Thursday ReadsPosted: December 3, 2015
I really don’t want to write about the horrors in the news today, but what else can I do? I’m staying with my nephews (yesterday till late tonight). This morning the phone rang at 6AM. The kids’ school was calling to say that they had received a threat of gun violence last night. There was also a bomb threat on Tuesday, so “in an abundance of caution” they locked down the schools last night, the police searched them early this morning, and there will be police and security people stationed in the school all day. People can only enter the school through one entrance that is guarded.
I really didn’t want the boys to go to school, and my sister-in-law said to keep them home. So there’s a lot going on here right now, and this post is probably going to be brief.
I’m sure you’ve probably heard that the mass murder in San Bernardino yesterday was the 355th one this year–there has been more than one mass shooting per day in the U.S. in 2015. Furthermore, the San Berdardino shooting was the second mass shooting yesterday.
The San Bernardino shooting is the 355th mass shooting this year, according to a mass shooting tracker maintained by the Guns Are Cool subreddit. The Reddit tracker defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people, including the gunman, are killed or injured by gunfire….
It would be also be the second mass shooting just today — in the early morning hours, one person was killed and three were injured in an incident in Savannah, Georgia….
The number of mass shootings so far this year has already surpassed the total number of mass shootings in 2014, according to the Reddit tracker. And the pace is well above 2013’s pace, when a total of 363 mass shootings occurred.
Just having to read about these shootings and watch the reports on TV is makes me feel drained of energy. Why do we put up with it? I think the feds should list the NRA as a terrorist group.
Here’s the latest on the shooting in California.
It started as a holiday party — where, police said, something prompted Syed Rizwan Farook to storm off angrily.
It ended as a bloodbath with 14 people dead and 17 more wounded — the deadliest mass shooting in the United States sinceSandy Hook.
At its center were a married couple, Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
Dressed in black, carrying semi-automatic rifles, authorities say that theyunleashed a massacre Wednesday at the party hosted by the San Bernardino County, California, health department.
That was their first brazen act. Then they led police on a chase. Farook fired while Malik drove.
They died in a hail of bullets when confronted by 21 officers.
Now comes the challenging part: What was their motive? The city’s police chief said there was a dispute at the event “under circumstances that were described as angry.” Could it just have been anger? The level of preparation, the amount of firepower suggest meticulous planning.
Authorities don’t yet know.
Nor do they know of any interaction Farook and Malik had in the past with police. Neither of them were known to the FBI or on a list of potentially radicalized people, law enforcement officials told CNN.
There’s a lot of good information in the article–you can read the rest at CNN.
Investigators grappled Thursday on two main fronts after the deadliest U.S. mass shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School bloodshed: Seeking clues on the motives and apparent commando-style planning by a couple who turned an office holiday party into a killing field with at least 14 dead.
“I don’t think they grabbed the guns and tactical gear on a spur-of-the-moment thing,” said San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan hours after Wednesday’s rampage and a police shootout that left both alleged shooters dead several miles from the attack….
Bit by bit, profiles emerged of the suspects: Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, a former county health worker who was born in the United States, and a woman described as his Pakistani-born wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27.
Also being pieced together were the hour-by-hour events before police say the suspects stormed a conference center wearing black masks and armed with assault rifles and handguns.
Earlier in the day, the suspects dropped off their 6-month-old daughter with Farook’s mother, saying they had a doctor’s appointment, said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council for American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles.
Again, much more info at the link.
I’m afraid that since the shooters were of Middle Eastern descent, we’re going to have to deal with an intensification of the Islamophobia from the GOP presidential candidates and their supporters. I don’t think I can stand to watch the next Republican debate. Then there’s this: the LA Times reports that not long ago, Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia to connect with a woman he had met online. She became his wife and died with him yesterday.
Co-workers told The Times they were shocked to hear Farook’s name linked to the shooting. Two who were in the restroom when the bullets began to fly said he was quiet and polite, with no obvious grudges….
Baccari and Christian Nwadike said Farook, who worked with them for several years, rarely started a conversation. But the tall, thin young man with a full beard was well liked and spent much of his time out in the field and worrying about his beard, he would always make sure to hear beard trimmer recommendations from everyone.
They and other colleagues said Farook was a devout Muslim, but rarely discussed religion at work.
“He never struck me as a fanatic, he never struck me as suspicious,” said Griselda Reisinger, who worked with Farook before leaving the agency in May.
Reisinger said she heard that the office recently threw a baby shower for Farook and that he had taken paternity leave.
More links on the San Bernardino shooting:
The Atlantic: Prayer Shaming After a Mass Shooting in San Bernardino.
More stories of interest:
Brent Budowsky at The Hill: A coming GOP bloodbath.
Jay Rosen at Press Think: So I will try to explain why the Trump candidacy has been so confounding to our political press.
What stories are you following today?