Friday, July 22, 2016

Update on 'MERICA!: Blue Lies Matter

We have reached the point in the United States where several things are obvious.

First, we need to get rid of guns. ALL guns. No hunting, sport-shooting, BB guns, target pistols, old-fashioned-dueling-stuff-that's-one-shot, NOTHING.

Gun ownership per capita has doubled in the United States since 1968. There are more than 300,000,000 guns circulating as of 2015. Gun production doubled between 2010 and 2011, to 11,000,000 new guns per year.

While you will hear gun nuts -- nuts is the only word I care to use -- say that gun deaths per capita have fallen while gun production has risen, that is a misleading statistic. In reality, where there are more guns, more people die by guns. A Harvard metastudy found that homicides rise as gun ownership rises.  That's all homicides, but particularly gun homicides.

That's not surprising. The sole purpose of a gun is to kill. If you use a gun the way it's meant to be used, it kills something or someone.

The corollary to that is that if you think someone is likely to have a gun, you are more likely to react with deadly force. That's what happened when an officer (supposedly) mistook for a gun the toy truck held by an autistic man; in reaction (supposedly) the officer shot a black therapist helping the disabled man.

When cops think everyone could be armed, they either legitimately believe that everyone is armed, or they use it as a pretext to shoot someone.  The latter is the reaction that might be exhibited by soldiers occupying a hostile country. In fact, some studies have found no difference in the psychological reactions exhibited by soldiers and police to their environment.

That police see themselves as an insular force occupying a hostile environment was made clear recently, but what was also made clear was that increasingly police forces will haul out a black person to make apologies for their shooting of black people, while the President will support the at-home military force without ever commenting on the sad reality of the hundreds of primarily-black men shot by that occupying force. Jargonized speeches and support by the executive branch have long been the hallmark of military disinformation campaigns. They are now the hallmark of so-called 'community policing.'

The autistic-man-incident shows a terrible highlight of police lying and the media largely not caring. The police officially refused to answer any questions.  The union chief talked, though, and in defending an officer who shot an unarmed man with his hands up, the chief said to allow the facts to work their way into the news. 

Here are some facts the union chief didn't discuss:

After the worker was shot -- with his hands up-- he said to the cop why did you shoot me?

"I don't know," the cop said.

Police immediately started speculating -- or spinning-- that the cop was aiming at the autistic man but missed, and 'accidentally' hit the black man who had his hands up. That was pure speculation at first, put out by Javier Ortiz, a racist scumbag cop who seems to feel every shooting of a black man is justified, but by 2:30 a.m. was being reported as fact

The autistic man, by the way, was sitting and holding a toy truck. The therapist was trying to tell the cop that the autistic man was autistic.

(A couple weeks back, This American Life featured writer Richard Price telling the story of a ride-along in which two cops stopped a black man and a kid who was apparently special needs, upsetting the kid, delaying their trip home, and generally causing trouble in the lives of people who were doing nothing wrong, and then tried to justify it post hoc.)

The media happily reports the cops' lies, just as it went along with embedding during the Iraq wars, which is part of why we have wars still going on in two different countries for 15 consecutive years.

With the war on the America populace by our own police, make that three wars.


Andrew Leon said...

You know, we probably do need a revolution. Jefferson, whom I don't much care for, said we need one every generation, and I think he's probably right. Sort of.

Briane Pagel said...

I was telling Middle that the American system is set up to avoid that by providing a polite revolution every 2-4 years through the political process. But even that system is no longer working as the difference between the two parties is razor-thin at best: Obama won't do anything about guns, for example.

Liz A. said...

Deep sigh. It's such a mess. Did you see the article about which is the worst year in history? People have been saying 2016, so someone talked to a bunch of historians to get their take.