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03/06/2017

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Enjoy your description of the Mardi Gras parade folk, Mac. I was down there on Joe Cain day, but over by Springhill Ave & Broad where I would say it was more like 85% black and 15% other. Other than that, the same as you describe.

I had lunch with a black friend on Friday and before going out to a restaurant he introduced me to his boss, a black woman who holds a high position at one of the local universities. Inevitably at lunch we start talking politics. I am of course very anti-Trump as is he, so it's just joking and agreeing with each other. However, I am always struck (curious, interested) how people who are a different (fill in: faith, race, culture, country of citizenship) _____ than me see the political mess. He was telling me that his boss and her husband had recently bought a new house and she jokingly said to him, "It's just another hell that we're living in!"

Apparently trump made some remark about African-Americans living in hell during the campaign. Hard to imagine a lot of good will coming from that sector of society. Then I said to my friend, "What did you have to lose?" "That's right!" he replied.

In reference to the first section of your post, there is a movie called Sunshine Cleaning about just that thing (described at the very end). The producers who made Little Miss Sunshine did it. I guess they would like the word "sunshine" to appear in all of their film titles. Not as good as LMS, but I did enjoy it. They both take place mostly in Albuquerque, a place I have some familiarity with.

Had you ever wondered about such things? I had. I had a conversation with my next-door neighbor once after she had spent the day cleaning up the living room of her mother-in-law after the M-i-law's sons had stabbed her to death. I could wish that she had been able to avail herself of Uncle Eddie's service.

This first section really reminds of the movie Departures that I wrote about once. If you like that book, I'm pretty sure you would like the movie.

AMDG

I just put Departures in my Netflix queue, Janet. I think you wrote about that film once before...

I think it's been on my queue for a while.

I think the "hell" thing was Trump talking in his usual clumsy way about life in very poor and violent areas of some big cities.

Fairly accurate.

AMDG

Today, I got a call from a man from Mobile who lived in Memphis for a while, and was in our parish for several years. Then he moved back to Mobile. He was looking for a Sister who used to teach here, but we got to talking, and told me a great deal of the story of his life. We were about to hang up when I mentioned Mardi Gras, and we were off to the races. Apparently, he was the king of the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association one year and knew a lot about the Mardi Gras. It was an interesting conversation.

Spellcheck does not like Mardi Gras. How odd.

AMDG

Stu, I was just about to mention Sunshine Cleaning. Saw it several years ago; sort of uplifting as I remember it. Maybe largely because Amy Adams was in it. She usually comes across very sympathetically.

"...king of the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association..." AKA MAMGA. This is a weird and at least in its origins sad feature of the whole thing. It's the black Mardi Gras organization. From some points of view the whole point of Mardi Gras is to be in a Mardi Gras society of some sort, ride on its floats in your parade, and have a big time at their ball. And those groups have a governing body of some sort. The best thing that can ever happen to you, in the eyes of some people, is to be named king or queen of MG by that association. Not surprisingly it was all-white in its origins and pretty much still that way. So MAMGA is the parallel association for black people. There is a good documentary about this: The Order of Myths.

I had never heard of Amy Adams before I saw Arrival, at least not that I remember. She did indeed come across very sympathetically.

I can't believe how many movies Amy Adams has made. She was the princess in Enchanted, which I thought was delightful. I see that she also was Julie in Julia and Julie. I didn't remember that at all.

AMDG

I just looked at the list of her movies in her Wikipedia entry and besides Arrival have only seen one, Catch Me If You Can, which is 15 years old. I'm pretty sure I rented it from Blockbuster. Looks like her role was fairly small. I may also have seen Junebug (2005). Description sounds a little familiar.

I just looked and I've seen 16 of them - she is a very good actress!

16--wow.

I just watch movies though, and very rarely watch any TV series, whether streaming on DVD or on actual TV. I don't want to get invested in something for longer than three hours! So therefore I do get a lot of movies watched. All of those shows that you all discuss sound interesting, but not enough for me to change my habits.

I've been the other way around for several years. I tend to watch more tv-type things because it's more convenient to take 45 minutes or an hour at a time than twice that. I say "tv-type things" because it's almost all streaming, not things actually being shown on tv.

You know, I would be surprised if I knew more than a handfull of names of show that have been on the major networks in the past 15 years. Most of the ones I know, I know because I watched them with Mother when she was sick. I hope I never have to watch any of them again.

AMDG

What is the series that starts out with a bathtub full of blood?

AMDG

! I don't know. You'd think I'd remember that if I'd seen it.

We've talked about it here somewhere. We meaning at least one other person besides me--Rob maybe. I was saying I turned it off after that scene, but he said the rest of it wasn't like that.

AMDG

Sometimes the Typepad search works. As I feared, I have seen it, and had forgotten.

---
Comment by Janet on “Those British Crime Dramas Just Keep Coming”

Ah, I see. Hinterland is the one that begins with a bathtub full of blood. AMDG
Posted by: Janet | 08/19/2016 at 07:31 PM

The show is definitely not especially violent in general.

That was pretty good.

AMDG

Sorry, but I have to ask: what is the antecedent of "that"?

Hinterlands.

AMDG

I like Hinterland a lot. Great characters, excellent acting, and a strong human element in the stories.

Yes, we've discussed it before--I liked it, but not as much as you. There were some things that bugged me about it, including that I wasn't real crazy about the main character. If more of it is produced, though, I'll watch it.

I couldn't remember whether you had watched it in spite of the bathtub, Janet, so I wasn't sure if that was what you meant.

You know, it occurs to me that I should start keeping some kind of log of what I watch, read, and listen to, in preparation for a Best of the Year list next year.

List-makers of the world, unite!

I'm afraid it's a lonely occupation, Craig.

AMDG

Anybody seen The Great Wall?

AMDG

Not I. (Of course.)

I'm keeping a list of those of us who are list-makers. If you want to be added, leave a note.

That would be too much like making a list.

AMDG

"Anybody seen The Great Wall?"

Last night, as it happens! Not one of Zhang Yimou's best, but worth seeing in the cinema just for the sheer spectacle of the thing and the inventiveness of some of the set pieces. As usual with him the use of color is marvelous.

In the end there's nothing profound or deep, really, but it's a quite entertaining couple hours.

There are too many movies I want to see. Some of them like Manchester by the Sea, I can wait and watch at home, but I think The Great Wall is going to have to be in the theatre.

AMDG

Agreed. The TV wouldn't do it justice.

"too many movies I want to see"

Yeah. I realized somewhere toward the end of the 52 Movies project that I was giving up, not even pretending to myself that I was going to see all the ones that sounded interesting, which was pretty much all of them.

I've been thinking about going to see Manchester a second time, Janet. Apparently I like depressing dramas. Saw Moonlight last weekend and though I did like it, I didn't think it was near as good.

My stepdaughter wants to see LaLa and I told her I'll go when she's available, but really, a musical is a musical. They're fine and I enjoy them, but none have ever made a real big impression on me. Glad that it did not win Best Picture.

He was telling me that his boss and her husband had recently bought a new house and she jokingly said to him, "It's just another hell that we're living in!"

Apparently trump made some remark about African-Americans living in hell during the campaign. Hard to imagine a lot of good will coming from that sector of society. Then I said to my friend, "What did you have to lose?" "That's right!" he replied.

In greater Chicago, there are four pieces of territory which comprehend about 12% of the whole: a bloc of neighborhoods on the South Side, population 600,000; a bloc of neighborhoods on the West Side, population 350,000; Gary and East Chicago in Lake County, Indiana; and the town of Harvey, Illinois. The mean homicide rate in this collection of territories is 47 per 100,000. The mean homicide rate in the more congenial neighborhoods of the City of Chicago (as well as some inner ring suburbs) is about 5.6 per 100,000. The mean homicide rate in the remainder of greater Chicago is about 2.3 per 100,000. About 60% of the blacks in the northern United States live in zones like the South Side and Gary. You could likely come up with a better metaphor, Stu, as could your lunch companions. What do you all propose to do about this situation?

I believe the Chicago mayor has requested help, instead of just nasty comments. The president doesn't want to help anyone, just badmouth them if he doesn't like them. I'm not sure I am able to offer tangible help, only prayers for the victims of our war against drugs and ridiculous gun culture.

The metaphor was Trump's, and Stu and his friends were joking about it.

I understand what trump was trying to make us think about - the Chicago that Art describes for instance - but it is interesting to me how middle and upper class African Americans hear these comments. I didn't think about that aspect until having a conversation with someone in that group. It is not unlike Obama's "Bible and guns" comment from a few years ago. That was a rare verbal misstep for Obama - trump is constantly dealing with foot in mouth because he just doesn't care about offending people.

I believe the Chicago mayor has requested help, instead of just nasty comments.

Chicago is not Baltimore or Detroit. Using New York as a benchmark, their police force is amply staffed. What it lacks is satisfactory institutional leadership to optimally deploy the manpower they have and make use of best practices. The one thing the federal government can do is not harass them for doing their jobs and to stomp on federal judges who attempt to harass them.

As for Baltimore and Detroit, step one is to alter local government boundaries and step two is building metropolitan police forces. Step three is to expand police manpower. Step four is best practices and optimal deployments. Not one requires federal assistance. All require state governments to provide conduits to these goals.

I understand what trump was trying to make us think about - the Chicago that Art describes for instance - but it is interesting to me how middle and upper class African Americans hear these comments. I didn't think about that aspect until having a conversation with someone in that group. It is not unlike Obama's "Bible and guns" comment from a few years ago. That was a rare verbal misstep for Obama - trump is constantly dealing with foot in mouth because he just doesn't care about offending people.

It's not like the 'Bible and Guns' remark at all. Trump isn't rubbishing blacks or indicating he despises them. He's calling attention to social conditions unaddressed in their neighborhoods. If bourgeois blacks choose to take that as a personal affront, that's their issue, not the President's.

The metaphor was Trump's, and Stu and his friends were joking about it.

Who suggested otherwise?

It's not like the 'Bible and Guns' remark at all. Trump isn't rubbishing blacks or indicating he despises them. He's calling attention to social conditions unaddressed in their neighborhoods. If bourgeois blacks choose to take that as a personal affront, that's their issue, not the President's.

Agreed.

AMDG

It is true that people can choose to be offended, or not. But trump has made it quite clear that he does not mind offending people.

"Who suggested otherwise?"

You seemed to be missing the point of Stu's original remark, which had nothing to do with what could or should be done about the situation. If you want to talk about that, fine, but it doesn't have much to do with what Stu said there.

You seemed to be missing the point of Stu's original remark, which had nothing to do with what could or should be done about the situation.

I didn't miss the point. I was challenging him.

It is true that people can choose to be offended, or not. But trump has made it quite clear that he does not mind offending people.

Yes, but I don't think it's a great idea go looking for offense in everything he says.

Please don't make me defend Trump.

I do understand, however, that your remark was more about their reaction than anything else. Or that's what I assumed. I might be wrong. ;-)

AMDG

But trump has made it quite clear that he does not mind offending people.

The homicide rate in Baltimore is 37 per 100,000. There are some bourgeois enclaves that are satisfactory to live in, but most of the city's like Detroit. The problem cannot be fixed if it cannot be discussed, but you're telling everyone Trump is culpable for raising the matter because it 'offends' your luncheon companions.

I'm a lapsed Baltimore resident and one of my shirt-tails just concluded 2 years residence there. For a variety of reasons, I did not spend my life there, but I return to visit and I have my regrets; in a great many ways, it's a great place. Then I look at the crime statistics. When I was a resident, the homicide rate was about the same as New York City's (or the same as my home town suffers as we speak). In the intervening years, New York City's has declined by 75% while Baltimore's has increased by 85%. So, the homicide rate in Baltimore now exceeds that of New York City by a factor of 7.

The response of Baltimore's political has been tetrapartite: (1) do nothing, (2) file trumped up charges contra police officers for 'brutality', and (3) to quash trumped up charges contra police officers, and (4) to allow gangbangers the run of the city jail (which includes seducing female guards). For some reason, Trump being 'offensive' to your luncheon companions does not seem that important in context.

I love it when you give us statistics, Art!

Yes, Art, you are challenging Stu, but not about what he said. Perhaps you should state your point plainly, because it's obscure. It appears that you're defending Trump's remark as accurate about the crime rates in certain places. Stu (and his friends) didn't say that was false, they only laughed about its applicability to them. You can make your argument independently of that.

I may even agree with you. Depends on exactly what Trump said and as we know he is not very precise. Maybe it was an overly broad generalization which still contains a basic truth. I don't know. A very hasty search just now turned up only paraphrases and partial quotes.

Trump made that comment in one of his debates with Hillary:

We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African-Americans, Hispanics are living in hell because it's so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.
In Chicago, they've had thousands of shootings, thousands since January 1st. Thousands of shootings. And I'm saying, where is this? Is this a war-torn country? What are we doing? And we have to stop the violence. We have to bring back law and order. In a place like Chicago, where thousands of people have been killed, thousands over the last number of years, in fact, almost 4,000 have been killed since Barack Obama became president, over -- almost 4,000 people in Chicago have been killed. We have to bring back law and order.

“Hell” does seem to capture exactly how it must be to live in such a place where children are killed after being caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting. The problem is more, I think, that it was yet another sound-bite victory.

Yes, Art, you are challenging Stu, but not about what he said. Perhaps you should state your point plainly,

My point is perfectly plain. I can explain something to you. I cannot comprehend it for you.

Thanks, Marianne. Trump's statement is pretty accurate, really. It wouldn't surprise me if it was distorted by people equating "shootings" with "killings", though the distinction is fairly clear in his words.

Yes. I was surprised that the 4K number was accurate, there were over 700 in one year. I guess I forget how big Chicago is. We actually have a higher murder rate than Chicago, but a much smaller population.

I guess I'm sitting in the middle of one of those areas now. There were at least 20 murders within a pretty easy walking distance from here last year. I don't think we have a lot of shootouts in the street, though. It's all more personal than that.

AMDG

So now that he brought it up, which I believe was more to point a finger at Obama and therefore Hillary who he was running against than anything, what is he going to do about it? He won, Rahm Emanuel has said he will accept the president's help. Obama spent eight years trying to get Congress to do something about guns to no avail. What will the new president do besides talk?

Wow, I didn't realize Memphis was that bad.

The president doesn't have any authority to do anything about guns in Chicago, or anywhere else for that matter. I guess he could send in the National Guard.

He brought it up in the debate and used Obama's name to show blame, implying that he will fix these things.

Well, yeah, presidential candidates always do that. Here's what he said right after the part Marianne quoted:

"Now, whether or not in a place like Chicago you do stop and frisk, which worked very well, Mayor Giuliani is here, worked very well in New York. It brought the crime rate way down. But you take the gun away from criminals that shouldn't be having it.
We have gangs roaming the street. And in many cases, they're illegally here, illegal immigrants. And they have guns. And they shoot people. And we have to be very strong. And we have to be very vigilant."

Not a very definite proposal. I don't think the president has the authority to implement stop-and-frisk in local police departments.

Not that I'm trying to defend Trump. Just trying to get straight what he actually said.

You are defending him, Mac! Once Sean Spicer can't stand it any longer I see you as the next WH Press Secretary.

So the news this morning has Pope Francis saying he is not opposed to married clergy. Let's switch from the Donald to the Pontiff!

What if they switched jobs, Francis is our president and the reality tv real estate guy is the Pope?

Funny, my wife and I were just discussing Francis's married priests remarks. I have not read them but apparently he said something about it being an option for poor rural parishes. Which prompted her to say something to the effect that the Church is run by "the most impractical people on the face of the earth"--because those are exactly the kinds of places that would not be able to support a priest and his family.

Personally I think there are good arguments pro and con for married priests. But I can tell you with certainty that it has its problems. It's no cure-all.

Well heck, Stu. We already have married clergy. Maclin's pastor is married and one of my best friends is a married priest.

It's not so much defense as it is,"Let's hear the truth."

AMDG

Now that we're in the age of alternative facts I think we need to retire the word "truth" Janet!

Cross-posted, Maclin.

Your wife makes me laugh. My friend, who is at least 15 years older than I am--maybe more--has been the pastoral administrator for two rural Texas parishes. As you might imagine they are not close together. He really only was required to say Mass and offer the sacraments, but being the person he is, he was a full-on pastor, and also was doing prison ministry. He could only do this for about 5 o 6 years. Now he is retired, but they are keeping him busy, I think.

I think married clergy are fine to a point, but I don't think Catholic congregations are ready to support a young couple who are following the Church's teaching about being generous in child-bearing.

AMDG

When I say, to a point what I mean is that I think we really need celibate priests, too, and probably a majority of celibate priests. They are just able to give themselves to their ministry so much more completely.

AMDG

I'm against married priests by the way, even though I am a self-professed liberal Catholic.

I'm actually more favorable than not to the idea. But it has at least as many problems as celibacy. Anybody who grew up Protestant probably knows what "PK" means.

"It's not so much defense as it is,"Let's hear the truth." Right. And it's a very frustrating situation right now, because Trump obviously is at very best extremely careless about the truth, but the people who should be correcting him are engaged in their own disinformation effort and can't be trusted.

I thought Kellyanne Conway was somewhat unjustly maligned about the "alternative facts" thing.

I think that's hysterical, Stu.

Now that we're in the age of alternative facts I think we need to retire the word "truth" Janet!

And this makes me remember how hysterical I thought it was that Kellyanne Conway's stupid remark sent the the avid consumers of 21st century newspeak scurrying for 1984. I hope it opened their eyes a bit, but I fear not.

AMDG

Indeed. I have a note about that for the next SNJ but maybe I don't need it now. :-)

Oh, we always want to hear what you have to say.

I meant to say something about that in January when it came up, but never got a chance.

AMDG

I guess you must (want to hear what I have to say), reading of the blog being non-compulsory. For now.

Though if it comes to "that which is not forbidden is compulsory," I'll be on the "forbidden" list.

I always read. Sometimes I don't comment.

AMDG

Obama spent eight years trying to get Congress to do something about guns to no avail. What will the new president do besides talk?

Because guns are not the problem. The president's gun discourse was a seedy way of trying to stick the bill for slum crime with the 'bitter clinger' constituency he despises. Much of the blather has concerned long guns which account for all of 3% of the homicides in this country and has been fueled by the occasional mass shooting, which accounts for < 0.2% of the instances of homicide in a typical year.


They managed an 82% reduction in the homicide rate in New York City with no alterations to the provisions on weapons in the New York Penal Law. Your problem is in police deployments and tactics, not in what rural hobbyists are up to.

Every time a big furor about guns comes up I've thought about compiling a page of basic and simple facts that anyone who wants to talk about the issue needs to start with. For instance, that 3% figure. The difference between automatic and semi-automatic, and the miniscule number of casualties from the former over the past 70 years or so. Etc. Maybe I'll do it eventually.

It would be great if you would do that.

Save me the trouble.

AMDG

Maybe I'll get to it. It would save me some aggravation, when I hear somebody talking about it based on something I know is inaccurate and want to correct them, but don't have the facts conveniently at hand.

Well, whatever, I think the general public is: too stupid, too emotional, too untrained to even be allowed to own guns. My father is dead because of guns, and if my wife dies young (she is a cop) it will also be because of guns. Countries that have very strict gun laws don't have the same problems we have. I don't particularly care about statistics on this subject.

I'm sorry to hear that about your father, though of course I know about the risk your wife runs, which is pretty scary. But it's not "the general public" that's responsible for most gun violence, it's criminals, people who are already on the wrong side of the law. I doubt most gun owners would object to measures that could *effectively* keep guns out of criminal hands. But it's not an easy thing to do. Confiscation is not a realistic possibility, either legally or practically.

Well, whatever, I think the general public is: too stupid, too emotional, too untrained to even be allowed to own guns.

Scratch a liberal, you get the bad attitude of Wm. O. Douglas.

My father is dead because of guns,

No, he's dead because someone pulled the trigger on one.


and if my wife dies young (she is a cop) it will also be because of guns.

Waal, the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells me that there are 1.215 million police officers and those in allied trades (e.g. jail guards, not private security guards). The Census Bureau tells me there are 131 million people between their 25th and 55th birthday, so one can figure that police officers &c. are about 0.92% of those in that age group. The National Center for Health Statistics says that 294,000 people in that age cohort died in 2014, of which 15,000 and change were killed by firearms. So, you have
279,000 people dying of miscellaneous causes. Let's posit that law enforcement is as likely as anyone to fall victim to miscellaneous causes. That suggests about 2,500 officers will die in a typical year of miscellaneous causes. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that 42 police officers were shot dead in 2015. That would account for fewer than 2% of law enforcement deaths in a typical year if police death rates from miscellaneous causes are similar to others of their cohort.

Countries that have very strict gun laws don't have the same problems we have. I don't particularly care about statistics on this subject.

Switzerland has nearly universal gun ownership, and low homicide rates nevertheless. Guns are quite prevalent in non-metropolitan counties in New York, where the homicide rate is 1/3 the national mean. If you did care about statistics, it might occur to you that you've fixed your attention on a weak vector of influence.

"...because someone pulled the trigger on one."

Yes, but both the "guns kill people" and "guns don't kill people, people do" arguments are pretty superficial: obviously an incident of gun violence requires both a gun and a person willing to use it. The crucial question is about why and how often those two come together.

I understand Stu's impatience with statistics, but still, it's not cold-hearted to point out that considering the number of people and the number of guns in this country, murder by gun is rare. I think firearms homicides in recent years are in the 10-11,000 range, way less than deaths in auto accidents. And the number has declined in recent years, notwithstanding the impression to the contrary produced by mass killings, or by Chicago. Obviously any number greater than zero is bad, and one can make an abstract argument for a total ban. But as I said earlier that's just not feasible.

My view on this is colored by the fact that I grew up in a culture where everybody had guns and nobody got shot. By my mid-teens or so I was perfectly at liberty to pick up one of several rifles or shotguns and go off in the woods, and so were all my friends. But we had been taught how to handle them and carelessness and recklessness weren't tolerated. If more people are getting shot in areas where there are fewer guns, something else is at work.

Interestingly, btw, I did not have the same free access to handguns. My father had a couple but kept them locked up, even though one of them was a .22 with considerably less destructive power than the shotguns.

Handguns are certainly the worst. It's fun to compare car deaths to gun deaths, but one was built to get people from point A to point B and the other was built to kill people. I do use the analogy when discussing driving safety with my stepdaughter.

I don't have patience with guns, nor do I understand the fascination. The "open carry" crazies in Texas are just that to me, people with a screw loose. If I walked into an establishment and there were morons with high powered rifles I would immediately leave.

Conservatives think Obama was a hypocrite for crying about the Sandy Hook kids because he was for legal abortion. I think the pro-life people are hypocrites because they are for guns. We spend time worrying about the unborn but when the born are murdered there is a collective shrug. Nothing is more sickening to me than this.

We can't keep guns from the mentally ill either because we are denying them their rights. More than that we have no real working system in this country to help the mentally ill.

I don't really need to discuss this because the way I feel is completely ingrained in me with how I grew up, in a big city without guns. The second amendment could be abolished and the National Guard sent door to door to collect them as far as I'm concerned. Something that will never happen. But perhaps some tighter gun restrictions might. While we're at it I'm also for tighter driving restrictions too!

Just another typical progressive who wants to restrict the freedoms of others.

The point of the car-guns comparison is just about the size of the problem, the level of risk, not the moral aspects.

Personally I think using the term "pro-life" to mean "anti-abortion" (and anti-euthanasia) is, overall, a mistake. But if you want to be precise about analogies, the comparison between gun proponents (or opponents) and abortion rights proponents (or opponents) would only hold if the former advocated the right to shoot people.

According to something or other I read, the recent controversy about legislation involving the mentally ill and guns was that it made it too easy to stick the "mentally ill" label on someone for life.

I should have said, "I would immediately leave, if they allowed me to."

:-)

By the way I'm not especially an advocate of gun rights. I just have observed that the anti-gun position is frequently based on incorrect information, sometimes wildly incorrect. I can well understand why anyone who's had a loved one killed with a gun would want them all banished from the world.

What else is there to do with a gun but shoot it? That is what it exists for. Do we buy cars and just leave them in the garage or driveway and go out and look at them?

So when one toddler kills another, good, one less gun moron to grow up and buy them. This is what the American people want, good for them and that is what they get!

"What else is there to do with a gun but shoot it?" Well, sure, but that doesn't imply "at anybody you please."

Really, Stu, this is not a reasonable argument. It probably sounds callous to you to discuss being reasonable in this context, but that's why I keep getting involved in the debate. If most gun owners behaved as the anti-gun people seem to expect them to, we would have at least hundreds of thousands of people being killed with guns every year in this country.

Right, and I don't think it is reasonable to own guns. I'll stop. Can't even remember how we got on the subject. It is the one subject where I do realize I am completely unreasonable about.

About 8,400 homicides are committed each year with guns.

BO has lived in subcultures wherein attitudes toward crime and its perpetrators differentiate in-groups and out-groups, and he's an other directed man. Nelson T. Shields III did not live in such a subculture, but he was with scant doubt a man whose self-concept could not withstand acknowledging truths about crime in general and a truth about his son's murder. The babble about guns is a diversion.

I'm not sure how I'm a 'hypocrite' for thinking abortion should be illegal almost without exception while telling you that you need to optimize when you're making public policy and realize that not everyone has your tastes and hobbies. Connecticut had fairly strict gun laws in 2012. Nancy Lanza had four guns which she kept in a safe (per Connecticut law). When someone doesn't care if they die, they're hard to deter.

8400 is a big number.

I wonder if you're more likely to crash a car if you are texting, or if you are shooting a gun out the window?

8400 is a big number. I wonder if you're more likely to crash a car if you are texting, or if you are shooting a gun out the window?

What is salient with regard to your argument is the marginal reduction in that number to be had from any restrictions on gun ownership or the gun trade that you might propose. We know (because it has been accomplished in New York) that it's a practical goal to reduce the slum homicide rate from 47 per 100,000 to 13 per 100,000. It was done in New York through increased police manpower, optimal deployment of manpower, and improved tactics. It was not done through fiddling with regulations on the ownership of firearms.

Not sure who the experts who have studied this question are, but one is John Lott. Per Lott, restrictions on gun ownership, bearing arms, and trading arms have an ambivalent effect because it affects the availability of guns for offense and defense. If I'm not mistaken, home invasion burlgaries are a great deal more common in Britain than in the U.S.

I think there are good reasons to believe that the problems for the black people who do live in hellish neighbourhoods, and for those who suffer from violence in all its forms are caused by drugs, perhaps especially marijuana.

The problem areas in DC for example are mostly in areas where there are major drug problems, and most of the victims are males between 15 and 21.

Fix the drug problem nationwide and I dare say the family problem (high divorce rates etc) and then see how things improve.

Re: Trump not being afraid to offend people - I see that as a feature, not a bug.

Well, up to a point. Sometimes his "not afraid to offend" becomes "eager to insult."

I think those problems--drugs, guns, family dysfunction, poverty--are all involved, and they're so tangled up that it's impossible to say what causes what.

It's hard to consider something like the Sandy Hook killings and not feel desperately that *something has to be done*. Not necessarily only about guns--about mental health, about messed-up families, on and on. But there have been a lot of analyses of gun legislation proposed after such crimes showing that the legislation would not actually have prevented that crime. That may be the case here.

Fix the drug problem nationwide and I dare say the family problem (high divorce rates etc) and then see how things improve.

You might just try patrolling neighborhoods and enforcing the law. It's less complicated and more effective than employing social workers.

How about a social worker driving with each cop?

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