[links] Link salad wanders into the weekend

SFWA Northwest Reading Series — I am part of the October edition of this august event, hosted by [info]seanan_mcguire and also featuring [info]mkhobson. Stay tuned for details and reminders.

Life Under the Microscope — The Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition. (Thanks to [info]tillyjane.)

55 years ago, 6 stood under atomic bomb blast — on purpose

Report: Japan nuclear workers told to hide radiation levels — Clean and safe and too cheap to meter. Yep.

Stanford researchers produce first complete computer model of an organism

Kansas City Police End Standoff With Naked ArcherLowering the Bar is hilarious.

Seriously inappropriate Tweet from the NRA yesterday — Mmm. Gun rights.

58 Murders a year by Firearms in Britain, 8,775 in USThe international comparisons show conclusively that fewer gun owners per capita produce not only fewer murders by firearm, but fewer murders per capita over all. In the case of Britain, firearms murders are 30 times fewer than in the US per capita.

The Body Count — Roger Ebert on the Colorado shootings. This: I’m tired of repeating the obvious. I know with a dread certainty that I will change nobody’s mind. I will hear conspiracy theories from those who fear the government, I will hear about the need to raise a militia, and I will hear nothing about how 9,484 corpses in a year has helped anything. That is a high price to pay. What depresses me is that half of my fellow countrymen are prepared to pay it.

How Long will We let the National Rifle Association and Corrupt Politicians Kill our Children? — Juan Cole on the shootings.

The Dream of Maximum Guns — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the shootings.

A list of mass shootings in the United States since 2005 — It is sixty-five pages long. Contrast our response to these events with the Australian response to the Port Arthur massacre. That is what a sane and safe society looks like. Not us here in America. (In part via [info]danjite.)

George W. Bush to skip Republican National Convention — A crying shame, as I think the voting public needs a reminder of what happened the last time we elected Republican president: massive foreign wars, record deficits and nearly complete economic collapse. Luckily for the GOP, they and their friends in Your Liberal Media have convinced the public to blame Obama for what Bush did.

?otD: Who have you been grooving all week with?


7/21/2012
Writing time yesterday: 60 minutes (Going to Extremes outline)
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 7.0 (solid)
Weight: 237.4
Currently reading: Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

6 thoughts on “[links] Link salad wanders into the weekend

  1. I will hear nothing about how 9,484 corpses in a year has helped anything.

    Five times that many is a high price to pay just to be able to drive around, but whenever I bring it up, people dismiss out of hand the idea that society out to do something about car use.

    1. Cora says:

      Cars have a legitimate use for transportation. Guns have only one purpose, namely to kill. And any legitimate uses for guns, e.g. for hunting, target shooting and personal protection, do not make up for the dangers of guns in the hand of angry, inept, depressed (lots of gun deaths in the US are suicides) and just plain crazy. Never mind that other countries show it is possible to let hunters and target shooters keep their guns (with the respective precautions) and still strictly cut down on private gun ownership and the related violence. Never mind that no private person has any reason at all to own an assault rifle – this is not a hunting or target shooting weapon.

      I live in a country where gun ownership is highly restricted. There are ways to get guns – mainly via joining a hunting or target shooting club – but I’ve never felt the need. Nor have I ever been in a situation where I would have felt safer with a gun. Frankly, unless you are hunted by the mafia or something, you do not need a gun to protect yourself and your family. Alarm systems are more useful to keep out burglars (and that’s what they are, burglars not home invaders or any other “make it sound more serious” crap) than guns and somebody stealing my TV is no reason to shoot him. Plus, burglars are rarely violent except in the US, where they have to worry about being shot by homeowners with a Rambo complex.

      Whenever things like this happen, I sigh and think, “Too bad, but apparently Americans want it this way”. Besides, this is Colorado which is pretty rightwing, libertarian, pro-gun, fundamentalist Christian, as far as I know.

      1. Okay, the original post was about guns, so it’s only reasonable that your comment is about guns as well. But I’d like to point out that it also supports my statement: car-related deaths at the rate of 5x gun related deaths, and yet your post has only one sentence that touches on cars, and that only to suggest that the value of cars for transportation somehow justifies the deaths involved.

        Maybe in some future post Jay will link to something that gives us a chance to talk about whether the value of car transport is worth the cost in accident deaths, crippling injuries, environmental damage, the disempowerment of people who don’t or can’t drive, and so on.

        It’s something I’m really interested in, and a much more relevant risk to the average person.

        Events like Aurora, where people are shot at random, are so shocking precisely because they are so rare. Most of the people killed with guns (an outright majority) are suicides. Most of the rest are criminals, being murdered in criminal-on-criminal violence. If you’re not suicidal, not a drug dealer, not a gang member, and not a prostitute, your chance of being killed with a gun is vanishingly small.

        There is nothing I can do to make my chance of being killed by a car anywhere near as small, except perhaps by moving to some roadless area in the wilderness (which, of course, has its own dangers).

        Just not driving doesn’t help, because a pedestrian crossing a road (or even just walking along a roadway) is much more likely to be killed by a car than by a gun. Buying a larger car helps some—but there are high costs there as well, both cash costs (that put that option of of reach for poor people) and environmental costs that fall on all of us.

        1. Jay says:

          I’ve actually had the guns vs cars discussion on the blog before, referencing the utility argument.

          1. I read that post, but perhaps most of the discussion happened on your LiveJournal page, as I don’t remember much.

            Rather than hijack this thread further, I’ve gone ahead and posted on my own blog on this:

            http://www.philipbrewer.net/2012/07/23/guns-versus-cars/

            1. Jay says:

              Your post will be linked through in tomorrow’s Link Salad, sir.

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