This is for the family of and for Christina Taylor-Green, an innocent child shot down in cold blood by a madman armed with deadly weapons, and all the rest who continue to suffer from our obvious domestic terror problem. I refuse to concede to armed madmen and to the total enablers of these madmen-- currently "serving" in our Congress and the sad enablers running the NRA. Everything in our Constitution and contained in any sort of moral/religious code demands we must take action.
I'm not interested in endless "analysis" of the problem. And I'm not interested in yet another congressional "study" of the problem. we've seen this movie several times now. There is a discernable pattern.
Not interested in snarky references to the great Phillip K. Dick. I've read most of his books, some of them twice. I know enough to guess he'd be wondering why
we don't do alot more to stop the carnage-- given the technology at our disposal, and the gigantic amount of our tax dollars spent by local, state, federal law enforcement and various security agencies (16? of them).
Common threads in his work: Statism (corruption, fascism) and the pitfalls of UNreality. Solzhenitsyn also covers this (unreality) with his prescient observations regarding our "technosphere"... but this is for another diary.
This won't be the thread for endless hand-wringing, re: what is and what is not an assault weapon.. what is/is not an automatic weapon. Again, we've seen this movie before. Congress made the call on this before; time to do it again with some expansion.
Not interested in sacrificing further innocent lives, including dozens of children per year, on the altar of the Second Amendment. That said, nothing as drastic as repeal of the Second Amendment is needed.
I'm not implying ALL mass murders can be preempted. I am stating some of them obviously can be and it's time for our various "security" agencies and law enforcement to get on board. Stop the lame excuses. Stop pretending it can't be done.
My apology for the length of the diary; I think the subject matter justifies.
Mission Statement of the Dept. of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear - keeping America safe.Super! But where is the security? Who exactly is evaluating the performance of this Department? What is the metric for success?
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the United States of America and U.S. Territories (including Protectorates)[vague] from and responding to terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters. In fiscal year 2011 it was allocated a budget of $98.8 billion and spent, net, $66.4 billion.Nearly $100 Billion dollars per year alloted.
I don't know about the rest of you, but "The Joker" was the last straw, IMHO. That, plus Trayvon Martin, and the four year old child shot in the head in Brooklyn recently.
All totally beyond acceptable.
It's time for "our" Congress to answer for their denial and lack of sense of urgency regarding our all too frequent domestic terror problem. And I'm not just referring to the repuglicans. The carnage and terror requires we move beyond partisanship.
I don't care all that much about what Rmoney or Obama has to say about this issue; it's election time (for two + years now) and most of what is said lacks credibility, and again, there's just no sense of urgency.
When President Clinton and the one percenters in Congress decided they wanted NAFTA, they put it on the legislative fast track and got it done in what? 60 days at the most? Obviously things can get done in DC.
I'm looking primarily (for now) at the Aurora case, the VA Tech shooter, Jared Loughner (shooter of congresswoman Giffords) and the Northern Illinois Univ. shooter. There is a discernable pattern here, it's definitely actionable, IF the appropriate resources are committed.
One of the obvious, discernable traits of the shooters: mildly or very mentally ill, detached from reality.
Two: Anti-social behavior. Few, if any, long term relationships.
Three: On prescription medications (anti-depressants and/or other legal/illegal drugs) and allowed to purchase guns.
Four: A personal emotional event/upheaval which starts a downward spiral; with weapons/ammo being purchased during the spiral.
Five: The shooters are in their 20's-30's age wise.
Six: The venues chosen by the shooters are mostly public places with numerous people
sitting/standing in close proximity to one another. The shooters plan carefully for and intend a maximum number of deaths.
Seven: The shooters bring multiple deadly weapons and numerous rounds/clips of ammunition; again, the intent is maximum number of deaths.
Eight: The shooters are using credit cards to purchase their weapons and ammo. I think some of us remember the scene in M. Moore's Bowling for Columbine.
Nine: The shooters are spending time on/posting on anti social/anti government/tin foil hat websites.
Ten: Almost all rampage murderers are male.
The fact our considerable resources/technology are not committed to stopping/slowing down the carnage is weak and unacceptable. We're floundering morally as a nation/people.
Northern Illinois Univ shooting (Date of shooting: 2/14/2008, Number of deaths: 6 [including Kazmierczak, who committed suicide] 22 total people shot. Venue: Univ. Lecture Hall wiith class in session. Around 120 students in the lecture hall. Age of shooter: 27).
We were told that Steven Kazmierczak, who killed five students and then himself at NIU one year ago, was a sweet, unassuming, overachieving grad student who inexplicably snapped. He was not.
Steven Kazmierczak wanted infamy. He wanted video game-style bloodshed. And perhaps most of all, he wanted to punish Northern Illinois University, the "surrogate family" that had kept his demons at bay but that he felt ultimately abandoned him.
In the 18 months leading up to his lecture hall massacre, Kazmierczak's mother died, he lost his job as a corrections officer and he became angry because he believed NIU had de-emphasized his graduate program, leading him to transfer to another university, according to a 300-page report released by the university Thursday.
A newly released psychological profile contained in the report suggests that everything about the attack signified something in Kazmierczak's troubled mind: the location, the date, the victims.
The report offers the most detailed account to date of Kazmierczak's troubled life, including repeated suicide attempts that required hospitalization, unresolved conflicts with his parents stemming from their decision to institutionalize him and interest in satanic rituals.
The 27-page profile of Kazmierczak, written by an independent psychologist hired by NIU for about $10,000, states that the shooter had been diagnosed as a teenager with schizoaffective disorder, a disabling mental illness characterized by a combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder such as manic-depression.
The profile suggests he increased the difficulty of his shooting spree as if it were one of his beloved video games. When he had emptied the shotgun and walked down into the audience with his handguns, he fired at only those who ran or ducked. Those who sat frozen in their seats, the easiest targets, were ignored.
Kazmierczak, 27, made it difficult for investigators to identify a motive. He didn't leave a suicide note. The hard drive of his computer has never been found. He tossed out his cell phone's memory card.
Steven Kazmierczak entered a large auditorium-style lecture hall in Cole Hall (Auditorium 101) with approximately 120 students, where an oceanography class was in session. Kazmierczak was wearing dark brown boots with laces, jeans, a black t-shirt with the word "Terrorist" written across the chest imposed over an image of an assault rifle; a coat; a black knit hat; and a black utility belt with two magazine holsters, a holster for a handgun, three handguns (a 9mm Glock 19, a 9mm Kurz Sig Sauer P232, and a .380 Hi-Point CF380), eight loaded magazines, and a knife. He also carried in a 12 gauge Remington Sportsman 48 shotgun concealed in a guitar case. Once he donned the weapons, he approached the auditorium. Kazmierczak entered the auditorium from the vestibule, using a door at the extreme southwest corner of the room, which led directly to the stage in front of the classroom; it was there he stood and fired into the crowd of students. He opened the door with such extreme force that many witnesses described him as "kicking the door in".Sound familar? What other rampage killers used Glocks? and why are they so popular with them? (Video game connection?)
Mr. K's meds: (numerous)
ABC News reports that his behavior seemed to become more erratic in the weeks leading up to the shooting, and that it is believed he stopped taking medication beforehand.His girlfriend, Jessica Baty, confirmed that Kazmierczak was taking Xanax (anti-anxiety), Ambien (sleep aid), and Prozac (antidepressant), all of which were prescribed to him by a psychiatrist. She said that he stopped taking Prozac about three weeks prior to the February 14 shooting.OK, anyone who knows anything regarding anti-depressant meds knows you don't quit them cold turkey. your doctor/psychiatrist has to approve and monitor you for weeks, and you are weaned off the meds over time.
And there's no mystery any longer regarding the rather large problem with Prozac.
Tucson, AZ shooting (Date of shooting: January 8, 2011, Number of deaths: 6, including nine year old Christina-Taylor Green and Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll. Dem. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords severely injured, her congressional career ruined. 20 total people shot. Venue: Shopping mall; exterior area. Age of shooter: 22).
Folks, let's face it: Mr. Loughner is a mess, and there were numerous RED flags prior to his meltdown. He's obviously out there in Tin Foil Hat territory. Why was this very disturbed person allowed to purchase guns and ammo?
Loughner allegedly purchased the 9mm Glock pistol used in the shooting from a Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson on November 30, 2010. The night before the shooting, he left a message on a friend's voicemail saying, "Hey man, it's Jared. Me and you had good times. Peace out. Later." In a MySpace post the morning of the shooting at 4:12 am, he wrote,OK, just looking at the above, and again, forget the psychoanalysis for now: WHAT is he babbling about? Why on earth should we allow this guy to purchase deadly weapons? Is there much coherence here? Is he merely a "regular" hunter/sport shooter?
Goodbye friends. Please don't be mad at me. The literacy rate is below 5%. I haven't talked to one person who is literate. I want to make it out alive. The longest war in the history of the United States. Goodbye. I'm saddened with the current currency and job employment. I had a bully at school. Thank you. P.S. --plead the fifth!
Photos on the MySpace page showed a close-up picture of a handgun sitting atop a document titled "United States History."
Other evidence seized from his home included an envelope from a safe with messages such as "I planned ahead," "My assassination" and the name "Giffords" next to what appears to be Loughner's signature. Police say he purchased the Glock pistol used in the attack in November.I planned ahead. Here we have the perfect foil for those proclaiming "Gee, we just can't stop these guys, we don't what they are doing". It's well known Loughner was all over tin foil hat websites-- where he exhibited behavior and made statements so utterly bizzare that even people in the one UFO site he frequented tagged him as a lunatic.
This is not trackable? This can't be surveilled and raise BIG red flags? Sorry, I don't buy it.
Drug use: again significant.
Zach Osler, a high school classmate of Loughner's, and his closest friend, indicated that Loughner's life began to unravel after his high school girlfriend broke up with him, and he then began to abuse alcohol and drugs, specifically Salvia divinorum (a natural hallucinogen illegal in some states). Another longtime friend, Kylie Smith, added that he had used cannabis (marijuana), psychedelic mushrooms, and LSD around that same time. Loughner quit using marijuana (as well as alcohol and tobacco) in late 2008 and has not used it since, according to one of his longtime friends. The U.S. Army confirmed that Loughner had been rejected as "unqualified" for service in 2008. According to military sources, Loughner admitted to marijuana use on numerous occasions during the application process.Regarding Salvia:
Salvia Divinorum is a drug, legal in some states, and is a hallucinogen. Though proponents of the herb that is either smoked, chewed, inhaled, or its juice drunk believe salvia is safe, the National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA says otherwise.NO red flags here?
The NIDA says about Salvia, “People who abuse salvia generally experience hallucinations or “psychotomimetic” episodes (a transient experience that mimics a psychosis).
Virginia Tech shooting, Blacksburg, VA (Date of shooting: April 16, 2007. Number of deaths: 32, with 49 total people shot in two incidents on Campus. Shooter Seung-Hui Cho committed suicide after second attack. Venue: West Ambler Johnston Hall, Norris Hall; school was in session during attacks. Age of shooter: 23).
Cho, a senior English major at Virginia Tech, had previously been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder. During much of his middle school and high school years, he received therapy and special education support. After graduating from high school, Cho enrolled at Virginia Tech. Because of federal privacy laws, Virginia Tech was unaware of Cho's previous diagnosis or the accommodations he had been granted at school. In 2005, Cho was accused of stalking two female students. After an investigation, a Virginia special justice declared Cho mentally ill and ordered him to attend treatment. Lucinda Roy, a professor and former chairwoman of the English department, had also asked Cho to seek counseling. Cho's mother also turned to her church for help.Thus far I've looked at only three mass murders in the U.S.; each shooter is mentally ill and is being allowed to purchase deadly weapons. Even if the HIPPA laws were not in place, why would I believe admissions officials at any university would stop this guy from attending their college? He's a paying customer, right?
IMHO, Mr. Cho should not have been allowed to attend university. He clearly had deep psychological/social problems and was on a very short fuse. Anything could have set him off. He was a threat to the life safety of the general public.
The massacre prompted the state of Virginia to close legal loopholes that had previously allowed Cho, an individual adjudicated as mentally unsound, to purchase handguns without detection by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). It also led to passage of the first major federal gun control measure in more than 13 years. The law strengthening the NICS was signed by President George W. Bush on January 5, 2008.Wait... You mean it is in fact possible/legal to slow down/stop the purchase of deadly weapons by a mentally ill person?
Can I just ask: Does any "political leader" in the United States know the meaning of the word "proactive"?
Approximately 10–12 minutes after the second attack began, Cho shot himself in the head. He died in Jocelyne Couture-Nowak's Intermediate French class, room 211. During this second assault, he had fired at least 174 rounds, killing 30 people and wounding 17 more. All of the victims were shot at least three times each; of the 30 killed, 28 were shot in the head. During the investigation, State Police Superintendent William Flaherty told a state panel that police found 203 live rounds in Norris Hall. "He was well prepared to continue...," Flaherty testified.To our hunter friends: Is hollow point ammo used for hunting?
During the two attacks, Cho killed five faculty members and 27 students before committing suicide. The Virginia Tech Review Panel reported that Cho's gunshots wounded 17 other people; six more were injured when they jumped from second-story windows to escape. Sydney J. Vail, the director of the trauma center at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, said that Cho's choice of 9 mm hollow point ammunition increased the severity of the injuries. Conversely, due to the limited penetration depth of hollow point bullets, it is likely that Colman would have died had they not been used.
Cho used two firearms during the attacks: a .22-caliber Walther P22 semi-automatic handgun and a 9 mm semi-automatic Glock 19 handgun. The shootings occurred in separate incidents, with the first at West Ambler Johnston Hall, during which Cho killed two pupils, and the second at Norris Hall, where the other 31 deaths, including that of Cho himself, as well as all the nonlethal injuries, occurred.
Indeed, it was his intellectual failure that may have driven him to kill. Mr. Cho’s ambition to become a “great writer” was stamped out during college by the negative reactions of professors and students, and also by rejection of a book proposal he wrote.I'm not finding anything regarding use of drugs, legal/illegal by Mr. Cho. Regardless, clearly he was profoundly mentally ill and exhibited anti social behavior, stalking behavior, etc. prior to his meltdown.
“These rejections were devastating to him and he fantasized about getting revenge,” Mr. Depue wrote.
A second component of his anger may have stemmed from the economic inequality that became painfully apparent to him at Virginia Tech. While his college bills were paid by his hard-working blue-collar parents, “he was constantly aware of his classmates taking from their affluent parents and squandering their money on luxuries and alcohol.”
With his failure at writing and his disgust at the “haves” combining to motivate him, the remaining question surrounds the timing: why Mr. Cho acted when he did.
“Graduation was only weeks away, but for Cho it was not an occasion for joy,” Mr. Depue said. “Rather it was a time of fear and dread.”
Finally: The Joker.
Aurora, CO shooting (Date of shooting: July 20, 2012. Number of deaths: 12, with 70 total people shot, including a thee month old infant. Venue: Century 16 Movie Theater complex; screening midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises movie. Age of shooter: 25).
On May 22, 2012, Holmes purchased his first weapon, a .40-caliber Glock pistol, at a Gander Mountain shop in Aurora, and six days later a Remington Model 870 shotgun at a Bass Pro Shops in Denver. On June 7, just hours after failing his oral exam at the university, he purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle, with a second .40-caliber Glock pistol following on July 6. All the weapons were bought legally. In the four months prior to the shooting, Holmes also bought 3000 rounds of ammunition for the pistols, 3000 rounds for the M&P15, and 350 shells for the shotgun over the internet.On July 2, he placed an order for a Blackhawk Urban Assault Vest, two magazine holders and a knife at an online retailer.
On June 25, less than a month before the shooting, Holmes emailed an application to join a gun club in Byers, Colorado. The owner, Glenn Rotkovich, called him several times throughout the following days to invite him to a mandatory orientation, but could only reach his answering machine. Due to the nature of Holmes' voice mail, which he described as "bizarre, freaky", "guttural, spoken with a deep voice, incoherent and rambling" Rotkovich instructed his staff to inform him if Holmes should show up, though Holmes neither made his appearance at the gun range, nor called back. “In hindsight, looking back -- and if I’d seen the movies -- maybe I’d say it was like the Joker -- I would have gotten the Joker out of it,” Rotkovich said. “It was like somebody was trying to be as weird as possible,” he said.Trying to be as weird as possible. WTF??
The gunman threw a canister emitting a gas or smoke, partially obscuring the audience members' vision, making their throats and skin itch, and causing eye irritation. He then fired a 12-gauge Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun, first at the ceiling and then at the audience. He also fired a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round drum magazine, which malfunctioned after reportedly firing fewer than 30 rounds. Finally, he fired a .40-caliber Glock 22 handgun.He shot first to the back of the room, and then toward people in the aisles. Some bullets passed through the wall and hit people in the adjacent theater 8, which was screening the same movie. Witnesses said the multiplex's fire alarm system began sounding soon after the attack began and staff told people in theater 8 to evacuate. One witness said that she was hesitant to leave because someone yelled that there was someone shooting in the lobby and that they shouldn't leave.Drug use:
Holmes' defense attorneys claim he was a "psychiatric patient" of the medical director of Anschutz's Student Mental Health Services prior to the Aurora shooting; however, the prosecution disagrees with that claim. Four days after the release of the defense attorney's motion, the judge required this information to be blacked out.There doesn't seem to be any details regarding drug use (legal/illegal) by Holmes. Obviously Holmes is disturbed. He should not have been allowed to purchase guns, ammo, tear gas canisters, etc.
James Eagan Holmes — suspected in the Aurora movie-theater attack — was seeing a University of Colorado psychiatrist to whom he allegedly mailed a notebook before the July 20 massacre, court documents reveal.Just like I don't buy into the CNN-hyped baloney regarding Holmes the "master bomb maker", I'm not concerned with this notebook.
Friday's disclosure came in the wake of two days of news stories about the contents of the notebook, which several news outlets reported contained details of Holmes' alleged murderous plan. Those reports were based on unnamed law enforcement sources.
We don't need the notebook to know Holmes planned his performance for four months, and had 50 packages with various ammo, gear, etc., delivered to his home and workplace. did he make any of these purchases with cash? or was everything purchase using his credit card?
Also, I'm reading Holmes received a $26K stipend (from the University?). I'd like to know how much of this was used to purchase guns/ammo/gear.
The United States cannot push back a debate about gun control after the mass shooting in Colorado, according to Colin Goddard, who was shot four times during the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.How do rampage killers like Holmes and the others described above compare to overall statistics:
“We just upped the ante for the worst mass shooting in our country’s history, and now is not the time to talk about solutions?” he said on Democracy Now. “It is beyond time to talk about solutions. This conversation should have happened before this shooting in the first place. It is insane when you hear this from people who say they want to put distance between it. This is when people are outraged. This is when people realize that this could happen to them. I mean, everyone goes to movies. Everybody tries to make opening night.”
Only 17.6% of mass killers are between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. Mass murderers do make up a larger share among the population at large in the 18 to 24 and 25- to 34-year-old demographic, but the plurality, 35.8% of rampage killers, are actually 35- to 49-year-olds. This percentage is well above the 20.5% of the entire population that is 35-49 years-old. Few mass murderers are above the age of 50.I would like to see the stats on this since year 2000.
Overall, the median age for rampage killers is 33 years old compared to the 27 years old median for all murders, which are both lower than the median age United States population of 37.
"Mass murderers do make up a larger share among the population at large in the 18 to 24 and 25- to 34-year-old demographic..."
1. Congress must again ban assault weapons/military style assault weapons, and the sales of large capacity magazines to civilians. Ban these sales at shops and at the gun shows.
2. Congress must follow Virginia's lead and ban the sales of guns to the mentally ill. I mean, c'mon. There's just no common sense here. Mr. Cho should not have been allowed to arm himself with guns and ammo.
3. Universities must be allowed to know the mental health status of student applicants. If universities are going to allow attendance by mentally ill studetnts, the students must be monitored closely. Most universities already have staff who do this sort of work.
4. Congress must create a, if you will, "rampage killer unit" within the FBI, DHS, or other appropriate security agency.
5. Let's dispense with the nonsense "we can't surveil everyone". Wrong, it's already being done. Please read Jame Bamford, etc. The TIA program never really went away.
6. Point the surveillance lens at the "right" people to preempt rampage killings, using the obvious markers any of us can look at and see are there. The perps in the four cases I looked at are buying more or less the exact same handgun. this is not a trend, not a marker?
Yes, this will be somewhat difficult, but the notion it is impossible is total nonsense.
One more thing regarding Glock handguns:
But the handgun he used, the Glock Pistol, has proved the weapon of choice for spree killers across the world.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...
Norwegian far-Right extremist Anders Behring Breivik used a Glock 17 to kill most of the 67 people he shot dead during his massacre on the island of Utoya a year ago this Sunday.
Sweden's Peter Mangs, the man accused of being behind to more than a dozen shootings of immigrants in the city of Malmo, owned a Glock 19.
Germany's Robert Steinhäuser, who killed 17 people in the 2001 Erfurt massacre, used a Glock 17.
In the US, the weapon crops up still more frequently.
The truly tragic aspect of the Aurora disaster is the perp planned for four months; red flags and warning signs everywhere. Four months.
The notion Holmes' guns/ammo/body armor purchases were "normal". Normal for who? yes, possibly for a person who was already a gun owner, tho' I have to question the full body armor (why is this available to civilians?) the tear gas grenades, the drum magazine, and the gunpowder used in the devices he set up in his apartment.
Sorry, this is not normal behavior for a young college student with a promising future ahead of him.
Regarding the Big Brother hysteria.. that horse left the barn long ago. My position is if more determined surveillance can save the life of ONE Christina Taylor-Green, it's well worth it.
Thank you and have a safe weekend.
Brady Center website: