Now Is Not The Right Time. It Is The Only Time

Two campus shootings in a single day.


First up, Northern Arizona University, where a gun in the hands of an 18 year old student dispatched bullets into the bodies of four human beings.  One is dead.

G. T. Fowler, the chief of campus police, said that Steven Jones, a freshman, had opened fire after two groups of male students were involved in a confrontation. The police were able to take Mr. Jones into custody after he stopped firing the weapon and “everything calmed down for a few minutes,” Chief Fowler said.

This was, as Charles Pierce pointed out earlier today, not some deranged son of satan spinning out of our collective id.  Rather…

This is an ordinary Thursday night campus brawl that escalated to homicide only because one of the participants had a gun which, I guarantee you, he did not have to work hard to obtain. Maybe we should look into why these things happen.

Travel now to Texas Southern University where…

A gunman killed one person and wounded another on the campus of Texas Southern University in Houston on Friday, the second shooting at the university this week.

This one is not likely to remain a mystery either, as “The Houston Police Department said a possible suspect in Friday’s shooting was in custody.”

Note, please the lagniappe in the Times write up on the TSU murder, that “second shooting” line:

On Tuesday night, a person was shot and seriously wounded while walking across the Texas Southern campus. There was no indication whether that shooting was linked to the one there on Friday.

Guns do not create the impulse to violence. They merely ensure that the consequences of just about anything can be fatal.

Most of all, guns destroy freedom.  They erode the freedom of assembly.  They make it scary to walk across a college campus at night.  They make you wonder if saying that, say, the GOP field is a bunch of ammosexual nuts might line you up on the wrong side of a nine held by some cultist in the church of the holy firearm who takes a hard line on blasphemy.

Guns fix their owner in a state of permanent fear — how else to describe the claim of a threat so constant that going strapped is the only rational response? — and impose that fear on all the rest of us.  Guns slaughter their own, as 20,000 + gun suicides attest.

An armed society is not a civil society.  It is one that rewards not our aspirations, but our night terrors.

But we all know this.

Guns. Need. To. Be. Caged.  It’s as political — or rather it needs to be — as Social Security, for our side as well as the NRA’s.  No politician from here forward gets my support unless they are gun control absolutists.

I don’t pretend anything I want will happen anytime soon.  But I do believe that at some point the massacre of the innocents will shock enough consciences to make change possible.

Rant over.

Pieter Breughel the Elder, The Massacre of the Innocents, 1556-7

You Get Ore-Gone

Go north to Alaska, east to Atlantic City
Or south to Rio, almost as far as you can go
Get outta town, just rent a car,
So they won’t know where you are

Not everyone in Roseburg, Oregon, is glad that President Barack Obama will visit the town Friday. The president was expected to travel to Roseburg after a mass shooting last week to comfort the survivors and families of those killed. However, opinions are divided in Roseburg about Obama’s gun policies, and gun rights supporters planned to protest during the president’s visit.

At least one parent of a student who survived the shooting says he will not meet with Obama, according to the Associated Press. The student said she does hope to meet with the president.

He’s not wanted here. He’s coming here purely to push his garbage, and we don’t want it,” Michelle Finn, who is helping to organize the protests, told the AP.

The protests are expected to take place on intersections near the airport where Obama’s helicopter will touch down. In the days after the shooting at Umpqua Community College, it was widely reported that Douglas County, where Roseburg is located, is home to many gun owners who believe that more guns, not fewer, are needed to solve the problem of mass shootings.

The issue of guns on the Umpqua Community College campus had been a topic of discussion for months before the shooting, and faculty and staff had debated whether to arm campus security officers, the AP reported. On the morning of the shooting, just one unarmed security guard was on patrol.

I’m old enough to remember when the President showing up to speak to a community after it suffered heartbreak was considered a sign of respect, and that respect was returned.  That apparently ended on January 21, 2009 and I guess I just missed the memo or something.

I mean, it’s not like the guy abandoned a major American city to a hurricane and then botched relief efforts or anything, folks.

And now for something completely predictable

Adam’s post below is very informative, and you should all go and read it.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Read more

Kentucky Fried Showdown

Well, I didn’t think the Kim Davis story could get much worse here in the Bluegrass State.

It just got worse.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes announced yesterday that he had reached out to Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel to offer the protection of his group, which he says is already forming a presence in Rowan County, Kentucky, where Davis was recently released from jail after prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses. Rhodes said in a statement that his position has nothing to do with gay marriage, but rather his conviction that Davis had been illegally detained by the federal judge who held her in contempt for violating multiple court orders.

In a phone call with Jackson County, Kentucky, Sheriff Denny Peyman and other local Oath Keepers activists, Rhodes said that he was on his way to Kentucky to help with the Davis operation. Although the group had originally intended to picket outside the home of the judge who held Davis in contempt, he said, they had changed their plan when she was released on Tuesday.

Rhodes said that the Rowan County sheriff should have blocked U.S. Marshals from detaining Davis, but since neither the sheriff nor the state’s governor will do their “job” and “intercede” on behalf of Davis, the Oath Keepers will have to do it instead. “As far as we’re concerned, this is not over,” he said, “and this judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to. If the sheriff, who should be interceding, is not going to do his job and the governor is not going to do the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it.”

Peyman suggested that he meet with the Rowan County sheriff to “educate him” on his responsibility to block the actions of the federal courts, but in the meantime, Rhodes said, “our guys are already there and more coming” and they are ready to “lead by example” by preventing Davis from being arrested again.

I’m sure this will end well, right?

In all seriousness, do we get to use the term “domestic terrorist” and actually have it mean something if armed goobers like this are going to butt heads with U.S. Marshals after Davis inevitably violates her court order?

Bonus question:  Do these guys show up at the Rowan County Clerk’s Office to “protect” Davis from same-sex couples wanting to get married?

Double bonus question: if you’re publicly announcing your intent to “interfere” with county sheriffs and U.S. Marshals, why are you not having a nice conversation with law enforcement in a little room with no windows?

Reporting On A Crime Scene

A local morning news reporter and her cameraman were shot and killed on the air near Roanoke, Virginia this morning.

Police are searching for a person who they say shot at multiple people Wednesday morning, killing WDBJ7’s Alison Parker and Adam Ward at the Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake.

According to Franklin County Sheriff Department’s Spokesperson Phillip Young, the shooting occurred at the Bedford County-Franklin County line in Moneta at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday, August 26.

WDBJ7 says the shooting occurred during their live shot and are asking for your prayers. 

Members with Bedford, Franklin County and Virginia State Police are on scene. Sgt. Ryan Young with the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries confirmed half a dozen of their department are on scene searching the shoreline and surrounding area.

Police say they continue to look for the shooter at this time and are hoping to get a description out to the public shortly. This incident remains under investigation.

At this time Bedford County Public Schools are on perimeter lock-down until further notice, according to the superintendent. For those students on their way to school, officials say they will be secured upon arrival.

And again, this happened live on the air.  Raw Story has the video, I won’t put it up here, but it’s just unreal.  Parker is interviewing a woman at a dockside shopping center and there’s three shots, screams, the camera falls over and you see the planks, and it cuts back to the anchor in the studio.

The look on her face is heart-rending.

Manhunt continues for the shooter.