America’s Latest Mass Shooting

Stairway to Hell.

It’s understandable, perhaps even inevitable, how Thursday night’s events have been framed, and how the consequences are playing out. We have to think back to our early childhood in the Sixties to find such a perfect storm of racial and police tension.

Except it’s not that.

The Black Lives Matter march itself was, by all accounts we’ve read, commendably peaceful. The Dallas police themselves have been working diligently, institutionally — and successfully — to reduce the kinds of incidents that have given rise to such marches. They were present to keep the peace, but they hadn’t shown up in full riot gear, like an occupying force.

And then, as the march was ending, somebody deployed a semi-automatic assault rifle.

Remove that from the situation, and there’s nothing for us to talk about now.

This was, in all significant respects, yet another mass shooting, no different in the operative detail than all the rest we can cite from memory. The motives of the shooter, the identity of the victims, all of that is incidental to the fact that we as a nation are led by craven politicians who allow easy access to such weapons despite overwhelming public will to the contrary.

That’s why it happens, whether in a school, a church, an office party, a nightclub, or at a march. And that’s why it will continue to happen, because politicians are too frightened to address the actual cause.


On slightly brighter news…

Six more women come forward to claim Jabba The Ailes was clamoring for them to dance for him or wear metal bikinis for his slobbering pleasure.

@ManchuCandidate: they’re calling him the “Cosby of the Newsroom”.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel:
Needs more Roofies for that to stick.

I prefer the Jabba metaphor (Nojo doesn’t.)

@ManchuCandidate: It really says something that the Jabba lawsuit was the least revolting news of the last week.

Whatta year. Though I’ve been told by people who were around at the time that 1968 is still the most violent year in the US in living memory.

@ManchuCandidate: My only issue with Jabba is that it forces me to visualize something I was happy to leave in the unfocused abstract.

@¡Andrew!: I know 1968 as a 9-year-old, which is an odder perspective than either a then-adult or someone not born yet.

I have clear memories of the RFK/MLK headlines, but what do I have to compare them to? That’s the world as I found it, not some break with an established past.

Ask someone with a more established perspective, and 1968 was thoroughly fucked, from Tet to the assassinations to the convention to Wallace and Nixon. We’re not close today to that scale and scope, but there’s a reason everyone is coming to that comparison anyway.

@nojo: @¡Andrew!: I was 7, and remember it being a scary time. We were on a road trip in Georgia that summer and I remember having to hide under the table at a restaurant because there was a race riot outside after some incident. I thought assassinations were something that happened all the time. My asshole grandfather voted for Wallace. My grandmother was distraught over RFK. I recall asking our housekeeper if she was sad about MLK, and she said something to the effect of “that’s what happens when you speak out.” I remember the riots on TV. I remember how shaken and unsettled the grown-ups were. I feel that way now. I wouldn’t be in Cleveland for the world.

@Mistress Cynica: I actually don’t remember Chicago, which would have been unavoidable on TV — networks were still doing “gavel-to-gavel’ convention coverage at the time, and, of course, no cable. Maybe the family was in Yellowstone that week.

Nixon on Laugh-In, that I remember…

And Cleveland? Our country may be going to hell, but at least we’re gonna get a good shitshow out of it.

@nojo & @Mistress Cynica: The lack of widespread riots (yet) seems to be the biggest difference, though the totally random mass murders more than makes up for their absence.

I’m surprised that we haven’t seen the resurgence of radical leftist groups (yet) like Students for a Democratic Society, especially since the Millennials are uber-screwed.

Don’t worry too much about the historical parallels, though. Just look how great everything turned out in the 70s.

@¡Andrew!: Yeah, about those Leftists…

My after-school sitter had a Vietnam map on her livingroom wall, showing where her Army cook son was stationed. I checked my Lottery number every year, although ultimately I was too young for the Draft and too old for Registration.

Leftist politics had practical aims for kids facing practical consequences. No conditions like that today, not with that kind of imnediacy. Radicalization is happening elsewhere in the world, where the future is even more hopeless.

All that said: Kent State. When they start shooting white kids, you’ll know we’ve reached the limit.

@nojo: have you read the “hamburger dick” thing? No? Google it.

You’re welcome.

@nojo: I can’t wait. It will be like “Ameeican Horroe Story:Freakshow” without the Bowie cover.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: “Browse Hamburger Dick pictures, photos, images, GIFs, and videos on Photobucket.”

Yeah, no.

I was in the last lottery but the draft ended along with our withdraw from it. I dutifully carried the card for about 10 years. In 1968 I was barely aware who MLK was but was aware of RFK because he was Irish Catholic. I knew about the IRA and “Troubles”. Ten years later more people died by gun violence in Detroit than had been killed in a decade in Ulster, but the Irish got more press.

I remember Chicago more because it WAS live and the language wasn’t bleeped.

I still become furious whenever I really think about Vietnam as well as Kent State. That one incident made me really sit up and pay attention more than anything.

@DElurker: I recently watched the ABC convention coverage with Buckley and Vidal. Fun times.

@nojo: Have you seen Best of Enemies? Highly entertaining.

@mellbell: I think that was it, actually: Convention, Dick Cavett appearances, etc.

As some states put concealed or open carry laws into place or fail to repeal them, they will become places where fewer people will want to live, and corporations will not want to relocate there or establish offices. Alabama arrested a Mercedes executive because they thought he was an illegal. North Carolina is losing millions because of their LGBT laws. If hate trumps (yes, I went there) business interests, these states will wither and die on the vine. And fuck ’em. Fuck ’em all.

I currently live in one of the most insecure geotags on the globe, and at least a third of the people I see in a daily basis is carrying. Some are wearing full on battle rattle but most just have handguns.

Every single one of them sports a badge clearly identifying them as licensed to carry. And to a man and a woman, they like it that way.

Meanwhile, you have Aging George Bush dancing in Dallas. WTF?

@Beggars Biscuit: Shrub did not look good, and he either is hitting the sauce or has Alzheimer’s.

Courtesy of Mistress Cynica, here’s one hilarious account of his behavior.

@SanFranLefty: I won’t be surprised when we learn that CaliguBush had booze and coke-induced dementia the entire time, and Laura and Cheney were pulling the strings. History shampoos, rinses, and repeats.

Also, his faux Tecksus twang still triggers my punching reflex. To quote the saintly, wise Dolly Parton from 9 to 5, “I say we hire a coupla wranglers to beat the shit outta him.” But I’m not bitter, tee hee hee.

@¡Andrew!: Quick quiz: which other president may have done drugs in the White House?

You KNOW the Big Dog did.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: It’s a trick question, since Nancy Reagan was the defacto president, and she used amphetamines and Sebastian Shaper in quantities that would’ve instantly killed even the most hard-lived White Party twink.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: What ¡Andrew! said – are you talking legal or illegal drugs? Besides Nancy, weren’t JFK and Nixon were hopped up on poppers out the ying-yang, and JFK also smoked weed regularly to deal with his back injuries?

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment