Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cracked *almost* gets the point.

Cracked has a pretty good piece on things Hollywood gets wrong about the US legal system.

Crime show fans think there are 2 1/2 times as many murders happening than there really are, and there are also concerns that voters are pushing for overspending on prisons to protect people from violent crime that doesn't actually exist.

Gee, I wonder if there are any other things where voters overestimating a type of crime might cause a negative, distorted legislation.

Why take this recent pol which found that 20% of voters think Mass Shootings are the most common cause of gun deaths in the US.

Horrific as they are, mass shootings represent a tiny fraction of gun deaths in America. They account for a few hundred deaths every year, as compared to an average of roughly 19,000 gun suicide deaths. There were 23,854 suicides by firearm in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And even with a murder rate well above other developed nations, gun homicides, which account for roughly 12,000 deaths per year in the U.S, are a distant second compared to suicides.

And no the Cracked article actually takes a mild anti-gun swipe  where two paragraphs before the quoted section they say

TV has no shortage of violent robberies, vicious murders, and brutal rapes. It's a madhouse out there. We should teach our dogs to use guns. We should teach our guns to use guns. 


Friday, August 9, 2019

It's too late to ban Assault Weapons says... the NYT?

From Alex Kingsbury who in his own admission has lobbied for years to ban them.

And from the article is is clearly no friend of these weapons.  And in general fairly hostile to guns and attributes some... odd qualities to them.

But he is right that firearms can last a long time (pointing out that an AR now could work in 2119 easily).  And he rightly points to the extremely low compliance rates whenever "assault weapons" are banned.

And even when drastically low balling the number of these guns in the country (he says 15 million) he points out that appreciably removing them from the country would be nigh impossible.
(The issue of criminal importation and manufacture isn't even mentioned...)

This does not mean he is friendly to gun rights folks or against any real gun control laws.  Merely that Kingsbury is looking at the logistics and effect of such a ban.

However, he misses one thing.

A massive side (or perhaps primary) goal of an AWB is not to get rid of said guns,  but to stigmatize the public usage of them.  If they are reduced to being hidden safe queens then "gun culture" will greatly diminish.

Which makes subsequent bans even easier.

As a bonus with millions of now illegal (and thus more scary) guns all over the country.  They make handy boogieman on the scale of Emmanuel Goldstein that can justify all sorts of confiscations and registrations.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

At least it's not the NRA stepping in it...


Cracked has a quick (and non list article!). Decrying some republicans (including the President) who decided to make noises about violence in video-games.

If you ignore the reflexive, and brief, anti gun screed, it's not a terrible post.

By Cracked standards it's fairly sedate.  I guess we'll see what they post next.
(It's kinda... odd that they haven't reported at all on the NRA's massive internal problems).

Monday, August 5, 2019

What Politico Gets right about gun culture. What they get wrogn.

This article isn't...  bad  as it gets how gun owners group together and among each other gun ownership is normal and something to talk about.

The first warning signs come early...

The view of guns as neutral tools, a view shared by conservative defenders of gun rights as well as liberal advocates of gun regulation, misses a crucial fact about guns and gun ownership. It wrongly assumes that the distribution of guns and their presence in their owners' lives are totally independent facts that don't shape the opportunities and choices of the people who use them.
Right, because gun control advocates aren't about deodand thinking and "the trigger pulls the finger."

The article does seem to, at some level, get things.

In part because of their danger and allure and in part because they're the center of a sporting culture with deep American roots, guns draw adherents together in contexts like expos, gun ranges, and online chatrooms. At the recreational level, participants can indulge in hobbyist debate and discussion; on a political and cultural level, they can also forge a shared commitment to armed citizenship.
 Gun owners bond over their shared fear of diffuse and unpredictable threats of contemporary life. The Pew survey concluded: “Many, but not all, gun owners exist in a social context where gun ownership is the norm. Roughly half of all gun owners say that all or most of their friends own guns. … In stark contrast, among the non-gun owning public, only one-in-ten say all or most of their friends own guns.”

But the it goes off the rails at the end. Here's the second to last paragraph.

Any real gun law reform is going to need to take this community and value system into account. Liberals need gun owners as allies. Today, in the wake of more mass shootings, good citizenship requires that the millions of gun owners who say they support gun regulation do more than think about their own way of life. They need to turn that support into vocal activism. In so doing, they may help bring about changes necessary to protect the communities that we all share.

Funny how after all the talk about how despite that gun owners "neither trust the government nor believe that it will protect them" now suddenly,  "good citizenship" requires them to do...  exactly what gun control advocates want.

Namely back gun control.  Not just back but become activists in support in.

Funny how that works.

Okay... so what will gun owners get in return? Well here's the last paragraph.

In order for them to be willing to do so, gun owners need assurance that liberal gun reform advocates will  not march down a slippery slope from red-flag laws, regulating semi-automatic weapons and large capacity   magazines and closing the gun-show loophole to intrusive regulations that start to break down a culture that millions of people value greatly—one that enriches their lives and whose  roots go back before America's founding.

So...  gun control advocates get...  just about everything they want. 
And gun owners get "assurances" that gun control advocates won't ask for more.

Except  banning the most common  guns and IS breaking down the culture. 
(Also... Assault Weapon Bans are now semi-auto "regulation"? Which is all pistols and the majority of rifles...)

And if the writer doesn't think destroying the culture isn't the goal of gun control advocates then he's more of a sucker than those gun owners who bought into those "assurances" of those "gun reform advocates".

Look at the states that have passed the laws the writer so clearly wants. What's the worth of any "assurances" to gun owners living in California or New Jersey?

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Cracked may be ignoring the NRA Meltdown...

Which is... odd given their writer's past history with anger at the organization.

And one would think a very visible and mud-slinging breakup with their long term PR firm,  the closing of their crazy off-mission "TV" branch (run by said PR firm), the paranoid accusations of a "coup", the forced resignation of the head of their legislative lobbying group,  the removal of many board members from their committee assignments...

One would think there would be plenty to go after.

And yet...

Instead Cracked (and Adam Wears!)  has a fairly good article pointing out some of the legit crazy of the Democratic Primary field. 

Given the size of the article they only cover... 1/4 to 1/3 of the field but it's something.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Cracked: 5 More reasons the NRA is the worst

So... Adam Wears has a list of  more "under reported' reasons why "the NRA is the worst"
(And true to his... tone there's plenty of scatological and juvenile humor)

Now given the NRA just recently kicked out their president Oliver North out of office in an internal mess that included them using their massively dysfunctional ad agency, and said ad agency that threatened to blackmail long time power behind the throne Wayne LaPierre exposing his flagrant spending on wardrobe and other luxuries on the NRA's dime or that the New York AG is investigating their non-profit status.

So there is a lot of dirty laundry that Wears could talk about.

Instead we get  the expected the NRA are conspiracy theorists, racists, domestic abuser supporting paranoids who know good guys can't stop shootings*, and deludingly want to harden schools.
*But Wears brags about how guys with fists are supper effective.

It's not quite a repeat of the last time Wears wrote this article, but these are all things he's written before. It's his flat out boilerplate.

And he posts yet another rage filled screed when... as mentioned the start, there's plenty of bad stuff that is openly being reported in major publications.

So he may be angry about hating the NRA, but he's also lazy about it.

Maybe in a few months Cracked will pick up on it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Cracked: Non-stupid self defense advice.

So two days after whining about a jurisdiction where nunchucks might be legalized. (Seriously, this is a thing they have a habit of doing).

Cracked now has an "article" of... rather okay self defense advice. Specifically mocking "self defense myths"  That is not even token-anti gun or anti-self defense.  Now article is in quotes because it's not written by their staff or really written at all, instead it's a user submitted  meme-list.

So maybe that's it.

And the "self defense myths" are legit (as far as I can tell).  Such as
  • cautions that pepper-spray can blow back
  •  size is a factor and attackers tend to target those they perceive are smaller and weaker
  •  the importance of deescalation techniques
  •  that you are very likely to know your attacker
  •  that if someone wants to kidnap you then your "unlikely to come back" and should get out.
When they talk about guns it's literally guns require training and "whichever gun you chose, you have to learn how to handle one."

Which is... quite good advice.