By Doug Porter
A very disturbed 26-year-old man killed nine people and injured seven others at a community college in Oregon on October 1st. He was killed in a gunfight with police officers responding to 911 calls.
The President made his 15th appearance to address the nation following a mass shooting. He was obviously very angry and frustrated.
The blowback from the right edge of the flat-earthers was, as usual, both ignorant and infuriating.
Here’s What We Know
The shooter had recently moved to Winchester, Oregon with his mother from Torrance, California. He had a history of being anti-social. He wore body armor and carried
four six guns as he walked on campus.
UPDATE- From the Huffington Post:
Thirteen weapons were recovered, six from the school and seven from Mercer’s residence, said Celinez Nunez, assistant special agent in charge at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
She confirmed that all of the weapons were purchased legally and traced to a federal firearms dealer. Seven of the weapons were purchased by the shooter or his family members in the last three years, Nunez said. Law enforcement also recovered a jacket with steel plates and additional magazines.
The Torrance Daily Breeze reports he graduated in 2009 from the Switzer Learning Center with four other students. The school is for students with learning disabilities and emotional issues, the newspaper reports.
According to a post at Daily Kos:
The shooter, 26-year old shut-in Chris Harper-Mercer, announced his plans to kill on the 4chan message board r9k, a community for self-labeled “involuntarily celibate” young men. Many members of this community encouraged Harper-Mercer to “do it”; and celebrated as news of the massacre hit the airwaves.
The r9k community idolizes acts of domestic terrorism; and consider Elliot Rodger to be something of a folk hero. r9k is also the same online community which Eron Gjoni mobilized to promote “The Zoe Post” in an attempt to harass his ex-girlfriend into killing herself. It is this community which spawned the ongoing domestic terrorism of #Gamergate and Baphomet about which I have been writing for the past year.
This community radicalized Harper-Mercer, encouraged him when he posted his plans, and celebrated amongst themselves when it became obvious the shooter’s posts on r9k were genuine. They are currently celebrating in their little r9k club, posting jokey memes and shoutouts to the news media.
From the Daily Beast:
An online dating profile, linked to Harper-Mercer’s email address and featuring another photo of him, says the 26-year-old was living with his parents and searching for the “yin to my yang.” It identifies his views as “conservative, republican” and lists “organized religion” as one of his “dislikes.”
According to a student at Umpqua, Mercer demanded to know his victims’ religion before killing them.
The MySpace page features a photo of Harper-Mercer holding a gun and smiling into the camera. The profile includes images of pro-Irish Republican Army propaganda.
The President’s Reaction
From the New York Times:
President Obama’s face flashed with anger on Thursday night as he once again spoke to the American people in the wake of a mass shooting. But when it comes to preventing massacres, the president elected by promising “yes we can” has clearly come to the grim conclusion that he is powerless in the face of a country that is not yet ready to embrace tougher gun laws.
After previous shootings, Mr. Obama has been filled with resolve and determination. But that has changed. After failing to win passage of universal background checks in the aftermath of the carnage at a Newtown elementary school in 2012, Mr. Obama has essentially thrown up his hands, concluding that he cannot force change to happen.
On Thursday, he vowed to be the nation’s conscience on the issue, promising that “each time this happens I’m going to bring this up. Each time this happens I am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we’re going to have to change our laws.” But he acknowledged the limits of his power, the limits of the Oval Office.
The Usual Right Wing Excuses
Let’s see, the gun nutters’ formula is as follows:
- Say it’s too soon to talk about the shootings.
- How dare liberals politicize the killings.
- The massacre is a false flag effort to hide the nation from bad news.
- The shootings are a false flag to seize our guns.
- A lack of religious values (unless it’s a Muslim) causes killings.
- Kids need to know how to respect firearms.
- More police are needed to lock up more criminals.
- Massacres are what happens when you have gun-free zones.
Here are some actual facts:
- The United States has 4.4% of the world’s population and 42% of the civilian owned guns in the world.
- There have been 986 mass shootings since December 2012, when a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 20 children, six adults, and himself.
- So far in 2015 there have been 247 shootings (fatal+non fatal) involving 4+ victims, including the shooter.
- States with Stand Your Ground and other laws making it easier to shoot in self-defense, have been linked to a 7 to 10% increase in homicides.
- For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home.
- In 2015, the gun rights lobby outspent the gun control lobby about 6 to 1.
About That Meeting with the Pope
Supporters of right wing religious icon and Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis have been making a big deal about a Washington DC meeting with Pope Francis.
Not so fast, says the Vatican (via the Washington Post):
In a formal statement, the Vatican said Friday that Pope Francis’s meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis “should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.”
The statement, issued by the Rev. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, said it was not a “real audience,” suggesting that she was among a group that gathered to greet him and send him off.
UPDATE: Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce has a solid theory on how the Pope was hoodwinked on this “visit.”
The War Against Black Voters
Alabama and North Carolina are in the news this week as their methodology for suppressing black voters has come to light.
From Raw Story:
The state of Alabama, which requires a photo ID to vote, announced this week that it would stop issuing driver’s licenses in counties where 75 percent of registered voters are black.
Due to budget cuts, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said that 31 satellite DMVoffices would no longer have access to driver’s licenses examiners, meaning that residents will need to travel to other counties to apply for licenses. The move comes just one year after the state’s voter photo ID law went into effect.
In North Carolina, they simply “re-organized” polling locations.
Upcoming Events in San Diego
2015 San Diego Conference on Labor and Community Solidarity
Saturday, Oct. 3rd, 9am – $20/$15/$5 Donation
Lincoln High School, 4777 Imperial Ave., San Diego
Sign Up & Info
* Lunch provided with registration *No one will be turned away for lack of funds*
The Labor and Community Solidarity Conference brings together union activists, community organizers, and others committed to building a stronger labor movement committed to social justice.
This year the theme will reflect the growing and diverse efforts to fight poverty on a national and international scale. This includes the growing momentum in the Fight for $15, the struggle for full rights and equal pay for adjunct educators, the farm-workers movement for a living wage in San Quintin, and more.
Occupy San Diego 4th Anniversary
Hold Reps. Peters and Davis accountable for their votes on fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Davis and Peters will be speaking at the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club at 7pm at the La Mesa Community Center. On the 4 year anniversary of Occupy San Diego we are calling on everyone who wants to commemorate this day, and everyone who wants to stop the TPP, to please help us hold Scott Peters and Susan Davis accountable for their vote to Fast Track the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Scott Peters and Susan Davis voted with the 1% when they voted to Fast Track the TPP. We need to let people know of their vote and the implications it will have on our community.
Good Food Community Fair 2015
This year’s theme is Water-Wise San Diego. The open house will be a celebration of artisanal food and craft drinks, cooking demos, art and music, discussion panels with local farmers, fishermen, chefs, food producers, breweries and much more. Special Programming will focus on good, clean and fair food in a time of drought.
Democratic Debate Watch Events
Tuesday, Oct 13th 6-8:30pm Free
Official Democratic Party: The Alamo Mexican Cafe, 2543 Congress St, San Diego
San Diego City Council District 9 Candidate Forum
Wednesday, Oct 14th 5-7:30 pm Free
Lys Garden Chinese Restaurant 3, 4350 54th St., San Diego
Sign Up & Info
**Childcare will be provided** Translation available in Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, Karen and Amharic**
Moderated by: DeJuan Hoggard (OneAmerica News Anchor)
San Diego City Council District 9 is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. There are multiple candidates in the running to succeed Councilmember Marti Emerald and it’s up to us to ensure that the next Councilperson is a champion for progressive values. We need a candidate who will stand up for working families, bring good jobs and housing to our neighborhoods and protect our health, environment and rights.
Sunshine Noir ll Book Release Party
Friday, October 16th, 6pm Free
The Glashaus, 1815 Main St, Suite B, San Diego
Sign Up & Info
Come celebrate the release of City Works Press’s 10th Anniversary book–SUNSHINE/NOIR II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana as the final celebratory event of the San Diego City College International Book Fair. There will be readings, music, art, tacos, and MORE!
Columnist Note: I probably should mention that several San Diego Free Press editors and contributors are included in this book.
On This Day: 1949 – Joining with 400,000 coal miners already on strike, 500,000 CIO steel workers closed down the nation’s foundries, steel and iron mills, demanding pensions and better wages and working conditions. 1967 – Thurgood Marshall was sworn in. He was the first African-American member of the Supreme Court. 1976 – John Belushi came out on stage with Joe Cocker while he was performing on “Saturday Night Live.”
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