Shootings Are Us

W.J. Astore

Fear, Fantasy, Fun–and Guns

Shootings are all over the news today. A young woman killed in rural New York when she drove up the wrong driveway and the owner of the house came out blasting. A Black teenager shot and wounded when he mixed up an address and knocked on the wrong door in Kansas City. And a news flash from The Boston Globe this PM reporting that at least four people have been killed and three more wounded in two shootings in Maine.

America has so many deadly shootings on a daily basis that they hardly qualify as news anymore. What gives?

Ralph Yarl, shot and wounded when he mixed up an address
Kaylin Gillis, shot and killed in rural NY

No guns, no shootings, of course, but America is awash in guns, and no one is going to pry them from the hands of those who want them.

You’d think brandishing a gun would be enough of a threat, but far too often, those who have guns seem eager to use them as well. Why shoot at a car that pulls in your driveway, even as the car is turning around and leaving? Why shoot at a young Black man for simply walking up and knocking on the door? In both cases, the shooters pulled the trigger at least twice, and apparently used no warning shots or for that matter any other kind of warning. It’s shoot first, ask questions later, in this man’s America.

There’s a weird toxic brew at work here, I think. First, the guns themselves. I’ve fired plenty of them and they do give you a feeling of power. Second, fear. People are fearful. Sometimes the fear may be race-based, sometimes it’s something else, but there’s nothing like fear to paralyze the mind. Then there’s a fantasy element. Some people, mostly men I’m guessing, think they’re akin to Dirty Harry, blowing away bad people with their guns. Finally, sadly, some people just find guns to be fun, even when they’re pointing them at other people.

I know it’s more complicated than this, but fear, fantasy, and fun don’t mix well with guns. In America, guns are WMD: weapons of mass destruction. Because of their deadly power, they should be used only in the rarest of circumstances and as a last resort.

Yet Americans seem to be grabbing their guns and blasting away as a first resort and with no remorse.

Stay safe out there. And to those with guns, why not just call 911? Or keep your door locked? Do you really want to take the life of an innocent just because you felt afraid or angry and fancied yourself a vigilante?

8 thoughts on “Shootings Are Us

  1. Add this one to the list:

    ” A man has been arrested after two Texas cheerleaders were shot, one critically, after one of them mistakenly got into the wrong vehicle, according to police and the owner of the gym where they trained…

    Lynn Shearer, owner of Woodlands Elite Cheer Co., told NBC affiliate KXAN, which is based in Austin, that the two people shot were cheerleaders who were on their way home from practice.
    Shearer said the cheerleaders typically carpooled from the Austin area to her gym. On Monday night, she said at least four cheerleaders were on their way back to the Austin area and had to stop at an H-E-B, where some of the members had parked their cars.
    One of the girls accidentally tried to get into the wrong car, Shearer said. That's when, she said, a "guy got out and they saw that he had a gun. And so they tried to speed off and he shot his gun, like five times or so into the car." Woodlands Elite did not immediately respond to an overnight request for comment. The Elgin Police Department also did not immediately respond to an overnight request from NBC News seeking to confirm these details.
    According to ABC News, Heather Roth, a cheerleader with the Woodlands Elite, said in an Instagram Live post that she was the one who got out of her friend's car and opened the door of another vehicle she thought was her own, only to notice a man was in the passenger seat. She said she got out of the car and back into her friend's vehicle, the report said.
    Roth reportedly said the man approached their vehicle and she rolled down a window to apologize. That's when the man started shooting, she said, according to ABC News. The Instagram Live post was no longer available early Wednesday, but Roth shared a number of posts that appeared to be related to the incident. She did not immediately respond to overnight request for comment."

    So don’t ring the wrong doorbell, or pull into the wrong driveway, or open the wrong car door, or for that matter don’t go:
    To the grocery store
    To church
    To the mall
    To school
    To work
    To a bar
    To a birthday party
    To a park
    To a protest
    To a movie
    Because you might get shot. This is America. This is what freedom means apparently.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The COVID Lockdown was a good practice run, eh JAV?

      Soon, the American People will demand a bigger, badder, and thus better law enforcement presence everywhere; to go along with the rest of the PsyOp that has been going on since 9/11.

      One of the best ways to control a People is to keep them in a continuous state of doubt about the Truth, and anxiety about what going to happen next.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Growing up we didn’t have guns in our house. My dad said he had had his fill of them in Vietnam. Fast forward to today: my now mid-70’s parents are going to the gun range and trying to figure out which guns are best for them to carry around. They are caught up in the fear and fantasy genre of the American Vigilante. They are going to blast those bad guys by god, and defend freedom and liberty, something, something.
    They have also added cameras all around their house. Mind you they have never been robbed. But they are afraid. Of what? Everything at this point based on the conversations I’ve had with them, or at least everything the television and radio tell them to be afraid of.
    All their friends are the same way. Old, angry white folks ready to kill for some made up bullshit American ideal. Geriatric John Waynes with white hats going off to kill the black hats (or just blacks?).
    I would feel better knowing they are not long for this world, but I see plenty of my generation out there armed to the teeth as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. JAV: My email is i’d like to explore what Your Parents are going thru further, if You have the time, interest, and inclination.

      i, too, got my fill of guns in Vietnam, and 55 years later, that hasn’t changed for me at all. But evidently it has for some. ~ jeff


  3. They’re afraid of ‘EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, ALL AT ONCE’ happening at this point of the 6,000 year old Biblical History from Genesis of the Old Testament to the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the New Testament in OUR TIMES of MONEY & THINGS.


  4. Two things of interest I came across today.
    ‘History: The Origins of the Polish-Ukrainian Conflict: West Ukraine and Greater Poland’

    A refresher course in the history of Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States since 1900 and why Putin is not wrong in his reading of History despite the US/NATO spin.
    At the very beginning, it must be noticed that before the outbreak of WWI in the summer of 1914 it was not both either Poland or Ukraine as the state on the political map of Europe. Poland was considered a historical region while Ukraine was a geographical one.

    Poland was divided at the end of the 18th century between three powerful neighbors – the Kingdom of Prussia, the Habsburg Empire, and the Russian Empire while the present-day territory of Ukraine between the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria, Austria-Hungary) which took its western part including Lvov (Lemberg/Lwów) and the Russian Empire possessing its eastern and central portions including Kiev. However, the biggest portions of historical Poland and geographic Ukraine were governed by Russia from 1795 up to 1917.

    For the reason to change a such geopolitical situation, it was created before WWI an idea of political cooperation between the Poles and the Ukrainians for the sake to fight for independence. Nevertheless, behind this idea was the project of reborn Great Poland within its historical boundaries (before the three partitions of Poland-Lithuania in 1772, 1793, and 1795). The Polish state was re-established on November 11th, 1918 but at that time the Poles and the Ukrainians were already fighting with each other over the land and the borders. On the same day, Józef Piłsudski (born near Vilnius in Lithuania/Litwa in 1867) became appointed by the Governing Council of Poland (in fact, the government) to the position of the head of state with dictatorial authority (“Naczelnik”).[i] His first duty was to create the government of the just re-established independent state of Poland. He was the leader of Poland till 1922 and from 1926 to 1935 when he died. During his governing of Poland, the Polish foreign policy, especially toward Soviet Russia/USSR, Lithuania, and Ukraine depended on his designs and political decisions……………………………….

    And this, which concerns all of us in Common, no matter what other differences in perceptions and understandings we have;
    ‘How to Convert a War to Peace, by Tom H. Hastings’
    Many attempts have been made to stop war.

    Many fail.

    Who has done it successfully and what can they teach us?

    The people of the Philippines stopped a civil war that looked unstoppable. When? In February of 1986. How? Some nuns and other Filipinx activists did about a decade of nonviolence trainings and community organizing with an idea of replacing the increasingly dictatorial Ferdinand Marcos. When Marcos had his primary rival, Benigno Aquino, assassinated, the people were angry. When they got a chance to vote for his widow, Cory Aquino, they knew that she won but Marcos attempted to steal the election. This precipitated a general strike and a breakaway portion of the armed forces. As the tanks from the rebel army rolled down the Epifanio de Los Santos Avenue in Manila toward the army of tanks surrounding the Presidential palace, the Filipina nuns told Cardinal Jamie Sin to get on Radio Veritas and tell the people, “It’s time. Come out to the EDSA.” People were ready, came out by the tens of thousands, and interposed for days between two armies. They stopped an “inevitable” civil war and regained their democracy.

    But what about a war in actual shooting progress? The women of Liberia did it all. When the Muslim insurgents were in a brutal civil war against the equally brutal Christian autocrat, Charles Taylor, featuring child soldiers on both sides, horrific rape, looting, and civilian slaughter, the women arose as one in an unprecedented coalition, Muslim women reached out to form alliance with Christian women, and used robust and risky nonviolent interventions to bring the parties to the negotiating table after many years of traumatic war. They stopped a war in progress and gained real democracy, including the election of the first African woman head of state. They stuck with their campaign even after the 2003 peace treaty because the reintegration of fighters back into Liberian society was desperately needed in order to make the peace last, and the women paid far more attention to this than the UN did, or any other supranational organization.


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