Yesterday I had to get up about 4 hours earlier than my normal rising time. That was just the start of a seriously shitty day. I had to leave before I finished my coffee, and barely had time to eat an envelope of PopTarts before throwing my raincoat on and heading out the door.
To pass the time enroute I opened my Twitter app on my phone, and was greeted by videos of a mass shooter making his way through a FL high school. Wonderful, another school shooting with a double-digit body count .
Close to Over 2 dozen injured or killed yesterday. And that makes 19 times this year that a firearm has been discharged on school property…
So anyway, about that rain coat. Basically it’s vinyl windbreaker with no ventilation held closed with Velcro and held together with vinyl tape after as many years as I have had it. That means it’s a sweat generator, and the hook part of the front closure snagging on everything in range, and that hook part dangling loose after Mrs. the Poet borrowed it without understanding it was delicate because of the tape. So hot and basically catching on every fabric surface in a half-meter radius, because there was a misting rain and fog when I left the house that ended before I even got to the transit center to catch my second bus. I carry my wallet in a drawstring bag I throw over one shoulder, so I stuffed the jacket into the bag and had it under my arm the rest of the day.
This brings me to the visit with the Lab Rat Keeper. It seems that stopping the anti-depressants was a Bad Idea from a blood pressure point of view, as I have been asked to augment my current med (Byvalson) with the diuretic HCTZ to get back to the numbers I had when I was taking the anti-depressants. In case you didn’t know or forgot, I stopped the anti-depressants because I can’t live with the side effects of no sex life or sleeping all day and night. Whodathunkit? Depression is bad for your blood pressure.
And getting back to the school shooting, the shooter was 19 and legally bought his assault weapon after learning to shoot and maintain it as a cadet in JROTC. As a graduate of the Navy version of this program more than 40 years ago, I can say that wasn’t the cause, but it probably did teach him how to use the rifle. And since it’s more than likely his instructors were combat veterans he likely picked up the “run and gun” protocol he used from one of them. But how does a 19YO with documented mental health issues get that much firepower with multiple magazines and a brick of 1000 rounds of ammunition? I mean that’s the Mass Shooting Starter Kit, did nobody at the gun store contact the police?
And that’s all my stomach can handle.
The brain has been working overtime, which doesn’t do much for being able to sleep. Even after I managed to fall asleep the brain kept running on problem solving, which lead to some strange dreams this morning. About all I remember was a kind of Escherian/Sisyphean staircase where no matter how far I climbed I kept walking through the starting line over and over again instead of the finish, solving whatever problem I was working on just gave me another one to solve. I would carry something up these stairs and the top was the bottom again.
Mrs. the Poet just walked in and demanded I explain why MEN go nuts and shoot up the place. I honestly would like to know that as well so that a means of identifying mass shooters before they start loading spare magazines with hundreds of rounds can be found. Or we can just remove the weapons used in these killings, semiautomatic rifles with removable magazines. Now how that happens given the current ideological orientation of the government? I have no idea.
Veering off onto another tangent, Mrs. the Poet and I were inspired by a commercial to discuss spicy food and somehow we got on the subject of food so spicy that the eater’s hair would spontaneously combust. The commercial was for a local chain called Whataburger who sent us a coupon for a free chorizo flavored burger. Mrs. the Poet is not a big fan of chorizo, but I am and she likes what Whataburger calls the Monterrey Melt, which fulfills the prerequisites for the free burger. I was kidding that she should get the spicy chicken, then I invented an “Ultra Spicy” chicken sandwich and then we ended up with somebody’s hair on fire. You know, just another day at the ranch.
OK I think I will be making lentil stew tomorrow, but it will be an experiment as I’m not sure of how much of anything I need to put in my slow cooker. Well, I know what it would take to feed me and Mrs. the Poet, what I don’t know is how much liquid to use or time to cook it, so I’m just going to wing it.
The RPG group took a break from Shadowrun to play board games today. We tried a game called “Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate” which was kind of fun. I won, so of course I would think it was fun. It was one of those games that plays completely different every time you play because the game map gets randomized during play, and because things change radically with different numbers of players. I endorse this game as it was easy to learn and fun to play with lots of twists and turns.
So on my way home I pulled my phone up to check the news on Twitter. And we have another mass shooting in the US with victims from the last one still waiting autopsy (not the Vegas shooting, there have been more since then). This one was in my state. There were 25 dead when I first read about it but the body count has risen to 27 the last I looked as wounded victims succumbed to their wounds, or people decided to jack up the number of dead for whatever reason. One thing agreed upon is there were more than 50 wounded in the shooting, which translates to more than 75 total victims. And what is the common thread with these mass shootings? Semiautomatic weapons with removable magazines, that’s the only way to send hundreds of bullets downrange to a gathering of people in a few seconds, and sending hundreds of bullets downrange is the only way you’re going to get more than 50 wounded in a few seconds. Even if you assume that most of the bullets fired hit someone that still translates to at least 2 magazine changes, probably 3 or more. Update just now as I was typing that they updated the count to 27 dead and 24 survivors wounded so a total of 51 victims which means all of one magazine and most of another even if this shooter managed to hit with every trigger pull.
And this is so ugh.
I was sitting in the Lab Rat Keeper’s office reading Twitter and there is a mass shooting in VA. Then a couple refreshes later there is a mass shooting in NYC, nobody killed. Then there is a mass shooting in CA. That’s 3 mass shootings in one day within a few hours.
Three mass shootings with more than 20 victims and one never even gets covered because the shooter was a bad shot and nobody died so it kinda gets lost under the other two. What country has so many mass shootings that there has to be a body count to get news coverage? Just one, us. That one shooting I know literally nothing about except multiple people hit outside the Barclay’s Center and nobody died, from the original tweet.
And what country has more than one mass shooting in a day? Just us again. We Win! USA! USA! USA!
We don’t win we’re just the most spectacular losers.
You hear this America!?! We are all spectacular losers! Every other country has figured out how to protect their people from Crazies With Guns and Too Much Ammo, except us. What makes us the Short Bus Kids of the world on this one? “Our” representatives literally voted to allow crazy people and domestic abusers to buy guns and as much ammo as they can carry because “duur, Freedumb!” In fact one of the victims of the VA shooting helped write one of those bills, Steve Scalise. He literally wrote the law that put a gun in the hands of the guy that shot him. Dharma (that’s when life kicks you in the balls for what you did in this life AKA Instant Karma).
And as much as I would like for Dharma and Karma to take care of things, there is just too much collateral damage to let it work that way. What we really need is a way to not let fuckups like that bill get through legislatures at all levels. What I’m proposing is Instant Review. After a bill is passed and signed, then it goes to either SCOTUS or another court specifically set up just to do this. Most of the time it will literally be a rubber stamp job, but then you get things like the PATRIOT act and other laws like that, that require serious nit-picking. Hell, Donnie is dropping bombs based on the AUMF Congress gave George after 9/11, that should have had a “don’t use after” date on it. You see what I mean?
My next post will be about building something, the indignities of being a lab rat, or something funny the cat did if I can ever get the cat to do anything.