Month: May 2022

Gun Violence: First, Identify The Problem

There are some of you out there shouting, “The problem is gun violence! Just get rid of all the guns!” Some others respond, “You can have my guns when you pry them from my cold dead fingers!” (Evidently, they never watched the original “Red Dawn”.)

It’s possible you’re honestly deluded or optimistic beyond belief, in which case nothing I write can possibly get through to you. On the other hand, perhaps you came here expecting an argument in which the loudest voice wins, or a negotiation where everyone meets halfway from the opening positions. Either way, that’s not what this is. The purpose of this article is to break down known statistics for the benefit of the 80% of Americans who want change, so we can make intelligent decisions.

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Before We Begin: A Crash Course On Terms

In order to do this properly, we’ll need a discourse, so that all sides can find middle ground that they can agree on. And in order to communicate, we’ll each need to use the same words to mean the same things.

For example: It might surprise some people to learn that there is actually no such thing as an “Assault Weapon”. Sure, you’ll find it in the dictionary of your choice, but the definitions are nebulous and disagree. They named the 1994 law after it, but the descriptions involved such superficial specifics as a bayonet lug or pistol grip without enough generalities to retain long-term value. The law expired in 2004; by then, the industry had long since retooled such that they could largely avoid its strictures.

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Guns And Politics

Watching video of kids getting shot is traumatic. How could it not be? And who can watch that and not be furious — terrified — sickened?

So how can we possibly expect that our immediate reaction will fix a damned thing?

We don’t make good decisions when we’re upset; nobody does. Instead, we get angry; we kick and throw things; we cast blame everywhere. The universe hates us and everyone’s evil. And then, if we’re smart, we settle down and figure out what went wrong so we can stop it from happening again.

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I Don’t Know What To Do

There’s been yet another school rampage shooting, and I don’t know what to do except weep. Best I can tell, nobody else does either.

Oh, there’s a lot of noise and a ton of blame being thrown, and I’ve heard the phrase “common sense gun control” more times than I can count. It’s a meaningless string of words; if there were any effective way to stop rampage shooters with a simple, common sense approach, we’d have done it by now.

Whenever I say that, there are two responses:
“Well, at least do something!”
and
“Just ban guns! Ban them all!”

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The Not Fake News Update, 23 May 2022

Hello, good morning, and welcome to another edition of the Update!

There’s tremendous excitement this morning about several developments in the Ukraine that nobody has any clear picture of, and the 24-hour infotainment channels will tell you all about all the things they don’t know. They’ll bring in experts and have lively discussions and it’ll be a lot of fun for them, so we won’t spoil it by getting involved.

Instead, here are a few things that have happened recently that you might have missed:

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It’s Give Me Your Money Season

It’s campaign season again, and the candidates are out for your money — but you might have noticed that, despite the millions they got in 2020, nothing much has changed. This is because the difference between the Democrats and Republicans basically boils down to which color necktie the president wears. They’re all funded by Big Oil, Big Sugar, Big Pharma, Really Big Healthcare, and Enormous Insurance, so that’s not really a surprise; what’s shocking is that you still give them a dime. With all the corporate juice they’re getting, you need the money more.

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