I just checked; I’ve written 36 mass murder posts over the last 12 years. Thirty-six. And just to be clear, I’m talking about mass murders — not mass shooting events. Mass shootings are basically unsuccessful mass murders. They’re attempted mass murders, and they’re a lot more common. Also, remember that technically mass murder excludes so-called ‘domestic’ mass killings. You know, like all those cases in which a guy decides to kill his spouse and their kids, and maybe his spouse’s parents. Those aren’t included in the official ‘mass murder’ definition. Also too…gang-related mass killings. They don’t count either.
So I’ve averaged three mass murder posts per year. I’m running out of stuff to say. So I’m just going to cannibalize some of my old blog posts. Here’s part of what I wrote after the 2019 Dayton, Ohio mass murder, which took place about 13 hours after the El Paso, Texas Walmart mass murder.
Who would this guy [Connor Betts] in Dayton be without his AR15? Who would Patrick Crusius be without access to an AK-47? He’d be just another angry young white guy with a dodgy understanding of history and the influence of social forces. Just another inadequate
personman who wanted so very desperately to believe he had an important part to play in some imaginary racist redemptive narrative.
Who would Stephen Paddock be? Who would Devin Kelley or James Holmes be? Adam Lanza, Nikolas Cruz, Omar Mateen, Robert Bowers — who would these guys be without easy access to guns and high capacity magazines? Without the guns, they’d be…insignificant. These guys think the guns might make them matter.
Sadly, they’re right. It’s the guns
Guns and high cap magazines, there it is. Connor Betts, the Dayton mass murderer, was killed by a police officer approximately 32 seconds after he started shooting. That’s right, thirty-two SECONDS. Now that’s a seriously rapid police response. But Betts fired 41 rounds in those 32 seconds. In that brief wink of time, he killed ten people and wounded 17 others. In contrast, it took six minutes for police to respond to the El Paso Walmart mass murder. Patrick Crusius, the shooter, had time to kill 23 people, wound another 23, get back in his car and drive away.
I also wrote this:
You want to tell me guns don’t kill people — people kill people? Fuck you. Jumping off buildings doesn’t kill people — deceleration trauma kills people. You want to tell me the majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens and shouldn’t be punished because some asshole misuses a firearm? Fuck you in the neck, life doesn’t work that way. I’m not going to cook meth, but I still can’t buy Sudafed without a huge amount of fuss because some asshole misuses it. You want to tell me you can also kill people with a knife or a baseball bat? Fuck you, you half-witted ballbag. That’s so damned stupid it doesn’t deserve a response. You want to tell me the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun? Fuck you, fuck your whole family, fuck everybody you know. Texas is jammed with ‘good guys with a gun.’ But Crusius was still able to waltz through the aisles of Walmart shooting folks IN TEXAS, walk out unmolested, get in his car, and start to drive away before police officers stopped him.
Texas is a goddamn Petri dish for gun culture. It’s a shallow transparent dish used to hold growth medium in which firearm lunacy can be cultivated. After the 2018 Santa Fe, Texas high school mass murder (ten dead, thirteen wounded), Governor Greg Abbott created the Texas Safety Commission to look into ways to prevent that sort of mass murder tragedy from happening again. Here’s what Abbott said on releasing the findings of TSC report:
In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Santa Fe, we had discussions just like what we are having today. Those discussions weren’t just for show and for people to go off into the sunset and do nothing. They led to more than 20 laws being signed by me to make sure that the state of Texas was a better, safer place, including our schools for our children.
That report was issued two days BEFORE the El Paso Walmart mass murder. And those “20 laws” intended to “make sure that the State of Texas was a better, safer place”? They generally loosened existing restrictions about where Texans could carry guns based on the astonishingly stupid theory that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with gun.
If that was true, Texas would be the safest state in the nation. But it’s clearly not true; when Abbott became governor, Texas had around 3000 gun-related deaths per year. Now the state is experiencing around 4600 gun-related deaths. And we’re approaching the one year anniversary of the Uvalde school shooting (21 dead, 17 wounded).
But I have to admit, I was wrong, sort of. For years I’ve been saying it’s the guns. The guns and high capacity magazines. And that’s absolutely true, as far as it goes. But it doesn’t go far enough. I’ve omitted one variable in the calculus of mass murder.
It’s the guns, it’s the high cap magazines, and it’s Republicans. Without that last variable, we could fix the first two.
Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
In 12 years, the answers have been the same … “It’s the guns, it’s the high cap magazines, and it’s Republicans. Without that last variable, we could fix the first two.” … as well as the response: ‘Thoughts and prayers!”
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Thank you Greg, I try not to miss one of your responses to a mass shooting. They seem to say it all, it would be nice if they could change things too
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It’s impossible to say it all, I’m afraid. Certainly not in the context of a blog post. But the thing is, it’s all been said. And said again. And said over and over. Everybody knows it’s the guns and the GOP. Even those people who claim it’s not the guns, know it’s the guns. They just like their guns and don’t want to give up their delusion that gun ownership is somehow heroic and patriotic.
Rep. Keith Self (R), who represents the Allen area in Congress, said on CNN that people who were calling for gun control, rather than just thoughts and prayers, “don’t believe in an almighty God … who is absolutely in control of our lives…. People want to make this political, but prayers are important.” Though the 2nd Amendment was certainly his backup argument–where the well-regulated militia seems to enjoy killing innocents. VOTE THEM OUT.
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Saw that. Unexpected argument. Is he saying that we can’t have gun laws because god wouldn’t like it?
All these assholes who claim firearm safety laws don’t prevent or reduce gun violence still somehow manage to believe that laws regulating drugs prevent or reduce illegal drug use. Apply the same to laws regulating pornography or flag desecration or pick something. Prayer has a spotty record, at best.
Ah, he’s going back to the old-fashioned argument that instead of trying to make the world better, we should just submit to the will of God, whatever that might be. How quaint. I would love to tell him that God gave him a brain, tiny though that brain might be, and he’s expected to use it.