Tuesday Reads: American Dystopia
Posted: July 5, 2022 Filed under: just because
Here’s hoping you’re safe where you are today. Thanks to the NRA, Republican lawmakers, and the “Supreme” Court we might as well be living in the wild west before law and order arrived. Yesterday, we supposedly celebrated the birthday of the “United” States of America, and at least two celebrations provided opportunities for angry young men with guns to kill people. In some states it’s no longer safe to go to a grocery store, a Walmart, a movie theater, a nightclub, a music festival, a school, or even a church, mosque, or synagogue. And with the most recent SCOTUS decision on guns, even blue states will see their gun laws weakened.
First there was the horrific mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, IL and later last night another shooting during a fireworks display in Philadelphia.
CNN Live Updates: Suspect in custody after deadly Illinois July Fourth parade shooting.
At least six people were killed in a shooting in downtown Highland Park, Illinois, during a Fourth of July parade, and dozens have been injured, officials said.
The suspected gunman, who has not been charged, was taken into custody Monday evening. He used a “high-powered rifle” in the attack, police said.
Witnesses described frantically fleeing when they realized they heard gunshots, not fireworks. Highland Park is located about 25 miles north of Chicago.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told CNN Tuesday that she expects the suspected shooter, Robert Crimo III, to be charged today.
“My understanding is that they’ll be levying charges later today,” Rotering told CNN’s Jim Sciutto….
Rotering told CNN it is her understanding that the weapon used by the alleged shooter in Monday’s mass shooting in her city was purchased legally.
The mayor also said several of the suspect’s online postings “reflected a plan and a desire to commit carnage for a long time in advance.”
Not surprisingly, the Highland Park shooter is a Trump fan and has attended at least one Trump rally.
Crimo has a “47” tattoo on his cheek, which refers to the AK-47 assault rifle. Would you think his parents might be concerned about that?
NBC reporter Ben Collins, who focuses on right wing and Q-Anon politics, writes: Highland Park shooting person of interest left online trail of violent imagery.
Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, the person of interest identified by police after Monday’s shooting in a Chicago suburb that killed six people and wounded 38 others, left a long trail of tributes to mass shootings and public killings on social media platforms, according to numerous profiles that appear to belong to him.
Crimo performed as a rapper who went by the name “Awake,” whose recent music videos included depictions of mass murder.
Crimo’s most recent video posted to YouTube showed him in the aftermath of a school shooting. It ends with Crimo draping himself in an American flag. Another music video showed a cartoon depiction of a man wearing a shirt with his YouTube channel’s logo on it, holding a long gun and being shot by police….
Crimo had his own Discord server, where fans and people who knew him would chat. The community featured a politics board filled with nihilistic political memes. The most recent post before the shooting, which was posted in March, was a picture of Budd Dwyer, the Pennsylvania state treasurer who shot and killed himself on live television in the late 1980s, along with the caption “I wish politicians still gave speeches like this.”
On Discord, fans would share posts that Crimo had made of himself. One apparent selfie Crimo took in March reads: “Cursed image screenshot and send to everyone or commit not alive anymore,” a reference to suicide….
Crimo also posted frequently to a message board that discussed graphic depictions of murder, suicide and death. His most recent post to that message board came last week, when he posted a video of a beheading.
CNN reported more on Crimo’s on-line postings:
The suspected shooter posted music on several major streaming platforms under the pseudonym Awake the Rapper, and he apparently made and posted music videos online featuring ominous lyrics and animated scenes of gun violence.
In one video titled “Are you Awake,” a cartoon animation of a stick-figure shooter resembling the suspect’s appearance is seen wearing tactical gear and carrying out an attack with a rifle. Crimo, seen with multicolored hair and face tattoos, narrates, “I need to just do it. It is my destiny.”
In another video titled “Toy Soldier, a similar stick-figure resembling the suspect is depicted lying face down on the floor in a pool of his own blood, surrounded by police officers with their guns drawn.
From The Daily Beast: Doc Who Helped Parade Vics: ‘Horrific, Devastating Injuries’
In the moments after a gunman opened fire on a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, bystanders wasted almost no time rushing to aid the victims.
Among them was David Baum, a local physician, who was standing with members of his family just 200 feet from the majority of the casualties, he said.
“All of a sudden, you heard these Howitzer-type noises going off. Immediately people started screaming ‘Bodies down, shooter,’ and they all started scattering,” he recalled.
“I told my family to run,” Baum said. He remained briefly in a location that was sheltered from the gunfire. “Then I kind of just stuck around until I thought maybe, maybe there was no longer the threat.”
After the shooting stopped, “there were a lot of people screaming,” he said.
“There were six bodies that were immediately assessed to be dead. Those bodies were literally blown up by these bullets.”
Other victims were hit in the arms or legs, Baum said. “I saw horrific, devastating injuries, the kind that you normally see in a war.”
As emergency responders tended to victims, Baum said he pitched in with other healthcare professionals, including a nurse, a nurse practitioner, an emergency room doctor, and a plastic surgeon.[….]
“I don’t think I need to describe the horrific nature of what the bullets did to those bodies, but it was horrific,” said Baum of Monday’s attack. “As a physician for 33 years, blood doesn’t bother me. But seeing people’s heads blown up, and bodies eviscerated, would be disturbing to anyone who was there besides maybe a physician.
As I wrote above, there was another shooting in Philadelphia last night.
NBC10 Philadelphia: 2 Officers Shot, Hundreds Flee During July 4th Fireworks in Philly.
Two police officers were shot near Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway as thousands attended a Fourth of July concert and fireworks show Monday night, leading to crowds scattering from the scene.
One officer sustained a graze wound to the head and the other a gunshot wound to the right shoulder, Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said just after midnight Tuesday. Both were treated and released from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, she said.
A photo supplied to NBC10 by John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5 union, showed a bullet lodged in an officer’s cap. Inside the cap was a memorial card for a Philadelphia police chaplain who recently died.
“It is miraculous the fact that the round stopped in his hat,” Outlaw said.
The officer grazed in the head is a 36-year-old PPD highway patrol officer and the other is a 44-year-old Montgomery County Sheriffs’ deputy, the commissioner said. Both were part of the security detail for the festival, she said.
The gunman was not immediately arrested or identified. It was unclear if the officers were targeted or if they were struck during “celebratory gunfire” amid Fourth of July festivities, Outlaw said….
The gunfire broke out around 9:47 p.m. near the Philadelphia Museum of Art during the finale of the 16-day Wawa Welcome America festival as throngs of people watched a fireworks show following a concert headlined by Jason Derulo on the parkway, police said.
Not surprisingly, the crowd panicked and people ran to find safety.
A couple more stories from NBC News:
Panic at July Fourth celebrations as crowds mistake fireworks for gunfire.
Communities across the United States were left shaken after fireworks were mistaken for gunfire during multiple July Fourth celebrations, causing scenes of chaos.
In a sign of heightened alert after the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, where six people were killed and 38 injured on Monday morning, crowds ran for cover at separate events in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Orlando, Florida.
Police said about 12 people were injured in a stampede in Orlando caused by the crowd mistaking fireworks for gunfire. Reporters said hundreds of people ran away from the display, taking cover where they could.
“We believe this was fireworks that were going off in the crowd at the same time the main fireworks display was going off,” Orlando Deputy Police Chief Eric Smith told CBS affiliate WKMG.
“People started running, believing it was gunshots, of course, with everything that’s going on.”
Fourth of July weekend marred by violent shootings across U.S.
This year’s Fourth of July weekend, a time when Americans gather for barbecues, parades and fireworks, was marred by violence, rattling a nation already on edge in the wake of multiple mass shootings.
In the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, six people were killed and 38 others were injured when a gunman opened fire from a rooftop onto parade festivities below Monday morning….
The Highland Park tragedy marked the 309th mass shooting in the U.S. in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as four or more shot or killed, not including the shooter.
It also occurred during a weekend that saw at least 57 people shot in the Windy City, nine fatally, NBC Chicago reported.
In the neighboring state of Wisconsin, one person was killed and four others were injured in Kenosha when gunfire erupted around 10:20 p.m. in the 6300 block of 25th Avenue, according to the Kenosha Police Department….
“There are no suspects in custody and no known motive,” police said, as the investigation in ongoing.
On the East Coast, two Philadelphia-area law enforcement officers were injured in a shooting that erupted as tens of thousands of people celebrated July Fourth, gathering for fireworks and live music Monday at and near the city’s famed Museum of Art….
Meanwhile, in Sacramento, California, one man was killed and four were wounded in an early morning shooting outside a nightclub.
The gunfire broke out before 2 a.m. in the 1500 block of L Street as people were leaving the club, Sacramento police said. The victim was identified as 31-year-old Gregory Grimes.
There were also shooting incidents in New York City, Kansas City, MO, Richmond, VA, and Haltom City, TX. Read more details at the link.
This is what easy access to dangerous weapons has done to our country. America not so beautiful.
Again, please stay safe and take care of yourselves today.