Might ex-Bumble 2A freaks flock to conservative dating apps?

There's a petition circulating one of the world's many petition sites — this one is just called thepetitionsite.com — that urges Tinder, OK Cupid and Hinge to follow Bumble by banning images of guns in users' profile pictures. 

"Guns are designed to kill. That is their only function," the petition says. "Should we be so desensitized to the sight of a killing machine that we think it's normal to see them while looking for love?"

Read More

A Tale of Two Shootings on Social Media

Someone got shot in the face around the corner from my apartment around 5:15 pm on Wednesday. I walked outside a few minutes later and encountered thirty cops who had shut down the street to collect evidence, like the empty shell casings nearby.

Twitter serves as the best source for breaking news citizen journalism, but only two people had Tweeted about the shooting. Neither provided much info. @PremierPolitics got the details wrong (according to brief news reports, only one person got shot – not three) and @DignaUrena posted a few photos of police on the scene.   

Five days later, these two tweets remain the only human-generated posts about the shooting, which occurred during evening rush hour on a crowded block (there were a few tweets from bots that post police scanner activity). On Friday, NYPD returned to shut down the street - this time to film the show Bull. Life goes on. Events, even really shocking ones, are wiped away and papered over.

Contrast the social media indifference to the public response to a shooting two days earlier near the corner of Greenpoint Ave. and McGuiness Blvd. in Greenpoint. Well before police and the media determined that the shooter was an ex-cop (a detail that definitely does make for a juicy story), Brooklyn Twitter lit up with photos and information. Here's a sample:

While trying to research the Greenpoint shooting immediately afterward, a friend who lives nearby encountered several other killings that received very little attention aside from a two-paragraph blurb on the News12 Brooklyn. What makes some shootings grab our attention while others fade away – disregarded or, unfortunately, accepted as a fact of life in poor urban neighborhoods of color? 

The amount of attention paid to a specific gun violence episode in New York City seems directly correlated to the amount of gentrification in the area surrounding the shooting. Greenpoint is white, hipster and thoroughly gentrified. Rampant redevelopment and displacement have hit Bushwick hard, but the eastern part still maintains much of its past identity as a neighborhood populated by low-income people of color. Gunshots out here still seem to be shrugged off as a "same old Bushwick" phenomenon, but gun violence is not a natural occurrence and we shouldn't accept it anywhere. 

Jet fuel can't melt . . .

I've noticed a few of these right-wing, racist, conspiracy theorist stickers while riding my bike around Ridgewood, Queens in the past several months. Earlier today, I visited Infowars.com to check out the shop. After I navigated past the survivalist items (The 1-Year Survival Food Supply is on-sale for $1436! The HazardPak Digital Survival Library DVD is only $19.95), I found the bumper stickers. The site says they sell them at cost ($3.95) to more easily spread the word and awaken the sheeple. 

If you look, you can find a lot of right-wing paraphernalia on display in Queens. There's the silhouette of an assault rifle over the text "Baby on Board" on the back of a parked truck I often pass. Or the "9/11 was an inside job" decal on the back of a stop sign. And of course, several NRA badges. 

The Archie Bunkers are devolving.