Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Firearms company CEO ready to start civil war. Threatens to kill innocent people.

So let me get this straight... The victims of sandy hook, aurora and the other ~11000 victims of gun death a year are necessary so this guy and others like him can continue to fuel their paranoid delusions of tyrannical rule by buying and owning assault rifles to prepare against the "rise of imaginary Hitler" (as put by Jon Stewart)  First, as a patriotic American (who values democracy a whole lot more than this guy apparently) , I am utterly appalled that this kind of culture exists in our country... Secondly, I don't quite understand how these people have interpreted the proposed small steps of reducing the legal magazine sizes for future sales and banning future purchases of highly efficient assault rifles as "they are coming for all our guns". I would venture to say that many of these gun owners who stockpile massive quantities of firearms in preparation for Armageddon or the zombie apocalypse have manufactured these delusions to give their stockpiling a sense of purpose. Well apparently they are now banding together and nearly ready to initiate war with their own country. In their mind Obama = Hitler = Stalin etc. and guys like this are, "willing to fire the first shot". A person actually posted the following quote on his first, "Pack your bags" video: 
In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned.
When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
-Mark Twain

I have also seen companies using using internet banners ads like this one:
I am sure the relatives of  Sandy Hook victims appreciate the attempted money grab here.
One thing I do know is the Firearms industry is profiting massively by inducing fear in already overly paranoid gun owners. People like this guy are anti-American, anti-democracy war mongers and this video in my opinion borderlines treason.. The FBI isn't "taking all the guns" but I think they should probably pay this guy a visit, and I'd suggest bringing back up as well. And Just for the record, If this guy and the people that support him are the "good guys with guns" supposed to stop those "bad guys with guns" then I am not sleeping any better at night. 
 On one hand we have part of our nation calling for a sensible change in gun policy because we have had enough of seeing our children and innocent people slaughtered and on the other we have a subculture of firearm stockpiling armageddon fearing vigilantes that are preparing for war. I feel that the pure fact that this subculture even exists is proof that 1) Our lack of gun control of any kind is NOT a good thing 2) That the firearm industry is despicably using these massacres for monetary gain and 3) This subculture is the product of the NRA and the Industry itself. I fear this is not going away soon and as we as a country move closer to making the first steps in sensible gun control in decades innocent lives may pay the price. I hope I am wrong and I hope other rational gun owners will speak up and denounce these paranoid war mongers and call them for what they are. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Truth Regarding Gun Violence, Ownership, and Control

This post has been a long time coming. I knew I wanted to tackle this issue after the horrible Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy. Gun control and the right of ownership are issues that, until now, I was very much on the fence about. On one hand our Constitution explicitly protects the right to "bear arms" and on the other I was appalled that the state of Ohio (where I currently live) had passed a law allowing CCW holders to carry that weapon into bars. Once the story broke about Sandy Hook I knew I needed to educate myself more on the issue and do my best to bring to light the facts behind the controversy of gun violence, ownership, and control... This is what I found:

Owning a gun and carrying that gun increases your chance of dieing by gunshot over 4 times.

We are the highest industrialized country on the planet for gun related deaths. Switzerland is the closest industrialized country to us and they have 30% less deaths that we do. Other countries are even lower, like Germany, where one is 9 times less likely to die by firearm than in the USA. There are 2 correlations that tended to hold true as I scoured through data; that countries with more strict implementations of gun control were lower in gun deaths, and the more strict gun control is the lower gun ownership is. This brought to light something that I now realize should be obvious: The lower gun ownership the lower gun related deaths.

Even at the state level gun control proves amazingly effective. Of the top 10 states with strictest gun laws these being:

New York
Rhode Island

5 of them are the 5 LOWEST in deaths per 100000 by guns and NONE of them make it into the top 20!

The 3 least strict are Arizona, Alaska, and Utah. Arizona and Alaska of which are 2nd and 5th HIGHEST in gun deaths.

Not only do we have the highest gun ownership on the planet, we have 53% MORE guns than the 2nd most gun rich nation, Serbia . We own 88.8 guns per 100 citizens. That is nearly 1 gun per person!
I then decided to do a comparison between the US, Germany (because my Sister-in-Law lives there and they are a good european benchmark), and India ( a less wealthy country with much more strict gun policy and 4 times our population in a much more unstable part of the world).

India - 1,241,491,960
USA - 311,591,91 

Germany - 81,726,000
Europe - 739,165,030

School Shootings:
US - 18
Germany - 7
India - 0
Europe -13

Workplace Shootings:
US - 23
Germany - 0
India - 7

Hate Crimes:
US - 2
Germany - 2
India - 2

Familicides Using Firearms:
US - 62
Germany - 3
Europe - 30
India - 2

Familicides Using any weapon:
US - 110
Europe - 103
India - 19

I also found that we have had the 3 worst school massacres ever these being:
1.Kehoe, Andrew Philip, 55°May 181927Bath Township, MIU.S.
MECommitted suicide
Also killed numerous animals
2.Cho, Seung-Hui, 23April 162007Blacksburg, VAU.S.
FCommitted suicide
3.Lanza, Adam Peter, 20°Dec. 142012Newtown, CTU.S.
FCommitted suicide
 After doing this research I realized that my position on gun control and ownership was, necessarily, now firmly planted in the pro gun control camp. The truth is the more guns there are and gun owners there are the more gun deaths and violence there will be. No, Armed guards and teachers in schools will not lower gun deaths. It will simply increase the likelihood that the next massacre is perpetrated by an armed guard or a teacher. 

I then started to realize that gun control isn't a restriction of freedom, its an extension of it. I define freedom as the ability to live without the fear that the owner of a semi-automatic assault rifle is around the corner waiting to unload on a crowd of people. I define freedom as the ability to sleep at night without feeling like I have to own a gun because everyone else around me does. I define freedom as sending my children to school without men with guns at the doorway. Gun supporters continue to discuss the right to bear arms but what about the right to have a life without it being taken away by someone with a gun? The constitution protects the right to "bear arms" but it doesn't require a lot of incite to realize that the constitution is a document written 236 years ago when firearms were single fire front loading machines that required nearly a full minute or longer to reload. If we took this literally civilians could own grenades, rocket launchers, tanks etc. We have a military and we have a police force and we should let them do their jobs.  This delusion that adding more guns to stop gun deaths needs to end. CCW's need to end. Why does anyone need to own an assault rifle? Why does anyone need to own more than 5 guns? Why does anyone need a gun beyond use for hunting and sport? Here is a thought experiment: We do away with CCW's and only allow firearms for those with hunting licenses or use for sport. Other than the already extremely high proliferation of guns in our society, this would remove the need to own guns for home protection. This is the point of gun control and why it works; it limits the proliferation of guns into society and thereby lowers gun ownership which lowers gun deaths. Fact is most criminals that perpetrate a crime with a gun are not organized criminals that would seek out a gun on the black market; they are casual owners of firearms that commit a crime out of passion or desperation.  Lets stop the perpetuation of this delusion that more guns fixes the problem and start basing our gun policy on data and evidence of what works. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Discovery Institute Distorts New Gorilla Genome Data; No One is Surprised

What happens when a foundation is built on proving its hypothesis right or another hypothesis false? You get foundations like the Discovery Institute. This Institute is founded on misinforming people about evolutionary science and they are at it again. Last week the Gorilla genome was finally fully sequenced allowing us to compare it to the already sequenced human, chimpanzee, and orangutan. Here is's article on the new data:

Now, the findings did show that approximately 30% of our genome is actually closer to gorilla's than chimps. This is something that evolutionary theory already completely understands and even predicts and is a phenomenon called incomplete lineage sorting. To be explained in the simplest terms its a completely natural result of genetic diversity and how populations diverge leading to speciation. As an oversimplified example (thanks to Larry), you may have a brother or sister that has blue eyes while you have green eyes. You may also have a cousin who has green eyes. This doesn't prove that you are closer in relation to your cousin. It also doesn't change the obvious fact that you, your sibling, and your cousin share a common ancestor; your grandparents.

 How has the discovery institute distorted this new data to say it some how poses a problem to evolutionary theory? Here is how:

Complete distortion, and an attempt to convince others that this is somehow a problem for our understanding of human evolution. Casey Luskin writes:
The standard evolutionary phylogeny of primates holds that humans and chimps are more closely related to one-another than to other great apes like gorillas. In practice, all that really means is that when we sequence human, chimp, and gorilla genes, human and chimp genes have a DNA sequence that is more similar to one-another's genes than to the gorilla's genes. But huge portions of the gorilla genome contradict that nice, neat tidy phylogeny. That's because these gorilla genes are more similar to the human or chimp version than the human or chimp versions are to one-another. In fact, it seems that some 30% of the gorilla genome contradicts the standard primate phylogeny in this manner.
I bolded a different sentence than Luskin however, and for good reason. If 70% percent of our genome is closer to chimps that gorillas then that is exactly what evolutionary theory would predict. How is the fact that humans are 70% closer to chimps than gorillas and even less similar to orangutans somehow a problem? Its almost as if he expects us to be 100% more similar to chimps than gorillas. We are closest in relation to chimps, then gorillas, then orangutans. Our Genomes are closest to chimps, then gorillas, then orangutans. I did about 2 minutes of searching google and found a great write up on incomplete lineage sorting here:

This is another perfect example of denial to accept the evidence. Here is his email address: Maybe if we all email him with information regarding incomplete lineage sorting he'll actually read one of them. Here are his credentials by the way: 

So he is a lawyer with an M.S. in Earth Science. Last time I checked Earth Sciences isn't biology. I guess for the Discovery Institute Earth Science is close enough to biology for him to write articles about evolutionary theory. He also co-founded an institution to infiltrate high schools and colleges and promote Intelligent Design called the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center. I found this funny list on the IDEA website:

If that doesn't show that this guy is all about bad science I don't know what could. The difference between real science and bad science is simple: Bad science sets out to prove a hypothesis one way or another, real science sets out to thoroughly test that hypothesis until real knowledge and data is accrued. I guess he missed learning the scientific method all throughout his academic career.

Reality bytes doesn't it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fox News: Rooting for America to Fail Since November 2008

To most Americans with more than a few brain cells Fox News is a monolithic establishment that exercises its ability to deter, mislead, and misinform its viewers with an obviously(at least to non-viewers) GOP based agenda behind it all. On February 10th the Republican National Comity released a memo titled, "Pundit Prep." This document was apparently released in response to the DOW's recovery to north of 13000 for the first time since the 2008 sell off. It contained information to focus on regarding the economy in media outlets to,"...mitigate the damage from the improved economy." The day after this was released to GOP insiders the media mammoth Fox News began spinning all talk of the economy to exactly what was listed in the memo. This wouldn't surprise anyone, but the fact that Steve Doocy read directly from the memo and even announced that he was doing so just might! Jon Stewart brought this to the nation's attention and hammered Fox News for this on his February 28th broadcast posted below. It astonishes me that such blatant misinformation is permitted in our media. And its not just the fact that they are deliberately misleading their viewers in the effort of bolstering their army of deluded regurgitators, its the fact that a media organization can be buddied up so close to a political party that they are basing programing off of party memos. Anyone have access to RNC's Memos? I'd love to play some matchup while painfully watching Fox News programming.

Here is the Daily Show Clip:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Santorum: "I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute."

First, Watch this interview of front runner Rick Santorum:

Listening to Santorum's comments not only made me almost throw up, but also almost made my brain begin to implode. First, his statement that a separation of church and state, "is antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country" and that this somehow is a breech of the first amendment is not only a factually false statement but also an astonishingly delusional view of our own country's history. I guess Madison and the other writers of the Bill of Rights expected its readers to be able to read English beyond a 9th grade reading level. Then, as he enters into his long-winded and equally disturbing rant, his delusional view of modern society only worsens. Saying that the separation of church and state somehow means that those of faith should be left out of the government and ,"only people of non-faith can come into the public circle and make their case." Who, Rick, has ever made this claim in American politics? The answer is simple; no one. I grow increasingly tired of the widespread and voluntary denial of the actual history of this great country and its founding. Here is a compilation of factual and historical sentiments from our "founding fathers" about how they felt about religion's involvement in our government:

 Founders on Separation of Chruch and State