A Philosopher's Blog

When is it Time to Discuss Gun Violence?

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on December 17, 2012
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the murders at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, a standard script was followed by the media and the pundits on various sides. Part of this script is that people who are against guns typically demand more gun control and some people who are pro-gun counter by claiming that the time after such a terrible incident is not the time to discuss changes in law.

My focus in this essay is to address the matter of when it is time to discuss gun violence and, in particular, changes in laws or policies regarding guns.

On the one hand, those who claim that the matter of gun laws should not be discussed right after a tragedy do have a reasonable point. After all, people reason even more poorly than usual when they are experiencing strong emotions. There is, of course, an abundance of fallacies that are “fueled” by the power of emotions to lead people astray from good reasoning. Examples include the classics such as appeal to anger, appeal to pity, and appeal to fear. In these fallacies, the general idea that something that creates an emotional effect (anger, pity or fear) is used as a substitute for an actual reason to accept a claim. As might be imagined, people are even more likely to commit such fallacies when they are in emotional states.

The reasonable concern is, of course, that people will make poor decisions regarding laws or policies while under the influence of their emotions and that these decisions can have negative consequences or, at the very least, lead to ineffective “solutions.” Presumably better decisions would be made after the emotions have cooled and, of course, we should endeavor to make laws and policies when our reasoning is at its best.

On the other hand, there are reasonable concerns that waiting to discuss such matters could be problematic. First, there is the worry that concern about gun violence will simply fade away as people are distracted by other things and forget about the murders at Sandy Hook. As such, a delay could result not in a more reasonable discussion of gun laws and policies but in no real discussion at all. This seems to be a common cycle: the media focuses on a terrible event involving guns for a few days and then the matter just fades away until the next incident. As such, it seems reasonable to push for serious discussion now when people are paying attention.

Second, there is the worry that the push to wait is not really a call to wait until we can have calm reflection on the matter but a considered tactic on the part of certain people to take advantage of the media’s and the public’s short attention span. That is, if the discussion can be held off long enough, people will forget about the matter (as noted above) and the status quo will continue.

While I certainly favor a rational discussion of the matter, I think that this can be done without waiting until people have mostly lost interest in the matter. As such, I think it is certainly time to discuss the matter seriously.

 

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60 Responses

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  1. magus71 said, on December 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Our society is earning itself increased control. This is the black swan of leftist philosophy. Yes, I said it. nihilism is the logical conclusion of that philosophy. Now I’ll sit back and wait for comments about generalizing….

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      You’ll need to be a bit more specific. Locke, Mill, Hobbes and so on would all be “leftist” philosophers, yet even Hobbes does not end up in nihilism (just ethical egoism).

      Perhaps you mean that the lefty straw man leads to nihilism by fiat. :)

      • magus71 said, on December 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm

        Of the three you named, only Mill would come close to my vision of the modern leftist.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 18, 2012 at 7:30 am

          Locke is a leftist, at least in regards to the role of the state and individual liberty. Of course, I’m looking at the matter with a different center than you.

          • WTP said, on December 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

            No, Locke was a Liberal. Robespierre was a leftist.

          • T. J. Babson said, on December 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

            The Left is mostly concerned about sexual freedom.

            The Right is mostly concerned about economic freedom.

  2. Ken Byrd (@ksbyrd84) said, on December 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    There is indeed good reason to discuss public problems as soon as they are recognized. When it comes to mass shootings and other tragedies, the public attention span is quite short. The public agenda is often steered by the news media, which spends as little as a few weeks covering even major incidents. Danny Hayes from GWU has a nice graph showing the amount of media coverage that other mass shootings received over a five week period of time.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/16/the-media-will-quickly-forget-about-guns-unless-washington-stops-them/?wprss=rss_ezra-klein

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      I wonder if they actually have a timeline established for coverage? Watching the news, it certainly seems to follow a clear pattern of coverage in terms of the timelines, views expressed and so on. Aside from the details of the murders, it is almost like watching a horrible re-run.

    • WTP said, on December 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Yes, more discussion. It hasn’t been discussed before. The link has no point. Of course discussion on an issue, ANY issue drops off as people get tired of hearing the same thing over and over and as other important issues arise. And “unless Washington stops them” has a certain measure of not-so-amusing justification for the right to keep and bear arms.

      Here’s some discussion. Just some.

  3. T. J. Babson said, on December 17, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Mike, will you follow the same reasoning you used when discussing the infinitesimal probability of getting killed in a terrorist attack? The probability of one’s child dying in a school attack is practically zero. It is far, far more likely that the child dies in a car wreck while driving to school.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      I actually had this discussion Sunday with some of my gaming friends. As you note, the odds of being killed by a car wreck are higher than the chances of being shot. This is not to say that we should not take reasonable precautions, but they precautions should match the odds. After all, we could secure schools by transforming them into forts and stationing soldiers at them (after screening them for mental issues, of course). However, I doubt that people would be willing to pay the cost for such high security.

      • magus71 said, on December 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm

        Such high security? One teacher with a concealed Glock could have ended the massacre before so many died.

        As for Islamic terrorist: Hunt them and kill them without increasing military spending. It’s a good cause, makes us safer and is great training.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 18, 2012 at 7:36 am

          One armed teacher could have. Unless she got shot (he had a Bushmaster, so unless she was very good or got him at close range he would have an advantage) or could not get to him in time.

          Arming teachers is worth considering, but they would need to be well trained and screened. After all, imagine the armed teacher going on a rampage or having his/her gun taken during a scuffle.

          • WTP said, on December 18, 2012 at 9:40 am

            so unless she was very good or got him at close range he would have an advantage

            You’re assuming a Western-style show down…and a female teacher. Unless the only gun in the school was with this (ahem) one armed teacher, the person trying to stop the killer would be the one with the advantage in that the killer would have no idea either that anyone was coming for him or what direction they may be coming from. A killer acting alone would be very susceptible to being taken out as his attention would be focused on his goal of killing innocents.

          • magus71 said, on December 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

            “After all, imagine the armed teacher going on a rampage”

            Cops can go on rampages, too. But it doesn’t happen very often. They are the most armed class in our society, even more than soldiers who spend most time unarmed in garrison. Switzerland issues sits citizens guns and mandates training. It’s time the most responsible among us arm ourselves against these madmen. All of them should have been shot into the ground long before they ran out of ammo. That would make what they do seem much less cooler; despite the suicide at the end, I think they still have a romantic vision (evil) of their deed, and savor the fact of flipping off the world with suicide.

            This looks much less romantic:

            “Today a 19 year old man barged into a class room and began firing a handgun at students. He was shot dead by the Health class teacher. One student was wounded.”

      • WTP said, on December 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm

        After all, we could secure schools by transforming them into forts and stationing soldiers at them (after screening them for mental issues, of course)

        A weak, imaginary argument set up only to be easily confuted.

  4. T. J. Babson said, on December 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    In any case, the discussion has been going on for years. Anybody remember the Brady Bill?

    Even here on Mike’s blog some people claimed that Obama wanted to restrict gun rights, and Mike claimed that Obama was pro gun rights.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Obama certainly got Fs on his report card from the anti-gun folks. He still seems reluctant to get into gun control, but political pressure might push him to this-if he thinks that it will be supported.

      One point well worth noting is that the recent massacre shooters got their guns legally and had no prior record (although they were seen as having issues). There has been talk about changing how people who are suspected of such mental tendencies will be treated-I’ll have a post on that on Wednesday.

  5. magus71 said, on December 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I have a comment stuck in your filter…..

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 18, 2012 at 7:39 am

      It’s not showing up, but I’ll check on my PC later in case the mobile version of WP isn’t showing it.

  6. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 18, 2012 at 3:08 am

    We have sky marshals, so why not school marshals? Washington DC prohibits gun ownership and, at present, Metro bus drivers are in fear of their lives due to many recent incidences of gun violence, the most recent being a man with a handgun who boarded and bus and shot his ex in the fact, killing her. We need bus marshals too, apparently. Disarming the public, which is basically law abiding, during such violent time would be unjust and criminal, because good people have the right to self defense.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 18, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Well, we could use homeland security funds to pay for the marshals. It would also create jobs. I feel vaguely uncomfortable with America under armed guard, but that is probably just spillover from concerns about an oppressive state.

      • WTP said, on December 18, 2012 at 8:01 am

        It would also create jobs.
        Classic example of Mike’s ignorance of economics. Shuffling money from one place to another does not “create” jobs. That wealth has to come from somewhere. Jobs are created by increasing wealth, not moving it around. There is a better argument for this but Mike wouldn’t be able to find it if his life depended on it. Of course he considers economics a “moral” science, 90% of the problem.

        • biomass2 said, on December 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

          “Shuffling money from one place to another does not “create” jobs.”
          Help me here. I never had Econ I. And this post may prove that. :(
          What if X pays taxes on his wealth, and some branch of the government hires armed guards to protect schools, buses, public toilets, etc. with the tax money? Those are “jobs created”, aren’t they? Doesn’t the money those public guardians are being paid with come from somewhere?Hasn’t it been moved around? Hasn’t it created those jobs? Would those police, or anyone else be doing the job if they weren’t being paid?
          If X hires his own armed guards to protect the wealth that remains after taxes, island-buying, etc. aren’t those jobs also created? In doing so, has X moved the wealth around like he moves it to special accounts in Europe?

          • WTP said, on December 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm

            “Help me here”…ok since unlike Mike, you sound willing to learn, I’ll give it a shot.

            “Doesn’t the money those public guardians are being paid with come from somewhere” – Yes, the money does have to come from somewhere, and this represents an opportunity cost. The money is being spent on protection instead of being spent on some other good thus depriving someone else of a job or, and this is the important part, invested in an operation that generates more wealth, thus creating more jobs. In a scenario where extra protection is not needed the money is used to a greater utility.

            Note also that if X hires his own armed guards to protect his wealth, he gets the kind of protection he perceives himself to need. There is no overhead of a vast bureaucracy to oversee the proper utilization of his resources.

            To sum up in a more simple manner, to say that jobs are being created in this circumstance is akin to saying crime creates jobs for police, prison guards, etc. If such were the case, high crime localities would have low unemployment. Yet this is exactly opposite the case because in high crime areas, precious resources must be spent protecting what little wealth is left instead of being invested in new opportunities. This is what is known as the Broken Window Fallacy (remotely related to Broken Window Theory). A common and, to my mind, tremendously damaging misconception of economics.

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

            • biomass2 said, on December 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm

              So, the money does come from somewhere. And it is moved around.

              “To sum up in a more simple manner, to say that jobs are being created in this circumstance is akin to saying crime creates jobs for police, prison guards, etc. If such were the case, high crime localities would have low unemployment.”
              Crime doesn’t create jobs for those who combat it. War doesn’t create employment for those who fight it. If the world were inhabited by only peaceful people, we wouldn’t have to hire anyone to keep the peace. I think I’ve got it now. . .But if we did have to hire someone, would that be creating a job?

            • WTP said, on December 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

              Crime doesn’t create jobs for those who combat it. War doesn’t create employment for those who fight

              You’re missing the point. Yes, it gives a job to those people but the resources have to be taken away from somwhere else, thus depriving someone else of a job because as noble as police and military personnel are in their duties protecting us, they are not producing wealth.

              If it costs, say $60K to employ an additional police officer for a town, that is $60K that is not being spent on something civil society of that town could use to improve its roads, thus improving commerce. Or let’s say the city has 1000 residents, that’s average $60/year that the average citizen of that town could spend on, say dinner at the local restaurant. If there isn’t sufficient crime to justify hiring an additional officer, people are just as safe and have had something to show for their efforts. Or perhaps, even better, say all of those people just put the money in the bank. The bank now has an extra $60K to loan to a businessman to provide services to the community and employ several people at possiblye $30K a year. Could be more. Remember the $60K is just seed money to start up the business, not the income to the business itself, which is provided by the customers.

            • biomass2 said, on December 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm

              WTP: Apparently, I am missing the point here.

              ‘Yes, it gives a job to those people but the resources have to be taken away from somwhere else, thus depriving someone else of a job because as noble as police and military personnel are in their duties protecting us, they are not producing wealth.”

              First, I can’t think of a job the resources for which (job creation, pay, benefits, etc) aren’t taken from somewhere else.
              Second, what happens to those resources—salary, benefits? Do they just disappear, never to be seen again? Do they enter the stream and contribute to the creation of other jobs? I don’t believe magus’ salary, for example, disappears. From my encounters with him on this blog, I have determined that magus71 is, indeed, a “noble” officer. But he does spend money, doesn’t he? Perhaps on hot dogs, cold beer, hot clothes, hot women, , etc. His money shuffles about until it reaches someone –a small businessman , or the CEO of Coors, the hot pants designer, those who work in the factories that make the cloth and the final products, who design the machines in the factories, etc. Let’s say some or all of the people involved in supporting magus’s lifestyle (including magus, himself) live in the town of 1000 that you mention. Might those people earn money that is taken from somewhere else and might they , in turn, purchase beer, food, clothes, boats, 60″ plasma TV’s, etc.?

              It sounds to me like your message is that money in the hands of the a/entrepreneur, the businessman, etc. is more valuable to society than money in the hands of b/ the other classes. As a member of an unspecified class /h, I can’t buy that message without a more complete explanation of how the former (a/) would function without the latter (b/) , and vice-versa .

            • WTP said, on December 18, 2012 at 11:51 pm

              “First, I can’t think of a job the resources for which (job creation, pay, benefits, etc) aren’t taken from somewhere else.” Well such would be true in a steady state economy where wealth is never created, but if that were the case the 6-7 billion people on this earth would have a per capita wealth 1/6500 of the average citizen of the Roman Empire.

              “what happens to those resources—salary, benefits?” As I said, they either get spent on what the people from whom those resources were taken or invested in creating more wealth.

              “Perhaps on hot dogs, cold beer, hot clothes, hot women, , etc. His money shuffles about until it reaches someone”. That’s what is happening when the citizens of the town get to spend their own money.

              “It sounds to me like your message is that money in the hands of the a/entrepreneur, the businessman, etc. is more valuable to society than money in the hands of b/ the other classes.” Yes, provided he’s a business man who knows how to produce wealth.

              But I suspect from your tone, you’re really not interested in learning how a free economic system (or any economic system for that matter) works, you’re interested in making a class warfare argument. If you’re really interested in economics, try this link. Otherwise, back on the ignore list you go.

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

            • biomass2 said, on December 19, 2012 at 10:50 am

              Please, make no assumptions about my tone. I’ll give it another try.

              The shifting money, wherever it comes from, “either get[s] spent on what the people from whom those resources were taken or invested in creating more wealth.” But not on creating more jobs?

              “The money is being spent on protection instead of being spent on some other good thus depriving someone else of a job or, and this is the important part, invested in an operation that generates more wealth, thus creating more jobs.” How is the money spent on protection not going to generate more wealth, even much more wealth? In the cycle of activity in the real world, the guard earns the money, the guard spends the money (see my allusions to magus) and that money works it way around to “be spent on some other good” or “generate more wealth” or create jobs? Are we simply talking about a more ‘efficient’ means of creating wealth here or a more ‘effective’ way of creating jobs— or both?

              And the Robinson Crusoe economy–”on consumer, on producer, two goods”. Is it like the pure free market? Do we have to assume certain things that will not occur in the real world to accept the basic premise of either.

            • WTP said, on December 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm

              Assumptions? Unlike financial performance, I find that with people past performance is a good indicator of future results.

              But not on creating more jobs?
              If more wealth is created, more jobs are created. I can tell that you either did not read the two links I provided or you did so with absolutely no intention of trying to understand them, just a closed-minded attitude toward information that you don’t want to understand.

              How is the money spent on protection not going to generate more wealth, even much more wealth? In the cycle of activity in the real world, the guard earns the money, the guard spends the money (see my allusions to magus) and that money works it way around to “be spent on some other good” or “generate more wealth” or create jobs?.
              You are confusing money with wealth. You don’t understand what wealth is. Read the Robinson Crusoe Economy. Speaking of which…

              And the Robinson Crusoe economy–”on consumer, on producer, two goods”. Is it like the pure free market? Do we have to assume certain things that will not occur in the real world to accept the basic premise of either.
              No. It’s a teaching tool that simplifies what is going on in many times over in a market with a nearly infinite number of foci/focuses in the real world.

              Skepticism is not a substitute/excuse for refusing to learn something you don’t want to know.

            • biomass2 said, on December 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm

              “You are confusing money with wealth. You don’t understand what wealth is. ”

              If you’re interested in “giving it a shot” and helping me understand, let’s finally get to that difference between money and wealth which hasn’t been brought up before. We’ve had four or five exchanges here. But you didn’t say this:

              “The real nature of money is obscured by the vocabulary of finance, which is doublespeak. . . . . .We use the terms “money,” “capital,” “assets,” and “wealth” interchangeably–leaving no simple means to differentiate money from real wealth. Money is a number. Real wealth is in food, fertile land, buildings, or other things that sustain us. ”
              http://livingeconomiesforum.org/the-difference-between-money-and-wealth
              “Doublespeak”

              From an earlier response:
              I wrote: “what happens to those resources—salary, benefits” Salary, and benefits are generally in the form of money or variations thereof.
              You replied : “As I said, they [I assume the pronoun 'they' refers to "those resources--salary, benefits] either get spent on what the people from whom those resources were taken or invested in creating more wealth.”

              So Is it clear enough,then, to say that the resources (money) are spent and what is spent can become jobs, more money, or wealth (which, if the author above is to be believed , may or may not be ” food, fertile land, buildings, or other things that sustain us”)? And is it fair to say therefore to say that that the food, land, buildings and other things can be used in ways that may/could create more jobs and . . .more wealth?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm

              Silly Biomass2, wealth is for job creators. :)

            • WTP said, on December 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

              When Is It Time to Discuss Mike’s Cowardice?

              OK, I gotta say something here. While some of my comments may not have been appreciated, I do not believe they were far enough off the mark for Mike to get all huffy and butthurt to the point of refusing to engage me in discussion. Especially in light of the general behavior of one particular resident. I have even been the, uh, “inspiration” for at least 3 blog posts that I can think of, so I must have something of value to contribute, even if it’s only notable sarcasm in one instance. But hey, it’s his blog and his choice, and like I said I prefer he just ignore me and let my comments stand on their own. In my defense, I would say that I have made considerable effort to contribute to the understanding of some very basic philosophical points in the domain of economics, so it’s not like I’m some sort of hit-and-run troll who fails to contribute or (ahem) just pokes holes in ideas without stating what exactly they believe. Little of what I have expounded upon here would be questioned by any main stream or even most left-wing economists. Think about that the next time Mike defends his position on AGW based on what most scientists believe.

              And lately Mike has chosen to mock or attack my points, even calling me out by name in a post. All well and good also. But I think it is quite cowardly for him to do so whilst hiding behind other commenters, a certain previously referenced participant in particular, while at the same time refusing to engage me directly. What are you afraid of, Mike?

            • biomass 2 said, on December 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm

              Mike: “wealth is for job creators”
              Cut the “doublespeak”. Don’t you really mean “^money^ is for job creators”? :)

              Romney has money and wealth. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/monied He’s wealthy.
              He’s moneyed.And I wonder whether Mitt ponders the difference between money and wealth when he shifts his money (or is it his wealth?) out of the country. “Money is a number. Real wealth is in food, fertile land, buildings, or other things that sustain us.” Last time I looked., we don’t live in a barter economy. Not many of us in America do. I can’t get a plot of land, a building, or food, without money. So I’d rather catch some of that money that’s shuffling around in the economy and buy some wealth, or create a job, that gives another person the chance to buy some wealth, etc. etc.
              All this discussion started when WTP neatly derailed a blog about Gun Violence, with “Shuffling money from one place to another does not “create” jobs.” Now I’m not sure I really care and I probably shouldn’t have followed him off the rails.

              Doublespeak, and blah, blah, blah.

          • WTP said, on December 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

            Mike factually stated It would also create jobs.

            This is incorrect according to any modern accepted understanding of economics. I pointed that out. It was you who requested
            Help me here. I never had Econ I. And this post may prove that.

            And you’ve proven yourself correct. Perhaps you should take Econ 101, or at least audit a course taught by any mainstream economist, then get back with us. Take Mike along, you can car pool. Or you could drive seperately and thus do more to stimulate the economy /sarc. But then that’s not what I was getting at with my last post, was it?

            • biomass2 said, on December 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

              I have another version of this floating around on the internets, but, since it hasn’t settled down here, I’ll try another.
              WTP:
              I felt you took a little sidetrack from gun violence onto a subject you seem obsessed with when you jumped on Mike’s statement: “Well, we could use homeland security funds to pay for the marshals. It would also create jobs” You replied: “Classic example of Mike’s ignorance of economics. Shuffling money from one place to another does not “create” jobs.” .
              Now, I didn’t ask for an “economic” explanation. All I said was that “Help me here. I never had Econ I. And this post may prove that.” . What in the world led in those three sentences led you to believe that I wanted an economic explanation, since Mike’s statement was not, I directed at a (kind of) approach to gun violence, and your response was, well, one you’ve given before. Given what followed my request for an explanation, I don’t at all regret never having studied that glorious subject. As the gentleman in the livingeconomiesforum said , and quite accurately, I believe, “the vocabulary of finance is. . .doublespeak. ” What I wanted simply was an explanation that makes sense in terms of common English usage—not in terms of financial doublespeak
              Let’s parse your statement ” Shuffling money from one place to another does not ‘create’ jobs.” Is there a different definition for ‘create’ in finance?
              1/ Man earns money
              2/ Man spends money
              3/ The goods and services man purchases with his earnings must be provided by people who are hired to produce those goods and perform those services.
              Stop me if I’m wrong so far. . .
              4/ If , at some point, enough goods and services are purchased by enough people who have been paid with money, that the manpower and equipment available are inadequate, more j^obs are created^ to provide the services and produce the goods.
              A simple three- or-four-step shuffle of money ends up in ^job creation^.

              Now one can get caught up in endless quibbles over the economic/financial meanings of cash and wealth or somesuch, but to what end? If a guy puts $100,000,000 of his own cash on the table, is one going to split hairs over whether the guy got the money by selling off some of his “wealth” —land, buildings, etc.or by speculating in the stock market? Seriously? The man has a lot of cash. He’s wealthy.

              with all due respect “sarc.”
              ” a certain previously referenced participant”

        • biomass2 said, on February 2, 2013 at 12:35 am

          WTP:

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2012/10/22/government-creates-jobs/

          Pretty closely related to our discussion here@ When is it Time to Discuss Gun Violence/Dec 17 and follow up discussions we had. .
          “Not only do your taxes go to pay the salary of the fireman, but, when he spends it, his salary contributes to your wages. So who is supporting whom–is the government dependent on taxation of private sector salaries, or are private sector salaries dependent on sales to government institutions and employees? Obviously, they are largely interdependent and rely on the continuation of the flow between them. Largely, however, but not completely, for if one of the two can act with autonomy, it is the government. ”
          And note the last 2/3 of paragraph 2. And the last sentence of paragraph 1.

          Mike ” Well, we could use homeland security funds to pay for the marshals. It would also create jobs.
          WTP: “Shuffling money from one place to another does not “create” jobs.”

          Too bad you chose to ignore my posts, else you could try again to explain to me why we shouldn’t take your response :for what it is.—at best a minor misstatement that could be easily clarified if you were willing to concede, and at worst an opinion.based on a specific understanding of “jobs”. and and their relative value and on a particular view of the role of government.
          In other words, instead of attempting to teach someone who admitted to never having Econ.101, you were heavily politicizing the issue.

      • ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm

        The ideal society would have no guns. The worst would take away guns from good people who are rightfully protecting themselves because they are living in violent world in which criminals and police are armed to the teeth. And the mess we have now is somewhere in between.

  7. magus71 said, on December 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Isn’t it the job of teachers to make sure students are safe? We have armed guards to protect our money at banks but not our most valuable commodity, our children?

    • biomass2 said, on December 18, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      The teacher has many duties. Safety of the students is one of them.

  8. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    At present is it a praiseworthy and honorable thing for 3,700 American women per day to hire someone to kill their unborn child. 20 dead elementary school kids? Sorry, but I have not shed one tear over this loss. The 3,700 kids slaughtered each and every day in the good old USA makes this impossible for me, as I have shed countless tears over their deaths and their mothers’ pain. Ye old double standard is wearing thin, and cognitive dissonance is at a high regarding this issue. Gun, to me, are a non-issue in all of this.

  9. T. J. Babson said, on December 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    This is what “dialogue” means to those on the Left. I’m curious what Mike thinks about this. Does free speech give person B the right to shout down person A? After all, censorship is a lot easier than coming up with arguments based on reason.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      It is ironic that you begin with “this is what “dialogue” means to those on the Left” and then ask me, an alleged leftist, to engage in a dialogue. :)

      Obviously shouting people down is not dialogue nor does free speech give a person a right to deny another person his freedom of speech. If a person has to shout somebody else down rather than engage, they most likely have nothing worth saying at that point.

      • T. J. Babson said, on December 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm

        I wouldn’t describe you as a leftist–I would call you center-left. Also, on the whole you are pretty reasonable (although your priorities are misplaced in that you don’t seem to believe that our country is indeed going bankrupt).

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm

          We can’t go bankrupt because we can just print more money. :)

          • T. J. Babson said, on December 18, 2012 at 11:03 pm

            They tried that in the Weimar Republic and it didn’t turn out so well.

            • magus71 said, on December 19, 2012 at 10:14 am

              Hitler fixed it. Good ol’ Hitler…

          • WTP said, on December 18, 2012 at 11:55 pm

            Whistling past the graveyard.

        • magus71 said, on December 19, 2012 at 10:18 am

          His reasonableness in most areas makes his Democratic discipleship all the more frustrating.

    • WTP said, on December 19, 2012 at 12:25 am

      The crowd is expressing a lot of “love”. What’s wrong with that?…I’d like to know…’cause here I go…

  10. T. J. Babson said, on December 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Maybe there is something wrong with young men?


    #1 Males account for approximately 70 percent of all Ds and Fs in U.S. public schools.

    #2 About two-thirds of all students in “special education programs” are boys.

    #3 The average American girl spends 5 hours a week playing video games. The average American boy spends 13 hours a week playing video games.

    #4 The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21.

    #5 One study discovered that 88 percent of all Americans between the ages of 8 and 18 play video games, and that video game addiction is approximately four times as common among boys as it is among girls.

    #6 At this point, 15-year-olds that attend U.S. public schools do not even rank in the top half of all industrialized nations when it comes to math or science literacy.

    #7 In 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years.

    #8 According to a survey conducted by the National Geographic Society, only 37 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 can find the nation of Iraq on a map.

    #9 According to the New York Times, approximately 57 percent of all young people enrolled at U.S. colleges are women.

    #10 It is being projected that women will earn 60 percent of all Bachelor’s degrees from U.S. universities by the year 2016.

    #11 Even if they do graduate from college, most of our young men still can’t find a decent job. An astounding 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed during 2011.

    #12 Pornography addiction is a major problem among our young men. An astounding 30 percent of all Internet traffic now goes to pornography websites, and one survey found that 25 percent of all employees that have Internet access in the United States even visit sex websites while they are at work.

    #13 In the United States today, 47 percent of all high school students have had sex.

    #14 The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate on the entire planet. If our young men behaved differently this would not be happening.

    #15 In the United States today, one out of every four teen girls has at least one sexually transmitted disease. If our young men were not sex-obsessed idiots running around constantly looking to “score” these diseases would not be spreading like this.

    #16 Right now, approximately 53 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket are living at home with their parents.

    #17 According to one survey, 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

    #18 Young men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are.

    #19 Overall, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents in the United States right now according to Time Magazine.

    #20 Today, an all-time low 44.2% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.

    #21 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple. Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.

    #22 Young men are about four times more likely to commit suicide as young women are.

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/22-stats-that-prove-that-there-is-something-seriously-wrong-with-young-men-in-america


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