, NPR

“President Trump’s Victim-Blaming Response to the Mass Shooting in Florida,” Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker

“White House refuses to release photo of Trump gun law repeal,” BBC News

“American Carnage,” Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

“Student who survived Florida shooting pleads with Trump and Congress: ‘Please, take action,’” Kristine Phillips, Washington Post

“Teacher who survived school shooting breaks down in tears calling for gun control,” Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

“School safety money would be slashed in Trump budget,” Kimberly Hefling, Politico

“Report: Florida Shooting Suspect Nikolas Cruz Passed Background Check for AR-15,” Daily Beast

“Most Americans can buy an AR-15 rifle before they can buy beer,” Lois Beckett, The Guardian

“The AR-15: ‘America’s rifle’ or illegitimate killing machine?” Marc Fisher, Washington Post

“All the things Fox News blamed the Parkland shooting on other than the gun,” Adam Epstein, Quartz

“Laws we used to have on the books could have prevented the Florida school shooting,” Robert J. Spitzer, Washington Post

“It’s time to bring back the assault weapons ban, gun violence experts say,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Shooting suspect was on school rifle team that got NRA grant,” Michael Biesecker and Collin Binkley, Associated Press

“After Sandy Hook we said never again. And then we let 1,607 mass shootings happen.” German Lopez, Ryan Mark and Soo Oh, Vox

“After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings,” Jugal K. Patel, New York Times

“The normalization of America’s school shootings, in one chart,” Ana Campoy, Quartz

“After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings,” Jugal K. Patel, New York Times

“This is America: 9 out of 10 public schools now hold mass shooting drills for students,” Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox

“‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,” The Onion

“Before FL Shooting, NRA Posted Valentine Featuring Guns And Bullets,” Cristina Cabrera, TPM Livewire

“The NRA Is a Terrorist Organization,” Michael Harriot, The Root

“The gun lobby: See how much your representative gets,” Tyler Fisher,  Sarah Frostenson, and Lily Mihalik, Politico

“The NRA’s step-by-step playbook for responding to a mass shooting,” Heather Timmons, Quartz


“Five types of gun laws the Founding Fathers loved,” Saul Cornell, The Conversation


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2017: Have a Lethal Christmas!

December 17, 2017

Have a Lethal Christmas!

Francis X. Clines in the New York Times:

“For the single-day binge of gun sales measured annually after Thanksgiving, the F.B.I. received 203,086 requests for background checks. This is the most ever in a single day, topping last year’s Black Friday high of 185,713 requests. (No immediate tweets from President Trump, the candidate of the National Rifle Association, that this is huge in making America great again.)

There were undoubtedly even more guns actually sold, since an F.B.I. request can cover a buyer’s multiple purchases. All seasonal evidence indicates that AR-15 assault rifles, the battlefield knockoffs familiar to so many Americans in the relentless tales of mass shootings, will be under many Christmas trees. ‘Bang for the buck!’ enthused the blog post of one seasonal shopper. ‘I picked up a Bushmaster carbine with rebate for around $400 … I couldn’t be happier.’”


“Guns were Black Friday must-haves, going by the FBI’s record 203,086 background-check requests,” Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post


“Sandy Hook mom slams Trump for hosting NRA head on anniversary of shooting,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“Americans Don’t Really Understand Gun Violence,” David Bernstein, The Atlantic

“America’s gun problem, explained,” German Lopez, Vox


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More and More Frequent

November 10, 2017

More and More Frequent

“… there are now fewer days between mass shootings and more fatalities. In the 1990s, an estimated 159 people were killed in mass shootings. That figure rose to 171 people in the 2000s. So far this decade, at least 381 people have been killed in mass shootings.”

“… less deadly mass shootings rarely receive the same degree of media attention because they simply happen so frequently. The last mass shooting prior to Sunday happened just four days earlier, when Scott Allen Ostrem, 47, walked into a Walmart in Denver and fatally shot two men and a woman, before leaving the store and driving away.”

— “Not your imagination: mass shootings now happen more frequently in the US,” Mona Chalabi, The Guardian

Now Is Not the Time?

October 3, 2017

Now Is Not the Time?

59 people are dead and 527 injured after a man opened fire on the audience at a country music concert in Las Vegas. Can tragedies like this be prevented? Our elected officials must be working on that now, right?

According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “there will certainly be a time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment.”

You’ve heard this before, every single time Americans slaughter their fellow citizens with mass gunfire. After the Pulse nightclub, the Aurora movie theater, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary SchoolLuby’s Cafeteria in KilleenMcDonald’s in San Ysidro, and Columbine High School.

So we can’t talk about sensible gun control measures after a senseless mass killing. It’s like that guy who won’t fix the hole in his roof when it’s raining because he doesn’t want to get wet, and when the sun shines he says he doesn’t need to fix it.


“Now is exactly the right time to talk about gun politics,” Mark Kelly, Washington Post

“Chuck Todd: ‘Why is now not the time’ to talk about gun violence?” Josh Delk, The Hill

“Mass shootings are an American problem. There’s an American solution.” Chris Murphy, Washington Post

“If Newtown Wasn’t Enough, Why Would Las Vegas Be Enough?” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

“Why ‘thoughts and prayers’ is starting to sound so profane,” Kirsten Powers, Washington Post

“We don’t need your prayers in Sin City. We need gun control,” C. Moon Reed, Los Angeles Times

“Washington’s Ritualized Response to Mass Shootings,” Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker


Black Friday 2016: High-Caliber Sales

November 29, 2016

Black Friday 2016: High-Caliber Sales
‘Tis the season. As the world prepares to wish for Peace on Earth, Americans spent Black Friday 2016 stockpiling firearms. On the day after Thanksgiving the FBI processed a record 185,713 background checks for gun transactions, more than any single day since the NICS system launched 18 years ago, up from last year’s 185,345 background checks. Jingle bells, pass the shells.

The Trump campaign got $30 million from the NRA, which claimed a Clinton administration would ban the assault-type weapons prized by militias and mass murderers, and would confiscate all privately-owned  firearms. The Obama presidency has been good for gun merchants, who predicted a Trump victory would see a slump in sales, but it hasn’t happened. There are anecdotal accounts that the 2016 election prompted a rise in gun purchases by anxious African Americans. See, Donald Trump is boosting the economy, even before his inauguration.


“FBI runs more background checks than ever after gun sales soar on Black Friday,”Alex Yablon, The Guardian


“Burglars rob militia family bungalow of guns, machetes, grenades and body armor,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post


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Orlando: American Shoots Other Americans

June 12, 2016

Orlando: American Shoots Other Americans
A heavily armed native-born American walked into an Orlando gay bar Sunday morning and killed at least 49 other Americans before he was shot by police. Actually, some people may say the perpetrator was not a real American because he was born in New York.

50 49 victims are known dead and about an equal number have been hospitalized, many in critical condition. At this time investigators have not established and reported other facts, but this has not kept commentators and politicians from recklessly flapping their gums. We await the NRA’s inevitable pronouncements that the shooter was mentally ill and that the bar patrons should have been armed.


“The gun used in the Orlando shooting is becoming mass shooters’ weapon of choice,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Ex-CIA Chief: It’s Way Past Time for an Assault Weapons Ban,” John McLaughlin, OZY

“Orlando nightclub shooting suspect bought guns within week of attack,” Mary Shanklin, Orlando Sentinel

“Assault weapons remain legal and easy to purchase in US,” Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press

“Ban on Weapon Used in Orlando More Distant Than Ever, Even If Clinton Wins,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

“Florida Nightclub Attack Just the Latest US Mass Shooting,” AP via NBC News

“Orlando shooting: The key things to know about about guns and mass shootings in America,” Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

“Orlando Shooting, 16 Front Pages From Newspapers Around The World,” Helene Snyder, Worldcrunch


“U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons,” Jonathan Masters, Council on Foreign Relations


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Image (“Old Glory”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Report: Black Friday, 2015

December 3, 2015

Report: Black Friday, 2015
It’s the season when we prepare to wish “peace on earth and goodwill to all” by buying gifts and decorations. Americans spent Black Friday 2015 stockpiling firearms. On the day after Thanksgiving, the FBI processed a record 185,345 background checks for firearms purchases, 2 every second. That’s the same day an armed American attacked a women’s health clinic in Colorado Springs and shot to death a police officer, a mother of two, and an Iraq War veteran.

On Wednesday two shooters armed with assault rifles killed 14 people and wounded 17 others at a San Bernadino nonprofit social service center.

God bless us one and all.


“Black Friday saw most federal gun background checks ever in a single day,” Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post


“Gun background-check database missing vital information,” Anita Kumar, McClatchy Newspapers

“How ‘active shooter’ became a depressing part of our vocabulary,” Emily Badger, Washington Post


Colorado Springs: God & Guns

December 1, 2015

Colorado Springs: God & Guns
It was the home of Garrett Swasey, Jennifer Markovsky, and Ke’Arre Stewart. It’s White Evangelical Mecca, where it’s perfectly normal to walk down the street carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. Welcome to Colorado Springs.

“Colorado’s second largest city, with a population of 445,800, has built itself a reputation as a playground for white, pro-gun, pro-life Evangelical Christians. It is also home to one army base, two air force bases, and an air force.”

— “Colorado Springs: a playground for pro-life, pro-gun evangelical Christians,” Josiah Hesse, The Guardian

So when you visit Colorado Springs, bring your Bible, your ski vest and your flak vest.


Gun Shows Near Newtown Canceled

January 5, 2013

Gun Shows Near Newtown Canceled

 “Four gun shows, all about an hour’s drive from Newtown, Conn., all canceled.

A show in White Plains, N.Y., — brought back a few years ago after being called off for a decade because of the Columbine shooting — is off because officials decided it didn’t seem appropriate now, either. In Danbury, Conn. — about 10 miles west of Newtown — the venue backed out. Same with three other shows in New York’s Hudson Valley, according to the organizer.