First, the latest facts: The AP puts the latest casualty report from Robb Elementary School in Texas at 19 students and 2 adults, not including the shooter himself. The children shot were reportedly all in the same fourth grade classroom.
This is really where we're at, huh: I am begging every Congressional reporter to ask Joe Manchin exactly how many children need to die in protection of the filibuster. No one should care about his virtue signaling about the deficit until we know precisely how morally bankrupt he is.
may the families be comforted in the knowledge that the filibuster remains intact
— Sarah Lazarus (@sarahclazarus) May 24, 2022
Speaking of moral bankruptcy: Here's Parkland shooting survivor Cameron Kasky giving his reaction to President Biden's address last night:
Joe Biden goes up there and talks about how it's horrible to lose a family member ... and says that it's bad that mass violence happens. It's great that he thinks it's bad. But I can tell you that gun control organizers, people who believe in gun safety, common-sense gun safety laws, around the country were waiting to hear the words 'executive order' and instead we heard the words, essentially, thoughts and prayers[.]
At least Democratic leadership are living their values... oh wait:
On the day of a mass shooting and weeks after news of Roe, Democratic Party leadership rallied for a pro-NRA, anti-choice incumbent under investigation in a close primary. Robocalls, fundraisers, all of it.
Accountability isn’t partisan. This was an utter failure of leadership.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 25, 2022
Surely blue-state leaders like ours will have something to offer: Nope. Despite Washington Democrats controlling both houses of the Legislature for four years, our local liberal billionaire spending millions on a gun control-focused think tank/advocacy organization, and their opposition party in absolute shambles, the best we've done in Olympia on guns is a restriction on magazine size. Yup, the crowning achievement of this exemplary blue-state governance is to give your 9-year-old a few extra seconds to flee for their life while a mass murderer reloads.
OK, local politicians then! Surely the public safety-obsessed law-and-order types have ideas! Is this bit getting old? Well, we're 212 mass shootings into the year, and my material is just about as tired as I am. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell responded to the shooting with a statement long on emotional adjectives and short on policy solutions. He correctly pointed out that state law preempts much of what he'd like to do at the city level to curb gun violence. He conveniently didn't point out that he's been complaining about this since February (and previous mayors have complained about this for years) but the State Legislature gaveled out of session without responding to his lobbying. At some point, it would be nice if Democrats in this state would gather the courage to point some fingers specifically at whoever is blocking more aggressive gun laws in Olympia so an actual movement could sweep them out of office, but that wouldn't be very #OneSeattle.
Is it any wonder the kids are not alright? Honestly, the best argument for melting down every long gun in the country and building an enormous monument to our collective grief might be how much self-inflicted violence it would prevent. According to a new study in American Pediatrics, teens who could get their hands on a gun showed "about 1.5 times higher odds for prior suicide attempt and current suicidal ideation."
How many different ways can we say the same thing? Guns are bad, and this country allows far too many people to own them.
Here's how little we know about guns in America. We don't directly measure how many guns Americans own, so we estimate it by...counting the rate of gun suicides. Because there is a stable relationship between the rate of gun suicides and guns owned. https://t.co/xt7ssBlQYY
— John Roman (@JohnKRoman) May 25, 2022
Since none of this will get any better until Congress starts functioning again, let's check in on the primary results from last night. In a rare bit of good news, gun violence prevention advocate Lucy McBath defeated centrist Democrat Carolyn Bordeaux after Georgia's redistricting shoved them into the same newly-drawn district in the Atlanta suburbs. Down in Texas, progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros is neck-and-neck with the anti-choice, NRA-backed incumbent Pelosi and friends found time to shill for. And on the Republican side, Herschel Walker emerged from a weak primary field to claim the right to challenge Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock in November.
Across the GOP contests, incumbency proved stronger than Trump's endorsement:
Biden found his pen: Please join me in the smallest possible golf clap for this executive order from Biden, which attempts to reduce police violence two years after George Floyd's death. The main win here for reformers is a national database that's supposed to track officers fired for misconduct. That should at least discourage some cops from skipping over to the next state to continue abusing their authority. Seems like a good idea! I'm sure local police departments will be enthusiastic participants. The better news here is that Biden's hand still works, so we can at least be confident that he knows he can sign executive orders, which seems like something he should do on gun violence.
Volunteers needed for police accountability commission: If you'd like to take real, direct action on police accountability and have some volunteer hours to spare, the Washington Coalition for Police Accountability could use your help. They're recruiting people to serve as representatives from the community on the state's new decertification panel for officers accused of misconduct. Serving on the panel doesn't commit you to attending every hearing, and you don't need any specific experience to join — in fact, the panel has a separate seat set aside for someone with experience advocating for police accountability. All you need is a resume, a few references, and a letter of recommendation. You can find the application here, with more info from the Criminal Justice Training Commission here.
Some old-fashioned corporate fuck-up news as a palate cleanser: Wal-Mart elicited backlash from just about everyone when they chose a White-owned company to produce a Juneteenth-themed seasonal ice cream flavor. Trying to trademark the name of a holiday that's expressly about the end of people owning other people seems like a predictable public relations disaster that a multi-national mega-corporation should be able to see coming.
To close, the only song that I can think of to represent my current mood: