On March 24, 2021, a man shot up a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, killing nine workers and shoppers and one police officer. I live nearby and heard about the shooting when a comrade sent me a local Libertarian’s livestream of the tragedy as it was happening. About five minutes into the livestream and roughly six minutes since the first shots were fired, four Boulder Police officers rushed into the store. They were met with what sounded like gunshots, then two of the officers ran out of the King Scopers entrance. This is likely the moment Officer Eric Talley was killed. For the next 45 minutes, SWAT from neighboring municipalities rallied outside of the King Soopers, but despite their advanced body armor, firearms, and training, they did not go inside.
A mass shooting took place on Feb. 26 in Milwaukee, Wis., at the Molson Coors brewery when a worker, Anthony Ferrill, opened fire and killed five co-workers before killing himself. This tragic development was hardly a blip on the radar screen of mass media when all of a sudden it just disappeared.
Iran has been subject to crippling U.S. sanctions and military provocations in recent weeks. The most recent U.S. escalation began in mid-July when the U.K., through its territory of Gibraltar, seized an Iranian oil tanker accused of violating E.U.-imposed sanctions against Syria. Iran has since taken three “foreign” tankers into custody and placed 17 Iranians accused of spying for the CIA under arrest. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the 2020 election buzz has been temporarily drowned out by the deaths of over thirty people in three mass shootings.
In the immediate aftermath of the El Paso shooting—the largest massacre of Latinx people in the history of the United States—politicians of all stripes stood before the cameras and gave their diagnosis of what just happened. They sounded like the proverbial blind men who touched one part of the elephant and confused the different fragments for the whole. El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican who once praised the “freedom fence” for keeping out “riff raff,” emphasized that the atrocity was committed by an outsider.
This weekend, after two mass shooters killed and injured dozens of people in Texas and Ohio, Rep. Steve Cohen tweeted, “You want to shoot an assault weapon? Go to Afghanistan or Iraq. Enlist!” Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, apparently did not take issue with the El Paso shooter’s desire to slaughter people of color — he merely wanted to redirect his bullets toward people of color outside of the United States. His tweet was a chilling reminder of how the United States’ militarism against other countries and its domestic manifestations of white supremacy replicate and reinforce each other.
This weekend, after two mass shooters killed and injured dozens of people in Texas and Ohio, Rep. Steve Cohen tweeted, “You want to shoot an assault weapon? Go to Afghanistan or Iraq. Enlist!” Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, apparently did not take issue with the El Paso shooter’s desire to slaughter people of color — he merely wanted to redirect his bullets toward people of color outside of the United States. His tweet was a chilling reminder of how the United States’ militarism against other countries and its domestic manifestations of white supremacy replicate and reinforce each other. White people attack Brown and Black Muslims in the United States precisely because of the country’s wars abroad. The United States’ destructive trade agreements and military intervention in Central and South America drive North American refugee border crossings, and armed white militia groups patrol the desert to catch or kill refugees seeking help.
“He enlisted in the Virginia National Guard in April 1996, according to spokesman A.A. Puryear. He was assigned to the Norfolk-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team as a 13B cannon crew member. He was discharged in April 2002 and held the rank of specialist at the time, the spokesman said. His records did not indicate overseas deployments.” —CNN on latest mass shooter We’re supposed to overlook this bit of information. We’re supposed to focus on mental health questions or the inscrutable incomprehensible mystery of the inevitable human tragedy of mass shootings, which bizarrely and unfairly are inflicted by the universe on this particular 4 percent of humanity living in the United States, which quite irrelevantly has been glorifying violence through endless wars for many years.
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND — What is without question the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history took place on Friday when shooters, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant among them, opened fire at two Christchurch mosques. Four, including Tarrant, have been arrested for the heinous act, which claimed at least 49 innocent lives. Tarrant was responsible for killing more than 40 victims, among them several children, in a rampage he live-streamed on Facebook, sending chills throughout the Muslim community, particularly Muslims living in Western countries.
Another week, another mass shooting and still the discourse remains primarily about individual violence. The goal is to inject a fear into the populist. The goal is to divide us. The goal is to make us afraid of each other. The goal is to justify further control of the people and to continue to obliterate civil liberties. The old phrase “If You See Something Say Something” has popped up again. This is the phrase that came out of 9/11. It enlists each one of us in the war on terror, the war on crime, the war on guns. The other phrase now is ____ Strong. Plug in any name. No matter where the shooting happens we must become “stronger”. Not more peaceful. We must become stronger. We remain at war with somebody. And like the war on terror and the war on crime, the villain is both everywhere and nowhere. One of those Middle East countries, forget which one. One of those kids with a hood, forget which one.
May 14, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - As FAIR has noted before (e.g., Extra!, 1/17; FAIR.org, 4/2/18), the term “clash” is almost always used to launder power asymmetry and give the reader the impression of two equal warring sides. It obscures power dynamics and the nature of the conflict itself, e.g., who instigated it and what weapons if any were used. “Clash” is a reporter’s best friend when they want to describe violence without offending anyone in power—in the words of George Orwell, “to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.” It’s predictable, then, that in coverage of Israel’s recent mass shootings in Gaza—which have killed over 30 Palestinians and injured more than 1,100—the word “clashes” is used to euphemize snipers in fortified positions firing on unarmed protesters 100 meters away...
It may almost seem too obvious to mention, but I don’t think that’s why we so seldom mention it. I don’t mean being male, or being mentally disturbed, or having been cruel to women, or living in places like the United States where it’s easy to acquire weapons of war. These and many other factors are very significant and very often discussed, as they should be, when we consider mass killings. There’s something else that ties a lot of mass killers together, and it’s also obvious, but seldom discussed. The man who killed with a van in Toronto had been briefly in the Canadian military and promoted his crime on Facebook beforehand as a military operation. The same day he killed in Toronto, the G7 countries were meeting at the University of Toronto and declaring their unified hostility toward Russia.
High school students joined hands to lead over a half a million demonstrators in the “March For Our Lives” anti-gun protest on Saturday. They decried gun violence in their schools and criticized the National Rifle Association (NRA) response to mass shootings that have swept the country in recent years. They delivered a message to politicians funded by the gun lobby that they will “never again” let mass shootings happen because of easy access to guns. The vast numbers and intense feelings pervading the march may signal that an absolutist view of “gun rights”—that the Second Amendment is inviolable and should be allowed to trump students’ safety at school—will no longer be tolerated in the mainstream. Among the March’s demands are a moratorium on AR-15 assault weapons, a ban on bump stocks and other devices which render guns into fully automatic weapons, mandatory background checks and an increase in the age of eligibility to purchase guns.
Wednesday, March 14, was one month after the Parkland school massacre in Florida. Students from more than 3,100 schools marked the event with a National Walkout day. Estimates are more than one million students walked out of their classrooms at 10:00 am. Many students planned to walk out of class for 17 minutes — one for every person killed during the horrific mass killing. The students demanded gun law reforms to show solidarity with the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where the attack occurred on Valentine's Day.
Disarm Cops First. Reflections On Narratives Of Exceptional And Systematic Violence After Parkland Shootings
On February 18th, 2018, A nineteen year old white man entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with his rifle, and murdered 17 people. He was later arrested peacefully by police. The shooter’s social media profiles indicate a racist obsessed with white nationalism and a hatred of women, and a promoter of fascist messages and imagery. He was reportedly obsessed with guns, and his behavior had been reported to law enforcement repeatedly. Law enforcement never took action, which has itself been widely criticized. The reasons for this inaction are not hard to pin down for those willing to look: Cruz, the shooter – was a white man with a gun, and therefore not a threat. In the aftermath, a Neo Nazi organization calling itself the Republic of Florida claimed Cruz as a member.
An article by Lucian K. Truscott IV, published in Salon last week, addresses the recent Florida mass killing with a novel suggestion. It implores trigger-happy “gun nuts” to forego the civilian gun market and join the Army. Weapons like the AR-15 and the R-15 are replicas of military munitions, designed to annihilate as many human beings as possible. Civilian use of these guns can hardly be justified by self-defense or any other socially legitimate purpose. If you want to play with high-powered killing machines, Truscott argues, there’s a place for that. “Go down to your local recruiting station and join the fucking Army,” Truscott writes. “They’ll give you a rifle for free, and all the deadly ammo you want, and they’ll train you with human silhouette targets, and they’ll send you over to Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Syria, or Niger, or some fucking hellhole where there are guys with guns very similar to yours who will be good enough to shoot at you, so you can shoot back at them and kill them.”