Talking points 27 June

Good morning! It’s a slightly bleary-eyed Priya blogging today after last night’s Euro 2008 semi final in an especially boisterous World Service bar. Thanks Mike and Bob for watching the blog while I slept.

It’s also Fuchsia’s last day on the programme 😦 From now on she will be far far away from us (sitting about three desks down at Newshour). So I’ll begin with her suggestion:

Is there anything wrong with swearing?

She has blogged about it already, so keep leaving your comments there.



A couple of you mentioned Bush lifting sanctions on North Korea last night.

Yesterday, North Korea handed over a long-delayed account of its nuclear programme which gave details of its nuclear facilities but not of any weapons. Unusually, it has also invited foreign journalists to witness the demolition of a cooling tower at its main nuclear site today, as a sign of its commitment to stop producing plutonium.

But former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has sharply criticised President Bush’s decision to remove North Korea from America’s list of states that sponsor terrorism. Mr Bolton called the decision shameful and said it represented the final collapse of Mr Bush’s foreign policy.

A WHYS blogger, Dwight had this question:

Remember when Iraq did this, and two days alter the administration denounced it as incomplete and threatened them further. Why is this more acceptable? The US didn’t even get the document, the Chinese did. What happened to “we will not leave US security in the hands of foreign governments”?

Do you agree with them? Has Bush abandoned his foreign policy? Is he Leaving the security of the US in foreign hands?

North Korea is ‘playing ball’ and is taking steps to dismantle its nuclear apparatus, a bit like Libya did just a few years ago. Is this a victory for diplomacy?

Back in 2003, Slate magazine looked at why North Korea, a country with few terrorist ties, was on the list in the first place, they have reprised the article here.

So why, if North Korea has not attacked anyone, should it be denied nuclear technology? Technology that many other countries enjoy?



The subject that has got you all most exercised on the blog overnight is this:

US court overturns DC handgun ban

Have a read of the very interesting debate among the comments below. I won’t try to summarise them all.

A ban on handguns in Washington DC has been overturned. According to the US supreme court, its is every American’s constitutional right to own a firearm.

Gun control supporters are outraged. And the whole issue is a headache for the DC government. But to the surprise of many, Barack Obama seemed to embrace the decision.

Megan writes here that guns do not make for a more violent society, anything can kill a person. The Gun Control network strongly disagrees.

Even as gun-related murder among young men in the US appears to have risensharply, Anthony is among many who ask:

What’s wrong with the freedom to bear arms?

Or put another way, would the world be a safer place if we ALL have a firearm?



A quarter of the British adult population face an “anti-paedophile” test in an escalation of child protection policies, according to a report.

Fewer people are volunteering to work with children with many men saying they would not do so for fear that people will think they are child abusers.

Frank Furedi certainly believes that British society is too over protective of its children, and too suspicious of adults, to the detriment of wider society.

Certainly when I was teaching in a primary school in Spain, I was struck by the difference in attitudes to children. Whilst in the UK, it is virtually forbidden to touch children if you are their teacher, in Spain, teachers interacted much more naturally with their pupils, reflecting a wider social practice where all adults felt comfortable talking and watching over other people kids as they played in the streets.

But after many many child abuse scandals the world over, surely it is correct to try and protect children?

Or are we too overprotective? Are we posioning realtions between adults and children?

What’s it like in your country?

178 Responses to “Talking points 27 June”

  1. 1 Dennis
    June 26, 2008 at 19:39

    Mike in Portland…Welcome to the MODERATORS’s chair.

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  2. 2 portlandmike
    June 26, 2008 at 19:56

    The Supreme Court in the U.S. has overturned Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns, declaring that everyone in America has a RIGHT to handgun… to a personal weapon.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to the murder statistics in D.C. over the next few years.

  3. 3 shirley
    June 26, 2008 at 19:57

    I refer our technophiles to my technical difficulties. I can only listen from the library. The library only has Windows Media Player and cannot, therefore, play files only accessible to Real Player, as is the case with some of those files. Or, if someone has recorded the Gaza/Africa and Iraq shows and has them somewhere online as MP3 files, I would be eternally grateful.


  4. 4 Scott (M)
    June 26, 2008 at 20:02

    Americans get their guns back! Now they can defend themselves from each other. A cowboy administration and a cowboy court—for a cowboy people.

  5. June 26, 2008 at 20:04

    Bush administration lifts North Korea sanctions-

    “The announcement at the White House came after North Korea handed over a long-awaited accounting of its nuclear work to Chinese officials on Thursday”

    Remember when Iraq did this, and two days alter the administration denounced it as incomplete and threatened tem further. Why is this more acceptable? The US didn’t even get the document, the Chinese did. What happened to “we will not leave US security in the hands of foreign governments”?

  6. 6 Will Rhodes
    June 26, 2008 at 20:04

    I blogged about it Mike – but our beloved Steve feels it has no implication on Canada, even though most of the illegal guns in Canada are legally bought in the US.

    It was a sickening decision!

  7. 7 Julie P
    June 26, 2008 at 20:09

    If anyone wants to read the Court decision here it is:

    Click to access 07-290.pdf

  8. 8 Pangolin- California
    June 26, 2008 at 20:15

    @ Guns- Oh, come on now. With the criminalization of the US populace the list of people who can’t legally buy handguns grows every day. All states have to do is declare that speeding tickets represent criminal activity that would disqualify a person from gun ownership; or jaywalking to restrict urban populations.

    No worries.

  9. 9 Colleen
    June 26, 2008 at 20:16

    yeh it’s just sad… hasn’t our society learned yet that no good is coming from our “freedom to bear arms”?? i dont get it — the whole idea was from such a different time….

  10. 10 Nelson
    June 26, 2008 at 20:18

    Hello Mike, welcome to the moderators table. hope u will have still have finger prints by the you are done. lol 😉 nice point you made about the US supreme court decision to overturn the ban on hand guns in washington dc
    depending on wjhcih side of the wall you are on you will either be rejoicing or shaking your head in disbelief at another senseless gun related incident waiting to happen. We will be watching closel

  11. 11 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 20:26

    @ scott

    We have the right to maintain a regulated Militia and have firearms, and why is this? To protect ourselves from not only other citizens, or other countries, but from our own government if need be. If anything, people like Bush WOULDN’T want gun’s in the hands of regular people, like Hitler did.

    I think it’s sad that we don’t have real militias like we used to. I want to start one in California (and by the way, I’m a Blue Dog Democrat), but people my age (27) are more interested in who the newest and coolest bands are, what’s happening on reality T.V., or who won whatever game is going on.

    What’s wrong with having guns anyways? We have 90 guns per 100 people here, yet in Russia they have 9 per 100, yet their murder rate per capita is MUCH MUCH higher.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  12. 12 Venessa
    June 26, 2008 at 20:33

    Pangolin ~

    I think your post is a reasonable way to handle handguns if people in a particular state think it is appropriate. Personally I don’t have an aversion to guns one way or the other.

    Regardless of any ban placed on guns I can’t see how they will never be eliminated. It’s maybe unrealistic to think that it will improve the violent death by guns, but what does that mean? In the absence of guns do people resort to more brutal types of violence?

  13. 13 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 20:33

    @ Colleen

    Why. Whats wrong with the “freedom to bear arms”?

  14. 14 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 20:37

    @ Vanessa

    That’s correct. They will resort to worse ways of killing. Remember the stories and pictures of the Tootsie and Hutu tribes, whacking each other up with machetes? I’d rather have a clean shot to the temple, than a brutal machete surgery!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  15. 15 Scott (M)
    June 26, 2008 at 20:45

    It isn’t really just about the “gun” for people. Despite what they say. Despite what you will say. It’s the attitude. The mindset that wants this gun. The no one is going to tell me what to do. The half-cocked, ready to blow the top off, American swagger—this is the problem. It’s brute. It’s barbaric. It’s bootsie.

  16. 16 Luz María Guzmán from Mexico
    June 26, 2008 at 20:49

    @Anthony and Vanessa

    I think is more difficult to kill someone with a machete than with a gun. And is more difficult to kill with your bare hands than with a machete. Guns are designed to make killing easier and less messy.

  17. 17 Venessa
    June 26, 2008 at 20:51

    Anthony ~

    That’s exactly what goes through my head. My father was stabbed to death; I can’t imagine having to go out that way. I too would rather take a bullet.

    On the other hand you bet damn sure if someone is breaking into my house I want a gun to defend myself especially when the assailant has one too.

  18. 18 Catalina
    June 26, 2008 at 20:53

    Lucky for you Anthony clean shots to the head are as rare as machete killings.

    In a perfect world your post would make sense, but not here, in the real world, where 5 year olds take their dad’s gun to school and shoot other 5 year olds. Let’s be realistic, while yes we have the right to bear arms, we take that right and just run with it.

    What’s wrong with having guns?

    Ask that question to the families of the NIU, Virginia Tech, and Columbine students that were shot and killed.

    What is your definition of a regulated militia?

  19. 19 Scott (M)
    June 26, 2008 at 21:07

    Oh. It says I have this right. It must be so then. It must be A-OK. Yep. It’s here, in print. It’s been upheld. It’s been revisited. I can own a gun for my personal use. Yippie! Let’s go to the gun store now. I need to be able to defend myself from all those interlopers. It says I can! Lots of documents say lots of things it doesn’t give the idea some intrinsic merit. How superficial. How lame. It will never stop. It doesn’t stop here. It doesn’t stop there. And, it will never stop at home. Not when this, this is the quality of our people; second-rate, third-rate, intellectual terrorists.

  20. 20 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 21:14

    @ Catalina

    Well, as far as the shootings go, gun related homicides are under 10,000 a year, while DUI deaths are almost 20,000 a year. You tell me which you’d rather have? Should we go through prohibition # 2?

    As far as the 5 year old, that was a irresponsible parent, and rarely happens. There have been MUCH more instances of 5 year olds dying from the draw string on their hoodies than other little kids killing each other. So that isn’t really a big deal to me. That’s like saying “there was an old man who killed 20 people because he was confused while driving, lets take all the elderly people’s drivers license’s away!”.

    And as for the Militia, it would be large groups of men, exercising, firearm training, combat training, learning to read maps, survival techniques, contingency plans, things like that, meeting about twice every month.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  21. 21 Venessa
    June 26, 2008 at 21:16

    Catalina ~

    In the case of a 5 year old taking a gun to school; maybe we should look at the parents for not putting the gun in an appropriate place. There are plenty of places including a safe that 5 year olds can’t get into.

    As far as the unstable people that shot up the schools ~ I believe in all the cases (please correct me if I’m wrong) there were enough warnings by behaviour etc. that these people were mentally unstable.

    Gun safety is absolutely important. I have been fortunate that the people I know that own guns are very well trained and know the great responsibility that goes along with owning a gun. I have never had a gun personally but my husband has several. He also hunts. I have no problem with the guns in our house and they are certainly locked away.

  22. June 26, 2008 at 21:16

    When the constitution was written, there wasn’t any question about you right to have a tool used to hunt for food and fend off beast of both human and other animal types. That would have hardly been an issue worth discussing. The reason they wanted to ensure that every citizen had a right to have a weapon was because in England where they had come from their freedom jeopardized by an unarmed population. Tactic such as forcing sons into servitude, and make them go fight wars to help enhance the kings wealth. They would rape your bride in the name of the king. The result would be bustard children that were often shunned and uneducated. They made great soldiers. The king’s militias were known for taking part of your crop as payment in tax. These were things that unarmed peasants were unable to stop. There were an obvious infringement on the inalienable rights.

    It makes me laugh to hear introduction of bills like assault weapons bans, and Brady bills because it flies in the face of why the right to bear arms was guaranteed. Not so you can go tromping of in the woods and shoot critters for food. Of course you can do that. It was so you could stand up to the national conscripts if the government became too corrupt.

    They irony is that today’s politicians have learned ways to market, fraud, and lie their way into getting the exact same results. This has been the most corrupt and criminal occupation of Washington since we have began. The American people have just accepted it. If they haven’t used their rights by now they never will. At this point the only people who want guns are the ones who shouldn’t have them.

  23. 23 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 21:25

    Kudos to Dwight in Cleveland!!!

    Very nicely said! People say it doesn’t apply today? A corupt system is EXACTLY why it does apply today! Things aren’t that bad now, but what happens if it does?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  24. 24 Robert
    June 26, 2008 at 21:32

    Good Evening Anthony.

    Comparing what was effectively a war between Tootsie and Hutu and the notion of self defense is little far fetched.

    In a war when two sides set out to kill each other . The gun is used because it kills the most people with the least risk and effort for yourself. If you don’t have a gun then you will use the next most effective weapon you have. Ultimately the though the carriers of weapons are out to kill and will do whatever they need to achieve this.

    Gun crime in North America and Europe in the main is about show. The criminal has no intention to kill, its just a simply tool to get the job done more efficiently with the least resistance. This is borne out in the often quoted figures that more people are killed accidentally by firearms of friends and families than purposely by criminals.

    The implication of one of the post is that in countries with tighter gun control the criminals resort to more brutal ways of killing when confronted. This just doesn’t happen in Europe, without the gun the criminals are more cautious and will more often than not run if disturbed as they don’t want to risk the more direct fight.

  25. 25 Scott (M)
    June 26, 2008 at 21:37

    Yep, it’s nice to see such good rational discussion. I really feel safe and free from threats of corruption. And if those ALIENS come I am going to know my fellow Americans will protect me. But who will protect me from my fellow Americans? You may ask? I may ask? Well, I should go out and get a gun! Then, we can all feel safe together. Because if everyone has one, well then no one will use them. Yep. I’m sold. I’m a believer. Johnny get me a gun!

  26. 26 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 21:52

    @ Will

    I don’t see how legalizing handguns in DC is going to impact Canada. is DC some staging point for the importation of guns into Canada, whereas Virginia somehow isn’t, even though you can have handguns in Virginia?

    It’s a good decision by the court. Instead of creating a right out of thin air, it defined the 2nd amendment to apply to private individuals.

  27. 27 Pangolin- California
    June 26, 2008 at 21:54

    @ Guns vs. ‘other weapons’ – I’ve seen the results of a random shooting up close and it’s ugly. The entry point of a bullet may be clean but what’s inside along it’s path is pretty much hamburger till it stops or exits.

    A person can fend off a machete weilding nut with a two-by-four, a chair or a can of bug spray (wasp killer 😉 ) but the gun waving nut can shoot you as you’re running away even if you’re faster.

    If you are the person holding to a gun for self defense I would advise against it. Unless you have your gun in hand, loaded and in a shooting position before your assailant has HIS gun ready you are likely to get shot. If you have anything that LOOKS like a gun in your hand the police in the US will shoot first and ask questions later.

    A gun in your hand makes you a magnet for bullets. Fair’s fair.

  28. 28 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 21:55

    @ Robert

    My point was guns dont kill people, people kill people. Also, just because gun laws are strict, doesn’t mean criminals don’t have them. They are the ONLY ones to have them in those cases. The criminals have the best guns 🙂

    @ Scott

    Lets make it illegal for ALL civilians to own a firearm. Lets see, who will that benefit…drug dealers …the mafia …gang members …criminals …just plain ol’ bad people. Strict gun laws are good for evil people in this world 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  29. 29 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 21:55

    Anyone remember in Japan, just last week or the week before someone murdered 9 people with a knife? That’s more than most shootings. yet gun grabbers seem tot hink you can only be killed by guns.

  30. 30 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 21:59

    Assault weapon bans are the biggest jokes of them all. The gun is banned because of how it looks! All of the are semi auto. There are semi auto hunting rifles that look like something ahunter had. Wooden, with carvings, yet it functions exactly the same. But since an Ak-47 looks mean, it’s an bad semi auto and has to be banned because we don’t like the way it looks! Given that many handguns are semi auto, an assault rifle ban would also be unconstitutional.

  31. 31 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 22:10

    Kind of funny that DC’s homicide rate was almost 500 in 1992, when the city had 600,000 people. 500 murders, most with handguns, yet handguns were banned. That worked really well!

  32. 32 Janet T
    June 26, 2008 at 22:12

    I think it’s sad that we don’t have real militias like we used to. I want to start one in California…..
    @ Anthony in LA, CA

    Dear God- dont’ even try- Our Government would declare you a cult or terrorist training camp or something equally vile and media worthy and you’d all be taken out by the ATF

  33. 33 Will Rhodes
    June 26, 2008 at 22:12

    I don’t see how legalizing handguns in DC is going to impact Canada. is DC some staging point for the importation of guns into Canada, whereas Virginia somehow isn’t, even though you can have handguns in Virginia?

    Steve – yes!

    The US constitution is applicable to all states, that means, as has happened and will happen, there will be appeals to any gun control.

    The hand guns that come into Canada are from the US – so it doesn’t matter which state, district this was done, it is important that it was done in DC because it sets the president.

    So it does effect the guns smuggled into Canada. And a large part of those guns are legally bought in the US to be sold on for a profit and screw what happens outside the US border.

  34. 34 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 22:18

    @ Will

    Then I would suggest that authorities on both sides work to prevent the smuggling of handguns into Canada, and especially for Canada to stop its residents from wanting handguns. If there were no demand for handguns in Canada, there would be no handguns in Canada. I don’t see how you can criticize the US for the illegal actions of Canadians and if the smugglers are Americans, the illegal actions of private Americans. You know the saying, if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. You’ve got a problem of outlaws in Canada.

  35. 35 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 22:20

    Re: AK-47

    But the AK can be easily changed from semi to fully (like most of the semi-autos on the list). Unlike the SKS, which its practically that same, yet cannot be switched to fully auto (although I’m sure someone could with heavy modifications).

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  36. 36 Robert
    June 26, 2008 at 22:21

    @ Anthony
    People kill people yes, but very few have it in them to do it on purpose. Guns make it possible for somebody to kill accidentally in a split second. Remove the gun and and any accident is more likely to leave you injured than dead.

    Most of the shootings that result from crimes are ones committed by accident in the heat of the moment or after an intruded has been cornered by the gun yielding owner and panics. Removing guns from the scene reduces the chance of somebody unnecessarily ending up on the receiving end of a fatal wound.

  37. 37 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 22:21

    @ Janet

    The sad thing is that after Oklahoma City, the Michigan Militia came into the view of the public. They were/are an anti government organization. But that was the purpose of the 2nd amendment, militias to fight the government. It would be insane for the goverment to say you cannot take up arms against your government after that very government did that themselves only a a few years earlier against their British government.

  38. 38 Scott (M)
    June 26, 2008 at 22:22

    What I really just can’t understand is why we don’t let kids have guns, because if they are home alone or walking the neighborhood who will protect them? Gosh, I mean they might even need to use them against their pedophile parents. Surely this would solve everything!

    And the KNIFE, I mean, that just kills real well too. If it can get the job done, why even bother with the guns. I can’t understand why I can’t carry one on the plane, either. Those terrorists and all. If I would’ve had one, lots of people could have been saved. It’s so not fair Betsy. I mean, if everyone else is doing it, why can’t we? Oh, they just said we can! Yep. We all can get em. Just not kids and the crazies because they ain’t smart enough to know when to hold em, know when to walk away and know when to gun.

  39. 39 portlandmike
    June 26, 2008 at 22:23

    U.S. stock market drops 350 points!

    It feels to some of us Americans that we are on some pretty shaky ground the last six months. The dollars has fallen big time against the Euro. Our troops are mired in a horribly expensive and losing “war” in Iraq. We depend on oil for everything, and the price of oil just keeps rising. Our President and his administration has turned most of the world against us on many levels. Many average people are losing their home, their cars, their jobs, because of the sub-prime banking scam, and yet there are words that are never used like “depression,” and “inflation.”

  40. 40 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 22:24

    @ Janet

    But it wouldn’t be anti-government, and trying to acquire illegal firearms or make bomb. It would be more about training and comradery in the community. Wanna join? 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  41. 41 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 22:25

    @ Anthony

    That’s a myth that you can convert an AK-47 to fully auto, easily. It would probably take replacing part with an actual auto version to do it. They are designed to be semi auto if sold to the general population. Any gun that is semi auto could be built as a fully auto, even an SKS. I have an M1A, and I assure you, I cannot modify it to make it fully auto, even though there is an automatic version of it, the M14. The only thing I have ever seen was a device you could put over the trigger of a 22 LR rifle where it pulled the trigger back so quickly it was virtually firing at the speed of an automatic, btu that’s because the 22LR has no recoil at all, and is easy to pull the trigger on.

  42. 42 Mohammed Ali
    June 26, 2008 at 22:31

    @supreme court, the court argue that constitution gives the right to individual citizen to own gun, perfect. I think in this case common sense should have prevail. When this amendment was made, there weren’t many stupid and frustrated people around who would just take gun and in about killing people in the streets, killing children in schools, and etc. Today they are many around. I think the killing rate in the US is going to get higher because every crazy and lunatic person now has the right to own gun. But that is the stupid part of the law, it allows 9 restive persons to sit and decide the faith of over 300 million people.

  43. 43 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 22:34

    @ Robert

    You can say the same thing with alcohol, cigarettes and fast food. Should we take those away too? How about “Gangsta Rap”, I guarantee if they took that away when it first started there wouldn’t be as many little gang bangers around, thinking they’re all hardcore. What else should we take away? When do we stop? Iran has a VERY low homicide rate. Should we copy them, and kill women for having affairs? That might help the American people. 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  44. 44 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 22:38

    @ Scott

    Geez, I don’t see why we dont give kids Whiskey, or let them drive, or let them have checking accounts, or buy porn. Oh wait a sec, thats because you should be responsible to do those things. There are things for adults, and things for children, thats why silly billy gum drops 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  45. 45 Mohammed Ali
    June 26, 2008 at 22:41

    @people kill people, yes but they use the guns effectively to do the killings. I can only see the rate of killing by short guns increasing as a result of this ruling.

  46. 46 Tino
    June 26, 2008 at 22:47

    “I think is more difficult to kill someone with a machete than with a gun. And is more difficult to kill with your bare hands than with a machete.”

    It isnt though. A swift shot to the throat or temple/vital areas will kill you, barehanded. It takes seconds to look up where to hit someone on the internet. A machete is insanely easy to kill someone with, also. People have survived near point blank execution style shots to the head because of plastic hairpins.

    “Ask that question to the families of the NIU, Virginia Tech, and Columbine students that were shot and killed.”

    Of course, if EVERYONE had a gun and was trained to use it, these things would not happen either. At most one person would go down before everyone else shot the hell out of them. I go to Georgia Tech and would love to carry on campus, but it is forbidden. Of course, someone like the VT killer wouldn’t obey the law so it seems rather pointless….just like any further gun control laws.

    “This just doesn’t happen in Europe, without the gun the criminals are more cautious and will more often than not run if disturbed as they don’t want to risk the more direct fight.”

    Except gun crime statistics in Britain and Australia post-gun-ban went up drastically. Yes I realize Australia is not in Europe but it illustrates the point. What really happens after a gun ban is law-abiding citizens turn in their guns and criminals do not. Pretty simple logic, really.

  47. 47 portlandmike
    June 26, 2008 at 22:48

    @ Anthony

    My guess is that more guns in D.C. means more people in jail, more gunshots, more dead people, more police, more prisons, more sobbing in hospitals, more misery.

  48. 48 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 22:50

    @ Mohammed Ali

    Well the Ban didn’t seem to help. Look at D.C.’s murder rate over history.the ban was in 1975, yet from 1985 to 1990 the murder rate TRIPLED!!! Is that how gun bans help?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  49. 49 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 22:51


    There would probably be more shooting during home breakins, for sure. But given that at one point DC had almost 500 murders in 1992, was the murder capital of the US, and handguns were illegal then, didn’t seem to stop it. Pretty much the only reason the murder rate is a bit less than 200 now is because of more policing, the criminal elements have been moving out to Prince George’s County, in Maryland, where the murder rates have skyrocketed.

  50. 50 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 22:53

    @ portland mike and others

    Has anyone looked up the DC murder statistics? Please look them up, you’ll be surprised 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  51. 51 Scott (M)
    June 26, 2008 at 22:53

    Silly billy, adult—responsible—does not make. Antsy Annie that’s the problem. Age ain’t a recipe for responsibility. The dumb don’t get smarter with time. Don’t play with bombs baby, those are for the grown-ups. If you leave the house with an umbrella Honey, you’ll always be prepared for the rain. If you got a gun, you aren’t gonna get killed! These are my facts, so to speak. It’s the American way. Guns for all. Death to none.

  52. 52 Will Rhodes
    June 26, 2008 at 22:57

    Then I would suggest that authorities on both sides work to prevent the smuggling of handguns into Canada, and especially for Canada to stop its residents from wanting handguns. If there were no demand for handguns in Canada, there would be no handguns in Canada. I don’t see how you can criticize the US for the illegal actions of Canadians and if the smugglers are Americans, the illegal actions of private Americans. You know the saying, if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. You’ve got a problem of outlaws in Canada.


    Because Americans are private citizens it is perfectly fine for them to sell their guns in Canada? I don’t know where your logic is leading you – if there were no guns to sell, what is it, 230 million guns now in the US, very few of those guns would come across the border.

    Some citizens of Canada want guns for the very same reason some Americans want guns – for illegal use, those are the one you are facilitating by not having gun control. So if I follow your logic through you are saying that its OK for Canadian criminals to have weapons but as long as the US citizen has his/hers for ‘personal protection’ its tough on Canadians? The vast majority of Canadians DON’T want guns – they deplore they things. The ones who have them legally make sure that they stay well within the law dictating ownership.

    I can criticise the US because one of those legally bought and smuggled guns just may kill one of my family or me.

    May be Canada should build that border fence to keep Americans out.

  53. 53 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 22:59

    Interesting bit of sex discrimination, women given a 20 minute head start on men in the LA marathon, and a woman won.


  54. 54 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 23:04

    @ Scott

    Do you drive? Do you have sex? Every drink some booze or gamble? Do you sleep whenever you want? Have you every stood on a jury? Yes, there are things that are for adults, and there are things for kids.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    P.S. I always have an umbrella in my truck, and guess what, I’m almost never wet 🙂

  55. 55 Robert
    June 26, 2008 at 23:06


    Cigarettes and Fast Food take years to kill. You do get a second chance after indulging in either of those items.

    Granted alcohol can kill instantly in certain circumstances but that why we don’t let drunks behind the wheel of car. The difference is that although alcohol may kill you, it is much more likely you’ll wake up with nothing worse than a hangover. As soon as two guns get pointed at each other the chance of you getting out unscathed drop dramatically. The point is that guns provide only a superficial feeling of safety, they really make the situation much worse. I currently live in Angola, having just come out of a 30 year war guns are readily available. But nobody here carries one for self defense. Everybody knows that if you go along with the guy robbing you on the street you lose your wallet and your pride, if you pulled a gun on them you’d lose your life.

    Also if it is your right to bare arms to defend yourself against the government, why aren’t you allowed missiles or high grade explosives. To put it bluntly the handguns you carry as your constitutional rights would never achieve what the right set out to do (handguns against the US government/army, come on). The weaponry you need to protect yourself as per your constitutional rights are banned because they would be too good at the job. Again your right to have hand guns is just a myth to give you a superficial feeling of security.

    It would be much better if the argument used was just simply, we enjoy hunting and a bit of target practice at the weekend. I don’t know anybody who would disagree with that , so long as the correct weapons where used to carry out such activities.

  56. 56 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 23:07

    @ Will

    Whena gun is legally bought, but illegally smuggled, it becomes an illegal gun. The person smuggling it is a criminal, and the person buying it is a criminal. So should Canada ban cuban cigars because people smuggle them into the US and people in the US can smoke illegal cuban cigars? Americans should lose their rights because of criminals in Canada? Hate to break it to you, but Canadians like guns as well. Plenty of people have rifles there, yet you speak of all guns.


    The Americans that legally own guns also “stay well within the law dictating ownership.” Are you suggesting that because some people break the law, everyone should be punished for it?

  57. 57 Julie P
    June 26, 2008 at 23:11


    No discrimination. I read the article. It is evident that in the battle of sexes of this race it was known that women would be given a twenty minute head start to level the playing field, as it were. Anyone who enters into this race would be aware of this, so there would be consent to this, thus no discrimination.

  58. 58 Mohammed Ali
    June 26, 2008 at 23:12

    @Anthony, I can only pray and hope that things don’t get worse for Canada and worst for Mexico. My hope also is that the killing rate doesn’t quadruple in the US.

  59. 59 Shirley
    June 26, 2008 at 23:12

    Was there a ceasfire in the Middle East? I don’t think so. Here is a listing of the events in Palestine from the perspective of independent Palestinian journalists.

    Two hours before the truce: One Palestinian killed two injured as the army attacked Gaza (Thursday June 19, 2008 11:51) resistance fighter killed, 2 others injured; Israeli F16 jet fighters, Thursday at dawn, 2H before truce took effect. 6 injured Wednesday night, Israeli jet fighters, resistance fighters targetted. truce not including West bank.

    Troops attack Qalqilia, 5 civilians kidnapped, 3 homes demolished (Thursday June 19, 2008 13:51)

    Attack against Palestine Newspaper (Thursday June 19, 2008 22:40) Palestine Newspaper, gunmen opened fire at building, wounded editor-in-chief.

    Hamas: “Israel violated ceasefire three times today” (Thursday June 19, 2008 22:54)

    Israeli navy boats fired four shells at fishermen…soldiers opened fire at farmers in Khan Younis… soldiers fired at farmers in Khuza’a…fired at a number of houses in Al Qarara… Al Qassam Brigades committed to truce but will retaliate if Israel resumes attacks.

    Two Injured in Bilin Weekly Protest (Friday June 20, 2008 16:55)

    villagers, international & Israeli supporters; tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. new tear gas launcher, fires 30 canisters at one time; high pitched ‘scream’ device. two injured, rubber-coated steel bullets. also attacked a house arrested owner’s son.

    The Israeli army invades a village near Ramallah and kidnaps five civilians (Monday June 23, 2008 13:19) forced families out: children, too

    Hamas: if Israel violates any of the truce terms, the movement will not recognize the deal (Monday June 23, 2008 14:10) On Sunday the Israeli High Court of Justice ordered the Israeli government to keep border crossings to the Gaza Strip closed until noon today.

    Soldiers kill 2 Palestinians in Nablus (Tuesday June 24, 2008 09:12) some of the bullets penetrated their heads vertically.

    The Deputy Mustafa Barguti: The Assassinations in Nablus Aim to Demolish the Truce (June 24, 2008 13:01)

    The Israeli army invades village near Bethlehem, kidnaps a civilian (Tuesday June 24, 2008 15:33)

    The Israeli army invades Yatta village near Hebron and kidnaps one civilian (Tuesday June 24, 2008 17:11)

  60. 60 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 23:15

    @ Julie P

    Are you being serious? Say if they had a rule that all blacks from Africa had to start 20 minutes later, and all agree, it wouldn’t be discrimination? Or if everyone had an agreement that blacks have to sit at the back of the bus, no discrimination?

  61. 61 Luz María from Mexico
    June 26, 2008 at 23:18


    “A swift shot to the throat or temple/vital areas will kill you, barehanded. It takes seconds to look up where to hit someone on the internet. A machete is insanely easy to kill someone with, also.”

    I don´t think an average person could kill someone like this without having to fight with him/her (unless is a small child). Even with a machete, because they can run from the assailant. Even if they look at the internet for instructions, it takes training to kill like that. There are more chances to kill someone with a gun, even if they are running from the shots.

    My cousin was stabbed two weeks ago. He was assaulted by three guys. He put in a fight. He was stabbed in the stomach, back and chest several times. He is still alive. He is in a very delicate state, but we are hopeful he is going to survive this. If instead of knifes his assailants had guns, I don´t think I would be telling you this story. Probably he would be dead.

  62. 62 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 23:20

    A major think that people are missing, is that police are reactive. They respond after a crime happens. We also don’t have cops on every street corner. Whenever the police try to get proactive, then they get accused of racial profiling or targetting black neighborhoods. Do you remember when Guiliani “cleaned up” NY? He was met with screaming complains, allegations of police racism, etc. Now NYC is the safest large city in the US. However, I think handguns are pretty much banned, there are some exceptions, but they are VERY diffiucult to get legally, but apparently not so difficult to get illegally.

  63. 63 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 23:23

    @ Luz

    One of my best friends from high school’s uncle owns a gas station in Maryland, and was working one night, and someone robbed the gas station and he got shot 8 times, and fortunately survived.

  64. 64 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 23:23

    For the record, I don’t believe in owning a handgun. A 12 gauge with buck shot is MUCH MORE effective.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  65. 65 Julie P
    June 26, 2008 at 23:24


    The race was set up for to create a level playing field. Read the article. A level playing field is so that the race would be fair for all those involved. If a person choses to enter into a race that was designed like that, then it is not discrimination. They entered by choice knowing the rules.

  66. 66 Shirley
    June 26, 2008 at 23:27

    At least one of these stories explains that Islamic Jihad launched rockets in response to Israeli military violence in the West Bank.

    Israeli army wounds an elderly Palestinian in southern Gaza (Wednesday June 25, 2008 10:12)

    Israel decides to seal off Gaza’s crossings in response to homemade shells fire (Wednesday June 25, 2008 10:28)

    The Saraya al-Quds brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, claimed responsibility for the homemade shells fired, saying it was in response to the Israeli army’s assassination of one of the group’s leaders in the West Bank on Tuesday morning. The Islamic Jihad did not sign the truce deal but said it would honor the agreement. Also, the group has its own reservations about the deal, saying it is ‘vague’ and does not include the West Bank. In a statement faxed to the press, the ruling Hamas party in Gaza called on all Palestinian factions to help make the truce hold as it is in the best interests of the Palestinians.

    4 Palestinians injured one kidnapped during separate Israeli attacks in Hebron and nearby villages (Wednesday June 25, 2008 12:15)

    15 Palestinians Wounded in an Israeli Attack on a Peaceful Demonstration (Wednesday June 25, 2008 12:19)

    included unarmed Israeli and international peace activists, tear gas and rubber–coated steel bullets, several homes in the village damaged when soldiers followed protesters into village & opened fire.

    Soldiers attack the Tulkarem area and kidnap seven civilians (Wednesday June 25, 2008 12:34)

    Israeli troops kidnap a civilian from Hebron (Wednesday June 25, 2008 13:39) also kidnapped his brother, took him to unknown destination.

    Gaza man dies after the army didn’t allow him to leave the Strip for medical care (Thursday June 26, 2008 13:42) Medical sources said that Adnan Aloush, 55, had cancer and he needed life saving medical care outside Gaza… Aloush is the 197th patient who has died since June 2007 in Gaza because the Israeli army refused to allow them access to medical care outside the coastal region.

    The Israeli army invades Nablus and nearby refugee camp, two civilians kidnapped (Thursday June 26, 2008 13:47)

  67. 67 portlandmike
    June 26, 2008 at 23:27

    @ Steve

    How about men vs women in basketball, or boxing, or fencing?

    Also, many women were caught by the lead male runners, and so were like the “rabbit” for the greyhounds, and encouraged them to catch and pass them.

  68. 68 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 23:28

    @ Julie

    How is it fair for everyone if all of the males had to wait 20 minutes to start the race after the women began? Your argument is like saying that if a black person goes into a bank for a loan, and agrees to a higher interest payment than a white person, so long as they are aware and agree, then it’s not discrimination. They took the loan by choice, knowing the rules.

  69. 69 Luz María from Mexico
    June 26, 2008 at 23:29

    About L.A. marathon:

    I don`t believe in “level the field” for women. I am a feminist -and very proud of it-, but I think women don`t need to be given advantages like this. It only nurtures the idea that women are less capable than men, so they need “special treatment”. I think there are women than are very capable of winning marathons without a “head start”. It is not about gender, it is about the more qualified contestant.

  70. 70 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 23:31

    @ Portlandmike

    Dunno what you are suggesting. Are you suggesting in the Olympics perhaps that male teams should be able to play female teams say if the women are given a 30 point head start? So much for equality!

    In boxing, the male has to box with one arm tied behind his back? If this is to promote equality, then all should start at the same time. There’s no reason to give a head start if you believe in equality. Why not make all the Kenyans start 20 minutes behind?

  71. 71 Luz María from Mexico
    June 26, 2008 at 23:31


    Your friend´s uncle is a lucky guy 🙂

  72. 72 Luz María from Mexico
    June 26, 2008 at 23:32


    Completely agree with your point about equality.

  73. 73 Anthony
    June 26, 2008 at 23:33

    @ Robert

    If you’re gonna go that route, then I think you have to take into consideration the time that you have the firearm. I think you’re better off owning a gun your whole life than eating fast food or smoking your whole life.

    Also, you can’t have an independence or civil war without civilian guns. What side were you on?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  74. 74 Julie P
    June 26, 2008 at 23:33


    Your argument is not with me. It is with the people who set up the race. Evidently, they felt there was a need to give the women a twenty minute head start to create a level playing field. Everyone joined knowing the rules. They agreed to the rules that women need a twenty head start for a level playing field. The very fact that there was a rule like for the marathon is sexist toward women. There was an assupmtion that for a woman to have a level playing field with a man, she would need a twenty minute head start. That’s sexist, yet everyone agreed, thus no discrimination or sexism for snyone.

  75. 75 Will Rhodes
    June 26, 2008 at 23:33

    I give up – I only pray with all my heart that there isn’t another bloodbath due to the US lax gun control, but I won’t hold my breath. I just hope upon hope that you are not involved in that bloodbath.

    Equating Cuban cigars to smuggled guns really does say much more about the logic that the pro-gun lobby stands for than anything else.

  76. 76 Will Rhodes
    June 26, 2008 at 23:35

    @ Luz María

    I don`t believe in “level the field” for women. I am a feminist -and very proud of it-, but I think women don`t need to be given advantages like this. It only nurtures the idea that women are less capable than men, so they need “special treatment”.


  77. June 26, 2008 at 23:36

    Can anybody find me a study or experiment of how many people get shot if a control group where there is no guns?

  78. 78 Tino
    June 26, 2008 at 23:37


    Maybe the average person cannot do those things, but the person with a desire to kill sure can. Spearfinger strike (open hand, hit with tips of fingers) to the throat will most likely collapse a windpipe and kill you. Any engineer can even figure out ways based on pressure/force to kill fairly easily also.

    As Steve said, plenty of people get shot and survive as well. A kill is a kill is a kill in my book, done with whatever the results are the same. Deaths are not the issue here – as was pointed out plenty of times, cars outstrip guns for deaths – it is simply people not liking guns and wanting others to feel the same.

  79. 79 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 23:38

    @ Julie P

    I disagree. There was discrimination. If they had all started at the same time, the man from Kenyan would have won. Because he has a penis, he had to start 20 minutes later, and hence didn’t finish first. Because he agreed didn’t make him any less discriminated against. The head start was the reason he didn’t finish first. Because you agree to something doesn’t make it any less discriminatory.

    Imagine this was work, and all coworkers got together, and agreed that women will make 75% as much as men do. The women agreed as well. Are you still saying that it’s not discrimination because they agreed? They are making less because they are not men.

  80. 80 Scott (M)
    June 26, 2008 at 23:39

    At: Anthony sort of,

    Oh no I never have sex. What’s that anyway. It sounds, um, dirty. Gee I ain’t having it with kids though. Kids sure can get killed with guns though. And who protects them? Speaking of kids, I was assaulted when I was 16 by an adult with a gun. Did I have one to protect myself no. No, I did not, but I could certainly be the recipient of gun violence. Guns ensure the defenseless are more so.

  81. 81 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 23:41

    @ Dwight

    You make the assumption the only way to get killed is with a gun.


    You could ask that question about anything. How many drunk driving fatalities would there be if cars were banned? How many stabbings would there be if knives were gone?

  82. 82 portlandmike
    June 26, 2008 at 23:43

    @ steve

    Women can’t run as fast as men, no matter what the distance. They can not compete at the top levels. But if we let the women start 20 minutes early it is possible for the best woman to beat the best man.

    men’s best time 2:04:26
    women’s best time 2:15:25

  83. June 26, 2008 at 23:44

    In system design, you often start by setting up the perfect situation to achieve the goal you are driving at. So if the goal is 0 shooting, how do you achieve that? Then you try to create as close to that environment as possible.

    I would also wonder if anybody has statistics about gun violence in Amish communities. Also how often the get computer viruses.

  84. 84 Count Iblis
    June 26, 2008 at 23:44


    We have the right to maintain a regulated Militia and have firearms, and why is this? To protect ourselves from not only other citizens, or other countries, but from our own government if need be.

    If the Militia is to defend a State against the US government, then they need to be equipped with SAMs and roadside bombs 🙂

  85. 85 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 23:45

    @ Portlandmike

    I bet you there are MANY women that would kick my butt in a marathon. I assure you, there are women that can run faster than me. How is this giving them a head start any different than laws requiring certain % of females to be on the board of corporations like in some european countries? And do you really “beat” someone when you finish first, but took you a longer time to do it? Is this really like grammar school where we don’t want the losing team to get their feelings hurt, so the teacher says, “Everyone wins!”. These are grownups, not children. Treat them as such.

  86. 86 Venessa
    June 26, 2008 at 23:48

    I agree with Luz María from Mexico. I’m annoyed that the rule was even made for that marathon. If women want to compete with men in physical activities then they should play by the same rules.

    I have a friend that is a fire fighter in Salt Lake. She absolutely did pass her tests and in a lot of cases did much better than the guys. She happens to be very blessed with strength and athletic abilities most women don’t have. It still doesn’t make it right that when women do a job like fire fighting that they get to have a gimme because of physical inferiority. I have no problem with the fact that I am not as physically capable in some ways as a man, but if I choose to compete with a man for whatever reason I think it should be on the same terms.

  87. 87 Robert
    June 26, 2008 at 23:49

    I’m not Angolan and moved here a few years after the fighting stopped. What I was saying with the guns here though is that they are much more freely available than in the states and proberbly used as frequently In crime (a friend was held up just last weekend) yet no member of the genral law abiding public considers carry a gun for self defernce in case they are held at gun point. The risks of the situation esculating are justto high

  88. 88 Scott (M)
    June 26, 2008 at 23:52

    Women are certainly not less capable then men, but they are physically different. This is not up for dispute. We SHOULD dispute people who use it to indicate or imply something more then it’s matter-of-fact-ness. However, we should not hide this fact for the sake of not wishing to call attention to differences.

    Everyone should start at the same time and there should be two winners, one of each sex. The twenty minutes is too arbitrary to deserve its fifteen minutes of fame.

  89. 89 Venessa
    June 26, 2008 at 23:55

    On guns:

    Those of you that are vehemently against them can you tell me how they could possibly be eradicated? I just think it’s a ridiculous notion that it could be done.

    I’m still on the fence. It won’t hurt my feelings if they are banned but I still don’t see why they should be. There are just as many things out there that kill more people each year than guns. I agree they are deadly in the hands of the wrong person but good luck prying them from their grip when they are outlawed.

  90. 90 portlandmike
    June 26, 2008 at 23:57

    It’s a good story… http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/sports/othersports/03run.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin,

    Official of the race chose the 20 minute differential hoping to make an exciting finish.

    Aryasova finished in 2 hours 29 minutes 9 seconds.

    Laban Moiben of Kenya won the men’s division in 2:13:50.

    They each received $20,000 and a car for winning their divisions.

    Aryasova took home the $100,000 bucks. 25,000 people participated.

  91. 91 Roberto
    June 27, 2008 at 00:05

    If you are the person holding to a gun for self defense I would advise against it. Unless you have your gun in hand, loaded and in a shooting position before your assailant has HIS gun ready you are likely to get shot. If you have anything that LOOKS like a gun in your hand the police in the US will shoot first and ask questions later.

    ** This is true to a point.

    The Supremes ruled correctly finally. The constitution is clear because back in the day the militias were the people, and they still are today. Without citizen participation in law enforcement, the police force in the US would be swamped and US national guard would be forced into permanant domestic action..

    Still, too many only want the right without the responsibility.

    I traveled once with a handgun in my glove compartment to the Mexican border as is my legal right, but I didn’t feel comfortable. My grandpa wore a pistol at his Texas hotel, just in case, and never used it. The show was enough. I couldn’t even show.

    It’s different now. If I get stopped, a good chance my pistola gets confiscated, then you got to jump through hoops in a far away jurisdiction to get it back. It becomes a defacto illegal fine issued by authorities.

    Then you have the growth of the civil lawsuit profession. A man and his wife were accosted in my town a few years back at his truck by a knife wielding mugger. The guy was licensed to carry a firearm, pulled out his pistol, and chased the fleeing mugger down, shootin him several times in the ensuing struggle including some back shots.

    He was tried in court and also sued by the man’s family. He only barely got everything dismissed when it was revealed that the man had a serial record of criminality and violence. Still, it cost a law abiding citizen a small fortune in lawyers fees for one moment forced upon him when he may have exercised specious judgement.

    I understand police concerns about gun violence and they make good points when they ain’t shooting their foots off about denying law abiding citizens. People can’t rely on police for everything and almost nothing in a moment of crisis. The police have their guns for protection, yet too often want to deny the law abiding citizen his weapon.

    I have no fear of law abiding citizens in general. It’s a shame that the low rent districts are allowed to wallow in drug, gun, and human trafficking crime. This is a failure of voting citizens not holding their legislators and police to higher standards. This is where the majority of gun violence occurs in the US. There are many honorable citizens living in those areas victimized by criminals just because they are too poor to move away.

  92. 92 Dennis
    June 27, 2008 at 00:08

    Hi Mike (and Bob)….

    Bob, please forgive me…in my earlier note to the desk…I was typing on the quick….

    Gun ban lifted by the Supreme Court in the United States, a very dumb and potentially life-threatening threat to the safety and security of the United States of America.

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  93. 93 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 00:08

    @ Roberto

    Uh, he chased a fleeing felon and was shooting at him? I would have prosecuted him for attempted murder! You cannot do that! Once you are out of danger for your safety or life (ie when the person flees) you cannot shoot them! Perhaps in Texas, but wow. That’s just wrong. I didn’t realize there was the death penalty for mugging where you live.

  94. 94 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 00:10

    @ Vanessa

    That’s my point. Banning guns will not get rid of the gun problem, because they would still be out there. Say today, if the 2nd amendment were repealed, only law abiding people would turn them in. Meaning there would be very many illegal guns out there. The only way to get rid of them would be to suspend the constitution, search everyone’s car, home, yard, at random times, without warning, so people cannot hide guns. The police would have to be able to barge in, without warning, in order to get every single gun. Would you stand for that?

  95. 95 Virginia Davis
    June 27, 2008 at 00:16

    Hello PortlandMike;

    Here is an article about a retired general, a woman whose last name is Kennedy and who beat sexual harassment so is a feminist hero. She is on Obama’s short list for VP.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve ralls/a-VP-pick-we-can-all-believe b 108360.html.
    Hope people can find the article if they are interested. Came from an Obama precinct captain in Texas. The O Internet system very interesting.

    All the gun or no gun discussion. Whew. I don’t care, either way. Wouldn’t have one myself; don’t care if other people do.

    And agree with those who can’t see a 20 minute head start for the female of the LA runner species.

    Anyone see that England is going for “Affirmative Action” big time? Harriet Harmen and an “Equalities” piece of legislation. Preference for women, no age discrimination and ethnic, as well. (online BBC)

    Virginia in Oregon

  96. 96 Venessa
    June 27, 2008 at 00:16

    Steve ~

    “Meaning there would be very many illegal guns out there. The only way to get rid of them would be to suspend the constitution, search everyone’s car, home, yard, at random times, without warning, so people cannot hide guns. The police would have to be able to barge in, without warning, in order to get every single gun. Would you stand for that?”

    Hell no I wouldn’t stand for that and I agree with you completely. I was just seeing if someone else can make and arguement against exactly what your are saying above.

    Well I’m off to class. I look forward to catching up on the blog when I get back in a few hours.


  97. 97 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 00:25

    Interesting, Lawmakers are vowing to make unconstitutional laws. I think they should be impeached.


  98. 98 Julie P
    June 27, 2008 at 00:43


    There was discrimination against the women because it was believed that the only way a woman could compete against a man was to give the men a handicap. All because the women have a vagina. That’s discrimination.

  99. 99 Luz María from Mexico
    June 27, 2008 at 00:45

    Thanks for the note about the Equalities Bill. Very interesting topic. I am looking forward to know how are they going to effectively tackle the issue of gender wage gap.

  100. 100 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 00:48

    @ Julie P

    That’s pretty much the thinking that is behind affirmative action policies.

  101. 101 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 00:56


    Apparently someone has never heard of condoms before.

  102. June 27, 2008 at 01:00

    100 comments already, two days in a row with new mods and two days in a row the talking points page gets over 100 comments. Not a bad stat!

  103. 103 Julie P
    June 27, 2008 at 01:00


    Judging from what I have read from your postings you and I are not old enough to remember or know about when job postings were put out that the job description that women need not apply. I’ve had friends of mine tell me about the day, both female and male. At one time there probably was a need. Times have changed since then. However, I noticed how when I went for a job after I graduated from college four years ago some companies did try to career track me based on my gender. Whenever it was suggested to me during an interview that I may be happier as a receptionist or an admin I always countered the interviewer with the question, do you say that to men? It was alway met with dead silence. Now about the job I came in here to interview for… I went on to work at an international software firm where I am not a receptionist or an admin. Trust me, it still goes on, but now there are laws to protect people from overt discrimination.

  104. 104 Roberto
    June 27, 2008 at 01:03

    Uh, he chased a fleeing felon and was shooting at him? I would have prosecuted him for attempted murder!

    —– I believe the case came down to the fact that the citizen attempted to place him under citizen’s arrest which is legal under certain circumstance. Like I stated, there was a struggle.

    What do you say about this situation? I was in a park with a good friend engaged in some sporting competition across from the main hospital in the community.

    I heard some yelling and saw that a fella 100 yrds away across the creek and between the hospital was jumping up and down and pointing. I followed his direction and quickly surmised he had just been mugged of his valubles in broad daylight by a rapidly retreating mugger who had almost 200 yrds on me.

    I was pretty fast back in those days, and did consider chasing him down, but I didn’t know for sure what had transpired in the moment, not to mention that the guy had a huge lead and was reaching some cover. I also had no clue as to whether he was armed or not.

    Is it a crime for a law abiding citizen to subdue a criminal? Keep in mind this happens routinely all over the world when the criminal may fail to subdue the citizen.

    I’ll give you another scenario. During the Christman holidays many moons ago, I picked up a friend’s wife who could not drive to take her down to the ATM to withdraw money so she could buy him a Christmas present at the mall.

    Unfortunately at the ATM, by the worst misfortune possible, a man who had been stalking her walked by and saw her. He ran up to my truck spouting nonsense and jumped in the back of my truck when I had to wait on rush hour traffic to clear.

    So, here he is in the back of my truck, beating on the back window and screaming like a banshi. I know that I can easily jerk the jerk out of my truck, but don’t want him to get run over. Just so happens we come by the county courthouse where I pull in figuring this is as ideal a place as any.

    He hops out of my truck as I do and I meet him at the passenger door he is attempting to enter and move him away from my friend’s wife. I’m aware the altercation may be attracting attention of any law enforcement at the courthouse and I’m struggling to suppress any instinct to fight, just looking for some intervention. Should I be penalized for assault if my social mechanisms are overcome by this obvious threat and deck him? Maybe putting him in the hospital with a broken jaw or crushed windpipe?

    When you live in a nice neighborhood, never subject to life threatening situations, it’s way too easy to pass the sniffling judgements on others. I did not know if the guy had a knife or gun, and could just as easily not be here to tell the story if he had.

    It all turned out well as a couple of detectives nearby came over and arrested him since he had started an assault on me at this point. I pressed charges since the young lady was too scared to do so, and the guy got off with a restraining order and a few months probabation in spite of coming to the attention of the court for previous incidences.

    Self defense is a natural right and I really resent the weak legal climate that allows these guys to get away with this kind of stuff. I hold the majority citizen responsible as much as I do these criminals.

  105. June 27, 2008 at 01:18

    Luz María Guzmán from Mexico:

    A federal police commander has been shot dead in Mexico City, the latest in a long line of law enforcement personnel murdered in recent weeks.

    It is likely that he was targeted by drug cartels who are battling the authorities over a clamp down on their drug smuggling operations.

    Igor Labastida was eating lunch in a restaurant when he was killed.

    Eyewitnesses say two people got out of a car, went into the restaurant and opened fire on him and his escorts.

    Mr Labastida, who headed the anti-trafficking and contraband division of the Mexican federal police force, died along with a body guard.

    Around 400 law enforcement officers have now been killed in Mexico so far this year.


    I’ve seen you mention before that your husband is a police officer. You must worry about his safety a lot nowadays with the poor drugs situation in Mexico? In your view, is it key to get these drug dealers and cartels off the streets regardless of how many officers are lost in the line of duty, or is it more important to ensure the safety of Mexico’s policemen?

  106. 106 Shirley
    June 27, 2008 at 01:25

    Dwight, I thoroghly enjoyed your proposal for a study with a room full of people without guns.

    I don’t understand why there is so much discussion about guns on WHYS whenever the topic lands in the news. Is it because of our demographics? Wha would happen if Zimbabwe were to ban guns? More topics in thsoe threads? I’m only asking out of curiosity. I’ve had enough Zibabwe discussions on WHYs these past few days to keep me happy, though here’s hoping that it is also covered tomorrow.

    @ Mod – If you haven’t seen a couple of posts yet from me with a bunch of links about Palestine in the news, please check the spam. The links might have triggered the filter. I went searching because it landed near the bottom of the Yahoo World News page and intrgued me. On first read, it appeared that Palestinians had broken another cease-fire. But then I went over to the Indpendent Middle East Media Center just to see their take on it, and it was eye-opening.

  107. 107 Julie P
    June 27, 2008 at 01:26

    After seeing this video online, I’m going vegetarian. I am glad that I eat very little red meat. I’m appalled at the treatment of these cows.


  108. 108 Luz María from Mexico
    June 27, 2008 at 01:36

    @Julie P

    You can find -any day- at my country those kind of job posting. Many of them say “men only” or “not for married women” When I went to my first job interview 10 years ago -eventough I was single- my former employer asked me if I had a boyfriend. I asked him, “why do you ask that?” And he reply: “Because if you have a boyfriend the posibilities that you get married soon are greater. I am not going to employ you if you are could get marry soon”

    Well, now I am married with children. Also I had a master degree and a good working experience. Tomorrow I am going to a job interview. It is a temporary job to cover a maternity leave. My friend -who is the one pregnant- told me that one of the interviewers has issues with working mothers. He states that women with children don´t have the same availability than men or single childless women. Well, I finished my master degree when my daughters were 4 years old and 2 months old respectively. If I could work that out… I hope he gets my point.

  109. 109 Tino
    June 27, 2008 at 01:48

    “Uh, he chased a fleeing felon and was shooting at him? I would have prosecuted him for attempted murder! You cannot do that! Once you are out of danger for your safety or life (ie when the person flees) you cannot shoot them! Perhaps in Texas, but wow. That’s just wrong. I didn’t realize there was the death penalty for mugging where you live.”

    First of all, the police can do it thus he should be able to as well. No one should be able to commit a crime, then decide all of a sudden when the odds are against him that he can just run with immunity. He should be shot, in the legs, and arrested.


    “When deadly force is used by a private citizen, the reasonableness rule does not apply. The citizen must be able to prove that a felony occurred or was being attempted, and that the felony threatened death or bodily harm. Mere suspicion of a felony is considered an insufficient ground for a private citizen to use deadly force.”

    I mean the guy would clearly go on to do this again if not stopped. Why should law-abiding citizens be put at risk for a criminals rights when they obviously violate the rights of others?

    “Self defense is a natural right and I really resent the weak legal climate that allows these guys to get away with this kind of stuff. I hold the majority citizen responsible as much as I do these criminals.”


  110. 110 Julie P
    June 27, 2008 at 01:49


    I do the best I can to lead a life that will leave other women in a better world than the one I was born into. I knew I did not want to work at any of the businesses where women were being career tracked into dead end jobs. I knew I wouldn’t be treated fairly as a woman, even single and childless by choice. I would not accept a job at a business like that, even with a public apology. I figure living well is the best revenge.

  111. 111 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 01:53

    @ Julie P

    There are some rules/laws that give women an advantage. Ie, have you ever seen any male Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall? Nope, they all are female, and no male will ever be hired for that job. It’s called a bona fide occupational qualification. The same reason why you’ll probably n ever see any male waiters are Hooters. At my law school, there was a scandal. For some reason, one year, only the most attractive female students were getting interviews, regardless of their class rank. Usually interviews are based upon your grade, class rank, and law review, but some of these females were at the bottom of the class, yet got interviews at firms that stated they required you to be in the top 15% of the class or be on law review, while people on law review or the top 15% didn’t get the interview. How did that happen? The law firms got their hands on the picturebook of the class and basically invited all the most attractive women for interviews. After complaints from men and less attractive women, my law school changed it’s policies and stopped giving the picturebook to lawfirms that interview on campus. The next recruiting season, things returned to normal.

  112. 112 Julie P
    June 27, 2008 at 01:56


    It’s been proven “prettier people” get better paying jobs amongst a whole host of things.

  113. 113 Luz María from Mexico
    June 27, 2008 at 02:04


    Luckily, my husband is not a police officer. He works for the local police as a researcher -desk job- in an anti-crime/intelligence unit. However, one of his best friends, who was the head of the local office that investigates drug trafficking, was shot to death in front of his daughter at a park in front of a Church. The gunmen were local drug dealers. So the issue hits close to home.

    My opinion is that the Mexican government should put more effort in getting those who are at the top of the drug industry: the white collar criminals who launder money and benefit from drug sales. Fat chance!

    As Leonard Cohen put it: “Everybody knows the war is lost, everybody knows the good guys lost.”

    We are a developing country, with hungry people willing to do whatever it takes to feed their children, living next to one of the top drug consumer countries on earth. Drug trafficking and drug-related crimes are not going to disappear. I think the only chance is legalizing drugs.

  114. 114 Luz María from Mexico
    June 27, 2008 at 02:19

    @Julie P

    Good for you!

    I try to do the same. I quit that first job after 3 months; my boss was sexist and misogynist. I was 20 years old, so I learned my lesson early in life.

    However, it is not easy; I have to put an extra effort to prove my employers that the fact that I have children does not interfere with my job performance. Here in Mexico we are ages behind other countries in that respect. I am expected to be a housewife for the rest of my life (there is nothing wrong with being a housewife, if it is by choice not by imposition of others).

    I want my daughters to be in a better place than me. That is my motivation to go on and don’t give up. 🙂

  115. 115 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 02:53

    Morning from a very sunny Australia!. This is just a quick message to let Mike know I’m here now if he has other things to be doing!

    (And sorry I’m a bit late–I’d love to have a good excuse but to be honest I just overslept then proceeded to spill my bedside water all over–including on my laptop–trying to get up quickly!)

  116. 116 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 02:59

    Until you have been in the situation where your home has been broken into and you have been assaulted you cannot adaquately comment on banning handguns.
    Without my .380 I would not be here today but my attacker would be lounging in a cell watching cable TV, eating gourmet dinners, being interviewed on MSNBC and having bleeding hearts call for his release.
    There are truly evil and despicable people in this world and the Framers of the Constitution understood that a gun in the hands of a citizen not only made the Government afraid of its citizens (as it should be) but that we have an basic human right to self defense.
    Of course foolish bleeding heart people will then say why doesn’t the 2nd amendment let us keep nuclear weapons in our homes and they soil themselves with such a foolish response.
    I am glad that I live in America where over 200 years ago enlightened men recognized what a civilized society needs in order to prosper. A “civilized Europe” with no 2nd amendment caused 2 world wars murdering a total of over 650 million people. Perhaps if those Governments had a 2nd Amendment and were afraid of their people rather than the other way around there would have been no such mass murder.

  117. 117 Julie P
    June 27, 2008 at 03:04


    Now that I’ve finished my late dinner I can reply.

    I worked for one man who was the same way. At the time I was a witness for the state in a criminal trial. I brought three felony charges on a man concerning a very female type of crime. I needed to make court appearances and meet with the District Attorney several times, which mad him mad as I needed to miss work and it inconvenienced him. I was at one hearing that was running late and made impossible for me to return to work. I was ordered into work, never mind I was under subpoena. I got really ugly after that. I got EXACTLY what I wanted from the company I worked for.

    I’ve worked at businesses in the past with Brazilians. It took some time to get some of the men up to speed. For a while I had a male Brazilian boss. He was a great guy. We got along very well. As he assimilated into American society I would hear him brag about how I helped him with learning to speak and write in English, plus all of the socialization I did with him and his wife.

    There is nothing wrong with being a housewife. It is an honorable profession. If that is what a woman wants to do and that is what is agreed to in a committed marriage, fine by me.

    Fight the good fight.

  118. 118 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 03:29

    Wow! Lot’s of good discussion to catch up on today. A couple of things spring to mind:

    First off, on the marathon, I think there is a crucial point being missed here: if the LA marathon is like any other in the world, the women are not racing against the men. There is a ladies’ race and a men’s race. The starts are staggered in an attempt to bring the winners of each separate race across the finish line somewhere near the same time but the women are racing against women and men against men (and all of them against the clock). In the London marathon, the wheelchair racers (the fastest of the lot) have yet another completely seperate start as do the “fun runners” who are held back to avoid them getting in the way of the serious contenders. I don’t see the problem.

    Regarding US gun control, I think we’ve heard from both sides of this issue–and these sides are about as far apart as they can get. However, taking a more broad view, I wonder if any of the Americans online can explain why the “right to bear arms” is seen as such a fundamental liberty in a democratic country? I can’t think of any other westernised country with a few restrictions on gun ownership and yet we all seem to manage to vote out corrupt governments and walk the streets (usually) without being shot. Is bearing arms a necessary protection or an historical anachronism which is now almost impossible to change? Do you feel safer or less safe knowing there are so many guns around?

    (An aside for Steve: you mention 500 killings in Washington in 1992 when the population was 600,000. The total number of killings in all of the UK in the last year I could find–2006–was 895 for a population of 65 million. In rough terms, the per capita chance of being murdered in the US is ten times that of the UK and 4.5 times that in Canada. Guns are a big part of the issue, but the USA must have be generally just a more violent society. Anyone feel up to discussing this?)

    Finally, just to “nail my colours to the mast”, although I don’t agree with the lack of gun control in the USA, I’m not “anti gun”. In my youth, I was on the Boy Sprout shooting team and competed at provincial level–I even won silver once! In the UK I owned a couple of legal air weapons (rifle and pistol) which I used for target shooting. However, I never felt the need to think of any of these weapons as a method of defence–in fact I kept them all well locked away to prevent any “spur of the moment” use.

  119. 119 Julie P
    June 27, 2008 at 03:46


    I am not a gun enthusiast, but I am not anti-gun either. I am neutral as I have come to accept that guns are a part of our culture. I can answer some of your questions. I do not feel any less safe or safer with guns around. I am a non gun owner and have done just fine without them. There are parts of Atlanta that I will not go into as I believe there drug and crime infested with a propensity for a lot of gun crime. I quit watching the local news because of this. In one night the local news report five guns deaths, all drug related. I rarely see guns. The times I do see them a police officer is always attached to it. So much going about in public. I feel perfectly safe where I walk. As for self protection I learned the hard way that I do not need a gun to protect myself and I was quite glad I did not have one around at the time as my own gun could have been used against me. I did have someone break into my apartment once while I was at home sound asleep. I had no way of knowing how the person was in my apartment. When the police got there I was lectured about this, but only because of the chef knives I had out. I doubt very much there ever be gun control here because of the Second Amendment. The first ten Amendments are highly venerated. Because of this guns are here, like it or not.

  120. 120 Roberto
    June 27, 2008 at 04:19

    I wonder if any of the Americans online can explain why the “right to bear arms” is seen as such a fundamental liberty in a democratic country?

    —– I can’t speak for other democratic countries, but the right to bear arms is in the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution after the 1st amendment right of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, religion, and petition.

    The press as the defacto 4th branch of government after the Executive, Congressional, and Judicial branches typically throws out a kneejerk support for free speech and free press as might be expected to protect their business model, but is considerably less vociferious protecting the 2nd amendment which relies on the NRA, ie gun lobby.

    I doubt more than 5% of Americans walk around armed at any rate, but there are some areas of the country it might not be a bad idea to pack a pistol in. Doubt you will see many WHYS contributors in those areas.

    I have no solid explanation for the high rates of violence and crime in the US other than to speculate it has to do with a violent history to establish the country, an unresolved massive civil war, and the mixing of all the different tribes and cultures from around the world in a disingenuous political climate of glad handing politicians and businesses selling the dream.

    Of course, this a bit cynical. Like I say, most Americans not armed and shooting each other up, but the rate of incidences disturbing, nonetheless.

  121. 121 Dennis
    June 27, 2008 at 04:40

    I was going to mentioned that we are have over 100 messages on TP….

    Zimbabwe: We all know what is the results of the elections will be…What is the world going to next?


    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  122. 122 Dennis
    June 27, 2008 at 04:42

    Hi Bob in Queensland:

    It is nice to see around moderating…..

    [sorry for saying HI in my June 26, 2008 at 7:39 pm BULLETIN]…I was doing some chores…..

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  123. 123 Venessa
    June 27, 2008 at 05:10

    Roberto ~

    “I have no solid explanation for the high rates of violence and crime in the US other than to speculate it has to do with a violent history to establish the country, an unresolved massive civil war, and the mixing of all the different tribes and cultures from around the world in a disingenuous political climate of glad handing politicians and businesses selling the dream. ”

    I agree completely with this assertion. There are a lot of excellent points being made but I still can’t get over the fact that no matter what people may want they will never be outlawed. It’s exactly as Julie P said “guns are here, like it or not.” Some inventions of man cannot be undone.

  124. 124 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 05:25

    G’day Dwight!

    Yeah, I’ve been thinking a bit about Zimbabwe as well. I guess the polls open in a few hours and, besides your “what comes next” questions I’m also wondering how many people might be killed and injured today as they’re “encouraged” to come out and vote for ZANU.

    My thoughts are with all these poor souls.

  125. 125 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 05:31

    Hi Venessa,

    I’m having a similar discussion with an American friend in a private Live Journal. Her assertion is much like yours–she says “the gun genie is out of the bottle and can never be put back in”. Whatever my private opinions, I suspect this is true.

    However, do you think there is room for any minor tinkering to try and reduce the large number of accidental or “heat of the moment” shootings? I’m thinking of things like rules requiring guns at home to be under lock and key with the weapon and ammunition being kept well apart for example. Would such ideas have any “legs” or would even that be seen as too much of an assault on personal liberty?

  126. 126 Tino
    June 27, 2008 at 06:52

    “However, do you think there is room for any minor tinkering to try and reduce the large number of accidental or “heat of the moment” shootings? I’m thinking of things like rules requiring guns at home to be under lock and key with the weapon and ammunition being kept well apart for example. Would such ideas have any “legs” or would even that be seen as too much of an assault on personal liberty?”

    I think the only way to reduce accidental shootings is: A.) responsible parenting B.) Biometric guns or some other way of keeping the weapon bonded to one owner. Thus, a kid could not take his dad’s gun to school. A criminal could not use the weapon against you, etc. As far as keeping the ammo/weapon far away – to me, when I go back to FL and get my concealed carry permit and purchase my gun – it seems useless if it is not relatively close to being ready (so a lock and key seems ok but keeping the ammo far away seems to defeat the purpose of a home defense weapon). I live in Atlanta right now while I go to school, and we lived in the ghetto for a while (the real deal). We got broken into three times. If it has never happened to you I do not think you can understand how weird of a feeling that is. I will feel far better with a pistol nearby. I am already a decent shot and I have been raised with gun safety in mind.

    As far as heat of the moment goes, I do not see why a knife is any less deadly a weapon and one is ALWAYS on hand. If you are so off the deep end as to kill someone you love during a fight you will do it with whatever is nearby.

  127. 127 Bryan
    June 27, 2008 at 07:21

    Will Rhodes June 26, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    “I blogged about it Mike – but our beloved Steve feels it has no implication on Canada, even though most of the illegal guns in Canada are legally bought in the US.

    It was a sickening decision!”

    If guns are banned, only criminals will have guns. Why give the thugs more of an advantage than they already have over law-abiding citizens?

    A guy in South Africa fired a warning shot at two of the “disadvantaged” who broke into his home in the early hours of the morning. The shot ricochetedand killed one of them. When I last looked he was facing a murder charge for an act of self defence.

    Now that is truly sickening.

  128. 128 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 08:00

    @ Tino

    One thought that strikes me about your post–and quite of few by others before you–is how much I would hate to have to live in a place where I am so concerned for my personal safety that it becomes necessary to be armed for protection.

    I’ve felt that way on some of my business travels, in places like Rwanda, Somalia, Lebanon and so on but I’ve never had that sort of concern at home and am not sure if I could deal with that level of fear on an every day basis.

    @ Bryan

    That sort of law is more common in many countries than you might think. Certainly, in the UK the basis is that your reaction to a threat must be proportional to what is happening. If you have reason to fear for your life, then a lethal response is legal but such a response is not allowed simply to defend property from unarmed burglars. There was a much publicised case a few years back when a farmer fired a shotgun in the direction of two burglars who had attempted to break into his house. A sixteen year old burglar was killed and the farmer ended up in jail. The case caused a pretty major national debate but the principle of a response proportionate to the threat remains.

  129. 129 Robert
    June 27, 2008 at 08:25

    Re Discrimination.

    If the British labour party gets its way then it will be allowed by law to have a bias towards women and minorities.


    Although the sentament is well founded, this is the worst backwards step in equality we could possible take. If this goes through then the next woman or member of a minority empolyed by a company will always have the stigma of being empolyeed because of this stupid law.

  130. 130 Herbert Masaba
    June 27, 2008 at 08:34

    Hey this sort of law plays around with true Justice. Theres no way you can stand while your rights are being infringed upon. you got to fight for your rights!

  131. 131 Michael in Portland
    June 27, 2008 at 08:44

    Its ironic that the vast majority of guns that kill people in my country are not used to defend the owner from a criminal but someone known to the family. Its ironic that the very people who seek to own guns are the very people who should not be allowed to have guns.

    For some reason known only to God, we Americans have a history of demanding anything which is denied to us. Had King George only had this insight he could have kept the colonies simply by declaring them free terrorities.

    A great many people who place their faith in guns can find any number of reasons to justify their need to have one. Some actually believe some of their reasons.

    Unfortunately, this history and purpose of the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with individual ownership of a gun and more to do with state rights to maintain an army as a counterweight to a federal army. The fact that 4 out of 9 Justices understood this fact gives me hope of a more sane decision in the distant future.

    Let us not forget the majority of the Justices who supported the decision were appointed by a political party and President who opposed courts legislating social policy…..except social policies they support. It would be interesting to know how many people will lose their life because of this decision.

  132. June 27, 2008 at 08:57

    In a society like mine where we have lost all faith in the police, the job of ascertaining our security could be left in our hands.

  133. 133 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 09:15


    Good to see you again. Do you intend to respond to my speculation about what would have happened if Al Gore had won the election in 2000, or more precisely if he had assumed the presidency? You did a drive-by on the topic a couple of days ago, and I took uou up on it, and you vanished. The ball is now in your court.

  134. 134 Mark from kansas
    June 27, 2008 at 09:33

    The second amendment was established to ensure the American people could defend themselves from bad people and from things like what Mugabe is doing. I do not see the later situation happening anytime soon, but in the future you never know. If my great grandson needs to defend himself and his family from a situation like the one in Zimbabwai I would hope he could have the tools to defend his family, liberty, and property.

  135. June 27, 2008 at 09:43

    I believe all African nations have the same problems in common.It will be better if Africans concentrate on how peace and development issues could be managed rather than always criticisms its leaders as this has always provoke a scene of hatred for this leaders by citizens whom i believe will do same if given the opportunity to handle such positions.It is not easy as people think.More of improving the educational situation of most Africans at all standards and levels as this will go a long way to improve the morale for development.Africa needs more of development to reduce rates of emigrations.Thus more of developmental philosophy be preach by politicians rather than always criticizing their opponents as this seems more of selfish aims.

  136. 136 Mark from kansas
    June 27, 2008 at 09:46

    I have signs posted that inform people that I do not tolerate trespessing and that I will defend my property. I wave a mock alarm sticker the says “Protected by Smith and Wesson” I have never been robbed, although some of my neighbors have been robbed several times.

    In my state you can put down the threat of anyone who has forcably entered your home, but if they live you are liable for the damage. thank god for insurance.

  137. 137 Shirley
    June 27, 2008 at 11:00

    I used to have such a good laugh at those equal housing commercials in which the same guy whould call regarding the housing with varying accents, be told that nothing was available, and then finally call with a white-sounding voice to be told that the apartment was still available. The accents that the guy went through were hilarious. But if the need existed for such a commercial, then I think that the need still exists for laws to back up our rights.

  138. 138 Katharina in Ghent
    June 27, 2008 at 11:03

    Good morning, Priya!

    What came to my mind when I heard about North Korea was this: with the food prices being so high, they have to start to abide so that they can qualify for Food Aid. If I understood correctly, as long as North Korea is considered “evil”, there are big restrictions to what it can do and apply for.

    Generally speaking, I guess the US never liked North Korea because they are communist, keep saying crazy stuff and don’t allow any meddling with their internal affairs from the outside. All things that make them highly suspicious…at least to conspiracy theorists. I can’t judge whether any of the claims that NK supplied weapons to other countries or not, but maybe NK would like us to think that, so that we’re “scared”? NK is treating its people at least as badly as Zimbabwe does, only for an even longer time, yet nobody is ever discussing that. Has anybody ever heard of free elections there? Or enough food to last the winter? Electricity 24/7? But because we have to worry that they may have nukes, we Westerns are all nice and quiet about it.

  139. 139 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 11:21

    @ Bob in Queensland
    G’day Bob. The 2nd Amendment was put in place as a fundamental guarantee that Governments derive their power from the people and not the other way around.
    That exquisite document The Constitution of the United States grants specific rights and duties to the Federal Government with EVERYTHING else relegated to the States where people have the most say and influence.
    The right to keep and bear arms not only allows us to be secure in our homes (look elsewhere in the Constitution) but is part of a “dam system” that blocks and ever intrusive Federal Government from becoming a sort of dictatorship.
    Granted, it didn’t work too well with George W. Bush in power but that is aboout to change ad in that change is the power of the US Constitution.
    On a more practical level it give us the ability to protect our lives and property until proper authorities arrive. If we give up that ability for our safety we will by definition have to live in a police state where the police are everywhere.
    In other countries with strict gun laws murder rates of innocents are still high, only the means change.

  140. 140 Rick
    June 27, 2008 at 11:42

    What guns do is allow some skinny little dumb wierdo to brake out the ammo and gun down 30 or 40 people without having to confront and overpower a single one of them. With no access to guns the task would at least take some personal bravery and give the victims a chance to run.
    However my only real concern with less gun control is how to keep them inside the US and out of everywere else.

  141. 141 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 11:53

    @Michael in Portland
    “Let us not forget the majority of the Justices who supported the decision were appointed by a political party and President who opposed courts legislating social policy………”
    I am afraid that you simply do not understand the American system.
    The President and his Party did NOT “appoint the Supreme Court Justices…..they are NOMINATED and the Senate must approve them.
    Last I checked the Senate was controlled by the OPPOSITION Party.
    I think that in order to have any type of a fruitful discussion it is necessary to put away prejudices and dogma.

  142. 142 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 11:59

    Katharina in Ghent~~

    Re N. Korea, you don’t understand correctly. Specifically:

    Food aid is not predicated on the regime’s behavior.

    The US doesn’t “like North Korea” because the government deliberately starves millions of its citizens, and condemns those who live to totalitarian oppression, but mostly because it has been consistently aggressive toward its neighbors in word and in deed. A major war in the 1950s, assassination of South Korean government officials, kinapping of Japanese civilians, and on and on. Credible evidence suggests that its nuclear weapon technology is for sale, and that Syria bought it and installed it in a facility recently and elegantly destroyed by the Israeli air force. They have affirmed that their nuclear weapons research is just that, so that’s not in debate except perhaps for our own Zak, who might imagine as he does about the Iranian facilities that it’s a power station. It’s not likely that they would use nuclear weapons against South Korea, because its capital is rather close to the border for comfort.

    North Koreans risk death to escape to the relative oasis of freedom and prosperity in…. China. That sort of sums it up. One can hardly compare it to Zimbabwe, a mere authoritarian state. N. Korea is one of the world’s few remaining totalitarian states. That is, it controls every aspect of everyone’s life in every way, versus just arresting and killing political opponents.

    And the West has not by any means been “quiet about it.” I can’t imagine how you’ve missed the noise.

  143. 143 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 12:04

    Hi Priya,
    We all will miss Fuchsia but the good thing is that she’s not going too far from us. I know she will still be connected to us because we contribute to the News Hour Program as well.

    @ZK, the number is increasing because the debate is getting interesting by the day. It si bringing together peoples of diverse background to discuss issues that affect their day to day activities.

    @North Korea, Bush is finally coming to the realization that diplomacy is more effective and cause less in terms of finance than war, it causes no loss of human life and brings people closer together as oppose to war no matter slow it is. But how long will he do this for, he has just few more months as president. Or may be he wants to change his legacy from a president who wage war all over the place to a one who pretended to beleive in democracy.

  144. 144 Shirley
    June 27, 2008 at 12:05

    from an AP report on Yahoo News:
    Marshals led voters to polling stations Friday for an internationally discredited presidential runoff held in an atmosphere of intimidation. In the capital’s crowded Mbare suburb, lines built up at polling stations as voters arrived in groups, led by marshals who were carrying books filled with names. In one side street, names were being called and ticked off as a group of about 25 people gathered before heading to a tented polling station. Militant Mugabe supporters roamed the streets, singing revolutionary songs, heckling people and asking why they were not voting. Mugabe party militants plan to check for the ink staining voters’ fingers and those staying away face the threat of violence. (I selected and re-organised pieces of the article.)

  145. 145 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 12:10

    @ Mikeinportland

    You make it seem like the Supreme Court’s decision is irrational, despite it being a reasonable interpretation. Extremists on the left and right think there is only one reasonable interpretation. The people on the left think that it can only mean a state militia, while the right thinks it can only mean “the people” as in the individuals. In law school, we learn the definition of “ambiguous” by learning the 2nd amendment. Something is ambiguous when there are more than one reasonable interpretations of something. Both are reasonable interpretations. Yesterday, the court said it means that it applies to the individuals. Now it is settled law. The Constitution says what the court says it says. It’s a lot more arguable that the constitution says citizens have right to guns than it says that citizens have a right to an abortion. The Supreme court made that up out of thin air, while there is at least something about guns in the constitution. Can you admit this?

  146. 146 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 12:14

    @ Bob

    That 500 murder stat in DC was while handguns were banned dont forget! Other cities had more murders, I’m sure back then NYC would have over 1000 murdera year, but also has a population of 8 million. DC was the murder capital due to per capita murders. Not a very large city, but with a lot of murders. I recall hearing about murders every single day when I was in high school. I think any discussion of the issue would be politically incorrect.

  147. 147 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 12:20

    @ Rick

    Funny how you mention the exception, and not the main problem with guns: how often do we have shooting rampages? It’s too common, but it doesn’t happen on a daily basis like gang or drug related killings in inner city ghettos. In fact, if the US didn’t have such inner city, black on black homicides, usually involving guns, the US would have a very similar murder rate with european countries. Also, it doesn’t take having a gun to go on a rampage and kill lots of people. Do you remember the Japan attacks in early June? Someone killed 7 people with a knife.

  148. 148 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 12:34

    @ Dan

    In other countries with strict gun laws murder rates of innocents are still high, only the means change.

    That statement just doesn’t hold up. The per capita murder rate in the USA is many times what it is in any other equivalent country. For example, in 2005, the murder rate (by all methods) in the USA was 5.6 per 100,000. In the UK it was 1.4 per 100,000. Whether this is due to the prevalence of guns in the USA or other factors I don’t know–but guns certainly haven’t made the US a safer place to live.

    With regards to the rest of your post, I understand the reasoning behind the Second Amendment but what I’d like to understand is why the US alone seems to make this a major concern. I’m not arguing the rights and wrongs of it, just wondering what it is that has caused such a diversity of opinion between the US and most other countries on this subject.

  149. 149 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 12:39

    Time will tell if the Supreme Court ruling was in line with common sense and the prevailing reality of the day or not.

  150. 150 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 12:40

    @ Steve

    In fact, if the US didn’t have such inner city, black on black homicides, usually involving guns, the US would have a very similar murder rate with european countries.

    I’m not sure that it’s right to exclude on segment of the population from statistics just because they make the figures look bad.

    However, even if we do this, it doesn’t help your comparison much. Again taking the UK as an example, inner city crime (often drug related) also accounts for the largest proportion of homicides there as well. In a British home office document linked to in the previous TP, it was shown that almost 60% of murders occurred in the inner city areas of London and the midlands. If these were excluded from UK figures, the statistics for there would also drop sharply.

  151. 151 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 12:45

    North Korea has destroyed a highly visible tower at a facility where officials acknowledge they extracted plutonium to build nuclear weapons, according to reports.

  152. 152 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 12:59

    America started as a grand experiment is a new form of Government. As an aside Australia is a result of our revolution. Maybe that is why we are so close.
    In this new form of Government, different from what existed at the time, the underlying theme was that “Government derives its power and legitimacy from the people”.
    That simple yet profound premise put us on a divergent path from other countries.
    Ours is not a perfect solution but it works for us and has corrective features built in. Those corrections are slow in coming which is another feature that prevents a charismatic figure from assuming dictatorial powers with a starry eyed but ignorant public fascinated by celebrity behind him.
    Geez…do I sound too cynical about the public?

  153. 153 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 13:38


    Too cynical? I’d say too sanguine. Hey, didn’t that sort of already happen, about eight years ago? Charismatic figure assuming dictatorial powers over an ignorant public, I mean. It’s been a long wait for those corrective features, and there’s a lot to correct…

  154. June 27, 2008 at 13:41

    Hi Priya
    Akbar here in Tehran
    No Quick Fix for North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria
    TEHRAN – The token gesture to lift sanctions on North Korea by US President George W. Bush is cosmetic, nothing more. Similar gestures towards Iran, such as establishing an American Interest Section in Tehran have been proposed.
    This comes at an awkward time for Europe which is dealing with Iran’s nuclear case and adopting measures at ending ‘uranium enrichment,’ plus bringing Tehran to account for other excesses and atrocities on its people.
    The same probably applies to North Korea under Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il whose repressive regimes plunged their countrymen into poverty, squalor and disease for the past sixty years.
    The EU is doing its job on Iran, let them do it.

  155. 155 Bryan
    June 27, 2008 at 13:50

    Bob in Queensland June 27, 2008 at 8:00 am,

    Yes I’m well aware that it is a widespread law and I know about the case of the 16-year-old burglar who was shot dead. I was appalled that the farmer was treated like a criminal for defending his property and perhaps his life. But I have no problem with the real criminals facing the consequences off their actions.

    The problem with the reaction being “proportional to what is happening” is that you don’t know exactly what someone who is breaking into your house has in mind. Is it simply burglary, or is it perhaps something far worse? So are you supposed to sit them down and offer them a cup of tea and discuss whether they intend to physically harm you and your family, or whether they only intend to deprive you of your hard-earned possessions? If the latter is the case, maybe you can help them out by ordering a removal truck so they can load everything on it while you stand aside and make a list of everything for insurance purposes. It’s ridiculous, but that is precisely how ridiculous the “justice” system has become in some places – paralysed by lefty political correctness.

    Jonathan (sunny San Francisco) June 27, 2008 at 9:15 am

    In my court? Alright, I’ll have a look. As I recall, Roberto responded to my response but you didn’t.

  156. 156 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 14:51

    WOW! Did anyone hear about this? Are they trying to make an armed revolution in the UK?


  157. 157 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 14:57

    @ Bryan

    I’m not sure why those comments were approved, but let’s please end these personal attacks, even though you were just responding to those comments, quoting them, I’m deleting that comment and I couldn’t find the one you were quoting, but I’m hoping someone deleted that already.

  158. 158 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 15:12

    @ Jonathan and Bryan:

    Please, keep this civilized. The “i want an answer” stuff isn’t contributing to WHYS. If you both agree, I can give you each other’s emails and you can continue your debate offline if you like.

  159. 159 Mark Sandell
    June 27, 2008 at 15:22

    With you on this Steve, thanks.

  160. 160 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 15:23

    @Johnathan (San Francisco)
    I loved your reply. Very good.
    Have faith…it WILL correct but “W” having charisma? C’mon it was just a bunch of people jumping up & down screaming “W” and people became sheep and followed.

  161. 161 selena
    June 27, 2008 at 15:31

    “In fact, if the US didn’t have such inner city, black on black homicides, usually involving guns, the US would have a very similar murder rate with european countries.”

    What kind of a statement is this?

    They are US citizens, aren’t they? They live in the US, don’t they? So, how can they be excluded from statistics?

    Perhaps someone can clarify the message I am supposed to pick up from this statement.

  162. 162 Jonathan (smoky San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 15:32


    In answer to what you just asked, no, you didn’t respond before.

  163. 163 selena
    June 27, 2008 at 15:33

    W has about as much charisma as Obama 😉

  164. 164 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 15:34

    I’m just saying, Selena, that due to cultural problems in the black community, there is a lot more violence there, which europe doesn’t have. The complains about guns from people on WHYS seem to think that all gun violence comes from “rednecks” in the south, when in fact, most of it is black on black, inner city shootings, that liberals love to ignore and then focus on law abiding gun owners, while ignore the huge problem of violence in US cities, where most if not all of the guns involved were already illegal!

  165. 165 Jonathan (smoky San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 15:42


    Well, thank you. On a difficult morning, when mere innocuous housekeeping somehow gets me condemned as “uncivilized,” it’s good to hear a kind word.

    Getting a bunch of people glassy-eyed and blindly following you is exactly “charismatic,” I think, and exactly in the dangerous sense. Bonus points for intimidating civil society, the legislative and judicial branches, and news media. I won’t name any names from Europe about 70 years ago, but I’m thinking of a couple of bad ones.

    “Charming” is rather different.

  166. 166 Jonathan (smoky San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 15:53


    Someone blamed gun crime on “rednecks?” Now THAT is “uncivilized.”

    As distinguished from, oh, saying that black people shouldn’t count in crime statistics.

  167. 167 Shirley
    June 27, 2008 at 15:58

    Finally, something more regarding Darfur. I wonder when we will see some real action, or some real changes in that situation.

    AFP from Yahoo News: G8 powers warned Friday they could take further action against Sudan at the UNSC unless it complies with demands to bring Darfur war crimessuspects to justice. Sudan has refused to comply with UNSC demands to hand over two suspects to the ICC who are accused of 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder, torture and rape.

  168. 168 Jonathan (smoky San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 16:05

    Europe doesn’t have black people? Ah, well then that otherwise rather unpleasant notion of omitting them from American figures makes more sense.

  169. 170 Jonathan (smoky San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 16:25

    Shirley, I would welcome real action and real changes in Darfur. I also know enough about the history of the UN in respect to Darfur, Sudan, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Bosnia, and, well, everywhere, to make me pessimistic about seeing real action from the UN. It’s taken years of concerted, serious arm-twisting just to get them to say the right words, and the bad guys laugh at words. They count for nothing. Just as criminals don’t obey gun laws, criminals who run countries don’t care a fig for UN denunciations. Talk is cheap, and none is cheaper than the UN’s. It’s not just that it’s ineffective; it’s worse, because it purports and promises to be the voice of humanity, then betrays us every time.

    I was all excited too, until I figured out the depth of the cynicism in the hearts of these people. The UN is systemically incapable of acting within the borders of a member state. It’s all about the sanctity of national borders. It’s in the charter, largely because of Russia’s malign influence when it was founded.

  170. 171 Bryan
    June 27, 2008 at 16:48

    Jonathan (smoky San Francisco) June 27, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I intended my response to Roberto here


    to be a response to you as well. Roberto makes sense when he points out that there is no value in talking about “what ifs.” I remain unconvinced that the Democrats would be any better at security than the Republicans. I’m also not fond of Al Gore since he is such a polished and shiny example of PC. It’s just a touch hypocritical to be campaigning obsessively on global warming when the electricity consumed by the Gore mansion in a day would probably be sufficient for an entire African village for a year.

    Now if Gore lived in a cave on brown rice and vegetables, pumped out global warming propaganda on a rusty old manual typewriter in daylight hours to save on candlelight, and delivered the result on horseback to the nearest small town I’d have respect for him.

  171. 172 selena
    June 27, 2008 at 16:52

    @ Bryan

    “Now if Gore lived in a cave on brown rice and vegetables, pumped out global warming propaganda on a rusty old manual typewriter in daylight hours to save on candlelight, and delivered the result on horseback to the nearest small town I’d have respect for him.”

    Never thought I ‘d say it but I agree with you there. 🙂

  172. 173 Dennis
    June 27, 2008 at 18:01


    I hope that you got some sleep….

    It is going to be nice that North Korea, will be off the black list…

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  173. 174 Shirley
    June 27, 2008 at 18:14

    Steve: due to cultural problems in the black community, there is a lot more violence there

    I do not think that violence is intrinsic to black American culture. I think that it is a problem that disproportionately affects black American society. And while it is true that every individual must take responsibility for his own actions, I think that white America, especially certain corporations, have a standing debt to black Americans that has yet to be paid. Part of our legacy to them has the aftereffect or side effect of violence.

    Jonathan, I hear that China is part of the problem – that its* vetoes mean that the UNSC is unable to pass actionable resolutions. Is this also what you have heard? Do you, or does anyone, know how one can track resolutions in progress? I only have a vague idea of how to view the ones that have already been passed. Btw, what is going on in SanFran? Are the fires there? Is the wind blowing the smoke your way? What is the situation of asthmatics and allergy sufferers in the city?

    And where is Justin? What is going on in Iowa?

    * See, people? No apostrophe! Otherwise, it would have meant, “it is”!

    (I wonder if the br tag would remain invisible here. Just testing.)

  174. 175 Jonathan (smoky San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 21:08

    Bryan– yeah, no point discussing “what ifs.” Unless they involve brown rice and stuff. I never thought I’d agree with you either, but if I don’t, the moderator calls me names, so touche! Shine on.

  175. 176 Jonathan (smoky San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 21:20

    A belated hello, Shirley! My thrashing this morning drove me whimpering from the blog, only now to gingerly stick a toe back in the water.

    Assuming I’m not now banned, here’s the deal about Darfur: The thing has been going on for years. There was a great documentary on PBS about it that told the whole history, and lots of other coverage. In a nutshell, Sudan is engaged in a brutal program to exterminate the populatiion of the Darfur region. The UN remained resolutely silent in the face of abundant evidence for years. When the UN was finally forced into action–that is, words–China blocked any meaningful statement by its veto and by a series of clever parliamentary maneuvers. Sudan is a principal oil supplier to China. (Now THERE is your cyhical oil-war nexus.)

    There’s a huge public awareness effort to shame China into action, or at least to stop them preventing action by others, by using the Olympic games in Beijing as leverage. Mia Farrow is involved. The campaign uses the slogan “Genocide Olympics,” predictably driving the Chinese into a fevered rage, and last I heard, making them relent to some degree. There was a series of resolutions condemning and deploring, etc., and then trying to scrape up an armed force to intervene, but China kept blocking by inserting clauses to, for instance, require Sudan’s OK, which of course didn’t happen.

    There is, or was, a tiny little African force that was only authorized–I kid you not–to observe, not intervene. I heard a heartbreaking interview with a guy who described going off in a helicopter every day, watching the bad guys clear one village after another (by burning it down), taking photos, and going back every night, half-mad with frustration at being unable to do anything..

    There were demonstrations along the path of the Olympic Torch, and an effort to have world leaders stay away from the opening ceremonies. Several European heads of state are on board. (Guess who isn’t, big surprise.)

    I don’t know how to find out anything about the UN because all I need to know is that they’re a bunch of cynical swine, and I already know it. Try googling UN resolution tracking or some such clever phrase.

    The definitive Darfur documentary in my opinion is “On Our Watch,” which you can view and learn more about at the PBS dot org site thus: pbs dot org slash wgbh slash pages slash frontline slash darfur slash. (I keep hearing that posts with links get eaten up, and I’m in enough trouble already with the Mod Mafia.) It tells the whole story, and if you still believe in the UN after you see it, you’re someone very special indeed. Let me know how you come out.

    No fires in SF, just cloudy and sometimes hazy from distant fires. Smells like fireplace smoke, really delicious and homey. Our air is so clean normally that one can’t really complain though. In the nearby towns it’s worse and they’re telling people to limit outdoor exertion. SF’s reliable breeze comes from the ocean to blow all the yuck away to the east. I’m out to see if I can get some sun. Every day they say partly cloudy, and it’s always my part so far. Argh.

  176. 177 Bryan
    June 27, 2008 at 21:21

    selena June 27, 2008 at 4:52 pm,

    Well, thanks for that, selena.

  177. 178 AnduinX
    October 10, 2009 at 04:00


    The idea that white people owe black people anything is racist in itself. A sizable white population immigrated into the United States after slavery had been abolished. Even when slavery was in effect a very small portion of white people actually owned them.

    Not to mention the fact that no living white person today had anything to do with slavery.

    I refuse to held responsible for crimes perpetrated by people unrelated to me who happened to be white many generations ago.

    Also, in today’s society discrimination is really no excuse. Black people have just as much opportunity as white people.

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