Mass Shooting in El Paso

An estimated 20 are dead and many more wounded. The shooter opened fire in a Walmart with an assault rifle.

There are rumors that the killer published an anti-immigrant screed on one of the chans, but it hasn’t been confirmed. Jesus, this is sickening.

Friday Morning Open Thread: The Best Revenge




Crisis Actors

We already knew the National Rifle Association laundered Russian money and spent $30 million to elect the corrupt and incompetent Trump and millions more to stock Congress with spineless toadies like Marco Rubio. This ensures that a dwindling cohort of gun-humping nutbags prevail in policy decisions over the will of the American people.

Now there’s proof that the gun manufacturers’ lobbying organization actively works with crackpots to harass and defame survivors of the inevitable massacres that occur as a result of those policies. Via The Post:

In the week after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 students and staff members and renewing calls for gun control, the National Rifle Association fell silent.

But the day after the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting, an NRA training coordinator based at the group’s headquarters in Fairfax, Va., sprang into action behind the scenes. He sought information countering the official version of the grisly, and familiar, events, which involved a lone gunman and a legally purchased firearm.

For support, he turned to Wolfgang Halbig, a conspiracy theorist intent on proving that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 26 students and staff members dead in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax.

“You have included me with a lot of Information since the Sandy Hook Incident and I do appreciate it very much,” the NRA coordinator, Mark Richardson, wrote on Feb. 15, 2018, according to emails published by HuffPost on Wednesday. “Concerning what happened in Florida yesterday, I have been asking the question and no one else seems to be asking it.”

He pushed the deluded idea that the gunman, a former student at the school, had not acted alone, posing questions about how he had gained entry and where he had kept his equipment…

In a sane country, it past misdeeds would have already made the NRA more toxic than a Chernobyl urinal cake, and no politician would dare accept a dime from it for fear of massive constituent backlash. In this country, not only do Republicans at every level continue to eagerly accept millions from this vile propaganda outfit, the current Republican president spoke at its convention last year, and he and his VP invited one of the blood-gargling sociopaths who lead the NRA to the White House immediately after the Parkland massacre to weigh in on policy, if not write drafts of legislation outright.

I understand the House Democrats are busy sifting through the mountainous evidence of the Trump administration’s unprecedented corruption. But I do hope they find the time to investigate and expose the NRA’s financial malfeasance and psychotic attempts to foment hatred toward victims in its fanatical cult following. Wiping that wretched hive of scum and villainy from the political landscape would not only strike a blow for good governance, it would be a favor to humanity.

“Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job”

This weekend was the anniversary of the nationwide March for Our Lives rallies led by survivors of the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It seems much longer ago somehow. Here’s Emma González’s speech at the event last year:

She doesn’t speak for most of her time at the microphone, commemorating with her silence and tears the six minutes and change it took for a deranged shooter with an AR-15 to end 17 lives. Then she said this: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

I went to a local March for Our Lives event last year, as did our late jackal friend Schlemazel. He sent me some photos of the march he attended in Minnesota, including this one:

Here’s what he wrote about it:

“It was a gorgeous sunrise this morning and it gave me hope.”

The March for Our Lives founders went silent on the anniversary of the massacre last month. Via The New Yorker:

“It’s about recognizing that we need to take time for ourselves because we’ve been going so strongly for the past year without a breather,” Jaclyn Corin, a senior at Stoneman Douglas and one of the co-founders of the movement, told me in a recent phone call. “We’re giving ourselves that time to be with our friends and our family.”

It still amazes me that those students were able to pull together a movement that resulted in nationwide rallies just a little over a month after the trauma they endured.

The cost was terrible for all of them, and for some, it was unbearable. Last week, two Parkland students committed suicide. The father of a murdered Sandy Hook first grader, a man who created a foundation to prevent violence through research in the wake of his daughter’s senseless killing, was found dead today; he also apparently took his own life.

Those three names won’t be added to the tally of the victims of mass shootings in America, but they’re part of the toll. So now, speaking up for gun safety is our job, not theirs.

Open thread.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand…

(Warning – wrenching video below the fold)
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