As America’s gun crisis shows no sign of abating, there is some hope for reducing the number of mass shootings and killings. The emerging wave of lawsuits against gun makers echoes previous successes against the car industry, opioid companies and big tobacco. In New York, California, Delaware and other states, new laws aim to provide ways around a near 20-year immunity provided to gun manufacturers and distributors. In Indiana, a lawsuit brought by victims of the 2021 mass shooting at a FedEx facility aims to hold a gun manufacturer accountable for the horror wrought by one of its weapons.
Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in over 450 protests across the country Saturday demanding lawmakers take action on gun control laws in the wake of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. March for Our Lives, the youth-led organization created by students who survived the mass shooting at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, organized Saturday's rallies. Patricia and Manuel Oliver, whose son, Joaquin, was among those killed in Parkland, addressed the Washington, DC crowd announcing a new campaign called I Will Avoid. “Our elected officials have betrayed us and avoid the responsibility to end gun violence…Today we announce a new call to action, because I think it's time to bring a consequence to their inaction."
When America No Longer Exports Carnage As A Business Model, Maybe We’ll Stop Seeing It In The Streets Here
Speaking in the dimly lit Cross Hall in the White House, and flanked on either side by rows of candles and the soft lighting of the chandeliers and torchiere lamps above and behind him, Joe Biden conjured up his best human emotions to deliver an impassioned promise that he would do something about gun violence in this country. "How much more carnage are we willing to accept?" Biden asked, demanding Republicans in particular end their blockade of gun control votes. Since the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, Biden has been pressed to do something, which he promised he would do, but his speech was only tough talk to encourage Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, to expand background check requirements for gun purchases, create new rules for safely storing weapons, enact new "red flag" laws that would prevent gun sales to those with criminal records, repeal liability shields for gun manufacturers and provide more mental health services for students.
A settler colonial state founded on indigenous genocide and African enslavement that is still addicted to the doctrine of racial domination will be violent. How could it be otherwise? This nation has the world’s highest rate of incarceration, 1,000 police killings every year, a defense budget bigger than any other, and the imperialist wars that inevitably follow. No one should be shocked when individuals here carry out violent acts. Yet that is exactly what we get when mass shootings take place, pretend shock and confused outrage. On May 15, 2022 a racist white man killed 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. The response was fairly typical and frankly not very helpful.
The mass shooting of 19 children and two teachers, and the wounding of 17 more people, at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday was a genuinely horrific event. The students killed were 9, 10 and 11 years old, in the second, third and fourth grades. The adults killed, both women, were fourth-grade teachers. The perpetrator of the crime barricaded himself inside a classroom and opened fire with a lightweight semi-automatic rifle that he had obtained a day after his 18th birthday, one week earlier. In the most immediate and direct sense, hundreds if not thousands of people will never recover from the damage done in this one incident alone. The American ruling elite, its politicians and its media outlets, have nothing insightful or useful to say about this most recent calamity.
Houston, Texas - After two sleepless nights wondering what, if anything, she could do, Nancy Harris, 73, decided to drive four hours to Houston. Before she left, she pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down 12 names. Each name was someone she knew had been shot. She put an asterisk next to the ones who had died, including her own daughter. She says she didn’t know the National Rifle Association, one of America’s most powerful lobbyist groups, was meeting in Houston this weekend until after the horrific shooting in Uvalde on Tuesday. She is a gun owner but stood across the street from the NRA’s convention to share her story with anyone who would listen. “I have no children left,” Harris said.
In response to Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left at least 17 people injured, 19 elementary students and two teachers dead, students and teachers across the United States walked out of school Thursday to protest gun violence. Several walkouts occurred at schools where memories are still fresh from their own tragic experience with mass homicidal violence, a routine phenomenon in capitalist America. At Oxford High School, located on the outskirts of the Detroit, Michigan metro region, where a school shooting last December left four students dead, hundreds of students walked out of school and amassed on the football field, where they formed a “U” in support of Uvalde.
The incidents of mindless, mass carnage in the United States have become so routine that they do not even make national headlines unless the incident has a potential attention-grabbing twist. One of those dramatic twists is when the victims of a mass-shooting are from a common social identity and the perpetrator appeals to be motivated by hatred of the targeted group. This is what makes the shooting in Buffalo stand out. The authorities could not hide the fact that it was a hate crime and the media saw a juicy story, if only for a day or two. However, for those of us who are members of communities and peoples who are increasingly finding ourselves on the receiving end of state and private racially motivated violence, we have a life-or-death requirement to attempt to understand the complex political and socio-cultural elements that are producing this dangerous environment.
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.