Wednesday, June 21, 2017

FBI Says Shooting At GOP Baseball Practice Seems To Have Been Spontaneous

So the FBI has released some information about James Hodgkinson, the man who fired at the GOP baseball practice. Here's NPR's story: Shooting At GOP Baseball Practice Seems To Have Been Spontaneous, FBI Says. Basically it looks like a guy that was going through hard times, living out of his car, talking about going back to his wife and not happy with politics. But there's no evidence that he planned anything or even knew about the baseball practice. It looks like a spontaneous decision. And if we look at gun violence in the US a lot of it works that way. Most gun deaths are suicides and most homicides are domestic violence. And if guns weren't available to the shooters there's good evidence that the violence wouldn't happen, it's not just that they'd find alternate weapons to use. The first research into gun deaths started to reveal that and gun rights activists got nervous and banned federal funding of additional research, but that's what we understand. Oh and Hodgkinson has some history of domestic violence, that's probably the strongest indicator of gun violence. Meanwhile the NY Times story on this FBI announcement has a completely indefensible headline: Gunman in Lawmaker Shooting Had Photographed Washington Landmarks, F.B.I. Says. If you lead with that, I think you're implying something. Maybe he was going to do something (like shoot) at those landmarks. Except, then you realize that if you've ever been to DC you "Photographed Washington Landmarks" too. If you read the first paragraph of their story you'll find: > The 66-year-old gunman who opened fire one week ago on members of Congress at a Northern Virginia ball field had photographed Washington landmarks including the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and the Capitol, the F.B.I. said Wednesday, but the agency did not believe those sites were targets. So the FBI doesn't believe they were targets what's the newsworthiness of his photos? Did he also have cat photos? Certainly what's the reason to put them in the headline?

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