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February 25, 2018

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Beautifully expressed, lj.

Thank you.

Thanks, lj. Your comments about the slippage between the immigrant generation and the next one brought tears to my eyes, never mind the rest of it.

*****

As an aside, I had just logged in to Typepad to post installment #2 of the bread series when I saw this. I'll hold onto that post for a couple of days; there's no rush. I feel like I've been shirking. It's time to get back to work.

I can't imagine, and don't want to imagine, being a family member of the victims. I am sad enough being a fellow citizen. I didn't click on all of the links, but the story of Peter Wang made me weep.

We are a country of immigrants. Peter Wang worked for our country all of his life. I just wish it had been about five, six, or seven times longer.

Until the next time.

Or, as it's sometimes said:

'Til soon
Which, sadly, it will be.

As someone else who teaches at a university, with lots of teachers at all levels among my friends, I have been by-turns saddened, impressed, and appalled this last week.

I've read accounts from several of my teacher friends of their schools' active shooter drills and of the scenarios their children have been considering: whether to call a mother or if that would just bring her down to the school and into harms way; if the glow of the phone would show under the closed and locked door and draw a shooter's fire; what direction to face when approaching the school's hurricane fence, whether back towards the school to see if the shooter came out or outwards to avoid taking glass in the face if there were a bomb...

I've had discussions with my teacher friends of testing stress and depression, of how many troubled and stressed students we thought might try suicide-by-teacher if their teachers were armed, and of how many more tragic confrontations might happen when students of color challenged a teacher's authority.

And I've been amazed at how much more is happening this time despite the usual reticence from politicians and the NRA to do a damn thing.

Something is shifting. I'm just not sure if it is leading towards a resolution or a tipping point on our national divorce.

I haven't read the individual pieces on the victims, nor the Atlantic piece about the emergency doctor, but I slipped up, read about Peter Wang and ended up in tears. It is simply impossible to know how to respond to this phenomenon, and this awful waste, in any way which doesn't feel futile.

To paraphrase the great Nina Simone: USA goddam.

Something is shifting. I'm just not sure if it is leading towards a resolution or a tipping point on our national divorce.

as with #MeToo, i think Trump's election and the way the GOP has embraced his depravity and nihilism has thoroughly pissed-off a lot of people; and they have decided to stand up and do something about it.

i hope they can sustain their energy for another seven months.

I think cleek is on to something. The problem with any political action effort is getting people motivated to actually get out and do something. That's why single issue drives are relatively successful -- they've got the motivation.

But this may be a case where a bunch of things come together. No one of which would have been sufficient (how long have we been having these school shootings, after all?). But the combination now pushes enough people over the edge to make something happen.

Apparently the majority of Repubicans in the Florida legislature have decided to scapegoat the local police. Even though the young man was widely perceived as being mentally abnormal in a dangerous way, I dont recall reading about anything he had dont that he could ahve been arrested for (anything recent--in the past he had threatened the neighbor's pets). I also do ont konw if under Florida law a person acna be forced to get a psych eval. I suspect that there was really nothign the police could have done except amybe visit the family and tell the adults of the concerns that had been passed along to them. Just recently we had two cases of students making verbal threats about their shcools. The police responded to both. One boy was arrested and his guns confiscated. The othe boy had not access to a weapon and was not arrested. Under WA law a person can be arrested if the threat is deemed credible, but there is no defintion in the law of credible. I looked up Flrida law and cfredible means possible at the time the threat is made. So as far as I can tell the Flrida shooter never did anything he could have been arrested for. Am I wrong? I think local police are being scapegoated for the failures of the legslature.

i think Trump's election and the way the GOP has embraced his depravity and nihilism has thoroughly pissed-off a lot of people

Historically (recent history) the gun control vs no gun control debate has been characterized as:

People in favor of gun control are mildly in favor of it. If asked they will express their general approval of it, but not so many of them will (frex) call their rep, or otherwise actually *do anything* about bringing their preferred outcome about. It's just not that high on their list of things to get worked up about.

People against gun control, basically the opposite. Folks who oppose gun control do so *adamantly and vocally*.

So, historically those opposed to gun control have won the day, by and large.

The emotional valence of the gun control advocate's position is what is, I think, shifting. Probably for other things as well. Trump is an offense to a lot of people, and in fact that's no small part of his popularity among his supporters. He's a great big middle finger extended to libtards and snowflakes everywhere.

And, libtards and snowflakes everywhere have gotten the message. They aren't so much pissed off as unwilling to eat any more of this particular sh*t sandwich.

We'll see how it plays out. Bon chance to one and all.

There was a stabbing murder in Winchester, Mass., the other day with some echoes of Parkland: mental illness, warning flags and complaints to the police for years, the family (I read this in a different article) unable to get help or adequate treatment for a troubled young man.

I'll bet the legislators scapegoating the police are the very ones who repeatedly vote to cut funding for social services, cut taxes, gut the ACA....

I'll bet the legislators scapegoating the police are the very ones who repeatedly vote to cut funding for social services, cut taxes, gut the ACA....

I can't remember the specifics, but there was some kind of high-profile incident involving a local police department several months (a year?) ago after which the police chief brought up the fact that the police were stuck cleaning up the avoidable messes that were the result of various policy decisions.

It's kind of tough to ID the situation on Google with such a flimsy memory, but I do remember thinking the police chief was absolutely right.

Aha!!!

https://qz.com/729378/dallas-police-chief-david-brown-were-asking-cops-to-do-too-much-in-this-country/

"We're asking cops to do too much in this country..."

We're asking teachers to do too much in this country too. Now we're (allegedly) asking them to be cops, but that's a cop-out, actually, because the cop-job some people are saying they should do wouldn't have to be *anyone's* job in a sane country. I.e., to be (un)prepared for mass killings in schools.

We're asking cops and teachers to do all this stuff because heaven forbid we should have a tax structure or a pay scale that would let us fund social services adequately.

Also, of course, heaven forbid that we should have sane gun laws, or a sane gun culture.

Actually, I think we do have a sane gun culture. Too. They are actually a majority of gun owners. They just are drowned out by the insane gun culture -- heavy funding from gun manufacturers providing the megaphone.

They just are drowned out by the insane gun culture -- heavy funding from gun manufacturers providing the megaphone.

Although they far outspend gun control advocates, gun rights advocate spending is small potatoes compared to the spending of other special interest groups.

"The NRA, gun makers, and gun rights issues do not even show up on the OpenSecrets website lists for top lobbying firms, top lobbying sectors, top lobbying issues, or top lobbying industries for the years 1998-2017."
Stop blaming the NRA for failed gun control efforts

gun rights advocate spending is small potatoes compared to the spending of other special interest groups.

However, all of their spending is focused on the issue of gun rights, so as regards the issue of gun rights, their participation is consequential.

It is both correct and beside the point to say that the NRA's involvement in *all issues under public consideration* is at best minor.

I'd bet I spend far more than russell does on beer, despite that fact that I pay far more on housing than on beer.

pay = spend

Stop blaming the NRA for failed gun control efforts

not until politicians stop using "NRA Rating" as a badge of honor or something to attack.

When it comes to "lobbying," I don't think Open Secret's metrics count things like the TV and internet ads that the NRA buys during election season in lieu of giving money to candidates or speaking directly to politicians, but I guarantee that the politicians whose opponents are on the receiving end of that two minutes of hate know who has been running those attack ads under the guise of "public education."

Basically, the NRA is a firearms manufacturing funded propaganda agency that buys NRA memberships for firearm purchasers in order to inflate their membership numbers so that it seems more populist than it actually is. They claim 5 million members, but only 135,000 votes were cast in the most recent board elections. The NRA is amazingly realistic looking astroturf that does a little hunter safety training on the side.

meanwhile, the Liberal Gun Club.

in some saul bellow novel, i forget which - more die of heartbreak, or maybe humboldt's gift? - there's a character who offers this pearl of wisdom:

there's a shoe for every foot

it's a funny world. not funny haha, although maybe that too, sometimes. just funny.

Charles is perhaps right that the rhetoric about rubio having been 'bought' by the NRA is not correct, though.
If would perhaps be more accurate to say that Rubio and other candidates have cravenly surrendered to NRA political blackmail.

We should also not forget that the NRA is the 'sane' of the 'gun advocate' groups. I believe it is run by absolutely morally/ethically depraved and cynical but rational guys that don't believe anything of their own arguments.
But there are rival groups like the Gun Owners of America run by actually insane people.

The line between depravity and insanity is sinuous and meandering.

Was this latest shooter too "mentally ill" to have "2nd Amendment rights"? Or is he so depraved that he deserves the death penalty?

Sane people might think that he can't be both. But what does the NRA say?

Is the desire to own an AR-15 a sign of depravity, or of insanity?

Moderates are welcome to agree with the NRA that it's neither. I say it's both, which shows how immoderate I am.

I doubt that Hilzoy would call Wayne LaPierre a "motiveless malignancy" (as she once described Dick Cheney) because LaPierre's motives are all too obvious. But they are so malignant that it hardly matters whether LaPierre is depraved or fucking nuts.

--TP

Mike Pence has a very moderate demeanor. He speaks in a calm and even voice.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mike-pence-abortion-end-in-our-time_us_5a967267e4b07dffeb6dbc05?ncid=edlinkushpmg00000313

Mike Pence has a very moderate demeanor. He speaks in a calm and even voice.

like Norman Bates, without the charisma.

when teachers are armed, this kind of thing will never happen again:

DALTON, GA. – An armed teacher has been arrested after shots were fired at a high school in a small town in northern Georgia.

The Dalton Police Department reported that “shot or shots” had been fired at Dalton High School just after 11:15 a.m. on the department’s official Twitter account.

Minutes later, DPD added that the armed suspect was barricaded inside a classroom at the school and urged parents not to come to the school.

HTBJ

Is the desire to own an AR-15 a sign of depravity, or of insanity?

Moderates are welcome to agree with the NRA that it's neither. I say it's both, which shows how immoderate I am.

I'd say that the desire to own an AR-15 isn't necessarily either. On the other hand, actually going out and acquiring one? Could be either or both. Lots of people have desires that they refrain from acting on. It's what someone does that matters.

Note that this can be a positive thing as well. For example, someone can have a huge negative reaction to homosexuality, but still go out and work for gay marriage because he realizes, intellectually if not emotionally, that it's the right thing to do. Deeds are what count.

From today's Economist e-mail newsletter:

presumably [they, i.e. those severing their special discounts for NRA members] think it less damaging to appease the anti-gun protesters than to placate Second-Amendment evangelists. FedEx is rare in deciding to stand pat. Despite disagreeing with some NRA policies, the courier implies it would be “discrimination” to stop offering preferential treatment to its members—thus suggesting it doesn’t understand what the word means.
It occurs to me that the next step in the boycott efforts might be to hound firms (e.g. Amazon) who have already severed their ties to the NRA to not use FedEx until they do so as well. After all, if you order something and it comes via a courier that you are trying to boycott, you're sort of stuck. Think of it as a second order boycott.

FedEx is rare in deciding to stand pat.

i'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that FedEx has a deal with dozens of gun makers to offer them reduced price shipping.

https://thinkprogress.org/exclusive-fedex-secret-deal-nra-c28dc09530d8/

TP: Is the desire to own an AR-15 a sign of depravity, or of insanity?

wj: I'd say that the desire to own an AR-15 isn't necessarily either.

By direct analogy, I suppose we could agree that the "desire" to shoot up a school full of kids is not necessarily a sign of depravity or insanity. We can only pass judgement after the fact because "deeds are what count".

Buying an AR-15 is a deed indeed. The "desire" to do it precedes the deed, I would have thought. But I guess we need to wait until the desire is fulfilled before we can ask whether it should have been or not.

I got fed up with the "responsible gun owner" BS a long, long time ago. Anyone who wants (pardon me, "desires") to own an AR-15 should have to prove he is actually, no-air-quotes responsible first. Otherwise I stand by my original diagnosis: depraved or deranged.

--TP

I suppose we could agree that the "desire" to shoot up a school full of kids is not necessarily a sign of depravity or insanity.

Well, perhaps understandable, when you're forced to appear at the same location every day, five days a week for most of the year, year after year, regardless of how you feel about it or how badly you're treated. Force backed up by agents of the state carrying guns...

Charles,

I can't tell whether you're being less, or more, sarcastic than I was.

--TP

Well, perhaps understandable

No.

Lots of people hate school. Most people hate school at some point, certainly at least some aspects of it.

The impulse to express that by buying a gun and shooting a bunch of other kids and some teachers should not be filed under "understandable".

In a clinical sense, maybe, along with lots of other forms of, frankly, depravity or insanity.

Outside of that, no.

You don't get to shoot other people because you're pissed off.

Ahh, Russell, you are going against the libertarian creed. Being a libertarian seems to license you to do anything if you don't like doing something else.

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