I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
June 05, 2014 - 10:34 a.m.
I have to write quickly today. I have to catch a bus to Philly at 12:15. I'm visiting LORi and Steve.. Of course it's raining and I have to wait outside for the bus. I am not going to attempt to take my computer as every time I do it just stops working. Ah, maybe I will and I'll be adventurous.
Yesterday I once again couldn't get moving. I guess I know what I have to talk about at therapy next week. But I did in the late afternoon as I went over to Heather's to bake a cake. Yes you read that right. It was chocolate. I was good. Oh and all I did was pick up things at the store and keep Heather company and help eat the cake.
Here's the problem that was actually a lot of fun and I enjoyed talking to Heather but there's no much more I can write about my encounter with a dragon on the way home but how many times have you read about that kind of thing? I don't want to bore you.
So instead I'll do something I don't often do, get political about something most of My Gentle Readers agree with me on, guns. I just hope my perspective is different. I'll start with the simple rant.
Here is the second amendment as ratified by the states and authorized by Secretary of the State Thomas Jefferson.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
The version passed by congress had a comma after militia. Some people make a big deal out of that. That's pure sophistry.
Against all precedent the untra activist Supreme Court decided that the part about the Well Regulate Militia" was put there for show and that it means that there's a high bar set on regulating guns. I think we need to add an amendment
"You know that "well regulated militia part of the second amendment? We really meant it. Can't you people read
It takes willful ignorance to ignore that part. This was about the state militias. And it shows that when Roberts talks about "original intent" and following the text it's a smokescreen. He likes to invoke that when he wants us to follow the bigotries of the past but not when it goes against his political desires.
But that's not my main point. I just thought my proposed amendment was funny. I have a serious point too. People always get up in arms for gun control after mass shootings. the thing is those are aberrations and not a major public health risk. It lets the gun rights advocates talk about how many other things kill more people by huge amounts. Most people killed by guns aren't killed in mass shootings and they done with handguns not assault weapons. And that isn't even what I want to talk about. It's that the biggest number of handgun deaths are not homicides it's suicides. In 2010 there were 19,392 suicides by firearm compared to 11,078 homicides by gun (35% of all firearm deaths). I got those numbers from Pew Research Suicides account for most gun deaths. Those are huge numbers and ones that aren't often discussed. And having less guns would make a huge difference there. Here are the success rates of different methods of suicide
As you can see guns are by far the most effective way of killing yourself. Having guns readily available leads to more people killing themselves. And it isn't just a matter of letting mentally ill people not have guns. Gun owners have families. They have children.
People don't like to bring up suicide in gun debates. They are afraid it's too touchy. that it's talking about people not like them. But it is of course. We all know people vulnerable to suicide. I have had three close friends, three people I love very much attempt suicide. Only one succeeded. It wasn't with a gun, he jumped. The other two survived to my great good fortune And I'm making that first person. Of course it was to their good fortune too but I'm pointing out that it affected me profoundly too. We all have people in our lives this could happen to even if we don't know it. Very few people in my social set own guns and I'm grateful for that or I might have two fewer people I love.
I got that chart from The Harvard School of Public Health: Lethality of Suicide Method. It's important to document your facts. Some gun nut who is not my friend recently commented on a post that Canada has more guns per capita than the US but less murders. I pointed out that the gun ownership rate in Canada is about a third of ours. When the facts aren't on your side, lie was his motto.
OK I have to pack and shower and get out of here. I won't even have time to make breakfast and you know how much I hate that. I'll pick it up at Dunkin' Donuts.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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