🇺🇸 Lewiston Shooting

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The Flag

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Left: With Johnson House Speaker, There's Plenty To Fear Margaret Sullivan, The Guardian

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GUNS

Lewiston Shooting

Last Wednesday, at least 18 people were killed, and 13 were wounded in shootings at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine. Police issued an arrest warrant for the suspect, Robert Card. Later on Friday evening, Card was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot, ending the intensive two-day search that had the state on edge.

Reporting from the Left: At least 18 killed in shootings in Lewiston: What we know so far (NBC News)

Reporting from the Right: Maine shooting: Law enforcement swarms the home of suspect Robert Card (Washington Examiner)

From The Flag: Card, 40, was reportedly an Army reservist who was committed to a mental health facility this past summer after complaining of voices in his head and threatening to shoot up a local National Guard base. Officials previously said Card was a trained firearms instructor but later said that was not the case. Here’s what both sides are covering the shooting.

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

American Gun Culture Must Be Confronted

  • The usual calls for common sense gun regulations will come up, but we also need to focus on addressing the trauma of survivors.

  • Researchers struggle to find the standard variables among mass shooters, but factors like mental illness aren’t present in a majority of mass killers. What is common is that they’re American and have guns.

  • “Another mass shooting — this time in the Pine Tree State — begs the question of why the US can’t have stricter firearms laws.”

Maine’s mass shooting leaves an empty space. Here’s what must fill it. Kate Woodsome, The Washington Post: “After the Wednesday attack, gun rights advocates will focus on mental illness. Gun-control advocates will focus on guns. What the country should focus on is supporting the survivors. To do this, we need to understand the empty spaces that gun violence creates. People go missing from homes and schools and friendships. A sense of safety and security vanishes. In the void, fear, grief, and rage can take their place. All too often, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder move in. … People grieve and heal in different ways on different timelines. There isn’t a simple solution to fix us all at once. But there is something that can keep us, individually and collectively, from falling further apart. Community. It fills the space. It means that the community, our bullet-ridden country, needs to acknowledge the terror that gun violence sows. This allows survivors to understand why they might jump at loud noises, have a short temper or feel hopeless. A community that allows room for suffering allows room for healing.

The Maine shooting suspect fits the profile. He is American and he has a gun The Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times: “Are mass shooters psychotic? It is oddly comforting to think so, especially for those who resist gun control. “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” then-President Trump said in 2019, after shootings in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio. But a majority of mass killers have never been diagnosed with any psychiatric disorders or undergone mental health treatment. And while the ranks of such killers clearly include racists and conspiracy theorists, they also include people with purely personal grievances and plenty who had no discernible motive of any kind. … Researchers continue to seek common traits. They have found that many shooters act while in emotional crisis, but that generally, they don’t suddenly “snap.” They plan. They nurse their anger. They act. … But there is no consistent profile. Perpetrators are Americans of all stripes, committing a peculiarly American crime. … The one thing they have in common is guns, which are more plentiful than ever in the United States.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Which Is Easier to Buy in Maine: a Gun or a Chicken? Jessica Karl, Bloomberg

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

This Is a Mental Health Problem

  • Maine’s lack of a “Red Flag” law and limited mental health services illustrates that it was not equipped to handle this situation.

  • While law enforcement embarked on a “chaotic” manhunt, Lewiston has come to a standstill as its residents have been sheltering in place.

  • Card is an Army reservist with a history of mental health issues, most recently sent to a psychiatric care facility over the summer for reportedly hearing voices and allegedly threatening to shoot a military base.

Massacre shows how Maine — and nation — fail to deal with violent mentally ill Marc Siegel, New York Post: “Card was reported to have been committed to a mental health facility in Maine for two weeks this summer. This information brings up some very disturbing questions that go beyond this awful crime: First, why is a citizen in Maine, with a mental health history able to possess a firearm? For one thing, Maine lacks a “Red Flag” law that allows people (including families) to request that firearms be taken away from a person who has been deemed a threat to themselves or others, as appears to have been the case here. … Maine has a “Yellow flag” law which has only been used two dozen times from 2020 to 2022 and does NOT allow family members to directly petition a judge to order someone to give up their guns. Only the police can issue such a request. … Maine is in trouble when it comes to mental health services, and it is not alone. … As of the end of 2021, there were only 87 mental health crisis workers for the entire state, compared with more than 2,5000 law enforcement officers.

Manhunt for Mass-Shooting Suspect Turns Maine’s Second-Largest City Into Ghost Town Jimmy Vielkind, The Wall Street Journal: “Nervous residents across Maine remained in lockdown Friday, with many schools staying closed. The shops in downtown Lewiston’s Lisbon Street were all closed late Wednesday and into Friday as people in this former mill town processed the most ruthless massacre they could recall—and the deadliest the U.S. has seen this year. Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline said late Thursday that the shelter-in-place order remained in effect. He urged people in Maine’s second-largest city to ‘stay at home and stay safe.’ An elongated and, at times, chaotic manhunt—with drones and helicopters in what would otherwise be sleepy skies and armored trucks on concealed rural roads—has left Lewiston and surrounding areas emptied out. … City Hall and the public library locked their doors. One of the few hives of activity was Central Maine Medical Center hospital, where eight victims of the shootings remained hospitalized late Thursday, an executive said.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Here’s What We Know About The Suspected Maine Shooter Lillian Tweten, Daily Caller

FLAG THIS

America’s Complex Views on Guns

A poll from Americans is evenly split over whether gun ownership does more to increase or decrease safety. About half (49%) say it does more to increase safety by allowing law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, but an equal share says gun ownership does more to reduce safety by giving too many people access to firearms and increasing misuse.

Additionally, Six out of ten US adults say gun violence is a very big problem in the country today, up 9 percentage points from spring 2022. Along that thread, a majority (61%) say it is too easy to obtain a gun in this country legally (Pew Research Center).

FLAG FINDS

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WATERCOOLER

“The War of The World,” Mushroom Foraging, Actor Doctors

Orson Welles meeting with reporters, attempting to quell panic over the radio show.

On This Day in 1938: “The War of the Worlds” — Orson Welles's realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth — is broadcast on the radio. Welles was only 23 years old when his Mercury Theater company decided to update H.G. Wells’s 19th-century science fiction novel “The War of the Worlds” for national radio.

Today, I learned that real doctors from USC Medical Center were recruited to play the doctors who try to save E.T. because Spielberg felt that actors talking about technical medical matters didn’t seem natural.

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