by | Aug 29, 2023 | Politics | 9 comments

It was raining on the afternoon of the shooting. The Devil was beating his wife, as we say in the South. In Carrboro near UNC campus, everyone in our lively and upbeat community had a traumatized look on their face. At Armadillo Grill, a family sat munching their tacos, palpably afraid.

Not long before the shooting I had thought about taking the bus to Wilson Library, one building over from where the shooting occurred. My life would have been at risk. If you live in Chapel Hill or go to UNC, your life was at risk too. This is the abject insanity we are forced to live with in a society in which 35% of the citizens refuse to accept any restrictions at all on their right to carry guns.

Republicans don’t want to politicize this because they know the politics of this are damning to them. A graduate student at a university they’ve done everything in their power to destroy used a gun to shoot and kill a professor on campus. Republicans have done everything they could to make it as easy as possible to get a gun in North Carolina. Most recently, they eliminated the pistol permitting system. Their gubernatorial frontrunner jeered at school shooting survivors. I could go on. I’ve lost count.

When you are making the key rite of passage of getting a college education into a frightening experience for young people, you have lost your moral bearings. Millions of young people sort of assume that they’ll suffer a mass shooting by the time they make it out of school. This ordeal is an odyssey of terror, and it was not given to us by nature. In societies where guns are tightly restricted, faculty at public universities are not at risk of dying at the hands of deranged graduate students. The gun club that is the far-right in America foisted this nightmare upon us.

People who cherish their guns like almost nothing else will try something, anything they can find, to deflect attention away from the violent implements that have swamped our society. “Mental health” will be the preferred scapegoat. But blaming a long-suffering and marginalized group for an action that happens in only one country is false and pathetic. Either America is the only country in the world with mental illness, or the guns are the problem. To deny this requires a stupendous capacity for motivated reasoning.

The only decent thing Mark Robinson could do right now is to keep his loquacious mouth shut. If he speaks, there’s a good chance he’ll encourage a hateful backlash against Asian Americans. Given the hostile climate toward immigrants, an outbreak of cruelty is not implausible. But it mustn’t be how we respond to a travesty–not a mere tragedy, but a travesty growing from the sickened soul of a culture gone insane with guns. To my fellow Chapel Hill-Carrboro citizens, I offer a message of sympathy and strength. To the people who created the lethal gun culture in North Carolina: Don’t ask me to help you scrub the blood off your hands.


  1. cocodog

    I see we are coming up on another potential shutdown of the Federal Government. This would be an exciting time for those tin foil hat wearing Republicans in congress to shut it down. Not to worry about those folks in the path of hurricanes, their plight is gods will. The only important matter here is to hold this country hostage. We need to let those Marxist, socialist democrats know they should not persecute our glorious leader, the Cheeto Christ, for crimes against the people of this country. He is above the law. I suspect the real issue here, the one that counts, is when will Republicans vote those clowns out of office and return the Republican Party to a position of dignity and respect. I can remember when Republicans were the loyal opposition, not a bunch of terrorists and insurrectionists hell bent on vandalizing the capital, defecating in the hallways, attacking police officers, and preventing the military from promoting folks who deserve it. I can remember when Republicans put country above party. Those days are gone, replaced with a cult composed of folks who are willing to suffer incarceration, economic ruin, and personal shame in the name of an aging malignant narcissist who sports a 1950 hair style, dyed orange and wears 12 lbs. of pancake makeup. A person who has managed to convince them to place him above their family, clergy, and common sense. You have got to hand it to Donnie, he has managed make billions promoting hate and discontent.

  2. cocodog

    [18 U.S.C. 922 (d)(5), (g)(5) and (y)(2); 27 CFR 478.11 and 478.32(a)(5)] An alien legally in the U.S. is not prohibited from purchasing firearms unless the alien is admitted into the U.S. under a non immigrant visa and does not meet one of the exceptions as provided in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2), such as possession of a valid hunting license or permit. I am sure you or one of your other associates has found a creditable source that can establish the shooter is disqualified from purchasing or possessing weapons. For the record, the only gun charge brought against the shooter has been possession of a firearm on campus. Your other unproven conspiracy theories have not been established, moreover, appear far out. Do you think Hunter Biden’s laptop may be tied somewhere??? Oh, and by the way, the US Government tracks US Citizens in Foreign Countries. I am thinking Wayne has never had a Visa or traveled outside the United States as a private citizen.

    • Wayne

      If you think I am just some native-bound rube, you would be wrong. If you think I have never set foot outside this country, and am not fa.miliar with the culture and societies of other nations, you would be incorrect. My military service, and my subsequent Civil Service, has afforded me an extensive amount of global travel. While it may oft-times be useful for Americans to ‘check in’ with embassies or consulates overseas–it is not required. If I learned nothing else, I DID learn to dress like the locals as much as possible–avoid acting and looking like a ‘foreigner’–and don’t be loud or stupid. It also helps to be able to speak in another language, too. Got me out of trouble once, when I encountered a local who hated Americans. Meanwhile, my ‘conspiracy theories’ are merely speculations, given the dearth of information from local media sources. But I strongly suspect that a legal means will eventually be found to remove the (alleged) murderer from U.S. soil. Stay tuned for more deflection, nonsense, and disinformation from the lamestream liberal media….

      • cocodog

        Wayne, nothing personal old man but casting yourself as a victim of these intellectual elites is immature. Here is a suggestion, try to address the issues involved. avoid paraphrasing that trash you read in right-wing publications. Those folks you like to refer to as Marxist Socialists Liberals are not coming for your guns or your bibles. I do not believe you can point to a statement made by Mills or any other authors that suggest this is the case. However, there is a clear and present danger from folks using these weapons to kill and injure innocent folks. The days of these tin foil wearing wing nuts standing on street corners ranting at folks have vanished. Replaced by folks wielding weapons designed for combat to express their twisted, demented hateful notions of reality. These nuts are the enemy of gun owners. They are the ones that will result in more gun restrictions. Incidentally, your notions of anonymity of US citizens traveling in foreign countries tells me your civil service experience was not related to the “company” or law enforcement. Science has made tracking easier than finding a parking place at Walmart.

        • wayne

          I dispute your assertion that Liberal/progressives (aka ‘Marxist/Democrats’) are not engaged in an ideological and legal battle to restrict and/or remove entirely the meaning and the intent of the 2nd Amendment. While this is not the forum for engaging in such (potentially) lengthy discussions, it goes without saying that conservatives (including Republicans, Unaffiliateds, No Labels, Libertarians, AND moderate Democrats) are fully and clearly recognizing that a certain faction of the Democrat Party is waging a full-on assault on the constitutionally affirmed right to keep and bear firearms.

          As for foreign travel, my military experience took me to places that were not vacation spots, and my Civil Service travel involved the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program. While the government clearly knew where I was, and why I was there, they (generally) did not require any of us to ‘check in’. Civilian travel was another matter, and any prudent traveler should avail themselves of the option to stop by an embassy or a consulate, and let them know who you are, and why you are there. If they so choose, however, Americans overseas can be very, very anonymous if they so desire. Depends on how much you think you can blend in, and nowadays, it is most often NOT a good idea to be recognized as an American in a foreign country. Americans are largely detested overseas. Our money–? Not so much. They like our money.

          • cocodog

            Why is it that most right-wing nationalists are familiar with the second amendment, but have little or no knowledge of sections relating to disloyalty, insurrection, and other acts of a treasonous nature? Do not get me wrong, I am not against private ownership of firearms. I am certain most Democrats, unaffiliated share the same view. But what is in issue here is the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Moreover, the notion that longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of firearms.” Granted there are few folks who find firearms offensive and would like to see them removed from private ownership. Just like the nationalist wing of the Republican party would like to see the total banning of a women’s right to choose and elimination of all unapproved religious organizations. No Jews, Catholics, or Buddhists, etc. The fact you disagree with the notion Democrats are not coming for your guns and bibles, is an opinion, not a proven fact. A qualified individual can purchase and possess under certain conditions (set out in DC v Heller) a firearm in every state. We just do not buy into the notion some wing nut wearing a tin foil hat should be anywhere near a weapon capable of causing death or serious bodily harm. I believe the rational folks in your party would agree.

  3. William Cokas

    “Rocks.” What cowardly drivel.

  4. Wayne

    The Chapel Hill shooter—Tailei Qi—is a UNC Chapel Hill student from China, and is known to have had connections with the university in Wuhan. Quite the coincidence, ehhhwot?? Even more interesting is the name of the guy he shot and killed—Zijie Yan, also known to be a Chinese national, as well as an associate professor at UNC.

    Now—consider for a moment that foreign nationals are not eligible to purchase firearms. Consider for a moment just HOW that deranged Asian student managed to even GET the firearm. Consider also what possible connections that student might conceivably have to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, from which we got the now-infamous Covid-19 scourge.

    Consider for a moment the provable fact that China is well-known to track people from China who emigrate to the United States. It is not out of the realm of possibility that this student was groomed and coerced into acting out this shooting because he was ordered to by the Chinese CCP. You might very well chalk that up to science fiction—but it is not. China DOES keep tabs on its citizens who travel overseas, and it DOES keep tabs on where they are. If—for some political or ideological reason—China decides to yank the chain on that emigrant, it will.

    So, now we have an Asian student who commits a barbaric crime….against ANOTHER Asian. Do tell! Did the GUN commit the crime?? No, it didn’t. The STUDENT committed the crime, and the REAL story is what is behind the bare facts of the story as we currently know it. CLEARLY, ‘gun laws’ did not—and would not have—prevented this guy from committing murder…because he did it anyway, regardless of the TROVE of gun laws that we already have on the books!
    So there must be another reason, eehhhhwot??? Gosh, could he be an Asian White Supremicist?? An Asian Trump MAGA supporter??? Methinks not, especially since his target was another Asian. So….maybe, just maybe—the REAL reason is political, and/or ideological! The GUN, in fact, was merely the tool. The GUN was—and is—of no particular consequence. It is the STUDENT, and whatever sinister motives drove the STUDENT to commit murder which bears scrutiny!! Try focusing on THAT for awhile, Democrats. Get off your anti-gun kick. Guns don’t commit crimes—PEOPLE commit crimes, and they do it with guns, knives, baseball bats, rocks, and anything else they can get their hands on!

    • cocodog

      Wayne, your understanding of how information is gathered and transferred is not up to date. Recall you are issued a passport by the US State Dept. You may even have an International Driver’s license or permit. These documents have identifying information assigned to them and retrievable by scanning or entering a number sequence. You show that passport at a port of entry. The Customs Officials enter or scan your passport identifier. Immediately, that officer has a readout that contains a plethora of information about Wayne. Rent a car, get stopped for speeding, somebody knows about. In addition, the computer advises another computer, which is linked to the US Embassy, Interpol, and about a half dozen other US and foreign agencies. You register at a hotel, show your passport, the information is uploaded into the system. Foreign Cops no longer send officers around to gather registration cards from hotels, all done electronically. Bank transactions and credits cards are part of the system. Many of these foreign data systems are linked into the US National system. If you travel to London, the British cops have facial recognition soft wear which match up with picture the Customs folks took of you at the port of entry. The cameras are on every corner, street, and public place. The same holds true for most countries in Europe. LA, NYC, and other locations use those cameras Don’t know about Russia, but I would guess they have a similar system. Go to a casino in Vegas, facial recognition is made at the door without you knowing what is going down. Wayne, you claim to be a techie of some sort, but you don’t make noises like one. I might add, that built in camera on your laptop, cell phone or computer, the man can tap into it. This is the 21st Century. The wheel is no longer a scientific marvel. To say China keeps tabs on their citizens traveling abroad, well, “shocker” Wayne, we and most other civilized countries do the same thing. I look at it this way if you have got nothing to hide, no big deal.

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