Tuesday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Well, Ms Althouse has the best response to gun nuttery in the wake of the CT shootings (and for the rhetorically challenged, a little explanation of what is being said).
  2. And so, here are some of the Presidents options on controlling gay community/activity in the wake of the U-Penn/Sandusky affair.
  3. Mental health? Actually … there was a WSJ article this morning (likely behind pay-walls) that pointed out only 47% of the similar shootings in the last 30 years have been linked to mental illness. So … even if we “fixed” our mental health it isn’t going to be the fix we might hope (that is 90% or better). The Norway shooter for example was not clinically insane (how about just plain evil?).
  4. Speaking of evil.
  5. And a homily in response to Friday’s events.
  6. Timelines, Timelords, and liturgy.
  7. What will “he” do.
  8. Warming and solar variation. “perhaps because … ” … ya think?
  9. More weather, err, climate stuff.
  10. Scholastic majors.
  11. New world maladies.
  12. Flee.
  13. Connecting abortion and child support.

13 responses to “Tuesday Highlights

  1. 2.And so, here are some of the Presidents options on controlling gay community/activity in the wake of the U-Penn/Sandusky affair.

    Not sure if this is a typo or if you’re trying to be ironic? Were you thinkin gof the VA college shooting and mentally swapping that with UPenn and Sandusky which had nothing to do with guns?

    3.Mental health? Actually … there was a WSJ article this morning (likely behind pay-walls) that pointed out only 47% of the similar shootings in the last 30 years have been linked to mental illness. So … even if we “fixed” our mental health it isn’t going to be the fix we might hope (that is 90% or better).

    I don’t think the Norway shooter was clinically insane. But 47% linkage is pretty huge. IMO the figure is probably higher because we simply will never know what drove some shooters. I agree that even an ideal mental health system won’t stop all shootings. I also accept it’s possible some mentally ill shooters might have choosen to commit some type of violence even if they had been treated for mental illness to the best of our ability.

    Perhaps we should designate a category for psychopaths, something like ‘mentally handicapped’ given that they aren’t suffering form an illness as much as simply lack the ability to feel empathy the way a person born without eyes lacks the ability to see.

  2. 8.Warming and solar variation. “perhaps because … ” … ya think?

    There’s no grants to study sun spots and solar activity? Hmmm….. Smells like the crazies who run around declaring that simple herbs can cure cancer or we can replace oil with perpetural motion machines but this is being covered up by ‘big medicine’ or ‘big oil’ who are making too much money.

    Speaking of big oil….it really seems absurd to argue that there’s no route for serious solar science to be done outside the gov’t. As if oil, coal, power generation, the huge sovereign funds of Saudi Arabia etc. would not be interested in funding science that really demonstrated warming was only due to solar variation.

  3. Boonton,
    Re #2 … Not typo, not ironic. See the Althouse link(s) in #1. Question … also … from here

    As to the first path — I would start by assessing the following question: Supposing it were known that extensive media coverage of mass shootings was known to increase the likelihood of (or cause, in many folks vocabulary) copycat incidents. Would it then be acceptable to prosecute news organizations that shared the information outside the town it occurred in?

    Perhaps not gun control, but press control?

    The WSJ article noted that statistically “mass shootings” (defined as more than 2-3 victims) are statistically flat in the last 30 years but there has been an increase in the ones like CT. Perhaps the press angle 24/hour news cycle + internet is not so stupid.

    Speaking of big oil….it really seems absurd to argue that there’s no route for serious solar science to be done outside the gov’t.

    Is this humor?

  4. Re #2 … Not typo, not ironic.

    I’m not really following the connection to gay community activity following Sandusky affair. Sandusky was married to a woman and as far as we know never had any ties to the gay community nor did he ever appear to have taken an adult male lover.

    In terms of the comparision with free speech and the press, free expression has always been accorded a greater amount of freedom due to the respect for free will and the fact that expression remains abstract. If I shoot a bullet at your brain, you’re in trouble, in a way that will simply not be the case if I articulate to you a ‘bad idea’. The bad idea cannot do anything in the real world without you ‘helping’ in some manner by accepting and acting on it. The bullet to your brain will harm you regardless of what you care to think about it.

  5. Boonton,

    I’m not really following the connection to gay community activity following Sandusky affair.

    Exactly. Mr Sandusky was using homosexual rape of minors. The shooter was shooting minors with a pistol. You think that gun control might fix things. How about gay male penis control fixing the Sandusky matter? The connection is exactly parallel to the connection to the gun community. That is to say, none at all. Ms Althouse was spot on.

    If your words cause another man to shoot 20 students your bad idea did something in the real world. If the primary reason for the rise in mass killings is the press coverage and the incumbent notoriety then that’s the problem then perhaps curbing the press would do more to prevent these sorts of things than gun laws. Statistically there is little to no correlation between guns and such shootings. Japan and Switzerland have the least amount of gun violence. Japan has about the least number of guns per capita and the Swiss have the highest.

  6. Exactly. Mr Sandusky was using homosexual rape of minors. The shooter was shooting minors with a pistol. You think that gun control might fix things. How about gay male penis control fixing the Sandusky matter?

    Are pensis optional, detachable equipment that males buy in stores rather than being born with? If so then I should probably see a doctor.

    If your words cause another man to shoot 20 students your bad idea did something in the real world.

    You can’t get from A to B here without the other person in the mix. My words can’t cause you to kill 20 students in the way that pulling the trigger 20 times can cause 20 deaths. Unless you want to argue that some words are so potent as to have a nearly magical ability to void free will.

    Statistically there is little to no correlation between guns and such shootings. Japan and Switzerland have the least amount of gun violence. Japan has about the least number of guns per capita and the Swiss have the highest.

    If you’re talking about mass killings then you’re not talking about statistical gun violence. As bad as the killings were, they barely make a blip in gun violence for 2012. Likewise the 3,000 dead on 9/11 were not even a blip in terms of total violent death in America.

  7. Boonton,
    What does “optional” have to do with the comparison?

    Unless you want to argue that some words are so potent as to have a nearly magical ability to void free will.

    The rise of the media and net is correlated with the rise of the mass shootings (and yes, correlation does not equal causation) … while the rise of gun regulations is anti-correlated with shootings. Yet you figure the problem is the thing which is anti-correlated. While correlation is not causation, anti-correlation is far less likely than correlation to be cause.

    If you’re talking about mass killings then you’re not talking about statistical gun violence.

    Uhm, Japan and Swiss have little of either (mass or statistical gun violence).

  8. Boonton,
    Somebody else got the point of the comparison. I think you do too, you’re just pretending not to.

  9. The rise of the media and net is correlated with the rise of the mass shootings (and yes, correlation does not equal causation) … while the rise of gun regulations is anti-correlated with shootings

    Call this the Herostratus effect, which I think is a real factor here. Herostratus burned down the Temple of Artemis and when he was arrested said he did it so that his name owuld be remembered forever. He was executed and they attempted to ban his name but it was written down and we know it to this day.

    But I think you’re missing something here. A speaks something to B who commits act C. A’s words do not cause C except through th action of B and by flowing through B we attach responsibility to B. When A holds weapon B and shoots it at C, we assign no responsibility to the weapon. No one thinks the gun itself was evil, everyone understands the act of pulling the trigger was just mechanics that resulted in the deaths.

    Consider this, I grab you from behind, putting the edge of a knife in your fist while holding your hand with my hands. You cannot resist my physical strength despite your best efforts and I force the your hand to knife some innocent person. My guilt and your innocence is beyond question here. But now try playing that out with words or ideas rather than physical action. Try to imagine words I might speak that are so powerful that no jury in the world would consider you guilty for stabbing someone to death?

    The words are unable to do anything unless on some level you are willing to actively collude with them which means you cannot keep resposibility isolated to just the speaker.

  10. Uhm, Japan and Swiss have little of either (mass or statistical gun violence).

    You might conclude that this means gun control has no effect, either good or bad. But aother possibility is a multiple peak eviroment where other factors create different optimums. That might mean that Japan would end up with more violence if they started to increase gun ownership to Swiss levels while at the same time the Swiss would see no decrease in violence if they tried to clamp down on their guns.

    In other words, what works well in NY might not work well in TX.

  11. Boonton,

    In other words, what works well in NY might not work well in TX.

    Good to hear your early objections to Obama’s soon-to-be-coming federal gun control suggestions.

  12. Boonton,
    You’re running the argument the wrong way. The argument isn’t that the words cause this, it’s that they are correlated. Gun regulations/restrictions are not. Citing something anti-correlated makes even less sense than citing something correlated. You think we shouldn’t restrict speech. You should be less generous toward those who want to restrict guns (which are … not “doing anything” either and are anti-correlated).

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