Don't get me wrong. I don't think it's not serious (which is probably why I keep writing this tired old blog). It's just that 'they' combine "Serious" with "Concerned" and "Reason", and seemingly seem to expect that if they can just be sufficiently sincere, their lack of logic can be overlooked.
Fortunately, once in a while, we find a public figure who can take a lighter (or at least less determined) approach. Maybe we can watch this kind of thing from time to time, and learn to laugh about how the folly of our fatuous passion.
Chuck Woolery on Assault Weapons - YouTube
The interesting thing is, this guy (I understand he's an ex-game show host ... but I haven't had a cable connection to my TV for a decade and a half, so I don't know) ... somehow he seems to project just the right note of "Why So Serious" to appeal to my dark-side sense of humor.
I did, however, become sufficiently re-invigorated to look at some of the recent commentary about the issue, and I found some fascinating viewpoints which you may find as interesting as I did. This is going to be a gallop-through of several links. You will forgive me if I just point you in various directions, perhaps make a few descriptive comments about the content,, add a quote here and there. You can decide what you want to do with the variety of perspectives. Okay?
Here we go:
The Blaze: December 19, 2012: CNN host Piers Morgan on a panel discussion (about recent massacres ... assume this is the subject in most of the reference you will see here, if only tangentally) takes on John Lott and attempts to turn the entire controversy on the point of "how many bullets can an AR15 fire in one second?". Personally, my best split-time with a handgun is 0.13 seconds, with absolutely unreliable accuracy. I do 0.18 seconds with faith that I'm close enough to the target that I wild get some cardboard. Most of my split times, though, are 0.25 - 0.35 seconds. when I'm hurrying. Morgan says "four to six shots per second", though, and I'm sure that's not an unreasonable figure. Not that it matters, because I can get the same split-times with a revolver ... if I don't expect to be accurate. Lott refuses to respond to the question because it's not salient to the issue. In a word, Morgan is losing the debate so he chooses to obfuscate the issues by focusing on an insignificant side-issue.
Washington Post "WonkBlog", December 14, 2012: under the title "Twelve facts about guns and mass shooting in the United States" (sic), Ezra Klein starts out with a homily about "politicizing the tragedy". He seems to think that is A Bad Thing. Then he spends hours to build a presentation based on 12 talking points, at least as many graphs, and a sad picture to propose that when people shoot people, that is indeed A Bad Thing. We can agree that both politicization and shooting are Bad Things. Not sure about his conclusions, though. His arguments are weak, his citations from singularly skewed sources (eg: Duke University, Harvard University), his conclusions have been made before he wrote the article:
Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. “Too soon,” howl supporters of loose gun laws. But as others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t “too soon.” It’s much too late."Supporters of loose gun laws" ... gee, that sounds like a fore-gone conclusion to me.
In a December 26 "Wonkblog", Klien continues to beat the same dead horse; he has found another graph! Oh Frabujous Joy! ("Guns kill people, in one chilling graph"):
No money quote: here is the entire text of the article:
You know that line, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people?” It’s true, so far as it goes. But in the United States, when people decide to kill people, or kill themselves, they typically reach for a gun.Never let it be said that I didn't present both sides of the argument. And I didn't even have to pick and choose .. both citations were picked at random. I guess some people just get a lot of press.
WONKBLOG December 23, 2012: Same place, different writer. John Sides contributes to the Christmas Spirit with "Gun owners vs. the NRA: What the polling shows".
You guessed it: another graph. These guys love graphs; they represent statistics! You know the old saying: "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics!".
The statistics were a bit vague, but not as vague as the conclusions reached by the author.
NRA members were also different politically even from gun owners who weren’t in the NRA. For example, 70 percent of gun owners who were NRA members called themselves “conservative” or “very conservative.” Only 44 percent of gun owners who weren’t NRA members said that. And while gun ownership has become increasingly confined to Republicans, there are still big differences in terms of party identification even among gun owners. The vast majority of NRA members (73 percent) identified with or leaned toward the Republican Party. But among gun owners who weren’t in the NRA, only 49 percent were Republicans; more than a third (35 percent) were actually Democrats.I'm not sure what the author's point was, but it seems that he's surprised (disappointed? outraged?) that NRA members and/or gun owners were not entirely conservative men. Some gun owners, some NRA members, "were actually Democrats"! Imagine that?
Fear not. By the time he ran out of steam, he had proved conclusively (?) that Guns Are Bad, and All Right-Thinking Americans Know That.
Actually, there are a still a few Americans who don't agree with that. The Washington Post would probably not be surprised (or disappointed) to learn that some of those deluded people are [gasp] Jews.
"We Know How To Stop School Shootings" (Front Page Magazine; December 20, 2012; by Ann Coulter)
Someone planning to commit a single murder in a concealed-carry state only has to weigh the odds of one person being armed. But a criminal planning to commit murder in a public place has to worry that anyone in the entire area might have a gun.I love Ann Coulter. I want to bear her child. It seems impossible for her not to bait the gun-grabbers at every opportunity, She pisses them off with every word she speaks; she can rarely actually GIVE a talk to a University audience, because the students (and often the faculty) end up spitting at her, throwing chairs, attacking campus police, and other variations of rioting, mob rule, and ... well, generally speaking, what passes for 'decorum' under the definitions of Liberal Society. This is not all that bad for her; the university hires her to give a talk, and the student body (sometimes even members of the faculty) make the environment unsafe. She still gets the 'honorarium' (which is the only honor the place actually offers). Fortunately, most universities which schedule her talks are governmentally funded, and we all know that the government spares no expense to allow their students to listen to new ideas and expand their knowledge and ability to reason dispassionately.
You will notice that most multiple-victim shootings occur in “gun-free zones” — even within states that have concealed-carry laws: public schools, churches, Sikh temples, post offices, the movie theater where James Holmes committed mass murder, and the Portland, Ore., mall where a nut starting gunning down shoppers a few weeks ago.
Guns were banned in all these places. Mass killers may be crazy, but they’re not stupid.
I actually learned something from reading this article which I have NEVER seen reported by any other MSM pundit:
If the deterrent effect of concealed-carry laws seems surprising to you, that’s because the media hide stories of armed citizens stopping mass shooters. At the Portland shooting, for example, no explanation was given for the amazing fact that the assailant managed to kill only two people in the mall during the busy Christmas season.
It turns out, concealed-carry-holder Nick Meli hadn’t noticed that the mall was a gun-free zone. He pointed his (otherwise legal) gun at the shooter as he paused to reload, and the next shot was the attempted mass murderer killing himself. (Meli aimed, but didn’t shoot, because there were bystanders behind the shooter.)[If I may add a minor comment, apropos of absolutely nothing at all: I can speak from experience that it's not always intuitively obvious that virtually all malls in Oregon are "Gun Free Zone". I have several friends experience a similar cognitive incongruity when entering places designated as "Gun Free Zones". Not that I actually ever carry a concealed weapon there, nor do my friends. Still, it's easy to understand that this may happen from time to time.]
Anyway ... if the MSM never reports this, did it happen? If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is there to hear it, is there a sound?
I'll look for other references:
KGW TV December 17, 2012: Clackamas Mall Shooter Faced Man With Concealed Weapon;
MSNNow December 16, 2012: Armed Civilian at Clackamas Mall Shooting Thought about Firing at Gunman"
EXAMINER, December 15, 2012: "Media Blackout: Oregon mall shooting was stopped by an armed citizen"
(worth a quote here:)
While reports of Tuesday's shooting at the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Oregon, dominated the national media, until Friday's horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, one very important detail has been repeatedly (and intentionally) left out of the MSM's coverage.There's a link to the KGW report embedded; read it, too.
The shooter, Jacob Tyler Roberts, was confronted with an armed citizen, at which time he ran away and shot himself. By the time police arrived on the scene, Roberts was already dead.
That armed man was 22-year-old Nick Meli, who was at the mall shopping with a young woman who was babysitting her friend's baby.
And on YouTube:
Oregon Mall Shooting stopped by licensed Gun Carrier
It appears that there was an armed civilian there. Why didn't anyone notice? Perhaps one person noticed; the shooter. That seems to have been the only one who mattered, and apparently it mattered a great deal.
SO .... EVERYBODY HAS BEEN FOCUSING ON THE SHOOTER!
Nobody is paying attention to the man who may have been the crucial factor in the shooter's decision to kill himself, at that moment instead of other innocents.
Pay attention to this name: Nick Meli
I think we all get the message, and hey! If you ever get to meet Nick Meli? I've got a Bronze Star from Vietnam sitting on my mantel. Please tell him that I would be homered if it was sitting on Mr. Meli's mantel, instead. He's done more to earn it than I ever did.
And that's all I have to say about it.