And Another…

Shots were fired  this morning at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon.  The shooter is dead, as is one student. reports that a teacher was shot as well.

As news of the shooting hit, @PoliticalLine tweeted this:

6/5: Seattle U shooting

6/6: GA court house shooting

6/8: Las Vegas cops shooting

6/10: Oregon high school

not even a full week…

My son goes to high school next year.  We’re lucky in that we live in a state with relatively low incidence of gun violence — 17th out of 50 for gun murders as of 2010.  But Oregon experiences such murders at half the rate Massachusetts do, and statistics are no comfort when it’s your kid, your friend, your partner on the wrong side of someone’s gun.  And, to repeat the obvious, Vermont the state with the lowest rate of gun murders at .3/100,000 still pays a higher butcher’s bill than at least a couple of dozen countries.  We tolerate a level of threat to our kids, to all those we hold most dear, that our closest allies and competitors would see as utterly unacceptable…

…as, of course, it is.



I got nothing, except this penetrating glimpse of the obvious:  domestic terrorists are holding us all hostage.

Those who fire their weapons get their grotesque fifteen minutes of … maybe local news, mostly, given the increasingly routine (read, less newsworthy) character of a story that, as the tweet above documents, repeats itself in all but location over and over again.

But the real terrorists, the masterminds, the ones for whom Guantanamo was built, are those who flood America with the weapons that leave our kids, our cops, folks out at a mall or wherever in literally mortal danger.  They would be, it seems to me, the NRA, the political elites, mostly but not exclusively from the GOP, the usual suspects — trading deaths of children, cops eating lunch, whoever, for market share and a grasp on the political power that can be distilled from fearful rage.

The consolation, if there is any, comes from the long view:  gun ownership is down as a fraction of the population.  And the Tea Party version of the GOP locks in the conditions that shrinks its base.  But any relief that may come lies in the long run… and you know how that quote ends.

I’m not totally without hope.  As folks commented in yesterday’s thread, the Supreme Court has not (yet) ruled that regulation of guns is out-of-bounds.  I can imagine a state-by-state tightening of the regulatory regime; I can see the culture of the gun shifting even now in parts of the country.  I don’t think we’re going to forever accept the demand to water the tree of liberty with the blood of school kids.

But damn, folks, we’ve got to get on with it.

Rambling, I know.  I’m just heartsick, sinking deeper and deeper in the hole with each day’s red harvest.   Like I said.  I got nothing.

Image:  Joseph Wright of Derby, The Dead Soldier, c. 1789

Explore posts in the same categories: Guns, Republican knavery, The Way We Live Now

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30 Comments on “And Another…”

  1. telitru Says:

    All hope resides in Christ, Our Lord gives light even to the darkest hours. Look at history to see the tremendous suffering, yet always God has given us hope for those who seek His ways. We overcame Hitler’s Nazism and further back in time many more good Christians have been able to face the impossible with the help of God. Take heart. Do not fear. Trust in Jesus. God bless you and your family.

  2. dnhd1996 Says:

    Dustin Dean here i am posting this plea for help to assist me in making my wifes dream come true we are a family of four in Vancouver wa. myself my beautiful wife heather and our 2 daughter’s 11 and 13  we live pay check to pay check on a single income due to the fact my wife is unable to work because she has the auto immune disease multiple sclerosis we have been going through the ssdi hoops since 2009 which keeeps getting pushed out further for a court date..heather was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in December of 2000.  It came on out of the blue and it was nasty. her first major episode left her all but paralyzed on her left side.  Fortunately she rebounded and recovered fairly well from that flare up, but she has lost quite a bit of strength and lives in constant pain. unfortunately she still has episodes quite frequently she still has her mobility, but honestly, it is uncertain how long even this will last.  Sadly she has a myriad of symptoms you needn’t be burdened with, cause the list is so long.but suffice to say, the last 14 years of her life have been quite challenging.

    I’m not sure how many of you know what MS is all about so I will provide a quick explanation.  It is an autoimmune disease where the immune system gets confused and attacks its own central nervous system, destoying myelin sheath, the protective coating for our nerves.  This basically causes a short circuit interrupting communication throughout the central nervous system. So with that being said im trying to make her dream of having a home of her own come true while she is still able bodied enough to enjoy it.. she has no knowledge of this page im trying to surprise her. Im currently pre approved just lacking the initial fees and downpayment. Thank you all so very much for reading my story and contributing to my cause.  Words cannot express how thankful and appreciative I am to all of you and know from the bottom of my heart, I THANK YOU.  Any and all donations will help. Please share this page via social media etc if your able. if not a good prayer will do. 🙂

  3. M.I.L.K. Says:

    “I don’t think we’re going to forever accept the demand to water the tree of liberty with the blood of school kids.

    But damn, folks, we’ve got to get on with it.” True words, and well written.

  4. I’m tired as well of this epidemic of gun violence and the growing apathy towards it. We need change now, and I hope people like you and I will continue to write about it in order to combat it until some change is made.

  5. Jessie Henry Says:

    Well put. A beautiful way to articulate the frustration and heartache that looms over us all as a nation. I hope someone has an answer, I for one, do not. All I know to do is pray. I thank you for sharing this.

  6. ehothi Says:

    Unfortunately regulation will do little in a country with more guns than people. Ultimately something has to be done about the guns already in circulation.

  7. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  8. Lisa Brown Says:

    I am so feeling you on this. Well put.

  9. Unfortunely there is no safe place. These incidents are occurring everywhere. We as a community must find a way to end this violence

  10. I still don’t know if an outright ban on guns is the answer. We need to be more responsible about firearms in our society, but the problem goes deeper than mere gun availability. What causes someone to pick up a gun and shoot someone? The only way to overcome evil is with faith and love. God is who protects us, and maybe He would prefer stricter gun laws in this country, but those laws alone can’t save our kids.

    • Tom Says:

      With all due respect, horseshit. If it’s God’s job to protect us, then those dead kids are on the deity. Laws work all the time to prevent or reduce the incidence of all kinds of bad things. Your view is worse than defeatist — it indicts your deity in the worst of human action. Co-conspirators share guilt. That what you mean?

      • Of course not. God is incapable of evil. All evil, including pain, sickness, hatred, and death, is a symptom of humankind’s common disease—our fall from our Creator. Death wasn’t part of the original plan. Christ came down to restore that plan and grant all believers eternal life.

  11. balancedwesomeness Says:

    I find it unnerving to read about the shootings in schools overseas. I live in Australia where the only place I have ever seen a gun is either out on a remote farm locked away, or on the holsters of our police officer. Although I know they are out there, gun control is quite strict here, in fact I remember working in the police service when I was much younger seeing copious guns being dismantled and destroyed as they pulled the reins in on gun ownership. It has never crossed my mind that someone could potentially shoot my teenage daughter dead at school, and for that I feel eternally blessed. My heart goes out to the families that live with this fear each day they send their kids to school.

  12. Being north of the border (Canada) I am often befuddled with the gun epidemic in the US. The NRA will make foolish statements such as ‘Guns don’t kill people…people kill people.’
    Which certainly has truth to it, but guns have been designed for one purpose only and that is to kill.

    I found it interesting and extremely sad after the incident at Sandy Hook when Obama began talking about gun regulation and banning high powered assault rifles how many Americans lined up to purchase said items and just how quickly the margin of sales went up.

    To what end?

    Why on earth does anyone need a gun that take someone’s head off and fire off a million rounds per second?

    If you reside on a farm or ranch or in a rural setting, I can see the need for a gun in the event predators (wolves & such) prey upon your livestock.

    Though I don’t support hunting, I will acknowledge gun use in this area as long as it too is restricted to certain types of guns only.
    Perhaps if Americans do not want to get rid of their guns, they have to be accountable for them.

    For example, if a gun falls into the wrong hands, perhaps the owner of the weapons should be charged as well.

    There needs to be some serious education around this subject and I don’t even know if you have a gun registery or not.

    Because it’s in your constitution that you have the right to bare arms, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. When first the land was being settled I actually can understand the necessity at that time. No doubt in Canada many bore guns as well.

    It was a wild world back in the day.

    Where then is the logic now of having a gun? I feel immensely saddened when I hear Americans say it makes them feel safe. They feel protected. From what though?

    And anyone purchasing a high powered assault rifle, just because…should be serioulsy scrutinized.

    Why would anyone need something like this?

    One of the biggest and most glaring issues I see to the south is the lack of responsiblity. Everyone points fingers when tragedy occurs but nothing changes.

    It is everyone’s responsibility. And I hope for all of you and your childrens’ sake, that you remedy this and rid yourselves of these weapons.

  13. jmchri13 Says:

    I too like to be optimistic and look to the urban shift in populate and dropping rates of gun ownership as hope for the future. But looking at Sandy Hook, if twenty kindergarteners being gunned down is not enough to motivate law makers to pass federal legislation for any form of gun control, then we still have a lot of waiting to do.

  14. PiedType Says:

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. And I agree with you 100%.

  15. rikkilynn Says:

    Great post. I am still on the fence with my stance on gun control. I do believe, however, the problem is more to do with our health care ( or lack thereof ) and the stigma we put on mental illness. There are far too many people needing intervention and treatment, that they either can’t afford, or are ashamed to seek. While tighter gun control laws may certainly be a part of the solution, I do believe that there are many other issues coming into play. So sad.

    • Tom Says:

      See the reply to happylaughs below. It is too easy to blame mental illness or health care or any other social problem (which may be real). The question you must ask, even if you believe that mental illness as conventionally understood is really behind the preponderance of gun violence (I don’t) is why then our lunatics kill so many more than those of any other nation?

      The question answers itself, or should: it is the too easy access to guns, and the tools that make them yet more lethal, like interchangeable magazines.

      • rikkilynn Says:

        Hi Tom,

        Appreciate your opinion! I do agree with you that it is too easy to access guns in our country, but I think essentially you agreed with me as well when you referred to these people as lunatics. A sane person in possession of a gun is less likely to do the damage a lunatic with a gun would do. I COMPLETELY agree that the upgrades and the types of guns that normal society can get ahold of are ridiculous and go well above and beyond what would be necessary for a “self-defense” reason of obtaining one.

        While not disagreeing with your stance on gun control, I do not agree that the possession of a gun alone causes a violent act.

  16. happylaughs Says:

    I agree with the last comment…..I really don’t think it has anything to do with the guns. If someone is bent on hurting someone, they will find a way. I don’t have the answers….and it’s heartbreaking and scary.

    • Tom Says:

      Nonsense. Sorry to be harsh, but all the data shows that loose gun laws lead directly to increased burdens of death, pain and loss. There is no other way to explain the US burden of such losses compared with that of all our developed world peers. You don’t have mass knifings, for example. (And no, trolls, the San Diego murderer who used both knife and gun is not a counter example. Show me the edged-weapon analogue to Aurora.

      Seriously: guns make the doing of harm so much easier than any other weapon. The argument isn’t that tight control of guns will solve the problem of violence (or self-harm) entirely. It is just that, as amply documented, it well go a very long way to mitigating that problem.

      To say “it has nothing to do with guns” is to willfully blind yourself to what experience around the world shows.

      • happylaughs Says:

        Your not being harsh….it’s a hard conversation. I just feel no matter what the ‘bad guys’ are going to get the guns, obtaining them any way possible. And I feel that good guys should have the right to protect themselves.

  17. Just re-blogged this to

    Thanks for finding the words I’ve been searching for.

  18. John Coleman Says:

    Right on the money and a well-deserved Freshly Pressed. Congratulations and best, John

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