Friday News Bites: Gun Violence, Terrorist Violence, + What do we even say anymore?

With server changes around these parts, I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, and in that time we’ve had a lot of disheartening news happen around the world. I don’t even know what to say about it all, but I’ll do my best to round it up here, and then let’s all go get a drink together. Sound good? Okay.

Paris Attacks

Here’s everything that happened on November 13th in Paris, as rounded up by The New York Times.

Here’s how famous bookstore Shakespeare and Co. helped shelter people while all the chaos happened.

The band Eagles of Death Metal were the band playing at the Bataclan concert venue shooting, and they lost their merchandise manager, Nick Alexander. Here they talk about what the experience was like, and how they’d like to help the family members of the victims.

Despite rumors to the contrary, the Paris attackers were not Syrian refugeesaccording to top EU officials. All of them have been identified as European Union nationals.

Here’s what you can learn instead about the attackers, what is known so far, and their ties to ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Shortly after the Paris attacks, there was also a lockdown in Brussels, Belgium, while police searched for suspected Paris gunman Salah Abdeslam. They asked the public not to tweet their whereabouts, so instead Belgians flooded Twitter with photos of cats. Nicely played.

And although this link is not brand new, it’s still a very informative look at what ISIS is and how they came to exist.

Syrian Refugee Crisis Repercussions

Some U.S. Governors never let facts get in the way of a “stand,” and released statements that, after Paris, they would not accept Syrian refugees in their state. Never mind that the refugees had nothing to do with the attacks, and never mind that Governors cannot legally refuse refugees.

But honestly, compared to other countries, the U.S. has not done a whole lot for the refugees at all.

The Holocaust Museum would like to point out that people were afraid of Jewish refugees too, and perhaps we should learn from history for once.

CNN suspended reporter Elise Labott for tweeting in support of the refugees. WTF.

And in Canada, the government initially wanted to limit their Syrian refugee intake to women, children, and families. After the public pointed out that gay men were literally being thrown from buildings for being who they are, Canada also decided to accept gay men.

Noah Berlatsky, at The Establishment, rightly points out that single, adult male refugees need asylum too.

Additional Events on November 13th

On the same day as the Paris attacks, a bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, killed at least 43 people, with ISIS/ISIL claiming responsibility.

In Japan, a 7.0 earthquake triggered a small tsunami.

And in Mexico, there was a 4.3 earthquake in Baja California, though there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

On a somewhat related note, on November 17th, terrorist group Boko Haram bombed a market in Yola, Nigeria, killing more than 30 people.

Police Violence

Chicago police released dash cam footage of former officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald sixteen times, as the teenager was running away. Van Dyke has since been charged with first degree murder.

Here’s an in-depth look at Laquan McDonald’s death, and what the police did to cover it up.

In Minneapolis, Black Lives Matter activists gathered to protest the police killing of Jamar Clark, and a group of white supremacists showed up and fired into the crowd, injuring five people.

The Atlantic takes a look at what happened leading up to Jamar Clark’s death:

What’s agreed on is that Clark was shot by an officer after police and ambulances responded to a domestic-violence call. Police said Clark was a suspect in the domestic assault, and interfered with responders. From there, things get murky. A number of people watched the incident unfold—it was across the street from an Elks Lodge—and several of them say that Clark was handcuffed when he was shot in the head. Police insist he was not cuffed.

“The young man was just laying there; he was not resisting arrest,” a man named Teto Wilson who said he saw the incident was quoted as saying by the local NAACP chapter. “Two officers were surrounding the victim on the ground, an officer maneuvered his body around to shield Jamar’s body, and I heard the shot go off.”

Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting

Three people, including one police officer, were shot and killed by 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, last Friday. [auto-playing video]

Now reports are coming out that Dear had targeted Planned Parenthood before, and also that he has a history of domestic violence.

Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina called the shooter a “protester,” and basically doubled-down on stupid regarding her anti-choice stances.

This story dates back to the Charleston church shooting earlier this year, but did you know that up until July, the U.S. actually had a ban on the CDC studying gun violence?

3 Shootings on December 2, 2015

And if all that wasn’t enough, this week had one day with three different multiple-victim shootings. That I know of. If I’m wrong, please let me know in the comments.

In San Bernandino, California, a couple (who were later killed at the scene) opened fire at a holiday party for county health workers. They killed 14 people and wounded 17.

One woman is dead and three men injured after a shooting in Savannah, Georgia. Two shooters are believed to be involved, but it’s unclear what the motive was.

This may not technically qualify as a “mass shooting,” but two gunshot deaths in Houston, Texas, happened in such close proximity to one another, that police are investigating a link. One of the shootings occurred outside of a women’s health clinic.

And finally…

At least one person is calling out all those “thoughts and prayers” Congresspeople by noting their gun legislation records and NRA campaign donations.

Until next time, where I hope I have some better news. Stay safe out there.

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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