Tuesday, April 7, 2009

ZenTiger Obama and Cullen

Dr Michael Cullen, a history teacher among other professions, suddenly decides history has no relevance on his retirement from politics: "Just a small gift for Mr English, um, in the middle of this current serious recessional crisis you can stop worrying about what I did last year and worry about what he's going to do next year"

Perish the thought we should take note of your historical actions, now that Labour isn't in a position to retrospectively validate and sanitize them!

Meanwhile, in America yet another mass shooting in a gun free zone. The thing about gun free zones is that they become an open invitation for people with guns to use them. The idea that we can leave unstable elements in society to behave peacefully is naive.

In other news, Obama promises that America will become a nuke free zone. Leaving Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, France, China and others to do the right thing, and behave peacefully.

Update 9 April 2009: Iran looks forward to an American nuke free zone

10 comment(s):

KG said...

I just read a report that says Arab countries are "pleased" with Obamas speech in Turkey, in which he made it plain that the Administration is committed to the creation of a Palestinian state.
The clear subtext is that those Arab countries expect him to pressure Israel.
Which means-of course-withholding military co-operation and equipment to Israel--while Iran continues to train and supply and support hezbollah...
Obama is going to preside over the destruction of Israel.

Sean said...

"Meanwhile, in America yet another mass..." So this would be an example that people kill people, not guns. However, can you offer any alternatives to the problem that are an improvement on those who promote gun free zones?

Also, in NZ I think it is fair to say we don't have the gun culture prevalent in the US and yet it would be interesting to see the gun related murder/injury rates in both countries. If NZ is less, I find it hard to support the status quo in the US.

Andrei said...

Also, in NZ I think it is fair to say we don't have the gun culture prevalent in the US and yet it would be interesting to see the gun related murder/injury rates in both countries. If NZ is less, I find it hard to support the status quo in the US.

As Henry Ford famously quipped There's lies, damn lies and statistics

And murders and suicides with firearms are far higher in the United States than New Zealand.

So far so good.

But is the murder rate higher? After all you are just has dead if you are shot as you are if you have your brains bashed in with a baseball bat.

Well that is harder to answer because the murder rates in the USA vary from state to state quite dramatically.

I will look the figures up if I get a chance but the ;ast time i did this exercise about 2/3s of the fifty States had lower rates of murder than New Zealand.

And as is well known Washington DC is the murder capital of the US - and there firearms are tightly controlled.

On the other hand states such as Wyoming with high levels of gun ownership have very low murder rates.

Murder rates have more to do with cultural factors than the availability of firearms or otherwise imho

Sean said...

"Murder rates have more to do with cultural factors..."

Now somebody's getting somewhere! We might actually see an alternative solution or even just an idea, instead of the usual bitchin about somebody else's (albeit possibly vain) effort.

Now, everyone in Wyoming could have rocket launchers but it would probably still have a low murder rate. Afterall its a small sleep midwest state. What cultural factors exist here that might not be present in a society with high rates of murder (by gun)?

KG said...

I'd point out that in NZ, licensed gun owners commit around .3% of gun crimes.
And in the U.S. the figures are roughly comparable.
Those states which have enacted "shall issue" laws have experienced a marked drop in violent crimes also.
(prof. John Lott, "More Guns, Less Crime").
An interesting point about the U.S. statistics (from the FBI figures) is the ethnic breakdown of those carrying guns illegally and those who are victims of shootings--in both cases, it's young, black males. Subtract those from the statistics and America is actually one of the safest countries on earth.
Interestingly, dishonest gun-grabbers such as the Brady crowd include those same young black males in their numbers when they talk about "the children who are victims of guns".

ZenTiger said...

@Sean: However, can you offer any alternatives to the problem that are an improvement on those who promote gun free zones?

Don't promote gun free zones? By making them special, they seem to attract special people.

And back to the point of my post - Making America Nuclear Free is not going to save Americans from extremists.

However, the threat of disproportionate retaliation does keep other countries in check.

Israel would not exist right now if it did not have a capability of disproportionate response to attempted genocide.

And for all the hand wringing anti-Israeli peaceniks out there in "shock" over Israel's restrained response (in military terms) to Hamas late last year, and Lebanon a few years back, you patently have no idea what a disproportionate response would really look like.

Let's pray we never have cause to see it.

Sean said...

"Don't promote gun free zones?" - oh come on, you can do better than that.

"By making them special, they seem to attract special people." - Heh.

"Making America Nuclear Free is not going to save Americans from extremists." - true, and apparently making the US nuclear powerful doesn't achieve this either.

"And for all the hand wringing anti-Israeli peaceniks...have no idea what a disproportionate response would really look like." - almost sounds like you're boasting...


Basically I share Farrar's view on this. Okay so a nuclear-free world is a pipe-dream but this a step in the right direction.

ZenTiger said...

Hi Sean.

Of course I can do better, but my ideas aren't relevant to the issue.

It's the other way around - promoters of gun free zones need to assess the success of these zones. You need to ask them, not me how good they think gun free zones are, given recent mass shootings have occurred in them.

They don't appear to be a step in the right direction, they just feel good.

Re a powerful America - as I said, the deterrent is there for Nations. Wishing for disarmament is noble, but again, cart before horse. Disarming will not create peace - there are other, more productive ways to create peace and thus reduce the need to have so many sticks.

Do you think environmentalists are boasting when they warn of 50m sea level rises, as they do in today's paper?

Sean said...

Paul Thomas has done some research.

A fact he highlights towards the end which answers a question I had earlier:
"But while the US murder rate has fallen, it's still significantly higher than other Western countries. And when the focus is narrowed to murders involving firearms the discrepancy is marked: America has 7.5 times as many gun murders as the next worst Western country."

Now gun free zones might not be the answer, but the point I am trying to make is that there is a strong gun culture there in the US and somehow it needs to be dismantled.

And for those who always jump to diminish other peoples ideas on solving the problem, they could think about coming up with a few ideas of their own. Unless of course, they're happy with the way things already are.

ZenTiger said...

Ouch.

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