A Long-Last Night: Gun Violence In America

June 18, 2021

Earlier this morning I was in the process of working on a political post — maybe a Mike Lindell/T-Rump be-alike scenario — but then saw the weird-ass number of gun-violence stories last night and I just had to switch to a firearm-centric plot, my second such in less than a week (first one here, if you’d like).

Although overall violent-crime rates aren’t what they were 30 years ago, shit is getting bad on the streets, in the homes, well, just about every fucking place — an account from The Washington Post last Monday:

Through the first five months of 2021, gunfire killed more than 8,100 people in the United States, about 54 lives lost per day, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research organization.
That’s 14 more deaths per day than the average toll during the same period of the previous six years.

This year, the number of casualties, along with the overall number of shootings that have killed or injured at least one person, exceeds those of the first five months of 2020, which finished as the deadliest year of gun violence in at least two decades.

“I’m scared to death of the summer, I’ll be real honest,” said Mark Bryant, the Gun Violence Archive’s founder.
“I expect this to be a record year.”

Gunfire deaths began to rise in April 2020, when covid-19 shut down much of the country, in-person schooling was paused and more than 20 million people lost their jobs.
Gun violence — like the coronavirus — takes an unequal toll on communities of color. So as the pandemic took hold, it was one crisis on top of another.

“What we have is compounded trauma,” said Shani Buggs, an assistant professor with the University of California at Davis’s Violence Prevention Research Program.
“The pandemic exacerbated all of the inequities we had in our country — along racial lines, health lines, social lines, economic lines. All of the drivers of gun violence pre-pandemic were just worsened last year.”

A boiling-point scene which causes shit like the following nationwide from just last night:

Literal drive-by shootings on the freeway — per CNN this morning:

A 2-year-old was killed and three others — including a 9-year-old — were wounded in two separate shootings on freeways in Detroit Thursday night, according to Michigan State Police.

The first shooting occurred on Interstate 75 near Seven Mile Road around 9:45 p.m. local time, MSP’s Detroit division said on Twitter, when someone opened fire from a light colored four-door car that had pulled up next to the victims’ vehicle.
“The victim driver pulled over at McNichols (Road) and noticed both of their children were shot,” the state police said.
The 2-year-old boy was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said. The 9-year-old boy is in serious condition at the hospital.

The second shooting took place approximately 10 miles away, about an hour later, just after 11 p.m., state police said, along Michigan 39 southbound near Plymouth Road.

“A driver of a passenger car was driving south on the Southfield Fwy near Schoolcraft, city of Detroit when a unknown vehicle pulled alongside and began shooting,” state police tweeted.
In this incident, the victim driver suffered a gunshot wound through the shoulder, police said, while a passenger in the rear seat sustained a gunshot wound in the knee. Both were taken to a local hospital.

A motive has not been determined in either incident and the investigations remain ongoing. Police are asking any witnesses to the shootings to contact investigators.
CNN has asked state police whether they believe the shootings were connected.

And the fucking answer? Unfortunately, however, that was the last graph in the CNN story.
A wee-bit further via The Detroit News, updated this morning: Michigan State Police First Lt. Mike Shaw, said ‘it was “too early to tell” if the children were targeted or the shooting resulted from road rage.
Additionally from the News:

As troopers tended to that scene, state police were alerted about a second shooting involving two victims on the Southfield Freeway near Plymouth Road.

“Two victims went to St. Mary’s Hospital in Livonia and DPD is at the hospital with them,” state police tweeted. “Troopers are headed to the hospital to get additional information. More to follow.”

The incidents came a day after a van was shot at on the Southfield Freeway. Police have investigated multiple shootings on regional roadways in recent months.

As if coordinated in a near-about same timeframe, gun play in Durham, NC — from The Herald-Sun in Raleigh:

Durham police are investigating overnight shootings that left two people dead and injured three others.

The first shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. on Holloway Street near Briggs Avenue, police said.
Officers found two males with gunshot wounds lying outside a convenience store. One was already dead, and the second was taken to the hospital, where he died.
A female was shot in the leg and taken to the hospital, and a male was treated for a gunshot wound to his foot, according to police.

Police have not released the names or ages of those shot or any information about suspects or possible motives. They said the incident was not random.

The second shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. in the 4000 block of Tranquil Road.
A woman was injured and taken to a hospital. The shooting appears to have been a domestic incident unrelated to the Holloway Street shooting, police spokesperson Kammie Michael said in an email.

The third shooting happened about 15 minutes later in the 2800 block of Chapel Hill Road, Michael said.

And most-likely this can be applied to a lot of places: ‘Durham has been dealing with escalating shootings, with elected leaders debating the best way to respond to gun violence.

One does see a pattern — meanwhile again and clocked also last night (NBC News):

Arizona police have a suspect in custody after one person was killed and 13 people were injured in a series of what appeared to be drive-by shootings Thursday.

Authorities responded to reports of an active shooter in the West Valley, about 20 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix, at about 12:30 p.m local time, the Surprise Police Department tweeted initially.

The shooting spree resulted in eight separate incidents within about an hour and a half, Surprise and Peoria police said.

In a show of how widespread the infuence of guns, last night, too, in the upper-crust California town of Walnut Creek, just east of Oakland on San Francisco Bay — per the East Bay Times this morning:

Walnut Creek police were investigating an overnight shooting that killed a person early Friday, according to authorities.

Police did not release a statement immediately, but the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office responded to Ygnacio Valley Road and N. California Boulevard for a body in a car.

The homicide is the second in the city of Walnut Creek this year.

Those stories are just the ones that made the wires, most-likely a shitload more. And we’ve still got the weekend.
Yet in all that violent tomfoolery, the huge problem with all this is the huge amount of guns — suposedly there’s 120.5 guns for every 100 people in the US, with a total close to 400 million firearms. Throw in pandemic-panic buying the past 18 months, rasist-hatred/economic-woes abounding, the scene is set for some serious, harmful shit.
And what about your own home-put-together guns — ‘ghost guns.’
A disturbing piece from News Channel Nebraska yesterday:

Tracking the untraceable; a phenomenon law enforcement is dealing with nationwide.
Firearms without any markings or serial numbers are called ‘ghost guns.’

“When these guns are recovered from a crime scene, we have no way of being able to tell our law enforcement where these guns came from,” said John Ham, the Public Information Officer with the ATF.

Ham said most of what they are seeing right now are guns made from kits.
“You can purchase a kit without a background check, there’s no record of the kit,” said Ham. “You get home and you can assemble that gun with very little firearms knowledge or expertise.”

Ham said you can build a gun in 45-to-60 minutes in most cases, and that process is legal.
“A person can manufacture a firearm for themselves for personal use but that gun can never enter into commerce,” said Ham.

Originally, kits were for shooting sports enthusiasts but are now being taken advantage of.
“We have a competing element of criminals that are always trying to get their hands on guns,” said Ham.

Ham works at the Kansas City Division, which covers Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and the southern part of Illinois. He says ghost guns in crimes are not trending as much here as in other parts of the nation.
“Particularly on either coast where the firearms laws are a little bit more restrictive than they are in the Midwest,” Ham said.

The Biden administration is currently pushing for a new rule that would require the kit guns to have markings.

Here a scare-plea of ‘the government‘ confiscating your guns — so make your own AR-15:

Nothing will really change without some way-serious effort. Until then more tragedy like last night…

(Illustration out front by Taylor Callery, and found here).

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