Rainy, cold and miserable this early Sunday morning here on California’s northern coast, and way-beyond ugly sad.
A certain flavor in the air, not chocolate at all, but the sweet aroma of cordite — yesterday afternoon at Fashion Island shopping mall in Newport Beach, just south of LA, this guy supposedly shot a pistol up in the air (or maybe into the ground) while standing in the parking lot.
Police reported more than 50 rounds where later found, and a handgun.
Although in-season crowded with shoppers — no injuries.
Coast-to-coast gun-play? In the prevailing air maybe a scent of way-personal rage vented through firearms discharged in public, and in the last week, firearms discharged into the public.
(Illustration found here).
Horrific events that saddens the air for long-lengths of time — I hate them sons-a-bitches.
Media is aghast — HuffPost all this morning carried banner pictures ofÂ Sandy Hook victims, the New York Times boxed in black, and the blogs in a rant.
One of the better blog posts I clicked through came from John Cole at Balloon Juice, which after a personal history on rigid gun safety in a military war zone vs living in Connecticut, he ended straight dead-on-the-mark: If there are bigger pussies in the world than gun nuts, I donâ€™t know who the fuck they are.
So true — highly armed, highly paranoid and scared shitless.
And this interesting piece yesterday from Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars — she proposes a simple plan for mandatory gun insurance, so simple her oldest son thought of the idea first:
He said it made more sense to sidestep the entire gun control controversy and instead pass state laws that require anyone who owns a gun to carry insurance.
If they have risk factors (like teenagers in the house), their rates go up.
If one of their kids sneaks a gun out of the house and gets caught, or uses it to commit a crime, the insurance gets canceled for some meaningful period of time — say, 10 years.
And if someone steals your gun and you don’t report it in a 24-hour window of you finding out, your insurance is suspended for a long time.
If you have a rifle and it’s only used for hunting, low rates.
If you have a Glock and you carry it in an open-carry town or state, your rates will be very high — because odds are so much higher that innocent bystanders may get caught in a shootout.
Easy but too-easy for a lot of assholes.
Especially assholes with mental problems — all of us have mental problems, there’s no getting around being human — but we all don’t have to be assholes about it.
And become a “Shooter.”
These recent US shooting episodes are much-reminiscent of ‘suicide bombers,’ who blow strangers and themselves to bits in a variety of far-flung countries, except this shit is here in the US, and it’s all home-grown.
And there’s no real motive — religious/political/national/whatever — behind these near-suicidal episodes, except someone way-unbalanced having easy access to firearms.
Reportedly, both the ‘shooter‘ in Tuesday’s incident at a Portland, Ore. mall, and the one at Sandy Hook killed themselves.
In two separate incidents yesterday in Alabama, my birth state, two guys were shot and killed by cops after discharging firearms into the public — one at a Birmingham hospital, which wounded a cop and two employees, and the second included a guy with an AK-47, three shot dead, a carjacking, children being shot, and a chase until finally cornered by police, who fatally shot the suspect.
Suicide as a means to whatever ends.
The shooter in Saturday’s Newport Beach air-popping was quickly taken into custody by police without incident, and no motive reported.
He did frighten some people, though.
A local named Tammy: “It looked like he was aiming up. He was looking at us. He was trying to scare us. We ran to Macyâ€™s. They were screaming that there was a shooter in the parking lot.”
People it seems scram in a hurry in these incidents. I don’t blame them at all.
The LA Times has sound-on-video of the incident, and some reaction from shoppers.
One such: Ann Butcher, an employee at Macyâ€™s, said she was on the patio at Whole Foods when people started running and screaming. She said some women left their purses and fled.
Shopper Dena Nassef said she and another person were walking toward Macyâ€™s when people started yelling and running.
â€œWith what happened in Connecticut, we were freaking out,â€ she said.
â€œIt was like crazy, people leaving stores.â€
Time’s history and the sad shit will hang for awhile, yet.