Sunday, July 31, 2016

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Photo by Dorian Santiago via NBC News.
Tomorrow's the 50th anniversary of the day Charles Whitman of Austin, Texas, 25-year-old white man, Eagle Scout and Marine, son of a violent authoritarian father, speed freak and college student, killed his wife and his mother in their homes and then went to the University of Texas campus where he gunned down 49 people, killing 16 of them, mostly from the observation deck of the Main Building Tower.

It is also, apparently by coincidence, the day the new Texas "campus-carry" law goes into effect, as I learned from NPR, allowing anybody with a Texas handgun license to carry a concealed handgun on any Texas college campus including, obviously, UT Austin.

The NPR story went to bed too early to incorporate another Austin story, where the 6th Street nightlife district was terrorized early this morning after the bars closed by reports of an "active shooter situation" in the neighborhood. But not to worry, that was just a rumor! The fact was that there were two shooters in completely unrelated incidents, and they were just working out their own private relationship issues, I guess, and only one woman got killed and four seriously injured, so it's just Texas. The one shooter who succeeded in murdering somebody is still at large, but he isn't "active". The Second Amendment escaped unharmed.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.


The New York Crank said...

The underlying premise for unrestricted support of the right of anyone to buy and carry a gun, concealed or otherwise, is really quite simple:

We won't be safe until everybody's dead.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

Tom Hilton said...

Well, shit. Business as usual, sad to say.

jsrtheta said...

"The Second Amendment escaped unharmed."

Which it should have, because it has fuck-all to do with any individual right to own a gun.

KenRight said...

The bulk of the folks who are gun confiscators are not peace loving Kuciniches and De Fazios, but scary warmongering interventionists.
That might explain some of the reluctance to surrender weapons to an out of control government by average folks.

jsrtheta said...

@KenHoop: Have your doctor adjust your meds again. You're being delusional, though that's never a surprise.

No one is trying to confiscate your guns. (However, given your mental state as demonstrated by your posts, it might be time to examine your right to have a gun. If only for your own welfare. And ours.)

Otherwise, your post is a tad irrelevant, since the Second Amendment has nothing to do with private individuals having guns. If people want to live in a constitutional republic, they should first understand what the Constitution means. That would be a good move for you on any number of grounds.

Green Eagle said...

In his autopsy, Whitman was found to have a tumor in his brain the size of an orange. This was obviously a horrible incident, but we do need to take the real cause into account before generalizing from him.

Yastreblyansky said...

The tumor was "the size of a pecan", and the neuropathologist who did the exam concluded it had no relationship to Whitman's actions. On the subsequent Connally Commission, the psychiatrists thought the tumor could "conceivably have contributed to his inability to control his emotions and actions", while the neurologists thought even that was going too far: "the data obtained provide no evidence that this man had a clinical neurological abnormality, and there is no evidence from the pathological reports that the tumor interrupted pathways leading to detectable neurological signs.”.

The question is still not answered. Some say the location of Whitman's tumor meant it might have put pressure on the amygdala, where the emotions are regulated; but others note that damage to the amygdala causes animals and humans alike to become less aggressive, not more.

Either way it would have been better if he hadn't been carrying those weapons on campus.

Yastreblyansky said...

@Jeff, remember that used to be true about the Second Amendment, but nowadays thanks to Antonin Scalia and the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott that idiotic misinterpretation is US law. One of the best reasons to vote for Clinton is to hasten the day when Heller is overruled.

jsrtheta said...

@Yastreblansky,the more proper way to put it is that the Second Amendment means what it has always meant. We just got screwed by an ideological whore.

Frankly, it should be repealed, as it has no use today. Failing that, Heller must be reversed to return to the Second Amendment its actual historical role.