death by cop

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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Bloody Spring

Opinion

It’s happened again: We’ve had yet another mass shooting. Just between us, as more and more people start coming out of their year-long lockdowns, I predict we’re going to have a fair number more. We got a year off from them, but that just means we’ve had people become crazy at the normal rate… but they didn’t have obvious targets and so kept right on stewing in their basements.

Plus, every time there’s one of these shown on CNN, it seems other nuts see the television coverage and get inspired to do one of their own — as though being a copycat nut-job is somehow better than the first one, who might have been honestly acting out his own selfish frustrations on innocents rather than pretending to for the free press.

Don’t get me wrong: They’re both foul and almost inhumanly selfish. But the copycat is at least partly after the attention, which is worse — people’s lives are more valuable than that.

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Toward Effective Firearms Laws

Wars and government atrocities aside, the United States has more spree shootings than any other country each year.

This is a problem that demands discussion between reasonable and intelligent people.  Unfortunately, the political climate in this country is one of extreme and entrenched polarization; moral certitude precludes (more…)

St. Louis Blues

On the second day of March, 1955, two women were asked to give up their seats on a Montgomery, Alabama bus.  They were black, and it was the policy at the time that, if any white people were standing on any crowded bus, black people should move back and, if there was no room, to stand.

But Mrs. Hamilton was pregnant and tired, and she didn’t want to get up.  And the young lady sitting next to her refused as well.

The bus driver called the police (more…)

Gun Control: What’s The Problem?

The United States is one of the most heavily armed places on Earth, measured per capita.  There are places that have been in civil war for long enough that all noncombatants have fled; they are less heavily armed than we.  And we see the results on the news on a daily basis, it seems; just the other night there was another mass shooting, an apparent ambush at a backyard barbecue.

So gun control appears to be a logical necessity.  Why is there even debate on the subject?

I’ve examined some statistics that may give us an answer, as well as a possible course going forward.  I’ll warn you now, though:  The answers I arrived at are vastly different than the ones I at first expected. (more…)