Washington, DC, July 19 – Conservative thinkers across the US expressed bewilderment this week upon realizing that the nation’s premier gun-rights advocacy group is missing a golden opportunity to argue for freer access to firearms by invoking the situation in the Middle East, where weapons flow everywhere nearly unrestricted and as a result, the citizens enjoy a level of peace, liberty, and prosperity that Americans can only envy.
A group of Tea Party, Libertarian, and other conservative pundits gathered earlier this week in Las Vegas to discuss legislative lobbing strategies for this November and beyond. From those conversations it emerged that the current public awareness and lobbying campaigns were completely missing the most compelling piece of evidence in their potential rhetorical arsenal: the correlation between large numbers of Arabs armed to the teeth and the success of those Arabs in forging tranquil, courteous, democratic societies.
“If the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, then the gun-toting good people of Iraq, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Sinai, and Libya must be so secure as to warrant emulation,” said right-wing radio talk show icon Rush Limbaugh. “I seldom have words of criticism for my friends at the National Rifle Association, but I contend they dropped the ball on this issue by neglecting to marshal this winning argument.”
No hard numbers exist for the per capita distribution of firearms in the Levant and surrounding evirons, in part because the limited reach of the central governments does not allow for effective statistical measures.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took up that point, noting that the decentralized governmental structures of the governments in those heavily armed countries was especially conducive to prosperity and security. “Just look at the burgeoning trade those countries enjoy,” he said. “There is almost no top-down market regulation, leaving it up to local sensibilities to determine who may traffic in what materials and services. That is what I call a recipe for liberty.” He expressed alarm that conservative organizations at large had not latched onto that argument.
We apologize that Facebook is being such a git. Its inability to keep us logged in for more than a second is seriously impeding our motivation to actually post anything on this blog at all. If, however, your brain damage is severe enough, you will also enjoy our offerings at PreOccupied Territory, where we lampoon the international myopia surrounding Middle East affairs.
A team of scientists from Virginia State University conducted the study over the course of several weeks, and determined that it is still too soon. The team suggested waiting several days, or perhaps several weeks, and checking again, but given the sensitivity of the matter, they cannot offer reasonable odds on it not still being too soon even after that much time has gone by.
An earlier study hinted at it being too soon, but was focused on the details of the incident and not on the rhetoric surrounding it. The Virginia group decided to examine specifically whether it was time yet, and began collecting data that would help them reach a conclusion.
Analysis of the data pointed conclusively to there being not enough of an interval between the unfortunate events and the specific kind of discussion related to it. Commenting on, or joking about, the event in that manner would prove hurtful to many people, and it is therefore recommended to refrain from such treatment of the event at least until the initial wounds have had time to heal. Ideally, say the researchers, more than a year should pass before another attempt is made to determine whether expressing the notion would still be insensitive.
From PreOccupied Territory:
Tel Aviv, June 29 – Troubled by unruly attendees in the audience, Heichal Hatarbut, the Tel Aviv home of the Israel Philharmonic, has decided to stop selling alcoholic beverages beyond the third movement of orchestral works of four movements or more, and after the second movement of three-movement pieces.
The decision comes after persistent difficulties with rowdy audience members who fight, heckle the performers, and present what Heichal Hatarbut managers call “a disruptive presence and a safety hazard for our players and guests.” The hall and orchestra boards agreed to implement the change following an incident last week when a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major was repeatedly interrupted by shouts of, “Your Scherzo is a joke!” and “My grandmother could…
So in the meantime you are invited to peruse the offerings at PreOccupied Territory.
Washington, DC, June 12 – Children across the country are excited for the end of the school shooting term, finally free not to attend the institutions where they are forced to sit in classrooms and are placed at increased risk for being killed or wounded by gunfire.
Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre at the end of 2012, 74 school shooting incidents have taken place in the United States. The litany of such massacres has had no impact on gun control efforts, leaving parents, teachers and administrators with no choice but to simply wait for the school shooting year to end and hope that yet another recurrence does not hit them in the meantime.
“Summer vacation is always a challenge, but this year we’re a little relieved the school shooting year is basically over,” said Eugene, Oregon-area resident Alex Mully. “Summer camp might be expensive, but even with all the climbing, jumping, hiking, camping, dirt, and wilderness, it’s still seems safer than school.”
Mully is hardly alone in his sentiments. Parents and teachers in high schools from coast to coast have joined Facebook groups and other social media venues dedicated to counting down the number of days left until a school shooting is no longer a possibility, as least until September. The groups have become a mixture of cheering each passing day, sharing techniques for coping with the sense of danger, and recipes for cupcakes and other treats to keep the children’s mind off the possibility that at any time in the next few days, a disturbed or evil person will kill and maim them with weapons and ammunition that the politicians seem powerless or unwilling to limit.
The Department of Education has put out an online publication urging principals and teachers not to be distracted by the impending sense of respite, and that they continue to shoulder educational responsibilities. “Let us not lose our focus on the goal,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in an introductory message. Our goal was and remains the provision of knowledge and skills for understanding and functioning in the world, and we cannot allow ourselves to be thwarted by the prospect of being pumped full of lead from an assault rifle. We must therefore ignore that threat.”