Another mass shooting, this time in Texas

UPDATE: The news now says that at least 19 people are dead and 40 injured; the gunman, now in custody, is a 21-year-old man who used a semiautomatic, assault-style rifle. The motive is still unknown.


From CNN, a bulletin (click on screenshot). So far news is scanty.

How many deaths will it take till we know
That too many people have died?


  1. BobTerrace
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Obviously, we need to ban the existence of Walmarts and malls, since we can’t ban assault weapons.

    • Posted August 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      It’s the only way.

    • GBJames
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink


    • Mark R.
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      And large gatherings like festivals, concerts and the like. You’re onto something here…

    • Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Puzzling questions about Crusius’ rampage:

      1) Why did he drive 600 miles to El Paso to do his shooting there?
      2) Why are his various writings on the Internet done in two very different writing styles and spellings? Was he really a *lone* nut?
      3) Why did he give up promptly to the cops so as not to get a scratch himself? Could it be he wants his “day in court” so he can say his piece and be seriously listened to?
      4) Why did CNN broadcast its usual gun-control boilerplate before the incident was even finished or the shooter identified?

      • rickflick
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        I think he drove to El Paso because it’s a border town and is a center of immigration processing.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted August 4, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

        This sounds very much like you’re trying to push a conspiracy theory. Would you like to just come out and say what you think happened, rather than do the ‘I’m just asking questions’ thing?

      • Posted August 4, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Extremely puzzling. CNN and the liberal media are probably in on it. Entire 8chan membership is probably filled with liberals.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted August 4, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

          Leslie Fish’s comment is a good example of a post-and-run. Combined with the ‘just asking questions’ approach of conspiracy theorists everywhere.

  2. Posted August 3, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Good grief.

  3. rickflick
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    We must be averaging one a month. Should I buy a machine gun so I can get ice cream at the mall?

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      One a month? When it comes to mass shootings (where at least 4 people are shot including the shooter) there have been 248 so far in 2019. That’s more than one-a-day. American exceptionalism, yeah.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Yikes! One a day? Don’t blame me for not keeping up with the bad news.

      • BJ
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        That’s not a good statistic unless we’re redefining “mass shooting” in a way that nobody recognizes colloquially. Most of the shootings in that number involve things like gang shooting (drive-bys and others where multiple people are hit), things like murder/suicides, things like “a man injured his brother and two friends before being killed by a police officer,” or, in other words, a guy got in an argument and took out his gun and starting shooting. They include literally any shooting where more than one person is hit.

        One can technically/academically define “mass shooting” that way, but if we’re trying to convey to people who don’t already know how often something like this happens, it’s not a good statistic to use.

        • Mark R.
          Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          I got the stat from the “Gun Violence Archive” that tracks all gun incidents in the US. That’s how they define mass-shooting, and their stats are used by a lot of media outlets. So I guess everyone is wrong. Go figure.

          • BJ
            Posted August 3, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            Wikipedia has the same stat, but gives a description of each, which is how I checked it. I’ve read about the stat before, which is why I knew to check. I wasn’t trying to suggest you were being dishonest. That stat is used regularly in the media to make the problem seem even worse than it is already, but I feel that it only gives ammunition to people who want to argue and then can argue little details like this, detracting from the bigger discussion of gun violence in general. What’s most important is that there is constant gun violence and tons of people being killed by guns every year. I’m sure we’re on the same page.

            • Mark R.
              Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

              Thanks for the clarification. Stats…rrrg.

              • BJ
                Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

                No problem, and I’m glad you made me follow up because my corrections often do seem like arguing, when I’m actually on someone’s side and just want the argument to be better. Again, I’m sorry if I came off as if I was suggesting you were being dishonest or as if I even disagreed with your overall point.

                I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen NRA types bring this up. Or bring up the fact that “assault-style” is a meaningless phrase made up by politicians and the media and to scare people and increase the scope of guns in the discussion for being fully banned (again, it’s a small detail, but the gun nuts are basically right about this), or whenever the media classifies something as an “assault weapon” when it’s not, etc. They always use these things to affect the debate in two ways: (1) portray their opponents as dishonest, and (2) always try to bog down the discussion in minutiae to distract everyone from the real issue (and then, when people won’t back down from the things they said that actually were wrong or were at least arguable, the argument stays in that bog and never comes back up). These are the two most common and, by far, most successful ways I’ve seen the guns-for-all crowd argue. So, if you end up in an argument with them, be aware of that and don’t let them drag the conversation into the muck. They’re very good at deflecting and they do love the much.

              • BJ
                Posted August 4, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

                Hey, Mark R., I feel I should say “fair play/sorry” to you. I missed your “4 or more shot” point, and you were spot on to make that clear. You gave the definition in your original comment. I apologize for jumping on it.

                Like I said, it wasn’t about you, it was about the way I’ve seen the gun nuts argue and my desire to see people stop using that stat because it gives them a way to defuse the conversation (and also because I, personally, find it to be colloquially dishonest, but that’s not your problem). Still, I should have been more careful and read exactly what you said and responded in a manner that suited that.


              • Mark R.
                Posted August 4, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

                No problem B.J. no need to apologize, but apology accepted.

        • Posted August 4, 2019 at 4:39 am | Permalink

          Please stop. Seriously.

          People killed in gang shootings and murder/suicides are just as dead as people killed in mall shootings like this. This trope of not including gang shootings because they are gangs is bullshit.

          Also, Mark R said “four or more” so they do not “include literally any shooting where more than one person is hit”, they include literally any shooting where four or more people are hit.

          • BJ
            Posted August 4, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            Did you see my explanation regarding why this shouldn’t be used as a stat?

            • Posted August 4, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

              Yes I did and I don’t agree with it.

              If four people get shot, it’s bad no matter how it happens. It doesn’t matter if it is an accident, a suicide, a gang shooting or a racist on a mission, people are being killed and injured on a daily (hourly?) basis in the USA because of the ridiculous gun worship there.

              • BJ
                Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

                That’s fine if that’s your definition, but it’s not the colloquial one. Still, it’s fine if it is.

                I meant this comment:

              • BJ
                Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

                Point is, I just want to take away from the gun nuts the very few points that people see as valid. They keep succeeding at making the debate about other things when they’re faced with the overarching issue of the enormous amount of gun violence in the US. I want this to stop, but we and the media need to be smart regarding how we handle them when we debate them head-on.

              • Posted August 4, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

                The distinction is important, as banning assault rifles won’t do anything about the
                10,000 handgun murders, much less the 22,000 gun suicides, p/a.

              • rickflick
                Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

                I think banning assault weapons, as weakly defined as they are, is basically a foot in the door so that we may begin creating a new legal system around guns. It may not do too much for total numbers of deaths, but it will make a more sane gun culture easier to achieve.

      • Jim Danielson
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Canada has had 4 in 2019 – so far.
        Adjusted for population, it would be 40 compared to 248 in the USA.

        America is also exceptional in it’s ER teams ability to save gunshot victims. They have had plenty of patients to practice on.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Did you notice the one at a Garlic festival a few days ago?
      4 Dead.
      12 Injured.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I did. That’s what prompted me to make an estimate of average frequency. It appears my guess was a bit short.

  4. Glenn Borchardt
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    These are not “mass shootings.” They are “NRA Shootings.”

    • Art Rigsby
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      You could also say it is a “Supreme Court shooting”. It was their dumb ruling on the 2nd amendment that allowed unfettered gun ownership.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Aside from being the lobbyist for the instrumentalities of mass murder, the NRA has become a cesspool of corruption, with massive self-dealing by its competing leadership factions, and serving as a medium for Russian influence-peddling.

  5. dd
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Your heart sinks…just hoping that the dead are few.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Like climate change, this will continue to get worse until so-called leaders pull their heads outta their asses. At least the Democrats have passed legislation for universal background checks and such…of course, Moscow Mitch doesn’t care about mass murders so on it goes.

  7. BJ
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    You know, I realized something after seeing this on the news about 1/2 hour ago…

    I realized that I was going to forget about it as soon as I changed the channel. This is so common now that I don’t even give it a second thought unless there’s a huge body count. I simply forget about it if it’s less than probably twenty people dead. That’s terrible. I’m not just ashamed of my country for allowing this to continue, but I’m ashamed of myself for having become so desensitized to this.

    • BJ
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Well, reading the updates, it seems this is not one I’ll soon forget. Horrifying.

    • Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      It’s an understandable condition though.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted August 4, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      “I realized that I was going to forget about it as soon as I changed the channel. ”

      I believe this will be of huge significance in this election – white male terrorism.

  8. Geoff Toscano
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Across on Patheos nonreligious, Tippling Philosopher, Jonathan Pearce writes at length on matters philosophical (obviously!). He recently wrote an article regarding the ontological basis for rights, dwelling especially on gun rights. Not about guns as such, or whether gun control was a good thing, or whether it would work, just whether rights exist in abstraction (of course they don’t as they are human constructs). Normally he receives maybe 60 comments, 100 on a good day. This article was invaded by gun nuts and was around 1300 comments before Jonathan closed them. He wrote a follow up, trying to get back to the point. Again, invasion of the gun nuts, with 1500 comments. He tried again, same result. He finally resorted to an article with comments banned completely and the nuts went wild with fury.

    Not one comment addressed the issue, simply asserting that gun rights are something you are born with. They denied even that America is a democracy, and resorted to insults pure and simple. I realise now that any form of meaningful gun control is impossible in light of what was clearly a coordinated attack on something they don’t understand.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      But pro-gun types are in the minority, am I right? Isn’t there a hefty majority in favour of(some form of) gun control?

      The fact that a minority of the population manage to swarm over this comment section you speak of to such a ludicrous degree emphasises what a total fantasy-land the internet is.
      You could spend a couple of hours reading comment sections online and come away thinking the world right now consists solely of extreme conservatives, with a much smaller portion of extreme left-wingers mixed in. The internet warps your instincts about who is in the majority and who is in the minority in a very insidious, pernicious way.

      It’s crucial that we don’t forget what a complete hall-of-mirrors online conversation is, with its anonymity, sockpuppets, bots and selection-effects.

      • BJ
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        “But pro-gun types are in the minority, am I right? Isn’t there a hefty majority in favour of(some form of) gun control?”

        Yes, you’re absolutely right. Most polls place reasonable controls like waiting periods, background checks, etc. between the low-80’s and 90%. Just goes to show the power of single-issue voters when it comes to primaries and, more importantly, the power of the gun lobby. Nearly nine out of ten people want something and still, even after decades, it can’t get done. Remarkable.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted August 3, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          But those measures are in the extreme ‘better than nothing range’.
          They oppose them so heavily because they see it as a foot in the door to actually banning guns.

          Ask if guns, especially handguns should be outright banned and pro and for would not balance the for I bet.

          • BJ
            Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            Oh, I know why they don’t want it (or why they say they don’t. I have no way of evaluating the honesty of that argument from the average person, though I don’t think it’s an honest argument in the least from the lobbyists), but we still have this thing called the Second Amendment, the gun lobby, and probably a very significant majority of the population that does not want all guns banned. Most people still want not only handguns to be allowed, but also hunting and skeet rifles, etc.

            Sorry, I can’t really parse your second paragraph.

  9. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Reading about this on the Grauniad it says one of the reports came from a witness who “pulled his gun and ran to the scene as he heard the bullets”. He’s already gotten praise and he was clearly proud of himself. Fair enough, it’s a brave thing to do, no denying that.

    But really? A random civilian, pulling a gun, and running to the scene of an in-progress shooting, while no-one knows who the actual shooter is or how many of them there are? That’s exactly what the police need I’m sure.

    It sounds harsh but I find that kind of attitude fucking infuriating rather than admirable.

    • merilee
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Me, too, Saul

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Fucking idiot I say.

    • BJ
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      NRA types are always saying, “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” as a way of justifying the proliferation of more and more firearms to more and more people. Well, how come these mass shootings are never stopped by good guys with guns?

      Silly me. As if the ideas behind an ideological position need evidence.

      • Harrison
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Stress makes an untrained person clumsy and stupid. The fight or flight response does not turn you into Rambo or Bruce Lee. Even a person with extensive shooting experience at the gun range will perform worse than usual in an active shooter situation, and their decision-making will be hampered.

        • BJ
          Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          You are, of course, right. Though you do often see people with years of extensive training run toward situations like this, but they also usually have the situational IQ to know that they can’t immediately assess who to be shooting at and when it’s safe to do so, so they usually run in to try and help people survive in other ways. There are rare instances of people stopping perpetrators, like the passenger on the 15:17 train to Paris. Of course, those passengers actually didn’t have guns, while the perpetrator did.

          • BJ
            Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink


            Wouldn’t want to leave out the multiple people who deserve credit for that heroic action.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

              I can’t help wondering whether the passengers on that train were partly motivated by outrage and incredulity that anyone should be waving a gun in a train, and simply not believing, deep down, that they might get shot. I think passengers on an American train might be very much more accustomed to the idea and hence less likely to tackle the gunman.

              I’d better make clear that in no way am I suggesting that French (/Belgian?) passengers are braver than American ones, just that a difference in expectations can make a difference to results.


              • BJ
                Posted August 4, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

                Actually, the heroes here were all Americans and just happened to be on holiday in the right place at the right time.

              • BJ
                Posted August 4, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

                Just to follow up with a crazy part of that story that re-reading your comment brought to mind: the guy who initially took down the terrorist just ran full speed at him while the terrorist tried to shoot him. Straight on. Luckily, the gun jammed. I just can’t imagine the bravery it must take to run at someone pointing an automatic rifle right at you. I often can’t fathom the bravery that a rare breed of person shows. One can never know how they’d react in such an exceptional situation, but I imagine I would just cower in fear. The guy who did that was in the Air Force.

                I should also note the bravery of the first person who tried to stop the terrorist, who was a French man who jumped him from behind, but was unfortunately shot in the back by a pistol. Just want to be clear that I’m not in any way suggesting that French (or Belgian, etc.) people are any less brave than Americans 🙂

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted August 5, 2019 at 1:35 am | Permalink

                BJ, I do apologise for getting that wrong, and my conclusions were probably faulty.

                The passengers were a Frenchman, an American-born Frenchman, and three young American tourists. A Briton and a French train driver also joined the fray.

                The full account is here


                and I do credit all the passengers involved for their bravery.


              • BJ
                Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

                Three cheers for the bravery of all involved indeed, and no apology necessary 🙂

        • Posted August 4, 2019 at 5:03 am | Permalink

          And, if you only have a handgun, you need to get really close to the shooter to be sure of hitting him and not something to either side.

          “Service grade accuracy” is considered to be a four inch group at 25 yards. That is, with the gun pointing at the same spot for five shots, all the hits will be within two inches of that spot. When you factor in that a human being under great stress will be holding the gun, you’ll need to be closer than 25 yards to a man who is already shooting. Not gonna happen.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted August 4, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

            Also factor in that most of the lone nuts these days are carrying a small armoury, while the civilian have-a-go hero will be carrying a handgun at best.

        • darrelle
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          It’s the same even among pros. I’m going from memory without taking the time to provide a reference, but I’m sure anyone who can spare a few minutes can find the data easily enough.

          To the point, even among highly trained pros that practice shooting and simulated high stress situations on a regularly scheduled basis, police, FBI, ATF and so on, their performance drops precipitously in real life situations. In training the overall average shots on target is something around 90% while in real life it drops into the teens or twenties.

          • merilee
            Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

            Speaking of Bruce Lee, just saw Tarantino‘s new movie once upon a Time in Hollywood in which Lee features. Great film. Same vibe as pulp fiction. Very witty.

      • Posted August 4, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        They are in fact periodically stopped with “good guys with guns.” In fact, the last mass shooter in TX, at Sutherland Springs, was taken out by a bystander. (It’s unfortunate he didn’t arrive sooner, but at least he stopped the shooter from killing anyone else.) Here is a more complete list:

        Mass shootings stopped

        • BJ
          Posted August 4, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Thanks for that list. Unfortunately, there has been only one incident this year in which “a good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun,” five last year, etc. Compared to the number of shootings, this seems to me to demonstrate that the answer to the following question is “no”: would these mass shooting be more or less common without all the “good guys with guns” we’re arming through the proliferation of guns generally? Keep in mind that many of these shootings have taken place with legally bought guns, either by the shooter or an acquaintance of their’s.

          • yazikus
            Posted August 4, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

            Tangentially- BJ, I saw and appreciated your comment about the mass shooting stats. Led me to read up on it myself, so thanks for that!

            • BJ
              Posted August 4, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

              No problem. I’m glad someone found it useful 🙂 Like I said, I wasn’t trying to be a jerk with that “correction” (I put that in quotes both because I failed to account for Mark R.’s noting that the stat included shootings with four or more people, and because, hey, it’s statistics, so different interpretations and all that). I just think it’s important to be cognizant of the arguments used by the gun nuts who don’t want anything to change — which is, like, 10% of the population. It’s insane that we can’t get changes made when the vast majority of the country supports them. How many issues can you get almost everyone in the country to agree about?

              Sorry for that rant at the end. Anyway, I’m glad it helped. Thanks for your kind comment.

      • JB
        Posted August 4, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Well, I agree with the many comments you’ve posted here BJ, but just on a technical point: the Dayton shooting (which occurred AFTER the El Paso shooting which was YESTERDAY) was ended when police arrived and killed the shooter within 1 minute. So I guess that’s an instance of a mass shooting being stopped by good guys with guns.

        The Sutherland Church Shooting (Nov 2017) shooter was shot twice by an armed bystander. Because in Texas, guns are very common… this wouldn’t happen where I’m sitting (Boulder CO where virtually no one has guns).

        Nonetheless, your point is taken: it’s ridiculous to think the answer to all these shootings is more guns.

        • BJ
          Posted August 4, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Fair point on what might be the technical definition, but I don’t think most people (or the NRA and similar organizations who use that line) would count cops among the “good guys stopping bad guys” list, since it’s used as an excuse for the proliferation of gun ownership and carrying generally.

          But, again, I always appreciate someone pointing out a new line of thinking to me. It’s important, if only to make arguments stronger, but also to sometimes to change my mind about something. So thank you.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      I recall after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016 that killed 49 people (and wounded another 53), presidential candidate Donald Trump said that the sweetest sight in the world would be bullets headed back in the opposite direction at the shooter, and complained that there weren’t enough other patrons in the club appropriately armed — this at a dance club where people are drinking and huffing amyls.


      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Here’s the video of Trump’s reaction to the Pulse nightclub shooting.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted August 4, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

        Can you imagine that useless old windbag in a situation like that? He’s the kind of man who hears a car backfire and leaps into a pile of nearby leaves.
        The sound of him droning on with his absurd tough guy talk makes me feel like pummeling a pillow.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          “Can you imagine that useless old windbag in a situation like that?”

          Oh, now that is such a tempting thought. Preferably with an onlooker with a phone to catch video of him crapping his pants.


          (OK, I might be wrong, he might surprise everybody and show some real courage. It is not impossible. But I wouldn’t give you odds on it).

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted August 4, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            Nah, Trump will try to do a deal with others at risk: “you two make a run at him & there’s a million cash in it for you both, or your families, what do ya say?” – whether the pair of marks succeed or not will be irrelevant to him as he will use the confusion to escape, will deny making the deal & will cast himself as the hero of the hour.

            At the moment of course the marks will be the Secret Service.

      • merilee
        Posted August 4, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Assholiness and moronicity😖All-around nasty, stoooopid man.
        Corey Booker was very eloquent on CNN this am in Fareed’s usurped spot.

      • Carl
        Posted August 4, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        This is one of those rare instances where the stopped clock is accurate. At the Pulse night club an armed patron may well have reduced the carnage. A cool head, carrying a gun and knowing how to use it could have created a much better outcome that what actually was.

        Learn how to shoot, under what circumstances it’s warranted, do what it takes to get a concealed carry permit, and carry – then see if you don’t agree.

        At the very least, educate yourself with this podcast by a self described liberal (as am I):

        The Riddle of the Gun

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 1:17 am | Permalink

          And you (that is, the ‘authorities’) are going to ensure that everyone with a concealed carry permit is mature, cool, level-headed and sober – how?


          • Carl
            Posted August 5, 2019 at 3:02 am | Permalink

            Nobody can insure everybody with a carry permit is cool headed. I never claimed that – why would you think I did?

            Have you listened to Sam Harris podcast I linked? It’s a great education for anyone interested in gun rights or gun control.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          I dunno, Carl; were I in a barroom full of people packing heat, I’d be more concerned about a fistfight escalating into a shootout than I’d be secure in the knowledge that a patron would return fire on the off chance someone were to burst through the door firing an AR-15.

          Plus, this fella sounds more like a drunk mouthing off from a barstool than a statesman proposing sound firearm policy:

          • Carl
            Posted August 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            Your video of the stopped clock emitting sounds akin to a braying jackass doesn’t change things.

            If you want effective, realizable gun policy you will be better off listening to what Sam Harris has to say in the podcast link I posted. Harris is highly knowledgeable on the subject and extremely smart. Your video shows someone who is neither. You can do better than presenting opposing positions in the worst light.

            Are you aware that concealed carry permit (CCP) holders are more than five times less likely to have criminal convictions than the rest of the population? Even less likely than police officers? Instead of imagining a CCP holder as someone who pulls his gun and starts blasting away at the slightest provocation, try to imagine Sam Harris.

  10. Posted August 3, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I checked out the shooter’s twitter account, looks like a right-winger:

    • Posted August 3, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      This may not be the right Patrick Crusius…time will tell.

    • W.Benson
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Here is what is said to be the first page of the shooter’s “manifesto”. There is no guarantee of authenticity.

      Many comments can be found at

      • Historian
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        Assuming this manifesto is from the shooter, we see the convergence of stereotypical anxiety over demographic and economic change that is transforming the country. Immigrants not only represent cultural change, but are a threat to the dwindling number of jobs available to current citizens due to automation. His thinking that a mass shooting will somehow contribute to stopping immigration is irrational to the point of madness. His actions are the extreme culmination of the fears stoked by Trump and others in the right wing.

        There is no doubt that automation represents a threat to job, particularly of the unskilled variety. So, the shooter apparently concludes that unskilled immigrants will compete with unskilled citizens for low paying jobs. The extent to which jobs lost to automation will be replaced by high paying skilled jobs is debated by economists. But, certainly, mass shootings will do nothing to rectify a national challenge that is already upon us. Of course, Trump is doing nothing to meet it. He is only good for riling up those in panic over cultural and/or economic changes. Unfortunately, if and until our national leadership addresses these problems, tens of millions of Americans will live anxious lives out of fear of the future for themselves and their children. This anxiety will linger long after Trump is gone, resulting in social decay and polarization, with some people going to the extreme of senseless mass violence. If it ever comes, the promise of a bright economic future for the currently unskilled will certainly ease cultural anxiety, but will never totally eradicate it. The best we can hope for the latter is that like a virus in the body, it will be placed in remission, with always the possibility that it will break out.

    • Posted August 3, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Update: the Twitter account I found earlier has been suspended and is no longer available, and it did belong to the shooter. Since it is now gone I’ll describe it (the original is still open on my computer). It was started in 2016 and contains only six tweets/retweets. One (a retweet) compares President-elect Trump’s entry into Washington to Batman, one (another retweet) salutes Bill O’Reilly for making news that caused “decades of libetal[sic] tears”, and another one (the shooter’s own) praises Trump’s efforts to build a wall “to secure our country”.

      • Posted August 3, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        I see reports of another more recent Twitter account (started last month) linked to the shooter.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 4, 2019 at 2:33 am | Permalink

      That account has been suspended.

  11. Jim Danielson
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Lunatics are already spreading conspiracy theories the shooting is a deep state false flag, another is saying it’s an Antifa operation.

    One of those spreading this idiocy is the huckster/lunatic “firefighter prophet”.

    “Firefighter prophet” – people actually believe the idiotic things this guy spouts. I am deeply concerned for the future of America. It seems to me the crazier they are the more famous they get and more heavily armed their followers are.

  12. Vaal
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    A mass shooting in Texas?

    If only someone there had a gun!

  13. Jon Gallant
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    The wing of the Democratic Party commonly referred to as “Progressive” has made a bogey of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, sponsored by, among others, a Senator from Delaware named Joe Biden, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The Act had many provisions, and one was a ban on the manufacture or sale of semi-automatic assault weapons, and a similar ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. This part of the Act expired in 2004, and has not been renewed.

    Attempts to renew it, particularly during the Obama administration, failed. [IIRC, the attempt in 2013 actually got a slim majority in the Senate, meaning at least a few GOP votes, but not the majority over 60 needed in our peculiar from of democracy.] One argument against the assault weapons ban, beside the usual NRA propaganda, was that there was no significant evidence that violent crime diminished during the ten years the ban was in force. Sure enough, bank-robbers and muggers do not usually depend on semi-automatic rifles in their practise. These weapons are more closely associated with sporting events, like the one in El Paso today and the one in Gilroy last week.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      The progressive complaints about the Crime Control Act of 1994 (and the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 that preceded it) — about which those of us in the defense bar were voicing complaints loud & clear at the time — concerned the onerous mandatory minimum sentences that took all discretion away from sentencing judges (no matter how mitigating the circumstances might otherwise have been) and about the 100-to-1 disparity between crack and powder cocaine (whereby 5 grams of crack exposed an offender to the same mandatory sentences as half a kilo of blow).

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Looks to be another white-supremacist shooting. But, hey, POTUS tweeted “God be with you all” from the clubhouse between the front and back nine, so all good.

    Next, we’ll hear congratulations to our great first-responders and that it’s too early and disrespectful to talk about gun-violence solutions.

    Then, nada till the next one.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Exactly right. Lots of prayers, posturing, and then nothing. until next one and then rinse and repeat.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      What is the evidence that it is a white supremacist shooter?

      And, what should Trump have tweeted so as avoid being cast as almost a co-perpetrator in your mind?

      • loren russell
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        White supremacist? Sounds like it: Stuff like this from Crucius’ “manifesto”:

        ” I am against race-mixing because it destroys genetic diversity and creates identity problems. Also because it is completely unnecessary and selfish. Second and third generation Hispanics form interracial unions at much higher rates than others. Yet another reason to send them back…”

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        See here and the comments and links provided by Lou Jost and W.Benson above.

        I haven’t said anything about Trump being “almost a co-perpetrator,” and what makes YOU a mind-reader?

        I think Trump’s tweet was lame under the circumstances. And I’ll be anxiously waiting to hear him denounce white nationalism and to propose an assault weapons ban (though I fear all we’ll hear from him is his usual “not my fault, has nothing to do with me” bullshit).

        I notice Trump maintained radio silence on his personal twitter account for five hours from his first weak tweet until just now sending another offering his “thought and prayers.” Were there even a hint that the shooter were a Muslim or an illegal immigrant, do you doubt we’d’ve heard more from him by now?

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted August 4, 2019 at 5:06 am | Permalink

          Remember when liberal atheists like us spent years in frustration at the left’s refusal to ever mention the topic of Islamic terrorism?

          Well that’s going to be as NOTHING compared with the way conservatives are ignoring white nationalism.

  15. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Me and my ex were at an auction for an apartment in Melbourne yesterday.
    Just watching.
    Anyway, a bit a kerfuffle happened and there was quite a standoff, almost physical, between the auctioneer and another interested party.
    After the interrupted Auction we were downstairs getting something to eat and were talking about it and joked about how if we had been in America, the guy might have pulled a gun and Auctioneer might have popped one out of her purse and, away we go.
    Then I remembered hearing about the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic festival a few days ago.
    Make a joke about guns in America and a harsh reality will be nearby.

    Then I remembered about concealed carry on University in Texas and how a Philosophy lecturer joked he better try not be too boring with guns at hand.
    Now today.
    Another joke, another harsh reality.

    I think my main point here is that the gun situation in America is a joke.
    A tragic joke.

    A right?

    All other constitutional rights have bee modified or interpreted in ways that restricted their use, but not this.
    It seems Peculiar.

    • Posted August 4, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      As a resident of California, I can assure you that the right to keep and bear arms is far from unrestricted.

      • Carl
        Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely true. Restricted gun rights are one reason I won’t live in my native state, though for many reasons I would love to return. I own several guns and magazines I couldn’t legally bring with me to California. Getting a concealed pistol license is “on demand” – barring criminal or mental issues – where I live now (deep blue Washington), but almost impossible in most of California.

        • Posted August 5, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          A friend recently received her concealed carry permit and described the training and test as extensive and thorough. But not every county even allows for concealed carry.

  16. Harrison
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Reports coming out say the guy drove 10 hours from Dallas to El Paso. The most likely reason being a higher proportion of Hispanic victims.

  17. Deodand
    Posted August 3, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I used to think it would take a massacre larger than Martyn Bryant’s at Port Arthur with one or more victims resulting from ‘friendly fire’ to bring about meaningful gun control in the US, now I just despair.

  18. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 4, 2019 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    The El Paso mass killer, as we’ve seen with two other mass shootings this year, announced the start of his rampage on 8chan’s /pol board. He also attached a four-page manifesto to the post.

    IN THIS ARTICLE at the Bellingcat site, “The El Paso Shooting & the Gamification of Terror” by Robert Evans, the last paragraph is as follows:

    In the wake of the Christchurch shooting I published my first Bellingcat article about 8chan. I was interviewed by numerous media agencies about the website, and I warned all of them that additional attacks would follow – every month or two – until something was done. This prediction has proven accurate. Until law enforcement, and the media, treat these shooters as part of a terrorist movement no less organized, or deadly, than ISIS or Al Qaeda, the violence will continue. There will be more killers, more gleeful celebration of body counts on 8chan, and more bloody attempts to beat the last killer’s “high score”

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 4, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      It’s been profoundly depressing over the last ten or so years to discover just how reactionary much of the gaming community is. Not just politically but creatively too, in their opposition to change and invention and artistic progress, and in their slavish desire for more of the same.

    • Posted August 4, 2019 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      They are not an organized terrorist movement. They’re a loose assortment of mentally ill, disaffected, nihilistic incels.

  19. Alex Zukerman
    Posted August 4, 2019 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    And now there is another mass shooting, this time in Ohio

  20. Eric Grobler
    Posted August 4, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    The divisive and identity politics queen Ilhan Omar said in 2018 that people should be more afraid of “white men” than muslim terrorists – sadly she has a point!

    After these barbaric murders yesterday she and other anti-western civilization nuts on the left can now increase their vitriol against the “patriarchy” and white men, call for open borders thus enticing more violence from unstable right wing white men.

    I am afraid that the democrats would now be encouraged to embrace even more divisive and extreme policies and regard working class whites as the existential enemy.

    If Trump handles this crisis badly the democrats should win the election easily but damage to the US spirit of “we are all americans” might be permanent.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 4, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      If the response of the white working class to these mass shootings is to have a mass sulk because the subject of white nationalism is being raised for the first time in decades then how the hell is anyone supposed to deal with the issue at all?
      How exactly can we address this issue without hurting the delicate feelings of the people you’re talking about?

      Your post reminds me of those times when an Islamic atrocity occurred, and the immediate, instinctive response of the apologists on the left was to worry about Islamophobia against Muslims. I’m not saying that was your attention, but it’s frustrating to hear the same kind of argument now being made in different circumstances.

      It’s possible to talk about this subject without being intentionally annoying and divisive, and I, like you, hope that Democrats do so. Because clearly this is an issue that’s not going to go away.

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        “Your post reminds me of those times when an Islamic atrocity occurred, and the immediate, instinctive response of the apologists on the left was to worry about Islamophobia against Muslims.”

        Yes I have to admit it does sound a bit like that – very depressing.

        “It’s possible to talk about this subject without being intentionally annoying and divisive, and I, like you, hope that Democrats do so.”

        If the politicians were responsible adults, they would discuss this behind closed doors and agree to tone down the divisive rhetoric.

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          I don’t think talk or invoking God and prayers will do a darn thing. I also don’t think how Trump handles this will affect his election chances…because in a month it will be memories. Those memories will be shaped by whomever you think has the best rhetoric. If Sandy Hook didn’t change anything, these two won’t.

  21. Marta
    Posted August 4, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    There will be no end to shootings in the US, because we think that your right to not get shot is second to another person’s right to shoot you.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Good question.

      “…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,…” Is contained in the 14th amendment. But, the right to keep and bear arms is in the 2nd amendment. Maybe they are being taken ordinally. The low numbers outweigh the higher.

  22. Roo
    Posted August 4, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I just can’t wrap my head around what causes this behavior in young men. Because it is so horribly aberrant and yet so creepily similar, almost every time. And I don’t really think it’s about ideology. (And to anyone who thinks I’m one sided, I have said that for years about Islamic terrorists, that I don’t think it’s really about religion, I think religion is one of many rationalizations that gets slapped on to the same basic underlying dynamic.)

    Sometimes these lone terrorists cite religion, sometimes they state no particular reason (as in Columbine and Vegas), sometimes it’s white nationalism – but across those incidents, the dynamics of what happens are almost identical. Sometimes it’s mass shootings and sometimes, as in the recent Alaskan highway shootings, it’s more like a murder spree – but it’s usually one or two guys between about 15-25 (occasionally older, although almost always male) getting it into their heads that they want to go shoot people they don’t know. Even if they lack any kind of compassion or empathy for the victims, they have to realize that their own lives will be over or ruined. What on earth motivates such behavior? Do they hope for a few moments of feeling powerful before their life is over? Is it some kind of ancient instinct for war completely run amok in a modern context? It’s the same senseless pattern repeated over and over seemingly down to the last detail, I just don’t understand.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      “Is it some kind of ancient instinct for war completely run amok in a modern context? ”


      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 4, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        If it’s genetic atavism, all the more reason to keep weapons of war out of the hands of civilians.

    • Posted August 4, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      A wise internet acquaintance of mine described it as the product of anomie. I find that very apt.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 4, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      Whatever the cause of this form of animosity, I’m sure testosterone is involved.

  23. Randy Bessinger
    Posted August 4, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It seems to me to be hopelessness and someone (or some group) to blame. Frankly, that seems to be a motivator in more than just mass shootings.

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