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By Robert A. Vella

The aftermath

Well, the shit sure is hitting the fan today over the terrible mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.  The FBI is finally looking into these incidents as acts of domestic terrorism (better late than never, I suppose), and reluctant Republicans (including President Trump) are considering the need to implement universal background checks on gun purchases which Democrats have been demanding for decades.  But, even such backpedaling by some in the GOP (which is probably causing handwringing at the NRA right now) won’t assuage the palpable outrage being expressed by Americans all across the nation.  Calls for assault weapon bans and other gun control measures are sounding loud and clear from coast to coast.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – a staunch opponent of gun control legislation – has conveniently suffered an injury in his home which will apparently prevent him from calling the Senate back into session from its August recess to deal with this out of control crisis.  Considering that “Moscow” Mitch is still smarting from a badly bruised ego over intense public scrutiny of his patriotism for continually blocking vital election security bills, his convalescence is quite understandable.

Here’s a sampling of the uproar:

“It’s outrageous. It’s really sad because I feel like you can’t go anywhere and be safe. I’m 50 years old and I didn’t think I’d be alive to see some of the things that are going on today.” – Terrion Foster, an accountant who lives in Kansas City, Missouri

To President Trump:  “This has got to stop!  This has got to stop!”Damon Davenport, who lost two cousins in Dayton

“Do something! Do something! Do something!” – the crowd chanted over and over again at a speech given by Ohio’s Republican governor Mike DeWine.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke blasted the news media for failing to connect the dots between Trump’s hateful rhetoric, which he asserts is inciting violence, and acts of domestic terrorism like the one committed on Saturday by a white supremacist in El Paso.

Update on the Dayton shooter

From:  Who was Connor Betts? What we know so far about the Dayton shooter.

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — High school classmates of the gunman who killed nine people early Sunday in Dayton, Ohio, say he was suspended for compiling a ‘‘hit list’’ of those he wanted to kill and a ‘‘rape list’’ of girls he wanted to sexually assault.

The accounts by two former classmates emerged after police said there was nothing in the background of 24-year-old Connor Betts that would have prevented him from purchasing the .223-caliber rifle with extended ammunition magazines that he used to open fire outside a crowded bar. Police on patrol in the entertainment district fatally shot him less than a minute later.

From:  Back-to-Back Bursts of Gun Violence in El Paso and Dayton Stun Country

DAYTON, Ohio — On Sunday, Americans woke up to news of a shooting rampage in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, where a man wearing body armor shot and killed nine people, including his own sister.

[…]

Theo Gainey, who lived for 10 years down the block from the Bettses and was a year ahead of Connor Betts in school, remembered him as a “bit of an outcast,” ostracized in large part because of threats he made at school that got him into serious trouble.

“He got arrested on the school bus” for the threats, said Mr. Gainey, who added that he was on the bus himself when it happened. He recalled Mr. Betts being a freshman or sophomore at the time. Mr. Gainey, 25, did not remember the specifics of the threats but said that Mr. Betts had to leave school for the rest of that year. When he returned, “the threat thing followed him, and people didn’t want to hang out with him.”

[…]

He was charged in May 2016 with operating a vehicle while under the influence in 2015, and a ticket said he had a blood alcohol content of .091, over the legal limit of .08. Mr. Betts pleaded guilty the next year to a lesser charge of having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence.

Update on the El Paso shooter

From:  Suspect in El Paso massacre ‘didn’t hold anything back’ in police interrogation

The suspect in the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, “didn’t hold anything back” when he was interviewed by investigators, the city’s police chief said Sunday.

Greg Allen also said “it’s beginning to look more solidly” that the suspected gunman was the author of a manifesto, posted to the website 8chan about an hour and a half before the rampage began, that warns of an “invasion” of Latino immigrants and expresses support for the man who killed worshippers at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.

World news briefs

President Trump and Russian strongman Vladimir Putin are coincidentally (or not) advancing their nuclear proliferation plans;  although, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that he wouldn’t allow the U.S. to deploy missiles in Australia as a counter to China.  The political turmoil in Hong Kong is escalating dangerously with China exerting increasing pressure to suppress the uprising of anti-government protests;  meanwhile, Putin has already done the same in Moscow.  Tensions are building in the Persian Gulf over the free transport of oil as Iran attempts to assert regional control, India is taking a more hard-line approach to the contested provinces of Kashmir, and a trade war is heating up between Japan and South Korea.  U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson is facing controversy over his finance minister’s conduct as an executive for scandal-plagued Deutsche Bank.

32 thoughts on “The aftermath of this weekend’s mass killings, plus updates on the Dayton and El Paso shooters

  1. WAIT!!! WAIT!!! WAIT!!!

    Robert, are you implying here that there were THREE mass shootings within what(?)… 2-weeks? Less? 3-weeks? I thought it was only Gilroy, CA and El Paso… just days ago!!! 😮 When did Dayton, OH happen!!!!????? 😥

    Holy shit! I can’t even process 2 mass shootings fast enough.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Kashmir, there will be war.

    I wrote a letter to my dad when I was travelling through that area many years ago. I remember saying something like, ‘forget Russia/US, these people (India/Pakistan) are going to throw nuclear fire at each other first.’

    Liked by 3 people

    • John Z,

      And pro-Gun enthusiasts here in the U.S. who blindly fight NOT to highly regulate weapons manufacturing, sales, background checks, etc, then turnaround in the same instant and scream (ironically, irrationally, and hypocritically) at those same law-makers in Washington D.C. and the international community to STOP all foreign countries (Iran) by all means necessary from building atomic weapons or WMD’s, or the materials to start building them! Now, puzzle that one out!

      Can anyone say “DOUBLE STANDARDS”??? Or conflicting yardsticks? Double-speak? Forked-tongues(?)… as the Native American Indians often yelled about our White Man (broken) Treaties as they were either removed from their ancestral lands or slaughtered.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh! And should I even go down the legislative rabbit hole of WHY we must regulate drugs — both pharmaceutical and illegal street drugs? Those same pro-Gun enthusiasts get ALL FIRED UP about cracking down on lethally manufactured drugs! Other than body counts and time-span, is there principally much difference between that and atomic weapons?

      Liked by 2 people

      • O.M.Gawd! My other-half and I just finished a “heated discussion” that touched on the exact “defenses” for gun ownership you put forth. Except for the comparison to atomic/nuclear weapons, he brought up all the other issues you mentioned.

        The NRA has done their work well.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Well Nan, the entire argument from bicycles, to motorcycles, to automobiles, to poorly maintained passenger buses, trains, cruise-ships to jumbo-jets, then alcohol & prohibition, drugs once commonly used later ABUSED then banned/illegal, then still too from knives, swords, bow-n-arrows/crossbows, pistols, and so on (you get the picture) are arguments made well both ways — each of those tools/machines have their beneficial and disastrous/lethal impacts to humanity/society.

          However, the NRA and any staunch 2nd Amendment “Come and Take It From My Dead Body & Hands” supporters/defendants will NEVER be able to justify foreign policies restricting other people’s freedoms/liberties to make and bear arms/weapons/atomic bombs… when at the same time (and in our own country) demand and protect their own ability to make them and have them. We have Americans right now that with some tweaks & twists could JUST AS EASILY be turned into Iranian or North Korean atomic bomb terrorists!

          The world can no longer work that way… in Non-Zero-Sum games. And so much of those Cold War social dynamics (or before post-45) stem from generations of — to be quite honest and blunt — extremely egocentric, self-aggrandizing, non-egalitarian or elitist mindsets and ideology. They quickly call or malign more pro-equality policies, safeties, protections, regulations, as the political, social, economic antitheses of American freedom and Democracy and that of “Socialism” or “Communism.” LOL

          But look what unfettered, unregulated, ungoverned, Wild Wild West freedom reaps.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nan, one other tidbit, if I may. One other analogy I sometimes use with pro-NRA, pro-Gun freedoms and rah, rah, rah, 2nd Amendment rallying is in sports and sports leagues. It is simply this…

          What do you think the fairness and parity of a League, teams, coaches, and players be like, if there was no governing body establishing regulations over the League? What would the games be like if there were no umpires or referees, everything was left up to the players and coaches of both competing teams to “SORT IT OUT” when perceived infractions occur? Hahahaha! Talk about sheer madness and Dog-Eat-Dog.

          We’ve more than adequately learned all throughout history what happens when TOO MUCH POWER or too much wealth/resources, etc, etc, fall into one or a few. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

          No, the ideals of parity, hedging bets, strength in NUMBERS (lots of them!), diversity, and so on and so on prove true time and again. “Exclusion makes us suffer. Inclusion makes us thrive.

          I think the real issue, the real problem with massacres, violence, conflicts, wars are our deteriorating or never taught high-quality negotiating skills, compromise, peaceful diplomacy, and patient persistent problem-resolution conflict-resolution skills are what are horribly lacking!

          Liked by 2 people

        • Or Nan, here’s a brilliant idea!!! Let’s all, the entire nation, get on Twitter!!! Write 140-character 5th-grade level rants/prayers to everybody else and FLOOD the entire system/platform and everyone’s profiles!!! Sounds like so much fun while being productive!

          That way too NO ONE will be heard, but everybody will be spending their invaluable time on a system/platform that only blasts out to the Universe our Federal and Foreign Affairs as well as personal grade school opinions & vocabulary! Ooooooooooo!

          How’s that? 😉

          Liked by 1 person

    • tRump is grasping at deflections for his party and base with this one. Besides, he isn’t intelligent enough to speak on mental-illness, let along construct coherent sentences ABOVE the 5th – 6th grade level he is at now.

      Mental-illness, mental-health has been badly stigmatized, mocked, denied as relevant, and deemphasized by mainstream politics AND the general public since Freud, Adler, Jung, and James. Far far too long. Sadly, it is still mostly misunderstood or taken flippantly by legislators and voting citizens today as insignificant. Consequently that makes its research, progress, and most importantly needed clinics and hospitals STRUGGLE for necessary funding… unless of course you are very wealthy or your family is extremely wealthy.

      Another gross misnomer about mental-illness in our country is that it’s a field of hard-line, simple black-n-white diagnoses and clear-cut treatments, like treating the flu or a stomach virus. No, no, no! There are many MANY fine, moving lines and degrees of severity and subtleties, manifested in behavior, perhaps dormant, or near invisible where a mental-patient can totally function in society daily. BUT… they are still mentally-ill nonetheless. And as long as our society stigmatizes it or mocks it, many people who truly need help, outpatient or inpatient, are scared to death of it being revealed, losing their job, spouse, friends and family. Secrecy does not help either!

      These levels of denial, discriminating, and sheer ignorance of mental-illness by clueless non-professionals, non-experts like brainless megalomaniac President tRump have to change! They must change… along of course with our gun-laws and gun-making.

      Liked by 1 person

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