May 21 Open Thread: School Shootings Caused by Everything But Guns

Filed in National by on May 21, 2018

Margaret Atwood, most famous for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” summed up gender relations succinctly when she said, “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” And schoolkids are afraid that when those laughed-at schoolmates take their revenge, they’ll take lots of bystanders with them, as the Texas school shooter apparently did.

Texans predictably have blamed television, Ritalin, the news media, political correctness, Common Core, the lack of armed teachers and school buildings with too many doors — anything, that is, but the easy access to guns. Craig Hunter of Daily Kos notes that heightened surveillance of social media is among the proposed solutions, along with high-tech gizmos like facial-recognition technology, which seems incredibly stupid considering many of the shootings are committed by students. Such tyrannical measures are necessary because a few fanatics want to keep their guns in case of tyranny.

Facebook is facing opposition from all directions. Democrats on the left want to force it to sell off other social media platforms it has acquired, and Republicans want it to knuckle to their baseless complaints of bias the way legacy media has. Couldn’t happen to a more weaselly guy.

Speaking of slippery quadrupeds, like a blind pig finding an acorn, Trump (more accurately, his negotiator) has identified legitimate problems with NAFTA, argues liberal economist Robert Kuttner. IMO, Kuttner is making a mistake common to hopeful leftist pundits writing about Trump: thinking that he’ll follow through on any of his left-leaning notions. Republicans have blocked such ideas at every turn — remember the trillion-dollar infrastructure investment? — by the simple expedient of having Fox & Friends say it’s a bad idea.

From the Guys Who Had a Worse Day Than You Dept.: Some schmo in Hawaii was watching the volcanic lava show from his third-floor balcony when a nearby fissure ejected material known as “spatter.” Lava spatters “can weigh as much as a refrigerator and even small pieces of spatter can kill,” a spokeswoman told Reuters. This one struck the man and shattered his leg from his shin down. If that’s not enough to convince you this is the flip side of paradise, the lava has reached the sea, causing clouds of something called “laze,” which consists of hydrochloric acid, steam and fine glass particles. Sounds like a sidewalk cafe in hell. “Beelzebub, party of two!”

Barbara Ehrenreich, the muckraking writer who brought us “Nickel and Dimed,” is 76 now, and has turned her attention to the “wellness” industry. As usual, she quickly nails the class differences expressed in the very idea of “wellness.” She also thinks the American preference for expensive procedures — should everyone get a colonoscopy, or should we use less invasive and expensive screening methods first? — amounts to a racket.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    In Texas, has anyone blamed the NRA member father who allowed this shooting to happen?

    It seems to me that dramatically increasing parental liability could be a practical first step toward reducing these types of shootings.

  2. Dave says:

    “It seems to me that dramatically increasing parental liability could be a practical first step toward reducing these types of shootings.”

    Practicality has no place in the marketplace of ideas. Ultimately, the case for no regulation of any sort for firearms is two fundamental bedrock beliefs.

    1. Nothing will work.
    2. Stuff happens.

    One can argue, debate, discuss or whatever but until they let go of their nihilistic paradigm, all logic, reason, and common reason in the world will fall on deaf ears.

  3. Alby says:

    “One can argue, debate, discuss or whatever but until they let go of their nihilistic paradigm, all logic, reason, and common reason in the world will fall on deaf ears.”

    Agreed. The real problem is a system that works in such a way that a small but fanatical minority can set the agenda, provided that fanatical minority has a big-money political lobbying operation behind it.

    The really sad part is that these people’s minds and lives have been fucked with by capitalists who just want to make money selling guns. If they have to make a few tens of millions of people paranoid and frightened to accomplish that, well, that’s the price of “freedom” as they define it, which is the freedom to profit off others. They’re trapped in a world someone else made, and no pill is going to save them from it.

  4. Dave says:

    “a small but fanatical minority can set the agenda”

    Our republic is supposedly protected from the fanatical majority. I don’t know that anyone every envisioned needing protection from the fanatical minority.

  5. RE Vanella says:

    White planter class oligarchs founded and ran the country for 90 years. Then the robber baron train and steel interests. Then the financiers.

    We’ve been rules by a fanatical minority since the very beginning.

  6. Alby says:

    The fanatical minorities you cite were self-financing. The ruling class has no particular love of the 2nd Amendment; the only source of its funds are gun manufacturers (Russian ones included), gun nuts and lots of non-obsessed gun owners who can ultimately be persuaded that their membership dues help perpetuate the slaughter of innocents.

  7. RE Vanella says:

    Still are as far as I can tell. Organized money has always rallied scared dolts. The rebel army didn’t fill its ranks with plantation owners.

    I mentioned it last week or the one prior. Trump’s base is white people without a college degree that make $50-100k per annum. Very easy to scare these people and manipulate them. If they fellate their guns, the Peter Thiels and Rex Tillersons and Steve Mnuchins and Jamie Dimons of nation couldn’t care less. They have no interaction with these people so they just tell them whatever. Makes no difference.

    In this context guns are a red herring. This is why corporate politicians are always “evolving” on issues. They vaguely support or slow walk or support any issue if it’s politically advantageous.

    Joe Biden voted for the crime bill. Clinton signed the defence of marriage act. You think Trump cares about guns one way or the other? I don’t. If there was white support to overturn the 2nd amendment he’d Tweet it out tomorrow morning.

  8. RE Vanella says:

    And of course on the SCOTUS thing. Protect organized money.

  9. Alby says:

    “The rebel army didn’t fill its ranks with plantation owners.”

    It wasn’t very long before they were filling, or failing to fill, the ranks with conscripts.

    “Joe Biden voted for the crime bill.”

    He had to. He wrote it.

    I agree, they don’t care one way or the other about guns. As long as we kill each other instead of the rich, it’s a wash for them.

  10. RE Vanella says:


  11. Dana Garrett says:

    Given that the USA is either too stupid or apathetic to tell the NRA where you go, it seems to me that some other “solutions” need to be considered to reduce gun violence in schools. I’m thinking that all students need to pass through metal detectors that are supervised by armrd guards. It’s a tragedy and an indictment of the American government that students might need to experience such a measure to enjoy a degree of increased safety, but such a measure might be necessary given the political and social realities in the USA today.

  12. puck says:

    Our historic congresswoman voted for the Dodd Frank rollback with all the old white guys.