All the points! We does not have them!

(Promoted from a comment elsewhere, original context not needed for this to make sense.)

Being aggressive, brave, feeling privileged, or whatever it is that makes me speak out in almost any circumstances doesn’t actually correlate well with knowing things useful in a discussion or in having ideas of value to a discussion. It’s worth some effort to me to avoid driving away people who have stuff to contribute to the discussion even if they are “timid” or easily scared off. Brash, outspoken people don’t really lack for opportunities to make their points; but we don’t have “all the points”.

The Answer is “NO”

The facts, normally so liberal (or at least anti-conservative), continue to support libertarian views on gun ownership.

Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” (pdf).  Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

They take apart all the usual arguments in considerable detail, with extensive footnotes (it’s not really a 46 page article; many of the pages are half footnotes).


Silly Old Recycling Rules

With luck, this is our last recycling week on the old system where we separate our recycling into categories. Apart from the fact that it’s a small amount of work, the thing that makes that really annoying is that the tubs they give you can’t hold half the categories you’re supposed to divide your recycling into (in the mandated paper bags).

I’ve managed to get the large majority of the recycling out of the house, and get a photo. This is not the amount we produce every two weeks, we’re not good at getting to it each and every recycling period, so we tend to do a big pile and then miss a few. The point here is that even if it was just one period (which is two weeks), the bags wouldn’t all fit in the bins.  And we have three times as many bins as usual—one extra new style because we’re a duplex, and one old style because we haven’t destroyed it yet.

ddb 20130516 010-018
Our recycling pile today

Just for the record, here’s the city’s list of categories we’re supposed to sort into right now:

Minneapolis recycling categories, captured 5/16/2013
Minneapolis recycling categories, captured 5/16/2013

Keep citizens armed and safe

Guns are the great equalizer.  They let older, smaller, less athletic, less able-bodied people stand a chance when young, fit, energetic, predators try to prey on them.

Citizens use guns hundreds of thousands of times (or millions; it’s hard to define and hard to measure, but numbers I’ve seen from research papers range from maybe 250,000 to 7.5 million) each year to defend themselves from crimes.  Guns save lives.

There are, I think, four main problems leading to the sort of rapid mass murder scenario we’ve had recently in Connecticut.

First, people are being pushed to the wall by social expectations of conformity and roll fulfillment, competition, and such, way too often.

Second, the culture of celebrity tells people that being “famous” is the greatest thing that can happen to a person.  People who have seen every aspect of their life collapse can still view themselves as a success if they become famous.

Third, mainstream culture fetishizes the gun as a magical implement that bends people to your will, makes you taller, and so forth, while keeping people terrifically ignorant about real guns.  This is not an attitude you find among actual “gun nuts”!

Fourth, getting assistance with mental health issues is stigmatized, and is not well supported in the health care system (which in turn doesn’t cover nearly enough people well enough in the first place).

Occasionally, these things come together with appallingly tragic results.

And, immediately, people start demanding that we take action against…none of the above.  Instead, they want to deny basic civil rights to everybody in society.