We should never consider this normal.
Wilson Garcia and his wife Sonia Guzman were trying to keep their baby asleep Friday night, but his Cleveland, Texas, neighbor Francisco Oropeza was shooting his gun in his yard, which is both distracting and terrifying. Garcia politely asked Oropeza to stop, but Oropeza — with all the swaggering bravado a gun provides — refused: His yard. His rules. (This is not actually true. Even Texas has some minimal rules about firearm discharge on private property.)
Garcia threatened to call the police, and Oropeza, who'd reportedly been drinking, went inside his house and returned with a AR-15 — the weapon of choice for mass shootings. He walked over to Garcia's home and shot and killed Guzman, who'd just called the police and was standing in the front door. The massacre continued, as Oropeza fatally shot four other people "almost execution stye" inside the home.
A devastated Garcia said in an interview: "He wanted to kill us all to leave no evidence."
One of the survivors of Oropeza's rampage told Edgar Sandoval at the New York Times how Oropeza shot his sister, nephew, and other loved ones. He hid his wife and their six-month-old in a closet. Sandoval tweeted, "He left Honduras 5 yrs ago to escape gang violence & found himself victim of America’s gun epidemic."
Sonia Guzman was 25. The FBI has identified the other victims as Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Juliza Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and eight-year-old Daniel Enrique Laso.
\u201cA man who survived the #clevelandtexas shooting told me how he saw the gunman shoot his sister, nephew & other relatives & he pulled his wife & 6 mo old into a closet. He left Honduras 5 yrs ago to escape gang violence & found himself victim of America\u2019s gun epidemic @nytimes\u201d— Edgar Sandoval \ud83e\ude90 (@Edgar Sandoval \ud83e\ude90) 1682816360
Oropeza was still at large as of Sunday. Local police say he could be anywhere! He is considered "armed and dangerous," which unfortunately applies to far too many well-regulated citizens with their freely available death machines. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seized on the chance to note that Oropeza and his victims were allegedly in the country illegally. Diana Velazquez Alvarado was actually a permanent legal resident, but Abbott isn't one to let facts get in the way of his inhumanity.
\u201c@GregAbbott_TX This is despicable. I would have thought bringing up the immigration status of the innocent victims of this senseless violence would be beneath even you. But I was wrong.\u201d— Greg Abbott (@Greg Abbott) 1682889323
After another regularly scheduled mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, Rep. Tim Burchett from Knoxville appalled decent people everywhere with his nihilistic remarks about gun violence: "We're not gonna fix this." CNN's Jim Acosta reminded Burchett about these stupid words he'd said out loud during an interview Saturday.
\u201cWhat a fucking farce: A sitting US Congressman from Tennessee tries to blame godlessness and \u201cfreedom\u201d for gun violence, saying it\u2019s not his job to fix this crisis and it\u2019s too late anyway because 3D printers. Enjoy your mayhem, America!!!\u201d— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1682817904
"You like to speak plain English to folks," Acosta said, "but a lot of people listen to what you said and say it is your job to fix [gun violence] and it's unacceptable to have mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting. Why not fix this? Get together with the Democrats and get it done."
Burchett claimed he was "probably speaking more from a Christian perspective." He added, "We need a real revival in this country. I feel like we've turned away from the Lord. I know that maybe that makes people's heads spin off when they hear somebody like me say that ..."
Yes, because it's absurd. As Acosta points out, Christianity exists in other countries without rampant, escalating gun violence. Meanwhile, in America, there are mass shootings occurring in Republican-run states where white evangelicals have an anti-democratic chokehold on government. The only people showing up with guns at drag queen story hours and brunches are the supposed "Christians."
Burchett said those other countries "don't have our freedom." How exactly is he defining freedom? You can't take your kid to a drag story hour but you are free to hide your kid in the closet from a homicidal, gun-toting maniac.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Garcia said he went to a family member’s house to hide. But then he returned to his home.
“I came back for my two children,” he said. “They were hiding in the closet. The two women protecting them when they died — they were hugging them.”
According to Carlos Ramirez, Mr. Garcia’s brother, the two women who were killed were shielding a 6-week-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, who survived.
Texas Republicans have promoted legislation restricting reproductive rights,gender-affirming care, and drag performances. These are not people who value freedom to a fault. They just thrive politically on fear and mayhem, no matter the human cost.
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He seems nice.
Federal prosecutors argued at a hearing yesterday that Massachusetts Air National Guard guy Jack Teixeira needs to stay in jail before his trial for allegedly leaking classified Pentagon documents. The 21-year-old walking security risk should be detained until trial because he gave up a ton of military secrets for the sake of impressing his gamer dork friends on Discord, the prosecutors said. Teixeira also regularly talked about his desire to equip a minivan or SUV as an "assassination van" and to "kill a [expletive] ton of people," for the lulz we guess. The DOJ detention memo did not specify whether that was a shit ton of people or a fuck ton of people, nor whether, if it were the latter, he meant a metric or standard fuck ton.
Magistrate Judge David Hennessy didn't make an immediate decision yesterday on whether Teixeira will be kept in jail before trial, or to grant his attorneys' request that he be allowed to stay under supervision at his father's home, because he's a good boy who would definitely stay off the internet and there's no chance he'd flee.
The feds' court filing detailed Teixeira's murderous fantasies, as well as the trove of weapons he'd collected, and argued that he's too much of a flight risk to let out of jail, particularly since he might still have classified information that hasn't yet made it to public view. That information, the government argued, could be of "tremendous value to hostile nation states that could offer him safe harbor and attempt to facilitate his escape from the United States."
We can see that the government wouldn't want to risk that, even if it would settle online arguments about whether Thor could beat the Russian military in Ukraine alone, or if he'd need help from Doctor Strange or Captain America. (Iron Man or Captain Marvel would be too over-powered to make the argument worth even having.)
The feds show that Teixeira has a long history of talking about killing and shit, going back to an incident in high school (in March 2018, which was like last Tuesday for most of us) that led to his suspension after
a classmate overheard him make remarks about weapons, including Molotov cocktails, guns at the school, and racial threats. In the pretrial services interview, the Defendant attributed those remarks to a reference to a video game.
Call us skeptical, since we're pretty sure that "guns at the school and racial threats" aren't part of any video games, unless maybe Teixeira had downloaded the special School Shooter Expansion Pack. That incident also kept Teixeira from being approved for a firearms ID card, since 1) local police knew about it and 2) Massachusetts actually has sane firearms laws.
But the boy really wanted guns, and was eventually able to buy a small arsenal after getting his application approved, in part because he "cited his position of trust in the United States government as a reason he could be trusted to possess a firearm." Who says government lawyers don't have a sense of irony?
When Teixeira was arrested, FBI agents found a gun locker in his bedroom containing "multiple weapons, including handguns, bolt-action rifles, shotguns, an AK-style high-capacity weapon, and a gas mask." Elsewhere in his room, agents found ammunition, "tactical pouches," and what seems to be a silencer, which would be illegal unless he had a license.
And then there's the jolly social media posts where he talked up all the murder he wanted to do:
The Defendant’s statements included the following:
• In November 2022, the Defendant stated that if he had his way, he would “kill a [expletive] ton of people” because it would be “culling the weak minded.”
• In February 2023, the Defendant told a user that he was tempted to make a specific type of minivan into an “assassination van.”
• Also in February 2023, the Defendant sought advice from another user about what type of rifle would be easy to operate from the back of an SUV. He describes how he would conduct the shooting in a “crowded urban or suburban environment.”
• In March 2023, the Defendant described SUVs and crossovers as “mobile gun trucks” and “[o]ff-road and good assassination vehicles.”
OK but who among us hasn't occasionally told all our online buds that we need to cull the weak by going full DC sniper? Oh, all of us?
The filing also noted that Teixeira had taken some very half-assed steps to try to cover his tracks, since tampering with witnesses and destroying evidence are among the criteria that can be used to order detention until trial. He deleted the Discord server where he had shared the classified documents, told friends to "delete all messages" and "If anyone comes looking, don’t tell them shit," and gotten a new phone number and email address.
Teixeira also smashed up a tablet, a laptop, and his Xbox — although he may not be a super spy, since the FBI found the devices in a dumpster at his parents' house, where he lived.
At yesterday's hearing, the AP reports, Judge Hennessey
expressed skepticism of defense arguments that the government hasn’t alleged Teixeira intended leaked information to be widely disseminated.
“Somebody under the age of 30 has no idea that when they put something on the internet that it could end up anywhere in this world?” the judge asked. “Seriously?”
We can only assume that Teixeira's defense in the case will be that he's simply too fucking stupid to have been a threat to national security.
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Joe Biden's Meeting With Tennessee Troublemakers Didn't Create Jobs (Because We Have Full Employment)
Oldie but a goodie.
President Joe Biden met Monday with the three Democratic members of the Tennessee House who were targeted for expulsion earlier this month because they joined students calling for stronger gun laws following the March 27 school shooting in Nashville. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris welcomed Reps. Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson to the meeting, where they talked about reducing the goddamn guns and saving democracy. Biden invited the three to the White House shortly after the Republican supermajority voted to expel Jones and Pearson on April 6; they both were returned to their seats as interim representatives by their respective counties.
In brief remarks before the closed door meeting began, Biden thanked the three for "standing up for our kids. You’re standing up for our communities — safer communities — and democratic values. That’s what it’s all about."
Biden also excoriated the Republicans who tried to expel Democrats for speaking at the dais without being recognized, which would normally merit censure at most. "Look, what that Republican legislature did was shocking, it was undemocratic, and it was without any precedent. But you turned it around very quickly."
Biden also pointed out, as the three already knew from their show trial, "Nothing is guaranteed about our democracy — every generation has to fight for it. And you all are doing just that."
During the meeting, Rep. Johnson delivered to Biden a letter emailed to her, Jones, and Pearson by Sarah Shoop Neumann of Nashville, whose five-year-old son Noah is a preschooler at the Covenant School. The contents of the letter haven't been released, but Neumann spoke at an April 17 gun control rally outside the state Capitol about how the shooting had affected the community:
“My own son, Noah, was okay, he was getting a haircut with his dad, but the rest of our community was inside that building,” Neumann said through tears. “My friends, our children; so many people we love in that building, our safe space.”
Neumann spoke of contacting her friends to warn them of the danger and gathering at the reunification site in a nearby church.
“I won’t ever be able to describe what it was like sitting in that church. I didn’t feel like I was in my own body, holding our friends, praying, waiting to hear if their kids were alive,” Neumann said. “Piecing together things that people saw and heard."
Neumann recalled how, in the weeks since, parents have heard their children talk about witnessing the killings, or being in a nearby room and sheltering as their teachers tried to shield them with their bodies. "The trauma is not going to dissipate, it’s not going to leave us or our children, it will just find a home within us, and we’ll learn to live with it." (And wow, doesn't that sound like something Joe Biden would say, too?)
“The most painful question I have had to answer from my 5-year-old, who keeps proudly telling me how brave his teachers were and how they knew exactly how to keep them safe from the bad guy, but he asked, ‘Mommy, how did they know to practice? Has this happened before?’ I said, ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘A lot, mommy?’ I said, ‘yes.’ He said, ‘The shooter's dead, but more can come.”
So you have a sense of what she probably wrote to Biden.
Following Monday's meeting, CNN reports, the three Tennessee Democrats told reporters they, Biden, and Harris had discussed potential ways to reduce gun violence, like an assault weapons ban, red flag laws, safe storage laws, and the like. Rep. Jones said that they'd also talked with Biden about their desire to “build out multiracial democracy and challenge these extreme voices.”
Also too, on Tuesday morning, Fox & Friends complained that Biden had met with the three legislators instead of with the families of the shooting victims, repeating the very same "eats shoots and leaves" headline — "Biden ripped for meeting protesting TN Dems, not shooting victims' families" — that appeared on an April 19 Fox News Digital piece. We're not sure whether the ambiguous headline was repeated as a chyron because nobody noticed the double meaning, or because some smartass in the Fox News editing booth thought it was hilariously terrible and wanted it to get more exposure.
In that writeup of a Fox News segment, former GW Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen briefly accused Biden of playing politics with a shooting tragedy, then spent most of the appearance ranting about how Biden was guilty of employing "situational ethics" because he was fine with protesters "storming" the Tennessee Capitol, but not with the precisely equivalent January 6 "protests" at the US Capitol, and there's a man who knows all about situational ethics, tell you what.
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Also had a fun idea for giving trans folks F-35s and tanks. We say why not?
REMEMBER WHEN! We will be spending much of the day throwing at your face some of our favorite old Tucker Carlson posts, or at least the ones Evan linked to yesterday, because that is a nice cheat sheet to start with. This post was originally published March 24, 2023.
Tucker Carlson wanted to talk about guns last night. Tucker has well-known masculinity issues and feels very threatened by LGBTQ+ people.
Mix those together in a bucket, why dontcha! And Tucker did. Good LORD.
His monologue was about how "The Democratic Party believes owning a gun is too much autonomy for you." (LOL.)
He sprinkled in other shit too, of course. He said people who support Ukraine are just conformists who think they specialize in "Eastern European border disputes." (By the way, that was the eighth sentence of his monologue. That's how long it took him to lick Vladimir Putin's taint and spread Russian propaganda in a monologue that wasn't even about Russia and Ukraine. He got back to Ukraine at the end. Handy bookends! Wonder if that's by design.)
And of course he claimed early and often that Democrats want to take your guns, just because they'd like to maybe ban the AR-15s that every white mass shooter seems to be able to get out of a vending machine. Gotta keep the white supremacist viewers scared!
But then it took a turn. A real weird turn.
It turns out that because of the disturbing rise in anti-LGBTQ+ hatred and violence — helpfully nudged on by people like Tucker and the sort of vile trash he invites on his show — LGBTQ+ people are arming themselves more, for protection. He heard about it on NPR. And he thinks there's a double standard here, because on one side, the libs are COMIN' TO GRAB YER PERNIS GUNS! But also LGBTQ+ people are arming themselves against morons who both hate LGBTQ+ people and also think the libs are COMIN' TO GRAB YER PERNIS GUNS!
"Guns are bad except in the hands of trans people. Wow!" said Tucker. He continued:
"The world is dangerous. You have to be dangerous back." Is that a quote from an FBI indictment of the Proud Boys? No, it's from an NPR segment. At this point, it's hard to tell the difference, and the lip-smacking NPR reporters just say it without any sense of self-awareness at all.
Oh yes, it's NPR that doesn't have self-awareness. Go on.
What is going on here? Well, you know what's going on here is that NPR has decided that guns are bad, except when the enforcers of its ideology have guns. You can't have guns, but faithful servants of the Democratic Party can. That makes sense because like all totalitarians, they want a monopoly on force, right? So, debate ends at that point when one side has all the firearms. You don't have to argue. You say, well, you can't change your sex. "Shut up, bigot. Bang, bang!"
Cool, he's telling his excitable pantshitting white supremacist viewers that trans people are going to murder them once they have all the guns. Does claiming trans people are going to kill his viewers count as inciting violence? We are just curious.
And look: We know Tucker willingly and knowingly lies to his viewers, because we've read it in texts and emails released from that Dominion lawsuit. But his viewers are dumbasses who don't know that. That's why he gets away with lying to them.
Tucker talked about a trans person WHO SHOT A COP before they took their own life, and he quoted some "research" from grifter troll Andy Ngo to suggest there really isn't any problem with violence against trans people. (You can google that. But that's yet another thing his viewers are too stupid to do.)
Then he got back to the trans people who are arming themselves, specifically a group in New England that's trying to protect itself from a neo-Nazi group that targets trans people.
TUCKER: What you're watching here is not the exercise of the Second Amendment. What you're watching here is political hysteria, fear ginned up on purpose with maximum dishonesty in order to get people in a state of agitation, armed people in a state of agitation — doesn't matter if they're trans or not, whatever that is.
How is that different from the exercise of the Second Amendment practiced by the NRA and the Republicans who spend their lives in backrooms giving it head? Oh wait, is it somehow just fine when it's white supremacist conservative dudes who at least present in public as heterosexuals getting ginned up and agitated? Is Tucker fine with that?
TUCKER: It's the same template always: Scare the crap out of your voters, tell them that their lives are at risk, encourage them to get guns. How do you think that ends?
And what was Tucker saying about NPR's lack of self-awareness?
TUCKER: But by the way, if we're following the logic here, and why not, that's in short supply in this country, you have to kind of wonder, like, what's the limit to this?
Russian propaganda bookend incoming.
TUCKER: So, if trans people are in fear for their lives in every region of the country, including New England, which apparently is crawling with Nazis now, why wouldn't we be arming them as we are, say, Ukraine's trans army?
Ukraine's trans army.
TUCKER: There are famously trans people in Ukraine's army. They're very, very proud of that. So, why stop with AR-15s? I mean, why not F-35s or tanks?
Yeah! Could be cool!
So anyway, that is how Tucker incited his pantshitting bigot viewers last night.
He ended his monologue by dead-naming trans Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine, because of course he did, and by saying there's "some weird affirmative action program going on" and oh fuck it, go read the rest if you want to.
It's so goddamned demented.
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