Saturday, December 22, 2012

Conservative on Target! 12/22/12

fear1The Climate of Fear & The Pervasion of Powerlessness
   Those responsible citizens who believe in such well-accepted things as free speech, the right to adequate self-defense, and a government that spends within our means have all of a sudden become “extreme.” Because of the widespread acceptance of the truism that opinions are subjective, the perspective of what is extreme depends on the mind’s eye of the viewer. There are no objective standards for willful ignoramuses (and that is one reason why conservatives should take seriously the philosophy of Objectivism).
   The right wants us to fear others. The left wants us to fear ourselves. What we should fear is the government. The behavior of the media and the government make it apparent that both parties have ulterior motives, and are exploiting tragedies for political gain in a way that would make terrorists proud.



Going Postal, Pre-Pistol
   Guns aren’t even the most lethal mass murder weapon. According to data compiled by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, guns killed an average of 4.92 victims per mass murder in the United States during the 20th century, just edging out knives, blunt objects, and bare hands, which killed 4.52 people per incident. Fire killed 6.82 people per mass murder, while explosives far outpaced the other options at 20.82. Of the 25 deadliest mass murders in the 20th century, only 52 percent involved guns.
   The U.S. mass murder rate does not seem to rise or fall with the availability of automatic weapons. It reached its highest level in 1929, when fully automatic firearms were expensive and mostly limited to soldiers and organized criminals. The rate dipped in the mid-1930s, staying relatively low before surging again in the 1970s through 1990s. Some criminologists attribute the late-century spike to the potential for instant notoriety: Beginning with Charles Whitman’s 1966 shooting spree from atop a University of Texas tower, mass murderers became household names. Others point out that the mass murder rate fairly closely tracks the overall homicide rate. In the 2000s, for example, both the mass murder and the homicide rates dropped to their lowest levels since the 1960s.

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