Let's get some good ole barnson.org discussion going! Let's discuss gun control. I know Matt & Ben have strong, differing views on this, so we should be able to get some good discourse going....
My views are that I agree that in a perfect world. they're be no reason for guns, guns are primarily used to kill people, and we should get rid of guns. If you want to hunt, use a bow and arrow or muzzle-loader and give the prey a chance.
Recently, Mother Jones published a widely-circulated study suggesting that armed citizens have never stopped any mass shootings in the USA. It's important to know how these things are counted, though. If the shooting doesn't boast a sufficient number of deaths -- at least four dead -- then it just doesn't count. That's a lot of mass shootings that just don't count as such.
Let's take a look at what else doesn't count.
Support: "Why didn't you escalate this issue earlier?"
Me: "I don't actually care if it's fixed. The two points of my ticket submitted over three months ago were:
"One: To demonstrate the workaround I'm using, and
Several bills assaulting your right to keep and bear arms were introduced to Congress on Monday, January 7, 2013. Among other things, these bills seek to register semi-automatic firearms. Noncompliance will be met with police raids of your home, seizure and destruction of your property, fines, and imprisonment.
In this age when conspiracy theories abound and you can find entire communities devoted to group-think, finding dragons in the clouds and believing them to be real, I think it's a great idea to revisit Michael Shermer's Conspiracy Theory Detector. Summary below the break.
Conversation with my staff over the phone in India today. I love colloquialisms.
Me: "In this case, our application is just the canary in the coal mine. "
Them: "A what?"
Me: "A canary in a coal mine. If it is dead, it's not because it had a pre-existing health condition."
Them: "What health condition did it have?"
Me: "... Uh. It was poisoned. By being in a coal mine."
This morning, I decided to sit down and analyze some statistics, and from them I arrived at a hypothesis that I still need to validate. What do you think?
For those who missed it, here was George Washington's 1796 farewell address to the nation, touching on political parties:
If you have a few minutes and are interested in an unbiased graphic of political trends in the House and Senate, check this out. It shows the shifts in power based exclusively on economic voting bloc patterns of the House and Senate over time. There are some fascinating patterns here, especially if you click the "large" graphic and pan around...
I just read an Open Letter to Republican Strategists, and gotta say I can't agree more. I'm not quite as affluent as this guy, nor do we align on every issue.