By David Pescovitz at 12:04 pm Mon, Aug 13, 2012
A gunman who opened fire from a home near Texas A&M University and shot multiple people, including police officers, has just been taken into custody. (CNN)
UPDATE: Three people, including the shooter, were killed. Three others were injured. More details at The Eagle
May the gun possession apology begin.
You can’t stop crazy with gun laws. The only way to attempt to stop crazy would affect ALL of our civil liberties.
You can’t stop crazy with ANY laws, but you can mitigate harm by working toward a reasonable balance between civil liberties and public safety.
I agree with your statement – but I imagine we disagree what that balance is.
But you can mitigate harm, while working on what is wrong. There’s obviously something rotten in the US at the moment if there’s homegrown gunmen who decide to shoot up schools and cinemas with high powered weapons. The only function of guns is to hurt and kill. A hand gun is fine for protection. There’s really something wrong in the country if it needs high powered guns to protect itself from itself.
Best source is currently here: http://www.theeagle.com/article/20120813/BC0101/120819835/1148&slId=1
so once again “Now is not the time to discuss gun control”. -sigh-
Is it just me, or has this summer had an insane amount of violence. It seems to be reaching 1968 levels of unrest, though it seems like it’s often stripped of politics, while most of the 68 violence was specifically political in nature… What the hell is happening?
The heat drives people to madness, I suppose.
(Edit: I’m only being one-quarter serious.)
I was starting to think that the heat drove people to mellowness, if not outright lethargy, after visiting Oman for three weeks in May. I don’t recall the daytime high temperature dropping below 105F. As far as cities go, Muscat was the most quiet and laid-back place I have ever encountered (and I lived in Austin for 14 years). It seemed too damn hot to get worked up, excited, or angry.
(Of course, Oman is not the United States, they are presumably acclimated to the extreme heat, and my idea does not account for the Dhofar Rebellion)
“Stripped of politics”? Did you not see the mosque shooter’s swastika?
Yeah, you’re right on that. He’s the most explicitly political of the shootings, but I feel like even that is being talked about in far more cultural terms than in more political terms. I feel like, even though he had these very specific political orientations, it is still being stripped of political meaning in some weird way. We can’t bring up the gun question and everyone goes nuts if you call one of these right wing shooters “terrorist”, because it has been so deeply ingrained in our culture for the past decade or so that that term is reserved for certain kinds of political violence (that itself has not political meaning, and is just in fact a bunch of people who hate America for no real reason and are just a bunch of fundie nut bags – although scholars like Mahmood Mahmdani have been arguing against that)… Plus, despite that, we have no real idea about why he did specifically what he did – why this temple imparticular. Why these specific people. What made him snap at this particular time and date?
I’m not sure that makes much sense or if I’m even right on this, but things feel far less political in any meaningful sense lately, and everything in this country is this existential crisis. Politics is no longer a conversation, but just that – competing existential crisises…
Oh, I see what you’re saying: yes, I agree that these shootings are being framed as apolitical, when what’s really going on is massive inequality and white supremacy and their discontents. I do feel more politicized than I ever have before, but that’s probably because I’ve walked away from electoral politics and become a balls-to-the-wall intersectional anarchafeminist, and so have my friends :)
Good for you… I’m afraid I can’t say the same. I’m probably more politicized in thought, but less so in deed. But I probably have far less time to do such things now a days, sorry to say. I’m probably just making excuses though.
Relevant: “Top Ten differences between white terrorists and others”
Are you talking about the Wisconsin shooting? That was a Sikh temple, not a mosque.
Hard to tell, what with all the turbans all over the place.
We have the same amount of crazy people that we’ve always had. However, we have over 200 million guns in the USA. We have 90 guns for every 100 citizens. So, any whack-job in America can get a gun easily.
I think we probably have far more crazy people who are not being taken care of, less people having access to pyschiatric care and then returning vets who are not getting the care they need more often than not. I agree gun control is part of the solution, but don’t forget that overall crime rates with guns are in general way down. There is something else happening here. Guns might be part of the problem, but gun control is not a silver bullet, so to speak (no pun intended here).
It’s gun culture.
Not a gunman. A terrorist. Let’s start calling a spade a spade here.
Those aren’t mutually exclusive terms.
And terrorism requires an explicit goal to create terror, especially as part of a larger goal (such as political change). If his goal was just “killing people”, he’s not a terrorist.
one only has to scan the media to realize that “terrorism” has all but lost any of its original meaning by now. it is now regularly applied to any effort that runs contrary to the speakers’ opinion.
perhaps one could still wring some good out of the term if we described these horrifically common events as “gun-terrorism”
I’m personally OK with the FBI’s definition:
Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”
Does that fit this shooter? Too soon to say.
[EDIT: It now seems safe to say “no, that description doesn’t appear to fit this shooter at all.”]
What Sagodjur said.
Also, we still don’t know exactly what the guy did or why, so it’s a bit premature to use that term unless you happen to use an unusually broad definition.
Some guy goes nuts because he’s being evicted from his property and you call him a terrorist? What was he doing, standing up for renter rights or something?
Now I recall something like this happening south of Austin about 10 or 12 years ago. I can’t remember why they were serving or arresting him, but apparently there was a warning that the perpetrator could be dangerous (I recall the officer(s) never received the warning).
A&M Former Student here. I live out of state, but know enough to clarify that this incident appears to have taken place off campus. About 2-3 blocks off campus, but still off. Not that anything in the entire area isn’t related to the campus in some way. It’s a relatively small town for such a large school.
No speculation on what happened, as I am just as much in the dark as the rest of you.
I wonder how much the 24 hour news cycle has to do with this sort of thing.
With all of the excessive coverage of the killings/shootings, it makes it appeal more to nutjobs that don’t normally reach the tipping point and do anything worse than ranting and raving and barking at garbage cans.
Its not just the “death toll” of the shootings. If you look at deaths only from Aurora, there was a one car accident (pickup truck stuffed with 20+ illegals) within a few days of that incident that involved more people being killed (14 died and the rest were all seriously injured IIRC).
Is it news… yes. Could someone copycat it.. not likely. So its not covered and sensationalized as much as a shooting.
The media is falling all over them selves to come up with anything at all to talk about Aurora or the Sikh shootings.
Atleast they are not gassing on about Al Capones Road Maps (yet).
I’ll just post this again…
“I wonder how much the 24 hour news cycle has to do with this sort of thing.”
If this was somebody who shot a constable who came to his door to talk to him or deliver a warrant, probably not one single bit.
Reading TFA, I see, “…Officer Jason James, with the police department in Bryan adjacent to College Station, told CNN that “there is a possibility that it was an eviction.”
Fucks sake, America!? What is going on with all this gunman-shooting-strangers? This news makes me sad and angry.
It’s rather reminiscent of Josephus’s description of the descent into factionalism and random violence in The Jewish War.
Newer reports are the gunman is dead. Apparently he was being served an eviction notice and went cray-cray. It doesn’t sound like a pre-meditated shooting.
Sounds like the start of Postal.
BB needs a “FUDitor” – the shooting was “near” TAMU, not “at” TAMU. Big difference. You know a lot of people are going to read the headline and just post the first “FFS America” and gun comment without RTFA.
Also it was the front yard of a house, so not a “gunman goes on rampage at public location” story. More likely your “average residential shooter” story. TFA suggests the guy was getting evicted.
Since when are residential shooters “average”? Since when are any shooters “average”?
If we’re not going to regulate guns (and frankly, with 3D printing/machining, that is a losing battle), then we should teach every citizen how to use them properly and have free (possibly mandatory) psychiatric care nationwide.
Also might need to add xanax to the water supply.
I’m not sure what “teaching people to use guns properly” would do to prevent incidents like this one. The first person killed and two of the people wounded were not only trained in the use of firearms, they were presumably carrying them at the time.
Exactly. The fact is, even a competent gun user is a lousy protection against another gun user. Being able to shoot straight on the range != actually being able to use it rapidly and wisely in a crisis – an extremely rare skill.
Actual firefight experience is the only thing that helps much… and we can be eternally grateful that the average cop doesn’t have, or need, any.
Also, if I’m ever in a situation where some crazy dude is trying to shoot me then I’d actually prefer that he had as little training in the use of firearms as possible.
Yeah. Teaching people how to escape from an area where guns are being discharged would be a lot more useful than teaching them how and when to return fire.
Random bystanders pulling out their guns would just about *always* make things worse. I am sceptical that any plausible amount of firearms training would alter this, and would prefer not to live near anyone who believes otherwise.
But I thought that guns were for family protection, hunting down dangerous and delicious animals and to keep the king of England out of our faces? Lol
In general, I don’t like my public policy made in times of extreme emotion.
Two points on that:
1) Name me one important public policy change that wasn’t made in times of extreme emotion. Wars, depressions, hard-fought civil rights battles, tragedies that take hundreds of innocent lives—these are also the things that led to everything from workplace safety laws to the Emancipation Proclamation.
2) In case you haven’t noticed, these mass shootings happen with pretty horrifying regularity now. If we can’t discuss gun control during the aftermath of a shooting then we may never get a chance to discuss it at all.
so if these repeated scenes of bloody gun horror can be engineered to occur approximately at the rate of one media cycle then gun control need never be considered at all – brilliant!
Are we really in the throes of extreme emotion? How extreme can our response be when shooting sprees happen every week?
Neither do I. However, it seems like there is never a period during which we are not recovering from the last shooting. And should such a time come, my bet is the politicians will see the lull as a reason to postpone action to see if we have all learned our collective lesson about guns.
The time to take action on guns is yesterday.
A psycho without a gun can still kill people, but usually only one or two at a time. When was the last time a knife-wielding maniac went on a rampage that left a body count in the double-digits?
Why don’t we just make it harder to get guns than it is to obtain mental health services? Then it wouldn’t really be much of a problem. Christ it’s even harder to get a driver’s license renewal than a gun!
Those incidents didn’t get as much news coverage stateside because they happened in other countries, not because the media ignores mass murderers who don’t use guns.
And those extreme cases STILL didn’t reach into the double digits.
So, psychos don’t use Explosives and fire?
Actually, didn’t a knife wielding maniac kill like 11 people two weeks ago in China? And aren’t gun murders usually only one or two at a time as well?
Checking… whoops, 13 casualties but only nine dead. My bad, nine people clearly isn’t enough for it to be a big deal.
Not as often, no. And frankly, it’s a lot easier for most Americans to buy a gun than a stick of dynamite.
No home-made explosives then?
I’m looking at this in terms of the total dead, It’s a no brainer to go with explosives for max Carnage.
And I’m looking at this in terms of how ACTUAL psychopaths tend to kill people, and how the number and regularity of mass killings in our country compare to mass killings in countries that have similar demographics but different gun regulations.
Sorry if I confused or deceived you, I’m Australian and see nothing wrong with gun control, it seems to work well here.
@GoatLordMessiah:disqus : My mistake, I took you for a gun apologist. I spend a year in Australia and thought your country seemed to have a pretty reasonable stance on firearms. (This was a year or two after the 1996 laws went into effect.)
Yes it can and does happen, but isn’t it telling that one has to scour news stories from around the globe to find examples of murderers who stack up body counts that are even close to those that American gunmen create with terrifying regularity?
Let’s use your China example: China has a population over four times that of the United States, so theoretically they should have four times the number of mass murders. So why don’t they?
Strangely, more Chinese seem to get killed in mine accidents than anything else. I find that odd.
Admittedly, the US definitely manages to make this sort of stuff a lot more appealing than many other countries do. Guns everywhere are part of it, sure, and we could use more decent gun controls, but I guarantee we’d just figure out some other suitably violent ways to play the villain. Guns aside, we’re still more violent than a lot of other places, and we’ve got our own special American ways to express it.
I’m not against tighter gun regulations, but thinking that stuff like this is “because of guns” is a bit off, in my opinion. Regulating guns in a big way may save a few lives each time this happens (probably not worth the money and effort since, lets be honest, that many and effort could probably save way more lives in many other areas if saving lives is the goal) – but it’s still not exactly addressing the underlying issues.
While we’re sorta kinda maybe violating the constitution, though, I’d honestly prefer we limit the first amendment here as well, and put some rules on reporting this sort of stuff to avoid the copycat effect.
You mean like the police officer that was shot initially? Maybe he left his gun in his car or something. Or they are you suggesting the police are prevented from carrying guns?
You’re kidding, right?
Don’t you know the secret librul soft-on-crime agenda? If Obama is reelected he’s planning to enact laws which would prevent police officers from shooting back until they’ve sustained at least three bullet wounds. WAKE UP, SHEEPLE.
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