Independence Day Massacre: Mass shooting kills 6 in Illinois, injures dozens

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Tiassa, Jul 4, 2022.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Independence Day, 2022:

    Police are still searching for a gunman who opened fire from a rooftop onto the Highland Park Independence Day parade, leaving at least six people dead and roughly two dozen others "seriously injured" Monday.

    The gunman, who has not yet been identified, was described by Highland Park police as a white man between 18 and 20 years old with a small build and "longer" black hair. He is wearing a white or blue T-shirt, according to Highland Park Police Cmdr. Chris O'Neill ....

    .... [Lake County Sgt. Christopher] Covelli said the gunman shot into the parade with a high-powered rifle from a rooftop. He said police are working to locate the man.

    (NBC Chicago↱)

    There is a lot to say.

    Of course, so much of it has been said before.

    Unfortunately, this grim circumstance remains unresolved; the suspect remains at large.


    NBC Chicago. "Here's the Description of the Missing Gunman in Highland Park Parade Mass Shooting ". 4 July 2022. 4 July 2022.
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  3. mathman Valued Senior Member

    Repeal the second amendment.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Meredith Shiner↱ explains:

    I sent more than a half dozen proof of life texts today. I had a lot of anxiety about the one that went unanswered for hours, which finally got a “safe but not ok” response because the person was right next to someone who was shot. We do not have to live like this. We are not OK.

    Happy Fourth.
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The suspect is a YouTube rapper.

    I have no idea how that will fit into all this, but the sentence itself was not one I expected to countenance today.
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    We should note, the numbers as of this evening are seven dead, with injuries listed over thirty.
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    What was it Biden said? "Shocked!"

    We may feel many, many things.

    But shocked is not one of them.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Depends on the context.

    I actually agree with you, but the Triple Dog Super Secret Probationary Dare on a white nihilist-conspiracist YouTube rapper with a history of police interaction including a suicide attempt legally acquiring one of the nightmare rifles available on our market and shooting up the Fourth of July is about the sort of Ironic Demand Ratio that breaks such colloquial measurements; in its way, I cannot express to you how inevitable this sort of thing was.

    But if President Biden, at seventy-nine, finds this sort of senselessness shocking, yeah, I can imagine that. Try explaining this shooter to a seventy-nine year old American traditionalist-centrist doctrinally precluded from believing that anything happens without a reason.
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Or more accurately "the emotion formerly known as shocked before we got to more than one mass shooting a day."
    sideshowbob and DaveC426913 like this.
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

  13. Bells Staff Member

    When news of this broke, my mother, who has dementia, was watching the news and she said "what happened?".. And I responded, "there's been another mass shooting in America".

    And even with her dementia riddled mind, she turned to me and said "Oh! How many dead this time?".

    I realised the obscene nature of her question.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    On the matter of obscene questions, over in my political corner, everyone on socmed is looking at each other, waiting for a shoe to drop: It is hard to describe the political elements about this shooter, but the visible elements so far point rightward.

    To the other, the fake socmed screenshots in which the Highland Park shooter allegedly proclaims himself Antifa are actually an expected part of the ritual.

    It seems a small contrast, but it also feels important: Some people look at a mass shooting and want to know why it happened; others wonder how they can blame it on their political enemies.

    A tweet reached me, yesterday, in which a reporter was asking after a child separated from his parents. Multiple people wrongly corrected the reporter, scolding for being late, because the kid was already reunited with his parents. The scorn seemed a little much, as things were moving quickly, and, hey, these little happy endings are about the only comforts we might find in such moments. Anyway, the scolds were wrong; this morning we know the child remains separated from his parents because they are dead.

    And as to politics, the emerging evidence suggests shooter's nihilism favored rightist rhetoric, and while this seems to put the faked screenshots to rest, the question isn't really about blaming Trump, or blue-line authoritarianism; the time for scrutinizing those details is later, when we have more evidence and context.

    But there was a moment, when the news broke, and I wondered about the politics of shooting up the Fourth of July, because some part of me instantly accepted—probably already believed—that of course someone would shoot up Independence Day, this year, because these are the United States of America, and this is 2022. Still, in the moment of wondering at the possibility of a shooter from somewhere in my range of the political spectrum, it's not so much a matter of being okay with the murder, but at least I would know how to deal with these politics; I was actually okay with the possibility of a leftist radical or a mainstream liberal—at least I would have some idea how to address prospective future violence.

    What we have, however, recalls a Twitter thread↱ from a few years back, in which someone who had just been through the misogynist pill mill discussed "how the online depression community has been infiltrated by alt-right recruiters deliberately preying on the vulnerable"; we've seen the thread here, before↗, and in my own notes I have records from a separate posting, and it turns out that in such questions, some people are much more worried about the tyranny of good faith. These years later, there is no explicit moral to the story, as such; rather, we might have witnessed in Highland Park not only a result of our failure to deliver psychological health services, but also the influence of deliberately targeting perceived unstable elements.

    And if someone once said to me that a particular neighbor probably doesn't think he is being intellectually dishonest, it seems worth noting: Sure, that's only one person, but it is also a strangely clear distillation of particular relativism; in my lifetime, an accusation of moral relativism has become an excuse for the progeny of the old accusers. Looking back, it seems more inevitable than ironic, compared to those who target the psychologically unstable for disinformation, agitation, and provocation. It is possible to drown in irony on this¹, if I give over to the flood.

    After all, the point isn't to explicitly belabor on example from a few years ago; rather, rightists have been pitching not just to the depressed, but targeting for disinformation all sorts of people they perceive as psychologically vulnerable.

    Because, yes, the Highland Park shooter brings that old twit-thread to mind. We have yet to hear anything about when or if he ever announced his manpilling, but where other recent mass killings have been about white supremacism and misogyny, we don't yet have, and might not get, a coherent manifesto for the Independence Day Massacre, but there is a lot of familiar rightist conspiracism in what I've seen, so far, but none of it is definitive. To wit, I don't want to make too much, at this time, out of his hair but at one point he was dyed in a way that made me think of something else.² If that thread, or what it intimates, holds true, then this wasn't about doctrinal politics but nihilist misanthropy.

    There was a lot over the years that we either called paranoid or not, but this stuff occurs in a range where the word becomes volatile, because the colloquial and clinical definitions can start to blur. Perhaps one person, fed enough crackpottery, will walk away in search of something more useful; but if given to the right person, as such, it can possess their thinking, conscience, and identity. And in this time, in this American condition, here we are. This harvest is the nearly inevitable fruit of what rightist antisociality has cultivated in recent years. It says something that we have, as a society, so easily allowed it. Obscenity: We Americans have done this to ourselves.


    ¹ I'm sorry, it's just I don't know what to do or not with the actual example from that one person bothsiding with Trump-era white supremacism on the right, and the leftward juxtaposition a gun control position slightly to the right of where I was at the time. Taking that one at face value, while it is only one person, it is also true that he felt comfortable expressing himself as such, which in turn tells us something about his overton window, and that tells us at least a little bit about what is or isn't acceptable in the community and culture around him. As a general principle, yes, our expression tends to reflect in some way what we perceive is acceptable or not in our community. That's the thing, though; he could have picked any two issues for a lopsided equivocation, but the irony that one of them was gun control just demands at least a little attention.

    ² It would be more than ironic if I was right; it would be incredibly stupid.​

    @SadMarshGhost. "NOBODY is talking about how the online depression community has been infiltrated by alt-right recruiters deliberately preying on the vulnerable. There NEED to be public warnings about this. 'Online pals' have attempted to groom me multiple times when at my absolute lowest." (thread) Twitter. 23 February 2018. 6 July 2022.
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  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Meredith Shiner↱ explains:

    I used to joke about Jewish geography on the North Shore, but then the son of your dad's friend finds a wandering toddler whose parents were executed in a mass casualty event at a July 4th parade and it hits different.

    For many Americans, Highland Park is familiar because it is a frequent cinematic setting; Risky Business was filmed in Highland Park, as well as multiple John Hughes films including Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    A local resident has posted to social media her account of the shooting; Rachel Wachstein begins her telling by declaring, "Bobby Crimo is NOT a Lone Wolf". That part would be very important. Per Nehorai↱, Wachstein explains:

    When it was announced around 6 pm that the suspect was caught, his face and identity were known to me. In fact, had I been asked for a short list of people in the area who I thought had the potential and motivation to cause such harm and destruction in our community, his name would have likely been on the list. What I know for certain is that the shooter knew my name, address, and make and model of my car. He and his associates had doxxed me, creating a flyer calling me a dangerous Communist with my picture, name, address, and a call to action that I must be stopped. Why was I on the radar of a 20 year old kid and his band of hoodlum friends? Because I dared to counter-protest their Stop the Steal events in 2020 ....

    .... There are multiple news articles from the Patch and Chicago Tribune featuring photos of the shooter at these MAGA events. I recognized him right away as part of the group of local angry white young men who had previously waited for me after protests, to threaten and harass me, and came to a Protect the Results vigil on December 12, 2020 in Highland Park's Sunset Park where they did the nazi salute multiple times and screamed the following at our small group through a bullhorn...

    "We refuse to accept a socialist, communist and anarchist America. We pledge to stop a biden led communist regime that will kill the American Dream and the traditional way of American life. We demand Biden Harris never. We will not stop until the Antifa scum and Black Lives Matter monkeys get put in their place. Enough of this Left-wing violence." ....

    .... The shooter joined a gorup of pro-Trump and militia supporters in the summer of 2020 to intimidate residents with their aggessive "Trump Train" through the heart of the old downtown, the location of his future mass shooting.

    The shooter is not a surprise … Bobby Criumo was a known agitatior and there could have been interventions before my neighbors' bodies lay strewn across the parade wolf ...

    .... He's no lone wolf. There are a hundred "Bobby Crimos" waiting in the wings for the chance to punish liberal America and anyone who they see as not embodying "traditional American family values".

    It is important to remember that history can test this telling. It is true, the monkey quote and the part about "traditional American family values" sound both easily possible and also too easy a description. It is difficult to express the distinction, but the visible political elements about this shooter were not so much magatude or white supremacist as more of a conservative-libertarian crackpottery that is not at all unfamiliar.

    There is an easy temptation to see the shooter as some sort of missing link, or even raise an assured eyebrow at those who found all sorts of con-lib crackpottery reasonable enough to legitimize. It's not time for that. A question of politics will be nearly inextricable from questions of mental health, and on that point it is probably more important to consider that the suspect's "father, Robert Crimo II, signed the form enabling Robert Crimo III to obtain two rifles, even though the son was said to have attempted suicide and to have threatened the family" (Daly↱), all of two months after the threat.

    The thing about the politics is that while the rightist elements are clearly there, something about this feels different. It's a matter of boundaries and thresholds, the point at which one part of the politic crosses over into another, and again when it becomes that other; this feels like nihilism washed up from that estuarial range.


    And there are some notes on regulation; while the search for the shooter was frustrated by a 1968 law, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms knew exactly what to do, and did it. They could have done it faster under other circumstances, but this part, at least, was fast enough compared to the potential that the shooter "might have kept going about for hours with a second rifle". We should also note, they got really, really lucky that the right people were in the right places at the right time to answer their urgent inquiry; per Daly:

    … the trail reverted to a time before computers. The buyer’s name is by law recorded only on a Form 4473, a three-page document filled out by hand and signed by both the buyer and the dealer. The buyer is required to check "yes" or "no" next to such questions as whether he or she has ever been convicted of a felony or committed to a mental institution. A "yes" results in no gun.

    When a sale goes through, the dealer is required to keep the 4473s on the premises but prohibited from entering them into a database. That means the only way for the ATF to access the information is for the dealer to actually be at his or her place of business and pull the file."

    There is much irony, here, because there is much irony everywhere.

    And there will come a point when it is time to consider the decades of conservative derision shown ATF, and the reasons why. And talk about luck, not only was ATF, because of their familiarity with this routine—"a process they perform an average of 8,000 times daily, nearly 3 million times a year, virtually all of them initiated by a crime"—able to reach the dealer on a holiday, ATF was actually in the office on a holiday. The object of conservative derision, in response to perpetual conservative complaint, is able to achieve what is pretty much a best possible result according to the conservative constraints intended to constrain and disrupt the Bureau's ability to attend its duties, forestalling a second attack and containing the body count harvested in the shadow of conservative conspiracism. There are no good days in their line of work; this seems as good a result as they might achieve on a particularly bad day, and compared to choking on irony, that is probably a more useful point to consider.

    There are living generations that can recall the conservative-libertarian frets that made the '68 compromise on gun control seem somehow reasonable, but as with so much of what seemed somehow reasonable, circumstances have decayed to the point that red flags and databases are not so much notions of tyranny to be feared, but, rather, so necessary that we verge on presupposing the need. The question is no longer why we would, but why we do not.


    The Highland Park shooting feels like noncompetency at an intersection with inflammatory conspiracism, and there are reasons why there is particular albeit messy significance about the politics of the occasion. We bear witness to the influence of deliberately disinforming perceived unstable elements.

    Of course it stands out, then, that it was this easy for this shooter to legally acquire his weapons.


    @EladNehorai. "A Highland Park resident has shared her experiences with the shooter. She claims he was a 'known agitator' who 'joined a group of pro-Trump and militia supporters in the summer of 2020 to intimidate residents...' She claims there are others who pose a danger as well." Twitter. 6 July 2022. 7 July 2022.

    Daly, Michael. "Why It Took Grit—and Luck—to Trace the Parade Massacre Gun to Robert 'Bobby' Crimo". The Daily Beast. 6 July 2022. 7 July 2022.

    Wachstein, Rachael. "Bobby Crimo is NOT a Lone Wolf". 5 July 2022. qtd. in @EladNehorai.

    See Also:

    Bellware, Kim, et al. "Suspect confessed to mass shooting, considered 2nd attack, authorities say". The Washington Post. 6 July 2022. 7 July 2022.
  17. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    soo the shooter is a maga acolyte ?
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The short form:

    It appears that the Highland Park shooting suspect has no ideological or political bent. Yet extremism researchers say these acts may actually be part of a troubling new trend. One that involves dark subcultures that glorify violence and foster nihilism.


    Odette Yousuf↱ explains:

    Moments after law enforcement authorities disclosed the name of a "person of interest" in the deadly shooting at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois, extremism researchers, journalists and some members of the public rushed online. They discovered an extensive trail of digital activity believed to be linked to Robert "Bobby" Crimo III, now the named suspect in the mass shooting. But sifting through the trove of memes, photos, music, rap videos and more, extremism experts agree: There is no clear political or ideological motivation.

    Instead, many experts on extremism and technology say this suspect's activity fits with a still-emerging profile of mass shooter. Rather than falling neatly into categories familiar to law enforcement and the public, such as white supremacists, radical Islamists or antigovernment militants, it requires an understanding of dark, online subcultures that overlap and feed into each other in ways that glorify violence and foster nihilism. Alarmingly, these experts say these online milieus have been tied to an increasing number of mass shootings over time.


    Researchers who've combed through Crimo's digital footprint say the content is strikingly unoriginal ....

    .... Extremism researchers said the suspect's online content offers to the public a carefully curated persona that fits with an image of mass shooters, styled on the killers in the 1999 Columbine school massacre. They said this image has come to hold a portion of young people in certain online communities in thrall.

    "It's actually very comparable to Hillary Clinton referring to Trump supporters as 'deplorables,' and the thing that happened was that they then chose to embody that label and wore it on hats and T-shirts and it became a proud in-group label," said Emmi Conley, an independent researcher of far-right extremist movements, digital propaganda and online subcultures. "Similarly, the way that we have previously talked about lone actor violence — in that they are 'mentally ill,' they're confused, they aren't part of anything, they are 'schizophrenic young men' off doing their own thing, distinct from any other groups or actors — they started to embody that."

    Conley said this purposeful embodiment of an almost cartoonized version of a mass shooter is intended to play to a "known aesthetic" of what such an individual looks like in the popular imagination, and also to claim the brand of being a mass shooter.

    "[Crimo] doesn't fit into an individual ideology, because ideology is irrelevant in this case," said Conley. "The thing that starts to tie this type of violent actor to other types of violent actors is not ideological, it is aesthetic."

    What is harder to explain is how commonplace this is. One researcher described the Highland Park shooter's digital footprint "just like a zoomer spin on zoomer trends and mass murders that has already been done before".

    One puzzling thing that feels both subtle and screamingly obvious is that I never expected to see it in this form. What these researchers describe is something I implicitly expected to stay in the background, an amorphous core from which other obsessions are built and justified. If I could, for instance, pull all the elements together, including conspiracism about public schools that runs on through misinformed anger about Common Core, and these days is found in the "CRT" and "grooming" panics among rightists, as well as gun rights advocacy, what we would have is a filthy concoction, a draught of madness. There is no guarantee, or, even, reason to expect, the composite narrative those mismatched elements describe makes any sense, or fits together within itself. Nothing about it is supposed to; the affecting intoxicant is a sensation of empowerment blurred insensate by desperation.


    @NPR. "It appears that the Highland Park shooting suspect has no ideological or political bent. Yet extremism researchers say these acts may actually be part of a troubling new trend. One that involves dark subcultures that glorify violence and foster nihilism." Twitter. 6 July 2022. 7 July 2022.

    Yousef, Odette. "Why the Highland Park suspect represents a different kind of violent extremism". National Public Radio. 6 July 2022. 7 July 2022.
  19. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    i think he may be a self defined white supremacist virtue signalling off the maga far right

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