Re: Texas is your future

1

Yeah, guns in the schools! They should have them in bars, too! It's a safety issue!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:01 AM
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In case of fire, break glass and shoot foot


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:02 AM
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fire, break glass and shoot foot

The much anticipated movie adaptation of Eats, Shoots & Leaves.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:06 AM
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s/b "The M/tch anticipated…"


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:10 AM
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As a schoolchild I let off more than one fire extinguisher without a fire being present. I witnessed the same phenomenon with several of my classmates. Nobody was killed or injured as a result.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:10 AM
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5: But I'll bet it was still possible for somebody to lose an eye.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:14 AM
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gun safety should be taught alongside fire safety and good hygiene.

Oh god, does that mean that health teachers are going to instruct kids about gun safety? This is going to go well.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:14 AM
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Sometime I think we're on a trajectory to live out the subplot of Brautigan's Sombero Fallout.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:15 AM
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7: soon enough everything'll get all confused and they'll be putting a condom on a revolver as a demonstration of the importance of vitamin B.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:16 AM
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Remember to get enough folic acid! Half of all murders are unplanned.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:19 AM
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9: They'll pry my gun out of my cold, beriberi-wasted hands.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:20 AM
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12

You should stop masturbating for a while and eat some spinach.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:22 AM
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Ohio, like many states, is still debating whether to allow guns in bars.

For a lot of people the idea of taking a gun into a bar is perfectly reasonable. I mean, look, bars are full of drunk violent people. If you want to have a few drinks, how are you going to defend yourself against the violent drunks? You need a gun. The problem only becomes worse when you realize that those violent drunks are carrying guns. Then you have to be extra ready to defend yourself when you are out for drinks.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:24 AM
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12: Is this your way of telling us that Popeye is dead?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:26 AM
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Alas, poor Popeye. He was strong to the finish, that one. And he was what he was.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:33 AM
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If Rick Perry is the future, I'm with these guys. Don't want to sound like I'm bailing, but...


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:36 AM
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He was strong to the finish

Even at the end, when he was living in a garbage can, eating all the worms, he always remembered to spit out the germs.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:37 AM
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A grad school friend made us laugh by referring Popeye's (establishment of dining) as "Pope? yes!" I know, our amusement threshhold was low. Grad school does that to you.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:39 AM
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I once got in trouble for wearing (a variant of) this t-shirt into a Popeye's Fried Chicken.

"You shouldn't wear that kind of thing in here," said the counter lady.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:49 AM
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13: If I read it right the issue is CCWs in public places. In that case it's quite different from just having anyone wander around armed and drunk. I don't know about Ohio's process for getting a CCW permit, but in Virginia it's a pretty stringent process that not only tries to weed out the obviously troublesome but also teaches safety and the law. The upshot is that CCW permit holders here are well above average in their understanding of firearms safety and very unlikely to do something stupid with their weapon.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:50 AM
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20: Here's Wikipedia's take on that:

Not all states require training, or hands-on training. For example, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Washington have no training/safety certification requirement whatsoever. Virginia only requires applicants to view a video and pass a 20-question multiple-choice test online.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:56 AM
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22

What the world needs now
Are guns, more guns
Passed around the schools
Like a hot crossed bun.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:59 AM
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I don't see what could possibly go wrong with having guns in classrooms filled with testosterone-poisoned teenaged boys prone to fighting. I mostly don't give a damn about gun laws one way or the other but the incessant fetishistic stroking of penile compensation machines firearms so prevalent among big swaths of the right wing in this country? Looks to me like as clear a tell as torturing animals.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:03 AM
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. The upshot is that CCW permit holders here are well above average in their understanding of firearms safety and very unlikely to do something stupid with their weapon.

My counter-anecdote: Confederate Yankee.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:14 AM
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You guys aren't paying enough attention to the carefully crafted arguments in the linked video. Tone down the knee-jerk reactions and think about this a little more deeply, you bunch of crazy liberal gun-and-freedom haters!

SECOND AMENDMENT WOO!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:31 AM
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I'm curious to know about the population on non-permit holding concealed weapon holders. In states where CCW is wildly accepted, how common is it for people to carry concealed weapons, but not bother with the hassle of getting the permit and taking the associated safety training? Does normalizing CCW by issuing permits increase or decrease the number of unlicensed people carrying guns around?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:34 AM
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I think the most convincing argument comes at 4:01. It's really a useful perspective.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:34 AM
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21: I clearly have VA crossed with some other state. Ooops.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:34 AM
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Shorter E. Messily in 25: "I totally fell for it."


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:43 AM
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I have no idea what you are talking about.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:45 AM
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30: Shoot at Btock's feet and make him dance, E!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:46 AM
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I will in a second, I have to figure out where I put my gun first.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:50 AM
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33

Have we discussed the fact the religious right has decided to label Obama "our first gay President"?

(Sadly, that link is not an April Fool's joke...)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 11:08 AM
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13: Right now in Ohio your concealed carry permit does not extend to liquor stores, establishments that serve alcohol, and stadiums. The proposed law would change that, so that there would be no state level ban on carrying a gun in a bar, liquor store, or stadium, although individual bars can still enforce their own policies. This strikes me as a straightforwardly bad idea.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 11:31 AM
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8: live out the town gone beserk subplot of Brautigan's Sombero Fallout.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 11:52 AM
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33: Surprisingly good comments section to that post.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 12:42 PM
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33: I thought James Buchanan was our first gay president.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 12:43 PM
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36: huh, you're right. I hadn't noticed that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 12:59 PM
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Speaking of Virginia and CCW, I had a pretty weird conversation with my gun-yay! cow-orker about the guns-in-bars thing. To be fair, he is very saftey-oriented and I don't think he'd ever do something stupid. A sample from the bars conversation:

Me: Guns in bars? Really? You're introducing guns into an environment of potentially drunk people?
Him: You can't drink while you're carrying a concealed weapon. That's against the law.
Me: Wait, what? Really? Well, that's a minor relief. You don't think someone's going to drink anyway? Or that some drunk wacko might grab the sober guy's weapon and cause harm?
Him: That's ridiculous. The point is this: say you want to go have a nice dinner in a place that happens to serve alcohol. You don't want to leave your gun in the glove box, because someone might break in and steal it.
Me: Oh? Has there been a rash of gun thefts in restaurant parking lots or something?
Him: Arg! You don't understand...

And so on. Gun people are really, really into guns, and 23 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:15 PM
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The point is this: say you want to go have a nice dinner in a place that happens to serve alcohol. You don't want to leave your gun in the glove box, because someone might break in and steal it.

God forbid you leave the gun at home.

That being said, is it really the case that VA's current concealed-carry law flatly forbids guns in any restaurant that serves alcohol of any kind? Because your cow-orker actually has a bit of a point. I'm not a huge fan of concealed-carry laws generally (although I'm not strongly opposed), but if you've made the policy decision to allow concealed carry as a general matter, flatly prohibiting it in nice restaurants that, say, happen to have a wine menu seems relatively silly.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:24 PM
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33

As Tallulah Bankhead is reported to have said, when asked if Montgomery Clift was* gay, "I don't know, darling. He's never sucked my cock."

*I dislike the vestigal subjunctive here. I beg the indulgence of strict prescriptivists.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:29 PM
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it really the case that VA's current concealed-carry law flatly forbids guns in any restaurant that serves alcohol of any kind?

Not anymore; I believe this has been signed into law, or is about to be signed into law.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:30 PM
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There's another angle to the guns in eating establishments: One of the original bits of propaganda the NRA used for pushing for expansion of concealed carry laws is the testimony of Suzanna Hupp about the Luby's massacre. She had a gun but left it in her car because it was illegal in the restaurant. She's testified that she had a clear shot at the killer and could probably have saved many lives if she was armed.

The upshot is that expansion of concealed carry to restaurants is more than just an attempt to make CCW legal everywhere and always - it's got a deeper and more emotional resonance because of the prominence of the Luby's shooting in NRA lore.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:35 PM
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You don't want to leave your gun in the glove box, because someone might break in and steal it.

If I don't want to leave my dog in my car, does that mean I can take it into any restaurant?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:37 PM
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45

Although granted, the Constitution doesn't mention a right to carry puppies.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:44 PM
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46

she had a clear shot at the killer and could probably have saved many lives if she was armed.

Yeah, this is a commonly held belief. Cf. Opinions about the Virginia Tech shooting.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:45 PM
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the Constitution doesn't mention a right to carry puppies.

Or handguns, for that matter. Just "arms". So I'd be willing to argue that if it's a trained attack dog, you have a right to bring it into any restaurant. Otherwise, it stays in the car.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:49 PM
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48

I support every American's right to own a flint-lock musket.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:51 PM
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49

48: Originalist.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:52 PM
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There's a decent article in the Strib right now about straw-purchasers, focusing on one particular straw man (haha), who had a significant business buying cheap Hi-Point handguns legally and reselling them to people with felonies, or, I suppose, who just didn't want to have a particular gun connected with them.
Looks like ~20% of the comments are along the lines of "Any effort to stop straw-purchases of handguns is an intolerable intrusion on my liberty!"
Kinda bizarre. I mean, I'm all for breaking the state's monopoly on violence, but given the generally racist, rural/suburban cast of the NRA's membership, it seems like they might want to think about all the implications of their position a bit more.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:53 PM
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WHEN THEY KICK IN YOUR FRONT DOOR, HOW YOU GONNA COME, WITH YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEAD, OR ON THE TRIGGER OF YOUR GUN?


Posted by: OPINIONATED GUNS OF BRIXTON | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:08 PM
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52

Come on, people. Who can't remember at least one person from high school who really did deserve to be shot?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:09 PM
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53

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Are the people who work at Snickers stupid? The following is printed on the inside of my Snickers wrapper:

Substantialiscious \sub-'stan(t)-shu-'li-shus\ (noun). The weight of something when you weigh it on your tongue.

Snickers Bars: Substantialiscious!

I'm not a grammar snob, but that doesn't make a damn bit of sense. It's so nonsensical that it's annoying me. I might be forced to write them a letter.

|>


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:15 PM
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It's too damn bad, too, because Snickers were the best things in the vending machines at my work, and now I'm not going to be able to buy them anymore.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:19 PM
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The only useful conversation I have ever had with a guns-everywhere advocate was when I pointed out that where I lived, all my backstops were inhabited. He had been lecturing me on the safety that all gun owners were (not actually) required to learn and internalize, which made a handy segue.

I don't know that I seriously changed his mind, but it did make a little clear why people with close neighbors might not like lots of armed ones. Something there is that doesn't care about a wall, and that's a (gun nut brand name here).


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:23 PM
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Brock, the substantialiscious ad campaign ended seven or eight years ago. I'm pretty sure you just ate an expired candy bar.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:24 PM
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54: I feel your pain. I am no longer able to rent a truck from U-Haul due to having spent half an hour in one of their waiting rooms listening over and over to an ad containing the phrase "...the lowest decks and gentle ride suspension in the rental industry." The phrase is burned into my mind. The really sad part is that this trauma occurred over ten years ago. I am permanently broken by this experience and never again expect to feel love, laughter, or the warm springtime sun on my face.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:28 PM
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56
Brock, the substantialiscious ad campaign ended seven or eight years ago. I'm pretty sure you just ate an expired candy bar.

I like Brock's eating habits as much as the next guy, but according to this, that ad campaign was active at least as recently as mid-2008, so two years ago at most.

(Or did I just step on someone's April Fool's Day joke? Sorry.)


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:29 PM
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57: It's a bit much to expect grammatical purity from a company whose name is U-Haul, innit?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:30 PM
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(Or did I just step on someone's April Fool's Day joke? Sorry.)

Not at all, Cyrus. You were the target of the joke all along. Brock was in on it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:32 PM
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61

But it doesn't make any sense!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:34 PM
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59: If only I had thought of that at the time it might've mitigated my mental misery.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:36 PM
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61: Sure it does. You're just suffering from delusions brought on by food poisoning.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:38 PM
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But togolosh, avoiding U-Haul is a net positive for your life, since they're the worst moving-truck rental company in the nation. In contrast, Snickers bars are literally the only healthy option in this vending machine.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:39 PM
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61: What if your tongue is on the Moon when you weigh it on your tongue? What about that? It might make no sense at all in a more nuanced way than you are imagining.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:42 PM
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Have you actually tried weighing it on your tongue, Brock? Because if not, I think you're jumping to conclusions too hastiliciously.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:46 PM
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are there any non-made-up words with the string "iscious" in them? "icious" yes; "iscous" yes; i think "iscious" no...


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 2:47 PM
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57: Fifteen years ago today I set out in the world's most clapped-out U-Haul from Alabama to California.

The thing had no AC, no radio, the very loud diesel wouldn't go over 50mph, and I was towing a car on a half-trailer so backing up more than a few feet was an exercise in frustration. I got quite accomplished in planning for departures from fueling stops.

I still have the occasional bad dream about that beast. I'm convinced the company sent it to the U-Haul graveyard in L.A. and got me to pay for trip.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 3:21 PM
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http://www.bighugelabs.com/onblack.php?id=2221976622&size=large

Texas' future?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 3:21 PM
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I miss Big Huge Labs.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 3:23 PM
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Oh? Has there been a rash of gun thefts in restaurant parking lots or something?

Restaurants and clubs and such really are common targets for car prowls. Granted, the gun could be left at home, but he's not nuts for being leery of leaving a gun in the car.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 3:24 PM
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she had a clear shot at the killer and could probably have saved many lives if she was armed.

That's the thing that totally amazes me. The NRA types think that a room full of people armed to the teeth and ready to respond to the slightest hint of violence--anyplace, whether it is a bar or a school or a kids soccer game--is a very safe place to be. Its the safest place they can imagine, although their own lives often indicate otherwise.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 3:32 PM
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Suzanna Hupp's recounting of the Luby's massacre is pretty harrowing, and makes a convincing case that she could in fact have used her gun effectively. The problem is not with that specific event, but with the gun cult assuming that all/most shooting sprees offer the same opportunity for an armed hero to kill the bad guy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 3:43 PM
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The Hupp argument is just one instantiation of the general rule that people can't deal rationally with low-probability events. See also airline security.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 3:46 PM
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No, no. Someone would be highly rational to fear flying over driving in LA.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 3:57 PM
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76

Probabiliscious.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:00 PM
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77

I'm surprised we don't hear more clamoring for guns on planes. What terrorist would dare try to bring down a plane if they knew that passengers might secretly be armed?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:01 PM
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This April Fool's joke was pretty weak.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:04 PM
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72: I think that most people who would be likely to carry a firearm aren't likely to overreact in the way that many liberals imagine. The rhetoric used by guns-everywhere advocates tends to be overblown, which certainly gives the impression that there are large numbers of hair-trigger Mall Ninja wannabes, but in practice folks who carry are mostly harmless.

Neither the specter of marauding gangbangers cruising suburbia for white women to rape nor the public space full of armed, paranoid, recklessly incompetent handgun owners blowing each other and bystanders away is particularly likely. Either event might happen and might be extrapolated from some actual news reports amplified by preconceptions about the relevant group, but it's still incredibly unlikely.

77: I know someone who seriously advocates this. He is unmoved by the objection that a gun could easily be used to take the whole plane down. His view is that the increased chance of everyone on the plane being killed is more than offset by the positive social impact of encouraging self reliance. Seriously.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:22 PM
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You fooled E. Messily.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:22 PM
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80 to 78.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:23 PM
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82

in practice folks who carry are mostly harmless

In practice, drunk drivers are mostly harmless too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:24 PM
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83

And it wasn't terribly weak until 27. But that was a sign of desperation.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:25 PM
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He is unmoved by the objection that a gun could easily be used to take the whole plane down

Knives make much more sense on a plane. Probably just as effective in close quarters combat and much less chance of damaging the plane or other people.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:32 PM
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85

oh, hey, I just clicked on the link. Now I feel silly.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:43 PM
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86

Upon reading 85, I too clicked the link.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:45 PM
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Despite reading 85, I have not clicked and won't be able to do so for several hours. Mystery!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:46 PM
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Why is this clicking on this link tonight different than all other nights? (And I only clicked after reading 83.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 5:11 PM
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"This", this is what is different.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 5:13 PM
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"the positive social impact of encouraging self reliance. "

I know of ONE of these people who grows most of his own food, and he sure doesn't have his own smelter.

iscious: my spellcheck suggests nothing for this, and likely suspects for 'iscous'. However... can't find a file to grep. Where is the base spellchecker file on OS X? Anyone know?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 5:29 PM
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No, no! I complained to E. Cecily on the side about the weakness of post, and she (most accurately) pointed out that I should have trolled more in the OP, ie "He makes some really good points, and I'm kind of buying his argument." 27 was an attempt to resusitate the OP.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 5:35 PM
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Well, I'm trying. Someone could explain to me that hollow-point bullets don't go through cheap walls, or something.

I'm not willing to actually watch the video.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:00 PM
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My wordlist's only match for *iscious is "omniscious". However legit this is, it still looks made up.

Heebie, if it makes you feel any better, I got mocked over breakfast when I clicked through the link in the OP.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:00 PM
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It's not as though Rick Perry hasn't been known to propose ridiculous things. And it's not as though we don't pretty much ignore all of them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:02 PM
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||

I have so many senior level math majors telling me that the union of triangles is itself a triangle. The test problem is really depressing to grade.

Quite sophisticated-smelling arguments, too! Teasing out infinite intersections using De Morgan's laws and other wrong cleverness. All because they do not stop and draw two triangles, possibly even overlapping.

I do not know how to get these students to engage with the content. Maybe it's fear-based - the question can't possibly involve me drawing triangles! That's too easy! I'd better write down a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo.

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Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:03 PM
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82: Have there been many unjustified shootings by CCW permit holders? I don't know for sure, but my impression is that there has not, and CCW laws have been around long enough that if there was serious problem potential it ought to have emerged by now.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:06 PM
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Well, in this video Sean Hannity, in a speech to the Teabaggers, flatters "the tea party movement, the people -- all these Tim McVeigh wannabees here" and they all cheer. I just don't even know anymore.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:11 PM
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96: Not according to a long, recent MSNBC report on the loosening of CCW laws over the last several years. The US murder rate overall keeps dropping.

I doubt CCWs have much to do with that. I'm thinking the veldt has had lots of its predators killing each other.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:23 PM
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Someone could explain to me that hollow-point bullets don't go through cheap walls

I was curious, so I asked the gun dude I know, and he explained that hollow-points, unlike full metal jackets, open up on impact to maximize damage. If what they hit is a wall, that's where they do their opening up (whereas a full metal jacket might penetrate the wall and keep on going).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:24 PM
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Kobe!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:24 PM
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I'd think that any discussion of whether and why concealed weapons should or shouldn't be allowed has to deal first with the shifting burden of argument: is it "Why shouldn't people carry? (Is there any evidence that this causes a problem?)" or is it "Why should they in the first place? (Is it really, seriously, necessary?)"

That point seems incredibly obvious, but it may well be the crux of the biscuit, if you see what I mean.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:25 PM
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The point I was (perhaps inartfully) making is that approximtely 100% of gun deaths are committed by people carrying guns and approximately 100% of drunk driving deaths are by by people driving under the influence of alcohol, but in either case the number of lethal shooters/drivers is a very small percentage of the whole.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:28 PM
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But pretty much everyone is a safer driver sober than drunk, other things being equal. The relationship between carrying and being homicidal doesn't work the same way.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:30 PM
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People carrying guns are way more potentially lethal than those who aren't. But I'd wager than 99.9% of all drunk drivers on any given night make it home without injuring anybody.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:39 PM
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102-3: There's only one way to settle this: science! We'll need four groups: sober drivers without guns, sober drivers with guns, drunk drivers without guns, and drunk drivers with guns. Oh, and we'll need to build a Thunderdome, because, hey, why not?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:46 PM
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And I'd wager that 99.9% of CWP permit holders make it through the day without killing anyone. Parsley's right in 101: the idea that no one needs to be packing a gun around (true!) is doing a lot of work in this argument.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:48 PM
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I'd wager that 99.9% of gun-carriers make it home without injuring anybody as well.

There is a distinct difference between gun-toting and driving drunk, of course: when you draw a gun, you're intentionally doing so, and you have a target in mind, even if you might be drunkenly waving said gun around.

Unless, I suppose, you just draw and cock (load?) the gun as a casual thing, fooling around. Which people do do, I hear. Because they're strange in the head, or children.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:55 PM
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Not-Hamlet-pwned.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:56 PM
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107: A knew a guy in college who always carried a pistol with him, and he liked to pull it out and wave it around stupidly, in a "jokingly" threatening manner, whenever he got shitfaced. I'm pretty sure he never shot anyone, but I nevertheless strongly disliked going to parties with him anyway.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:18 PM
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You know what would be good for airline safety? Farm implements, especially rakes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:25 PM
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While I'm serially commenting, I might as well go for it. Concealed gun-carrying? I'm agin' it.

But. I do very much recognize that I say this, am able to say this, because I live and have always lived in an environment in which nobody ever whips out a gun. (There are actually a number of shooting ranges around here, and I hear the distant pop-pop-pop rather constantly at the shooting ranges.) Were I to inhabit an environment in which guns threats were a possibility at any given moment, I'd think differently.

This kind of thing can't be approached in the abstract. Certain sectors of American society are gun-oriented. I ... don't really have an answer. I'm not inclined to be glib about it, to say that Oh, if only people could get along! People resort to gun play when they're desperate and have learned that the easiest way to resolve a problem is to make mincemeat of the enemy. That's a certain sort of I-can-beat-you-up frame of mind that's not limited to the gun-toting crowd.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:28 PM
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I've read that homicide rates tended to be fairly high in mining camps/towns near mines that didn't control guns back in the late 19th century (many western towns did actually control guns; perhaps they were run by illiterate frontiersman unable to read the second amendment). Higher than murder rates in contemporary cities (even pre-drop in crime rates), I think. This seems to be related to young, drunk men not having much to do, but feeling slighted by words.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:32 PM
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I'd wager that 99.9% of CWP permit holders make it through the day without killing anyone

That is indeed self-evident. I'm also not arguing for loosening drunk driving laws.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:34 PM
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Sorry for the semi-maudlin commentary.

Rakes. I like rakes -- maybe spades also, very useful. Spoons are good.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:34 PM
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I'm pretty sure a dozen determined passengers with trowels could totally take out five guys with box cutters.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:39 PM
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I guess I'm just curious what percentage of the population would answer "Yes" to the question: "Would you feel safer flying on commercial airplanes if civilians were allowed to carry concealed weapons on board?" Because it feels like, while, sure, there are some (see 79), it has to be a very small percentage. But why should the answer change if you replace "commercial airplanes" with any other potential public space?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:43 PM
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Because most public spaces don't have people packed in as densely as commercial airplanes and aren't at risk of explosive decompression.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:46 PM
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I'm pretty sure a dozen determined passengers with trowels could totally take out five guys with box cutters.

But how many five-year-olds would it take to take down five terrorists with box cutters?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:47 PM
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More importantly, what percentage of the population would pay good money to watch American Gladiator X: Patriots with Trowels vs. Swarthy Foreigners with Box Cutters? There's gotta be a business opportunity there.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:49 PM
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I view people who feel the need to carry guns into public places about the same way I do about people who feel the need to take gigantic dogs into public places. Yes, that's your right and yes I'm glad that [your dog is well-trained/you've taken gun safety classes]. But guns and giant dogs are really not appropriate for crowded public spaces.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:50 PM
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Well look, I don't know explosive decompression from explosive diarrhea, but I disagree with the first part of your statement. There are lots of public spaces where people pack more or less as densely as commercial airplanes--subways, movie theaters, concerts, dance clubs... lots of places.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:51 PM
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I couldn't tell what you were arguing for, Apo. Which is fine, because I couldn't tell what I was arguing for either.

Trowels are a vicious weapon, I tell you what. The box-cutter guys are history. I'm not sure how anybody fares against a battalion of wooden spoons. Perhaps wielded by a horde of five-year-olds.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:51 PM
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Damn.


Posted by: Sophomore | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:51 PM
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Yes, that's your right

Where it actually is, of course.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:52 PM
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I'm not much arguing for anything, parsimon. I'm mostly just a little drunk on white wine, to be honest. If I'm being obnoxious to anybody, I don't mean to be. Honest.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:55 PM
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wooden spoons. Perhaps wielded by a horde of five-year-olds

Or little Dutch 5-yr-olds with wooden shoes. Sharpened wooden shoes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:55 PM
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Shh. I'm a little drunk on white wine as well. This produces conversation, apparently. No obnoxiousness that I see.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:58 PM
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I don't particularly disagree with 120, but I think the issue isn't so much whether it's safer for the rest of us to reduce the number of guns in public places as whether it's safer for the rest of us to avoid stoking the persecution complexes of armed but mostly harmless crazy people.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:05 PM
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NPH might be disappointed by American Gladiator XVI: Tots with Shoes vs. Awful People (unspecified) who must be overcome.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:05 PM
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5-yr-olds

So young. I think their should be a minimum sabot age.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:14 PM
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121: I bet commercial airplanes are at least twice the density of the proverbial crowded theater.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:15 PM
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128: Yes, but how are we stoking their persecution complexes? By pooh-poohing their guns? It's not just that.

This is actually a sort of interesting, not quite tongue-in-cheek piece speaking openly about the paranoia and victim mentality of some of the angry people (in this case Tea Partiers). See page two of the article, listing the qualifications for leading those folk. Particularly:

4. Sympathy (or, better still, empathy) for the victim mentality, ideally coupled with burning resentment that the other side looks down on you.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:17 PM
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But maybe not as dense as the prodigal theater.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:17 PM
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ow many five-year-olds would it take to bring down a commercial passenger jet?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:18 PM
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A google.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:19 PM
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A googol, even.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:19 PM
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burning resentment that the other side looks down on you.

It's funny because it's true.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:21 PM
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Oops, parables≠proverbs. Long fucking week, thank God it's Friday tomorrow.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:22 PM
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137: Yeah so anyway, ahem. How do we avoid stoking their persecution complexes? I feel that this is impossible.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:28 PM
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Out here in liberal but holiday-loving paradise, we get tomorrow off.

132: Legislating about their guns gives them something to organize against, among other things. I could be wrong, but at this time in this culture I think we have a better chance of reducing the number of guns in public places by mockery than by legislation.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:28 PM
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I don't think they're responding very favorably to mockery. Shaming seems to be working somewhat.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:33 PM
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Sean Hannity, in a speech to the Teabaggers, flatters "the tea party movement, the people -- all these Tim McVeigh wannabees here" and they all cheer

Holy fuck.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:46 PM
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140.1:I get it off here as well ...

"Why is Good Friday referred to as "good"? What the Jewish authorities and Romans did to Jesus was definitely not good (see Matthew chapters 26-27). However, the results of Christ's death are very good!"
Crucifixion bad!
Resurrection good!

I think neb linked this here before, but Borges' "Three Versions of Judas" seems appropriate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:46 PM
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142: I guess the "little Eichmanns" had it coming--the sentiment has sadly been there since the event . McVeigh was wearing a "Sic Semper Tyrannis" T-Shirt with Lincoln's face on it when he was arrested. Later that year Southern Partisan which sold the shirts sent out the following:

Due to a surprising demand for our anti-Lincoln T-shirt, our stock has been reduced to odd sizes. If the enclosed shirt will not suffice, we will be glad to refund your money or immediately ship you another equally militant shirt from our catalog." [emphasis added--yeah real "surprising"]
And John Ashcroft praised that very magazine in 2001.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:00 PM
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141: Depends a little on what we consider "favorably", of course. They're well on their way to becoming the DFHs of the right.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:04 PM
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97, 142: Ah, apparently he meant it "sarcastically" as he had said on his radio show the day before: "We've got veterans, we've got stay-at-home moms, people who really don't like the direction of the country. They're speaking out and they've been compared to terrorists, Tim McVeigh-wannabes. They've been called un-American. They've been called every name in the book. Now, the latest attack is that these people are violent..."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:13 PM
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See, Stanley is trying too. (I vaguely remember that hollow-points have some creepy specialty that makes them illegal to sell in some jurisdictions. Maybe I'm thinking of armor-piercers, that would make more sense. This is all second hand knowledge mostly from people who couldn't tell how badly they were failing to impress me.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:15 PM
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145: Well, you know that I resist the way that hippies have been rendered these 30 years hence. And insofar as some persons are called DFHs now, I'm still not quite seeing that they're as demented as the Tea Partiers seem to be.

I understand the parallels that have been drawn between some of the anti-government rhetorics of the respective movements. But I call analogy ban, really.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:15 PM
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I'd wager that 99.9% of CWP permit holders make it through the day without killing anyone

To me, this means that they kill someone on average once every thousand days.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:17 PM
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Further to 148: But I see, you're saying that "Tea Partier" is becoming a dirty word. Sorry, I'm on a hair trigger in defense of hippies. I take your point as it was intended.

I'm not sure it's true yet that the Tea Party is billed as an embarrassment. That's what we'd like to see, though, yes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:21 PM
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To me, this means that they kill someone on average once every thousand days.

And right there is the core problem with lethal force in anyone's hands. Start scaling up the number of people, and the number of days, and soon enough, some poor fucker's getting shot. Human's just have too high of a natural error rate.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:23 PM
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PMP!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:33 PM
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||

Fuck Steve Posner for making his campaign all about illegal immigration. (I think this is the second time I've said this here, but it's making network tv nigh on unwatchable. Rage not good.)

|>


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:35 PM
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Poizner? I hear the California Republican gubernatorial primary is a battle of the moneyed giants. Kinda funny, that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:45 PM
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Human's just have too high of a natural error rate.

Well said.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:45 PM
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154: Heh, yes. Phonics works for me, clearly.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:47 PM
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155: Neb wept.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:47 PM
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So anyway, not that it needs to be said, but California is a very sick state, which is just very strange to say. I feel like I'm watching a train wreck in progress. I feel for you guys.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:52 PM
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Stanley, buy this t-shirt for yourself and put it on my tab.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:00 PM
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157: But I too like the idea expressed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:01 PM
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159: I saw that today! In fact, I even have a conservative cow-orker that said he'd wear it (ironically?) if I got it for him. I'm tempted to buy him one, but I can't tell if he's kidding.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:06 PM
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160: I'm sure we're all intrigued by the idea that Neb wept, except that we know or hope that he doesn't really worry himself that much over these things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:08 PM
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Don't presume.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:10 PM
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Stanley!

(157: Whoops!)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:17 PM
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It was, at its weakest level, a hope. And yet I understand.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:19 PM
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Just in follow-up to the exchange upthread with NPH about whether the Tea Partiers are being utterly marginalized (cf 145), I looked at this recently, an Ed K/ilgore piece from a couple of months ago pointing out that there's really not as much distance between the GOP and the Tea Partiers as it would appear. Seriously: I don't think we're remotely close to ridding ourselves of these people politically.

There's been a strange double-speak going on among the Tea Party types: on the one hand, they eschew the Republican establishment, indeed the party as a whole (and are in some cases running third-party candidates). On the other hand, not so much; see the linked article. It's worth remembering that the Tea Partiers aren't at all a unified movement. As long as Sarah Palin declared to rousing applause a week or so ago -- in support of John McCain's reelection in Arizona -- that "we are all the tea party here!" I'm not going to be inclined to think that they're on the road to marginalization.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:39 PM
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158: Don't worry, Parsimon, I feel the same way about you.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 11:30 PM
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|| Some people at the bus stop on campus must have been having some sort of "is bio a true science? (with reference to physics)" discussion. On the bus, one of the guys, sitting in the row in front of me with a friend who may or may not have been in the earlier discussion (which had been with some third person), said he thought that there were "much cooler theories" in bio than evolution. Then he started on about how evolutionary theory can't be falsified. His friend agreed and said that, however, you could potentially falsify some or maybe all of cosmology, like, tomorrow, if such-and-such an observation were to be made. Then they allowed that evolution could be falsified, perhaps, but only if you had infinite time.

I had to refrain from yelling "nerds!" because the bus is not the internet, and they were real strangers. |>


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 12:32 AM
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I can't believe that in the 21st century people still have the "is bio a science" argument. The "all science is either physics or stamp collecting" attitude reflects a 19th century reality.

Also, I can't believe that in the 21st century, people still think the Popper criterion is the only way that you can distinguish science from nonscience.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 6:10 AM
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Perhaps these were time-travelers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 6:15 AM
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101: I firmly believe that if something is to be restricted not only should the proponents of restriction show that the thing is harmful but also that the proposed restrictions will mitigate the harm *and* that they are the least intrusive measures consistent with harm reduction.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:14 AM
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168: Fucking Popperazzi.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:39 AM
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If I don't want to leave my dog in my car, does that mean I can take it into any restaurant?

Mitch, I'm pretty sure that I've seen people who believe this. Maybe not so much in restaurants but lots of shops, including supermarkets, and I'm not talking about service dogs.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:43 AM
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People who want to take their dogs into restaurants should just move to Europe.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:44 AM
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I've heard that Popper's criterion isn't the be all and end all of distinguishing what's science, but I'm pretty damn ignorant of what the other ways are, barring a return to some kind of medieval definition.

Can you recommend some reading? Also, many scientists I know have no use for Philosophy of Science. So, it may be that we need to do more of an anthropological study of folk scientific beliefs about the nature of science, where folk is defined as the scientific people.

||

Also, how do you feel about being addressed as "You folks." I'm being trained by people who are really into modifying the way that language is used, and one of them objects to saying "You guys." I'm kind of partial to the phrase, and I miss it, so I think that I've invented personal outrage about it. I tell myself that it's too familiar, but mostly I just miss "you guys."

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:41 AM
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175: "You guys" always sounds a little like it's diminishing the women being referred to as "guys." "Folks" is more inclusive.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:45 AM
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170: Then, given 168.1.last, they could potentially falsify evolution.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:48 AM
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175: "You all"?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:51 AM
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I wish I could feel comfortable saying "you folks", but I think I'm stuck with "guys" and "y'all".


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:54 AM
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176: I know, but I don't like being called "folk." I always used "guys" when talking to women-only groups, because I never liked "gals."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:58 AM
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I don't know what science is, but I know it when I see it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:13 AM
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I've got nothing against science, but I wouldn't want it dating my sister.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:17 AM
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182: Too late! We sawed her in half and counted the rings!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:57 AM
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183: All things considered, that probably beats carbon dating her.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:58 AM
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People who want to take their dogs into restaurants should just move to Europe Austin.

Well, restaurant/bar/coffeehouse patios, anyway. I'm not a dog person per se (meaning they're too much work for me), but it's quite nice to sit around drinking coffee/beer while petting someone else's friendly and well-behaved dog.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:56 PM
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I've heard that Popper's criterion isn't the be all and end all of distinguishing what's science, but I'm pretty damn ignorant of what the other ways are, barring a return to some kind of medieval definition.

This, for me. Naive, oversimplified Popperism, along the lines of "If there's no way to prove something's not true, then it's useless bullshit", makes sense to me. But every so often this discussion of Popper as terribly outmoded comes up, and I never quite understand the issues.

I wonder -- could we commission a guest post on Popperism and what's wrong with it, and what it's been replaced with, from one of the local philosophers? I know ttaM is a philosophy of science guy, and I have a vague belief Helpy-chalk is in some kind of relevant area -- anyone want to do a couple of paragraph explanation?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:02 PM
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I have, more than once, read the name of this thread as "Taxes is your future".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:05 PM
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Taxation is the subscription to civilisation.

Meanwhile, "is biology a science"? there are still people who think this is a valid question? I suppose the answer is "stick you hand over his* mouth. I hypothesise he'll suffocate."

*you bet it's a he.
** you bet it's an electrical engineer who's a libertarian...amirite?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:45 PM
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I rather like the proposal in 186.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:16 PM
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I also endorse 186, but I seem to remember it happening before somewhere and obviously I've forgotten the explanation, so maybe it won't help me. But it could help others!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:31 PM
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I have, more than once, read the name of this thread as "Taxes is your future".

Not in Texas -- we don't believe in 'em.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:49 PM
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"Taxes is your future"

"Death is your future"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:56 PM
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Maybe there won't be death or taxes in my future.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:59 PM
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Maybe I can make a spaceship out of turnips.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:01 PM
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Almost only counts in spaceships and turnips.

So, no reason not to try, I suppose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:05 PM
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||

167: 158: Don't worry, Parsimon, I feel the same way about you.

I'm sorry -- it was a while ago now, but my 158 was ill-phrased, wasn't it? I was thinking about the prospect of Meg Whitman becoming governor, which seemed grim. But there's no need for me to be so blunt.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:16 PM
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Because most public spaces don't have people packed in as densely as commercial airplanes and aren't at risk of explosive decompression.

Goldfinger and Snakes on a Plane are not reliable sources on explosive decompression. If you fire a gun on an aircraft, it will make a small hole in the side. That is all.

Aircraft aren't absolutely airtight anyway - they always have a few small leaks. They're kept pressurised by the air conditioning pack. If you put a small hole in the side, it just means the air conditioning pack will have to work a bit harder. It won't mean that the aircraft depressurises or tears apart or anything.
As for hitting something important - all the important stuff is triply redundant.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 2:21 AM
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re: 186

[Quickly typed broad brush stuff]

There are all kinds of objections to naive Popperianism.*

For example, it fails to really pay much attention to the theory-dependence of observation. It's not like there's some special class of facts (empirical evidence) that we are just presented with and which we can rely upon to adjudicate between rival theories. The gathering of empirical evidence is itself a theory-laden enterprise. You need a crap-load of theory to connect the reading on your $foo-meter with the claim that $foo has a particular value, and then a crap-load more before you get to the claim that a particular $foo-value falsifies some theory or other. This applies even when the empirical observation is something as straightforward as naked-eye observation.

Which ties in pretty straightforwardly to holism about scientific theories, of the Quine-Duhem sort. Given the theory dependence of evidence, scientific theories are holistic in character. You've got a whole mass of theory plus evidence, and it's not the case that there's some straightforward and simple rule about what you do when something or other in that web (to use Quine's metaphor) doesn't fit. You could, for example, decide that Dumbstein's theory of $foo-dynamics is clearly false, because of the evidence from your $foo-meter; or you could decide that the theory is probably true, but there's something wrong with that particular meter; or you could decide that in fact the theoretical apparatus connecting $foo-meters and $foo-values is probably wrong, because there's some confounding factor, or error in the model used to construct the apparatus; or you could decide that in fact, the $foo-meter is accurate, and the $foo-theory doesn't fit with the reading, but you decide to just take that as an 'anomaly' because the $foo-theory as it stands is really useful, has great predictive power, accords with most of the other information you have. Perhaps you decide that at some future point, someone's going to come up with a new improved $foo-theory, but, for the time being, Dumbstein's $foo-theory is a pretty good working approximation, and so on.

Furthermore, for any given set of observations, it's sometimes claimed there are always going to be multiple theories that are commensurable with that evidence. This is the classic 'underdetermination of theory by evidence'. Scientists don't just use empirical-fit as the be-all-and-end-all of norms of theory choice. Things like elegance, and productiveness, and parsimony and so on all get invoked.

The picture in which evidence straightforwardly settles theoretical conflicts is hopelessly simplistic, basically. Theories just don't get falsified -- even in ideal, 'perfect science' cases -- in the way that the simplistic Popperian picture claims. And, further, historians and sociologists of science present a picture of actual working science that's radically at odds with the Popperian ideal.

You might still want to use some looser claim -- that a body of theory be at least in principle responsive to empirical evidence of some sort -- but that's a fairly minimal criterion for something to count as a scientific enterprise, and doesn't really demarcate science from non-science in the way that crude Popperians often want to claim. I think a lot of philosophers of science are generally pretty sceptical about the demarcation problem really being a solvable (or interesting) one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarcation_problem

* There are 'Popperian' responses to pretty much all of these objections, but it's fairly true that among philosophers of science Popperianism hasn't really held sway for a long time ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 3:19 AM
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199

198 should be amended so that the last substantive sentence reads: "I think a lot of philosophers of science areMy girlfriend is generally pretty sceptical about the demarcation problem really being a solvable (or interesting) one - should I dump her?", and posted to the front page as Ask the Mineshaft.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 4:02 AM
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200

Kobe2!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 6:36 AM
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201

200: Not in the realm of professional mathematicians.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 6:50 AM
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