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Is this really how it works?

What are we supposed to tell you about the man who murdered 10 people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Thursday morning?

Gawker’s Sam Biddle wrote on Thursday in defense of reporters contacting witnesses, via Twitter, even if it seems invasive and rude, because that is their job. That is reporting. At The Concourse, Barry Petchesky similarly argued that the feverish reporting of every detail, following a tragedy such as Thursday’s, even if those details are speculation and later proved wrong, is ugly, yes, but also necessary:

This is the gruesome business of newsgathering laid bare. It is invaluable and messy and it not only doesn’t diverge from the most basic principles of journalism, it exemplifies them. This is a massive breaking story; the nation is deliriously thirsty for facts and details; and the reporters and producers clogging up a witnesses’s timeline are the ones who are going to bring you that news.

On Thursday, within hours of the tragedy, we reported to you what we knew at the time: that Oregon’s attorney general confirmed 13 were dead and another 20 wounded, and that Gov. Kate Brown, during her brief press conference, said the gunman was a 20-year-old male. As of now, none of those details appear accurate.

According to the latest reporting, by the New York Times and others, the shooter was a 26-year-old male. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said during a Thursday evening press conference that the death toll of 10, not 13, was the “best, most accurate information we have at this time.” The shooter was reportedly killed in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement; we do not know if his death is included in that current toll.

The supposed name of the shooter had been widely circulated throughout media, already combing through the internet, finding long-abandoned dating profiles and anonymous posts on forums that might belong to the circulated name. But we don’t know for sure if any of the suspected online activity really belongs to that of the alleged shooter.

Sheriff Hanlin refused to even say the shooter’s name.

“Let me be very clear, I will not name the shooter,” he said. “I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act.”

He also encouraged reporters “not to glorify and create sensationalism for him. He in no way deserves it.”

There are other rumors that may or may not be true. One of the witnesses at the shooting told reporters that the shooter was asking students to state their religion. It didn’t take long for the internet to convert that report into a “fact” that the shooter was targeting Christians. But we don’t know.

The darker corners of the internet are shamelessly posting other claims about the shooter’s identity and motives. But we don’t know.

There are interviews with distant acquaintances of the alleged shooter: neighbors who live in the same apartment complex where he allegedly lived, even an interview with a woman who claims to have regularly ridden the same bus that he did, when he lived in Torrance, California. She told the Times, “He always seemed anxious” and that he always wore earphones.

Are those the details you want to consume? Can you picture him now, anxious and listening to music on the bus, to fully understand who this alleged monster was? Will you be on high alert now, for young men listening to music on the bus because they might be the next shooter?

Other supposed neighbors say he was quiet, he kept to himself — don’t they always? — and that he wore “a military get-up.”

Other neighbors say the alleged shooter’s mother said that her son had mental issues. Is that why he took the lives of 13, or 10, or whatever the final confirmed number ultimately is? During his address on Thursday night, President Obama said that “it’s fair to say that anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds.” But “sickness” isn’t a diagnosis. Was he bipolar? Schizophrenic? Did he have borderline personality disorder? Had he ever received treatment? Was he medicated? Should he have been? Was he unable to access proper mental healthcare? Would it have made a difference? We don’t know.

Here is something we do know, or at least, we think we know. According to The Daily Beast, a 30-year-old Army vet named Chris Mintz charged the gunman in a heroic attempt to save the lives of his fellow students and was shot five times. He was later taken to a nearby hospital where he underwent at least one surgery. He is expected to recover, although according to his family, he will have to learn to walk again.

The Daily Beast writes that it is his name and life we should focus on, and not that of the killer’s.

“Think of Chris Mintz, who was shot while rushing a killer on his son’s sixth birthday,” writes Michael Daly. “Forget the zero and remember the hero.”

We all know the course this tragedy will take. More details will emerge about the alleged killer, including the coroner’s office’s confirmation of his name. Every trace of his online life will be published, consumed, interpreted. Those who oppose any restrictions on gun ownership at all will claim that the reason 10 people are confirmed dead is because we need more guns and fewer restrictions.

“There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America,” the president said Thursday night. “So how can you with a straight face make the argument that more guns will make us safer?” He insisted that “we should politicize” the routine mass shootings that are unique to America.

Mike Huckabee, presumably with a perfectly straight face, posted on Facebook his disgust with the president, for being “quick to admittedly politicize this tragedy to advance his liberal, anti-gun agenda.”

Huckabee immediately added his own politicized agenda, despite claiming we do not yet know enough details to make any such conclusions, by stating “it’s clear that gun free zones are sitting duck zones.”

There will be others who make these same arguments. We already know that. It’s what happens. The answer is more guns, some will say. The answer is more gun control, others will argue. Better mental healthcare in this country will also be proposed, though mostly by the same people who rigidly oppose healthcare of any sort. Those who think stricter gun laws are the answer, the only acceptable answer, will ignore how often mental illness is linked to such tragedies and the thousands of lives it also claims every year.

Insults and allegations will be hurled. And, in all likelihood, absolutely nothing will change. Families will grieve, bodies will be buried, columns will be written, perhaps legislation even proposed and opposed. The American people, by a large majority, want us to do something to make it stop. But we won’t. There have been 294 mass shootings in America this year. Will we act before it’s 295?

We could, as other professional writers and editors have suggested, regurgitate for you every last detail, which may or may not be true. Will you feel better informed if we show you a photograph of the alleged killer holding a gun? It’s out there, you can easily find it. Do you want to know the kind of music he enjoyed? Or what his MySpace page looked like? Will that help you to understand? Will it make you care? Will it motivate you to act?

In August, after the last shooting that momentarily horrified a nation, when two young TV reporters were gunned to death on air, we promised to make every effort to tell you what we knew, instead of urgently repeating all unconfirmed rumors. We will keep that promise to you now, again.

And we promised this as well:

We will talk about how yes, it is time, it is fuck fuck fuck FUCKING long past time, to talk about gun reform. Especially in a place like Virginia, where it is practically mandatory for all men, women, children, and puppies to be armed at all times.

Oregon, where this most recent tragedy occurred, is not unlike Virginia. Gun restrictions are few and lax. Sheriff Hanlin has said, in the past, that he will not comply with any Obama administration gun control laws. After the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, other sheriffs wrote letters insisting they would not enforce any new federal gun restrictions they deem “unconstitutional.”

Earlier this year, Oregon enacted a new law requiring background checks for private gun sales. Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel said he would not enforce the new law, though he primarily cited budgetary concerns, rather than constitutional ones.

There have been no new federal laws for them to enforce. The Second Amendment remains intact. Mental healthcare in this country remains a disgrace. There have been 142 campus shootings since Sandy Hook, and thousands more are dead from shootings since then, many whose names we don’t know, whose families have grieved in private, without condolences from the president.

Are we really going to act out this same play, over and over, everyone reciting their well-rehearsed lines — ban guns, ban gun-free zones, the wingnuts said this, the gun-grabbers said that, blame Obama, bring back prayer, here is the killer’s face, here are the victims’ names — because that is all we know how to do?

Yes. Sadly, it would seem, that is all we know how to do. And we’ll do it again, all over again, the next time. And the time after that. And again and again and again.

[NYT]

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  • Msgr_Moment

    Another Mass Shooting In America. What The Hell Are We Supposed To Say?

    Hey, if I wanted to wallow in terrible news, I’d be reading the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sports page today!

    • Antimassacree

      I want to be alone.

      –Josh Scobee

      • Msgr_Moment

        No problem.

        — most of the other folks on the bench

  • Ryan Denniston

    “It didn’t take long for the internet to convert that report into a “fact” that the shooter was targeting Christians. But we don’t know.”

    I bet that this fact will make it into a Huckabee web act in the next two days. What he doesn’t understand is that it’s too soon to talk about the War on Christianity in America.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      We wouldn’t want to politicize it.

      • Playonwords

        Unfortunately Christianity has always been political

        Mike Fuckabeast has always been a Colostomy bag

    • chicken thief

      Dylan Storm Roof was targeting (blah) Christians – what difference did that make to the ammosexuals?

    • spends2much

      He will also claim that it is not gun control or mental health care that are needed, but forcing the citizenry to pray to Right Wing Jesus. Also, persecuted Christians, waaahhh.
      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- Mike Huckabee is a sociopath.

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …this argument that more “laws” won’t reduce gun violence because criminal don’t follow laws is complete and utter HORSESHIT!!! Then why have any laws at all?!?! People break the speed limits all fucking day, guess what maybe we should abolish all traffic laws!!! The president crystallized the argument when he stated that we have enough guns to arm EVERY man woman and child in the country. NO! Shit for brains, easier access to guns DOESN’T make the world a safer place!!! I want the NRA to personally write letters to the families of the victims of this tragedy explaining how it’s their faults that they weren’t armed and ready. The Republicans in this country are willing to shut down the government because of Planned fucking Parenthood, but aren’t willing to do shit to deal with the deaths of ACTUAL living and breathing human beings. Fuck all of those guys with a bag of rusty rat dicks!!!

    • cmd

      So right after the President’s speech, all the idiots started spouting crap about, what is it he WANTS? Where are his PROPOSALS? That seems to be the standard idiot response, as I was still hearing it this morning when I made the mistake of turning the TV on before going to work.

      • Playonwords

        Dear M$M, the President’s proposal was that there be sensible gun control laws. Unfortunately he does not write those laws that is down to Congress

        True fact “Congress” is (yet) another term for the sexual act.

    • JustPixelz

      “why have any laws at all”

      THIS! Why even have laws against murder?

      • Gleem-McShinez

        Sure, why not? I mean, think about it, everyone dies eventually!

        It is just so much unaffordable budget expense trying to prevent it, when there are tax cuts that could be made out of that savings!

  • memzilla

    Would it surprise you to know that this NRA Second Amendment Hero owned several guns, was a “conservative Republican,” and had the Nazi screen name of IRONCROSS45? No. No it would not.
    .

  • BadKitty904

    This makes Kitty sad…

    • Logic of Color

      If I know kittens, and I do, that kitten is about to pounce on a bug.

  • FauxAntocles

    Repeal the Second Amendment

  • JustPixelz
  • …and the maudlin, tinkling piano music on the news plays on.

  • alwayspunkindrublic

    This always leaves me feeling depressed. I don’t think it will ever change in my lifetime. As a society, we seem to be willing to consign the victims-even when they are little kids-to the status of acceptable collateral damage for the greater good of appeasing the zealots. Makes me want to go find one of the gun-humpers I know and fuck them up…with a dazzling flurry of votes, of course.

  • coozledad

    You could hear the Right beginning to salivate last night, when there was some speculation the shooter might be Muslim. They were ready to fulfill their wet dream of a murdering vigilante sweep, with Pammy Geller and Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz egging it on.

    And when the air went out of that balloon it was palpable. As one Twitter user said, “half of twitter just went quiet”.

    You better watch these fuckers. They’re hungry for a return to the whole “with us of against us” shit, only now, they’re equipped with many more sophisticated weapons of mass murder, and a political class who would delight to feed on blood.

  • No, there is nothing to say. This is the new normal.

    Every time you leave your house now, you play the lottery where the ‘winners’ die grisly deaths at the hands of a man with a gun.

    Every time you see a movie in a theater, there’s the spectre of ‘will it happen this time? Should I sit close to an exit? Should I take my children to this movie?’ in the back of your mind.

    Every time you kiss your children goodbye at school or talk to them on the phone is another spin of the wheel where you pray that their number never comes up.

    Every time your bag is searched, every time you walk past a metal detector, it’s another reminder that there are men and women out there who are angry and disturbed and heavily armed.

    This is life in 21st century America. The lottery can come up for any of us and we will be the next human sacrifice at the altar of Moloch and the NRA.

  • Steverino247

    Like most shitty things in this country, it won’t stop until it happens to somebody powerful enough to stop it. Children of NRA executives, for example.

    And no, I’m not advocating that this happen. In fact, I want this to stop now and never happen again.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      My congresswoman-who I volunteered for-nearly had her brain blown apart. You’d think that would give her an unimpeachable moral platform to speak about this issue. But these people don’t give a fuck. You should hear the horrible things the gun crazies say about her.

      • Ghost Buggy

        Her and her Navy vet/astronaut husband.

      • Steverino247

        They’re scared shitless, all of them. Moral cowards, the lot.

  • elviouslyqueer

    I’m still trying to process the Delta State shootings down in Cleveland, Mississippi (about 90 miles south of me). Quick, serious question for the NRA and the usual Second Amendment “defenders,” what exactly is YOUR tipping point? When every. single. person in America is so fucking scared to walk out their front door because they’re afraid of being shot? Well, congratulations, you’ve almost achieved that. I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

    • JohnBull

      Home of the Brave!

    • JustPixelz

      They didn’t do anything when Ronald Reagan was shot. So, no tipping point.

      • Ghost Buggy

        They did, however, viciously demonize the man who took a bullet for Reagan.

    • Ghost Buggy

      Hey, if they’re going to sit in their basements muttering incoherently stroking a gun, everyone else should have to as well.

    • LarkintheAM

      Sadly, they have no tipping point.

  • Tallmutha

    It would be funny if it turned out he was asking about people’s religion because he was targeting Muslims–er, according to a very, very loose definition of “funny.”

    • Msgr_Moment

      It would be funny like rain on your wedding day.

      • JohnBull

        Or a traffic jam when you’re already late.

    • Vegan and Tiara

      I had the same thought. I seriously doubt he was targeting Christians.

    • PubOption

      There was a report on NPR this morning stating that the gunman did ask one if his victims if they were Christian. When the victim replied that they were, the gunman said “You will meet God in a few seconds”. The gunman’s aim must have been off, because that target was only wounded.

      • Playonwords

        Oh Fuck! you know that story will appear on all the “See, A real Life Miracle!11!! You gotta believe in Hey! Zeus.

  • Belasaurius

    how can a sheriff refuse to enforce a law passed by his own state legislature?

    • Steverino247

      He can’t, but it still happens.

    • Ryan Denniston

      He opens himself up to a lawsuit, but someone with standing needs to bring it, like those couples that sued Davis.

    • Vegan and Tiara

      FREEDOM!

    • JohnBull

      Jesus.

      • Playonwords

        You know who else believed in Jesus?

        Mohammed (I know I’ve broken the rule)

  • kaydenpat

    We should say loudly and clearly that this country needs sensible gun control regulation NOW. Say it over and over and over again until it sinks in to our politicians’ heads. And our votes should reflect what we say.

    • LarkintheAM

      And our votes should reflect what we say. And there lies the rub – find me any election where one of the candidates supports gun control. The parties “know” that running such a candidate is suicide, so they run ads showing their candidate fondling guns to reassure the kneejerk ammosexuals that they can keep right on fondling their own guns no matter who is elected. Independent candidates who are brave enough to try running on a gun control platform quickly find themselves the target of attack ads that smear them six ways from Sunday. Our two party system sucks.

      • Gleem-McShinez

        It used to be called the “third rail” of politics to even talk about changing Social Security, meaning politicians were pretty much automagically fried to deathses as if they were touching the powered subway third rail.

        That changed with GWB’s admin. They went all in, firing on all propaganda cylinders about the great benefits of privatization.

        Just like when reality hit and the stock market bombed, pretty much putting the lie to the notion that privatization is even a reasonable idea, the reality of all of these senseless deaths is showing that unrestricted guns are a terrible idea.

        So it’s a “third rail” to talk gun control right now, but I don’t think that will last.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Oh, and PS to Mike Huckabee: there are not enough “shut the fuck ups” in this hemisphere to adequately tell you how much I would dearly love for you to shut the fuck up.

    • Vegan and Tiara

      He never misses an opportunity to be a pandering asshole, does he?

      • Sgt. Gym Bunny

        He represents the worst of the Don’t-Let-A-Crisis (real or imagined)-Go-To-Waste crowd.

  • dslindc

    Hey look, a basket of puppies!

    • Tallmutha

      Great. They’re probably from a mill, or being raised for dogfighting or something. That’s how I’m feeling today.

    • Vegan and Tiara

      “Especially in a place like Virginia, where it is practically mandatory for all men, women, children, and puppies to be armed at all times.”
      Please don’t arm the puppies!!!!

    • Spotts1701

      Such boop-able noses.

  • Kaili,

    Thank you for your well chosen words.

    • Tallmutha

      Yes! That was excellently stated.

  • Spotts1701

    You want to watch a mass exodus from the teaching and professorial ranks? Tell them that the workplaces they inhabit will now allow volatile people who they deal with (whether parents, students or co-workers) to be armed.
    A teacher is just that – a teacher. They are not a policeman. They are not a soldier. To expect them to be ready, willing, and able to shoot someone so that we don’t have to have the discussion about the beyond-insane level of weaponry in this country is whistling past the graveyard.

    • JohnBull

      Whoever recommended arming teachers likely never spent a day in the classroom. Or if he did, he probably went crazy and is now a cop.

    • Sgt. Gym Bunny

      This. I work in university admin, and the thought of just any ol’ body strolling through our building strapped would not make me all that comfy or cozy… particularly when tuition bills go out or final grades come in. People go crackerjacks over petty shit.

  • memzilla

    If PharmaDouche CEO wanted to reform his image, he should buy up the right companies and make bullets cost $750 apiece.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      Chris Rock had the same idea.

  • Hollywooddeed

    Sheriff Hanlon, this is the gun culture you worked to create so STFU and own it.

  • DerrickWildcat

    It’s become a form letter.
    “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of this terrible tragedy at [Insert new mass shooting here]”

    • Gleem-McShinez

      Does Hallmark make a card yet?

    • Biff52

      It’s quite literally the least they can do.

  • duckshoe

    Hopelessness would be a response if we didn’t know what works, but we do. As reported elsewhere, Australia had a lot of guns, had a mass murder in the 90s, got fed up, took a lot of guns away (through a voluntary buyback), instituted strict licensing laws, and hasn’t had a mass killing since. All doable, none of it violates the 2nd Am. Just takes will…

    • data_ninja

      The recurring problem seems to always be “We have the means, but not the ideology” to perform any worthy task.

      • duckshoe

        Guns are unique, in that polling shows that we do have the ideology (majorities, even of gun owners, support various levels of regulation), but we are blocked by the NRA and a gang of stooges. Democracy can cure this, in theory….

    • Vegan and Tiara

      No way the hicks in the South are going to let you take their guns.

      • duckshoe

        Seems to be why the buyback program worked…no gun seizures, no FEMA camps for the unwilling…just cash on the barrel. Very persuasive stuff.

        • Vegan and Tiara

          I know plenty of hicks with guns, and if you offered them money for their guns, they’d take the money and go buy bigger guns. It’s a nice thought, but I really don’t see if working in this country. I’m honestly not sure what we could do to get rid of all guns, but I’d love to see that happen.

          • duckshoe

            Yeah, I know, the nice thing about the Australian approach was the whole package – when they went to buy more guns, the new purchases would fall under the newly-adopted licensing scheme – full background checks and (my fave part) purchasers required to articulate a specific need for the gun being purchased, and “self-defence” is insufficient. I can dream…

          • Vegan and Tiara

            I think it helps that Australians aren’t insane. I didn’t mean to piss on your dream, since I share your dream. I just know so many hicks who are armed to the teeth, and who don’t trust the government. I think trying to take their guns would probably lead to more problems than it would solve. I wish we’d at least stop manufacturing any new guns for citizens.

      • DEL_5447

        or many, mostly sane people here in the northeast

        • Vegan and Tiara

          I’m from the South, so I’m not too familiar with sane people.

  • Suse

    Here – have a kitty pic.

  • schmannity

    The University of Oregon Duck should be a mascot, not a motto.

  • Ryan Denniston

    I’m waiting for Carly to provide us with her version of events myself. I bet it’ll end with an armed Good Guy stopping the Bad Guy. But who knows what other facts she’ll bring to our understanding.

    • Suse

      She’ll blame Planned Parenthood.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised. The message will be that abortion has taught us all that human life has no value, therefore mass shootings.

        • Suse

          Except the GOP doesn’t care if children are killed by gunfire post-birth.

        • Spotts1701

          Stop stealing Huckabee’s material. He hates when you do that.

  • Lefty Frizzell

    That poster at the top of this article.

    I’d like to see it featuring a blah couple wearing berets and shades – see if the same people like it for the same reasons.

    • Tansy Geek

      Although given their outfits, whoever drew them is stuck in the early Nineties. Why is the man wearing a blue smoking jacket? Sorry, for me it’s be silly or be sad and I can only bang my head on the table a few more times before my doctor will make me wear a helmet.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      This was already borne out in the late sixties when gun control was quite popular with the NRA and the right. Reason? Black Panthers.

      • Gleem-McShinez

        Saint Blessed Holy Reagan himself, here in California as Gov, was all in for gun restrictions, based on exactly this “problem.”

    • Hutch

      The woman depicted appears to be hiding a bunch of armament in her shirt. Either that or the poster was drawn by an imaginative 23-year old gun-toting male virgin.

      • Lefty Frizzell

        OMG – does the head of the guy holding it have red hair? It’s an actual “fantasizing my future” pic isn’t it?

      • RoyalUglyDude

        significantly more caliber on her right side than in the left one. Cannot unsee.

      • Gleem-McShinez

        “You know how when you draw a woman’s breast… it looks like… a bag of sand”

  • Gus the Mynah Bird

    I know this isn’t really the time to be facetious, but I believe that if blacks and Hispanics began joining the NRA en masse and advocating open-carry, we would see gun control in a hurry.

    • Suse

      Muslins also too

      • Playonwords

        Even the Alaskan ones? The Moose Limbs?

    • Lefty Frizzell

      Word

    • elviouslyqueer

      They’ve already got this pinhead, because diversity.

  • LarryHoudini

    The shooter was mixed race and anti-Christian, but described himself as a conservative Republican.
    How do I mark this on my scorecard?

    • Tansy Geek

      The assholes win again?

    • Logic of Color

      There’s a pretty good chance the anti-christian thing isn’t true.

      • LarryHoudini

        That would be a shame. It plays so well into the anti-Christian narrative.

        • Vegan and Tiara

          If it’s true I’m going to be soooo pissed. I read he’s a Catholic who supports the IRA.

        • Logic of Color

          If it turns out to be true we’ll never hear the end of it.

    • LarkintheAM

      You know, I really don’t care about the political beliefs of this or any other shooter. What I care about are the political beliefs that are enabling him and every other murderous cretin of whatever political stripe to decide that they can murder as many people as they can get away with before they themselves are “neutralized”.

      • LarryHoudini

        I totally agree with you. I just know that every time this happens, people are waiting for the shooter’s profile to come out so they can (hopefully) point to the other side.

  • diogenez

    The flawed reasoning behind the ‘more guns’ premise is plainly evident: is
    there a country anywhere – or throughout history that has been better
    armed than the US? And yet, ours is the only nation where these horrific
    events occur, with sickening regularity. The only winners here are the
    gun manufacturers and the NRA, who have played the rest of us for fools.

  • JustPixelz

    We’ll be treated to ammosexuals whining “how will more gun control have prevented this?” If we can’t prevent a suicidal gunman, then why bother. But yesterday’s nine or ten victims were in addition to the usual 80-90 gun deaths per day in this country. Thanks NRA. Thanks SCOTUS Heller decision. Thanks Smith & Wesson.

  • VandeGraf

    The sheriffs who won’t enforce gun regulations, the NRA, and the mass of individuals who masturbate to thoughts of firearms, are advocates for continued slaughter. Hasn’t it become apparent yet that a heavily armed society is a bloody society?

    • OrdinaryJoe

      They all have blood on their greedy grubby, hands and it’s time to stand up to the ammosexual gun humpers, who are nothing less than first cousins to the mass killers, by calling them out for it. Starting with the so-called “oathkeeper” Sherrif. He was as good as standing there with his finger on the trigger of the killer’s weapons.

  • Antimassacree

    Once it was clear post-Sandy Hook slauhter of grade school children that the NRA/GOP were not going to budge I lost hope for any change on guns in this country. America: love it or leave it. I am giving it serious consideration.

    • JohnBull

      Korea’s nice. No guns, great subways, excellent restaurants, nightclubs go until morning, you can walk down any street anywhere at night and not worry about anything. Too bad the whole country’s the size of a van.

      • Vegan and Tiara

        North or South Korea?

        • JohnBull

          South. I don’t know if North Korea has a clubbing culture but I could be wrong. Nightclubbing, I mean.

          • Vegan and Tiara

            Oh, I’m sure they DO have a clubbing culture, particularly if you displease the dear leader.

          • Playonwords

            No, it’s guns again. specifically multi barrel anti-aircraft cannon

          • Vegan and Tiara

            So now they’re clubbing people with guns? Oh, the humanity!

        • Biel_ze_Bubba

          “Excellent restaurants” might be the clue you missed.

          • Vegan and Tiara

            So North then?*
            *I didn’t miss any clues, my comment was meant to be a joke.

          • Biel_ze_Bubba

            Well, you did get a “you’ve got to be kidding” reaction, so … points for that?

          • Vegan and Tiara

            Of course I was kidding! I’m fairly certain nobody describes North Korea as nice, unless they’re on the wrong end of a gun.

      • marxalot

        And if you’re outside of a certain standard deviation, you’re gonna bonk yer head a whole lot.

      • Antimassacree

        Reasonably sure the search criterion of “less gun violence than the United States” leaves nearly every country on the planet as an option.

  • ZangoCrudmonger

    Not quite the Cocktober I was hoping for. Bloody hell.

  • JAFO

    Is it just me or do photo’s of the shooter scream sexual identity crisis?

  • Little Lulu

    I came for the snark, but I’m leaving impressed with this site more than ever. This morning’s post is the most intelligent, thoughtful, reasonable, and incisive I’ve read on gun violence in some time. Thank you, Wonkette, and thanks to the commenters for, well, everything you bring to every post.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      Too bad Wonkette doesn’t allow comments, but I hope you stick around.

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    • Suse

      Still have my Lulu comic books. She was my childhood muse.

      • Little Lulu

        Mine too!

  • cousin itt

    I can confidently say that Mike Huckabee fucks underage goats.

    • Rest assure this is true!
      ~

      • cousin itt

        My assure is at rest.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      That are orphaned. In wheelchairs.

    • jmk

      I read that on the Internet, so I know it’s true.

    • Playonwords

      But he’s just kidding

  • goonemeritus

    I really don’t need to know more about this guy to know he shouldn’t have had access to firearms. Anyone that stands in the way of regulations that prevent mentally unstable people from having this access is culpable of putting their hobby in front of the lives of thousands of victims.

  • grumblestiltskin

    I believe it is too soon to talk about “It”

    Also, I am shocked to discover that chewing gum loses its flavor on the bed post overnight.

  • Me not sure

    “The only thing that can stop a bad plague infected rat is good plague infected rat.”
    Wayne LaPierre

  • Tansy Geek

    I applaude the sherif at least for not releasing the shooter’s name.

    • Me not sure

      This Sheriff is one of those Oath Keeper types. He is on record as opposing any federal attempts to pass and enforce new gun safety laws.

      • Tansy Geek

        I know. At least he didn’t want to help promote the shooter’s notoriety or infamy. This is a a weak hurrah at best. Maybe dealing directly with this horror will help change Sherrif Hanlon’s mind. I despair over the whole issue and just want to grab people by the neck and shake sense into them. But it doesn’t work that way, I know.

        • Me not sure

          I hope you’re right, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      • alwayspunkindrublic

        I’m sure the Oafs he Keeps are grateful.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        Not doing your fucking job seems to be a wingnut characteristic.

    • SuspectedDemocrat

      Withholding names is right up there with prayer in terms of fuck-all useless gestures. The only way to make the sheriff’s actions more useless would be to applaud it.

  • Suse

    GOP campaign poster

    • marxalot

      “My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult” is not actually the name of La Pierre’s autobiography, though you’d be forgiven for thinking that.

  • SuspectedDemocrat

    “This guy should not have had access to firearms.”

    “We don’t know that! Why don’t you wait for all the facts before you make blanket political statements.”

  • goonemeritus

    The only argument I ever won with a gun humper was when he
    said regulations never help and anyway more people die in traffic accidents. A couple of key strokes later I showed him thepower of regulation.

    • Tansy Geek

      You sent him a one ton crate of Metamucil you ordered on Amazon Prime C.O.D?
      OT does C.O.D still exist?

    • Spotts1701

      Yup. You don’t see people wringing their hands anymore about drunk drivers and saying “people are still going to do it, so why should we try and change anything?”
      We made the laws tougher, the sentences longer, and lo and behold since 1980 we’ve cut the number of drunk driving related-deaths in half. A new law in my state now makes felony hit-and-run the same as a DUI, because people who were drunk used to take the hit-and-run charge so that they wouldn’t get tested for alcohol. There was political will to do that in a year where the loons were running the Capitol, but not to do anything about guns except suggest more and more of them everywhere.

  • freakishlystrong

    Beautifully done Kalli. It’s long past time to realize we’re a country. A big fucking country with lots of people, beliefs, opinions..but I think one thing we can all agree on is we, as a country, should not have to continually bear witness to mass shootings of our fellow citizens, by our fellow citizens. It’s insane. And it’s making us insane.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    “We should politicize this.” Bingo. You want something done, just vote out of office every NRA-owned asshole who refuses to act on this. That’s all it will take, and that’s why politicizing it is the one thing that scares the shit out of the NRA. Vote the fuckers out, or else stop bitching and hope your luck holds.

    • Suse

      If only…

    • cousin itt

      When Obama said that, I wondered which GOPer would be stupid enough to take the bait. Huck was my first guess.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      No shitz. I am fed up with the jelly legged response from the left. The NRA thinks everybody should be armed and ready to kill someone just so they can send their kids to school, attend services at their church, get a haircut, or go see a movie. No. No more. I am not voting for anyone unless their agenda is a plan to get the guns. Period. (Are you listening Joe B?)

    • SuspectedDemocrat

      An organization that scores every member of Congress based on their gun voting record has no business telling anyone not to politicize it.

    • Takoma DC

      Yes I agree but in certain states, towns, cities pro-gun constituency stronger than those who want reform.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        Even there, I bet the “reasonable gun laws” candidate could beat the “guns on every hip” NRAsshole. People are sick of it.

        • Takoma DC

          You have more faith than I do. I hope you’re right.

  • an eye for a jedi

    I’m not nearly as thirsty for the details as the media is desperate to piss them out at me.

  • freakishlystrong

    Whatever you do, don’t read this unless you’ve something to punch nearby:
    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/10/stupid-media-tweets-piers-morgan-edition

    • cousin itt

      Is that fucktwaddle still on the tee vee?

    • Playonwords

      And people wondered why Private Eye dubbed him Piers Moron.

    • Biff52

      If this had happened under Shrub’s watch, he would’ve bombed Peru.

  • azeyote

    on that 4chan thing it seems that he thought this would be his claim to fame – as i said yesterday it’s a fuckin plague – and our sheriff here in Douglas County is an ass

  • JohnBull

    Benghazi: 4 killed; three years of congressional investigations.
    US last year: 35,000 killed; whatcha gonna do?

    • Takoma DC

      Yeah. Where do they find the millions for this witch hunt? Where do they find the time?

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        They’re not doing anything else, so . . . plenty of time. I expect hundreds of hours and millions of dollars will be spent checking out the “Russian” spam in Hillary’s junk folder.

        • Vegan and Tiara

          “…”Russian” spam in Hillary’s junk folder.”
          I’m oddly aroused by this sentence.

          • Playonwords

            It does sound like the outline of a porno flick

          • Biel_ze_Bubba

            I figured somebody would go there. This being Wonkette.

          • Vegan and Tiara

            When there was a dick joke just hanging there, it would have been irresponsible not to go there.

          • Biel_ze_Bubba

            Irresponsible not to tug on it, you mean.
            (Sorry, it was just hanging there.)

          • Vegan and Tiara

            I placed “hanging there” in my sentence just so you could also irresponsibly make a dick joke. :-)

          • Biel_ze_Bubba

            Mutual support is what Wonkette is all about.

  • elviouslyqueer

    This post desperately needs a pic of a goofy, smiling, beer-drinking, trash-tweeting beagle basset.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      Not a beagle/basset, but my port in the storm. Hope it helps.

    • My sweet girl says “hey you guys….wanna play?”

    • Hutch

      Or a kissing Italian Greyhound? (Oddly enough, photo taken in a community college library.)

      • elviouslyqueer

        That’s some impressive jumping height!

      • Vegan and Tiara

        I love IGs even though they are INSANE.

        • Hutch

          Two speeds only. Fast and off.

          • Vegan and Tiara

            I woke up one night sweating like a whore in church, and couldn’t figure out why. I reached up to touch my head and found I had an IG wrapped around my head. They do love to snuggle.

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            “…seek medical help if you’ve had an Italian Greyhound wrapped around your head for 4 hours or more.”

          • Vegan and Tiara

            I don’t know if wearing a hat keeps you warm, but wearing a dog on your head sure as hell does.

    • Vegan and Tiara

      Such a sweet face!

    • marxalot

      I see your beagle-basset and I raise you a blue heeler mix, who is so cliche she bays at the mailman. Doesn’t she look pleased with herself?

      • Werewolf

        Red heeler/beagle mix. Terror (she wishes) of backyard squirrels.

    • adding a cat who thinks he’s a dog to this love fest. also: seasonaly appropriate.

      • LarkintheAM

        OMG Your cat looks *exactly* like my Aramis, down to the foxy face, white spot and floofy tail. They could be the same cat – amazing!

        • adorable! little cat z is – we think – part maine coon. he’s HUGE and has that square butt and extreme tail and ear tufts. is yours by chance?

          • LarkintheAM

            Ari is tall and lean and has the fluffiest tail I’ve ever seen on a cat. I have no idea what he might be other than ‘cat’ – I actually rescued him from a crack house as a kitten with a box trap and a can of tuna. He’ll be 18 around Halloween, but here he is in his prime.

          • such a beauty!

          • LarkintheAM

            Thank you – so’s your guy. :-)

          • schmannity

            A beauty/handsome cat!

    • schmannity

      That dog is well fed, just sayin’.

  • Angry_Cop

    Politicize the hell out of this.

    I say this as a person who’s owned guns since age 10 – ban them and confiscate them all. Every single one. There are individuals, quite a few of them, who can handle guns responsibly but any gun owner who’s willing to tell you the truth (very few will) knows and will admit that the vast majority of people who own them are knuckleheads who shouldn’t be allowed within a thousand feet of a firearm.

    Repeal the Second Amendment and outlaw all guns. Period.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Two different things entirely. Repeal the Second, and it becomes possible for cities and states to regulate the damned things as they see fit. NYC needs different laws than some small burg in Alaska.

      • LesBontemps

        Exactly!!!!!!!!! You don’t need prohibition, but you need appropriate and effective restriction, and the Second Amendment is the sole impediment to that. There is no reason that gun ownership needs to be a constitutional right rather than a (heavily) regulated privilege.

        • LarkintheAM

          It’s not really an impediment – we’ve simply allowed the NRA to define it as such. We CAN regulate guns and gun ownership and have done so many times in the past. There’s even a recent Supreme Court ruling (Heller v. District of Columbia) that could have stricken all regulation from the books but not only declined to do so but also reaffirmed the ability to regulate firearms. Thus the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 remain in effect. What needs to happen is a constitutional amendment clarifying what we define as arms and reserving to the people the right to regulate same. This is about as likely to pass as pigs are to fly, however.

      • Gleem-McShinez

        I suggest repealing the 2nd, or better, slightly modifying it to make the re-enable the first clause so the second is clearly dependent on it. Meaning you must be in a militia with strict requirements of physical fitness and maturity and professionalism, or else no gun, and this is a function of serving The State.

        The idea that ALL ownership of arms “shall not be infringed” is false anyway. We already infringe on what kinds of arms you can bear, all fucking day long.

        You can’t have a pipe bomb, a rocket launcher, or a tank with a functional turret. OH NOE MY CONSTATOOSHINAL RIGHTS BEEN AFIRNGED!!

        It’s a bullshit argument. Also, it’s based on decisions by “unelected activist judges” except in this case they are happy to accept it as “law of the land.”

        Restore the full power of the 2nd Amendment, or kill it dead.

    • Jenny

      Far too many knuckleheads. I’m not sure if a ban would work. Prohibition showed how shitty that went. But much higher standards of who is truly responsible to own a gun needs to be implemented. Hell our police forces can’t even maintain and shoot their guns properly. The likelihood that Cleetus knows what he is doing is pretty low.

    • marxalot

      It’s been too often proven: we can’t be trusted with guns. Take them all away, for two full generations, until the we can address the cycle of violence. Once everyone who has ever owned a gun has died, and their children have also died, we can start to consider gun policy again.

    • Hardly Ideal

      I hate to repeat myself*, but I don’t trust most people to handle my Nerf guns responsibly.

      “Okay, hold on. Pick ONE gun you can use. Don’t leave them primed, keep your finger off the trigger, and don’t point it at anyone unless you intend to shoot them. That’s an awful habit to fall into.”
      *five minutes later…*
      *chucklehead comes back juggling two guns, one plainly primed and loaded, gesturing at me with it while complaining that it doesn’t work*

      How in the wild blue fuck am I supposed to trust anyone with an actual firearm?

      *not really, actually #sorrynotsorry

  • JohnBull

    Imagine the millions of Dildo-Americans running out and buying guns and ammo in case they’re somehow the next target. I feel sorry for their kids who will find out there’s no Santa Claus this year.

  • Takoma DC

    Yes to everything in this article.

    How about what is the reason the NRA does not want common sense stricter gun laws? How would that harm them, or responsible gunowners?

    Why does the NRA have such great influence over both repubs and dems? Do they really contribute that much? Do any reps refuse donations from NRA and firearms manufacturers? Who are these reps? Can’t they positively influence their colleagues and get a gun law reform bill passed?

    Finally, since so many mentally ill people on these very boards take exception to recommendations that U.S. mental health facilities and regulations related to individuals either diagnosed, or seeking assistance would positively benefit from such reforms become upset at the idea, I’ll ignore the recommendations.

  • beatbort

    The “issue” of guns is not one that can be addressed through
    argument or “dialogue.” Not only do the gun humpers shout louder, they are
    armed and they will not stop at making death threats against those who push for tighter restrictions on access to firearms, as I know from firsthand experience. (I would not be surprised to learn that death threats against the Obama family have jumped 100 percent in the past 24 hours simply because the president had the audacity to act like a leader on this issue). Thus, it is not an “argument” when one side is carrying deadly weapons. The only way it can be addressed is through legislation. So I guess that’s where the “argument” ends. We have a Congress that redefines the term “abysmal failure.”

  • SpideySenser

    “the nation is deliriously thirsty for” this shit to just come to an abrupt STOP right NOW!

  • dshwa

    Brilliant ending Kali.

    I have nothing to add.

  • orygoon

    My dear son first heard the news as “a shooting at a community college in Oregon” and made a worried phone call from the Atlantic Ocean somewhere from his ship, the USS Eisenhower, which is not exactly a usual thing when they are at sea, and now I have the phone # to the Ike in my phone, I kid you not. What a day–like so many other mass-shooting days, one that many people do not particularly enjoy.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      Good on the XO for allowing the call. Navy is not usually that relations sensitive.

  • Pugsandcoffee

    Have we not figured out that there is no level of gun violence where 2nd Amendment Freedumbers will finally say, “oh, yeah, I get it now?” I mean, occasionally, one of these bumfucks loses a family member and sort of softens, but freedumb isn’t free and whatnot, but it’s definitely dumb.

  • walterwhite

    We must arm ourselves to protect ourselves against our fellow citizens…the logic of the times.

  • I think the response to these shit shows should be a live camera following Obama right into Wayne Lapierre’s lair and The President delivering a swift and mighty kick right to Lapierre’s nuts.

    Each and every time this happens.

    Any future president elected will have to take an oath to do the same or they don’t get to be president.

  • draNgNon

    “it’s clear that gun free zones are sitting duck zones.”

    just FYI, the community college campus was NOT a gun-free zone. there were actually armed students near by. they quite wisely considered how a SWAT team would react if they had come over with drawn weapons to join in an affray.

    • Jenny

      Yup. But who cares about the truth? Need moar guns!

      • Takoma DC

        Bigger! Shinier! Deadlier!

        • SufferinSuccotash,Entitled

          Happiness is a warm gun, after all.

          • OneDemin EOr

            You sing about the gun, you die by the gun.
            Apparently.

      • Hardly Ideal

        Of course! Who better to model our society after than the Space Orks?

    • Love the avatar.

      The world has certainly gone downhill since we killed all the thylacines.

      Oh and: Fuck Huckabee with Kim Davis’ dick.

    • Skaffin

      An Oregon court ruled in 2011 that
      students and faculty with concealed carry permits could bring guns on
      community college campuses. A veteran and UCC student named John Parker
      Jr. gave an interview to MSNBC in which he said he was on campus at the time of the shooting carrying a concealed handgun, and implied other students with him were armed as well.

    • marxalot

      The “good guy with a gun” screamers so rarely seem to understand that cross and friendly fire only make active shooter situations worse, and are not settings that can be turned off in real life.

    • Sgt. Gym Bunny

      In the chaos and panic of an active shooter melee, if I see some random person waiving a gun around, I don’t think I’d breathe a sigh of relief. I’d think “HOLY SHIT!!!! Mulitple shooters!!!!! Ahhhhh!!!”

      But that’s just me…

    • Gleem-McShinez

      Truth doesn’t matter when there’s a great narrative to push.

      The First amendment’s “Free Press” has been eaten by the Second.

    • ahughes798

      Most of them veterans. Those were responsible gun owners, right there.

  • Dylan Black

    Just make manufacturing new guns illegal, restrict/eliminate importation of guns from foreign sources, and institute a federal/state buyback program that pays out 4-5x the sale price each gun, regardless of condition. Allows anyone who really wants to keep their guns to keep them, while completely stemming the flow of new guns and the NRA’s primary source of revenue. I’d even support a really posh gov buyout scheme for manufacturers, so really nobody would get screwed other than the NRA itself.

    • LarkintheAM

      And how do you propose to “just” make this happen in a country where any attempt to regulate any firearm/ammunition/sale of same is met with fierce, deep-pocketed resistance?

      • Dylan Black

        Oh you guys wanted an actual answer to how you make a bought-and-paid for congress actually respond to gun control demands when its essentially asking mega corporations to make less money? I have no idea how to make that happen from this point in time. I was just laying out a rational means which COULD be interpreted to skirt any 2nd amendment “problems” by a liberal SCOTUS that doesn’t currently exist.

    • Janet Goodell

      Just? As if what you say is possible. I guess we are brainstorming here. All ideas need to be heard.

  • calliecallie

    I think that’s the most depressing post I’ve ever read.

    • marxalot

      Hell of a way to start the day.
      Here.

      • Takoma DC

        What is this marvelously cute creature?

        • LarkintheAM

          A Fairy Princess Hedgehog, of course!

          • Playonwords

            But if it’s Fairy Hedgehog that means its Gráinneog

          • LarkintheAM

            Seely court, of course. *g*

          • Takoma DC

            Oh! How cute. She’s an elegant hedgehog. I think they’re all cute but she looks different than others I’m familiar with. Very sweet!

      • aureolaborealis

        Is that a hedgehog with a hard-on in a tutu? What is going on in the 5-hole there?

        • Gleem-McShinez

          Since we’re obliquely talking about mental illness in this thread…

          Psychiatrists used to show people inkblots, and the people then describe what the shapes suggest to them.

          I wonder what would be written down if you described seeing a boner on a hedgehog in a tutu?

    • LesBontemps

      Srsly. Whatever happened to Friday Nicetime?

      • i must confess, imma scoot on over to TLo sausage friday now.

      • Hardly Ideal

        I think some whackjob with a gun and a point to prove perforated it with transonic lead.

        …eh, fuck it.

  • SoccerMomsforSatan

    Of course Huckabee would be an asshat – lets not for once acknowledge the huge fucking problem that gun violence is real and mass shootings are happening. Fuuuucccckkkk what is wrong with people.

    • JohnQFugly

      He’s afraid his constituents would turn on him if he doesn’t maintain this stance.

      • SoccerMomsforSatan

        I am physically sickened at the lengths people have gone to be a pandering politician, it is vile. All I can think about is how senseless it all is – like some horrible bizarro reality.

        • Land Shark

          It’s all about the gold, hon. Follow the money. They do not care in the least about the shooter or the victims, they say what brings in cash.

      • Playonwords

        If his stance were a wide one I bet they’d turn on him then

    • Janet Goodell

      I saw that to. Chris Hayes declined to pick that up and use it. Fail.

  • Skaffin

    Wonketeers.. Here’s the quote we need to refute the gun nuts. ” An Oregon court ruled in 2011 that
    students and faculty with concealed carry permits could bring guns on
    community college campuses. A veteran and UCC student named John Parker
    Jr. gave an interview to MSNBC in which he said he was on campus at the time of the shooting carrying a concealed handgun, and implied other students with him were armed as well.” – Gawker’s Anna Merlin

  • flifishun
  • Professor Fate

    The mental health thing is tricky – most people with mental illnesses are not violent at least towards other people they can be very self destructive but they are not in general the ones lashing out here. Most of the shooters seem to be people who have spent a lot of time nursing a grudge or grudges against the rest of society – not mental illness so much as the violent among us are the ones most likely to take advantage of the easy availability of guns and use them. How we handle the mentally ill among us is criminal and any improvements along those lines would be a blessing to the ill and their friends and family but it won’t cut down shootings that much.
    simply stated it needs to harder to buy a gun – that just has to be a staring point – yes it will a burden to the legitimate gun owner but well we can’t have this happening all the time either and filling out forms and waiting is honestly worth a few less dead kids. It won’t stop everybody of course but it’ll stop some of them and these are not stable people.
    And it has to be federal – we’ve seen time and time again that folks have traveled from states with strict regulations to where all you need is a working forefinger to buy a gun to obtain weapons.
    The sale of Semi automatic rifles along the lines of the AR-15 need to be banned forthwith – these are man killers pure and simple – you don’t hunt deer with something like this unless you’re indulging in Rambo fantasies.
    Same goes for extender magazines – again at least we can try and limit the damage someone can cause –
    of course none of this will happen – there are enough cowards in the democratic party to torpedo this sort of reform and the GOP is firmly allied with the NRA.
    The thing that in the end sickens me is that one gets the sense that the right wing likes these incidents since it gets the liberals upset and they get to go Neener neener about gun free zones and the like. I’m not accusing them of enjoying the fact that people are getting killed, they enjoy the fact we get so upset about it.

  • JohnQFugly

    My problem with certain gun owners is not their drooling love of guns, but how quickly their defenses go up every time this happens and offering no support for the victims. They only scream about the 2nd amendment, rights, freedom, protection, etc.

    My disclaimer: I know there are responsible gun owners, in fact I personally know a few. But these folks aren’t represented well by all the loud, hard-headed, militant, paranoid, war-ready weapon nuts. Can we really trust their “protection” in the unlikely event of a treasonous government, or would they be the first ones scragged?

    • Msmlg1979

      They would be the first to shoot innocent people. Militant and war-ready means they WANT to kill people, and would welcome the opportunity to hurt and control others.

    • OneDemin EOr

      These drooling idiots seem to forget that the government has them out-gunned.
      The Chinese tried to stand up to tanks and it didn’t work out so well.

      • Biff52

        China isn’t exceptional, though!

    • Gleem-McShinez

      I think the “treasonous government” meme is just more of that “I’m a savior” imaginary heroism that many gun-lovers find irresistable, especially thinking they’re the last bulwark against some threat that will never be realized.

      First and foremost: There’s no money in destroying your fat, placid, easy-to-bilk populace.

      Besides, tyranny wouldn’t happen suddenly or anything.

      Just look at them now: the gun-nuts already line themselves up. They’d happily be the first drafted in the brown-shirt civilian forces to assist a new nationalized fascism directed at whatever threat they might define as “Terrorism.”

  • Marie Watkins Crocker

    Excellent, if utterly depressing and realistic, post. I now have teh sads….

  • Beowoof14

    That sign and the message always pisses me off, were not a polite society with everyone armed, we’re a group of terrified people, afraid we will look at someone the wrong way and get shot for it.

    • grmpy

      I’ve said that for years. How does violence or the threat of violence = peace?

      • Gleem-McShinez

        These idiots think the illusion of respect you can demand from someone at gunpoint is the same as respect earned by being an actual decent person.

        You didn’t earn that respect, shitbag. You’re no better than a common mugger, stealing something you didn’t earn.

  • LarkintheAM

    Yes. Sadly, it would seem, that is all we
    know how to do. And we’ll do it again, all over again, the next time.
    And the time after that. And again and again and again.

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

    Well, I guess we have moved past insane as a society and into psychotic paralysis. We do the same ineffective thing over and over again knowing nothing will change, unable to choose a different course, and knowing we will be right back in this same spot, days, weeks, months, and even years from now intoning these same words, wringing our hands even as they drip with the blood of innocent people, waiting, resigned, for the next, inevitable because we allow it to be so bloodbath. Will it be someone you love next? Your child? Your mother? Your spouse? You? No matter who it is, our society will again play Lady Macbeth, wash our hands, and allow the voices who proclaim this real, constant fear we live in to be a worthy price for “freedom” to hold sway and will look with indifference or outright scorn on those who say that it doesn’t have to be this way.

    The rest of the civilized world looks at us with horror and rightly so, and we’re so deep into our insanity that we cannot see how sick we’ve become. Even if our congress magically came to its senses and enacted carbon copies of Australia’s regulations, all we’d get would be a new civil war, as the gun loonies fight to their last bullet (and take as many with them as they can) to keep what our Merchants of Death insist is their god-given right to have. Apparently there is no atrocity too horrific, even the murder of schoolchildren in their classroom, that would cause them to reevaluate their vile selfishness and their twisted definition of “free”. The religious loonies aid and abet them even as they proclaim themselves “pro-life” in the best example of Newspeak I have ever encountered.

    Like you, Kalli, I have no answers on how to make it stop. The images that play out on our screens day after day only add to the paralysis, to the sense that this is simply impossible to stop. And truth to tell, I’m feeling that despair myself this morning. Yes, I will write to my (wingnut) congressman and to my two (one sane, one semi-sane) senators, letting them know as forcefully as possible my revulsion at the continuing carnage. One of them will listen, the other two will not, and nothing will happen no matter how many bills my sane senator put forth. I will continue to go to protests, to advocate for gun control, but I’m beginning to wonder if the better option than continuing what seems the classic sisyphean task is simply to give up and leave the nation to what looks like an inevitable collapse into anarchy and fascist oppression, and get out while we still can.

  • WampusKat

    Yes, we are going to act this our repeatedly, because the left refuses to wrap it’s head around basic facts: 1) The Libertarian ‘Tea Party’ is egging on gun violence at an unprecedented rate (130 pages with citations):

    “Chapter 20: Oath Keepers Networks With Tea Party and Patriots”

    This chapter examines the networking and messaging of Oath Keepers with others in the Patriot movement and the Tea Party movement. This chapter also demonstrates that the Patriot movement‖ is actually an extension of the Christian Right.

    It is another component of the Christian Right by virtue of the similarity of ideas and the organizations that are linked to the Christian Right within the Patriot movement. The main ideas that serve to bind the Christian and the Patriot movements together are opposition to the New World Order and its concomitant Agenda21, according to the movements‘conspiracy theories.

    Belief in these twin conspiracy theories act as epistemological markers, if you will, that identify at the individual and organization levels of analysis who belongs and who does not belong in the movements. But, as we shall demonstrate in this chapter, these twin conspiracy theories also allows individuals and organizations to mobilize and act on behalf of oil, gas, coal, mining, timber, and
    grazing industries to reduce or remove environmental laws that would boost corporate and billionaires‘ profits, and, transfer hundreds of millions of public acres and trillions of dollars of profits to these very same corporations and billionaires. This, then, is the prelude to the ―Battle of
    Bunkerville which pitted Cliven Bundy and his Patriot movement allies (and Republican Party and conservative media) against the Bureau of Land Management. While the actual confrontation will be covered in the next two chapters and the―deep background‖ which links the American Legislative Exchange Council, the American Lands Council, and the Patriot movement to the ―Battle of Bunkerville will be covered in Chapter 23, thischapter analyzes how Oath Keepers implemented the Vieira-North-Lind-Paul strategy through networking and synergistic messaging.”

    The Patriot Movement is Extension of Christian Right Ron Paul‘s post presidential network of organizations, the Campaign for Liberty, the National Precinct Alliance, the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and Oath Keepers were formed as result of the open and secret portions of the North-Paul strategy. Much of what the Southern Poverty Law Center counted in 2013 as active groups in the―Patriot movement‖ are, in fact, groups closely linked to Ron Paul and the
    Christian Right.”

    https://www.academia.edu/9716371/CHAPTER_20_OATH_KEEPERS_NETWORKS_WITH_TEA_PARTY_AND_PATRIOTS

    • Playonwords

      Cannot recommend this enough

    • Dylan Black

      I’m really confused, are you saying that people on this site think that Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Glenn Greenwald are good somehow or that we’re confused about what kind of dicks they are?

  • Incoming Ham

    I even couldn’t find a Potoo cheerful enough to help.

  • DensityDestiny

    Kaili Joy, you called us all out for sticking our heads up our stubborn asses. We can hang out here and make fun of wingnuts all day, but that’s not going to solve the problem. At some point, we have to talk to each other and decide what we compromises we can live with.

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      How precisely do you compromise with people who believe that compromise is that they get precisely what they want without compromise?
      That there is the real kicker.

      • tomamitai

        “How precisely do you compromise with people who believe that compromise is that they get precisely what they want without compromise?
        That there is the real kicker.”

        And who intimate, or sometimes flatly state, that they’d gladly die themselves or kill you before they would compromise?

  • Mavenmaven

    How can there be serious debate when so much of the country believes sick BS like this thing that went around Facebook this morning: https://scontent.fphl1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xat1/v/t1.0-9/12112325_1505412853084415_7800157838495912112_n.jpg?oh=fc92aa6417692f2cfb3724142ec3b745&oe=569EF784

    • OneDemin EOr

      Jesus.
      My daughter’s in-laws actually believed the false-flag bullshit about Sandy Hook. It will never end as long as there’s a blah in the White House.

      • Jen_Baker_VA

        Wait until there is a woman, or a socialist in there. It will only get worse, because the blah was the false flag- that was just to rev up the fucknuts. It is the D after his name that is the real problem

        • Gleem-McShinez

          I think you’re right. The more these people lose power, the worse they get. They aren’t the kind to actually step back and evaluate their beliefs.

      • Hardly Ideal

        I hate myself every time I say it, but this shit is the reason I want the next president to be pale, stale, and male; we’ve demonstrated we’re not ready for anyone else.

        Even if President Clinton and VP Sanders sent the Dow up to 25,000, gave everyone anti-gravity boots for free, and could kill ISIS members with a stare, there’d be howls of how they actually hate America.

        • YayConspiracy

          Oh, the States are ready for a black president. There were ready twice now. The extremists, dare I say terrorists, on the right, the evangelicals, the thugs of the NRA, they will not rest until the States is a decent theocracy. Well, not with me.

          • Hardly Ideal

            For sure. I mean, we should get a more diverse government without question, but fuck if extremists won’t make that an excruciating process.

          • YayConspiracy

            I know, and their screeching is discouraging, but what they cannot stand is snark and reason. So I’ll give them snark and reason (not necessarily in that order).

  • SufferinSuccotash,Entitled

    Gee, why is everybody so upset?

  • John Paine

    OK, I am calling bullshit on this refusal to name the perpetrator. This is a not-so-cute way to deny the reality that we once again have a person with a gun going on a rampage. Cheese snacks on a cracker, the guy is not Voldemort. And it does not make you noble not to say the man’s name. If you must refrain from this name, then call him “the demon with the gun,” or the “arsenal-toting killer,” or the “self-appointed executioner by gun of innocents.” This lawman in Oregon who refuses to name this gunned-up psycho is the very one wrote to VP Biden after Sandy Hook to nix any notions of gun control. He is,at best, being disingenuous. The hope clearly is that we will forget that this killer used a gun, not one but four, with high capacity magazines. He had these guns with the intention of killing people, innocent people. And we enabled him with our indifference, our cowardice to confront those who would willingly compromise our safety and pervert our democracy with their greed. Maybe the reason he’s no saying the guy’s name is because his name is his name, and every congressperson’s name, and every American’s name. The name of everyone except those who have lost a child, or a parent or a loved one due to our inadequate response time after time.

    • Takoma DC

      This sheriff is definitely a nasty piece of work.

    • LarkintheAM

      This. Call it from the mountaintops.

    • tomamitai

      What reason did the cop give for writing to Biden instead of Obama? Would it be unfair to speculate that it had something to do with Obama’s color, given that the Pacific Northwest area is alleged to be popular with white supremacists?

    • Bammac

      ^^^^^+10000

      Thank you.

  • OneDemin EOr

    I live in one of the Oregon counties where the sheriff stated that he, too, would refuse to enforce any new gun laws backed by the gun-grabbing Obama.
    The irony is that all of these counties are the least-populated and have the lowest crime rates. Oh, and the least diversity. Douglas County hasn’t had a murder in several years, so it’s not like the big city. They can sit back and be anti-gun-control all they want.
    I understand the hunting and sports shooting thing. My litterbox mate does this. We eat what he hunts and he never lets an animal suffer.
    But there’s no need for high-capacity magazines, speed-loaders and shit like that. Universal background checks must be required. All law enforcement must agree to enforce all laws, regardless of the color of the president’s skin.
    And mental health treatment must be affordable and available.
    This shit’s gotta stop.

    • tomamitai

      Don’t they have limits on the ammo capacity of hunting guns in many states, in order to make it “more sporting”?

      • Biff52

        I know they limit the number of shells (2+1 in chamber) your shotgun can hold, but I’m not sure about rifles.

      • OneDemin EOr

        Oregon has a five-round limit on semi-auto rifles. Single shot rifles require reloading every time, so that’s naturally limiting.
        My own view is if you cannot drop an animal with five or fewer shots, you’d better practice more at the range or quit.
        I cannot shoot an animal, but trust me, I’d have zero problem killing a human being, if sufficiently motivated.

  • damanoid

    I’d like to see some kind of evidence that most mass shooters are motivated by the thought of getting their names in the paper, rather than an attempt to send a message or strike back at their perceived enemies. This “don’t say his name” thing is basically magical thinking. We can’t possibly stop the next guy from getting guns, but maybe we can think him out of existence after the fact.

    • Hardly Ideal

      Maybe so, but I think it’s one of the more rational irrational reactions; monsters don’t deserve tombstones and all that. It’s a better emotional reaction than “moar gunz everywhere all the time,” at least.

      • damanoid

        Yeah, but this also allows Joe the Gunhumper to fool himself into thinking that he’s a completely different animal. “These psycho killers murder people because they want to be famous! How self-centered! I’d never do such a thing! I only hoard weapons as a matter of legitimate Constitutional principle, in case the government needs overthrowing, or the lesser races rise up, or if my family or home entertainment system is threatened. No similarity whatsoever.”

        Offhand, I can only think of one famous shooter who explicitly wanted to become famous– John Hinckley Jr. Yet somehow we assume that every psycho killer secretly wants to assassinate Reagan.

        • tomamitai

          The asshole who killed John Lennon has been quoted as saying he did it to become famous.

  • Paperless Tiger

    If guns are available, psycho drifters will get them and shoot all the kids.

  • Playonwords

    Could people please click the heart at the top left of the comments, Kaili Joy and this item need to be recognised.

    Kaili thank you for a wonderful piece of entirely appropriate writing.

    • Takoma DC

      Thank you for the reminder. I always forget about that.

      • Jen_Baker_VA

        I did not realize it was there until they pointed it out for I am not always the most hep on the internets savvy. So I really appreciate the nod especially on something like this.

    • Dylan Black

      I tried to share it on Facebook and it said “bad request, this server found it confusing”

    • Biff52

      Too much pressure!

      Actually, didn’t know it was there. Thanks for that.

  • Rachel Book Harlot

    Truly excellent post.

    • Wee Mousie

      I agree, totally.

  • lesterthegiantape

    It’s going to get more and more difficult to wring laughs out of American culture and politics. By the time President Rubio is sworn in there will be no more mirth. It’s like polar bears.

    • From your lips to Satan’s ears.

      • lesterthegiantape

        as if he ever listens.

    • Gleem-McShinez

      Shtay Thirshty My Friendsh

    • JayGoldenBeach

      The film ‘Idiocracy’ was a preemptive documentary.

  • Takoma DC

    Isn’t the correct saying:

    An Armed Society
    Is a PoliCe Society

    ?

  • WiscoJoe

    Thank you, Wonkette. You are a lone voice of reason in the Web of insanity.

  • Cranky Man

    Is it possible that the constant gun violence promoted on our TV contributes to this phenomena? Even if I don’t choose one of the fucktillion programs whose plot invariably glorifies small arms, just the commercials constitutes y constant barrage of horrifically violent imagery. It must add up to millions of impressions.

    • Dylan Black

      So what would you suggest, a test run where we switch our television feeds with countries who don’t have mass murder sprees every week to see if it lowers our rate of murdering each other? I’m all for eliminating whatever other causal factors you think are involved as well, on a trial basis. Whatever works, right?

    • Hardly Ideal

      I’m usually slow to blame TV and video games for violence, but it sure doesn’t help when people look at action movies as examples of how things work. Heroic open-carrier, rushing the gunner, what bombs look like, etc.

      Yes, I’m looking at you, Justice Scalia and Irving TX PD; if I could look any harder at you, I’d burn a frowning emoji on your empty foreheads.

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Why stop at the Tee Vee? What about the youtube and the netflix? How about the video games?

      Plenty of people play Halo and watch Rambo and do not go shooting up class rooms, more than the number of people who do go shooting up classrooms.

    • Playonwords

      No

    • Villago Delenda Est

      I am afraid that many people cannot tell the difference between scripted entertainment and real life.

      Like Fat Tony Scalia and his “24” disconnect. Or the dogshit that is Alan Dershowitz who can’t separate the “ticking time bomb” scenario as depicted in entertainment from reality.

      These people don’t seem to grasp that all this is done for dramatic effect, to create conflict and tension. Real life doesn’t play out according to a set-piece, prearranged agenda.

      • JayGoldenBeach

        Violence as “scripted entertainment” is a problem right there.

        • blaid droog

          I agree. I was warped by Wiley Coyote and Elmer Fudd.

    • YayConspiracy

      TV, Netflix, games are as violent in Europe as they are in the States. The difference is the ease with which you can get and own a gun.

      I am not saying TV violence has no influence. But it is not the most important factor in the gun violence seen in the States. Even though, I have no studies to back up my gut feeling.

    • Dylan Black

      Its amazing that a young man with that much courage was there to prevent more deaths, yes. Just as its amazing that a couple of americans saved probably dozens of lives in France a few weeks back. That such a promising and courageous person COULD have died is all the more reason we should probably think about changing our stance on how guns are distributed and regulated in this country. We’ve regulated other types of random death and its worked well, and to do it we had to fight against powerful industries or people that profited from not giving a damn about human life.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Mike Hucksterbee? Is that the same Mike Hucksterbee who approved the parole of Wayen DuMond because Wayne DuMond had supposedly found Jeebus and then went out and raped and murdered?

    Mike Hucksterbee needs to STFU. Forever.

    • blaid droog

      Well, you can hope he is impolite to someone packing heat. Packing heat. I love it. I should write for tv.

  • TheBidenator

    Here’s one script that this sort of tragedy follows, the let’s guess which political party the shooter belonged to! Like that even matters. Essentially we need robust funding for mental health care most definitely, we also need comprehensive gun laws that not only require a psyche eval to own a gun but also check affiliations and social media postings. Essentially owning a gun should be similar to a job interview with the additional level of psychological testing. Sure some monsters will slip the net but if performing comprehensive evaluations can cut the mass shooting incidences and non-mass shooting incidences by more than 50% (and they can) then it’s all worth it, right? Or we can just argue over whether or not this guy was a wingnut and let the NRA dictate the debate by dividing us into camps….

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Also, if you want to own a firearm, you need to carry liability insurance. Demonstrate you’re responsible. Put your money where your mouth is.

    • Shelli Richardson

      But the NRA is a 100% fix it club Or it just isnt worth the effort. Their argument is alwaus, “But some people may slip through the requirements..” They are so purposely ignorant knowing their supporters will eat it up. How they can be so evil is beyond terrifying.

      • blaid droog

        The nra is the lobbying apparatus of corporations that profit from death. There is no good or evil within this corporate personage. Only profit. If people die from their products, well that’s what they are selling. They would also tell you cars kill people. Ho hum.

  • TheBidenator

    This is just another depressing anecdote for why we can’t have nice things in this country….

  • Gleem-McShinez

    Oh, hai, Armed Society Member!
    Say, quick question: what are you going to do if I’m not polite to you? Will you threaten me? Will you murder me?

    And does that kind of unearned, threatened, stolen, so-called politeness actually count in your mind?

    I guess we know what kind of sad and gross monster can’t get people to be polite without death threats, right?

    By that, I mean you. You’re the sad and gross monster. Was that rude to tell you what you should already know?

    Now, will you shoot me, or just threaten to?

    Anyway, hope your day goes as shitty as it can for someone who has to use force to get people to respect them! Bye naow!

  • YayConspiracy

    And who spouts the vitriol? Isn’t that our sanctimonious friend, Mike “the praying turd” Huckabee, Mike “I politicize as I see fit” Huckabee. Protector of the sister fingerer and Kim too-lazy-and-hypocritical-to-do-my-job-but-too-greedy-to-just-quit Fucking Davis?

    Fuck, I thought I would feel better now.

    • blaid droog

      Pour yourself about sixteen ounces of your favorite distilled spirits of alcohol. Consume it all in one quick swallow. If you don’t drink, now might be a good time to start.

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    This guy nailed it.

    • ahughes798

      Polling at the time indicated that 91% of US Americans wanted extended background checks. But since both houses of Congress are pretty much the NRA’s bitch, nothing happened.

      • Takoma DC

        After Sandyhook Hook I was prepared to strike and begged my friends to as well. Only a few agreed but we weren’t able to drum up support.

        When you’re poor or middle-class, and want laws changed, but your extremely wealthy reps won’t listen you have to do something to demonstrate that you’re not going to take it anymore.

        After South Carolina, again I was ready to strike and found even fewer of my friends would strike in protest of our nation’s pussy reps, both dems (if HRC has cared so much about gun violence & gun laws why didn’t she propose changes when she was a NY Senator?) and repubs are all to blame.

        How many billions do we spend on “Homeland Security”? The enemy is already here.

  • Wee Mousie

    They are right. An armed society does make for a polite society.

    Nothing is more polite than a corpse, if you ignore the smell.

  • JayGoldenBeach

    What The Hell Are We Supposed To Say?

    We could say that we have a high collective tolerance for violence.

  • Shelli Richardson

    I just learned in Kansas you DO NOT need a license or any classes to open carry. I won a 22 rifle in a raffle and getting it was a joke. I’m take anti-depressents, was diagnosed w panic disorder and yet was allowed to walk out w the rifle and 2 boxes of ammo within 15 minutes. And I’m very peaceful and wouldn’t harm a huge asshole, even Trump. Except maybe w words. Does,t matter of you’re a felon etc if all you have to do is check yes or no. Yeah, the salesman may eventually do a background check but by then it’s too late.
    Immediate background checks MUST be completed. A waiting period for any gun should be mandatory. Those who disagree and exaggerate politicians who suggest this are just BATSHIT beyond nuts. God help the common sense disabled in this country. Fuck me over this issue. Just Fucking, Fuck fucks.

  • Beulah

    I honestly don’t know what to think or feel about this anymore. Decades of anguish, outrage, pleas, and arguments have accomplished nothing. I just want to curl up on the couch and watch an old Marx Brothers film.

    I do know one thing though, Kaili is a damn fine writer.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    I dunno, folks, I consider someone shooting me in the head pretty damn rude of them. What does Emily Post have to say about all this?

  • Bammac

    Fuck Sherriff Hanlin. How long before he makes this shooting out to be a “False Flag”, like he did in his nutty little Sandy Hook video.

    I challenge folks never to speak HIS name again, except in lawsuits.

  • Teto85

    In 1996 my sister-in-law was taking a gap year from university and was visiting friends in Tasmania. They went to visit the Port Arthur prison colony, a big tourist attraction. They survived the massacre physically unscathed. Australia changed its gun laws almost overnight and the rate of gun deaths per 100,000 population in Australia went from almost equal to the USA to less than ⅓ in less than 10 years. Other societal changes include stricter gun licensing and banning of some types of fire arms, i.e. certain types of shotguns, military type rifles and sub-machine guns and other. People are still murdered by gun in Australia, but still, not by some one with an armoury on his back standing up in a movie theater or assaulting a first grade class. Personally I feel it should be easier to get a multi-engine pilot’s license with an all weather certificate than it should be to pass a firearms exam and get a gun.

  • mtn_philosoph

    Was mental illness a factor in this incident? Well maybe, but I doubt it. This guy planned the assault for over a year, wrote a big manifesto ahead of time to justify it and emailed it to 14 people, and recorded a video of himself a couple of hours prior to beginning it and posted it online. He purchased the guns and ammunition specifically for this assault and spent time practicing to shoot them. They are not the actions of someone suffering from a severe mental illness. His actions were far too well-organized, well-planned and well-executed. (Review the manner in which he killed the three men in his apartment for some clear evidence of that.)

    No, these were the actions of a profoundly bitter, self-centered and angry person. More than anything else they are reminiscent of the actions done by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine killers. Their assault on Columbine High School was also the result of careful planning over the course of at least a year, specific provisioning and practice sessions, and were also carefully documented by the perpetrators, exactly as done here. Were Harris and Klebold mentally ill? Apparently not — no one is making that argument today. Being deeply bitter, having a warped view of humanity and having access to guns are not conditions that are found in the DSM IV.

    This is not to say that mental illness is never involved in mass shootings. It was pretty clearly a factor in the Tucson shootings and was possibly a factor in the shootings in Aurora, Colorado. So yeah, sometimes it plays a role. But the truth is that the overwhelming proportion of people with mental illness are not violent. In fact they are statistically less likely to engage in severe acts of violence than are the population in general. That’s right, the mentally ill are even less likely to engage in mass murder than you and I are. On the rare occasions when a person with mental illness picks up a gun, he or she doesn’t do it to assault other people. No, in practically every case it is to turn it on themselves.

    So all of this talk about improving mental health care after yet another mass shooting is just a distraction from the real problem here: easy access to firearms. Yes, the mental health system and mental health care in general in this country is certainly in need of increased funding and better support. But look, mental illness isn’t a uniquely American problem — it is found in every other society as well. But those other countries don’t experience unprovoked mass shooting incidents. That’s our specialty, our American Exceptionalism.

    There is a sickness involved in these heinous acts, but it isn’t found in the perpetrators. No, the sickness is in the rest of us in the United States, specifically in our politics and in our laws. That is the disease that is desperately in need of treatment.

    • Takoma DC

      Planning and organization do not necessarily indicate an absence of mental illness. The Unibomber planned well and was organized. I don’t believe anyone, even with just basic knowledge of human psychology, wouldn’t understand he was mentally ill.

      • mtn_philosoph

        I am not convinced that the Unabomber was mentally ill. I would classify him more as an extremist crank with a serious grudge. The effects of psychosis are not limited to your sensorium (what you see, hear, feel, etc.) but also your basic cognitive and intellectual functioning. One of the characteristics of psychosis is an overall erosion of the sufferer’s ability to engage in any organized activity and the suppression of the ability to visualize oneself in the future and to make plans. For the acutely psychotic there is no past and no future — there is only the present. It would be almost zen-like if it wasn’t so devastating.

        • Takoma DC

          Some of the doctors who examined Kaczynski diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic. One or two others said he was not psychotic but suffered from schizoid personality disorder.

          I believe Kaczynski exhibited numerous signs of mental illness but was not a insane.

          But I’m not a mental health professional. I’m basing my opinion on articles I read written by his brother; an interview with his mother, and articles about his diagnoses.

          • mtn_philosoph

            The discussion that you and I are having is one that the psychiatric community has been having practically since its inception. The reason that it hasn’t been resolved is that there is plenty of merit in both sides of the debate and those involved all acknowledge it. The APA can compile a comprehensive diagnostic manual but its guidelines still have to be interpreted and applied to individual cases, and that is where things like professional judgement and thorough investigation come into play. As well as understanding the purpose for which the diagnosis is being sought. In the case of Ted Kaczynski, that diagnosis wasn’t necessarily or primarily motivated by a need for treatment planning or insurance reimbursement or eligibility for public psychiatric services.

            Among psychiatric professionals, the question of what does or does not constitute mental illness for a particular patient often pivots on an assessment of the patient’s overall level of functioning. This is a key step in the DSM diagnostic process.

          • Takoma DC

            Kaczynski refused to accept the offer of pleading not guilty due to insanity. I’m not certain every mental health professional involved in diagnosing him did not have compassion for Kaczynski and a sincere desire to help him

            He was a child prodigy, genius IQ, and ability to live independently in difficult self-imposed exile from humanity would be proof he is high functioning.

            Like many child prodigies, he had difficulty his entire life interacting with others. It seems that over time, he grew angrier and more resentful, he blamed technology, former colleagues and students, media and education institutions.

            His family had sought treatment for him in the 50’s and 60’s. Kaczynski on his own as an adult sought treatment for his illness. Unfortunately, for whatever reason(s) he was unable to get the mental health care necessary.

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