Thursday, August 27, 2015

Father of slain Virginia reporter wants to "force politicians who are cowards and in the pocket of the NRA" to come up with stricter gun control laws.

Courtesy of Mediaite: 

“It’s senseless that her life and Adam’s life were taken by a crazy person with a gun. If I have to be the John Walsh of gun control–” Andy Parker said. 

“Look, I’m for the Second Amendment, but there has to be a way to force politicians who are cowards and in the pocket of the NRA to come to grips and have sensible laws so that crazy people can’t get guns,” he continued. 

“It can’t be that hard,” Parker said. “And yet, politicians from the local level, and the state level, to the national level, they sidestep the issue, they kick the can down the road. This can’t happen anymore.”

 I want so much to believe that this time it will be different, that this time the public will have had enough and demand that we get serious about passing reasonable gun control legislation.

But if the Sandy Hook massacre, which saw 20 children murdered in their classrooms, was not enough then how we can we expect this to be any different?

Or maybe that is just me being a cynic rather than a realist.

Personally I think that one of the reasons people are not responding more emotionally to these shootings is that they are protected from seeing the devastation they cause.

If you watched the footage on TV yesterday you would see the video right up until Flanagan was about to shoot and then there was a still image with the reporter explaining what happened. An explanation that fell short of describing just how horrific the next few seconds were for reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman Adam Ward.

This was explained as being for our protection because it was very troubling for some people to witness.

But you see that's the thing. I think people SHOULD see the video, and not only be troubled, but be horrified.

That is why I posted the video yesterday, and why I posted the even more troubling first person point of view video filmed by Flanagan himself.

I in no way wanted to promote the gunman's agenda, but his video showed, in a way no other I know of has ever demonstrated, what it looks like when a man shoots and kills people with a handgun.

Watching it chilled my blood.

Perhaps if we could chill a little more blood, and stop protecting people from the devastation of guns in this country, we could actually do something to reduce the devastation of guns in this country.

At least that's my opinion.


  1. Anonymous4:51 PM

    When we have 20 children murdered in their kindergarten classroom every month, the 2nd Amendment might come up for review. Until then every student in this country will be in the lottery for sacrificial lamb to the god of the 2nd Amendment.

    I saw two cars today with bumper stickers saying "firearms save lives". The hopelessness of destroying the gun humper ethos overwhelms me.

  2. Anonymous5:00 PM

    Guns getting in the hands of the mentally unstable and gunning down innocent people is a story that we as Americans know too well.

    We shed tears and say prayers for the victims and the victims families, but then we thank our lucky stars that it wasn't us or one of loved ones, and then we move on.

    1. Okay don't buy into that bullshit argument about mental illness.

      The facts are that the overwhelming majority of gun homicides, and even suicides, are done by individuals who do not have an acute mental health problem.

      They are angry, upset, sad, depressed, frustrated, and even embarrassed. But given a few minutes, or perhaps hours, they would be back to what passes for a normal state of mind.

      However if they have access to a gun, then those few seconds, minutes, or hours where they are unable to engage their critical thinking skills can be all the time it takes for them to change the trajectory of their lives forever, and possibly that of a fellow human being.

      The NRA wants us to think this is all due to mental illness, because the truth, if it gets out, terrifies them to their core.

      And that truth is that the most dangerous people in our community, is everybody in our community who owns a gun.

      And we are only one betrayal, argument, infidelity, or sense of panic away from recognizing that truth.

    2. Anonymous7:48 PM

      Nothing could be more true than what you have posted, Gryphen. I am a retired Policeman, and I an authorized to carry a concealed weapon. But I don't, I keep it secured at home. Just driving around the neighborhood can get you upset with angry drivers. I do not want the responsibility of explaining a confrontation with a bully out there who tries to test my toughness, and ends up shot to death. I take my chances with my knowledge and expertise in martial arts. I don't confront anyone, but I am always prepared to defend myself if needed.

    3. Anonymous9:44 PM

      7:48 -- my husband came home from three years in the Army in WWII with a pistol.
      He gave it away. "I don't ever want to own a gun," he said, having seen them used many times in combat.
      He's the commander of his American Legion post. He fought for our citizens to be safe in their own homes and schools and lives. He can't understand the NRA and the people who purposely misread the Second Amendment.

    4. "Okay don't buy into that bullshit argument about mental illness.

      The facts are that the overwhelming majority of gun homicides, and even suicides, are done by individuals who do not have an acute mental health problem."
      So happy to see this, Gryphen. Everyday we see stories about gun deaths caused by stupidity, carelessness, negligence, arrogance, and anger. What do we do to end those gun deaths?

      Anyone who thinks that keeping mentally ill people from having access to guns will solve this country's gun problem is foolish beyond belief.

      (I am not saying at all that mental illness is never a factor in gun violence.)

    5. Anonymous6:24 AM

      Frankly I think that anyone who walks around with a loaded gun/rifle or whatever is crazy and should be locked up or, minimally, deprived of their weapon(s). So I think that we need good gun control laws. Other more civilized countries do not have people strutting around withe their loaded weapons; it makes the US look just like a county in the midst of anarchy and the terrorism that goes along with it. It should not be easy to acquire a gun and it should be impossible to walk around in the general public armed to the teeth. This poor young woman's father is, unfortunately, fighting a losing battle just like the parents of the children and their teachers who were slaughtered in their classrooms. Even the reporter was just so focused on being "balanced"; this is not a question of "balance"; it's a question of sanity vs. insanity.

    6. Anonymous6:27 AM

      Anon 7:48---I cannot express how much I agree with you. I have suffered several periods of severe depression in my lifetime, and because of that I would NEVER allow myself any non-military access to a gun.

      Far too much possible risk posed to myself or, universe forbid, some other completely innocent, very unlucky person.

  3. Anonymous5:00 PM

    I totally agree with you, Gryphen. We are coddled here in the US. We are never shown the real cost, the real tragedy of shootings. We are shown the leadings up to the shooting, and maybe afterwards some cleaned-up scene, after most of the blood and guts has been washed off and the bodies have been covered up. Everywhere in the rest of the world, you see the real stuff. You see the real war, not some disinfected and scrubbed version. Yes, for some people, it might be a turn-on to see the real guts and gory. But for most, I would say, it will be a definite turn-OF, and most people would then lay stronger on their politicians to stop this insanity. I don't know when we started this, if it was during the Vietnam War already, or only during gwb's administration, when he did not even allow the returning caskets to be broadcast. THAT is what makes war sterile. THAT is what makes gun crime sterile.

    Hopefully, this last act is the straw what breaks the proverbial camels' back.

    1. Anonymous5:43 PM

      The NRA loonies should have been forced to spend the night in the middle of the carnage at Sandy Hook School.Those Babies,some shot as many as 8 or 9 times lay on that cold floor overnight,while their parents and other loved ones experienced unspeakable grief.The Doctors,like my daughter,who waited at the ready at Danbury Hospital,for survivors that never came.We cannot move on from this grief that is seared in our Psyche. We will never get over this!

  4. Anonymous5:05 PM

    It's always the "crazies" causing problems.

    "I'm sorry, sir, but you can't buy a gun because you look a bit depressed and it's possible you might hurt someone in the [far distant] future. Or someone might steal your gun, and harm someone, somewhere, at some time. You can reapply for gun ownership after 5 years of documented psychotherapy and a re-evaluation by our own mental health staff, a subsection of Homeland Security. Oh, yes, we'll be forwarding this to your employer, in case he considers your continued employment to be a threat to everyone in the building. If your employment is terminated, then we will fit you with ankle bracelet, for your own protection, until we are certain you aren't a threat. Have a nice day. Next.

    Somehow I can't see "well you might shoot someone someday" as a very good argument for gun control. Someone will have to come up with a much better argument if there's going to be any change.

    My condolences to the families of the two victims.

    1. Anonymous5:24 PM

      The 20 kindergartners/first graders of Sandy Hook didn't get a chance to appreciate your condolences. "Well you might shoot someone someday" turned out to be a shooter with a rapid-fire high-capacity weapon. So they lost out on the chance to hear you.

      And, all the children on all the school buses every day in this exceptional country share the same characteristic as the Sandy Hook School children. They deserve to be targets of any passer-by that happens to feel like firing off the same weapon used by the Sandy Hook shooter. But that's not a better argument, it just the way life is in gun humper paradise.

      The only thing that will change the 2nd Amendment is massive amounts of blood.

  5. Anonymous5:11 PM

    When the Nazi death camps were liberated at the end of World War II, German citizens from the surrounding area were made to go and see for themselves the rotting corpses of the inmates as they were bulldozed into mass graves.

    I thought after Sandy Hook that everyone who is a Second Amendment absolutist should be forced to view the crime scene photos of the bloodied bodies of those precious children. Only then would people maybe, just maybe appreciate the horror of what this society has become.

    1. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with this.

      If those pictures had been made available I would have posted them.

      It would have been with tears in my eyes, but I would have posted them anyway.

    2. Anonymous6:29 PM

      Love you, Gryphen. You're a good person with a big heart and worthwhile mission. Hang in there. I, quite honestly, have had it.

    3. Anonymous8:22 PM

      I have had it, too, and thank you for your blog. Sandy Hook should have ended it ALL...and we see what was answered to us "little people."

      Oh, and excuse, me, FUCK YOU $arah Palin. You give the finger just like Track and lovely, x-tian bitch.

  6. Anonymous5:33 PM

    How many millions of people are there in the United States? Around 320 million, or so? My guess is that until half of the population is killed by someone with a gun, Americans will shrug their shoulders. I keep reading the excuse that 'it's not the gun that killed, it's the sick monster behind the gun'. It will be a long time before Americans give up their guns, no matter how many innocent lives are lost.

    Archie Butt

    1. Anonymous8:35 PM

      We might not all be victims, but we ARE each and every one of us a target.

      And that's enough reason to be against guns for me.

  7. And we ALL need to get the courage of these parents and people like Mark Kelly and Gabby. It's going to take communities, states, and our entire country to work on improvements! I have nothing but respect and awe for these fathers who can speak up so quickly….

  8. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Her name was Jamyla Bolden. She was 9 years old. She died while doing her homework on her mother's bed.

    For some reason she wasn't wearing a bullet proof vest. So the 2nd Amendment took full effect.

    1. Anonymous6:22 PM

      I hope Jamyla's family can find some peace now that the shooter was arrested.

      RIP baby girl.

  9. Anonymous6:27 PM

    Our 6 year old knows the differences between a fire drill, a tornado drill and a lockdown. She tells me the students have to be quiet in a lockdown so "they" will think the room is empty. She doesn't seem too worried about "they" yet.

    She doesn't know she's a sitting duck when she lines up to get on the bus for home. The buses are less than 30 feet from the street. She doesn't know what a "drive by" is, yet.

    I'm hoping for a few more years before she understands that she is not safe.

    1. Anonymous1:52 PM

      Fact is, schools can't protect your kids. All the drills are just smoke and mirrors

  10. Someone wants to hold politicians accountable for all the guns on the street?

    Sure thing. Call me when that happens.

    1. Anonymous6:45 PM

      @Old Redneck
      You probably strap your kids into a child safety seats but never put them in bullet proof snow suits. You know how to balance risk/reward.

  11. Anonymous7:17 PM

    My nephew is a schizophrenic, his father was also. He inherited guns, lots of guns. He spent 4 months in jail for shooting one of those guns in the air and threatining my niece.

    Those guns were not taken away.He is one of the time bombs out there. He hates Blacks and Hispanics, he lives in Arizona where guns are a way of life.

    My sister had no where to put him since Reagan shut down all the mental health facilities. He has been in and out of jail more than once and my sister had the money to bail him out, jails get rid of the ones with mental problems real fast because they don't want to deal with it.

    The question is why does he still have a gun? Who keeps track of this? no one. So here he sits a person who is clinically incapable in possesion of a gun. He inherited those guns and no one took them away.Criminal background and the police did not confiscate that gun.

    I don't want to hear from the NRA. bitching about rights' . Who's rights? the gun holder or the innocent bystanders?

    1. Anonymous1:42 PM

      Are you suggesting that someone with a diagnosis of a mental illness should have fewer rights than an undiagnosed mentally ill person? Are you advocating that someone with a mental illness and no record of any dangerous or threatening behavior be treated differently because possibly he or she might do something dreadful in the future? In other words, lock 'em just because people will think they're safer if we do.

      Ok with FBI tracking prescriptions to keep an eye on who's taking psychoactive drugs and add that to the information available from your driver's license?

      There's gun laws and health issues. I personally don't think they should be mixed.

  12. I have been saying the same thing for a couple of years now. Either show the bodies OR the scene of the shooting. The picture of the first grade class room with the bodies removed but the carnage still showing would be shock-inducing. As it should be.

    It will take shocking photos to turn people's minds on.

  13. Anonymous4:08 AM

    NY Daily News was vilified for their cover yesterday. Like you, I applaud the heck out of folks willing to show the horror of what happens when someone decides it is time for a Second Amendment show of force.

    Until that horror is shown repeatedly, unaltered, certain folks will not even pay attention.

    As for the NRA, I believe they should be held accountable every time something likes this happens. Ads and commentary reminding folks that "today's deaths, brought to you by the NRA".


  14. The beauty of the gun lobby in this nation is something to behold. As I have noted previously, the right to own and bear arms is actually better defended than life itself. It is simply remarkable the influence the NRA has and the utter and complete buy in of millions upon millions of Americans. Imagine what could be done with such a full court press against disease or in support of education or the economy. The indoctrination is simply staggering.

    After each one of these tragedies, a bereaved parent pours out their grief on television and demands change and vows their child will not have died in vain, that they will take up the cause for reform and never cease. I say that without a trace of belittlement. But nothing, nothing, stirs congress to action. Oh, sure, there'll be the obligatory responses to the tragedy and calls for a panel to organize and then quickly disappear, but that's just boilerplate stuff. Every tragedy requires some sort of response.

    Instead of reform our solution to the gun problem is more guns. A heavily armed society is a safe society. Where guns are inappropriate, we install metal detectors and search mechanisms. In places vulnerable to bullets, we install bulletproof glass, walls, and issue vests. Any expense to keep us safe and to protect us from guns is acceptable, except, of course, reducing the numbers of guns.

  15. Anonymous9:31 AM

    I think making the issue about gun control misses the real root cause. Most of these killings are related to untreated cases of mental illness. We seem to have a public policy that the mentally ill and not diagnosed and treated as a function of a good health care system. The work place could have alerted the public health system to the aggressive behavior and a health system with the assistance of law enforcement could have prevented the tragedy.

    It seem like we turned our back on the mentally ill around the Reagen era as some type of unwarranted welfare and the results have been tragic for millions of individuals and victims. The gun is just the vehicle but the motive is mental illness.

    We spend so much money incarcerating people for drug related actions but almost nothing for clearly mentally unstable citizens.

    1. Anonymous1:34 PM

      Sounds like you are suggesting more money to incarcerate mentally unstable citizens. If so, how do you propose that mentally unstable citizens be identified, and should they be incarcerated because of an illness in the absence of any wrongdoing?

  16. Funny how the media protected us from having to witness the horror of two white journalists being shot to death. But I recall seeing a black man in South Carolina shot in the back - the video was shown over and over again. Another black man was shot while sitting in his car and that footage was shown repeatedly too. I agree with you, Gryphen, we won't come to terms with it if we don't see it.

  17. Anita Winecooler4:30 PM

    You're a hundred and ten percent right. We "sanitize" gun deaths and the resulting carnage. Our citizens can't even mourn our military dead, nor even see their flag draped coffins arriving stateside.
    We watch television and, when people get shot, it's a teeny little circle with a touch of red make up, gently dabbed on the clothes. And the death is usually dramatic and quick, very little suffering, if any.
    I've seen crime scene photos, autopsy photos and various trajectory studies, blood spatter experts testimony etc. etc. when working with my BIL, a detective. It's not too far a stretch calling it "blood chilling", especially when there are children involved. Unless people see for themselves, the horrific aftermath with their own eyes, they aren't seeing the whole picture. It hit me to the core, so much so, that I can't watch programs about true crime, even though it's fiction. Reading true crime novels doesn't have the same effect because nothing my imagination can come up with comes close to the visceral reality.
    The sad thing is, even seeing this man trying, in his grief, to make something good come of it, the truth is, the Gun Lobby and NRA will never face the truth, and will fight it to the bitter end. We couldn't even get stricter gun sales rules passed, and even if we did, if anyone wants a gun bad enough, they'll get their hands on one.
    We've got to stop scapegoating the mentally ill every time a tragedy like this happens.


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