Friday Reads: NRA Blood Money and the Slaughter of Lambs

Hi Sky Dancers!

We’ve got the usual Dance of the Macabre performed by Republicans after another tragic shooting in a grade school two weeks after a tragic shooting in a grocery store.  My Senators are among the idiots saying bizarre things to keep their NRA checks in place.  When is this going to stop?

Take my Senator Cassidy, please! I guess all of us around here need an AR-15 to stop feral pigs. I’m not sure what purpose splattering a huge hog all over the neighborhood would serve but I’m sure our Fish and Games folks have something to say about that.

So, how many states actually have feral pigs? You don’t even need that much to get a huge alligator. One rifle shot to his sweet spot on the head and the guy is dead. Again, Lousiana Fish and Games, is that what you use?

But then, thankfully I don’t have this asshole for a Senator.  Why on earth would he ask for this?   Well, this weekend he’s kissing NRA butt so I suppose he thinks it doesn’t matter now.


I’m also struggling to watch them try to act like the “hardening” of schools, theatres, grocery stores, and whatever would simply solve the problem when it was obvious that Robb Grade school and its community of Uvalde supposedly had all of this in place.  It doesn’t work.  Follow the link above for more on that.

Uvalde also dedicates 40% of its city budget to the police who also had a swat team that didn’t seem to even show up that day.  You can read BB’s post yesterday for more on that but even last night we learned more about a series of screw-ups and failures that undoubtedly led to more deaths until the Border Patrol came to the rescue.

We’re learning more about that today.

This is from the Texas Tribune Tweet above and I’m about to turn my tv on to see what they fumble with today.  There’s a live link in the tweet.

But back to the big question … why do we need these kinds of weapons in our communities?  How is it that an 18-year-old can’t drink, can’t rent a car, and can’t do a lot of things but can buy tactical weapons and equipment in Texas and other states?

This is from the NPR tweet above.

Though the motivations in these particular cases likely differ, the suspects of these shootings, and others like it, have a lot in common, according to James Densley and Jillian Peterson, co-founders of The Violence Project. Their research organization studies gun violence, mass shootings and violent extremism.

“Usually what’s motivating these shootings is an element of self-hatred, hopelessness, despair, anger, that’s turned outward to the world,” said Densley, who is also a sociologist.

Connecting the two shootings is important, said Peterson, a psychologist.

“I think we’re too quick to write things off because the motive is slightly different,” she said. “It’s the same trajectory over and over and over again. Just people get radicalized in slightly different directions, their anger points in different directions, but its roots are the same.”

The shooters were both 18 and male

Salvador Ramos was 18 years old and a high school dropout, according to officials.

Payton Gendron, is also 18, and white. He turned to various websites during the pandemic, according to a document allegedly written by him, and said he was radicalized that way.

He threatened his high school last year, prompting a visit from the New York State Police.

Densley and Peterson said they see two kinds of age clusters of mass shooters: Men in their mid-40s for those who are workplace shooters and school shooters or those involved in other types of mass shootings between the ages of 15 and 24.

Of the 180 instances of mass shootings in the U.S. they’ve studied, they found that there are only two cases where women acted alone.

It’s always men otherwise, Peterson said.

“We know that 18 is this kind of fragile age, this kind of coming of age where people tend to have mental health crises, or they may feel suicidal,” she said.

These shootings are emblematic of that.

The shooters have “the desire to have that pain, and that anger be known to the world, to have us all watch and witness it, to hear their names, to see their pictures, to read what they’ve left behind for us to read. These are public performances meant for us to watch,” she said.

Notably, in many places in the U.S., it’s also the age they can legally buy their weapons of choice.

There’s more at the link and it’s worth the read.

As usual, “Gun legislation is stalled in Congress. Here’s why that won’t change anytime soon”.  This analysis is by CNN’s Paul LeBlanc.

A House-passed bill, HR 1446, backed by Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, would close what’s known as the “Charleston loophole,” which allows some licensed gun sales to go through before a required background check is done.

Specifically, the legislation would increase the amount of time, from three business days to a minimum of 10 business days, that a federal firearms licensee must wait to receive a completed background check prior to transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person.
Using that loophole, a White gunman was able to legally purchase a firearm to kill nine people at a historically Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

Senate Democrats took steps Tuesday night to place the bill, called the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, onto the legislative calendar so it can be voted on.

It’s unclear when the Senate will vote on the measure, but it needs 60 votes in the chamber to overcome a filibuster, and it’s clear the legislation does not have that support (at least not right now) — nor does it have full Democratic backing to gut the Senate rule altogether.

It’s unclear when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will try to force a procedural vote to break a filibuster. Unless there’s an agreement from all 100 senators, the earliest he could set up the procedural vote would be Saturday, according to a Democratic aide.

But senators were expected to leave for next week’s Memorial Day recess on Thursday afternoon. So they may wait until after the recess to take that procedural vote, even though leaving town amid the Texas tragedy would be bad optics.
The aide said Schumer has not indicated when he may try to force the vote yet.

Still, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who has pushed for gun safety legislation since the Sandy Hook shooting in his state nearly 10 years ago, told reporters Tuesday there should be a vote even if it is doomed to fail.

“I think we need to hold every member of Congress accountable and vote so that the public knows where every one of us stand,” he said. Asked about the potential for bipartisan agreement, he added, “I think there may well be areas of agreement. I have come close to agreement with a number of my colleagues on a red flag statute.”


A woman reacts as she pays her respects at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

As “The Reid Blog” points out, “Texas Republicans offer the same old shameful responses to shootings.  Hours removed from a massacre at a Texas elementary school, Republican lawmakers from Texas are still prioritizing guns over people.”  This analysis is by

That wasn’t surprising. Like Abbott, Cruz acts like a shill for the gun lobby, which he’s demonstrated through his repeated efforts to block gun safety measures. And speaking to reporters Tuesday afternoon, Cruz made it clear we shouldn’t expect the most recent mass shooting in his state to move him in any way.

“Inevitably when there’s a murder of this kind, you see politicians try to politicize it, you see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” Cruz said. “That doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime.”

That claim is ironic coming from Cruz, who frequently poses as a supporter of law enforcement. If he were as attuned to the needs of police as he often suggests, he’d know law enforcement groups tend to back certain gun safety measures.

But Cruz’s stance is typical of conservatives when it comes to gun safety: They’re careless about who carries the burden for their perverted affinity for guns. That probably explains why Cruz proposed adding armed law enforcement to school campuses as a simple solution to mass shootings, despite the fact the gunman in Tuesday’s shooting reportedly got past armed police officers.

As my colleague Steve Benen wrote for the MaddowBlog, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined Cruz in suggesting more guns are needed in schools — except Paxton said teachers should be armed.

If it’s not abundantly clear by now, the GOP is desperately trying to avoid criticizing guns. Another Texas Republican, Rep. Brian Babin, even tied love for guns to Christ on Tuesday, appearing on the right-wing network Newsmax to suggest that the love of guns is interwoven with America’s “Judeo-Christian foundation.”

It’s clear that today’s Republican party has an agenda that only represents a sliver of the America where we grew up. They hate any kind of diversity and want state control of anything that goes against their white nationalistic version of Christianity.  We’re paying for that with the blood of our elderly and our young. These are the country’s most vulnerable.

It’s beyond shameful. It’s cruel. It’s rooted in greed and hatred. We have to find a way to vote them all out.  We’re losing our country to the worst of humanity.


 What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

So Strong

by Labi Siffre

The higher you build your barriers
The taller I become
The further you take my rights away
The faster I will run
You can deny me
You can decide to turn your face away
No matter, cos there’s
Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong
The more you refuse to hear my voice
The louder I will sing
You hide behind walls of Jericho
Your lies will come tumbling
Deny my place in time
You squander wealth that’s mine
My light will shine so brightly
It will blind you
Cos there’s
Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong
Brothers and sisters
When they insist we’re just not good enough
When we know better
Just look ’em in the eyes and say
We’re gonna do it anyway 2x
Something inside so strong
And I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong
Brothers and sisters
When they insist we’re just not enough
When we know better
Just look ’em in the eyes and say
We’re gonna do it anyway 4x
Because there’s something inside so strong
And I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me, so wrong
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong

33 Comments on “Friday Reads: NRA Blood Money and the Slaughter of Lambs”

  1. dakinikat says:

    We’re likely to hear more horrid things today. Have a peaceful holiday and remember when folks actually sacrificed for freedom, justice, and liberty for all instead of corporations.

    • Enheduanna says:

      So some officers were running in to get their own kids out while others prevented parents from going in – using tasers. Wow.

      • quixote says:

        This twist in the whole awful thing is the jawdroppingest part of it all.

        • dakinikat says:

          If I was standing there with a handgun and maybe a bulletproof vest knowing what happened to the retired police officer at the Grocery Store I think I’d be reticent to go in there too. But where was the freaking swat team?

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. bostonboomer says:

    The NYT is reporting that the tactical border patrol offers were held back from going into the school by local police!

    • bostonboomer says:

      When specially equipped federal immigration agents arrived at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, the local police at the scene would not allow them to go after the gunman who had opened fire on students inside the school, according to two officials briefed on the situation.

      The agents from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived at some point between 12 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., according to the officials — far earlier than previously known. But they did not breach the adjoining classrooms of the school where the gunman had locked himself in until a little before 1 p.m. Members of the federal tactical team killed the gunman.

      The officials said that members of the Uvalde Police Department kept the federal agents from going in sooner.

      • dakinikat says:

        What a clusterfuck!!! Heads should roll over this!!

      • bostonboomer says:

        The federal agents reported that they arrived to a scene of chaos — people pulling children out of windows while the local police, carrying only handguns and a few rifles, were trying to secure a perimeter, according to one official, who like the other spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

        The Border Patrol and ICE agents did not understand why they were left to wait, according to the official. Eventually, the specialized Border Patrol team went into the building.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    The local police decided to leave the gunman in the classroom where he was murdering children and teachers so they could get other kids out of the school. So they figured they’d just sacrifice those kids instead of confronting the gunman???

    • dakinikat says:

      The head of the police says he wrongly assumed that it had switched to a hostage situation. These young men when suffering and they want the police to kill them. What bad judgment this guy had! I suppose he just went through the motions because he figured it wouldn’t happen in his community.

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. bostonboomer says:

    More clusterfuck. Officers were milling around the hallway outside the classroom where the shooter was for quite some time before trying to unlock the door.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Nearly 20 officers were in a hallway outside of the classrooms at a Texas elementary school for more than 45 minutes before agents used a master key to open a door and confront a gunman, authorities said Friday.

      The on-site commander believed the gunman was barricaded in a classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde during Tuesday’s attack and that the children were not at risk, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said at a news conference.

  7. bostonboomer says:

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. Ronstill4Hills says:

    Slaughter of the lambs is so appropriate.

  10. NW Luna says:

    The Violence Project spokesperson kept saying “people” yet also says that ~98% of the shooters are male. Can’t quite bring herself to say “men.” Don’t want to be mean to them, eh?

    • quixote says:

      Not only are over 98% male, but that trait + misogyny is central to the motivations. This isn’t a discussion about donut preferences or something, where male/femaleness has nothing to do with it so it doesn’t need mentioning. Toxic sexism and inadequacy and shooting up the lower orders for it is the whole point.

  11. dakinikat says:

    The Supreme Court gets more blood on its hands …

    • dakinikat says:

      Evidently, innocence isn’t fucking enough!

      The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority decided on Monday that people in state prison no longer have a broad constitutional right to present new evidence in federal court to support claims that they weren’t adequately represented at trial or on appeal.

      The court’s opinion effectively guts a final safeguard against prosecutorial and judicial error or misconduct. It will leave people who have been wrongfully convicted without a court to turn to for justice, and increases the likelihood that some innocent prisoners will be executed.

      The justices ruled 6-3 against Barry Jones and David Ramirez, two men sentenced to death in Arizona for murder, who petitioned to present new evidence in their cases.

      Jones’ lawyers didn’t conduct a pretrial investigation, and he has made a credible case that they simply overlooked medical evidence that proves his innocence. Two lower courts and the three dissenting justices agreed that his legal representation wasn’t constitutionally adequate.

      made aware of — an argument supported by his trial lawyer and court-appointed psychologist — that makes him ineligible for capital punishment.

      The opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas gives Arizona approval to proceed with the executions of the two men. The ruling also narrows the scope of Sixth Amendment rights: It means federal courts can still hear inadequate legal representation claims but can’t consider evidence that wasn’t already presented in earlier proceedings.

      I wonder how Ginnie influenced Uncle Thomas on this one.

      • NW Luna says:

        What the absolute fckery is this? “You can’t bring up any new evidence because that might show the judge was wrong.”

  12. NW Luna says:

  13. NW Luna says:

  14. dakinikat says: