Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Five-Year Anniversary of Pulse Nightclub Shooting…#LGBTQ

with 82 comments

Folks, I can’t let today go by without a mention of one of the most disgusting, disgraceful, and straight-up awful actions of the last five years. (Those years being full of such actions, mind you…but I digress.)

Five years ago today, forty-nine people in Orlando, FL, lost their lives while dancing and drinking at the Pulse Nightclub. They weren’t doing anything wrong. They were just out for a night on the town.

And a shooter murdered them out of hand, for no reason at all.

Edited to add: My first version of this blog post said the shooter hated #LGBTQ people. A friend sent me a link to this website, which shows the shooter was more interested in killing any Americans than he was about killing any #LGBTQ people. He also abused his wife physically and cheated on her, so overall he was a terrible individual. This makes his actions no less painful, unfortunately.

Back to the original blog post, already in progress:

However, I wanted to remind you of something else. The rise of human decency after the terrible shooting was something to behold.

I tried to depict this in my book, CHANGING FACES. A memorial walk for the folks who died at the Pulse Nightclub is the last major scene in the novel. My transgender characters Allen and Elaine, plus the others on that walk lived and walked in Lincoln, NE. This was done for a reason, mind.

Lincoln, you see, isn’t exactly the gay-rights capital of the world. But it is learning, and growing, and changing, just as the rest of us are. And there really was a walk there in memoriam for the innocents killed at the Pulse Nightclub, from what I remember…just as there were many other walks in many other places throughout the United States and the world.

Though it’s five years later, I continue to mourn the innocents who died at the Pulse Nightclub. But as one of the survivors said recently on CNN, “Thoughts and prayers are not enough.”

I don’t know what the answers are, mind you. I only know the questions.

So, here are those questions.

For the shooter himself, who’s now dead (so I can’t ask him these questions): Why were you so intent on killing innocent people? What is wrong with you that you thought hate was stronger than love? Why didn’t you get mental health treatment before it was too late?

To those who hate LGBTQ people on principle who have somehow found this blog, I want to ask this: “Why do you feel so superior? Why do you feel you’re any different than anyone else? Why do you feel like you should make your viewpoint the only viewpoint? Why can’t you live, learn, and grow like everyone else? Why must you kill what you do not understand?”

We need to stop hating people just for the sake of whatever label they fall under. Whether they’re LGBTQ, Wiccan, conservative Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever, we need to stop the hate.

I just don’t know how to say it any better.

But if anyone has any ideas on how we can learn how to stop the hate, please chime in. I’m all ears.


Even though this particular shooter wasn’t specifically looking for LGBTQ people (I believe the HuffPost article, along with several others I found after looking including one by NPR and another by the New Yorker), he was a horrible person and he did way too much wrong.

That this shooter’s widow was persecuted afterward was flat-out wrong, too. She had nothing to do with any of that. (I thought that at the time, too, but I didn’t say so. Bad me.)

Seems like there’s a whole lot of wrong in this example, with no good answers. (I am glad the shooter’s widow was acquitted, in case anyone is in doubt.)

The important thing now is, how do we stop the hate?

82 Responses

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  1. I remember that event.

    One of the National Gay groups blamed it on Conservative Christians and the Republican Party.

    However, the shooter “identified” himself as Muslim and was known to associate with other “Radical” Muslims.

    Of course, it is OK to Hate Conservative Christians because we see homosexual activity as sinful but NOT OK to talk about Muslims who have a “Holy” Book that says to execute homosexuals.

    It was a terrible event but too many Holier Than Thou “Liberals” want to blame the wrong people for it.

    For that matter, Too Many Holier Than Thou “Liberals” claim that “believing homosexual activity as sinful” is the same as “going out and killing gays”.

    The message is “It is Wrong To Hate” unless you hate the people with the wrong beliefs and of course it appears to be mandatory to Hate people with wrong beliefs.

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    June 12, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    • I think it’s wrong to hate anyone, Paul.

      The guy who did this was mentally ill. I do remember that. He was not a member of any so-called conservative party; he was just a messed up person who believed hate was stronger than love.

      I think the shooter was and is wrong. Love is the strongest force there is. Jesus said so, and I believe it.

      That may sound simplistic, but I believe it is the truth.

      Barb Caffrey

      June 13, 2021 at 12:07 am

      • So it is wrong to hate anybody.

        The problem is that people like you are silent when the Hatred is toward people like me.

        You very rarely (if ever) talk against Hatred toward Conservatives, Whites, Straights, Men, etc when “Your Side” display it.

        Elsewhere, somebody commented that after this event, People On Your Side Said that anybody who has against Gay Marriage DID NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to show concern about the survivors of this event and concern toward the people who lost friends & relatives in this event.

        It has become clear that Lefties believe in “If you’re not 100% for us, then you are the enemy”.

        You and others who want “polite conversations between the sides” must understand we see no possible “polite conversations between the sides” when you are silent about the Hatred toward us.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 13, 2021 at 9:00 am

      • Many of us were around, and remember the meaning behind “Love trumps hate”, and those stupid safety pins. Both of which meant in popular and social media, that if you see someone who is, or even just possibly may be, a supporter of Trump, it is all right to beat them up or harass them, because they are haters who don’t deserve anything better.


        June 13, 2021 at 10:36 am

      • Betsy, you know I don’t believe in that.

        I had a long response written, but WordPress ate it. Let me summarize it thusly:

        No one should beat up on someone for that reason. Or any other reason.

        That’s easy to say, and sometimes hard to do.

        I was worried because 45’s rhetoric from the White House was extremely divisive. I also wanted to see an infrastructure bill as I think everyone in the country needed that — and still does — but that wasn’t one of Trump’s priorities. He didn’t ask the Congress to do it, so if he wanted it, he didn’t make it clear to them.

        Anyway, the point I’m making is this. We can’t do anything as a society unless we can talk to each other. We can’t make any progress at all unless we talk, listen, discuss, think hard, and find common ground.

        There has to be some common ground somewhere. Maybe the common ground between me, a political moderate, and you and Paul, who are more conservative, is that we all agree it’s wrong for someone to go shoot up a bar.

        There were all sorts of people who voted for 45. Some just didn’t trust Hillary Clinton. (I don’t understand that, but I don’t have to.) Some just wanted a change. (After eight years of one party in office, that’s a fairly common thing to do.) Some liked it that 45 wasn’t a politician. Some liked it that 45 had been a businessman and understood money and finance better than some others.

        While I didn’t vote that way — and you know I didn’t — I don’t have to go out of my way to demonize other people. That’s just plain dumb.

        I think “love trumps hate” has to do with the 1960s Freedom Rides, the early 1990s when LGBTQ rights were just starting to be codified, the early 2000s, when gay marriage was legalized (Iowa was one of the first to legalize it, IIRC), and so forth.

        That some people used this slogan to motivate their political base of support doesn’t take away the original meanings.

        It’s not right to beat up anybody. But the reason why some folks were so angry is because it felt for a while that if we didn’t get on the Trump bus, we were going to be under it. The rhetoric from the White House was difficult for me to hear as a historian. I

        Barb Caffrey

        June 13, 2021 at 9:26 pm

      • Yes, blame it all on Trump.

        When shitheads on your side, long before Trump, have been extremely divisive and you are silent, you no grounds to Whine about Trump.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 13, 2021 at 9:52 pm

      • Paul, I said very little about Trump while he was in office. And I’m intentionally saying very little about him since, except the bit about the January 6th shenanigans (a nice word, for what happened) that hurt lots of good police officers as they defended the House, Senate, and Vice President from a huge mob. (Mobs are dangerous. Even if they are well-intentioned, they can go downhill quickly. And who in the Hell thought they needed bear spray in that mob? Who in the Hell thought they needed rappelling gear, in that mob?)

        There are all sorts of people who are divisive out there, sure. But yelling at me, while it may give you a temporary feeling of happiness for all I know, does not do anything to raise the level of the discussion. Which is what I’m trying to do.

        Which “shitheads” are you discussing?

        I wasn’t a fan of Bill Clinton, and said so. I think he’s been a very good ex-President. (He gets along with George W. Bush and also got along well with George H.W. “Poppy” Bush.)

        It’s too soon to see how good of an ex-President Donald Trump will be.

        Or are you talking about someone like Ilhan Omar? (She’s not my US Representative, so I can’t do much about her.)

        Or is it AOC? (Again, not my US Rep. Though some of what she says makes sense to me, an awful lot doesn’t. She represents a very blue district in NYC so she can pretty much say and do whatever she wants within the law.)

        Again, what are you talking about? And why come yell at me over it?

        Here I am, doing my best to be temperate and foster a dialogue, and you aren’t exactly cooperating. Yet I haven’t shut you down. I haven’t told you to go away, either.

        I just want to know: What the ever-living Hell are you talking about?

        Barb Caffrey

        June 18, 2021 at 12:22 am

      • Trump’s words were intentionally misrepresented by the media and Democrat politicians at every convenient moment for them to demonize him.


        June 14, 2021 at 10:23 am

      • But I’m not the media and I read the actual transcripts posted, I think, by the Library of Congress.

        Yes, the media has a narrative and they want to use it to sell whatever it is they need to sell. That doesn’t mean everything it says is wrong, nor does it mean that everything on an otherwise ridiculously silly channel (such as OANN) is wrong or bad. (OANN has a nice series about regular Americans that plays on the radio in Milwaukee. I assume it’s syndicated. That’s a good thing, and I wish we heard a lot more of things like that than what we do hear about. Today it’s mostly about the Juneteenth national holiday, which is lovely symbolism in its way. But do we need that on 24/7 for days and days? I don’t think so.)

        For what it’s worth, Fox News — especially its opinion personalities like Sean Hannity — has taken a viewpoint that Joe Biden is tottery, old, says stupid things all the time, and is generally an embarrassment.

        If I were anyone on the right, I’d go look at the actual transcripts rather than whatever OANN or Fox News’s opinion personalities are saying. (They still have very good news people at Fox, even though the best guy on TV news — Shepard Smith — is now on CNBC.)

        Mind, Biden has never been a good speaker. That is not his skill-set.

        What Biden’s skill-set is, I think, to be a steady presence for the world to lean on.

        Trump, whether you liked him or hated him, was always quotable and could be very erratic. You couldn’t take your eyes off him because you never knew what he was going to do. (One of my right-wing friends put it this way: “It’s a distraction technique. Look at what he’s doing besides all the words.” He was right, too.)

        Biden, OTOH, is intentionally boring.

        Some might find it restful. 😉

        Barb Caffrey

        June 18, 2021 at 12:10 am

      • Biden, and Harris as well, have become laughing stocks to the rest of the world. Neither of their recent trips have gone well for them, regardless of what the US media says. Showing up two and half hours late to a press conference you called? Then stopping for about a minute in the middle of saying something before rambling on incoherently? That doesn’t show the rest of the world a strong and steady presence. The best thing his handlers could possibly do right now is hide him in the White House without any press coverage at all.


        June 18, 2021 at 10:20 am

      • I’ll be interested to read the transcripts. I do know that Biden so far has some mixed results. The other world leaders seem to like him. (Maybe they understand his quirks?)

        One of my good friends put it this way, Kamas. “As soon as the new guy gets in, they find a way to tear him down.” We see this with every POTUS, every Speaker of the House, every Senate Majority Leader. It’s endemic.

        I think as VP, Kamala Harris is still finding her feet. In many ways, I think she’d have been better off as Attorney General (I think Merrick Garland, a great judge, is miscast as AG). Harris has strengths that help her as a lawyer but can’t help much as VP.

        I don’t really know what else to say, Kamas, ’cause I don’t expect much out of any POTUS in their first year. Most of the time, the highlight of any first-year, first-term POTUS is to name a judge to SCOTUS.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:09 am

      • I wouldn’t describe Biden as Boring. Perhaps out of his depth, dementia laden, or even confused if I were being very charitable. As someone who believes in the US Constitution and feels that the representative of our national and international policies I think he’s a clear and present danger to our republic.


        June 18, 2021 at 12:39 pm

      • You are aware, I’m sure, that many — not all on the left, and not all of the rest Never Trumpers — felt 45 was headed on the quick train-trip to dementia land?

        I think we’re not used to having anyone as POTUS that’s over 75. (Or even over 70.) Then, add in the fact that the last person who was that age was Ronald Reagan, who we later found out _did_ have dementia starting in his second term.

        It’s a natural fear for us, if you take that into context.

        I hope you’re wrong about Biden and dementia, Kamas. I really do.

        Unfortunately it’s something I can’t know for sure. (The best I can do is read unexpurgated transcripts, most of the time, as what we are shown — except maybe on CSpan — seems to be edited down so much that it’s not a good representation for or against IMHO.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:14 am

      • Paul, people who say that are being silly. You can be against something without hating the other person.

        The main reason people in general — I’m not saying you — don’t seem to give others a break is because they feel they have not been treated well in the past. So they expect everyone to hate them.

        As this is Gay Pride Month, and the massacre happened at a gay bar, it’s not a surprise that many folks are continuing to be very upset about it.

        I, myself, do not believe that if you and I can’t agree 100% on everything that you’re “the enemy.” That’s ridiculous.

        How else are people supposed to find common ground unless we talk to one another?

        I’ve known some really good folks who were conservative Christians. I’ve also known some very bad folks who’ve said they’re conservative Christians but didn’t talk the talk or walk the walk.

        There’s good and bad everywhere. I know that’s a cliche. But there are silly, stupid, and downright mean-spirited people in every faith and every political persuasion and every creed or color.

        The hope is that there are more people who are kind, good, try their best, are honest, and listen to each other.

        I’ve been very fortunate to know extremely good people from all walks of life. I try to listen, learn, and understand as best I can.

        I figure if the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims in Jerusalem can try for a dialogue (I think it’s mostly the Sufis that are trying from the Muslim faith, but I could be wrong), the rest of us should be able to, as well.

        It doesn’t mean we’re going to agree all the time. But what it does is allows us to make the attempt to figure out where we do have common ground. (For example, I think everyone who’s commented on this post thinks it’s horrible so many people died and others were injured by the shooter. That’s common ground, isn’t it?)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 13, 2021 at 9:18 pm

      • Until you start publicly condemning the Assholes on your side, I see everything you say as nonsense.

        And don’t you ever “excuse” the Hatred from your side.

        As long as your side continues its garbage, I will not trust anybody on your side who doesn’t condemn the garbage.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 13, 2021 at 9:49 pm

      • See my other comments. What are you talking about?

        Hatred on any side is awful.

        We had a huge problem in Kenosha last year, Paul. Have you forgotten that so quickly? All sorts of businesses had to rebuild, including the last good music store at the SE end of the state.

        There also are problems in Portland, Oregon. (As a friend of mine from Oregon puts it, “There’s Oregon. And then there’s those yahoos in Portland.”)

        There are other issues going on in various places. But I don’t know what you’re discussing here.

        Hatred is wrong, though. (We don’t need to hate Trump or anyone else. There’s no point to it. So why do it? Just live your lives and move on if you can’t stand the man.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 18, 2021 at 12:24 am

      • I take it back.

        You are either Blind to the nonsense of the Left or you support it.

        I’ll leave it to others to educate you about the Evils Of The Left.

        Hopefully, Anti-Fa and others like them won’t burn down your home.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 18, 2021 at 9:26 am

  2. Honestly, you don’t know what the shooter’s motives were. What he claimed was that it was in retaliation for bombings on ISIS, and that he was continuing the Boston Marathon bombers’ work. There is evidence that he didn’t even know that it was a gay bar, he asked a guard where all the women were. He chose the bar, seemingly at random, after his first target, Disney Springs, had too much security.

    Claiming this horrible mass murder was the result of LGBTQ hatred overlooks a lot of the complexity in the case.


    June 12, 2021 at 9:07 pm

      • I’m checking that now, Betsy. Thanks for sending that on.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 13, 2021 at 12:12 am

    • You’re right that it overlooks a lot, Betsy. But it’s the best I can do, because it’s become a huge symbol.

      The shooter was mentally ill. (I just said that to Paul, in fact.) That much I am sure of.

      He may not have known it was a gay bar. But he shouldn’t have been shooting there, or anywhere else. He needed to be in the E-ward (for mental health help) rather than out there with a gun.

      Most people, whether they “like” homosexuality or not (I put “like” in quotes because I honestly do not think anyone can help being who or what they are), would NEVER do this.

      I haven’t been in a bar in years. Any kind of bar. But I do remember that what most people do is dance and drink, unless there’s a pool table or a dart board or something like that. (Then they’d play games, dance, and drink.)

      I remain horrified by the amount of people who died, and the amount of people (59, 60?) who were hurt by the actions of the shooter.

      I’m not saying anything about anyone’s politics, mind you. To me, this transcends politics.

      There are “Log Cabin Republicans,” after all. And there are very conservative Ds out there — they used to be called “Blue Dog Dems” — for that matter.

      Most people can’t be summed up by a stereotype. Not even by an archetype. We are all complex.

      This person, as I have said here, needed mental health treatment. He didn’t get it; he may not have even sought it.

      Whatever his reason to shoot up the Pulse Nightclub, he was flat-out wrong. I hope we can agree on that?

      Barb Caffrey

      June 13, 2021 at 12:11 am

  3. Where do we start when trying to fathom events such as these?
    Next year will be the fifth anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting. While in other parts of the world losses of life comparable to these are carried out by suicide bombers?
    It is relatively easy to find a surface cause in each circumstance, be it political or social and mixed in with mental. Not so easy to come up with solutions which protects people from the perpetrators.
    Each one is a terrible loss of innocent folk going about their lives. Let us not become used to these events as ‘just another’


    June 13, 2021 at 11:50 am

    • I’m with you, Roger. I have no idea how to stop this.

      But I do think we need to keep talking to each other, and do whatever we can to find common ground.

      I’m with you that these are people and their lives and it never should’ve happened. Not in the Pulse Nightclub, not in Las Vegas, not in Paris, not in El Paso, TX…nowhere.

      Barb Caffrey

      June 13, 2021 at 9:27 pm

      • “No idea how to stop this”.

        Others have said “how to stop this”.

        IE Evil Happens When Good People Are Silent.

        You have been silent when the Evil is on your side.

        There won’t be “common ground” as long as Good People are Silent.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 13, 2021 at 9:55 pm

      • Paul, I don’t know to what you are referring. I honestly don’t.

        I never liked Donald Trump. I did watch the Apprentice and the Celebrity Apprentice shows on occasion, and thought those were interesting programs. But Donald Trump, as a person, left me cold. I saw him as erratic, at best. I didn’t think he had the temperament to be a good POTUS.

        We really won’t know everything he did, for good or for ill, for probably fifty years or so, if we live so long. That’s when all sorts of things will be released from the classified files.

        Was Trump any worse, say, than LBJ in his personal habits? Possibly not. (I think LBJ should be glad he didn’t have to deal with Twitter or the 24-hour cable news cycle.) But we won’t _know_ that for 50 years.

        What we do know is what we saw, and what we can interpolate (see the comment I already posted to Kamas’s answer about how the best advice about Trump I ever heard was, “Pay attention to what he’s doing. The rhetoric is a distraction.” That’s my own self-paraphrase.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 18, 2021 at 12:16 am

      • Long before Trump, there has been Hatred thrown at Conservatives, Religious People (not just Muslims) and Whites.

        So I can’t really believe that you don’t know what I’m talking about. Perhaps, you just don’t think Hatred From Your Side isn’t Important. Only the Evil Trump And the Nazis and The White Supremacists are Important.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 18, 2021 at 9:22 am

      • Paul, if I didn’t want an open dialogue, why would I be conversing with you now?

        There certainly has been intolerance and hatred thrown at a whole lot of disparate people. There’s no doubt about it. And it is, at best, misplaced. At worst, it’s meant to divide us and keep us from understanding our commonalities.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:04 am

      • I never cared for Trump the man since the mid-80s. I never watched any of his TV shows. I was extremely apprehensive about Trump the politician, as his history was very much of someone who enjoyed wielding power and had spoken several times about policy positions that were totalitarian/statist. However, Trump the politician turned out to be a surprisingly classical liberal who lead with authority and effectiveness. I suspect he was forced into many of the positions he took as President because the Democrats and RINOs found him so divisive that they wouldn’t willingly work with him on much. And yes, while his rhetoric was outlandish, he often had policy positions that worked very well. The Abraham Accords will likely go down as his defining moment, something all the experts thought was impossible.


        June 18, 2021 at 10:47 am

      • I really didn’t want Trump to be elected, but once he was in, it was obvious that though he was still a democrat at heart, the way the media went totally insane in opposing him kept shoving him reluctantly to the right. I did find it interesting that the worst thing they could come up with against him was a bit of lockerroom humor from 20+ years ago (back when he was a democrat, so it was acceptable behavior at the time).

        As for Biden sliding into dementia, look at the videos yourself. Forget what Fox news is saying, most of us pay them only slightly more mind than CNN, and certainly don’t watch them. Look at the videos, compare them to videos made 10, or even 5, years ago, see if you don’t see any loss of function.

        And I will never understand how anyone could look at Trump, complain about his racism, and then put out Biden as an improvement. The man can barely speak without something racist, or at least creepy, falling out of his mouth.

        It’s been hard these past couple of years seeing people I like, and used to respect (like former pastors of mine, him and her) cheering the “mostly peaceful protests” (illustrated by the protestors burning buildings down), including the fires by the White House last year, yet look at the peaceful protest at the Capitol as one of the worst attack on our democracy (sic) that ever occurred. This protest was over within hours, no burning, no looting, the only deaths being among Trump supporters (including Ashli Babbitt, which is still not being investigated, nor the name of her killer released). And they are not speaking out against the 300 or so protesters being held in solitary, being physically and mentally abused, having difficulty reaching their attorneys, not to mention their families, still without being charged.

        And there are the smaller incidents, like the public, nationwide shaming of the Covington kids, and lots of other incidents, like refusing to serve Trump cabinet members at restaurants, etc., mobs gathering around random people at restaurants and screaming at them until they do the BLM power hand sign.

        Barb, you know I care about you, and worry about you, but your inability to see these things, which have been going on for years, really concerns me. I’m afraid that some time you’ll go out in support of something into a crowd of people purportedly on your “side”, and discover that they’re the ones who will attack you. Please be careful.


        June 18, 2021 at 1:42 pm

      • The Zimmerman case was also “interesting”.

        First he was an Evil White Man killing an innocent black boy.

        Then he was a White Hispanic killing an innocent black boy.

        Of course, it is impossible to see him as any sort of “White” when you see a picture of him and of course that “black boy” was a High School Football player.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 18, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      • If his name had been Rodriguez or something, it would have only have been local news.


        June 18, 2021 at 1:55 pm

      • And once the Media started to play the Narrative, they were unable (or unwilling) to say that they made a mistake. 😈

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 18, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      • That’s probably true, Betsy.

        The whole thing was sad, though. Trayvon Martin was just a kid.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:01 am

      • The media narrative was always off. No question.

        Trayvon Martin still was only 17 and wasn’t doing anything wrong to the best of our knowledge when George Zimmerman (a reserve cop) got upset or nervous or whatever it was that made him think Trayvon Martin was an imminent threat.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:28 am

      • Zimmerman told the 911 operator that he lost Martin and was going to meet with the police.

        Apparently, your “nice kid” (a HS football player) attacked a over-weight adult.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 20, 2021 at 9:33 am

      • I wish I knew what had happened there, Paul. If Trayvon Martin attacked George Z., then castle doctrine applied in Florida. At least, that’s what George’s defense attorney thought, and he was acquitted.

        But if Trayvon Martin wasn’t doing anything…

        Usually there’s something in between the two positions that happened. You can still be a kid and do something stupid. You can still be an adult and jump to the wrong conclusion.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:45 am

      • Zimmerman showed obvious signs of being attacked but apparently the Hate-Mongers ignored that and idiot politicians decided that he had to be prosecuted for murder.

        A Black Jury decided that the prosecutor didn’t prove that Zimmerman was a murderer.

        Yes, Martin was an idiot but stupidity in the Real World can be deadly.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 20, 2021 at 9:58 am

      • Paul, I do remember that George Zimmerman had injuries. I can’t remember how bad they were. But I do know he had them.

        Fortunately, he had a good lawyer. He had his day in court. The court system did what it was supposed to do, as far as I can tell.

        The argument or fight or whatever it was between them was possibly a complete case of mistaken identity or a momentary bit of ill-feeling. I still wish that had not happened.

        I don’t know at all what to do, else, except wish that it hadn’t happened, not that does any good.

        We can only go on from here, and hope that there will be education or training or _something_ to help prevent such things from happening again.

        Courtesy is a must, whoever you are. Sometimes it’s hard to summon up. (I had an old woman yelling and screaming a few years ago in a parking lot, and it scared me. I just could not do anything except say, “Sorry,” and get the Hell out of there.)

        LMB said it best, though. People are not statistics (or integers). People are infinities.

        Whenever any one of us, and the possible infinities we could pursue, is killed by whatever means, that is a very sad thing.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:51 pm

      • Yes, Zimmerman had his day in court and won.

        However, it should have never gotten as far as the courts.

        To the Police who found Zimmerman and Martin, it was an obvious case of self-defense.

        But Hate-Mongers from your side forced the matter into the Courts for Political Reasons.

        Yes, “it shouldn’t happen again” but as long as your side plays the Racial Rage Game, things like this will happen again.

        For that matter it has already happened, a Police Officer (can’t remember his name) was put on trial and Hate Mongers from your side threatened Mob Action against the Jury (and others) if the Police Officer was found Not-Guilty.

        Good People on your side have to stand up against Racist Hate Mongers.

        Maybe you are unable to stand up against them, but somebody on your side better do so very fast.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 20, 2021 at 10:09 pm

      • Paul, there are unfortunately people who hate on every side there is of the human race.

        There have been very good folks who’ve died for no reason at the hands of police, unfortunately. Philando Castile is one. He was a middle-class guy just going about his business. No criminal record, as far as I am aware. And he lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, which seems to have some real troubles with their police training. (The bad apples perhaps don’t get weeded out.)

        Anyway, Derek Chauvin was the policeman who knelt on George Floyd’s neck after the man was subdued with cuffs around his wrists and behind his back. Chauvin knelt there for at least nine minutes. There was no reason for this and no excuse for it. Chauvin did wrong, and George Floyd died.

        You may remember, Paul, that there was a case of an Army officer who happened to be Black getting pulled over on the East Coast somewhere. He was harassed by two police officers; one was Hispanic. Fortunately, harassed was as far as it went, but the harassment was awful. I believe one of the officers (the Hispanic one) was worse than the other, and that officer was fired.

        While this was a bad thing, it could’ve been much worse. My hope is that we will see more understanding and less knee-jerk reactions over time.

        As for George Zimmerman, my guess is that the police department down there knew him and knew what it would take for him to be provoked. But that’s not something that’s admissible in a court of law, I don’t think.

        As I have said — and this will be the last time I say it, at least for tonight — maybe he and Trayvon Martin talked right past each other. Maybe they both felt threatened by the other. Maybe Trayvon Martin was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

        Zimmerman shouldn’t have felt the need to shoot him. And Trayvon Martin shouldn’t be dead.

        But those things happened because they either could not or would not talk to one another. We can’t make a world with better communication unless we are able to discuss things, even emotionally loaded things, in a peaceful manner. And if the folks in the West Bank can do it (Sufi Muslims, Arabs, and Israeli Jews), as they’ve tried to talk for many years and have shown some signs of success (I hope they’ll have more over the years, too), the rest of us should be able to do the same.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 10:28 pm

      • I’ve heard a far different story about Derek Chauvin that doesn’t match what you said. Oh, IIRC your Assholes Threatened The Jury with violence if he wasn’t Found Guilty.

        You say that there’s “hatred on both sides”?

        Perhaps, but it seems that it is YOUR SIDE that is Free To Spew Its Poison with nobody “on your side telling them to shut up”.

        There may be Hatred on my side but in the main it’s a Strong Reaction to the Hate Your Side Spews.

        And by the way, any time somebody like you tells me about “Racial Hatred From My Side”, my strong reaction is “What Are The Real Facts”.

        Some asshole in the Chicago Area claimed to be attacked by Racist/Homophobic Bigots (on one of the coldest nights that winter).

        As it turned out, it was a complete Lie but the Prosecutor refused to bring charges against the Asshole.

        Oh, IIRC The Police were really pissed-off and released all of the information about His Faked Attack.

        Sorry Barb Caffrey, there have been too much Lies from your side including Lies told by the American Pravda (IE The News Media).

        There can be no peace until the Lies from your side are stopped and that means good people like you speaking out against the Lies.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 20, 2021 at 10:43 pm

      • That was that actor, Paul. I remember that. I don’t know WTH he did that.

        There’s a videotape of what Chauvin and the other police officers with him did, if you have a strong stomach and can look it up on YouTube. There’s no doubt that Chauvin’s behavior was utterly wrong. There’s also no doubt that what Chauvin did in not getting off George Floyd’s neck soon enough to allow for medical treatment was awful. Egregiously bad. Something most other policemen and women would NEVER do.

        The other three police officers are going to be tried, too, but I really don’t think they’re culpable. I don’t think they knew what to do. I think they were in shock and couldn’t get Chauvin to stop kneeling on George Floyd’s neck and were frustrated and upset.

        Chauvin sent away at least one EMT, I heard, too. That’s one reason why his conduct was egregiously awful.

        As for what I can tell you, Paul, Philando Castile was a good man, and died for no damned good reason. The Kenosha shooter (I won’t name him for two reasons; he was underage at the time, and I don’t like to name _any_ shooters if I can help it here at my blog) should never have been there and his mother should be charged with a crime but so far hasn’t been. (I don’t understand that, either. Not at all.) That Army officer I discussed did not deserve to be harassed at the hands of police officers. And there are other instances of things that are just plain wrong.

        Now, Portland is a mess due to riots out there and I don’t understand WTH is going on. As I said elsewhere, one of my good friends lives in Oregon and he says Portland is always reactionary (or as I put it, because he put it that way, “There’s Portland. And then there’s the rest of Oregon, thank goodness.”)

        Anyway, about that actor who made up his story? I will be surprised if he works again. Most people don’t like intentional liars.

        As for me, I can’t call out every bit of every injustice there is or I’d be here all day. I’d not be editing, I’d not be writing anything, I’d not be doing anything productive, and I’d be giving in to the 24/7 crapfest that is the current cable news cycle on both the right and left.

        So if you expect me to say something different than this, Paul, what are you doing here? (I asked this question before, and you ducked it.)

        Why raise your blood pressure like this? What’s the point?

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 11:16 pm

      • I’ve heard differently about Chauvin and suspect the video you saw was faked but I’m about ready to quit talking with you.

        I had this very foolish hope that talking you would get you to think but apparently you care more about “gut feelings” than thinking “that you might have been lied to”.

        Good Bye

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 20, 2021 at 11:23 pm

      • Re: Chauvin:
        – I think a lot of what he’s been convicted of will get thrown out on appeal. There was both lying jury members (had been to a recent anti police protest in another area that he didn’t disclose) and witness tampering/intimidation with at least one, maybe two, of the defense witnesses. And of course nationally known politicians saying that there would be trouble if there wasn’t a conviction. There was the failure to sequester the jury, they knew there were protesters threatening things outside, they had to walk by them and saw them on TV. There was the failure to move the trial to a place that wasn’t as hostile.

        – If you go back and look at the videos and the witness testimony of the event there is very little that can be looked at as being outside of the written SOPs, regardless of what his superior officers said at trial.

        – 1) knee wasn’t on the neck and didn’t occlude the airway. The initial autopsy report stated this, and that the illegal drugs in his system would have killed him. It was only after the coroner got a call after that came out that he decided, no he must have been wrong the first time around and it was the officer’s action that killed him, regardless of the drugs or that his airway wasn’t blocked.
        – 2) the prosecutor’s star EMT witness admitted that she would have done everything the same as the officers in administering treatment except run around looking for an AED, which is surprising that she didn’t bring one herself.
        -3) the police SOP for administering emergency medical treatment in the presence of a hostile crowd is, “You don’t.”


        June 24, 2021 at 4:47 pm

      • Yeah. I do get that last, Kamas. I don’t know how I would’ve handled it in that situation.

        Chauvin probably was overcharged. I don’t think 22.5 years is going to hold up. But there’s still so much there that does not make sense to me.

        I wish my Uncle Carl, who was a police detective, was still alive so I could ask him about it.

        It’s frustrating, though, Kamas. They have had many, many problems in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. At least one truly innocent man, Philando Castile, was killed. And there were other questionable activities that I heard about from relatives that live up there, none of which I can remember now to give you links. (There’s just the feeling of general unease, there.)

        My view of it all is, the police department up there was not using community policing, which would’ve helped. I also think there were people in the police department who liked people being fearful, and that came back to bite them.

        Yes, the jury should’ve been sequestered. (I found that odd.)

        National politicians should’ve butted out of this, IMHO. But if they felt justice was not served, they could’ve pursued civil rights litigation (I can’t remember what this is called, beyond that), to see if George Floyd’s civil rights were violated.

        Mind, the grand jury that might’ve been convened for something like that might’ve said no. Or they might’ve said yes, which would mean Derek Chauvin would be going to another trial, this one a federal trial.

        But whenever any national politician weighs in, I am leery of it. (I do understand why Kamala Harris weighed in. She’s a former prosecutor, and the media hounded her over and over for a few weeks from what I could tell before she finally came out with a statement. But if she had not been a former prosecutor, I would’ve leaned on this thought: “I watch in apprehension and worry about the violence the Derek Chauvin verdict could cause regardless of what the verdict actually is. I trust the Minnesota state government to handle things appropriately, however.” And that’s all I would say in a similar situation, no matter how enraged I was.

        (The reason I would say it that way is, everyone deserves their day in court. I may not like what the court does. I assuredly didn’t like what happened in the Philando Castile case, for example. But we have a system of laws for a reason, and we either need to believe in that system, or we need to revise and revamp the system. Or both.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 26, 2021 at 9:23 pm

      • Chauvin has been charged with federal civil rights violations.


        June 28, 2021 at 10:31 am

      • That doesn’t surprise me, Kamas. But was he charged with those before the verdict came down?

        There are all sorts of things going on with the police in Minneapolis-St. Paul. I don’t understand what’s going on there because I don’t live there. (If you asked me what Racine or Kenosha was doing, I could tell you that and be reasonably accurate.) I do think community policing initiatives help, and I wish there was some way to get more money for that. (It’s one of the few things I agree with Biden’s plan about. More money for the police, more money for the community policing initiatives, sounds like a win-win to me.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 30, 2021 at 1:44 am

      • I have looked up the various references from Milwaukee and other Wisconsin-area papers, and I owe you an apology, Kamas.

        What happened, as best I can piece it together out of my own memory, is that when the shooting by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha occurred, I conflated two things that didn’t go together. The first is, one of the two people who died was apparently — and again, I say “apparently” — armed only with a skateboard. Because of all the stuff that was going on at the time — we weren’t able to figure out at first who was doing what to whom, as there was so much unrest in Kenosha at the time due to the Jacob Blake “seven shots in the back” shooting by a Kenosha policeman that it was extremely difficult for a layman to figure out. (I would have to think it’s even worse if you’re down there as a police officer or volunteer.) — these two images got conflated into one and were never addressed because the video we saw of the shooting by Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t show the leadup to anything. It just showed the shots themselves.

        And as I would prefer not to look at such horrific things, I didn’t look for a longer version of that awful event.

        Anyway, Gaige Grosskreutz is the guy who got injured (biceps shot off, yes?). He does not seem to have lived an exemplary life to this point. (He hasn’t been convicted of a felony, but he’s had a couple of DUIs and he’s only 27. He also has a few other oddities in his background.) While Grosskreutz was a medic, he did have a gun on him. (This was not widely reported at the time.) His personal peccadilloes have not been reported on by the MJS (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) because they feel it’s irrelevant to Grosskreutz’s injuries.

        Anyway, Kyle Rittenhouse was down there to try to keep the peace. I am willing to give him all the credit in the world for going, even though I still think he was too young to go and I wish he’d not gone. I still haven’t found anything in the local media that says Rittenhouse had a medic bag on him, but I’m willing to stipulate that he probably did.

        Otherwise, there is a charge against the friend who originally helped Rittenhouse buy the gun, Dominick Black, so the police have done what they felt was needful. (I do not know, again, why Rittenhouse’s mother was not charged, but it may be one of those areas of the law where nothing she did fits cleanly into a category. And because Rittenhouse was with a family friend who was a legal adult — though only barely — it would not be considered negligent supervision, either. (Here’s the article I found at the MJS about the charges against Black, BTW.

        Then, as best I can figure out, Rittenhouse did indeed ask for and get water about fifteen minutes before he shot two men and wounded the third. He did try to do good and probably _did_ do some good that night, to keep any more violence away from the car dealership (I believe that’s where he was?).

        At any rate, I don’t know — and nothing I’ve been able to find has said — how Rittenhouse got into the middle of a hostile crowd. Maybe he was just trying to get out of there. Maybe he thought he was backing someone up…who knows? (It’ll come out at the trial, probably.)

        I still do not like it that Kyle Rittenhouse was there. Everything I’ve said before about how he was too young, it was too fraught of a situation, etc., remains the same.

        But you were right about what is known, Kamas. (Betsy, too, and even Paul.)

        I do not know why I conflated the guy with the skateboard with the intended medic, Grosskreutz. That’s why I thought he wasn’t armed.

        Again, I don’t know why in the Hell any of this even happened. But I do know this. While we can’t bring back those who died — and I’m someone who believes even the worst person is capable of redemption and improvement, if not here then in Eternity — I really hope we can learn something and improve.

        I do know we supposedly live in a “post-truth society.” (I am considering writing a blog about that, as I find that utterly nonsensical.) Perhaps that’s why news gets slanted and/or conflated.

        Or perhaps it’s that we’re fallible, mortal, and human, and when we see something truly awful, we don’t necessarily know what to do about it.

        We must somehow get back to bare facts, without opinions unless they’re clearly labeled as such, and stop organizing into tribes and/or factions. The facts are what they are and we don’t need to elaborate upon them. (Providing we know what they were in the first place, and don’t get unnecessary and unwanted conflations in there, as I did and freely admit.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 30, 2021 at 10:36 am

      • I still wonder, and will always wonder, if this was a cumulative sort of anger and outpouring, after so many questionable and downright wrong things have happened over the years.

        I do wonder what would’ve happened if Chauvin and the other three officers on-scene had gotten Floyd, dazed and confused but alive, into the police car. And I wish that’s what had happened, rather than the mess we’ve seen ever since. (Not that my wishes matter much, but since it’s my blog I can at least say what they are.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 30, 2021 at 10:44 am

      • IIRC one of the witnesses said Martin was on top of Zimmerman when they were on the ground. That might have been when he was shot.


        June 20, 2021 at 9:31 pm

      • It could be, Kamas.

        Do you have castle doctrine in your home state? We do in Wisconsin. I am not sure how I feel about it, but I know it applied in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case.

        I think we’re all on edge right now due to the length of the pandemic and I worry about everyone’s mental health. Kids who graduated last year had the toughest year of their lives with no mistake. And police officers, who are mostly very good and do a thankless job (such as that heroic gentleman in Colorado who rushed into the supermarket knowing full well that he didn’t have a bulletproof vest and there was an active shooter there), have to feel like what they’re doing isn’t valued.

        There are very few Derek Chauvins, but those guys get all the airplay. The heroism, and the quiet work of many policemen and women, especially those who do neighborhood policing (getting to know everyone in a neighborhood has proven to be a blessing in more ways than one, and it does keep crime down somewhat), is not talked about enough.

        I wish it were.

        All of these things point to one, simple fact. We value the wrong things in this society. And we need, somehow, to not only prosecute those who are awful and abuse their power (such as Derek Chauvin), but also those like the mother of the Kenosha shooter (as he was underage at the time), who enabled her son to buy weapons and brought him into a tense situation that he wasn’t ready for.

        Things like the latter are awful for more than one reason. That kid is not going to be able to have any sort of a normal life. Whether he feels remorse or not (and I sure hope he does, or will eventually), he will always be known as the “Kenosha shooter.”

        As I said, I blame the parent, there. She was of age. She should’ve known better. She should’ve kept her son away from there.

        I know this is a very long digression, Kamas. But my view overall is, we somehow have to get to a point where folks like my late Uncle (a police detective who never once had to fire his weapon) or yourself or other police officers who do good work every single day are appreciated. Rather than treated like they’re radioactive. 😦

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:59 pm

      • -No, we don’t have “Castle Doctrine”, but we also don’t have a duty to retreat if we’re in our home or other dwelling we have a legal right to be. I think you might be confusing Castle Doctrine with Stand Your Ground laws. ND is a state where there is no duty to retreat when defending oneself or others. Use of Force needs to be reasonable, so we can’t shoot someone for merely being in our yard yelling at us.

        -We do have constitutional carry for ND adult residents, where we can carry weapons either openly or concealed without a license, including in our vehicles.

        -Zimmerman didn’t invoke Stand Your Ground during his defense, but the judge did remind the jury that Zimmerman didn’t have a duty to retreat in order to defend himself. And he was acquitted because he was defending himself.

        -As for Kyle Rittenhouse, we’ll see what washes out in the trial, but from what I’ve seen the prosecutor appears to have overcharged. It looks like from the videos available that he was defending himself, retreating while doing so. IIRC it wasn’t his own gun he used, but that of a friend that he was with that evening. It’s very much a political situation so the lawyers involved are going to have a difficult getting the case down to the actual facts of what happened.


        June 22, 2021 at 12:02 pm

      • I think they may have overcharged him, too (the Kenosha shooter). But what really puzzles me is why his mother has not been charged with anything. He was seventeen at the time. He lived in IL, not WI. His mother drove him over the border, to Kenosha, and it sounds like she didn’t supervise him at all. She is to blame for him even being there.

        And as I think I’ve said before, it’s a common occurrence when you put someone who’s young and hormonal and new at everything to have something blow up in your face. (I hope I’m phrasing this well enough.) I don’t think the Kenosha shooter wanted to kill anyone, no. But why did he shoot a medic? (The medic survived but took substantial injuries.)

        And yes, you’re right about Stand Your Ground laws vs. Castle Doctrine. George Z. wasn’t in his home. But he was allowed to stand his ground.

        Your laws in ND sound like they work well. That’s what’s most important, that the laws you have suit the populace you have. (I remember going to Colorado and seeing guns openly on gun racks on the back of trucks.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 23, 2021 at 1:00 pm

      • sounds like she didn’t supervise him at all IIRC he was being supervised by a family friend. Might have been the one that lent him the rifle.

        But why did he shoot a medic? (The medic survived but took substantial injuries.)Would that be “lefty”, with the handgun stuck in his hand after having his bicep shot off?


        June 23, 2021 at 4:45 pm

      • Of course, a “medic” who is trying to kill somebody loses his “don’t shoot me privilege”. [Sarcastic Grin]

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 23, 2021 at 4:53 pm

      • Three shots, three criminals. How odd in a peaceful protest. (Though there apparently is some question whether the first shot was his.)


        June 23, 2021 at 5:09 pm

      • It was way after dark, during a curfew which was being violated by many folks. The protest during the day was peaceful. The protest later at night was definitely not, and I’m disgusted even now with what happened then.

        I do think the medic was not armed, from what I’ve seen (as I’ve said). But I don’t know.

        The whole thing is sickening. And I still don’t understand what the young man was even doing there. Why go _there_, then?

        I don’t have any answers, Betsy. I know that I, myself, stayed far away from Kenosha that day and for several days after. And one of the two music stores in the area — now the only one left — took heavy damage. (Why would anyone want to vandalize a music store? Or burn it out? It’s like burning down Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis. Why do it? That has ZERO to do with anything the folks were protesting.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 26, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      • I think there will be many things we learn at that trial, Betsy. (For one, how much else is getting conflated? I have acknowledged my own conflation of the guy armed only with the skateboard — as best I can tell — who died with the medic who lived, and who also had a gun on him.)

        I hope we’ve had enough, though, for the moment, of discussing this horrific situation. (I can’t do anything about it, and when I think about it all — and how until I actually went and re-examined the evidence that is available _now_, I believed I was right — it makes me sick to my stomach.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 30, 2021 at 10:46 am

      • He wasn’t shooting anyone, Paul. The medic was there to heal people. Period.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 26, 2021 at 9:10 pm

      • I don’t know, Kamas. What I was told, and the pictures I saw, made it look like the medic was unarmed. He said he was there only to heal.

        Yeah, the family friend may have been the one with negligent supervision, or maybe thought it wouldn’t be as bad as it turned out to be. I can’t imagine, though, bringing an impressionable young man who’s not yet 18 into a situation like that. Even if he’s very hopeful to have a career in law enforcement, which is what he and his mother both said, why go _there_?

        I will never, ever understand that.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 26, 2021 at 9:12 pm

      • Ok, Barb, this is the first time I’ve ever seen “unarmed medic who was only there to heal” used to describe a violent convicted criminal who was waving his gun around threatening people. That description could be used to describe the kid just as easily.


        June 27, 2021 at 8:54 am

      • The kid was not there to heal. He didn’t have a med bag. He didn’t have bandages. He didn’t have any accoutrements at all of a medic, except maybe a gun (as medics in war zones do carry guns; my ex certainly did when he was in the Army).

        The medic didn’t have a gun as far as I am aware. But one of the folks who ran at the kid who died who wasn’t a medic had a record. I am unaware of the medic, himself, having a record.

        The kid should not have been there. I keep saying that. I’m not even a parent, for the Goddess’s sake, but I know better than that! You don’t put an impressionable kid in a situation like that whether he wants to help (he probably did) protect businesses and people from violence or not.

        As I said — the kid probably did have good motives. But that doesn’t matter now. Two people died and another was wounded by his actions. And that’s all predictable, because he was not mature enough to be in that situation in the first place.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 27, 2021 at 11:09 pm

      • Barb, the guy you’re calling a medic has a gun, clearly seen in the videos and pictures after his arm was shot. Kamas posted links to that. He is also a convicted violent criminal, who legally had no rights to carry that gun. His best friend spoke on camera later saying he wished he had just shot the kid instead of hesitating.

        In the videos, the kid is clearly carrying an orange medic bag. He gave interviews earlier in the day (looks like the reporter was just talking to random people), and also shortly before things went bad, talking about how he’s there to protect a business, and provide medical attention to those who need it, showing the orange medic bag, and saying how he’s willing to go into harm’s way to provide medical attention.

        By continuing to talk about an “unarmed medic, who was just there to heal” after being shown clear evidence to the contrary, you are showing every symptom of not arguing in good faith, just spitting back what you are being told by people who do not have your best interest, nor the best interest of the country at heart.


        June 28, 2021 at 10:03 am

      • I haven’t looked at Kamas’s links yet, partly because I was hoping to find something local to back this up. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel had a whole bunch of things about the people who were shot, the people who died, the shooter himself and his mother and the friend who loaned him the gun, but trying to find all that when I’m looking for it (their website recently changed, too, which isn’t helping) to counter what you’re saying from a local perspective has been harder than I would like.

        I know the national media often gets things wrong.

        If the shooter had an orange med bag, then I’m glad he had his heart in the right place. He has not yet had his day in court. (I did see a few snippets of things he’d said before, but I didn’t see anything like that in those snippets of interviews. That may be also for a good reason — if someone’s under 18, even if he’s charged as an adult later, the newspapers try to keep names out of it if they can. So do the TV stations.)

        As far as arguing in bad faith, etc… can’t we agree to disagree on some of it?

        I will agree that there were people — including the best friend of the guy I know as the medic from, I think, Wauwatosa? — who said that they just should’ve shot the shooter (Rittenhouse; I don’t like naming him, but it’s too frustrating to use circumlocutions at the moment). Being upset you _didn’t_ shoot someone is so wrong, in my book, that I just don’t even know what to do (other than say that guy is a moron or at absolute best, he was acting like one ’cause he was all upset at his buddy getting shot).

        When most of us are put under stress, Betsy, we have uneven and odd reactions. (This is why the police are trained for bad situations. Why the military are trained also, for bad situations.) That way, it’s possible to get emotion out of it (or at least that’s the hope).

        Let me see if I can find any links tomorrow as I am utterly exhausted right now. (I’m going to look at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and then after that I’ll see if I can get anything from some other Wisconsin papers. Unfortunately the Kenosha News is behind a paywall and I can’t do anything to get their information, and they’d probably have the best. If you or anyone else can get a Kenosha News link to work, let me know and I’ll go right away and check it.)

        So, the ultimate question is, are we getting all the facts in these situations? It seems to me that the answer is no, which is why we have to have due process and clear chains of evidence and (in this case, if there are full video streams of the events at hand) whatever unexpurgated, unedited video we can find.

        That’s going to be what changes people’s minds, Betsy. And I don’t know how to get there from here. (That said, I am not arguing in bad faith. If I didn’t want to talk or meet people halfway, at least, why would I even answer? I could just say, “That’s it, nothing to see here,” and move on, but I don’t _do_ that.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 30, 2021 at 1:52 am

      • Betsy, I just apologized to Kamas in a lengthy comment. I actually looked stuff up last night, and was just ready to write about it this morning.

        I don’t want to repeat everything again here, but I will say there’s a lot of stuff that was not known at the beginning and somehow, I conflated two things — one of the two men who died was apparently armed only with a skateboard, and the medic, Grosskreutz, had a gun but it wasn’t reported on until later — and put the gun with the guy who was actually with the skateboard rather than Grosskreutz the medic.

        The biggest problem we have right now in the US, Betsy, is that good people can talk right past each other. We each think we know what the facts are. And I am highly sensitive to this, but until I actually looked into what is _now_ known, I had no idea I was conflating the two things. 😦

        Memory is friable. Memory is difficult.

        And it’s the only thing we have, sometimes, to keep ourselves sane.

        I don’t know what the answers are, Betsy. I think I have said this before. But I do know that I learn all sorts of things from people, and I hope you can sometimes learn things from me. (Today, it’s the value of humility. I think.)

        So, you have my apology also. I didn’t have any idea I was conflating the two things. But now I know, so hopefully it won’t happen again. (Probably something else will, down the line, the world being what it is.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 30, 2021 at 10:40 am

      • I’m sure they were probably talking about earlier, but my first thought reading your lines about Zimmerman, is that it is very difficult to retreat when you are stuck on the ground, a big guy on top of you, and having your head slammed into the sidewalk.


        June 22, 2021 at 12:18 pm

      • Considering that some of the Woke apparently think Knife Fights are “not serious matters”, I sure that some Woke still would think Zimmerman should have “retreated” even in that situation before shooting. [Sarcastic Grin]

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        June 22, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      • Then they’ve never been in a knife fight. Knife fights are scary.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 23, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      • I’d agree with that, Betsy.

        My Mom had some guy steal her purse, years ago, when she was walking home from the store. He was too big to fight. But he ran up, grabbed her purse, and ran off again. 😦

        Anyway, I mention this because I do understand how it is when you’re victimized and you have to somehow survive the situation as best you can.

        The whole thing is just sad, though.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 23, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      • The shaming of Trump’s cabinet members is wrong. So is the shaming of Mike Pence (this happened at a convention this last weekend by people who didn’t understand Pence’s constitutional duties on 1/6).

        I don’t believe anyone should be treated like that. Not ever.

        Again, Betsy, the protest outside the capitol was largely peaceful. The folks who broke in, the folks who put up the noose, the folks who seemed to really _want_ to hang Mike Pence…they disturbed me.

        I felt terrible for Ashli Babbitt.

        Mob behavior is not predictable and it’s one reason why I worry about any mob. We had mob behavior in Kenosha last year, as you may recall me telling you.

        Anyone who’s being held without access to a lawyer…that’s just wrong. I hope that can be corrected, as I haven’t heard anything about that. (I did hear that some of the Oathkeepers who have been charged have pled to lesser offenses to stay out of jail. And some apparently have turned in other people who were also there.)

        The thing is, there were two different and distinct things going on January 6. One was a peaceful protest. The other was a bunch of people getting way out of hand, injuring police officers, putting up a noose, yelling “Hang Mike Pence” (as if they were in earnest), looting the Capitol building, and scaring the Hell out of the Congresscritters. (As annoyed as I can get with our Congresscritters, I think they should be left to deliberate in peace. When there are committee hearings, those should be open to the public. Now that we have vaccines for Covid, perhaps they will be open again.)

        I try not to conflate the two. I wasn’t there, of course, but I did see various things on YouTube as well as via CNN and even FoxNews. (As I said, their news people are still very good.)

        Those of us who are more centrist than not usually are the ones who get hit from both sides, Betsy. I’m aware of that.

        I try to read things from as many different viewpoints as I can. Even now, I do that.

        I do hope Kamas is wrong about Biden. I’m not sure Bernie Sanders would’ve been any better, had he gotten in there. (Same age issues, in many ways. Maybe less odd diction?)

        My closing thought is, mob behavior by anyone is just plain bad. I’ve seen it on the left — the Chicago Riots of ’68, which I’ve seen many times on TV, are possibly the best known recent-history example). And I’ve seen it on the right. It’s awful, and it should not be tolerated because innocents get hurt or killed. (Which compounds its wrongness even more.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:27 am

      • That’s what I mean about how we’ll know more things in context in 50 years, Kamas.

        I hope that makes sense. 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:11 am

      • Exactly Barb.
        There never is justification for these events.


        June 14, 2021 at 3:09 am

      • Agreed, Roger.

        There are other shootings and other horrible things that have happened elsewhere. Wasn’t there a guy running around with a knife, I think in China, a few years ago? And there were other odd incidents, too…

        Anyway, there has to be a way to identify people who are so mentally ill earlier on. That might’ve saved us, say, the shooting at the grocery store in Colorado this year. (The first responder there was a local police officer who didn’t have a bulletproof vest with him. He bravely ran in and lost his life. His sacrifice should not have been made in vain.)

        Barb Caffrey

        June 18, 2021 at 12:12 am

      • The problems you will encounter there Barb, is a view shared by folk on all sides of the political spectrum.
        That being:
        1. Who decides when a person is a danger / threat?
        2. How do you ensure an effective method, efficient method?
        3. How much does this intrude into the area of Civil Liberties.
        Personally, I don’t concern myself with ‘3’ I am more concerned with the loss of innocent lives- some will recoil at that attitude.
        As regards ‘2’ it has to be funded and those involved highly trained at each level.
        ‘1’ is the trickiest, because that can be abused by governments…. The Chinese government maybe involved in some computer software to ‘identify’ folk of concern.
        Probably the most acceptable way is a long term one where we ratchet down the feelings of fear, suspicions and anger. Also we should give some thought to making heroes or anti-heroes out of folk such a serial killers in fiction; that makes killing acceptable.


        June 18, 2021 at 2:36 am

      • This is a good answer, Roger. I will think on it.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:03 am

  4. If you are looking for some analysis into why people do things like this, I’d suggest the book Tremble the Devil. I’m not sure if it’s free anymore, but it covered much of the reasoning behind terrorist attacks on soft targets. In short, it’s not so much about us, but about trying to recruit more for their side, usually by provoking our side into what they consider an over-reaction.


    June 14, 2021 at 10:28 am

  5. Can’t believe it’s been five years already….so sad. Thank you for posting this, Barb, and for trying to be civil and understanding in your conversations with others, even when they are not showing you the same courtesty.


    June 14, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    • courtesy 😉


      June 14, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    • You’re welcome, Eurobrat. I always try.

      The thing I try to remember is, life is very short. For some reason, people get their backs up, and it’s not always the same people for the same reason.

      Note that we’ll have another very sad anniversary later this year with the Las Vegas mass shooting — wasn’t that at a country music festival? (The guy took a corner room, or at least a room with very good line of sight, and had a sniper rifle IIRC.)

      Getting back to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, I feel terrible about it, even now. The survivors have mostly turned their lives toward gun reform. (The most sensible gun reform, BTW, that there is happens to be that everyone who owns a gun should have to pass a gun safety course. The NRA, of course, is against even that, which just shows how stupid the NRA is, IMHO.)

      Anyway, my hope is that our society will figure it out eventually. (I wish they could figure it out tomorrow, but it doesn’t look likely. Still, we can hope.)

      Barb Caffrey

      June 18, 2021 at 12:04 am

      • Same here…hoping we figure out the gun thing…and get better at communicating with each other as well. We definitely live in a time of crisis. And, yes, the Las Vegas shooting–I remember, that was just terrifying.


        June 19, 2021 at 11:20 am

      • Agreed on all counts. 🙂 Have a great day, Eurobrat.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 20, 2021 at 9:43 am

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