Archive for massacre – Page 2

If media could quickly uncover information about #NavyYard shooter, an in-depth background check would have also


Stop Handgun Violence sign Massachusetts gun shows background checks

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Gun laws for mentally ill not so easy," Sept. 22

The instant background check on Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis is no replacement for an in-depth universal background check. If the media were able so quickly to uncover information about Alexis' troubled history, an in-depth background check would have also.

Gun advocates use the fact that the shooter purchased his gun legally with a background check to show that additional laws would be ineffective. In fact, the instant, inadequate background check that Alexis passed is a result of the gun lobby's efforts to limit gun restrictions.

William J. Chartier

Los Angeles


Guns make us safe. I feel safe here in America. I feel sorry for the Europeans, who live on a continent overrun by hordes of unarmed people.

The proper use of guns keeps the death rate from disease down. Guns should be part of every nation's health plan.

Guns are good.

Barry Carlton

El Cajon


Live Streaming Video- President Obama Speaks at the Memorial for Victims of the Navy Yard Shooting 5:00p EDT




Video- NRA’s Wayne LaPierre on Navy Yard Shooting: ‘There Weren’t Enough Good Guys With Guns’


Wow. Should have asked him how many guns he recommend the Navy Yard should have had. Via.


Gun Watch: "If a disease were killing us at this rate, we would be using every tool to do something about it."


cartoonists against gun violence shoe

A University of Kansas professor was put on leave after a tweet to the NRA. Please use that as the backdrop for today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Police warned Navy about shooter," Sept. 19

As journalists dissect the mental health of the individual responsible for the Washington Navy Yard shooting, I want to challenge us to stop focusing exclusively on blaming individuals. Trying to assign a motive is to miss the point.

Gun violence is an epidemic in this country. This issue is not about politics or the 2nd Amendment, it's about public health. In Los Angeles County, guns are the second-leading cause of death for young men. If a disease were killing us at this rate, we would be using every tool to do something about it.

To those who say gun laws have no effect, research shows that of the 10 states with the strongest gun safety legislation, seven have the lowest rates of gun deaths. And the gun issue is not just about the mass shootings; more than half the young people who commit suicide with a firearm got that gun from their home.

Gun laws alone will not solve this, but they are a critical component of the systemic change that is required. There is a package of gun violence prevention bills on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk right now. We can choose not to accept gun violence as part of our lives.

Kaile Shilling

Los Angeles

The writer is the director of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles.


What needs to be explored is why gunman Aaron Alexis, who had mental health problems and a record of strange behavior, was able to buy a gun and receive security clearance. This is a more significant reflection on our society than on Alexis.

When as a society are we going to become more adept at providing psychiatric assistance to those who are suffering? I believe the 13 deaths in Washington on Monday represent a systemic, societal problem.

In a separate article, a close friend of Alexis asked a question that deserves an answer: "Why didn't they get him help?"

Karl Strandberg

Long Beach


Guns don't kill people. People who are able to get guns because the National Rifle Assn. refuses to accept universal background checks, which could keep guns out of the hands of mentally disturbed people and others who shouldn't own firearms, kill people.

Jeffrey Teets



University of Kansas professor on leave after tweet to NRA


turnabout is fair play

A professor apparently "disrupted the learning environment" at the University of Kansas with a tweet.

The NRA has disrupted America with its gun lobbying, but they're not "on leave." Wayne LaPierre has disrupted politics with his frequent, public, vile spew, but he's not "on leave." The consequences of their words and actions, all that shilling for the gun industry, have been tragic.

Mass murderers disrupt (read: end) lives but they're still out there, able to slaughter crowds with their semi-automatic weapons. The consequences of their actions have been tragic.

But a journalism professor didn't shoot a gun, he shot off his mouth and swiftly got silenced. He is now on indefinite administrative leave.

The NRA is still out there selling deadly firearms, and very little is being done to deny them their voices.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A University of Kansas journalism professor was placed on indefinite administrative leave Friday for a tweet he wrote about the Navy Yard shootings which said, "blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters."

David W. Guth, an associate professor of journalism, made the comment on Twitter after Monday's shootings in Washington, D.C., in which 13 people died, including the gunman. The tweet didn't attract much attention until Campus posted a story Thursday, sparking a social media backlash that's spilled over into some state lawmakers calling for his dismissal.

Now personally, I don't agree with Guth's approach at all, but the point of this post isn't about the content of his tweet, it's about the backlash. Why isn't there an equally swift, equally effective response to those who actually contribute to cutting lives short?

Guth, who on Thursday told The Associated Press in a phone interview that his tweet "got a conversation going — that was exactly what I wanted to do," agreed Friday that the university's action was appropriate in light of email threats he and others at the university had received.

There are now calls for his dismissal, specifically by Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, a Republican who has received $2,500 in campaign contributions from the NRA since 2004.

And an NRA spokesman self-righteously declared, "This is hate speech. It is disgusting and deplorable. It has no place in our society."

But assault style/military style weapons with high capacity magazines that make it easy to mow down crowds but are unnecessary for hunting or personal protection do have a place in our society. Those aren't disgusting or deplorable at all. In fact, they're hunky dory.

Got it.


9/11 Redux-- First responders: Radios failed during #NavyYard massacre


failure to communicate

Sadly, very very sadly, there is a piece in The Hill that is all too reminiscent of an old post of mine, "Hey Rudy, can you hear them NOW?" Here's an excerpt:

On September 11th, 2001, this was heard from a police helicopter hovering over the World Trade Center:

''About 15 floors down from the top, it looks like it's glowing red,'' the pilot of one helicopter, Aviation 14, radioed at 10:07 a.m. ''It's inevitable.''

Orders were given to evacuate. There was just one hitch. One fatal hitch:

Yet most firefighters never heard those warnings, or earlier orders to get out. Their radio system failed frequently that morning. Even if the radio network had been reliable, it was not linked to the police system. And the police and fire commanders guiding the rescue efforts did not talk to one another during the crisis.

At least 121 firefighters died as a result.

That was over a decade ago. Heartbreaking. Infuriating. Fixable.

Not so fast:

Radios for federal firefighters and police officers failed during Monday’s mass shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard, according to union representatives for first responders.

Union officials said police and firefighters resorted to using their cellphones and radios from D.C.’s emergency responders to communicate with each other during the attack. [...]

After the first shootout with the gunman, one officer found his radio’s battery was dead, while another officer could not receive a signal from his radio and was unable to call for help. That forced them to use an officer’s cellphone to call others outside the building, according to Meely. [...]

[Anthony Meely, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Naval District Washington (NDW) Labor Committee], who was on the scene at Navy Yard and took part in the search for a potential second shooter, said problems with their radios have been “a known issue” on the base with radio batteries not being able to hold charge and being unable to receive signals inside buildings.

The union representative said he thought it was “sad” that police officers had to use a cellphone to call for help.

Firefighters + police + problems with their radio signals = Disaster-in-waiting. Preventable disaster-in-waiting.

It's 2013. 2001 was twelve years ago. After twelve long years, lives are still at risk from the same type of communication problems that existed on September 11, 2001. This is mind-boggling. And it is also unacceptable.

You'd think fixing something this crucial to the safety of our first responders and those whose lives they try to save would be a priority, wouldn't you?


Nothing Like A Violent Shooting To Bring Out The GOP Crazies


Sen Jim Rubens

Even in a small, quite benign state like New Hampshire, you can't be shielded from the whack-atude of the GOP right. On the heels of the horrific tragedy at the Washington DC Navy Yard a Republican candidate for Jeanne Shaheen's (D-NH) Senate seat  has reinforced his earlier statements how violence in the workplace is the fault of -- WOMEN!

Yup, that's the conclusion of former state Sen. Jim Rubens (R-NH) came to when he wrote in a 2009 post, as reported by BUZZFEED

"Because status success is more vital to the male psychology, males are falling over the edge in increasing numbers."


The fact that the economy has changed, Rubens also argued, has had a dangerous effect on men, causing a small portion of them to commit more acts of violence.

TPM, also covering this announcement for Rubens' senatorial run, had this quote, an update of his 2009 comments and stated after the Navy Yard tragedy:

"It's a tiny fraction of males that become stressed for whatever reason and engage in acts of extreme violence," Rubens said. "If you look through individual psychology of mass shooters over the past 10-20 years, you can see that in the profile. Often it's a person who has been subjected to extreme stress in the form of social rejection, job loss and associated mental health issues."

Now a sane conclusion to these delusional remarks by the new candidate is that women are the root of these workplace shootings. Get rid of them and you get rid of the cause.

So, all of you working women out there, on behalf of working men all over the globe, please pack your things. You've got to go. Our safety is at risk with you in the workplace.

I'm sure that message will win him a lot of support. You go, GOP! Go far away -- off the edge of the flat earth.