El Paso Terrorism Suspect’s Alleged Manifesto Highlights Eco-Fascism’s Revival

 

The racist rant inveighs against environmental destruction and calls for mass killings to make the American “way of life” more “sustainable.” It’s not unique.

A manifesto posted online shortly before Saturday’s massacre at a Walmart in El Paso that the suspected shooter may have written blamed immigrants for hastening the environmental destruction of the United States and proposed genocide as a pathway to ecological sustainability.

Filled with white nationalist diatribes against “race-mixing” and the “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” the manifesto highlights far-right extremists’ budding revival of eco-fascism.

REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.

Titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” an allusion to Al Gore’s landmark climate change documentary, the ranting four-page document appeared on the extremist forum 8chan shortly before the shooting. Authorities have yet to confirm whether Patrick Crusius, the 21-year-old Dallas-area white man arrested in connection with the shooting that left at least 22 dead, is the author.

“The environment is getting worse by the year,” the manifesto reads. “Most of y’all are just too stubborn to change your lifestyle. So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.”

HuffPost reviewed the document but, with consideration to the ethical concerns of broadcasting what might be a notoriety-seeking killer’s messaging, is not publishing a link to it.

The manifesto explicitly cites the 74-page message posted online by the gunman charged with killing 51 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March. That alleged shooter, Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white Australian, thrice described himself as an “eco-fascist” motivated to repel waves of migrants fleeing climate change-ravaged regions of the world.

For years now, denial served as the extreme right’s de facto position on climate change. That is starting to change.

Just look, as Dissent magazine did in May, at this spring’s European elections. Following the European Green Party’s historic gains, the far-right Alternative for Germany’s youth wing in Berlin urged party leaders to abandon the “difficult to understand statement that mankind does not influence the climate,” an issue that moves “more people than we thought.”

Law enforcement officials block a road early Sunday morning at the scene of a mass shooting that occurred Saturday at a shopp

Law enforcement officials block a road early Sunday morning at the scene of a mass shooting that occurred Saturday at a shopping complex in El Paso.

In France, the far-right National Rally already took the message to heart. The party, led by Marine Le Pen, vowed to remake Europe as “the world’s first ecological civilization” with a climate platform rooted in nationalism. Le Pen railed against “nomadic” people who “do not care about the environment” as “they have no homeland,” harkening to the Nazis’ “blood and soil” slogan that, as The Guardian put it, described a belief in a mystical connection between race and a particular territory. Under that logic, “borders are the environment’s greatest ally,” as a National Rally party spokesman said in April.

In the United States, 70% of Americans recognize the climate is warming, and 57% understand humans’ emissions are the cause, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication polling shows. Republicans, long the only major political party in the developed world to outright reject climate science, are inching away from denialism but have yet to rally around a popular policy proposal.

“Someday Republicans are going to have to come up with some proposals that are responsive to these issues and, frankly, be more reasonable and more thoughtful,” Scott Jennings, a Republican consultant and a former campaign adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told The New York Times last week.

More than 65 million people are displaced worldwide right now, marking ― depending on how you count it ― the highest number of refugees in history. Climate change is forecast to inflame the crisis. Catastrophic weather forced 24 million people to flee home per year since 2008, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the Swiss-based international organization. By 2050, that number could hit anywhere from 140 million to 300 million to 1 billion. Drought, rising seas and violent storms could compel upward of 143 million people to leave sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America alone by the middle of the century, the World Bank estimated last year.

If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.From a manifesto possibly written by the suspected El Paso gunman

Slashing global greenhouse gases and increasing aid to help poor countries close to the equator adapt is the obvious way to change that trajectory. The Green New Deal framework left-wing climate activists put forward late last year gained international popularity in part because its promise of good-paying jobs and meaningful work as a vehicle for wealth redistribution and ecological stability offers a powerful antidote to the toxic elixir of far-right prescriptions to social unrest.

But as planet-heating emissions continue surging and scientists’ projections grow more dire, eco-fascism is experiencing a revival in a subculture of far-right extremism online. It comes amid a rekindled interest in Ted Kaczynski, the convicted terrorist known as the Unabomber.

Kaczynski ― like his newfound online fandom, who often distinguish themselves with pine-tree emoji on social media ― subscribes to “lifeboat ethics.” The term, coined in the 1970s by the neoconservative ecologist Garrett Hardin, denotes the idea that “traditional humanitarian views of the ‘guilt-ridden,’ ‘conscience-stricken’ liberal” threatens the balance of nature. The belief traces its lineage back to 18th-century English philosopher Thomas Malthus, who theorized that population growth would eclipse the availability of resources to meet basic human needs without moral restraint or widespread disease, famine or war to thin the herd.

In September 2017, the white nationalist magazine American Renaissance asked its readers a question: “What does it mean for whites if climate change is real?” The bombastic essay wondered whether the “population explosion in the global south combined with climate change” demonstrated “the single greatest external threat to Western civilization” ― even “more serious than Islamic terrorism or Hispanic illegal immigration.”

“If continued global change makes the poor, non-white parts of the world even more unpleasant to live in than they are now, it will certainly drive more non-whites north,” Jared Taylor, the publication’s editor and an influential white nationalist, wrote in an email to the magazine Jewish Currents. “I make no apology for … urging white nations to muster the will to guard their borders and maintain white majorities.”

Two years later, white, male gunmen appear to be heeding his call.

Animal Advocates Push for Vt. Coyote Hunting Regulations

The groups point to an incident this weekend, described by a homeowner as “extremely traumatic,” as one reason why new hunting rules are needed

A conflict this weekend between hunters and property owners in northeastern Vermont has reignited calls from animal advocates for more regulations.

Groups including Protect Our Wildlife and the Vermont Coyote Coexistence Coalition have been regularly advocating for Vermont to follow the lead of Massachusetts and set a formal season on the killing of coyotes.

Their multi-year campaigns added a new supporter after a scene that played out Saturday morning in the backyard of Diana Hansen of Craftsbury.

“It was, particularly for me, extremely traumatic,” Hansen told necn Tuesday.

Otto Warmbier’s Parents Respond to Trump

[NATL] Otto Warmbier’s Parents Respond to Trump

Fred and Cindy Warmbier responded to President Donald Trump’s claim that North Korean Leader Kim Jung Un was unaware of the mistreatment of their son during the 17 months he was detained in the North Korea.

(Published Friday, March 1, 2019)

Hansen said a hunter set his dogs on a coyote, and they chased the animal into Hansen’s backyard — biting and bloodying the coyote as her young children watched from a rear window, horrified.

“It was incredibly disturbing to see that kind of violence happening,” Hansen said.

The mom said the coyote pursuit also caused around $500 in damage to the family’s greenhouse when the dogs and their target climbed on the greenhouse, puncturing its plastic with their claws.

It is legal to hunt coyotes with hounds year-round in Vermont, but animal advocacy groups often criticize the practice.

“The use of hounds in hunting is really concerning,” said Barry Londeree of the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society, along with Protect Our Wildlife and the Vermont Coyote Coexistence Coalition, wants to see tighter regulations in the state, including a specific hunting season for coyotes.

Hyundai, Kia Recalling Half a Million Vehicles

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Hyundai and Kia are recalling more than 500,000 cars over concerns of engine fires.

(Published Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019)

Londeree said the animals have an important role in the ecosystem, including preying on rodents like mice and rats.

“They shouldn’t be subject to year-round hunting with no limits,” Londeree said of coyotes.

For a response to the advocacy groups’ calls for a defined hunting season on coyotes, with limits, necn sought an interview with the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife.

The Psychology and Thrill of Trophy Hunting: Is it Criminal?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-emotions/201510/the-psychology-and-thrill-trophy-hunting-is-it-criminal

Trophy hunting is gratuitous violence that can justifiably be called murder.

Posted Oct 18, 2015

“Still, the need to hurt animals that some children feel doesn’t explain why some adults hunt and kill large, and often dangerous, animals that they have no intention of eating. I have searched the psychology literature and, while there’s a lot of conjecture about what it means, the fact that very little research exists to support any assumptions makes reaching anunderstanding of this behaviour very difficult.”  (Xanthe Mallett, 2015)

Kids ask the darndest questions

A few years ago a youngster told me a story about a murder in his neighborhood in Boulder, Colorado, my hometown. I hadn’t heard about it so I asked him for more information and he told me about a cougar who had been murdered because this magnificent cat was living down the block from him. I instantly said something like, “Animals can’t be murdered,” and he looked at me – stared me straight in the eyes – and innocently but forcefully asked, “Why not?” I realized that I wasn’t going to “win” this discussion nor get out of it easily or cleanly, and his mother was calling him home, so I said that’s the way it is for now in the legal system, and, not unexpectedly, he once again asked, “Why?”

I was at a loss to say more given the time constraints and given the fact that I really wanted to let him know that I thought animals could indeed be murdered.” But, that would have made his mother angry and we both would have missed dinner. So, I told him that he really had made an impression on me, I thanked him for asking “Why, why, why,” and that I’d continue to think about this, for I do believe that killing an animal is murder (please also see) when an animal is killed in the same manner for which it is declared that a human has been murdered. And, sanitizing the killing by calling it culling, dispatching, or euthanizing doesn’t really do the job.

I haven’t thought much about this conversation, although I have pondered many times why the word “murder” is reserved for human animals and categorically excludes nonhuman animals (animals). And, some recent events have led me to write this brief essay about why the use of the word “murder” should be broadened to include other animals and why, for example, “trophy hunting” is really “trophy murder.”

I’m sure many people will likely weigh in on this topic and many already have. There also are some interesting exchanges at debate.org where the question, “Is killing an animal murder?” was raised. As of today, 58% of the respondents voted “yes” and 42% voted “no.” In addition, “Americans are turning thumbs down on trophy hunting by a two-to-one margin. Sixty-four percent of U.S. voters polled told the Humane Society of the United States that they also oppose trophy hunting in the United States.”

Definitions of murder invariably exclude nonhumans.  However, I can’t see any good reason other than “that’s the way it is.” Reasons given include misleading claims that animals don’t feel pain, they aren’t smart, or they don’t display what philosophers call agency, loosely put as the ability to make free choices and to act independently and to adapt in different environments. Furthermore, “All jurisdictions require that the victim be a natural person; that is, a human being who was still alive before being murdered. In other words, under the law one cannot murder a corpse, a corporation, a non-human animal, or any other non-human organism such as a plant or bacterium.”

The comments for the above debate make for interesting reading. One noted, “I love animals and have several pets but no killing animals for food is not murder. Killing animals for food is not murder because they do not have the ability to speak or have complex thoughts. For example, lets say there is a tiger hat is hungry and one of you who think its murder to kill an animal in a cage. That tiger would not hesitate to eat you so I say why can’t we do the same.” Another reader wrote, “Cruelty to animals is wrong, but it is not murder. People kill animals for a wide variety of reasons. Some of these reasons may be seen as cruel by different people: for example, some feel that killing animals for food is cruel, while others see it as a necessary evil, and some (like those who enjoy hunting) even take pleasure in it. However, even cruelty to animals does not rise to the level of “murder” as such.”

And, we also read, “(Non human) Animals are also sentient, conscious beings who feel pain and emotion If killing animals isn’t murder (because they are not people, or intelligent, or capable to express their fear, etc…) we should apply the same logic to humans who are handicapped or mentally retarded. No human ceases to be an animal simply because they are intelligent, we are merely perpetuating a sort of speciesism if we exclude unintelligent or unresponsive humans.”

These and other comments raise many of the issues that are central to arguing for using the word “murder” when an animal is involved in situations when it used for humans, and that laws need to be changed to reflect this.

A few recent events have made many others and me revisit the selective and speciesist use of the word “murder.” A few weeks ago a dog was killed and skinned in my hometown and once again, someone asked me if this could be classified as murder. Animals in zoos also are killed rather often even if they are healthy and could live longer lives. Marius, an otherwise healthy young giraffe, was killed in the Copenhagen zoo in February 2014 because he didn’t fit into their breeding program. Zoo administrators said he was euthanized, but of course this wasn’t a mercy killing but what I call “zoothanasia.” And, I also noted it could well be called murder.

Is trophy hunting really trophy murder? Cecil the lion and the recent killing of the largest African elephant in almost thirty years

“As for trophy hunting, I think it is probably the kind of animal killing that most resembles murder – murder in the first degree. It is done with planning (premeditation) and without provocation or biological justification. The animals are entirely innocent creatures killed only for ego-gratification and fun. It’s time we began to see this practice as akin to murder.” Kirk Robinson (executive director of the Western Wildlife Conservancy, comment on this essay)

Trophy hunting in the wild and in places where animals are bred and held captive for the purpose of being killed (canned hunting), also makes the news especially when a charismatic animal is slaughtered. Basically, trophy hunting is a gratuitously violent act that often results in dismemberment and taking the head as a “trophy.

This past summer the world learned about, and millions were outraged by, the killing of Cecil, a magnificent lion, by a Minnesota dentist under the guise that it served some conservation purpose. Cecil’s undoing was premeditated, he hadn’t done anything to deserve being killed, and the dentist paid a royal sum to be allowed to kill him. And, this week, we’ve learned that a magnificent elephant killed in Zimbabwe for fun was the biggest killed in Africa for almost 30 years (please also see).

There are many, far too many, examples of trophy hunting accompanied by pictures of happy hunters. Indeed, recreational sport hunting that doesn’t involve long-distance travel or huge sums of money can also be called murder. And, sport hunting is often glorified. Colorado has “hug a hunter” and “hug an angler” campaigns because Colorado Parks and Wildlife claim that hunting is a conservation tool (but please see). We read, “Coloradans are proud of the wildlife and natural beauty in Colorado. And we have hunters and anglers to thank for helping to support it. So if you love protecting Colorado and its natural beauty, go ahead and hug a hunter.” Of course, not all wildlife is valued.

Let’s get the discussion going and let’s begin by making it simple

The time has come to open the discussion about the limited use of the word “murder.” Detailed scientific research has more than amply shown that reasons for excluding animals that include their supposed lack of emotions, that they are not really sentient, and that they really don’t care what happens to them, for example, clearly don’t hold.

I’m sure there are people who are passionate on both sides of the ledger and we need to hear all voices. Attorney Steven Wise and his team, who have worked tirelessly for granting animals rights, have been focusing their attention on chimpanzees, so to begin, let’s just consider mammals. And, perhaps to get the discussion going, let’s only consider animals who are killed for trophy hunting, for sport and for fun, and exclude, for the moment, animals who are killed for our entertainment (dog- or cock-fighting), animals who are killed because they harmed, or supposedly harmed, a human(s), animals who wind up living in urban or suburban areas “dangerously” close to humans because we forced them out of their preferred and natural homes because of relentless development, animals who are killed for food or research, animals who are considered to be “pests,” animals who are “collected” “in the name of science.” We can also limit our early discussions to animals who clearly are sentient, which includes the vast majority of animals who are killed when there is no other reason to do it other than for fun.

I’m sure readers will have a category of animals they’d like to add to the list of candidates, and this is all part of the ongoing discussion. It’s difficult, for example, to exclude companion animals who are brutalized for no reason at all, so perhaps in early discussions we can also consider them as animals for whom the word “murder” applies.

Let me strongly emphasize that this early focus is not to say that other animals shouldn’t be granted legal rights nor that they can’t be murdered. However, we’ve got to begin somewhere, so let’s begin with the clearest cases in which an animal is killed for no other reason than someone thought it would be okay to kill them, perhaps for sport, perhaps for fun, perhaps because they like the high of the thrill, or perhaps because they enjoy killing the animals by “playing predator,” but surely not in any way that could be considered playing fair.

One of my friends suggested to me that perhaps the world isn’t ready for such a discussion, but surely there are crimes against animals that fall smack into the arena of crimes that are considered to be murder when there is a human victim(s). Trophy hunting is one clear case; it is voluntary and intentional and there is no reason to engage in it other than the hunter finds it to be a form of recreation or fun. It’s often not that challenging, and surely one doesn’t have to do it.

The psychology of trophy hunting: What drives people to thrill kill?

Hunting for ‘sport’ is basically another way to describe the thrill of killing.” Graham Collier, Psychology Today

The phrase “trophy hunting” – a form of thrill killing (for example, please see) is all about nonhumans, but gratuitous violence in the form of thrill killing also occurs in humans. When there are human victims it’s clearly considered to be aberrant and criminal behavior that rightfully is called murder. The bottom line is that anyone who thrill kills should be punished regardless of whom the victim is. And we also should keep in mind what psychologists call “the Link,” the close relationship between human-animal violence and human-human violence.

While I cannot find any formal studies of what drives trophy hunting specifically, many people have weighed in on questions of this sort. One essay called “Why we may never understand the reasons people hunt animals as ‘trophies‘” by criminologist Dr. Xanthe Mallett reports “Research shows increased levels of hostility and a need for power and control are associated with poor attitudes towards animals, among men in particular.”

Dr. Mallett also writes, “Another paper has linked personality traits of some people who hunt for sport to a different ‘triad’ of behaviours, known ominously as the ‘dark triad’. This includes narcissism (egotistical admiration of one’s own attributes, and a lack of compassion), Machiavellianism (being deceitful, cunning and manipulative) and psychopathy (lack of remorse or empathy, and prone to impulsive behaviour).”

Dr. Mallett ends her essay as follows: “And that [the lack of hard data] means we may never know why hunters are compelled to seek animal trophies for their walls. Indeed, we might be condemned just to watch and wonder about their motive and emotional capacity.” Surely, if people just want to “get out into nature” and rewild themselves, there are better and much less harmful ways to do it. Trophy hunting also violates the tenets of compassionate conservation, namely, first do no harm and all individuals matter (please seeand links therein).

What drives trophy hunting is a field rich in questions and ideas that should be of interest to many readers of Psychology Today and also practitioners.

Words count

The wide-ranging concern and condemnation of trophy hunting is not merely an animal rights or vegan perspective, but rather one grounded in concerns about respect and decency. Many people who eat and wear animals are outraged by Cecil’s demise and by the latest elephant to be killed for fun. Many of my friends say something like, “It just isn’t right,” and all the academic arguments in the world aren’t going to convince them that trophy hunting can be justified. And, hunters with whom I’ve spoken are appalled by canned and wild trophy hunting. There’s a lot going on here about which I hope to write later on.

Words count. The failure to use the word “murder” for nonhumans is due to a misleading extension of the “them” versus “us” way of thinking, one that is, or should be, long gone, and a view that ignores who other animals truly are – their cognitive and emotional lives and capacities — based on large amounts of detailed empirical research. While we surely are different from other animals, we also share many traits that make us all very similar to the magnificent animals who are routinely hunted as trophies. These shared traits are those that are used erroneously by some to separate “them” from us as if the differences are black and white, rather than shades of gray.

So, if legal systems change and recognize the fact that animals can be murdered, we can expect that crimes that count as murder will be punished accordingly, other than by shame. And, perhaps, someday I’ll be able to tell some inquisitive “annoying” kid that animals can indeed be murdered. And, I’ll also let him or her know that when people say they love animals and harm them, I always say I’m glad they don’t love me.

Note: For more on ways to stop the killing, please see Hope Ferdowsian’s “5 Ways to Stop the Killing.” The man who killed the elephant has now been identified.

Marc Bekoff’s latest books are Jasper’s Story: Saving Moon Bears (with Jill Robinson), Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate ConservationWhy Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed, and Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and CoexistenceThe Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall (edited with Dale Peterson) has recently been published. (marcbekoff.com; @MarcBekoff)

Ban Automatic Weapons so Crazed Lunatics Won’t Kill as Many Innocents per Incident

Did the above title get it right? Isn’t that the ultimate goal that hundreds of thousands of protesters worldwide were hoping for? Wasn’t ‘Bombs, Bows, Poison and Knives would Leave a Lower Body Count’ the sort of message they were hoping to convey?

If not, I’m not sure I get it. I mean, do these good folks think mass killings will stop the day we take machine guns away from the general public? Would that that were true; the problems of school or workplace or Post Office violence would be a quick fix. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no gun-nut, or should I say, ‘shooting sports advocate’. By all means, implement all the gun control measures you think will help.

Unfortunately, the problem goes far deeper than the Sporting Goods section at the local Wal Mart (although that’s a good place to start). As long as people are training their guns on innocent animals, they’ll be potential school shooters. So what’s the answer, ban sport hunting? Perish the thought…

Finally someone’s striking at the root of the problem. In a March 29th article by Kevin Johnson in USA Today https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/29/secret-service-mental-illness-stalks-many-suspects-mass-attacks/466251002/?csp=chromepush, entitled, “64% of assailants in mass attacks suffered from symptoms of mental illness, Secret Service report finds” we learn that, “a striking number of suspects linked to violent attacks in schools and other public places last year were stalked by symptoms of mental illness and nearly half were motivated by real or perceived personal grievances, a new Secret Service report has found.” The article goes on, Pakland “school administrators and law enforcement were all warned about Nikolas Cruz’s deteriorating mental state and risk of violence before he allegedly launched the attack that left 17 dead.”

So ban the occasional gun, get the odd kid to a councilor, but as long as we condone unnecessary killing every hunting season, someone’s not going to be safe.

Kids Killing Coyotes

From Anti-Hunting in America:
This is another sadistic page that promotes the killing of wildlife, and then setting up the dead animals for ridiculous pictures as they stand over smirking with guns in their hands.

They use the term “raising them right” a lot as another reason to try and justify their obsession with killing and letting their kids do it. They genuinely believe that if kids are not out hunting then they will be somewhere else causing trouble. So basically if you are not giving your kids guns and letting them kill helpless animals, you are raising them wrong.

Photo Credit – Facebook.com https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rack-Em-Up/810718095613660?sk=timeline See More

Photo: This is another sadistic page that promotes the killing of wildlife, and then setting up the dead animals for ridiculous pictures as they stand over smirking with guns in their hands.

They use the term "raising them right" a lot as another reason to try and justify their obsession with killing and letting their kids do it. They genuinely believe that if kids are not out hunting then they will be somewhere else causing trouble. So basically if you are not giving your kids guns and letting them kill helpless animals, you are raising them wrong.

Photo Credit - Facebook.com https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rack-Em-Up/810718095613660?sk=timeline

A mass shooting every 3 weeks

October 27, 2014

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024873020_westneat26xml.html

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Danny Westneat

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A mass shooting every 3 weeks: We don’t have to live like this

The chairman of the stricken Tulalip Tribes, a community filled with family of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School gunman, summed up how we deal with mass shootings.

The massacre of 20 first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut nearly two years ago didn’t prompt us to do much about our gun-violence disease. We didn’t even admit we’re sick.

So another school shooting, as wrenching as it is because it happened right here at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Friday, seems unlikely to prompt more than the typical cycle of grieve, shrug and move on that has become a hallmark of the American mass-shooting culture.

When shootings happen elsewhere, “We can always say that we watch it on TV,” said Herman Williams, chairman of the Tulalip Tribes, a community in which the shooter’s family is prominent. “But, my, here it comes walking in our door.”

Yes, here it came. Again.

It may be futile, but it’s worth saying — again — that we don’t have to live like this. Shootings can and do occur all over the world. But no first-world country tolerates them like we do. No society just watches them on TV. And in no other country do public shootings repeat as regularly as the weather, as they do here.

When you first saw that telltale helicopter footage of terrified kids running onto the athletic fields Friday, it’s understandable if your reaction was to groan, “Here we go again.” Because it’s not your imagination: Large-scale public shootings like this one are on the rise (even as overall gun crime is down).

Last month the FBI, no left-wing gun-control group, released new data that got almost no attention in our gun-crazy land. It focused on exactly the kind of shooting that happened Friday — in which someone whips out a gun and starts shooting up a crowded public place. The FBI wanted to separate those public shootings from more typical criminal mass murders, such as gang killings or in-home domestic violence killings. So the FBI looked at what it calls “active shooter incidents,” meaning when someone just opens fire in public.

What it found is that active shooting incidents are becoming far more common.

They are still rare, obviously. But they now happen in the U.S. once every three weeks or so. As recently as the early 2000s, they happened only once every 10 weeks — meaning they are now three times more common.

In a report published this month,researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health examined mass shootings, defined as public shootings in which four or more people died. They found these shootings are happening three times more often, since 2011 than they did during the 30-year period before that.

The Northwest has become a big contributor to this demoralizing trend. We have had three school shootings just this year — at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Friday, at Reynolds High School in Oregon in June and at Seattle Pacific University, also in June. For 2014, we are, suddenly, the school-shooting capital.

There are no easy answers to any of this. The gun folks are at least partially right — gun control likely will be ineffective, especially at first, at preventing mass shootings. The gun Jaylen Fryberg used to kill one classmate and severely wound four others was legally acquired, according to the ATF (though it was illegal for him to be carrying it in school).

With as many guns in America as people, measures such as expanding background checks, banning assault weapons or increased licensing or training for gun ownership could take years, even generations, to have an effect.

But many other countries have done it anyway. After spree shootings, they take mass societal and governmental steps that say, “This will not be repeated.” They aren’t perfect, but they help. Only America, among first-world nations, sits back and waits for the next tragedy to come knocking.

The Tulalip Tribes’ chairman is right — what we do is we watch it on TV. It’s our way to gawk and share in the pain a little. But eventually we change the channel, until the next one comes walking in somebody else’s door. Which will be in about three weeks.

Austrian hunter’s obsession turns to murder

skulls

[My neighbor has a skull like this hanging in his barn. Those pictured here were poached by the Austrian hunter featured below.]

http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Austrian-hunter-s-obsession-turns-to-murder-4826751.php#photo-5206406

By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press

Thursday, September 19, 2013

GROSSPRIEL, Austria (AP) — In Austria, hunting deer and wild boar is a hallowed way of life [way of death, more like, but anyway], one that follows age-old codes of honor [ahem, honor among killers?] and requires a license bestowed only after passing rigorous exams. In that exalted world, Alois Huber was a brazen outlaw even before he went on a murderous rampage that left four people dead.

Not only did he poach game illegally in the middle of the night, he violated one of hunting’s most sacred rules: Kill for meat, not just the trophy of the wild animal’s head. [“Sacred”? There’s nothing sacred about killing.]

Huber shot countless deer in the forests outside Vienna, sawed off their antlered heads to mount at home — and left their decapitated bodies to rot in the underbrush.

Until this week.

Police had gotten wind of Huber’s nocturnal poaching and went to confront him in the early hours of Tuesday. Enraged, Huber’s illegal hunting turned to murder: He embarked on a shooting rampage that left three officers and a paramedic dead. Then he set his farmhouse bunker full of trophies on fire, and killed himself with a gunshot to the head. It was one of the worst multiple slayings in Austria’s postwar history.

Villagers are baffled by the shocking violence — and say Huber led a double life. They describe the trucker as an upstanding neighbor, a welcome guest at birthday parties who gladly helped out when asked for a favor.

“He was a quiet, pleasant person who never did anyone any harm,” said Adelheid Wieder, just hours after Huber’s charred body was found. “Nobody imagined that he could be so without scruples and so aggressive.”

But Huber had good reason to keep his passion a secret: Poaching is severely punished in this tightly regulated country where it can draw up to three years in prison.

Hunters are licensed only after passing exams that test their knowledge of weapons, ballistics, hunting traditions, different kinds of game and their diseases — and a host of other disciplines. Police followed up on more than 300 reported hunting violations last year.

Among licensed hunters, rogues are held in the highest contempt.

Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck says that police moved in on Huber after monitoring phone calls in which he acknowledged being the illegal trophy hunter being sought in the vicinity of Annaberg, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Vienna. Additionally, said Grundboeck, a search of his farm on the outskirts of the village of Grosspriel turned up hundreds of deer antlers and other game trophies — and about 100 guns, “many taken from other hunters’ huts.”

“We have no doubt that we found our man,” he told The Associated Press.

State Prosecutor Michaela Schnell says Huber is suspected in the illegal killing of numerous stags since 2005 and is also thought to have been the masked man who attacked a hunter with a knife two years ago, in what investigators now consider attempted murder.

In past centuries, poachers in Austria were often seen as cunning Robin Hood-like figures outwitting the noble owners of lands that they illegally hunted on for food.  Now, says expert Roland Girtler, some “drive in the night with SUVs in the forest, blind the game so that it stands still and then shoot. That is pathetic.”

No one in Grosspriel or the cluster of surrounding hamlets about 70 kilometers (40 miles) west of Vienna suggests that Huber used such methods.

They describe the 55-year-old as an expert who hunted legally and whose hobby turned into an obsession after his wife died about 15 years ago, leaving the childless widower with no close family. Those willing to talk about him after the trauma left by his rampage still don’t believe that he was the man leaving the headless carcasses of deer in his wake.

“We often went hunting for rabbits and pheasant,” says innkeeper Martin Jaeger between bites of schnitzel and gulps of cloudy wheat beer. “There was never any talk of poaching.”

For experts, analyzing Huber’s motives without knowing him is difficult. Speculation runs freely. But psychiatrist Reinhard Haller says his rampage could have been linked in part to a romantic view of himself as a poacher of old on the run from repressive authorities.

From the start of his illicit hunts to his standoff with police, it was a “struggle to see who is better,” he told the Austria Press Agency, describing Huber’s suicide as “an expression of his determination not to accept defeat.”

Some of Huber’s last words as police closed in support that image of a defiant outlaw proud of his illegal shoots.

“I am the poacher of Annaberg,” he told his friend, Herbert Huthansl, by cellphone, in comments cited by the daily Kronen Zeitung.

“They’re not going to get me.”

Stop the Spread of Psychopathy—End Hunting and Trapping

In light of the rise in violent crime, many have pondered the question: “How do I know if my neighbor is a psychopathic serial killer?” Well, unfortunately, it’s not easy. Unless of course you happen to live in any number of rural areas across the country where hunters are required to wear blaze orange—then the psychopathic serial killers stand out like a bunch of sore thumbs.

Okay, so maybe it’s a bit hyperbolic to compare hunters to serial killers. Yes, they both obsess on and stalk their victims, whom they objectify and depersonalize in their single-minded quest to boost their self-esteem, and the kills made by both hunters and serial killers are followed by a cooling off period, but serial killing usually has a sexual component to it.

Let’s hope hunters aren’t literally getting off on their exploits.

Maybe a better comparison for a hunter would be to a mass murderer: the inadequate type who snipes with a hunting rifle at innocent passers-by from a clock tower, or fires an AR-15 at cars from an embankment over a freeway.

Either way, the plain fact is cruelty to animals often leads to the killing of people. The perpetrators of the Columbine mass school shooting in Colorado honed their slaying skills by practicing on woodpeckers with their hunting rifles. David Berkowitz, the self-proclaimed “Son of Sam” serial killer, who habitually took sport in shooting lovers in parked cars along the streets of New York City, began his criminal career by shooting his neighbor’s dog.

Why does the public put up with these people in their midst?

The mainstream media downplays the behavior of serial animal killers as though hunting was just another “sport” to report on; like they were covering some Boy Scout Jamboree. They repeat by rote hunter/”game” department jargon like the animals were inanimate objects, using emotionally void terms such as “crop” for deer or “wolf harvest” for the unnecessary torture and murder of sentient beings vastly more admirable than their pursuers.

Worse yet are the noxious spread of anything-goes anti-wolf/anti-wildlife websites and chat rooms now widespread in social media. Consider the following comments made in response to a hunter showing off the cougar he killed (photo below)…

February 11 at 8:34am – “Nice cat bud.”

February 11 at 8:34am via mobile – “Colter! I had no idea you were into cougars.”

February 11 at 8:39am via mobile – “Hahahaha only old hairy ones like this one!!”

February 11 at 8:51am via mobile – “Good cat man congrats.”

February 11 at 9:15am via mobile – “That’s a nice cat bud!”

February 11 at 10:25am via mobile – “Thanks! Damn fun hunt.”

February 11 at 4:39pm – “what did you do, shoot its paw off!”

February 11 at 5:25pm via mobile – “It had been stuck in a trap at some point. Either chewed it off or pulled it off.”

In other words the poor cougar suffered, possibly for days, in a trap, before being shot by a trophy hunter. “Non-target” species like cougars often end up in traps set for other undeserving animals.

The Ravalli Republic reports (in typical mainstream media passionless fashion) in their article, Montana, Idaho trappers catching more than just wolves

In the first year that wolf trapping was allowed in Idaho, trappers captured a total of 123 wolves.

But according to a survey by the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Department, those same trappers in 2011-2012 also inadvertently captured 147 other animals, including white-tailed deer, elk, moose, mountain lions, skunks and ravens.

Trappers reported that 69 of those animals died as a result.

Trappers reported capturing 45 deer. Twelve of those died. They also captured 18 elk and four moose. One of the elk died.

The same number of coyotes ended up in traps as deer. Trappers reported that 38 were killed. Mountain lions also took a hit. Nine were captured and six died.

“There are a heck of a lot of people out there trapping furbearers,” said the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife management chief. “And there also are a lot of people trapping coyotes, which aren’t even regulated.”

Meanwhile, Idaho allows trappers to use wire snares that collapse around an animal’s neck as it struggles to free itself.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s state wildlife game manager vacuously adds, “No one wants to catch a deer. It costs them a lot of time.”

Any society that looks the other way when people murder animals for fun does so at its peril. Marine biologist, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, had this to say about the growing problem:

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is—whether its victim is human or animal—we cannot expect things to be much better in this world. We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”

It doesn’t get much more cruel or moronic than this…

cougar kill

Time to control gun violence—against animals

As predictable as the fact that there will be another mass shooting in this country again sometime is the inevitability that when it happens talk of controlling gun violence will crop up again. The two seem to go hand in hand. The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a case in point; the media has been rife with talk of controlling gun violence—against people.

But when I saw a recent article about a handgun buyback it hit me: most mass murderers use high-powered rifles—hunting rifles—but the buyback is only for handguns. Why isn’t there a buyback on hunting rifles? Oh, that’s right, hunting is a sacred institution—perpetuated by the likes of Dick Cheney, Ted Nugent and the NRA—no one can touch it. Forget all the violence done to animals, or even to crowds of people, if it means going up against hunting.

Never do you hear a peep about stopping gun violence against non-human animals. It’s as if they are inanimate objects, living targets to practice on. But if we really want to prevent the next school shooting or mass murder of mall shoppers, isn’t it time we address the violence inspired and nurtured by hunting?

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On the Death of Hunting

Literally, figuratively and statistically, hunting is a dying sport—it just hasn’t accepted that fact yet. Over the centuries, hunting in this country has been on a slippery, downward slope. It’s gone from being an almost universally practiced, year-round method of meat-gittin’ and “varmint” eradicatin’ (during the pioneering, God-given “Manifest Destiny” days that near-completely brought an end to the continent’s biodiversity) to the desperate, “sportsmen are the best environmentalists” perjury of present day—a laughable last-ditch attempt to stay afloat if you ever saw one.

Whether consciously aware of it or not, hunters, individually and as a well-funded whole, are in the process of grieving the impending demise of their favorite pastime. The question is, which stage of grief are they currently in, and more importantly, when will they finally give up the ghost and leave the animals alone?

If we apply the Kübler-Ross model (a hypothesis introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, commonly referred to as the “five stages of grief” including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) to the death of hunting, it would appear that hunters are somewhere between the first and the middle stage in their emotional journey toward acceptance. Kübler-Ross originally applied these stages to people suffering from terminal illness, later expanded this theoretical model to apply to any form of catastrophic personal loss, which could include job, income, freedom or some other significant life event. To a dyed-in-the-wool nimrod, the death of hunting definitely qualifies.

Known by the acronym DABDA, the five stages of the Kübler-Ross model include:

1)    Denial — “I feel fine.” “This can’t be happening, not to me.”

Denial can be a conscious or unconscious defense mechanism; a refusal to accept facts or the reality of the situation. This feeling is generally replaced with a heightened awareness of possessions that will be left behind after the death—in this case, after the death of their blood sport. For hunters, these possessions might be their beloved weapons, which they covetously cling to with Gollum-like obsession and zeal. Whenever the specter of gun control rears up after a mass school shooting, you can hear them breathlessly whispering, “My precious, my precious.” Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual, but some can become locked into this stage…

2) Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!” “How can this happen to me?” ‘”Who is to blame?”

Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to be around due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Anger can manifest itself in different ways. For hunters, it’s usually directed toward non-hunters, especially environmentalists or animal advocates, but is often also directed against species they view as competition, such as coyotes or wolves. It is important to remain detached when dealing with a person experiencing anger from grief.

3)    Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for a few more years.” “I will give my life savings if only…”

The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death (or the death of their favorite lethal hobby). Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time…” In the case of hunting, this negotiation is with the non-hunting majority and includes reinventing their persona, trying to sell themselves as “the best environmentalists;” pitching hunting as an admirable part of our heritage and trying to get laws passed to enshrine it; or recruiting women and young children into the fold.

4)    Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” “I’m going to die soon so what’s the point?” or in the case of the hunter, “If I can’t have my beloved blood sport, why go on?”

It’s natural for the hunter to feel sadness, regret, fear and uncertainty when going through this stage. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual (or a hunting organization, such as the NRA or the Safari Club) who is in this stage, as these emotions indicate their acceptance of the situation.

5)    Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.” “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”

In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality or another tragic event, such as the loss of a loved one…or, for the hunter, the long-dreaded ceasefire in the war waged against the animals.

One of the most popular arguments for hunting is, “But humans are carnivores, we’ve always been hunters.” The fact is, human predatory behavior is killing the planet. The only way any of us are going to survive is if we lay down our weapons and return to our plant-eating origins.

Sound radical? Arthur Schopenhauer spelled out his own set of stages that undeniably applies here: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

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