Racism And Rifles

May 15, 2022

Breezy-warm this late-afternoon Sunday here in California’s Central Valley — been a hot weekend, probably in the mid-90s today (reportedly mid-80s right now), about the same yesterday.
Nice weather, sad-shit news.

Top of the cycle today was feedback and flashes off the mass shooting yesterday at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY, and the horror of super-combining guns and hard, violent racism makes for a hard lump to swallow.

In America we’re guns-killing galore (NPR):

It is also the 198th mass shooting in 2022. With just over 19 weeks into the year, this averages out to about 10 such attacks a week.

The tally comes from the Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization. The group defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, excluding the shooter. The full list of mass shootings in 2022 can be found here.

Prior to the Buffalo attack, the largest-scale mass shooting this year was at a car show in Dumas, Ark., on March 19. That attack killed one person and injured 27.

Mass shootings, as is well known by now, are a common recurrence in the United States. Around this time last year, the U.S. had experienced a similar number of mass shootings: also about 10 a week.

We ended 2021 with 693 mass shootings, per the Gun Violence Archive. The year before saw 611. And 2019 had 417.

The massacres don’t come out of nowhere, says Mark Follman, who has been researching mass shootings since 2012, when a gunman killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

“This is planned violence. There is, in every one of these cases, always a trail of … behavioral warning signs,” he told NPR earlier this month.
Follman, the author of a new book, Trigger Points, says the role of mental health is also widely misunderstood.

“The general public views mass shooters as people who are totally crazy, insane. It fits with the idea of snapping, as if these people are totally detached from reality.”
That’s not the case, he said. There’s “a very rational thought process” that goes into planning and carrying out mass shootings.
The suspect in the Buffalo attack left behind a racist screed, donned body armor, and livestreamed the attack.

So be it — this afternoon in southern California, one person was killed, four others critically wounded in a shooting in Laguna Woods at a Presbyterian church. Of course, racism is attached:

Ingrain the shit (The Conversation this morning):

Racial hatred is a feature of about 10-percent of all mass public shootings in our database. Our analysis suggests that when it comes to retail shooters, around 13-percent are driven by racism — so slightly above the average for all mass shooting events.
Some grocery stores by their nature may be frequented predominantly by one racial group — for example, Asian markets that cater to local Asian communities.
But racial hatred appears to be just one of many motivations cited by retail shooters.
Our data points to a range of factors, including the suspect’s own economic issues (16-percent), confrontation with employees or shoppers (22-percent), or psychosis (31-percent). But the most common motivation among retail shooters is unknown (34-percent).

Like the Buffalo shooter, 22-percent of perpetrators of retail mass shootings left behind something to be found, a “manifesto” or video to share their grievances with the world. And nearly half of them leaked their plans ahead of time, typically on social media.

And next in line is/are weapons (great h/t tweet tengrain):

Racism armed; the combination of the two is the shits. Roots of this ‘Great Replacement theory’ go back a while, echoing off terrible rants from a hardcore racist asshole named Theodore G. Bilbo, author of “Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongrelization” (1947), which spewed some terrible bullshit.
Bilbo, a Democrat, twice governor of Mississippi, and starting in 1935, served in the U.S. Senate for 12 years, and apparently was popular, and kept getting relected.
A horror story via The Washington Post this morning:

“The great civilizations of the ages have been produce[d] by the Caucasian race,” he wrote. When Black people moved in, he wrote, mighty societies such as ancient Egypt were destroyed and mongrel races were created. “The mongrel not only lacks the ability to create a civilization, but he cannot maintain a culture that he finds around him,” he wrote.

“A White America or a mongrel America — you must take your choice!”

Though he claimed “no hatred or prejudice against any human being” in the preface to his book, he went on to say that he “would rather see his race and his civilization blotted out with the atomic bomb than to see it slowly but surely destroyed in the maelstrom of miscegenation, interbreeding, intermarriage, and mongrelization.”

Gun control, at minimum, ammunition price levels:

Guns or not, once again here we are…

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

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