Social and Economic Comments

If your goal is to comfort, it is probably a good idea to keep your mouth closed, instead of saying stuff that makes things worse:

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 4.58.20 PM

Friendly Atheist makes the point:

I don’t know if I’m more disturbed by the comment or the fact that 41 people “liked” it… (Thank you to John Meredith for his sane response.)
[…] I know there are Christians out there who are responding to the shootings in a truly helpful way. No one doubts that. But let’s put to rest this notion that being a Christian makes you a better, kinder, more decent human being. It doesn’t and it never has.

My guess: the people who said this probably had good intentions; they are merely clueless. And you know what the Road To Hell is paved with…

Re: gun control. Note: “gun control” should be “better regulation”. That doesn’t mean “take away people’s guns”. So what should our political leaders do? Of course I agree that they should push for policies that are backed up by data…and not merely rely on intuition.

But one thing that shouldn’t happen: they should not be held hostage by the NRA or other such groups. Now it is clear that Democrats are more hospitable to gun regulations than Republicans, and Paul Krugman says that Democrats ought to just blow off the gun lobby:

So Nate Cohn argues that this same logic applies to gun control: the voters who care passionately about their semi-automatic weapons are rural whites who ain’t gonna vote Democratic in any case — and the new Democratic coalition doesn’t need them. David Atkins takes it further, saying the awful truth: the pro-gun fanatics are basically the kind of people who think that Obama is a Kenyan socialist atheistic Islamist, and the urban hordes are coming for their property any day now. People, in other words, who already vote 100 percent Republican — and lose elections.

As Cohn says, it’s not clear whether Democrats realize how things have changed. But maybe yesterday’s horror will provoke some fresh thought, and they’ll realize that this does not have to go on.

One HUGE caveat: beware of using the term “Democrats” too loosely. Remember the 2010 mid term election, in which the Republicans picked up 63 House seats? A minimum of 34 of those seats came from Congressional districts that Senator McCain won in 2008, and a few more came from districts in which turned blue in the 2008 election. I haven’t checked the elections of the districts that were still undecided at the time I made that 2010 post.

Where does the ONE TRILLION dollar deficit come from? Mostly: expected effects of the sluggish economy.


December 15, 2012 - Posted by | economy, politics, politics/social, religion, social/political, superstition | , ,


  1. First, I think what happened was a horrible, horrible tragedy. I’m also pro-gun control, as far as making guns generally less accessible. The idea of concealed carry really freaks me out, too; I definitely fear the possibility of “accidental” shootings (where someone uses bad judgment, for example, the recent post where the security guard shot the shoplifter) more than I fear armed criminals.

    But politicizing deaths makes me really uncomfortable. It feels crass and unfeeling toward the victims and their families.

    Additionally, yes, this was a horrible thing, but I think people blow the risks about of proportion. Children are still more likely to be killed in a car accident and I really don’t believe that the world is a more violent place than in the past; it’s the “mass” aspect of this and the level of modern media coverage that gives that impression.

    Furthermore, even those who I agree with philosophically about gun control have posted anti-gun stats that I think misrepresent the facts. For example, “an abused woman is 6 times more likely to be murdered if there is a gun in the home.” It could be that those who are more likely to own a gun are also more likely to be abusers, or there could be a third, fourth, fifth factor that isn’t known that also correlates with gun possession and abuse. There is a similar stat about suicide, but I really feel those who are suicidal would be so, gun or not.

    It seems like the focus should be more on mental health and destigmatizing seeking help for such illnesses, with the gun control issue being secondary. A lot of the measures that people have proposed after this tragedy would not have actually prevented it, as it sounds like the perpetrator’s mother purchased the weapons legally and likely would have passed any attendant background check.

    The sad truth is that we really cannot make the world risk-free.

    Comment by jenjw4 | December 16, 2012 | Reply

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