« The Humble Among Us | Main | Friday Ephemera »

January 23, 2014

Comments

rjmadden

“weight diversity”

First laugh of the day. Thank you, David.

rjmadden

something tells me one or two of you may find this amusing.

Second laugh of the day. Maybe I should read the whole post before commenting.

Steve 2 - The Stevening

Can't see any downside to racial quotas in school discipline, the kids will probably be grateful for their schools being turned into something like The Hunger Games meets The Turner Diaries. That's bound to be more exciting than learning to read and write.

Re: the silly antifrackers. I question their commitment to the cause if they used superglue. Superglue is derived from synthetic polymers which are products of the oil industry, which, like, rapes Mother Earth, man. They should have tied themselves to the pumps using locally sourced organic hemp rope.

I wonder how they got to the petrol station, was it on bicycles?

I thought the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance must be clumsy satire, but I googled them and it's a real thing. I haven't been this surprised since my wife told me that Australia is a real place. I thought it was a leg-pull, like tartan paint or that Aardman Animation character, Ed Milliband.

Personally I like fat people. Whenever I'm stuck next to one on a plane I'm comforted by the fact that if there's a crash and we end up re-enacting the movie Alive, nobody's going to want to chomp on my slim - yet sexy - buttocks while there's a walking buffet nearby.

We need more positive fat role models for young people to look down at on their plus-sized mobility scooters.

JuliaM

"This doesn’t explain how they got fat in the first place..."

The vast right wing conspiracy? Thatcher? The military-industrial complex?

Steve 2 - The Stevening

JuliaM - global warming?

Probably weren't many fatties waddling over the glaciers during the last ice age.

David

I thought the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance must be clumsy satire, but I googled them and it’s a real thing.

After seven years of blogging, that kind of thing has become a routine feature of my day. I chalk it up to personal growth.

Nik White

Nor does it make a dent on them when you point out evidence, from both sides of the Atlantic, that tightening gun control laws does not reduce gun crimes, including murder. It is not uncommon for gun crimes to rise when gun control laws are tightened.

For my own part, I have a number of what I think are fairly good reasons for not introducing greater access to privately owned firearms here in the UK.

However, notwithstanding my own position (regarding just my own country), I am often surprised at the reaction I get for merely trying to suggest that there might actually really be some justification for defending the right to private gun ownership in the US if people would just take the time to listen.

For example, I was recently in a conversation on the subject of gun control with a highly intelligent and educated Oxbridge graduate who took it as axiomatic that everyone at the table at the time would think, as he did, that all defenders of the American right to bear arms must be drawn exclusively from the ranks of closet racists, cypto-fascists, deviants, the sexually inadequate, the impotent, the unhinged and the subnormally intelligent.

I have to confess that I took a curious satisfaction in watching him flounder as he reached out for words which just weren't there for him in response to my suggestions that - actually - there may be some very sound arguments for supporting US gun ownership (besides the constitutional right that is) and that these arguments ought to be considered seriously before being dismissed as the ravings of NRA cranks.

Facts, for example. In 1996 there was an appalling school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland, in which 16 5-year olds and one teacher were killed by a lone gunman using four different types of handgun.

In the wake of that tragedy, the government passed the Firearms Amendment Act in 1997 which effectively outlawed gun ownership in the UK (this was in spite of the fact that, if I remember rightly, the shooter had bought some of the guns in France).

Yet despite the introduction of this law, firearms offences in England and Wales leapt from around 12,000 in 1997 and kept rising until by 2004 they had doubled to more than 24,000 . The current annual figure is around the 11,000 mark – in other words approximately the same as it had been before it became illegal for individuals to own guns.

Gun crime in the UK (1969-2011)

While this fact shouldn't be taken as evidence of a direct correlation between the Act and the doubling of gun crime in the years that followed it (I personally think it more likely to have been a result of the explosion in the illegal drugs trade), you would nevertheless expect someone who actively supports tighter gun control to be able to at least address such facts and try to explain them using a better argument (or even any argument at all) other than dismissing such evidence out of hand as 'Wrong Thought' or a conspiracy of Patriarchal Capitalists.

David

Nik,

a highly intelligent and educated Oxbridge graduate who took it as axiomatic that everyone at the table at the time would think, as he did,

The subject of US gun laws has cropped up here before and some obvious points one might raise are, to some public figures, almost scandalous.

R. Sherman

I'm adding the Bader piece to the file I keep to show those people who say I'm an idiot for spending money on parochial school tuition for my kids every year.

Joan

Need I mention that it was a tough month, as word quickly spread that violence against the ‘under-disciplined’ ethnic group was treated as a freebie?

The educrats and race hustlers didn't see that coming? Aren't they supposed to be the clever ones?

David

Aren’t they supposed to be the clever ones?

It’s my impression that realism and a grasp of human nature aren’t high among the priorities of educational bureaucrats. I suspect that anyone showing such appalling mental waywardness is weeded out quite quickly. And as for race hustlers, arrogant stupidity seems the most valued attribute. That, and a willingness to hallucinate and lie.

sackcloth and ashes

'Yet despite the introduction of this law, firearms offences in England and Wales leapt from around 12,000 in 1997 and kept rising until by 2004 they had doubled to more than 24,000 . The current annual figure is around the 11,000 mark – in other words approximately the same as it had been before it became illegal for individuals to own guns'.

Really? Not according to the following:

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21587270-small-police-agency-helping-keep-gun-crime-low-guns-hire
http://www.economist.com/node/21559646

WTP

Hey, I'm down with what the Education Department is doing. I'd just rather see it done along gender lines than racial ones. No boy gets sent to the principal's office until a girl precedes him. After all, ladies first.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

The results are in [according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology]: Fat people overeat because our fat-fearing society “fat-shames” them,

By this reasoning, so-called greenhouse gas emissions rise because global-warming-fearing society "green-shames" energy users.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

And here's one from academia:

University of Iowa professor allegedly reported laptop stolen because it contained pornography

The gist of the story is that the guy had a university-issued laptop which he used to download and store porn. He didn't want his bosses to know this, so when it came time to turn in the laptop for an upgrade, he reported it stolen.

matt

With the addition of weight to the diversity racket, it grows larger...

Nik White

@sackcloth and ashes

Really?

Apparently so.

At least, that appears to be the case according to the House of Commons Library document authored by Gavin Berman (SN/SG/1940, 30.01.2012) where I took the figures from, though I should probably have been clearer that the numbers in the 000's refers to reported firearms offences. So that could include calls reporting a gun being seen but where the police were later unable to make a confirmation.

The chart I included shows reported offences declining (again) after 2004 which would make sense if the murders of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis in Birmingham in 2003 referred to in one of the Economist articles did actually fan government fears of an escalation in gun violence.

The other Economist article also states that gun crime has fallen by almost half since 2006. which seems to be similar to the trend I mentioned (12,000 down to 24,000) even if what is being measured (e.g. reported offences vs. hospital admissions/deaths by firearm) is not the same.

That other Economist article also states that The number of armed robberies has fallen by around 45% since 2001, and bank robberies and post office hold-ups are now almost unheard of.

This is likely true but it what it doesn't point out, however, is that the kind of criminals who may once have committed an armed robbery is now more likely to make just as much or even more by turning their guns on drug dealers; a group who for obvious reasons are very unlikely to contact police when held up at gun point so the former armed bank robbers are relatively less likely to risk having to do jail time as a consequence of their activities.

Dale Cregan, who it's claimed earned as much as £20K a week from the drugs trade, had an arsenal including dozens of hand grenades, a shotgun, a machine gun and a Glock.

Obviously, he was an aberration (in every possible sense of the word) but he couldn't have had access to such a range of different weapons and ammunition if there hadn't been a well-organised network there to supply them.

I don't believe that the UK has turned into the Wild West, but I do think that gun crime is far more common than most people here imagine it is – it's just that it tends to be localized to areas where people either distrust the police themselves or where they are too afraid to call them.

Nik White

David,

Thanks for those links to the other articles and discussions on the same subject.

Nik White

Saying you like bacon is a covert message of racial hatred?

*head explodes*

D

all defenders of the American right to bear arms must be drawn exclusively from the ranks of closet racists

This is always a bizarre and fascinating argument to me, considering that the NRA was founded by abolitionists and was a great friend to black people when they really needed one. When slavery had ended, the NRA fought for black people to be able to own firearms like everyone else, which was even more pressing for them since there was a real possibility of attack in some areas. This was a brave stand to take at the time, showing that the NRA considered black people to be as responsible and mature as any white person, and showing that they did not fear black people having weaponry. They assumed that common humanity and responsibility on the part of black people would prevent those who had suffered under oppression from misusing their weapons and taking revenge, and their faith was shown to be well-placed.

The modern idea of the NRA being "racist" seems to be based on "disparate impact" discrimination theory. Since black people commit far more crimes per capita, especially violent crimes and shootings, if all criminal attackers were shot by their potential victims a far larger per capita number (and possibly just a larger number total) of black people would be killed. Since this would have a discriminatory impact, even if no discriminatory intent, it is therefore bad. Apparently, for this reason we should discourage victims from defending themselves against attackers. There seems to be an assumption that black people are inherently more likely to be criminal in this, which is ironically the opposite of what the founders of the NRA believed.

Here's a video about the subject, occasioned by a spoof video that attempted to portray the NRA as racist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnWHC7B34Qw

WTP

@David, re dog-whistle...

And all this time I've been ordering bacon to not-so-subtly communicate my contempt for radical Islam. Who knew?

David

Saying you like bacon is a covert message of racial hatred?

The logic is exquisite.

MikeG81

'Gun Control' isn't about reducing crime, that's only the narrative introduced by its supporters/enablers to get people on board.

splotchy

I can anticipate the day when all of this political correctness coalesces into one giant artifically equalised world. Instead of three links you'll just have the one, in this case describing how fat people can only be disciplined at work or school in equal numbers to the thinnies; and how everything they have, be it guns or homes, will be customised to conform with their 'size needs', safety or sense having finally become irrelevent.

David

The spam filter is being a little temperamental. If anyone has a problem with comments not appearing, email me and I’ll work them loose with a stick and some lube.

pst314

If fat people tend to die earlier, due to heart disease or whatever, do "fairness" and "equality" demand the imposition of healthcare quotas to increase the number of thin people who die?

David

Ah, the nineties.

Charlie Suet

My impression was that the Tories brought in new gun laws immediately after Dunblane; New Labour then passed much stricter ones on getting into power. Can't be bothered to check though

It kind of raises the question of what a proportionate reaction to that sort of thing is.

dicentra

National Review Online has finally chased off Mark Steyn:

As readers may have deduced from my absence at National Review Online and my termination of our joint representation, there have been a few differences between me and the rest of the team. The lesson of the last year is that you win a free-speech case not by adopting a don't-rock-the-boat, keep-mum, narrow procedural posture but by fighting it in the open, in the bracing air and cleansing sunlight of truth and justice.
Well. That settles that. NRO delenda est.

Rob

The people who brought in that quota are mentally ill. If they aren't, they should be prosecuted. I am struggling to believe that such a thing could actually happen.

Am I being cynical in suggesting that 'over-quota'd' assaults on teachers would receive a different response?

dicentra

as for race hustlers, arrogant stupidity seems the most valued attribute. That, and a willingness to hallucinate and lie.

Tisk TISK, David. There you go assuming that the results they got weren't exactly what they were aiming for, and that what they say reflects what they think.

Allowing black students to beat the tar out of white students with impunity and chalking it up to fairness and justice. How is that NOT a good thing, from the Leftist's perspective?

Hal

@sackcloth and ashes

Really?

Apparently so.

Right. Given that there are three kinds of lies; Lies, damned lies, and firearms statistics, I did note that the original two set of conclusions completely invalidated each other, and was looking for a bit more clarification . . . .

randian

"The educrats and race hustlers didn't see that coming?"

Of course they saw it coming. Beating down whites is a feature, not a bug.

T.K. Tortch

Ah, guns. Subject to much astonishing and unashamed bigotry from people who know nothing about them except the Bang!! and Dangerous!! parts.

One reason gun control has failed to get any traction in the U.S. is that the second most media people and politicians open their mouths about guns, they expose a deep and abiding technical ignorance of the subject that renders much of what they say gibberish. As someone said of our senator Diane Feinstein, author of the first (and failed) "Assault Weapons" ban, she sounded like somebody's grandmother worried about kids shooting up marijuana. Essentially, there's no way she would know a "common sense" gun control measure if it shot her in the foot. This diminishes trust of them amongst gun-owners; if they only wanted "common sense" control measures, shouldn't they learn enough about guns to talk about them, sensibly?

If you're from the U.K the most salient thing you need to know about U.S. gun crime is that it, and the violent crime rate in general, has been falling steadily for the last twenty three or so years, right straight through our recent (and continuing) recession. Probably it doesn't seem that way because not even our press emphasizes it, preferring sensationalism to accuracy; and your press finds it satisfying to pretend the U.S. is particularly savage.

Another fun counter-intuitive stat: you would think that Assault Rifles* were a major source of murder and crime here in the U.S., at least from our media coverage. But, again for the last twenty or so years, the murder-by-rifle rate in the U.S. has hovered around 2% of killings for each year. And that's rifles of all kinds, not just the assaulting variety.** Some years the death by "other" category - poison, bombs and the like - beats rifles, period.

Anyhow. America: everyday, 90,000,000 law-abiding gun owners don't shoot somebody!!

*If you are not a gun person, test yourself to see how well the media has educated you: What is an Assault Rifle? Be specific. Don't Google. Distinguish an Assault Rifle from, say, Britain's Lee-Enfield rifle of the World Wars, often used for assault.

**figures from the FBI / Dept. of Justice. Web Accessible!!

Anon

But, again for the last twenty or so years, the murder-by-rifle rate in the U.S. has hovered around 2% of killings for each year[...]America: everyday, 90,000,000 law-abiding gun owners don't shoot somebody

That's not quite comparing apples with apples, though, is it? The first statistic is about the murder rate, not how many people actually get shot. Specifically, I am given to understand that the death-by-gun rate in the US is a lot higher than the murder-by-gun rate because the majority of gun deaths are either suicides or accidents.

Is this true?

Rob

I think we can ignore suicides, as I imagine people will find an alternative method if a firearm isn't available.

T.K. Tortch

Anon:

The suicide-by-gun rate is a giant portion of the death-by-gun rate, but I'm not sure if it exceeds murder-by-gun. I doubt adding accidental gun deaths to the suicides would make the difference; IIRC it is usually negligible.

In the U.S. the focus is mostly on criminal use of firearms, so by and large suicide isn't - or shouldn't be - a factor in the debate. You can distinguish the weasels in the debate if they include the suicide-by-gun rate to make criminal use look worse than it is.

Apples-to-Oranges is a consistent hazard. For instance, seems like when comparing U.S. to U.K. murder rates (all murders) there's some difference in whether a death is official reported as "murder". IIRC, in the U.K., police find somebody with a screwdriver jammed in his skull, they don't list it as "murder" unless a perpetrator is identified and charged, whereas in the U.S. authorities let the screwdriver speak for itself and name it murder.

The gun-control movement here has also suffered because it keeps crying "Wolf" - every time a state liberalizes it gun laws relating to concealed or open carry of firearms, they claim Wild-West mayhem will ensue. It never happens. Crime rates have remained static or gone down. That doesn't necessarily indicate that concealed carry discourages crime, but it's good evidence that it doesn't increase gun violence.

Probably most important in the debate right now is that public trust in government has cratered and people have been buying firearms in buckets, including increasing numbers of women. Somebody, I think maybe the evil, evil NRA, quipped that President Obama has been the most successful gun salesman in the history of the United States. That doesn't mean people are arming up for rebellion, just that they don't trust the government won't try to step all over their Constitutional rights. Gun sales are probably also being driven up somewhat by the fact that the hysterical media is making crime look worse than it actually is.

Anon

I think we can ignore suicides, as I imagine people will find an alternative method if a firearm isn't available.

Interestingly, no. For instance, once ovens in the UK stopped using coal gas -- thus making the popular 'stick head in oven' suicide method ineffective, as unlike coal gas natural gas is not poisonous -- the overall suicide rate dropped. Deaths by other suicide methods did not go up appreciably. Deprived of a quick, easy and handily-accessible method of murdering themselves, people did not in fact seek out an alternative method: they just didn't bother.

This would suggest that a lot of those who murder themselves with guns in the US are not so much intending to kill themselves but having a bad day and the gun is just there. Had the gun not been just there, they would probably have woken up the next day with a monster hangover.

Whether you think this is a good or bad thing is of course up to you.

The NRA, as I understand it, although it like to present itself as the AA or RAC, is actually more like the IMI.

T.K. Tortch

AA? RAC? IMI?

The NRA is, among other things, a civil rights organization. What it is most guilty of is vigorously protecting individual American's 2nd Amendment rights. Thus there is no limit to the obloquy that can be heaped upon it, no matter how hyperbolic or unjustified. In the press and by anti-gun pundits, it is rarely treated in any way other than gross caricature, and the nature of its membership, statements, and positions routinely misrepresented.

It's also treated with paranoia, blamed for every setback of gun-control measures, whether it was involved or not.

Mike

something tells me one or two of you may find this amusing.

At least they 'raised awareness'… of how dumb they are.

David

At least they ‘raised awareness’… of how dumb they are.

And not just dumb. I mean, you have to ask what kind of personalities would find it gratifying to obstruct and aggravate hundreds of random people just going about their day, while causing criminal damage and costing a local business thousands of pounds. And whose colleagues say they’re “very proud” of such behaviour and then merrily threaten to do the same to others.

I’m sure the glued-up and clueless protestors like to imagine themselves as fearless warriors. But for some reason the term insufferable wankers springs to mind.

Col. Milquetoast

I imagine people will find an alternative method if a firearm isn't available
Interestingly, no. … people did not in fact seek out an alternative method: they just didn't bother.

see figures 4 & 5. Apparently, many people can, in fact, find an alternative method if a particular method isn't available.

The NRA, as I understand it, although it like to present itself as the AA or RAC, is actually more like the IMI. (I'm guessing IMI is the Institute of the Motor Industry, a professional organisation for the UK automotive industry)

It isn't surprising that you have that impression since there are articles like this at Mother Jones : "the lobby's incestuous relationship with the gun manufacturers begs the question: Is the the NRA advocating for people who own guns? Or the lucrative companies that make them? … A number of other gun manufacturers have adopted the technique, reports Stone. Together with Midway, they've funneled $7.5 million to the NRA…"

$7.5 million is a lot of money but somehow Mother Jones and others who publish similar stories consistently forget to mention that the NRA takes in about $200 million a year and over $100 million of that is directly from membership dues and then there are program fees and tons of merchandising.

Tim Newman

Working as I do I their HQ, I'll let you know of any waves of panic that ripple through the office as a result of some unwashed hippies glueing themselves to Total petrol pumps in the arse end of Britain, assuming they manage to figure out which stations we've flogged (hint: most of them).

The comments to this entry are closed.

For Amazon US use this link .

Your filthy consumerism supports this blog.

Blogroll