Donald Trump et al. Fatal Enablers.

To add to the story below of bombers for Trump, this news just broke (AP via TPM):

A white man with a history of violence and mental illness was recorded on surveillance video apparently trying to get inside a predominantly black church in Kentucky before he went to a grocery store and fatally shot two African-Americans, police said.

Gun folks and Republicans (a not entirely overlapping Venn diagram) will point to the mental illness part and say that guns and not-that-coded racism in our politics have nothing to do with this miserable story.

They’re wrong.

Guns work. They perform as intended. That means, just to state the obvious, guns make lethal intention easy — way too easy — to achieve. And mental illness, which, whatever this murderer’s history, may not obtain today, may create a situation in which the person thus affected needs to do something. But what that thing turns out to be is driven by context.

In America today that context is one of cheerleading for violence within an explicit framework of white nationalism, now trumpeted without even the veneer of code by Donald Trump himself:

 “Do you think it’s just a coincidence that bombs are sent to former President Barack Obama, to Hillary Clinton, to liberal philanthropist George Soros, to the New York office of CNN and to others during a week when Trump has been ratcheting up his race-based, fearmongering conspiracy theories and calling himself a ‘nationalist’? Trump feigns ignorance about the word, but he must know it rings like a dog whistle in the ears of every white supremacist and racist in the country, if not the world.”

This is what that dog whistle produced  in Kentucky.  Warning: stop here if the misery is too much for you today.

An arrest report says Bush walked into the Kroger, pulled a gun from his waist and shot a man in the back of the head, then kept shooting him multiple times “as he was down on the floor.” The report says Bush then reholstered his gun, walked outside and killed a woman in the parking lot. Each victim died of multiple gunshot wounds, Rogers said.

Just to be clear, in case anyone wondering if the choices of an African American church and then two black victims was somehow coincidence, this happened next:

Ed Harrell was quoted by the Courier Journal of Louisville as saying he was waiting on his wife in the parking lot when he heard gunshots and grabbed his revolver. As he crouched down, he said he saw the gunman walk “nonchalantly” by with a gun by his side. Harrell said he called out to ask what was going on, and the gunman replied: “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.”

I’d say that settles it:  a white guy decided that the time for race war has come and acted on that impulse.

His deeds are his own. The culture in which those actions were conceived and executed is that created by Donald Trump and his most fervent supporters — and enabled by the acquiescence of a GOP that will be shocked, shocked I tell you to learn that racist rhetoric evokes racist crime.

PS: As a lagniappe, let’s check in on the “good guy with a gun” follies:

A man carrying a concealed weapon who happened to be in the parking lot challenged Bush, and police say the suspect then “began firing wildly” at him, putting other shoppers in the parking lot in danger. Neither man was hurt in that confrontation, Rogers said.

Image: Giuseppi Arcimboldo, Fire1566.

76 replies
  1. 1

    Mental illness, how convenient. If true, why is it so easy for someone with a history of mental illness to amass an armory?

  2. 2
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Bomber is older, white, republican man. File under “No one could have predicted”

  3. 3
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    Harrell said he called out to ask what was going on, and the gunman replied: “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.”

    I almost wish Harrell would have shot that fascist, racist murderer. What a piece of shit.

    And yeah, “whites don’t shoot whites”, said nobody ever.

  4. 4
    Damien says:

    I hate to admit this, but all this shit makes buying a gun more and more attractive. I hate guns, but we really seem to be accelerating toward something where these Republican assholes have unilaterally made huge swaths of this country their mortal enemies, and grow ever closer to deciding we simply shouldn’t be allowed to exist anymore.

    Truly terrifying times.

  5. 5
    Jerri says:

    The bombs spooked Wall Street. As soon as news of an arrest was made the stock market came off the lows.

  6. 6
    CliosFanboy says:

    @Damien: same here.

  7. 7
    Shrillhouse says:

    Sweet Jesus.

    It just never ends.

    However, as “only” two people were killed, I don’t believe that this technically qualifies as a mass shooting. So, let’s not rush to bring “politics” into this…

  8. 8
    RepubAnon says:

    And the Roberts Court rules that there is no evidence of racism in the US any more …

  9. 9
    chris says:

    False Flag! As expected.//

    @CBSMiami I have some pictures of this van I saw him at a stoplight one day and thought is was very strange.— Mahmud mohamed (@thereal_mo01) 26 October 2018

  10. 10
    sdhays says:

    @CliosFanboy: And the gun manufacturers and their lobbyists at the NRA rejoice.

    Every death by gun is like Christmas for those ghouls.

  11. 11
    Baud says:


    It sucks, but regular violent crime hasn’t enticed you to get a gun, this shouldn’t either. Using guns to assuage fear is inherently participating in their culture.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Baud: the only thing that can stop a letter bomb is a good guy with a gun

  14. 14

  15. 15
    jeffreyw says:

    Whoa, I looked at that painting and my first thought was “cool steampunk art, maybe a paperback cover”?

  16. 16
    Ruckus says:

    These truly are times that try mens souls.
    And yet what are you going to do with a gun?
    Exactly the same thing as he is doing, using it for the answer to hate? Could you shoot that man with the gun? Could you live with yourself if you did and found out he wasn’t the shooter, but a man who heard shots and pulled out his gun to protect himself?
    It is a dilemma, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I say don’t get caught in this if you can at all avoid it. I carried a loaded gun on watch in the navy, when we were in port. My orders were to stop and if necessary shoot any intruders. That’s a decision about ending someone else’s life, based upon little evidence and no time to get enough. What if you are wrong? I never had to find out, and while I think I know what I’d have done, I have no idea what that really means. And I see lots of people at the VA who do know what that means because they did find out and it is far too often not at all a positive life event.

  17. 17
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    Using guns to assuage fear is inherently participating in their culture.

    True, but gun nuts might be so shocked by libtards using guns they might all stroke out

  18. 18
    Juju says:

    Bush killed the gentleman in the Kroger in front of his 12 year old grandson. I guess they are lucky he didn’t feel the need to kill the grandson as well, but what a viscous thing to do. That little boy will have that vision of his grandfather being murdered for the rest of his life.

  19. 19
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Damien: @CliosFanboy: I’m working on a piece that I don’t want to talk about in detail yet, but the bottom line is that the people most at risk from a gun in a household are its owner, others in the household, and those close to them. The numbers are brutally clear on this.

  20. 20
    C Stars says:

    Louisville puts on a good show of being a lovely, somewhat sophisticated mid-size city. But underneath the veneer it’s incredibly segregated and lousy with racism. You’re not going to be there for more than a couple of hours before you hear someone saying something vile and hateful. I visit a couple of times a year and sadly, that’s always been my impression of it. This Kroger’s shooter was not an anomaly.

  21. 21


    If true, why is it so easy for someone with a history of mental illness to amass an armory?

    This is a great question. It’s similar to my response to the “only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun” slogan: so why aren’t we doing more to keep bad guys from getting guns?

  22. 22
    brantl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Until you’re confronted with one of these unhinged assholes, and your gun is behind the store counter (and the ammunition), because you never bought it.

  23. 23
    zhena gogolia says:



  24. 24
    zhena gogolia says:


    Arcimboldo is the best. I have a fabulous print by a Russian friend in the style of Arcimboldo — a self-portrait made of vegetables.

  25. 25
    ruemara says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Hereby known as, “Mentally ill, quiet man who no one could have predicted”.

  26. 26
    gene108 says:

    I am old enough to remember when Republicans went ape shit that John Hinckley, Jr. wasn’t sent to the electric chair because his defense team showed he had a history of mental illness, and then spent the better part of the 1980’s rewriting laws to make sure no one beat a criminal conviction with a defense of mental illness.

    And now they want to use it as an excuse to excuse cold blooded murders.


  27. 27
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    That, and the fact that Bush didn’t even have the guts to look the man he was about to murder in the eyes when he did it are the most vile aspects of this tragedy.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @brantl: That’s their culture to a tee. They say the same things about liberals and black people.

  29. 29

    @Tom Levenson:

    the bottom line is that the people most at risk from a gun in a household are its owner, others in the household, and those close to them.

    Yes, and having a gun in the house increases rather than decreases your chance of being involved in violence. This shouldn’t be a surprise, but for some reason many people have trouble believing it.

  30. 30
    Ruckus says:

    The mans name is Bush.

    I’ll let that sink in a bit.
    I know that a lot of people are unrelated with the same last name but is it a coinkedink that jr got lots of people killed with his war and here’s another Bush killing people, just without the middle men.
    It would be wrong not to speculate.

  31. 31
    Baud says:


    I’m going with coinkedink.

  32. 32
    Brachiator says:


    I hate to admit this, but all this shit makes buying a gun more and more attractive.

    And of course you would always shoot first, shoot straight, never miss, and never shoot someone in error.

  33. 33
    dmsilev says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: He looks nice…

  34. 34
    debbie says:

    Prettiest photo of Trump I’ve ever seen.

  35. 35
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Not to play devils advocate but we do have a history of stories/movies with guns and lone protectors as a major source of history for a lot of people in this country. This crap didn’t happen overnight, it’s part of our history, true or not. It’s like the nicotine industry, there were always people who didn’t smoke but the overwhelming concept was that smoking was good. Until it became obvious and overwhelming – and people started saying so out loud, including in the government. How long and what did it take to overcome the positive stigma of smoking? I do know the answer, BTW.

  36. 36
    ruemara says:

    Maybe we should just craft laws that say white men over 15 who are deeply conservative shouldn’t be allowed to have guns. I know, not all white men, but I’m kinda sick & tired of being scared of men. You guys have issues and it’s always up to everyone not a man, not a white man or not a cis white man, to wonder if today is the day one of you will go apeshit.

    Which is sad, because most of my friends and loved ones are men & it’s hard on them too. Men need to stop failing men and bringing them down.

  37. 37
    debbie says:


    Are you sure? It’s down 241 as I post.

  38. 38
    Ruckus says:

    Me too. But you know speculation………
    And what if he’s a third cousin, twice removed?

  39. 39
    Damien says:

    @Ruckus: I want to clarify that it’s not that I would carry a gun on my person. I wouldn’t want the weight of that potential violence with me at all times, because I agree that the split second permanence of drawing down is too much responsibility, even in these trying days.

    However, look at the last two years. The right wing has been ginning up violence against us in more and more outrageous fashion. Already dozens have paid for their rhetoric with ther lives, and I don’t think these people are going to stop.

    I genuinely believe bad things are afoot. So forgive me if I’d prefer to have an “OH SHIT” go-plan for that potentiality, including a gun that I know how to use and maintain, hidden far away from me.

  40. 40
    Gravenstone says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    And yeah, “whites don’t shoot whites”, said nobody ever.

    Apparently white racists who expect their racism to be tribally acknowledged and accepted, do.

  41. 41

    @ruemara: Have normal white men given a statement condemning the terrorists in their midst?

  42. 42
    debbie says:


    Bill Clinton did. Look how that turned out.

  43. 43

    @debbie: I was being sarcastic, because Faux Nooz types are always asking moderate Muslims to make statements condemning ISIS etc.

  44. 44
    Tom Levenson says:

    @jeffreyw: Arcimboldo is a fine whack job.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    catclub says:

    someone here left a link to the guy in South Carolina who killed two cops, and it has barely been covered. The same day there was huge manhunt for the guy who killed a cop in Georgia. and yes, you know how these cases differ. Extra dash of racism – the cops killed in SC were black.

    the white person who was arrested was taken into custody. the black person who killed a cop is dead.

  47. 47
    Gravenstone says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: From the description of the shooting, the guy must have been a seething ball of rage. One shot to take his victim down, then empty the magazine into a prone body? I can almost hear the fucker screaming ‘take that and that and…’

  48. 48
    maryQ says:

    Where can I give money to the families of the victims? Where can I buy Christmas presents for their kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews? Where can I send some prepared food delivery so no one has to cook a thing for a month? Screaming Baby Jesus on a flaming hoverboard, this is so goddam awful.

  49. 49
    Manyakitty says:

    @Damien: I bought a Glock 19 after the election. It may not save me when things take their turn, but at least I’ll take a few of those fuckers down with me when I go.

  50. 50
    JPL says:

    The president said that the bomber targeted high profile individuals. He can’t even admit that the bomber targeted democrats including former presidents of the United States.

  51. 51
    Dan B says:

    O/T. Matthew Shepard’s ashes were interred at the National Cathedral today. The Shepards had not interred his remains because they were afraid the site would be vandalized.

  52. 52
    D58826 says:

    So Der Fuhrer has turned the bomber announcement into a pep rally.

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:

    Of course that’s a major dip, what with the market at around 24,500. That can be for any number of reasons, 80% of which have nothing to do with any measurable concept or action. One site was playing this as a major issue of course, what with a 0.8% dip.
    BTW, I made up that 80% comment out of thin air.

  54. 54
    debbie says:

    Not sure how reliable this source is, but the guy is clearly a MAGAt.

  55. 55
    dmsilev says:

    @D58826: Of course he did.

  56. 56
    Damien says:

    @Brachiator Ok, I want to clarify this very strongly: I HATE GUNS! I am well aware of every negative, all the statistics, and if I had my choice guns would be the more heavily-regulated product on the market.

    I would not keep a gun on me, in my car, in my house, or anywhere with easy access. Because that’s what makes it all so simple to get confused and make terrible mistakes.

    If I had a gun, it would be the kind of thing where it would be part of an emergency kit, hidden somewhere unbelievably inconvenient and random, literally only to be brought out in case things really took a turn and I felt like I was in fear for my life in a constant and tangible way.

    It’s sadly and slowly getting there. I’m not about to go the way of my great grandparents and extended family.

  57. 57
    Manyakitty says:

    @Damien: EXACTLY this.

  58. 58
    CliosFanboy says:

    @sdhays: I won”t get one. I suffer from Depression (under medical control) so it’s a bad, bad idea….

  59. 59
    scav says:

    The sheer shimmering incandescence of America’s™ remanifest and traditional Greatness™ is beginning to keep me up at night.

  60. 60
    ruemara says:

    @catclub: That cop killer hunt wasn’t even covered.

  61. 61

    Reposting from the late-night thread…

    Not to be Ms. One Note,* but the administration war on trans people is underway.

    In today’s news, in case it wasn’t already clear that they’re explicitly trying to eradicate trans people from public life. Not just here, but worldwide.

    At recent meetings of the UN’s Third Committee, which is concerned with “social, humanitarian and cultural” rights, US diplomats have been pushing for the rewriting of general assembly policy statements to remove what the administration argues is vague and politically correct language, reflecting what it sees as an ‘ideology’ of treating gender as an individual choice rather than an unchangeable biological fact.

    *Really, truly, I’d love to post about other things, but right now literally each day is bringing news of yet another attack on us, using the power of the government to erase our existence and push us back into the closet. Canaries, coal mines…

    #WontBeErased #StillFuckingHere #Cassandra

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    There is a reason the man on watch carried a loaded weapon. One stored in the gun locker is useless in any situation that requires one. And a loaded gun anywhere at hand is too ready to cause death and destruction at any second without regard for rationality. It isn’t the answer, sorry, it just isn’t. Because a gun always requires another gun, and another possible death, the only people that gain are the gun manufactures. Guns exist only for one reason, to kill. They are touted as being a protection device, something to stop violence. But they aren’t. Their only purpose is to kill. Intentionally or inadvertently is to kill. I don’t find that acceptable, and as I’ve said I got paid (no much mind you) to carry one. I was at one time very good with a weapon, I could shoot better than my friends that went on to become cops. It’s the wrong tool for the job and it gets used very badly the vast majority of the time because it has no concept of what it can and can’t do. That is up to the operator and in a situation involving guns you have a spit second to make the right or wrong decision. And either way people die needlessly.

  63. 63
    EmbraceYourInnerCrone says:

    @maryQ – I don’t know if it has info about how to donate for funeral expenses etc, but the local Louisville paper has more info in the shooting victims;

    Maurice E. Stallard, 69, and Vickie Lee Jones, 67, were identified by the Jefferson County Coroner’s office as the victims. Stallard had been shopping for poster board with his 12-year-old grandson. Stallard was the father of Mayor Greg Fischer’s chief equity officer, Kellie Watson.

    Vickie Lee Jones 67, was retired from the Veterans Affairs hospital, where she worked as an office administrator.she loved to travel and was a faithful member of the Church of the Living God, 2401 W. Madison St.

    These people had names, and families and friends, I hate that the shooter will be remembered and they will not.

  64. 64

    Also, this is the sort of emotional rollercoaster I and other trans, non-binary, and intersex people have been going through this week.

    In just 24 hours, I had run the emotional gamut. I felt exhausted, desperate to recharge. Yet, lying in the dark, I couldn’t sleep. My fear kept me awake, hours after I normally would have fallen asleep.

    Those were all the emotions I went through upon hearing the news Sunday morning. And I’m an upper-middle-class white person living in Los Angeles, an area filled with supportive friends and communities. Imagine hearing that news while being the only trans person living in your rural community. Imagine hearing that news as a trans woman of color, who are consistently the most at-risk minority in the United States. Imagine being a young, scared teenager who just wishes to share their deepest secret with someone, anyone, and then hearing that the government meant to protect you is actively trying to deny you rights if you came out.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve had to go through this entire cycle. I went through it after the 2016 election. I went through it after the transgender military ban announcement. I went through it after Betsy DeVos pulled Obama-era guidances that protected trans students. I went through it after being told I would die from AIDS by a woman in the grocery store. I went through it after being chased around the mall by a man yelling, “It’s a man. It’s a man.” I went through it when my gender non-conforming sister attempted suicide. I’ve been here numerous times before. And heaven knows, I’ll probably be here again. I’ll go through this whole damn cycle at some point in the future.

    If we appear strong, it’s because we don’t have the option to not be. Cisgender folks check in on your strong friends.

    #WontBeErased #StillFuckingHere

  65. 65
    CliosFanboy says:

    interesting thought on Vox. That the first bombs were meant NOT to explode in order to lull those getting later bombs not to treat them as real threats.

  66. 66
    C Stars says:

    @Ruckus: Excellent point. Democrats and Republicans alike have been enjoying violent gun porn in the cinemas for a very, very long time.

  67. 67
    D58826 says:

    @C Stars:

    violent gun porn

    is ok. Janet Jackson’s nipple represents the end of civilization.:-)

  68. 68
    Damien says:


    I guess it depends on what job you want it to do.

    I recommend reading up on Michael Collins.

  69. 69
    stan says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: libtards using guns

    Now THAT’S terrorism. Only good ole boys can have guns.

  70. 70
    C Stars says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: I responded to your post last night. My fear is that some plan will eventually be instituted to remove trans/nonbinary/gender variant kids from their parents. Because why wouldn’t they? They revel in the theater of cruelty, they’ve already got practice kidnapping and imprisoning children for later adoption by “Christians,” and they have a pet theory that being LGBTQ can be “converted” away through beatings and abuse. It seems far fetched but then again so did jailing immigrant toddlers, and they went right ahead and did that with no moral qualms and very little institutional resistance.

    *looking for jobs in Canada as we speak*

  71. 71
    C Stars says:

    @D58826: The wardrobe malfunction opened a wormhole. The bustier tore away, reality as we knew it collapsed, and look at where we are now. This is all Janet Jackson’s fault (ask Justin Timberlake).

  72. 72
    maryQ says:

    @EmbraceYourInnerCrone: Thank you. His grandson was with him. That poor kid is going to need serious trauma counseling.

  73. 73
    maryQ says:

    @EmbraceYourInnerCrone: Just found a GoFundMe for Ms. Jones.

  74. 74
    EmbraceYourInnerCrone says:

    @maryQ – thank you, I get paid today. Guess some can go to GoFundMe and some more to midterm candidates.

  75. 75
    Jack the Second says:

    @CliosFanboy: Never attribute to cleverness what can be attributed to incompetence.

    Most mad bombers fall into two categories: those whose bombs go off too easily and blow themselves up, and those whose bombs basically never go off and just end up sending a lot of duds every which way.

    The guys who can make a bomb that reliably goes off when desired and not before are few and far between.

  76. 76
    catclub says:

    Never Ask an Inflation Hawk to Do a Dove’s Job

    Trump whines that his hand-picked Fed chief is raising rates too fast. He never should have dumped Janet Yellen.

    Nelson Muntz HA-ha

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