Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 6/14/17

1.  I am wrestling myself to the ground to avoid making any assumptions about the shooting this morning (about three miles from my home in Alexandria, Virginia) of two Republican Congressmen and an aide while the GOP baseball team was practicing for tomorrow’s annual Congressional baseball game for charity. When Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot (and a judge killed, among others) in Tucson, Arizona, the news media, pundits and Democrats leaped to blame Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh for so-called “eliminationist rhetoric,” defined in Palin’s case as using cross-hairs on an electoral map to indicate which Democrats could be defeated in 2012—you know, as in “he’s in my cross-hairs.” This was a transparent effort to stifle political speech. In 1995, when a Federal building in Oklahoma City was blown up in a domestic terrorist attack, “violent anti-government” rhetoric from the Right was also blamed, though there was no evidence that Timothy McVeigh would not have done exactly the same thing if political discourse had been all John Lennon and rainbows.

The Giffords explanation was cynical and contrived; the Oklahoma City response a bit less so, but in neither of those cases were violent imagery and hateful language (no party officials and member of Congress used “fuck” back then, late night TV hosts were largely apolitical and couldn’t call Presidents “cockholsters” without being fired, the “resistance” in 1995 consisted of fringe militia groups, not recent unsuccessful Presidential candidates with a large following, and nobody was giving standing ovations to Central Park theatrical productions showing a doppleganger of the President of the United States being assassinated. In other words, if Rush Limbaugh had held up a prop bloody head of Barack Obama prior to Giffords’ shooting, I would not have derided the critics who argued that irresponsible partisan rhetoric was at least part of the cause. But he didn’t. Nobody did. Nobody would have thought of doing so. Then.

So when my wife told me, the second I woke up, about the shooting this morning, my immediate thought was, “I wonder who the shooter is, an illegal immigrant, a Muslim, or a member of “the resistance?”  This was unfair, and I knew it. The shooter might have been, as it was in Tucson, a wacko. It might have been moral luck that it was the Republican baseball team that was attacked and not the Democrats, just as it was moral luck that nobody was killed.

Right wing blog JWF wrote, “We blame the liberal climate of hate.”  That is irresponsible, since we don’t know who was the shooter (yet) or why he shot. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) told Fox News , “There was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there, and it was just a little odd.” No, it’s not odd at all. If I saw what I knew was a Congressional team practicing, I’d ask the same question.

If the attack had nothing to do with the “liberal climate of hate,” however, that does not mean that the liberal climate of hate isn’t real, dangerous, and despicable.

2. It is astounding to me that so many Democrats deny that there is a liberal (progressive, really) climate of hate. When I wrote yesterday that one of the reasons the President felt compelled to produce the embarrassing “we love you” segment of the Cabinet meeting was that he justifiably feels like he is being subjected to unprecedented hate and disrespect from the news media. A commenter (whom I know to be an astute and usually fair political observer), commented that this was blaming Trump’s conduct on the liberal media conspiracy theory. First of all, I didn’t and don’t blame the media, I blame the President. It’s his Cabinet. I do blame the news media for creating an environment where no leader can do his best work, and this leader especially. How anyone can watch what we’ve watched (on CNN, notably) and read what we’ve read (in the New York times and Washington Post, virtually every day) and sincerely deny the deliberate attempt by the news media to undermine President Trump by any means necessary is a mystery to me. I do not understand it. Until all citizens demand that the news media stop allying itself with one party and stop using their influence to distort the news in order to influence public opinion, this will not stop.

And yes, I blame smart and usually ethical Democrats, progressives and liberals for allowing this threat to continue. Obviously journalists themselves are responsible, but the biased enablers make it easy for them. As long as they feel they have an approving market for their distortions, they will keep distorting.

I am appealing to the integrity of my many progressive friends.

I know it’s there.

3. In a related matter, here is why you can’t trust Matt Drudge. His headline, as I write this:

GUNMAN: ‘KILL AS MANY REPUBLICANS AS POSSIBLE’

Wow! A quote from the gunman confirming that this was a partisan hit!

Well, no. It’s a lie, and”fake news.”Follow the link, and we learn that Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) told NBC News that it appeared the “gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.”  In other words, that was what it looked like to him.

123 Comments

Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, U.S. Society

123 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 6/14/17

  1. Steve-O-in-NJ

    The guy’s a nutty Sanders supporter who posted on social media that it was time to destroy Trump and company. Tell me, fattymoon, V-girl, Chris, and all you other libs out there frothing with hatred, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!?!?!!!!!!!!

        • Just found it. I’m updating the post.

          • Bernie has issued a strong statement of condemnation. As one should do in this situation.

            • I don’t think that it is a strong statement. It references violence and nonviolence, but not the rule of law and flouting of the law. Bernie is wrong that “Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society….” For instance, one may, of course, use violence in self-defense or the defense of others. What is forbidden in our country is law breaking: the people as a whole vote to designate people who make laws, and then we are all required to live up to our part of their bargain and live by those laws. If one doesn’t like the laws that get made, then one tries to change them in the next election round by reasonable discourse designed to change people’s minds.

              A firm statement by Bernie would include: the people are sovereign, their laws must be upheld, it is wrong not to uphold them. Without that, then anyone can form an argument that their preferred form of law breaking is not merely acceptable, but required and good.

              • Adding such nuance weakens the statement. When you want to say something unequivocally, simplicity is valued. He acknowledged a probability that the guy volunteered for his campaign and he condemned him, straight up. That makes it strong.

                • The “nuance” is the significant part of the statement. Bernie cannot condemn a person because he’s not God, or even a judge. He can’t condemn violence, because violence is part of our tool kit (see, the guys who shot the shooter). All the Bernie can do is say that it was wrong for the person to use violence unlawfully. If you think that that is too nuanced, the reason is that the culture has been dumbed down so that people can’t understand what duties they owe to their neighbors.

                  • Chris

                    “I condemn violence” is an unambiguous statement, and everyone knows what it means. I see no evidence that such a statement is a result of the “dumbing down” of our culture; can you provide some actual condemnations of unlawful violence that use similar language as you request so as to provide some comparison?

                    • “I condemn violence” is an unambiguous statement, but it is only a true statement if you are a literal pacifist. If you’re not a literal pacifist, then it can mean anything. It could even be used to justify violence against somebody who you perceive as potentially violent.

                    • Chris

                      Again: can you point to any past condemnations of unlawful violence that use the terms you request?

              • Chris

                LoSonnambulo, your standard would seem to invalidate nearly every condemnation of violence I’ve ever heard.

              • Yeah, that’s neither reasonable or realistic, and it doesn’t even have the added benefit of making sense. “The people are sovereign” is something you read out of a libertarian manifesto, no one talks like that.

    • Glenn Logan

      Tell me, fattymoon, V-girl, Chris, and all you other libs out there frothing with hatred, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!?!?!!!!!!!!

      This is the wrong question.

      Look, I get it — the Left gets away with this crap whenever somebody gets killed. They blame it on guns, blame it on “eliminationist rhetoric” from convenient political targets, they blame it on right-wing terrorism.

      But we have to stop this, even if it hurts. Yes, the alleged shooter was a progressive (apparently a recently-minted Green party member) who loved Sanders and hated Trump. But he didn’t try to kill Trump, he tried to kill a much easier target — Republican congressmen — apparently as a proxy for his rage toward Trump.

      The right question is when are we going to stop blaming ideology for everything? The man was clearly deranged, but we are not seeing armies of progressives out there trying to kill all the Republicans they see. What we see is one bad guy doing a bad thing.

      We can blame the media, I guess, but I’m loath to. I trust that most on the Left are human beings with better sense than to allow the media to drive them to purchasing a semiautomatic rifle and shooting political opponents. It’s instructive that the alleged shooter came from Illinois, one of the least gun-friendly states in America and the last state in America to allow concealed carry.

      Just as an aside — the AR-15 platform (apparently he was using the carbine version which the military styles as the M-4) is inherently very accurate, and reports are that he shot as many as 50-100 rounds. How he managed to strike only 5 people, none apparently fatally, is a testament to something fundamentally wrong with the scenario — it was a fairly short-range encounter (less than 50 yards, if my reckoning is right), and the guy managed to hit 5 people with an accurate semiautomatic rifle? A person could fire a gun like that with their eyes closed and do more damage. Either he was the worst shot since Wile E. Coyote or he truly was shooting at random, or out of his mind and unable to coherently aim the weapon. Missing with a Glock like that, I could understand, but a rifle? There’s something more going on here, I reckon.

      There is a lot left to find out. Let’s reserve judgment, the man may have simply been off his meds (if he was on them) or suffered some kind of psychotic break. That can happen to the best of us under sufficient stress. But in any case, until we know more, it’s premature to blame anyone other than the shooter, and most likely he’ll be the only one ever to deserve blame.

      Even if the Left won’t stop blaming violent incidents on the Right, let’s not get down into the sewer with them. It stinks.

      • Inquiring Mind

        Scalise had a security detail being the House Majority Whip. They presumably returned fire within seconds of that guy opening fire.

        • Glenn Logan

          Yes, and apparently they killed him. Amazing he got off so many rounds, but the surprisingly small number of casualties is the most shocking thing about this to me.

          But if they were quick on the draw, that might account for the low number of people hurt. Still, 50+ rounds at short range (for a carbine). Wow.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            Damn straight they did, and inflicted fatal wounds. But for the fact they were there, we’d probably be looking at mass murder of one political party. We are on our way back to Belfast 1974 if this continues. Thankfully no one was killed, but if they had been, their blood would be on every liberal’s hands who spouted off about the resistance, kill Trump, eliminate the GOP, etc. etc.

            • Glenn Logan

              Thankfully no one was killed, but if they had been, their blood would be on every liberal’s hands who spouted off about the resistance, kill Trump, eliminate the GOP, etc. etc.

              I don’t know, Steve-O. It’d be very satisfying to blame everyone who murdered Trump in effigy, or kills him by using a Shakespearean play as a proxy, or runs around advocating violent attacks. Unfortunately, I can’t.

              I get it, though. I do. I just refuse to blame a bunch of over-the-top rhetoric for the actions of a 66-year old adult who clearly knows better. If this were a 20-year old, I think I might be on board, but not a mature man.

              I’m going to have to stick to blaming him only for now.

            • fattymoon

              “Thankfully no one was killed, but if they had been, their blood would be on every liberal’s hands who spouted off about the resistance…”

              Just finished cracking my nuts, so now, just for you, Sir Steve…
              I will continue to spout off about The Resistance,/b>. Here’s a link just for you.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                You mean cracking your head? As if it wasn’t cracked enough already. You take your resistance video and shove it.

              • Naomi has always had a pretty clear agenda and I’m sure there are probably a load of progressives that will eat that stuff up. I like the cherry picking of events to fit her narrative like the “40 acres and a mule.” Part of her plan includes knowing your history. Maybe it’s the alternative facts that have her confused. Maybe using an example where the outcome was good after protesting like ohhhh, maybe the Boston Tea Party, may have helped further the impetus of her intent. Why use American history though when trying to push a global agenda. Using the pots and pan banging Argentines who had to wait another 2 years for some kind of growth, albeit not long lived, was almost as ineffectual as using the Italian protests. The best part of her video was fitting the word “shit” into it in order to grab the attention of the up and coming progressives. They were most likely staring blankly at her red coral necklace cracking their nuts and probably have no idea what the Boston Tea Party is/was and why they should be proud of it. She could have made her video a little more persuasive and a lot more progressive if she would have dared to fit the “F” bomb in. Thanks for taking the time to post that.

      • Chris

        Great post, Glenn, and we can all learn from your fair approach.

      • “The right question is when are we going to stop blaming ideology for everything?”

        Agreed, Not every deranged person goes on political screeds and shoots politicians. But is it possible that THIS one would have in the absence of the climate American Democrats have fostered? Sure, maybe. But it would be the absolute pinnacle of hypocrisy for a political party who’s made a decade of hay over blaming republicans for “violent rhetoric” (whether it existed or not) to all of a sudden, miraculously, coincidentally, I’m sure…. shift to a less partisan position, especially when a whole lot of previous cases have had MUCH less tenuous connections between stimulus and action. But maybe that’s what needs to happen, and maybe the next time it happens to a Democrat, they won’t be quite as forceful in their blame. I don’t require verbal mea culpas all around, but if a couple of the usual suspects look deep down and realize what asshats they’ve been for the last decade, and feel really really bad about it, and resign themselves to never use bodies as props… I’d call that a good day for rationality.

        “A person could fire a gun like that with their eyes closed and do more damage.”

        I think we’ll hear more about this as it comes out… Generally people unfamiliar with the weapons have a hard time handling them. They’ve watched too much TV and have unrealistic expectations of how the weapons function, specifically in regards to recoil. I have absolutely nothing to base this on, but I’d bet that either it was a freshly purchased weapon, or the shooter had never been to a range.

      • Rich in CT

        The mere fact he hit only 5 people means he was not extensively practiced, and says little to nothing about his mental state. A gun is only accurate when carefully aimed, not merely pointed in a general direction. 50 rounds in a matter of minutes would send the muzzle all over the place, with no time to re-aim. Add in people running, and it would be darn near impossible to hit anything. Thankfully.

        • Glenn Logan

          Heh. Have you ever shot an AR-15 or an M-16? They don’t kick much, although for a fact, the muzzle does deflect slightly.

          Also, it is true that “spray and pray” rarely results in an effective attack, and you may be exactly right about that being his strategy. He could also have been a non-shooter who picked up his firearm yesterday, although the fact that he was apparently changing magazines argues against that. Changing magazines is not that hard in the AR platform, but it isn’t something you do effectively under stress the first time you use it, especially when someone is returning fire.

          But we’re both speculating, for sure, though for now that’s about all we can do.

      • Glenn Logan wrote, “Just as an aside — the AR-15 platform (apparently he was using the carbine version which the military styles as the M-4) is inherently very accurate, and reports are that he shot as many as 50-100 rounds. How he managed to strike only 5 people, none apparently fatally, is a testament to something fundamentally wrong with the scenario — it was a fairly short-range encounter (less than 50 yards, if my reckoning is right), and the guy managed to hit 5 people with an accurate semiautomatic rifle? A person could fire a gun like that with their eyes closed and do more damage. Either he was the worst shot since Wile E. Coyote or he truly was shooting at random, or out of his mind and unable to coherently aim the weapon. Missing with a Glock like that, I could understand, but a rifle? There’s something more going on here, I reckon.”

        As someone with a lot of experience with this type of weapon and training Soldiers to use them in the Army, I’ll say that sight picture is likely why this person was unable to hit more unless it truly was spray and pray. After years and years of training others the most common problem in high stress situations is that the shooter looks through the peep sight at the target and hasn’t lifted the front of the rifle up high enough to actually see the front sight post. Why do I think that is likely in this case, he hit one person in the hip and that is terribly low impact of a bullet at such short distance from a rifle that one can assume has been aimed at the shooter.

        Enough of that little deflection on may part.

        • I’m also wondering if he was randomly shooting from the hip.

        • Glenn Logan

          According to eyewitness accounts, he was aiming, or thought he was, so perhaps that adds extra emphasis to your observation.

          But also, according to a report I read from his home town news, he regularly shot firearms on his property. Obviously I don’t know, but you’d think the guy would know how to run that gun, given that reporting and assuming it’s accurate, and also assuming he has owned that firearm awhile.

          It could be that somebody returned fire fast enough to make him run for cover before he was able to properly aim the firearm, although you would think that wouldn’t happen on the first few shots. I’m pretty sure that if I showed up unannounced with an AR-15 and opened fire before anyone knew I was there, I could score at least one and possibly many more serious hits.

          Maybe it was “spray and pray.” No matter what, thank God he wasn’t a good shot, or if he was, had an off day.

        • philk57

          It may sound like nit-picking, but the M-4 is not technically based on the AR-15 platform. The M-4 is a select-fire weapon and the AR is semi-auto. He may have been using an AR carbine.

          As to why he wasn’t able to do more damage, I think a couple of factors would need to be contemplated. There were security personnel on site who returned fire very quickly. If you have ever been on the receiving end of gunfire, you will know that it has a seriously detrimental effect on your accuracy.

          Also, he may not have been very practiced in the use of that rifle.

      • The Wednesday Woman

        I needed to read this. Thank you.

      • “Just as an aside — the AR-15 platform (apparently he was using the carbine version which the military styles as the M-4) is inherently very accurate, and reports are that he shot as many as 50-100 rounds. How he managed to strike only 5 people, none apparently fatally, is a testament to something fundamentally wrong with the scenario — it was a fairly short-range encounter (less than 50 yards, if my reckoning is right), and the guy managed to hit 5 people with an accurate semiautomatic rifle?”

        It’s remarkably difficult to kill another human being.

        1) You have to have a killer mindset. Sure, he had the motive, but if you don’t have that nature killing edge, the mere act of going over the edge will frazzle the nerves of a novice killer. This reduces effectivess.

        2) Even with a killer edge, there’s an adrenaline rush called buck fever for a first time effort to kill, once your target is in sight and the Rubicon is being crossed. This reduces effectiveness.

        3) Even an excellently designed and manufactured rifle, such as an AR-15 is, it’s only as accurate as the trigger puller. If he is a terrible shot, he’s a terrible shot. Even at 50 yards, minutes of degree can equate to easy misses.

        4) If he had no clue how to sight in the weapon, the iron-sights may not have even been correctly aligned.

        5) First shot is gonna be the most accurate. If, as I suspect, his adrenaline was pumping like crazy, and he’s a novice, as I also suspect, he’s probably not sticking with targets until their down, or if he is, he’s sporadic as he’s got a target rich environment that he’s got to prioritize shots on. So he’s blazing away generally “at” targets, with scant little attention paid to proper aiming technique.

        6) All bets are really off once those targets start moving.

        7) And then what little remains reduces even further if the armed guard begins return fire.

        Even well trained soldiers will expend thousands of rounds on kills. Some stats suggest this ratio is closer to hundreds of thousands (but I suspect those stats are derived from TOTAL rounds the military expends – which includes the insanely high rate of fire of aircraft mounted machine guns).

        I’m not surprised if he blew through 50 rounds and got less than a half dozen hits.

        Depending on how the people behaved when shots were fired and how he behaved once the action was on, this seems believable.

    • Leave me out of this shitstorm. I’ve got my own nuts to crack.

  2. Based on current reports is does appear that the shooter specifically targeted Republicans, but you are correct; waiting for all the facts is better.

    I’m one of the people that’s jumped gun.

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    The shooter is DEAD. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  4. It has been reported by multiple sources…

    “Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., told Fox News he left just before the shooting. As he walked to his car, a man asked DeSantis if it was Republicans or Democrats practicing. About 3 minutes later, at around 7:15 a.m., the shooting began, DeSantis said.” Multiple sources.

    If this was actually the shooter that made the inquiry it would be help show intent to target Republicans.

    • I wrote about this in the post—did you not see it? It proves nothing. It may have been that he just wanted to know who he would be shooting at. Maybe he hated Congress, Maybe he hated baseball. That’s not evidence.

      • Jack,
        Isn’t it circumstantial evidence to “help show intent”?

        • No, because it doesn’t have even circumstantial value. It’s ambiguous.

          • I disagree.

            Based on my limited knowledge of such things; if it was actually the shooter that asked the question then I think it is relevant and I think it can reasonably fit the criteria of being circumstantial evidence that can help show intent.

            If it was not the shooter that asked the question then it’s completely irrelevant.

            I’m outta here for a few hours now to allow all this to settle in; catcha later today.

            • If he asked “Which are the Republicans, so I know whether to shoot them or not,” THAT would be evidence. But “circumstantial evidence that can help show intent” is pretty weak—If you like, I’ll agree. But without better evidence, it’s pretty worthless.

              • Jack Marshall wrote, “If you like, I’ll agree.”

                Naaaaaaaaaa….., I’m just sharing my limited knowledge opinion on it and in-turn you can help me learn a thing or three; there is absolutely no requirement for anyone to agree with me. I’ll think about it some more, thanks for he input.

      • Jack Marshall wrote, “I wrote about this in the post—did you not see it?”

        My brain is literally still processing all the information from various sources. Sorry.

      • valkygrrl

        No sane person hates baseball.

      • Is it a bad think that I think that the same could have happened if either party was the one identified?

        This means I think both sides have been stoked to the limit in the current climate, and I would not be surprised either way.

        Thinking this was makes me feel… dirty. And sad for our nation.

        • So you think that there was a good likelihood that the virulent supporter of the Left was going to blow away other Leftists if the answer was “Democrats are on the field”?

          • No, Tex, I would not have been surprised if Democrats were targeted by right fringe adherents.

            Not saying that the two sides are equal in their actions: just that it only takes ONE with a gun to do this, and both sides have their unhinged members.

  5. ”The guy’s a nutty Sanders supporter”

    Welp, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is one area where “Feel The Bern” is NOT yer garden variety career Lefty.

    “ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!?!?!!!!!!!!”

    I won’t comment on those you reference, but yer damn skippy many Lefties are soiling themselves as we speak.

    And not for the usual reasons!

    I used write freelance political/current event satire (from a rather…um…unique perspective) for the “Newsbusted” segment at newsbusters.org and the deadline was Friday night for the following Tuesday & Friday

    When the Gifford incident happened on a Saturday morning, El Jefe immediately and with high priority emailed the writers for an “Extra Edition” on how Lefty would try to blame this on Sarah Palin & Tea Party Conservatives.

    Lo-n-behold!

  6. Well, I was pleased to see that so many Republicans were awake and on the field so early to play baseball. But why none of them were armed and able to shoot back, I don’t want to know.

    • Glenn Logan

      Not sure the most ardent concealed carry supporter would’ve worn his weapon onto the playing field.

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        I would not expect players to carry while on the field, either. But I would expect that at least a couple of them were not on the field all at once, and so at least one of them (and/or one of the support staff who accompanied the players to the practice field) should have returned fire.

        I also don’t want to know what the Secret Service plan was for protecting the Congress members while they played ball. Obviously, the level of security was inadequate.

        • Glenn Logan

          Yeah, in retrospect, you’d have to say the security level was wanting. Funny how DC’s strict gun laws didn’t stop him, don’t you think?

          • Well, DC is different than Virginia. He’s from Illinois, so…you’d think he’d have to buy the firearm in his home state. While it might be interesting to see where and how he obtained his firearm, it’s not going to be instructive. I’d challenge anyone to craft a purchasing rule that would have stopped this specific incident without running roughshod on the general populace.

            • Glenn Logan

              Ah, quite right, I forgot the shooting was not in DC proper but in Virginia.

              He could’ve obtained a firearm right there in Virginia, rather than from his home state. Virginia does not require residency to purchase firearms.

              If he purchased the gun in Illinois, he would’ve had to have a Firearms owner ID card. If he didn’t have one already, he would’ve had to apply for one, so if this was a spur-of-the-moment thing, he would’ve had to get his firearm somewhere outside Illinois.

    • Security detail was armed and did return fire. Pinning him down and greatly reducing damage. Quotes from everyone there are praising Capitol Police for an instant response from what would have otherwise been a “massacre”.

      But you strike on something we all hear often these days, that conservatives want to be the hero and be armed to return fire. That’s not the case and if you ever stepped into a gun safety class, you’d know it. No, our goal is to be prepared so that when something happens and we run and hide, we can defend our positions from a continued assault. If you and I were together and we ran into a broom closet, would you want one of us armed and able to shoot an assailant that came to the broom closet? Or would you prefer us to be in that broom closet with broom handles? This “Hero” scenario you lefties keep citing is a strawman or misnomer or something.

      • Chris

        Great response, Tim.

      • Glenn Logan

        Yeah, firearms and a “hero” mentality do not mix. People should be willing to defend themselves and others if they are able and legally armed, but the #1 concern in such a situation is that you cannot return fire if you are dead.

        #2 is to make sure you can return fire without jeopardizing innocent lives, else don’t do it at all or move to a place where you can.

      • Drawing a weapon and engaging is one of the most stressful decisions one can face in this life. Your freedom, your property, and your very life are on the line. Make the wrong decision (in the half second or so you will have) can result in your death, imprisonment, and/or bankrupt you.

        This is why police are given the benefit of the doubt in sane times.

  7. Glenn Logan

    Apparently, the shooter has died.

    No surprise, if I were a cop and an opponent were armed as he was, I’d make sure he was no longer a threat. Too bad, though, I feel for his family. They must be mortified.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      No big loss, the man attempted to commit mass murder. The one big loss is possible human intelligence – was he just a whack, or was he working with someone?

      • Glenn Logan

        Well, it’s probably a big loss to those who love him. He may have been obsessed with Lefty stuff, but that usually doesn’t drive people to murder.

        The police did the right thing stopping the threat, and usually people die from clean center-mass hits. I expect he was hit more than once, too.

        At this point, it just looks like he’s a deranged gunman. He didn’t speak a word to anyone, according to reports. I doubt very much if he was working with anyone. Based on what I have read, he was a quiet, mellow person. But as the old saying goes, “Still waters run deep,” and the depth of his rage was clearly frightful.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          No, but being obsessed with anger sometimes does. His page reminds me of Craig Stephen Hicks, the wacko atheist who murdered 3 Muslim students in a dispute over a parking space in Chapel Hill. His page had been nothing but hate and rage and guns for over a year prior to the murders. This also reminds me of Mark Essex, aka Mata, the New Orleans mass shooter, whose apartment was covered with graffiti and writings that showed he had been stewing for years in a hatred for white people. Stay angry enough long enough, and you become a powder keg, which is eventually going to detonate.

  8. Phil Alperson

    “If the attack had nothing to do with the “liberal climate of hate,” however, that does not mean that the liberal climate of hate isn’t real, dangerous, and despicable.”

    Jack, please clarify: Is there, or is there not, also a “conservative climate of hate”?

    • Glenn Logan

      I can’t speak for Jack, but what I can say is that it depends upon how you define “climate of hate.”

      There are those on the Right who hate those on the Left. But at this moment in history, the Left is much more energized, and the crazy ones on the margin seem to be allowing current circumstances to drive them into action(Antifa, etc.) Check out these comments on Twitter, for example. The Left generally doesn’t go this far, and the Democrats recently adding profanity to their attacks seems to me to be an indication that normally sane people on the Left have lost their way, and allowed their emotions to overcome their reason. This instant case takes it to a frightening degree, but I see no reason to assume we will see armies of angry Leftists shooting semi-auto firearms at their opponents on the right.

      But to my mind, Jack has a point — there is a very energized and clearly angry element on the Left, and it’s not a total stretch to suggest that the shooter’s derangement may have been exacerbated by that, although I should point out that we shouldn’t assume that to be true. Unfortunately, we will never know since the shooter has passed, but let’s be honest — if we’re angry enough, we can find plenty of things to fan our rage, even if the mainstream of both sides decided to stop engaging in it.

      What this shows is that we all need to step back and renounce the kind of rhetoric that might inspire political violence, both on the left and right. It won’t stop, and both sides will use the other as an excuse, but if the sane among us try hard, we can possibly make a difference. I know I sure am tired of hearing it.

    • There is a Climate of Hate and no one is immune. Different people feed their hate in different ways. Neither the Liberal or Conservative platforms advocate for such things and should be left out of the discussion. Anyone who feeds their hate with divisive rhetoric is not showing the best of America. If you can’t show the best, you shouldn’t be in the light.

    • I once listened to Diana Davison talk about “rape culture culture”, she denied the existence of “rape culture”, but thought that there was a supporting infrastructure that was predicated on the idea of rape culture that had cultural aspects of it’s own, and that those supporting infrastructures were a hindrance to progress and reason.

      Agree with the sentiment or not, it describes a phenomenon where certain ideas build up their own mores, jargon, interpretations and even behaviors over time, and develop into micro-cultures.

      “Is there, or is there not, also a “conservative climate of hate”?”

      I doubt it. I’d love for you to try to describe it. But I do think there’s a “conservative hate culture” culture out there, using the perceived positions of their opponents as reasons to say and do some fairly awful things.

    • Andrew V

      There is most definitely a conservative climate of hate, and neither is new. The substantial difference between the two is that the left-wing climate of hate has grabbed the megaphone of the media in a way that the other side never had a chance to do.

      • This is fair. The right is denied fair media coverage all the time.

        However, what is missing is the violence such a ‘conservative’ climate should be producing. Given that same media bias, if something could be pinned on a conservative, it would be front page news. Any examples in the past few years? Not so much.

        The left, on the other hand, is punching Nazis and outright rioting. There is a difference between left and right, and the fruit of your ‘cultures of hate’ are not the same.

        • Depends on if you want “big examples”. The left will point you to Richard Collins III, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, or Rick Best. Are they wrong? Probably not.

          What I truly believe is that we as Americans are very lazy with our language and our ability to speak with eloquence and articulation. We scape-goat left and right by identifying the “evil-person” as our opponent through some sort of perverted exercise in confirmation bias. As much as the right doesn’t want to be associated with the bad racists, there are those on the left that don’t want to be associated with bad terrorists.

          To that end, I’ve recently seen some on the left, who normally refer to the bad “right” people as racists, they’ve begun calling them “terrorists”. It’s a word play to make the right associate the evils of racists to the right’s favorite pastime of calling “terrorist”. It now occurs to me that the reverse could be applied. Every time someone attacks and kills in the name of Islam, instead of calling “terrorist” maybe the right should be calling it “racism”. Maybe the left will then get it?

          • I doubt it. Their reasoning is clouded by hate and outrage.
            Your premise would call for a modicum of self awareness and intellectual acuity from the left. Present company excluded, I have not seen much of either coming from the left, especially since the election.

  9. Mrs. Q

    Jack when you posted later than usual today I was a little worried about you, knowing you live in Alexandria, so I’m glad your safe.

    I appreciate Glenn’s comment regarding what questions we ought to ask about this. Also appreciate his perspective on the weapon itself. It is interesting that something so accurate did considerably less damage then it could have.

    My prediction for this crisis is Bernie fans will focus on gun control while conservatives will focus on liberals.

    Today is Flag Day so instead of blaming people for this or that I hope we can honor those, including the security at that baseball field, who sacrifice tirelessly every day to protect our nation & what our flag represents.

  10. Chris

    Jack:

    2. It is astounding to me that so many Democrats deny that there is a liberal (progressive, really) climate of hate.

    This is because when most liberals use the term “hate,” we are referring to prejudice, bigotry, and other forms of unjustified hatred. The term has become closely associated with people who favor oppression: “Hate groups.” “Hate crimes.” “Hate speech.”

    But of course, when we liberals hate someone, it’s because they deserve it.

    I am going to be completely honest: I hate the current president. I think he’s a terrible person. I think he is doing damage to our country. And, of course, I think he is hateful of others for illegitimate reasons: xenophobia, misogyny, religious hatred…these are all forms of hatred that we universally condemn. But how to go about fighting this type of hatred without succumbing to hatred ourselves?

    Hatred is a natural human emotion. We all hate someone. Your Christian grandmother who says “I love all sinners” probably hates one of the other Christian grandmothers at church who says the exact same thing, because that other woman is a judgmental gossip. Hating someone isn’t unethical…but how we process that hatred can be.

    This shooter obviously wasn’t able to process his hatred in a healthy way. But perhaps many of us on the Left aren’t processing it in a healthy way either, even if we would never think of acting on or supporting violence. You write here about the left media “distorting” the news…sometimes when you point out headlines or articles that you say are distortions, I think you’re right, and sometimes I think you’re wrong. Is that my bias at work? Yours? Sometimes mine, sometimes yours? I hate the president…does that make me unqualified to judge whether he is being represented fairly, even if sometimes I get it right and am able to see when a claim about him is an exaggeration, or “fake news?” You would probably say you don’t “hate” the news media…but I do see a bias there that, in my view, sometimes makes you exaggerate their behavior just as you say they exaggerate Trump’s.

    How do we react to people or institutions we see as damaging to our country without succumbing to a climate of hate? This strikes me as similar to a question the news media itself brought up during the election, and still hasn’t satisfactorily answered: “How do we cover Donald Trump, an objectively terrible human, fairly?” Your answer to this question seems so simple and obvious: “Just be objective!” But in reality this can be the hardest thing to do. Putting aside our emotions and thinking rationally is hard. It’s so hard that when people get overly emotional, they usually think they are thinking rationally and that everyone else is perceiving things wrongly. Plenty of people won’t even admit they “hate” anyone. I have seen neo-Nazis say they don’t hate minorities, they just want a separate etho-state for white people. We cannot combat our own hatred if we do not perceive it, any more than we can combat any other bias without first recognizing it. And as a culture, we cannot keep ourselves from indulging in a climate of hatred if we do not see our hatred and attempt to keep in from getting out of control.

    • “This is because when most liberals use the term “hate,” we are referring to prejudice, bigotry, and other forms of unjustified hatred. The term has become closely associated with people who favor oppression: “Hate groups.” “Hate crimes.” “Hate speech.”

      But of course, when we liberals hate someone, it’s because they deserve it.”

      *low whistle*

      This on the heels of a man who apparently had to ask whether the people playing baseball were Democrats or Republicans. The guy hated them enough to attempt to kill them without knowing anything other than D or R, and we aren’t even sure if he really cared about that,

      But of course, when you liberals hate someone, it’s because they deserve it.

      Fuck off.

      • Chris

        I really am not sure how you managed to misread the tone of that part of my comment so badly, Humble. Do you think that little of me that you thought I meant that in earnest? Certainly if you had read the rest of my comment you would have realized your error.

        • Yup. I owe you an apology. I got hung up on the first paragraph and had a moment of poor judgement.

          • Chris Bentley

            Yup, I was jumping on here to defend Chris (cats and dogs sleeping together?), as that sentence read very tongue in cheek to me.

            However, that “when we liberals hate someone, it’s because they deserve it.” sentence does bring up some interesting (if not lengthy) thoughts.

            Most right minded liberals would likely admit that they do hate, at times, republicans and/or conservative ideology. And I’d bet that they’d (like Chris joked) would do so, by justifying that “Right Hate” is bigoted and unjustified, while “Left Hate” is in response to Right Hate, and thus, while ugly, is still justified. This seems to be a prevailing narrative; The Right is hateful for no good reason, the Left is hateful because of the Right. So, no matter how much you can condemn hate, the Left’s hate always seems not quite as bad as the Right’s; more noble, if you will.

            And I think this is what frustrates me the most, this narrative. Because rather than the Left seeing the Right as having (at least some) shared goals (security, prosperity, equal opportunity), with radically different paths to achieve those goals, the Left paints the Right’s “hate” as unjustified, ignorant, and without redeeming qualities of any kind.*

            At the heart of this frustration is the ignorance most, on the right and definitely on the left, demonstrate towards liberal policies/movements/ideology that are, IMO, every bit as racist/sexist/discriminatory as those on the left claim the right are.

            One example: I woke up this morning, and read an article about a mother in Baltimore, who on a particular day, had several times called police to complain about neighborhood thugs trying to steal her kid’s bike, and then, trying to rough up her son; they lived in a very, very bad part of the city. Once the police left the second time, the thugs shot her dead, in front of her kids. It was absolutely heartbreaking to read. And sadly, my first thought, after completing the article, was: “I am certain I will never read about this woman’s murder on a left-run website…ever.” (Followed by: “I am certain BLM will never hold a protest in this woman’s honor”…but thats an issue for another day)

            I am a conservative, who is saddened by, and cares deeply that this (a) black (b) woman’s life was worthless to another human being, and now her (c) children will have to grow up without a mother (a link for her family’s GoFundMe page is below). Those are 3 topics that I am frequently told that I, as a conservative, care nothing about, as a (self-hating) racist, misogynist, neanderthal, who care nothing about children born into poverty once they are born. However, I am also enraged by the fact that I KNOW that many on the left, who could not talk about the murder of a black teen in Florida often enough (b/c in came at the hands of a “white Hispanic”), will never touch this story, not with a 10′ pole…because her murderers aren’t white, and aren’t cops.

            Often, when a white person is responsible for a misdeed towards a black person, they are (usually) held to the historically accepted standards of acceptable conduct, by the court of public opinion on the left. This is appropriate. However, when a black person is responsible for a similar misdeed, especially towards another black person, the perpetrator’s actions are often rationalized, justified, scapegoated, or, as is usually the case, ignored, by the left. The implicit message being sent, is that the left has low expectations of conduct for blacks, and as a result, holds blacks to lower standards than they hold whites to. We are treated with kid gloves across the board; if we yell “appropriation” or “racist”, those claims are given unearned validity. I just finished a road trip through TN and AL, and read a good bit about the list of demands the group inspired by Rosa Parks and led by Dr. King gave to the Montgomery Bus Company, during the bus boycott; compare that appropriate and reasonable list to the insane list of demands provided to, and acquiesced by, Evergreen College, by it’s black student population. It’s f****** laughable to compare the two.

            Imagine you are sitting in a class, where you know you are equally as smart as everyone else is, and are eager to prove it, but when your classmates give answers, those answers are held up to scrutiny, whereas your answers are always given a rubber stamp of approval, no matter how half baked they are. Your classmates learn how to construct rational, logical arguments, and how to toss aside reasoning that is incorrect or ineffective, while you….either begin thinking that you’re always right, or, begin feeling insulted that no one trusts your intelligence enough to challenge you. Nether is conducive to self development, and one of them is every bit as demoralizing as bluntly being told of your inferiority because of your skin color…y’know, the overt type of racism that the Right apparently takes pride in daily.

            The left is often more offended by the mere mention of “‘black on black crime”, than the violent actions of a black perpetrator towards a black victim. “Not true” you say? Type the phrase “black on black crime” in Google, and then type the names of any actual victim of black on black crime (the woman’s name in the above story is Charmaine Wilson; that’s an easy place to start) and compare the rhetoric of the results you receive. Thats what i often do when I come across a story that flies in the face of the liberal narrative; I Google it, to see which websites are talking about it. I encourage you all to try it sometime. It’s why I tell people that I’d much rather receive my news from the biased Fox News; I trust myself to sort though their BS to dig out the nuggets of valuable info. But at MSNBC, I can’t trust that I’ll even receive the dirt the sift through, if it’s a story they don’t like.

            While I can admire and respect parts of the left, and for damn sure see the flaws of the right (not as much with ideology, as with actual Republicans), the above is one of the many, many, many reasons that I am fairly certain I will never align with the left. Which, I now realize, has nothing to do with the original post (you know, the shootings), but, damn, it felt good to write.

            -CB

            *-For an example of this, see the controversy at Body Blitz, a women’s only spa, that, because it is a clothing optional spa that serves women and girls of all ages, has set a “no male genitalia” policy. Rather than acknowledging the very genuine, very sincere, very obvious reason behind this (even if you find it unfair and discriminatory) and appreciate the incredibly difficult situation it places the business in, most of the quoted responses in articles about the story are 100% against the business, essentially labeling them bigots, and completely failing to see the nuances of the situation.

            http://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/woman-who-called-police-on-sw-baltimore-crime-was-gunneddown-in-front-of-her-children

            https://www.gofundme.com/mother-gunned-down-with-kids

            • Jeez, Chris B., you know how I hate Comments of the Day on Comments of the Day.

              Terrific…I’ll get this posted after Cris’s. Thanks.

            • Chris

              Thanks, Humble.

              Chris Bentley, you accurately pinpointed the “narrative” I was attempting to point out about Left-hate vs. right-hate. It’s a narrative I bought into for a while, and still occasionally fall prey to.

              I am a bit confused, however, as to why you would expect BLM to protest the murder of Charmaine Wilson. Were her killers let go by the police without charges? Did they refuse to investigate her murder? If not, who should BLM be protesting against? The murderers themselves? People don’t usually protest against murderers, or individuals at all for that matter; they protest against systems. They demand change. What would be the purpose of a protest against Wilson’s killers? What systemic changes would you expect the protesters to demand?

              • Chris Bentley

                Chris, thank’s for your acknowledgement that you occasionally fall prey to the narrative. I fall prey to narrative and stereotypes about the left, and have to catch myself often.

                With regards to BLM, I must confess that I don’t have a master grip over the conditions that are typically met, when they do decide to protest. However, they were present in Baltimore, protesting Freddie Grays death less that a week after he died, and before the police involved had a chance to be indicted.

                As for what they would be protesting, I’d start with the wide spread, unwritten “snitches get stitches” street law. I’d argue that this “law” is more responsible that any white-initiated system for the continuation of black deaths at the hands of black perpetrators, and would conceivably be easier to fight against, as black gangs would seem more likely to listen to blacks who share the same “hate whitey” mindset, than in-power whites would be. But that would require BLM having the same expectations of blacks as they do of whites, that you can equally convince either group that their conduct is wrong, dangerous, and harmful for black people. And I know, one would be preaching to criminals vs preaching to law enforcement; but based on the rhetoric I’ve heard from BLM, they see the police as being the least trustworthy, most despicable groups of people imaginable. So, they still have the expectation they can convince this group (that is predominantly white) to change, but cannot convince a group that is, in their eyes, slightly more trustworthy than cops to change? That is, unless they are holding whites and blacks to 2 wildly different standards.

                Stop the culture of retaliation, you stop the fear of retaliation, which increases witness involvement, which bolsters cops ability to solve crimes, which drives down crime, which makes blacks lives better. Seems simple enough. If the left believes you can teach rapists not to rape, why dont they believe you can teach gang bangers not to retaliate for snitching? It boggles the mind….

                On a completely unrelated note, did you know that the overwhelming majority of rapists are white?

                https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/43tabledatadecoverviewpdf

                • Chris

                  I’m not sure I get why you think protesting for gangs to change would be easier than protesting to get cops to change, nor do I think it’s fair to assume BLM would think that. Cops have accountability. They have systems they have to work through. Gangs do not, or if they do, those systems are a lot less formal. I also don’t think most BLM members would say gangs are more trustworthy than the police.

                  Of course the majority of rapists in America are white, as the majority of Americans are white…I am not sure what you think that’s supposed to prove.

                  • Chris Bentley

                    The “unrelated” part was tongue in cheek. The point being, that the left believes a certain type of criminal (rapists) can change, by “teaching” them to change, but does not apply that to another type (gangs). And the group they believe they can “teach” to change, happen to be predominantly white.

                    Thus, the different expectations for violent criminals of different races.

                    • Chris

                      Is that what you interpret those “teach boys not to rape” campaigns to be about? My understanding is that most of those are about telling parents to teach their young boys about consent–they’re not about teaching already existing rapists to “change” so they don’t rape anymore. And those are public awareness campaigns, not protests. I also highly doubt the fact that the majority of rapists are white has ever been taken into account, even on a subconscious level, by any of the people in charges of such campaigns. So no, I don’t see how this proves any kind of double standard.

                  • Chris Bentley

                    Also, while I see your point about police accountability, I absolutely believe that a large number of BLM members see the police as THE least trustworthy people on the planet.

              • Glenn Logan

                I’m sure CB can answer for himself, but let me add my thoughts. Here’s what BLM says on their website under “Guiding principles”:

                We Affirm that All Black Lives Matter

                Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.

                Okay, CB’s point was that black people take more black lives than white people do. Ostensibly, BLM is concerned about “All black lives,” because that’s explicitly what they say.

                CB’s point, accurately in my view, is the BLM doesn’t actually seem to care about black lives lost under circumstances like those of Charmaine Wilson. There is no political capital to be gained by protesting black-on-black crime, even by an organization that explicitly states that “All Black Lives Matter.”

                What this means, in essence, is that some black lives matter to BLM, not all — those lost to police, particularly white police, matter to BLM. The rest, if they are honest, don’t, or don’t matter enough to march about.

                So “We Affirm that All Black Lives Matter” is really just trope, if you ask me, and a cover for hating whites. Because all we ever get out of them is exclusion, racism, tribalism, and socialist dogma.

                • Glenn Logan

                  The immediately above reply was supposed to be for Chris, not Chris Bentley. looks like a reply fail on my part.

                • Chris Bentley

                  “There is no political capital to be gained by protesting black-on-black crime, even by an organization that explicitly states that “All Black Lives Matter.”

                  Bing-Bleeping-O. Nail on the head.

                  There’s plenty of nonpolitical capital to be gained by marching, even occasionally, in the aftermath of a death such as Ms. Wilson’s. Like, shining a light on the crime that is rampant in the city, but easily forgotten in the suburbs. Letting criminals know their crimes aren’t going to continue to occur under the cover of zero-press-coverage. Empowering people to step up and be witnesses. Encouraging people to help the police. Inspiring donations to help the family of the deceased. Giving inner city folk a voice to express their frustrations re: neighborhood crime. The list goes on, of reasons why they should want to make noise about the death of Ms. Wilson, but clearly all black lives don’t matter equally.

                  • Chris

                    Glenn:

                    CB’s point, accurately in my view, is the BLM doesn’t actually seem to care about black lives lost under circumstances like those of Charmaine Wilson. There is no political capital to be gained by protesting black-on-black crime, even by an organization that explicitly states that “All Black Lives Matter.”

                    It’s a political movement, so I’d expect them to care about political capitol, which is what protest movements run on. Again, ordinary crimes don’t get protested by anyone, not just blacks. Should white people protest every time a white person is killed by another white person?

                    What this means, in essence, is that some black lives matter to BLM, not all — those lost to police, particularly white police, matter to BLM. The rest, if they are honest, don’t, or don’t matter enough to march about.

                    It implies no such thing. Do you even know why they call themselves “Black Lives Matter?” Because they feel like their lives don’t matter to the government, or to the police in some cities. Black-on-black crime is already heavily policed, and black people who kill other black people are typically arrested, tried and convicted. According to BLM–and I refuse to make any statement about whether they’re right on this–the same does not happen in many cases when blacks are killed by whites or police. Again, I’m not saying they’re right. I’m saying that premise is in no way inconsistent with the fact that they don’t march against gang violence as often.

        • I caught the joke, Chris. It took me two readings, but it was cute and well written.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      I hope, I repeat I HOPE that the third paragraph is at least partially tongue in cheek, because there are far, far too many liberals who believe that they are indeed on the “side of the angels” and that therefore any hate they feel for anyone on the other side must be completely justified and legitimate. It doesn’t help that they dress themselves up in slogans like “love wins” and “love trumps hate,” just further building themselves up in their own eyes that they are such good people that they can’t be wrong. That’s self-validating virtue, and it’s on the list of rationalizations.

      Antipathy is a natural emotion. Dislike is a normal emotion. Hatred is just those feelings taken to a higher level. But in the end all those emotions are just feelings. Feelings are not a legitimate basis for any kind of substantive decision, particularly political or governmental, and not really a basis for doing too many things. We all owe society the obligation to not act on our feeling in a destructive manner simply BECAUSE we feel strongly about something. You may hate me, that does not give you the right to slash my tires when I’m not looking. I may hate you, that does not give me the right to put on a set of brass knuckles and clock you.

      I loathed Obama, and I loathed Hillary. I thought they were both corrupt, arrogant, entitled people who thought they were above the law and were leading or trying to lead this nation in the wrong direction. I despise the woman who played me for a fool for 2 years, I think she was a femme fatale who used her wiles to get what she wanted and traded on her looks, then displayed zero loyalty. I do not think very highly of several of my college classmates, who treated me like I was a worm and were generally douchey individuals.

      That said, I didn’t threaten or try to take deadly action against either the former President or Madam Secretary. I have not sought out P to take revenge on her or her family. I did not show up for my 25th reunion with a submachine gun and cut loose a la Columbine. I don’t have to say why, and it’s not just because some of these acts would likely be fatal. I also don’t try to think too much about these things, because if you think about them too much, and live in your own head too much because you are thinking of them too much, you hold yourself back from doing the things that need to get done, and you move yourself toward the point where you MIGHT take one of these insane and deadly actions.

      I already mentioned this above, but I’ll mention it again. Charles Cowan had spent years stewing in hatred of blacks and Jews. Finally his supervisor, who happened to be Jewish, suspended him for two weeks for defiance and being rude to customers. He returned loaded for bear and killed five people before taking his own life when he saw there was no way out. Mark Essex went through all the usual racist crap in the 60s, and it drove him over the edge. He spent years building up a hatred of white people and great skill with a rifle, then finally snapped, killing 9 people before the authorities had to take him down with a USMC helicopter. Craig Stephen Hicks spent years hating the world and everything in it, but especially faith in any form. Finally he cut loose over a parking space dispute and murdered three Muslim students. I frankly don’t see how this is any different, except for the fact that in this case the would-be murderer had been filling his head with hatred of the GOP and everything it stands for at least since the 2016 campaign began, and probably a lot longer. To him, the other side wasn’t just fellow Americans who disagreed with him, they were evil and needed to be eliminated. I don’t know what put him over the edge today, I’m not sure it’s relevant. It didn’t begin today, of that I am sure. This guy was a powder keg and had been for some time. Maybe he was searching for an opportunity and today looked like a good one, because the hated Republicans were in a vulnerable place, not expecting an attack. Maybe he had planned this for a while, although the evidence doesn’t seem to be pointing that way.

      Where it DOES point is the same as with all the above individuals. This person was a ticking time bomb, and it was just a matter of time and trigger factors before he went off. Someone had to have seen this – it was splashed all over social media, but apparently no one took action or took enough action. If someone is clearly heading in the direction where he might do something crazy and his alarm bells aren’t ringing, I think others’ alarm bells should. That means both on a close-in level, where this guy’s friends and associates should have asked if something was wrong, at least tried to get this guy help, and, if necessary, gotten the authorities involved if it appeared something was imminent, and on a farther out level, where those on the same side might have said hey, the election’s over, we’re all supposed to be on the same team again, maybe we might want to take the rhetoric down a notch and discourage hatred and crazy behavior.

      As long as political sides stoke the fires to score political points and rally true believers, and push rather than discourage hate, they will be setting this nation up for the next act of political violence. Keep it up, and we’ll be Belfast and Derry 1974, where Alan Stuart will be shot leaving the pub on Friday night for no reason other than he’s a hated “dirty Prod,” and before midnight on Saturday the black car will roll up next to “filthy Taig” Paddy Halloran as he walks home, who had nothing to do with the killing but his faith, and take him on his last ride. It can’t happen here? Don’t kid yourself.

    • Jack,

      I nominate this for COTD. Chris is unusually frank here, and the topics are a blog unto themselves. He is speaking truth, and that is worth exploring.

    • Great post, Chris.. I had been feeling guilty that you hadn’t gotten a comment of the Day, since so many of your comments are of high quality. This is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Bravo. I’ll try to get it up today.

  11. Actually, I hold BOTH parties and the press for the feedback loop of nasty rhetoric and hatred.

  12. luckyesteeyoreman

    Mariedowd calls it a “feedback loop of nasty rhetoric and hatred.” The cultural current of our present times is a kind of dirty whirlpool – like what kids can start in a small circular swimming pool. It’s an “energy field” which, if provided enough sustaining drive, almost everyone and every bit of information, every thought, every emotion, gets caught-up and carried along in it. Even people who are not providing any drive energy are swept along and damaged while in that field.

    When Kathy Griffin put out that image with the bloody, severed head of Trump, the very first thing I did was make an EFFORT to forgive her. I did that out of concern for my own health – because I was already having visions of taking a similar picture, with me holding her severed head. I could not un-see or un-think the Griffin-Trump image or my own reactions. But, I could fight their effects, and fortunately, I fought them successfully. My point is that it took EFFORT. The effort took determination. The determination took focus – which, for me, is where I fail so often.

    It wasn’t a mind trick on myself. It was just a thought that, hey, if I can get so homed-in on this or that problem, or situation, or issue, or behavior of a person or group, and dwell so constantly on some foundation of thought in regards to such things, then I ALREADY HAVE the power of focus that I need to apply to forgiving.

    My forgiving did not involve forgetting (that likely won’t happen), but it did involve some deliberate disengagement – a kind of “counting to 10.” So I did strive to avoid Griffin articles and talk about Griffin, for a few days. I kept a Golden Rule-based thought in mind: I would appreciate being forgiven for doing the same thing Griffin did; I would accept the fallout, punishment, etc.; I would not burden a forgiver with an expectation that I be treated as if I never did what was forgiven (because since I knew that I would not forget, I refuse to expect anyone else to forget).

    There are ethics pitfalls to forgiving. One of them is self-exclusion from a proper healing process – the risky side of that deliberate disengagement I mentioned. That can morph into a shirking of personal responsibility. In a worse case, one can imagine a false or over-inflated sense of self-righteousness. In one extreme, one can become obsessed with “doing something” while forgetting or ignoring the certain, or probable, or possible impacts of doing it – the unintended consequences, the unwitting driving of that corrupting energy field.

  13. fattymoon

    I had no intention of joining this conversation, but when I read Steve-O-in-NJ’s post… “The guy’s a nutty Sanders supporter who posted on social media that it was time to destroy Trump and company. Tell me, fattymoon, V-girl, Chris, and all you other libs out there frothing with hatred, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!?!?!!!!!!!!” I figured I should respond.

    And so, Steve and I got into a playground tiff. No blame. We believe different things. As an offering to everyone here, allow me to present the esteemed Ann Coulter as featured in today’s Breitbard News. Let it be known, I believe she is full of shit, but some of you may think the same of me. Fair enough.

    Here ya go… http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/14/coulter-the-resistance-goes-live-fire/

  14. Interesting side discussion on statements condemning violence. Though I don’t necessarily agree with LoSo’s requirements for a statement of condemnation, I do think that he’s on to something that Bernie’s statement is a bit off.

    So, Bernie said:

    “I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be — violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values.”

    No doubt it is a condemnation of this particular act, which fits the template of typical statements of this kind. But he does include a general condemnation of violence that does push a hyper-pacifist meme, so it does include a sentiment that is disagreeable.

    I’ve included a quick perusal of “condemnations of violence” from around the world and all of them, save one, are specific in clarifying what violence is condemned. I think it is important to pay attention to, not because his condemnation is *necessarily* inappropriate, but that it is just another revelation of his world-view (which I think is a very unrealistic one).

    Back in the campaign he made another sweeping generalization of all violence when asked to comment on his own supporter’s somewhat rowdy tendencies.

    Other condemnations:

    House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement after the House passed three suspensions condemning terrorism, genocide, and violence against peaceful protesters.

    “Our values of freedom, equality, and opportunity keep us in the light — even when our enemies cower in the darkness. We stand with our allies at home and abroad in condemning violence and attacks against these values and against innocent people. I applaud Chairman Royce and the Foreign Affairs Committee for their continued efforts to combat political violence everywhere.”

    UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent out this message today in response to the events of last night:

    UC Berkeley condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of individuals who invaded the campus, infiltrated a crowd of peaceful students and used violent tactics to close down the event. We deeply regret that the violence unleashed by this group undermined the First Amendment rights of the speaker as well as those who came to lawfully assemble and protest his presence.

    -2 feb 2017

    Sens. Cotton, Cruz, Lee and Rubio Issue Statement Condemning Violence Outside Turkish Embassy
    May 17 2017

    WASHINGTON – Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued a statement Wednesday in response to an incident that took place on American soil Tuesday:

    “We strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington. Reports indicate that some Turkish officials were involved in assaulting protestors, which violates the most basic rules of diplomacy and is an affront to the United States and the value we place on the right to free speech, as embodied in our Constitution. It is even more concerning coming from one of our own NATO allies. We call upon the Turkish government to apologize immediately for the involvement of any officials.”

    MNGOP Releases Statement Condemning Democrat Violence

    (Minneapolis, Minn.) – The Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey issued the following statement condemning the violence at the Capitol on Saturday. Masked and violent protesters interrupted Saturday’s “March 4 Trump” rally in the Capitol rotunda. Six anti-Trump protesters were arrested and face felony riot charges or disorderly conduct charges.

    “Once again, Democrat-aligned agitators have attacked people at a peaceful political event in Minnesota. Think about that for a moment: inside our State Capitol, masked attackers tried to shut down political speech by assaulting rally-goers.

    These occurrences are absolutely unacceptable, but not isolated. In August 2016, Republican donors and activists were verbally and physically accosted at a Trump fundraiser. Following the election results, the Republican Party of Minnesota’s headquarters building was vandalized during a ‘Not My President’ protest.

    Now we learn that Democrat-aligned groups have again targeted the Republican Party of Minnesota’s headquarters for a protest on Wednesday. We are calling on Mayor Betsy Hodges to take the threat of this protest seriously and protect our people and the building from assault.

    Democrats have been coordinating disruption and violence throughout the election, and now after it with their ‘resistance’ efforts. It needs to stop, now. Chairman Ken Martin and Minnesota Democrats need to call off the dogs, shut down this violence, and dispense with the hatred and vitriolic language.

    The American people want Democrats to find a way to work together with President Trump, and stop the assaults and violence. Democrats need to take heed.”

    Statement on Condemning the Recent Acts of Violence in Aluthgama

    We, the undersigned members of the Young Political Leaders Forum of Sri Lanka (YPLF), are deeply concerned by the recent attacks that took place in Southern Sri Lanka. We strongly believe that the use of violence and intimidation are utterly unacceptable; especially in the current post-war context and call for the return of communal harmony in the Kalutara District and other parts of Sri Lanka.

    We also take this opportunity to offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who died as a result of these attacks. Our thoughts are with those who were injured but also distressed by the recent incidents, and those who suffered from damage to property.

    We as youth of the country emphasize on the importance of values such as respect, mutual understanding, co-existence toward the betterment of Sri Lanka.

    Given the above, the Young Political Leaders Forum of Sri Lanka;

    Condemns the recent outbreaks of communal violence in Aluthgama, Beruwala and its surroundings.
    Calls all persons to resort to the laws of the country in order to ensure the safety of all citizens.
    Urges the relevant authorities to restore normalcy within the country and prevent, with adequate measures, any possible escalation associated with the recent tensions.
    Denounces speeches that instigate hate; especially through the use of media and social media, which could only lead to irreversible actions that are often guided by rage and anger.
    Urges all citizens to act in restraint and to remain calm and wise despite the recent circumstances.
    Calls upon all communities to work together in solidarity so as to strengthen trust, respect and harmony among all people, regardless of their beliefs, to ensure that Sri Lanka does not go through the bitter experiences of the past.
    Young Political Leaders’ Forum:

    Hon. Vasantha Senanayake, MP – SLFP/UPFA
    Hon. Harin Fernando, MP – UNP
    Hon. Hunais Farook, MP – ACMC
    Hon. Shehan Semasinghe, MP -SLFP
    Hon. Niroshan Perera, MP – UNP
    Hon. Raghu Balachandran, representing TNA

    Jewish Organizations’ Statement Condemning Violent Attacks by Jewish Defense League
    RELEASE DATE: April 7, 2017

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Ayelet Hines (202) 270-7365

    We condemn the violent attacks by Jewish Defense League (JDL) members on peaceful protesters. While members of our community hold a range of opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we must agree that violence is an unacceptable response to political dissent.

    STATEMENT FROM FETHULLAH GULEN CONDEMNING VIOLENCE FOLLOWING ATTACK ON U.S. CONSULATE IN LIBYA

    Categories: Announcements

    I have learned with sadness about the attack on the United States Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi which resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, consulate personnel and several others.

    I strongly condemn this heinous attack which targeted public servants representing their country in Libya and thus were guests of Libyan government and people. On this sad occasion I reiterate my condemnation of all forms of terror regardless of its perpetrators and the purposes for which it is carried out.

    “As we witness other violent protests in Cairo, Yemen and elsewhere, my message is that lasting change will only result from peaceful expressions of reaction and open dialogue. Consorting to violence and targeting human life for protest constitute a betrayal of the soul of the very Islamic tradition that many of these protestors seemingly claim to defend. What suits Muslims is to express their reactions in a peaceful and calm manner that befits the dignity of their faith.

    “I send my sincere condolences to those who lost loved ones in the tragedy, to the United States Government, to American people and especially to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton under whom the ambassador and his staff have been serving. I share their pain in my heart and I pray for the fast recovery of those who were injured.”

    Some of the statements include more blanket condemnations of violence, but even those couch the condemnations within the context of the particular act committed and the values that particular act breaches.

    So, again, Bernie’s condemnation is a fair condemnation *within his worldview*. If there’s any beef, it should be with the worldview…and there I think is legitimately arguable issue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s