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Leonard Pitts provides a reminder about gun violence well-suited for Easter morning.

In the King James Bible, in the book of Matthew, the rabbi — Jesus — is quoted as saying, “Suffer little children and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

When I was a kid, that always confused me. I wondered why children were commanded to suffer. But, as later translations confirm, the word was used in its old English sense, meaning: to permit or allow. Let the children come to me, He is saying, for they are the essence of grace. Love the children.

Two thousand years later, a singer named Marvin Gaye turned that command into a stark plea: Save the children.

As a nation, as a people, we have failed at both.

Nearly 100,000 people will be shot this year according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Seventeen thousand will be younger than 19. So almost 5,000 kids have been shot since the Newtown massacre in December, the one that was supposed make us finally get serious about gun violence.

More punditry behind door number only...

A big chunk of the New York Times editorial page is given over to conservative fiscal fantasy — fantasy in which all our current problems are the results of that damned FDR and his henchmen, toddies, lickspittles, and minions. If there was a paragraph worth pulling from it, I'd do so... But there's not.  It's not just bad economics and revisionist history, it's boring.

Ross Douthat says that conservatives were right to be worried about gay marriage.

Since Frum warned that gay marriage could advance only at traditional wedlock’s expense, the marriage rate has been falling faster, the out-of-wedlock birthrate has been rising faster, and the substitution of cohabitation for marriage has markedly increased. Underlying these trends is a steady shift in values: Americans are less likely to see children as important to marriage and less likely to see marriage as important to childbearing (the generation gap on gay marriage shows up on unwed parenting as well) than even in the very recent past.
See, gay people, your marriage is so bad, it caused time traveling robots to go back and preemptively kill non-gay marriage. Douthat may be wildly illogical, but at least his arm waving won't substitute for Nytol.

Maureen Dowd mulls one twisty bit at the center of the arguments in the Supreme Court.

Gays might not win because they’ve already won?

That was the moronic oxymoron at the heart of the Supreme Court debate on same-sex marriage. ...

On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts played Karl Rove, musing not about moral imperatives but political momentum.

“You don’t doubt that the lobby supporting the enactment of same-sex marriage laws in different states is politically powerful, do you?” he asked Roberta Kaplan, the New York lawyer representing Edie Windsor, the captivating 83-year-old who argued that she would not have been socked with a whopping estate tax bill if her spouse had been named Theo instead of Thea.

Note to C.J. Roberts: it's not as if politics around the issue of gay marriage is a new thing. The GOP has been using the issue to drag voters to the polls for years. Decades. That never seemed to bother you. What's upsetting you is that it's become a losing issue for the right.

Matthew Hutson looks at the conflict between doing what's right, and doing the right thing.

Moral quandaries often pit concerns about principles against concerns about practical consequences. Should we ban assault rifles and large sodas, restricting people’s liberties for the sake of physical health and safety? Should we allow drone killings or torture, if violating one person’s rights could save a thousand lives?

We like to believe that the principled side of the equation is rooted in deep, reasoned conviction. But a growing wealth of research shows that those values often prove to be finicky, inconsistent intuitions, swayed by ethically irrelevant factors. What you say now you might disagree with in five minutes. And such wavering has implications for both public policy and our personal lives.

It's a fairly short piece, and probably nothing you haven't heard before, but it's worth reading just as a reminder of how few decisions are really clear cut.

David Leonhardt explores a very simple idea for getting more poor kids into college — give them more information about colleges.

Among a control group of low-income students with SAT scores good enough to attend top colleges — but who did not receive the information packets — only 30 percent gained admission to a college matching their academic qualifications. Among a similar group of students who did receive a packet, 54 percent gained admission, according to the researchers, Caroline M. Hoxby of Stanford and Sarah E. Turner of the University of Virginia.
Charlotte Childress and Harriet Childress look at another factor that correlates with mass shootings. It's not just particular rifles or large ammo magazines. It's race.
Imagine if African American men and boys were committing mass shootings month after month, year after year. Articles and interviews would flood the media, and we’d have political debates demanding that African Americans be “held accountable.” Then, if an atrocity such as the Newtown, Conn., shootings took place and African American male leaders held a news conference to offer solutions, their credibility would be questionable. The public would tell these leaders that they need to focus on problems in their own culture and communities.

But when the criminals and leaders are white men, race and gender become the elephant in the room. ...

When white men try to divert attention from gun control by talking about mental health issues, many people buy into the idea that the United States has a national mental health problem, or flawed systems with which to address those problems, and they think that is what produces mass shootings.

But women and girls with mental health issues are not picking up semiautomatic weapons and shooting schoolchildren. Immigrants with mental health issues are not committing mass shootings in malls and movie theaters. Latinos with mental health issues are not continually killing groups of strangers.

This is your "boy, do parts of this make me uncomfortable, but..." Read It All pick of the morning.

Dana Milbank declares gun reform season closed.

“Don’t get squishy,” President Obama told members of Congress.

But they already have.

“Now is the time,” the president said.

But the time was actually three months ago. ...

There is no pleasure in I-told-you-sos on such a wrenching issue, but failure of the gun proposals was easy to predict. Three days after the Newtown shooting, when Obama was talking about action in “the coming weeks,” I argued against the White House’s slow walk: “In the case of gun control, a pattern has become persistent: A tragedy sparks an outcry for common-sense gun laws and gun groups are set back on their heels, but by the time Congress gets around to taking action, the National Rifle Association has regained its legislative stranglehold.”

So, move along nation. Nothing more to see here. We'll just have to wait for the next senseless massacre. Or maybe the one after that. And remember: it's Obama's fault congress hasn't passed anything.

Doyle McManus looks at the likely outcome from the week's wrangling at the Supreme Court.

If the Supreme Court decides the two gay marriage cases it heard last week the way most court watchers believe it will, expect legal and political chaos.

The court seems ready to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, while ruling quite narrowly on California's Proposition 8, allowing a lower-court decision to stand. Such an outcome would make gay marriage legal in California without deciding whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional. ...

This kind of legal patchwork virtually guarantees that politicians in states that don't recognize gay marriage will be debating and legislating the issue for years, making for an even more confusing situation. The ensuing chaos could harm more than just gay couples; the Republican Party stands to lose too.

There are a lot of cases where I'd cheer an outcome damaging to the GOP. This isn't one of them. Against all odds, I wish the Roberts court would show some damn backbone and stop trying to weasel out of its responsibility to uphold justice.

Michael Slezak says you might want to check the manufacturer's label on those fairy circles.

It seems the culprit behind the mysterious "fairy circles" of the Namib desert has been under our noses all along.

The fairy circles are discs of barren sand several metres across, surrounded by lush grasses that stand out against the sparse vegetation. Since the 1960s, theories about their origin have been raised and quickly shot down. A study in 2004 seemed to rule out the three leading theories: radioactive soil, toxic debris left by plants, and termites.

Hint: one of these things just got ruled back in.

In a break with the normal layout for this column, I want to close out by going back to the Leonard Pitts piece at the top of the stack.

This year as every year, foes of abortion publicly mourn the loss of babies who could have been. But they — we — remain silent on the loss of babies who actually were, who died because we could not get our act together, because ours is a nation that does not simply enable private gun ownership, but that worships and fetishizes it to the point where sensible restriction — even sensible conversation — seems impossible.

As a result, we are a nation where what happened to Jonylah and Antonio has become grimly, sadly . . . routine. That fact alone starkly illustrates the insanity to which we have devolved, and the challenge that faces faith this Easter week.

If you haven't read the rest of this column, now would be a good time.

Originally posted to Devil's Tower on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ask yourself... (83+ / 0-)

    Are you willing to work long and hard — at the local level, at the state level, at the federal level — to make gun safety legislation happen? Are you willing to argue across the Easter ham, hand out flyers at the local school, campaign for candidates willing to actively oppose the NRA, and make yourself part of organizations that can exert effective pressure in DC?  This year. next year. Year in, and year out? Because it's not going to fall from the sky. It's not going to wash up on the tide; not even if that tide is a tide of blood.

    If you want his to happen, you're going to have to work for it.

    •  Working long and hard with a single mindset (17+ / 0-)

      is exactly what proponents of gun safety will have to do to counter the single-minded purpose of those who oppose any gun restriction or regulation at all.  When you find yourself in a political conversation with one of these people, it becomes quickly apparent that keeping the government from any regulation of firearms is the only political subject they really care about - and they are both extreme and adamant in their beliefs.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:35:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In a nutshell OUR problem with lots of issues. (4+ / 0-)

      On issue after issue it appears to me, after some fifty plus years of adult observation, that this is the nub of the "progressive" or "liberal" or just modern big tent Democrat problem. I think my personal observation has some backing in scientific and polling evidence, but I won't try to quote any—just suggest we all think about it.

      I've had neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances and others I've observed closely and one thing has stood out in those that have been modern Republicans since at least the Regan years and all those we would class as "the right" since I first knew some. Unlike "my kind of people"they do not have wide ranging interests and they tend to "religiously" focus on some simple dogmas. Just as a fundamentalist Christian believing every word of the Bible was written by the finger of god confronted with paradoxes or flat out contradictions they retreat to "faith" in their authority.

      Right now I have neighbors who have two points of focus outside their immediate family: church and anti-abortion/gay/"liberal" causes. Some have cars filled with "pro life" and GOP bumper stickers and little fish with crosses for eyes. In casual conversation they tell me of hours spent on the computer "organizing" and communicating with their like minded circle and organizations. They vote every election and there is never a question of how they will vote.

      I find the people I find more attractive for association much less single minded and, distressingly to me, less likely to have a strategic view of elections. If they get hyped about some candidate, usually presidential, they will vote. On other election days I ask and it is "too busy" or "they are all alike" or some other excuse. I'm old fashioned, remembering my civics teachers focus on the importance of voting in every election, even if it is just for a small town council seat.

      That is what brings about change and that is how we keep the toilet flushed when there is a particularly bad smell to a politician—even when the opponent isn't much better.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:05:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But "we" HAVE gotten serious about gun violence. (0+ / 0-)

      The I-need-my-arsenal-more-than-you-need-your-children crowd here on dKos has never been more serious.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:59:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, so If it's okay I'll re-post this tweet.. (68+ / 0-)

    ..Rachel Maddow discovered and is helping to spread around.

    Jerry Dewitt life long hunter is..
    ..spreading the word, calling for sensible gun laws. Specifically on high capacity magazines & assault weapons: Rachel Maddow and her staff dicovered Jerry's tweets on gun safety. He's making a lot of sense. Just wanted to pass it along
    https://twitter.com/...

    Thx Mark Summer for the round up

    •  Excellent contribution, Eric. (14+ / 0-)

      *Are we humans or are we dancers?* Annie Lennox (thx Words In Action & OPOL)

      by glorificus on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:43:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (2+ / 3-)

      So this guy hasn't fired 154 rounds in his 40 adult years?  Four rounds a year was too much for him?  This is the sort of guy I wouldn't trust to anywhere near gun and certainly wouldn't trust to keep a gun secure.  He's a casual gun owner of the worst type; the kind that probably forgets he even owns any.  

      When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

      by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 04:54:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try reading it again before mouthing off. (4+ / 0-)

        Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

        by ratcityreprobate on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:06:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  something doesn't add up. Pheasant hunting takes (2+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Patrick Costighan, Shamash
        Hidden by:
        Boreal Ecologist

        some practice with a shotgun, and it's an irresponsible deer or elk hunter who has fired less than 154 shots.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:14:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Predictable Response (10+ / 0-)

        Surprised this one hasn't appeared yet:

        "This guy obviously isn't a real hunter or sport shooter, I have 1,000's of rounds of ammo at the ready".

        You're just not a credible hunter unless when you and your buddies go hunting it sounds like a big battle between the Hatfields and the McCoys, with hundreds of rounds fired.

        "Odd" that when I come across one of the hunting shows on TV, the featured hunter is very quiet, and typically drops the deer or elk with one shot.

        If you need 10-20 shots to get your intended prey, I can only conclude you're not a very good shot... and you need more time at the target range.

        "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

        by Superpole on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:36:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He is obviously referring to 154 rounds in 5 (0+ / 0-)

          minutes. Sheesh!

          Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

          by ratcityreprobate on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:41:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Superpole, dinotrac

            Read it.  He says "In my lifetime, I have not fired more than 154 rounds."

            When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

            by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:43:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK. Maybe he meant outside of target practice. (3+ / 0-)

              If you're a naturally good shot and a naturally very mindful gun user, you don't need tons of practice to shoot well and know where to point the weapon and how not to shoot yourself or someone else.

              Maybe he's stretching it.

              You're doing a good job of distracting from the point he's making, which resonates around the country among many gun owners.

              Newtown was a horror, an outrage, that was facilitated, perpetrated by the makers of high capacity magazines and assault weapons who hijacked the NRA (they dominate the board)  and who have a stranglehold on our political process.

              Now there are numerous efforts on several fronts to distract and delay and distort the effort towards common sense.
              One is to persecute the "mentally ill" as scapegoats for this collective insanity.
              This really sucks. It's truly tragic.

              You can't make this stuff up.

              by David54 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:28:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                Or more likely he's full of crap, shoveling a line that would only be bought be people with little to no experience with firearms.  What's disturbing is that he's tacitly advocating inexperience.  Praying for superhuman kinesthesia is not sound policy, and I'm surprised to see so many people who (I assume) would support stronger training requirements for lawful gun owners insist that expending a mere four rounds a year is anything but keeping irresponsibly out of practice.  

                Manufacturers of detachable magazines and black guns had nothing to do with 12/14.  It is a line pushed either out of ignorance of vindictiveness.  And I do not delay or distract.  A lot of work needs to be done to keep any weapon out of the hands of dangerous people.  It's frustrating to see so much time and effort wasted on ridiculous proposals when there is real work to be done.

                When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:43:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Why weren't gun advocates doing this "real work" (0+ / 0-)

                  before there was a steady stream of massacres and the nation finally woke up to the tragedy?

                  The answer is that it is a last minute attempt to divert attention from the real problem.

                  It looks like the NRA's old formula of delaying and buying off Congress is going to succeed, though, so no real need.

                  You can't make this stuff up.

                  by David54 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 02:21:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                    Short answer, we were.  

                    Long answer.  There's been a steady stream of massacres for thirty years now, averaging twenty a year.  As horrifying as they are, they are a drop of water in the ocean compared to flood of gun violence that claims less victims per incident.  Thankfully, that toll has diminished considerably since the 1990s.  In that vein, the focus has been on prevention and law enforcement response.  Project Exile garnered cross-spectrum support from the Brady Campaign and the NRA.  Gun rights activists naturally focus on the community aspect of community policing, particularly where it concerns self-defense.  In the 1990s, the NRA implemented the seminar series "Refuse to Be A Victim" and made it available to law enforcement community policing initiataives across the country.  These efforts haven't been without missteps.  The NRA and Brady are both complicit in the "war on crime" that focused on a broad brush, heavy handed, incarceration-centric approach to dealing with even technical infractions.  And neither campaign has spoken on the issues regarding, say, stop and frisk in New York as opposed to more effective measures such as focused deterrence.  Part of this can be forgiven noting that neither organization is principally concerned with crime control and both are only peripherally connected with law enforcement.

                    When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                    by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 02:51:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  He is responding to the 154 rounds in 5 minutes (0+ / 0-)

              in the Sandy Hook massacre.  Sheesh.  You gun folks are dense.

              Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

              by ratcityreprobate on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:11:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          You're not a credible "lifelong" hunter if you haven't fired more than 154 rounds in 40 years.  Hell, you're barely a credible first year hunter.

          When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

          by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:42:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most serious hunters i know would probably (5+ / 0-)

            disagree with you.  I have taken 160 class deer, Elk, Bear and various varmints.  And except for when I was learning to shoot (because I didn't grow up doing it and learned as an adult) I know I haven't shot that many rounds.  The point of hunting, even trophy hunting, is not to simply slaughter the animal.  One well placed shot is considered good hunting.  Since responsible hunters also follow game laws you are not going to be hunting 40 animals a year since there are limits.  So I have to completely disagree with you.  If you are a hunter and shoot 154 rounds in a year you are just a terrible shot.  And you probably should take up another hobby.

            "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

            by stellaluna on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:05:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

              I question whether they are serious hunters, then.  It's four rounds a year, not 154.  Dewitt claimed he'd never shot more than 154 rounds in his entire life.

              BTW, if you aren't shooting more than 150 rounds in a year, I suggest you get down to the range or find another hobby.  Overly casual gun ownership is a threat both to public safety and to the right to keep and bear arms.

              When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

              by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:07:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I Wonder Then (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Miggles
                Overly casual gun ownership is a threat both to public safety and to the right to keep and bear arms.
                Agreed. Further, I believe gun owners who leave their loaded handguns lying around the house where their kids can get them and either shoot a family member or neighbor kid dead (happens dozens of times per year) are casual/irresponsible gun owners.

                They are obviously a threat to public safety; the criminal/civil penalties for these sort of absurd deaths should be much heavier than they are now. However, thanks to the NRA, there's barely (if ANY) penalty.

                "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

                by Superpole on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:19:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                  Can you explain how--thanks to the NRA--there's barely any penalty?  Specifically, what laws did the NRA lobby against?  In fact, what laws were proposed in the first place?

                  When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                  by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:23:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Gimme a Break Please (6+ / 0-)

                    You're sounding more and more like an uninformed gun owner.

                    Years ago when I lived in Indianapolis and paid a lot of attention to state politics, many in the state legislature there got fed up with the numerous cases of six year old Billy getting ahold of his dad's loaded handgun (casually left lying around the house) and shooting five year old neighbor Tommy dead.

                    Indiana legislators started the process to pass legislation which would stiffen the criminal penalty for these absurd, irresponsible gun owners.

                    The NRA got wind of this effort, came in and spread some bribes, errr I mean "campaign contributions" around the legislature-- and that was the END of that legislative effort. I think it's a safe bet this same pathetic scenario has been repeated in several states.

                    I hope you're not implying the NRA doesn't constantly work to stop this and other legislative efforts-- that would be about as bogus as it gets

                    http://www.buffalonews.com/...

                    http://www.meetthenra.org/...

                    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

                    by Superpole on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:40:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                      Well, let's just say that I am an "uninformed gun owner."  Educate me.  I honestly have no idea what bills and debates you're talking about.  I never lived in Indiana, so I'd be very interested in some verifiable details about the legislation you referenced.

                      By the way, I oppose the NY SAFE Act as well.  

                      When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                      by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:43:39 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "Sorry" the Onus of Proof is Actually on You (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Buckeye54, ChurchofBruce

                        Given the known statistics regarding the number of children killed each year via irresponsible gun ownership, I need you to provide the proof the gun owners involved are getting serious prison time for their crimes.

                        and by serious prison time, I mean ten years, not one week in the county jail.

                        Good luck with that one.

                        "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

                        by Superpole on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:06:17 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Only people who worship guns for the sake of (5+ / 0-)

                having them would say shooting less than 150 rounds a year equates overly casual gun ownership.  If you can shoot at 300 yards and hit what you are shooting at in one shot why do you need to shoot 150 rounds.  People who hunt don't have arsenals that they need to keep up to date.  Sure if you have a problem getting a gun sighted in you might need to shoot more.  But the act of going to the range and shooting so you can just enjoy the act of shooting doesn't make you safe with guns.  Knowing gun safety, respecting the weapon and following rules makes you safe with guns.  I have plenty of experience with very experienced hunters.  Excellent shots.  Ones who have been on military teams.  Men and women who have grown up with weapons and teach weapon safety to others.  And it is simply wrong to say that you have to shoot your guns a lot to be safe with them.  You can make the point that you might need your guns for when the government comes to take you away.  Or maybe you need them for the hordes you expect to invade your home.  Or maybe you just like to shoot a lot.  But you do not have to shoot a lot to hunt and you do not have to shoot a lot to be safe.

                "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                by stellaluna on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:45:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I simply don't believe you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Patrick Costighan

                  about the 160 class deer and bear and what not.

                  No one shoots to 300 yards without regular practice. People who attempt to shoot game at 300 yards either practice a lot or miss or wound something and are considered slob hunters.

                  How big is your personal carbon footprint?

                  by ban nock on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:16:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well since this is the internet you aren't (0+ / 0-)

                    required to believe me.  (A 160 class deer vs. spike a  is much more related to the areas that you hunt than it is to skill)  You and your friends may have to practice a lot at 300 yards but I haven't missed yet.  Nor taken more than one shot.  All of this glorification of guns makes it sound like it's something special.  With a proper scope it isn't hard to hit game at 300 yards.  Most of the hunters I know can do it.  The ones who can't haven't spent any time at all working on it.  And usually haven't even made sure their rifle is properly sighted in.  It certainly doesn't take 30 rounds, or 50 or 154.  And it certainly doesn't take days and days at the range.  Obviously you have to learn to shoot and that takes some time.  The best shot I know can pick his rifle up after months of non-use and literally shoot a bird out of the sky.  And he's 80 years old.  His son is a better shot.  They love guns and love to hunt.  But they scoff at people who think they "need" to be able to shoot off 150+ rounds in minutes.  When it comes to home protection they know their shotguns work just as well, if not better than military style guns. They don't think you shouldn't be able to have those guns.  They just think it's silly.

                    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                    by stellaluna on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:04:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  And two out of the three bears I have shot have (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PsychoSavannah

                    been with a muzzle loader.

                    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                    by stellaluna on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:05:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Gee, (5+ / 0-)

            My Dad hunted every year, brought home plenty of game and I never knew him to practice.  We shot a bit at cans while learning but I am certain my brother who hunts all the time he can, doesn't practice either.  Dad was trained in the Army but bro wasn't.  Go ahead and call them idiots!

            Everyone! Arms akimbo!

            by tobendaro on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:06:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  A "credible" hunter is one who bags (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, Eric Nelson

            what s/he shoots at.  We have a freezer full of venison and duck on the table last Sunday.  9/10 of the box of ammo is back on the shelf too.

            David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

            by PsychoSavannah on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:11:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  actually it does take a fair amount of practice (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shamash, Patrick Costighan

          to become proficient enough to shoot pheasant while flying or an elk or deer in a vital area unsupported from 50 yards let alone some of the distances we commonly see in the state that guy said he hunted in.

          So ya, the guy is either misquoted or more likely just talking.

          What's wrong with pointing out a basic falsehood?

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:47:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          Four rounds.  A year.  Apparently this guy doesn't need to sight-in or get any practice at all.  Or maybe he's the type to break out the rifle and fire a few of rounds aimlessly in the woods once or twice a year.  I suppose that could be called hunting.

          And why are you defending such casual inexperience with firearms from a so-called gun owner?

          When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

          by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:50:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm Not Defending Anything (5+ / 0-)

            I'm merely pointing out the bogus/hysterical sort of responses I see to hunters who don't believe/behave exactly as the RKBA crowd.

            Apparently it's just not OK for a hunter to be careful/prudent with his shooting-- he should recklessly blast away-- sort of like the great hunter Cheney who shot his hunting buddy in the face... and of course it was his buddy's fault.

            "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

            by Superpole on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:07:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe he doesn't hunt every year. Maybe he (9+ / 0-)

            doesn't have an arsenal that he needs to keep sighted in.  You are showing your preference for the gun collecting, range shooting, playing with guns type of ownership.  I know plenty of hunters who probably don't shoot more than a dozen rounds a year.  If that.  Some of those friends are outfitters and guides.  Real hunters, who have spent their whole life hunting.  Because it is the sport of hunting they enjoy.  Not the gun having.

            "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

            by stellaluna on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:08:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

              Name one publicly acknowledge "lifelong" hunter that shoots no "more than a dozen rounds a year."  I'm sorry, but I have to call BS on this.  I've largely let pass a bunch of comments and diaries in which the description of hunting is so alien that it can only be explained as a mishmash of common stereotypes and aphorisms.

              When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

              by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:13:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

              By the way, I'm not a lifelong hunter.  Neither was my father.  Or my grandparents, for all I know.  Been hunting for all of six years now.  But it seems that everyone on DK and their pet duck who makes the extreme ammunition thrift argument for sportsmanship either grew up hunting or was raised by someone who fed the family with game from right outside.  But this is the first time people have argued that 4 rounds a year (or a dozen rounds a year) is adequate and normal.

              When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

              by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:19:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Don't you think he was exaggerating to make the (3+ / 0-)

                point.  Most likely he means real shots.  Shots aimed at game.  And is comparing it to the number of shots Lanza took when actually aiming at something.

                "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                by stellaluna on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:48:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm pretty sure he was exaggerating.  Just not sure which direction the truth lies.  It is possible that he's counting only shots for specific game; I've racked up several times as many in six years, but then again I also hunt varmint.

                  When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                  by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:00:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've hunted about the same period... (8+ / 0-)

                    and I'd hazard that I've gone through a good deal less. Maybe 100 shots -- off the range.  I've certainly tested the patterns on an old adjustable choke 12 gauge inherited from a cousin.  I've plinked a lot of targets getting practice with a .22.  I've earned my marksmanship badge knocking down targets with a Remington .22. I've missed an awful lot of skeet.

                    I don't think the larger caliber handguns or rifles at my house have been fired in twenty years. In fact, I'm sure of it.

                    I've fired my grandfather's Marlin 1898 at game exactly twenty times. And I've hit game, exactly twenty times. Which is why I'll probably keep the old girl up on the wall from now on. You hate to ruin record like that.

                    When I was a kid, squirrel, rabbit, and quail made up a fair portion of what was on my plate, but that hasn't been true for probably thirty years. As for big game, I've shot exactly one (1) deer.  That was when I was 14 (I think).  A rifled slug out of that same old Marlin.  I've not had an inclination to do so again.

                    These days, a hunt is really more of an excuse to stroll around with a shotgun couched under my arm, enjoying an reason to get my boots muddy. If someone has a dog along, all the better. 9 times out of 10, I probably don't shoot at anything. I cheer for other folks' shots and trot out stories of the time I got a double at quail, or recall laying back in a wood to shoot squirrels on a frosty morning. Or waded nee deep snow following beagles trying to roust a few rabbits out of thickets. Last year I didn't shoot a thing, not even a piece of paper.

                    And I still call myself a hunter.

                    If the fellow in question had never fired more than 150 shots off the range, I'd believe that easily enough. And I'd believed he enjoyed himself and got as much out of his time hunting as folks who've fired twenty times as often.

                    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                      In which case, I wouldn't call him a "lifelong" hunter except in the narrow sense that he has occasionally hunted over the last forty years.

                      So the question is does he mean off the range or not?

                      When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                      by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:04:41 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                      Some more details, from a twitter exchange with a rude critic of his:

                      He may be misspeaking, but that reads a lot like an "admission" that he's fired only 154 shots in his life, on or off the range.

                      When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                      by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:15:03 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm not sure why this is so important to you. (3+ / 0-)

                        But the more you talk the less you seem to know about hunting.  Many people don't hunt every year.  And it sounds like you think hunters can hunt every day of the year.  In fact, in many areas hunting season is limited to just a few weeks in the entire year.  One bout of the flu or bad cold, one important life event, one busy work schedule has knocked many hunters out of hunting for a year.  Again, I think you have some idealized vision of hunting.  Maybe that's why you want verification from a "real life" TV hunter or something.

                        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                        by stellaluna on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:18:04 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Right.. Missed in the Discussion (6+ / 0-)

              I've a good friend.. he and his wife are both duck hunters.

              They are long time members of Ducks Unlimited-- a wetlands conservation group. They get it.

              There's a lot to be said for simply being out in nature, going for a walk, getting some exercise and fresh air. I think many hunters get this, which is why a natural benefit/by product of hunting is environmentalism.

              http://www.ducks.org/

              "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

              by Superpole on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:59:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My dad was a life time (3+ / 0-)

                member of Ducks unlimited, and a duck hunter. He took my brother with him when he was growing up, and when my brother eulogized him he talked about how Dad sounded like a poet describing the joy he took from being out there at dawn, in the quiet of nature, breathing in the air around him. Bringing down a duck wasn't the half of it for him.

                "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                by StellaRay on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:25:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Certainly shooting the gun isn't the thrill of it. (4+ / 0-)

                  I'm not understanding why someone finds it hard to believe that hunters don't want to shoot a lot when hunting.  And I don't understand why this poster finds it so incredible that a hunter would say so.  I guess he thinks deer meat swiss cheesed and liberally sprinkled with lead tastes good.  It really makes you wonder how much of a hunter he is since most hunters I know are the proudest of taking fewest shots.  

                  "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                  by stellaluna on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:24:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  One shot to the poor squirrel's head (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    StellaRay, stellaluna, Avila

                    this morning from a bb gun took care of the "varmint".  Always does.  methinks ol' Pat up there is a spectacularly bad shot.

                    And my husband loves to say:  shooting at paper targets is pretty stupid.  Anything you need to shoot is almost always moving :-)

                    David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

                    by PsychoSavannah on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:40:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yeah, I think he's one of those guys who like to (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Avila, PsychoSavannah

                      drag hunters into their gun fantasy world because at least hunting is a recognized use for guns.  While people differ on whether or not it is a legitimate pastime it is at least a use of guns that people accept as OK--if they think hunting is OK.  The problem for guys that love guns but who don't have any legitimate use for them except their nebulous need "when the shit hits the fan"  is they want to super-impose their gun fetish on hunters.  So you get this kind of absolute insistence that hunters must really need all that ammunition and that many guns and that much target practice.  And if you trace this thread all of the way back to the original post that they objected to -- high capacity magazines.  But they don't.  Because "gun having" is not what hunters are all about.

                      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                      by stellaluna on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 02:56:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I have a couple of friends who hunt birds (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Avila

                  Upland and wetland fowl. For them, it's more about a day outside tromping around with the dogs than getting a shot off, though they usually bring in something and either eat it or freeze and refreeze it over and over, using it to train dogs. Their freezer is full of dead birds. I've eaten duck, goose, and pheasant that they've brought down. They also bred and trained my retrievers.

                  I don't hunt. I can't hit a skeet pigeon to save my life and I'm not about to aim at a live bird until I can take down the clay ones well. I do have a handgun for protection here at home. It has never been shot except at a range, and then only at square, diamond, oval, or round targets, never anything else. Shots I've made for practice at a range: plenty, because I expect tight groupings from myself. Shots I've fired with a borrowed shotgun at the skeet range: less than a hundred, and I can't hit worth a damn. If I want to go bird hunting with my friends, or run a dog in a UKC hunt test, I need to do a lot better than that; my dog will get penalized in the hunt test if I can't shoot well. Shots I have fired off a range: exactly none.

                  I will admit I'd like to get a good quality shotgun, and I'd like to learn to shoot well with it. Then my dream of running my dog(s) in both field and show can be real. Until then, I'll shoot at things like clay pigeons and paper targets shaped like blocks, things that can't be hurt if I miss.

                  My desire is to never, ever have to shoot a human being, but as I have already in my life been raped and beaten in my home by a guy who left, then tried to break back in and kill me (and stalked me daily for the seven months leading up to the hearing), feeling like I need a way to protect myself in my home isn't the result of a paranoid fantasy but a lived reality.

                  Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

                  Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

                  by Kitsap River on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 04:51:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Users Patrick Costighan and ban nock: (8+ / 0-)

          The current edition of the kestrel9000-led tag-team of RKBA trolls who run from thread to thread hijacking any discussion that they find unacceptably anti-gunbugging.

          Can it possibly be that nobody else has noticed this? Why does the community tolerate this subversion? They have their RKBA sandbox, and I am well to content to stay out of it....would that they would show the same restraint.

          Scripture says "resist not evil", but evil unresisted will prevail.

          by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:37:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think you should do the math. (0+ / 0-)

          Junior high is about 13-15 years old, so this guy would have been hunting for more than 40 years.  Maybe 45.

          Let's take the low -range --

          154/40 = 3.9 rounds per year.

          Three or Four shots a year.

          Presumably he would have taken some safety traing (I hope), done some target practice, and actually taken a few shots at things here and there.  If he were really out in Texas and Colorado shooting at things like rabbits and pheasants, I can guarantee he missed now and them.

          I suspect that the guy really is a hunter,  but hasn't actually done the math to realize how the rounds add up over a lifetime.

          As to 154 shots in 5 minutes, I'm curious about where that came from. Not the shots, but the timing.  The reports are of the nature "less than 5 minutes, investigators believe", so the real timing is up in the air.

          That's a shot every other second, which is a whole bunch of shooting in a short time.  Not quite amazing -- you can even fire an old fashioned police revolver much more quickly than that.  It's the reloading that will get you.  He had 30 round magazines, and that means just 4-5 reloads (depending on how full the magazines were)

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:46:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I am done with your RKBA freakshow (7+ / 0-)

        I am sick of your continual trolling and dissimulation to enforce orthodoxy around your sick fetish. It is too bad that his rate of fire is not manly enough for you. But you will be glad of some magazine limits, as I will only be able hide rate you on site until either I am Banneker or you go away.

        You have been trying to plat the role of the kinder more reasonable gunbuggers, in comparison to kestrel9000 and his good buddies, but you're blowing it.

        Scripture says "resist not evil", but evil unresisted will prevail.

        by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:24:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nice derailment attempt. Way to pounce on a (9+ / 0-)

        minor turn of phrase rather than contribute to the discussion of gun safety and more importantly why hunting is not a justification for the need of assault weapons.

      •  You're obviously a poor shot ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, PsychoSavannah, YucatanMan

        4 deer a year is way above the bag limit in my parts. All it takes is one bullet properly placed to bring down a buck. Anything more and you're obviously showing yourself to be a noob  ...

        You seem to be a piss poor shot by my standards - not clear why you're mouthing off.

      •  And YOU are the sort of guy I wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

        trust anywhere near a gun. Actually, I wouldn't trust you anywhere near another human being, under any circumstances.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 01:00:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No sportsman (yes shooting is a sport) has (13+ / 0-)

      any need whatsoever for weapons purely designed to decimate human beings by the bushel. Real sportsmen are shooting for the thrill of the hunt, the challenge of accuracy and efficiency, and enjoyment.

      If you just want to fantasize about overthrowing the government or mowing down looters or taking out 30 or 40 ninjas attempting to steal your DVD player, then you are the last person who should be allowed to own a rifle of any kind. The most you should be able to get is a low caliber revolver.

    •  Rachel shows a bit of bias (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patrick Costighan, ban nock, andalusi

      I love Rachel on most topics, but when it comes to guns, and particularly high-capacity magazines, she comes across as "push this talking point at all costs".

      On Newtown, long, repetitious discussions about how if Lanza had needed to reload more times, that the death toll would not have been as high. Ergo, a reason to ban high-capacity magazines.

      Then, when it turns out Lanza did "tactical reloads", removing non-empty clips and replacing them with full clips (meaning that he was not using the full capacity of his magazines). So, it turns out he was reloading more? Another long, repetitious discussion about how this is a reason to ban high-capacity magazines.

      Similarly, it's "universal background checks" any time any story involves guns. And then, she brings up the straw purchase for the shooting of the Colorado corrections chief, which a universal background check would not have prevented, which is apparently...a reason for universal background checks.

      Compare to a Republican talking point to see the logic involved, where any situation is somehow support for the agenda being pushed.

      The economy is down? - We need to lower taxes!
      The economy is up? - We need to lower taxes!

      As far as the Jerry Dewitt thing goes, I'll concur with a few other people here. I've put more than 154 rounds through each gun I own, and none of them are "assault weapons". Dewitt is like someone claiming they're a good driver because they've only driven 154 miles in 58 years and wondering why anyone would ever need a car with more than a 1 gallon gas tank.

      Simply because all the other clueless non-drivers out there might think this is amazing wisdom and tweet it to all their friends does not make it any less asinine.

      •  I'll skip the deWitt discussion (14+ / 0-)

        CT will ban AWB and high capacity magazines. People do not need to own them, and after Newtown, there's consensus in CT to do this.

        The bill will be introduced Mon and voted Wed, most likely.

        http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/...

        After reviewing “chilling” details from the Newtown shooting investigation, legislative leaders from both parties plan to meet in private with rank-and-file lawmakers Monday to discuss negotiated gun control legislation. A vote on a bill is expected as early as Wednesday.

        The movement toward a vote came Thursday after prosecutors released search warrants for the ongoing investigation into the Dec. 14 murder of 20 first graders and six educators at an elementary school in Newtown.

        Legislative leaders have been working for weeks to negotiate a bipartisan bill in response to the shooting and have requested as much information as possible to inform their legislation. Leaders from both parties say they plan to meet with members on Monday.

        Both McKinney, who represents Newtown, and Williams have advocated for a ban on the possession of high-capacity magazines.

        “There are first grade parents in Newtown whose kids were able to flee that school who believe their kids lives very well may have been spared because of the changing of magazines and the time it took to reload,” McKinney said.

        The bipartisan bill will incude AWB and HCM bans because people are convinced it would have saved lives here and will elsewhere.

        You don't have to like it.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:18:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          CT is already a very restrictive state, so this is not terribly surprising.  The Great Sorting begins.

          When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

          by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:28:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  my guess is it will grandfather (3+ / 0-)

            already owned material.

            But the bill will pass.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:31:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

              I don't doubt it.  In fact, I believe CT could probably get away without grandfathering.  On the other hand, grandfathering makes the law even more difficult to enforce.  And eventually, 3D printing magazines and lower pressure components will make even that a dead letter.  At some point, we may even see a fight over an attempt to ban centerfire ammunition, period.

              When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

              by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:35:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  probably could get away with no g'fathering (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Glen The Plumber, PsychoSavannah

                but the enforcement and practical aspects of it, as well as the strong desire for bipartisan support, make it less likely to be in the bill.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:37:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Greg Dworkin

                  True enough.  As much as I don't like it, I don't see any other way for CT to come to grips with gun policy except to go through this experience.  I doubt it will have much practical impact one way or the other, for either gun owners or everyone else, so it will persist.

                  When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                  by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:40:02 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  CA laws have had a major effect (4+ / 0-)

                    because of its size. i expect CT to have an effect as well, not because outside stuff won't show up but 1) as a model and 2) as a goad.

                    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:43:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                      I've heard this before, but I've never gotten the details on exact effects observed by the proponents of the CA gun control experience.  And over the past decade, the trend has been towards ownership liberalization, particularly where it concerns the expiration of the federal AWB, and the expansion of concealed and open carry.

                      When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                      by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:47:23 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  here (click for bigger) (3+ / 0-)

                        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:14:10 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  ... (3+ / 0-)
                          Data source: CDC National Center for Health Statistics, WONDER online database. Underlying cause of death used to select firearm deaths. Rates were calculated using census population estimates adjusted to the 2000 and 2010 US population.
                          http://sbcoalition.org/...

                          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:15:15 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Note (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Greg Dworkin

                          It is worth noting that the remarkable drop in the CA numbers started in the 1993-1994 interval, while the timetable of California laws is:

                          1989: CA Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Act (requiring registration by 1991)
                          1994: Federal Assault Weapon Ban (by which time the CA law had already been in effect for some years)
                          1994: Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

                          As best I can tell, there are no major California or Federal gun control laws that were enacted that would cause the dramatic drop starting in 1993, plus it undercuts the statements on both sides of the issue that the original assault weapon ban was toothless and had so many loopholes as to not make any difference. Or, it might be something simple like the graph being off by a year and the decline listed as being from 1993 to 1994 is actually supposed to be from 1994 to 1995, during which the two new federal laws would have been in force.

                          Since the graph lists all firearms deaths, perhaps it would be more instructive to see a graph for firearms suicides for the period shown, side-by-side with one for firearms homicides.

                          Not trying to diffuse or redirect the issue, but it seems that as presented, there are factors other than gun control laws at work here.

                          •  maybe (6+ / 0-)

                            Most likely explanation is things take a few years. In Australia it took 2 years after 1996 (Port Arthur, new gun laws) to see a change. and yes, even in Australia, the data is still challenged.

                            I do think the AWB from 1994-2004 had more to it than suggested, though still filled with loopholes.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:45:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Could be (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Greg Dworkin

                            But that does not explain the synchronicity between California and national numbers. If the CA drop is a delayed reaction to Roberti-Roos, then the national numbers should lag behind the federal ban. Instead we see a sharp CA drop at the same time as a lesser drop at the national level, and both of them level off at about the same time as well. And we do not see a corresponding rise in the national level after the expiration of the federal ban.

                            To be fair, reduced availability for a generation of young adults (the most violent cohort) could simply have convinced them that they did not need to own guns. If so, this is a demographic bubble that should be trackable using available crime data and is worth exploring. Similarly, since there has always been a racial aspect to gun control, seeing if there were any race-based changes in arrest/incarceration rates in this period would be interesting.

                            It is worth investigating if there were any other laws or major social changes outside of firearm or firearm type law that happened about the same time as the drop. Because I think we are missing something useful here. Just don't know what it is yet.

                          •  agree! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Glen The Plumber

                            everyone, every state should track this stuff so we can learn.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:38:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  more on CA (5+ / 0-)

                        from Wintemute (NEJM)

                        We know that comprehensive background checks and expanded denial criteria are feasible and effective, because they are in place in many states and have been evaluated. California, for example, requires a background check on all firearm purchases and denies purchases by persons who have committed violent misdemeanors. Yet some 600,000 firearms were sold there in 2011, and the firearms industry continues to consider California a “lucrative” market. The denial policy reduced the risk of violent and firearm-related crime by 23% among those whose purchases were denied.4
                        4 Wintemute GJ, Wright MA, Drake CM, Beaumont JJ. Subsequent criminal activity among violent misdemeanants who seek to purchase handguns: risk factors and effectiveness of denying handgun purchase. JAMA 2001;285:1019-1026
                        CrossRef | Web of Science | Medline

                        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:20:59 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  I also expect CT to have mental health aspects (5+ / 0-)

                    which will prove useful, if not in this bill than in future bills.

                    I also expect CT to do this much better than in NY.

                    I also expect CT to highlight this as a loss for NRA and NSSF. Which it is.

                    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:45:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  oh, and one further point Shamash (8+ / 0-)

        my advice is spend more time discussing safety and not complaining about what other people are doing about safety.

        The UBC are very solid.

        We should start by requiring background checks for all firearm purchases. When a licensed retailer — gun dealer or pawnbroker — sells a firearm, a background check is performed and a permanent record is kept. But perhaps 40% of all firearms transactions involve private-party sellers, who need not keep records and cannot obtain a background check. I have observed hundreds of these anonymous, undocumented sales; they can be completed in less than a minute.

        Not surprisingly, private-party sales are the most important source of firearms for criminal buyers and specifically for persons prohibited by law from purchasing firearms. Such buyers do not volunteer their stories, and savvy sellers know not to ask. Private-party sales are also probably the main reason that the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which requires background checks for sales by licensed retailers, did not reduce firearm-related homicides.1

        Second, on at least two fronts, we should broaden our criteria for denying someone the purchase or possession of firearms.

        Good suggestions always welcome. RKBA folks talking about how ignorant the nonRKBA folks are? Not so much. The Sandy hook parents have standing in this as do Newtown residents and physicians and others who have to pick up the pieces.

        never forget that before you post ;-)

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:25:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  More than one way to discuss safety (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Greg Dworkin

          Pointing out flawed arguments and rhetorical tactics that we rightly mock when Republicans do it may not in and of itself be a productive safety suggestion, but I do think it is appropriate, unless you want the point you are trying to make to be framed as "it's only valid when our side is the one doing it."

          Witness the absolute blindness of some people on the Dewitt comment. Despite the text saying that the person very specifically had fired less than 154 rounds in their lifetime, how many commenters read that as "Dewitt had never fired 154 rounds in a 5 minute period in his lifetime".

          And when this is pointed out to people, they HR the person pointing it out to them. Multiple times.

          That is pretty much the definition of an irrational bias, and I think it is a perfectly good idea to highlight this rather than defend it. On a different issue, would you be criticizing me for talking about Todd Akin's level of knowledge (or lack thereof) of female physiology? Probably not. I would hope you would instead be calling for people to be better informed and educated on the issue. After all, I am sure that you have learned quite a bit since you started, and this knowledge has improved the quality and depth of your observations on the issue. Correct?

          An idiot on one side of an issue makes that side look as bad as an idiot on the other side does. You don't see me defending Wayne LaPierre and Ted Nugent, do you?

          On the NEJM piece, not sure what to make of it, except that we can play duelling experts all day long. After all, the recent Johns Hopkins white paper on the subject concluded that the beneficial effects of a high-capacity magazine ban would be so small as to fall into the statistical noise, yet I doubt I will see you quoting that Johns Hopkins study more than you will quote the NEJM letter to the editor.

          That too is its own form of bias. One which I can completely understand, given where you are standing, but it is bias nonetheless. For instance, take the following sentences:

          1) circumstance X is related to the transmission of disease Y
          2) circumstance X can be reduced by doing Z
          3) doing Z has no measureable effect on the transmission rate of disease Y

          As a doctor, how much sense does this make to you? Because that is the material you quoted above and gave full credibility.

          1) illegal gun transfers are related to firearms homicides
          2) retailer background checks reduce illegal gun transfers
          3) retailer background checks have no effect on firearm-related homicides

          That is not the logic I would use if trying to make a case for a more stringent application of Z.

          Just because you (or I) support a particular position, it does not mean we should apply a less rigorous level of scrutiny to that position. In terms of a UBC, we probably agree on most of it and differ merely on details and implementation, but that does not mean either of us should automatically assume that "we agree" means "we're right".

          •  fair point about dewitt (3+ / 0-)

            i didn't discuss it because I'm not qualified to make pronouncements, other than 154 rounds in 5 minutes is too much regardless of how many you shot off in your life, your week, or your training... and that was not dewitt.

            As far as your faulty analogy goes, I can tell you

            1. the experts are pretty clear on UBCB and there's no duel between experts there.
            2. the tricky questions are
             a. gun ownership (itself a risk)? debatable but not wrong or right
             b. awb and high capacity magazine bans - debatable but not wrong or right

            You picked the wrong fight about your syllogism analogy. here's how it actually works with public health: you see deaths, you collect the best data possible, you act before you reach perfection of the data in order to save lives.

            Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety at the Consumer Federation of America, said the Buckyballs campaign was simply an effort to shift the focus away from safety. “The essence here is safety, that children are being injured in horrendous ways,” she said. “It is classic industry strategy: changing the subject, attacking the messenger.”

            Mr. Zucker prefers to cast the issue as one of fairness. “This is an issue about when can consumers make a decision to buy an adult product?” he said. “It’s a good fight. And it’s a fight I think we can win.”

            He lost.

            Arguing to "not do something" because the "data is not perfect" is sophistry, an intent to obscure and delay. Not saying that's what you are doing but your analogy has certainly been used for that purpose.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:27:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  as far as the hopkins data goes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Glen The Plumber

            their recommendations (you misread or misremember their data):

            http://hub.jhu.edu/...

            Assault Weapons

            Ban the future sale of assault weapons, incorporating a more carefully crafted definition to reduce the risk—compared with the 1994 ban—that the law can be easily evaded.
            High Capacity Magazines

            Ban the future sale and possession of large capacity (greater than 10 rounds) ammunition magazines.

            * These recommendations represent the consensus of the experts presenting at the Johns Hopkins Gun Policy Summit. However, it may not be the case that every expert endorsed every specific recommendation.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:35:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, different study (0+ / 0-)

              I never said I disagreed with you on background checks, just saying that the very material you quoted as an argument in favor of background checks was a really poor argument to support it. Saying "what we propose to do has had no effect, so we should do it even more" is not going to convince people who are trying to make their mind up on the issue.

              On the Buckyballs, we had this discussion earlier and I consider it notable that you never replied to my comment that only one brand of that item was banned. The exact same item can be bought in bulk elsewhere completely legally. Again, that makes it a very poor argument if you translate it into gun control terms ("we're going to ban exactly one model of assault rifle and exactly one brand of high-capacity magazine").

              For Johns Hopkins, I was referring to this paper from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy Research, with the following quote regarding a high-capacity magazine ban:

              Even if the ban eventually prevented only 1 of every 5 of the five percent of incidents in which large capacity magazines are relevant, that would translate into about 100 fewer homicides and 500 people wounded by gunshots per year. Such effects would not be definitively detectable with national data
              While I agree with their further sentiment that any life saved is significant (especially to that person), that is not in and of itself validation for a ban, otherwise we would ban alcohol (again) and cars and cigarettes and knives and everything else in this country that would save more than 100 lives per year if they were banned.

              I do not think we have so much a difference in belief as a difference in where to draw the line and why. After all, your stated position is that people should be allowed to own guns, which means you are willing accept a certain degree of gun violence as part of that belief. As am I. Just as I suppose you, I and just about everyone reading this accept that alcohol should be legal, despite it being a factor in quite a bit of harm done.

              That background checks of some sort are a good idea, we agree. My only problem is that you are using bad arguments to advance the idea. On a ban of high-capacity magazines, where "high" is by all admissions a completely arbitrary number (8 in NY, 16 in CO, 11 proposed by you, etc.), on that we disagree. And apparently, so do the experts.

              •  you are misinformed on rare earth magnets (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest

                http://www.nytimes.com/...

                The agency is also pursuing similar claims against two other companies, Zen Magnets of Denver and Star Networks USA of Fairfield, N.J., which sells Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes. Star Networks had agreed to stop selling its products but reversed its decision, Mr. Wolfson said.

                Company officials could not be reached for comment.

                Shihan Qu, founder of Zen Magnets, said the company was considering selling the magnets individually, rather than in packs of a few dozen, as a possible way to avoid a clampdown by federal regulators.

                if it's small enough to go in a child's mouth it will be forced off the market.

                You are also apparently misinformed about what the experts think, since the consensus opinion is clearly and simply

                Ban the future sale and possession of large capacity (greater than 10 rounds) ammunition magazines.
                I don't know why you are claiming otherwise, except for arguing for the sake of arguing.

                And just because you claim the data is weak doesn't make the data weak. it's strong enough to act, but further data would be welcome.

                After all, your stated position is that people should be allowed to own guns, which means you are willing accept a certain degree of gun violence as part of that belief. As am I. Just as I suppose you, I and just about everyone reading this accept that alcohol should be legal, despite it being a factor in quite a bit of harm done.
                I don't take issue with that, I'm not working to get all guns and ammo banned. I want certain guns and ammo banned. And I want them kept out the hands of of people who will do damage (Wintemute's main points).  Sure we disagree about some stuff (that's allowed). We agree about a whole lot, too. ;-)

                I don't expect guns to disappear. I expect them to be used responsibly, and like Buckyballs, the best way to see that happen is to take steps to limit egregious use.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 10:59:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Arbitrary law is bad until demonstrated otherwise (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  andalusi

                  The calls for high-capacity magazines have exactly one thing in common, and that is that they are entirely arbitrary. Why is the limit in NY 7, in CO 15 and your preference 10? Are there competing studies of the epidemiology of shooting incidents, showing that one of these is a magic number and the others are based on some faulty interpretation of the data?

                  Is the actual magic number determined by rigorous research a value of 10.7 and someone just decided to round it to 10? If 10 is the right number, can we expect to hear you calling for the NY numbers to be repealed as 30% too restrictive?

                  No, as far I can tell, 7, 10 and 15 are totally arbitrary numbers, made up by congressmen or state legislatures based on a self-serving calculation of "how much will get gun control people to vote for us?" and "how low can we go without losing the votes of gun advocates?" Do you really think the NY legislature wrestled with scientific studies, and argued about significance values and sampling error and standard deviations? Or do you think they said "Hmmm, the Colt .45 has a 7 round magazine. We can't go any lower than that or we'll piss off no end of people."

                  After all, if the magazine limits were based on something substantial, you, NY and CO would be in closer agreement on the value and the most bandied about restriction limit would be something other than the defining value in a base10 arithmetic system...

                  I would have thought that 8 years of Bush would have made people loathe arbitrary laws like the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, national security letter gag orders, etc. ad nauseam. Apparently not.

                  So yeah, I'll oppose a 10 round arbitrary magazine limit just I would oppose most other arbitrary feel-good laws.  I'm just not into that whole "let's pass a law and then figure out if it was a good idea" thing.

                  •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

                    you mean there's politics involved with passing laws?

                    Holy crap. Someone tell the folks at Daily Kos. I bet they don't know that.

                    here again, your point seems to be "hold out for unobtainable certainty until another massacre happens". Sorry, no can do. Rejected by the state of CT and the citizens of Newtown. The number is 10.

                    And if it's 15 in CO to get the bill passed, bless them, it's 15.

                    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 01:49:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, it's not (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      andalusi
                      your point seems to be "hold out for unobtainable certainty until another massacre happens"
                      I've never said that or even implied it. My point is to ask (more than once) for some actual evidence that the number you have chosen is based on something more significant than the number of fingers you have.

                      Thus far, you have come up short.

                      Come on. Wouldn't it be nice if you could pull out CDC and FBI and other data and say "if we reduced magazine size to 10 we could save five times as many people as were murdered by rifles in the entire country last year".

                      (number chosen because that's about how many people were stabbed to death by completely unregulated knives, by the way).

                      If the numbers are out there, use them
                      . If they are not, then you have nothing to support your argument except wishful thinking.

                      •  and the word of LEO and parents in Sandy Hook (0+ / 0-)

                        who saw a few kids get away and Mark Kelley who says Jared  Loughner was tackled when he had to reload, and consensus expert opinion. All of that is documentable. link

                        Loughner stopped to reload, but dropped the loaded magazine from his pocket to the sidewalk, from where bystander Patricia Maisch grabbed it.[24] Another bystander clubbed the back of the assailant's head with a folding chair, injuring his elbow in the process, representing the 14th injury.[25] Loughner was tackled to the ground by 74-year-old retired United States Army Colonel Bill Badger,[26] who had been shot himself, and was further subdued by Maisch and bystanders Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zamudio. Zamudio was a CCW holder and had a weapon on his person, but arrived after the shooting had stopped and did not draw his firearm.[27] Zamudio later stated that he initially mistook the identity of the shooter and had considered drawing his weapon before realizing that individual was not the shooter.[28]
                        As to:
                        Come on. Wouldn't it be nice if you could pull out CDC and FBI and other data and say "if we reduced magazine size to 10 we could save five times as many people as were murdered by rifles in the entire country last year"
                        Yes, I wish data collection hadn't been blocked, and fuck the knife analogy. Or cars or any other stupid analogy that will just get people pissed at you. if you need to do x for heart disease it doesn't matter about y for cancer.

                        You know this as well as I do. That is way more than enough to act while the gnomes figure out what's optimal.

                        There's going to be a number. Pick one and make your best case for it. In CT it's 10, in CO it's 15. Try not to pick 7 or 8 1/2 as in NY.

                        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 02:56:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  and with that (0+ / 0-)

                        have a great easter/passover, Shamash, best to you and yours.

                        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 03:07:08 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  you also left out the conclusion from your cite (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest

                that such a change (banning LCMs) would be "meaningful". The newer consensus study is more definitive and recommends the change.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:05:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Asterisk (0+ / 0-)

                  Actually, I referenced the meaningful part in the sentence directly after the quote. But as long as we are mentioning things not referenced, you said "I don't know why you are claiming otherwise, except for arguing for the sake of arguing."

                  * These recommendations represent the consensus of the experts presenting at the Johns Hopkins Gun Policy Summit. However, it may not be the case that every expert endorsed every specific recommendation.
                  So, when I say the words "on that we disagree. And apparently, so do the experts.", it is not because I am arguing for the sake of arguing, it is because I am referencing the paper you quoted.
                  •  sigh (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Shamash

                    consensus means just that, and you're disagreeing with the consensus.

                    I am sure you can find someone to agree with you. It's still not the consensus opinion.

                    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 01:45:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  True enough (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      andalusi

                      I've just got enough history under my belt to know that "majority does not equal correct", and a belief that democracy should be more than "two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch."

                      I find it significant that the Johns Hopkins Gun Policy Summit experts differed in opinion to the extent that the final statement could not be said to have been endorsed by other than with a term that means "general agreement". Not "near-unanimous", not "great majority", "clear majority" or even "majority". Consensus.

                      You and I have a consensus that some reform in gun laws is a good thing. That is an accurate use of the word consenus. Now that we have a consensus...

                      it may not be the case that every expert endorsed every specific recommendation.
                      Does framing it in terms of our discussion make what "consensus" means in terms of specific policy recommendations a little clearer?
    •  next on RKBA (0+ / 0-)

      an investigation into Jerry DeWitt's countertops.

  •  I have just heard (8+ / 0-)

    the most brilliant rendition of "Strange Fruit" since Billie Holiday.  Check it out:

    Hope it's not too off-topic.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:51:51 PM PDT

  •  Mibank obviously got the Village Memo... (12+ / 0-)

    ...and is taking great pains to get us non-Villagers to understand. They've spent enough time on that story, you see? They're getting bored and they want to move on. I'm certain George Will has pointedly reminded them all that MLB Opening Day is nigh and any additional time and copy spent on this old story will step on his anticipated musings on Ty Cobb and Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 01:00:33 AM PDT

  •  Love Pitts (9+ / 0-)

    He has a gift for putting his finger on the pulse of an issue.  The racist comments that follow each of his columns, however, never cease to stun me.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 01:25:39 AM PDT

  •  Douthat: CORRELATION DOES NOT MEAN CAUSATION (11+ / 0-)

    Hey Ross,

    Guess what?  The price of gas has risen quite a bit since 'teh gays are getting what they want!'.

    But then again, so has the stock market!

    That MUST mean that GAY marriage is CAUSING THE STOCK MARKET TO RISE!  

    GO. GAY. MARRIAGE!  My portfolio needs you!

    If Ross had even a SCINTILLA of intellect, he would recognize the following fallacies:

    1. Statistically, correlation does not imply causation as my above examples CLEARLY dictate;

    2.  Uh...hey Ross, let's have a closer look at the data in CROSS-SECTION: those states with DOMA-type laws have HIGHER divorce rates (see: the South/Bible Belt);

    3.  MOST importantly, LET'S LOOK AT THE DATA longitudinally:

    Those states that have allowed gay marriage or something close to it have NOT experienced a rapid increase in divorce or out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

    #3 is the MOST compelling social science argument to THOROUGHLY DEBUNK Ross's lame argument and guess what Ross?

    That's exactly what Frum himself noted!  Gay marriage recognition in Massachusetts did not impact 'traditional marriage' at all.

    And to think Ross is actually at the NYT.  What a joke.

  •  Marvin Gaye killed by a gun (12+ / 0-)

    in the hands of his father, 29 years ago today.    Gun violence is overwhelming.  I've grown weary of the 2nd Amendment crazies saying "guns don't kill people"... they sure as hell do.

  •  suffer thy children (0+ / 0-)

    One measure of a healthy culture, satirized by WC Fields' classic punchline, "Outta my way, kid!", and today by the modern McCain paraphrase, "Get off of my lawn!."

    Call exploitation and debt slavery whatever you want.

    by jcrit on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 04:47:53 AM PDT

  •  2 many brats are just insufferable. (0+ / 0-)

    And three? By then, you must cut the mustard and grill the onion.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 04:56:20 AM PDT

  •  Maybe marriages aren't working because (8+ / 0-)

    narcissistic jerks are marrying other narcissistic jerks.

    Nah, gotta be the gays.

    Republicans represent both sides: the insanely rich and vice versa.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:00:27 AM PDT

    •  You have to admit, (3+ / 0-)

      you guys are pretty powerful. You're helping Obama bring down this country!
      That's impressive!
       photo barackonaunicorn.jpg

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:51:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's some research that the ability to feel (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor

      empathy wanes with the constant use of electronic devices.

      By substituting for face-to-face communications, even when there, in person, the emotion-reflecting brain signals triggered by observing another person live begin to fade.

      Continually referring to a phone when talking with a person or people in person, the sympathetic empathy normally created -- for which we were evolved over many years -- is disrupted and diminished.

      one measurable toll may be on our biological capacity to connect with other people.
      So. Yeah, it could be. Of course, narcissistic jerks predate phones by centuries. It's just that the affliction may be catching.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:16:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Roberts' argument was embarrassing (13+ / 0-)

    Since when does political power, real or imagined, excuse the Supreme Court from doing the right thing. And Roberts seemed to have no problem with political power when ruling if favor of corporations (I think they have a tad bit of political power) in Citizens United.

  •  More from NYT Editorial Page: (7+ / 0-)

    One editorial discussing D.C.'s obsession over the deficit comes down squarely in favor of leaving Social Security out of the discussion for reasons we at DailyKos have heard from our own members.  But it's helpful to have the NYT weight in on the matter.  Regarding the president's offer to change the way Social Security COLA's are figured:

    The question now is whether Mr. Obama will again propose to cut the COLA when he unveils his budget next week. We think he should not do so. The president might want to seem like he is willing to compromise by renewing his call for a COLA cut. But Republicans already spurned his offer and are unlikely to take him up on it now. They are more likely to paint him as a foe of Social Security, which would be reinforced by Democrats’ opposition to the cut.

    Even if Mr. Obama avoided those pitfalls, a COLA cut is a bad idea, as we will explain in this editorial. It also is a distraction from the real problems of Social Security.

    This is a relatively long editorial divided into sections as referred to in the above quote.  The sections are:

    What is the Problem with Social Security?
    Should It Be Used for Deficit Reduction?
    How Should Social Security Be Reformed?

    Well worth the time to read.
    Comments on this editorial are closed, which is a pity, since there are only five comments posted.
    So no discussion there.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:09:41 AM PDT

    •  This is a good article, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SueDe

      although in the current economy, raising the payroll tax  might not be a good idea.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:08:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The editorial suggests that the FICA cap (3+ / 0-)

        be raised from the current $113,000 to $200,000 which is, in my opinion, an excellent suggestion.  Of course completely eliminating the cap would guarantee the solvency of the program forever, but that suggestion would probably also guarantee nothing would be done.

        Their second suggestion is raising the amount of the tax 1% over 20 years.  I doubt such a rise would even be noticeable.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:24:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  VoteVets weighs in (7+ / 0-)

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:14:44 AM PDT

  •  King Cotton's Long Shadow (4+ / 0-)

    is the title of this piece at the New York Timtes.  It explores the idea that the development of capitalism was really dependent upon slavery.

    I explore the piece and offer some ideas of my own in this post which I invite you to read.

    Peace.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:19:11 AM PDT

  •  Reading Chris Hayes' book (5+ / 0-)

    encapsulates today's APR for me - losing faith that any institutions will do the right thing.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:19:52 AM PDT

  •  ... (6+ / 0-)
    Gov Malloy: "We're days away" Sen Blumenthal "I'll make sure votes on AWB and HCMs" #team26 #getitdone @SenBlumenthal http://t.co/...
    @MonteFrank1 via Twitter for BlackBerry®

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:20:36 AM PDT

  •  It's not gay marriage that's threatening "trad" (10+ / 0-)

    marriage:  it's divorce and shacking up.  And shacking up is made possible by The Pill.

    So, whaddya know, the next thing the Republics are going to do is ban the pill--not just RU-486, but the regular old pill we've been using since 1963.  Remember all those shotgun marriages of the 1950s that broke up in the 1970s?  They didn't have The Pill in the 1950s.

    Thanks for the excellent roundup, Mark!  Love the Leonard Pitts quote at the end of the roundup, it's absolutely spot-on.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:21:11 AM PDT

  •  guess what's still around? bird flu (5+ / 0-)

    and still deadly.

    H7N9, bird flu variant, deadly in China (3 cases, 2 deaths)  http://t.co/... || thanks, flu wiki volunteers http://t.co/...
    @DemFromCT via TweetDeck

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:22:40 AM PDT

    •  more (but no evidence H2H) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, Glen The Plumber, Amber6541
      There was no sign that any of the three, who were infected over the past two months, had contracted the disease from each other, and no sign of infection in the 88 people who had closest contact with them, the medical agency said.

      H7N9 bird flu is considered a low pathogenic strain that cannot easily be contracted by humans. The overwhelming majority of human deaths from bird flu have been caused by the more virulent H5N1, which decimated poultry stocks across Asia in 2003.

      http://www.sfgate.com/...

      it's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:42:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jackie Calmes and Robert Pear at the NYT (4+ / 0-)

    penned an article a couple days ago regarding a possible meeting of the minds between the president and congressional Republicans with respect to Medicare.  Eric Cantor (believe it or not) has suggested an approach that Obama is considering which may provide some common ground..

    Mr. Obama assured House and Senate Republicans during recent separate visits that he could support specific cost-saving changes to Medicare and deliver Democratic votes, though only as part of a “balanced” package that had additional revenues.

    Several changes are likely to once again be in his annual budget, which will be released on April 10, after Congress returns from its break. Mr. Obama also plans a dinner with Senate Republicans that night.

    In particular, participants say, the president told House Republicans that he was open to combining Medicare’s coverage for hospitals and doctor services. That would create a single deductible that could increase out-of-pocket costs for many future beneficiaries, but also could pay for a cap on their total expenses and reduce the need to buy Medigap supplementary insurance.

    Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 House Republican, proposed much the same in a speech in February. “We should begin by ending the arbitrary division between Part A, the hospital program, and Part B, the doctor services,” he said. “We can create reasonable and predictable levels of out-of-pocket expenses without forcing seniors to rely on Medigap plans.”

    While Mr. Cantor’s proposal got little attention at the time, its echo by Mr. Obama hints at a new route toward compromise — in contrast with the budget that House Republicans passed this month that has no chance of Senate approval.

    Speaking as a Medicare recipient, I would welcome the ability to drop the need for purchasing medigap policies.  But as always, the devil will be in the details.

    P.S.  If you have never heard of Robert Pear, I consider him the best reporter I've ever read on the subject of health care in the U.S.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:29:01 AM PDT

  •  On Hutson's piece (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner, judyms9, SueDe, tb mare, Amber6541

    I found Hutson's piece to be interesting overall, and I've read books in the past that cover the way external forces influence our decision-making, especially on ethical problems.  However, I was troubled by his opener.  He tried to present drone strikes and torture as having utilitarian value (despite being moral abominations from a deontological standpoint); however, there is little reason to believe that torture and drone strikes actually save lives.  The innocent civilians who get killed by drone strikes were not going to do any harm, and we can't even be sure about the intentions of those the administration has deemed "militants," because they've defined that word so broadly that it includes practically all men who've passed puberty.  Torture, moreover, does not produce reliable information, and both likely serve to radicalize local populations and destroy American credibility---obviously increasing a future risk potential.  

    I find the use of hypotheticals for both of those to be somewhat troubling (e.g. "Would you support the torture of this person if you knew....") because it seems like an attempt to condition people into accepting moral atrocities through a belief in utilitarian benefits.

  •  Not to denigrate the news or anything, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    it's SO important and all, but I'm giggling like an idiot at

    door number only
    :-P Thanks.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    No representation without taxation. Rich and don't pay? Shut up.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:38:13 AM PDT

  •  Dana Millbank is right. (6+ / 0-)

    I said the same thing at the time. As soon as I heard "Biden is going to get back to me with a report" I knew this was going to be basically dead.

    Fact is, everybody knew what needed to be in a bill. It has been on the shelf for years. Biden's 30 days of meetings didn't produce anything new. We just could have run with Feinstein's bill on Jan. 4th and used every day of the run up  the inauguration to push for a vote or face wrath at the inauguration speech.  Furthermore, it gave the NRA time to regroup, reorganize, and measure. You know what the NRA is sending around to the Hill? Statistics about their massive increase in fundraising, membership and gun sales.

    The time to strike and get a vote on the record was immediately. Even if it lost, the blowback at the time would have been damaging in the run up to 2016. It still could be, but I doubt it.

    Pretty much no chance we're going to get a bill in my view and the Democrats deserve their share of the blame. Unless of course, you believe the argument that Dems never wanted to do anything in the first place and this was all kabuki. Could be.

  •  Douthat's argument is like gambler's luck: (6+ / 0-)

    It only works in hindsight.

    All of those bad things that have been happening to marriage and family -- and I do think they're bad -- were happening before gay people could get married.

    Gay marriage isn't going to make a difference. It's a different issue.  If anything, it makes us revisit the question of why marriage matters and reminds us that there is more to  interpersonal relationships than the burning down below.

    If it makes you feel better, Ross, I've been married nearly 28 years now and gay marriage has not made me want to walk out on my family.

    I'll admit that I really enjoy Neill Patrick Harris.  Make of that what you will.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:19:41 AM PDT

    •  neither have gay relatives made me cheat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, dinotrac

      or walk away form mine. Just sayin'.

      Douthat is a pretty poor reasoner. All of his constructs take a premise then go out and find some supporting data (ignoring other data.

      He'll lose this argument like he loses most arguments.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:41:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Leonard Pitts has it right about our general (6+ / 0-)

    lack of concern about the nation's children and their very lives.  The only way we will get gun safety laws is if a shooter goes into an OB/Gyn clinic and shoots a dozen pregnant women in the waiting room in a way that results in the women surviving and not the fetuses.  A grisly event that would put right wing talk into a swirl of lunatic ramblings.  None would rejoice that the surviving women could return to their homes to rear their children, care for their elderly and otherwise live out the lives of the born.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:32:48 AM PDT

  •  The seventeen thousand kids that will be shot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, snowwoman

    will be shot with a rightful gun. A rightful gun which a responsible gun owner lost track of. It's OK the rightful gun owner is going to the store to get another rightful gun.

    Seventeen thousand will be younger than 19.

    guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

    by 88kathy on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:48:55 AM PDT

  •  2nd amentment rights? (0+ / 0-)

    Never you mind what the gun fanatics say about their precious second amendment rights, or about freedom and liberty. The real reason they want to keep their guns is so they can go on shooting people.

    You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

    by mstep on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:59:52 AM PDT

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      Is that really necessary?  Accusing tens of millions of people of assault with deadly weapons or worse?

      When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

      by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:06:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. Neccessary. (0+ / 0-)

        Hunters excepted, gun lovers want guns, almost never because they want to shoot people, but because they want to maintain the ability to shoot people. They often will cry self-defense, but at the unnamable heart of the matter there is often a kind of bloodlust.

        You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

        by mstep on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:47:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re (0+ / 0-)

          Okay.  So you went from tens of millions of people shooting other people to tens of millions of people who are sort of bloodthirsty.  I guess we can call that progress.

          When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

          by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:49:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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