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.
Your elderly parents trust Tucker Carlson and refuse to wear a mask no matter how much you beg them. Uncle Gene is getting secret messages from Q about the Conspiracy and is convinced that Trump won the election and that mass arrests of Congress are coming soon. Your college friends have moved to Portland to join the Resistance, and your ex just dropped out of Harvard Law to become a cop. Meanwhile, the president you worked hard to help elect has backtracked on his campaign promises so far that not only is he not legalizing marijuana and mass-pardoning prisoners, instead he’s banning menthol cigarettes.
Some people among us continue to insist that the election was stolen, that votes were manipulated and voices silenced — or invented, that tens of thousands of elderly folks in nursing homes (largely senile) had their ballots farmed at the behest of local organizers who wished to win more than they wanted to safeguard the election process.
Much of this is plausible. Certainly, the results of the election are not what they would have been had earlier laws remained in effect, and (in Pennsylvania’s case) had the governor strictly followed the legislature’s lead. Then too, given the truly vast number of election volunteers, surely some few must have violated the law here and there; in the present COVID age, identification validation went unverified in places it would not have. A neutral party could readily grant so much.
There’s a slogan: A.C.A.B., or “All Cops Are Bastards”. The premise is, if you’re a good person you don’t join the side of the oppressor. You don’t don jackboots and riot gear. You don’t swing the club, and you don’t launch tear gas.
It’s a good slogan; effective, it’s viscerally appealing. It speaks to us where we live.
And yet it’s wrong. Not completely, as you’ll see, but fundamentally. (more…)
This is not being written in response to any particular event. There was probably one today or yesterday or last week, and CNN no doubt covered it with their usual attention to detail and mechanical concern. I’m probably pretty sad about it myself. This is why I’m writing this article on a day when the headlines are about something else. It’s important to keep perspective. You can’t create effective policy and solve social problems when you’re too busy yelling or sobbing or both.
Trouble is, I’m furious. Even today, I can’t help but be furious (more…)
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…)