Thursday Highlights

Having a good week? We’re doing OK. Well, I’ve missed a few days posting, let’s see what we’ve collected (I haven’t stopped reading, just haven’t had much access to a computer … I can read on a tablet … link posting can be done but is a little (so far) laborious).

  1. I’m pretty sure that’s not how the lib/progs see it. Best I can tell, they figure this healthcare is so important, it’s more important than fussy questions of whether there are any limits to governmental power or the Constitutionality of the bill.  I’m not the only one who thinks that’s their point.
  2. Or maybe the White House punted their defence, because they want it to fall.
  3. Considering dueling.
  4. Discarding pets and ambiguous phrasing. This afternoon our dog passed two dogs in the back of a car that looked a lot like that dog. It was hysterically funny, she (our dog) just pranced along minding her own business, pointedly ignoring the other dogs who were going berserk with barking. When the barking finally died down, Sophie looked up briefly and barked three or four times at which the other two resumed their furious onslaught and she went back to ignoring them … or perhaps you had to be there.
  5. Sin and the church as that hospital, which is made of and made for sinners.
  6. Envy? Seems like prose poetry to me.
  7. Liberals, many of whom profess to be “reality/study” based … but aren’t in the slightest. I’m visiting Missouri for the kids spring break … Missouri has one of the lowest gun crime rates in the nation and the laxest gun laws … another interesting factoid … open carry in bars doesn’t increase gun violence in towns that allow it. But hey, maybe they don’t like concealed carry because they’re trying to keep women in their place.
  8. Speaking of that Trayvon kerfuffle, it seems odd to me that the same guys who insisted we not parse particulars on deciding whether waterboarding was or wasn’t torture, decides that if you’re nose doesn’t have fractured cartilage you weren’t really punched in the schnoze. I’ve also been struck with the parallels between those who decided to continually enlarge the category “black” when that was bad with any smidge of non-white blood made ya’ colored and those who think, for those who think that white is “bad” that any bit of white in you means your Hispanic mother/White father makes ya’ whitey white. Odd that.
  9. Is there a limit to the commerce clause? Seriously? I wonder when/if the left will imagine that there might be some behavior they will not want regulated that this unlimited commerce clause interpretation will come to bite them back.
  10. At 4k mph … what could go wrong?
  11. As car become more automatic … will I be the last knucklehead on the road with preferring and using manual tranny?
  12. Another unhappy #1 for the US.
  13. Where media bias puts us.
  14. I thought you mostly use your nose to taste.
  15. Ooh, another digression, workouts and kids. One of the family memories we have is with me doing interval training on a mtb bike … pulling the kids in the trailer singing (during the hard parts of the intervals) a “faster poppa faster” song (to 3-5 y/old kid melodies) and then me cooking the bike too fast on the limestone trail around a corner and laying it down. The kids that that was really really cool and wanted me to do it again. Me? My knee was bloodied enough that I decided we’d be better off turning for home. Still. A great time, great memory.
  16. Longer than normal waiting period … so, was that reported on the media/left-wing blogs? Ya think?
  17. An add for Corning gorilla glass? Or comedy?
  18. The forces of Mordor and trademark stupidity.

26 responses to “Thursday Highlights

  1. I’m visiting Missouri for the kids spring break … Missouri has one of the lowest gun crime rates in the nation and the laxest gun laws … another interesting factoid …

    Do you perhaps think you may have the causality backwards here? They enjoy an open carry law because almost everyone behaves properly with their guns?

    Speaking of bars, consider the numerous places where it’s illegal to drink in public. I would purpose in a population where public drunkeness is rare, public drinking would be tolerated. In one where it is a problem, public drinking won’t be tolerated.

    Consider gun crime a type of ‘drunkeness’. Populations where almost everyone behaves with their guns simply have little need for gun control laws and laws. But it doesn’t follow that abolishing the laws is what created the crime free environment and that the crime rate of NYC, LA or Detroit will drop to the same level with open carry.

    decides that if you’re nose doesn’t have fractured cartilage you weren’t really punched in the schnoze

    I don’t recall anyone saying that. I do think that the claim that ‘his nose was broken’ does not seem to square with the video images of him immediately after the confrontation or the lack of documented medical treatment other than seemingly minor’first aid’ by the attending officers.

    between those who decided to continually enlarge the category “black” when that was bad with any smidge of non-white blood made ya’ colored and those who think, for those who think that white is “bad” that any bit of white in you means your Hispanic mother/White father makes ya’ whitey white. Odd that.

    Not sure which community you’re talking about here. Those who ‘enlarged’ the definition of black was Southern racists who, I believe, decreed that 1/16th black blood made one black regardless of one’s skin tone. But given that these race laws were written over a century ago I’m not sure who is still alive from that era whose able to be commenting about the Trayvon Martin affair.

    As for deciding that Hispanic mother means you’re white, the only over the top ‘decisions’ I’ve seen is from the right who seem to think that pointing out he is half Hispanic somehow proves he couldn’t be racist against blacks. I agree many of those outraged by the incident might have assumed he was white because of his picture but I haven’t heard anyone whose argument for arresting him hinges upon assuming he is white.

    BTW, do you think its a tad improper to use the word ‘kerfuffle’ here? Whatever you think happened, a young man was shot to death. If one of your kids was shot to death would you appreciate it being described as a ‘kerfuffle’? The word sounds more properly associated with a less weighty affair rather than one where blood has been shed.

  2. Broccoli does nicely illustrate the limiting principle. I blow all my money on Mcdonald’s shamerock shakes and I get an itch for some broccoli, what happens? Nothing. Unless I can beg, borrow or steal some broccoli I go without.

    I decide I don’t need health insurance, then I slip on the sidewalk and hit my head leaving me in intensive care for the next 5 years. What happens? Everyone else pays for me. The limiting principle is very simple, I can refuse to play provided I am prevented from offloading my costs onto others. Now could Congress consider some type of ‘universal everything’ law mandating everything for everyone? Beats me, that’s not how US law and the English common law tradition it evolved from works. Courts are not in the business of granting advice to the legislature. Their job is to decide the laws actually passed, not hypothetical laws about broccoli.

    Now of course the more sensible point is that there is simply no mandate in the bill. Let me pose to you this thought experiment:

    Suppose Congress passes a $600 supplemental income tax on everyone. BUT it also passes a tax credit. If you buy health insurance either on your own or via your employer you can claim a tax credit of up to $600 thereby reducing your income tax cost by up to that much.

    vola there’s the mandate! Exactly the same as what was passed. If that’s unconstitutional then it also has to be unconstitutional to have deductions for charitable contributions, credits for adopting a kid, and so on.

  3. Actually, come to think of it, you wouldn’t even need the $600 tax. You could just adopt a $600 tax credit, leaving all other rates unchanged. The incentive or ‘mandate’ effect would be the same. Not having any type of insurance would leave one $600 less rich than having it.

  4. Boonton,
    And you think drinking establishments where, you know, people get drunk would lead to higher gun violence. But it doesn’t.

    But it doesn’t follow that abolishing the laws is what created the crime free environment and that the crime rate of NYC, LA or Detroit will drop to the same level with open carry.

    People carrying legal firearms aren’t the problem. And you know it. Do you think a gang member got his gun licensed? Or cares a whit about that? Do strict gun licensing laws reduce gun violence. Nope (you can verify that, it’s one of those unfortunate statistics ignored by people on the left).

    I do think that the claim that ‘his nose was broken’ does not seem to square with the video images of him immediately after the confrontation or the lack of documented medical treatment other than seemingly minor’first aid’ by the attending officers.

    So, you too think waterboarding is not torture. Interesting.

    BTW, do you think its a tad improper to use the word ‘kerfuffle’ here? Whatever you think happened, a young man was shot to death. If one of your kids was shot to death would you appreciate it being described as a ‘kerfuffle’? The word sounds more properly associated with a less weighty affair rather than one where blood has been shed.

    I do think the circus in Washington and the media is properly described as such. The fact that a young man was shot was irrelevant to their purpose, the event is a pretext for.

    But given that these race laws were written over a century ago I’m not sure who is still alive from that era whose able to be commenting about the Trayvon Martin affair.

    I was making a comparison. I’m not clear why both group need be alive contemporaneously to make a comparison. ” I agree many of those outraged by the incident might have assumed he was white because of his picture but I haven’t heard anyone whose argument for arresting him hinges upon assuming he is white.” And people weren’t “arresting” people for being black. They were categorized as such. Just as this categorization is done. “White” + “Concealed carry” -> racist. It’s a given. Absolute. You know, guns god and religion and bigotry. And hatred. And so on. (is Kerfuffle … see)

  5. Boonton,
    There is a mandate in the bill and it isn’t a tax. You say you want to not argue hypotheticals. So don’t pretend it’s “just a tax”. Your President says it isn’t. Perhaps you could frame a tax Constitutionally (there are (as you know) un-Constitutional taxes) … but the President and his minions have decided to use the Commerce clause to back the law, not taxes. You might prefer he used taxes. But he didn’t. That would be a different law then the one he’s defending.

  6. And you think drinking establishments where, you know, people get drunk would lead to higher gun violence. But it doesn’t.

    Actually one wouldn’t. The sensible hypothesis is that it depends on the population. consider a college town populated by many 21 yr olds versus a blue collar working town where the average age is, say, 45. In both towns the bars are able to be open to 2:30 am yet I would propose that in one town you’d see a lot more problems with drunk behavior (driving, fights, rowdiness, noise ec.) than the other. The key factor is not so much letting the bars be open to 2:30 AM but the nature of the populations. Requiring 1 AM be last call may address some of the problems in the college town but just be an annoyance in the older town. Likewise people in gun toting states are likewise less prone to getting rowdy with their guns…hence you can let them carry into the bars just as the working class town can let its bars be open later.

    People carrying legal firearms aren’t the problem. And you know it. Do you think a gang member got his gun licensed? Or cares a whit about that? Do strict gun licensing laws reduce gun violence.

    Working again by analogy, would an earlier closing time or closer bar scrutiny reduce problems in the college town? Probably it would. But if you use the working class town as a control, you may see no relationship. You may see no reduction in problems in the working class town when the bars are required to close an hour earlier therefore you declare that the college town should let the bars be open even later! But you’d likely end up increasing your problem.

    onto broken noses….

    So, you too think waterboarding is not torture. Interesting.

    Nope, I’m saying the claim that his nose was broken in a fight with the boy does not seem to square up with the more objective evidence we have, namely the police report, the video tape, and the lack (so far) of any actual medical documentation. I’m perfectly willing to entertain a claim of self-defense but at this point I think the question to ask is what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if police had arrived and found the kid holding a gun over the body of the neighborhood watch guy and he told them that after the guy stalked him he attacked him and in the scuffle he ‘stood his ground’ and shot him in self defense. Somehow I doubt the police would not have shrugged and said self-defense, can’t do anything.

    I think whether or not the guy is ultimately found to have acted in self-defense, what irks many in the black community is the very blatent double standard here.

    Kerfuffle:
    I do think the circus in Washington and the media is properly described as such. The fact that a young man was shot was irrelevant to their purpose, the event is a pretext for.

    Circus in Washington over this? Where? Seems like the outrage is throughout the country with Washington only being 2ndary and after the fact.

    On ‘whiteness’ of the shooter:
    I was making a comparison. I’m not clear why both group need be alive contemporaneously to make a comparison. ” I agree many of those outraged by the incident might have assumed he was white because of his picture but I haven’t heard anyone whose argument for arresting him hinges upon assuming he is white.”

    I haven’t heard anyone assert it was outrageous because he was white. Yes I’m sure some may have mistakenly assumed he was white by just looking at his picture but noone has presented an argument that I’m aware of that is predicated on the shooter’s race. Well except for the right which has asserted a rather strange theory that the shooter couldn’t have been racist because he was hispanic.

    Just as this categorization is done. “White” + “Concealed carry” -> racist. It’s a given. Absolute. You know, guns god and religion and bigotry. And hatred. And so on. (is Kerfuffle … see)

    Ahhh so you’re conducting a debate with imaginary people inside your head that you use as cartoons to represent real people you think you disagree with. You’d probably save a lot of time if you confined your imaginary debates to imaginary blod posts leaving us with real stuff to discuss here.

    Mandate:

    There is a mandate in the bill and it isn’t a tax. You say you want to not argue hypotheticals. So don’t pretend it’s “just a tax”. Your President says it isn’t.

    Defend this assertion! What exactly makes it a mandate rather than a tax? Because the President says so? Because a lawyer choose one argument in a court rather than another? If this is what laws mean then why were you chiming in on the meme of ‘read the whole bill!’ a few years ago?

    the President and his minions have decided to use the Commerce clause to back the law, not taxes. …

    So what?

    You might prefer he used taxes. But he didn’t. That would be a different law then the one he’s defending.

    Really? Can you show me in a coherent fashion how radically different hte bill would supposedly be if it used a tax rather than a mandate? As far as I can see it would look, function and probably even read exactly the same.

  7. Boonton,

    The sensible hypothesis is that it depends on the population. consider a college town populated by many 21 yr olds versus a blue collar working town where the average age is, say, 45. In both towns the bars are able to be open to 2:30 am yet I would propose that in one town you’d see a lot more problems with drunk behavior (driving, fights, rowdiness, noise ec.) than the other. The key factor is not so much letting the bars be open to 2:30 AM but the nature of the populations.

    Again you might be right, but maybe not. For example, extending the last call past 1am might decrease late night violence in college towns, if (as was the case at UofChicago) the library closed at 1am, then the guys/gals going for a nightcap might be the ones who study until the library closes … and less not more prone to violence and fights, &c.

    Circus in Washington over this? Where?

    What? You missed images of Mr Rush wearing a hoodie and not getting off the podium in the House?

    I haven’t heard anyone assert it was outrageous because he was white.

    I’ve seen cites to the NYTimes on that.

    Ahhh so you’re conducting a debate with imaginary people inside your head that you use as cartoons to represent real people you think you disagree with.

    No. I’m a conservative. You’re not. You fail to realize that we get charged as racist not infrequently.

    What exactly makes it a mandate rather than a tax? Because the President says so? Because a lawyer choose one argument in a court rather than another? If this is what laws mean then why were you chiming in on the meme of ‘read the whole bill!’ a few years ago?

    Why does he say it isn’t a tax if it isn’t. He, unlike you or I, is allegedly a Constitutional lawyer. You, after all, are of the party of “don’t read it, pass it and we’ll find out” … which we shall see if that policy continues as recommended practice when your party is not in power.

    According to SCOTUS blog, the problem with calling it a tax is that the tax, as presented in the bill and the oral arguments, is not a tax which is permitted by Constitution, so for that purposes “it’s not a tax” … but later in his arguments it is a tax … leading to observations by jurists about questionable tax/not-tax status for the mandate. Have you followed the discussions on Volokh and SCOTUSBlog? You seem to be figuring “if it’s a tax” therefore it’s OK. That isn’t the case. The Constitution (and the SCOTUS precedents) have placed limits on the taxing power of the feds.

  8. Again you might be right, but maybe not. For example, extending the last call past 1am might decrease late night violence in college towns, if…

    I may or may not be right about the dynamics of bar regulation on college towns but it’s more important to get here that you are missing the point.

    What you’re buying into is a very simple type of controlled study. State X let’s you carry even bars, State Y does not yet X has no more or even fewer incidents of bar shootings as Y.

    But that doesn’t tell us concealed carry in bars is a good idea or that concealed carry is a good idea in itself. State Y may not let you carry into bars because State Y has more rowdy bars than State X and more people packing will mean more incidents in State Y than in the more sedate State X.

    The causality here might be backwards. You’re thinking State X’s policy on packing in bars reduces or doesn’t increase bar shootings. The reality may be the opposite. Because State X has so few bar shootings to begin with, it’s no big deal if people carry in bars as they are just not ‘the bar shooting up types’ whereas State Y would see nothing but more bar shootings if they tried to mimic the other state’s approach.

    I’ve seen cites to the NYTimes on that.

    Really? Gotta URL on that or should I just read every article on the NYT site until I find something that supports your assertion?

    No. I’m a conservative. You’re not. You fail to realize that we get charged as racist not infrequently.

    Clarrify please, are you charged by your imaginary friends or real life ones? If by real ones, why not respond to those specific charges rather than making up ones? Likewise what does that have to do with this case? Zimmerman, as far as I know, has no known history of his political views so why assume he is a fellow conservative being unjustly charged with racism?

    Why does he say it isn’t a tax if it isn’t. He, unlike you or I, is allegedly a Constitutional lawyer.

    I’m unclear, he was in front of the SC making a legal argument on it not being a tax? Surprised I missed that! Gotta cite?

    According to SCOTUS blog, the problem with calling it a tax is that the tax, as presented in the bill and the oral arguments, is not a tax which is permitted by Constitution, so for that purposes “it’s not a tax” … but later in his arguments it is a tax … leading to observations by jurists about questionable tax/not-tax status for the mandate.

    What exactly makes it a tax ‘not permitted in the Constitution’? Those making this argument seem to be unable to close the coherency gap. They say Congress can pass a $600 per head tax on income to do health care. They say Congress can pass a tax credit of $600 for various things (adopt a kid, put solar panels on your roof, buy an electric car, etc.). Yet put the two together and somehow it becomes Unconstitutional. How, in your own words, does that happen?

  9. Boonton,
    On the kerfuffle?

  10. Boonton,
    The study I’d seen was not comparing state X to state Y. But the situation prior to when region X hadn’t allowed open carry in bars and to a time after they had allowed it. There was no measurable change in gun related violence. This is a comparison of State X to State X, not X to Y.

    Have you been to a shooting range? It is my, admittedly narrow experience, that people at ranges are extremely polite and for that matter very open, talkative, and quite nice. Would that people were so nice commuting. The inner city problem with hoods-with-guns might be less not more if ordinary and reasonable people were armed more often than not. This again, is the problem with Mr Horowitz position that guns=bad, disarming single women traveling alone doesn’t make them safer. Not allowing concealed carry makes women less not more safe, it’s a very anti-feminist position to take.

  11. On the kerfuffle?

    I asked you to post a source of your assertion that voices, possibly real or possibly imaginary ones in your head, were arguing that Zimmerman was racist because he is white and his victim is black. You specifically cited the NYT, yet this link only asserts that the NYT got the weights of Zimmerman and Martin wrong.

    The study I’d seen was not comparing state X to state Y. But the situation prior to when region X hadn’t allowed open carry in bars and to a time after they had allowed it. There was no measurable change in gun related violence. This is a comparison of State X to State X, not X to Y. </I.

    Unfortunately even time moves on. NYC circa 1990 was a very different place than NYC 2001. I'm wondering if your study was able to capture a true 'baseline' and filter out what might be a natural change in crime rates that might be totally unrelated to a carry policy.

    Likewise cause and effect is still unclear there. If there's a sense that crime is falling, carry laws may not seem very important to enforce hence the move to eliminate them. To revert to the bar analogy, a town that becomes more blue collar, older worker and less wile partying college kids may start relaxing bar regulations. A 'study' that compared the rates of drinking problems before and after the relaxation would likewise indicate problems decreased after relaxing the rules on bars, but that doesn't give you the cause and effect.

    Have you been to a shooting range? It is my, admittedly narrow experience, that people at ranges are extremely polite and for that matter very open, talkative, and quite nice. Would that people were so nice commuting.

    What you’re seeing, though, is the filter effect. While it’s true there actually are people in the US who are not allowed to drive because they are so bad on the road, generally the bar is not set very high. To the degree the shooting range represents a self-selected elite, they will surely seem above average in things like politeness, level headedness, and so on. The same thing happens, IMO, with home schooling. The self-selected elite whose into it does a better than average job, because they are better than average. Get everyone or most people to start doing it, and the fall to the average will happen.

    Had an experience with this with my sister-in-law who very briefly, to the horror of all in the house, considered homeschooling her son only to give up on the idea after a visit from the local principle and police officer. While she, no doubt, had the ‘above average figure’ in the back of her head, we all knew what the reuslt would be in her case (homeschool for one day, halfschool next day, from then on out TV and Xbox).

  12. Boonton,
    Yes, you asked for the reference/link. I’m not sure how you read blogs or view things but I read enough, quickly enough, that requests to “locate” something I read two or three days ago is a difficult one to fulfill. I suspect the same is true for you, but it is an effective and annoying rhetorical technique. The NYTimes calls him white. My analogy is that unattractive categories get expanded to fit more people … like the expansion of “Black” and now, in the liberal mind, the expansion of white. Have you seen pictures of Mr Zimmerman. You can’t miss his Hispanic/Peruvian background. But … the Times chose to term him as “white”. Why? Are you nervous that you might be having negative notions attached to the term “white” and also have a tendency then to expand that category with other undesireables when possibly not warranted?

    As for the filter effect, yes there is some filter effect. And you need to realize that the other side is true. That these people are very likely more polite when armed then when not. The occasional hipster post-high school low riding pantsed fellows aren’t always very very polite, except oddly enough when armed and surrounded by armed people they are. Can you imagine why guys and gals shooting holes in paper with deadly weapons might be more polite than they would be in other circumstances? (did you dodge the question of whether you’ve been to a range? or did I miss something?)

    You’ve also put yourself in a strange position. One that holds that statistical comparison(s) are required and basically all invalid. You can’t compare anything to anything because all things aren’t held equal, yet, being a member of the “reality” based party you need to use these tools for every “true” statement you might make about social matters.

  13. Boonton,
    You seem very resistant to the notions that (a) allowing/disallowing licensed firearms don’t increase gun violence or that (b) concealed carry/guns can make life safer for single women.

    Am I reading you correctly on that? Why do you feel these two things to be the case?

  14. I’m resistant to shoddy reasoning, which you must dislike too otherwise why would you insist on tossing out so much of it for free here. I’m rather agnostic on the question of concealed carry itself. Like I said I suspect its usefulness may depend greatly upon the local population itself.

    As for single women, I suspect the problem with the argument is that its a wash. Yes in the right circumstances, a gun can equalize an unequal confrontation. But then has any jurisdiction tried concealed carry primarily for single young women? Humans live lifetimes, not particular cases. While a concealed gun may help the single woman walking down a dark ally being followed by a strange man, at the same time the single woman may also confront a world where her brother is at risk of getting shot in a stupid dispute in the street. I suspect this is why you get the most support for pro-gun laws in places where guns actually are the least likely to cause much trouble (and, obviously, do much good, at least when it comes to deterring crime).

    In the Florida case, though, the dispute is not so much over concealed carry but the ‘stand your ground’ law which seems esp. well suited to faciliate murder.

  15. Boonton,

    I’m rather agnostic on the question of concealed carry itself.

    Both sides of the concealed carry (NRA vs ??) cite statistics that support their case depending on their POV. The most reliable stats I’ve heard actually cite this as a wash, that some crime is prevented by the threat of your victim being armed and able to use it and there might be a larger chance of “her brother” dying in a stupid dispute. What I mean by “a wash” is that those reliable stats show no real measurable increase in gun violence or prevention. Given that state, it seems to me that the logical thing to do is allow not deny.

    In the Florida case, though, the dispute is not so much over concealed carry but the ‘stand your ground’ law which seems esp. well suited to faciliate murder.

    Well, there is a problem there as well. Not allowing stand your ground (or arms) means that you get the following (a blog on my list but his POV is not one I’d necessarily espouse in many instances). My take on this is that a women being abused by a group of men in a train. Current law and practice means that nobody can even really speak up and interfere or assist the women because doing so will place the person who might assist in grave (legal) danger (setting aside the physical issues). Help her and you’ll likely go to jail. There are other situations where “good samaritan” activity is legally proscribed. Is that a situation we desire? Why?

    Why do you think Mr Zimmerman would be murdering someone he doesn’t know? Is that your accusation?

  16. Both sides of the concealed carry (NRA vs ??) cite statistics that support their case depending on their POV. The most reliable stats I’ve heard actually cite this as a wash, that some crime is prevented by the threat of your victim being armed and able to use it and there might be a larger chance of “her brother” dying in a stupid dispute.

    You note that it doesn’t seem like an option to have concealed carry just for ‘the single woman on the street’ and not for everyone else. For such a hypothetical single woman it’s not a stupid question. Yes she might be safer walking down dark streets if she can carry a concealed gun. But then again if young men are also allowed to carry concealed guns does her safety increase, in, say, bars, nightclubs or even just out in public? In an area with a serious crime problem, the woman might very well conclude the safety gains of concealed carry can easily be replicated by other means (i.e. not walking down empty streets unescorted).

    Assume for a moment that my alternative case is true, that the gun laws aren’t driving crime but crime is driving gun laws…regimes with less crime relax their gun laws, those with more tighten them. The woman doesn’t live in snippets of time but in continuous time. If she is in an area where people generally are inclined to behave poorly with guns, she would rather see the law make it harder to get guns for everyone in that area.

    Well, there is a problem there as well. Not allowing stand your ground (or arms) means that you get the following (a blog on my list but his POV is not one I’d necessarily espouse in many instances).

    The ‘stand your ground’ law concerns the use of force for self defense. It would mean the woman would have to try to back away from the hooligans but if she was cornered then she could use force. Clearly you can write a law that allows one to come to the aid of another person being attacked without the drawback of Florida’s law that clearly facilitates murder. All you have to do is bait someone you don’t like into fighting you and then pull out your gun and kill him and vola it’s self defense.

    Why do you think Mr Zimmerman would be murdering someone he doesn’t know? Is that your accusation?

    Beats me, is that at all relevant? If he shot the kid when he wasn’t under any type of attack that would be murder. As for why he might do such a thing, that’s all very interesting and all but not really important. Plenty of murders happen for stupid reasons, for inexplicable reasons. Mr. zimmerman would hardly be the first if that was the case.

    IMO I think Mr zimmerman might be guilty of manslaughter even if the kid did attack him. He was an armed man who stalked a kid. If the kid made the wrong decision and attacked him, thinking perhaps that he was about to get mugged or something, I think one could make the case that Zimmerman was acting in a grossly reckless manner…essentially ‘baiting’ an attack while not taking reasonable precautions (such as warning the kid he was neighborhood watch and armed) which would result in manslaughter. Factors that would add to this would be Mr. Zimmerman’s disregarding of 911’s warning not to follow the kid he was reporting and his history of being a bit too ‘excessive’ in calling 911 on kids walking around his neighborhood.

  17. See look at the woman’s case in a world of Zimmerman type people. Yes she may, in some cases, use concealed carry to protect herself from crime. That’s a plus. But in a place full of zimmermans lots of high strung, irresponsible people, toting around guns is also a place where she is in higher danger of either losing a loved one or getting shot accidently.

    So on the pro side she gets enhanced ability to protect herself in a handful of possible cases. On the con side she sees the increased danger of either accidently getting shot by hotheads or seeing someone she cares about shot by hotheads.

    In a population with few hotheads, the pro is not offset by cons. In a population with many hotheads, the con may outweight the pro. Hence the same woman may rationally shift stances on concealed carry based on the nature of the place where she lives.

    If you look at it that way, you’d have a very good argument for Federalism and local rule as opposed to just trying to see it as an argument about whether gun laws are good or bad. That’s a bit of an absurd question if you’re going to insist on not looking at the specifics of the area involved.

  18. Boonton,

    You note that it doesn’t seem like an option to have concealed carry just for ‘the single woman on the street’ and not for everyone else.

    I’m not considering that because nobody I’ve ever seen has considered that. Do guys who can’t bench-press more than 90 pounds count as girls? Remember that ad with the nebbish guy who gets beat up? Can he be “legally a girl” for concealed carry?

    In an area with a serious crime problem, the woman might very well conclude the safety gains of concealed carry can easily be replicated by other means (i.e. not walking down empty streets unescorted).

    Well, self defense using a gun is non-trivial. Closing speeds and distances make using anything that you have to “pull out” very difficult. But it makes things more difficult for the predator if he has that to worry about, as well as the possibility that the bystander (currently nudged by his legal liabilities to inaction) might also be armed (and possible not as constrained as he/she is now). Would grandma in downtown be as easily mugged if half of the grandma’s downtown carried a Glock 9? Would your group of guys calling out girls as whores and worse as they walk by, egging them on, be as likely to do so if the elderly gentleman across the street and the subject/object of that abuse were likely (or openly) armed? Heinlein, I think, offered “a armed society is a polite society.” You don’t agree (apparently), but I’m thinking you haven’t been in an armed society before to see it happen.

    But then again if young men are also allowed to carry concealed guns does her safety increase, in, say, bars, nightclubs or even just out in public?

    According to the studies … no her safety doesn’t increase or decrease in that case. No change.

    So on the pro side she gets enhanced ability to protect herself in a handful of possible cases. On the con side she sees the increased danger of either accidently getting shot by hotheads or seeing someone she cares about shot by hotheads.

    In a population with few hotheads, the pro is not offset by cons. In a population with many hotheads, the con may outweight the pro. Hence the same woman may rationally shift stances on concealed carry based on the nature of the place where she lives.

    But the statistics show that the cons and pros are a wash. Not outweigh. A wash, meaning there is no change. The there is no con that you pretend exists. You keep pretending that easier licensing of guns leads to more gun violence but the stats don’t bear that out(which is the extreme point of the open carry in bars). When licensing is eased, and when it is clamped down, gun violence tends not to change. Specifically, there is no change in gun violence when laws are released or tightened. Why? A possible explanation is that those who commit gun violence can get illegal guns and making it hard to get guns legally, just makes it harder for people to legally use guns … not harder for people to illegally use them.

    If the kid made the wrong decision and attacked him, thinking perhaps that he was about to get mugged or something, I think one could make the case that Zimmerman was acting in a grossly reckless manner…essentially ‘baiting’ an attack while not taking reasonable precautions (such as warning the kid he was neighborhood watch and armed) which would result in manslaughter.

    If you’re going to claim he didn’t warn and “baited” the kid … don’t you have to show that he, you know, didn’t warn the kid? Why would you think that? You say the 911 tape shows XYZ, but are you aware the 911 transcripts released by the news media were edited to fit their narrative and are being retracted and redacted to show that Mr Zimmerman was not the hothead they pretended he was? (again, reason for liberals like yourself to be wary/chary of media bias which leads to their untruthfulness … they aren’t just slanting the news, they’re changing facts and lying to make their case).

    All you have to do is bait someone you don’t like into fighting you and then pull out your gun and kill him and vola it’s self defense.

    Huh? How the heck do you do that? Do you think someone you know could “bait you” into fighting them, or pulling a knife out and attacking them? Truly? What might they have to do to compel you to do that? It seems a bit of a stretch for pre-meditated murder … and that’s your claim.

  19. According to the studies … no her safety doesn’t increase or decrease in that case. No change.

    You’ve just destroyed your argument. Sadly my lot in life is to try to show you why you’ve gutten your own argument and I’ll probably fail….sigh….

    Anyway do your ‘studies’ compare lax gun laws versus strict gun laws in areas of high hothead concentration? Or do they assume all populations are exactly equal with the only difference in crime rates caused by different gun laws?

    Studies, esp. social science studies, quite often will seek to measure the easy variable (what type of gun laws a jurisdiction has) rather than a difficult one (how ‘hotheaded’ a jurisdiction’s people are) but that doesn’t mean the true causal agent is coming from the easy to measure variable.

  20. Boonton,
    It’s unclear how my argument is destroyed. You didn’t show it.

    Anyway do your ‘studies’ compare lax gun laws versus strict gun laws in areas of high hothead concentration?

    Yes. They compare lax gun laws to strict gun laws in places where the law was changed, i.e., hothead area before and after. I thought I’d made that clear.

  21. Why would you assume an area’s hotheadedness is a constant value? It seems like an area can become more or less mellow over time which could then cause gun laws to tighten or lax.

  22. As for how your argument has committed suicide, you asserted studies show no change in safety. Why, then, are you claiming women would benefit from lax gun laws? If they did wouldn’t your studies show a decrease in female victims of violence?

  23. Boonton,
    Why are you arguing for regulating a thing unaffected by your regulation. Why is not regulate/restrict your default choice? The point is a immeasurable or even slight change in safety is not a reason to restrict a thing. If gun controls don’t increase gun safety then there shouldn’t be gun control.

    Why would you assume an area’s hotheadedness is a constant value?

    Why assume that any “hotheadedness” trend is followed in numerous regions. You’d think that would be independent … as gun laws are not regional, but state-wide. You’d think that would average out. And if “hotheadedness” decreases with released gun laws (the other possibility) well, that’s an argument for laxer gun laws, eh?

  24. What if gun control impacts safety in some environments but not others? You seem to be missing this point because you can’t seem to grasp the concept that maybe your mental model of causality here might be wrong.

    Let’s consider the Jersey Shore bar model again. What would the impact of guns in bars be in a Jersey Shore type town? well the residents of such a town might consider that while the bars bring in lots of money and jobs, they also mean lots of people who are ‘hot headed’…..many cultural differences and most have little long term relationship with the community and with each other. It seems sensible to think that in such an environment letting people easily tote guns in bars is a perfect set up for lots of needless insanity and violence.

    But consider now that the community ceases to be a hot spot for Spring Break Wild Party Kids. As it becomes a boring and dull town full of nothing but long term regulars, the dangers of guns in bars ceases. At this level the gun control law has no effect at all. Perhaps if the NRA is big they will get it repealed, if not they won’t. Either way the policy has no impact on safety in this time period but it did in the previous one.

    Now let’s imagine you are coming along with a study whose premise is that gun policy has some casual effect on safety, crime or violence. Well the places that are consistently dull or consistently hotheaded will probably not bother to change their policies much. Your sample then will consist of inbetween places who may flip one way or another. You may find no relationship or even an opposite relationship not because none exists but because you don’t really understand the true casuality of the model here and even if you did you can’t really measure it very well.

    As you point out, gun laws are usually state-wide so there’s added difficulty in measurements. On top of that you have long term changes (for example the rather dramatic and still unexplained nationwide drop in crime since the early 90’s) to further confound your study. What usually happens here is that social scientists end up following the adage of the drunk man looking for his keys under the lampost not because he lost them there but because that’s the only place he can see…they will measure what is easy to measure and hope the correlations they uncover will be the true drivers of the dependent variables rather than the reverse.

    Why are you arguing for regulating a thing unaffected by your regulation. Why is not regulate/restrict your default choice?

    There seems to be an odd correlation here between large consumption of right wing blog fair and poor reading comprehension! I said I was agnostic on the issue. Regulation or deregulation is neither my default stance.

    My ‘hotheaded’ or ‘wild party town’ model is just a simplistic illustration. I think there’s other factors involved too. For example not just a ‘level headed’ culture but also a culture where gun ownership is common with a long history. Such a place may not need gun laws even if they are ‘hot headed’. In contrast a place where people do not set down deep roots and many different people interact (i.e. NYC or LA) may enhance safety with gun laws.

    Trying to figure this out by study is probably impossible IMO.

  25. Boonton,
    Sounds like you should be for relaxation of such laws, after all no when determination can be made, the thing must be close enough that not-regulate (being the default) should win.

  26. You seem to think that rigerously controlled studies are the only source of knowledge. In that case the default should not be relaxing or tightening but to override democracy and conduct rigerous studies. A random number generator should be used to randomly assign communities strict or lax laws. Then data can be collected and if there’s a relationship that exists either for all types of communities or only certain types of communities we can say we know for sure.

    But since that wouldn’t be very practical, the next best solution is for people to make educated guesses based partly on the few good studies performed and their common sense understanding of the communities they live in. So I have no issue with the ‘default’ in NY being you can’t bring guns into bars unless you’re a cop but the ‘default’ for Kansas being that you can bring guns into bars unless you already have a history of criminality or mental illness.

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