Jeez, what a fucking week. The local news is still filled with the Oxford school shooting, as you might imagine. I wish I could be impressed by the journalism, but it’s just depressing. A local PR maven took to his blog to proclaim that breaking national news here always causes local reporters to rise to the occasion and “punch above their weight.” Gotta say, I don’t see it so far. Chasing breaking news is 101-level stuff: Go to the press conferences, knock doors, that sort of thing. I’m not seeing incompetence, but brilliance hasn’t arrived yet.
Maybe on Sunday, you never know.
But the news out of the shooting has been all, ALL bad. The four dead students. The ones still fighting for their lives, with chest wounds and similar trauma. And the shooter, oy. Kind of a moonfaced kid with glasses, young-looking for his age, an only child as far as anyone can tell. He lawyered up immediately, and so did the parents, and for good reason – the gun was bought only four days previous. Yes, on Black Friday.
(“Do gun stores do Black Friday sales?” I asked Alan. “Are you kidding? Of course,” he replied, and followed up with links.)
Not only that, it was apparently not secured in any way in the household; the Crumbleys (that’s their name) were leave-the-guns-lying-around sorts of people. With a disturbed adolescent in the house, because that was another detail: the school had spoken to young Ethan, the shooter, about some “concerning behavior” on Monday, and on Tuesday both parents came in for a conference that morning. Ethan had the Sig Sauer 9mm semiautomatic in his backpack, and put it to use later that day.
So far, it’s just one depressing fact after another dropping, but as always, our state legislature goes the extra mile in dipshittery:
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Rep. Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers) announced Wednesday a plan to allow teachers and school staff to arm themselves.
…“School and state authorities must be fully prepared if, God forbid, another violent attacker targets students at school,” said Carra. “Teachers and staff care for their students’ safety, and some of these professionals are willing to use their gun or taser if a tragic need for school defense arises. I am putting together a plan to enable educators to protect their students with lawful weapons, stored securely for an emergency we pray never comes again.”
I feel bad because I don’t feel sad. Instead, I am simmering with anger. How many years have we been doing this? My first mass shooting was…I guess Charles Whitman, but I was a kid then. The first one I remember as an adult was the McDonald’s massacre in 1984. Then the Luby’s shooting, in 1991. Then Columbine, Virginia Tech, and oh wait, can’t forget the post office shootings, which
originated right here in Metro Detroit** (like carjacking!) and gave us the term going postal to describe titanic anger followed by violence.
Today I found a two-day-old Washington Post piece about the Oxford shooting that had more detail than I’ve seen so far. A girl in her AP Statistics class had bullets coming through the classroom door, so she handed out the closest weapon-like object at hand – calculators. Another girl crouched next to a toilet in the bathroom, holding hands with two others. And this was the reaction of our state Senate majority leader:
"If we get obsessed with eliminating all risks, we will then develop and evolve into a country we won't recognize."
— Eric Lloyd (@EricLloyd) December 1, 2021
I hate to say it, but this country is so fucked. Personally, I’d welcome living a country I don’t recognize, maybe one where people don’t throw shit fits over wearing a piece of cloth in the name of public health in a grocery store, or where children don’t have to consider whether a Texas Instruments calculator is what stands between them and death. But that will never happen. Nothing ever changes. Time to move to Barcelona.
I hate to leave you with a bummer tonight. I’m headed to some craft shows this weekend, just to see pretty things and breathe a little. In the meantime, another France photo, the load-out of a classic car show near the Louvre.
** Hank, in comments, is correct. The first one Wikipedia notes was 1970, but it was targeted, in that the shooter went looking for one individual and shot him. What we later came to consider the mass, untargeted shooting with many victims started in Oklahoma, with 14 dead.