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April 20 will be the 20th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School. Mother Jones yesterday published a report on mass shooters (or would-be shooters) who in one way or another mentioned the Columbine murders as something they wanted to emulate, or as a benchmark they hoped to outdo. Since 1999, there have been more than 100 plots or actual attacks influenced by Columbine. MoJo national affairs editor Mark Follman notes,

And those are just the cases for which there is some kind of public record: In talking with law enforcement and mental health sources who work to prevent such attacks, I've learned of dozens more Columbine-influenced threats that never made the news.

The anniversary of Columbine seems to draw copycats too, as with the case of the young woman who flew from Florida to Denver this week and immediately bought a shotgun. Her parents warned police she was obsessed with Columbine and might be a threat; the resulting scare shut down several school districts before she was found dead Wednesday. She kept a journal that referred to plans she was making, albeit with no specifics, and in which she drew pictures of the Columbine killers, with whom she was obsessed. Follman points out that there have been at least 18 plots and attacks timed to coincide with the Columbine anniversary. Thank goodness the NRA has fought so hard to keep guns easy to get, even getting the Supreme Court on board with the fairly recent fiction that the Second Amendment has "always" been an individual right to gun ownership.

At the Texas legislature Wednesday, open-carry advocate CJ Grisham showed up to testify (on what bill, we have no idea) with a handgun strapped to his waist, as one does. Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts documented the perfectly well-adjusted human being's appearance on the Twitters. Look at Grisham's very funny trollwear!

Get it? It's an "Everytown for Gun Sense" shirt with the last few letters covered by an AK-47 silhouette, so it's Everytown for GUNS now, ha! ha!" Are you triggered, libs? Are you going to go cry? (Update: we'd only glanced at the tweeted photo and originally said that was an "AR-15" silhouette. Guess we are now banned from ever talking about guns again!)

Watts also posted Facebook messages by the great patriot explaining why he has to carry a gun to testify before the lege. Shorter version: because he can. God told him!

Grisham is a familiar figure on the Texas pro-gun scene, because internet trolling and activism are pretty much the same thing. He's been arrested several times, so he actually doesn't qualify for a Texas concealed carry permit, but as Watts points out, NO PROBLEM, because Texas also allows concealed carry for anyone with a permit from another state -- no matter how lax those other states' permit rules are. Hooray! As she says, that should make the NRA's dream of national concealed-carry reciprocity just the nicest thing ever, because then even states with stringent qualifications would have to honor permits from states that simply require people to be able to fill out the application form with their own names.

Heck, because Texas is a Godly place where guns are the best security system available, Watts notes, Grisham "didn't have to go through security to get into the hearing -- even though he has an arrest record and was open carrying a loaded handgun." On the other hand, she reminds us, women are barred from bringing tampons into the statehouse, because they could be used as "projectiles," and we swear we are not making this up. It had to do with some unruliness when ladies objected to an abortion bill in 2013, you see.

Speaking of gun rights advocates, Media Matters brings us a nice story about a frequent guest on NRATV, Michael Cutler, who's appeared on the gun lobby's webcasts some 32 times to talk about how scary immigrants are, even though he's a regular contributor to a white nationalist journal and is affiliated with anti-immigration groups the SPLC points out pursue a white supremacist agenda. (Boilerplate rightwing excuse: "since when is it racist to want America for Americans?") Cutler likes to portray undocumented immigrants as likely terrorists -- he once warned that letting them have drivers licenses would lead to a rash of terrorist attacks with vehicles -- and warned that "Iranian sleeper cells" and other terrists could apply for DACA. Wonder if he ever saw that ISIS guy in the deli? He really likes that bullshit; last October, Cutler warned that Hezbollah and Hamas just might be the actual organizers of the caravans of asylum-seekers from Central America.

Still, not everything is 100 percent terrible! The New York Times reports that although the Centers for Disease Control have been prevented by Congress from researching gun violence, new funding from states and private foundations has resulted in something of a boom in public health research on guns and violence. Encouraging! Hey, there's one more thing for Elizabeth Warren to add to a public policy proposal, huh?

Stay safe, America. We suggest wearing a protective layer of at least 50 Wonkette t-shirts, although we make no guarantee of their ability to stop bullets.

[NBC News / Mother Jones / Texas Observer / Shannon Watts on Twitter / Media Matters / NYT]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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