Yet another school shooting leaves 17 children dead in Florida

I wasn’t going to write about today’s deadly school shooting in Florida, as I didn’t think I had anything new to add since the last time I’d written about a horrific mass shooting just a few months ago, but then I happened across this video of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and felt compelled to share it.

Oh, and while we’re at it, here’s how much the NRA has spent on U.S. elections over the past several years. [No word yet as to how much of this money came from hostile foreign governments intent on sowing discord and having us kill one another.]

Oh, and if you really want to understand the truth of what’s happening in America, stop listening to the absolutely meaningless “thoughts and prayers” of our politicians, and start listening to the kids who where actually there, and saw their young friends murdered.

Speaking of these young people who just watched as their classmates were gunned down, Trump thinks they’re to blame.

If you’ve read this far, and still find yourself wanting more, check out my last post on American gun violence, which contains links to the six posts I wrote before that. [This shit never fucking ends.]

[note: This post, as it was originally written, claimed that today’s shooting, which left 17 dead, was the 18th school shooting thus far in 2018. As it turns out, a href=””>that’s not the case. That doesn’t make it any less horrific, though.]

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  1. Susan Lackey
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    NPR had a student on last night, who said this is something he and his friends think about all the time. Duck and cover seems quaint by contrast. Our kids have enough stuff to work through. We have to stop the deluge of guns that make this possible. And to those who say it’s a mental health issue… where are the new dollars to increase mental health diagnosis and treatment? It’s simply a way of deflecting attention from the gun issue. We need b to do both.

  2. Arika
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I wrote all my representatives today as well as Governor Snyder (hey why not) about this issue, and will do to use to do so every day for now on. I feel complicit through inaction. I use #resistbot (text ‘resist’ to 50409) to help remind me to stay active and in communication (on whatever issue I care about, it’s not specific to gun anything)

    Here’s what I wrote in case you want a template, y’all:

    Here’s what I’ve sent to both my senators and governor:

    Dear Legislators (insert name here),

    I demand that you do everything in your power to see that changes are made to gun legislation in our State. As a parent of a young child, it is ridiculous and shameful that I am scared of my child heading into a school setting in the next few years for fear for there being a school shooting. Guns do not belong in schools, guns should not belong to criminals or those with serious mental health issues, and guns CANNOT continue to ruin so many Michigan and American lives on a daily basis.

    Require a criminal background check for the sale of ALL firearms, no exceptions. Additional wait times between background check and sale. Remove and ban firearms related to incidents around domestic violence offenses. Ban access to guns for those with serious mental health diagnoses or certain types of military discharge. Get rid of concealed carry without a special need/order.

    All of these are JUST the BEGINNING of the reforms that need to happen around guns in order to make our citizens and our state and country safe for all.

    I look to you for leadership and progress on this issue.

  3. Meta
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    September 2013: “Pam Bondi, Florida Join NRA Fight To Let Teens Purchase Handguns From Dealers”

    Never mind more pressing issues: Florida is fighting for teens to have easier access to handguns.

    Last week Attorney General Pam Bondi joined 21 other states in backing the National Rifle Association’s bid to overturn a 45-year-old federal law prohibiting 18-to-20-year-olds from buying handguns and handgun ammunition from licensed firearms dealers.

    The law, first passed in 1968, doesn’t prevent those under 21 from owning or acquiring handguns through other means — such as private sales or gifts — and does allow them to purchase of shotguns or rifles. The compromise is “consistent with a longstanding tradition of targeting select groups’ ability to access and to use arms for the sake of public safety,” according to a U.S. Court of Appeals in Texas that rejected a first challenge of the law in 2012.

    Read more:

  4. Eel
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    How much money did Bondi take from the NRA to make it easier for kids to buy guns?

  5. NBC News
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Reporter: “After Florida school shooting, will you take a stand on mental health and gun control?”

    Florida Governor Rick Scott: “There’s a time to continue to have these conversations.”

  6. Jcp2
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    It’s counterintuitive, but every time this happens, I have coworkers who worry about gun violence affecting their rights to own a gun. Some of them go out and get another one. It must be an American thing.

  7. Kat
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Here’s an interesting headline.

    “In 1996, Australia Enacted Strict Gun Laws. It Hasn’t Had a Mass Shooting Since.”

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    If the Russian hackers were smart, they’d be using the fear of the government violating the 2nd amendment to seize guns to create even more chaos, murder and division.

    Oh they probably are.

    Knowing that the fear is government seizure of guns, maybe the left should be talking about other solutions than gun bans. We could beg and plead for better research into gun safety and better effective regulations– all of which most Americans support. We should probably not start with asking for actions that violate our constitution– even amendments we abhor.

    I’m all for more mental health research and care, but it seems important to once again say that the mentally ill are NOT more violent than the average citizen. There’s some evidence they are less so. Fear and stigma of mental illness is a big chunk of the reason why we don’t treat it like any other medical illness. It doesn’t help the cause to paint the mentally ill as murderous.

    I understand the outrage on the left, and share it, along with considerable sadness, but our strategies are not working. We live in a violent country. We have always lived in a violent country. It’s not more violent now, but the toxic combo of massive press attention to mass murders and partisan political blaming, has made such actions to appealing to megalomaniacs. We feed the beast even when we express our outrage. The press is getting smarter about not paying SO much attention to the murderers, and focusing on victims and communities. I think we need a few major political figures to campaign on ending gun violence. And I think their campaigns need to be well-reasoned not fire and brim stone.

    At some point the left needs to see it’s strategies aren’t working. We will never be assholes as big and powerful as the NRA. We need to present a real and appealing alternative.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Sorry ***Articles of the constitution, not amendments.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    We also need to organize and hold a massive, well organized and thought through, anti-gun violence march on Washington and nation wide. Massive. Well-coordinated. Resistance.

  11. Demetrius
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Another national spasm of breathless media coverage, tearful family members, “thoughts and prayers” and somber messages from politicians and other community leaders pledging to “do something” to end these kinds of tragedies begins … and will certainly captivate the public for a few days until some other sensational news story captures everyone’s attention.

    Then, in a few days, or weeks … another mass shooting. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    The fact is that the NRA now “owns” enough of our politicians to make sure that no meaningful weapons regulations will ever be enacted – despite overwhelming public sentiment in favor of reasonable restrictions. In fact, in many states (like Michigan) they continue actively working to weaken or strike down whatever minor barriers still remain.

    The only way to try to stop this is to strike the problem at the root. We need to call out the NRA as the terrorist group it is – including holding to account any politician, friend, or family member who belongs to or supports this vile organization.

    We wouldn’t flinch from calling out those who advocate for ISIS or the Taliban – so why do so many of us continue giving a pass to people, all around us, who support an organization that poses a much, much bigger threat to individuals and communities?

    I’m not an anti-gun zealot. I actually agree that sane, law-abiding citizens have a right to own and use firearms for hunting and self-defense.

    That said, the massive amount of weapons currently floating around the United States, the potential lethality of many of those weapons – particularly semi-automatic and automatic weapons that are designed primarily to kill/maim human beings –and the relative ease with which virtually anyone can obtain one, regardless of criminal background, mental illness, etc., point to nothing less than a national sickness that is both tragic and inexplicable.

  12. Lynne
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I will preface what I am about to say by saying that my personal opinion about guns is that I think we should go so far as to repeal the second amendment and ban most guns. I just happen to realize that is not a realistic position at this point. So I also agree that incremental changes can help and are worth pursuing. I like to point out to pro-gun people who freak out about *any* restrictions that one possible effect of minor restrictions is that if they work, they might convince people like me that they are enough.

    At any rate, I don’t expect we will, as a nation, address the gun aspect of this tragedy. That is unfortunate but doesn’t leave me hopeless. I found myself wondering about the shooter and what his ACE score might be. I wonder what makes a terrorist. What makes people become terrorists? Is it a general failure of our society to nurture others? Is it our culture of toxic masculinity? Is it possible that feminism that encourages men to have more emotional freedom which might include developing the skills necessary to make real connections with other people prevent more murders in the future?

  13. Citywatch
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Are we going to have to wait until all Americans have a dead child or relative to finally do something meaningful? Is that what it will take for us ALL to recognize that we have a mutual and complex problem? Then will we ALL be willing to listen to and work with each other to try to solve OUR problem(s)? Yes, it is guns, availability of guns, but it is also parenting, appropriate laws, video games, social exclusion and isolation, the idea that violence is a solution to conflict, the idea that a non-violent problem solving is not macho, and other things not mentioned here. Let’s be open to seeking a solution no matter where it takes us. At some point we have to work together and stop being defensive and combative before we even have a discussion. Let’s get everyone in the same room, and I do not mean Congress. Isn’t this enough? In a week is this going to slip out of the news cycle and out of our minds? This is not someone else’s problem.

  14. Sad
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Repeal the 2nd amendment!

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    A friend on FB suggested this approach: “Today I’m writing all of my representatives not only to urge them to do _something_ (which, yes!) but specifically to start working now on building a legislative framework to treat guns like cars.

    You should have to earn a license (and periodically update it) proving you know how to operate and keep a weapon safely. You should be required to register every weapon you own, maintain that registration and update it when a weapon is transferred. If you own a weapon, you should be required to carry liability insurance to cover the damages if and when your weapon is used irresponsibly. If you violate these laws, we should have severe penalties including large fines and jail time.

    This will make owning a weapon (and especially a lot of weapons) more expensive, especially for people who insurers deem as high risks. This will be bad for gun manufacturers but very good for gun safety.”

    I would also add advocating for re-opening and funding well CDC and other research into gun safety. We cant just get rid of guns and should stop talking about it, until there is momentum for an amendment ot the constitution. which I doubt will ever happen.

    I would also add that we should commit ourselves to being truthful when talking about gun violence. Sometimes ‘good guys with guns’ do stop killers. I keep seeing people on the left saying otherwise. It’s bullshit. It’s true overall that owning a gun makes one much more likely of being subject to gun violence. Of course, I would only own a gun if I didn’t feel safe for good reason, so… There is an aspect of privilege in assuming law enforcement offers adequate safety and protection. This is not true for everyone. The highest rate of increase in first time gun ownership is among women and POC. Rural people simply have less access to law enforcement. Before dismissing people who own guns for protection, one might want to compare circumstances.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Citywatch– you should be checking your assumptions about what causes gun violence. There’s a lot you point to that have been shown to not be part of the problem. Video gaming doesn’t make people more violent any more than rock n roll did. I could go on…

  17. Lil' Marco Rubio
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Rubio: We shouldn’t “jump to conclusions” that gun control laws would’ve prevented Florida school shooting

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Following up on the idea of regulating guns like cars:

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I think it would also be helpful if we expressed our outrage about gun violence at all times, not just after mass shootings of rich white people. We seem very concerned about white children having any exposure to gun violence. We aren’t talking about other children being exposed to gun violence, except at the hands of police. What we talk about and when matters.

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Ohhh! I like this approach:

  21. John Galt
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that not everyone is praying hard enough. If the liberals just prayed harder, everything would get better.

  22. M
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Ted Cruz says mass-shooting victims don’t think gun control is the solution.

    “When I was at the hospital with the victims, with the victims’ families, over and over again what they said to me in Texas – they said gun control is not the answer here,” Cruz said.

  23. Lynne
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Aw. I feel a little bad for Ted Cruz who apparently has not realized that social media has given the victims of this crime a voice. And many *do* think gun control is the solution.

  24. wobblie
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Demand and work to repeal Citizens United and require Candidates disclose all donations.

  25. Sad
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Wait a minute.

    Analysis | No, there haven’t been 18 school shootings in 2018. That number is flat wrong. – The Washington Post

  26. BrianB
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Seems like Trump is saying that this could’ve been prevented if someone had reported the shooter to authorities as an unstable threat before the shooting. I’d consider any Trump supporter with a gun an unstable threat at this point. Maybe I should take his advice and start calling the cops on them?

  27. BrianB
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    He took the “report your neighbors” approach to terrorist threats too but I figured that was just dog whistle racism. If he’s saying they would disarm mentally unstable white gun owners too, that could be a game changer. Just make sure you call your local sheriff and not the FBI I guess.

  28. Posted February 15, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    You are right, Sad. I will edit accordingly.

  29. wobblie
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    The way the police have been gunning down our fellow citizens I’m not sure calling them is ever a good idea.

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Permalink


  31. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Citizens United was a SCOTUS decision. Not legislation. How exactly, Wobblie, would you propose repealing it? There have been movements afoot to amend the constitution to undo Citizen’s United by denying corporate personhood. Amendments have been proposed by multiple Dem legislators and resolutions of support for an amendment have been passed by many states. Is this what you mean? When calling for action, it helps to be specific. Michigan is one of the few states to take no action on the idea. This would be a great area for progressive action to get on the ballot in MI on the ballot in MI this fall along with others seeking to restore the integrity of our elections..

  32. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Tonight I learned that our legal system approaches terrorism exclusively as action by foreign nationals. Terrorists do not have constitutional protection under US law. I have issues with this as applied (see Guantanamo), but those concerns need to be balanced against the value of defining terrorism more broadly, which would allow us to limit speech that constitute calls to violent action by hate groups like those to which the FL shooter belonged.

  33. Iron Lung
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    “Demand and work to repeal Citizens United and require Candidates disclose all donations.”

    How does one repeal a Supreme Court decision?

    Please explain this to me.

  34. Iron Lung
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    I suppose it could be overruled by a later configuration of the court, but a lot of us will be dead by then.

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    IL: forgot the link–

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    ripped from the pages of FB:
    “I dunno, it’s just the height of hilarity to me that every time gun control comes up, the things that get suggested are shit like “psych exams”, “keep felons/criminals from getting them”, etc, while the defense for keeping guns is self-defense.

    Let’s look at this for a second. Mentally ill people are, as a group, less than *half* as likely to commit a violent crime (with or without a gun) and something like 6 times *more* likely to be victims of violent crime. I want a gun. I’ve been practicing, I’ve been learning lots of stuff, and I want one. Why? Because the guy that beat the shit out of me for 4 years and orchestrated by gang rape lives 2 hours away. But when I went to get a gun, my psych history was looked at and I couldn’t get one because I have PTSD. The asshole that caused it can get one because he was never convicted of anything.

    People of colour, already disproportionately targeted by the police and the legal system, tend to also have a disproportionate number of felons *as a result* of that scrutiny, but also get targeted by white supremacists. White supremacists don’t get targeted by gun control laws.

    Law enforcement has killed *more people in the last 2 years* than mass shooters have in the entire history of mass shootings being a thing. Gun control advocates will not even discuss disarming the police. Or the military, who would be called in if we *did* disarm the police.

    We’re willing to put the blame for this shit on guns, mental illness, medication, social isolation, etc. We will *never* look at the fact that while most of America is armed (and yeah, like, it’s *most of America*) there is only ONE demographic of people doing stuff like this.

    White. Men.”

  37. Iron Lung
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    It is almost impossible to determine whether someone will do a mass shooting, and without a public and specific statement of intent, authorities are legally unable to stop them.

    So, you can’t tell for certain if some one will do it, and even if you have a good idea that they might, if they haven’t committed a crime, there’s not much to be done.

    I don’t know what kind of magical thinking these people utilize, but then might be the same people who believe in widely disproved economic theories.

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    The shooter in this case, stated his intent a year ago on Facebook, was reported to the FBI, who investigated and say they could not identify him, even though the post was made under his real name….

    Seems like, in this case, they might have been able to prevent a tragedy

  39. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    IL– What do you think of this approach?

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Correction: Shooter revealed intent in Youtube comment, not FB post.

  41. Iron Lung
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    “Seems like, in this case, they might have been able to prevent a tragedy”

    Perhaps, and I admit I do not know the specifics of this particular case, but in reality, what could they do? Go over to his house and say “don’t do that?”

    Does this open up a new level of surveillance where social media posts are scrutinized and threats continually followed up by police? I can’t think of how that would be realistically possible, police departments are cash and time strapped.

    Getting rid of the guns or the ammo, or at least making them cost prohibitive would go help.

  42. Jean Henry
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    It seems you are right:

  43. Iron Lung
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Intent is everything in our legal system.

  44. wobblie
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    for anyone who cares, the arctic is between 10 c and 20 c above normal. The average temperature anomaly for the entire region is higher than at any point this winter.

  45. wobblie
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    IL, the same way we got rid of the Dread Scott decision, but lets hope we don’t have to fight a civil war. Constitutional Amendment would be the answer. There is a movement to do this. The NRA, the Anti-Abortion folks have a litmus test. We need to do the same for all politicians. If you are not going to vote for a Constitutional Amendment declaring Corporations are simple human artifacts and have no rights, only duties and obligations under the law then you don’t get our votes. Taking money from Corporations must become toxic to a politician.

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Wobblie.. I’m really interested in knowing what your intent is by constantly bringing up Thr latest evidence of global warming— your global warnings… I worked on sustainable initiatives for years, and you should know that all evidence points to ‘the end is nigh’ Proclamations like yours as counter-productive to moving people towards action. It creates fear and a sense of nihilism and makes all but the 10% who are most passionate retreat from action. Hope is necessary. And there is room for hope, not much I admit, but some. People understand that humanity is in peril. If you want to be effective (v virtue signaling about how woke you are to climate change), maybe move your posts towards action steps and good news in Climate action and remediation (and there is plenty out there). I understand the fear can be overwhelming at times, but doomsday messaging out of context of the ongoing conversation is not helping anything or anyone.

  47. Jean Henry
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    For you, Wobblie.

  48. EOS
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    17 persons were killed in a gun free zone. Why would anyone think that passing more laws prohibiting gun possession will do any good at all? If someone is intent on killing others with a gun, they are not going to change their mind because there is a law against it. Yes, it is horrific that these students were killed. Let’s make changes that don’t create more sitting duck targets for deranged individuals.

  49. Jcp2
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Maybe because this happens a lot less in other modern developed countries?

  50. Jean Henry
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Well at least EOS didn’t say the murders were due to ‘godlessness and broken homes.’

    In many ways EOS is right here. School shootings make good media and the attention we give them other the vast majority of deathly shootings is part of what makes such action attractive to megalomaniacs. Most deathly shootings happen by people whom the victim knows well and at home, and reasonable gun regulation, treating guns like cars for example, would be effective in limiting deaths by gun violence that is not school related.
    So EOS will try to divert us into a conversation about whether teachers should have guns/gun free zones (a conversation none of us needs to have again) and away from the necessary conversation re sensible firearms policy reform and the need for firearm safety research.
    Because there’s no sensible argument against those two things which, if implemented, would absolutely save lives.
    Please, people, don’t feed the troll. She’s just a benign little nuisance lurking under our bridge.

  51. Jean Henry
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    ‘Stranger Danger’ is our preferred cultural narrative about violence. These are the stories we talk about gun violence, Sexual assault, kidnapping. But they are a small fraction of overall incidence. I think it’s worth examining why stories of an outsider harming our children, especially rich white children, are so culturally compelling v other kinds of stories.

  52. Iron Lung
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Leave it to right wingers to never let some dead kids get in the way of ideology.

  53. Jean Henry
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    It needs to be said that EOS and her cronies do not support the CDC research $$ for gun safety that might actually offer evidence-based answers to the questions they pose and the assertions made by all sides of this issue.

    That way they can continue to spread misinformation (backed by Russian bots) and disrupt progress towards gun safety in perpetuity. .

  54. Jean Henry
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    EOS has made very clear that she cares about some forms of life more than others. Fetuses top the list. Once they are born, they are on their own.

  55. Iron Lung
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Tribalism infects our politics. There is no ideal of improving the lives of people in the nation. It is only “I have chosen a side and I want to win.”

    I blame football. Baseball was a much more civilized sport.

  56. EOS
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Just hoping for some rational thought. The cities with the highest rates of gun violence are also those with the most restrictive laws concerning guns. They don’t stop criminals from gun violence.

    A few years back, a patient in the Taubman Center at the U of M hospital shot and killed his doctor. So in response, the hospital posted signs at all the entrances stating that weapons were not allowed on the premises. I’m sure the employees of the hospital sleep better knowing that their employer responded to the threat……right.

  57. Jean Henry
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    EOS is cherry picking results again.

    I don’t think anyone here is suggesting posting gun free building signs is the solution.

    Talk about irrational. EOS keeps arguing points no one is making, twisting our thought in order to insert some right wing talking point.

  58. wobblie
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    IL, I agree with you.

  59. jcp2
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The countries with the lowest rates of gun violence are also those with the most restrictive laws concerning guns. Funny how that works.

    Cue diatribe about god given rights to own a gun. Rather than hiding behind religious righteousness, it would be really refreshing for EOS to just come out and say what she really means.

  60. wobblie
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    JH, I am sorry that I have only scratched the surface of the educational materials you shared. My purpose is quit specific though. Convince people we are in a climate change emergency. Time has almost run out. Everyday that we delay taking substantive concrete action to stop emitting green house gases makes planetary ruin that much more certain.

    Gradualism and incrementalism is clearly failing not just our children and grandchildren, but the current generation. We have had 30 plus years to transition from fossil fuels to non-greenhouse renewable energy. We have barely taken the first step. The fossil fuel plutocrats own our politicians. By posting the current conditions in the arctic I hope that people will see that climate change is real and occurring now, not some point in the future. That our weather today, is being driven and changed by the horrific warming of the earths frozen regions.
    I would like people to realize the imperative of social revolution, and motivate folks to begin organizing to overthrow the plutocracy and act now to build a new society. The one we are living in is a failure.

  61. Iron Lung
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Practically speaking, gun laws won’t stop a person committed to going out and shooting a lot of people.

    But that shouldn’t stop us from controlling gun sales and possession, since mass shootings only represent a small fraction of deaths and injuries from firearms. We should at the very least require that people have insurance policies on their guns, just as we do with cars.

    And make them very expensive.

  62. Jim Monsoon
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    My views on gun control have shifted further and further left over the years and now I’m convinced that we need a constitutional amendment barring the manufacture and sale of all firearms in this country. I don’t think it’s as far-fetched an idea as it used to be.

  63. wobblie
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Just came across this article about how DLT spent the anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre last December.

  64. Jean Henry
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie— if you looked closely at the ‘educational materials’ I posted re climate change, you would see they concern how best to motivate people to face and address the issue. Alarmism doesn’t work. At least not alone. It can be counter productive.

    This was hard won knowledge. I was there as people initiated and failed with the approach you take. So much so that an entirely new field of psychology has emerged to study Climate denialism on the right and inaction on the left.

    So if this is something you really care about, I suggest you stop venting and start reading up about how to frame your messaging. (Ps. Some of what you do in talking about one specific impact— ice cap melt in your case— is validated in that link)

  65. wobblie
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    JH All I do is simply post current conditions in the arctic. Those objective conditions should cause alarm. Ignoring reality does no good.

  66. wobblie
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    By the way, the 5 day forecast for the arctic is it to continue to be 10 c to 20c above average.

  67. Proton
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink
    “The basic claim of the liars and frauds on Capitol Hill is that the US would be a peaceful and healthy democracy if it weren’t for the nefarious operations of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. The absurdity of such a statement was revealed once again on Wednesday when a mass school shooting took place in Parkland, Florida, the 18th school shooting to occur in the seven weeks of 2018. Are Russia and China responsible for the social dysfunction that produces such atrocities with horrific regularity? The concern of the American ruling class is not Russian or Chinese “subversion,” but the growth of social opposition within the United States. The narrative of “Russian meddling” has been used to justify a systematic campaign to censor the Internet and suppress free speech.”

  68. Lynne
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I often find myself wondering how things might be different in terms of the climate if Gore had been president instead of Bush. I think the extremists have their own bit of responsibility in this situation fwiw. Twice now, the Green Party has managed to kick the sand castle and move the whole nation’s politics to the right by costing the moderate left candidate an election.

    And every time wobblie posts his alarmist posts, I find that I care a little bit less about it in the same way I have more or less become desensitized to all of the gun violence. fuck it. nothing is going to change unless people who care about things like gun violence and the climate get out and vote and vote in ways that have a chance of affecting meaningful change. Failing that, I figure at this point there is nothing to do but enjoy the rest of my life as much as possible.

  69. wobblie
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Just keep finding scape goats for the failure of Corporate owned Democrats. Under Obama the US became the worlds leader in oil production. As soon as he got out of the White House he went and got his million dollars from the Wall Street bag men for the fossil fuel industry. We also thought Obama was going to bring the troops home and end the wars–nope instead we get 8 wars, and the first President to serve two complete terms of office while the nation is at war.
    Keep looking for scape goats, don’t look at the abysmal failure of Democrats.

    ” nothing is going to change unless people who care about things like gun violence and the climate get out and vote and vote in ways that have a chance of affecting meaningful change.” Agree with you 100%

  70. Lynne
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Right. Obama didn’t start those wars. Bush did and thus Green Party had their part in them too. I think Obama had so much damage to repair because of Nader voters that it would have been impossible for him to fix EVERYTHING

    I predict that you will blame the Democrats for failing to clean up after Trump fast enough while not seeing that Stein voters, especially in states like Michigan are partially to blame for Trump and thus the harm he is causing. Whatevs. We are all complicit to one degree or another.

  71. Jean Henry
    Posted February 16, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie: Few would argue with you re American political dysfunction around its critical issues. We just argue with most of your solutions.

  72. Jean Henry
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    “Ending mass shootings might seem like a hopeless cause in light of all this, but that kind of thinking ignores the historic infallibility of racism to move American political mountains. The shift in the public face of poverty from white to black helped take us from the New Deal to the destruction of the welfare state; conversely, as drug addiction has gone from being an “inner city” (read: black) to a “suburban” (read: white) problem, the state has transformed from carceral to compassionate. A movement—both visible and vocal—to arm black Americans en masse would fire up GOP political will toward gun control, and probably at speeds currently unimaginable. Second Amendment hardliners often engage in bad-faith references to America’s racist gun control history at convenient moments, namely when trying convince wary black folks, who statistically are overwhelmingly pro-gun control, to join the chorus calling for unfettered gun access. There are too many reasons to question their sudden commitment to anti-racism in those moments. That said, there is historic precedence for the mere idea of black gun possession leading directly to white American efforts at gun control.”

  73. Edward
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Rush Limbaugh: ‘We need concealed carry’ in schools

  74. Jean Henry
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    HANDY PRIMER for discourse on gun regulation:
    “My brother’s response to my mom’s email about the recent shooting. I want to share, particularly because of the way he explains things. As a veteran and a gun owner, he knows much more about guns than I do. Hopefully his arguments and information can help any of my friends trying to sway people on gun control laws.

    “Completely agree with the sentiment here, Mom. However, in order to make educated arguments for gun control, it’s important to actually know what you’re proposing and use the right language. Otherwise, you’ll just get completely shut down as “not knowing anything about guns” to people you’re trying to convince. And if you don’t know anything about guns, you can’t really advocate for responsible gun policy.

    AR15s are not the problem alone. Yes, it’s the most popular military-style rifle, and it is designed to kill people effectively. But banning one model of weapon will just make people switch to other, equally effective killing machines. If you banned the Toyota Camry, would people stop buying midsize sedans? No, you’d just end up with more Honda Accords on the road. If you want to fix the problem, you have to ban all semi-automatic rifles. Semi-automatic means the weapon is loaded with a magazine (or belt in some cases) with multiple rounds; and for every trigger squeeze, one bullet is discharged. There is no real need for these weapons in civilian use. They aren’t necessary for hunting, where the point is to kill the animal with one shot. It is only useful for killing a lot of things in a short amount of time or having fun at a gun range. I think our children’s lives are more important than a fraction of the population’s fun shooting a bunch of rounds quickly at a range. They’ll cope.

    Handguns are far more responsible for gun deaths in America than semi-auto rifles. You mentioned the kid who brought a gun to school as only having a “handgun, not a semi-automatic.” Well, almost all handguns are semi-automatic. They have magazines and one bullet per trigger squeeze. Though most handgun rounds aren’t as deadly as rifle rounds, it’s inconsequential at short range. And handguns are far easier to conceal than a rifle. With the exception of maybe revolvers (which have 5-6 round max before reloading), I believe handguns should be outlawed. The Virginia Tech massacre, the most deadly school shooting in American history, was accomplished with handguns only. Don’t underestimate their lethality. I think military style rifles only account for about 2% of gun deaths each year. If you want to solve the problem, semi-auto handguns have to go, as well.

    If we really want to make a difference in gun deaths, we need to do WAY more than universal background checks and better mental health screening. Banning all semi-automatic weapons would make that difference. Keeping shotguns, revolvers, and bolt-action rifles legal accomplish all the typical, common uses of guns. (Bolt-action rifles are typical hunting rifles that you have to reload between shots.) With these types of firearms legal, you can still hunt, defend your home, and compete in sport shooting.

    Combine the following with the semi-auto ban.
    Government buy-back program of all semi-automatic weapons. Once a grace period for turn-ins ends, possession will be a felony without a special (and rare) license for Federally approved dealers and collectors.
    Gun licenses for all who want to continue to own approved firearms. Licenses will be granted by completing a comprehensive background check, psych evaluation, safety training, marksmanship training, and meeting strict storage requirements. Storage requirements would include safes, weapons unloaded, with ammo stored separately. Licenses expire after a certain number of years and all the requirements must be completed again for license renewal.
    Registration of all firearms.
    Insurance for all firearms. If your gun is used in a crime or if there’s a accident with your gun, your insurance company is liable for damages. Let the insurance market set rates based on their analysis of risk. Then, people can decide if it’s financially worth it to own a gun.
    Finally, here’s your counterarguments for the most common pro-gun arguments:
    Pro-gun argument – assault weapons aren’t an actual thing. Banning them won’t make a difference.
    Counterargument – none. This is true. Classifying a gun as an “assault weapon” is something people who know nothing about guns do. Having a bayonet stud (a place to mount a bayonet) used to be one way to classify a gun as an assault weapon. Last I checked, we don’t have a bayonet problem in this country. Talk about banning semi-auto guns instead of made-up things like “assault weapons.”
    Pro-gun argument – 2nd Amendment guarantees my right to bear arms!
    Counterargument – sure, it does, but there can be limitations. And in case anyone needs a history lesson, the individual right to bear arms has only existed since 2008. From the adoption of the Constitution until the DC v. Heller decision in 2008, the 2nd Amendment had never been interpreted to mean private citizens have a right to own guns. (Thanks, Scalia.) But that decision is now the law of the land and precedent for future court decisions. Nevertheless, even in Scalia’s majority opinion, he asserts that there are limitations to the 2nd Amendment. Weapons allowed should be those in common use at the time. And limitations should be made on “dangerous and unusual” weapons, per previous precedent in United States v. Miller. I argue that semi-auto firearms should now be considered “dangerous and unusual,” given their lethality.
    Pro-gun argument – if law-abiding citizens get rid of their guns, criminals won’t follow the law, and we’ll be in more danger.
    Counterargument – this is an argument against having laws. Since criminals don’t follow the law, there should be no limits on anything. Also, when we do outlaw things, it can work. Purchases of large quantities of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was restricted after the Oklahoma City bombing, and there hasn’t been a similar bombing since. We outlawed fully automatic weapons, grenades, rocket launchers, etc. in the 20th century, and what has happened? We don’t see violence with those types of weapons. Most weapons used to commit crimes are purchased lawfully. If we change the laws, it will work to reduce gun deaths.
    Pro-gun argument – if we ban guns, people will just use knives or baseball bats
    Counterargument – there are plenty of incidents around the world of mass stabbings or clubbings, etc. Show me one that is as lethal as a mass shooting.
    Pro-gun argument – we need armed security guards in every school
    Counterargument – do you trust the security guard won’t become a mass shooter? The Texas church shooter was an Air Force veteran. The Pulse nightclub shooter was a security guard. Further, it’s relatively easy to get the drop on a security guard. Shoot him first when he’s not expecting, then keep going. That’s what the Pulse nightclub shooter did. It’s not difficult if you draw first. Columbine had armed security, too. Adding more guns to schools adds more risk, it doesn’t reduce it.
    Pro-gun argument – it’s a mental health issue, not a gun issue *or* guns don’t kill people, people kill people
    Counterargument – The United States has the same rates of mental illness as other developed Western countries, but we’re the only ones with this type of violence. The mentally ill are actually less likely to commit crime than those who aren’t mentally ill, which many find surprising. Also, those who are mentally ill are more likely to become the victim of a crime than those who don’t have mental illness. It’s a common refrain to hear “anyone who would do that must be crazy.” That’s not true. Being a murderer doesn’t actually mean you are mentally ill, which is why you hardly ever see successful insanity defenses in trials. And if “people kill people,” then we really should stop giving all these people guns, right? We don’t allow private F-22s or nuclear weapons, do we? Why? Because people would use them to kill other people. People use people-killing machines to kill people. Go figure.
    Pro-gun argument – We, as a society, have turned our backs on God. This is why crime is getting worse. We need God/Jesus to heal people’s hearts, not get rid of law-abiding citizens’ guns.
    Counterargument – Crime has actually decreased overall in recent decades. Things are getting better, not worse. Murder rates and violent crime overall have trended down as we’ve advanced as a society. Mass shootings have remained steady, though, because angry people have easy access to guns.
    Pro-gun argument – we need guns to fight against the government in case it becomes tyrannical.
    Counterargument – I doubt semi-automatic weapons will defeat a tyrannical government with fighter jets, bombers, tanks, artillery, drones, advanced cyber capabilities, and nuclear weapons.
    Pro-gun argument – gun registrations will make it easier for the government to disarm us
    Counterargument – The registration is necessary to keep track of deadly weapons in case they are used in a crime, or in case a law-abiding citizen commits a crime that revokes their right to guns. There’s over 300 million privately owned guns in America. If the government wanted to take everyone’s guns, they’d do it the same way they would if there wasn’t a registry: by going door to door and searching everyone.
    I truly believe we need to do far more than anything advocated by most mainstream gun control organizations like Everytown and Moms Demand Action. We need to follow the lead of countries like the UK, Australia, and Canada. They’ve figured it out. Why can’t we?”

  75. Jean Henry
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    The kids from Parkland and elsewhere advocating for gun safety in their own interests is new, and super hopeful. They are standing up to Trump and the NRA… and their parents. If they are in any way effective, this could be a big deal in terms of civic engagement by people under voting age going forward.
    Parents are pretty controlling and fearful and horrible these days. Micromanagement sucks for anyone. I’m happy to see this generation come into their own.
    I also think there could be no better spokespeople for effective gun regulation.

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  1. […] a bit has happened over the past few days, since we first learned of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead. While it doesn’t look as though the 19 year old killer had […]

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