Assclowns of the Week #91: Aurora Moronealis edition
"With a few keystrokes, the suspect, James E. Holmes, ordered 3,000 rounds of handgun ammunition, 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle and 350 shells for a 12-gauge shotgun — an amount of firepower that costs roughly $3,000 at the online sites — in the four months before the shooting, according to the police. It was pretty much as easy as ordering a book from Amazon." - Jack Healy, The New York Times, July 23, 2012.
Last Friday morning in Aurora, Colorado at about 12:39 AM, James Holmes allegedly threw a pair of smoke grenades down the aisles and opened fire inside a crowded movie theater during The Dark Knight Rises. A dozen people, one as young as six, were killed and at least 58 were wounded. Word quickly spread that Holmes had bought 6350 rounds of ammunition and tactical gear exclusively online because it required no background checks or waiting period. Naturally, this prompted a, well, fast and furious reaction from the right wing that immediately politicized the shooting out of sweaty, bug-eyed panic that the pacifist liberals were trying to take away their guns.
On account of the sober and tragic subject matter, this edition of ACOTW will not be going for cheap laughs at the expense of the scores of families that were touched by this horrific, senseless violence. Yet it's also important that we keep in mind what we're up against when right wingers seek to exploit human tragedy on a massive scale to score political points.
Libertarian conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has a fascinating theory about why the Aurora shooting took place: It was a joint UN/Obama plot so the UN can take away our guns. Oh, and Fast and Furious (which began under Bush) and the Gabrielle Giffords shooting was also Obama. In case you don't believe me, here's a video of Jones advancing his theories:
I liked him better when he was a harmless gadfly at Bilderberg Group meetings.
Texas' congressman from the 1st district was one of the first to weigh in on the shooting, claiming just hours later that the mass shooting was brought about by "ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs".
Gohmert also apparently shares a fantasy with other right wingers that seems to involve a reverse Die Hard scenario: A bunch of armed people going after one and firing with pinpoint accuracy to save the day. Because on Heritage Foundation radio, he openly wondered why more people didn't show more guts by blasting away at a black-clad man in a dark, smoky, crowded theater with children and babies. Which, believe it or not, was what the next crackpot said.
Anti-immigration activist and SB 1070 architect Russell Pearce wrote something on his Facebook wall that echoed Gohmert's sentiments by asking (with typical misspellings), why there was no one “[b]rave” enough to stop the atrocity. Where were the men of flight 93???? Someone should have stopped this man... All that was needed is one Courages/Brave man prepared mentally or otherwise to stop this it could have been done.” And the shooter reacted to all the stringent gun control that's taken over this country. This is the full text of his FB post before he took it down.
Then when he was called on this lunacy, the former Arizona state senator then wrote the next whiny, defensive screed as if he was one of the shooting victims:
Within hours, that was taken down.
Conservatives are in a lather today over President Obama visiting a Colorado hospital and meeting with some of the Aurora shooting victims because the White House released a single photograph of the meeting for inspirational purposes. Despite the fact the press wasn't allowed and the president went in without a script, right wing rag Mediaite pissed and moaned about it and Fox Nation's flying money squadron that made a diversion to Mediaite pulled shit out of their ass before flying off to shit all over Red State's comment section. If you can stomach it, this is Michelle Malkin's latest spastic Twitch on the subject.
I guess these same people who have a problem with a black president showing some compassion had no problem with this idiot 11 years ago doing this after 3000 people were killed...
...or this after 1800 drowned in the Gulf Coast and grounding rescue choppers in the process.
The moral? Coddling black people, exploiting mass murder and withholding pictures of American war dead works for white Presidents but black presidents aren't allowed to comfort white people and release their pictures. Gotcha.
Maybe Joey Scar thinks he's former FBI profiler John Douglas. Or maybe he's channeling Bill Frist by diagnosing the alleged shooter, James Holmes, from videotape footage. But today on his show, Scarborough said,
I hear about this shooting, I knew who it was. I knew it was a young, white male, probably from an affluent neighborhood, disconnected from society -- it happens time and time again. Most of it has to do with mental health; you have these people that are somewhere, I believe, on the autism scale.
I suppose we have to take Joey's fortune cookie wisdom at face value simply because he has a son with Asperger's Syndrome. But, really, considering the type of guys who've carried out some of the worst mass shootings in US history, is it really a stretch to predict the perpetrator is a white guy?
But how many people with autism shoot up movie theaters or anything else? I think it's time for Joey Scar to replace his Morning Joe with a tall, steaming mug of Shut the Fuck Up.
Speaking of conspiracy theorists, Brian Ross didn't do progressives any favors by breathlessly reporting that Aurora gunman James Holmes was a member of the Tea Party. Sure, the Tea Baggers have a James Holmes, just not that one. In doing so, Ross's ABC became the only network to try to tie the theater shooting together with the Tea Party. Oops.
Brian Ross never represented liberals and never will but his colossal fuckup that was made possible by looking at a single page on a Tea Party website and not even double-sourcing it opened up the left wing to all sorts of accusations from ignorant right wingers. That would be those who were not only comfortable with Breitbart's and Fox "News'" serial lies, they accept them as facts. Oh, and speaking of Breitbart...
The childish mouth-breathers at Breitbart.com thought they showed us lib'rals something after Brian Ross's SNAFU and decided to present to the world another James Holmes, one who who also happened to be a registered Democrat. Forget the fact he lives about six hours from Aurora, CO and was the wrong age. In fact, this is how the sons and daughters of Breitbart explained away these pesky little discrepancies in their final update:
Update (12:49 EDT): Newly-released information on the suspect's birthdate (which, as indicated in our initial report, was a slight mismatch), combined with new details Breitbart News has obtained about the suspect's likely addresses, together suggest that the suspect may, in fact, not have been registered to vote.
"(A) slight mismatch". Sure. Just chip a few more points off that square peg and eventually we can hammer it into the round hole. Fucking morons.
In what has to be the scummiest, most shameless and reprehensible opportunism of modern times (which is saying a lot), Celeb Boutique thought it would be a corker of an idea to exploit the worst mass shooting in the US since Virginia Tech to sell Kim Kardashian's new dress by using the #Aurora hashtag.
After the backlash reached them, they released this piecemeal apology in a series of tweets:
We didn’t check what the trend was about hence the confusion, again we do apologise[.] We are incredibly sorry for our tweet about Aurora – Our PR is NOT US based and had not checked the reason for the trend, at that time our social media was totally UNAWARE of the situation and simply thought it was another trending topic – we have removed the very insensitive tweet and will of course take more care in future to look into what we say in our tweets. Again we do apologise for any offense caused. This was not intentional & will not occur again. Our most sincere apologies for both the tweet and situation.
So, even if we were to take this at face value (which never once even attempts to apologize to the victims or their families nor even acknowledged that Aurora is now linked to a tragedy), it still reveals a shallow, opportunistic mindset whereby any trending topic is ripe for a selling op. That makes them about as stupid and careless as the NRA and their now-defunct Twitter account and Brian Ross.
Death inevitably attracts two things: Maggots and the Westboro Baptist Church. I'll leave it to you to decide which is more necessary, efficacious and less loathsome.
As expected, Westboro is on its way to Colorado to protest the memorial service for the shooting victims and had already begun a #thankgodfortheshooter hashtag on Twitter. Because, as we all learned from having countless fallen soldiers' funerals picketed at the expense of grieving relatives, the Aurora tragedy was all about George Takei butt fucking his husband.
What Westboro's inbred congregation obviously has yet to consider is maybe the deaths of innocents isn't God's way of punishing us for homosexuality but that Fred Phelps and his family is.
The NRA can now be defined as the nation's deadliest lobby. Whereas lobbyists from other industries merely seek relaxations in regulation that would gradually kill their fellow Americans, the NRA has for decades been lobbying the Hill to do the same regardless of the fact that the virtual lack of regulation is getting people killed immediately and often, as with Aurora, CO, in large numbers. Their ongoing successful efforts to buy industry-friendly votes is getting innocent people killed and making the job of law enforcement officers harder at the greater risk to their own lives.
Last year alone, the NRA spent nearly $3,000,000 on lobbying, the greatest recipients of that largesse being, typically, Republicans. Among those in the top 10: Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor (Opensecrets.org has a page devoted to the NRA's lobbying efforts, complete with some eye-opening charts.). The NRA's Thomas Tetrick alone has, since 1990, donated nearly $220,000 to political campaigns, every penny going to Republicans.
In fact, three and a half years ago, CBS News did an expose, "In Gun Lobby's Pocket", of how corrosive the NRA was to our collective safety and political system. Among other things CBS found were these statistics:
Thirty-two of the 34 senators who supported the NRA on each of four key gun control votes received money for their last election from the gun industry lobbying group.
And only two of the 38 senators who opposed the National Rifle Association on the same four votes received contributions from the group.
Campaign contributions from the NRA are proving to be an accurate barometer of how individual senators would vote on gun control.
Because peoples' lives always pale in comparison to corporate interests and a paranoid sense of entitlement based on a vastly misinterpreted 2nd Amendment and a wholly unproven theory that more guns=greater safety (such as Five Points, NY and Deadwood, South Dakota, for instance). And leaders on both sides are to blame for refusing to hold a substantive and sustained dialogue on nationwide gun control instead of the patchwork quilt of state laws we currently have. The right wing loves the NRA's money and what passes for the left wing fears its influence. So, in the NRA's world view, we're supposed to allow guys like this...
and like this...
...to buy as many guns and bullets as they can afford with no restrictions, no background checks and no waiting period other than shipping delays and with no way for an arms dealer to personally gauge your mental and emotional fitness to own a gun, so they can remain free to pursue their God-given right to inflict collateral damage such as this...
And why should you wait if you're mad now?