Kicking off the taper

5 mile walk outside (light drizzle) then 2 on the track: 23:52 (lane 2); there was a swarm of students from some sort of fitness program. Whatever they were doing, it wasn’t that hard. But it was better than zilch.

Gun control: there is little that is less pleasant (in terms of social interaction) than to start talking to someone about this issue and have a gun advocate jump in. Even worse: the case when the said advocate thinks that he is smart and logical and accuses me of making a logical error.

Frankly, the time and energy isn’t worth it; it is to the point where I’d like to have some filter that makes someone pass a quiz on basic statistics in order to talk to me.

But certain things keep coming up over and over again.

So, here is a balanced report about Chicago, its gun deaths, murder rates, and “people being shot” rates. Summary: Chicago has problems, but they aren’t as severe as the gun advocates say that they are.

And here is the stupid “Honduras vs. Switzerland” meme.

And no, putting out stupid memes isn’t just a gun advocate problem, nor is it only a conservative problem. I frequently complain about stupid liberal memes.

So, this really isn’t a rant about gun advocates or conservatives (and yes, I have the pleasure of knowing several smart, successful conservatives and I enjoy talking to them) ; it is more about people who think that they know a lot more than they do and, at the same time, lack the intellectual tools to fact check themselves.

But alas, there is no graceful way to say “STFU; you don’t know what you are talking about. Go bother someone else. “


October 6, 2015 - Posted by | morons, social/political, walking |


  1. I keep pondering the gun control issue, and have to admit that I think increased background checks and longer wait periods will not actually do anything to reduce the amount of mass shootings in the US. I think such laws would more likely reduce the rates of suicide by gun, and maybe some of the random shootings.

    Also, thinking about the table that I posted, I wonder if the correlation between strict laws and less gun deaths is less about the one potentially causing the other and more about the make-up of those states themselves. Maybe states that are willing to enact strict gun laws have (overall) more sensible, less violent citizens. Does that make any sense? (Or, to be less polite, those states with loose laws and more guns might generally have more idiots?)

    I decided not to say any of that on FB, as it’s difficult to explain and hard for people to get nuances.

    Comment by jenjw4 | October 6, 2015 | Reply

    • I think that what you say has validity. Also, some of the increased gun death rates on those tables are suicides and I don’t know how many of these would have found another way to commit suicide.

      But yes: people often react to a “generic” argument that they’ve seen before rather than the actual argument that you are actually making.

      Comment by blueollie | October 6, 2015 | Reply

      • I’ve read a bit about suicide, and while people who commit it suffer from depression, the moment they actually attempt suicide is often almost a whim, a moment that they feel particularly dark/depressed. In England they have less guns than we do and many of their deaths by suicide were from paracetamol (aspirin) overdoses. They limited the amount of paracetamol in a package, and while attempts didn’t go down, deaths did. I’d think there would be a similar phenomena with suicide and gun deaths. Someone seriously suicidal without access to a gun may still make a suicide attempt, but would be less likely to actually die. Hopefully the outcome would then be treatment for the underlying depression and overall, less deaths by suicide.

        I really should give up arguing with idiots. Especially when I have no idea what an actual solution is to the gun problem. I suppose I’m just frustrated with the mass shootings and with those who think they are Rambo and believe more guns are the answer. I’d say “more guns” hasn’t worked for us so far, so maybe we need to try something else.

        Comment by Jennifer | October 6, 2015

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