Posts Tagged ‘mass shootings’

A funny thing happened at the Mall…



The other day I was at Johnsonville Mall, one of Wellington’s northern suburbs. Michael Wolff’s exposé, Fire and Fury was available at the mall’s Whitcoull’s at a discount, and I was keen to read for myself what was happening on the other side of the planet. The lunatic asylum currently inhabiting the White House held a fascination much like driving past a train-wreck and trying to make sense of the  tangled, smoking carnage.

Approaching the counter, with one customer in front of me, we suddenly heard several loud *pops*, slowly spaced out, emanating from the same direction.

We looked out into the mall…



We saw a worker from the pharmacy across the way climb back onto a ladder. She affixed balloons to the shop frontage, and as she did so, several burst…



I looked at my companion and remarked;

“You know, if this mall were in the United States,  we all would’ve been diving for cover by now.”

We approached the counter and the Whitcoulls counter-attendant, having overheard my comment, remarked;

“That’s exactly what I said to the customer before you!”

What does it say about two predominantly anglo-saxon societies – both settled from Europe, where English is predominantly the lingua franca – but which over two centuries have diverged in such a radical fashion? Where bursting balloons  would raise curiosity in one society – and abject mortal fear in another?

And how lucky we are to be living in the former and not the latter.

If ever New Zealand draws up a constitution, our Second Amendment should guarantee the right to bear balloons. And that’s it: balloons.




Previous related blogposts

NRA response; more guns. Common sense sez otherwise.

How many more? For god’s sakes, how many more?!

Why arming our Police is not such a flash idea

Michael Moore on yet more shootings in the USA

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 3 October 2018



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The Scalise Shooting: this solves nothing!



A few days ago;

Congressman Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, was in critical condition on Wednesday night after he and three others were shot as they practiced for a charity baseball game.


Also wounded were a congressional aide and one former aide who now works as a lobbyist, officials said. One Capitol Hill police officer suffered a gunshot wound and another officer twisted an ankle and was released from a hospital, police said.

Reports indicate that the gunman, who was shot and killed, was a Bernie Sanders supporter;

It quickly emerged the [gunman], had posted anti-Trump messages on his social media accounts and campaigned on behalf of Mr Sanders, the Left-wing Senator who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Whatever my  thoughts and feelings toward those on the Right – including this current Trump Administration – the actions of the shooter (who will  not be named here) in Washington D.C. cannot be condoned. In fact, when news of the shooting came through on Radio NZ, I felt sick in my stomach.

For at least three reasons, political assassination must never be allowed to become a social norm;

  1. The person who resorts to a weapon to silence an opponent has lost the contest of ideas. It elevates the value of  an assassinated person’s ideas. In effect, they have been martyred, and history is full of examples, whether it be Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr.
  2. Whatever one thinks of a political opponent, they too have families who will mourn their violent death. Their partner and children do not deserve such a tragedy in their lives.
  3. It’s just plain wrong.

As well, the gunman has undermined and damaged his own ideology. Supporters of Bernie Sanders will now share the odium of one disturbed assassin’s crime.

Already, those inclined toward conspiracy theories have jumped on this shooting for their own agenda;

It didn’t take long for some to connect the shooting to Sanders himself. One person in particular, Jack Posobiec — a Trump supporter who has pushed the conspiracy theory surrounding DNC staffer Seth Rich’s death — especially fueled that idea.

“Just 4 days ago Bernie Sanders ordered his followers to ‘take down’ Trump,” he tweeted.


Sanders did not say that. Posobiec seemed to pull it from a CNN headline that describes Sanders’ nearly hourlong speech at Sunday’s People’s Summit.

The headline, “Sanders to faithful: Take down Trump, take over Democratic Party,” refers to Sanders’ message of resistance to the establishment rule, one that he campaigned on and since has reiterated, and his strong criticism of Trump.

Sanders called Trump “perhaps the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country” in his speech and ended by saying, “I want you to think about the incredibly brave heroes and heroines in our history against unbelievably daunting odds who risked their lives for social justice, for economic justice, for racial justice.”

But he did not at any point say anyone should “take down” the president.

If  this blogger were of a mind to resort to invented fantastical conspiracy theories, one could posit that the Scalise shooting may have been a “false flag” black-ops carried out by Trump supporters to (a) undermine Sanders’ credibility and (b) create sympathy for Trump.

Conspiracy theories are easy to invent; they require a simple idea; a small element of truth (or a mutated variety of it); and a strand of apparent logic.

But there is zero evidence for such a conspiracy.

The plain truth of the matter is that one disturbed, angry, frustrated individual, with typical American-style access to firearms, took it upon himself to decide who lives and who dies based purely on his own prejudices.

That is unacceptable.

It was unacceptable when successive US governments assassinated political enemies in foreign lands, or the Putin government assassinated it’s critics domestically or abroad.

As a self-professed “leftie” myself, I dis-own the actions of one man. He does not speak nor act for me. If I ‘attack’ Trump and his party, it will be with words and ideas. If I ‘attack’ Trump, it will be on issues; his policies; and  his actions (or non-actions). If I ‘attack’ Trump, it will not be in such a way as to cause his family to grieve his death.

For example, I will criticise Trump because of his apparent selective morality;

Mr Trump later visited the hospital where Mr Scalise was recovering. The president then tweeted: “Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape – but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!”

The president, accompanied to the hospital by his wife Melania, sat by Mr Scalise’s bedside and spoke with his family.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer describeD the scene in the intensive care unit as “emotional.”

It is disconcerting that – as far as this blogger is aware – Trump never visited the sole survivor of three men who stood up to a racist bigot threatening two young women in Portland;

Pressure is mounting on Donald Trump to address the fatal stabbing of several men who tried to protect a Muslim teenager from being subject to a racist rant on a train.

53-year-old Ricky Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche were killed after they tried to stop Jeremy Christian from hurling abuse at two women, one of whom was wearing a hijab.

A third passenger, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, was wounded.

Ted Wheeler, the Portland mayor, and the FBI have condemned the killings.

The President has not mentioned the attack by Christian, a man who has been described as a white supremacist, yet Mr Trump has continued to actively use social media.

Tweets since the attack include his “big results” from the trip to Europe, “fake news” and health care, and he has even praised the newly-elected Republican representative in Montana who allegedly assaulted a Guardian journalist at a campaign event. 

Veteran journalist Dan Rather made an appeal on Facebook for the President to name the “brave Americans” killed in the attack, and his post has been commented on and shared more than 340,000 times.

“I wish we would hear you say these names, or even just tweet them,” Mr Rather said. 

When there was a comment from the White House, the supposed tweet from Trump was – irony of ironies – apparently  “fake”. It was most likely written by a White House staffer;

After pressure mounted on Donald Trump to comment on the racist attack in Portland, Oregon that left two men dead on Friday, the president said on Monday the attack was “unacceptable”.

Trump’s words were broadcast on the @POTUS Twitter account, rather than the more commonly used @RealDonaldTrump, on Monday morning, shortly before Trump marked Memorial Day with a speech at Arlington national cemetery in Virginia.

“The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable,” the tweet read. “The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.”

The @POTUS  tweet does not sound like Trump’s style of writing on that particular medium.

Have I ‘attacked’ Trump?

Yes I have. And for damned good reason. But no violence was used.

No one died. No blood was spilled.

This is how a contest of ideas should – must! – take place in a civilised society.

Otherwise we are still cave-swelling barbarians – albeit with high-tech weapons, reality tv, and delusions of civility. To be a gun-wielding maniac, whether from the Right or Left, is to surrender to our worst urges. No intelligent thought, creative imagination, or insights required.

When one of “Our Own” from the Left or Right resorts to violence, we have to own that person. In this case, the Left has to take ownership of the Washington gunman and remind ourselves; this is not the way.

When a  Norwegian neo-fascist terrorist murdered seventyseven people in his own country, we demanded that the Right take responsibility for his actions.

The Left should  do no less.

Final note

After the attempted assassination of President Reagan, on 30 March 1981, US Congress passed into law the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. The Act restricted access to firearms and was supported by President Reagan, and passed into law by President Clinton on 30 November 1993.

After this attack on one of their own, Republican lawmakers might re-visit their recent history when it comes to gun-control.

A bullet makes no distinction between Republicans and Democrats. Only the person wielding the gun does that.





Reuters: Scalise in critical condition after attack by gunman at baseball field

The Telegraph:  Donald Trump visits Steve Scalise in hospital after Republican congressman shot at baseball practice

The LA Times: How fake news starts – Trump supporters tie Bernie Sanders to Alexandria shooting using a fake quote

The Independent:  Portland attack – Calls mount for Donald Trump to address fatal stabbing of ‘brave men’ who tried to protect Muslim teenager on train

The Guardian:  Portland attack – Trump says victims stood up to ‘hate and intolerance’

Wikipedia: Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

Previous related blogposts

The Portland Heroes – the indomitable human spirit at its finest





This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 17 June 2017.



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Michael Moore on yet more shootings in the USA…


The latest bout of insanity from the USA,


Shooter kills at least six people in rampage near UC Santa Barbara


The article above contained this chilling information;

“Police said they were examining a video posted on YouTube in which a man, sitting in a car, said he had planned an attack in Isla Vista because he was sexually frustrated and had been snubbed by women. The young man, who said he was 22, described himself as a virgin and said he planned an act of retribution because women had not found him attractive.”

If true, then those Americans who support the right for people to own deadly weapons are allowing crazed, frustrated, young men to vent their anger by using their guns on their fellow citizens.

The term “mass insanity” does not begin to cover what ails that country.

I thought this response,  from Michael Moore’s Facebook page, was worth re-posting*…


With due respect to those who are asking me to comment on last night’s tragic mass shooting at UCSB in Isla Vista, CA — I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life.

Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago: We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps.

We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) “interests.”

The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol. While other countries have more violent pasts (Germany, Japan), more guns per capita in their homes (Canada [mostly hunting guns]), and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do — and yet we don’t seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: “Why us? What is it about US?”

Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that?

Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses — and then we the people refuse to remove them from office.

So the onus is on us, all of us. We won’t pass the necessary laws, but more importantly we won’t consider why this happens here all the time. When the NRA says, “Guns don’t kill people — people kill people,” they’ve got it half-right.

Except I would amend it to this: “Guns don’t kill people — Americans kill people.”

Enjoy the rest of your day, and rest assured this will all happen again very soon.

[* Paragraphs added to break up text.]

The scary thing?

Moore is right. It will all happen again, very soon.


  1. There are 32,000 gun-related deaths in the United States, per year.
  2. In 2001, there were a total of 29,573 gun-related deaths.
  3. The September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, in 2001, killed 2,977 victims.





Washington Post: Shooter kills at least six people in rampage near UC Santa Barbara

Facebook: Michael Moore

Policmic: There Are 32,000+ Gun Deaths A Year in the U.S. — Here is How We Get That Number to Zero

Gun Policy: United States — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

Wikipedia: September 11 attacks






Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes



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Categories: Global Tags: , ,

How many more? For god’s sakes, how many more?!

15 December 2012 10 comments


Mass shootings at US elementary school

Full story


How many more?

How many more people must die in the United States before the body count becomes too much, even for the most obsessive, hardened,  gun-“fans”?!

Twenty children plus six adults. Is that the price of American’s “right” to own lethal weapons?

God help your nation.

Because it sure seems that you people are incapable of it.



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Categories: Global Tags: , ,

The World Grieves With Our Norwegian Brothers and Sisters

One thing that has always struck me as ‘curious’ about mess-shooters… Without exception, they always target the defenceless and the vulnerable.

They never, ever, strike at, for example, a “gun fair” such as the type they have in the US.

And if Breivik was so concerned about muslims, he had not one – but TWO wars where he could have enlisted amnd joined armies that are currently fighting a muslim enemy.

And if it’s marxists he wanted to target – there are heaps of them in North Korea and Cuba.

But instead, he picked an island filled with young, unarmed people. No marxists and no muslim extremists. Just young men and women of his own society.

So why do these nuts target the innocent and unarmed?

Because I suspect that these psychopaths are actually, deep down, cowards. They are afraid of a world they cannot understand, nor cope with, and where phantom ‘enemies’ are hiding around every corner.

I admire the Norwegians. They have declared that they will maintain an open, democratic society.

Could you imagine if a similar (gods forbid) situation occurred here in New Zealand? The government would be passing new laws at warp speed; increasing police powers; and making every effort to look like “they are doing something”.

I guess this is another example of Europe being more mature, as a society, than New Zealand…



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