Category Archives: In the News

Did you see that thing where that guy said those words?

Why does America lose its head over ‘terror’ but ignore its daily gun deaths? | Michael Cohen | Comment is free | The Observer

Why does America lose its head over ‘terror’ but ignore its daily gun deaths? | Michael Cohen | Comment is free | The Observer.

This is one of those ‘sad but true’ moments.

First ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Movie Trailer

First ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Movie Trailer Thunders Online [Video] – ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews.

Looks like fun to me. I’m most looking forward to Iron Man 3, but to be honest the most recent Superman trailer made me squee. It has the most to prove after Kal El’s last flop, but I think this new Superman could be really good. The trailer certainly shows a lot of potential.

A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip – NYTimes.com

A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip – NYTimes.com.

I wish I could say I was surprised by how the Senate acted. I wish it was a shock to me that our government remains ineffectual in the face of big business and special interest. How deep do these pockets go? Deep enough to hide the bodies of 20 elementary students, apparently.

Wearable Video Cameras for Police Officers

Fascinating story and a fascinating idea.

Rialto’s police officers also used force nearly 60 percent less often — in 25 instances, compared with 61. When force was used, it was twice as likely to have been applied by the officers who weren’t wearing cameras during that shift, the study found.

via Wearable Video Cameras, for Police Officers – NYTimes.com.

Connecticut does what the rest of us won’t

Connecticut passed a gun control bill that should be the standard rather than an exception. This is one of those topics I’ve been struggling with for a while. I’m socially liberal on almost any topic, but I’ve always stood by the second amendment. Maybe it’s part of being a Texan, particularly since I was raised in a rural area, but I’ve always felt that gun control wasn’t really under the purview of the government. The government should prevent and punish crime that actually happens, not the people that own tools that are tangentially related to crime. After all, there is nothing inherently evil about a gun. Any hard implement can be used to do violence, given opportunity and sufficient motivation, and guns are tools, just like shovels. Guns don’t kill people, people do.

Part of me still wants to believe this. Part of me wants to believe in the inherent ‘goodness’ of humanity and that we can be allowed to own the tools of self defense without unjustly taking the lives of others. And to be fair, statistically that is true. The vast majority of gun owners aren’t frothing at the mouth. They haven’t committed shooting rampages in crowded theaters or schools.

All that said, those mass shootings weigh more heavily on me than a numerical statistics. This past year five year olds died to protect a hunter’s right to reload less often. Children died, that could have been saved, because some rednecks believe their 9mm and AR-15 will protect them when our government turns on them. People died because self interest out lobbied the public good.

The second amendment was written at a time when the height of technology was a single shot musket and a single shot canon. It takes a team effort to operate a canon, so the most danger the public faced from a deranged individual with a personal vendetta was a single shot. In Aurora, James E. Holmes was able to fire 30 rounds out of a 100 round drum before his weapon jammed. A random mechanical failure is all that stood between 12 dead/58 injured and an additional 70 rounds of auto fire. At Sandy Hook, in the span of only 11 minutes, Adam Lanza fired 154 rounds from his series of 30 round magazines. And for all of that, would either of them have lasted more than a few seconds against a drone? These weapons are no longer about protecting yourself from tyranny. They’re a symbol and a tradition to many, even to me as I write this, but mostly they’re a public menace.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Note that the amendment doesn’t lend much specificity to what sort of arms we the people are allowed to keep and bear. We don’t get Joint Strike Fighters. We don’t get attack helicopters. We don’t get the nuclear option.

We don’t get weapons of mass destruction, so where is the line where we go from ‘reasonable loss’ to ‘mass destruction’? In 2012 I found my line and it wasn’t where I thought it was.

Astonishingly real Audrey Hepburn

Astonishingly real Audrey Hepburn shills chocolate in new commercial | The Verge.

The ad is getting plenty of hate in the comment sections, but that’s what comment sections seem to be for on the internet. While it isn’t perfect, it is remarkable, and mind blowing how far this technology has come in so short a time.

Obama Turns Up Pressure for Deal on Budget Cuts

Obama Turns Up Pressure for Deal on Budget Cuts – NYTimes.com.

The Republicans that control the House seem to think that the winning strategy is to let almost a million teachers, firefighters and voters lose their jobs. Great plan.