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June 06, 2014

Seattle school shooter stopped by pepper spray, limited ammo

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with pepper spray. And limited ammunition also helps a lot. Seattle School Shooter Was Thwarted By A Limited Amount Of Ammunition | ThinkProgress
A gunman killed one student and injured several others Thursday at Seattle Pacific University, in what is the 73rd school shooting since Newtown, according to Everytown for Gun Safety’s count. There’s a lot we don’t know yet. But one fact that is being widely reported is that the shooter was prevented from doing even more harm when he stopped to reload his shotgun. In that moment, a student building monitor used pepper spray to subdue the shooter and other students helped hold the shooter down until the police arrived. The shooter, suspected to be 26-year-old Aaron R. Ybarra, had to stop to reload his gun because his magazine could only hold a limited number of shells. The more shells or bullets a magazine can hold, the the longer a continuous spray of shots can go on before the gun has to be reloaded. Contrast this scenario — he reportedly hit four people before he stopped to reload — with the 2012 Arora, Colorado, shooting at a movie theater in which 70 people were injured and 12 killed by a gun with a 100-round clip. At some point, alleged shooter James Holmes’ gun jammed, and he switched to using a pistol, which doesn’t have the same destruction capabilities as his semiautomatic rifle. And a limit imposed on the shooter by the gun is a common theme in a number of mass shootings. In the 2011 Arizona mass shooting that saw six dead and 13 injured, Jared Loughner used a handgun with a 31-round clip. In the end, he, too, was stopped when he went to change magazines. And in the Sandy Hook Massacre, 20 kids and 6 adults were killed with a gun that had a 30-bullet clip. But Lanza did reload after his gun jammed. While he wasn’t stopped during reloading, six children were reportedly able to escape during those moments.

June 05, 2014

Feudalism and the Rape Crisis in India

Can you imagine trying to report a crime and having the cop ask "What's your caste?" But how different is it in America from trying to report a crime while also being a woman, black, trans, non-male, non-white, etc? India’s Feudal Rapists - NYTimes.com
WHEN a distressed father is reporting his daughter’s disappearance to a policeman in India, there are some questions he doesn’t want to hear. “What is your caste?” is one of them. Yet, the father, Sohan Lal, said this was the first thing the police asked him last Tuesday, when he begged them for help. After revealing his low-caste background as a Shakya, Mr. Lal said the officers mocked him and refused to lift a finger. Hours later, Mr. Lal’s daughter, 12, and a female cousin, 14, were found hanging by their scarves from a mango tree in Katra Saadatganj, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. They had been raped. His daughter had last been seen with a group of brothers from the Yadav caste, which is the dominant caste in the village. Our understanding of their deaths will be incomplete until we recognize the role of the caste system in India’s rape crisis. For much of India’s history the lower castes, especially the Dalits (once known as untouchables), have been routinely raped by the landowning upper castes. Better legal protections, urbanization and social mobility have helped reduce caste-based discrimination, but not enough. Dalit women are still the most likely to be victims of gang rapes. An analysis of Uttar Pradesh’s crime statistics for 2007 by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties showed that 90 percent of rape victims in 2007 were Dalit women. Since December 2012, when a 23-year-old woman from the Kurmi caste, another low caste, died after being gang-raped and attacked with an iron rod by five men in a moving bus, India has been undergoing a process of soul-searching. Yet the caste system has not been mentioned enough in the debate. While attacks against Western tourists and women in urban centers have attracted a great deal of attention, rapes of lower-caste women routinely fail to provoke an outcry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for example, has yet to condemn the rape and murder in Katra Saadatganj. It is no surprise that the caste system, and the unequal society it produces, leads to moral blind spots that hide rapes from public view. Caste historically determined where you lived, what you did, whom you married, even what you ate. In many villages, those rules are still in place, decades after caste discrimination was banned. . . .