Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, February 20th, 2018.


On the Right, the Only Good Shooting Victim Is a Dead Shooting Victim

Trump Maladministration

The Parkland High School students who are organizing to do something about gun violence are now the victims of a right-wing smear campaign.

David Hogg, a student journalist who interviewed students on lockdown during the shooting, made several TV appearances demanding leaders take action. Another student, Emma Gonzalez, called out the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the legislators who do its bidding. Melissa Falkowski, a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, went on CNN calling on Congress to do more to “to end gun violence, to keep our kids safe.” Lori Alhadeff, whose 14-year-old daughter was killed, screamed at President Trump on CNN to “do something.” Student survivors are organizing a march on Washington D.C..

And now, Parkland survivors are targets for fake news campaigns, conspiracy theories, harassment and doxxing. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has already suggested that the entire shooting is a false flag, which implies that all of the survivors are actors in an elaborate hoax. As survivors speak up, there are already attempts to attack and discredit them individually.

Survivor David Hogg has been the target of conspiracy theories since he began speaking out. The day after the shooting, one far-right account noted in a since-deleted tweet that Hogg was suspicious for speaking so eloquently.

Yes, in Trumpworld, being able to speak in complete sentences makes you a suspect. Do go to the link and scroll down to see the sick stuff being repeated about these students.

See also:

Former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) has joined a growing far-right smear campaign against the students who survived last week’s massacre in a Parkland, Florida high school. …

…Kingston attacked the students as mere stooges for “left-wing groups who have an agenda” during an appearance on CNN Tuesday morning. Kingston added he believed George Soros was actually orchestrating the students’ activism.

Alex Leary, Tampa Bay Times, “Parkland students come under attack for their outspokenness: Critics begin to question their motives.”

This is just sick. But so usual.

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David Brooks: Still Clueless After All These Years

Trump Maladministration

David Brooks’s latest column advises us gun control advocates that we’ll make better progress toward enacting gun control laws if we stopped being so mean to gun-rights people.

This has been an emotional week. We greet tragedies like the school shooting in Florida with shock, sadness, mourning and grief that turns into indignation and rage. The anger inevitably gets directed at the N.R.A., those who support gun rights, and the politicians who refuse to do anything while children die.

Many of us walked this emotional path. But we may end up doing more harm than good. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it is that guns have become a cultural flash point in a nation that is unequal and divided. The people who defend gun rights believe that snobbish elites look down on their morals and want to destroy their culture. If we end up telling such people that they and their guns are despicable, they will just despise us back and dig in their heels.

So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points. There has to be trust and respect first. Then we can strike a compromise on guns as guns, and not some sacred cross in the culture war.

Like the gun owners of Red America haven’t been having their way at every turn for the past several decades; like the gun owners of Red America haven’t put us all on notice that if we so much as make buying guns the least bit inconvenient they’ll use us for target practice; like the Democratic Party for years pretty much even stopped talking about gun control because they’re afraid of the wrath of the NRA?

Let us take a few moment for group incoherent blubbering.

Update: I just found this at Vox:

Over the past few decades, gun ownership in the US has evolved from a practical issue for rural homeowners and hunters to a kind of gesture of tribal solidarity, an act of defiance toward Obama, the left, and all the changes they represent. The gun lobby has become more hardened and uncompromising, pushing guns into schoolschurches, and universities.

This has taken place in the context of a broader and deeper polarization of the country, as Red America and Blue America have become more ideologically homogeneous and distant from one another. The two sides are now composed of people who quite literally think and feel differently — and are less and less able to communicate. The gun issue is a salient example, but far from the only one.

This suggests that if the status quo on guns in the US is to change, it will be through overwhelming political force, not through evidence and argument. Guns have now ascended to the level of worldview and identity, areas largely beyond the reach of persuasion.

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