The Slaughter of Innocents

"Slaughter of the Innocents" by Ghirlandaio Domenico

“Slaughter of the Innocents” by Ghirlandaio Domenico

I never quite know what to say whenever a public tragedy occurs. Everything sounds like an obligatory platitude, or something that has already been said, or something that shouldn’t even need to be said. Ultimately the slaying of 20 innocent children along with 6 adults is horrific beyond words.

The reality we live in is one in which almost everyone agrees that to “politicize” tragedy is wrong, and in which almost everyone does it anyway. It didn’t take long for the gun-grabbers to begin howling against the NRA, the 2nd amendment, and guns in general. Some of the howling may really be sincere. Children died, and emotions are running extremely high. Some people may really believe that taking away my right to own a gun, and the rights of millions upon millions of sane, decent people’s right to do the same, is necessary to protect society from the handful of psychotic individuals who will use guns to inflict harm on the innocent.

So this is not an angry tirade against the gun-grabbers (as well as the others I will surely also offend). If I could inject tone into written words, I’d say this is more of a plea, though not a hysterical one.

First: crazy people, like criminals in control of their faculties, don’t obey laws. In the case of crazy people, they don’t even recognize them. Laws only restrain the behavior of people who are mostly already good and the least likely to abuse their rightful liberties. Now the law can punish the rational criminals, and it can keep the crazy people off the streets. But it can’t prevent either of them from doing what they will do. Not even the totalitarian Chinese state can prevent vicious and sometimes fatal knife attacks from occurring in Chinese schools.

Secondly: no law permitted the mentally deranged individual who killed these children to purchase or obtain a firearm. Like most people in these situations, he simply grabbed whatever guns were available, in this case – as I understand it – those that belonged to his mother. The gun laws in Connecticut are already very strong. Meanwhile, as I have pointed out in the past, places like Vermont or Switzerland have extremely lenient gun laws along with cultures in which firearms are respected, and correspondingly low gun homicide rates. Guns are not the problem. Tragedies can make it really feel that way, I grant, but policies can’t be based upon raw emotions. They should be based upon principles and they should be informed by the relevant facts and statistics. Laws based upon the emotional mood of the moment have never and will never lead to anything good, and will likely result in even greater evils. We have to separate the very necessary and human acts of grieving, mourning, and even avenging from policy-making.

Third: we need to confront our own culture of violence. By promoting abortion, torture, preemptive war and drone strikes, both the left and the right in this country have made the world more violent and more dangerous. What happened in CT was tragic. Now just imagine how parents and friends and family members feel thousands of miles away when a predator drone takes out small children, or when babies are born with horrible defects caused by our radioactive weapons.

You can tell me that somehow abortion “isn’t the same” because it’s “just a fetus” or the child would have a “bad life”, or that it is justifiable to blow up a dozen women and children if we get one terrorist, that these reasons are somehow good in themselves with bad effects while what happened today was just plain bad. I see it the other way around. What happened today was almost like a natural disaster – unpredictable and unintentional (I assume that the shooter was completely insane, but I suppose we have to wait for the details to be certain). Meanwhile our policies are conscious, and they are executed by conscious beings. When children die in the womb or from a drone strike, someone pressed the button, and they likely did it with full moral faculties, secure because it was “legal” (and therefore good, or at least not bad, right?) or because it was ordered by a superior. Or maybe they sometimes say, “I didn’t have a choice”, I was too poor to bear a child (and just couldn’t give it up for adoption), or I would have been court-martialed or whatever. The insane shooter had far less of a choice, assuming he really was insane. So what does that make you?

Maybe that was “too political.” But at least give me credit for hating everyone’s politics today.

68 Responses to The Slaughter of Innocents

  • “…or when babies are born with horrible defects caused by our radioactive weapons.”

    “..But at least give me credit for hating everyone’s politics today.”

    While you do so, make sure you are not creating your own politics. The first quote is not supported by your own link. For example:

    “Scientific studies have so far established no link between the rounds, which contain ionising radiation to burst through armour and are commonly used on the battlefield.”

  • Did you actually read the whole thing?

    “A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.”

    Why are you defending this horror?

  • I am NOT going to let this thread degenerate into a petty and stupid debate about whether or not DU causes birth defects. SOMETHING caused them, and it wasn’t the weather.

    Let certain people be forewarned.

  • I think your point about the culture of violence and death is the most significant. I will take the libertyof expnding on your point though.

    It is certainly true that you can’t legislate morality. Unfortunately, legislation is a first response to every notorious act. We behave as though, if only we “tighten up the laws” people will behave. Meanwhile, we do nothing reasonable to train, for that is what parenting is, our children to be good people.

    At the beginning of the school year, we cut our kids off from all electronic gear from Sunday afternoon til Friday after school. From the reaction of other parents, you’d think we’d said we were becoming Amish – an increasingly attractive option. My 8 year old son has a Wii. When we go to Gamestop, there is a none to subtle push to buy war games by any salesman – the women seem fine with opting out of violent games. We are treated to the lyrics of violence with passing cars and of lewdness through pop stars – aimed directly at my 5 and 11 year old daughters.

    This is one sick and misdirected culture and no amount of legislation is going to close this gaping wound. So, fellow Americans, leave me the means to protect myself, I may very well need it to protect my family from your hyper-sexualized, desensitized to violence son.

  • G-Veg,

    I don’t know how to feel about violence in media. A movie like Braveheart is pretty violent but is also really worth watching. Reality is violent. I don’t think children should be sheltered from that. At the same time, I certainly don’t think violence for its own sake should be glorified. Video games like “Grand Theft Auto” where you drive around murdering pedestrians for fun are really horrific.

  • I know this comes up on in some circles with every one of these shootings, but I really think the problem is mental health. Sane people, no matter how affected by violent media, don’t target kindergarteners. Laws regarding committal of the insane have made it increasingly difficult to commit individuals to mental institutions. This change was perhaps a reasonable reaction to the conditions in many state hospitals in the 60’s and 70’s. Rather than improve conditions, the sick were allowed to roam free. Many are only a danger to themselves, as sad as that is. In many jurisdictions, a judge will not agree to an involuntary committal unless the person is actively wielding weapons and making overt threats. Sometimes not even then. If we’re going to throw money and legislation at a problem, how about this one instead of gun control. It might have the effect of actually helping people.

  • “when babies are born with horrible defects caused by our radioactive weapons.”

    Bonchamps,

    Respectfully, you do not know anything about radiation, radioactive weapons or nuclear engineering. The U-238 used in those weapons did NOT cause the birth defects. But coal fired power plants in the US routinely emit MORE radioactivity in the form of radium, thorium and uranium, and dump that ash willy-nilly into the environment. Where are the birth defects from that if the U-238 in weapons in Iraq caused birth defects? Did you ever think that maybe Saddam Hussein’s own chemical weapons caused those defects?

    BTW, the UK Guardian is NOT a reputable source when it comes to this kind of information.

  • G-veg.
    Simple isn’t it. What you put in is what you can expect to get out. Your wise to be setting up and enforcing time limits on your sons gaming programs.
    When I asked others their feelings on this recent tragedy I was saddened by the level of apathy. It’s as if people are becoming desensitize to the horror that is “deaths and killings.” Forty years of licenced killings of innocents is catching up to us.
    What is life? What is truth? Reality?
    We’re not in Kansas anymore!

  • The thing is that censorship is a proper tool of parenting, not of the State.

    You are the best judge of what your son should be exposed to and I of mine.

    It is my judgment that Master and Commander’s violence, since it is in the context of war and honor and because the violence has consequences that my 8 and 11 year olds can grasp and connect, is actually a good film for them to see. I don’t think it is good for my 5 year old to see. I believe she would not understand the context or connect the consequences to a boyher brother’s age having his arm amputated. She would be scared, not the wiser, for having seen the film.

    That is called “parenting” and I am always surprised how many people I encounter in my work who are not acquainted with the concept.

    I regularly enter homes where the most violent videogames are being played by very small children. Their parents, or parent as is often the case, seem to use the games as babysitters. In fairness, the world outside of their doors is only slightly less violent so the kids’ being inside all the time isn’t entirely surprising.

    The hypersexualization is as much a problem because there is a link between the two that I haven’t worked out. Boys expect sex these days and girls expect to be treated as sexual objects. Is there a connection between this sickness and the violence? I think so but I work pretty hard against both diseases and I don’t have the proper context to make a judgment.

    My point, I think, stands though: the causes of societal collapse are many and deeply imbedded. They entirely come back to a lack of parenting and no legislation will fix it.

  • G-Veg.
    Agreed.
    JP II the great spoke of the attacks on the family and the consequences thereof.
    If the attack is successful, then expect to see the neighborhoods fall, the cities, the state and nation. You are minutemen of the 21st Century.
    God Bless you.

  • “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

    Do not hide your light under a basket.

    Now is time for the virtue of Hope.

    We hope that these darling children and courageous school personnel are born to eternal life.

    We hope that the families can come through the mourning and unspeakable pain to peace through Faith and Charity.

    This year, the Feast of the Holy Innocents/Childermas may have intense meaning.
    The fourth day of Christmas commemorates the infant boys Herod ordered killed. They are considered the first martyrs (St. Stephen was the first martyr of the Church Age). They are deemed to have actually died for Christ and in His stead. Vestments are red or purple in mourning. The Alleluia and Gloria are not sung at Mass.

  • Connection.
    King Herod was jealous and fearful of a “new king to come.” With this fear he orders the deaths of the innocents.

    Today, women and men jealous and fearful order the deaths of their innocent ones.
    Jealous of the resources they would have to use to raise the child. Fearful of their future. Their plans being changed.

    Today is filled with Herods.
    I’ll light a candle for conversions.

  • “Not even the totalitarian Chinese state can prevent vicious and sometimes fatal knife attacks from occurring in Chinese schools.”

    Of course, they cannot. But they can restrict access to some weapons that make it easier to kill more people, more easily and more quickly, than with a knife.

    General Wade’s disarming of the Highland clans id not eliminate murder; it did create a climate in which the Highlands are now patrolled by unarmed police officers.

  • The disarming of the Highland clans? Really? You mean the mass murder and plunder carried out by British troops after Culloden?

    This is America. Our rebellion against British tyranny was a successful one, and it resulted in the 2nd amendment. It will never be Europe and it will never be China, at least not over my cold, dead corpse.

  • Governments are responsible for murders, crimes, genocides, atrocities and all around unholy evil than lax gun laws. I’d put a gun in the hand of every citizen before I would consent to an expansion of police powers and a loss of natural rights.

  • In the 20th century, the most deadly US massacre of little children: April 19, 1993, 76 Americans (21 young children) killed at Waco, TX. The killers were on salary paid by US taxpayers.

    Since Great Britain confiscated all guns, gun crime has risen 89% (decade to decade).

    After Culloden the Brits committed genocide: summary executions; destroying homes, crops and livestock – confiscations; deportations, etc.

  • “the 20th century, the most deadly US massacre of little children”

    The Bath school bombings on May 18, 1927:

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

  • Thanx, Mac!

    I hadn’t considered bombs, which are far more efficient than gun fire.

    Interesting (and not uncommon today) motive: school-tax foreclosure of the family farm.

  • “Did you actually read the whole thing?”

    Yes. Of course the words used to draw the connection between the weapons and the birth defects are all conditionals. That’s because there is no clear link.

    “A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.”

    Again, the critical word is “could.” Being a physician, saying something could have been caused by X is completely different than saying it was definitively caused by X. Thus pointing out the error of your statement.

    “Why are you defending this horror?”

    I am not. I am defending the pursuit of truth. This includes noting that the study you link does not support the conclusion you draw.

    “I am NOT going to let this thread degenerate into a petty and stupid debate about whether or not DU causes birth defects. SOMETHING caused them, and it wasn’t the weather. ”

    Yes something did. Of course that is the job of epidemiology, biology etc. to establish, not one, simple study. As Paul notes (as do studies in basic science), depleted uranium does not seem to be the problem.

    “Let certain people be forewarned.”

    That of course could not be me. If you have read my comments through the years, they have been quite respectful and interested in an honest discussion. That includes at times correcting my stance on certain subjects. That at times has resulted in others moderating theirs.

  • In the twentieth century most deadly US massacre of little children….

    Really? The largest numbers are from daily death counts of between 2,500 – 4,000 a day in the twentieth century in little rooms by the hands of so-called doctors.

    Least we forget them?

  • “I am NOT going to let this thread degenerate into a petty and stupid debate about whether or not DU causes birth defects.”

    Excellent! One should not use DU disinformation in a UK newspaper (not even a scientific source!) to make a point and then say that those who demonstrate the point is wrong won’t be allowed to drag the conversation into a stupid debate. DU has nothing to do with the real topic – murdered children in Connecticut.

    And for the record (since I am a nuclear engineer), depleted uranium is natural uranium that has been depleted of its fissile U-235 content, the leftover being U-238 (which I have held in my hands before, and I still live). U-238 radiates alpha-particles and decays (by way of thorium-234 and protactinium-234) into U-234. U-234 has a half-life of 245,500 years. The relation between U-238 and U-234 gives an indication of the age of sediments that are between 100,000 years and 1,200,000 years in age. U-238 occasionally decays by spontaneous fission or double beta decay with probabilities of 5×10?5 and 2×10?10 per 100 alpha decays, respectively. U-238 is essentially harmless except when used in jacketed high velocity projectiles. It is used in that application because it is extremely dense – more so than lead because the nucleus of its atoms contain more protons and neutrons than lead – and thus imparts more energy at the same velocity to the target via this law:

    KE=(1/2)*m*v^2 law

    Indeed, lead can be every bit as hazardous as DU is alleged by anti-nuclear activitists to be due to chemical, not radiation effects, and we have all handled lead before (I used to make experimental batteries in science class a long time ago using that very element).

  • Tragic but a teachable moment:
    After the initial shock from the horror committed at Sandy Hook Elementary and the many private funerals and eulogies which we must rightfully endure will come the public discussion of why such a brutal act of slaughter of innocence could have ever been perpetrated in our nation, again as well we should. Personally I would suggest that as one prepares to venture into that discussion which will obviously involve the second amendment, mental health, security in our schools and other issues they take care not to overlook one which our current culture has blinded us from and hardened the hearts of some to the extent they might have little justification to be a part of the national morning.
    We see our tearful president remorsefully addressing the stunned nation describing the details of the massacre noting that the 20 little kindergarteners had their whole lives ahead of them. Well, most of it to be sure. However, they did have five or six years of life and love from their moms and dads. They did have the brief opportunity to experience the beauty of God’s nature and breathe its air.
    A full lifetime was denied these little ones by a disgraceful criminal act of cowardice on the part a single deranged individual who didn’t see the need for them to exist. Yet we can not deny that just six or seven years ago the mothers of those little souls had, through another dreadful act on the part of five misguided judges, the right to choose likewise and the laws of our nation would protect her from the prosecution we all would be demanding for this perpetrator had he survived the tragedy. Think about this as you mourn and pray for the families involved, has God given us an opportunity to see the near similarity of destruction of innocent children??

  • “By promoting abortion, torture, preemptive war and drone strikes”

    i have different opinions on all of these but i really think it’s a non sequitur

  • Mrs. Zummo: Let me be blunt as tact is not one of my strong points. Mentally ill persons do not murder people. Murderers murder people. A judge in a court of law cannot imprison a mentally ill person unless a crime has been committed. (The Person of Jesus Christ was exiled for no reason from the public square because Jesus is the Son of God and Jesus exorcized the devil at every turn.) At the risk of ridicule and intimidation by militant atheists, the murderer ought to have been exorcized. America needs to be exorcized “to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our (consitutional) posterity”

  • I am not sure people read the same post as I did. Some commenters have employed the old Internet discussion trick of disputing a tangential fact and therefore absolving themselves of having to engage the main point. Others have taken to the good old “cultural” arguments, as if the real issue is the portrayal of the killing of innocents, and not the actual killing of innocents. The sound of the best points of this post going over people’s heads (or in one ear and out the other) is absolutely deafening.

    That being said, I will say that I am for abortion rights, primarily for the same reasons as Murray Rothbard was: any other option would entail a woman’s body belonging to the state as the new paterfamilias. What happens in a woman’s uterus is outside the jurisdiction of the US government, like it or not. On the other hand, I will surrender a point to the anti-abortion side in stating that there is a slippery slope in our context towards a completely utilitarian understanding of human life. “Whether or not I can afford this baby,” should be a chilling thought in our minds. Since when did a baby become a problem? And should we not also shutter before the disposing of human flesh, no matter what it or he / she was? This can never be a sign of a healthy society. But it cannot be otherwise in our social order where the foundational principle seems to be the privatization of profits and the socialization of the costs of those profits. As long as that baby is not “my problem”, then it becomes someone else’s problem, and we know who that is. All the same, I also oppose abortion laws for the same reason people would oppose gun laws: there is no guarantee that trying to remedy the “evil” won’t just create a greater evil. But that is not the main point I would like to make, as I think you would dispute all of what I just said.

    For a long time, this country has solved problems in life by just eliminating life. That might be life in the womb, life overseas in places we have consigned to barbarism, or virtually eliminating life on the movie or television screen. If we can take out a “terrorist” with some risk of killing innocent men, women, and children, we go ahead and do it like it’s a video game. Literally, a video game. Such is the logic of our state of perpetual lawless war. The people who pull the trigger are sitting in a comfortable office watching a screen and pressing a button. They go home every night to their families, they read to their kids, go to Little League games, and so on as if they were putting Tab A into Slot B all day long. We don’t even have to stand face to face and look at the person we are killing. We just do it with kill lists, “top secret intelligence”, black ops sites, etc. And we are addicted to the very things that are making us less and less human, all for the sake of cheaper gas and “homeland security” (except when we get on airplanes, when a veritable macabre ritual ensues involving the removal of shoes and clothing, revealing our complete powerlessness). And let us not forget the US military, that institution so praised on this site, that has degenerated into a make-work program for ambitious if academically under-performing young men and women who can stomach the idea of going to places they can barely locate on a map to kill people they have never met for reasons they don’t understand nor are they allowed to question.

    And of course, this is the backdrop to our “entertainment” as well, our sporting events, the bellicose language and ideologies that dominate our workplaces. We use and are used. So in that context, why is it surprising that a disturbed young man decides to off a couple of dozen people, mostly children, and then himself, as a remedy for his own personal crisis? Our entire “success” as a nation seems to be founded on our ability to de-humanize others and use them for our own aims, whether they are a pixelized persons in a video game, or the inferior 3D versions of that “villain” in a house in Pakistan, surrounded by family and friends. We are making the film where we are the crucifiers, not the crucified. What was the author of this heinous act doing other than making his own sick movie, one that we are all talking about? In a sense, he won, didn’t he?

    Driving around, I noticed today that all the flags were at half-staff. Of course, that is appropriate. But I would argue that it would be even more appropriate if we did the same whenever we “accidentally” killed innocent men, women, and children with drone bombs in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere, in the name of “freedom”, “America”, and all of the other things we seem to hold so dear. It would even be more appropriate, because unlike the actions of a lone gunmen, those deaths are all the more the shame of the entire Republic, and thus a very appropriate cause of mourning.

  • Mono,

    ” I will say that I am for abortion rights, primarily for the same reasons as Murray Rothbard was: any other option would entail a woman’s body belonging to the state as the new paterfamilias.”

    The state’s role is to protect life (one of its few legitimate roles) – it is amazing that Rothbard, who believed that all aggressive violence was unethical, could support the most aggressive violence imaginable against an unborn child. Abortion is not the “eviction” of an unwanted trespasser. It is the violent dismemberment of a human being. How can that fact be irrelevant?

    Someone has to look out for the interests of children vis-a-vis negligent or abusive parents, and in fact all those who lack the use of reason and the capacity for self-sufficiency. But if it makes it any better, I believe fathers should be compelled as much as mothers. In fact laws that compel fathers to pay child support are as much state “ownership” of the father as anti-abortion laws are of the mother, though I think it is grotesque to put it in such terms. The fact is that parenthood comes with obligations. The natural rights libertarians want to defend were originally corollaries to natural laws that had to be obeyed, among which were the laws by which parents were bound to care for their children.

    But all of this horrible tyranny and slavery could be limited to a mere nine months if the adoption option is exercised. Nine months of simply caring for the life you created through your own volition seems insignificant next to a society in which cold-blooded industrialized mass murder is condoned.

    As for the rest of your post, I thank you for it and mostly agree.

  • You get slightly incoherent, towards the end. How? Mutually Assured Destruction. You, in the beginning, seem to advocate a personal version of the doctrine, yet are ignorant of, or don’t recognize the geopolitical version of the same, re:nukes.

  • I’M incoherent? What are you talking about?

    You seem to think I’m some sort of pacifist. I’m not. In fact I subscribe to Nuclear Peace Theory. That’s something different than using remote-control robots to kill “the terrorists” and killing dozens of innocents in the process. It’s also something different than preemptive wars to rid the world of non-existent WMDs, wars to spead “democracy”, and other war crimes and acts of aggression.

  • The reference to radioactivity was to our use of depleted uranium, which some people who comment on this site choose to remain willfully blind to regarding its potential to cause horrific birth defects.

  • El Mono Liso,

    I am not too polite to say what is true. Your comments are deeply offensive, arrogant, and mean spirited.

    You begin by dismissing cultural elements of violence and all of our thoughts and then have a go at service men and women. That simply will not do. (Bonchamps, I am surprised at you for agreeing with this jerk.)

    Before you shoot your mouth off about our fine men and women in service, some of whom will lay down their lives so that you can enjoy your freedom of speech this Christmas, you really ought to pull real hard on your neck and see if doing so will dislodge your head from your rectum.

  • Mono,

    I’m with Bonchamp, Murray R., and you.

    I’m totally for total personal freedom and total individual autonomy.

    The state must not have control over my life, liberty and happiness.

    If someone is, or may become an annoyance or a burden to me (e.g., “unwanted” unborn babies – once seen as blessings now seen as curses), I need to be able to end that “threat” to my persona. The untrammeled state must not deny me my God-given right to decide who will die and who will live. It’s a highly personal relationship between me and my “burden” with which the state must not interfere.

    The state doesn’t own me. Lincoln abolished slavery in 1863, er, 1869, er, . . .

    End: sarcasm.

    In conclusion, libertarians may be (not sure that it’s possible) more vile than liberals.

  • “Before you shoot your mouth off about our fine men and women in service, some of whom will lay down their lives so that you can enjoy your freedom of speech this Christmas…”

    So killing people who are my same complexion but speak a different language half a world away, often in the most cowardly manner imaginable, is defending “my freedom”. QED. My country right and wrong, and all that.

    I will join with the author of this post and give my own “radical” proposal. Bring back the mandatory draft. If we want to go swaggering about the world killing people and blowing things up, let everyone get in the act. No more mercenary army. No money for college. No awesome mess halls. No “vocational training”. Just show people how to blow people’s heads off and not die, and let them go at it. Then, we would all have to suffer the awfulness of war, and maybe think twice before waging it. My father served in Vietnam when there was a draft, and almost died there. I can respect that. But to think that young people fighting in unjust and illegal wars, often because they have few to no other options in life, are “protecting my freedom” is preposterous. I understand them, and feel sorry for them, but “respect” is not something I would feel towards them. They are more likely ticking people off and killing innocents, which is giving the appropriate moral ammo for the next big terrorist attack, which we can’t possibly prevent anyway. And the cycle continues.

  • Mono wrote, “And let us not forget the US military, that institution so praised on this site, that has degenerated into a make-work program for ambitious if academically under-performing young men and women who can stomach the idea of going to places they can barely locate on a map to kill people they have never met for reasons they don’t understand nor are they allowed to question.”

    Response: I was a reactor operator on a nuclear submarine defending your right to write what you do before you likely were born. I teach nuclear systems fundamentals, instrumentation and controls, and software quality assurance to college graduates who lack the ability to think and apply what they supposedly learned in liberal Democrat Academia. I have used my US navy training to do that, and to keep the electricity flowing that makes your lights work and your PC to function. When I think of “academically under-performing young men and women”, I think of most of today’s college graduates.

    Bonchamps wrote, “The reference to radioactivity was to our use of depleted uranium, which some people who comment on this site choose to remain willfully blind to regarding its potential to cause horrific birth defects.”

    The amount of radiation emitted by U-238 (depleted uranium) is miniscule in comparison to the amount of radiation you get on a plane flight across the Rocky Mountains from cosmic radiation, or the radiation you get from being in Grand Central Station for an hour (the radon in the brick and concrete), or the radiation you get from coal fly ash dumped into the air (the uranium, thorium and radium contained naturally in coal). I have held uranium in my hands. I still live. At a previous employer I was a radiation monitoring system engineer. I do not ignore the hazards of radiation. I am intimately familiar with such hazards, being an instructor thereof. Depleted uranium is every bit as much of a chemical (NOT radiation) hazard as lead. I have demonstrated this with science again and again. Some people choose to ignore the science for disinformation written in a UK newspaper whose writers couldn’t tell the difference between deuterium and neptunium.

  • El Moro Liso’s notion that conscript armies would make wars of aggression less likely hardly seems borne out by history. The Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, from 1793-1815 were characterised by the levée en masse, as were Bismark’s wars against Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870). The fall of Paris to the Prussians in 1870 marks the eclipse of the old order of Western civilisation – a thing like the sack of Rome by the Goths – and paved the way for the First World War. All the powers who fought in the First World War, except the UK and the USA had long practised universal peacetime conscription. The Second World War was merely a continuation of the First and, again, was fought largely by countries with universal peacetime conscription.

    Certainly, a case can be made that no one should be denied the right, nor relieved of the responsibility of defending the nation under arms and that univerdal conscription is the logical counterpart of universal suffrage, but that is a separate question.

  • G-Veg & others,

    I certainly do agree with Mono’s contention that the wars we are fighting and the people we are killing now in absolutely no way serve to protect my freedom or liberty. I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but I am simply not stupid enough to believe such obvious lies.

  • Michael:

    Here’s the thing: How many of those regimes were supposedly democratic republics? In our context, people complain about taxes and the bad employment of tax dollars all the time. And even for trivial amounts, people will start battle-to-the-death polemics over government waste, government using money on things it shouldn’t etc. What if the government started demanding your kids’s lives, all of your kids, even just for a few years? Would you complain then? Think about it as a tax. Would you want your “taxes” to go to arbitrary, undeclared wars? Sure, we can cover this up now by offering sweet deals and accounting tricks (hence, the mercenary aspect), but if we get rid of all that, would there not be an uproar?

    Paul Z:

    Your replies to this post basically boil down to: 1. These bombs aren’t as deadly as you say they are and. 2. College students are stupid. Congratulations, you win the “Missing the godd@#& point Award of the Day”. If these bombs are not that lethal, let’s dump a whole lot on them on your neighborhood and see what happens. I am sure it won’t be that bad.

  • “If these bombs are not that lethal, let’s dump a whole lot on them on your neighborhood and see what happens. I am sure it won’t be that bad.”

    There is some logical fallacy there but I’m not sure which. Let’s see. “X” does not cause what some claim it causes. Therefore, let’s dump a whole lot of “X” in your neighborhood.

  • “I certainly do agree with Mono’s contention that the wars we are fighting and the people we are killing now in absolutely no way serve to protect my freedom or liberty.”

    There is this idea that expertise in one area qualifies as expertise in all areas, and that intellectual brilliance in one topic qualifies as intellectual brilliance in all topics. There is this idea that one is entitled to decide what is right and what is wrong regardless that one may not have (or may not even be qualified to have or be privy to) all the facts. All this is the placing of one’s personal beliefs first ahead of those who are the experts, and that behavior is not humility.

    If one is not a radiation health physicist, then one is simply not entitled to an opinion about the radiation health effects of depleted uranium (which is demonstrably less radioactive than common dirt, and certainly even less radioactive than the naturally occurring radioactive potassium-14 and carbon-12 in one’s body). If one is not privy to national security information about the secret workings of Islamic terrorists, then one is not entitled to an opinion about the use of drone weapons to stop them dead in their tracks in the sands of Arabia, preventing loss of innocent life here at home.

    Man’s hubris is the cause of the slaughter of the innocents. The cry “non serviam” that Satan gave forth is the same cry as “I get to decide because I am smart enough.” As long as that cry is shouted, babies will be torn apart in the womb and shot to death outside the womb.

    As for El Mono, college grads are not stupid, just “done educated into imbecility” by liberal Democrat Academia. Give me a 20 year old who went through the Navy’s nuclear power training any day of the week before a college grad.

  • I made an error. I meant to say potassium-40, not 14. Three isotopes occur in nature: 39, 40 and 41. Two are stable: 39 and 41. One is radioactive: 40. It’s a beta emitter and decays to argon-40 which is stable. You get more radiation from potassium-40 in bananas than from what’s in depleted uranium which is U-238. My apologies for the error.

  • El Mono Liso:
    “I am not sure people read the same post as I did. Some commenters have employed the old Internet discussion trick of disputing a tangential fact and therefore absolving themselves of having to engage the main point. Others have taken to the good old “cultural” arguments, as if the real issue is the portrayal of the killing of innocents, and not the actual killing of innocents. The sound of the best points of this post going over people’s heads (or in one ear and out the other) is absolutely deafening”

    There are many aspects of this monstrous crime: the killing of innocents by an individual not employed by the state as executioner for capital one murder, the only reason for killing another person, and without the victims having been tried in a court of law and found guilty of capital one homicide and deserving to be put to death to preserve Justice. For every law God gave to man, God said: “because you are men sacred to me.” Every law Moses laid upon the Israelites was to “drive evil from our midst”. Evil has entered our midst. Our innocents have been murdered en mass by an individual most likely possessed by the devil, since the devil is the only one to gain from such carnage and crime. The expression of sorrow, the consolation of the survivors, the embrace of fellowship, the desire for Justice and peace rein. Adam Lanza was prevented from being like Hitler only in the scope of the crime. The same sin militarized his actions. Were Adam Lanza to be given a battalion, the population would be decimated as in abortion of the sovereign person in the womb or genocide. Adam Lanza ended his life the way hitler ended his life, by his own hand.

    “That being said, I will say that I am for abortion rights, primarily for the same reasons as Murray Rothbard was: any other option would entail a woman’s body belonging to the state as the new paterfamilias.”

    Unless an individual accepts the existence of God as the Creator and our founding principles that our Creator endows an unalienable right to LIFE, that individual repudiates his citizenship by rejecting our founding principles and us. The sovereign person who came into existence at conception became a ward of the court when his mother applied to end his existence. As a ward of the court, the sovereign person in utero actually and fully belonged to the “paterfamilias”, the father of the child. Never can the court usurp the authentic authority of the parents of the child, which Roe did. Roe refused to acknowledge the sovereign personhood endowed by our Creator, at conception, along with all other unalienable rights in the Ninth Amendment. Roe emasculated the “paterfamilias” as well as courtnapped his offspring. Roe gave the ward of the court, the child of paterfamilias into the custody of the mother to abort without the father having any legal right to his own offspring. The science of DNA proves this much. If in Roe, the state became the paterfamilias, why didn’t the court acknowledge the unalienable right to Life of the human person in utero?

    “What happens in a woman’s uterus is outside the jurisdiction of the US government, like it or not.”

    What happens in a woman’s uterus is another sovereign person whose sovereignty constitutes the state from the very first moment of his sovereign existence.

    “All the same, I also oppose abortion laws for the same reason people would oppose gun laws: there is no guarantee that trying to remedy the “evil” won’t just create a greater evil. But that is not the main point I would like to make, as I think you would dispute all of what I just said.”

    The greater evil is the miscarriage of Justice. Abortion has always been a crime. To legalize the destruction of innocent life as the “Law of the Land” cries to heaven for rectitude. Justice is predicated on intent.

    “What was the author of this heinous act doing other than making his own sick movie, one that we are all talking about? In a sense, he won, didn’t he?”

    He won the title of mass murderer and he may have won the loss of his immortal soul.

  • Paul P,

    I’m just going to say two things to you, and then we’re done.

    1) You write as if journalists at the Guardian themselves conducted studies on DU. It’s a dishonest, idiotic implication. They’re reporters. Unless you have evidence that they are conspiratorially concocting stories about the research OTHERS are doing, your arguments are nothing but verbal vomit.

    2) This:

    “If one is not a radiation health physicist, then one is simply not entitled to an opinion about the radiation health effects of depleted uranium (which is demonstrably less radioactive than common dirt, and certainly even less radioactive than the naturally occurring radioactive potassium-14 and carbon-12 in one’s body). If one is not privy to national security information about the secret workings of Islamic terrorists, then one is not entitled to an opinion about the use of drone weapons to stop them dead in their tracks in the sands of Arabia, preventing loss of innocent life here at home.”

    Is sheer stupidity or dishonesty. It’s about as stupid and dishonest as “unless you are a woman, you cannot have an opinion about abortion.” I will grant I don’t have academic knowledge of radiation, but neither I nor the journalists claim to have done studies ourselves. We rely on the information of experts, and yeah, some of them are making claims and I’m not going to disbelieve them because some ranting jackass on an Internet forum claims to have a background in the same subject.

    As for drones killing people, seriously, bugger off. I’m entitled to say whatever the hell I want about murders being carried out in my name. I never asked ANYONE to kill innocent people for me, the thought of it makes me sick, and if I don’t have a right to say “I don’t want this done in my name”, then I am nothing but a slave. This is far more than an “opinion” I am expressing. It is my first amendment right as an American citizen and my moral duty as a human being.

  • But, as a matter of fact – never mind opinion – no, none of those people we have murdered poses the least threat to me and my freedom. That’s not an opinion at all. I don’t need to work at the NSA or CIA to know that a handful of Islamic fanatics that we sometimes employ – as we are RIGHT NOW in Syria – to overthrow regimes we don’t like can’t possibly take away my freedom. My government is doing that, as are its cowardly enablers and supporters on the left and the right in this very country.

  • Bonchamps,

    I have previously provided links from the US NRC, from NEI, from the IAEA, and from other reputable sources in comments to your other posts here at this blog. You chose to ignore those sources. You are not a radiation health physicist. You are not a nuclear engineer. Your expertise is political philosophy. You do a good job at that. Kindly leave the radiation science (and depleted uranium) to those who are the experts, and not journalists who don’t know the different between K-40 and U-238.

    As for drones, their use has saved the lives of many American soldiers.

    It is a jackass who claims otherwise and uses a tragedy in Connecticut to further his own anti-nuclear, anti-defense agenda.

  • I thought about this. I have been a nuclear professional for 30+ years. I don’t need to argue with a person who thinks it’s OK to smoke dope and emasculate this country’s energy future and use the Connecticut tragedy for his own personal anti-nuclear, anti-defense agenda. You guys got a problem with Bonchamps. I am removing my subscriptions to this blog until that problem is dealt with. I don’t need the loss of serenity over a person who can’t admit he doesn’t know, and then uses sources of disinformation to advance what he admits he doesn’t know. Bonchamps is brilliant when it comes to political philosophy. I applaud him in that. He’s arrogant in thinking that expertise applies elsewhere. And he won’t grab a taste of humility.

  • I thought I removed my subscription to this blog. I do not want to hear from a dope smoking hippie anti-nuke any longer. Thank you.

  • Saying that I “smoke dope” when I’ve told you repeatedly that I don’t is a mortal sin. It’s calumny, and you’re disgusting. And by the way, not being an expert in narcotics, or medicine, or human anatomy, or psychology, or neuroscience, or law enforcement, hasn’t stopped you from running your big fat mouth off about drug policies whenever you get the chance. So you’re a hypocrite too.

  • Wow. This looks like it was fun.

    A couple of comments.

    Paul said: “As for drones, their use has saved the lives of many American soldiers.”

    This is utilitarian consequentialism pure and simple and it should not be coming out of the mouth of a self-identifying Catholic.

    I have just as much respect for our armed forces as anyone else, but I do not weigh the morality of an act solely upon whether or not it saves their lives. This is fundamentally unCatholic and reeks of American tribalism. All sorts of heinous things can be justified and defended if their purported outcome (something really no one can prove) is seen to have prevented the deaths of Americans. And, in fact, that’s what’s being done on this very blog. The current drone policy of the United States of America is heinous. It is an abomination. It targets and murders individuals who may or may not be linked (we don’t really care one way or the other), however remotely, to obscure terrorist organizations half a world away. In the process, it usually takes a handful of innocent bystanders out with it. Or, better yet, come back and do clean-up duty at the “target’s” funeral; everyone there is guilty by association (or is it that their lives are expendable because they’re not Americans?..better to be safe than sorry, right? [as a side-note, amazing how conservatives flip the logic of the “if you’re not sure, don’t kill it” argument against abortion in order to justify murdering foreigners]).

    Furthermore, I find it disturbingly ironic that today’s brand of conservatives, who are usually wont to criticize nearly everything the government says and nitpick every study it publishes, are so eager to believe that the statistics put forward by government to defend its drone campaign are true. It truly baffles the mind. Especially considering numerous independent investigations (http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/25/world/asia/pakistan-us-drone-strikes/index.html [you’ll have to pick which “liberal propaganda outfit you believe,” the “worthless PhDs” in academia or the socialist running our government) indicate that the confirmed terrorist to innocent civilian kill ratio is appallingly skewed. But no, trust what Uncle Sam has to say on this issue, but not taxes, healthcare, or anything else. After all, “enemy combatant” surely doesn’t mean any male between the ages of 16 and 50 who we happened to blow up. Why? Because Big Brother says so.

  • Oh, forgot to mention that I also don’t think Paul’s claim that drone strikes “save the lives of American soldiers” is true, at least not as the rule. Maybe in a few exceptional circumstances, but surely not how we’re doing it right now.

    Drone strikes don’t save American soldiers because they primarily happen in two countries where we don’t have boots on the ground, and actually make things a lot worse for all Americans, soldiers or otherwise. I got called out on some other post by Mr. Shaw (apologies if it wasn’t you, I wouldn’t want this mistakenly attributed to me either) for being one of those “imbecile hypocrites” who asks “Why do they hate us?” While, all though I never did in fact ask that, this is why Mr. Shaw. Because we blow them up with missiles from the sky. We kill their loved ones, destroy their communities, and make their lives a living hell. You can sure as heck bet that if you were some poor Pashtun who had your entire family whiped out by some Hellfire missiles, you’d probably be a little more receptive when jihadis came around recruiting for their next death to America campaign. So you’re wrong, Paul. Not only is the current drone policy of the United States of America morally wrong and an injustice against God and humanity, it actually makes things worse for American soldiers by undoubtedly jacking up anti-American sentiments in the places of the world already the most economically susceptible to spawning terrorists.

  • JL,

    Sorry if I hurt your feelings.

    But now, I see.

    You don’t ask, “Why do they hate us?” Check. Check.

    You come out and say, “They hate us because . . . ”

    Seems like a deficit of self-awareness.

    PS: I have no sense of decency. Drone strikes are .22 cal. Since 1983: Beirut, these savages have been at war with us.

  • Mr. Shaw,

    It’s not a matter of hurt feelings. Rather it’s the fact that you brazenly endorse evil, and don’t really seem to care. You practically flaunt it, claiming defiantly that you “have no sense of decency,” like this is something to be proud of.

    If I suffer from a deficit of self-awareness, you suffer from an inability to engage with reality. Instead, you prefer to cling to harmful and false dichotomies, like the one that states it’s “America and all other champions of Objective Good who never do anything wrong” versus “EVIL.” Well when Jesus talks about Caesar and earthly principalities, the Red, White, and Blue aren’t an exception to the rule. You’ve placed your unmitigated trust and loyalty in the wrong King, in a man-made institution made up of men, who, against the prevailing wisdom, are not the arbiter of God’s will on earth, and who sin just as much as the guys to the north or south. Your lack of any interest in opening American foreign policy up to objective criticism is a clear-as-day example of the pratfalls of tribalism, and of putting the emphasis on the adjective in this blog’s name, at the expense of the integrity of the noun.

    And just so the record is clear, you have no problem grouping millions of people together as sub-humans (how else do you arrive at the conclusion that the entire lot of them are somehow undeserving of the inalienable rights you claim exist for all men) and subsequently killing as many of them as you see fit by any means, with no real clear purpose or justification in sight? Ok, gotcha.

  • JL:

    I apologize.

    I have a bottle of Scotch Whisky to finish before the World ends Friday . . .

    It’s all good.

  • Crazy people don’t adhere to the laws, sure; but this psycho had direct access to a semiautomatic, civilian equivalent of the M-16. There are thousands of insane people wandering the streets everyday; they would all commit some acts of violence if guns were in their hands.

    Look, I am a pro-2nd Amendment conservative. But frankly, private citizens are not autonomous militias. As such, I think in keeping with the “2ndAM” all firearms owners should have to join a government supervised local “militia” body for safety training and, in extreme cases, mental assessments to ascertain their right to own guns. If you want to own a gun, you should have to put in service time for your community.

    Senator Joe Manchin, a pro-life and pro-gun Democrat with whom I share proud West Virginia heritage, nailed the issue precisely; Newtown changed me.

  • Well, it didn’t change me. I wasn’t in favor of mentally-ill people having access to firearms before Newton, and I’m still not in favor of it.

    I reject the idea that we need a “government supervised” militia. The very point of the sort of militias referred to in the 2nd amendment is to serve as a check on government lest it become oppressive and injurious of our rights. You don’t put the fox in charge of the hen-house.

    I also reject the idea that the right to self-defense – and to the tools reasonably required to make use of the right – should be conditioned upon community service. The right to defense of person and property is an individual and natural right, which governments exist to protect and not abrogate.

    Nothing you are proposing would have stopped Adam Lanza. If his mother loved guns enough, she would have jumped through the legal hoopes to get them or simply have evaded the law. The guns still would have been there and the psycho would have still been a psycho with access to them.

    As a society, we have done what reasonable people would do to stop these incidents from occurring and a good bit more. More gun control? CT already has gun control. If that level of gun control cannot prevent psychopaths from committing mass murder with firearms, nothing that would be morally or constitutionally permissible can.

    I don’t mean you any offense, but I myself am offended, disappointed, and frustrated when people say things like “Newton changed me.” That’s the equivalent of saying “emotional panic and outrage got to me, and reasoned arguments no longer matter.” If that is what we are becoming as a society, we have bigger problems than lone psychopaths on shooting sprees. We have a deranged sense of entitlement, a view of the world in which bad things ought never to happen to us, and in which the only response to bad things happening is to go on a legislative rampage to mirror the murderous rampage that just occurred. Irrationality is prevailing everywhere, in the lone individual, in the collective mob, in the political and media establishments.

    I’m not marching along. Newtown didn’t change me, because what is right remains right, and what is wrong remains wrong, no matter what happens, no matter how sensationalized it becomes, no matter how much pain or stress I or anyone else suffers, because reason and rational thought are better ways to approach problems than panic and hysteria, and because I have absolutely no need to project to everyone else what a “good person” I am by calling for the most outrageous and obscene proposals I can think of. I’m not lumping you in with that – your post is reasonable enough if misguided in my opinion – but that’s the general mood right now.

  • One of the tasks of government is to forestall or repress any widespread public excitement. Alarm and insecurity can often be addressed by largely token measures, which function like placebos in medicine.

    In the UK in the 1950s, in response to a press campaign, the government banned switch-blades (known as “flick-knives”). No explanation as to why they were more dangerous than sheath knives was, or, indeed, could, be given, but they had assumed a symbolic significance in the minds of many older people, who associated them with rowdy working-class youths and the legislation served its purpose, not in preventing violence, but in assuaging public feeling.

  • “Senator Joe Manchin, a pro-life and pro-gun Democrat with whom I share proud West Virginia heritage, nailed the issue precisely; Newtown changed me.”

    Hopefully the planned change doesn’t have the same unintended consequences as this did:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1440764.stm

  • “One of the tasks of government is to forestall or repress any widespread public excitement. Alarm and insecurity can often be addressed by largely token measures, which function like placebos in medicine.”

    This is simply obscene. No, government is not my mommy, to whisper pleasant little lies in my ear to make my temper tantrum stop.

    Do you have no conception of human dignity?

  • This hysteria (acting while not thinking) employs this horrid tragedy (waving 20 little saints’ bloody shirts) for political gain.

    In 2008, Obama ordered his cadres, “. . . we bring a gun.” In 2012, Obaba told his guerrillas “Vote for revenge.”

    Many of these irrational, whack-jobs are calling for murdering 4.3 million NRA members.

    Erik Loomis, an Ass. Prof. at U of RI, made multiple tweets calling for murder: variously of NRA official Wayne LaPierre and anyone that opposes gun control.

    Statistically zero of the 300,00,000 guns owned by 50,000,000 friends and neighbors is used for crime.

    A recent survey of 5,000 American respondents indicated that (non-police, non-military) Americans “would likely have been killed” in 162,000 annual incidents if they had not defended themselves with firearms. Guns are used about 1,000,000 times a year by would-be crime victimes in self-defense in the US.

    They banned all guns in UK and in a decade gun crimes were up 89%.

    The vilest “assault weapons” in the private hands are forceps, and all health weapons daily wielded to murder 3,000 unborn babies, about 1,000,000 a year on average.

    In conclusion, the waving of 47,000,000 tiny, bloody shirt is forbidden, but advancing the agenda requires waving 20 in CT.

  • One of the tasks of government is to forestall or repress any widespread public excitement.

    Waal, Sen. Manchin might act in accordance with that aim by not proposing that public policy be made according to emotional reflexes (his or anyone else’s).

    1. Multi-victim homicides are not particularly common in this country. Those with more than two victims are quite unusual and a metropolitan center of ordinary population (e.g. Louisville or Oklahoma City or Hartford) can expect to see perhaps one every three years. Slaughters like this (> 4 victims) are rare, numbering perhaps a half-dozen a year in this country.

    2. The homicide rate has been declining in this country for a generation. There have been in that time only the most modest adjustments in the regulation of traffic in firearms. It is difficult to argue that the regime of firearms regulation is aught but a weak vector in influencing homicide rates.

    3. It is difficult to see what sort of regulation would have prevented this other than mass confiscation of firearms in private hands. Mrs. Lanza respected and followed the extant regulations in the State of Connecticut. If I understand correctly, she owned four guns, not a stockpile. None of her guns were automatic weapons. Adam Lanza had no criminal history. It is conceivable that autism-spectrum disorders are correlated with violent behavior, but it would be difficult to demonstrate that at this point in time because the psychological categories in question have boundary conditions that are too fuzzy to make for a proper longitudinal or panel study and you do not restrict the liberties of the first-degree relatives of the disabled based on speculation. This was a black swan event.

    4. Again, the law must be respected. Pace Saul Cornell and Cass Sunstein, it is not credible that the 2d Amendment does not protect a personal right. The clause referring to a ‘well-regulated militia’ makes it clear that that personal right is a right to bear military arms. Casuists in the legal profession can argue over what the boundaries of that right are, but it is not credible that mass confiscation of firearms does not violate that right.

    5. We have a federal system in this country. It is the State of Connecticut which possesses general police power in determining the regime of firearms regulation in its bailiwick. The central government is only acting within its authority when in regulates the transportation of firearms across state lines and the series of commercial transactions antecedent to that or in consequence of that. Mr. Manchin is a federal legislator.

    6. Your suggestion that the British Parliament’s has as a function the duty to undertake symbolic manipulations so people feel better (even if they are substantively nul) is silly.

  • T Shaw wrote, “They banned all guns in UK and in a decade gun crimes were up 89%.”

    But the purpose of the legislation was not to reduce gun crime.

    The Hungerford Massacre” of 1987, in which 16 people were killed and 15 wounded and the “Dunblane Massacre of 1996,” in which 18 people were killed and 15 wounded, had both been committed by with legally held weapons. Inevitably, public indignation, prompted by the media, was directed at the Chief Constables, whose judgment in granting licences to the killers was called into question and at the Home Secretary, whose department has overall responsibility for the licensing system.

    The comprehensive ban on hand guns, at a stroke, relieved the minister and senior police officers of responsibility for licensing them and, thus, obviated similar criticism in the future.

    Any blame for illegally held hand guns would be directed at the lower, operational ranks of the police and customs

  • But the purpose of the legislation was not to reduce gun crime. …The comprehensive ban on hand guns, at a stroke, relieved the minister and senior police officers of responsibility for licensing them and, thus, obviated similar criticism in the future.

    You mean the school shootings were a pretext and an exercise in bureaucratic CYA. You are defending this sort of behavior?

  • One would think that an individual who falsely accuses someone else of using illegal drugs, probably in order to fit him into one of his preconceived ideological boxes, is the one with personality problems.

  • One would think that an individual who falsely accuses someone else of using illegal drugs, probably in order to fit him into one of his preconceived ideological boxes, is the one with personality problems.

    Come again?

  • Was your quip to this post’s author done ironically or not?

    If not, I’m of the opinion that someone who calls someone else a chronic drug user, against the accused’s claims to the contrary, in an effort to delegitimize opposing viewpoints and create caricatures that work in their falsely contrived dichotomous world is probably the one with personality problems. Or at least really shoddy argumentation. Which was actually probably the case here.

  • Art Deco asked, “You mean the school shootings were a pretext and an exercise in bureaucratic CYA. You are defending this sort of behavior?”

    The government was presented with a choice; continue to licence hand guns, in which case it was morally certain that it would find itself accused of a gross error of judgment after the next (inevitable) massacre or ban hand guns altogether. The public mood would support a total ban, anyone opposing one would be vilified by the media, so the choice was not a difficult one.

  • The public mood would support a total ban, anyone opposing one would be vilified by the media, so the choice was not a difficult one.

    You mean it was not a difficult one for the usual crew of opportunists and sniveling gits. One hopes our lawmakers and cops are made of sterner stuff.

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