Contemplating "The Cop-Out"

I'll be blunt: I think that gun control is a topic worth discussing. But letting our anger culminate in an argument about gun control is a cop-out. The same goes for calling for improved mental health care. These topics are fine, but we can't afford to stop there.

If we want to not only stop occasional killings, but stop rape; if we want to not only address mental illness, but address fear; we will have to have to face a problem that cannot be solved by a new law, or a few extra doctors, or a 30-second online petition.

We will have to seriously think about why our school systems are producing scared, angry young men. We will have to talk about why we are so afraid to talk about race and gender.

And each of us will have to confront this fear. In others, and in ourselves.

Thank you, Dexter Thomas for saying what I wanted to say, but so much better.

Calling for tougher gun laws and more access to mental healthcare has become drone-speak. It's what we say...because it seems like the righteous and intelligent thing to say.  The problem runs much more deeply than mental health.  And access to guns.  As Thomas keeps stating, we need to address the issues of fear, sex, race, and anger.

We live in an angry, bitter society where "no" has become a dirty, offensive word on all levels.  Men don't accept "no" from women (and sometimes, vice versa).  Customers don't accept "no" from companies.  Students don't accept "no" from teachers, and kids don't accept "no" from parents.  It's reached a point where we hesitate to even say it, because doing so can now get us hurt.  Say it and the other person immediately looks for a way to "fight back," because they feel you've robbed them of something they're entitled to, you've hurt them, and now they are victim deserving of justice.

No law or medicine is going to fix this particular problem.

Now, over the past few weeks on this blog, starting with Columbus Short, there have been calls for honest conversations about domestic violence, misogyny, racism, mental health, etc.  Do we as a society need to have these conversations?  Yes.  Are we gonna?  No.

This is America.  This is not a country of "honest conversations".  We are a nation of avoidance and drone-speak.  Let's take fear, for example.  We're never going to have an honest conversation about fear in this country.  Fear is how you control people - so which politician or CEO wants to have that honest conversation?
Damn. By now, you've heard of the shooting rampage that occurred at Seattle Pacific University. On Thursday afternoon, a gunman opened fire inside a campus hall, killing one student and injuring two others, one critically.

The student killed in the shooting has been identified as 19-year-old Paul Lee, a freshman from the Portland area. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. The two injured victims remain hospitalized in stable condition.

The suspected shooter, identified as 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra, was ultimately tackled and subdued by a student. Jon Meis, who was working as a building monitor, pepper-sprayed Ybarra when he paused to reload his shotgun, then put him in a chokehold and took him to the ground. Other students and faculty members were able to hold the shooter down until police arrived.

According to police, Ybarra was armed with a shotgun, a knife and additional ammunition. He apparently planned to kill as many people as possible, then possibly kill himself. No motive has been released by authorities yet, and police said they haven't found any connection yet between Ybarra, the university or any of the victims, but he reportedly has a long history of mental health problems.

The suspect in the Thursday shootings at Seattle Pacific University has been treated in recent years for a "long-standing mental illness," which his attorney said might have prompted the deadly assault inside an engineering building at the small Christian campus.

On Friday, a judge ordered Aaron Ybarra, 26, held without bail on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree assault. Prosecutors said he had a propensity for violence and had intended to kill many more people. Public defender Ramona Brandes, who confirmed Ybarra's mental health issues to the Los Angeles Times, said that her client had no history of violent behavior.

But police records point to troubles in the Ybarra household.

Court documents say that Ybarra admitted his role in Thursday's shooting. He told detectives he had been planning a mass shooting and wanted to kill as many people as possible before killing himself.

Ybarra called 911 in October 2010 and told authorities he wanted to “hurt himself and others” because he “had a rage inside him,” according to a Mountlake Terrace Police Department incident report. Ybarra, who was 23 and said he worked at a gun range, was involuntarily committed at a mental health hospital by police.

...In October 2012, neighbors called police because Ybarra was inexplicably lying in the middle of the street “very intoxicated.” A police report says Ybarra told officers that he wanted to die, specifically that “he wanted SWAT team to get him and make him famous” because “no one cares about him.” Again, he was taken temporarily to a mental health facility.
Did you get that down?

Two weeks after that horrendous mess with Elliot Rodger, Aaron Ybarra comes along and forces another family to bury their child.  Fortunately, Aaron Ybarra is still alive and will most assuredly pay for this - trust and believe.

But alas, while I was drafting this yesterday, yet another shooting was taking place in Las Vegas.  This time a couple of white supremacists (literally, they were a couple) went on a shooting spree at a Cici's, then at Walmart, then they took out themselves.  On paper, this sounds insane.  But I'm starting to think while mental health is a serious issue in America, that's not what all these shootings are about.

Oh, by the way...Jon Meis drinks free at the Bar.  Like all day, every day.

RIP Paul Lee.  You deserved so much better.


  1. "We live in an angry, bitter society where "no" has become a dirty, offensive word on all levels. Men don't accept "no" from women (and sometimes, vice versa). Customers don't accept "no" from companies. Students don't accept "no" from teachers, and kids don't accept "no" from parents. It's reached a point where we hesitate to even say it, because doing so can now get us hurt."

    Such a good update, K and amen to that quote above. Indeed, hurt or fired or labeled an assortment of less than savory things simply for taking the place of dissension to what others want. We have so much in excess in this country but there's so little understanding. Very little in general seems to exist "in moderation" but it's like when we sway one way, we call completely over and go off the deep end, pushing the limits to the extreme. It can be true for morality, extravagance, control, power, money, etc. Our standards reflect the same, lacking and waning year by year. Sometimes it feels like even getting through a non-violent day in America is disturbing as it is on so many levels. But to add all of this tragedy to it..

    "But I'm starting to think while mental health is a serious issue in America, that's not what all these shootings are about."

    I agree wholeheartedly. At times in the past, I've even thought the group over at the VigilantCitizen site were a little off or perhaps overreacting, but at the very least, I can agree with them about there being something going on that's brewing beneath the surface of all of these events happening that's not being largely addressed.

    At the rate we're going... well, I'll share an excerpt from a video I was watching that touched on the Eliott Rodger situation (found here:, "Seems we've stumbled upon a recipe for retribution, my friends. We can either sit back and see what happens after we've let it bake or a while. Or we can change the recipe. I'd like to change the reciple; specifically the naturalism, narcissism and entitlement. But if we instead decide to let it bake, better stock up on candles... Plenty of vigils coming our way."

    1. That video was intense. I had yet to see an analysis. It got me searching for more, causing me to stumble across this.

      Did the rest of you know that while most mass shooters are male, most mass shooting victims are female?

  2. I couldn't have said it better myself.

  3. Y'all hear about that shooting in Troutsdale this morning? A high school student died.

  4. Yep! Unfortunately.


    The mental health thing is pushed by the NRA, and then probably bolstered by Big Pharm. I don't think there's anything about these people that they can take a pill to 'fix' it. It's our society that needs fixing (like what the President says, it will need a massive shift in social opinion). If the 'enemy' are faceless strangers that need to be mercilessly killed by guns, specifically guns, not knives or bombs, and that 6-yr-olds can take on the face of the 'enemy', then that 'enemy' they see is our Society.

    Why are the targets school kids? Their age peers? And def tie gun violence to inequality. Gun violence has been going on in our communities since forever but we know that being poor just means our deaths are justified. I was reading an article from last year where a mom in Chicago lost her last child, of four, to gun violence over 18 years. She lost all her babies to gun violence. Her last kid was 23. Her first loss was her daughter when the kid was in her teens. O. M. G.

    18 years, and legislation didn't change. Now the white people are involved, and it still won't change. We already know that POC demonstrating with visible guns would get ourselves killed by the cops. Who is this 'enemy' that people need defending from? Isn't the point of being the biggest asshole in the world to ensure that we don't have enemies?

    How is Canada dealing with their shooting? How did Australia? Why aren't Americans talking about alternatives? Isn't that our job?

  6. This just in:
    Sheriff: Teens wanted to kill as many students as possible

    Strange, it’s never ever a criminal offense with white boys. It’s always the Mental health defense or the Troubled home defense. Young black boys are never afforded such concern. Why can’t white boys just be criminals? Isn’t it remotely possible that these (and others) are simply bad seeds?

    1. Personally I would love to go back to the days when blacks could say, "At least black folks don't do that."


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