May 4

I’m not yucking your yum - get it. Love what you love. It’s awesome. 

Here in Kent, Ohio, May 4 has a whole other significance. Several people I know have recently participated in giving their oral history of the May 4 shootings at Kent State University’s May 4 Museum. It was 45 years ago, and for many people who still live in this community, it happened about five minutes ago. 

Saturday night I went to the Jawbone Poetry Festival second night open reading, and my friend David, who runs the Wick Poetry Center, read from a book of oral histories from the day. Every year that I live here, I learn a little bit more about what did and did not happen. About what the people whose lives and love touch my life and my love have been carrying with them all of these years. This is my community, and the hurt is still so palpable. 

Yesterday afternoon a motley group of us gathered in the town park for a potluck picnic and to read some more poems to one another. We sang several songs, finding sweet and warbly harmonies. The Baker and his son came with us, and it was such a pleasure to be in the warmth of the day, the warmth of all of those hearts wide open with a new friend by my side. My community continues to change shape, and because of that, so does my heart. 

I don’t remember May 4. I was just 3 years old at the time. But because I live here, it is a growing part of me. 

I need the following information for an upcoming university criminal justice essay on school/university shootings and the psychological impact.. in particular Columbine.

1. Any good books about school and university shootings, or books about survivors/people who have died/how people coped after the shooting. (mainly columbine but any suggestions will be handy/for personal interest)

2. GOOD books on the Columbine shooting

3. Any movies that are based on school/university shootings (in particular columbine) or any good documentaries (that also shows survivors

4. A link/information as to where i can read/access Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris’ journals, writings, drawings etc etc etc

and any other suggestions you can think of.. THANKS!


Multiple shootings in Ottawa

Ottawa police say they are investigating three shooting incidents in Ottawa, including inside parliament buildings, at the War Memorial, and inside the Rideau Centre Mall.

A uniformed Canadian soldier has been shot at the War Memorial in Ottawa, and gunfire has also broken out inside the Parliament buildings. CPR was performed on the soldier and he has been transported to hospital by ambulance.

Police have told reporters that one of the suspects, reportedly carrying a “large weapon,” possibly a shotgun or rifle, is still on the loose, and the parliament buildings are on lockdown. Prime Minister is safe and “off the hill.”

One shooter is confirmed dead inside the Parliament buildings. Police say there is more than one suspect in the shooting.

CBC is reporting that all military bases in Canada are currently closed to the public, in the interest of the safety of the men and women working at them. (Yahoo New Canada)

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Really, really strong piece by Laurie;

The ideology behind these attacks - and there is ideology - is simple. Women owe men. Women, as a class, as a sex, owe men sex, love, attention, “adoration”, in Rodger’s words. We owe them respect and obedience, and our refusal to give it to them is to blame for their anger, their violence - stupid sluts get what they deserve. Most of all, there is an overpowering sense of rage and entitlement: the conviction that men have been denied a birthright of easy power. 

Capitalism commodifies that rage, monetises it, disseminates it through handbooks and forums and crass mainstream pornography. It does not occur to these men that women might have experienced these very human things, too, because it does not occur to them that women are human, not really. Women are prizes to be caught and used or hags to be harassed or, occassionally, both.

US police have killed at least 5,600 people since 2000

Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice are just a few of the thousands of people killed by law enforcement in the past 15 years.

Anand Katakam created an interactive map with data from Fatal Encounters, a nonprofit trying to build a national database of police killings. It shows some of the deaths by law enforcement since 2000.

A huge majority of the more than 5,600 deaths on the map are from gunshots, which is hardly surprising given that guns are so deadly compared to other tools used by police. There are also a lot of noticeable fatalities from vehicle crashes, stun guns, and asphyxiations. In some cases, people died from stab wounds, medical emergencies, and what’s called “suicide by cop,” when someone commits suicide by baiting a police officer into using deadly force.

The data is far from perfect. Some of it is incomplete, with details about a victim’s race, age, and other factors sometimes missing. D. Brian Burghart, head of Fatal Encounters, estimates that his organization’s collection of reports from the public, media, and FBI only captures about 35 percent of total police killings, so there are more, a lot more. 

Source + Interactive Map | Follow on Tumblr.

Washington State School District: We are Our Own First Line of Defense

A Washington State school district is sending the message that they are their own first line of defense. Toppenish School District, located in Central Washington 20 miles southeast of Yakima, is beefing up their security with a goal of protecting its students from any potential harm. But, they aren’t hiring outside security detail or off-duty police officers. Instead, they are arming and training some of their administrators. In all, 11 administrators will be armed on campuses. This new security measure will be implemented beginning this Fall.

I’m just going to put this out there for all the americans blaming your high gun-death rate on mental illness rather than guns: I’m from the UK. We have the same violent video games and hatred of the schooling system and celebrity culture and all of those things that you’re willing to blame, and we haven’t had a school shooting since ‘96. We have mentally ill people too. The only difference is our gun laws.

A small town in Belgium you’ve probably never heard of could hold the solution to America’s problem with mass public shootings. Shootings in malls, cinemas and most horribly and regularly in schools. Mentally ill men — and it is almost always men — regularly murdering as many strangers as possible has become one of the realities of living in America today.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. A small town in Belgium has quietly welcomed those affected by mental illness into their community peacefully and happily for 700 years. Geel has a remarkable approach to mental illness, one that was once copied all over Europe during the twentieth century. The town’s residents are paid a stipend to bring people into their homes, treating them as one of the family in what is known as “the family care system,” an article by Mike Jay for aeon magazine reports.

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seems to me that when one has a mental illness that affects one’s life one is very likely to hear “oh my god just suck it up and deal”

unless one is an abusive, violent, or even murderous man, in which case it’s “he didn’t know what he was doing/he needed help/why can’t you forgive him”