Monday Reads: Enough is Enough!

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

The number of mass shootings in this country is horrifying. I don’t know about you, but everyone is like one layer of trauma on top of another.  Try this one on for size.  ABC News reports, “There have been more mass shootings than days in 2023, the database shows. There have been 202 mass shootings so far this year.” The carnage continues to pile up in Texas, and parents leaving a mall that had been the shootout scene were told to cover their children’s eyes so they would not see the bodies covered by bloody sheets.   CNN Reports that the “Outlet Mall shooter had received firearms training as a security guard.”

The Texas outlet mall shooter, Mauricio Garcia, had worked for at least three security companies and had undergone hours of firearms proficiency training in recent years, according to a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

None of the companies immediately responded to requests for comment.

The 33-year-old was approved to work as a security guard in Texas from April 2016 until April 2020, when his license expired, according to his profile in the Texas Online Private Security database.

As part of his work, Garcia received Level II and Level III security training. Level II covers security laws in Texas. Level III, which is required for all commissioned security officers and personal protection officers in Texas, includes firearm training and the demonstration of firearm proficiency, according to Jonah Nathan, vice president of Ranger Guard, a security guard service in Texas not affiliated with Garcia’s employers.

In 2018, Garcia completed a separate firearms proficiency training course, which required six hours of continuing education, according to the database.

It’s unclear why Garcia’s license expired.

Private security guards in Texas undergo background checks and are disqualified if they have committed certain crimes such as assault, burglary or sexual offenses, among others, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety website and state codes.

They are also disqualified if they have been dishonorably discharged


Right-wing trolls on Twitter immediately characterized the shooter as belonging to a primarily Hispanic gang. They tried identifying a tattoo showing his membership in a prison gang Pure Tango Blast. No one egged this crap on Twitter more than the Congresscritter MTG. This is from Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo.“Marge Greene, Worst of the Worst, Mass Shooting Edition.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, just the worst kind of racist degenerate who somehow has managed to become the de facto leader of House Republicans in the new Congress.

This morning Greene went on Twitter to note that the shooter “appears Hispanic” and had what she decided “looks like a gang tattoo on his hand.” And then added “Title 42 ends on Thursday and CBP says 700,000+ migrants are going to rush the border.”

The shooter has been identified as Mauricio Garcia, a 38-year-old security guard from Dallas. I haven’t seen any reporting on Garcia’s immigration or citizenship status. But it seems likely he’s an American citizen. If he was working as a security guard that makes it highly unlikely he was undocumented. Regardless, for Greene the shooting is about Title 42 and keeping undocumented migrants out of the country.

In the real world, law enforcement officials told NBC News and other news outlets that “Garcia had several social media accounts and appeared to be drawn to neo-Nazi and white supremacist content. He was also wearing, when he was killed, a patch on his chest with a right-wing acronym.”

In other words, basically your garden-variety mass shooter and far-right terrorist.

In other words, your homegrown terrorist that MTG considers to be a hero as long as he’s white. This is pure right-wing propaganda and was everywhere on Twitter yesterday.   Maya Boodle from reports, “Texas mall shooter wore neo-Nazi symbol and shared ‘white-supremacist content online.'”

The man who murdered eight people using an AR-15 at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, Saturday likely identified with neo-Nazi beliefs, The Washington Post reports.

Allen resident Mauricio Garcio, according to The Post wore a “patch on his chest” at the time of the shooting that read “RWDS,” meaning “Right Wing Death Squad,” a “phrase popular among right wing extremists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists.”

Additionally, NBC reports Garcia “interacted with neo-Nazi and white supremacist content online.”

Last year, an Anti-Defamation League’s Center (ADLC) on Extremism report revealed “all extremist-related murders in 2022 were committed by right-wing extremists,” adding, “More than four out of five extremist-related murders last year were committed by white supremacist right-wing extremists.”



The New Republic has this op-ed from Michael Tomasky. ” The Gun Industry Wants America’s Malls and Schools to Be War Zones. The bodies pile up. Republicans say it’s in God’s hands. And the new weapons coming to market are even deadlier. There’s only one logical conclusion.”

Steven Spainhouer’s son worked at the H&M at the Allen, Texas, outlet mall and called his father Saturday night when the shooting started. Spainhouer raced to the scene and arrived before the first responders. And here is the sight that greeted him: “The first girl I walked up to was crouched down covering her head in the bushes, so I felt for a pulse, pulled her head to the side, and she had no face.”

For the record, it’s the 199th mass shooting this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The 200th will happen today, or maybe has already happened by the time you’ve read this. We’re on pace for close to 600 shootings, and perhaps 60,000 willful, malicious, or accidental deaths (there’ve been 20,200 so far this year, according to the GVA, in the first four months and one week of 2023). That 60,000 is roughly equal to the number of Americans who died in Vietnam in nearly a decade. We’ll witness the same amount of carnage in one year. Shopping zones are war zones.

But it would seem that little girl getting her face blown off as if she lived in Stalingrad in 1943 is just God’s will. This was the verdict of the congressman who represents Allen, Republican Keith Self, who went on CNN after the shooting. He offered his prayers. The anchor interjected that some people think “prayers aren’t cutting it.” Self responded: “Well, those are people that don’t believe in an almighty God who is absolutely in control of our lives. I’m a Christian. I believe that He is.”

Closing arguments for the E. Jean Rape case are being held this morning. Lauren DeValle at CNN is following the session. 

Attorneys for Carroll and Trump rested their respective cases last Thursday. Carroll’s legal team put on 11 witnesses in her case including the writer herself over seven trial days. Trump did not put on a defense and ultimately opted not to testify.

District Judge Lewis Kaplan gave Trump a window to change his mind about testifying over the weekend, giving him a Sunday evening deadline to petition the court to reopen Trump’s defense case for the sole purpose of allowing the former president to testify.

“He has a right to testify which has been waived but if he has second thoughts, I’ll at least consider it and maybe we’ll see what happens,” Kaplan told the attorneys.

The judge said in court Thursday evening that he ordered the precautionary measure in light of Trump’s public comments also made Thursday.

Trump, who has not appeared in the courtroom at any point during the trial, told reporters in Ireland on Thursday he’ll “probably attend” the trial.

“I have to go back for a woman that made a false accusation about me, and I have a judge who is extremely hostile,” Trump said while golfing in Doonbeg, Ireland.

No such motion was made by the deadline Sunday and his attorneys confirmed he will not attend the trial.

So Trump was a no-show.  None of us expected him but the Judge had to cover a potential reason for him to appeal as he does incessintly.

Sixty Minutes actually acted like its oldself when it reported this.  Can an entire state be guilty of child abuse for allowing this? “This ancient atrocity” shown on Sunday on 60 Minutes.  “A Nebraska middle school’s concerns about the safety of its students led to one of the largest investigations into illegal child labor in this country. 60 MINUTES’ Scott Pelley looks at the Department of Labor probe that uncovered how for years children as young as 13 worked overnight to clean slaughterhouses across the country”   One hundred and two minors in  13 different slaughterhouse plants in 8 different states.

Watch it here.  Also, remember Huckabuck’s Arkansas and Iowa also have implented this plus others I’ve yet to shame.

What has happened that people are getting elected and turning the country back to the 19th century?  Seriously.  The Republican party seems to be the party of Grand Old Pscychopaths.

Anyway, I can only take so much of this.  The children’s art is from #UNLOAD. It’s an arts-based initiative that seeks to reduce the amount of gun violence in our country.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Finally Friday Reads: Rightwing Edgelords and Homegrown Terrorism

Portraits of Philly homicide victims’ families on display in City Hall – WHYY

Good Day, Sky Dancers!
Yesterday, BB’s compelling post made me wonder if we would ever get out of the grip of the gun fetishists in this country. I found there are art projects around our country focused on ensuring the victims of gun violence–including their families–are not forgotten in this discussion.

I will start with the Philadelphia project, but please follow the caption links to see more. I want to ensure that we don’t glorify the works of Rightwing Edgelords and those inducted into the Gun Cult by Fox and other right-wing media personas. “‘Faces you need to see’: Loved ones of violence victims share grief in new art exhibit. A new art exhibit at City Hall features gun violence co-victims, or people who’ve lost someone to homicide — stories often lost in the daily homicide count”. This was on display in 2022.

Organizer Zarinah Lomax conceived the portrait project, which features 45 co-victims and will be on display until Oct. 15. She lost a family member to gun violence in 2018 and has been working with families affected by trauma since. Lomax is a host with PQ Radio 1, one of WHYY’s N.I.C.E media partners.

“A lot of the time we paint the victims,” she said to a packed room at the exhibit opening. “But these are faces you need to see, these are the victims that are still here.”

I learned something new from VICE today. “Rightwing Edgelords Are the Real Threat to National Security. “The amount of Three Percenters and Boogaloo guys I work with is untenable,” said one Department of Defense worker.” My first that was  what is an Edgelord exactly?

This is from the Oxford languages dictionary.
“a person who affects a provocative or extreme persona, especially online (typically used of a man).”

Special to The Sun: The “Souls Shot Portrait Project” at Rowan College of South Jersey includes this portrait of gun violence victim Kevin Miller, made by Professor Eoin Kinnarney.

“edgelords act like contrarians in the hope that everyone will admire them as rebels”

I love this bit from Your Dictionary. “What’s an ‘Edgelord’ and Why Do You Never Want to Be One?” It’s written by

An edgelord is someone with harsh opinions that they express in distasteful, offensive language to seem both edgy and aloof. As a 21st-century provocateur, an edgelord is especially attracted to taboo and controversial topics, which best showcase their would-be nihilism.

This person may dress in a provocative or shocking way, making them easy to spot. Unlike online trolls, who often are just normies trying to start trouble, edgelords set themselves apart from the norm in every way possible.

Well, that description and the “typically used of a man” thing lit up my mind with faces. However, I’d still say the High Priestess of QAnon strikes me as an Edgelady; back to the Vice article.

Since the beginning of the Biden Administration, the GOP has painstakingly attacked the Pentagon as a “woke” institution that’s somehow morphing the military and the nation into a soft power. Drag queen story hours and “DEI” (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) training have become buzzwords for institutional rot, popping up on Fox News and in congressional committees as national security threats destroying the Department of Defense.

Then last week it was revealed that perhaps the most damaging unauthorized disclosure of U.S. intelligence since Wikileaks, wasn’t laid at the hands of some “woke warrior” but apparent Discord edgelord and national guardsman Jack Teixeira, highlighting what ideological beliefs might actually pose a threat to the U.S. government.

A gun and military gear enthusiast, Teixeira led a Discord server made up of young men and reportedly appears in a video firing a weapon while yelling antisemitic epithets (the chatroom was also reportedly rife with racist shitpostings). He was even touted as a posterboy for the extremist corners of the right, including Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene who called him “white, male, Christian, and anti-war”—a reference to the anti-Ukraine War sentiment among Republicans. Teixeira has been charged with the removal, retention, and transmission of classified documents and could face over a decade in prison if convicted.

While it isn’t exactly clear what Teixeira’s beliefs or motivations were, the behavior on the Discord certainly bears the hallmarks of an edgelord; usually very online, young men posting mock-shocking memes and comments for lols and kudos among each other. Someone allegedly taking classified information to impress their chaos-loving online friends is yet another security threat to a defense force that military sources say has yet to even properly handle individuals with anti-government or extremist beliefs.

“It highlights the need to screen harder in our clearance process,” said a veteran and Department of Defense worker who was not authorized to speak to the media. They said that even in the intelligence world, seeing people who voice support for the militia movement, long understood to be a veiled version of white supremacy and anti-governmentalism, isn’t shocking.

“I’m not saying Republicans can’t have clearances, but the amount of Three Percenters and Boogaloo guys I work with is untenable,” they said, referring to two extremist groups that were active during the attacks on January 6.

A mural of Melissa Ortega, an 8-year-old victim of gun violence in Chicago, painted by artist Milton Coronado.
From my own home New Orleans and WWNO: Opinion: Painting the smiles of people we know, love and will never see again

Well, alrighty then. These aren’t the suspects he works on or cases he’s investigating; these are his fucking co-workers in the DOD. Well, we’ve suspected that haven’t we? White Christian evangelicals have been the plague of the Air Force Academy for decades. I guess this is just the next extension. More from Vice.

It’s well established that there is a threat of rightwing extremist violence among a minority of both active duty servicemen and veterans, but they can also clearly be an intelligence threat. The latest leaks alone likely led to the delay of a multibillion dollar Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia and major headaches between Washington and some of its key allies.

“Right-wing extremists in the military pose security risks beyond their potential for violence,” said Joshua Fisher-Birch, an expert on the far right at the Counter Extremism Project, a New York City-based nonprofit terrorism watchdog. “The recent leak case highlights the possibility that individuals could share sensitive information with a broader online audience or with potential extremists or other hostile actors. Ideological views that sympathize with a U.S. opponent might also heighten the risk of sharing sensitive information.”

If you read more, you will discover they love Baby-Face Rittenhouse, the poster child for getting away with murder. Please read more.

Here are some more headlines today that will make your stomach churn. How did things get so out of control? This is from the Washington Post. “Trump touts authoritarian vision for second term: ‘I am your justice’. The former president is proposing deploying the military domestically, purging the federal workforce and building futuristic cities from scratch.” This doesn’t sound like Hitler. It sounds like Stalin and Big Brother. ”

Mandatory stop-and-frisk. Deploying the military to fight street crime, break up gangs and deport immigrants. Purging the federal workforce and charging leakers.

Former president Donald Trump has steadily begun outlining his vision for a second-term agenda, focusing on unfinished business from his time in the White House and an expansive vision for how he would wield federal power. In online videos and stump speeches, Trump is pledging to pick up where his first term left off and push even further.

Where he earlier changed border policies to reduce refugees and people seeking asylum, he’s now promising to conduct an unprecedented deportation operation. Where he previously moved to make it easier to fire federal workers, he’s now proposing a new civil service exam. After urging state and local officials to take harsher measures on crime and homelessness, Trump says he is now determined to take more direct federal action.

“In 2016, I declared I am your voice,” Trump said in a speech last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference and repeated at his first 2024 campaign rally in Waco a few weeks later. “Today, I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”

Trump’s emerging platform marks a sharp departure from traditional conservative orthodoxy emphasizing small government, which was famously summed up in Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Trump, by contrast, is proposing to apply government power, centralized under his authority, toward a vast range of issues that have long remained outside the scope of federal control.

This is from CNN’s Zach Cohen. “Exclusive: Text messages reveal Trump operatives considered using breached voting data to decertify Georgia’s Senate runoff in 2021.” That’s basically the Watergate break-in on steroids.

In mid-January 2021, two men hired by former President Donald Trump’s legal team discussed over text message what to do with data obtained from a breached voting machine in a rural county in Georgia, including whether to use it as part of an attempt to decertify the state’s pending Senate runoff results.
The texts, sent two weeks after operatives breached a voting machine in Coffee County, Georgia, reveal for the first time that Trump allies considered using voting data not only to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, but also in an effort to keep a Republican hold on the US Senate.
“Here’s the plan. Let’s keep this close hold,” Jim Penrose, a former NSA official working with Trump lawyer Sidney Powell to access voting machines in Georgia, wrote in a January 19 text to Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, a firm that purports to run audits of voting systems.

In the text, which was obtained by CNN and has not been previously reported, Penrose references the upcoming certification of Democrat Jon Ossoff’s win over Republican David Perdue.

“We only have until Saturday to decide if we are going to use this report to try to decertify the Senate run-off election or if we hold it for a bigger moment,” Penrose wrote, referring to a potential lawsuit.

The plot to breach voting systems in Coffee County, coordinated by members of Trump’s legal team including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, is part of a broader criminal investigation into 2020 election interference led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Willis’ office is weighing a potential racketeering case against multiple defendants and is actively deciding who to bring charges against, sources tell CNN. Willis has subpoenaed a number of individuals involved in the Coffee County breach, including the two men who carried it out who were in touch with Penrose and Logan.

From the Twin Cities Exhibit Art is my Weapon:A painting of Aniya Allen by Laura Kruchten titled “Sweet Baby.” Allen was shot and killed in 2021 while eating a Happy Meal in her parent’s car.

To the ice floes, all you grannies and grampies out there! Poll: GOP voters say fighting “woke” ideology more important than stopping Social Security cuts. This is from Axios. Look to your left. Look to your right. One out of three Americans are Republican, and they may be out to kill you. This is written by Erin Doherty.

Most Republican primary voters say fighting “woke” ideology in schools and businesses is more important to them than protecting Medicare and Social Security from cuts, a new Wall Street Journal poll out today showed.
Driving the news: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a potential 2024 candidate, has made conservative cultural issues in education a central part of his agenda, a move the poll indicates could help him with the GOP’s most ardent supporters.

He signed into law a ban on the instruction of gender and sexuality in elementary school, which was recently expanded to include middle and high school.

He also signed the “Stop WOKE” Act which would ban classroom and corporate trainings that make students or employees feel discomfort over their race. (The bill has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge.)

The big picture: Former President Trump has attacked DeSantis over his past support for changes to Social Security and Medicare.
But 55% of Republicans say that fighting “woke ideology in our schools and businesses” is more important than protecting entitlement programs from cuts, per the Journal poll.

27% of Republican voters say protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits from cuts is more important to them.

However, 49% of all voters said they would support a candidate who pledged to keep entitlements as they are rather than push for cuts.

Zoom out: The poll also shows DeSantis trailing Trump 51% to 38% among likely Republican voters in a hypothetical matchup.

Here are some other bits of Republican Fuckery.

Washington Post: Abortion ban states see steep drop in OB/GYN residency applicants
Associated Press: Once-a-week nightmare: US mass killings on a record pace
Zack Beauchamp / Vox: Why so many top Republicans want to go to war in Mexico
Politico: The Threat of Civil Breakdown Is Real
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker: Fox News Doesn’t Do Apologies

Just as a short note, Buzzfeed is shutting down.

“I’ve taken all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more.” to quote my first-grade hero.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Mostly Monday Reads: The American Gun Fetish

Madonna with a Machine Gun, Kārlis Padegs, 1932

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I’m not exactly sure how the connection from being your basic angry, miserable guy turned into being your basic angry, miserable guy who goes out to kill a bunch of people developed in this country.   It seems to be a feature today, and it’s a bad one.  The Colorado Springs shooter is a prime example of what happens when law enforcement ignores red laws, and a community stirs hate and resentment towards a minority community. It’s hard to feel safe anyway with that kind of shitpot stirred vigorously by right-wing politicians and more than a few churches.

The Q Club Shooting in Colorado is not the first of its kind.  It will not be the last of its kind, given the current political and social environment we’re enduring right now. “Club Q shooting follows year of bomb threats, drag protests, anti-trans bills. Right-wing demonstrators have increasingly mobilized over the past year against the LGBTQ community, experts say.” This analysis was written by Casey Parks for The Washington Post.

In the hours after the shooting, investigators did not say what led someone to open fire Saturday night in a Colorado gay bar, killing at least five people and injuring 25 others. But LGBTQ advocates across the country believe a surge of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and laws is at least partially to blame.

“When politicians and pundits keep perpetuating tropes, insults, and misinformation about the trans and LGBTQ+ community, this is a result,” Colorado Rep. Brianna Titone (D) tweeted Sunday.

Titone, Colorado’s first openly trans legislator, and the chair of the state’s LGBTQ legislative caucus, said anti-LGBTQ lawmakers, including one of her colleagues, have used hateful rhetoric to directly incite attacks against LGBTQ people.

Though the most recent FBI data shows the number of hate crimes against LGBTQ people remained relatively flat between 2008 and 2020, an independent analysis by the research group Crowd Counting Consortium shows that right-wing demonstrators have increasingly mobilized over the past year against the LGBTQ community.

Already this year, armed protesters and right-wing groups such as the Proud Boys have used intimidating tactics to disrupt drag-related events in TexasNevada and Oregon, as well as other states. Children’s hospitals across the United States are facing growing threats of violence, including bomb threats, driven by an online anti-LGBTQ campaign attacking the facilities for providing care to transgender kids and teens. And in October, a man attacked a transgender librarian in Idaho before yelling homophobic slurs and attempting to hit two women with his car. Idaho is one of 18 states that does not have hate crime protections for LGBTQ people, though many local law enforcement agencies still track those crimes.

Every year, at every event that celebrates this beloved community in New Orleans, the most fanatical white evangelical men that are angry and miserable goosestep into town. I guess they have to find something else to do with their time since there’s now a limited number of women’s clinics for them to stalk.

According to Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, the executive director of the National Center of Transgender Equality, a quarter of those violent deaths happened in Texas and Florida. Those states have proposed dozens of anti-trans laws and regulations in the past two years or put in place anti-trans policies, such as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to investigate parents for child abuse if they provide gender-affirming care for their children.

“Anti-trans legislation, fearmongering, and disinformation put the trans community and trans lives at risk,” Heng-Lehtinen tweeted.

If I have been quieter than usual this weekend, it’s because of this, although I’m not on campus this semester.

This followed today.

Master of Calamarca, Archangel with Gun, Asiel Timor Dei, before 1728

I suppose I should be thankful that the Campus police are actual police with all the authority of the New Orleans Police Department. They knew what to do and prevented it. So here is what the news is reporting.  This is from a message from UNO President John Nicklow.

“I want to provide you with more details on the reason for today’s campus closure. Last week, a former student entered a classroom and acted in an erratic and disruptive manner. Once this was reported to the UNO Department of Public Safety, our officers responded immediately and began an investigation into the individual, which led to a confirmation of suspicious activity. Our officers discovered a video posted Friday on one of the suspect’s social media accounts, showing him purchasing an assault style rifle at a gun store. Additional photographs of him brandishing the firearm were posted across the suspect’s social media accounts. It was at this point that multi-agency surveillance of the suspect began and continued throughout the weekend. The suspect’s off-campus location was continuously monitored, and thus no imminent threat to campus existed. We were not able to share this information with you until now because it would have compromised the investigation.

“The UNO Department of Public Safety worked closely with the New Orleans Police Department’s Intelligence Division, Violent Offender Warrant Squad (VOWS) and the 3rd Police District to secure arrest warrants for Terrorizing, Stalking and Unlawful Disruption of the Operation of a School. The New Orleans Police Department’s Intelligence Division and U.S. Marshals Task Force conducted a joint operation during the overnight hours with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, which arrested the suspect without incident. The suspect is in custody and no longer poses a potential threat to the UNO community or the larger community.

Information about the shooter in Colorado Springs is turning into a rather sordid, creepy tail.  This is from Heavy.  His mother’s father is a Maga State Senator in California who praised the January 6 Insurrection. The shooter was known to the police, and his mother thought he had mental health issues.  The Shooter did not have a social media presence, but the mother did.

Online records show Aldrich living at an apartment complex address in Colorado Springs. Online records indicate he shares that address with his mother, Laura Voepel, 44, who works as a support engineer and previously lived in California.

Laura has praised her father, outgoing California state Representative Randy Voepel, in Facebook posts, writing, “Keep up the work Dad~~ You work hard to improve our lives and a lot of us take notice.”

On Aldrich’s birthday, Laura Voepel wrote on Facebook, “My boys 15 birthday! He got head to toe (6’3″) ghillie military suit ànd he is surfing cloud 9.” She tagged her mother, Pamela Pullen, in the post, who records confirm is Randy’s ex-wife.

Heavy was not able to find any social media profiles for Aldrich. But Facebook posts made by his mother reveal he had been dealing with mental health issues. She posted often about her son in a Facebook group for women involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Colorado Springs area.

In one post in July 2021, she asked for help finding a criminal defense attorney: “Hello Sisters. Does anyone know of a fantastic defense attorney? I ask this with a heavy heart but my family really needs some help at this time. We have cash to retain good counsel. Thank you.” Her post about needing a criminal defense attorney came just after her son was arrested.

Boy with a Flintlock Rifle, 1817, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

The police and criminal justice response to his arrest for threatening his mother with a possible bomb were underwhelming, to say the least. This is from ABC News.  “Gay club shooting suspect evaded Colorado’s red flag gun law. The suspect in the Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooting allegedly threatened his mother with a homemade bomb last year.”

A year and a half before he was arrested in the Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooting that left five people dead, Anderson Lee Aldrich allegedly threatened his mother with a homemade bomb, forcing neighbors in surrounding homes to evacuate while the bomb squad and crisis negotiators talked him into surrendering.

Yet despite that scare, there’s no public record that prosecutors moved forward with felony kidnapping and menacing charges against Aldrich, or that police or relatives tried to trigger Colorado’s “red flag” law that would have allowed authorities to seize the weapons and ammo the man’s mother says he had with him.

Gun control advocates say Aldrich’s June 2021 threat is an example of a red flag law ignored, with potentially deadly consequences. While it’s not clear the law could have prevented Saturday night’s attack — such gun seizures can be in effect for as little as 14 days and be extended by a judge in six-month increments — they say it could have at least slowed Aldrich and raised his profile with law enforcement.

“We need heroes beforehand — parents, co-workers, friends who are seeing someone go down this path,” said Colorado state Rep. Tom Sullivan, whose son was killed in the Aurora theater shooting and sponsored the state’s red flag law passed in 2019. “This should have alerted them, put him on their radar.”

But the law that allows guns to be removed from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others has seldom been used in the state, particularly in El Paso County, home to Colorado Springs, where the 22-year-old Aldrich allegedly went into Club Q with a long gun at just before midnight and opened fire before he was subdued by patrons.

Gwenn Seemel, 2018, Terrorist

One year after killing two people and injuring another because he felt threatened by the bad libtards, manchild Kyle Rittenhouse is talking about running for Congress.  Who could forget his pudgy face and that poorly-acted crying jag? This is from The Chicago Tribune. ” One year after acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, the battle to define his public image rages on.”  Why does he have a public image, you may ask?  Well, he’s still a celeb in the right-wing gun-fetish Republican Party and talking about a run for Congress.

Rittenhouse was just 17 when he shot two men to death and wounded a third during a night of unrest in 2020 that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who is Black.

Kenosha County prosecutors charged him with homicide but he claimed self-defense. At the end of a 15-day trial, jurors declared him not guilty.

His lead defense attorney told reporters at the time he hoped Rittenhouse would keep a low profile following the verdict, but that hasn’t happened. Despite initially expressing a reluctance to be “a cause person,” Rittenhouse has embraced the attention, becoming a figurehead in conservative politics and the gun rights movement.

“I’m just getting warmed up,” he told a critic on Twitter earlier this month. “Get comfortable.”

But while Rittenhouse promises to bring down the legal hammer on his detractors, he remains entangled in his own court proceedings. The family of Anthony Huber, one of the men Rittenhouse killed, is suing him and a host of Wisconsin law enforcement officials for allegedly conspiring to deprive Huber of his constitutional rights.

Rittenhouse’s attorneys filed papers in August trying to get him dismissed from the case, arguing among other things that a private detective who scoured the country for the teen delivered a summons to a home in Florida where Rittenhouse doesn’t actually live (the Tribune couldn’t reach Rittenhouse for comment, but his Twitter page gives his location as Texas).

A judge has yet to rule on the motion.

Rittenhouse and his backers are raising money for both legal fights. The Media Accountability Project, a Nevada-based LLC Rittenhouse introduced on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” is accepting donations “to hold the media accountable in court for their malicious lies, defamation and propaganda.”

The teen has also endorsed a video game called “Kyle Rittenhouse’s Turkey Shoot” that he said is meant to fund his lawsuits. Footage of the game, which is supposed to be released before Thanksgiving, shows an avatar that resembles Rittenhouse firing at “fake news turkeys.”

A GiveSendGo campaign is raising money for his defense in the Huber lawsuit, as is the National Foundation for Gun Rights, which depicts the case as a battle for the Second Amendment.

William Burroughs, Shooting Art

As for the Congressional run, this is from HuffPost. “Kyle Rittenhouse Meets With GOP House Caucus. The Kenosha shooter appeared to stoke his right-wing celebrity ambitions with a weird Capitol photo. “  Why wouldn’t you want to be called a shooter with this glam treatment?

Rittenhouse repeated his self-serving defense and held a question-and-answer session, The Hill reported. He has been hailed as a right-wing celebrity since the killings.

The caucus is chaired by Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). Rittenhouse posed for a photo with both of them, and with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

He also posed for a wild Twitter photo in front of the Capitol, writing: “T- 5 years until I can call this place my office?” Given Twitter’s meltdown, it was unclear whether it was an actual message, though his profile did have a “verified” blue check.

NBC has this analysis.  “How judges and state legislatures are making police officers and civilians less safe. As policymakers roll back gun laws, officers now have to worry that nearly every civilian has the means to use deadly force.” This opinion was written by By  and 

Earlier this month, a federal judge in Texas declared that it was unconstitutional to prohibit domestic abusers under a protective order from having a gun.

It’s one of the latest examples in a troubling trend initiated by the Supreme Court’s June ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which signaled the potential for a wave of court-mandated rollbacks of gun regulations. An oft-overlooked consequence of this is how relaxing gun laws prevents police officers from doing their jobs properly.

In Bruen, the court held New York’s licensing of handguns violated the Second Amendment. The state had required applicants for concealed carry permits to show “proper cause,” or, in other words, a specific need for a gun. As of the time of the ruling, six other jurisdictions — including Maryland, where one of us is from — had similar “proper cause” rules regulating gun carrying, all of which were imperiled by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

So far this year, officers have seized more than 2,200 guns illegally carried on the streets of Baltimore. Without Maryland’s gun licensing law, which relies on a proper cause standard, officers are left with a dangerously vague uncertainty about whether to approach someone carrying a gun to determine whether it is illegal or not — let alone remove the gun from the streets. This means police will be required to make more split-second decisions that risk tragic outcomes on both sides of the badge.

Four months after the Bruen ruling, a West Virginia judge invalidated part of a federal law prohibiting the possession of a firearm with an altered or removed serial number. Those serial numbers are critical to helping police solve crimes and distinguish responsible gun owners from violent criminals.

As the tide moves in the direction of more guns on the streets and fewer regulations, police chiefs are the first to point out that this trend makes their jobs more difficult and puts officers at a higher risk of injury or death. That danger extends to everyone in the community — children, the elderly and passersby on the street.

Rather than reserving their firearms for the most dangerous situations, law enforcement officers now have to worry that nearly every civilian has the means to use deadly force. Tensions will rise, and trust will decline.

My first duel [frog with gun]

I must admit that staying in my home, teaching from my home, and ordering stuff to be delivered to my kitchen door has an appeal beyond keeping me safe from Covid and RSV.  Plus, my dog and cats have no interest in being a well-armed army of darkness.

I’m unsure how we stop turning every public location into the OK Corral.  I’m pretty sure MTG and the one from Colorado got their seats for being big gun fetishists, among other unappealing personality traits.  The MAGA cheerleaders aren’t going anywhere, it seems.  Yet, a majority out there wants this madness to end.  This is from Steny Hoyer’s site.  The Poll was taken in May of 2022.

POLITICO/Morning Consult poll out this morning shows that Americans overwhelmingly favor common-sense legislation to address gun violence.

  • 88% of Americans support requiring background checks on all gun sales.
    • In 2021, House Democrats passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require background checks on all gun sales.
    • House Democrats also passed H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, which would close the ‘Charleston Loophole’ and work to prevent firearms from reaching the hands of prohibited gun owners.
  • 84% of Americans support preventing sales of all firearms to people reported as dangerous to law enforcement by a mental health provider.
    • During the first week of the June work period, the House will take up legislation to enact a national Red Flag law that would prevent those who pose a threat to themselves or others from being able to legally possess a firearm.

Senate Republicans should listen to the American people and work with Democrats on common-sense gun legislation that will take important steps towards ending gun violence in America.

That sounds like a good start.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?