So, another mass shooting.
How many is that this year? This month? This week?
You know, it sure does seems like…
What’s the problem?
We’re only two lines in and already you’re rolling your eyes? Already you’ve got your hand up? You didn’t even let me get through the introduction. How could you possibly have an objection already?
You have a problem with the phrasing? “Mass shootings,” you say? That’s the problem? Oh, I see. It’s like sex with Bill Clinton, it depends on how you define the words. Mass shootings. It’s not as bad as it seems. It’s all media hype. Liberal hysteria. False Flags by the gun grabbers.
It’s really not that bad.
Why in most of the recent shootings only one or two people have died.
One. Maybe two.
That’s not so bad. Right?
See, for a mass shooting you need four dead people.
That’s right. It’s got to be four dead victims, not three kids and then the gunman shoots himself. Not one dead and a dozen wounded and the cops kill the bad guy, no, Sir. For it to count you’ve got to have a pile of dead people. At least four of them, that’s the deal.
We’re talking penetration here, not oral gratification.
Four dead, minimum. Preferably more. And they’ve got to be Christians, see? Preferably good God-fearin’ white people. A bunch of unarmed black people killed by a rightwing racist in a church? Doesn’t count. A liberal US congresswoman and her staff and constituents? Doesn’t count. Bunch of people watching a Batman movie when they should have been home studying the Bible? Doesn’t count. School full of kindergarteners? Doesn’t count and they were probably all “crisis actors” anyway. When liberals talk about 30,000 dead each year from guns, well, most of those are singletons, one dumb kid shoots another dumb kid, suicides, black people in Chicago shooting other black people, losers, and like that. Accidents. Stuff happens. Those don’t count.
Gun violence, you see, is on the decline. That’s what they tell us – well, except in the giant gun-free death zone known as Chicago where black liberal thugs rape and murder each other on the streets pretty much 24 hours a day. But other than that, if you eliminate all cases that do not involve Radical Muslim Extremists shooting White Conservative Christians, gun violence is on the decline. Hardly ever happens.
And when it does, well, it’s crazy people who are to blame.
Last weekend, Jeb Bush explained during an interview on WHOTV’s The Insiders how mass shootings in the US are caused by mental illness:
“We can lessen it [mass shootings and gun violence]. And we need to look at: What are the common denominators of these very public mass murders where people then commit suicide?”
What are the common denominators?
What is the common denominator in “these very public mass murders?”
What’s the common denominator? Well, let’s do the math: September 1999, Fort Worth, Texas, a gunman killed six people during a prayer service, then he committed suicide. October 2002, it was the Washington DC Sniper, ten dead. August 2003, Chicago, a gunman locked six of his former coworkers in a conference room and shot them dead, then he killed himself. November 2004, Birchwood, Wisconsin, a hunter got into an argument with a group of sportsmen over a trespassing issue, the hunter ended the argument by killing six and wounding two. March 2005, Brookfield, Wisconsin, a man walked into a church and shot seven people dead, praise the Lord. October 2006, Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, a disgruntled truck driver shot five Amish schoolgirls to death and wounded six others before taking his own life. April 2007, Virginia Tech, an angry former student set a record with the deadliest mass shooting in the US in recent years, he killed thirty-two people and wounded fifteen others. Go Team. August 2007, Delaware State University, three students were shot and killed execution style by a 28-year-old and two 15-year-old boys, a fourth student was shot and stabbed. December 2007, Omaha, Nebraska, a 20-year-old man killed nine people and wounded five others in a shopping mall. A few days later, on Christmas Eve, a woman and her boyfriend gunned down six members of her family in their house in Carnation, Washington. February 2008, Chicago, a gunman tied up and shot six women at a clothing store, five of them died. February 2008, DeKalb, Illinois, a man opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University, he killed five students and wounded sixteen others. September 2008, Alger, Washington, a mentally ill man who was released from jail one month earlier shot eight people, six died. December 2008, Covina, California, a man dressed up like Santa Claus killed nine people at a family Christmas party, then he set the house on fire and shot himself. March 2009, Alabama, a 28-year-old drove through several towns randomly shooting people, he managed to kill ten. March 2009, North Carolina, a heavily-armed gunman stormed into a nursing home and killed eight elderly residents and wounded two more before police killed him. March 2009, Santa Clara, California, six people were shot dead in an apartment building. April 2009, Binghamton, New York, a man shot thirteen people to death in a bloody rampage at the town civic center. July 2009, Houston, Texas, six people were shot in a drive-by shooting at a community rally on the campus of Texas Southern University. November 2009, Fort Hood, Texas, a U.S. army major opened fire on his fellows in the middle of a crowded processing center filled with troops preparing for deployment, he killed thirteen and wounded forty-two. January 2011, Tucson, Arizona, a gunman opened fire at a public gathering outside a grocery store, he killed six people including a nine-year-old girl and wounded twelve more including a US Congresswoman. July 2012, Aurora, Colorado, a gunman dressed up like a comic book villain stormed into a packed movie theater and started shooting, he killed twelve and wounded fifty-eight more. August 2012, Oak Creek, Wisconsin again, a gunman killed six people at Sikh temple before being shot dead by police. September 2012, Minneapolis, a gunman kills six including himself and wounds five more inside a small sign company. December 2012, Newtown, Connecticut, a 20-year old gunman killed his mother and then shot his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed twenty small children, six adults, and himself. February 2013, a former Navy officer and Los Angeles policeman declared war on the LAPD, over a period of nine days he killed four people including three police officers and wounded three more before eventually committing suicide by cop. March 2013, Herkimer, upstate New York, a 64-year old man lit his apartment on fire, then coolly walked into a local barber shop and killed two people, then he drove to another business and killed two more, then he killed a police dog and was subsequently gunned down by the canine’s human partners. June 2013, Santa Monica, California, a 23-year old man went on a killing spree that left six people dead and four wounded and ended when he was shot dead by police inside the Santa Monica College Library. July 2013, Hialeah, Florida, a man living with his mother lit their apartment on fire and then went on a rampage throughout the living complex, he killed seven before police returned the favor. September 16, 2013, twelve more dead at the Washington Navy Yard. April 2, 2014, Fort Hood, Texas, four more dead, including the shooter. June 17, 2015, Charleston, South Carolina, a racist sat quietly for an hour among the congregation of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, then without warning he murdered nine people during prayer service and wounded a tenth – he was hoping to start a race war. July 20, 2015, Chattanooga, a self-declared Jihadist suffering from depression and drug use, mad at the US government, shot up a military recruiting center in a strip mall then drove to a local Navy operations support center and launched another attack, he killed four Marines and a Sailor and then died in a gunfight with law enforcement. July 23, 2015, Lafayette, Louisiana, a drifter with a gun fired thirteen rounds into a crowded movie theater, he killed two people, wounded nine, and then turned the gun on himself when police closed in (yes, he only killed two, but I give him an A for effort). October 1, 2015, a college campus in Oregon, ten dead, and the shooter killed himself after being wounded by police.
So? What do they all have in common?
What’s the common denominator? What’s the one thing common to all these mass shootings?
Is it Muslims? Is it males? Is it military targets? Is it children? Is it schools? Is it movie theaters? Malls? What could it be?
Wait, hang on. I think I might know. Is it … guns?
Heh heh, nice try, Jim. Nope.
“And I think the one common denominator that’s pretty clear is, there’s a huge mental health challenge in our country."
Ah, mental health. I should have seen that coming.
Guns don’t kill people, folks, crazy people with guns kill people.
Obviously all of those people up above, all of those mass murderers, were mentally ill. Sure, you don’t just go around murdering people if you’re not nuts. That’s it. Well, thank God we figured that out, right?
We have a huge mental health challenge in our country.
And do you know why? (Hint: it’s not because we don’t provide funding and care)
“And people that live in isolation, they go on the internet, they live their lives there, they get deeply disturbed, and then they get worse, and they commit these atrocious acts. There should be some intervention earlier. If people have deep mental health challenges, they shouldn’t have access to purchase guns.”
It’s the internet!
That’s the problem. The internet makes people crazy. In fact, I’m probably crazy right now from writing this blog on the internet. You’re probably all crazy, mad as hatters, from being here on the internet. Look down, are you drooling yourselves? Show of hands, how many of you are Napoleon? Why, it’s Facebook! It’s Twitter! It’s internet porn! It’s video games! We’re all going bang bang crazy! It’s making us deeply disturbed, that’s what it is!
It’s not guns, hell no.
It’s mental health. It’s the crazy people. They’re the ones! And do you know what? People who have mental health challenges shouldn't be able to purchase guns – it's okay if they already have guns, but they shouldn't be allowed to buy any more. See?
So, something we can agree on, Jeb Bush and me, crazy people shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns. Common ground, at last. Well, now we’re getting somewhere.
“I don’t know the facts about the case in Oregon, how this young man got his guns, but he clearly had mental health challenges. And the capturing system for mental health in this country is not as wide as it needs to be. And so I think states ought to look at this, to determine how you can protect privacy rights for people, but make sure that we get adequate information, so that people don’t fall through the cracks.”
What did Jeb just say?
Now now, hang on. Let’s for the sake of brevity, leave aside the part where he admits he doesn't actually "know the facts" but he's pretty sure the cause of mass murder is the gun lobby catchall, "mental illness,” – a position apparently based on NRA pamphlets and juju magics since there’s no validated scientific evidence for it and agencies which could produce such studies are forbidden by law and lack of funding from engaging in it. I mean, he might be right, but how would you know?
Let’s just go with Bush on this one: Mental illness causes all mass shootings.
Mental illness causes mass shootings. Crazy people with guns. Okay. I want to hear more about this "capturing system" for mental health, the one good enough to provide "adequate information" on every person in the US, which will presumably be reliable enough to flag everybody with even the most vague of "mental health" issues and then be able to determine which ones will become dangerous gun waving mass murders at some future date.
I think there was a science fiction movie about that a while back, wasn’t there?
Mental health screening that can tell who will become a gun waving mass murder, and the system can do it to such a degree of accuracy conservatives like Bush would be willing to pass a law, or an amendment to the Constitution, and fully fund it, which would subsequently deny these crazy murderous bastards the right to buy guns.
Yeah, let’s hear more about that, because I find that idea fascinating.
While he’s at it, I’d like Bush to explain who exactly would be gathering this information (since, you know, conservatives have passed laws specifically preventing the medical community from asking any patient – no matter how disturbed – about their access to firearms.
I’d like to hear Bush explain who exactly would be reviewing such information should it somehow magically be acquired. There are a lot of guns purchased in America every day, thousands, we’re going to need a lot more government. Or would this be contracted out? Outsource to India maybe? How much is this going to cost? Who’s going to pay for it? Perhaps we could find a bunch of psychologists to conduct the exams and review the records on a voluntary basis, for the good of the community – or is that too socialist?
And what is the criteria we’ll be using to determine future murderous intent? Is mild depression grounds for denial of gun ownership? Or do you have to show up for the interview in a camouflage tutu wearing a mask made from the flensed face-skin of your grandma while laughing maniacally muwahahahahahHAha! Will your mental health status be reviewed by an actual panel of doctors trained in such behavior? Will Tom Cruise receive a magic red ball etched with the details of your future crime by a pre-cognitive mutant kept in a vat? Or will it be somebody experienced and educated in sane and rational firearms use, like, say Ted Nugent?
Oh, now I’m just being silly, am I?
Look, Bush started it, you got a beef, you take it up with him.
“Had there been intervention in this guy’s case, he was in the military, he was, I think he got, he was discharged dishonorably, I believe, I don’t know what the exact circumstance, but he left within months of his enlisting, there should be some way to identify these things."
I don’t know.
I’m not sure, but….
But there should be some way to identify these things.
Like fully funding veteran’s healthcare? Like spending as much on what happens after the war as waging it? Like funding Veterans mental health services as if it was an F-35 Strike Fighter assembly line in a Red State. Like throw money at it as if it was an oil subsidy? Like that? Is that what we’re talking about?
No? No, I suppose not.
So, anyway, we should have some kind of mental health screening for gun ownership.
Mental health, that’s the common denominator, that’s the problem. We need better mental healthcare in this country.
Everybody got that?
Better mental healthcare. Mental screening before allowing a gun purchase.
Anybody want to argue? No?
All right then. So, exactly how would President Bush (you have no idea how much it hurts me to type that) address the situation as he's outlined it? How would President Jeb Bush keep crazy people from buying guns?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Today, Jeb Bush unveiled his plan to repeal and "replace" the Affordable Care Act, i.e. Obamacare.
Bush's plan in a nutshell:
- Repeal the individual mandate and make health insurance a benefit voluntarily provided by your employer. Like it was in the Old Republic, before the dark times, before Obama.
- Remove federal subsidies designed to help people buy health insurance and return control of healthcare plans to employers. Because if you believe in capitalism, well, then you know the free market is best suited to decide your healthcare needs. The free market and your boss.
- “Encourage” people to create "healthcare savings plans,” apparently with all the extra money that will be trickling down from the benevolent largess of Wall Street. Because healthcare savings plans worked so very well in the past, just like those retirement saving plans Wall Street used to fuel their last harebrained scheme – you know, that one where they exploded the global economy with bad mortgages and rich people got even more unbelievably rich and everybody else got fucked right in the ass and lost their houses, jobs and healthcare? Like that.
- "Allow" employers to use "financial incentives" to "encourage" wellness. Your employers will encourage “wellness.” Your employer. Will encourage wellness. Be well, everybody!
I guess if you're unemployed you're on your own, wellness wise.
- Gets rid of the ACA's emphasis on preventative care, such as maternity coverage (remember, folks, in Republican Utopia life begins at conception and ends at birth, so once the kid is born, fuck you), annual screenings (such as cancer screening, gynecological exams, diabetes, high blood pressure, and so on), emergency services, those aforementioned wellness programs, and ...
Wait for it.
Waaaaaaait for it.
... MENTAL HEALTH SCREENING!
So, in summary:
Mass shootings are caused by mental illness.
And the cunning plan for addressing this supposed rash of Crazy People With Guns is to give them more guns and less mental health coverage.
It’s just me, isn’t it?
Does anybody else see a problem with this?
Does this seem … crazy to you?
Well, maybe you have to be a Republican.
Then again, it does make it easy to determine at a glance who should be allowed to have guns and who shouldn’t.
Crazy wise, I mean.
Addendum 1: Every time I write one of these, I hope it's the last. But it never is, there's always another massacre. Always.
The Seven Stages of Gun Violence
The Bang Bang Crazy Series:
Part 1, What we need, see, are more guns, big fucking guns
Part 2, Gun violence isn't the exception in America, it's who we are
Part 3, Sandy Hook, the NRA, and a gun in every school
Part 4, More dead kids and why we have laws
Part 5, Gun control and a polite society
Part 6, The Christopher Donner rampage, they needed killin'
Part 7, Still more dead kids and let's print our own guns!
Part 8, Let's try blaming the victim, shall we?
Part 9, Armed soldiers on post, sure, nothing to go wrong there.
Part 10, Big Damned Heroes!
Part 11, Two in the Bush
What do we do about it? How do we change our culture of gun violence? Bang Bang Sanity
Addendum 2: As noted elsewhere, I’ve been around guns my entire life. My dad taught me to shoot when I was a kid – in fact the very first gun I ever fired was my dad’s prized black powder .75 caliber smooth bore Civil War trench piece when I was about four years old. I still own my very first gun, bought from Meyer’s Thrifty Acres in Jenison, Michigan, for me by my dad when I was fourteen years old – a lever action Winchester 30-30. I got my first deer with that gun. I grew up shooting, at home, in the Boy Scouts, hunting, target shooting, plinking, with friends and with family. Thirty years ago I joined the military and spent my entire life there. I know more than a little about guns. I’m a graduate of the Smith & Wesson Rangemaster Academy, the nation’s premier firearms instructor school. I’m a certified armorer and gunsmith. I’ve attended pretty much every boarding officer and gun school the military has. I hold both the Expert Pistol and Expert Rifle Medals. I’ve taught small arms and combat arms to both military and civilians for nearly thirty years now. I’ve fired damned near everything the US military owns, from the old .38 revolver to a US Navy Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser’s 5” main battery – and everything in between. I can still field strip a Colt .45 M-1911 pistol and put it back together in under a minute, blindfolded – I happen to own several of them, along with numerous other semi-auto pistols and a number of revolvers. I used to shoot professionally and in competition. I helped to design, test, field, and fire in combat US Military weapons systems. I’ve spent my entire life in places where gun usage is extremely, extremely, common. I have a Concealed Carry Permit. I’m an Alaskan and I typically carry a gun in the wilds of Alaska on a regular basis. I am neither pro-gun nor anti-gun, a gun is a tool, nothing more. If you feel that I’m ignorant of guns, or that I’m anti-gun, or unAmerican, well, you’re welcome to speak your piece – just so long as you can live with what comes after.