Comment of the Day: “Who Are You Calling A Nut?” And Other Ethics Issues In The Community College Shooting Aftermath (Continued)”

GunsBad-copy

Ethics Alarms’ eccentric philosopher Michael Ejercito, who excels in asking provocative questions, ends his Comment of the Day regarding the attack on gun ownership with the query, “Why do people use such discredited arguments?”

There’s certainly a lot of discredited arguments in the air. A writer named Michael Pusitan wrote a risible post (inspiring a very funny Animal House referenced take-town by the Instapundit) about getting rid of his guns, ending with this passage:

Last week, I sat in a hotel room and watched the President talk about the latest mass shooting and how they had become routine and the concern that nothing would change. I started to shrug it off and pretend in my mind that there was nothing I could do. But the idea that gun culture doesn’t bear some responsibility for these killings didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t want to be a part of gun culture anymore.

I was never going to use these guns for self-defense, they were safely locked and out of reach. I don’t hunt. I don’t shoot clays. There are no dangerous animals where I live. There are no zombies. I’m not a police officer or soldier. I am not part of a well regulated militia. There’s no reason for me to have them.

So I got rid of them. Firearms are no longer a hobby of mine.

This well-exposes the logical disconnect of virtually all the “WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING!” rants from political exploiters of the recent shootings, where the tragedy is used to insist on measures that will have no effect on preventing the tragedies at issue. Pusitan getting rid of his guns is grandstanding, that’s all. His action won’t save a single life, and if he snapped and decided to go shoot up a church he’d still be able to buy the guns to do it. Meanwhile, the statement “I didn’t want to be a part of gun culture anymore” is pure, distilled ignorance. It’s not the gun culture, you fool, it’s the culture, and unless you want to book a slow boat to China, you’re part of it whether you like it or not, because you live here, and derive the good and the bad from the uniquely vital and productive individual initiative and freedom-based culture that is the United States of America.

(Instapundit’s joke quotes Otter: THESE TIMES CALL FOR A REALLY STUPID, FUTILE GESTURE. And he’s just the guy who can do it.)

The answers to Michael’s question are many: because they don’t know what they are talking about, because they have no good, honest proposals, just bad, dishonest ones, because they are preaching to the choir and not really interested in changing anyone’s mind, because the whole debate is framed by emotion, not facts.

Here is Michael Ejercito‘s Comment of the Day on the post, “Who Are You Calling A Nut?” And Other Ethics Issues In The Community College Shooting Aftermath (Continued)”

A column from George Skelton on this issue, and my response.

It is really quite simple: Guns are designed for killing. The more guns there are, the more people get killed. That’s not just simple logic. It’s simple fact.

The same thing have been argued with regards to alcohol- or black people.

And no other developed nation comes close to us in firearms fatalities. We’re at 10-plus per 100,000 people. One third are homicides, two thirds are suicides.

I wonder if George Skelton even heard that California has legalized assisted suicide. The state thus declared that suicide is a good thing. Continue reading

Comment of the Day: “Of The Good Muslim, Paris, ‘1984’, And The Compulsion To Deny The Truth”

Mulsim women

Left-of-center Ethics Alarms follower deery gets a lot of heat on Ethics Alarms, but he has a much-valued knack for spawning edifying exchanges. In this reply to one of his comments arguing that Christianity and Islam near equivilency in their more extreme positions, Ulrike delivers the Comment of the Day, in the battle following the post, “Of The Good Muslim, Paris, ‘1984’, And The Compulsion To Deny The Truth.”

Here it is:

I’d like to make the claim that 1300 years ago, in almost any society women were the losers but now the distinction can be seen by anyone who has eyes. Christians moved on from those times and their nations became successful world powers. On the other hand, oil seems to be the main driving force behind anything in the Arab League.

And yes, in the beginning Islam had a positive influence on the scientific community in so far as it united the Arabic world which up to that date was splintered into tribes. Arabic became the lingua franca and facilitated the trade of knowledge and commodities. The Arabs become the driving force in translating ancient Greek literature – I could go on and on, the list is long, but I’m too lazy. So while we still lived like Neanderthals, the Arabic world had flourishing cities that were the trade centers of the Orient.

Now here’s the rub: The decline of science and the renunciation of modernity can also be attributed to Islam. How can that be, when I just stated that it was a major factor in the rise of science. Well, not Islam as a religion facilitated this rise but its role in uniting the arabic world economically and territorially. But when the Muslim faith came to be the established force behind everything and anything its disciples started to consolidate the belief that science was equal to renouncing Allah.

If you set yourself the task to name any invention in medicine, chemistry, physics or engineering from the last two hundered years that originated in the Arabic world – you have your answer which faith benefited progress more. Christian society developed towards modernity and Muslim society turned away from it… Continue reading

The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strain’d, But It Is Sometimes Infuriating

"Murdered toddler...price? Oh, I think 5 years is about right."

“Murdered toddler…price? Oh, I think 5 years is about right.”

I find this story, from Virginia, harder to accept than the infamous “affluenza” case:

MANASSAS — A judge has sentenced a Manassas baby sitter to five years in prison for the murder of a toddler she had been watching, leaving the child’s family outraged by the light sentence.Twenty-two-year-old Jessica Fraraccio pleaded guilty last year to killing 23-month-old Elijah Nealey after he wouldn’t stop crying.Fraraccio had initially said Elijah slipped in the tub, but months later admitted pulling a chair out from under him and smothering him.

Why? 1) The murder was intentional. 2) Fraraccio was in a position of trust. 3) She, unlike Ethan Couch, the teenaged drunk driver in the “affluenza” vehicular homicide case, was an adult. 4) As bad as killing someone accidentally while driving drunk (and without a license, and speeding) is, killing a helpless infant intentionally is worse.

Worse also than the lenient judge’s rationale in the Ethan Couch case—she believes the boy can be rehabilitated—is the utterly indefensible theory of the judge who sentenced Fraraccio. From the Washington Post: Continue reading

When Late Is As Bad As Never: The Thalidomide Apology

Such a nice apology to the Thalidomide victims! Why no applause?

Harald Stock, Chief Executive of the Gruenenthal Group, has issued the company’s first apology and acknowledgment of responsibility for its role in manufacturing Thalidomide, the drug taken by pregnant women for nausea in the ’50’s and ’60’s. The women who took the drug, primarily in Europe, gave birth to children with deformed limbs or no limbs at all.  Stock  apologized to the surviving mothers and to their children, saying,

“We ask for forgiveness that for nearly 50 years we didn’t find a way of reaching out to you from human being to human being. We ask that you regard our long silence as a sign of the shock that your fate caused in us.”

Wow, that’s some case of shock—50 years! And the shock affected not just the executives of the company that were around when the drug was distributed without adequate testing and so-called “flipper babies” were being born in the thousands, but two generations of subsequent Gruenenthal management too. Let’s translate this apology, shall we? Continue reading

The Death Penalty At Its Best

Virginia executed the D.C. Sniper tonight, and I am not sorry. Apparently not very many others are either: in stark contrast to past executions, like that of Gary Gilmore, anti-death penalty protests regarding the execution of John Muhammad have been minimal.

A responsible society is obligated to have a death penalty to set an appropriate upper limit for state imposed punishment. Without such a ceiling, the punishment for every other crime must be ratcheted down, and this tends to lower the penalty for capital crimes as well. The Lockerbie Bomber would never have been released after a short prison term in the U.S., as he was by Scotland; in all likelihood, he would have been executed. As with Ted Bundy, Timothy McVeigh, and Muhammad, it would have been a case of the punishment fitting the crime. Continue reading