Tag Archive: murder

Christie takes welcome step in right direction on gun violence in America

This deserves a promotion as a point of discussion, should last-minute shoppers, Chanukah celebrants and others want to get into it. Here’s where I stand on Witherspoon’s nod to Gov. Christie’s milder, more-reasonable-than-usual take on the reported execution-style killing of two Brooklyn cops: Yes, there’s some value in a Governor not making some dumb remark. But remember – he seems to have reserved that moment for the death of the two cops. When it was two men of color dead at the hands of police – with no indictments via the justice system he used to represent – his response was “Im not going to get into it” (Ferguson), “It’s Obama’s fault” (Ferguson unrest), and “I’m not going to second-guess the grand jury” (Eric Garner). That leaves the impression that this particular GOP presidential candidate is more responsible in his comments when it’s cops dead and perhaps less so when it’s just men that many of his potential voters would consider “thugs”. That’s my two cents. – Rosi

Appearing on NJTV’s with Steve Abubato last night, Governor Chris Christie answered one question in particular without the usual partisan cheapshot. It was refreshing to hear the Governor speak without the audacious and vilifying tone that most in the state have grown tired of.

The answer was in response to a question posed (10:35 mark) by Mr. Abubato in regards to comments made by partisans suggesting prominent activists have created an environment that encourages and propagates violence against police officers that results in things like the murder of two Brooklyn police officers by a deranged and suicidal gunman.

One of the things that disturbs me about the entire conversation that we’re having right now is it seems like lots of people are trying to score political points here,” Christie said when asked about the same issue. “And, what I’m thinking about as we sit three days away from Christmas, are those two families of those two police officers who will not have them at their dinner tables at Christmas time, who won’t have them there to open up present under the Christmas tree, who will not have them, not only this Christmas, but every Christmas going forward. And I think before we get into that analysis, it may be time for everybody in this region and around this country to take a deep breath and to think about the loss that’s been suffered by these two families.

Despite differences between left and right, the Governor changed pace by using this opportunity to transcend partisan divide and request that we focus on what truly matters: life, family, and respect. While some may consider this site partisan, I think it’s better to describe it as political. We applaud messages and policy we feel are right and just-not simply by our political allies. Chris Christie’s thoughtfulness is correct here and deserves praise.

However, despite the Governor’s thoughtful and kind remarks on the issue, I wish the Governor would have went further and offered the eloquence penned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Time on Monday.

Garrettown- Mass Murder Capital of the USA

In reality, we can pick one of a number of New Jersey Republican Congressmen, especially over the past few years with many lockstep votes, but Scott Garrett has the most consistent voting pattern when it comes to policies that favor environments like the Aurora movie theater massacre, the Sikh temple mass murder in Wisconsin, the Oregon mall murders, the should-be-unfathomable murder of more than 20 elementary schoolchildren, along with teachers and other school officials and the shooting in an Alabama hospital over the past few weeks.

To those who think that this is not the time, they are right.  It is long past time.  To those who think that it isn’t fair to point fingers at Congressmen, voting records, like elections, have consequences.  And Scott Garrett has made it easier for all of these massacres to occur, as well as the ones that preceded them – not to mention those that have yet to occur, but most certainly will occur.

As Bill Orr noted this morning, NJ has decent gun laws as compared to other states, but they fall far short of what they could be.  Scott Garrett, however, might as well be for terrorists being able to stock up on as many of whatever mass killing machine they want without anyone so much as looking into whether they are highly likely to use it to commit mass murder.

His voting record, as noted here, is pretty much a checklist of the biggest factors that can lead to a culture that consists of mass murder after mass murder – and in public places that you, me, kids, families – are all very likely to frequent on a regular basis.  It is no different from living in any country where “terrorism”, bus bombings, suicide bombings or any other mass public murder takes place far too regularly.  This list includes allowing someone to carry a concealed weapon into NJ (even though NJ doesn’t allow it) if they are allowed to carry a concealed weapon in that state, loosening restrictions on interstate gun purchases, banning a gun registration and trigger lock law in Washington DC (even though he always argues against federal overreach to states) and allowing loaded guns in national parks.  He even voted against including those who are on terror watch lists, pedophiles, stalkers and those who have committed domestic violence from the lax concealed carry laws he supported.

Couple that with Garrett’s vote, for example, on mental health parity with physical illness or how he voted against first responders like those who acted on 9/11 and you have you have a caustic mix of dangerous factors, ignored warning signs, lack of ability to spot and deal with a mental health issue properly and where someone who is a clear and present danger to themselves, their family or society as a whole can  go on a massive killing spree without getting detected until “no one could have known” except for all of the clear warning signs.

Voters across Garrett’s district, as well as other voters in NJ and across the country have a right to know what their Representatives are voting for in their names.  The votes have consequences, and in Garrettown, USA, those consequences are a deadly epidemic.

Pretty Little Blond Girl Goes Missing

Pretty little blonde girl, just 12, petite and with a name – Autumn – that marks the season she was murdered, hops on her bike in the early afternoon and never comes home.

And now we know. The bike was found. Then she was found, and it was awful. I know somebody who lives in that town, and is deeply affected, so I’ve been tracking the story all day, along with a lot of other folks.

Newspaper accounts are factual, TV reports more or less direct. What fascinates me today, though, are the comments after the stories, and the Facebook remarks following postings of the awful details of Autumn’s death.

The boys now charged with Autumn’s murder are black. She was white. And the bloodlust that has risen up since that fact – and their picture in cuffs – is in evidence is frighteningly racist, and worked-up in a way that singularly seems tied to the loss of a blond girl and the guilt – alleged – of young black men.

No, I won’t be linking. But along with the community’s heartfelt sympathy and expressions of sadness for her, and fear for their own kids, there are discussions of stringing the boys up. “Lynching them old-school.” “Pitchforks and torches.” Suggestions there should be “retroactive abortion”.

I can only wonder at the shadow-streak of sadness across Clayton, NJ tonight. There’s a community church service going on right now; it must be both awful and beautiful to be there in her memory.

When little blond kids go missing, the world takes notice in ways we don’t all take stock of. I’m not immune. When I was 16, I might have saved a little blond boy – it happened fast and I’ll never know. When I was 22, I searched Manhattan for a little blond boy; Etan Patz. Was that because he was a neighborhood kid? Or a photogenic little white face whose heroine I wanted to be? I’ll never know.  

But not too far from where I live, the threat to little kids is constant. And I confess: I hardly ever touch on it in my mind. But it’s inescapable in some houses, for some families, in some neighborhoods. In my town, which used to be white and well-off and is less those things now, some of my neighbors have lost some of the neighborliness that should define small towns like this one, and maybe like Clayton. The crumbling facades and empty stores aren’t about the economy, a rerouted road, local Wal-Mart or anything random for these people. No, these people are most comfortable seeking scapegoats among their neighbors. Impossible not to notice that the neighbors my neighbors hate are darker than they are. And the terms they use to describe them are awful.

Autumn Pasquale’s death is awful, and will and should be felt deeply. But I’m troubled by the fact that too many of us only raise our heads and open our hearts when the randomness of the horror – girl killed for bike parts – seems so improbable and the victim so attractive to us that it consumes us. When the violence is everyday, when the conversation is about spiraling murder rates and walks to school are scary, drive-bys take the boy next door, and the one down the street, is the currency of young lives lost somehow less? I know we would never say so. But don’t we act as though it’s true?

When we see TV, radio and social media light up for a pretty white child gone missing, and barely take note when another child is taken, exploited, killed randomly or killed with intent, aren’t we valuing one life above others? And what are we saying to those parents?

My neighbors speak about their neighbors like their parents don’t worry about them, as though

Maddow on Booker: One of the most effective mayors in the country

Newark Mayor Cory Booker appeared on the Rachel Maddow show tonight to talk about the city going a month without a murder for the first time in forty four years. He talked about some of the efforts the city has taken in order to accomplish the milestone.

The Mayor then joined the Morning Joe team this morning for a further discussion:

We do need to keep this in perspective. Newark still has many challenges that lie ahead, but this is important progress and we should make sure to appreciate the good while continuing to fight for changing the bad. The Mayor is good at giving the many people who have contributed to this progress credit for the work they have done as well. So knock on wood, last month was a good one.