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Reflecting on recent events

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Pink Unicorn
Pink Unicorn's picture

What makes me angry are some of today's responses from US authorities: more resources for threat assessment, social media monitoring, more armed guards at schools, arming teachers etc. And they all ignore the elephant in the room, the gun culture and availability of guns of all sorts. Nobody wants to take on the powerful gun lobby. I just read that "Americans bought about 19.9 million firearms last year (2021)". What the hell?? 

I don't have all the answers but guns are made for one reason only: to kill or destroy. Not to mention the amount of ghost guns in circulation. 

 

Carmen163
Carmen163's picture

It's not possible for me to understand how children can be killed like this in a country, not in a state of war. I was heartbroken when I heard the news yesterday. Imagine your kid not coming home from school because another kid is so lost that he thinks he needs to kill little children. I can't grasp this. 

I was very touched by the speech of senator Murphy of Connecticut. I so very much hope that change will be possible. 

I seriously wonder if the Republicans have some good points too. All I hear about them is about starting wars, violence, guns, abortions, the death penalty, etc. 

I am from the Netherlands and we have a lot of flaws here as well. By no means are we perfect! But I do think that we have some basic human rights a bit more covered. 

Pink Unicorn
Pink Unicorn's picture

I am in total accord with you. 

ST4s
ST4s's picture

I think New Zealand got it right after the Christchurch tragedy – a swift, decisive, and well-considered political response. But don’t hold your breath for the U.S. to approach anything similar. Too many of our minority politicians are too deep into the pockets of the gun lobby. The way it works here, the minority can (and does) put the brakes on all sorts of meaningful progress – which applies to healthcare too, and a bunch of other things.

I also think Rupert Murdoch and his ilk – stoking and profiting from division – are a cancer upon the land. Australia can have him back as far as I’m concerned, but the damage is already done.

And oh look! Here we have yet another mass shooting event! And the gun-loving politicians are sending thoughts and prayers while it’s still a whole lot easier to buy quasi-military-level firearms, or any gun for that matter, than adopt a friggin’ dog here. Sad but true.

 

Pink Unicorn
Pink Unicorn's picture

And this is just beyond sad. My friend in Arkansas bought a bullet proof SCHOOLBAG for her daughter only last week and now this: https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/us-can-learn-from-ireland-about-gun-...

Pink Unicorn
Pink Unicorn's picture

I am acutely aware of what's going on in Ireland's politics and economy. No country is perfect but I'd much rather live here than in the States. At least we have healthcare available even to those who can't pay for it and having a baby doesn't cost anything in hospital fees, neither do ambulance rides or life saving medications like insulin. I guess it's getting more to the point where Ireland is dragging itself out of the clutch of the Catholic Church, point in case abortion rights, whereas other countries backslide into the Dark Ages. And while our prison system has it's dark sides, our justice isn't nearly as heavy handed and juveniles are treated as such, even to the point where they can't be named. 

 

ST4s
ST4s's picture

Umm. Hey Pink Unicorn, yeah, I’m keenly aware of the dichotomy (typed the guy who lives amidst it all but also gets his news from legitimate journalists around the planet). Apparently, you are too, so, congratulations!

Alas, I don’t have any pearls of wisdom for the Irish (though I was very impressed with how your fishermen stared-down those Russian subs a little while back, and my God! How y’all changed the abortion laws there!) yet it’s interesting how Ireland invites international corporations to claim so many gazillions in profits there, barely taxed, with no Irish employees to speak of, thus starving the treasuries of, oh, places like the one I call home. What’s up with that?

And Selosa, I have no pearls of wisdom for Turkey either, though I'd love to see Hagia Sofia (and Istanbul) in person one of these days. I hear it’s breathtaking. Good thing it isn’t near Şirnak, Hakkari, or the Syrian border! I hear it's a big mess over there!

Sly digs aside, my point is this: good exists everywhere, and bad exists everywhere, in varying ratios. What one sees is a function of what one chooses to look at. And what one does about that, changing bad to good, well, that’s the struggle of civilization in a nutshell, right?

That is all I have to say. As you were...

 

Pink Unicorn
Pink Unicorn's picture

The States, despite what the country likes to portray, is one of the most unequal societies in the world. It's a nation deeply divided by many things, not just race. Religions are causing one of those divides, fostering hate and "my God is the only true one". Access to education is few and far between unless your parents are rich. And let's not forget the fact that people have free access to weapons, including assault rifles etc. It's easy to feel "brave" behind the scope of a rifle, especially if you are a mentally or emotionally disturbed person. The counry is a hot mess. I worked there in the '90s and saw it coming from a mile away. While I had never planned to settle there, I cut my work there short and came home early. Onw of my friends there was recently in tears when I spoke to her, she had just purchased a schoolbag for her daughter with bullet-proof filling. How f*cked up is that? Schools have security guards and active shooter drills. Kids get arrested and put in handcuffs, like wtf? Karens calling the cops on anyone and everything.   I could add so much more but I've got to feed my horses. 

Carmen163
Carmen163's picture

@ Pink Unicorn: I freakonomicly ;-) looked a bit more into these figures. As you say, it's good to see it as a whole. Statista.com has added this information to the data you've provided. 

Race of mass shooters reflects the U.S. population

Broadly speaking, the racial distribution of mass shootings mirrors the racial distribution of the U.S. population as a whole. While a superficial comparison of the statistics seems to suggest African American shooters are over-represented and Latino shooters underrepresented, the fact that the shooter’s race is unclear in around 10 percent of cases, along with the different time frames over which these statistics are calculated, means no such conclusions should be drawn. 

But to be honest, why does it even matter what color or background someone has? A black man killed a white man. A white man killed a Jew. A Jew killed an Arab. An Arab killed a Chinese man. What makes this information relevant? Personally, I think there is only one field that needs to register someone's ethnicity and that is healthcare.

Selosa
Selosa's picture

@ST4s, it says "must act" but if there is no punishment for not helping, like if you see brutality and don't act, you will be prosecuted, then it's just empty words I think. Without prosecuting and punishing leos just like civilians, there can not be accountability and the brutality keeps going on. You intervene and stop your superior for example. He will be investigated and most probably found not guilty like majority of such cases. The person who acted will be retaliated against. This is valid not only for US but for all countries I think. Therefore if they really want to stop brutality and violence they must prosecute the leo and the other leos who watched and did nothing.

ST4s
ST4s's picture

Holy crap!!! This just in:

New Justice Dept. policy says agents must intervene if they see abuse

Memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland is the first such policy update in 18 years.

 

It was circulated among rank-and-file federal law enforcement agents today, including those from the Bureau of Prisons, and states: “Officers will be trained in, and must recognize and act upon, the affirmative duty to intervene to prevent or stop, as appropriate, any officer from engaging in excessive force or any other use of force that violates the Constitution, other federal laws, or Department policies on the reasonable use of force.” The policy pertains to DOJ officers only, and is slated to take effect on 19 July.

ST4s
ST4s's picture

Well, I guess seeing a white supremacist/domestic terrorist murderer roughed-up or shot and killed by the police before being taken into custody would send a message, but not one I’d endorse if they were black or brown either. Police (and prison guard) brutality/bad faith/etc. is just plain NO in my book (typed the guy who sent another warden an email on this very topic today, by request) (oh, and to his superiors as well, you know, to keep ‘em in the loop) (frosts me to no end…)

On “why would anyone want to make abortion illegal?” maybe you already know – the great state of New York settled that question three years before Roe v. Wade was even a thing. It became a safe place for women at a time when there were scant few places to turn. I’d expect that whatever happens with the Supreme Court, New York will continue its leadership role, while some parts of the country clearly prefer to align themselves with a “pious” view of women’s subjugation. Here’s looking at you, Texas, Oklahoma, and several others (though you’ll never catch them calling it subjugation; they’ll call it “pro-life” instead, until, of course, the kid is born, and then they’ll suddenly lose interest*).

 

*Case in point – the 192 pro-lifers in congress who just voted against helping to solve the national baby formula shortage, milking it instead for political theater. Kinda tells you everything you need to know, right?

 

Pink Unicorn
Pink Unicorn's picture

No, we have to see it as a whole, not just a fraction of it and we have to be unbiased. "Between 1982 and May 2022, 68 out of the 127 mass shootings in the United States were carried out by white shooters. By comparison, the perpetrator was African American in 21 mass shootings, and Latino in 10. " Given that the population of African Americans is just 13.4% of the American population, 21 shootings are quite a lot. Take the recent shooting in Sacramento, 6 killed, 9 injured. The perpetrators were black and all have prior convictions for violence. Black on black violence is equally high. But back to racism: no one talked about the synagogue shooting perpetrated by an African American because he (like thousands of his fellow believers) are convinced that only Black people are the true Israelites. The Southern Poverty Law office has declared them a Black Supremacy group. They believe and I quote: "Jews are devilish impostors" and they openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery. Racism is not confined to Whites alone. It goes deeper and is more widespread than anyone would like to admit. However, branding one group as perpertrators alone does not help. The colour of skin, religion, lifestyle, sexual orientation etc are all targeted.  

Plenty of white teenagers were tried as adults, my husband being one of them. This whole issue isn't as black and white as you maye think when you dig deeper (pun intended). 

Carmen163
Carmen163's picture

My pp and I have recently read a book called 'Freakonomics'. It's written by two economists and they basically explore what data tells us. One of the questions in this book is: What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime? 

They say that women who need an abortion, mostly have excellent reasons for it. They are (at that moment in their lives) not capable of providing a healthy, safe and prosperous environment for their baby. This means their children grow up in traumatizing and poor conditions, making it much more likely they become criminals. The authors found that in the 1990s there was a considerable downfall in the crime rate that after analyses, could not be accounted for by economic growth, better police tools, more officers, and so on. When they looked into the data, they found that legalized abortion in the 1970s explains a substantial part of the crime decline in the 1990s.

For more information, see this article

Kirsten
Kirsten's picture

Dear J,

I hear you. Being a foreigner, I always tend to think I got no right to say much about these things, as I think I'm not entitled to tell America (or any other country, for that matter) what to do or how to live together or so. Especially since I'm German and the generations of my greatgrandfather and my grandparents certainly did enough to call for a little modesty when it comes to telling others what to do. 

 Yet, in following the news on this latest fatal account of racial violence I also noticed an article, where the perpetrator was called an 18 year old teenager, which is factually true. But reading this I couldn't help  thinking of the guy I've become the closest with from writing pplm who had an ad on this site. He was 16 years old when he committed the crime he's in prison for. And guess what? He got tried as an adult. Anybody seems to ever have thought he was a teenager... I sometimes get a feeling that black or brown boys (but especially black boys) aren't given the benefit of transition (which is exactly what teen age is about). They're either "kids" or "men", without the teenage "neither/nor" in between. And it seems the taller they are (physically, I mean) the easier they're being labelled as "dangerous men", no matter whether they're teenagers or not. And I wonder whether white teens are given somewhat of a space to unfold, develop and grow in that others somehow seem to be denied. Whether this is or isn't true, I can't prove (as said, I'm abroad), but it was an aspect standing out to me these last few days.

Regarding the abortion laws: Well, this lady says it better than I possibly could have. (Wasn't she the one who spoke on Biden's inauguration as well?) But this video is to the point https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=769824127335260

Plus, I'd personally add another thing: The law that is in place now stands and falls with the "right of privacy", as do other things, like, for example, marriage questions, like same sex marriages or even interracial marriages. 

So, if that can of worms regarding birth control and family planning is opened and changed, doors might be wide open to another social rollback which might catapult the US right back into the 19th century. Y'all ought to think closely about whether this 'd be a time and age you'd like to live and wake up in.  

jsmith79
jsmith79's picture
Reflecting on recent events

First, I want to send my deepest condolences to the victims and the families of those impacted by the actions of what took place in Buffalo N.Y. For those out there who say racism doesn't exist or who want to turn a blind eye to this countries blatant favoritism toward acts of hate... Tell me how a person can commit such a crime against anyone and still end up in custody but one after another of my fellow Black & Brown people are constantly being slained in the name of so called justice while either driving there car's or even sitting or sleeping in their own homes... Does anyone find it at least a little suspicious or odd that this young man who just murdered so many people in a public place didn't even have a scratch on him when taken into custody??? It's just crazy how law enforcement personnel seem to shoot and kill so many Black & Brown people who weren't even committing a crime but this guy can drive miles away from his residence do what he did and doesn't get shot or even beaten by the police!!! (Food for thought people). Now on the topic of abortion, Why would anyone want to make abortion illegal??? We talk about being in the land of the free!!! But through politics we turn a freedom into a crime of sort's... Think of the woman who can have complications that can potentially harm them as well as the fetus!!! Think about the woman who may be too young and can't afford to take care of herself, let alone another person!!! Then there's cases of rape and incest!!! Would you want to keep a child that's the product of such a situation??? Much love and respect to all the States like New York (My Home) that will keep abortion available and safe for everyone!!! #respectwomansright.