Armed and aggrieved with pressure-cooked propagandized brains
Four people were shot in Gastonia, North Carolina on Tuesday including a six year old girl who suffered an injury to her face from a bullet fragment. Her father is still in the hospital with serious injuries.
“Why did you shoot my daddy and me? Why did you shoot a kid’s dad?” Kinsley White asked.
The suspect who fled and is still being searched for reportedly became angered when a basketball the family were playing with rolled into his yard.
Early that same day in Elgin, Texas two teenage cheerleaders were shot by a man after one got into his car in a supermarket parking lot mistaking it as her own. When Heather Roth jumped out and got back into a friend's car the man approached and she rolled down her window to apologize at which point he started shooting.
Roth was grazed by a bullet but her teammate Payton Washington was hit in the leg and back.
"Payton opens the door, and she starts throwing up blood," Roth said.
Not that it makes it worse but Washington is an athlete set to compete for Baylor next year despite the fact that she was born with only one lung.
Those shootings followed two others you probably heard about from last week including one in Kansas City, Missouri where a sixteen year old boy named Ralph Yarl was shot in the head after he mistakenly rang the doorbell of a home he thought he was supposed to be picking up his siblings from and one in upstate New York where a twenty year old woman was shot to death after she and her friends took a wrong turn into a driveway when they were lost. The homeowner – because they always call people homeowner in these types of stories in the news and not gun owner – shot into her car as they were already driving away.
Here's how the vile filth at the New York Post covered both.
Those are just four of the shootings we have cause to know about due to the circumstances being deemed newsworthy enough. There isn't enough space even in the vast breadth of the internet to report on each of the 115 people who have died each day from gun violence so far this year in America. Not to mention the 90 who have merely been injured.
This doesn't happen in other countries. You know this but it's always worth reminding ourselves. Especially shootings like these ones. I don't know what to call them. Casual shootings. Ah fuck it shootings.
Open up your weather app and in the place where it should show the sun or a rain cloud it's just a cute little icon of a bullet now.
Yes other countries are violent in their own ways but people don't have to worry about getting shot over a whoopsie daisy in places where everyone isn't armed and aggrieved with pressure-cooked propagandized brains perpetually on the verge of combusting.
Anywhere else a "oh sorry my bad man" doesn't bring with it the prospect of getting mowed down.
The onslaught of paranoia-mongering from our right wing news media certainly isn't helping! Have you heard about this? Have we talked about this?
Here's a grandson of Andrew Lester – the 84 year old who shot Yarl – describing his descent into Fox News brain poisoning over the years to the Kansas City Star.
“I’ve gotten older and gained my own political views, and he’s become staunchly right-wing, further down the right-wing rabbit hole as far as doing the election-denying conspiracy stuff and COVID conspiracies and disinformation, fully buying into the Fox News, OAN kind of line. I feel like it’s really further radicalized him in a lot of ways.”
Ludwig said his grandfather had been immersed in “a 24-hour news cycle of fear and paranoia.”
“And then the NRA pushing the ‘stand your ground’ stuff and that you have to defend your home,” he said. “When I heard what happened, I was appalled and shocked that it transpired, but I didn’t disbelieve that it was true. The second I heard it, I was like, ‘Yeah, I could see him doing that.’”
Does he consider his grandfather a racist?
“I believe that there have been some positions that he’s held that have been bigoted or sort of disparaging,” Ludwig said. “But it’s stock Fox News, conservative American stuff. It’s ‘anybody who gets an abortion is a murderer.’ And ‘fatherless Black families are the reason why crime exists in this country.’ It’s stuff everybody’s heard at the Thanksgiving table every year.”
I used to have this stupid idea that maybe at some point so many of us or someone we know will have been killed or injured in a shooting that we might reach a tipping point where we could all come together and say ok at long last enough is finally enough. We have had quite our fill of this kind of shit.
I don't think that anymore. I used to believe in all manner of silly imaginary things.
The fact is we should have long since turned that pivot. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation 21% of adults in America say they have been threatened with a gun. 19% say a family member has been killed by a gun (including suicide) and 17% say they have witnessed someone being shot.
"Smaller shares have personally shot a gun in self-defense (4%) or been injured in a shooting (4%)," they found but "in total, about half (54%) of all U.S. adults say they or a family member have ever had one of these experiences."
And yes all of these numbers disproportionately affect people of color in this country. Among some of the other numbers they reported are that 31% of Black and 22% of Hispanic adults say they have witnessed someone being shot. 34% of Black adults say they have a family member who was killed by a gun compared to 17% of white ones.
I'd say ah ok that's it. That's why "we don't do anything" because it's not happening to white people often enough but I don't think that's it because it already happens more to white people here than it does to white people anywhere else too. They've got systemic and interpersonal racism pretty much everywhere else. We might be very good at it here but we don't have a monopoly on it.
We do have the guns though. All of the guns.
Do you think about this shit constantly? Perhaps not but do you not at least carry it around inside of you anyway? A seed of dormant foreboding waiting to bloom into its full fearful potential? Do you not wear it strapped to your back like a heavy satchel?
I tend to think about it more frequently in the aftermath of a notable mass shooting – feeling a bit more on edge in large public gatherings or in malls or other common staging grounds for mass murder – but those happen so frequently the reprieves in between don't last very long.
Perhaps it's not so bad for me because I live in Massachusetts which has the lowest rate of gun deaths per 100,000 people according to the CDC.
Coincidentally Massachusetts also happens to have some of the strictest gun laws in the country alongside Hawaii, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York and a few others. States with stronger gun laws have fewer gun deaths according to Every Town. Sounds crazy right?
Also worth noting is that Hawaii has some of the strictest gun laws and fewest gun deaths. Just guessing here but that could have something to do with the fact that you can't buy a gun in a neighboring state with few restrictions and just pop on over to the one next door with the gun in your trunk there. You really have to work for it to bring a gun into Hawaii unlike say from a state neighboring Illinois.
We spent a few days in New Orleans earlier this week and it was very much as advertised in its invitation to indulgence and architectural beauty and history and culinary delights but at a couple of points in the midst of my reverie wandering around a crowded riverside music festival or shouldering through the decadent tumult of the French Quarter a memory or a premonition or a shudder of some kind ran through me and I thought what fun we're all having here. Wouldn't this be the ideal setting for a mass shooting?
Louisiana for what it's worth ranks second to worst in the rate of firearm mortality in the country. They have an F on the gun law scorecard done by the Giffords Law Center but that's not exactly an outlier. The majority of states get an F.
I don't know what my point is supposed to be here.
Perhaps it's like when you see a dead bird on the sidewalk when you're walking and you want to take a picture of it.
To remind yourself of death.
The opposite of trying to capture a pretty sunset.
Maybe that's just me?
A good number of the deaths we're talking about here are of course done in the pursuit of our safety by the brave boys in blue. There has been one single day so far this year in which a person was not killed by police according to Mapping Police Violence.
1,238 were killed in 2022.
I don't know how to find out how many they merely injured.
What a relief to be merely injured by a gun by the way. To have your life changed in that circumscribed manner. To struggle to live and go through months or years of recovery. Maybe never to get over it physically. Likely to never get over it emotionally. All of that being a much better outcome than it could have been.
One murder we can now (even more so than before) credit to the police is the case of Manuel Esteban Paez Teran. Back in March we reported on the results of an independent autopsy that found that the Atlanta forest defender was likely seated with their hands raised when he was shot to death.
DeKalb County has now released their own official autopsy in which they found that there was no gun residue on Tortugita's hands making the police's initial claim that the protester had fired on them first an even more obvious lie.
They were shot 57 times the autopsy found. It was hard to tell if their hands were in fact raised the report said because the body moved around a lot during the shooting which I think is fair to assume would happen in such a scenario. It would be hard to maintain your posture at a time like that.
When there are so many bullets flying all around us sometimes the only available option left is the obvious one.
If you appreciate what you read here please subscribe to support my work please and thank you.
I'm reminded of this story in my new book.
A couple of other things people have posted about it recently.
Elsewhere Trump has announced his plan to address homelessness. Like others before him Republican and Democrat alike his big idea is... a concentration camp.
Andreina Kniss wrote about the stubborn persistence of proposals like this recently for Hell World.
But despite the false promise of services, freedom, and care, the stark reality underlying this fantasy is the forced removal of the unwanted from society. We the civilized (housed), stay here while the uncivilized (unhoused) go over there. Somewhere we don’t have to think or look at them, and where they can learn some respect for the Rule of Law. It’s forced separation of those people whose visible destitution spurs unavoidable cognitive dissonance for passersby who instinctively recognize the injustice that some should have so much, while others suffer and die in the streets of the wealthiest nation in history.
The dissonance is the issue being solved mind you. Not the suffering.
Importantly, the people seeking to profit from the crisis of homelessness by pushing for more mass incarceration and displacement, like Sunbreak Ranch chairman George Mullen, the co-author of Walton's op-ed, know how to spin it so all of the worries of good polite liberals and former hippies like Walton are quelled. They often say something like “This is to keep us and them safe. This is for their own good. This isn’t a concentration camp, it’s a community.”
I took a lot of pretty photos in New Orleans but here is one people seemed to appreciate.
And a couple more.
Here are a couple of unrelated things worth feeling something about this morning.
Thanks for reading. Chip in for a subscription if you can.