America, land of school shootings and train derailments

There was another school shooting, this time in Tennessee: 3 dead kids and 3 dead staff, and the shooter killed on site.

Nothing will be done.

There was another train derailment in North Dakota, an hour and a half away from me. It spewed ethylene glycol and propylene into the environment, all because the railroad companies don’t like spending money on rail maintenance.

Nothing will be done.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be lots of talk and argument and indignant posturing, but nothing of substance will be done, and these terrible things will continue happening. This is a religious country, so they must be acts of God, don’t you know.

Thoughts and prayers, everyone.


  1. robro says

    Yes, Ts & Ps. The Tennessee Republican Representative from the school’s district offered his Ts & Ps yesterday. I won’t bother to look him up but what I read about him is that he and his wife were photographed sometime in the past holding their guns and touting how guns should be everywhere because they will make everyone safe.

  2. weylguy says

    The Republican Party was quick to denounce the Tennessee shooting but then immediately stated that there’s nothing more to be done to prevent future atrocities. Gun control remains firmly off their agenda. I’m convinced that even the shooting deaths of their own children would not budge them, so why should they care about anyone else?

  3. microraptor says

    Something’s going to be done: the shooting is going to be used to justify passing more laws to oppress trans people because the shooter was allegedly trans.

  4. robro says

    Speaking of Ts & Ps, it was a “Christian” school. The shooter attended the school in the past, but at 28 was well out of it. She apparently planned to go to other places but was killed at the school. And yes, according to the reports the shooter “identified as transgender.”

  5. wzrd1 says

    Believe it or not, derailments are way down, compared to 30 years ago, from something like 10k per year to around 1100. Most derailments don’t result in spills or dumping of cargo, but they are hell on the rails, which do get torn out.. Alas, in many cases, increases in derailments are directly correlated with efforts for a railroad to save money, resulting in spending more money in repairing great lengths of rail torn out by derailments.

    As with every other shooting, I’ll wait before commenting much, as I prefer to discuss facts, not guesses. What is known currently is that a 28 year old female former student murdered school students and employees and it’s likely that she entered the school by shooting out the glass door she entered by. She is alleged to have legally purchased the firearms, but with enough factual reporting that even that’s not fully certain.
    Rather than discussing via hyperbole, such as discussions of the NFA and how effective it would be in preventing repeats of Bonnie and Clyde’s crimes (hint: nope, they preferred stealing BAR machine guns from National Guard armories).
    Oh, she apparently had “advanced plans” (for all we know, they’re “detailed plans” drawn in crayon, given police hyperbole) and a manifesto (why do so many have manifestos?).
    The only real facts currently known for certain is that 6 people died needlessly. Again, given police reporting, she was shot by police, although I can think of 3 other cases where that was reported, only for it to be confirmed later to be suicide was the cause of death and not suicide by cop.

    weylguy, of course gun control is not on their agenda! That’d cut off some major brib– erm, campaign contributions.

  6. robro says

    I got the bit about the Tennessee congressman from Heather Cox Richardson’s coverage of this atrocity. Here’s what she said about him:

    In the wake of the shooting, Representative Andrew Ogles (R-TN), who represents Nashville thanks to redistricting by the Republican legislature that cut up a Democratic district, said he was “utterly heartbroken” by the shooting and offered “thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost.”

    In 2021, Ogles, his wife, and two of his three children held guns as they posed for a Christmas card with a caption that read: “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference—they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”

    The atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere hasn’t restrained the evil interference of this asshole and his ilk. They all deserve a place of shame.

  7. mordred says


    “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference—they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”

    Someone has obviously never heard of the part of the world that is not the US. Most of the western world is much more peaceful than the US and has a lot less guns.
    Of course I had a discussion years ago with an US gun nut who honestly claimed that Germany only has a low crime rate because our constitution guarantees the right to own guns. (It doesn’t)

  8. drew says

    all because the railroad companies don’t like spending money on rail maintenance

    And because our government has been captured by industry and no politician with an R or a D is doing a damned thing about it. Because they’re captured, too.

  9. kome says

    I disagree that nothing will be done.
    The mass shooting in TN is being heralded by right-wingers as evidence in support of justifying the extermination of trans people, and I have no doubt that anti-trans violence will increase as right-wing pundits use that school shooting to vilify trans people.

    So, something will be done, but it’ll make the world worse. Because we have horrible people in charge and there is no resistance to them in our country.

  10. robro says

    Per the Guardian this morning:

    The Senate chaplain commented on yesterday’s mass shooting, delivering fiery remarks about the need to move beyond thoughts and prayers in response to gun violence.

    On Tuesday, Senate chaplain Barry Black began his morning prayer for the Senate with a plea on addressing gun violence.

    “When babies die at a church school, it is time for us to move beyond thoughts and prayers. Remind our lawmakers of the words of the British statesman Edmund Burke: ‘All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing,” said Black during his impassioned prayer.

    While I doubt that Chaplain Black’s plea will have any effect, it would be the height of hypocrisy…and irony…if a Christian school shooting turned the tied on politicians refusing to do anything about it.

  11. says

    Of course, anyone calling for gun control now will be accused of “politicizing the tragedy.”
    Meanwhile, such Republican luminaries as MTG, Trump Jr., and Charlie Kirk have already publicly blamed gender-affirming care for the shooting.

    all because the railroad companies don’t like spending money on rail maintenance

    They don’t like spending their own money on rail maintenance.

  12. Hex says

    “As with every other shooting, I’ll wait before commenting much, as I prefer to discuss facts, not guesses. What is known currently is that a 28 year old female former student”

    Already wrong on the “facts”—initial reports on that came from the police who incorrectly identified him as a “trans woman” but on his social media he often used a different name and went by he/him pronouns, and going by sources that knew him when he was younger, he was AFAB.

    I fucking predicted something like this would happen when I was arguing with a bunch of people on a post a couple weeks ago. I and a couple other people advocated for white cis men to use their privilege to start taking direct action against fascists in power but was met with a refrain of resistance from cis people who insisted they knew better and cherry-picked their favorite “nonviolent” civil rights leaders in their favor (while ignoring the direct action many of them also advocated for as well as reducing mass movements down to a few figureheads and discounting the riots that sparked and fueled so many of them). They said if that happened there’d be mass violence against trans people, IGNORING THAT IT HAS BEEN HAPPENING TO US ALREADY. Now we have this shitshow to deal with which most of us on the ground knew was going to happen eventually (though seriously, fuck this person for targeting kids. If they had an ulterior political motive outside of accelerationism they made an awful fucking decision doing that) but at least if it would have been a white cis man to a transphobic politician there would have been less heat on the most marginalized of us and one less asshole in power and the rest of them might start to get a bit more scared of spouting their bigotry.

    Fascists are already using this as calls to increase genocidal attacks and policies against us and so many of the people in my local community are completely on edge. One of my partners just messaged me and a bunch of other people in my community that a local nazi dipshit who trots around in crusades garb and was at a protest against drag alongside other white supremacists near the town I grew up in is literally on patrol down the street from me on a transphobic bent rn. I know this is rambling but I’m literally shaking from fear and anger rn.

    All I know right now is the world is fucking shit if you’re trans and not enough people fucking care or have the willingness to fight. I know there is probably no point in me typing this because just like I and others thought something like this was going to happen, I don’t think enough people will actually take up arms against those in power regardless of how many of us suffer and die, but it is cathartic to yell at least.

  13. says

    @8: ‘Apparently the position of Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) is that “we’re not going to fix it” because “criminals are going to be criminals”.’

    Whenever I hear this, my response is “Might as well get rid of speed limits because speeders are going to speed.” And yes, that “logic” can be applied to anything from murder to rape to burglary to fraud to…” So, yeah, why have police departments then? For that matter, why even have a military? After all, attackers gotta attack. It’s what they do…

    The only way any of this changes is if people at the top start losing money because of it. This is America. The buck rules. Everything else takes a back seat. Gilens and Page were right.

  14. says

    I like dripping mockery along the lines of “Amazing! All of those right-wing bigoted shooters vanished the moment you had a shooter from a less numerous part of the population.”
    Then depending on the person I’m disparaging if they only care due to a “both sides” feeling, “reciprocal politics of negligence” maybe, or I point out abused people become shooters, abusers and victims.

  15. says

    Ignorant incompetent politics relative to the issue should be added as a label in my previous comment. Deliberately confusing behavior and identity because they are insecure about the identities of most of the shooters. Very mockworthy.

  16. whheydt says

    There was also a train derailment yesterday in San Bernadino, CA. The spilled cargo was iron ore.

  17. says

    I acknowledge the stereotype of victims becoming shooters. I’ll change something.

    It’s political rhetoric acting polarized about who are shooters that I’m targeting. I can see it isn’t a good choice to take someone scapegoating with abused people and add others like a list. I’ll adjust what I put in my rhetorical list or find different rhetoric.

  18. wzrd1 says

    drew @10, yep, capture via unlimited campaign contributions, or as I more commonly refer to them most accurately, bribes.

    Hex @14, thank you for making my point. Going off on half information gives half-assed responses that are entirely off target. Hence, waiting for a full investigation’s conclusions and evidence is prudent.
    I prefer to actually hit the correct target, rather than going off half-cocked.

    whheydt @18, there are around 1100 derailments per year. Most, uneventful, which means no major pollution is found, like in your example, but cargo does get spilled/damaged/destroyed. Around 30 – 40 years ago, it was literally ten times higher. Sounds like a wonderful case for increased monitoring and regulation, as whenever regulation is loosened, incidents increased.
    Which is odd, as whenever a train derails, it frequently results in at least a quarter mile of track and sleepers destroyed and needing to be expensively replaced. Why, it’s almost as if Libertarians don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about!
    No wait, it’s exactly that way.

    WMDKitty — Survivor @19, indeed. In my experience, abused people most frequently end up targets for more abuse, far too often lethally abused.
    Something that royally pisses me off.

    Brony, the problem remains well documented and deep rooted, the US embrasure of violence as a primary means of problem resolution. Or, as I commonly put it, “John Wayne really fucked this place up”.
    Hell, if the Wild West was even 1/4 as violent as our movies portray it, so few would’ve survived as to have the west still largely uninhabited. But, reality and movies don’t come anywhere near one another, as Dodge City didn’t allow people to carry firearms.
    And Philadelphia banned celebratory gunfire back in the early 1700’s.

  19. Kagehi says

    Seeing the usual headlines too on the shooting. One was all, “Why kids?” …. WTF?

    See, sadly, I can see what these people do not, based on the info I have so far. Some trans man (i.e., used to be a woman), with deep psychological problems, including aggressive and suicidal behavior, acted out what, I would suspect is a long fantasy about what they wanted to do about all the bullies that mistreated them when they ATTENDED the same school, which being a bold, open and blatantly “Christian school” was thus almost certainly anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-anything not far right, in which even if they didn’t encourage such bullying, they did nothing to stop it, because everyone there to teach was a “true believer”. Asking, “Why did he kill kids?”, is like asking why someone that had a deep hatred for, I don’t know.. animation, would shoot people dressed as cartoon characters. To such a person those “kids” are part of the horror they are fighting against. Not “fellow victims”, but, “Future victimizers”.

    That being said, this is all 100% speculation on my part, because everyone sees the fact that the perpetrators of these thing ALWAYS end up dead, are never arrested, and can never be questioned, makes it impossible to say what the facts are. Inconvenient of they want to f-ing understand anything, but… dare I say damned convenient for anyone that wants to make shit up about their motives, like the nutcase some idiot at work was listening too in the break room, who declared this as, “Proof that Trans people are out to destroy Christians!”

    I cannot illustrate, describe, elucidate, or even imagine and adequate response to just how much this crap, and the willingness of the right to twist every case like this into something that promotes more hate, and more guns, pisses me off.

  20. wzrd1 says

    Of course the shooter ended up dead.
    Per the police, one officer fired several rounds into the shooter from his AR-15, shooter went down and another officer kept yelling “stop moving” while pumping 9mm rounds into the now prone, unarmed gunman until that pesky respiratory movement ceased.
    A total right, proper and just summary execution of someone hors de combat. Something that our military would be before courts martial over.
    I’ve always found it fascinating how law enforcement in the US is allowed to do things unlawful for our military to do in time of actual war.