Suspect in Boulder Colorado Shooting Charged With 10 Counts of Murder
- Colorado Police have filed 10 counts of first-degree murder against the 21-year-old man suspected of shooting and killing 10 people at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado on Monday.
- The suspect allegedly used an AR-15-style weapon to carry out the attack just days after a judge struck down a ban on assault rifles in Boulder aimed at preventing exactly this kind of mass shooting.
- Many have condemned the shooting and pushed for gun reform, including President Joe Biden, who called for a ban on assault rifles as well as high-capacity ammunition magazines and demanded that Congress not “wait another minute” to act.
Boulder Grocery Store Shooting
The suspect accused of murdering 10 people at a Sooper King grocery store in Boulder, Colorado on Monday has now officially been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder.
Law enforcement officials announced the charges in a press conference Tuesday morning where they named the suspect, who opened fire on customers and responding officers, as well as the victims of the attack. The incident comes less than a week after a mass shooting in Atlanta left eight dead, including six Asian women.
According to the Boulder police, the suspect is a 21-year-old man who lived in Arvada, a suburb of Denver about 65 miles from Boulder. He has reportedly “lived most of his life in the United States.”
The police in Arvada have now said they had two encounters in 2018 with the suspect: one on a report of third-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor, and one of criminal mischief, though it is unclear if he was convicted of a crime.
Additionally, FBI officials already knew the suspect’s identity because he was linked to another person under investigation by the bureau. Federal law enforcement officials have also separately confirmed that the suspect used an AR-15 type of assault rifle.
That fact is significant because the attack comes just 10 days after a judge blocked the city’s ban on assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines. That ban was implemented in 2018 following the Parkland shooting to prevent mass shootings exactly.
According to a police affidavit made public Tuesday, the suspect purchased a semiautomatic pistol less than a week before the attack. It is unclear if he used that gun in the shooting, because the affidavit also said he had both that pistol and an automatic rifle.
Renewed Calls for Gun Reform
Many people took to social media to call for gun reform, including prominent politicians like Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Ct), who has lobbied extensively for common-sense gun control since the Sandy Hook shooting in his state.
“This is the moment to make our stand. NOW,” he wrote on Twitter. “Today, our movement is stronger than the gun lobby. They are weak. We are potent. Finally, a President and a Congress that supports gun reform. No more Newtowns. No more Parklands. No more Boulders. Now – we make our stand.”
Murphy also noted that, before the Boulder shooting, the Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to hold a hearing on gun violence Tuesday, and urged Senators to come up with a legislative solution.
Those calls were also made in the Tuesday hearing by Murphy’s counterpart, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.), who condemned Republicans for shutting down numerous Democrat-led efforts on common sense gun reform while failing to propose an alternative.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) shot back in remarks that were later widely circulated on social media.
“Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders,” Cruz said. “What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens because that’s their political objective.”
Backlash Against Republicans and the NRA
Social media users slammed Cruz, and some accused him of being complicit in allowing gun violence.
Others also made similar arguments about Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co.), a freshman representative who ran on a pro-gun platform and owned and restaurant in Colorado called Shooters Grill, where she encouraged people to open carry.
Many criticized her for not issuing a public statement about the shooting in her state on Monday, but instead sending a fundraising email capitalizing on the attack to push against gun reform in her ask for campaign donations. That backlash grew even stronger when she finally did release a statement the next day, where she accused others of using the attack for political gain and appeared ambivalent to her own efforts to do so.
“While some elected officials have already started using this shooting to advance a political agenda, I refuse to do so,” she said.
In addition to the direct criticisms on Boebert and Cruz, there were also a lot of people who took aim at Republicans at large.
“Most Republicans today believe a mail-in ballot should be regulated more heavily than an AR-15. They are trying to ban ballot drop boxes and early voting, not weapons of war. The Senate must protect the right to vote and we must defeat them with that vote in the states,” tweeted David Plouffe, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama.
Obama himself issued a statement, decrying “coward politicians” and the “gun lobby that opposes any limit on the availability of anyone to assemble and arsenal.”
The condemnation of the National Rifle Association was echoed by many others, some of whom circulated a tweet where the organization applauded the judge who struck down the Boulder assault rifle ban, calling it “something to celebrate.”
Currently, it is unclear what policy actions will come from the tragedies that have occurred in the last week. While speaking to reporters Tuesday, President Joe Biden called for a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines, and demanded that the Senate not “wait another minute” to take up background check bills that have already been passed by the House.
Editor’s Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murders or suspected mass murderers who may have been seeking attention or infamy. Therefore, we will not be linking to other sources, as they may contain these details.
White Supremacist Propaganda Reached Record High in 2022, ADL Finds
“We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.
White supremacist propaganda in the U.S. reached record levels in 2022, according to a report published Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center of Extremism.
The ADL found over 6,700 cases of white supremacist propaganda in 2022, which marks a 38% jump from the nearly 4,900 cases the group found in 2021. It also represents the highest number of incidents ever recorded by the ADL.
The propaganda tallied by the anti-hate organization includes the distribution of racist, antisemitic, and homophobic flyers, banners, graffiti, and more. This propaganda has spread substantially since 2018, when the ADL found just over 1,200 incidents.
“There’s no question that white supremacists and antisemites are trying to terrorize and harass Americans with their propaganda,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash.”
The report found that there were at least 50 white supremacist groups behind the spread of propaganda in 2022, but 93% of it came from just three groups. One of those groups was also responsible for 43% of the white supremacist events that took place last year.
White supremacist events saw a startling uptick of their own, with the ADL documenting at least 167, a 55% jump from 2021.
Propaganda was found in every U.S. state except for Hawaii, and events were documented in 33 states, most heavily in Massachusetts, California, Ohio, and Florida.
“The sheer volume of white supremacist propaganda distributions we are documenting around the country is alarming and dangerous,” Oren Segal, Vice President of the ADL’s Center on Extremism said in a statement. “Hardly a day goes by without communities being targeted by these coordinated, hateful actions, which are designed to sow anxiety and create fear.”
“We need a whole-of-society approach to combat this activity, including elected officials, community leaders, and people of good faith coming together and condemning this activity forcefully,” Segal continued.
See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (The New York Times)
Adidas Financial Woes Continue, Company on Track for First Annual Loss in Decades
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
Adidas’ split with musician Kanye West has left the company with financial problems due to surplus Yeezy products, putting the sportswear giant in the position to potentially suffer its first annual loss in over 30 years.
Adidas dropped West last year after he made a series of antisemitic remarks on social media and other broadcasts. His Yeezy line was a staple for Adidas, and the surplus product is due, in part, to the brand’s own decision to continue production during the split.
According to CEO Bjorn Gulden, Adidas continued production of only the items already in the pipeline to prevent thousands of people from losing their jobs. However, that has led to the unfortunate overabundance of Yeezy sneakers and clothes.
On Wednesday, Gulden said that selling the shoes and donating the proceeds makes more sense than giving them away due to the Yeezy resale market — which has reportedly shot up 30% since October.
“If we sell it, I promise that the people who have been hurt by this will also get something good out of this,” Gulden said in a statement to the press.
However, Gulden also said that West is entitled to a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Yeezys per his royalty agreement.
Adidas announced in February that, following its divergence from West, it is facing potential sales losses totaling around $1.2 billion and profit losses of around $500 million.
If it decides to not sell any more Yeezy products, Adidas is facing a projected annual loss of over $700 million.
Outside of West, Adidas has taken several heavy profit blows recently. Its operating profit reportedly fell by 66% last year, a total of more than $700 million. It also pulled out of Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year, which cost Adidas nearly $60 million dollars. Additionally, China’s “Zero Covid” lockdowns last year caused in part a 36% drop in revenue for Adidas compared to years prior.
As a step towards a solution, Gulden announced that the company is slashing its dividends from 3.30 euros to 0.70 euro cents per share pending shareholder approval.
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
“Adidas has all the ingredients to be successful. But we need to put our focus back on our core: product, consumers, retail partners, and athletes,” Gulden said. “I am convinced that over time we will make Adidas shine again. But we need some time.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNN)
Immigration Could Be A Solution to Nursing Home Labor Shortages
98% of nursing homes in the United States are experiencing difficulty hiring staff.
The Labor Crisis
A recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper has offered up a solution to the nursing home labor shortage: immigration.
According to a 2022 American Health Care Association survey, six in ten nursing homes are limiting new patients due to staffing issues. The survey also says that 87% of nursing homes have staffing shortages and 98% are experiencing difficulty hiring.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) outlined in their paper that increased immigration could help solve the labor shortage in nursing homes. Immigrants make up 19% of nursing home workers.
With every 10% increase in female immigration, nursing assistant hours go up by 0.7% and registered nursing hours go up by 1.1% And with that same immigration increase, short-term hospitalizations of nursing home residents go down by 0.6%.
Additionally, the State Department issued 145% more EB-3 documents, which are employment-based visas, for healthcare workers in the 2022 fiscal year than in 2019, suggesting that more people are coming to the U.S. to work in health care.
However, according to Skilled Nursing News, in August of 2022, the approval process from beginning to end for an RN can take between seven to nine months.
Displeasure about immigration has exploded since Pres. Joe Biden took office in 2021. According to a Gallup study published in February, around 40% of American adults want to see immigration decrease. That is a steep jump from 19% in 2021, and it is the highest the figure has been since 2016.
However, more than half of Democrats still are satisfied with immigration and want to see it increased. But with a divided Congress, the likelihood of any substantial immigration change happening is pretty slim.