Monday Reads: America’s Gun FetishPosted: April 19, 2021
Good Day Sky Dancers!
I’m watching the crazy Republicans in the Lousyana Lege start pushing a no permit necessary carry law for guns while I am still reeling from reading about all the gun violence over the weekend and this month. There were three mass shoot outs here this weekend including one in Shreveport.
It also included a shoot out at a 12 year old’s birthday party in the garage of the family home in an extremely comfortable, quiet, suburban La Place in St. John the Baptist Parish between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It’s your typical bedroom commuter exurb so wipipo cannot talk about urban violence without owning the weekend’s shoot outs!
No one was killed but 6 children were shot. Let that sink in. And, of course, no one saw a damned thing because it’s possible that one shooter was a kid.
An exasperated St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said his detectives were working hard to make arrests after a Saturday night shooting at a 12-year-old child’s birthday party in LaPlace left six people injured, but so far they’ve struggled to secure cooperation.
“We have not one witness, not one person that saw anything yet. So we’re trying to solve it on our own right now,” Tregre said in a telephone interview Sunday afternoon. “I’m going to be polite — it’s more than frustrating.”
The shooting happened about 8:30 p.m. Saturday as a large crowd gathered for the child’s birthday party at a house in the 600 block of Golfview Drive, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Detectives believe that two groups of young men with an ongoing feud met up at the house, began arguing and gunfire broke out, according to Tregre. He said crime scene evidence shows that more than one firearm was fired.
The Sheriff’s Office hasn’t released a full list of victims and their injuries, but Tregre said one victim was 12 years old. Several of the victims had what Tregre described as “superficial” injuries, but three required surgery for more serious wounds.
Today’s artwork is from The Smithsonian and mostly from this piece written in its magazine. “How Portraiture Gave Rise to the Glamour of Guns. American portraiture with its visual allure and pictorial storytelling made gun ownership desirable” I know we have a gun fetish in this country, I know some how the whole Wild West thing played into it but I hestitate to think of any of this as glamourous.
Officers found Broderick, 41, along a rural road around shortly after sunrise in Manor, an Austin suburb, after receiving reports of a suspicious person matching the description of the suspect in Sunday’s shooting, Manor Police Chief Ryan Phipps said. He said Broderick had a loaded pistol in his waistband.
“I’m truly heartbroken that a former Travis County Sheriff’s Office Deputy is the suspect in such a horrific incident,” Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said in a statement.
The shooting in Austin was not the the sole mass shooting of Sunday.
This is an epidemic. This is a public safety issue. The politicians captured by the fetish and the NRA need to be held to account. This level of violence and murder is only seen in countries with active wars or intense drug cartel activity. This is not the way a civilized country should look.
It’s America’s heritage and it’s time to change it. From the Smithsonian article:
Early portraits of African-Americans have been rendered similarly pacifist. An 1868 wood engraving of Harriet Tubman by John Darby shows Tubman dressed as a scout for the Union Army holding a large rifle with her hands curiously placed over the barrel of the gun. A similar hand-over-the-gun-barrel stance resurfaces in a portrait of cowboy Nat Love around a decade later; as if to indicate that if the weapon was to fire, it would harm him first. Similarly, in an 1872 advertisement for Red Cloud chewing tobacco, the figure’s hand is also placed over the gun barrel.
At the same time, guns are used to illustrate the idea of defense of land, hunting literature begins to describe a more intimate relationship with being “armed.” Loving descriptions of guns as “well-oiled,” “sleek” and “gleaming;” and being “cradled,” “caressed” and “hugged” by their owners proliferates. In The American Farm Hand of 1937 by Sandor Klein, a farmer seated in a cane chair looks directly at the viewer and clutches a shotgun halfway down the barrel. The rifle is closest to the viewer and the polished wood handle and steel barrel sensuously echo the sinewy arms and bare torso of its owner.
This is an opinion cartoon.
Another day, another mass shooting superspreader event.
NPR discusses the recent weekend violence and the tremendous level of gun deaths we’re experiencing.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a total of at least 19,394 people lost their lives due to gun violence in 2020. Including suicides, that number jumps to 43,550 people.
As of Sunday, the group tallied at least 5,517 non-suicide deaths in 2021, on track for a similar total to 2020.
The country as a whole saw about a 25% increase in non-suicide gun deaths in 2020 over 2019, though some places such as New York saw a much more pronounced increase.
Dr. Sonali Rajan of the Columbia Scientific Union for the Reduction of Gun Violence told NPR in January that one of the things that could have played a role in the increase was a diversion of public health resources due to the pandemic. She said that led to “violence interrupters, social programs and support services not being as readily available.”
Another possible cause: the uptick in gun sales. 2020 marked the best year for gun sales ever.
The rush for firearms began with the first coronavirus lockdowns and continued through the summer’s racial justice protests. At least 20 million guns were sold legally, up from about 12.4 million in 2019.
Experts, though, say that it can be a challenge to isolate any single cause, particularly during the pandemic with mass unemployment and closed schools.
Washington’s capacity for a legislative response to gun violence remains limited. Though Democrats control both chambers of Congress and are broadly in favor of more stringent gun control legislation, their ability to get legislation through the Senate would require cooperation of at least 10 Republican senators to overcome an inevitable filibuster — something that has essentially no chance of happening on a gun bill.
President Biden has taken some executive action as well as appointing a Gun Safety Advocate to lead ATF. This is also from NPR.
President Biden on Thursday will announce initial steps his administration plans to take on firearm safety, along with the nomination of a prominent gun safety advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The moves, which were previewed Wednesday evening by a senior administration official, come after recent high-profile mass shootings put added pressure on Biden to act on gun violence.
Biden will announce that the Justice Department will pursue two new regulations: one to curb the proliferation of so-called ghost guns, weapons that lack serial numbers and, in some cases, can be constructed at home; and a second that would regulate stabilizing braces, accessories that can be used to make pistols more like rifles.
Additionally, Biden plans to nominate David Chipman as ATF director. Chipman, who was a special agent at ATF for 25 years, is a senior policy adviser at Giffords, a gun safety group led by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who became an advocate after she was seriously injured in a 2011 mass shooting.
The White House has issued a fact sheet on their policy priorities in the Gun Safety area. This was on April 7, 2021: “FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Initial Actions to Address the Gun Violence Public Health Epidemic.”
You may remember Parkland Parents continuing to fight for Gun Safety. Fred Guttenberg notes this about the FedEx Gunman who easily got his Rifles after Police had already seized a gun from him.
Dr.Fauci, unleashed from the censorship and bullying of the previous guy, has spoken out Sunday. This is from The Hill: “Fauci calls surge in gun violence a public health crisis. “When you see people getting killed, I mean, in this last month, it’s just been horrifying what’s happened. How can you say that’s not a public health issue?” President Biden had this to say.
President Biden released a statement in the wake of the shooting at an Indiana FedEx facility last week, saying he is urging Congress to “hear the call of the American people” and to “enact commonsense gun violence prevention legislation.”
“Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence,” Biden said. “It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation. We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.”
Megan Ranney, an emergency physician, and Associate Dean of Strategy and Innovation at the School of Public Health at Brown University, wrote in a piece for Time in March that deaths resulting from gun-violence are preventable and should be treated as a matter of public health rather than a political issue.
“It’s time to flip the narrative. These mass shootings, and the 1000s of daily tragedies behind them, are not inevitable,” Ranney wrote. “We can reduce gun deaths, just like we did for cars, by acknowledging that firearm injury is, at its root, a health problem—and that solutions are within reach.”
We see Republicans balk at any sensible gun safety regulation every time we see what we think is the absolute worst mass shooting in the country and expect some legal action. School shootings are not enough. Workplace shooting are not enough. Clinic, spas, beauty salons and all violence aimed at women are not enough.
And sooner or later, we’ll hear from Joe Manchin and it will not be at all helpful.
Enough is enough!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?