Don’t shoot the pianist? Two attacks in a week

Don’t shoot the pianist? Two attacks in a week


norman lebrecht

January 05, 2021

Last week, pianist Paul Allen was found murdered in a car in Dallas, Texas.

We now learn that another pianist, Mark Gratton, was shot in the abdomen on New Year’s Eve in Milton, Delaware.

He underwent emergency surgery for the removal of part of his colon. His mother has raised a GoFundMe site to cover hospital costs.



  • Roman says:

    “Defund the police” they say. This looks like direct consequences.

    • Set The Record Straight says:

      Uh, police haven’t been defunded almost anywhere. Upwards of 90% of Democrats don’t support defunding the police anyway.

      • Karl says:

        Maybe police haven’t been de-funded but they have been intimidated into not doing their jobs. They know if some thug attacks them and they have to shoot there will be calls from BLM to prosecute them. And politicians are having a hard time standing up to BLM. Hopefully in two years we will have a law and order wave election that will throw many of the thug loving politicians out of office.

        • Alter Frager says:

          We saw last Wednesday at the Capitol how well Trump and the Republicans have handled law and order. Good riddance.

    • Donaldinho says:

      But has the police really been defunded in Texas and Delaware?

    • perturbo says:

      Actually, the police have NOT been “defunded.” And actually, there are shootings every day in this country, a consequence in part of lax gun laws.

    • Anon says:

      Meanwhile in most of the rest of the developed people look at the request for donations to cover hospital costs and go “Huh? Isn’t free medical cover why we pay taxes?”

    • Westfan says:

      Yes actually it’s Republicans who are defunding the police, by refusing to help out severely financially strapped states and local governments, due to Covid. They want to defund everything, police, fire, schools, libraries, state and local government agencies.

    • The police in Dallas have not been defunded and yet the number of murders in Dallas is the highest in 15 years.

      It turns out police don’t do much to stop murders. They *might* catch your killer after you’re dead but they don’t throw themselves in front of you every time a gun gets pulled.

    • William Safford says:

      There is a gun death cult in the U.S. We are overrun with guns, and we have some of the most lax gun laws in the industrialized world. We have the highest rate by far of gun deaths in the industrialized world.

      In Japan, you’re more likely to die by being struck by lightning, than by gun–something like five deaths per year.

      In America, you’re more likely to die by gun, than in a car crash–tens of thousands of gun deaths per year.

      In many parts of America, it’s easier to buy a gun than it is to vote. Sad!

      People try to distract from the real issues, by repeating quotes taken out of context such as “defund the police.” I have touched on only one of these issues in this message. There are plenty more.

    • William Safford says:

      Another detail: “defund the police” can have many meanings and nuances.

      One of them is to shock the conscience, due to the level of death perpetrated upon Black people by police in the U.S.

      It is sad to see how many consciences fail to be fazed at all by such deaths, in the comments on SD and elsewhere.

  • henry williams says:

    we are lucky in the uk we do not pay for hospital treatment.

    • Fred says:

      You’re also lucky your country isn’t full of gun nuts and lax gun laws.

    • Akutagawa says:

      Actually, we do pay for hospital treatment, through taxation. I don’t begrudge a penny of it, and it’s obviously more equitable than, and delivers superior average outcomes to, the US system, but the NHS isn’t free.

    • Aneurin says:

      But Henry, ‘we’ in the UK DO pay for hospital treatment – a great deal [£201.7 billion in 2020/21], much of it wasted on incompetent top-heavy management, overpriced medicine and treating self-inflicted conditions and far too little to those who most deserve it on the front line – through our taxes.

  • Sharon says:

    Study after study has shown that one of the best ways to prevent crime, at least in the short run, is to increase the police presence on the street. I see that even in my own psychiatric hospital. When there are more staff around there are fewer violent incidents among the patients.

    We know that it is not the severity of the punishment that deters people–it is the certainty of being caught.

    What a shame!