A good guy with a gun is not going to save you

The New York Daily News cover shows still frames from the Roanoke shooter's point-of-view film.

The New York Daily News cover shows still frames from the Roanoke shooter’s point-of-view film.

On Wednesday, two journalists at a CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia were murdered during a live interview with a city official for the station’s morning broadcast. The gunman, a disgruntled former employee, killed himself after posting point-of-view footage of the killing online. So far, the gun lobby hasn’t commented, but it’s not hard to imagine their response: “If only those journalists had been armed.”

It’s the same tired refrain whenever there is a high-profile shooting. Dozens of schoolchildren murdered by a madman? Arm the teachers. Americans picked off like fish in a barrel by a lunatic in a movie theater? Arm the ushers.

The televised Virginia shooting comes just days after a damning report out of the University of Alabama by professor Adam Lankford listing the United States number one in the world, by a wide margin, for public mass shootings. Continue reading

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Corporate Christianity has a very bad week

Creflo Dollar, a televangelist at World Changers Church International, called on followers to help him purchase a $65 million luxury jet.

Creflo Dollar, a televangelist at World Changers Church International, called on followers to help him purchase a $65 million luxury jet.

For opponents of corporate Christianity and fans of schadenfreude, the last week has been a good one. Two high-profile stories put the entire for-profit Christianity enterprise up for public scrutiny. HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver aired a segment chronicling the shameless charade of televangelism – still a lucrative American enterprise – and Sam Rader, a popular Christian YouTube celebrity, was outed as a paid client of AshleyMadison.com, a site that seeks to help married people carry out an affair. Continue reading

Political correctness is now part of the conservative victimhood complex

In the eyes of his fans, this Trump gesture can turn any idiotic statement into a fearless declaration of a hard truth.

In the eyes of his fans, this Trump gesture can turn any idiotic statement into a fearless declaration of a hard truth.

Across political spectrums, the belief that political correctness is pushed on the country primarily from the left has taken hold. From “courageous” conservatives like Donald Trump to liberal comedians like Bill Maher, the new narrative holds that speech censorship is a left-wing enterprise.

But like so many facets of American life, political correctness is divided along racial, ethnic, political and social lines. Each side has their own ideas about what is and isn’t proper to say. Almost every politically correct issue depends on your vantage point. It takes two to do the dance: one to insist on a thing, and another to be offended by it. Either side can be accused of being politically correct. Continue reading

Despite murder indictment, Cincinnati still reveals the deep roots of police state

Samuel DuBose argues with Officer Ray Tensing, whose hands are seen here on his body cam. Moments later, Tensing shot DuBose as he began accelerating.

Samuel DuBose argues with Officer Ray Tensing, whose hands are seen here on his body cam. Moments later, Tensing shot DuBose as he began accelerating.

A routine traffic stop in Cincinnati quickly escalated into yet another chapter in the ongoing American saga, “Cop kills unarmed black man.” University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing’s body camera shows the July 19 encounter between himself and the victim, Samuel DuBose. In the video, DuBose becomes somewhat evasive when Tensing asks for his ID, suggesting he had a license but not on him. When DuBose did not immediately comply with Tensing’s follow-up command to exit the vehicle, Tensing reached into the car, DuBose accelerated, and Tensing shot him in the head.

Unlike countless other officers in similar situations, Tensing was charged with murder for his actions. That’s a small measure of justice, but there is still plenty about the incident that speaks to the monstrousness of the police state and the judicial protections that insulate it from scrutiny. Continue reading