Mass Shooting Quotes

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We are Born like this Into this Into these carefully mad wars Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness Into bars where people no longer speak to each other Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings Born into this Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes
Charles Bukowski
If an atrocity isn't written about, it stops existing when the last witnesses die. That's what I can't stand. If a mass shooting, a bomb, a whatever, is written about, then at least it's made a tiny dent in the world's memory. Someone, somewhere, some time, has a chance of learning what happened. And, just maybe, acting on it. Or not. But at least it's there.
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
When a country with less than five percent of the world's population has nearly half of the world's privately owned guns and makes up nearly a third of the world's mass shootings, it's time to stop saying guns make us safer.
DaShanne Stokes
Humanity is not without answers or solutions regarding how to liberate itself from scenarios that invariably end with mass exterminations. Tools such as compassion, trust, empathy, love, and ethical discernment are already in our possession. The next sensible step would be to use them.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
Nothing we're going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting...
Joe Biden
There is nothing sane, merciful, heroic, devout, redemptive, wise, holy, loving, peaceful, joyous, righteous, gracious, remotely spiritual, or worthy of praise where mass murder is concerned. We have been in this world long enough to know that by now and to understand that nonviolent conflict resolution informed by mutual compassion is the far better option.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
He wants to be perceived as a hero to people who have been bullied and not as a deranged lunatic who committed mass murder without rational explanation . . .
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal High (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #5))
Violence isn't a Democrat or Republican problem. It's an American problem, requiring an American solution.
DaShanne Stokes
The growing number of gated communities in our nation is but one example of the obsession with safety. With guards at the gate, individuals still have bars and elaborate internal security systems. Americans spend more than thirty billion dollars a year on security. When I have stayed with friends in these communities and inquired as to whether all the security is in response to an actual danger I am told “not really," that it is the fear of threat rather than a real threat that is the catalyst for an obsession with safety that borders on madness. Culturally we bear witness to this madness every day. We can all tell endless stories of how it makes itself known in everyday life. For example, an adult white male answers the door when a young Asian male rings the bell. We live in a culture where without responding to any gesture of aggression or hostility on the part of the stranger, who is simply lost and trying to find the correct address, the white male shoots him, believing he is protecting his life and his property. This is an everyday example of madness. The person who is really the threat here is the home owner who has been so well socialized by the thinking of white supremacy, of capitalism, of patriarchy that he can no longer respond rationally. White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor. Viewers are encouraged feel sympathy for the white male home owner who made a mistake. The fact that this mistake led to the violent death of an innocent young man does not register; the narrative is worded in a manner that encourages viewers to identify with the one who made the mistake by doing what we are led to feel we might all do to “protect our property at all costs from any sense of perceived threat. " This is what the worship of death looks like.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
We look to statistics for reassurance in these types of situations. Here is one: 100% of mass shootings have been enabled by access to guns. I can guarantee that even if there were a genotype shared by the mass shooters, which there will not be, none of the killings would have happened if they didn't have guns.
Adam Rutherford (A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes)
If guns don't kill people, why do mass killers arm themselves with guns?
DaShanne Stokes
Guns make losers feel like winners. That's why people who suck at life don't want to give up their guns.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Inside The Mind of an Introvert)
Saying gun control hurts our freedom is a false argument amounting to propaganda. Gun laws don't curtail freedom any more than speed limits or seat belts. You still get to drive your car and have guns, we're just trying to save lives as you do.
DaShanne Stokes
Thoughts and prayers won't stop a speeding bullet.
DaShanne Stokes
90% of U.S. mass shootings are committed by white people aged 14-56. For some reason I've never ONCE heard a white person called a terrorist.
Chris Rock
Waris said it's crazy that people are so stupid to think over one and a half billion Muslims all think and act the same way, a Muslim man carries out a mass shooting or blows people up and he's called a terrorist, a white man does the same thing and he's called a mad man both sets are mad, Yazz
Bernardine Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other)
After another deadly weekend, mass shootings across the country, we know--oh, how we know--how high the stakes, how polarized the public: the desperation for liberty, equality, and justice and the rage and backlash against it.
Shellen Lubin
Guns kill far more quickly and efficiently than knives, or crossbows, or toenail clippers; and, unlike bombs, you don't need to build one in your basement -- they come ready-made! There's a reason why guns are the overwhelming weapon of choice among mass murderers.
Quentin R. Bufogle
When nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11, it was enough to create massive change in our society. Over ten times as many people die from guns each year. Where is the social change?
DaShanne Stokes
If you're afraid to leave the house unless you're armed, you don't need a gun, you need a psychiatrist.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Inside The Mind of an Introvert)
Yet after a mass shooting by a white supremacist, Omar does not hesitate to call out white supremacy and seek to pin the blame on Trump and his supporters.
Dinesh D'Souza (United States of Socialism: Who's Behind It. Why It's Evil. How to Stop It.)
war. There was now no point in a war that might once have been justified as a search for free subsistence and living space – it had degenerated into vast, inhuman mass slaughter, negating all cultural values, and it can never be justified to the German people; it will be utterly condemned by the nation as a whole. All the torturing of Poles under arrest, the shooting of prisoners of war and their bestial treatment – that can never be justified either.
Władysław Szpilman (The Pianist)
Mass shootings are all part of a vast Left-wing conspiracy to undermine the 2nd Amendment and deprive your 6-year-old of his God-given right to bring a Bushmaster to class for "show and tell" ... The one he got from his psychotic, meth-addicted uncle's trailer while the latter was out getting the Confederate flag tattooed on his face. Remember, guns don't kill: the dimwits who insist EVERYONE should have the right to own 'em do.
Quentin R. Bufogle
How heavy is that day in the mountains when you built a campfire and saw a shooting star? What is the mass of yesterday? How fast is love?
John Varley (Demon (Gaea, #3))
The NRA kills more Americans than Muslim terrorists do.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Inside The Mind of an Introvert)
If the GOP truly cared about saving lives, they'd stop blocking gun violence research.
DaShanne Stokes
Just think, if you had a gun” he said to her “This story might have a different ending.
Joe Hill (Strange Weather)
In America, people with pre-existing mental health issues have access to firearms but not healthcare. Thanks, Republicans!
Oliver Markus Malloy (Inside The Mind of an Introvert)
it looked like the great heat wave would be like mass shootings in the United States— mourned by all, deplored by all, and then immediately forgotten or superseded by the next one, until they came in a daily drumbeat and became the new normal.
Kim Stanley Robinson (The Ministry for the Future)
When has a civilian ever stopped a mass shooting with an AR-15? An AR-15 is a perfect weapon for mass murderers -- not so much for self-defense. Would you bring an AR-15 along on a date? To your place of work? To the movies? If not, how can owning an AR-15 save your life in the event of a mass shooting? Why does the NRA keep telling us we need semi-automatic rifles for self-defense? Whose side are they really on?
Quentin R. Bufogle
During the night two delegates of the railwaymen were arrested. The strikers immediately demanded their release, and as this was not conceded, they decided not to allow trains leave the town. At the station all the strikers with their wives and families sat down on the railway track-a sea of human beings. They were threatened with rifles salvoes. The workers bared their breast and cried, "Shoot!" A salvo was fired into the defenceless seated crowd, and 30 to 40 corpses, among them women and children, remained on the ground. On this becoming known the whole town of Kiev went to strike on the same day. The corpses of the murdered workers were raised on high by the crowd and carried round in mass demonstration.
Rosa Luxemburg
Why ban guns? Let's give everyone rocket launchers! What could possibly go wrong?
Oliver Markus Malloy
WTF is praying gonna do for Vegas? Apparently God likes mass shootings.
Oliver Markus Malloy
Reverend Don Marxhausen disagreed with all the riffs on Satan. He saw two boys with hate in their eyes and assault weapons in their hands. He saw a society that needed to figure out how and why - fast. Blaming Satan was just letting them off easy, he felt, and copping out on our responsibility to investigate. The "end of days" fantasy was even more infuriating.
Dave Cullen (Columbine)
From all these friends, I could not escape learning some of the statistics that I preferred not to know. Forty-one people at the mall had been wounded. Nineteen had died. Everyone said it was a miracle that only nineteen perished. What has gone wrong with our world when nineteen dead can seem like any kind of miracle?
Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1))
We create a machine with intelligence and self-awareness and push it out into our imperfect world. Devised along generally rational lines, well disposed to others, such a mind soon finds itself in a hurricane of contradictions. We’ve lived with them and the list wearies us. Millions dying of diseases we know how to cure. Millions living in poverty when there’s enough to go around. We degrade the biosphere when we know it’s our only home. We threaten each other with nuclear weapons when we know where it could lead. We love living things but we permit a mass extinction of species. And all the rest – genocide, torture, enslavement, domestic murder, child abuse, school shootings, rape and scores of daily outrages.
Ian McEwan (Machines Like Me)
Racist Americans stigmatize entire Black neighborhoods as places of homicide and mortal violence but don't similarly connect White neighborhoods to the disproportionate number of While males who engage in mass shootings.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
You could certainly say about half the cases of mass shootings are extreme incidents of domestic violence.” In other words, it’s not that domestic violence predicts mass shootings. It’s that mass shootings, more than half the time, are domestic violence.
Rachel Louise Snyder (No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us)
the elephant in the room.” That we won’t say, simply, that it is men who are violent. It is men who take their violence out on masses of others. School shootings are carried out by young men. Mass murders. Gang warfare, murder-suicides and familicides and matricides and even genocides: all men. Always men. “Every commonly available domestic violence and official general violence statistic, and every anecdotal account about domestic and all other kinds of violence throughout the United States and around the world, point clearly to the fact that men almost monopolize all sectors of violence perpetration,” Sinclair wrote.
Rachel Louise Snyder (No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us)
Our battlefield is on the street and in the heart. The mass shootings in churches, schools, movie theaters, and malls are the opposite face of the same coin: too many guns, too little preventive intervention. This is a mental health issue, a security issue, and the greatest moral issue in America today. Where are the voices of our religious leaders, calling down the failure of legislators and government to face this blight? If this is not a pro-life issue, what on God’s earth is it?
Mitch Landrieu (In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History)
Our world is suffering from metastatic cancer. Stage 4. Racism has spread to nearly every part of the body politic, intersecting with bigotry of all kinds, justifying all kinds of inequities by victim blaming; heightening exploitation and misplaced hate; spurring mass shootings, arms races, and demagogues who polarize nations, shutting down essential organs of democracy; and threatening the life of human society with nuclear war and climate change. In the United States, the metastatic cancer has been spreading, contracting, and threatening to kill the American body as it nearly did before its birth, as it nearly did during its Civil War. But how many people stare inside the body of their nations' racial inequities, their neighborhoods' racial inequities, their occupations' racial inequities, their institutions' racial inequities, and flatly deny that their policies are racist? They flatly deny that racial inequity is a signpost of racist policy. They flatly deny the racist policy as they use racist ideas to justify the racial inequity. They flatly deny the cancer of racism as the cancer cells spread and literally threaten their own lives and the lives of the people and spaces and places they hold dear. The popular conception of denial--like the popular strategy of suasion--is suicidal.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
And then she says something I’ve never heard a gun owner say: “I would give up every one of our guns if the mass shootings would stop. I would never touch another gun again if it meant that that would end.” “Really?” I ask. “Fuck yeah,” she says. “In a heartbeat. I don’t have to have these. Just because it’s my right doesn’t mean it is right.
Melissa Faliveno (Tomboyland: Essays)
To all the kids from the "special" reading class back in high school (the one where you tried to form words using wooden blocks) -- PLEASE stop telling me that I can't blame an "inanimate object" for the off-the-hook gun violence in this country. YES! ... I CAN!!! I blame all the "inanimate objects" in Congress who refuse to pass sensible gun legislation because they're too chicken-shit to take on Wayne LaPierre and the gun lobby.
Quentin R. Bufogle
White Americans are in the midst of a public mental health crisis—just check the acting out: suicide, addiction, mass shootings.
Jessie Daniels (Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We Can Help Dismantle It)
As will be demonstrated later, the true cause of the recent rise in mass shootings is not weapons but the increase in psychiatric drugs being prescribed for youngsters. The
Jim Marrs (Population Control: How Corporate Owners Are Killing Us)
Prayers for the Victims and People Affected by Las Vegas Mass Shooting The sudden death and the mournful grief is the lightning stroke of life.
Sir Kristian Goldmund Aumann
P-FIG, the highly influential worldwide gun lobby, had been decimated by a self-inflicted mass shooting.
Nathan Allen (All Against All)
if an atrocity isn’t written about, it stops existing when the last witnesses die. That’s what I can’t stand. If a mass shooting, a bomb, a whatever, is written about, then at least it’s made a tiny dent in the world’s memory. Someone, somewhere, some time, has a chance of learning what happened. And, just maybe, acting on it. Or not. But at least it’s there.
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
Free expression is necessary for a peaceful society, but when we create spectacles out of tragic situations, we inadvertently signal that mass murder is an effective means of communication.
Jillian Peterson (The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic)
Forget 'pray the gay away.' I you're more turned on by an AR-15 than a pair of tits, time for some serious therapy. Time for all you gun-humpers to come out of the closet. Is this really about the 2nd Amendment and self-defense -- or just a pathetic fetish for guys with tiny pee-pees?
Quentin R. Bufogle (Horse Latitudes)
Everyone keeps saying tragedy with vague disdain, as if the shooting was just a mad dream, not some kid adding his personal darkness to a collective shadow that had already spread across our lives.
John Englehardt (Bloomland)
Elena believed that reportage like that might be compelling and beautiful, but it would never gain traction in the Age of the Troll. In the Age of Mass Shootings. In the Age of the Suicide Bomb in the Crowd.
Chris Bohjalian (The Flight Attendant)
Scale is the elephant in the room. When Silicon Valley executives excuse themselves and say their platform’s scale is so big that it’s really hard to prevent mass shootings from being broadcast or ethnic cleansing from being incited on their platforms, this is not an excuse—they are implicitly acknowledging that what they have created is too big for them to manage on their own. And yet, they also implicitly believe that their right to profit from these systems outweighs the social costs others bear. So when companies like Facebook say, “We have heard feedback that we must do more,” as they did when their platform was used to live-broadcast mass shootings in New Zealand, we should ask them a question: If these problems are too big for you to solve on the fly, why should you be allowed to release untested products before you understand their potential consequences for society?
Christopher Wylie (Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America)
The stillness was so profound that he heard a little animal twittering somewhere near by under the snow. It made a small frightened cheep like a field mouse, and he wondered languidly if it were hurt. Then he understood that it must be in pain: pain so excruciating that he seemed, mysteriously, to feel it shooting through his own body. He tried in vain to roll over in the direction of the sound, and stretched his left arm out across the snow. And now it was as though he felt rather than heard the twittering; it seemed to be under his palm, which rested on something soft and springy. The thought of the animal's suffering was intolerable to him and he struggled to raise himself, and could not because a rock, or some huge mass, seemed to be lying on him. But he continued to finger about cautiously with his left hand, thinking he might get hold of the little creature and help it; and all at once he knew that the soft thing he had touched was Mattie's hair and that his hand was on her face.
Edith Wharton (Ethan Frome)
If you are justified in shooting you are justified in killing, in all but a few quite obvious circumstances. Don't try to be fancy. Shoot for the center of mass. The world is full of decent people. Criminals we can do without.
Jeff Cooper (Principles Of Personal Defense)
When the NSSF fights against legislation designed to prevent mass shootings because it “won’t work and is a violation of rights,” we understand that many people agree with that argument. But that’s not, at all, even a little bit why the organization lobbies so hard. It works hand in hand with the NRA and certain senators, and spends millions of dollars per year for one reason and one reason only: to make more money. And every time a shooting happens, it makes even more money. Yes. For real. When a mass shooting makes national headlines, the gun lobby purposefully stokes up fear and paranoia over proposed new gun laws so that scared citizens get out their checkbooks and buy a new AR-15 (or sporting rifle). So why would the NSSF have any interest in stopping mass shootings? Why would it engage politically and invest in compromise, a reform plan that attempts to make all Americans safer, or any sort of reckoning of the role guns play in gun violence? It won’t. However you feel about guns and their place in America—whether we’re talking about rifles for hunting or assault rifles, or anything in between—it’s undeniable that the gun lobby has refused to acknowledge or entertain any sort of regulation or reform aimed at making us a safer and saner nation. The reason why: because that does not make it more money. A customer base kept terrified at all times that this will be “the last chance before the government bans” whatever gun manufacturers are peddling is much more valuable. A customer base absolutely convinced that the just-about-anyone-can-buy culture we have is politically necessary without seeing that it serves those companies is what they’re after. They have achieved it.
Trae Crowder (The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin' Dixie Outta the Dark)
Every time I saw Muslim masses bowed in prayer or the Catholic faithful gathered all I saw was fear. Moronically nodding Hasidim, paint-throwing Hindus, shimmying and jabbering Evangelicals, they were all scared shitless this was all there was. Even the Buddhists (whose crinkled tee-heeing lamas always made me want to slap them) were terrified of their own flesh and blood, needed some disembodied desire-free fairyland to shoot for.
Glen Duncan (Talulla Rising (The Last Werewolf, #2))
I decided to write Parabellum because I was personally baffled by the frequency of mass shootings in the United States. The Sandy Hook school shooting was the once that really got the wheels turning. I just couldn't understand why anyone would do such a thing, and I felt compelled to grapple with all the issues at play.
Greg Hickey (Parabellum)
It’s perfect,” Gregory handed the horse back to me. “And it has such feeling and expression to it. That I expected, but I would never have expected this level of detail from a demon. Honestly, I would have expected you to shoot the bottles off the railing or twist them into a horrific mass. Not create this delicate thing of beauty.” “There is equal beauty in the things called horrific. The act of destruction is an expression of beauty, too. I destroyed the bottle to make the horse. Is a pretty glass horse worth the loss of a bottle, but the sound of shattered glass and bits flying through the air isn’t? Is transformation only worthy if you approve of the end result?
Debra Dunbar (A Demon Bound (Imp, #1))
Guns don't kill people. Gun owners kill people.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Inside The Mind of an Introvert)
Civilians carrying personal firearm, are but rabid dogs without a leash.
Abhijit Naskar (Gente Mente Adelante: Prejudice Conquered is World Conquered)
Guns don't make the society safe, any more than nukes ensure world peace.
Abhijit Naskar (Gente Mente Adelante: Prejudice Conquered is World Conquered)
Guns belong to soldiers, not civilians.
Abhijit Naskar (Heart Force One: Need No Gun to Defend Society)
Why ban guns? Let's give everyone a rocket launcher! What could possibly go wrong?
Oliver Markus Malloy (Inside The Mind of an Introvert)
You can't put guns in people's hands and then claim no responsibility when they murder people.
DaShanne Stokes
Raise your gun in anger, then hang your head in sorrow.
Anthony T. Hincks
A gun and the will to murder are two of the purest forms of temporary, situational power.
Jillian Peterson (The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic)
Claiming no responsibility when you put guns into people's hands and they commit murder is like drug dealers claiming no responsibility for people dying from the drugs they sold them.
DaShanne Stokes
I read somewhere there’s a list of things that you do, and one of them is that you attack the attacker. He can’t shoot everybody. Everybody’s afraid to do anything, so everybody gets shot.
Chris Bird (Surviving a Mass Killer Rampage: When Seconds Count, Police Are Still Minutes Away)
After each mass shooting, students, parents and neighbors call for common sense gun laws while pundits and legislators distract us with talk of mental illness and catchy phrases about people killing people, not guns. Relatively lost in the din of the well-practiced post-shooting punditry is a path forward: if we want to stop mass shootings - whether in schools or yoga studios - we have a stake in working together to stop violence against women.
Anne P. DePrince (Every 90 Seconds: Our Common Cause Ending Violence Against Women)
In a functional civilized society built on the premise of peace, guns belong only in the hands of combat personnel, not in the hands of regular civilians, not in the hands of politicians, not even in the hands of billionaires.
Abhijit Naskar (Heart Force One: Need No Gun to Defend Society)
Gun lobbyists only care about their guns. They don't care about the anguish or the tears that they inflict on others. It's about time that the USA stood up for those who have been slain and for those that have been left behind.
Anthony T. Hincks
The first school shooting that attracted the attention of a horrified nation occurred on March 24, 1998, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Two boys opened fire on a schoolyard full of girls, killing four and one female teacher. In the wake of what came to be called the Jonesboro massacre, violence experts in media and academia sought to explain what others called “inexplicable.” For example, in a front-page Boston Globe story three days after the tragedy, David Kennedy from Harvard University was quoted as saying that these were “peculiar, horrible acts that can’t easily be explained.” Perhaps not. But there is a framework of explanation that goes much further than most of those routinely offered. It does not involve some incomprehensible, mysterious force. It is so straightforward that some might (incorrectly) dismiss it as unworthy of mention. Even after a string of school shootings by (mostly white) boys over the past decade, few Americans seem willing to face the fact that interpersonal violence—whether the victims are female or male—is a deeply gendered phenomenon. Obviously both sexes are victimized. But one sex is the perpetrator in the overwhelming majority of cases. So while the mainstream media provided us with tortured explanations for the Jonesboro tragedy that ranged from supernatural “evil” to the presence of guns in the southern tradition, arguably the most important story was overlooked. The Jonesboro massacre was in fact a gender crime. The shooters were boys, the victims girls. With the exception of a handful of op-ed pieces and a smattering of quotes from feminist academics in mainstream publications, most of the coverage of Jonesboro omitted in-depth discussion of one of the crucial facts of the tragedy. The older of the two boys reportedly acknowledged that the killings were an act of revenge he had dreamed up after having been rejected by a girl. This is the prototypical reason why adult men murder their wives. If a woman is going to be murdered by her male partner, the time she is most vulnerable is after she leaves him. Why wasn’t all of this widely discussed on television and in print in the days and weeks after the horrific shooting? The gender crime aspect of the Jonesboro tragedy was discussed in feminist publications and on the Internet, but was largely absent from mainstream media conversation. If it had been part of the discussion, average Americans might have been forced to acknowledge what people in the battered women’s movement have known for years—that our high rates of domestic and sexual violence are caused not by something in the water (or the gene pool), but by some of the contradictory and dysfunctional ways our culture defines “manhood.” For decades, battered women’s advocates and people who work with men who batter have warned us about the alarming number of boys who continue to use controlling and abusive behaviors in their relations with girls and women. Jonesboro was not so much a radical deviation from the norm—although the shooters were very young—as it was melodramatic evidence of the depth of the problem. It was not something about being kids in today’s society that caused a couple of young teenagers to put on camouflage outfits, go into the woods with loaded .22 rifles, pull a fire alarm, and then open fire on a crowd of helpless girls (and a few boys) who came running out into the playground. This was an act of premeditated mass murder. Kids didn’t do it. Boys did.
Jackson Katz (Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help)
Whether she was perceived as hostile to working- and middle-class whites or just indifferent, it wasn’t a big leap from “she doesn’t care about my job” to “she’d rather give my job to a minority or a foreigner than fight for me to keep it.” She and her aides were focused on the wrong issue set for working-class white Michigan voters, and, even when she talked about the economy—rather than her e-mail scandal, mass shootings, or the water crisis in Flint—it wasn’t at all clear to them that she was on their side.
Jonathan Allen (Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign)
And finally, there’s the ubiquity of ordinary human violence: You can die by beating or stabbing or shooting. Robbery is a foregone conclusion. Mass abductions for ransom are commonplace. Often, kidnappers torture their victims to help persuade their families to pay. On
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
I explored the literature of tree-climbing, not extensive, but so exciting. John Muir had swarmed up a hundred-foot Douglas Spruce during a Californian windstorm, and looked out over a forest, 'the whole mass of which was kindled into one continuous blaze of white sun-fire!' Italo Calvino had written his The Baron in the Trees, Italian editionmagical novel, The Baron in the Trees, whose young hero, Cosimo, in an adolescent huff, climbs a tree on his father's forested estate and vows never to set foot on the ground again. He keeps his impetuous word, and ends up living and even marrying in the canopy, moving for miles between olive, cherry, elm, and holm oak. There were the boys in B.B.'s Brendan Chase, who go feral in an English forest rather than return to boarding-school, and climb a 'Scotch pine' in order to reach a honey buzzard's nest scrimmed with beech leaves. And of course there was the realm of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin: Pooh floating on his sky-blue balloon up to the oak-top bee's nest, in order to poach some honey; Christopher ready with his pop-gun to shoot Pooh's balloon down once the honey had been poached....
Robert Macfarlane (The Wild Places)
Another letter complained about the soldiers suffering in Stalingrad, asking God why He let things like this happen to the brave German people. This letter was a classic. The godless barbarians who had forgotten the image of God in the hour of their victories, the murderers who were shooting tens of thousands of Jews and Russian prisons of without blinking an eye, suddenly now remembered that there was a God somewhere after all. Where was God when they were massacring innocent women and children in the forts of Lithuania, piling them on top of the other in huge mass graves? Why didn't they look up to Him at that hour? But at that time they were playing God themselves, with the lives of millions of "subhumans." Oh, how good it felt to hear a German Nazi clamour of God! God! This was our revenge. God was no in Stalingrad. This was the Ninth Fort for the Germans.
William W. Mishell (Kaddish for Kovno: Life and Death in a Lithuanian Ghetto 1941-1945)
The vastness and deadly desolation of the field, the long-distance operation of steel machines, and the relay of every movement in the night drew an unyielding Titan’s mask over the proceedings. You moved toward death without seeing it; you were hit without knowing where the shot came from. Long since had the precision shooting of the trained marksman, the direct fire of guns, and with it the charm of the duel, given way to the concentrated fire of mechanized weapons. The outcome was a game of numbers: Whoever could cover a certain number of square meters with the greater mass of artillery fire, won.
Ernst Jünger (Sturm)
Alongside the viciousness of much of German politics in the Weimar years was an incongruous innocence: few people could imagine the worst possibilities. A civilized nation could not possibly vote for Hitler, some had thought. When he became chancellor nonetheless, millions expected his time in office to be short and ineffectual. Germany was a notoriously law-abiding as well as cultured land. How could a German government systematically brutalize its own people? German Jews were highly assimilated and patriotic. Many refused to leave their homeland, even as things got worse and worse. "I am German and am waiting for the Germans to come back; they have gone to ground somewhere," Victor Klemperer wrote in his diary--he was the son of a rabbi and a veteran of the First World War who chose to stay, and miraculously survived. Few Germans in 1933 could imagine Treblinka or Auschwitz, the mass shootings of Babi Yar or the death marches of the last months of the Second World War. It is hard to blame them for not foreseeing the unthinkable. Yet their innocence failed them, and they were catastrophically wrong about their future. We who come later have one advantage over them: we have their example before us.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise To Power)
The Oswald shadings, the multiple images, the split perceptions—eye color, weapons caliber—these seem a foreboding of what is to come. The endless fact-rubble of the investigations. How many shots, how many gunmen, how many directions? Powerful events breed their own network of inconsistencies. The simple facts elude authentication. How many wounds on the President's body? What is the size and shape of the wounds? The multiple Oswald reappears. Isn't that him in a photograph of a crowd of people on the front steps of the Book Depository just as the shooting begins? A startling likeness, Branch concedes. He concedes everything. He questions everything, including the basic suppositions we make about our world of light and shadow, solid objects and ordinary sounds, and our ability to measure such things, to determine weight, mass and direction, to see things as they are, recall them clearly, be able to say what happened.
Don DeLillo (Libra)
...and then pops into the new shell. A wave breaks over the barrier, and churns the glassy water for a moment and mixes bubbles into the pool, and then it clears and is tranquil and lovely and murderous again. Here a crab tears a leg from his brother. The anemones expand like soft and brilliant flowers, inviting any tired and perplexed animal to lie for a moment in their arms, and when some small crab or little tide-pool Johnnie accepts the green and purple invitation, the petals whip in, the stinging cells shoot tiny narcotic needles into the prey and it grows weak and perhaps sleepy while the searing caustic digestive acids melt its body down. Then the creeping murderer, the octopus, steals out, slowly, softly, moving like a gray mist, pretending now to be a bit of weed, now a rock, now a lump of decaying meat while its evil goat eyes watch coldly. It oozes and flows toward a feeding crab, and as it comes close its yellow eyes burn and its body turns rosy with the pulsing color of anticipation and rage. Then suddenly it runs lightly on the tips of its arms, as ferociously as a charging cat. It leaps savagely on the crab, there is a puff of black fluid, and the struggling mass is obscured in the sepia cloud while the octopus murders the crab. On the exposed rocks out of water, the barnacles
John Steinbeck (Cannery Row (Cannery Row, #1))
If there were mass atrocities right down to the last days of communism, why did not the newly installed anticommunist regimes seize the opportunity to bring erstwhile communist rulers to justice? Why no Nuremberg-style public trials documenting widespread atrocities? Why were not hundreds of party leaders and security officials and thousands of camp guards rounded up and tried for the millions they supposedly exterminated? The best the West Germans could do was charge East German leader Erich Honecker, several other officials, and seven border guards with shooting people who tried to escape over the Berlin Wall, a serious charge but hardly indicative of a gulag.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
The summer before, an estranged husband violated his wife’s restraining order against him, shooting her—and killing or wounding six other women—at her workplace in suburban Milwaukee, but since there were only four corpses the crime was largely overlooked in the media in a year with so many more spectacular mass murders in this country (and we still haven’t really talked about the fact that, of sixty-two mass shootings in the United States in three decades, only one was by a woman, because when you say lone gunman, everyone talks about loners and guns but not about men—and by the way, nearly two-thirds of all women killed by guns are killed by their partner or ex-partner).
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
Doc was collecting marine animals in the Great Tide Pool on the tip of the Peninsula. It is a fabulous place: when the tide is in, a wave-churned basin, creamy with foam, whipped by the combers that roll in from the whistling buoy on the reef. But when the tide goes out the little water world becomes quiet and lovely. The sea is very clear and the bottom becomes fantastic with hurrying, fighting, feeding, breeding animals. Crabs rush from frond to frond of the waving algae. Starfish squat over mussels and limpets, attach their million little suckers and then slowly lift with incredible power until the prey is broken from the rock. And then the starfish stomach comes out and envelops its food. Orange and speckled and fluted nudibranchs slide gracefully over the rocks, their skirts waving like the dresses of Spanish dancers. And black eels poke their heads out of crevices and wait for prey. The snapping shrimps with their trigger claws pop loudly. The lovely, colored world is glassed over. Hermit crabs like frantic children scamper on the bottom sand. And now one, finding an empty snail shell he likes better than his own, creeps out, exposing his soft body to the enemy for a moment, and then pops into the new shell. A wave breaks over the barrier, and churns the glassy water for a moment and mixes bubbles into the pool, and then it clears and is tranquil and lovely and murderous again. Here a crab tears a leg from his brother. The anemones expand like soft and brilliant flowers, inviting any tired and perplexed animal to lie for a moment in their arms, and when some small crab or little tide-pool Johnnie accepts the green and purple invitation, the petals whip in, the stinging cells shoot tiny narcotic needles into the prey and it grows weak and perhaps sleepy while the searing caustic digestive acids melt its body down. Then the creeping murderer, the octopus, steals out, slowly, softly, moving like a gray mist, pretending now to be a bit of weed, now a rock, now a lump of decaying meat while its evil goat eyes watch coldly. It oozes and flows toward a feeding crab, and as it comes close its yellow eyes burn and its body turns rosy with the pulsing color of anticipation and rage. Then suddenly it runs lightly on the tips of its arms, as ferociously as a charging cat. It leaps savagely on the crab, there is a puff of black fluid, and the struggling mass is obscured in the sepia cloud while the octopus murders the crab. On the exposed rocks out of water, the barnacles bubble behind their closed doors and the limpets dry out. And down to the rocks come the black flies to eat anything they can find. The sharp smell of iodine from the algae, and the lime smell of calcareous bodies and the smell of powerful protean, smell of sperm and ova fill the air. On the exposed rocks the starfish emit semen and eggs from between their rays. The smells of life and richness, of death and digestion, of decay and birth, burden the air. And salt spray blows in from the barrier where the ocean waits for its rising-tide strength to permit it back into the Great Tide Pool again. And on the reef the whistling buoy bellows like a sad and patient bull.
John Steinbeck (Cannery Row (Cannery Row, #1))
The law of chaos is the law of ideas, Of improvisations and seasons of belief. Ideas are men. The mass of meaning and The mass of men are one. Chaos is not The mass of meaning. It is three or four Ideas, or, say, five men or, possibly, six. In the end, these philosophic assassins pull Revolvers and shoot each other. One remains. The mass of meaning becomes composed again.
Wallace Stevens (The Collected Poems)
While higher arrest and conviction rates, longer prison sentences, and the death penalty all reduce murders generally, none of these measures had a consistent impact on mass public shootings. Nor did any of the restrictive gun laws. Only one single policy was found to effectively reduce these attacks: the passage of right-to-carry laws, which permit law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns.
John R. Lott Jr. (The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You'Ve Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong)
At an NRA annual meeting in Cincinnati in 1977, Second Amendment “absolutists” took control of the NRA from previous leaders who thought the organization was really there to protect marksmen. Gun nuts call this event the Revolt at Cincinnati. Our modern epidemic of mass shootings can, more or less, be traced to these yahoos winning control of that organization. The ammosexuals reformed the NRA from the generally benign conglomeration of Bambi killers to the grotesque weapon of mass destruction we know it to be today. It was this new NRA that invented the radical rationalization of the Second Amendment as a right to armed self-defense. It was this new NRA that gained political supremacy in the Republican party. It was this new NRA that got Ronald Reagan, who once signed one of the most sweeping gun restrictions in the nation, to sign the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, an act that rolled back many of the restrictions from the Gun Control Act. The NRA’s wholesale reimagining of the Second Amendment hasn’t just lured Republican politicians, it’s become part of the gospel of Republican judges. The Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, the two outside interest groups most responsible for telling Republican judges how to rule, have fully adopted an absolutist, blood-soaked interpretation of the Second Amendment. These groups of alleged “textualists” read “well regulated militia” clear out of the text of the Amendment. Instead, they substitute self-defense as the “original purpose” of the language. There was an original purpose to the Second Amendment, but it wasn’t to keep people safe. It was to preserve white supremacy and slavery.
Elie Mystal (Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution)
That exchange did it. Already oppressed by the briefings up to that point, I shrank within, horrified. I thought of the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, when an assemblage of German bureaucrats swiftly agreed on a program to exterminate every last Jew they could find anywhere in Europe, using methods of mass extermination more technologically efficient than the vans filled with exhaust gases, the mass shootings, or incineration in barns and synagogues used until then. I felt as if I were witnessing a comparable descent into the deep heart of darkness, a twilight underworld governed by disciplined, meticulous and energetically mindless groupthink aimed at wiping out half the people living on nearly one third of the earth’s surface. Those feelings have not entirely abated, even though more than forty years have passed since that dark moment.
Daniel Ellsberg (The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner)
Sita closed her eyes and breathed into her cupped hands. Before she left, she had remembered to perfume her wrist with Muguet. The faint odor of that flower, so pure and close to the earth, was comforting. She had planted real lilies of the valley because she liked them so much as a perfume. Just last fall, before the hard freeze, when she was feeling back to normal, the pips had arrived in a little white box. Her order from a nursery company. She'd put on her deerskin gloves and, on her knees, using a hand trowel, dug a shallow trench along the border of her blue Dwarf iris. Then one by one she'd planted the pips. They looked like shelled acorns, only tinier. "To be planted points upward," said a leaflet in the directions. They came up early in the spring. The tiny spears of their leaves would be showing soon. Lying there, sleepless, she imaged their white venous roots, a mass of them fastening together, forming new shoots below the earth, unfurling their stiff leaves. She saw herself touching their tiny bells, waxed white, fluted, and breathing the ravishing fragrance they gave off because Louis had absently walked through her border again, dragging his shovel, crushing them with his big, careless feet. It seemed as though hours of imaginary gardening passed before Mrs. Waldvogel tiptoed in without turning on the light.
Louise Erdrich (The Beet Queen)
Given that the historically most violent regions of the UK had virtually no black population at all and given that working-class youth gangs stabbing and shooting people had existed in Britain for well over a century - who do you think the gangs attacking our grandparents when they arrived were? - you can imagine my shock when I discovered that there was, in the UK, such a thing as ‘black-on-black’ violence. None of what occurred in Northern Ireland had ever been referred to as ‘white-on-white’ crime, nor Glasgow, nor either world war, the Seven Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, nor any conflict or incident of murder, however gruesome, between humans racialised as white. Despite hundreds of millions of ‘white’ people killing each other throughout European history, witch hunts, mass rapes, hangings, torture and sexual abuse, and despite the fact that the two most violent regions of Britain in the 1990s were almost entirely white, there was no such thing as white-on-white violence. Yet apparently working-class black Londoners had imported from America a rap-induced mystery nigger gene (similar to the slave sprint one?) that caused black people to kill not for all of the complex reasons that other humans kill, but simply because they are ‘black’, and sometimes because they listened to too much rap, grime or dancehall. This is, after all, what the phrase ‘black-on-black crime’ is designed to suggest, is it not? That black people are not like the rest of humanity, and that they do not kill as a complex result of political, historical, economic, cultural, religious and psychological factors, they kill simply because of their skin: their excessive melanin syndrome. The fact that yellow-on-yellow crime, mixed race-on-mixed race crime or white-on-white violence just sound like joke terms but black on black violence has ‘credibility’ speaks very loudly about the perceived relationship between blackness and depravity in this culture.
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
anything’s happened, and that makes them easy targets for the Death Eaters if they’re using the Imperius Curse.’ ‘But you’re telling people, aren’t you?’ said Harry, looking around at Mr Weasley, Sirius, Bill, Mundungus, Lupin and Tonks. ‘You’re letting people know he’s back?’ They all smiled humourlessly. ‘Well, as everyone thinks I’m a mad mass-murderer and the Ministry’s put a ten thousand Galleon price on my head, I can hardly stroll up the street and start handing out leaflets, can I?’ said Sirius restlessly. ‘And I’m not a very popular dinner guest with most of the community,’ said Lupin. ‘It’s an occupational hazard of being a werewolf.’ ‘Tonks and Arthur would lose their jobs at the Ministry if they started shooting their mouths off,’ said Sirius, ‘and it’s very important for us to have spies inside the Ministry, because you can bet Voldemort will have them.’ ‘We’ve managed to convince a couple of people, though,’ said Mr Weasley. ‘Tonks here, for one – she’s too young to have been in the Order of the Phoenix last time, and having Aurors on our side is a huge advantage – Kingsley Shacklebolt’s been a real asset, too; he’s in charge of the hunt for Sirius, so he’s been feeding the Ministry information that Sirius is in Tibet.’ ‘But if none of you are putting the news out that Voldemort’s back –’ Harry began. ‘Who said none of us are putting the news out?’ said Sirius. ‘Why d’you think Dumbledore’s in such trouble?’ ‘What d’you mean?’ Harry asked. ‘They’re trying to discredit him,’ said Lupin.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Lieutenant (jg) Ralph Hanks, an Iowa pig farmer before the war, became an “ace in a day” by shooting down five Zeros in a single skirmish. In a fifteen-minute air engagement, his throttle never left the firewall and his Hellcat surpassed 400 knots in a diving attack. Hanks had to stand on his rudder pedals and use his entire upper-body strength to keep his stick under control. Intense g-forces caused him to black out several times. This first massed encounter of Zeros and Hellcats did not bode well for the future of the now-obsolete Japanese fighter plane.
Ian W. Toll (The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942–1944)
Get used to the idea of significant portion of the population walking around with high-speed Internet connections on their person, with sophisticated video cameras built in. They will be shooting all kinds of events all the time. Crime. Crashes. Speeches. Sports. And the footage won't be the short, sanitized and safe versions we usually see on television, courtesy of the old media gatekeepers. The user-generated pictures and video will be raw and real. It will be disturbing, yet illuminating. And it will be shared over the 'Net almost as it happens, and available for everyone to see.
Ian Lamont
It was December 15, 2012, the day after twenty-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I remember thinking, Maybe if all the mothers in the world crawled on their hands and knees toward those parents in Newtown, we could take some of the pain away. We could spread their pain across all of our hearts. I would do it. Can’t we find a way to hold some of it for them? I’ll take my share. Even if it adds sadness to all my days. My friends and I didn’t rush to start a fund that day. We didn’t storm the principal’s office at our kids’ school asking for increased security measures. We didn’t call politicians or post on Facebook. We would do all that in the days to come. But the day right after the shooting, we just sat together with nothing but the sound of occasional weeping cutting through the silence. Leaning in to our shared pain and fear comforted us. Being alone in the midst of a widely reported trauma, watching endless hours of twenty-four-hour news or reading countless articles on the Internet, is the quickest way for anxiety and fear to tiptoe into your heart and plant their roots of secondary trauma. That day after the mass killing, I chose to cry with my friends, then I headed to church to cry with strangers. I couldn’t have known then that in 2017 I would speak at a fund-raiser for the Resiliency Center of Newtown and spend time sitting with a group of parents whose children were killed at Sandy Hook. What I’ve learned through my work and what I heard that night in Newtown makes one thing clear: Not enough of us know how to sit in pain with others. Worse, our discomfort shows up in ways that can hurt people and reinforce their own isolation. I have started to believe that crying with strangers in person could save the world. Today there’s a sign that welcomes you to Newtown: WE ARE SANDY HOOK. WE CHOOSE LOVE. That day when I sat in a room with other mothers from my neighborhood and cried, I wasn’t sure what we were doing or why. Today I’m pretty sure we were choosing love in our own small way.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Off the southeast tip of Italy a young Austrian U-boat commander named Georg von Trapp, later to gain eternal renown when played by Christopher Plummer in the film The Sound of Music, fired two torpedoes into a large French cruiser, the Leon Gambetta. The ship sank in nine minutes, killing 684 sailors. “So that’s what war looks like!” von Trapp wrote in a later memoir. He told his chief officer, “We are like highway men, sneaking up on an unsuspecting ship in such a cowardly fashion.” Fighting in a trench or aboard a torpedo boat would have been better, he said. “There you hear shooting, hear your comrades fall, you hear the wounded groaning—you become filled with rage and can shoot men in self defense or fear; at an assault you can even yell! But we! Simply cold-blooded to drown a mass of men in an ambush!
Erik Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania)
In 2011, actor Johnny Depp told the November issue of Vanity Fair that he felt participating in a photoshoot was akin to rape. "Well, you just feel like you're being raped somehow. Raped . . . It feels like a kind of weird - just weird, man. But whenever you have a photo shoot or something like that, it's like - you just feel dumb. It's just so stupid," he said. Likening instances of being flustered or uneasy to the often life-shattering experience of rape has become a far too common comparison in modern lexicon. The phrase "Facebook rape" is perhaps the most widely used, which implies one person has posted on another person's Facebook account - usually something intended to embarrass the person. But the casual, flippant use of the term "rape" in instances that do not involve sexual violence is highly problematic in that it trivialises one of the most despicable invasions of a human being. Desensitising the masses to the term "rape" is just another way the conversation surrounding sexual assault is derailed or diluted in society. Rape is, and should be considered universally, as a serious societal sickness that occurs within the "toxic silence" that surrounds sexual assault as Tara Moss put so elegantly in her recent Q&A appearance. Further to that, the use of the term can be a trigger for rape survivors in that it may jolt terrifying memories of their own experience. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, up to 57 per cent of rape survivors suffer post-traumatic stress disorder in their lifetime, with "triggers" including inflammatory words like rape causing deeply traumatic recollections. Beware desensitising the term "rape", Newcastle Herald, June 6, 2014
Emma Elsworth
Although we now live in separate countries and speak different languages, you couldn’t mistake us for anyone else. We’re easy to spot! People who’ve come out of socialism are both like and unlike the rest of humanity—we have our own lexicon, our own conceptions of good and evil, our heroes, our martyrs. We have a special relationship with death. The stories people tell me are full of jarring terms: “shoot,” “execute,” “liquidate,” “eliminate,” or typically Soviet varieties of disappearance such as “arrest,” “ten years without the right of correspondence,”*2 and “emigration.” How much can we value human life when we know that not long ago people had died by the millions? We’re full of hatred and superstitions. All of us come from the land of the gulag and harrowing war. Collectivization, dekulakization,*3 mass deportations of various nationalities…
Svetlana Alexievich (Secondhand Time: An Oral History of the Fall of the Soviet Union)
The way to break the cycle and avoid embalming, the casket, the heavy vault, is something called green, or natural, burial. It is only available in certain cemeteries, but its popularity is growing as society continues to demand it. natural burial is what transpired with Edward Abbey's remains, minus the whole stealing-the-corpse and hightailing-it-into-the-desert-thing. The body goes straight into the ground, in a simple biodegradable shroud, with a rock to mark the location. It zips merrily through decomposition, shooting its atoms back into the universe to create new life. Not only is natural burial by far the most ecologically sound way to perish, it doubles down on the fear to fragmentation and loss of control. Making the choice to be naturally buried says, "Not only am I aware that I'm a helpless, fragmented mass of organic matter, I celebrate it. Vive la decay!
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory)
The extermination of the Jews has sometimes been seen as a kind of industrialized, assembly-line kind of mass murder, and this picture has at least some element of truth to it. No other genocide in history has been carried out by mechanical means - gassing - in specially constructed facilities like those in operation at Auschwitz or Treblinka. At the same time, however, these facilities did not operate efficiently or effectively, and if the impression given by calling them industrialized is that they were automated or impersonal, then it is a false one. Men such as Hess and Stangl and their subordinates tried to insulate themselves from the human dimensions of what they were doing by referring to their victims as 'cargo' or 'items.' Talking to Gerhard Stabenow, the head of the SS Security Service in Warsaw, in September 1942, Wilm Hosenfeld noted how the language Stabenow used distanced himself from the fact that what he was involved in was the mass murder of human beings: 'He speaks of the Jews as ants or other vermin, of their 'resettlement', that means their mass murder, as he would of the extermination of the bedbugs in the disinfestation of a house.' But at the same time such men were not immune from the human emotions they tried so hard to repress, and they remembered incidents in which individual women and children had appealed to their conscience, even if such appeals were in vain. The psychological strain that continual killing of unarmed civilians, including women and children, imposed on such men was considerable, just as it had been in the case of the SS Task Forces, whose troops had been shooting Jews in their hundreds of thousands before the first gas vans were deploted in an attempt not only to speed up the killing but also to make it somehow more impersonal.
Richard J. Evans (The Third Reich at War (The History of the Third Reich, #3))
They [mountains] are portions of the heart of the earth that have escaped from the dungeon down below, and rushed up and out. For the heart of the earth is a great wallowing mass, not of blood, as in the hearts of men and animals, but of glowing hot melted metals and stones. And as our hearts keep us alive, so that great lump of heat keeps the earth alive: it is a huge power of buried sunlight—that is what it is. Now think: out of that caldron, where all the bubbles would be as big as the Alps if it could get room for its boiling, certain bubbles have bubbled out and escaped—up and away, and there they stand in the cool, cold sky—mountains. Think of the change, and you will no more wonder that there should be something awful about the very look of a mountain: from the darkness—for where the light has nothing to shine upon, it is much the same as darkness—from the heat, from the endless tumult of boiling unrest—up, with a sudden heavenward shoot, into the wind, and the cold, and the starshine, and a cloak of snow that lies like ermine above the blue-green mail of the glaciers; and the great sun, their grandfather, up there in the sky; and their little old cold aunt, the moon, that comes wandering about the house at night; and everlasting stillness, except for the wind that turns the rocks and caverns into a roaring organ for the young archangels that are studying how to let out the pent-up praises of their hearts, and the molten music of the streams, rushing ever from the bosoms of the glaciers fresh-born. Think too of the change in their own substance—no longer molten and soft, heaving and glowing, but hard and shining and cold. Think of the creatures scampering over and burrowing in it, and the birds building their nests upon it, and the trees growing out of its sides, like hair to clothe it, and the lovely grass in the valleys, and the gracious flowers even at the very edge of its armour of ice, like the rich embroidery of the garment below, and the rivers galloping down the valleys in a tumult of white and green! And along with all these, think of the terrible precipices down which the traveller may fall and be lost, and the frightful gulfs of blue air cracked in the glaciers, and the dark profound lakes, covered like little arctic oceans with floating lumps of ice. All this outside the mountain! But the inside, who shall tell what lies there? Caverns of awfullest solitude, their walls miles thick, sparkling with ores of gold or silver, copper or iron, tin or mercury, studded perhaps with precious stones—perhaps a brook, with eyeless fish in it, running, running ceaseless, cold and babbling, through banks crusted with carbuncles and golden topazes, or over a gravel of which some of the stones are rubies and emeralds, perhaps diamonds and sapphires—who can tell?—and whoever can't tell is free to think—all waiting to flash, waiting for millions of ages—ever since the earth flew off from the sun, a great blot of fire, and began to cool. Then there are caverns full of water, numbing cold, fiercely hot—hotter than any boiling water. From some of these the water cannot get out, and from others it runs in channels as the blood in the body: little veins bring it down from the ice above into the great caverns of the mountain's heart, whence the arteries let it out again, gushing in pipes and clefts and ducts of all shapes and kinds, through and through its bulk, until it springs newborn to the light, and rushes down the mountain side in torrents, and down the valleys in rivers—down, down, rejoicing, to the mighty lungs of the world, that is the sea, where it is tossed in storms and cyclones, heaved up in billows, twisted in waterspouts, dashed to mist upon rocks, beaten by millions of tails, and breathed by millions of gills, whence at last, melted into vapour by the sun, it is lifted up pure into the air, and borne by the servant winds back to the mountain tops and the snow, the solid ice, and the molten stream.
George MacDonald (The Princess and Curdie (Princess Irene and Curdie, #2))
The idea of you lynching anybody! It’s amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a man! Because you’re brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a man? Why, a man’s safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind—as long as it’s day-time and you’re not behind him. “Do I know you? I know you clear through. I was born and raised in the South, and I’ve lived in the North; so I know the average all around. The average man’s a coward. In the North he lets anybody walk over him that wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it. In the South one man, all by himself, has stopped a stage full of men, in the day-time, and robbed the lot. Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think you are braver than any other people—whereas you’re just as brave, and no braver. Why don’t your juries hang murderers? Because they’re afraid the man’s friends will shoot them in the back, in the dark—and it’s just what they would do. “So they always acquit; and then a man goes in the night, with a hundred masked cowards at his back, and lynches the rascal. Your mistake is, that you didn’t bring a man with you; that’s one mistake, and the other is that you didn’t come in the dark, and fetch your masks. You brought part of a man—Buck Harkness, there—and if you hadn’t had him to start you, you’d a taken it out in blowing. “You didn’t want to come. The average man don’t like trouble and danger. You don’t like trouble and danger. But if only half a man—like Buck Harkness, there—shouts ‘Lynch him, lynch him!’ you’re afraid to back down—afraid you’ll be found out to be what you are—cowards—and so you raise a yell, and hang yourselves onto that half-a-man’s coat tail, and come raging up here, swearing what big things you’re going to do. The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is—a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it, is beneath pitifulness. Now the thing for you to do, is to droop your tails and go home and crawl in a hole. If any real lynching’s going to be done, it will be done in the dark, Southern fashion; and when they come they’ll bring their masks, and fetch a man along. Now leave—and take your half-a-man with you...
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
Ode to a Cluster of Violets Crisp cluster plunged in shadow. Drops of violet water and raw sunlight floated up with your scent. A fresh subterranean beauty climbed up from your buds thrilling my eyes and my life. One at a time, flowers that stretched forward silvery stalks, creeping closer to an obscure light shoot by shoot in the shadows, till they crowned the mysterious mass with an intense weight of perfume and together formed a single star with a far-off scent and a purple center. Poignant cluster intimate scent of nature, you resemble a wave, or a head of hair, or the gaze of a ruined water nymph sunk in the depths. But up close, in your fragrance’s blue brazenness, you exhale the earth, an earthly flower, an earthen smell and your ultraviolet gleam in volcanoes’ faraway fires. Into your loveliness I sink a weathered face, a face that dust has often abused. You deliver something out of the soil. It isn’t simply perfume, nor simply the perfect cry of your entire color, no: it’s a word sprinkled with dew, a flowering wetness with roots. Fragile cluster of starry violets, tiny, mysterious planet of marine phosphorescence, nocturnal bouquet nestled in green leaves: the truth is there is no blue word to express you. Better than any word is the pulse of your scent. Pablo Neruda, Odes to Common Things. (Bulfinch; Bilingual edition May 1, 1994) Originally published 1961.
Pablo Neruda (Odes to Common Things)
A Favorite start to a book [sorry it's long!]: "In yesterday’s Sunday Times, a report from Francistown in Botswana. Sometime last week, in the middle of the night, a car, a white American model, drove up to a house in a residential area. Men wearing balaclavas jumped out, kicked down the front door, and began shooting. When they had done with shooting they set fire to the house and drove off. From the embers the neighbors dragged seven charred bodies: two men, three women, two children. Th killers appeared to be black, but one of the neighbors heard them speaking Afrikaans among themselves. And was convinced they were whites in blackface. The dead were South Africans, refugees who had moved into the house mere weeks ago. Approached for comment, the SA Minister of Foreign Affairs, through a spokesman, calls the report ‘unverified’. Inquiries will be undertaken, he says, to determine whether the deceased were indeed SA citizens. As for the military, an unnamed source denies that the SA Defence Force had anything to do with the matter. The killings are probably an internal ANC matter, he suggests, reflecting ‘ongoing tensions between factions. So they come out, week after week, these tales from the borderlands, murders followed by bland denials. He reads the reports and feels soiled. So this is what he has come back to! Yet where in the world can one hide where one will not feel soiled? Would he feel any cleaner in the snows of Sweden, reading at a distance about his people and their latest pranks? How to escape the filth: not a new question. An old rat-question that will not let go, that leaves its nasty, suppurating wound. Agenbite of inwit. ‘I see the Defense Force is up to its old tricks again,’ he remarks to his father. ‘In Botswana this time.’ But his father is too wary to rise to the bait. When his father picks up the newspaper, he cares to skip straight to the sports pages, missing out the politics—the politics and the killings. His father has nothing but disdain for the continent to the north of them. Buffoons is the word he uses to dismiss the leaders of African states: petty tyrants who can barely spell their own names, chauffeured from one banquet to another in their Rolls-Royces, wearing Ruritanian uniforms festooned with medals they have awarded themselves. Africa: a place of starving masses with homicidal buffoons lording over them. ‘They broke into a house in Francistown and killed everyone,’ he presses on nonetheless. ‘Executed them .Including the children. Look. Read the report. It’s on the front page.’ His father shrugs. His father can find no form of words spacious enough to cover his distaste for, on one hand, thugs who slaughter defenceless women and children and, on the other, terrorists who wage war from havens across the border. He resolves the problem by immersing himself in the cricket scores. As a response to moral dilemma it is feeble; yet is his own response—fits of anger and despair—any better?" Summertime, Coetzee
J.M. Coetzee
I’ll never forget the time I went duck-hunting with my buddy Mike Williams; you’ll read a lot about our adventures and shenanigans in this book. Mike and I were hunting blue-winged teal ducks, which tend to move en masse, so typically you’ll either shoot your limit or not see a duck. In other words, there is a lot of idle time involved with teal hunting, so we usually bring along our fishing poles. After a hunt with Mike one morning, in which we had not seen a single teal, I hooked a four-pound bass. Almost simultaneously, one lone blue-winged teal flew over our heads. As I was reeling in the bass, I reached for my shotgun, raised it with only my left hand, and shot the duck. Now, I’m right-handed but left-eye dominant. It was the first duck I ever shot left-handed, but it would be the first of many. I eventually made the switch to shooting left-handed permanently. It was the hardest obstacle I’ve ever had to overcome in hunting, but it made me a better shot because I’m left-eye dominant. When Mike and I went back to my dad’s house and told him what happened, Phil didn’t believe us, even though we had the teal and bass as evidence. He’d told us about a similar feat many times before, when his friend Hookin’ Bull Thompson pulled in a fish with one hand and shot a duck with the other. I had heard the story many time, but only then did I realize it had now been duplicated. No matter how many times we told Phil about what I did, he didn’t believe us. He thought we made the entire story up because of the countless times he’d bragged about witnessing his buddy’s epic feat. Now, Mike is one of the most honest people you’ll meet, so he couldn’t believe Phil thought we were lying to him. “I’m going to sign an affidavit about what you did,” Mike told me. “Maybe then he’ll believe us.” “Oh, drop it,” I said. “That’s just how my family rolls.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
...The gulag—with its millions of victims, if you listen to Solzehnitsyn and Sakharov—supposedly existed in the Soviet Union right down to the very last days of communism. If so—as I've asked before—where did it disappear to? That is, when the communist states were overthrown, where were the millions of stricken victims pouring out of the internment camps with their tales of torment? I'm not saying they don't exist; I'm just asking, where are they? One of the last remaining camps, Perm-35—visited in 1989 and again in '90 by Western observers—held only a few dozen prisoners, some of whom were outright spies, as reported in the Washington Post. Others were refuseniks who tried to flee the country. The inmates complained about poor-quality food, the bitter cold, occasional mistreatment by guards. I should point out that these labor camps were that: they were work camps. They weren't death camps that you had under Nazism where there was a systematic extermination of the people in the camps. So there was a relatively high survival rate. The visitors also noted that throughout the 1980s, hundreds of political prisoners had been released from the various camps, but hundreds are not millions. Even with the great fall that took place after Stalin, under Khrushchev, when most of the camps were closed down...there was no sign of millions pouring back into Soviet life—the numbers released were in the thousands. Why—where are the victims? Why no uncovering of mass graves? No Nuremburg-style public trials of communist leaders, documenting the widespread atrocities against these millions—or hundreds of millions, if we want to believe our friend at the Claremont Institute. Surely the new...anti-communist rulers in eastern Europe and Russia would have leaped at the opportunity to put these people on trial. And the best that the West Germans could do was to charge East German leader Erich Honecker and seven of his border guards with shooting persons who tried to escape over the Berlin Wall. It's a serious enough crime, that is, but it's hardly a gulag. In 1955[sic], the former secretary of the Prague communist party was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. 'Ah, a gulag criminal!' No, it was for ordering police to use tear gas and water cannons against demonstrators in 1988. Is this the best example of bloodthirsty communist repression that the capitalist restorationists could find in Czechoslovakia? An action that doesn't even qualify as a crime in most Western nations—water cannons and tear gas! Are they kidding? No one should deny that crimes were committed, but perhaps most of the gulag millions existed less in reality and more in the buckets of anti-communist propaganda that were poured over our heads for decades.
Michael Parenti
(from Lady of the Lake) The western waves of ebbing day Rolled o’er the glen their level way; Each purple peak, each flinty spire, Was bathed in floods of living fire. But not a setting beam could glow Within the dark ravines below, Where twined the path in shadow hid, Round many a rocky pyramid, Shooting abruptly from the dell Its thunder-splintered pinnacle; Round many an insulated mass, The native bulwarks of the pass, Huge as the tower which builders vain Presumptuous piled on Shinar’s plain. The rocky summits, split and rent, Formed turret, dome, or battlement, Or seemed fantastically set With cupola or minaret, Wild crests as pagod ever decked, Or mosque of Eastern architect. Nor were these earth-born castles bare, Nor lacked they many a banner fair; For, from their shivered brows displayed, Far o’er the unfathomable glade, All twinkling with the dewdrop sheen, The brier-rose fell in streamers green, And creeping shrubs, of thousand dyes, Waved in the west-wind’s summer sighs. Boon nature scattered, free and wild, Each plant or flower, the mountain’s child. Here eglantine embalmed the air, Hawthorn and hazel mingled there; The primrose pale, and violet flower, Found in each cliff a narrow bower; Fox-glove and night-shade, side by side, Emblems of punishment and pride, Grouped their dark hues with every stain The weather-beaten crags retain. With boughs that quaked at every breath, Gray birch and aspen wept beneath; Aloft, the ash and warrior oak Cast anchor in the rifted rock; And, higher yet, the pine-tree hung His shattered trunk, and frequent flung, Where seemed the cliffs to meet on high, His boughs athwart the narrowed sky. Highest of all, where white peaks glanced, Where glist’ning streamers waved and danced, The wanderer’s eye could barely view The summer heaven’s delicious blue; So wondrous wild, the whole might seem The scenery of a fairy dream. Onward, amid the copse ’gan peep A narrow inlet, still and deep, Affording scarce such breadth of brim As served the wild duck’s brood to swim. Lost for a space, through thickets veering, But broader when again appearing, Tall rocks and tufted knolls their face Could on the dark-blue mirror trace; And farther as the hunter strayed, Still broader sweep its channels made. The shaggy mounds no longer stood, Emerging from entangled wood, But, wave-encircled, seemed to float, Like castle girdled with its moat; Yet broader floods extending still Divide them from their parent hill, Till each, retiring, claims to be An islet in an inland sea. And now, to issue from the glen, No pathway meets the wanderer’s ken, Unless he climb, with footing nice A far projecting precipice. The broom’s tough roots his ladder made, The hazel saplings lent their aid; And thus an airy point he won, Where, gleaming with the setting sun, One burnished sheet of living gold, Loch Katrine lay beneath him rolled, In all her length far winding lay, With promontory, creek, and bay, And islands that, empurpled bright, Floated amid the livelier light, And mountains, that like giants stand, To sentinel enchanted land. High on the south, huge Benvenue Down to the lake in masses threw Crags, knolls, and mountains, confusedly hurled, The fragments of an earlier world; A wildering forest feathered o’er His ruined sides and summit hoar, While on the north, through middle air, Ben-an heaved high his forehead bare.
Walter Scott
Chihuahuas need guns for strength – open your eyes muchacho! ¡Chupacabra aquí!
Abhijit Naskar (Woman Over World: The Novel)
How do we live in—and change—a reality that includes climate change, mass shootings, and racism? How do we address income inequality, sexual predation, mass incarceration? By not turning away. By engaging. By cultivating kindness and compassion, by seeking justice, by loving the earth, and by tending the great interconnected web of which we are all a part. In such a deluge of spiritual thought, I felt charged, inspired to be better, more generous; I felt more dilated to beauty and suffering, and grateful for the slant of sunlight, the different greens of leaves, the sweetness of pets, the soft chuckling of our chickens, for my husband’s amusing Albert Einstein hair.
Michelle Huneven (Search: A Novel)
The Chupacabra Sonnet Chihuahuas need guns for strength, They feel naked without concealed carry. To them I say, with all humility, Open your eyes muchacho - ¡chupacabra aquí! You may keep your gun, I won't say a word, But don't confuse them to be your safe haven. Own them in secret, but think of using them, And you'll face the wrath of this kraken. You may conceal, you may carry, if law allows, But dare not raise your gun at a reformador. To the wounded stranger I am ointment, But to the inhuman vermin I am volcano. Carrying a gun every moron feels like superman. Stand up to cruelty unarmed, then you are human.
Abhijit Naskar (High Voltage Habib: Gospel of Undoctrination)
Relatively lost in the din of the well-practiced post-shooting punditry is a path forward: if we want to stop mass shootings we have a stake in working together to stop violence against women.
Anne P. DePrince (Every 90 Seconds: Our Common Cause Ending Violence Against Women)
Bullets are for morons. Brain is mightier than a billion bullets.
Abhijit Naskar (Karadeniz Chronicle: The Novel)
In nearly all of the country’s nineteen thousand municipalities,117 declining or stagnant property tax revenues, along with mounting costs, have reached crisis proportions. The opioid crisis, the mass shootings, the rising rates of suicide, especially among middle-aged white males, the morbid obesity, the obsession with gambling, the investment of our emotional and intellectual life in tawdry spectacles, and the allure of magical thinking, from the absurd promises of the Christian right to the belief that reality is never an impediment to our desires, are the pathologies of a diseased culture. They have risen from a decayed world where opportunity, which confers status, self-esteem, and dignity, has dried up for most Americans. They are expressions of morbidity.
Chris Hedges (America: The Farewell Tour)
You know what?” Bryce said. “Who cares about any of them? My father, the Avallen Fae—screw them.” Only with Hunt could she be dismissive about this. He’d have her back, no matter what. “At least, until we get my parents onto that train.” “You still haven’t given me a convincing plan for how that will happen. For all we know, they’re learning about this on the news.” “Oh, my phone would already be exploding if my mother had heard.” She ran a hand through her hair. “Maybe I should ask Fury to sneak into their hotel and disable their phones.” “Is it bad if I think she should go one step further and tie them up, throw them in the trunk of a car, and drive them home so they get there before the news breaks? Because that’s what Fury will likely do if you send her to that hotel.” Bryce laughed, and the sound sang through her like silver bells. “Okay, no Fury.” She looped her arm through Hunt’s, savoring the muscled mass of him as she steered them toward the low gate and sidewalk beyond. “Let’s watch old episodes of Beach House Hookeup and come up with ways to trick my parents.” One of his wings brushed along her back in the softest caresses. Every inch it touched lit up like firstlight. “Sounds like a normal Tuesday night.” They meandered home, and despite Bryce’s flippant words, she found herself slipping into a state of roiling darkness and thoughts like shooting stars.
Sarah J. Maas (House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City, #2))
I’ve talked throughout this book about the importance of chosen suffering, its role in pleasure and meaning, and I’ll say more about this in the next and final chapter. But my assessment here of unchosen suffering is less positive. We try to tell stories about its value, and some of these stories may have some truth—we’ve seen some evidence that some amount of suffering in your life does make you kinder and more resilient. And it might be psychologically useful to try to find benefit in loss and pain. Still, this is a case where common sense is right: we are smart to try to avoid cancer, mass shootings, the death of our children, and other horrors. After all, even if suffering does have its benefits, it’s pretty likely that enough of it will come to you and those you love regardless of what you do. You don’t have to look for more.
Paul Bloom (The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning)
Chicago led the nation in shootings in the first six months of 2014, with more than 1,100. During the July 4, 2014, weekend alone, there were 84 shootings and 14 homicides in Chicago. Yet the corporate mass media failed to inform the public that Chicago, with some of
Jim Marrs (Population Control: How Corporate Owners Are Killing Us)
America’s worst mass shooting, historic flooding, and the worst pandemic in a century have all occurred in just a few years.
Steven Magee
In the wake of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, in 2015, which left ten dead and eight injured, Barack Obama responded with a familiar degree of frustration, though he also touched on an underappreciated angle to the debate over gun violence. “We spent over a trillion dollars and passed countless laws and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so,” he said. “And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?
Steve Benen (The Impostors: How Republicans Quit Governing and Seized American Politics)
Gun-Fetish (The Sonnet) When I was in my teenage years, I believed, having a gun would be so cool. Then I grew up and it occurred to me, Firearm fetish is but hysteria of the fool. Guns don't make the society safe, Any more than nukes ensure world peace. Civilians carrying personal firearm, Are but rabid dogs without a leash. If you are worried about self-defense, Daily practice some form of martial arts. Your gun is not only a threat to you, It is also a threat to your loved ones. So I beg you my responsible civilian sibling, Give up your gun and uphold peacemaking.
Abhijit Naskar (Gente Mente Adelante: Prejudice Conquered is World Conquered)
Mines and trenches were just the obvious applications. Teller also suggested using hydrogen bombs to change the weather, to melt ice to yield fresh water, and to mass-produce diamonds. (Another unconventional suggestion attributed to him was to close off the Strait of Gibraltar, making the Mediterranean a lake suitable for irrigating crops.) Ted Taylor, a bomb designer, argued that nuclear bombs would be able to drive a rocket into deep space, even to other stars.21 Teller even found the idea of bombing the moon incredibly enticing. “One will probably not resist for long the temptation to shoot at the moon . . . to observe what kind of disturbance it might cause,” he wrote.
Charles Seife (Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking)
The waves of liberation movements from the 1960s have disenchanted us vis à vis ‘old-fashioned’ restrictive values but have also forced upon us new codes of thought and behaviour, summarised in the clumsy phrase ‘political correctness’ and the morality of uncritical respect for difference and diversity. (I lazily say ‘us’ and, of course, this is not true for everyone.) We have learned from psychoanalysis that whatever is repressed will emerge projectively later or elsewhere, often in even more virulent forms. Hence, in recent years we have seen waves of paedophile scandals, celebrated cannibal cases, serial murders, school shootings and mass murders committed by terrorists. The naivety of the nice peaceful Left runs parallel to the converse unbridled greed of bankers, internet criminals, drug dealers and pornographers. These trends might scotch any illusions of linear and easy progress but they do not. If Dostoevsky’s over-quoted ‘If God does not exist, everything is permitted’ is true, nihilism steps into the vacuum, and subsequently moralistic alarm steps in to call for a return to traditional values. But Pandora’s box will not close, every demon is now loose.
Colin Feltham (Depressive Realism: Interdisciplinary perspectives (Explorations in Mental Health))
To put mass shootings in perspective, 1,600 times the number of Americans are killed annually on roads as in mass shootings. Of course, one is often the result of human error or inattention, while the other is almost always the result of a deranged mind. But in the end, a life lost is just that: a life lost. Further, the number of gun-related suicides dwarfs the number of gun-related mass killings. There were almost 300,000 gun-related suicides from 2000 through 2015, for an average of more than 18,500 per year. This might well be a problem, but it is surely not the problem that anyone is talking about when they refer to the “epidemic of gun violence.” We react to sensationalistic media coverage of the events that claim the fewest lives, by definition diverting our attention from those that claim the most.
Antony Davies (Cooperation and Coercion: How Busybodies Became Busybullies and What that Means for Economics and Politics)
These mass shootings resulted in 547 deaths over 27 years, for an average of 20 per year. You would never know this by watching television. While these sorts of mass shootings have remained remarkably constant over the years, media coverage of them has skyrocketed. Why? Because the media sells advertising, not news. And violence sells. We don’t have an epidemic of mass shootings, we have an epidemic of opportunism. How do you know? Because statistics on gun violence tend to get less attention than do anecdotes about gun violence.
Antony Davies (Cooperation and Coercion: How Busybodies Became Busybullies and What that Means for Economics and Politics)
Maybe moving through this world, in your body, is enough to make you feel constriction in your chest. Maybe you're holding someone close to you who is struggling and suffering. Maybe you are reeling from the latest mass shooting, or the refugee crisis at the border, or the looming threat of climate change, or the blistering pain of the global pandemic. Maybe, like me, you are breathless from all of the above. I thought my breathlessness was a sign of my weakness, until a wise friend told me what I wish to tell you: Your breathlessness is a sign of your bravery. It means you are awake to what's happening right now: The world is in transition.
Valarie Kaur (See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love)
Attempts to restrict gun access for people who’ve been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons don’t “work” to stop mass shootings because those people are not the source of the problem.
Ashley L. Peterson (A Brief History of Stigma)
Guns can be a strength in the hands of trained law enforcement officials and soldiers with character, but in the hands of civilians they are not just weakness, but a sickness. Without a trained host with character, a gun acts like a parasite, it not only makes the host sick both mentally and physically, but more importantly it sickens an entire society. Let me put this in perspective. In the hands of a civilian, snake venom is poison, in the hands of a scientist, it is medicine. So to put it in a nutshell - carry goodness, not guns. Civilization will never see the sun till the civilians reject their gun.
Abhijit Naskar (Mücadele Muhabbet: Gospel of An Unarmed Soldier)
Bullets are for morons. I'm a scientist, my brain is mightier than a billion bullets.
Abhijit Naskar (Karadeniz Chronicle: The Novel)
The year 2017 would become the deadliest to date for mass shootings in modern American history.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
If we are to raise a society of peace, the civilians must be stripped off their guns, just like they are stripped off all weapons-grade nuclear material.
Abhijit Naskar (Vatican Virus: The Forbidden Fiction)
there is a debate to be had over the question of whether the media’s laser-like focus on mass public shootings distorts what is, admittedly, a comparatively rare type of atrocity and makes it appear more common than it is; or worse, that their coverage might inspire future killers.
Seamus McGraw (From a Taller Tower: The Rise of the American Mass Shooter)
Though rampage shootings are rare in occurrence, the disproportionate amount of coverage they receive in the media leads the public to believe that they occur at a much more regular frequency than they do.
Seamus McGraw (From a Taller Tower: The Rise of the American Mass Shooter)
Semi-automatic guns don’t fire “rapid bursts” of bullets. Fifty-caliber sniper rifles were never covered by the federal assault weapons ban. Such weapons may be “super destructive,” but the New York Times neglects to mention that there is no recorded instance of one being used in a murder, and certainly not in a mass public shooting.8 “Urban assault vests” may sound like they are bulletproof, but they are actually just nylon vests with a lot of pockets.9 These are just a few of the many errors that the New York Times made in their news article.
John Lott (Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched "studies" have twisted the facts on gun control)
Of those shootings, 53 occurred in the United States and 2,354 happened in the rest of the world. While the US had about 4.6 percent of the world’s population during this period, it had just 2.20 percent of the mass public shootings.
John Lott (Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched "studies" have twisted the facts on gun control)
(and we still haven’t really talked about the fact that, of sixty-two mass shootings in the United States in three decades, only one was by a woman, because when you say lone gunman, everyone talks about loners and guns but not about men—and by the way, nearly two-thirds of all women killed by guns are killed by their partner or ex-partner).
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
a muslim man carries out a mass shooting...and he's called a terrorist, a white man does exactly the same thing and he's called a madman both sets are mad, Yazz I know, Warris I know -p58, from Girl, Woman, Other
Bernardine Evaristo
Between 1950 and June 2019, 94 percent of mass public shootings in the United States occurred in places where general citizens were banned from carrying.
John Lott (Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched "studies" have twisted the facts on gun control)
This new surge in morale had nothing to do with Churchill’s speech and everything to do with his gift for understanding how simple gestures could generate huge effects. What had infuriated Londoners was that during these night raids the Luftwaffe seemed free to come and go as it wished, without interference from the night-blind RAF and the city’s strangely quiescent anti-aircraft guns. Gun crews were under orders to conserve ammunition and fire only when aircraft were sighted overhead and, as a consequence, did little firing at all. On Churchill’s orders, more guns were brought to the city, boosting the total to nearly two hundred, from ninety-two. More importantly, Churchill now directed their crews to fire with abandon, despite his knowing full well that guns only rarely brought down aircraft. The orders took effect that Wednesday night, September 11. The impact on civic morale was striking and immediate. Crews blasted away; one official described it as “largely wild and uncontrolled shooting.” Searchlights swept the sky. Shells burst over Trafalgar Square and Westminster like fireworks, sending a steady rain of shrapnel onto the streets below, much to the delight of London’s residents. The guns raised “a momentous sound that sent a chattering, smashing, blinding thrill through the London heart,” wrote novelist William Sansom. Churchill himself loved the sound of the guns; instead of seeking shelter, he would race to the nearest gun emplacement and watch. The new cacophony had “an immense effect on people’s morale,” wrote private secretary John Martin. “Tails are up and, after the fifth sleepless night, everyone looks quite different this morning—cheerful and confident. It was a curious bit of mass psychology—the relief of hitting back.” The next day’s Home Intelligence reports confirmed the effect. “The dominating topic of conversation today is the anti-aircraft barrage of last night. This greatly stimulated morale: in public shelters people cheered and conversation shows that the noise brought a shock of positive pleasure.
Erik Larson (The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz)
Firearm fetish is but hysteria of the fool.
Abhijit Naskar (Gente Mente Adelante: Prejudice Conquered is World Conquered)
Forty-three percent of mass public shooters were seeing mental health care professionals prior to their shootings (Figure 15). The New York Times came up with a slightly higher number when it analyzed mass public shootings from 1949 to 1999.46 The results confirm something that we have known for a long time — it is very difficult for psychiatric professionals to know who will actually commit mass murder.
John Lott (Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched "studies" have twisted the facts on gun control)
Americans have a right to be concerned with the increased frequency and severity of mass public shootings in their own country. But the fact of the matter is that the rest of the world has it worse, and is definitely not an example for the U.S. to follow. The U.S. has high gun ownership rates, and it hasn’t resulted in any elevated level of mass public shootings.
John Lott (Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched "studies" have twisted the facts on gun control)
Both have the same top four preferred policies for stopping mass public shootings. American criminologists rate the following policies most highly: allow K-12 teachers to carry concealed handguns (with a survey score of 6), allow military personnel to carry on military bases (5.6), encourage the elimination of gun-free zones (5.3), and relax OSHA regulations that pressure companies to create gun-free zones (5). The top four policies for economists are the same, but in different order: encourage the elimination of gun-free zones (7.9), relax OSHA regulations that pressure companies to create gun-free zones (7.8), allow K-12 teachers to carry concealed handguns (7.7), and allow military personnel to carry on military bases (7.7).
John Lott (Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched "studies" have twisted the facts on gun control)
Your belly button is important for leg sweeps. Every sweep, throw, or takedown you have ever seen involves either removing a supporting foot (leaving the center of mass far away from the only remaining support) or shifting the center of mass away from the supporting feet in such a way as to make it difficult or impossible to move the feet back under the center of mass. The fact that we can describe all takedowns so succinctly means we can also boil all of their complexity down to simple concepts. Anytime you practice a sweep, throw, or takedown, ask yourself these two questions: Q1: How are you putting your opponent’s center of mass in a position where it is unsupported? Q2: Why is it that your opponent cannot just reposition his feet in time to save himself? If you can answer those two questions, you are on your way to developing a deep understanding and mastery of the technique. Alternatively, if you find yourself on the receiving end of a takedown, it would be to your advantage to understand the answers to these questions as well, so you can do your best to keep your opponent from putting you on the floor. Let’s look at a simple example here, so when it comes time for you to answer these questions yourself, you have somewhere to start. The simplest and perhaps most effective takedown we see in the ring today is the wrestler’s favorite: get low and shoot the legs. There are, of course, many variations and many subtleties to the technique, but for now, we will stick to the basics. Q1: How are you putting your opponent’s center of mass in a position where it is unsupported? A1: Your shoulder is pushing your opponent’s center of mass behind and possibly to the side of his supporting feet as you charge in. Q2: Why is it that your opponent cannot just reposition his feet in time to save himself? A2: Getting a hand behind one or both knees will assure you your opponent is not capable of recovery as you advance. While focusing on these questions will not grant you immediate mastery of the technique, it will get you started thinking like a scientist when it comes to takedowns, and over time, the “magic” behind them will start to seem more and more like common sense.
Jason Thalken (Fight Like a Physicist: The Incredible Science Behind Martial Arts (Martial Science))
It was quite common for households in towns like mine to have BB rifles, commonly called slug guns. These were air rifles that shot very tiny soft lead pellets called slugs. They weren’t that lethal unless you shot at very close range, but they could blind you if you got shot in the eye. Most teenagers had them to control pests like rats, or to stun rabbits. However, most kids used them to shoot empty beer cans lined up on the back fence, practising their aim for the day they were old enough to purchase a serious firearm. Fortunately, a law banning guns was introduced in Australia in 1996 after thirty-five innocent people were shot with a semi-automatic weapon in a mass shooting in Tasmania. The crazy shooter must have had a slug gun when he was a teenager. But this was pre-1996. And my brothers, of course, loved shooting. My cousin Billy, who was sixteen years old at the time – twice my age – came to visit one Christmas holiday from Adelaide. He loved coming to the outback and getting feral with the rest of us. He also enjoyed hitting those empty beer cans with the slug gun. Billy wasn’t the best shooter. His hand-eye coordination was poor, and I was always convinced he needed to wear glasses. Most of the slugs he shot either hit the fence or went off into the universe somewhere. The small size of the beer cans frustrated him, so he was on the lookout for a bigger target. Sure enough, my brothers quickly pushed me forward and shouted, ‘Here, shoot Betty!’ Billy laughed, but loved the idea. ‘Brett, stand back a bit and spread your legs. I’ll shoot between them just for fun.’ Basically, he saw me as an easy target, and I wasn’t going to argue with a teenager who had a weapon in his hand. I naively thought it could be a fun game with my siblings and cousin; perhaps we could take turns. So, like a magician’s assistant, I complied and spread my skinny young legs as far apart as an eight-year-old could, fully confident he would hit the dust between them . . . Nope. He didn’t. He shot my leg, and it wasn’t fun. Birds burst out of all the surrounding trees – not from the sound of the gunshot, but from my piercing shriek of pain. While I rolled around on the ground, screaming in agony, clutching my bleeding shin, my brothers were screaming with laughter. I even heard one of them shout, ‘Shoot him while he’s down!’ Who needs enemies when you have that kind of brotherly love? No one rushed to help; they simply moved to the back fence to line up the cans for another round. I crawled inside the house with blood dripping down my leg, seeking Mum, the nurse, to patch me up. To this day, I have a scar on my leg as a souvenir from that incident . . . and I still think Billy needed glasses. I also still get very anxious when anyone asks me to spread my legs.
Brett Preiss (The (un)Lucky Sperm: Tales of My Bizarre Childhood - A Funny Memoir)
If serial murder is, in essence, a sex crime, mass murder is almost always a suicidal one. In blind, apocalyptic fury, the mass murderer has decided to go out with a bang and take as many people with him as possible. Typically, once the bloodbath is over, the mass murderer will either end his own life or provoke a fatal shoot-out with the police (“suicide by cop,” as it is called).
Harold Schechter (The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers)
The scythe went down the ranks, in cities and provinces, lopping the heads of the Party apparatuses, of intellectuals, activists. Nearly the entire Party Central Committee was killed; nearly the entire Soviet war council; nearly the entire Red Army command, starting with its head, Tukhachevsky; 35,000 officers; most Soviet ambassadors, almost the entire staffs of Pravda and Izvestia, most of the officials of the Cheka (including its head, Yagoda), most of the leaders of the Young Communist League . . . From late 1936 into 1939 the slaughter went on. The tortures and shootings that took place in the basement of the Lubyanka, headquarters of the security police, must have set a world record for one building.
Dan Levin (Stormy Petrel: The Life and Work of Maxim Gorky)
Civilians have a right to firearms no more than they have a right to Uranium-235.
Abhijit Naskar (Heart Force One: Need No Gun to Defend Society)
There are more public mass shootings in America than in any other country, and the United States has one of the highest rates of gun deaths in the developed world, according to the World Health Organization.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
normalization of mass shootings.
Jason F. Stanley (How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them)
One study, for example, involved a video game that placed photographs of white and black individuals holding either a gun or other object (such as a wallet, soda can, or cell phone) into various photographic backgrounds. Participants were told to decide as quickly as possible whether to shoot the target. Consistent with earlier studies, participants were more likely to mistake a black target as armed when he was not and mistake a white target as unarmed when in fact he was armed.42 This pattern of discrimination reflected automatic, unconscious thought processes, not careful deliberations.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Those mass shootings that are happening need to be scrutinized for false flag clues, including CIA-mind control of the shooters. We
J. Micha-el Thomas Hays (Rise of the New World Order: The Culling of Man)
expecting 1-3 mass shootings in close succession to shock the public into clamoring for gun control right before the vaccine becomes available so people can’t resist it by shooting whoever is trying to jab them.
J. Micha-el Thomas Hays (Rise of the New World Order: Book Series Update and Urgent Status Report : Vol. 2 (Rise of the New World Order Status Report))
We were dancing on election night. I felt energy in my body. I felt joy... Joy returns us to everything that is good and beautiful and worth fighting for. In joy, we see even darkness with new eyes. I was not alone. I was one in millions. I was part of a movement. One in a constellation. I had to shine my light in my specific slice of sky. I could do that. I did not know then all the crises yet to come, the rise of white nationalists who held this presidency as their great awakening, mass detentions and deportations, Muslim bans, zero tolerance policies separating migrant children from their parents, attacks on the rights of queer and trans people, assaults on women and women's rights, and new mass shootings and hate violence against Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, black people, Latinx people, indigenous people, and immigrants. All I knew was that the future was dark. And that as it got darker and more violent people would get tired, go numb, and retreat into whatever privilege they might have. I wanted to help people stay in the fire. I wanted to help myself stay in the fire. I concluded that revolutionary love was the call of our times and started building the tools to practice it.
Valarie Kaur (See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love)
Something about the United States seemed to provide a fertile medium for culturing hate groups, irrational scapegoats, mass shootings, and the blame game.
Nancy Kress (Tomorrow's Kin (Yesterday's Kin Trilogy, #1))
By right we arm but by love, disarm. Now is the nation called to love. By gun control we challenge not your rights to arms but your heart to sacrifice that love entails. So give me not a reading of the law but tales of love's deeds in hearts and homes -- how racks have shed arms like autumn leaves and turned the land from red to gold.
Agona Apell
Forty-three percent of mass public shooters were seeing mental health care professionals prior to their shootings
John Lott (Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched "studies" have twisted the facts on gun control)
For a while, therefore, it looked like the great heat wave would be like mass shootings in the United States—mourned by all, deplored by all, and then immediately forgotten or superseded by the next one, until they came in a daily drumbeat and became the new normal.
Kim Stanley Robinson (The Ministry for the Future)
Robocall Went Out Day After Mass Shooting
Anonymous
These discussions may feel like “playing” to you, but to many people in the room, it’s their lives you are “playing” with. The reason it feels like a game to you is because these are issues that probably do not directly affect you. It doesn’t matter whether most mass shootings are targeted at women who rejected the gunman if you are a man – though it should, since misogyny kills men too. If you are white, it doesn’t matter whether people of color are being racially profiled or not. You can attach puppet strings to dialogues about real issues because at the end of the day, you can walk away from the tangled mess you’ve exacerbated.
Anonymous
I led my portion of the rearguard across the open ground to the right of the prince’s battalion, and surged into the first company of Castilian reinforcements as they tried to arrange into a defensive line. They were well-equipped foot with steel helms and leather jacks, glaives and axes, but demoralised and unwilling to stand against a charge of heavy horse. I skewered a serjeant in the front rank with my lance and rode over him as the men behind him scattered, yelling in fear and hurling their banners away as they ran. If all the Castilians had behaved in such a manner, we would have had an easy time of it, but now Enrique flung his household knights into the fray. It had started to rain heavily, sheets of water blown by strong winds across the battlefield, and a phalanx of Castilian lancers on destriers came plunging out of the murk, smashing into the front rank of my division. A lance shattered against my cuisse, almost knocking me from the saddle, but I kept my seat and slashed at the knight with my broadsword as he hurtled past, chopping an iron leaf from the chaplet encircling his basinet, but doing no other damage. My men held together under the Castilian charge, and soon there was a fine swirling mêlée in progress. I was surrounded by visored helms and glittering blades, men yelling and horses screaming, and glimpsed my standard bearer ahead of me, shouting and fending off two Castilians with the butt of his lance. Another Englishman rode in to help him, throwing his arms around one of the Castilians and heaving him out of the saddle with sheer brute strength, and then a fresh wave of steel and horseflesh, thrown up by the violent, shifting eddies of battle, closed over them and shut off my view. I couldn’t bear to lose my banner again, and charged into the mass of fighting men, clearing a path with the sword’s edge. A mace or similar hammered against my back-plate, sending bolts of agony shooting up my spine, and my foot slipped out of the stirrup as I leaned drunkenly in the saddle, black spots reeling before my eyes.
David Pilling (The Half-Hanged Man (The Half-Hanged Man, #1-3))
A recent survey of Top Five Fears places public speaking alongside “identity theft” and “mass shootings.” In the 1980s, it completed with “nuclear destruction.” In the 1970s, “shark attack.
John Capecci and Timothy Cage (Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference)
Three billion of the people on the planet – approximately half – are destitute. They live in shocking poverty. There are 10 million children dying of easily preventable causes every year - things like starvation, thirst, cholera. Billions of people lack any form of health care. Billions of people lack access to basics like clean water, adequate food and safe housing. Environmentally, we are raping the planet in hundreds of ways. A mass extinction event is looming on the horizon, yet we appear unmotivated to do anything at all to prevent it. Humans are constantly at war, constantly killing one another somewhere in the world. Crime seems rampant. In the United states, over two million citizens are incarcerated. We have thousands of nuclear warheads, enough to kill all of humanity many times over, all loaded into rockets that we can launch at a moment's notice simply by pushing a few buttons. We have spent trillions of dollars building and stockpiling conventional weapons designed to kill fellow humans in a thousand different ways. We can shoot them, bomb them, grenade them, poison them, burn them, etc. Humans often seem intent on bringing misery to other humans: terrorism, dictatorships, warlords, slavery, torture, unjust imprisonment, sweatshops, corruption, murder, mayhem, crime, etc. can be found all over the planet. The concentration of wealth is extreme and seems unstoppable, so a very small percentage of the planet's population owns half of the planet's wealth, while billions of others have nothing. In many cases and at many different levels we seem unable to control ourselves or to stop ourselves even when we know we are wrong.
Marshall Brain (The Second Intelligent Species: How Humans Will Become as Irrelevant as Cockroaches)
There was little resistance from the Jews. Russian civilians were co-operative, though there is one recorded act of a local mayor shot for trying ‘to help the Jews’.149 Quite small groups of killers disposed of enormous numbers. In Riga, one officer and twenty-one men killed 10,600 Jews. In Kiev, two small detachments of C killed over 30,000. A second sweep began at the end of 1941 and lasted throughout 1942. This killed over 900,000. Most Jews were murdered by shooting, outside the towns, at ditches turned into graves. During the second sweep, mass graves were dug first. The killers shot the Jews in the back of the neck, the method used by the Soviet secret police, or by the ‘sardine method’. Under this, the first layer stretched themselves at the bottom of the grave and were killed from above. The next layer lay down on top of the first bodies, heads facing the feet. There were five or six layers, then the grave was filled in.
Paul Johnson (History of the Jews)
The most realistic violent threat to the American people no longer comes out of the sky on the tip of a missile. It now comes out of the barrel of a gun.
Louis Klarevas (Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shootings)
On April 20, 1999, I woke up an ordinary wife and mother, happy to be shepherding my family through the daily business of work, chores, and school. Fast-forward twenty-four hours, and I was the mother of a hate-crazed gunman responsible for the worst school shooting in history. And Dylan, my golden boy, was not only dead, but a mass murderer. The
Sue Klebold (A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy)
But of all that he saw, what gripped him the most were the light flashes in the darkened atmosphere that he had seen before—but always high, high above him. Meteors blazing through the atmosphere, shooting stars beneath him, the fireflies of space dashing blindly through cremation. Then came the moment. Deke would never forget it. He became part of a wonder that opened all space to him. Meteors flashed in greater number than he had yet seen, the spattered debris of ancient planetary formation and collisions of rock consumed by the atmosphere of Earth. Something he could not measure in size, but unquestionably large, perhaps even huge, rushed at earth with tremendous velocity. The meteor hurtled in toward his home planet, but at an angle that would send it skimming along the upper reaches of the atmosphere, almost parallel with earth’s surface below. Deke first saw the intruder when it punched deep enough into earth’s air ocean, grazing the edges of the atmosphere with a speed he could not judge, except that it was a rogue body, gravity-whipped to tremendous velocity. It tore into thin air; instantly its outer surface began to burn, its front edges blazing like a giant welding torch gone mad. It skipped along the atmosphere and gained an upward thrusting lift, like a flat rock hurled across smooth water. Deke gazed in wonder at the sight and watched the burning invader continue its journey along the atmosphere and then flash beyond. Away now from the clutches of air, still burning, it left behind an ionized trail of particles and superheated gases. Now away from Earth, it lofted high and far until it raced beyond Earth’s shadow. Sunlight flashed through the ionized trail, and the departing mass created its own record of passage, enduring long enough for Deke to watch until the last flicker, the final gleam, was gone. He felt he should not lower his gaze. His vision moved along the arrowing path of the now invisible wanderer of the solar system, and Deke stared, unblinking, as the mass of stars in his own galaxy shone down on him, an uncountable array of suns, stars he knew were smaller than his own sun, many vastly greater in size and energy, but all members of the great pin-wheeled Milky Way of which Deke and his world were one tiny member. He was
Alan Shepard (Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon)
Dennis Tueller, a Salt Lake City police officer and firearms instructor (since retired), asked just this question.  Uniformed officers are routinely faced with impact weapon bearing suspects.  So it’s natural for Tueller to wonder how far away a suspect can be and still use an impact weapon against an officer before he could defend himself. To answer his question, Tueller ran a bunch of empirical studies.  Which is just a fancy way of saying he ran a bunch of students through the exercise that would later become the Tueller Drill. Tueller learned that most officers can get a service pistol out of a holster and engage a threat with center-mass hits within 1.5 seconds.  So the question then becomes, how much distance can a bad guy cross in 1.5 seconds?  Timing a great many students running from a standing start, Tueller learned that someone can go about 21 feet in 1.5 seconds.  So 21 feet became the “Tueller distance,” or the maximum distance from a police officer a person can use an impact weapon against the officer before the officer can shoot them.  The Tueller Drill is often referred to as the “21 foot rule,” or the “7 yard rule.”  This really obscures the real take-home message of the Tueller Drill.  The value is not some particular distance.  What matters is your “Tueller distance.” People’s draw speeds vary.  Your Tueller distance will be greater or less than 21 feet depending on your ability to get the gun unholstered and pointed center-mass. The real lesson of the Tueller Drill is that someone armed with an impact weapon has the opportunity to use it at a far greater distance than most think—and certainly much greater distances than a juror might have otherwise thought.  If you imagine the length of typical American parking space, and add another three paces, you’ll be right about at 21 feet.
Andrew F. Branca (The Law of Self Defense)
victim-resolved incidents result in far fewer fatalities than shooter-resolved incidents. Additionally, police-resolved shootings produce more casualties than victim-resolved shootings.
Chris Bird (Surviving a Mass Killer Rampage: When Seconds Count, Police Are Still Minutes Away)
The most frequent use of a gun in self-defense is when an ordinary citizen feels threatened by a human predator and produces a gun — usually a handgun. The potential robber, rapist, or murderer sees the gun, realizes his victim-selection process needs revision, and takes off faster than a shotgun slug goes through a sheet-rock wall. No one gets hurt. Usually, the incident is not reported to the police, and there is seldom a report of the incident in the local paper or on the local television news — no blood, no story. At the other end of the media-attention scale is when a disturbed individual turns up at a place where many people congregate — a school, a mall, a church, a workplace — and starts shooting, killing and wounding as many as possible. It is these incidents that get national attention across the air-waves, cable television, and newspapers. Screams for more gun control by the country’s professional whiners, who think more laws will solve everything, typically follow. They hate the idea of ordinary citizens carrying concealed handguns for protection, and they hate the people who take responsibility for their own safety.
Chris Bird (Surviving a Mass Killer Rampage: When Seconds Count, Police Are Still Minutes Away)
confirmation of the advice of John Benner and others not to give a statement to law enforcement right after the shooting. This is why it has become standard practice not to interview an officer involved in a shooting for a day or two after the event. What is good for the officer should be good for the public.
Chris Bird (Surviving a Mass Killer Rampage: When Seconds Count, Police Are Still Minutes Away)
A reflection on the stainless steel cupboard door to his left. Just a blur of motion, but he understood its meaning and spun around to see a pantry door swinging open hard, a dark-haired woman charging out of the darkness, her handgun rapidly coming into line with his position. Victor reacted faster, shooting first, two shots, hitting centre mass. The impact knocked her off her feet and threw her backwards into the adjoining room from where she’d emerged. He covered the distance fast, saw her lying on her back, alive, eyes closed, two small circles of blood around the scorch marks in her blouse. She was gasping, one lung collapsed. The gun was right next to her, but she didn’t try to get to it. She was too scared.
Tom Wood (The Hunter (Victor the Assassin, #1))
Yes, writing is a weapon, Delphine, a bloody weapon of mass destruction. Writing is even more powerful than anything you can imagine. Writing is a weapon for defense, shooting, alarm. Writing is a grenade, a missile, a flame-thrower, a weapon of war. It can lay things waste; it can also rebuild.
Delphine de Vigan (Based on a True Story)
Lockdown America, especially the mass incarceration and police violence that target poor communities of color, drive such leaders underground. Often, they have been murdered by the police. The Black Panther Party leaders, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, who were murdered by Chicago police, together offer perhaps the most memorable case in point. The Philadelphia police bombing and shooting of MOVE Organization members is another example, as discussed at the outset of Part One of this book.
Mark Lewis Taylor (The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America)
No matter how you look at it, Obama is wrong in saying that America leads the world in mass public shootings. It is wrong even when we look at mass public shootings as they are traditionally defined: four or more deaths in a public place. Many European countries actually have higher rates of death from mass public shootings. It is simply a matter of adjusting for America’s much larger population. Norway, after all, only has a population of 5 million people.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
Occasionally the three days will lapse without the FBI completing its background check. When that happens, a buyer, who has waited the three days, can purchase and pick up a gun without the completed background check. That's what
Antaeus (Surviving The Threat: Terrorist Attacks, Mass Shootings, and Dangerous Situations)
NOTHING CAN GO FASTER THAN LIGHT Of course the idea that there is an ultimate speed limit seems absurd. While the speed of light is very high by earthly standards, the magnitude is not the point; any kind of speed limit in nature doesn't make sense. Suppose, for example, that a spaceship is traveling at almost the speed of light. Why can't you fire the engine again and make it go faster-or if necessary, build another ship with a more powerful engine? Or if a proton is whirling around in a cyclotron at close to the speed of light, why can't you give it additional energy boosts and make it go faster? Intuitive explanation. When we think of the spaceship and the proton as made of fields, not as solid objects, the idea is no longer ridiculous. Fields can't move infinitely fast. Changes in a field propagate in a "laborious" manner, with a change in intensity at one point causing a change at nearby points, in accordance with the field equations. Consider the wave created when you drop a stone in water: The stone generates a disturbance that moves outward as the water level at one point affects the level at another point, and there is nothing we can do to speed it up. Or consider a sound wave traveling through air: The disturbance in air pressure propagates as the pressure at one point affects the pressure at an adjacent point, and we can't do anything to speed it up. In both cases the speed of travel is determined by properties of the transmitting medium- air and water, and there are mathematical equations that describe those properties. Fields are also described by mathematical equations, based on the properties of space. It is the constant c in those equations that determines the maximum speed of propagation. If the field has mass, there is also a mass term that slows down the propagation speed further. Since everything is made of fields - including protons and rocketships - it is clear that nothing can go faster than light. As Frank Wilczek wrote, One of the most basic results of special relativity, that the speed of light is a limiting velocity for the propagation of any physical influence, makes the field concept almost inevitable. - F. Wilczek ("The persistence of Ether", p. 11, Physics Today, Jan. 1999) David Bodanis tried to make this point in the following way: Light will always be a quick leapfrogging of electricity out from magnetism, and then of magnetism leaping out from electricity, all swiftly shooting away from anything trying to catch up to it. That's why it's speed can be an upper limit - D. Bodanis However, Bodanis only told part of the story. It is only when we recognize that everything, not just light, is made of fields that we can conclude that there is a universal speed limit.
Rodney A. Brooks (Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Einstein)
NOTHING CAN GO FASTER THAN LIGHT Of course the idea that there is an ultimate speed of light is very high by earthly standards, the magnitude is not the point; any kind of speed limit in nature doesn't make sense. Suppose, for example, that a spaceship is traveling at almost the speed of light. Why can't you fire the engine again and make it go faster-or if necessary, build another ship with a more powerful engine? Or if a proton is whirling around in a cyclotron at close to the speed of light, why can't you give it additional energy boosts and make it go faster? Intuitive explanation. When we think of the spaceship and the proton as made of fields, not as solid objects, the idea is no longer ridiculous. Fields can't move infinitely fast. Changes in a field propagate in a "laborious" manner, with a change in intensity at one point causing a change at nearby points, in accordance with the field equations. Consider the wave created when you drop a stone in water: The stone generates a disturbance that moves outward as the water level at one point affects the level at another point, and there is nothing we can do to speed it up. Or consider a sound wave traveling through air: The disturbance in air pressure propagates as the pressure at one point affects the pressure at an adjacent point, and we can't do anything to speed it up. In both cases the speed of travel is determined by properties of the transmitting medium- air and water, and there are mathematical equations that describe those properties. Fields are also described by mathematical equations, based on the properties of space. It is the constant c in those equations that determines the maximum speed of propagation. If the field has mass, there is also a mass term that slows down the propagation speed further. Since everything is made of fields - including protons and rocketships - it is clear that nothing can go faster than light. As Frank Wilczek wrote, One of the most basic results of special relativity, that the speed of light is a limiting velocity for the propagation of any physical influence, makes the field concept almost inevitable. - F. Wilczek ("The persistence of Ether", p. 11, Physics Today, Jan. 1999) David Bodanis tried to make this point in the following way: Light will always be a quick leapfrogging of electricity out from magnetism, and then of magnetism leaping out from electricity, all swiftly shooting away from anything trying to catch up to it. That's why it's speed can be an upper limit - D. Bodanis However, Bodanis only told part of the story. It is only when we recognize that everything, not just light, is made of fields that we can conclude that there is a universal speed limit.
Rodney A. Brooks (Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Einstein)
This is how a rocket works. At first it is standing still, say, in empty space, and then it shoots some gas out of the back, and the rocket goes forward. The point is that of all the stuff in the world, the centre of mass, the average of all the mass, is still right where it was before. The interesting part has moved on, and an uninteresting part that we do not care about has moved back. There
Richard P. Feynman (The Character of Physical Law)
Only a fundamentally sick society that worships and glorifies killing, one which is at the head of global imperialism but prefers not to notice, which can flip the channel without a second thought when women and children are ripped to pieces every day with weapons paid for by its own taxes...only such a society has this problem [chronic mass shootings]. Notice that every so called "terrorist" organization is a direct product of either US intelligence or US policy (usually both).
Eric Draitser
Despite the continual calls for expanded background checks after mass public shootings, there is no evidence that background checks on private transfers of guns would have prevented any of the attacks. Nor is there any statistical evidence that indicates that these mass public shootings are rarer in states with background checks on private transfers. What we do find is that fatalities and injuries from mass public shootings increased in states after they imposed background checks on private transfers. States with background checks on private transfers tended to have relatively low rates of murders and injuries from mass public shootings before the passage of background checks on private transfers, and these rates became relatively high afterwards. Clearly, there is no evidence that these laws lower mass public shootings. There are real costs of expanding background checks to private transfers. In particular, the fees on private transfers reduce gun ownership, particularly among law-abiding poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas and who benefit the most from protecting themselves; they will be the ones most likely priced out of owning guns for protection. Without some benefits in terms of either reduced crime or mass public shootings, it is hard to see how these rules pass any type of cost-benefit test.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
The NYPD began collecting data on pedestrian stops following the shooting of Amadou Diallo, an African immigrant who died in a hail of police bullets on the front steps of his own home in February 1999. Diallo was followed to his apartment building by four white police officers—members of the elite Street Crime Unit—who viewed him as suspicious and wanted to interrogate him. They ordered him to stop, but, according to the officers, Diallo did not respond immediately. He walked a bit farther to his apartment building, opened the door, and retrieved his wallet—probably to produce identification. The officers said they thought the wallet was a gun, and fired forty-one times. Amadou Diallo died at the age of twenty-two. He was unarmed and had no criminal record.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Many gun control academics use language that is hardly scholarly, attacking academics they disagree with as being paid off by the “execrable NRA.” They claim that “gun sellers call the shots at the NRA.”5 They accuse others of having “blood on [their] hands” or being a “blight on democracy.” Apparently, finding evidence of defensive gun uses brings “harm to the democratic process.”6 There are other less obvious claims that are just as outrageous. No, the United States isn’t unique in terms of mass public shootings or homicides. No, gun bans don’t make people safer. Background checks on private transfers haven’t stopped mass public shootings or any other type of crime in the U.S. or other countries. Background checks are racist. And there are real problems with background checks that harm the most vulnerable. Gun control advocates have it backwards when they claim that gun makers have something to learn about how to reduce accidents from looking at government regulation of cars.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
Why is it only in these gun-free zones that we see so many people killed? Attackers have good reason to target gun-free zones. As shown earlier, concealed carry permit holders have stopped many mass public shootings. In addition to the cases listed earlier, mass public shootings have been stopped in Pearl, Mississippi; Edinboro, Pennsylvania; Grundy, Virginia; Memphis, Tennessee; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; and Salt Lake City, Utah. It has happened at colleges, in busy downtowns, in churches, in malls, and outside apartment buildings. Concealed carry saves lives everywhere. Mass public shooters avoid places where victims can defend themselves. After all, how quickly people can arrive with a gun to stop the attack reduces the number of likely victims and the publicity that the killer will be able to get.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
Mass public shootings have been the central focus of much of that change. As we showed earlier, there hasn’t been a significant increase in occurrences since the late 1970s. These are indeed horrible attacks, and something needs to be done to stop them, but the frequency and severity of these attacks hasn’t changed during the Obama administration. By themselves, these attacks can’t explain the change in the political atmosphere. What might explain the difference is President Obama’s relentless war on guns during his second term. Presidents have a huge megaphone, and gun control is an issue that has resonated with the media. In summary, mass public shooters differ from other mass killers in many systematic ways. They usually die at the scene of the crime. And over half are known to have suffered from mental illness prior to the attack. The killers also carefully plan out their attacks: almost all take place where civilians are not allowed to defend themselves. The typical attack involving so-called “assault weapons” is no deadlier than those involving other types of weapons.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
In the era of an overloaded electromagnetic radiation environment, it is not surprising to see sharks becoming aggressive towards humans and frequent mass shootings being a normal aspect of USA culture.
Steven Magee
Stephen Paddock had a pilot's license and flew small airplanes in the past. The altitudes that he flew at and whether he used oxygen above 10,000 feet in un-pressurized planes to prevent Cerebral Hypoxia from occurring is unknown. The highest altitude that he has been exposed to in an un-pressurized environment is a mystery. In 2017 he committed the worst mass shooting in modern USA history, killing many and wounding hundreds.
Steven Magee
My opinions about Holmes’s legal sanity were similar to Dr. Metzner’s: as of July 20, 2012, Holmes did not suffer from a mental disease or defect that prevented him from forming a culpable mental state. Regardless of any mental disorder or psychiatric symptoms he may have had at those relevant times, he knew that his shootings and killings would be, and were, illegal and socially wrong. He knew that others, including law enforcement officers and his psychiatrists, would try to stop him if they were aware of what he was planning to do. He knew the consequences to others, and to himself, of his actions, and he knowingly intended to carry them out in spite of their illegality and those likely consequences. He also understood the moral—as contrasted with legal—wrongfulness of his shootings and killings.
William H. Reid (A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings)
According to a 2000 New York Times study of 100 "rampage" mass murders, where 425 people were killed and 510 injured, the killers: 1. Often have serious mental health issues 2. Are not usually motivated by exposure to videos, movies, or television 3. Are not using alcohol or other drugs at the time of the attacks 4. Are often unemployed 5. Are sometimes female 6. Are not usually Satanists or racists 7. Are most often white males although a few are Asian or African American 8. Sometimes have college degrees or some years of college 9. Often have military experience 10. Give lots of pre-attack warning signals 11. Often carry semiautomatic weapons obtained legally 12. Often do no attempt escape 13. Half commit suicide or are killed by others 14. Most have a death wish (Fessenden, 2000)
Eric W. Hickey (Serial Murderers and Their Victims)
He maintained later that he stopped seeing Fenton because he lost his insurance when he dropped out of graduate school, implying that if she’d kept seeing him, he wouldn’t have committed the Century 16 murders.
William H. Reid (A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings)
To those who don’t understand why Fenton or Feinstein didn’t simply put Holmes into a hospital whether he wanted to go or not: it just doesn’t work that way. Protection from unjustified confinement is a very important civil right in the United States.
William H. Reid (A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings)
Some people tried to predict the next mass shooting based on risk factors and traveled to the sites in anticipation, like tornado hunters chasing funnel clouds.
Tom McAllister (How to Be Safe)
I did not find, and don’t believe today, that Holmes met accepted psychiatric criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia or its even more serious cousin, schizoaffective disorder, at the time of the shootings.
William H. Reid (A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings)
Here's the reality, guys: you save up for years to go 'Out West' and you spend everything you have in six months living in a roach infested hole in K-town, paying for "casting workshops" so you can meet managers and casting directors who don't give two shits about you. You cut your hair a little bit or grow a moustache and you have to get new headshots because people in Hollywood fundamentally lack imagination and can't even begin to fathom 'who you are as an actor' unless your headshot looks exactly like you do on the day of. And headshots cost $300 to shoot (on the cheap end) and $100 for make-up artists and $100 to retouch and $100 to print. Plus, you need a car to get around because mass transit in Los Angeles is a goddam joke. You need to get into class so you can learn how to unlearn all the shit you learned in college theater. Meanwhile, you're in love with the city because it's new and warm all the time and there are beautiful women everywhere. But you start getting this creeping sensation like everyone is a facade of a human being and beneath every beautiful face is spiritual rot, careerism, graft, nepotism, bull shit, lies, fakery, a need to be seen and an overwhelming whorism. But don't worry, guys, because you can always get a job working as a bartender where you can sneak booze from the well and forget for a few minutes what it's like to be on the bottom of the totem pole. That's a lot of fun, especially when you discover that cocaine means you can drink forever and not get too wasted until later. You'll get a DUI eventually, but fuck it, right? Around this time you start to get bitter. Really bitter, which you'll mistake as an 'evolution of your art.' You start looking for edgy rolls. You get a dumb haircut and try to make yourself look ugly. Maybe you hit the gym or start doing improv. Something to give you an edge. You start seeing young kids coming into town all bright eyed and bushy tailed and you say 'good luck' when you mean 'eat shit and die.' You wake up one day after endless commercial auditions that you really need to make rent but can't seem to book because you 'come off as an asshole' or don't smile enough...
Dan Johnson (Brea or Tar)
The morning after the shooting, Kenny watched the first press conference at MSD. Superintendent Runcie said: Students have been reaching out to me, reaching out to staff, probably board members and others saying that now, now is the time for this country to have a real conversation on sensible gun control laws in this country. So, our students are asking for that conversation. And I hope that we can get it done in this generation, but if we don’t, they will.1 Kenny yelled at the TV, “Can’t you just fucking wait until the bodies are buried?” Kenny didn’t have strong opinions on gun control, and no one in his family owned a gun. But the morning after a mass murder seemed way too soon to make any kind of political argument. He only grew angrier when Runcie called on the Florida Legislature to allocate more funding to mental health. Later in the press conference, Sheriff Israel admitted, “There are some bodies that are still in the school. It’s a process.” That’s when something inside of Kenny flipped. The bodies of children who had been murdered under Runcie’s leadership were still lying on the schoolhouse floor directly behind him, and he had already started politicking.
Andrew Pollack (Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America's Students)
The testing instruments Dr. Gray and Dr. Manguso used also had elements to uncover different kinds of malingering, lack of interest in answering, and random answers. “Malingering” is a more complicated concept than simply trying to look sick when one is actually well. Some people try to “fake bad,” to appear sicker or more mentally ill than they are. Others, including some criminal defendants who don’t like the idea of being called crazy, try to “fake good”—that is, to look normal.
William H. Reid (A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings)
Every time there is a mass shooting in the USA, I wonder if the shooter was an insane masturbator.
Steven Magee
But here’s what you’ve got to understand. When you look at black people, you see ghosts of all the slavery and the rapes and the hangings and the chains. When you look at Jews, you see ghosts of all those bodies piled up in the death camps. And those ghosts keep you trying to do the right thing. “But when you look at us you don’t see the ghosts of the little babies with their heads smashed in by rifle butts at the Big Hole, or the old folks dying by the side of the trail on the way to Oklahoma while their families cried and tried to make them comfortable, or the dead mothers at Wounded Knee or the little kids at Sand Creek who were shot for target practice. You don’t see any ghosts at all. “Instead you see casinos and drunks and junk cars and shacks. “Well, we see those ghosts. And they make our hearts sad and they hurt our little children. And when we try to say something, you tell us, ‘Get over it. This is America. Look at the American dream.’ But as long as you’re calling us Redskins and doing tomahawk chops, we can’t look at the American dream, because those things remind us that we’re not real human beings to you. And when people aren’t humans, you can turn them into slaves or kill six million of them or shoot them down with Hotchkiss guns and throw them into mass graves at Wounded Knee. “No, we’re not looking at the American dream, Nerburn. And why should we? We still haven’t woken up from the American nightmare.
Kent Nerburn (The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder's Journey through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows)
In total, as of this writing in October 2015, there have been 972 mass shootings since the Sandy Hook murders, resulting in at least 1,217 people dead and 3,509 wounded.
Bill Press (Buyer's Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down)
In scores of cities all over the United States, when the Communists were simultaneously meeting at their various headquarters on New Year’s Day of 1920, Mr. Palmer’s agents and police and voluntary aides fell upon them—fell upon everybody, in fact, who was in the hall, regardless of whether he was a Communist or not (how could one tell?)—and bundled them off to jail, with or without warrant. Every conceivable bit of evidence—literature, membership lists, books, papers, pictures on the wall, everything—was seized, with or without a search warrant. On this and succeeding nights other Communists and suspected Communists were seized in their homes. Over six thousand men were arrested in all, and thrust summarily behind the bars for days or weeks—often without any chance to learn what was the explicit charge against them. At least one American citizen, not a Communist, was jailed for days through some mistake—probably a confusion of names—and barely escaped deportation. In Detroit, over a hundred men were herded into a bull-pen measuring twenty-four by thirty feet and kept there for a week under conditions which the mayor of the city called intolerable. In Hartford, while the suspects were in jail the authorities took the further precaution of arresting and incarcerating all visitors who came to see them, a friendly call being regarded as prima facie evidence of affiliation with the Communist party. Ultimately a considerable proportion of the prisoners were released for want of sufficient evidence that they were Communists. Ultimately, too, it was divulged that in the whole country-wide raid upon these dangerous men—supposedly armed to the teeth—exactly three pistols were found, and no explosives at all. But at the time the newspapers were full of reports from Mr. Palmer’s office that new evidence of a gigantic plot against the safety of the country had been unearthed; and although the steel strike was failing, the coal strike was failing, and any danger of a socialist régime, to say nothing of a revolution, was daily fading, nevertheless to the great mass of the American people the Bolshevist bogey became more terrifying than ever. Mr. Palmer was in full cry. In public statements he was reminding the twenty million owners of Liberty bonds and the nine million farm-owners and the eleven million owners of savings accounts, that the Reds proposed to take away all they had. He was distributing boilerplate propaganda to the press, containing pictures of horrid-looking Bolsheviks with bristling beards, and asking if such as these should rule over America. Politicians were quoting the suggestion of Guy Empey that the proper implements for dealing with the Reds could be “found in any hardware store,” or proclaiming, “My motto for the Reds is S. O. S.—ship or shoot. I believe we should place them all on a ship of stone, with sails of lead, and that their first stopping-place should be hell.” College graduates were calling for the dismissal of professors suspected of radicalism; school-teachers were being made to sign oaths of allegiance; business men with unorthodox political or economic ideas were learning to hold their tongues if they wanted to hold their jobs. Hysteria had reached its height.
Frederick Lewis Allen (Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s (Harper Perennial Modern Classics))
Over the past three decades there have been hundreds of mass shootings, murders, and other violent episodes that have been committed by individuals on psychiatric drugs. Big
Kelly Brogan (A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives)
Only, unlike terrorism, mass shootings aren't connected by an overarching, singular political ideology; they stem instead from something so deeply woven into the fabric of American culture that I no longer blame anyone for feeling helplessly resigned.
Jeva Lange
Blaming the shootings on the doctors or lack of money doesn’t wash, of course. It’s a ridiculous rationalization, or just crazy. Holmes admits that Drs. Fenton and Feinstein offered to see him regardless of insurance and that he had plenty of money and additional support from his parents. Bob and Arlene had told him clearly that money was no problem when it came to getting psychiatric help.
William H. Reid (A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings)