[Discussion] Mass Shootings - Yeah, we need a thread just for this...

This year is the deadliest year ever in terms of mass shootings. In a political climate of polarization, it becomes harder to suss out legitimate information from the misinformation propagated by those with political agendas. Complicating this more is the continual resistance of 2nd amendment advocates to allow for political talk surrounding these massacres. This will involve political discussion to see if there are ways we can all agree might be good ways to prevent mass shootings.

This discussion should involve the details of any current, or future has shooting, and how they compare to past mass shootings. How are they the same? How are they different? Do gun laws have an impact? Does the race of the shooter affect how we treat them? What makes one a hate crime and one an act or terrorism? Are these shootings the price of freedom?

I considered making a thread for the Texas shooting, but decided that it would be gross to have multiple threads popping up on the same topic, since mass shootings seem to be here to stay. So feel free o bring up past events as well as current events.

Jayhawker wrote:
Nomad wrote:

It was a question, not a statement. I saw the alleged FB screen captures when I image searched google for his Facebook account. I specifically questioned their accuracy in my post.

No, you didn't question their accuracy. You used alt-right propaganda to ask a loaded question.

Exposition:

A "loaded question", like a loaded gun, is a dangerous thing. A loaded question is a question with a false or questionable presupposition, and it is "loaded" with that presumption. The question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" presupposes that you have beaten your wife prior to its asking, as well as that you have a wife. If you are unmarried, or have never beaten your wife, then the question is loaded.

Since this example is a yes/no question, there are only the following two direct answers:

"Yes, I have stopped beating my wife", which entails "I was beating my wife."
"No, I haven't stopped beating my wife", which entails "I am still beating my wife."
Thus, either direct answer entails that you have beaten your wife, which is, therefore, a presupposition of the question. So, a loaded question is one which you cannot answer directly without implying a falsehood or a statement that you deny. For this reason, the proper response to such a question is not to answer it directly, but to either refuse to answer or to reject the question.

Some systems of parliamentary debate provide for "dividing the question", that is, splitting a complex question up into two or more simple questions. Such a move can be used to split the example as follows:

"Have you ever beaten your wife?"
"If so, are you still doing so?"
In this way, 1 can be answered directly by "no", and then the conditional question 2 does not arise.

By your very definition, you are wrong. A loaded question implies that any answer is going to lead to the same result (ie. implied wife beating in your scenario).

My question did not assume that the murderer was anti-Christian, it only questioned the response if he was. This is all a moot point now as main stream news (see the CNN article linked) has now brought out evidence supporting his hatred of Christians.

Here is a CNN article from today.
Here are some excerpts:
- The US Air Force acknowledged it did not relay Kelley's court martial conviction for domestic assault to civilian law enforcement that could have prevented him from purchasing the firearms used in the shooting. The Air Force and Department of Defense said they are investigating how records of his domestic violence conviction were handled.
- Kelley, 26, had three gunshot wounds. He was shot in the leg and torso by an armed citizen, and had a self-inflicted shot to the head, authorities said. It wasn't clear which gunshot Kelley died from, but there's evidence at the scene "that indicates the subject may have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Martin said. He was found dead in his vehicle.
- Investigators have reviewed video footage from inside the church, Martin said.
- Kelley was denied a license to carry a gun, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. But he passed a background check required for the purchase he made in April 2016 of the Ruger AR-556 rifle he allegedly used in the shooting.
The gunman, who had a record of violence, was obsessed with a domestic dispute, officials said. He sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law and texted her as recently as Sunday morning -- not long before he carried out the mass shooting, authorities said.

- "There are many ways that he could have taken care of the mother-in-law without coming with 15 loaded magazines and an assault rifle to a church," Freeman Martin of the Texas Department of Public Safety said. "I think he came here with a purpose and a mission."

- Christopher Leo Longoria who went to high school with him said Kelley would focus on women's reactions and that it would "creep out the ladies." Longoria said he had recently unfriended him on Facebook because Kelley was launching into online personal attacks against his friends.

"He was also posting a lot of non-God beliefs, atheism, a lot of gun violence and a lot of weapons that he was into," Longoria told CNN's Don Lemon.

Why limit ourselves to just Texas, I'm sure there will be another incident in a month or two that will be essentially indistinguishable with the same parade of misinformation to be addressed.

also poking so I can easily follow this thread.

My question did not assume that the murderer was anti-Christian, it only questioned the response if he was. This is all a moot point now as main stream news (see the CNN article linked) has now brought out evidence supporting his hatred of Christians.
"He was also posting a lot of non-God beliefs, atheism, a lot of gun violence and a lot of weapons that he was into," Longoria told CNN's Don Lemon.

I'm sorry but you just trotted out that Atheism = Hatred towards Christians.

Holy sh*t that is f*cked up.

I am pretty offended that you are using a claim that someone posted "non-God beliefs, atheism" as evidence that he hated Christians.

Still looking for the antifa stuff. That's what you are being called out on.

As for your question, yes, it seems like hate crime, if it was anti-Christian. Of course, long before you posted your loaded hypothetical, authorities had already been lining this to a domestic issue.

The reality is, the guy is sick in the head. He hated Christians, but that was after he spent time teach at a
Bible camp. Seems like sick in the head guy got called out for being sick in the head by the church, and he turned it into an Christians suck thing. Probably why he decided to take out his family in the church, and the rest of the members with them.

thrawn82 wrote:

Why limit ourselves to just Texas, I'm sure there will be another incident in a month or two that will be essentially indistinguishable with the same parade of misinformation to be addressed.

also poking so I can easily follow this thread.

To be clear, the scope of this thread is about past and current shootings. And by current, I mean all future shootings, as well. And yeah, it sucks that we need a thread dedicated to the regular occurrence of mass shootings.

It doubly sucks that the scope now has to include debunking alt-right fake news campaigns and how we are bad if we proliferate them. Part of the reason coming to Gamers with Jobs to discuss politics is preferred is that we have a group that understand internet culture well enough to avoid falling for that crap 99% of the time, and understand when we have fallen for it when it is pointed out. But here we are.

Nomad wrote:

My question did not assume that the murderer was anti-Christian, it only questioned the response if he was. This is all a moot point now as main stream news (see the CNN article linked) has now brought out evidence supporting his hatred of Christians.

"He was also posting a lot of non-God beliefs, atheism, a lot of gun violence and a lot of weapons that he was into," Longoria told CNN's Don Lemon.

Athiesm is not hatred of Christians, and the groups it appears he 'liked' were not militant. The article doesn't connect his atheism to his atheism directly. It very cleverly lists them as a separate items in a list of "things he talked about on facebook" and leaves it to you to assume they are connected.

Nothing in that CNN article you linked referred to him as anti-christian, aside from some idle speculation from a bureaucrat at the Department of Public Safety (NOT a LEO, though the article seems to try to imply he is) that he could have 'taken care' of his mother-in-law in some way other than going to the church. He says he could have had a mission, but conveniently doesn't say whether that mission was an anti-christian crusade or targeting the mother-in-law.

This woman is the mother of the woman he was incarcerated for a year for beating, grandmother of the child whose skull he broke in the same incident.

At the risk of making more idle speculation, doesn't it seem likely that perhaps this woman wasn't in regular contact with him or willing to inform him about her comings and goings? It seems a lot more likely to me based on all the information so far that he was targeting the mother in law but didn't have a reliable way of finding her, so he went and shot up a social gathering he thought she might be present at?

edit: passionate typing makes for bad typing, spelling and gram errors corrected.

Nomad wrote:

My question did not assume that the murderer was anti-Christian, it only questioned the response if he was.

I'm still waiting to hear how you made the leap from a screenshot of Kelley liking atheist groups on Facebook to writing "[Kelley's] history of hatred towards Christians." There's either a highly dubious news report or some serious mental gymnastics in between.

Nomad wrote:

This is all a moot point now as main stream news (see the CNN article linked) has now brought out evidence supporting his hatred of Christians.

Mainstream news has reported that both the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety say that the shooting wasn't about religious beliefs. It was about Kelley being angry with his estranged wife and her family, both of whom went to that church.

So who do we believe for Kelley's motivation? The federal and state law enforcement agencies that are investigating the shooting and who have searched Kelley's house, phone, computer, and interviewed his family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances or someone he went to high school with and who unfriended him on Facebook at some point?

CNN

CNN wrote:

Officials had said there was a domestic situation involving Kelley, but didn't go into any details.

"This was not racially motivated. It wasn't over religious beliefs. There was a domestic situation going on with the family and in-laws," said Christopher Combs, the special agent in charge of the FBI's San Antonio division.

Kelley had also expressed anger toward his mother-in-law, who attended the church, Martin said. She was not at the church Sunday.

But his grandmother-in-law was killed during the attack, multiple friends of the woman told CNN. Lula White was the grandmother of Kelley's wife and often volunteered at the church, according to friends and her Facebook profile.

NYT

NYT wrote:

New details of the killings also emerged on Monday, including a possible motive. Law enforcement officials said Mr. Kelley may have been driven by anger toward his estranged wife’s family, the final chapter in a life full of domestic rage. In addition to his court-martial, in which his previous wife was the victim, he had been investigated on a rape complaint, though he was not charged and his relationship to the woman in the complaint was unclear.

The mother of Mr. Kelley’s most recent wife, Danielle, was a member of the First Baptist Church here, the target of Mr. Kelley’s rage on Sunday.

“The suspect’s mother-in-law attended this church,” Freeman Martin, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at a news conference on Monday. “We know that he had made threatening texts,” he added, declining to elaborate.

“This was not racially motivated. It wasn’t over religious beliefs. It was a domestic situation going on,” Mr. Martin added. Mr. Kelley’s wife and her parents were not at the church on Sunday, the authorities said. They could not be reached for interviews on Monday.

Deleting unhelpful post.

We’re debating a post’s format and the perceived intention of a poster while we live in a world in which nearly 30 people being massacred is a pretty common thing and our elected officials do nothing.

That’s the tragedy.

Sunday it was the Christians, weeks before it was the country music people, earlier this year the politicians, and years ago our literal children.

In other angry white guys with guns news, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo has put forward a possible reason why Stephen Paddock murdered 58 people and wounded hundreds in Las Vegas last month: he had lost a lot of his wealth gambling over the past two years and that made him feel bad.

CBS News wrote:

The man who killed 58 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas last month had been depressed after losing a significant amount of money in the past two years and that may have been a "determining factor" in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the city's sheriff said.

Gunman Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and real estate investor, had lost a "significant amount of wealth" since September 2015, which led to "bouts of depression," Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in an interview this week with CBS affiliate KLAS-TV.

"This individual was status-driven, based on how he liked to be recognized in the casino environment and how he liked to be recognized by his friends and family," Lombardo said. "So, obviously, that was starting to decline in the short period of time, and that may have had a determining effect on why he did what he did."

TheGameguru wrote:
My question did not assume that the murderer was anti-Christian, it only questioned the response if he was. This is all a moot point now as main stream news (see the CNN article linked) has now brought out evidence supporting his hatred of Christians.
"He was also posting a lot of non-God beliefs, atheism, a lot of gun violence and a lot of weapons that he was into," Longoria told CNN's Don Lemon.

I'm sorry but you just trotted out that Atheism = Hatred towards Christians.

Holy sh*t that is f*cked up.

This kind of stuff makes me crazy. I never equated atheism and hatred of Christians. You project what you want.

This guy chose a church on Sunday morning in the middle of their service as his target. He shot men, women, and small children indiscriminately. If it was only a domestic thing, he would have went to the houses of his relatives, like other mass murderers have done.

Why is this important?

Because it seems that with every mass shooting, when the shooter is white, no one wants to call it terrorism. This seems to be so much more than a domestic dispute, but once again the "mental illness" theme is trotted out. Motive is a huge component to understanding the cause of these tragedies.

So when you say evidence supporting his hatred of Christians and then only mention of anything about religion was his Non God Beliefs and Atheism in the article you linked you aren't making that connection?

I shouldn't be surprised.. Conservative media tried to paint a similar picture about Dylan Roof rather than accept the evidence that he hated black people and chose a black church to shoot people.

Because it seems that with every mass shooting, when the shooter is white, no one wants to call it terrorism. This seems to be so much more than a domestic dispute, but once again the "mental illness" theme is trotted out. Motive is a huge component to understanding the cause of these tragedies.

Nice try.. you came here trying to peddle the alt-right conspiracy theory of Antifa and Anti-Christian.. ignoring the overwhelming domestic abuse data and the fact that he may have well believed the family he was targeting was at church that day.

Nomad, YOU pointed out his history of hatred of Christians. We don't know where you got that. YOU pointed out that he was an atheist.

If you would say what you mean when you ask these "innocent" questions, you would get less pushback.

Nomad wrote:

2. If the screenshots of his FB page turn out to be authentic, will his history of hatred toward Christians and Antifa ties qualify this event as a hate crime or terrorism or both? (Anyone know why they take down FB pages so quickly after events like these? Is it a criminal investigation thing?)

The problem is, you are taking information from alt-right propaganda artists who prey on people with an agenda that google for stuff to support their agenda. It's designed to get to you spread misinformation, because there are people that would trust you, but not them.

Stop doing that.

Nomad wrote:

This guy chose a church on Sunday morning in the middle of their service as his target. He shot men, women, and small children indiscriminately. If it was only a domestic thing, he would have went to the houses of his relatives, like other mass murderers have done.

Why is this important?

You're being absurd, not to mention projecting what you want, despite having literally just accused someone else of doing the same.

Because people going on a murder spree always follow *your* script for how it should have gone down, right?

Maybe, just maybe, if his target was his wife, he wanted to hurt her community as well as her, because rage is a helluva drug. Did you consider that?

IMAGE(http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Images/trump_word_cloud.jpg)

дезинформация

Nomad wrote:

This kind of stuff makes me crazy. I never equated atheism and hatred of Christians. You project what you want.

I will walk you step by step down the pathway that led so many people to read this into your words. This actually won't take very long, because it is a really short pathway.

First you stated that the shooter was confirmed to hate Christians:

Nomad wrote:

This is all a moot point now as main stream news (see the CNN article linked) has now brought out evidence supporting his hatred of Christians.

Then you highlighted the "proof" that had let you make that confirmation.

"He was also posting a lot of non-God beliefs, atheism, a lot of gun violence and a lot of weapons that he was into," Longoria told CNN's Don Lemon.

Since you stated that he hated Christians, and your "proof" was that he was an atheist, we actually get directly to the link with a single easy step.

Now whether you accidentally made that linkage and are legitimately upset that anyone would have come to the obvious hateful conclusion from your mistake, or purposefully made that linkage, I cannot say.

Oh, by the way, before you jump into "of course he hated Christians, he shot up a church!" that's not a connection we make without evidence. For example, it's unreasonable to say "Oh man, that guy REALLY hates country western fans, because he shot up a music festival" or "geez, that fellow really despises the DC Universe, because he shot up a movie theater of people watching Batman.

Now, that's not to say that the location of the shooting is never connected with the motive, and I'll grant you that a Church, like a gay Club, is a location that suggests a motive much more strongly than most other places. However, regardless of the location of a specific mass shooting, that desire to assert control over the situation by pigeon-holing the scenario prior to actual facts and investigation is one to avoid.

That's not to say that it's an easy thing to notice yourself doing, it is a very natural response, but when multiple peers point out that that is what you are doing, we all need to have the grace to recognize and accept that. Continuing to resist, scrambling deeper and making more tenuous connections and ignoring their logical weaknesses and errors, is just going to hurt others and will not resolve anything. Honestly it's a moment to reflect on your own prejudices that caused that narrative to be one that you clung to so fervently.

Jonman wrote:

Because people going on a murder spree always follow *your* script for how it should have gone down, right?

I mean, this isn't a rare one-off. Something like this happens literally a dozen times a year in this country (and only this country). We don't have to guess "hey, sometimes do murderers specifically carry out attacks that are designed to kill or injure multiple other people in addition to the 'primary' targets?"

We just flat out empirically know that that is the case, because it happens all the f*cking time.

Maybe, in the end, the gun is the problem. Islamic terrorist shoots up a gay club. Gambling addict on a losing streak shoots up a country music concert. Domestic abuser shoots up a church. None of these have anything to do with each other other than guns. Their ready availability and our unwillingness to do anything about them.

Motive is key to understanding why these things happen, and future possible preventive measures in terrible situations like this. I feel like the motive here is clear, but most of you vehemently disagree. I respect that and do not wish to further argue about it.

Edit: Not constructive

Dylann Roof was not racist. Confirmed!

Nomad wrote:

Or maybe the obvious fact that he chose a church during a Sunday Morning service and killed people there indiscriminately is a compelling reason to think he hated Christians.

I realize that is a very unpopular conclusion to make here, but popularity is not a determining factor in truth.

I'll just point out the shifting goalposts from what started this derail in the Gun Control thread, namely:

Nomad wrote:

If the screenshots of his FB page turn out to be authentic, will his history of hatred toward Christians and Antifa ties qualify this event as a hate crime or terrorism or both? (Anyone know why they take down FB pages so quickly after events like these? Is it a criminal investigation thing?)

The fact that he murdered folks in a church speaks neither to a history of hatred towards Christians, nor Antifa ties.

Meanwhile...

Politifact wrote:

A fake news story about the killer in a mass shooting at a Texas church said the gunman was an anti-fascist looking to sow chaos in the hope of starting a civil war.

The headline on a Nov. 5, 2017, story on ThirdEstateNewsGroup.com read, "Texas Church shooter was Antifa and wanted to start ‘communist revolution.’ " Facebook users flagged the post as being potentially fabricated, as part of the social network’s efforts to curb fake news.

The story appeared the same day 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley killed at least 26 people in First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. It said Kelley was "an Antifa member who vowed to start a civil war by ‘targeting white conservative churches’ and causing anarchy in the United States."

The post also said he "was one of two shooters in the church, according to eyewitnesses, who also report Kelley carried an Antifa flag and told the churchgoers ‘this is a communist revolution’ before unloading on the congregation, reloading several times."

None of those details have been confirmed by law enforcement agencies, or reported by reputable media outlets. Authorities said their initial investigation showed the attack was likely motivated by a family dispute, and not a broader movement.

The story was an incomplete copy of a longer post on fake news website YourNewsWire.com, which attributed many of its assertions to Kelley’s alleged Facebook profile.

Don't think there's anything there that hasn't already been shared in the various debunking posts, but nice to have a consolidated place to point other folks who might have been hoodwinked by the propaganda about the Sutherland Springs shootings.

Nomad wrote:

Or maybe the obvious fact that he chose a church during a Sunday Morning service and killed people there indiscriminately is a compelling reason to think he hated Christians.

That might be a reasonable conclusion without other evidence. As it is, it's fitting your data line to a single point and calling it good. What percentage of the congregation were white? Is that a compelling reason to think he hated white people? Eight of the 26 dead were members of the same family; is that a compelling reason to think he hated that family?

He didn't choose "a church"; he chose the church his mother-in-law (and exes family? I'm not sure) attended.

He didn't necessarily choose "a Sunday Morning service"; he chose a time when the people he wanted to hurt would likely be there.

He didn't even necessarily kill indiscriminately; he used rapid fire weapons in a small space in close quarters. He may have been aiming for specific people and hit others by accident.

Nomad wrote:

I realize that is a very unpopular conclusion to make here, but popularity is not a determining factor in truth.

It's an unpopular conclusion because it has very little solid evidence behind it, not because it's true.

We all have views about the way the world is that we run to for shelter when horrendous, unspeakably brutal events take place. It's plain to see in this conversation (pile-on) that there is some rushing about trying to bring some sense of rationality to something completely beyond the pale.

*mod hat*

Jayhawker, general catch-alls for emotionally charged events like this need a bit more focus or they tend to end up getting locked. Would you consider clarifying your intention for the thread and giving us a bit more structure in the scope?

Nomad wrote:

Motive is key to understanding why these things happen, and future possible preventive measures in terrible situations like this. I feel like the motive here is clear, but most of you vehemently disagree. I respect that and do not wish to further argue about it.

What "preventative measures" should we take, Nomad?

Lock up atheists because they all secretly hate and want to kill Christians? Have the NSA surveil non-religious people and make sure they don't post anything critical of religion on social media because that really means they're getting ready to shoot up another church? Only let god-fearing Christians own firearms?

Certis wrote:

Jayhawker, general catch-alls for emotionally charged events like this need a bit more focus or they tend to end up getting locked. Would you consider clarifying your intention for the thread and giving us a bit more structure in the scope?

I will try. I am also open to suggestions. I made this quickly, as we were derailing the other thread. My thought was that mass killings tend to bring up the same questions and issues, and comparing them to earlier events would help focus the conversation, instead of having the same one over and over.

Texas Gunman Once Escaped From Mental Health Facility

The gunman who killed 26 people in a rural Texas church on Sunday escaped from a psychiatric hospital while he was in the Air Force, after making death threats against his superiors and trying to smuggle weapons onto the base where he was stationed, a 2012 police report shows.

This plus failing to notify federal law enforcement = the Air Force really messed up on this one.

OG_slinger wrote:
Nomad wrote:

Motive is key to understanding why these things happen, and future possible preventive measures in terrible situations like this. I feel like the motive here is clear, but most of you vehemently disagree. I respect that and do not wish to further argue about it.

What "preventative measures" should we take, Nomad?

Lock up atheists because they all secretly hate and want to kill Christians? Have the NSA surveil non-religious people and make sure they don't post anything critical of religion on social media because that really means they're getting ready to shoot up another church? Only let god-fearing Christians own firearms?

Only the evil ones with a penchant for absurdly large helmets.

Nomad wrote:

Motive is key to understanding why these things happen, and future possible preventive measures in terrible situations like this.

Yeah, I don't agree. Mostly because I believe mentally ill people will do mentally ill things. Understanding that John Doe heard voices telling him to kill doesn't give us any helpful information to prevent future events.

However I think that restricting access to certain kinds of weapons would mean that when John Doe goes on a rampage he will be able to do a lot less damage.

If you look at mass murders in other countries the body count is so much less because the weapons available are so much less lethal.