Same Shit, Different Day

Time to set the goddamned “Days Without a School Shooting” counter back to zero. This day’s shooting was at a high school in Maryland. Details are sketchy, but here’s a summary from Channel 4 Washington:

Multiple Injuries Reported in Shooting at St. Mary’s Co. High School

Multiple people were injured in a shooting at a high school in southeast Maryland Tuesday morning, the St. Mary’s County sheriff’s office confirmed.

The shooting happened Tuesday morning at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland…

Some of the injuries were critical, sheriff’s officials said. It’s not clear how many people were injured at the school about 60 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. Deputies were called to the school just before 8 a.m.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student activists expressed solidarity:

The March for Our Lives rally in DC and 800-plus affiliated events worldwide are taking place this Saturday. If you want to help but can’t make it to the DC march, you can find a local march here.

Open thread.

Magnificent Kids, Part Two

At Cooper City High School, students and faculty set up 17 desks and podiums in a circle, all meant to honor the 17 victims.

I loved Betty’s title from earlier today, so I stole it. I’ve been confined to the couch all day, under a blanket, arguing with people on twitter and facebook. Not the best use of my time, but these NRA humpers need to know facts are not on their side.  Anyway, there was some heartwarming posts on today’s walk outs.

This kid is my new hero:


What struck you most about today’s walk out events?

Oh, and I’m sure you’ve already heard that there were two school gun incidents involving teacher/cop and resource officer. But you know, more guns.

The Magnificent Kids

Happening now:

I’m so damn proud of them. They’ve already made a difference, and they’re not done. Know any kids who are participating?

Hammerlock Broken in Florida? (Open Thread)

A gun reform bill is on its way to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s desk. It’s not nearly enough. It contains useless and/or harmful provisions, such as millions for a program to train school personnel to carry handguns on campus. But it also contains provisions to ban bump stocks, impose a three-day waiting period on most long gun purchases and raise the minimum age for purchasing long guns from 18 to 21.

The commonsense provisions were vigorously opposed by NRA über-lobbyist Marion Hammer, who had previously been in charge of setting weapons policy for the state and whose ghastly concepts, such as “Stand Your Ground,” have wreaked death and havoc in Florida communities and metastasized to other states, to the delight and profit of gun manufacturers. Earlier this week, Hammer pressured GOP lawmakers (WaPo):

In the days leading up to the vote, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist, Marion Hammer, issued an “emergency alert” to members asking them to contact Republicans and demand they vote no. “Neither the 3-day waiting period on all rifles and shotguns, raising the age from 18 to 21 to buy any firearm, or the bump stock ban will have any effect on crime,” she wrote.

But for the first time since long before the teenagers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were born, enough Republican lawmakers refused to do Hammer’s bidding, and it looks like Scott might actually sign a bill that she opposes. If Hammer’s absolute lock on gun policy in Florida is broken, that’s a huge fucking deal.

If the bill becomes law, we’ll owe this partial victory to those magnificent kids who called bullshit on the political cowardice of the Republicans and the learned helplessness of their opponents. And we’ll also owe the students an obligation to keep fighting for sane and sensible gun laws.

Open thread!

Gunshine State Update (Open Thread)

The Florida House o’ Reps is currently debating a gun reform bill that passed the Florida Senate earlier. Provisions include raising the minimum age to purchase rifles to 21 and a ban on bump stocks. The bill includes some funding for the very dumb (NRA-approved) idea of putting MORE guns in schools by arming educators, but it limits the scope of that potential catastrophe by excluding classroom teachers.

Much like in present-day America, Republicans control the house and senate in Florida as well as the executive mansion. The senate bill passed very narrowly, and wingnut lawmakers who voted for it are feeling the heat. Via Politico Florida:

TALLAHASSEE — Roughly a dozen Florida state senators who supported a sweeping gun control bill Monday have received small jars of tar and feathers at their offices from unknown senders.

“They are tiny jars full of feathers with poop emojis in them,” said state Sen. René García, a Hialeah Republican who supported the bill. Garcia sponsored an amendment that watered down a provision to train and arm school staff, including teachers. The proposal was compromise language needed to secure a narrow 20-18 vote out of the Senate.

Tallahassee is abuzz this morning with talk that the powerful National Rifle Association is going after bill supporters now that it’s clear the Republican-controlled Legislature is moving quickly to pass gun reforms.

But the group’s top Florida lobbyist, Marion Hammer, said the organization was not behind the jars.

“First I’m hearing of it,” she said.

I believe Hammer — the jar of tar and feathers decorated with poop emojis is too subtle for a blood-thirsty ghoul like her; she would have gone for a dead fish wrapped in newspaper.

Anyway, I don’t know how this vote will shake out. That it’s taking place reminds me of a Samuel Johnson quote: it’s like a “dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

Open thread.

I Ain’t Missing You At All

A NEJM study shows that gun injury rates are 20% lower on NRA convention days:

Jena points out the 20 percent injury drop on convention days corresponds to a seemingly small absolute reduction in the nationwide gun injury rate—one fewer gun injury for every 300,000 Americans. But this difference is not trivial, he says, considering only about 80,000 Americans out of a gun-owning population of tens of millions attend each meeting. In other words, a group only slightly larger than the population of Camden, N.J., appears to nudge gun injury statistics down for a few days every spring. NRA meetings, the researchers contend, may influence gun use even among people who don’t attend. Hunting and shooting ranges around the country may close on convention days so that employees can go, and group outings may be postponed during the confab even if only one group member plans to attend.

The design of this study only identifies associations, not precise cause-and-effect relationships, and so is unable to ascertain that the observed injury drop on convention days came about because NRA members are not using their weapons. But several study details support this explanation. First, injury rates on convention days dropped among men not women, consistent with the 85 percent of NRA meeting attendees who were male in 2017. The authors also found injury decreases were highest within the state hosting the convention, given that gun owners are more likely to attend meetings held close to home.

If the NRA wasn’t blocking more money to study guns we might learn more than we already have, but we seem to be learning enough to tell us that a tiny minority is endangering the rest of us because they can’t fucking handle their guns, no matter what they tell us.

Georgia not so Peachy

I mentioned this in the podcast but I think it deserves a post. Kelly Yamanouchi, who covers Delta for their hometown paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is all over the Delta NRA story. Here’s the gist:

Delta offered a “discount” for the NRA. Anyone who travels regularly knows that these discounts are hot garbage. Delta’s NRA discount was only used for 13 tickets.

When the fact that the NRA isn’t simply a hobbyist organization but an extremist cult was brought to Delta’s attention, they axed the discount. The Georgia legislature retaliated by rushing through a bill to take away a tax break from Delta. The governor signed it today.

Delta’s response was essentially a “fuck you” to Georgia. They’re not backing down, and in addition to eliminating the NRA discount, they’re going to get rid of discounts for any other group that is controversial.

As Yamanouchi pointed out in another article, Delta broke a commitment to keep Northwest’s headquarters in Minneapolis after acquiring them. Delta has a long history of being in Atlanta but they could move.

What a shitshow over 13 tickets.