Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Today's Shooting In Alexandria, Virginia

Is this a case of the chickens coming home to roost? Perhaps.

It is always tricky to assign the blame for an act of violence on rhetoric unless the words and violence happen in immediate concert. But we have a 66-year-old man who took a rifle to a park where congressional Republicans were practicing for a traditional baseball game against Democrats. Once he confirmed that the men on the field were Republicans he began shooting and wounded five before being taken out by Capitol Police. As I write, Congressman Steve Scalise (R) is in critical condition.

As a side note, this appears to the the second recent case of assault with a deadly weapon by a Bernie Sanders supporter. The other incident was in Portland, Oregon, where a white nationalist stabbed two people to death who intervened when he was berating a couple of Muslim women. Do we condemn all Sanders supporters for this violence or the senator himself? Of course not, but the left needs to take a hard look at itself in their collective mirrors.

We should also take a close look at the rhetoric by Democrats and the media when it comes to President Trump and his supporters. Maxine Waters, in particular, has used rhetoric that-at least last Sunday in Los Angeles- bordered on inciting insurrection, in my view. CNN has surpassed even MSNBC in its daily, non-stop demonization of Trump. Their reporting is reckless and often inaccurate. They have their first amendment right and criticizing the president is a healthy part of American democracy. What is not healthy is throwing objectivity to the wind and painting the president and his team as inherently evil people who must be removed from power. As an example, this issue of Trump team collusion with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton is being beaten to death even though the investigators have publicly stated they have found no evidence of such collusion.

Donald Trump has his share of flaws, but being an evil man is not one of them as he is being portrayed. Many of his subordinates, most notably Steve Bannon, have been unjustly called Nazis and other names.

We are a badly divided nation, and many on the right do not speak or act for me. But this latest act of violence, coupled with the rise of ANTIFA, is very troubling. Would it surprise anyone if President Trump were one day the target of an assassination attempt? I well remember the last one ( I was 18 when Kennedy was assassinated.) In my opinion, this nation has never recovered from the shock. It seems we have been going downhill ever since. Now we face an enemy every bit as evil as Nazism. That is radical Islam, which seeks to destroy us and our freedoms. More than ever we need to come together as a nation and set aside these political and ethnic differences which are being magnified out of all proportion.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Maybe we should take a look at gun laws... nah, that's going against the Narrative.

squid said...

It was the brave congressional police that stopped the carnage at the baseball field, with guns. If the Law Makers were carrying guns, they may have taken this assassin out sooner. All citizens in Israel can carry guns and most do, their terror attacks are significantly reduced. Criminals do not obey gun laws and are free to kill, as in heavily gun controlled Chicago and Baltimore. Take guns away from citizens and you take their right to defend themselves.
On the other hand, the elite Hollywood anti-gunners who want every gun confiscated, make millions off of big and small screen gunplay. There is no evening that is gunfire free on T.V. and the most popular movies display violence and gunplay.


Gary Fouse said...

What new gun laws do you propose, Siarlys?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Squid: if you want iconic heroes, take note that one of the two police officers was a gay woman of color ... which of course people who consider that to be iconic are making hay over, just like you and Gary make hay over good things "your types" do and bad things "their types" do.

Gary, I have long believed that what we need are carefully tailored "time, place and manner" regulation of firearms. It is accepted jurisprudence that "reasonable, viewpoint-neutral, time place and manner" regulation of free speech does not violate the First Amendment. I think the same would be true of the Second Amendment.

This might easily include, walking about the streets in possession of a gun in designated and clearly described congested population areas is ipso facto a felony. Whereas, in rural areas where you might drive 25 miles between inhabited dwellings and the nearest police could be about hour's drive away, having a loaded 30.06 on the rack over your truck could be perfectly legal. In either case, owning, possessing, having a gun in your home, etc., would remain legal, as it constitutionally must.

There were police on hand at this incident. They did their job very well. But, until the man opened fire, they could not have, under current law, approached him to ask, are you carrying a gun, is it loaded, etc., or detained him even if he did.

(Even in the famous confrontations between Oakland police and the Black Panther Party, the BPP guns were always unloaded, because Huey P. Newton had done his research. He knew that it was legal in California at that time to carry a gun unloaded, but unlawful to carry it with ammunition in the chamber.)

There are areas where it would be a good thing if people were afraid to pack guns because that could ipso facto get them sentenced to hard time even if they are not in possession of anything else. It would cut down on the ragged edges, even if there would of course remain a hard core to deal with.

I'm also thinking about the peaceful suburban subdivisions where some loony has chosen to parade with an AR-15 or a Kalashnikov over his shoulder, because he thinks he can, and residents have called police. Maybe that's just a "safe space" issue to you, but I think we can preserve the right to keep and bear arms, without subjecting to families with young children to that kind of exhibitionism.

Gary Fouse said...

There are no easy answers in our crazy country, but "no-gun" zones are where the killers can attack without resistance.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Well, that is one possible outcome Gary, but another is that a police officer sees a person with a gun in a restricted area, and can act immediately because that gun is prohibited. If the officer has to worry that the person is "just exercising my constitutional rights" then they have to wait for the wing-nut to open fire on the congress critters before intervening. In this instance, e.g., it was police intervention that put a stop to it.

One interesting feature of open carry laws is that police often find, in the vicinity of an inner city shooting, that the most likely shooter has no gun in their possession, but a friend with a concealed carry permit is standing nearby, and has one or more weapons concealed on his person. Its created a new function in the team necessary to carry out hits and get away with it.

Those families who complained about the nut "exercising my constitutional rights" in their residential neighborhood may well have had guns in the house -- as they legally can, ready to pull out if an actual disturbance occurred.

Gary Fouse said...

There is no perfect solution. The cops rarely get there in time to save you. The congressmen were being guarded but some still got shot.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

There is indeed no perfect solution. Anything good can and will be scammed, and then it takes extra cost and effort to insulate against the worst of the scams, which also won't be perfect. But that's no excuse for not trying to get a little closer to something reasonably good.