mass shootings

The growing Incel movement, and what it says of society as a whole

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This is nothing to joke about:

“This is a novel, new violent extremist movement born in the internet age, which defies the usual characteristics of violent extremist movements that law enforcement and the intelligence community are usually used to,” said Imran Ahmed, founder and CEO of CCDH, a US-based nonprofit. “Our study shows that it is organized, has a cogent ideology and has clearly concluded that raping women, killing women, and raping children is a clear part of the practice of their ideology.”

In March, the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center released a report warning that anti-woman violence was a growing terrorism threat. According to the CCDH analysis, members of the forum post about rape every 29 minutes, and more than 89 percent of posters support rape and say it’s acceptable.

I am generally against censorship in the commons, because a free exchange of opinions (theoretically) helps us determine the boundaries of right and wrong. It also drives some people underground, where they gather (like rats) into fringe groups, giving them a false sense of "power in numbers" which serves to reinforce their anti-social and misogynistic leanings. That being said, online platforms must exercise better censorship methods, because their ability to facilitate and amplify those voices is the equivalent of a PA system in an otherwise docile park:

Coping with yesterday's violence in Texas

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has information on how to talk with children about mass shootings. The tips include how to start the conversation, common reactions, and how to seek help if you need it.

https://www.nctsn.org/resources/talking-children-about-shooting

They also have a resource for adults on coping with mass violence.

https://www.nctsn.org/resources/coping-after-mass-violence

Students come together to oppose gun violence

When the most responsible adults in the room are also the youngest:

“The sad and terrifying reality is that another school shooting like Parkland will happen if we don’t take action now," said Sawyer Taylor-Arnold. “I hope that one day students won’t have to fear going to school because of gun violence. I hope that school becomes once again a place for education and promise instead of a terrifying gamble of safety. I hope that students in the future won’t know the pain and trauma that accompanies gun violence because we will have the regulation our country desperately needs.”

Taylor-Arnold is a junior at Asheville High School. She said she wanted to attend the Summit to learn more about gun violence and hear first-hand accounts of how it affected so many young people.

I am proud of these students, but also kind of angry. I'm angry that our lack of action on this issue made them feel the need to push for change. Angry that nothing of any substance has been done to limit the insanely easy access to deadly firearms, and that every (single) common-sense approach is viciously opposed by gun fetishists and the businesses that profit from them. Here are some of their ideas:

Annapolis newspaper shooting reveals the dark side of Facebook

Sometimes a blast from the past is the last thing you need:

In what a judge called "rather bizarre" behavior, Ramos used Facebook to contact a woman he knew in high school and then sent her threatening emails, called her vulgar names and told her to kill herself, court documents and the article say. "If you're on Facebook, you've probably gotten a friend request or message from an old high school classmate you didn't quite remember," the article begins. "For one woman, that experience turned into a yearlong nightmare."

The article says Ramos contacted the woman and thanked her for being kind to him in high school. She wrote back, and they emailed. She suggested he see a counselor. Then, he lashed out at her. She "lived in fear for her safety for months," the article says.

I recently told a small group of people if they really wanted to use social media to advocate for a cause, they needed to let down their drawbridges. Make their posts public, so they can be shared and/or found in searches. And we discussed the positive and negative aspects of increased exposure. At one point I told them that "stranger danger" is a virtually non-existent threat, because most Internet trolls are basically cowards at heart, and stifling your advocacy is their main goal. This horrible incident does not change my views on that. She knew this guy from high school, he did not fit the classic definition of "stranger." And after he got in trouble over harassing her, he transferred his rage to the newspaper that told everybody else about his obsession:

Scott Pelley and CBS News owe us an apology

Big Pharma

CBSNews is apparently enamored of former Congressman and Sen. Ted Kennedy's son, Patrick Kennedy. I thought the 60 Minutes interview done by Leslie Stahl was a good piece of journalism. Then Scott Pelley had to overdose on the Kennedy legacy, and ran a segment on CBS Evening News tonight with Patrick Kennedy giving a lecture to America on how to prevent gun violence through mental health legislation.

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