Uvalde and the American Condition

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, May 26, 2022.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    8,322
    "... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
    or
    don't throw the baby out with the bath water

    We have a pretty good constitution.
    Defend it, don't destroy it!
     
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Ignoring the parts that actually tell us what it does is not a good way of defending the constitution.
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Is it the best possible Constitution? Is it flawless?

    Is there any room for improvement at all?

    Is it Holy?
     
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Man is not perfect
    Nothing made by man can be perfect

    Most days
    You just go with what you've got
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    You are quite right. It can be modified so it is better at killing animals than killing people. That modification is needed because it originally was designed to kill people.
    If he was not qualified to fly it, that would be an excellent and relevant point, and indeed the FAA would point that out for you. It is a monster of an aircraft and you need very specific training to fly it safely.

    And if someone flew a P-51 and accidentally shot and killed 30 people in an apartment complex, you can bet the FAA would come out with a ruling very quickly that you cannot fly a P-51 with working guns.
    If by that you mean it's a weapon that you need specific training to use, and that the government should regulate their users to the same degree they regulate pilots - I agree.
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,115
    A gun that can kill a deer or bear can certainly kill a person. That's irrelevant. Your argument is irrelevant. All guns can kill people and yet you aren't arguing that all guns should be banned so in that context, your argument is irrelevant.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,790
    Absolutely. Weapons like the AR-15 are designed first and foremost to kill people - since that's what armed forces do during wars.
    Looks like you're not following the conversation.
    I am not arguing that any guns should be banned. Are you confusing me with someone else here? Either that or you are REALLY not following the conversation.
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    How would it differ if it was designed first and foremost to kill deer and to defend a home against an intruder?
     
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,790
    ??? Then they would not be military weapons designed exclusively to kill people.

    You're lost the thread of this conversation. You said "Except the AR-15 wasn't designed as a military weapon" and "An AR-15 is a rifle, not an 'assault' rifle or a 'weapon of war.' " You were wrong. They were designed as military weapons specifically to kill people. Armalite later adapted them for other purposes for the civilian market.

    If we now agree on that, we can move on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    On the American Condition

    Via NPR↱:

    Monday is day 185 of the year, and the country has already experienced at least 309 mass shootings so far. At least 309 in just over 26 weeks. This averages out to more than 11 a week.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Saeed Ahmed. "Halfway through year, America has already seen at least 309 mass shootings". National Public Radio. 4 July 2022. NPR.org. 4 July 2022. https://n.pr/3bPNCRV
     
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  14. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    Robert E Crimo III
    https://open.spotify.com/track/0YpQGysOPia5nt7idmaG3J

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Add Another

    The New York Times Sunday Review front page, 29 May 2022:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Add Highland Park to the list.
     
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  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The American Condition and the Death of the Family

    Matt Bors↱ asks, "Hey, uh, what’s going on with people", and offers two examples. One is an image of a tweet claiming Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ08), said she would do anything for her grandchildren, including shooting them. The other is cartoonist and notorious right-wing crackpot Scott Adams explaining something about young men at risk for violence to themselves and others, and that society only allows a family two options, to watch people die or kill your son.

    In turn: Yes, she said it↱, though it sounds like a legendary Bushism; it's one thing if she did not formulate correctly, but wow, what a sentence: "I have five grandchildren. I would do anything—anything—to protect my five grandchildren, including, as a last resort, shooting them, if I had to, to protect the lives of my grandchildren."

    Adams↱ seems to claim that instead of intervening, he watched his stepson collapse into suicidality, and was relieved that the young man didn't kill anyone else on his way out.

    Bors is not wrong: Something is awry. Adams is furious at any prospect that there is any other way, and goes out of his way to make the point. Lesko, in opposing a federal red-flag firearms regulation, turns from that declaration about her five grandchildren to complain that, "Democrat bills that we've heard this week want to take away my right—my right—to protect my grandchildren!" And she goes on to talk about other people who might need to protect their families, and, sure, the obvious grim joke looms, but the other grim joke is already in effect: She will do anything—anything—to protect her grandchildren except use her public office to regulate firearm supply and distribution.

    This isn't the first time rightists have flirted with the prospect of killing their own families: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) courted Pastor Kevin Swanson during the 2016 primary; the notorious preacher advocates parents killing their children↗ instead of letting them read Harry Potter books, or watch movies like How to Train Your Dragon.

    Maybe six years ago, it seemed like morbid comedy, and in the moment it might seem like Adams and Lesko both tried rhetorical maneuvers exceeding their capabilities, but in the current American moment and condition, it's hard to not notice.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    @MattBors. "Hey, uh, what’s going on with people". Twitter. 6 July 2022. Twitter.com. 6 July 2022. https://bit.ly/3yLTdSb

    @RyanShead. "Allow me to introduce you to Congresswoman Debbie Lesko of Arizona, who is currently running for office unopposed in her district. She would like America to know she loves her grandchildren so much she would shoot them if necessary. But liberals are the problem, right?" Twitter. 6 July 2022. Twitter.com. 6 July 2022. https://bit.ly/3bUmVeW

    @ScottAdamsSays. "When a young male (let's say 14 to 19) is a danger to himself and others, society gives the supporting family two options: 1. Watch people die. 2. Kill your own son. Those are your only options. I chose #1 and watched my stepson die. I was relieved he took no one else with him." Twitter. 6 July 2022. Twitter.com. 6 July 2022. https://bit.ly/3uvY47v
     
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  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Speaking of Family

    Damn it, I can't even make it out of the room before the next blow strikes. This note from yesterday just showed up in my twitfeed:

    The Illinois State Police just told @axios Chicago that Crimo's father co-signed for his FOID card that he received even after threatening to kill his family and having his weapons confiscated. @pksmid all of which was reported to the ISP.

    (@MonicaEng↱)
     
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  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Our American Condition: The Hamden Note

    The word from New Hampshire:

    Police arrested a New Haven man after they say he was reported to have drawn a gun Saturday over two women not thanking him for holding a door open for them ....

    .... Hamden police officers were called to the Family Dollar store on Dixwell Avenue around 3:15 p.m. on Saturday after Murray was reported to have pointed a gun at customers in front of the business, police said.

    “A witness reported that the suspect was upset that two woman did not say 'thank you' to him for holding a door open for them,” police said.


    (Yankowski↱)

    Something goes here about the modern man who simply delights in seeing a woman smile at him, but wry remembrance probably strikes the wrong tone. Still, if once upon a time we observed that chivalry itself arose from contempt for, and ingrained prejudice against, women, we might also take note of what the passing days have brought. Compared to everything else, it is possible to suggest this was a good day, because Joshua Murray didn't actually shoot anyone; nonetheless, the prospect of pulling heat because women aren't playing their proper roles sounds about on par with the period.

    I think of however many people, over time, who bawled and whined and parsed and tried to split hairs about misogyny, and how so much of what they pretended it somehow unfair to suggest continues to come to bear. That it didn't escalate to a mass shooting is perhaps cause for a sigh of relief, but it is nothing to actually celebrate. There is no getting back to some golden age when people flashed heat like flipping birds and everybody just went on with life.

    Remember, the same expectations by which Murray held a door also drive the anti-science populism of the anti-abortion movement, and are regularly a feature in mass shootings.

    There's nothing new about any of this, except perhaps that pretty much all the excuses people make for traditional supremacist chauvinism have been gunned down.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Yankowski, Peter. "Man drew gun after women didn’t thank him for holding door in Hamden, police say". New Haven Register. 17 July 2022. NHRegister.com. 21 July 2022. https://bit.ly/3yR0O0E
     
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  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Condition: Friday

    Strangely, the takeaway from this one apparently has to do with the success of a surveillance system.

    A Woodridge man was arrested Thursday in Englewood with five loaded guns, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and disturbing handwritten notes about mass shootings.

    Chicago police say they intercepted the man after he fired a shotgun into a park.

    Alexander Podgorny, 29, now faces five felony counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon ....

    .... An arrest report obtained by FOX 32 from the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk states that police located Podgorny near his minivan. Police said his driver’s side and passenger side doors were open.

    Documents state that in his pocket, Podgorny had a loaded semi-automatic handgun.

    When police searched his vehicle, four other guns were recovered, including a shotgun and an AR-15.

    All of those firearms were "readily accessible and ready to be fired" – according to Podgorny’s arrest report.

    Plus, police said they found at least 300 spent shell casings of various calibers, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and handwritten notes that "contained incoherent rants and references to mass shooting events."

    In his vehicle, officers also located a hatchet and a pruning saw, according to the arrest report.


    (Chronis↱)

    Still, the contrast between what could have been and what is hand-wringing compared to what actually happened is not an irrelevant question: The easy juxtaposition between catastrophe and vagary stands out in part for its ease, which in turn might be a thoroughly American context.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Chronis, Kasey. "Woodridge man fired shots into Chicago park; police find handwritten notes about mass shootings in vehicle". FOX 32 Chicago. 5 August 2022. Fox32Chicago.com. 6 August 2022. https://bit.ly/3p2PQ3H
     
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  20. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    7,370
    adams is making up excuses why the situation cant be changed to prove there was nothing he could do to change things.
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Weekend Condition

    A note from this morning, per Andrew Weinstein↱:

    A 4-year-old girl shot and killed herself with a gun she found in the backseat of her mom’s car in Georgia yesterday, but you might not have heard about it because it’s the sort of thing that happens every single day in America ....

    Her name was Kendal Lewis. The detail, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

    Officers were called to I-85 northbound at North Druid Hills Road just after 7:30 p.m. when someone was reported shot, DeKalb police spokesman Lt. Shane Smith said.

    When officers arrived, they found the girl dead in the back seat having suffered an apparent gunshot wound, Smith said. Police identified the victim as Kendal Lewis.

    Smith said homicide detectives determined that while Kaelin Lewis, 26, was driving, her daughter found the firearm and the weapon discharged, striking the girl. According to the arrest warrant … the gun was stored under the driver’s seat.

    It is easy enough, in this time of mass violence, to forget that this goes on. We Americans are inured to these outcomes; they have long been somewhat normal, often mere background nosie compared to more spectacular incidents.

    In the Atlanta metro area alone, at least forty children have been shot; nineteen are dead. At least twelve of the forty were inflicted by themselves or another child. Seven died, all of whom were under nine years old. According to EveryTown↱, we have experienced 169 unintentional shootings by children so far this year, nationwide, claiming seventy-four lives and injuring over a hundred.

    There was also a mass shooting in Atlanta, last night, with a six year-old among the injured; apparently a dispute at a softball game somehow escalated.

    I honestly don't know what to say; this is just how it goes in these United States. This is our American condition.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    @Weinsteinlaw. "A 4-year-old girl shot and killed herself with a gun she found in the backseat of her mom’s car in Georgia yesterday, but you might not have heard about it because it’s the sort of thing that happens every single day in America. It’s long past time we did something about that." Twitter. 8 August 2022. Twitter.com. 8 August 2022. https://bit.ly/3JIrE06

    EveryTown. "#NotAnAccident Index". 2022. EveryTownResearch.org. 8 August 2022. https://bit.ly/3A8v1u6

    Simanas, Ron and Rosana Hughes. "Mother charged after 4-year-old accidentally shoots herself in car on I-85". The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 8 August 2022. AJC.com. 8 August 2022. https://bit.ly/3QsUJP3
     
  22. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    "Stored" seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.
     
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    School District Police Department

    There is a detail in the Associated Press narrative that stands out:

    Uvalde's school district on Friday pulled its embattled campus police force off the job following a wave of new outrage over the hiring of a former state trooper who was part of the hesitant law enforcement response during the May shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 21 dead.

    School leaders also put two members of the district police department on administrative leave, one of whom chose to retire instead, according to a statement released by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. Remaining officers will be reassigned to other jobs in the district.

    The extraordinary move by Uvalde school leaders to suspend campus police operations — one month into a new school year in the South Texas community — underscored the sustained pressure that families of some of the 19 children and two teachers killed in the May 24 attack have kept on the district.


    (Weber↱)

    The turn of events is dramatic, to be certain. Inasmuch as Uvalde was↑ "actually an example of what we get from hardening the schools and relying on good guys with guns", the public collapse of a school district police department feels nearly anticlimactic, or overdue, or something.¹

    By contrast, though, such a dramatic turn comes about in the wake of farce; only yesterday, Associated Press reported:

    New outrage ripped through Uvalde on Thursday over revelations that a school police officer hired after the Robb Elementary massacre was not only on campus during the May attack as a Texas state trooper but under investigation over her actions while a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers ....

    .... But the abrupt firing did little to diffuse anger in Uvalde. Families demanded answers over why the school district’s small police force in the first place hired one of the nearly 400 law enforcement officers who rushed to the scene of the May 24 attack but waited more than an hour to confront a gunman with a AR-15-style rifle.

    Adding to some parents’ disbelief was the fact that Elizondo, according to records released by the Texas Department of Public Safety, is among at least seven troopers who were at the scene and put under internal investigation over their actions during one of the deadliest classroom shootings in U.S. history ....

    .... The documents show that after the Uvalde school district contacted DPS in July while conducting a background screening of Elizondo, the agency sent back a letter noting that she was under internal investigation over allegations that her actions were “inconsistent with training and Department requirements.”


    (Weber and Bleiberg↱)

    That is to say, the school district hired to its police department an officer who they knew was under investigation for failure to carry out her duties during the massacre at their school. The idea that the suspension of the school district police department "underscored the sustained pressure that families … have kept on the district", in itself, underscores the point that such pressure was even necessary in the first place. It's not simply a failure to do the right thing: What is it about law enforcement that so deludes and incapacitates the people involved? The hiring of prima facie dereliction was not some mere failure; it was a wilful provocation.

    The idea of a school district police department is dubious enough in itself, but even in the face of existential crisis, the law enforcers remain so possessed of such mysteriously absurd pretense as to refuse not simply duty, but even basic decency.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    ¹ At least the good guys with guns have enough courage to cuff and arrest a six year-old girl↱. Or, per reminding chatter↱ after the Parkland shooting, the thousands of police officers hired haven't really done anything to prevent mass shootings at schools, but did in two decades manage to arrest over a million children, "mostly students of color, for routine behavior violations".​

    @JoshuaPotash. "Reminder that despite what people say about putting cops in schools after shootings, this is what actually happens". Twitter. 5 October 2022. Twitter.com. 5 October 2022. https://bit.ly/3T2hiLV

    @samswey. "After Columbine over 10,000 school police officers were hired just in case a school shooting happened. Two decades later, they haven't stopped a *single* school shooting. Instead they've arrested over 1 million kids, mostly students of color, for routine behavior violations." Twitter. 22 February 2018. Twitter.com. 7 October 2022. https://bit.ly/3eaXYNP

    Weber, Paul J. "Uvalde schools suspend entire police force after outrage". Associated Press. 7 October 2022. APNews.com. 7 October 2022. https://bit.ly/3ykzloH

    Weber, Paul J. and Jake Bleiberg. "Uvalde schools fire ex-Texas trooper who was at shooting". Associated Press. 6 October 2022. APNews.com. 7 October 2022. https://bit.ly/3RJmMKy
     

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