Conservatives discovered a six year old Harvard paper recently and immediately praised its claims. Unfortunately, it is an extremely fact-challenged document.
Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read more about Shoddy gun paper excites right wing
The sharp exchange between the two Senators was based in part on Cruz' appeal to abstract principle. We should take him at his word, and go where those principles, as stated, lead to.
It's really tough to have a debate on guns with pro-gun types because they are nuts. And by nuts I mean: they typically don't follow and discernable logic for establishing a proposition through argument. The comment thread here from earlier in the week shows two of the favored strategies for gun nuts: derailment and ignoring. Here is how the derailing worked. Read more about Why gun nuts get called gun nuts
Cross posted from Pruning Shears
The massacre in Newtown has once again opened up the discussion of firearms in America. We are getting the usual dumbassery about how this is a punishment from God or the fault of video games (which apparently are unavailable outside of the US) and the usual preemptive whining about how this is not the time to talk about firearm legislation because it would politicize the issue. This is the same spirit in which we refrained from discussing terrorism after 9/11 for fear of politicizing that issue.
It appears that the gun nuts are feeling a little defensive though. Unlike with previous gun massacres, this one has been accompanied by a real push on the role of our abysmal mental health care system. It's actually a great point: we've basically outsourced mental health care to our prisons, with predictably disastrous results. We need to do a much better job of investing in mental health care, removing the shame that surrounds it, and making sure it is available to anyone who needs it.
That doesn't mean it's an either/or situation though. We can both improve mental health care and implement sensible policies to reduce gun violence. One obstacle to the latter is a certain air of resignation and fatalism ("I'm fresh out of ideas. Anybody?") which - surprise! - is a stone's throw from demands for a comprehensive legislative strategy for implementation. Because that is the only way to discuss any issue, and it also explains the absence of war, abortion, finance, inequality and gender policies from our national dialogue. Read more about Gun violence, public health and the missing piece