The Widdershins


Posted on: September 17, 2013

Click.  One.  It has happened again.DC Navy Yard

Click.  Two.  So frequent a definition of “it” isn’t necessary.

Click.  Three.  People try to remember workplace drills, but for real this time.

Click.  Four.  Phone lines light up — SWAT teams begin yet another deployment.

Click.  Click.  Click.  Click.  Click.  Click.  Click.  They left home yesterday morning for the last time.  Kissed their children and spouses for the last time.  Got pissed off about traffic for the last time.  Wondered what mood their bosses were in for the last time.  Drank their last cups of coffee.  Were unburdened by the worry of getting their affairs in order.

Click.  Twelve.  The NRA felt vainglorious in the knowledge of stopping a bad guy with a gun took a good guy with a gun.  The sterile marketing cliché had played out once again.  Without an iota of contrition the romanticism of owning a cold, steel, bullet-spewing tool of death had bested the reality of warm tissue, flesh and bone.

Click.  Thirteen.  The final assault of the day was a craven utterance of condolence to the lifeless victims and their hollowed-out families.

Meanwhile as the burnt sulfur and the coppery smell of blood cleared, Three Hundred-Twenty million Americans thought, “What a shame — someone ought do something.”

And the countdown to next time begins.

This is an open thread.


19 Responses to "Again…"

I think that I will always remember the statement made by the trauma surgeon “Please put my trauma center out of business.” Along with ED and trauma center nurses and physicians everywhere, I agree wholeheartedly. Although the NRA contributes heavily to our job security, we would just as lief occupy our time otherwise.
Beautifully written post, Prolix.

I will say it Gun Control now period….I will not shy away from the words Gun Control.

Excellent but sad post Prolix.

This from David Weigel over at “Slate”:

The Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to hold a hearing on “Stand Your Ground” laws featuring testimony from Trayvon Martin’s mother, John “More Guns Less Crime” Lott, and a trio of congressman that, for maximum cable TV potential, included Rep. Louie Gohmert. But shortly after 6 p.m., on a day when the Senate was on a security lock-down due to the Navy Yard shooting, Sen. Dick Durbin’s office (and the office of would-be panelist Rep. Luis Gutierrez) announced that the hearing would be rescheduled.

That’s right. The hearing inspired by one shooting has been bumped because of another shooting.

This stuff is so loaded with irony, snark feels woefully inadequate.

Thank you Prolix for distilling the horror and our feelings. I watched Rachel Maddow’s chart on the escalation of mass murders in this country over 200 years. Most of them have been since 2007. What to do, what to do?

Thank God or Goddess for Louis Gohmert. Whenever I think the Repubs have gone as low as they can, ole Louiee is there to prove me wrong.

I can’t think of anything which will stop it until every one of our politicians knows to a certainty that if they continue to take gun money and favor the manufacturers, they will NOT be going back to their desks after the next election. They got the message about not bombing Syria. They need to get the same message about guns and assault weapons.

Oh, and if (I mean when) I hear one more time that the person had a history of mental illness, I am going to be sick. Bring back the funding and facilities for our mental health system. So now we have big insurance and gun manufacturers to deal with. No easy task.

CNN saying that Aaron Alexis bought the Remington shotgun in suburban Virginia and passed the background check for the purchase.

I just want to scream.

@5, Mary Luke, I, too, saw that chart on TRMS. Of the twelve largest mass shootings, it took over fifty years to have 6. Since 2007, we’ve had six. In six years, we have had 50% of the largest shootings in our history.

Only the paid mouthpieces dare say that it isn’t because of access and flooding the market with guns.

@9, Beata, I’m with you on that. I can’t see why 320,000,000 Americans minus the 4 million in the NRA and the 600,000 in the Gun Owners Assn. can’t make a difference? It has to do with voter intensity and until the voter intensity is ratcheted up on the side of sensible safety, these occurrences will continue to be randomly predictable and deadlier.

@7, Mary Luke, I think you’ll find this as interesting as I did — in the federal statute, you have to be adjudged as having a mental defect, actual words, “mentally defective!” Given the roadblocks placed in the way of the background checks where some are still done with boxes of note cards and paper files, there are some states where mental health issues can’t forbid the purchase of a gun because those states’ mental health statutes don’t declare your mental state a finality.

It is all a ruse — perpetrated, funded, and splayed across their mortal souls by the gun-running manufacturers.

@12 Prolix, those statutes indicate an 18th century understanding of mental illness. The paradox is, the overwhelming majority of people diagnosed with a major mental illness will never become dangerous. The small minority who will are giving off signals which are lost because we have no truly functional mental health system in this country. The statutes don’t identify sociopaths, or extreme personality disorders with delusional belief systems, such as Timothy McVeigh. McVeigh didn’t have a “major mental illness” in that he was not psychotic, but he did have a fixed belief system which led to extreme sociopathic behavior. We have neither the legal nor the mental health system to deal with such issues in this country now.

Mary Luke said: The small minority who will are giving off signals which are lost because we have no truly functional mental health system in this country.

And we know nothing about the “warning signs” until those folks erupt.

The other problem is the current psychiatric standard of “The contract of safety”. This means that the patient verbalizes that he intends no harm to him/herself or others. It matters not if they are hearing command voices, wearing a tinfoil hat, or are convinced that they are the Empress Josephine. I have heard psychiatrists say ” You aren;t planning to hurt yourself or anyone else are you?” and if the patient grunts more or less in negative fashion, they are out the door clutching a slip of paper with the address and phone number of the community mental health center in their catchment area, which can probably squeeze them in next March. What could possibly go wrong?

Amazing post, Prolix. Having everyone in my family read it.

And we know nothing about the “warning signs” until those folks erupt.

Last I heard, the only reliable predictor of violence is a history of violence.

There are some not-so-subtle clues, such as calling the police and advising them that the voices in your head are telling you to kill people. Actually, command voices of any stripe are never a good sign.

Some pretty intense imagery there, Prolix. A little morose, but poetic and effective. I loved this post!

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