I haven’t watched an episode of South Park in a number of years. Not that I think the show is bad or anything, it’s just that there’s a plethora of entertainment choices out there and there’s only so many hours in a day. However, when it hit the headlines that they were doing an episode about school shootings, I just had to watch.
As can be expected, South Park took a serious subject like school shootings and made a very poignant point in their unique and politically incorrect way. Without getting into too many spoilers, the episode centered around a number of school shootings that kept happening at the school Stan, Kyle, and the gang attend. Anytime a shooting happened at the school not only the students but most of the town acted like it was just something routine that just happens.
Sadly, the episode portrayed a very real problem in our country. School shootings and mass shootings have become so prevalent in our country that we’ve become almost numb to them. Politicians and the media are no help either as politicians on both sides of the aisle are trying to protect their respective pet causes while the media calls any shooting within a 20-mile radius of a school a school shooting.
I could see someone potentially being offended by the episode, but once you get past South Park’s typical crudeness you’ll find a sad but accurate commentary on the state of our country.
If you’re not familiar with Fortnite, it’s the most popular video game going right now. It started out as a really bad zombie survival game, then it ripped off a better game, PUBG, and became the sensation it is today. Fortnite is what’s called a battle royale game. Basically, 100 players are dropped into a map and the last surviving team or player wins. The main reason why Fortnite is eating PUBG’s lunch and why it’s so popular is that Fortnite is free to play.
Recently, a big deal was made about sexual predators being on Frotnite because, in New Jersey, a number of online predators were arrested in an online sting. It became a big deal when it was reported that some of the predators may have been grooming their victims through games like Minecraft and Fortnite. While it wasn’t reported how many of these predators were allegedly using Fortnite, since it’s the most popular game right now, Fortnite was very prevalent in most of the headlines talking about this sting.
So, that takes us back to the headline’s question. Are your kids in danger from predators while playing Fortnite? Well, yes and no. Fortnite is as about as dangerous as any other online utility that your kids use. Do I think it’s a pedophile playground like messaging app Kik? I don’t think it’s even close, but since Fortnite is where all the kids are, odds are there will be a predator here and there.
As a parent, you should treat online games just like you would social media. Know who is on your kid’s friends list. Make sure they’re not chatting with someone they don’t know in the real world. Most importantly be honest with them that not every person they may talk to on the internet has their best interest in mind.
Back in January, Chinese national and Virginia Tech student Yunsong Zhao was arrested for allegedly being in possession of an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine. In Virginia, it’s illegal to own an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine but a 20 round magazine is A-OK. I mean, what’re 10 bullets between friends, am I right? Xhao’s arrest took place after he had tried to purchase 5,000 bullets. Investigators also alleged that Zhao was researching how to purchase body armor and owned a decommissioned police car that still had police markings on it. After his arrest, Zhao was expelled from Virginia Tech for allegedly having an assault rifle on campus. Considering Virginia Tech was the site of one of the worst school shootings, you can imagine that the school’s administrators were probably justified in their decision. Zhao was also taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after he had posted bond.
At the time of his arrest, I was convinced that Zhao was plotting some type of crime. Of course, I would lean towards that he was plotting a school shooting considering he allegedly and egotistically claimed he would make a victorious return to China, but it could have been any number of crimes. However, police and prosecutors could not prove Zhao was in possession of a 30 round magazine so yesterday, the charges against him were dismissed. I could see why police may have jumped the gun, so to speak, in arresting Zhao as they probably wanted to prevent any mayhem he may have been planning. While I’m of the opinion they more than likely did stop a heinous crime from occurring, the would-be perpetrator has escaped justice for the most part. However, authorities have said that he will be likely deported back to China.
While I shouldn’t be surprised, Zhao had his own contingent of supporters outside the courthouse while his charges were being dismissed. They claim that the police racially profiled Zhao because he was Asian who liked guns. I may be foolish for thinking this but it probably had more to do with the fact that he had the mass shooter’s weapon of choice on the grounds of a university where 32 innocent people were killed by a mentally unstable loser who liked guns. The fact that both Zhao and Cho Seung-Hui are both Asian is coincidental. Let’s also not forget the fact that he owned that police car and was supposedly trying to find body armor. As I said before, I doubt he was starting a one-man crime-fighting force.
Oh well, he’ll soon be China’s problem when he returns to them in a not so victorious manner.
Last week, the conviction of Joseph Cyr in the 2011 murder of Jaymie Adams was upheld by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Cyr was sentenced to two life sentences for supposedly killing the 26-year-old pregnant mother of four and her unborn child. Jaymie Adams was a prostitute who was being turned out in Oklahoma City on craigslist by her husband Justin Adams. Justin Adams was a person of interest early on in the investigation. Not only was he alleged to be having an affair after his wife went missing but he had also taken out a $100,000 life insurance policy on his wife shortly before her murder. You could be safe in assuming that at this point it would be an open and shut case but it wasn’t to be.
Investigators soon turned their attention to Joseph Cyr. Cyr was said to have been a customer of Jaymie Adams and his DNA was supposedly found inside of her. However, the autopsy report on Jaymie Adams claimed that there was no definite sperm is seen in
the oral, vaginal or rectal swabs.
As I’ve stated before, I’m not saying that Joseph Cyr wasn’t capable of murdering Jaymie Adams, however, I believe that not only was Joseph Cyr convicted on flimsy evidence but Justin Adams had much more to gain from his wife’s death. While I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories, Cyr’s arrest and conviction feel like he was railroaded. It even seems like the local media in Oklahoma went out of their way to under-report the investigation and trial. To my knowledge, once Cyr was arrested, the local media never questioned anything the investigators and prosecutors claimed about Cyr.
Even in announcing that Cyr’s life sentences had been upheld, the local media appears to be very apathetic when it comes to reporting anything about Cyr. For example, please check the following articles about Cyr’s conviction being upheld.
All of these articles are consistent with the reporting that’s been happening on this story. They’re all quite brief and lacking detail and in the case of Oklahoma City’s own newspaper, The Oklahoman, they relied on an AP wire report rather than doing their own investigating.
In a day when primetime news shows and documentarians alike are trying to find the next wrongly convicted prisoner, why is no one looking into this?
(Trench’s note: I started writing this post over a month ago then ‘things’ happened but I’m trying to deal. I didn’t want to waste the post so better late than never.)
As I was trying to catch up on all the news I’ve been neglecting, I came across this article from the Sun-Sentinel in Florida about Nikolas Cruz’s behavior before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The article interviews a number of people who knew Cruz and their statements show just how hateful he was.
One acquaintance of Cruz claims that Cruz hated black people since a ‘girlfriend’ of his left him for a black man. I use the sarcasm quotes around girlfriend because it’s unclear, to me at least, if this girlfriend even knew that Cruz considered her his girlfriend. For all we know, his ‘girlfriend’ could have been of the Canadian variety who you wouldn’t know. That same person claims that Cruz was always mad about not having a girlfriend leading me once again to believe that Cruz may have been an incel. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fact he couldn’t get a girlfriend was the motive behind the shooting itself. Another acquaintance claims that Cruz would often make antisemitic remarks and give Nazi salutes. Racism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny due to the shooters own inadequacy with women are not uncommon among many school shooters.
Speaking of inadequacy with women, Cruz also allegedly punched his own mother in the face so hard he knocked her teeth out. According to a relative, Cruz wanted to go to Wal-Mart but his mother said no. So being the sane and rational being that he was, Cruz is said to have punched his mother in the face so hard that it caused $2000 in dental damages. A bill that Lynda Cruz was still paying off at the time of her passing. I do not wish to speak ill of the dead, but this was the same women who allowed Cruz to have multiple guns in the home. I realize that in too many cases blood is thicker than water, but is it too thick when your own life is in danger? If she had not passed away last year it’s my opinion that Nikolas Cruz would have killed his own mother than have gone on to commit a mass shooting much in the vein of Adam Lanza and Sandy Hook.
But yeah, let’s blame video games and President Obama for the school shooting instead of where the real issues lie, at the feet of the shooter and the lax regulations that allowed this psychopath to own multiple guns. Remember kids, you can’t have a school shooting without the shooting part. Take away the gun you take away the shooting.
Campbell County High School shooter Kenny Bartley has found his way back to jail once again. If you’ll recall, Bartley was convicted of the 2005 murder of Campbell County High School principal Ken Bruce. Bartley was 15-years-old at the time. Bartley was charged as an adult and sentenced to 45 years behind bars. In 2014, at a retrial, Bartley was found guilty of only reckless homicide and was sentenced to time served. Since his release, Bartley has been no stranger to the law as he has been arrested multiple times and was present when his therapist’s son died from injuries related to child abuse.
This past Sunday, Bartley once again found himself on the wrong side of the law as he was arrested on assault charges. Bartley is accused of going to his father’s house in Lafollette, Tennessee, and demanding money. Bartley was said to have been met by his father’s girlfriend who told him to go away. Bartley reportedly responded by telling her “Get out of my face, bitch. I will kill you!” It was at this time that Bartley allegedly grabbed a rubber mallet that was nearby. Fearing for her life, the woman grabbed a gun from inside the home and told Bartley to leave. Police found Bartley walking down the road before arresting him.
Following his story as long as I have, history indicates that Bartley will probably be out of jail again soon if he hasn’t been already. Bartley is 27 now and is obviously in need of psychiatric help. He has shown that he has a tendency towards violence yet he keeps finding himself a free man while he continues to endanger members of his family. As I’ve been saying since his 2014 release, what’s it going to take before Kenny Bartley is either returned to prison or a psychiatric facility? He is obviously too dangerous to be left to his own devices.
It seems that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has provided us with another participant for the never-ending parade of assclowns. Last time, it was U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who said the government can’t do anything to prevent school shootings. Now, I present to you Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.
Late last June, hey I’m catching up sort of, Bevin was at a listening session hosted by the Federal Commission on School Safety. Did he blame school shootings on easy access to guns, inadequate mental health care in this country, or lackadaisical parenting? None of the above, actually. Governor Bevin blamed school shootings on video games, cell phones, and ‘over-medicating our children’.
“We are arming children with a device that has been proven time and time again — there’s not a single study that refutes or flies in the face of the fact that this leads to greater self-doubt, greater depression, greater ideas of self-harm,” Bevin said.
Except, Bevin is either lying or talking out of his ass as there have been multiple studies disproving any link between video games and real-world violence. Here’s one now.
Of course, Bevin also said that he doesn’t support any new gun restrictions. I mean why would you want to take the shooting part out of school shootings? It’s not like his state isn’t a stranger to school shootings as two high-profile school shootings have taken place in Kentucky. The first one being the Heath High School shooting in Paducah and the most recent one being the shooting that left two dead at Marshall County High School. So let’s not try to figure out how guns got into the hands of a then-13-year-old and a 15-year-old but instead place the blame on Frotnite or PUBG.
I’m a first generation console game and I’m turning 50 later this year. Why aren’t there more games in politics already so we can focus on the real matter at hand repeatedly carting out a two decades old trope that has no basis in fact?
Late in May, because I’m prompt like that, cellphone videos made by Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz were made public. The Miami Herald posted these videos to their website and I’m posting them here today. I’m obviously not posting these videos in order to glorify the extreme loss of life that happened but to show how much of an emotionally stunted weakling Cruz really is.
He sounds like a 13-year-old girl who was raised by the internet and had memes for parents. If it wasn’t for the fact that he owned a veritable arsenal, no one in their right mind should have been afraid of this coward.
Notice at first he talks about his supposed power then later in the video he refers to the power of his AR, referring to the AR-15 rifle. So even by his own words, he’s another coward hiding behind a gun because he couldn’t deal with his own inadequacies without resorting to bloodshed. As is typical with these deluded and entitled sociopaths, Cruz blames everyone else for his failures. As far as who ‘Angie’ is, as far as I can tell there’s been no definitive answer to that question. If I had to hazard a guess, I imagine she’s probably a poor girl that Cruz had an infatuation with who probably didn’t even know he existed. The crossover between emotionally stunted and socially awkward men who can’t approach women without being creepy and school shooters have become more prevalent in recent years. It wouldn’t surprise me if Cruz was either a borderline or full-on incel. Although, I saw some non-gender specific person on Tumblr say “They would be the Angie to their Nik”, Cruz could probably now have the pick of the litter on Tumblr. And by litter I mean trash.
Not really much to talk about here outside of the worst ad for Uber ever. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how he once again talked about his AR like not only is it an extension of himself but also like a gun is the ultimate problem solver.
All of this paints a picture of the stereotypical school shooter. An entitled and selfish antisocial malcontent who doesn’t have the emotional wherewithal to deal with the same life problems that everyone has. Anyone that reaches for a gun in these matters is nothing more than a petulant coward.
This past Tuesday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was addressing a group of community leaders in Danville, Kentucky. When the subject of school shootings came up McConnell said there was nothing the Federal Government could do to prevent future ones from happening.
“I don’t think at the federal level there’s much that we can do other than appropriate funds,” McConnell told a group of community leaders in Danville Tuesday.
“You would think, given how much it takes to get on an American plane or given how much it takes to get into courthouses, that this might be something that we could achieve, but I don’t think we could do that from Washington, I think it’s basically a local decision,” he said.
If that isn’t passing the buck I don’t know what is. President Truman is probably turning in his grave.
I don’t know if Senator McConnell is aware of this, but he’s a member of the legislative branch of the Federal Government. It’s kind of their job, as the name implies, to pass federal legislation. So, what kind of federal legislation could Congress pass to try to prevent future school shootings? How about offering federal assistance to people in need of mental healthcare? Or they could pass legislation regulating, or outlawing, the private sale of guns where background checks aren’t required. They could enact laws requiring the prosecution of ‘responsible’ gun-owning parents who allow their unsecured guns to be used in a school shooting. They could also raise the federal age limit of gun ownership to at least 21, although personally, I think 25 would be more apropos. The possibilities are endless.
What Senator McConnell obviously means is that the party he leads refuses to do anything about preventing school shootings because not only would it mean compromising with the opposing party, but it would also risk jeopardizing that sweet sweet gun lobby money.
Sometimes the measure of a man’s worth is standing up for what’s right rather than supporting what keeps you employed.
Before I get into the meat of this post I want to preface it by saying two things. The first is, I realize a victim in this story died and I am not trying to lessen the impact of or make light of their death. The second thing is, I also realize how much life and limb has been lost due to school violence this year, more than any other year I can remember. I’m also not trying to downplay the severity of the number of tragedies that have happened this year. However, I do have to take the media to task for calling everything a school shooting.
For example, here is how I received a news article from Google News Alerts about a shooting that took place in Overland Park, Kansas, on Tuesday.
Only one of those four headlines doesn’t call the incident a school shooting. When I clicked on the link from WIBW here in Topeka the headline at the time still referred to the incident as a school shooting although the headline has since been corrected. But the first paragraph of the story betrays the original headline.
Authorities have arrested a suspect in a shooting that killed one and critically wounded another outside an Overland Park elementary school.
What happened is that 32-year-old Anthony David Grable was working with two other people installing playground equipment at the school when an argument ensued and Grable allegedly shot his two co-workers, killing one of them.
No students or faculty were at the school. No students or faculty were involved in the shooting. Schools in the district have been out of session since late May. However, I can almost guarantee you that some gun control group like Everytown for Gun Safety will consider this as a school shooting in order to overinflate their stats used to further push their agenda. Then it becomes a vicious cycle with media as they take whatever number Everytown puts forth as gospel and the cycle continues. While I think that the country is obviously in desperate need of gun reform, no one benefits from lies and hyperbole. Because once they’re accepted as fact and then the truth is revealed, it will give the opposition just as much ammunition, so to speak, to reverse any benefit and once again we’re back at square one where nothing has changed and kids are still dying for no reason.