Kalamazoo Checking In

Hi Everyone, So while I was on Facebook last night arguing the finer points of William Morris textile designs the primary, it turned out there was a mass shooting in Kzoo. I just this moment learned about it from a local paper and my partner learned about it at almost exactly the same time when he got a note from a colleague in Boston. We’re both wtf and in shock. We didn’t hear sirens or anything.

Apparently it was totally random (hard to believe) and the seventh person to die was a 14-year-old girl. [EDIT: apparently she’s gravely injured but alive.] As of now, I don’t think I know anyone who was killed.

Not much else to say. This is horrible news, and I guess thanks to the NRA it’s also our new normal. Thanks to the people who asked after me and other Kzoo Juicers in Adam’s thread last night. I feel bad following up AL’s lovely, springy, flowery Sunday morning post with this.

66 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Someone mentioned you were from there last night. Glad to hear you are safe.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    @Baud: I don’t know why I thought you were in NYC.

  3. 3
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Baud: I’m a native NYer, which I mention from time to time.

  4. 4
    debbie says:

    I’ve heard this morning that the 14-year-old did not die. I hope that turns out to be true.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel says:

    Glad you are safe, Hillary. I just (like, two minutes ago) saw a news flash from CNN that the 14-year-old girl did not die as previously reported, but remains gravely injured.

    “New normal.” I wonder if this will possibly begin to turn around in my lifetime.

  6. 6
    Emma says:

    I kind of unhooked from the net last night at some point and managed to miss this. I’m glad you’re safe.

  7. 7

    Glad you and yours are okay. Random gun violence is just something we have to endure because some folks require unfettered access to guns and ammo. It’s the NRA’s world; we’re just sheltering in place in it.

  8. 8
    Exurban Mom says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m stealing that comment and tweeting it widely today, because it so perfectly captures where we are as a nation right now.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    For Apple’s sake, lets hope the shooter wasnt texting on his iPhone prior to going shooty.

  10. 10
    scav says:

    Apparently we degenerates can’t appreciate all the present examples of politeness scattered about Kalamazoo and elsewhere.

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    @debbie: the 14 y.o. did not die because she knows more than Dad about living, and there’s no Snapchat in heaven. Also, too, her orthodontist needs to put his kids thru school, and kids are braziliant.

  12. 12
    Derelict says:

    Gun nut: “Well, you know, if he hadn’t had a gun, he’d have just used a knife instead.”

    Me: “Sure. Here’s my number. Call me the next time there’s a drive-by knifing that kills 7 people.”

  13. 13
    Germy says:

    Saw the photo of the shooter and my first reaction was I’d seen his face before, after a similar shooting.

    Are all these 40-something white shooters starting to look the same to me? Puffy faces, resentful expressions, 1979 highschool yearbook hair.

  14. 14

    @Exurban Mom: I heard it somewhere else and it stuck with me because it’s so true. Can’t remember where I first heard it; maybe Steve M at No More Mr Nice Blog?

  15. 15
    Hildebrand says:

    From Umberto Eco’s essay on Ur-Fascism (written in 1995):

    12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters.

    This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons — doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

    The whole essay is worth reading – this section just happened to crop up in my thinking with yet another killer running about with his gun out.

    What haunts me is that so many find this behavior utterly acceptable.

  16. 16
    Lee Rudolph says:

    @Punchy: The (alleged and arrested) shooter is just as Germy describes him, so definitely not a Terrorist Worth FBI Attention and Apple Trepidation.

  17. 17
    Germy says:

    @Lee Rudolph: Yes, the TV seems to have forgotten about the planned parenthood shooter. And the amount of slack Carly was cut is long enough to circle the globe.

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    Suspect ID’d by police as 45-year old Jason Dalton.

    Caucasian, obese, salt and pepper hair.

    So obviously a lone wolf who is in no way reflective of all gun owners.

  19. 19
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Hildebrand: makes a lot of sense and I will check out that essay. one of the things I’m already dreading is the inevitable “sorry – you’re in my prayers” from My Relative the Gun Nut who is too messed up / selfish to give up his toys or admit that he is part of the problem.

    Also, if you haven’t read Altemyers’ The Authoritarians I highly recommend it. You can download it free here: http://members.shaw.ca/jeanalt.....arians.pdf

  20. 20
    D58826 says:

    OT but one thing we have learned from the GOP primary and that is even a presidential contender should listen to his Mom. Barbara B. did say a year or so ago that the country didn’t want a third Bush presidency. Guess he should have listened.

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    GMA spent more time discussing Beyonce than they did the shooter, cuz why not.

  22. 22
    Cacti says:


    Gun nut: “Well, you know, if he hadn’t had a gun, he’d have just used a knife instead.”

    Me: “Sure. Here’s my number. Call me the next time there’s a drive-by knifing that kills 7 people.”

    Gun nut: “A gun is a tool, no different that a hammer or screwdriver.”

    Sane person: “A hammer is for pounding nails, a screwdriver is for turning screws, a gun is for?”

    Gun nut: Silently scowls.

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JPL: it is amazing, I’ve had MSNBC on and muted while I multitask, and haven’t seen anything but political talking heads and clips from yesterday, Lindsey Graham probably started his special moisturizing routine and practicing “foreseeable fallout from a feckless and feeble foreign policy” in front of the mirror before he heard it was a white guy. Cindy and Megan probably have Walnuts in a home studio in front of a fake camera gravely intoning about the need for strength and leadership that have been sadly absent…

  24. 24
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    In America in 2016, we’re all sheltering in place.

    Clearly the answer is more guns.

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    @Germy: Truly.

    The Kalamazoo spree shootings by a white male were the perfect coda to a day that began with Antonin Scalia’s funeral (he wrote the 5-4 decision on DC vs. Heller, which struck down DC’s gun ban) and Donald Trump pledging to protect Second Amendment rights.

    I wake up every day glad that Scalia is no longer on the Court. I am hopeful that Obama will get a nominee through, and maybe it’s time for the Notorious RB Ginsburg to retire too. Replace a liberal with a liberal.

    (Since one rightwing talking point is we need to keep the “balance” of Supreme Court, like it’s some kind of tropical fish tank.)

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s the NRA’s world; we’re just sheltering in place in it.

    That’s a good bumpersticker, actually. We should have it.

    No one wants their kids sheltering in place, or to undergo workplace shooter response training.

    I’d get my convertible top slashed, again and again, but it’s a good message to get out there.

  27. 27
    xenos says:

    Empty heel just tweeted that us was “gig economy terrorism”, and it reminded me of Germanwings. Is there a third example out there?

    It is like going postal on society at large.

  28. 28
    Face says:

    I want to live in a country where a “drive-by shooting” involves a film major tooling around in his Opel with a GoPro camera mounted on the ski rack.

  29. 29
    Gimlet says:

    “I wake up every day glad that Scalia is no longer on the Court. I am hopeful that Obama will get a nominee through, and maybe it’s time for the Notorious RB Ginsburg to retire too. Replace a liberal with a liberal.”

    Guardian: November 2013

    Robert Wilkins, a district judge in Washington, is the president’s third consecutive nominee to the US court for appeals for the District of Columbia circuit to have been blocked.

    The GOP is seeking to prevent President Obama’s nominees from filling any of the three vacancies on the 11-seat court, over concerns it would affect its Republican bent.

    The DC circuit is of major political importance as, unlike most federal courts of appeal, it deals with major national security cases and challenges to national regulations. It is second only to the supreme court in terms of its power and importance.

    Republicans have argued the court had too light a caseload to merit filling the vacancies. They have proposed legislation to cut the three vacant seats, but as it has no chance of succeeding in a Democratic-controlled Senate, they have pledged to block nominees instead.

  30. 30
    MomSense says:

    Glad you are ok. Living in a state with lots of guns and stressed out people, this is a new normal I just can’t accept. I saw a dude with a handgun in his front sweatshirt pocket a couple weeks ago. This did not seem like a prudent place to “holster” a weapon but our state recently decided to undo 90 years of concealed carry permits in favor of anything goes.
    We did get a gun control measure on the ballot in Novemeber but some local gun supporters (some affiliated with groups recently in the news) were filming people and asking them questions when they signed petitions at polling places. That was totally not meant to intimidate obviously.

  31. 31

    @SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel:
    It will start to turn around when we have a liberal majority on the Supreme Court. It will seriously turn around when we have a Democratically controlled congress. Until then, even though most Republicans want gun control, they want to spite the liberals who got a black man elected president more.

    (Note that in their world it is impossible a black man could have gotten himself elected.)

    Wasn’t a deal struck to fix that the moment it finally became s major public issue? The filibuster change that resulted in a giant wave of judicial appointments? I think Obama will get an appointment. When the public is watching, McConnell folds.

  32. 32
    Doug R says:

    @SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel: It’s like healthcare in 2008. Now that fat Tony’s dead, we’ll find the political will to get something done. It won’t be everything we want, but it will improve.

  33. 33
    Gimlet says:


    “Wasn’t a deal struck”

    Yep, but it just shows there is no ideology to support refusing appointments just the desire for a conservative court.

  34. 34
    Doug R says:

    @Punchy: Apple. The Jihadist’s Choice.

  35. 35
    Robin G. says:

    @Derelict: Something I will always remember is that the same day as Sandy Hook, the actual same day, someone went to an elementary school in China and stabbed about the same number of kids. Right-wingers were posting it all over Facebook as evidence that this happens everywhere and has nothing to do with guns.

    The difference? Not a single one of those children died. Only two even needed to be taken to the hospital.

    I can’t remember where I read it, but someone once said “Lawnmowers don’t cut grass, people cut grass — but the mower makes it a lot easier.”

  36. 36
    Elmo says:

    Reports are coming in that the shooter was an Uber driver who actually dropped off fares in between murders.
    Words fail.

  37. 37
    planetjanet says:

    @Elizabelle: I don’t want Notorious RBG to retire. We need her seniority to make greater gains than otherwise. The senior justice has more influence on the agenda. Would you rather have Senior Justice Clarence Thomas?

  38. 38
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @MomSense: don’t get me started. there’s apparently no bottom to the level of assholery gun nuts will descend to. one of them showed up at *children’s story hour* at the local library armed. another showed up at choir practice at church.

  39. 39
    ruemara says:

    I’m glad you’re safe and this guy was caught. Cannot wait to hear why he did this.

  40. 40
    VFX Lurker says:

    Ditto on what ruemara wrote — I’m also glad you’re safe and that the guy was caught.

  41. 41
    Kathleen says:

    @Germy: Well, the story on my AOL homepage said he was “even tempered” when he was arrested. So that makes everything OK I guess.

  42. 42
    MomSense says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    WTF?? So inappropriate.

  43. 43
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Gimlet: just checked Wikipedia, and it looks like the D. C. Circuit is back up to the statutory 11 judges now, plus several Senior Judges. The Court’s own page didn’t break out who’s regular or senior, but everyone listed as non-senior was on their page.

  44. 44
    Woodrowfan says:

    another fat middle-aged white guy goes nuts and kills people.. gad. If their were justice I’d be pulled over every time I drive for fitting the profile of a shooter….

  45. 45
    Honus says:

    @Robin G.: @Robin G.: guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Mostly people with guns.

  46. 46
    D58826 says:

    I’m reading E.J. Dionne’s new book ‘Why the Right Went Wrong’. It is truly depressing. I still haven’t figured out the title thought. Sure the current GOP doesn’t represent what most Americans believe in but they continue to win elections. One 2010 exit poll had 53% of the voters holding a negative view of the GOP but 23% of them voted GOP anyway. In 2008 18% of the voters were under 30 but in 2010 the number dropped to 11%. The over 65 numbers were the reverse – 16% in 2008 and 23% in 2010.
    A lot of folks on the blog have expressed strong support for Bernie and his ‘revolution’ but unless they get out and vote in the off-year elections and for the down ballot ‘not always as progressive as they might like’ candidates the pattern will continue. Unless the make up of the state governments changes dramatically between now and 2020, the GOP will have a lock on the House until 2030. Bernie’s revolution will never see the light of day. There was a lot of criticism of the blue dog democrats from conservative red state districts but at least they voted for Nancy as speaker and allowed her to control the House agenda. There was an article on Huntington the other day about the liberal disappointment with Obama. Dionne also is very often critical in the book of Obama’s approach to governing, esp in the early part of his first term. But since the metaphor has become ponies and unicorns, it seems like the disappointment is that Obama only delivered a pony but not two unicorns as well. It seems to me that two liberal SCOTUS justices, Obamacare, Dodd-frank, and saving the economy is not something to just toss off as a nothing burger.

  47. 47
    Beth in VA says:

    @Hildebrand: I just read the whole essay and I feel so much smarter now. Eco was much more than a novelist.

  48. 48
    Honus says:

    @MomSense: more inappropriate than an MLK Day sniper rifle raffle?


    Or a gun rights demonstration in Dealy Plaza?

  49. 49
    Anoniminous says:

    @SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel:

    Probably not. When these social trends become established they are very difficult to root out. The 30 year old trend of teen suicides in Micronesia and other Pacific islands is a good non-US example.

  50. 50
    Fair Economist says:

    Glad that you weren’t affected directly, Hillary. So sorry for those that were.

  51. 51
    Hope says:

    Read 3 stories about this before 6AM – not one mentioned the race or religion of the suspect. Funny that

  52. 52
    Gex says:

    @Kathleen: Why, I’m sure he was actually a pretty nice guy. Maybe even church-going!

  53. 53
    Steve from Antioch says:

    Crime has gotten so bad that I am scared to go out of the house!

    Every time you turn on the internet there is news about another shooting. It sure wasn’t like this 20 or 30 years ago.

    I blame the NRA!

  54. 54
    Steve from Antioch says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:

    I know, right? We need to turn back the clock to the 1970s before there was widespread concealed carry and guns everywhere!

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    @Steve from Antioch:

    shouldn’t you be having sex with your gun right now? is your relationship on the rocks or something? maybe couples therapy is in order.

  56. 56
    Darkrose says:

    Glad you’re okay, Hillary. I don’t understand how we’ve come to accept this as the new normal.

  57. 57
    MomSense says:


    Why on earth?

  58. 58
    fuckwit says:

    @Punchy: this this this this this.

    Mass shooting? FBI goes ape-shit and starts attacking Apple and trying to take away our privacy. Not once do they consider trying to regulate guns, you know, the things that actually make mass shootings possible.

  59. 59


    liberal disappointment with Obama.

    Beware the Narrative. Obama’s approval ratings in his party are sky high, and were even during the loudest ‘We’ll lose because Obama is a Republican and has spit on the base’ period before 2012. There is not enough liberal disappointment to bother with. I have learned the hard way how ‘Everybody knows somebody who says this, or knows someone who knows someone’ can actually mean ‘One person in a thousand.’

  60. 60
    fuckwit says:

    @Elizabelle: The last time that the country was so obsessed with artificial “balance” was in the days of the Misouri Compromise. Make of that what you will.

  61. 61
    Steve from Antioch says:

    @chopper: What, are you some kind of a sicko?

    I think we need this country to be more like Australia where they got rid of all the guns and crime plummeted. The time is now!

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Scamp Dog: Senior are retired Federal judges that assist when the case load gets to high. That’s why now retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Souter delivered a Federal Appeals Court ruling last week.

  63. 63
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Doug R: Applehu Akhbar!

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:


    Steve is busy jerking off to the crime scene photos. Poor guy just can’t reach orgasm unless there’s a dead body to think about.

  65. 65
    chopper says:

    @Steve from Antioch:

    actually the time was 30 years ago, but I’ll take now. I assume you and your gun made up? things okay in that department?

  66. 66
    Steve from Antioch says:

    I know, right? Just imagine if we had been able to get all the guns off the streets 30 years ago. I bet the crime and murder rate would have plummeted. Instead, it just skyrocketed as those NRA goons worked to spread concealed carry across the country. Terrible. Just terrible.

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