The Morning Sixpack is coming to an end…Shall we call it a hiatus of undetermined length? It may be back at some point in the future but of probably a different “flavor” (maybe a podcast?)
Let me know in the Comments!
Top of the News
- Uvalde Shooter Fired Outside School for 12 Minutes Before Entering
- Police Face Questions Over Response to Texas School Shooting
- Trump Confirms He Will Speak Friday at NRA Convention in Houston
- A Movie Star, NBA Coach, and Texan Politician Are All Asking the Same Question
- Joe Biden Said Mass Shootings Tripled When the Assault Weapon Ban Ended. He Was Right.
- Debunking 3 Viral Rumors About the Texas Shooting
Uvalde Shooter Fired Outside School for 12 Minutes Before Entering
UVALDE, Texas—Local residents voiced anger Thursday about the time it took to end the mass shooting at an elementary school here, as police laid out a fresh timeline that showed the gunman entered the building unobstructed after lingering outside for 12 minutes firing shots.
Victor Escalon, a regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety, gave a new timeline of how the now-deceased gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, walked into Robb Elementary School, barricaded himself in a classroom and killed 19 children and two teachers.WSJ
It now appears the timeline originally given was bullshit. Who wouldda thunk it?
Here's the timeline as I understand it:
- Ramos shot his grandmother in the face. She survived.
- He stole her truck and ran it into a ditch near the school.
- He began shooting at people outside a funeral home.
- He walked over to the school and shot outside it for 12 minutes.
- Then he went in and supposedly barricaded himself in a classroom.
- Police showed up 14 minutes after being called, two minutes after Ramos entered the school.
- Law enforcement (local PD, SWAT, Border Patrol, and perhaps others) stood outside school for at least 40 minutes before they “stormed” the school/classroom.
- Once they breached the classroom Ramos was in, a Border Patrol agent killed Ramos.
Who knows what else transpired? Keep reading.
Police Face Questions Over Response to Texas School Shooting
Law enforcement authorities faced questions and criticism Thursday over how much time elapsed before they stormed a Texas elementary school classroom and put a stop to the rampage by a gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers.
Investigators were also unable to say with any certainty whether an armed school district security officer outside Robb Elementary in the town of Uvalde exchanged fire with the attacker, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, when Ramos first arrived on Tuesday.
The motive for the massacre — the nation’s deadliest school shooting since Newtown, Connecticut, a decade ago — remained under investigation, with authorities saying Ramos had no known criminal or mental health history.
During the siege, which ended when a U.S. Border Patrol team burst in and shot the gunman to death, frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the school, according to witnesses.
“Go in there! Go in there!” women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who watched the scene from outside a house across the street.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said Wednesday that 40 minutes to an hour elapsed from when Ramos opened fire on the school security officer to when the tactical team shot him.
“The bottom line is law enforcement was there,” McCraw said. “They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom.”
But a department spokesman said Thursday that authorities were still working to clarify the timeline of the attack, uncertain whether that period of 40 minutes to an hour began when the gunman reached the school, or earlier, when he shot his grandmother at home.
“Right now we do not have an accurate or confident timeline to provide to say the gunman was in the school for this period,” Lt. Christopher Olivarez told CNN.
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz did not give a timeline but said repeatedly that the tactical officers from his agency who arrived at the school did not hesitate. He said they moved quickly to enter the building, lining up in a “stack” behind an agent holding up a shield.
“What we wanted to make sure is to act quickly, act swiftly, and that’s exactly what those agents did,” Ortiz told Fox News.
But a law enforcement official said that once in the building, the Border Patrol agents had trouble breaching the classroom door and had to get a staff member to open the room with a key. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk publicly about the investigation.
Olivarez said investigators were trying to establish whether the classroom was, in fact, locked or barricaded in some way.
Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside.
Upset that police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders.
“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.”
“They were unprepared,” he added.
Carranza had watched as Ramos crashed his truck into a ditch outside the school, grabbed his AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and shot at two people outside a funeral home, who ran away uninjured.
Olivarez told CNN that the school security officer outside was armed and that initial reports said he and Ramos exchanged gunfire, “but right now we’re trying to corroborate that information.”
As Ramos entered the school, two Uvalde police officers exchanged fire with him, and were wounded, according to Olivarez. Ramos went into a classroom and began to kill.
Carranza said the officers should have entered the school sooner.
“There were more of them. There was just one of him,” he said.
On Wednesday night, hundreds packed the bleachers at the town’s fairgrounds for a vigil. Some cried. Some closed their eyes tight, mouthing silent prayers. Parents wrapped their arms around their children as the speakers led prayers for healing.
Before attacking the school, Ramos shot and wounded his grandmother at the home they shared.
Neighbor Gilbert Gallegos, 82, who lives across the street and has known the family for decades, said he was puttering in his yard when he heard the shots.
Ramos ran out the front door and across the yard to a truck parked in front of the house and raced away: “He spun out, I mean fast,” spraying gravel in the air, Gallegos said.
Ramos’ grandmother emerged covered in blood: “She says, ‘Berto, this is what he did. He shot me.’” She was hospitalized.
Gallegos said he had heard no arguments before or after the shots, and knew of no history of bullying or abuse of Ramos, whom he rarely saw.
Lorena Auguste was substitute teaching at Uvalde High School when she heard about the shooting and began frantically texting her niece, a fourth grader at Robb Elementary. Eventually she found out the girl was OK.
But that night, her niece had a question.
“Why did they do this to us?” the girl asked. “We’re good kids. We didn’t do anything wrong.”AP
So many questions. So many answers we'll never know, some just because and some because people will be covering their fat asses until the day they die.
Trump Confirms He Will Speak Friday at NRA Convention in Houston
President Donald Trump reasserted on Wednesday that he is still going to Houston on Friday for the National Rifle Association’s annual meetings despite the deadly mass shooting in Uvalde.
Trump released a statement to the media on Wednesday morning saying he still plans to attend the convention.
“America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship. That’s why I will keep my longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA convention and deliver an important address to America,” Trump said.
Trump, Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz are among the speakers scheduled to address the NRA at its annual meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The convention was originally planned for last year but was postponed due to COVID-19.Houston Chronicle
What a cunt.
A Movie Star, NBA Coach, and Texan Politician Are All Asking the Same Question
Millions of Americans have responded to the horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with wrenching and public displays of anger, sadness and rage against the nation's broken political system. This latest tragedy comes a little more than one week after 10 people were killed in a racist hate crime that purposefully targeted Buffalo's Black community. The massacre in Uvalde coincided, almost to the day, with the second anniversary of George Floyd's murder.
Two years later it is worth questioning: how much has really changed?
That's a question without a satisfying answer. But as so many in America grieve and grapple with their anger, it's striking that a chorus of White men are among the loudest and most visible voices exposing the fundamental crisis of American democracy, for all the world to see. There is something particularly significant about the fact that three high-profile White men, all leaders in different fields, are speaking out about the underlying crisis that allowed the horrors in Uvalde and elsewhere to continue unabated. So much of contemporary American politics seems to pit people of color on one side and a declining White majority on the other. And yet Steve Kerr, Matthew McConaughey and Beto O'Rourke all serve as courageous models for a progressive White male identity that challenges systems of oppression, speaks truth to power and confronts the divisions of our current moment by publicly highlighting the gap between the nation's professed values and a more bitter reality that allows nineteen children to be killed in such grotesque fashion.
Steve Kerr, the three-time NBA championship-winning head coach of the Golden State Warriors, conducted a news conference Tuesday that turned into a bold political sermon. “When are we going to do something?” demanded Kerr, who challenged all Americans to let their voices be heard and to demand justice in the memory of those lost in Uvalde and Buffalo. Kerr, a longtime advocate for gun reform whose own family has been touched by violence, has a history of making powerful political statements.
There was also actor Matthew McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde. He released a statement after the shooting that openly questioned the nation's moral and political values. “We cannot exhale, make excuses, and once again accept these realities as the status quo,” observed McConaughey.
A similarly enraged Beto O'Rourke, a former presidential contender now running for Texas governor, interrupted a Wednesday news conference with Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to publicly accuse Abbott of “doing nothing” to halt gun violence, besides perfunctory statements and news conferences that avoid the heart of the issue. Abbott is currently scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention Friday in Houston.
The seemingly rote nature of the news conference before O'Rourke's intervention struck a profoundly sharp contrast with the officials' reactions to the interruption. Patrick called O'Rourke “an embarrassment.” US Sen. Ted Cruz told him to “sit down,” while Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin shouted profanities at him. The anger and vitriol officials directed at O'Rourke was noteworthy, but even more shocking than that was the lack of anger shown during the proceedings about the reason they were all there in the first place.
Kerr, McConaughey and O'Rourke are all trying to direct Americans' attention toward the way in which our nation's democratic atrophy is costing the lives of our people, including children, our most very precious resource.
According to Pew Research from April last year, 53% of Americans favor stricter gun control laws, though those policy perspectives are shaped by age, race, major party affiliation and gun ownership. Three in 10 Americans own guns and they tend to be White, male and Republican. Rural residents favor more access to guns and those who live in cities prefer more restrictions.
While a majority of Americans believe in common sense gun control, the will of the people has been hijacked by the NRA's enormous power, whose influence over the Republican Party (and some conservative Democrats) is near absolute. Politicians, such as Utah senator and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have expressed grief over the children lost in Uvalde in one breath, while simultaneously accepting money and support from the NRA in the other.
Make no mistake, this is about guns. But this is also about much more than guns.
The normalization of mass shootings and horrific violence is unfolding amid growing authoritarian, racist, anti-democratic and oligarchical tendencies that are harming America's identity as the world's leading democracy. Violence and hate against Black, Jewish, Asian American, Latinx and LGBTQ communities, especially over the last seven years, further erode America's democratic promise. Legislative efforts to suppress women's reproductive and bodily autonomy, voting rights, the teaching of racial justice and Black history in schools, and help for immigrants seeking sanctuary from crises at times stoked by US foreign policy, are also a form of political violence that has horribly weakened our country.
The same party that is advocating placing control of women's bodies in the hands of local and state governments decries any such restrictions on the rights of citizens to own, operate and utilize weapons of war.
The rise of social media misinformation, racist hate, the Big Lie regarding the 2020 election and growing economic inequality threaten to put a stake through the heart of freedoms long taken for granted.
This is the death of democracy via a thousand cuts.
So where do we go from here?
The Uvalde massacre will not end the partisan warfare that engulfs the country, but it highlights the depth of our political divisions with a moral clarity that is too often missing from a political world that is too often portrayed as sport, complete with winners and losers of the latest news cycle.
There are real people affected by public policy, legislative and legal decisions and the narratives we share to rationalize the unspeakable.
When children can be mercilessly slaughtered in school and the majority's political will to take constructive action is stymied by a small group of politicians, donors and special interests, we cannot expect our democracy to survive. We cannot endure political business as usual.
At a news conference Wednesday announcing the signing of a new executive order on the anniversary of George Floyd's killing — one that will create a national federal registry of police officer misconduct and incentivize local cities and states to create more restrictions on chokeholds and no-knock warrants — President Joe Biden spoke about Uvalde. “When in God's name will we do what needs to be done?” to stop innocent children and families from being killed by gun violence, asked Biden.
That question needs to be answered by Americans from all backgrounds, especially those who have experienced the horrifying pain of losing a loved one to gun violence. Two years after a painful moment of reckoning that seemed to promise the hope of democratic renewal for a nation scarred by a pandemic, massive economic crisis and racial divisions, we have regressed into familiar quarrels, recriminations and bad-faith arguments about our current crisis. We are long past the time for eloquent words and need to focus on deeds that might, in some small way, offer a measure of peace for the families of these lost children and offer a future where tragedies such as Uvalde are indeed unthinkable.CNN
These men are courageous. They are our leaders now. The politicians in DC and in our state governments are worthless pieces of pig excrement. They are do-nothing losers who need to be run out of office on a rail. Let's start over with actual human beings who care and will act.
Joe Biden Said Mass Shootings Tripled When the Assault Weapon Ban Ended. He Was Right.
There was no mistaking President Joe Biden’s plea for some sort of concrete response to the slaying of 19 elementary school children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
“I spent my career as a senator and as vice president working to pass common sense gun laws,” Biden said in a May 24 prime time national address. “We can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy. But we know they work and have a positive impact. When we passed the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down. When the law expired, mass shootings tripled.“
Biden was thinking back to sweeping gun legislation passed in 1994. Among other changes, it banned certain kinds of weapons, and the large-capacity magazines that allow people to fire more bullets before reloading.
There are numbers that back Biden up. A 2019 study out of New York University’s School of Medicine found that mass shooting deaths involving assault weapons fell slightly in the decade of the federal assault weapon ban, and then rose dramatically in the decade that followed. That’s the time frame for Biden’s statement.
While other researchers said the decline during the ban was too small to draw firm conclusions about the ban’s impact, there is no debate that the pace and deadliness of mass shootings rose after the ban ended. Beyond assault weapons, more recent work points to the threat posed by large-capacity magazines, which the 1994 law also restricted.
The 1994 law barred the “manufacture, transfer, and possession” of about 118 firearm models and all magazines holding more than 10 rounds. People who already owned such weaponry could keep it. When the ban took effect, there were roughly 1.5 million assault weapons in private hands. An estimated 25 million weapons were equipped with large-capacity magazines.
The ban expired in 2004.
In a 2004 study commissioned by the U.S. Justice Department, researcher Christopher Koper wrote, “The ban’s exemption of millions of pre-ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines ensured that the effects of the law would occur only gradually.”
The point was the 1994 law was hardly an on-off switch for these firearms and magazines. As long as that hardware remained in circulation, people who wanted to use these weapons in a mass shooting would have some opportunity to acquire them.
In a 2019 study from New York University’s School of Medicine, a group led by epidemiologist Charles DiMaggio homed in on mass shooting deaths.
Researchers define mass shootings in different ways. DiMaggio’s group looked at incidents in which at least four people died.
In raw numbers, they found that mass shooting deaths fell during the years of the ban and rose afterwards. DiMaggio shared his data. Deaths more than tripled in the decade after the ban ended.
The decline of 15 deaths between the decade before the ban and the decade during it is modest, but there is a clear and dramatic rise after the ban expired.
The death toll from mass shootings went from an average of 4.8 per year during the ban years to an average of 23.8 per year in the decade afterwards.
Many factors drive gun deaths. To help account for those, DiMaggio’s team put mass shooting deaths in terms of the total number of firearm homicides. Viewed that way, they found that between 1994 and 2004, the yearly rate fell by 9 people per 10,000 firearm homicides.
DiMaggio’s study concluded that mass shooting deaths were 70% less likely during the ban.
His isn’t the only study to find that fewer people died in mass shootings when the ban was in effect. In a 2019 article, Louis Klarevas, a Columbia University researcher, and his co-authors found that shootings in which six or more people died were less common and less deadly in the years during the ban.
The debate over the value of a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines often includes Christopher Koper at George Mason University. Koper wrote the 2004 study that gave both sides in the gun control debate supporting material.
Recently, Koper has spent more time assessing the role of large-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
In a 2020 article, Koper wrote that more than the semiautomatic weapons themselves, the latest data ties larger magazines to a rising death toll. The most striking trend, he said, is less about the modest fall in deaths under the ban, and more about the dramatic rise that came when the ban ended.
Much of that stems from the firepower that comes from large-capacity magazines.
“Considering that mass shootings with high capacity semiautomatics are considerably more lethal and injurious than other mass shootings, it is reasonable to argue that the federal ban could have prevented some of the recent increase in persons killed and injured in mass shootings had it remained in place,” Koper wrote.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health studied state laws that limit magazine size. Their work linked those laws to a nearly 50% reduction in the rate of fatal mass shootings.
On the key policy question of whether the ban drove the decline, DiMaggio urged caution.
“It is pretty much impossible to prove cause and effect,” he told us when his study came out in 2019.
Gun violence researcher Andrew Morral at RAND Corporation, a consulting nonprofit research group, said he and his colleagues don’t see strong evidence that the ban drove down deaths.
On the other hand, “we also don’t believe there is strong evidence that they were not the cause of any such reductions,” Morral said.
Morral said many studies show that limits on weapons and large-capacity magazines are associated with fewer and less deadly mass shootings. And in the absence of stronger data either way, “logical considerations” should guide lawmakers.
“The absence of strong scientific evidence is not a good rationale for taking no action,” Morral said.
Biden said that after passage of “the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down. When the law expired, mass shootings tripled.”Politifact
Let's look at this another way: Did the ban INCREASE mass shootings? Did it materially harm anyone?
The answer to both is an emphatic NO. All it did was hurt the feelings of the gun nuts.
Debunking 3 Viral Rumors About the Texas Shooting
1. No, the shooting was not a staged ‘false flag’ operation.
Hours after the attack on Tuesday, far-right figures spread misinformation claiming that the shooting was a “false flag” attack. Among their unfounded claims were that the shooting had been orchestrated to draw local law enforcement away from the border, allowing criminals and drugs to cross into the United States, and that gun-control advocates had organized the tragedy to stoke public outrage.
Other social media posts alleged that parents shown in news clips awaiting news of their children appeared to be insufficiently emotional and were crisis actors being paid to play a role. The two teachers who were killed were also accused of being crisis actors.
Claims of crisis actors and false flags in school shootings are not new: The conspiracy theorist and broadcaster Alex Jones of Infowars has lied for years that the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was staged by the federal government, with people pretending to be survivors and victims’ parents. Last year, Mr. Jones lost four defamation lawsuits filed by victims’ families, many of whom have been harassed by his believers.
2. No, there is no evidence that the gunman was transgender.
Hours after the attack, a post on the fringe online message board 4chan circulated claiming that the gunman was transgender. Numerous photographs falsely claiming to show the gunman wearing women’s clothing were attached.
The authorities have said the gunman was male.
The unfounded claims made their way to Telegram channels of far-right militia groups such as the Proud Boys, where people falsely claimed that the shooting was a result of hormone therapy undertaken by the gunman.
By Wednesday, the claims that the gunman was transgender had been amplified by high-profile people such as Representative Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican who was censured last year by the House after he posted a video that depicted him killing a Democratic lawmaker. Mr. Gosar’s Twitter post on the matter has been deleted.
Photos of dark-haired transgender women circulated alongside images of the gunman’s face, accompanied with false accusations that they were the same person. “There is an overwhelming number of individuals who are posting images of this person, who was the shooter, and information about the nature of them being transgender,” Stacy Washington, the host of the SiriusXM show “Stacy on the Right,” said on Tuesday night. She added: “We don’t have definitive proof, but I’d say, this many pictures? My goodness. There’s something going on here.”
On Tuesday, a transgender artist said on Reddit that people online “just took my photos and used it to spread misinformation.” After the artist posted other photos as proof, an account on Twitter that discusses gun rights deleted a post that had included the artist’s photo and apologized.
A 22-year-old transgender student living in New York also reported that photos of her were falsely linked to the gunman. She posted photos of herself on Twitter to prove her identity and asked people to stop saying the photos of her were of the gunman.
“Im very close to crying,” she posted at one point.
The Trans Safety Network, a research group that monitors threats against the transgender community, said in a statement on Wednesday that it had identified photos of three transgender people wrongly linked to the gunman and confirmed that all three were alive.
Mr. Gosar and Ms. Washington did not respond to requests for comment.
3. No, the gunman was not an undocumented immigrant.
False claims that the gunman was born outside the United States began to circulate within hours of the shooting. Spread largely on white nationalist Telegram channels and Gab accounts, the claims alleged that he was an undocumented immigrant in the United States, even after authorities including Roland Gutierrez, a Texas state senator, confirmed that the gunman was born in North Dakota.
Two Telegram groups with ties to white supremacist figures claimed Wednesday that the gunman had “illegally penetrated” the country from the Mexican border. The groups, which each have thousands of followers, went on to falsely claim that the gunman was undocumented in the United States.
“Did he cross the border illegally?” Code of Vets, a veterans organization, posted on Twitter. “Our nation has a serious national security crisis evolving.”
Later, the group added a post noting that “the shooter has been confirmed to be a citizen” while stating: “Mental health must be addressed. Our border must be secured.”
Mr. Gosar also said the gunman had been in the country illegally.
Source: New York Times
The “Right” will stop at NOTHING to keep fucked up people from killing people with guns.
Signing off for now…