Days of grief and rage


Some days, I just want to lie in bed and cry. Cry for the dead, for the families of the dead, for this country. This video hit me hard.

If you’re at all human and humane, you have to feel the same.

But then, it also reveals that there are monsters among us. Ted Cruz was hogging the cameras with his ridiculous claim that we could solve the school shooting problem with doors and cops, anything but controlling access to slaughter guns. Republicans lined up to defend guns, not people. Not even children.

[Trolling parody deleted.]

And the trolls and liars and conspiracy theorists

Predictably, the worst of the lot were the white-nationalist-friendly trolls at the message board 4chan, who trotted out photos of a Hispanic transgender woman who they claimed was the shooter—a claim that was promptly debunked on Reddit, where the person whose photos were being used chimed in and denounced the claims as utterly and obviously bogus, since she didn’t even live in Texas and couldn’t possibly be the shooter.

However, that didn’t stop the bogus claim that the shooter was a transgender woman from spreading far and wide on social media, bolstered both by Jones’ Infowars program and by prominent far-right figures like race troll Candace Owens, white nationalist Dave Reilly, and Congressman Paul Gosar. Other Republicans wondered aloud whether the shooter—identified by law enforcement as 18-year-old Uvalde resident Salvador Ramos—was an “illegal immigrant.”

Are you angry yet? If you aren’t, what’s wrong with you?

Comments

  1. PaulBC says

    “stop sending them to public school.” …because that worked so well for this Amish community.

    It’s interesting he writes “sacrifice” because I have thought for years that gun worship is now a genuine religion complete with human sacrifice. It just surprises me when someone says it out loud: we care more about our toys than we care about your kids.

  2. raven says

    I just posted this on another thread but it goes here.

    These mass shooting incidents follow a predictable script.
    We’ve had so many of them that everyone knows it by now.

    Thoughts and prayers.
    Democrats, “we need sensible gun control.”
    Republicans, “nothing can be done and the Democrats are all commies.”
    Fundies. Due to demons and satan.
    Republicans. The solution to gun violence is more guns, guns everywhere for everyone.

    So what is left?

    It is all Obama and Hillary’s fault.
    It is all the fault of the gays and Transgenders and abortion and the theory of evolution.
    Alex Jones and the lunatic fringes. This was a false flag attack and it also never happened. Those 19 dead children and two dead adults are all crisis actors.
    Fundie xians. This was all god’s plan, they are in a better place, and those 21 people all got their wings.
    God needed more angels (for what, isn’t he supposed to be all powerful).

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    “A small sacrifice?”

    Tell me, Randy. Did you ask these children whether or not they wanted to be sacrificed upon the altar of the Bill of Rights just so white, cis-het, male, Christian, racist paranoids like you can keep your lethal toys?

    No? Then take your precious second amendment, roll it up, and shove it vigorously up your rectum.

    Also, while we’re on the topic, to hell with your crotch-spawn too.

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    “A small sacrifice?”

    Tell me, Randy. Did you ask these children whether or not they wanted to be sacrificed upon the altar of the Bill of Rights just so white, cis-het, male, Christian, racist paranoids like you can keep your lethal toys?

    No? Then take your precious second amendment, roll it up, and shove it vigorously up your rectum.

    Also, while we’re on the topic, to hell with your crotch-spawn too.

  5. raven says

    Politifact May 25, 2022

    PolitiFact – No, the Uvalde school shooting wasn’t a false flag
    Ciara O’Rourke

    Eighteen children and one teacher were killed in a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde County, Texas, on May 24. Claims that this was a false flag operation are unfounded and false.
    Eighteen children and one teacher were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde County, Texas, on May 24, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and news reports citing the Texas Department of Public Safety. Amid the grief and anger online as people responded to the slaying, there were baseless claims that have become unfortunately predictable in the wake of mass shootings: that this was a false flag operation.

    “Those directing false flags know the emotional response from the Buffalo shooting is wearing down for the sheep,” one tweet said, referencing the shooting at a grocery store with mostly Black patrons a week earlier. “So they did another one in Uvalde Texas to reinforce the response. Don’t be fooled. False Flag season is here.”

    Check this one off the list.
    No it wasn’t a false flag attack.

    Next up.
    It never happened and those 21 dead people are all crisis actors.
    Expect the parents of those 19 dead children to be called liars and receive countless death threats from the lunatic fringers.

  6. microraptor says

    I’m not wishing for a school shooting at the private school where Representative Fine’s son attends. I’m not going to wish for that. I’m never going to wish for a bunch of unrelated people being hurt just to teach one asshole a lesson.

    Instead, I’m just going to wish that Randy develops a very fast-acting case of necrotizing fasciitus on his genitals.

  7. Joé McKen says

    Just a quick heads-up, but those Randy Fine tweets are from a parody account, @VoteRandyFineFL. The real account, @VoteRandyFine (no “FL” at the end), has no such tweets. Honestly, they’re so blatantly over-the-top I was immediately suspicious. But whilst the real Rep. Fine is absolutely a self-parody, he never said these particular things.

    Fully agree on that video though – it’s hard just to watch. Can’t begin to imagine the hell he and the other parents are now stuck in.

  8. robro says

    raven — You’re missing a key point or two in the predictable post-shooting narrative: If you call out the politicians standing in the way of gun control, you’re “politicizing” this horrible nightmare and we should wait while we’re in a mourning period. Never mind that saying that kind of crap is itself politicizing the situation…but that’s way too subtle for these jerks. And, given the frequency if we wait there will be another, and then another, and…we’re in a never-ending mourning period.

  9. PaulBC says

    Joé McKen@9 Shame on me for accepting PZ’s post uncritically. This sent me scrambling to check that @VoteRandyFineFL is a parody account, so I don’t accept something else uncritically. There is a lot of confusion out there, because it is no longer shocking to think that an elected Republican representative would say this. They say crazy shit all the time.

    It’s not far off from reality. Rightwingers make no secret about their hatred of public schools. School children and other victims of gun violence are a de facto sacrifice to 2nd amendment worship, though so far you don’t hear it stated.

    We’ll hear it acknowledged more and more as it becomes impossible to pretend “guns make us safer.” It is unlikely to be stated as blatantly as fake Randy Fine, but you can look at a lot of statements about “harming the economy” at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic for a similar disregard for human life.

  10. jo1storm says

    #10 at robro: also known as “I hate Mondays” narrative. You’re supposed to commiserate with your fellows about the sad state of the world, not try to change things! Because you can’t legislate evil, or something!

    And trying to change things instead of solemnly mourning is “politicizing tragedy”, doncha know?

  11. weylguy says

    The Republican Party is evil. It’s time to get rid of it, once and for all. A third party willing to concede that firearms for sport and home protection are okay, but assault weapons with dozens of ammo cartridges are not. Get rid of them, too.

  12. Walter Solomon says

    I really didn’t need to see his or his kid’s face. That shit was disturbing enough without reading his demented words.

  13. says

    @1

    I remember reading about how creationists were agreeing with the Amish when they claimed (without evidence) that evolution lead the gunman to commit such a horrible crime before taking his own life. And this is a religious sect who are in complete denial of the real reasons why such incidents happen frequently such as lack of gun control, easy access to guns, and lack of treatments for mental illness.

    I wonder if the creationists paid them to lie like that.

  14. ardipithecus says

    Every country has people with mental health issues but only one has mass shootings as a national pastime.

  15. consciousness razor says

    A bunch of cops were busying themselves with crowd control of the distraught parents at the scene, who were pleading with them to go in, stop the shooter, get their kids out, and so on. Some wanted go in themselves, but the cops were stopping them, had at least one person pinned to the ground, etc. If you didn’t know better, you’d think they were dealing with a group of protesters. See here

    But also, according to Lt. Olivarez here, some cops had gone in to get their own kids out of the school. (See here, starting around 1:32) That was Tuesday evening. Presumably, neither the reporter nor the officer (a Texas DPS spokesperson) were aware of what that scene in the cell phone video above was like, so it might have sounded like a fairly innocuous detail at the time.

    This morning on CNN, he’s still not clear about much. One thing is for sure: it’s definitely going to be copaganda, whenever they figure out what story they want to tell.

  16. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 1

    I wonder if the creationists paid them to lie like that.

    Probably not, The Amish are fundamentalist Calvinists who take the Bible literally. They don’t need payment to profess their faith.

  17. says

    It looks like @RepRandyFine, which I think is his real account, has been suspended for violating Twitter rules. I think for threatening to show Joe Biden the “real meaning of the Second Amendment.”
    Raven #2: Yeah, robro is right, there’s also the bit where they chastise anybody calling for gun control for “politicizing the tragedy,” which is a pseudo-principled sounding way of shutting down any discussion, forgetting that politics got us here and that politics is how laws get made and changed in this country.
    They also like to blame mental illness for the attack, never mentioning anything real that they’ve done to help anybody in that area. In fact, funding for mental health in Texas has been slashed under Gov. Abbott.
    And I have yet to hear a good explanation for why the GOP has nominated for their governor a guy who blames his supposed multiple personality disorder for his having put a gun to his wife’s head some years ago.
    And Ted Cruz thinks schools should have one door with an armed guard. I suspect any fire marshal might have issues with that.
    Marjorie Taylor-Greene, of course, thinks letting God back in the schools is the answer; I asked her via tweet/reply if she was going to be stalking and harassing any of the survivors this time. I haven’t heard back.
    Tears and anger are the only appropriate emotions.

  18. Akira MacKenzie says

    Marjorie Taylor-Greene, of course, thinks letting God back in the schools is the answer…

    Where was her Gawd during the massacre?

    Of course, what she means is mandatory school prayer and Christian indoctrination via the public schools. Somehow, despite history being filled with murders throughout the “good old days” of Christian supremacy they pine for, this is supposed to make all children dear little angels who’d never hurt anyone… except LGBTQ folks… or nonwhites… or non-Christians… or anyone who doesn’t grovel before Dear Leader Donald…

  19. PaulBC says

    cr@23 Shooting a police officer carries more severe penalties than just shooting a random person. Therefore, police lives matter more than other people’s lives. Therefore, the first order of business for any cop is to make sure they and their colleagues are protected from harm.

    I would say they were just doing their job, right?

  20. says

    @9
    Yeah, I figured as much (about it being a parody). There were two red flags: 1. No blue checkmark. 2. Very few likes.
    Sadly, though, the content was believable.

  21. consciousness razor says

    PaulBC:

    I would say they were just doing their job, right?

    Given your argument, that is what you would say, yes.

  22. PaulBC says

    The real VoteRandyFine tweeted a not-very-veiled assassination threat, I can see why it’s hard to tell which is parody–except that a satirist would probably be more careful avoid getting a visit from Secret Service.

    Link to Google search: https://www.google.com/search?q=reprandyfine I can’t guarantee that will work for everyone but I won’t quote this maniac or link directly.

    While Fine doesn’t explicitly come out and say that guns are more important to him than kids’ lives, the conclusion is inescapable.

  23. PaulBC says

    cr@31 Sigh. I would say it is a common idiom and presumably you would agree that I would say that.

  24. PaulBC says

    Leo Buzalsky@30 Calling his kid “Ginger Goblin” came close to setting off my bullshit alarm. But it was kind of like, OK, I know he’s a fucking maniac.

  25. consciousness razor says

    PaulBC, #33:
    Okay, I’m not sure anymore…. Were you being serious?

  26. seachange says

    #13 jo1storm

    Thank you for posting this video.

    We are responsible for this earth and the life on it. It may seem that it is “just another Monday” but it is not.

    I was at a Green Party function last month and I a christian who is not a fundy or a fascist. I had not seen this video. Nevetheless I was explaining the exact same things in almost the same order as the video to someone there who kept on expousing ideas from the republicrats and the fake news. They were not a christian, and claimed to not believe in any god.

    But they were bound and determined to be the most holy pope princess of all the delicate snowflakes better than me (and you and you and you…). It did not matter to him at all that he didn’t actually believe the things he was saying. It did not matter to him that the things he was saying were not Green. It did not matter to him that he was insulting me or that he was looking stupid by saying things that (when I led him socratically) he himself did not believe or feel was rational or logical. Being able to exclude people was so so so IMPORTANT.

    If I was talking to a christian I would point out how this attitude is a defiance of the perfect sacrifice provided for us by Jesus and as such is a willful embrace of Satan. On him, this did not work. I didn’t expect it to. sigh Why did I do this?

    This was not a performative act, it was a modeling of moral behavior of how someone could be Green and defy the bullshit fed to us by those who would destroy the world for Mammon and still feel “good”. I was hoping, I had faith, that while I am one small person that change could happen, and it could happen in his heart. Whether he chose or will choose to be actually Green, or actually christian, I cannot say.

    So, I asked him why he was there. It turns out, he didn’t really know.

    The video talks about voting for the lesser of the two evils. This only matters once you are outside of the primary system/caucus. Even in a general election then it only matters if one of the two members of the AllWarAllTheTime Party isn’t likely to win overwhelmingly. I will still vote Green, because just in case you weren’t paying attention, the lesser of the two evils the democrats aren’t doing much/enough and haven’t been doing that even when they are in complete control. Doing what little they are doing WILL destroy the world.

    We are responsible for this earth and the life on it. It is NOT “just another Monday”.

  27. PaulBC says

    cr@35 I thought my sarcasm was obvious. However, cops really do place a higher priority on protecting their own lives than those around them, at least in certain situations. It’s part of their training.

    A typical use of deadly force by a cop would be a fatal misunderstanding during a traffic stop, resulting in the jury finding that the cop used their best judgment, erroneously believing the person they shot was reaching for a weapon–the person they really should not have needed to stop in the first place to hand them a fix-it ticket for a broken tail light. (This happens most commonly, but not exclusively to people of color.)

    An atypical case would be to insert themselves into a situation where their life is clearly at risk ahead of time and try to kill an armed and dangerous criminal. This happens a lot more on TV and in movies than real life. I am sure it does happen–there was that unfortunate security guard/retired cop in Buffalo who could have stopped the shooter except the shooter was wearing body armor. I get sick thinking about that.

    Police may indeed shoot someone who is armed and dangerous, but usually from a safe distance, which is impossible if the active shooter is in a school building. In fact (though I don’t know) it probably is part of their training not to go in.

    So my “logic” was not intended seriously, but I think implicitly something very similar is part of police culture and popular understanding.

  28. consciousness razor says

    PaulBC:

    I thought my sarcasm was obvious

    I thought so about #29, but the meaning/purpose of #33 was not obvious to me. Not that it really matters.

    A typical use of deadly force by a cop would be a fatal misunderstanding during a traffic stop, resulting in the jury finding that the cop used their best judgment

    Typically, there is no jury, because it never gets that far.

    An atypical case would be to insert themselves into a situation where their life is clearly at risk ahead of time and try to kill an armed and dangerous criminal.

    They don’t actually prevent or stop many actual violent crimes, that much is true.

    In fact (though I don’t know) it probably is part of their training not to go in.

    It sounds like you’re just making that up, not that it is a fact.

  29. consciousness razor says

    By the way….

    In fact (though I don’t know) it probably is part of their training not to go in.

    Although the real story is still very murky and the official version of events has tons of holes (and cops are never trustworthy), there were some who went in initially, which would have violated their training if your guess/inference were correct. (Then obviously others did too, some time later — maybe around an hour, whenever the incident was finally over.)

    So please don’t get confused about the fact that some other officers didn’t go in, because they were busy intimidating the parents outside (and possibly other bystanders).

  30. PaulBC says

    cr@38 Yes, I misspoke, since I was introducing a guess rather than a fact (indicated by weasel-word “probably”). I did notice it afterward and realized it was poorly stated. If I could I would rephrase it as “It wouldn’t surprise me if…”

  31. Rob Grigjanis says

    PaulBC @41: Just heard an ex-cop on CNN who was involved with training police after Columbine. He said that the (then new) established procedure was that, as soon as there are three or four armed officers on site with a shooter inside a building, they immediately go in after him, with the sole goal of taking him out.

  32. PaulBC says

    cr@38 I can’t find a link, but there was an NPR story from years back about police training, and in particular how one case was emphasized in which a rookie cop made the mistake of entering an apartment where he assumed the occupants were unarmed and was killed as a result. The point of the training (as I took it) was: Don’t let yourself be fooled. There is always danger. (I was going to add this above, but I deleted it, and I’m going to try again. My point here is not to deflect from my poor phrasing.)

  33. PaulBC says

    Rob Grigjanis@42 That’s good to know. It rarely seems like that. It might also be a question of timing, because the mass shooting can take a lot less time than getting enough backups.

  34. Rob Grigjanis says

    PaulBC @44: There were many more than four armed, vested cops milling around, keeping parents away, while the parents pleaded for the cops to go in, or to give them guns and vests so that they could go in. It was at least forty minutes between the shooter being seen entering the school and the shooter being killed.

  35. PaulBC says

    Rob Grigjanis@45 Yikes! I admit I haven’t been following this story that closely. I have skimmed some NYT articles (mostly skiping the heartbreaking photos of kids). So much for what I think about police training. That was not the issue.

    I’ll avoid leaping to any conclusions about why this particular group of parents was treated this way by police. Or, rather, I can’t help the leaping, but I’ll avoid stating it here.

  36. consciousness razor says

    PaulBC, #46:

    Yikes! I admit I haven’t been following this story that closely.

    That explains it I guess, as annoying as that is. I had assumed you had at least read my comments, since you were responding to them, and if you wanted some confirmation of what I was saying, perhaps watched some of the cell phone videos I had conveniently linked … you know, instead of just going with “what I think about police training” and ruminating about that for a while.

    I’ll avoid leaping to any conclusions about why this particular group of parents was treated this way by police. Or, rather, I can’t help the leaping, but I’ll avoid stating it here.

    I will help with this too, since I can make an educated guess about what you’re thinking. It’s almost certainly not about racism. Most of the town is Hispanic (over 78%), most of the police and SWAT team are too from what I can tell, and even the sign at the school itself reads “Bienvenidos” (not “Welcome”). So it’s not plausibly about that in this particular case.

    I think it’s most likely because cops as a rule are well-armed, belligerent cowards, given to blindly following whatever dipshit orders they are given by their incompetent, corrupt, unaccountable commanders.

  37. consciousness razor says

    I think it’s most likely because cops as a rule are well-armed, belligerent cowards, given to blindly following whatever dipshit orders they are given by their incompetent, corrupt, unaccountable commanders.

    Note: that also helps to explain much of the behavior of “Republicans,” about as well as it does for “cops.”

  38. PaulBC says

    cr@47 I make a point of skipping videos and will continue to do so. I did read your text.

    As I’m sure you’re aware, I often go off in a direction that isn’t necessarily a response to the comment I reference. I was stating the opinion that police assign the highest priority to self-protection, which is at least indirectly connected to your comment.

  39. PaulBC says

    cr@47 On your other point, the fact that the school says “Bienvenidos” is not a useful indicator. I’m sure I could find that where I live, and in the case of electronic signs, it is simply the standard that they flash both English and Spanish for most messages. The more Latino students the greater the emphasis on messaging in Spanish (and this is many years after California dropped “bilingual education”).

    I still have trouble believing that parents in an affluent community (independent of race) would have been treated this way. I agree with your explanation of police behavior, but I also think there has to be something else going on.

    The police did not consider these parents worthy of respect. Why was that? Even if the police come from the same background, that doesn’t immediately imply that they would side with a group that they see as an underclass for some reason.

    Yes, I am jumping to conclusions. I suspect there is something here beyond police incompetence or even cowardice.

  40. consciousness razor says

    I make a point of skipping videos and will continue to do so.

    You can do that. But do you also make a point of relying on guesswork and intuitions, when that isn’t needed and won’t be helpful? Maybe next time the first step should be asking for more information or getting it yourself. Or if you just can’t be bothered to do any of that, it’s probably not that important that you weigh in on the subject either, since after all you evidently have better things to do with your time.

    Wanting to ease the tension, so I’m thinking about this scene from The Big Lebowski: “So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You’re like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie, and wants to know —“

  41. Tethys says

    Authoritarian people are far more likely to become cops, and be maga\tfg sect GOP.

    It’s not about Race so much as it is about wealth. Consider the multiple recent news stories/crimes about a Supreme Court justice and his spouse, who shall remain nameless, because I don’t want to be flooded with crap by algorithms.

  42. consciousness razor says

    from Twitter (commenting on a new WaPo article which is paywalled):

    A mom of two children at Uvalde was put in handcuffs after urging police and law enforcement to enter the school.
    Once freed from her cuffs, she jumped the school fence, ran inside and sprinted out with her kids.

    (1) She drove 40 miles to get there, after hearing there was a shooting at the school.
    (2) Along with lots of other parents, she was arguing with the cops, who then handcuffed her. Others were reportedly pepper-sprayed, and I saw at least one who had been tackled and pinned on the ground.
    (3) She somehow got out of the cuffs (not clear).
    (4) She climbed over the chain link fence into the school, meaning the cops weren’t even protecting the perimeter very well, which is apparently what they thought they were supposed to do.
    (5) Once in the school, she found her kids, a second grader and a third grader.
    (6) And finally, she brought them back out herself.
    (7) More time passes, and eventually, some other group of law enforcement get to the shooter, which apparently also lead to another death.

    Think about what a ridiculously long amount of time all of that must have taken.

    A new official version of how the whole clusterfuck started is that the guy was already shooting outside of the school for a while before entering, and they apparently just made up the story about an officer “engaging” him as he went in.

  43. lochaber says

    Pretty recently, maybe last week? I was just talking with a coworker about running across some thread/comment where someone complained about the police not only refusing to address a crime committed against the person talking to the police but then threatened/charged the person making the complaint. And the comments were full of replies of people talking about similar events that happened to them. And pretty much all of my coworkers have had similar experiences. This is part of why people are in favor of “defund the police” because when they aren’t harassing, assaulting, and outright killing POC, they aren’t doing anything at all.

    I’m reminded of an event that happened near me, maybe about a decade ago (may have even been memorial day weekend?) Someone was having a mental health crisis, and I believe stated they were going to kill themselves, and then walked off into the water off of a beach in Alameda, CA, and proceeded to stand in about chest deep water until they succumbed to hypothermia, and eventually drowned. The police did nothing, claiming “he might be armed” as a reason not to approach him. numerous bystanders, including trained life guards and people with various watercraft offered to help, but were prevented by the police, they literally sat there and waited for him to die. If I remember correctly, the body was recovered by a fairly small nurse (Supposedly the guy was somewhat big, which was another reason the police claimed to be concerned about “safety”), who eventually ignored the police and swam out there, unfortunately too late to save his life.

    Cops are useless. Even back in the early 90s, I remember cops often having rifles in their patrol car, and I can’t imagine that’s less common with the increased militarization of police, or police in Texas, for fuck’s sake. Cops are worse than useless.

    I really hope there are some sort of effective lawsuits about this, I know that cops have qualified immunity, and aren’t required to risk their lives, etc., but I hope someone can at least make something about a false arrest or whatever stick, that has to be widely unpopular across the board, to arrest a parent for trying to rescue their child…

  44. Rob Grigjanis says

    Now we learn that kids in the classroom were making whispered 911 calls while 19 cops were in the hallway outside the classroom for forty minutes.

  45. Rob Grigjanis says

    And one student survived by smearing herself with a classmate’s blood and playing dead. ‘rage’ doesn’t even begin to describe. And Greg Abbott is talking about mental health. I wish him and his fellow travellers the most agonizing, horror-filled deaths, as soon as possible.

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