The New York Times goes past demonizing kids with autism to look at the broader causes of gun violence.
A focus on mass murder, while critical, does not get at the broader issue of gun violence, including the hundreds of single-victim murders, suicides, nonfatal shootings and other gun crimes that occur daily in the United States. And focusing on the mentally ill, most of whom are not violent, overlooks people who are at demonstrably increased risk of committing violent crimes but are not barred by federal law from buying and having guns.A bout of depression might mean you're unable to buy a handgun, but a bout of denting someone's face? Eh... probably not.
These would include people who have been convicted of violent misdemeanors including assaults, and those who are alcohol abusers. Unless guns are also kept from these high-risk people, preventable gun violence will continue.
Many people convicted of violent misdemeanors were originally charged with felonies but then convicted of lesser charges because of plea bargains. And research shows that people who have been convicted of any misdemeanors and who then legally buy a handgun are more likely to commit crimes after that gun purchase than buyers with no prior convictions.Add in a system that ignores alcohol abuse, and the result is violent drunks have no trouble getting guns.
Alex Kotlowitz isn't as concerned about who causes violence, as the cost it inflicts on everyone.
We report on the killers and the killed, but we ignore those who have been wounded or who have witnessed the shootings. What is the effect on individuals — especially kids — who have been privy to the violence in our cities’ streets?Come inside for some slightly (but only slightly) less violent punditry...
I ask this somewhat rhetorically because in many ways we know the answer. We’ve seen what exposure to the brutality of war does to combat veterans. It can lead to outbursts of rage, an inability to sleep, flashbacks, a profound sense of being alone, a growing distrust of everyone around you, a heightened state of vigilance, a debilitating sense of guilt. ...
As Tim O’Brien says, it gets in your bones. In the wake of Hadiya Pendleton’s shooting, we’ve talked about stiffer gun control laws, about better policing, about providing mentoring and after-school programs, all of which are essential. But missing from this conversation is any acknowledgment that the violence eats away at one’s soul.
Leonard Pitts looks at a brief act of violence, against a very small person, and wonders if it has something bigger to say about our society.
Shut that “nigger baby” up.Pitts' article is your Go Read It All pick of the week.
Those were the alleged words of the alleged man in the next seat just before he allegedly slapped the baby with an open palm, leaving a scratch below his right eye. ...
Hundley’s attorney, Marcia Shein, promises her client is no racist. In so doing, she embraces the cognitive dissonance which so often afflicts Americans when they are confronted with the ponderous idiocy of tribal hatred. Michael Richards, you will recall, said the same thing after a “comedy” routine in which he hurled the N-word at a heckler and suggested the man should be lynched. Mel Gibson swore he wasn’t an anti-Semite shortly after he cursed the Jews and accused them of starting all the world’s wars.
Ali Soufan reminds us that fiction is... fiction, and the fact is torture doesn't work.
I watched “Zero Dark Thirty” not as a former F.B.I. special agent who spent a decade chasing, interrogating and prosecuting top members of Al Qaeda but as someone who enjoys Hollywood movies. As a movie, I enjoyed it. As history, it’s bunk.Maybe instead of worrying about how kids are influenced by comic books / video games / cartoons / adult freak out topic of the week, we should worry about how jingoistic glorification of torture affects national policy.
In fact, torture led us away from Bin Laden. After Mr. Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times, he actually played down the importance of the courier who ultimately led us to Bin Laden. Numerous investigations, most recently a 6,300-page classified report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, have reached the same conclusion: enhanced interrogation didn’t work. Portraying torture as effective risks misleading the next generation of Americans that one of our government’s greatest successes came about because of the efficacy of torture. It’s a disservice both to our history and our national security.
And to finish this prolonged riff...
Stefan Tulty talks about how his time reporting crime fact gave him plenty of material for writing crime fiction.
Dana Milbank does violence only to the hypocrisy of GOP governors.
“It is not a white flag of surrender,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.Of course, Milbank is a member of the No, Really, I'm a Reasonable Republican League, and his downplaying the Tea Party pandemic may be just wishful thinking, but watching Rick Scott eat humble pie is kind of pleasing. Not as pleasing as not having Rick Scott around at all, but pleasing.
This was technically true: Scott did not wave a banner of any color when he announced Wednesday that he wants Florida to expand Medicaid, a key piece of Obamacare.
But make no mistake: Scott, a tea party Republican and outspoken critic of the law, was laying down arms in defeat. ...
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared this month that the Medicaid expansion “makes sense for the physical and fiscal health of Michigan.” And in Arizona, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, a hardened Obama foe, justified her decision to embrace the Medicaid expansion with language similar to that used by the law’s proponents. ...
In Florida, the dwindling band of tea-partiers was furious with Scott, calling him a Benedict Arnold. But the cause he supposedly betrayed has already lost.
Jon Han reviews Al Gore's latest book and finds some interesting ideas.
Inevitably, there’s a lot here about the two signature Gore preoccupations — climate change and technological innovation — but what really makes “The Future” worth reading is two newer ideas.I've not read the book (yet) but I have to say I go in in complete disagreement with this central premise. Our world isn't one of "hyper-change," it's one of wringing the last few drops from ideas that are decades, if not centuries old. Is it chaotic? Yes, but that's because there is no strong new wave driving events, just a sea of static. Says me.
The first is the premise. Gore believes we are living in a “new period of hyper-change.” The speed at which our world is changing, he argues, is unprecedented, and that transformation is the central reality of our lives. ...
Gore’s second big argument is based on this first one. If you buy his view that we are living through a mind-blowing economic and social transformation, you are likely to conclude, as he does, that we need a correspondingly ambitious political response. Here again, he is thinking in ALL CAPS. He believes that business has become truly global (a phenomenon he dubs, a la New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, “Earth, Inc.”) and that the nation-state is becoming irrelevant. We don’t need merely a robust national reaction to hyper-change, we need an international one, and Gore thinks that needs to be led by the United States or it won’t happen at all.
But the climate? That really is changing.
John Timmer looks at three talks on climate and extreme weather. From record heat to hurricanes and drought, these three mini-articles in an article provide a good overview of current thinking on many areas of climate change.