Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
That’s just awful.
The news is everywhere, and it isn’t my job to go repeating it so I shall not. But the calls for gun control, while they shouldn’t surprise me in the least at this point, make a deep, lasting and somewhat jarring impression. Not a positive one by any means.
Just another reminder, as if one were needed, that my fellow citizens cannot be relied-upon to think clearly.
The shooting deaths in Newtown, Conn., reignited the long-simmering debate over the place of firearms in American society, with gun control advocates and political leaders calling for open discussion of solutions to random gun violence but stopping short of calls for sweeping new legislation.
“I hope and trust that in the next session of Congress there will be sustained and thoughtful debate about America’s gun culture and our responsibility to prevent more loss of life,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., author of the 1994 assault weapons ban, which lapsed in 2004.
President Obama brushed away tears as he offered condolences to the families of the 26 victims, 20 of them children.
“We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” the president said.
“We’re a better country than this,” said Brian Malte, the Brady campaign’s director of network mobilization. “We’re optimistic that the American people have had enough. We’re optimistic the American public wants to have this conversation, that voices of Americans will be heard throughout the country after what happened today.”
Indeed, within hours of the Newtown shootings, six petitions appeared on the White House’s website calling for the president to address issues related to mass shootings. All the petitions had at least 200 signatures, and one had garnered more than 5,000.
The guns recovered at the scene, two pistols and a semi-automatic rifle, are the types that have become standard weapons of recent mass-shooting incidents. The two pistols, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, are popular with law enforcement officers and the military.
The semi-automatic rifle, a variation of the AR-15 (which is itself modeled on the U.S. military’s Vietnam-era standard M-16), is made by Bushmaster in Ilion, N.Y., near Utica. Capable of holding a 30-round magazine, it was the weapon of choice of the D.C. sniper, John Allen Muhammad, who was executed in Virginia for his reign of terror in 2002 in which he killed 10 victims at random along with his young accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo.
Because the Connecticut shooter, Adam Lanza, killed so many people in such a short time, firearms experts wondered whether he used high-capacity magazines — the kind favored by James Holmes at his movie theater shooting spree in Aurora, Colo., last July, which killed 12 and wounded 57.
Yes…for my state’s senior senator, we don’t need to endure a tragedy like this as an excuse to sound the call for more stringent gun control. Simply winning re-election is good enough.
But it is that last part of the story excerpted above, that really makes me shake my head and go “what the?” The death toll is high. That must mean the magazine capacity was also high. Because everybody knows, in the history of shooting sprees, they’re all over when the shooter exhausts his first magazine.
Eh, no, ‘fraid not nanny-staters. High magazine capacity is not what makes a shooting spree go on and on and on like that. It’s that old nobody-shooting-back thing.
I’m reminded of a comment that was left here, over four years ago, after we posted the Chinese fable about the Foolish Old Man Who Moved The Mountains. See, I always took it as an attack on individual achievement — and it is — but there’s a second part to it. This old man is moving two mountains that are blocking his view, with the help of his sons, with buckets. Neighbor says, hey you silly old goat you can’t do that, the mountain’s too big. Old man launches into this speech about his great grandsons and great great grandsons, they’ll keep laboring at this long after the old man is dead, whereas the mountain will not grow. Which has a certain trace element of logic to it, but is whackier than a jitterbug overall…
Well, when the gods or angels or deities or whatever hear of the old man’s pluck, they are so moved that they reach down and move the mountains for him.
The comment, which was eye-opening for me because it dealt with the second half of the story and not the first…is…
The idea of angels taking care of everything for those of the superior heart is a recurrent theme in the novels of one of the most popular liberals of all time – Charles Dickens. It always amused me reading his heroes, how often characters like Oliver Twist, Pip and Esther – those who had the correct conscience – invariably relied on the easy money flowing from wealthy benefactors and inheritances. Somehow he had trouble connecting purity of thought with the practical business of housing and feeding oneself.
You only have to watch a skilled and practiced shooter remove a magazine from an automatic or semi-automatic weapon at the shooting range, and insert a fresh one, to become convinced of what is only obvious: If we seek to abbreviate these shooting sprees, make sure they don’t go on and on with more and more people falling victim, then the answer is to meet force with force, not to limit the capacity of the magazines. It is easy to see why the liberals recoil from that. There is a cultural revulsion against guns, there are many layers to it. Guns change the balance of power by their very nature; they are deadly; you have to have a sense of responsibility at the individual level in order for them to be used safely and reasonably. They are also inherently manly, in the eyes of several among us at least, and I’m picking up that liberals share in this perception and they’re not too fond of it.
But the additional layer of liberal revulsion against more guns, which I think is often overlooked, is the Foolish Old Man thing. The clear and obvious solution is just too sensible.
It is as if our friends, the liberals, are convinced that if only we can conspicuously conjure up, and extol the virtues of, a plan that makes no sense whatsoever, the angels will be touched by our zany approach to basic problem-solving, and they’ll reach down and interfere in some uncharacteristically direct way.
So here we are, those of us who are in the NRA and those who sympathize with the common sense arguments, making the same mistake all over again. We appeal to their emotions, once we see reason has no effect; we say things like “If a bad man is coming after you with an assault rifle and a 30-round clip, would you rather use the law to break his magazine into three 10-round clips, or would you rather grab a pistol to defend yourself?” Well, they’re not interested in any of that. It’s an emotion-based argument but it still relies on common sense. They want something different, something goofy, so the angels will interfere. That’s their true reaction.
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