Walmart had a very bad week, and for once, they were innocent bystanders for the most part. Karma can get you when you least expect it. First, they had their logo spread all over the news when one of their truckers fell asleep and nearly killed Tracy Morgan. Then, two radicalized, allegedly Tea Party/white supremacists idiots went on a shooting spree against the cops and then wound up in a Walmart. Good times.
As always, little is known about the two shooters so the media is making it up as they go along. What we do know is that two white people, one male, one female, entered a pizza place in Las Vegas and targeted two police officers. They then took their guns and ammo, shouted "this is a revolution" and went to a Walmart next door and that is where the story gets murky. The two entered the store and told everyone to get out. Then at some point, they shot someone else, who may have had a gun themselves and may have shot and wounded one of the gunman before that person, whose sex is still unknown, was killed. Great reporting as always. This stuff should have been cleared up right away but between police officers who can't grasp how important it is to get the right info out and a media incapable of reporting the facts, we have no idea what really occurred.
What we do know is this: regardless of how it happened, this incident demonstrates how some of the less stable out there may be targeting police for the near constant barrage of bad press they get lately. Rumors of them having a "don't tread on me flag," and being kicked off the Bundy ranch for being too radicalized, suggest these two were real whack jobs. However, it is telling that they went after the police, something that may start happening with greater and greater frequency. Our police force is becoming more and more militarized, with some getting grenade launchers (WTF?) so they can be "prepared for any emergency." The only problem is that this is not their job. Their job is protect and serve, not intimidate and terrify.
If there is a problem they cannot solve, it is why we have SWAT and the national guard. Now, every cop is Robocop and the effects are having a chilling look at our future. Do we really want a militarized police who act more like brigands than cops? Considering how many cases we hear about police brutality, theft and privateering, we should be worried. There have been so many cases of cops planting evidence, killing pets and unarmed people, and stealing from the general public, we should be labeling them as a public nuisance. Recent FBI stats say you are eight times more likely to be shot by a cop than a civilian. You are twice as likely to be assaulted by a cop than a stranger. As a matter of fact the number of total violent crimes was twice as high for cops than for criminals in 2010. We are paying these dicks to screw us and the end result are people like these two snapping.
I am certainly not condoning shooting cops, unless they do something that requires them to be shot, like kicking in your door unannounced in one of those awful No-Knock raids that should be banned except under the most extreme circumstances. But the point remains that until we see real reform within the police departments nationwide, these kinds of situation are going to increase.
Now depending on what the truth of this situation is, a civilian with a gun may have been the best protection we have had. Whether this person is dead or not, or even existed, is still up for debate. Rumors are still swirling that a civilian with a gun shot at the two cop killers and may have hit one. If this is the case, then this is yet another case where the anti-gun crowd is going to have to eat crow. I keep hearing how they has never been a case of a civilian with a gun stopping a mass murder which is just plain wrong. The Clakamas mall shooting was stopped by a guy with a gun, a Colorado off duty cop with her personal weapon stopped an attempted movie theater shooting, two students armed in Texas stopped a potential school shooting, and now this. People who know how to use guns are not the problem. Letting the NRA dictate stupid rules, like denying background checks for felons and the insane, is. Anyone still belonging to that group needs to get a life, and this comes from a die hard second amendment supporter. The NRA is a Republican, gun manufacturing lobby, nothing more.
Lastly, we have the economy which appear to be on the verge of an epic fail. Shadowstats recently said the birth/death rate for business is increasing for the latter, which seems to be held up be recent business data, and that the amount of jobs created last month was actually zero. So, on top of the 100,000 jobs lost, no jobs were even created. The few that were paid nothing. Awesome.
The housing market continues to slide. Last fall, the government shut down was blamed. Then over the winter, it was the polar vortex. Recent numbers still show the housing market dropping for all mid-level homes. Just like retail got the same explanation, high end housing and retail have done just fine over the same periods.
Our unemployment rate is still somewhere between 23-37%, or Depression era levels. If some economists are right, we may even be entering another recession if the next quarter shows negative growth, even with highly fixed figures. Neither government nor business seems to understand that by not strengthening the middle class, all of their so called solutions went up in smoke. The democrats called for small increases that did nothing, while the GOP offered nothing other than the word NO. Their platform, which has been an observational failure throughout Europe, is still going strong within their ranks even though it has a 0% chance of working. Brilliant.
Anyone who looks at the jobs being created will see that 90% of them pay minimum wage like home health care services, retail, hospitality and restaurants. Until we have a work force that can buy things, our economy will continue to slide no matter what we do. Raising the minimum wage is a good start, but we also need to end outsourcing, make corporations and the rich actually pay taxes, and stop treating housing as a way to make money. We are running out of time people. And if you vote for the Republicans in 2014, there won't be a country left by 2016, if we even make it to November at this point. A reckoning is coming and we are all vulnerable. Don't let it.