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Complacency Mongers, Start Your Engines!

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Today, the FBI came out with a shocking crime report.  A total of 1,532 more people were murdered in the United States in 2015 than the year before.  This represents an 11% increase in the number of murders.  The murder rate was higher in 2015 than at any time since 2009.  We have lost six (or now, more likely seven) years of progress against our most serious crime.

This dreadful news should set off alarm bells, but it won't.  It will set off the complacency brigade.  We will be told, for example, that it's just a "statistical variation."  

Right!  Two percent or three percent or possibly even five percent might be a "statistical variation."  Eleven percent is not.  It shows a change in behavior with a cause. Academics and policy makers should be concerned about this, rather than concerned about finding a way to dismiss it.  But you know that's not going to happen.
What will happen is that the people occupied with their Georgetown and Bethesda parties (i.e.,  the people running the show at DOJ) will tell us that it's "too early" to draw any conclusions; that we don't know whether it's a "trend;" and that we can't expect crime to go down forever.

In other words, what we're going to see is (mostly poorly disguised) complacency masquerading as taking the "longer view."

Wake up.

This is the largest murder spike in a generation.  It is among three or four largest since Dwight Eisenhower was President.  It is an indictment of the government's first obligation  --  to see to the physical safety of its citizens.

The talk about "no trend" is a diversion.  First, it's probably false, as this Time article explains.  Second, the best that can be said of it is that, while I have no sure way of knowing the 2015 murder surge is a trend (however that word may be defined), the complacency mongers have no way of knowing it isn't.

Today's awful news has a cause.  One of them is the six year-long reduction in the prison population.  When criminals are released, they don't just disappear.  What they generally do is return to crime.  A significant portion of the repeat crimes are going to be violent.  Why should we be surprised when the recidivist chickens come home to roost?  We've know for years that the rate of recidivism is shockingly high, and we know from the Wendell Callahan scandal that DOJ (and judicial) claims that we are only going to give shorter sentences to non-violent inmates are false.

Another cause is the partly successful (so far) attack on aggressive and pro-active policing led by the Black Live Matter movement, fanned by Barack Obama's rhetoric and, quite importantly, his Justice Department, which, whatever its garbled language might say, increasingly shares the far left view of the police as a racist, occupying army that needs, not an ally but a leash.  

It was a few months ago that Director Comey said that he had seen a "chill wind" blowing over police work.  Today, his FBI made clear what the chill feels like.


46 Comments

One big part of what might be called a trend, Bill, is an uptick in firearm-involved murders and other crimes. Is it fair to wonder whether Heller et al --- along with the Obama-era uptick in gun manufacturing and sales --- are also part of this story?

John Lott and some other gun supporters have long argued that more guns means less crime, but these latest data would seem to undermine their contentions, no?

The difference is obvious.

Heller was decided in 2008 and the firearm related deaths have gone down significantly since. It's not like the rate began climbing a year or two after implementation. Heller is already baked in the cake.

What's different now than 2,3, or 4 years ago? Oh, yeah. We are letting out more and more "non-violent drug offenders" that are actually drug traffickers and violent.

Doug, you are a living testament to the human ability to ignore the obvious and blame something else.

As usual, TarlsQtr nails it. If there were going to be a violent crime surge caused by Heller, it would have shown up sometime at least within five years of the time Heller was decided. But that did not happen. The opposite happened.

The question is WHAT CHANGED IN 2014 that might plausibly have shown up in crime rates the next year (and this one, while we're at it).

The answers are all over the headlines: The decreasing prison population (taken together with the accumulation of recidivist crime); and the BLM movement, echoed by DOJ's Civil Rights Division, to condemn, disarm and step back the police.

I expected every effort to (1) minimize and (2) failing that, explain away this violent crime increase, but it's time to face facts.

For a generation, we adopted get tough policies and they worked. Over the last couple of years, the reversal of those policies (a reversal that ignored pragmatic considerations in favor of ideological ones) has taken hold. Today's statistics do nothing more, or less, than display the results of that reversal.

The Left continuously demands data. We now have data, plenty of them, and they're grim. What is the Left going to do?

They're going to stick their heads in the sand, taking them out only long enough to hiss "FEARMONGER" at anyone who brings them up. The articles you link in your blog entry about this, and the comments made, are all the proof anyone could ask for.

How about toning it down a notch?

Bill, the prison population nationwide clearly started to decrease in 2009, so by your logic we can leave out reduced use of prison in the analysis of 2015 crime rates. Indeed, as you should know if you were engaging with facts responsibly, the record low crime rates of 2014 came after essentially five straight years of a "decreasing prison population."

Relatedly as we are trying to stay clear with relevant facts, Heller only impacted DC, its application in states does not kick in until McDonald in 2010. Even more critically to my point, gun sales/manufacturing really ramped up after Sandy Hook and concerns about new gun restrictions thereafter.

I am very eager to face facts, Bill and Tarls, but let's get the facts right. I agree that the data on homicides is disconcerting, and I also am looking for what started changing in 2014. The BLM movement is properly cited as a 2014 change, but decarceration/softer sentencing realities are not (arguably they go back to Blakely/Booker developments in 2004/2005, and they kicked into higher gear at the fed level with crack reductions in 2007 and with state reforms after the 2008 and 2010 elections).

There also could be critical synergies here --- police pullback + more guns on the street + more early releases + lots of other factors (e.g., reduced use of death penalty). All I was seeking to throw out was that the stats show an increase in gun use in murders, which provides some FACTS that more murder are being committed with guns.

I understand your eagerness, Bill and Tarls, to blame folks for not instantly accepting your vision of what explains all this. But it shows not a true desire for understanding. (And Kent, Tarls has shown his true colors when he smeared all my commentators, claimed he could support his smears with "evidence," and then failed to respond when I asked for him for his evidence.)

I do not speak for the Left, and I have been critical of those who seek to run from inconvenient facts. But I am also eager to criticize any and everyone who asserts that these facts indisputably have an obvious explanatory lesson.

Doug, you are a liar. (Kent, I apologize that this may not be "toned down", but if someone talks about my "true colors" and then exercises his fibbing reflex, I am going to respond.)

1) I did not smear "all" your commentators.

2) My point was that your blog is a cesspool of left wing misanthropes who hate Amerikkka. If you remember, it was after you implied this blog (and Powerline) was an alt-right echo chamber. Is that not "smearing" the commentators here? Where is your evidence? Are you showing your "true colors?" Why the double-standard?

3) I did provide evidence, such as your "commentators" saying (with the guffaws from others and silence from you) that another commentator looked like Hitler/a Nazi.

4) It was also after YOU "smeared" a poster here as living in an "alt-right echo chamber." When called on it, you stretched all credibility by saying that you did not see the word as a pejorative even though you joked about the alt-right websites being full of "Hillary is dying" conspiracy theories.

In fact, you even tried to pass off what amounted to "conservatives who are on the internet a lot" as a credible definition of the "alt-right." Yes, that is from an esteemed law professor.

5) You provided NO evidence that the poster lives in an "alt-right echo chamber." Is such a smear your "true colors?"

6) When backed into a corner, you tried to accuse me of being "triggered" and too easily offended. Let's just say, that bringing the topic into an unrelated conversation two weeks later shows who the "triggered" one really is.

I am sure OSU has a safe space somewhere on campus for you.

As to the rest of the content of your post. It is not that it is not a complex topic with a myriad of causes and possible solutions. It is not even that other factors may not be MORE influential in causing this jump.

It is that you, and others of your mindset, predictably, without wavering, and consistently choose as the alternative the theory that makes the least sense over the ones that pass the smell test but do not align with your worldview.

And, your "facts" are not necessarily "facts," especially when you have a point to make.

For example, gun sales started ramping up long before Sandy Hook (about 6 months into Obama's term) and actually dropped significantly for a time after. In fact, we were at almost 3 million FBI background checks when Sandy Hook occurred and were down to 1.5 million a year later.

https://www.google.com/search?q=us+gun+sales&safe=active&biw=1600&bih=770&tbm=isch&imgil=6G34-i4i_RXCoM%253A%253Bw87X6NGiXK6YKM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.bbc.com%25252Fnews%25252Fbusiness-35230425&source=iu&pf=m&fir=6G34-i4i_RXCoM%253A%252Cw87X6NGiXK6YKM%252C_&usg=__RxM0ppIrscaX1EuYOuq3v78rDFU%3D&ved=0ahUKEwiWwYmPlq7PAhWF6iYKHfjfAi8QyjcIQg&ei=Yq3pV5aIF4XVmwH4v4v4Ag#imgrc=6G34-i4i_RXCoM%3A

Let me focus on one paragraph: "There also could be critical synergies here --- police pullback + more guns on the street + more early releases + lots of other factors (e.g., reduced use of death penalty). All I was seeking to throw out was that the stats show an increase in gun use in murders, which provides some FACTS that more murder are being committed with guns."

I mostly agree with this. There are these qualifications, however. First, I don't know that there were more guns on the street in 2015 than in 2014, or more gun purchases in the former year. Second, over the last generation, overwhelmingly the increase in gun ownership has accompanied a DEcrease in violent crime. Third, the percentage of homicides committed with guns was, so far as I've seen, the same in 2014 as in 2015; indeed, it's just a truism that the great majority of murders are committed with guns (Wendell Callahan used a knife, however).

My major point in this entry is to take on the (in my view) undeniable tendency by those urging sentencing reform to dismiss and minimize the 2015 murder increase. But 1532 of our fellow creatures won't be around to register a dissent -- 1532 more than were permanently silenced in 2014.

For those of us who think black lives matter, and white lives and brown lives, this is not to be dismissed.

Our get tough policies worked. Yes, they had a cost. But the tendency I see in the articles linked on your blog to dwell on that cost, while shoving the appalling murder increase behind an opaque curtain, is, shall we say, not taking the data either seriously or humanely.

One more point.

YOU brought up Heller as the possible cause.

When you were corrected, you then state it is not Heller because it only impacted DC, but McDonald. And you do so in a corrective tone as if you are teaching us something.

The problem is that if bringing up Heller was an error, it was your error, not mine nor Bill's.

Let's review, Tarls, what you said about my blog in this comment thread at SL&P: http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2016/09/you-be-doj-after-scotus-reversal-should-former-virginia-gov-bob-mcdonnell-be-tried-for-corruption-ag.html

Tarls: "this blog is 95% liberal cesspool complaining about how bad Amerikkka is and 5% federalist"

Tarls: "My comment was obviously referring to your comment crew, as I even specifically mentioned federalist. It is 95% people who hate Amerikkka and federalist."

Tarls: "I can back up my statement" about [Berman's] "blog" or "comment crew" is 95% liberal cesspool who hate Amerikkka.

Berman: "Can you [Tarls] please "back up" your statements for frequent [Berman blog] commentators like Soronel Haetir AND Joe AND Daniel AND Zac B. AND Dave from Texas AND MidWestGuy."

Tarls: CONSPICIOUS AND CONTINUED SILENCE!!

I do think this summary of what transpired shows that you smeared all my commentators (save federalist), claimed he could support the smears, and then failed to respond when I asked for him you to do so.

Relatedly, I did show my "true colors" with my snide single comment about the "alt-right echo chamber" because in that comment (1) I was trying to get under federalist's skin, which is fun to do because he gives as good as he gets, and (2) I was using the term "alt-right" to reference non-establishment right on-line media. You seem to view the phrase as a vile smear, which was not my intent, as I explained at length to you and federalisy. In other words, "my true colors" in this context involves making a comment and then explaining my goals and intended meaning when questioned or criticized about that comment. In contrast, Tarls, you ran away when I questioned your repeated statements, as you now put it, that my "blog is a cesspool of left wing misanthropes who hate Amerikkka."

Turning to substance, Tarls, you show again your (deliberate?) failure to see the nuance in my comments. Here is the heart of the comment that got you on the attack: "Is it fair to wonder whether Heller et al --- along with the Obama-era uptick in gun manufacturing and sales --- are also part of this story?"

I did not say or even suggest that policiing and prisons are not part of the story --- rather I asked Bill whether he thought it FAIR to WONDER whether Heller ET AL along with Obama-ERA uptick are also PART of this story. I appreciate your links to charts on gun sales and manufacturing, Tarls, which seem to support my understanding that we have seen a significant increase in uptick in gun manufacturing and sales throughout the Obama era.

And here is the gun data I was aware of that was part of the basis for my initial comment:

"New federal data shows 2015 was a record-smashing year for the American firearms industry, with gun sales appearing to hit the highest level on record. Background checks for gun purchases and permits jumped 10 percent last year to 23.1 million, the largest number since the federal background check system began operating in 1998.

"Black Friday 2015 was the single biggest gun-purchasing day ever, with more than 185,000 checks processed, according to background check figures from the FBI. December saw the highest number of background checks processed in any month. The last five weeks of the year all ranked among the 10 biggest weeks ever for firearm background checks."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/05/gun-sales-hit-new-record-ahead-of-new-obama-gun-restrictions/

I think what's needed here is some indication that the additional firearms purchased in 2015 were used in the additional violent crime in that year. That crucial link is absent, and I am aware of no source that would document it.

The huge majority of legally obtained firearms are not, of course, used to commit crime. By contrast, the huge majority of released prison inmates DO commit crime again -- mostly non-violent crime (or at least crime that is not directly or per se violent), but a significant minority do commit violent crime.

Callahan, for example, was released early from his sentence for a non-violent (at least that time) crime, but went on to commit multiple child murder.

The link between legal gun ownership and crime is essentially non-existent so far as I know, but the link between previous incarceration and (repeat) crime is so well established that no serious person disputes it.

The point is, Bill, that there were more guns "on the street" in 2015 than in prior years (just like you are quick to note there were more released prisoners on the street in that year, too). Of course, there were also more guns and more released prisoners on the street in 2014 than in 2013, and yet crime hit record lows that year.

And, one need only look to other nations to see lots of links between limits on legal gun ownership and lower gun crimes/deaths.

lol

Doug, you are flailing.

In order to have ANY point, you have to take my comment to the literal extreme. Is federalist REALLY 5% of your commentators or do you have more than 20? I suspect you do, right? Or, is it plainly obvious that in response to your comment about this blog being an alt-right echo chamber, I made the (correct) observation that your own blog is full of leftist, Amerikkkan hating, cop hating, flamethrowers? It is like if I asked you for evidence of an actual "chamber" that "echoes" and that federalist lived in. Stop playing the clown.

You stated: "I do think this summary of what transpired shows that you smeared all my commentators (save federalist), claimed he could support the smears, and then failed to respond when I asked for him you to do so."

Not so. Yet, another fib. I DID respond. You just did not like it or even comment on it. You ignored it. I am not going to further such a vile comment by mentioning who it was about, but I brought up (several times now) how in YOUR cesspool people can be smeared as looking like Hitler/Nazis with guffawing by your clientele and silence by you.

Heck, I was reprimanded here for telling the truth about your inclination to ignore the obvious to further another position, ANY position that plays to your narrative. Not exactly tough stuff on my part, but that is how things are run here and I get why.

You prefer to run a mosh pit of fools. Do I now have to show pictures of an actual mosh pit in your home office with your commentators in it?

You stated: "Relatedly, I did show my "true colors" with my snide single comment about the "alt-right echo chamber" because in that comment (1) I was trying to get under federalist's skin, which is fun to do because he gives as good as he gets,..."

And you don't give and get?

Your above statement is nonsense anyway. In one breath (depending on the point you are trying to make at a given time), you will claim that you were trying to get under his skin which can only imply that you knew alt-right was pejorative. In the next breath, you claim that it only meant young people on the internet a lot, which would not get under ANYONE'S skin. Pick one.

You stated: "(2) I was using the term "alt-right" to reference non-establishment right on-line media."

Again, how would that "get under his skin?" It wouldn't. You want it both ways...

You stated: "In contrast, Tarls, you ran away when I questioned your repeated statements, as you now put it, that my "blog is a cesspool of left wing misanthropes who hate Amerikkka.""

Ran away? LOL Does it look like I am running? You have officially become a 13 year old Facebook debater. Stick to putting up cat memes.

You stated: "Turning to substance, Tarls, you show again your (deliberate?) failure to see the nuance in my comments. Here is the heart of the comment that got you on the attack: "Is it fair to wonder whether Heller et al --- along with the Obama-era uptick in gun manufacturing and sales --- are also part of this story?""

As usual, both a filibuster and untrue.

First, YOU DID bring up Heller. Not me. Not Bill. When we brought up the absurdity of blaming Heller, you then scolded us like a mother and said it was not REALLY Heller, but McDonald as if WE brought Heller up. That's called a "fact", Doug, one anyone can scroll up and see.

Second, I did not fail to see the "nuance" (not the word I would use) of your comment. In FACT, I pretty directly addressed it. I said (emphasis added), "As to the rest of the content of your post. It is not that it is not A COMPLEX TOPIC WITH A MYRIAD OF CAUSES and possible solutions. It is not even that other factors may not be MORE influential in causing this jump. It is that you, and others of your mindset, predictably, without wavering, and consistently choose as the alternative the theory that makes the least sense over the ones that pass the smell test but do not align with your worldview."

What do you think I was referring to with "complex topic" and "myriad of causes?" A pizza recipe?

Again, this is filibuster because you would rather pretend that I don't see "nuance" rather than admit YOU brought up Heller and scolded us and corrected us by saying it was really McDonald as if WE mentioned Heller. I am right. You are wrong. The prooftext is above in this thread.

You stated: "I did not say or even suggest that policiing and prisons are not part of the story -"

Who said otherwise? Please quote.

You stated: "rather I asked Bill whether he thought it FAIR to WONDER whether Heller ET AL along with Obama-ERA uptick are also PART of this story."

The first part is true and no one says otherwise. The second one is a l..., well, let's just say it continues a trend. At BEST, you tell an incomplete truth. You quote the best line to defend yourself and leave off the ones I WAS ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT. Yet, you constantly claim that truth and accuracy is more important to you than being lawyerly.

THIS quote of you is what the stats I provided were about.

"Even more critically to my point, gun sales/manufacturing really ramped up after Sandy Hook and concerns about new gun restrictions thereafter."

I made the point that your "fact" was not a "fact" and that gun sales plummeted after Sandy Hook. A simple question, Doug. Who was right? Me? Or, you? Please, no filibuster or lawyerly tactics. One word. Me. Or, you.

You stated: "The point is, Bill, that there were more guns "on the street" in 2015 than in prior years (just like you are quick to note there were more released prisoners on the street in that year, too)."

Silly reasoning. There were more "guns on the street" every single year of our nation's existence, save POSSIBLY a couple of years like when the automatic weapon was essentially banned. If we sell 10 million guns this year, or 100,000, there will be more guns on the street because guns are durable. This is true if the murder rate climbs or goes down. Very few go out of circulation, definitely fewer than are sold. I have my great great grandfather's Civil War pistol and own a Civil War rifle. I have my grandfather's 12 gauge shotgun and .22 rimfire, while he is long gone.

The same is not true of criminals. When we put more criminals behind bars, the crime rate dropped. We now have fewer behind bars, and the crime rate is climbing again.

You are not comparing apples to apples, even apples to oranges. You are comparing apples to sofas.

Doug, this is an ignorant comment. Licensed gun-owners commit a minuscule amount of crime in the USA. You know this. What's far more likely--Obama's dropping of gun prosecutions. Why aren't you asking that question?

Doug, "more guns on the street" is an awfully tendentious way of talking about law-abiding citizens' ownership of legal firearms.

And apparently, Doug has never heard of a lagging indicator . . . .

Another spotlight into your "character" that I just picked up on.

Your original comment: "Is it fair to wonder whether Heller et al --- along with the Obama-era uptick in gun manufacturing and sales --- are also part of this story?"

But here is my response: "Heller was decided in 2008 and the firearm related deaths have gone down significantly since. It's not like the rate began climbing a year or two after implementation. Heller is already baked in the cake.
What's different now than 2,3, or 4 years ago? Oh, yeah. We are letting out more and more "non-violent drug offenders" that are actually drug traffickers and violent."

In other words, I said that Heller is irrelevant because it occurred so long ago.

Your response? Here it is: "Relatedly as we are trying to stay clear with relevant facts, Heller only impacted DC, its application in states does not kick in until McDonald in 2010. Even more critically to my point, gun sales/manufacturing really ramped up after Sandy Hook and concerns about new gun restrictions thereafter."

You see, this is quite clear.

1) You brought up Heller.

2) I brought up that Heller was so long ago (2008), that it is already "baked into the cake."

3) You pivot to McDonald (2010)and Sandy Hook December 2012).

Why is this relevant? Because you were trying to counter what you know to be true, that Heller was too long ago to make a difference now. You chose to mention Sandy Hook at that point SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE IT IS A CLOSER REFERENCE POINT TO TODAY.

Yet, when I point out that you are absolutely wrong about Sandy Hook ramping up gun sales (they plummeted for the year or so after), you go back to defending your ORIGINAL statement about general "Obama era gun sales".

That's as slick as a Clinton.

Federalist: "What's far more likely--Obama's dropping of gun prosecutions. Why aren't you asking that question?"

My first post on this thread: "{Doug is] a living testament to the human ability to ignore the obvious and blame something else."

Tarls, I will respond in two posts, the first one on guns/homicides, the second on "Amerikkan hating" smears:

1. I am sorry if the phrase "Heller et al --- along with the Obama-era uptick in gun manufacturing and sales" was a confusing short-hand for the reality that, since Heller and during the Obama era, there are (1) a lot more guns in the US and (2) Second Amendment jurisprudence limits (slightly) how jurisdictions might respond to the fact that there are a lot more guns.

2. I brought this up because, drilling into the FBI data, the heart is a big increase in GUN murders (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/26/rate-murder-fbi-increase): "There were roughly 1,500 additional firearm murders in 2015. No other type of weapon saw a comparable increase. The number of knife murders dropped slightly. The percentage of murders committed with guns increased to 71.5%."

3. Please know (for this conversation and others), I am NEVER seeking to "blame" you or others or guns for anything. Many like to place "blame" for this or that for various (often self-serving) political reasons, but I try real hard not to play the "blame game," and I especially dislike being accused of blaming people/things when that is not at all how I think about and seek to engage with the world.

4. Bill's theme in the main post was that one "cause" for the big 2015 increase in murders "is the six year-long reduction in the prison population." I thereafter inquired of Bill whether he thought it fair to wonder if another possible cause for the 2015 increase in GUN murders was a "six year-long" increase in guns in the US and a constitutional jurisprudence that limits (slightly) how jurisdictions might respond thereto.

5. Again, my inquiry was not an effort to "ignore the obvious" or "blame something else" but rather an effort to see if Bill thought that the folks who promote the "more guns, less crime" mantra ought also to "be concerned about" increased gun murders Notably, folks who are drawn to the "more guns, less crime" idea made much of it as crime was down through 2014: see, e.g., http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/cnsnewscom-staff/more-guns-less-gun-violence-between-1993-and-2013

6. federalist, to his credit, adds a useful additional substantive point to this discussion: maybe "Obama's dropping of gun prosecutions" is another (and better) explanatory factor in the big 2015 increase in GUN murders. (Ergo my general affinity for federalist: he often has a good substantive point to make even while he is accusing me of making an "ignorant" comment.) More to the point as to my hope for future substantive conversations: let's all try to stay focused on the substance of what I say and also try to assume I have a genuine desire for inquiry and understand, not a desire to play "blame" or "gotcha" games.

On to smears, Tarls:

A. Let's start with no more obsession about my single "alt-right echo chamber" statement: federalist confirmed in our discussions that "his feelings aren't hurt," and I apologized to him for the comment anyway because he said he still wanted an apology. You, Tarls, considered this phrase a vile smear, after which I explained at length why the phrase was not meant as a vile smear (and I still have yet to hear anyone else interpret a single use of this phrase as a vile smear). But, most critically, this should now be water-under-the-blog-comments bridge.

B. What I don't consider water-under-the-bridge is your oft-repeated statements that the large majority of my blog's commentors are "misanthropes who hate Amerikkka." I am still waiting for ANY support for this smear with respect to ANY of my commentators. You now say your support is based commentator(s) having said "that another commentator looked like Hitler/a Nazi." How is that showing that even that commentator(s) --- let alone the vast majority of others --- "hate Amerikka"?

C. What this conversation suggests, and what truly saddens me Tarls, is how quick you are to assume/accuse anyone who seems to you to be liberal (or who criticizes someone you respect as being "like Hitler/a Nazi") must necessarily be a person who is "Amerikkkan hating." It is this kind of ugly assumption about the patriotism and good faith of those who express dissent --- i.e., the assertion that those who disagree with others and express their disagreements must "hate Amerikka"? --- which has deeply coarsened our modern political discourse and contributed, in my view, to the rise of a candidate (and future Prez?) like Trump.

D. Not only do I love America, I love it because it give me the freedom to think and speak freely. And I sincerely think one of America's most noble and virtuous characteristics is its embrace of dissent and of the sharp exchange of ideas free from government interference and, I would hope, free from people trying to censor or assail others by branding them as unpatriotic or as "haters" of this great nation. One of many reasons I have become disenchanted by some folks on the Left is my deep concern for the Left's new tendency to unfairly demonize (and seek to silence) those who disagree with Leftist dogma. Tarls, you are a useful reminder for me that there are still also folks who claim to be right-leaning who fall prey to the same ugly brand of thinking about those who disagree with them.

E. Wrapping up, I will ask once again, Tarls, for you to provide ANY evidence of ANY commenters being persons who "hate Amerikka." Pointing to the fact one or another has called another Hilter/Nazi is not even close to backing up your repeated statements. And please understand, I really do want to know what YOU mean by these smears and how you come to see any/all liberal comments as "hate Amerikka" comments. You keep making the claim, so I keep hoping it is not impolite for me to keep pressing for some (any?) accounting of the basis for your claims.

1-2) Wasn't confusing at all. I knew exactly what you meant. You merely keep repeating your original statement while trying to ignore your more specific statements that were demonstrably wrong. You are doing your "lawyer thang" of trying to reset the narrative. For you, truth is optional.

This is evident as you fail to answer critical questions. In other words, I am getting, "CONSPICIOUS AND CONTINUED SILENCE! about the following questions I asked. You must be "running!"

A) Who brought up Heller?
B) Who said Heller could not realistically have much to do with the rise?
C) Who scolded me with, no, it's actually McDonald?
D) Who said that gun sales went up after Sandy Hook?
E) Who said they did not?
F) Who was right?
G) Who brought up increased gun sales as an explanation?
H) Is it true or not that there are "more guns on the street" virtually every year regardless of an increase/decrease in gun sales?

3) Sure, you "suggest." Of course, these "suggestions" almost always come at the expense of a worldview different than your own. You become a lot less curious and free with your alternative "suggestions" if the data supports your worldview. It then becomes "the best data we have available."

4) It has not been a "six year long increase in guns" in the US. It has been a 240 year increase in guns and the murder rate has increased and decreased dramatically at different times during the period. That points to a likely different factor.

5)You stated: "(Ergo my general affinity for federalist: he often has a good substantive point to make even while he is accusing me of making an "ignorant" comment.) More to the point as to my hope for future substantive conversations: let's all try to stay focused on the substance of what I say and also try to assume I have a genuine desire for inquiry and understand, not a desire to play "blame" or "gotcha" games."

LOL I had a lot of "substantive" comments, many of which you were flailing against above.

As far as your "genuine desire" for "inquiry" and not a desire to play "gotcha" games, who brought up a two week old debate in a completely unrelated thread? Who was it that said, "...Tarls has shown his true colors when he smeared all my commentators, claimed he could support his smears with "evidence," and then failed to respond when I asked for him for his evidence."?????

Who was it that hilariously brought up "running?"

Some answer for you, Tarls:

A) Who brought up Heller?

I did, in the context of discussing modern gun realities and 2d A jurisprudence.

B) Who said Heller could not realistically have much to do with the rise?

You did, though you did not understand the point of my reference to Heller et al. + Obama era increases in gun manufacturing/sales

C) Who scolded me with, no, it's actually McDonald?

I do not think I "scolded" you. What leads you to use that curious term? I tried to explain that by Heller et al. + Obama era increases in gun manufacturing/sales I was trying to generally reference the "more guns/less regulations allowed" reality.

D) Who said that gun sales went up after Sandy Hook?

I did say gun sales/manufacturing went up after Sandy Hook and into Obama's second term, and the data YOU linked still seems to support this statement:
https://www.thetrace.org/2015/07/us-guns-manufacturing-atf-report/

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/02/astonishing-growth-american-gun-culture-three-graphs/358385/


E) Who said they did not?

You said FBI background checks went down, but I do not think background checks and gun sales/manufacturing are the same numbers. I will readily admit to not being an expert on this data, but I continue to think it right based on data I see that there are lots and lots more guns in the US now than (1) before Heller, and (2) before Sandy Hook.

F) Who was right?

I am not sure, data is hard to parse from the charts you sent my way on the point of increased gun sales/manufacturing

G) Who brought up increased gun sales as an explanation?

I brought up the question of whether Bill thought it fair to wonder if more guns might be part of the explanation for more gun crime/murder in 2015.

H) Is it true or not that there are "more guns on the street" virtually every year regardless of an increase/decrease in gun sales?

Not sure about this one, as I do not know about guy turn-in and buy-back programs, as well as enforcement efforts (e.g., Fast and Furious) and all sort of other factors that might influence "guns on the street"


Also, it is unclear whether the data shows a 240 year increase in guns, as some data tell a much more nuanced story:
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/03/chart-day-gun-ownership-30-year-decline

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/08/graphics-americas-guns

I agree, Tarls, that you make a lot of good substantive comments, too. And that is among the reasons I want to better understand and see support for your repeated "hate America" refrain.

A) "...Let's start with no more obsession about my single "alt-right echo chamber" statement:...But, most critically, this should now be water-under-the-blog-comments bridge."

Who is obsessed? Who brought this topic up here something like two weeks after the debate? That is YOU bringing it up at 3:39 PM yesterday, right?

B) "...What I don't consider water-under-the-bridge..."

So, YOU get to make the decisions regarding what is and is not "water under the bridge?" How convenient for you.

" that the large majority of my blog's commentors are "misanthropes who hate Amerikkka." I am still waiting for ANY support for this smear with respect to ANY of my commentators. You now say your support is based commentator(s) having said "that another commentator looked like Hitler/a Nazi." How is that showing that even that commentator(s) --- let alone the vast majority of others --- "hate Amerikka"?"

Again, this is what you do. You put aside the conversation about Federalist as "water under the bridge", because you have provided ZERO EVIDENCE that he lives in a "alt-right echo chamber." Yet, YOU have the onions to demand evidence from ME? Are you freaking kidding me?

Doug, I spent years on your blog. Nearly every post was full of America is racist, America sucks, those who don't want to let pedophiles out are Nazis, blah, blah, blah rants from your commentators. I am not going to go back and quote them. You know it. I know it. Everyone here who spent time on your blog knows it. It is why many stopped posting over there. If you don't like that being said about your clientele, get yourself new clientele.

C) "What this conversation suggests, and what truly saddens me Tarls, is how quick you are to assume/accuse anyone who seems to you to be liberal (or who criticizes someone you respect as being "like Hitler/a Nazi") must necessarily be a person who is "Amerikkkan hating.""

Nonsense. I don't consider you "Amerikkkan hating." There are liberal commentators here. I cannot think of one that I consider "Amerikkkan hating." You are just making the absurd claim because forwarding such a narrative about me is the only way you can defend your latrine over at SLP.

"--- which has deeply coarsened our modern political discourse and contributed, in my view, to the rise of a candidate (and future Prez?) like Trump."

Yeah, but I hate Trump. Funny how you have not a negative word about Obama and Hillary "coarsening our modern political discourse." You know, things like, "Everyone who disagrees with liberal policies must be racist" and "deplorables."

D) "I would hope, free from people trying to censor or assail others by branding them as unpatriotic or as "haters" of this great nation. One of many reasons I have become disenchanted by some folks on the Left is my deep concern for the Left's new tendency to unfairly demonize (and seek to silence) those who disagree with Leftist dogma."

Your little diatribe assumes that there are not people who hate America. Ask some of them, Doug, they will TELL you.

"Tarls, you are a useful reminder for me that there are still also folks who claim to be right-leaning who fall prey to the same ugly brand of thinking about those who disagree with them."

Again, this is a debate strategy, not anything supported by fact. In fact, you are doing the same thing you claim to deplore. You essentially say, "Because I state a fact, that some hate America, that they must think everyone hates America."

You claim to like evidence. One quote, Doug, of me saying that ALL leftists, or ALL who disagree with me, must hate America. ONE QUOTE. You will ignore this because you know your comment is all tactical BS.

E) lol

A) You did in the context of Heller possibly being somehow responsible for the increase.

B) I understood perfectly. You just need to pretend otherwise.

C) You completely ignored that you brought up Heller and pivoted to McDonald, correcting me.

D) Wrong. Gun sales plummeted for about the next year after Sandy Hook.

E) Gun sales (manufacturing has NOTHING to do with how many guns are "on the streets"). Gun SALES do. Background checks are done on ALL NEW GUN SALES.

F) There is nothing to "parse." It is obvious.

H) Oh, come on Doug. We both know that buy back programs and the such constitute a drop in the bucket of what is out there. Don't play ignorant.

"According to the Congressional Research Service, there are roughly twice as many guns per capita in the United States as there were in 1968: more than 300 million guns in all."

Tarls, we can keep talking about whatever you want to talk about, but you continue to fail to do what you said you could do after you said:

"this blog is 95% liberal cesspool complaining about how bad Amerikkka is and 5% federalist" ....

"My comment was obviously referring to your comment crew .... It is 95% people who hate Amerikkka and federalist."

"I can back up my statement"

I never said I could "back up my statement" about federalist having discussions in an "alt-right echo chamber." Indeed, I spent time explaining my intended meaning, which you were eager to reject at every turn.

In contrast, when I asked you about the assertion that 95% of the comment crew "hate Amerikkka," you said you could "back up" these statement. All I have now asked you to do, and I am still waiting, is to "back up" your statements WITH ANY evidence.

I do not deny there are people who hate America, especially throughout the middle east and in other lands. But I think the vast majority of my commentators --- even those who may say things like "America is racist, America sucks, those who don't want to let pedophiles out are Nazis, blah, blah, blah" --- are not people who "hate Amerikkka". I read even the most forceful comments --- from folks on the left and the right and even from Supremecy Claus --- to be part of a good faith effort to get America to be the country that these folks want and hope and believe American should be.

Do you think MLK Jr. hated America because he called out the racism he saw? How about Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton? How about Donald Trump, who spent most of last night saying over and over and over again in various ways that he thinks "America sucks" and need him to fix it.

I agree with your concern about folks on both sides of the aisle coarsening our modern political discourse (and I blame under-oath-liar Bill Clinton most of all). But I continue to wish you would stop assuming "hate" for America drives others' comments. Hate is corrosive and I would think your own apparent disaffinity for the alt-right and Trump would keep you from calling a whole lot of others "America haters."

And, last but not least, we should recall not only that you have yet to provide evidence that any commentor "hates Amerikka," but also that the statement you claimed you could "back up" was that the "comment crew .... is 95% people who hate Amerikkka."

I suppose I should find funny that you now want to laugh off "lol" an attempt to hold you to your word, Tarls, but I find this much more sad than funny.

Your references are useless.

The number of households with guns decreasing has nothing to do with how many guns are in circulation.

If someone sells their only gun to a guy with 20 guns, there are obviously still the same number of guns.

Tarls, on substance, the Atlantic story I linked above says this: "The FBI has collected data on background checks since 1998, the process that gun buyers have to go through before completing a purchase...

From the end of 2012 into the beginning months of 2013, the number of checks conducted went through the roof, as people bought guns out of concern that Congress would pass new restrictions after the Sandy Hook massacre. Once it became obvious Congress would do no such thing, the pace slowed — but 2013 was still a record year for checks."

Here are more media talking about post-Sandy Hook spikes in gun sales:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/colorado-sets-new-record-_n_2317611.html

From FOX NEWS: "Gun sales surge after Connecticut massacre"
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/18/gun-sales-surge-after-connecticut-massacre.html

So I really am not sure who has the data right, but I think I do when I asserted gun sales increased after Sandy Hook, no?

As you know, we are all entitled to our own opinions, not our own facts.

I just realized that I "blamed" Bill Clinton only a few comments after I said I did not like to play the Blame game. Shows yet again that when you really, really, really disrespect someone --- as I do big Bill --- it is hard not to play the blame game.

As one of my colleagues used to like to say: "I guess my castle has many rooms."

Funny how you address only what you want to address.

You stated that I was obsessed. Who brought the topic back up, some two weeks or so after the debate?

Why do YOU get to decide that one comment is "water under the bridge and another is not other than your own convenience?

You not saying, "I can back up my statement" is irrelevant. I asked you to, yes? That puts the onus on you BEFORE you have the right to ask me for anything. That is debate 101 and good manners.

As far as what I can and cannot do, as I said, I am not going to go back and dive through posts from years ago. I "can," but refuse to spend my time doing what we both know is true. Your website is a cesspool of anti-Americanism. We can argue all day whether that equates to hate (I think it does) but my point stands. I don't have to show what we both know to be true.

You stated: "Do you think MLK Jr. hated America because he called out the racism he saw? How about Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton? How about Donald Trump, who spent most of last night saying over and over and over again in various ways that he thinks "America sucks" and need him to fix it."

Trump never said, America sucks in any way.

MLK? Come on. He spoke in aspirations, not in the manner of those on your blog.

You stated: "I agree with your concern about folks on both sides of the aisle coarsening our modern political discourse (and I blame under-oath-liar Bill Clinton most of all). But I continue to wish you would stop assuming "hate" for America drives others' comments."

People who never have a positive word about this country hardly have a claim to say they "love" it. Sorry, but BLM does not "love" this country.

Your articles of the "spike" are for 48 hours in the immediate aftermath. We know you were not talking about a 48 hour period.

I do not think my blog is a "cesspool of anti-Americanism," and I continue to lose more and more respect for you Tarls when you make this false claim and refuse to provide any support for it (and therefore lead me to believe you really think criticizing US mass incarceration amounts to anti-Americanism). I keep hoping you will live up to your word by at least trying to back up your false disparaging claims about the patriotism of those who comment on my blog, but it now seems you are just not a man of your word.

The Atlantic article cited that 2013, the year after Sandy Hook, had the most ever FBI background checks. Is that data wrong? If it is, please point me to the accurate data and I will say you are right. But, until you do, I continue to believe in the data I voted and continue to fear you are dishonest as well as not being a man of your word.

Good news, Tarls, I think I found the official background check data from the FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics_firearm_checks_-_month_year.pdf

This data shows, if I am reading the data right, just under 16.5 million checks in 2011, spiked up to 19.5 million in 2012, spiked up to 21.1 million in 2013.

And, the months (not jus the 48 hours) after Sandy Hook had these record high numbers of background checks:

Dec 2012: 2.78 million
Jan 2013: 2.49 million
Feb 2013: 2.31 million
Mar 2013: 2.21 million

All four of these months had more sales/checks than than any prior month in US history. And April, March and Nov of 2013 also saw the highest # of background checks for that particular month in history at that point AND the other 6 months in 2013 had the second highest # of background checks ever for those months.

Is this clear data not conclusive proof that I was 100% correct when I said "gun sales went up after Sandy Hook"? Is this not also proof that you were wrong when claiming "Gun sales plummeted for about the next year after Sandy Hook?"

You have already revealed you are not committed to being a man of your word, but I hope you can be a man willing to admit when he is indisputably wrong about the facts.

Doug, this is an example of your debate style--a miasma of words and a faux earnestness. I am reminded of a Merchant of Venice quote:

"Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice, his reasons are as two bits of wheat in two bushels of chaff. You shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them, they are not worth the search."

Increased legal gun ownership in the USA has correlated with decreased criminal behavior for decades now. It seems that guns in the hand of the law-abiding has either (a) been irrelevant to the decrease in crime or (b) has been a (not the) cause for the decrease. And now a one-year huge spike in crime is associated with Heller?

Framing the issue as a question doesn't save you (that's the faux earnestness part). What's far more likely--a build-up of non-deported criminal aliens, a build-up of non-prosecuted gun criminals by the Obama DoJ and some de-policing in urban areas. You studiously avoid these issues to focus on Heller?

Tarls has you dead to rights on the "alt-right" nonsense. You've wriggled and wriggled on that issue, and now your intellectual dishonesty is on display here.

Nice to have you back into the substantive discussion, federalist, even though I wish you'd praise me for being right (while Tarls was plainly wrong) on whether "gun sales went up after Sandy Hook." But, in order to get to substance, I will put aside my concern about how you "studiously avoid these issues [of factual accuracy] to focus" on my "debate style."

I do not generally disagree with your basic claim that a spike in (only GUN) murders in 2015 is "far more likely" a result of "a build-up of non-deported criminal aliens, a build-up of non-prosecuted gun criminals by the Obama DoJ and some de-policing in urban areas." But even if I agreed 100% with these statements --- though I'd want to add in the heroin epidemic and drug-turf-war factors --- is it not fair to wonder and worry "whether Heller et al [and] Obama-era uptick" are also "part of this story"? Isn't there a chance that these factors --- less deportations, less gun prosecutions, de-policing --- are aggravated by there being so many more guns in circulation?

Whatever you substantive response, I continue to be amazed by how my effort merely to encourage some consideration of the modern laws and practicalities of guns in the wake of a huge spike in only GUN murders has here led to (1) forceful false factual assertions by Tarls, and (2) your assertion I am "intellectually dishonest" --- not to mention lots of other insults hurled at me and my blog).

And on the topic of intellectual honestly, federalist, do you honestly think it fair and fitting to describe my blog as a "cesspool of anti-Americanism" or that the blog's "comment crew .... is 95% people who hate Amerikkka." (I'd also like to hear from Bill and Kent on this front, too, if they are still paying attention.)

I ask genuinely and hope for an honest response because Tarls comments make me concerned I have created an "Alt-Left" space without realizing it. (Although, for the record, I do not consider those involved in the Alt-Right to be anti-American or haters of American.) That seems to be the meaning and spirit of what Tarls keeps asserting as "fact," and I am eager to know from other people I respect as to whether they agree with his accounts of my blog and the commenters there.

"But even if I agreed 100% with these statements --- though I'd want to add in the heroin epidemic and drug-turf-war factors --- is it not fair to wonder and worry 'whether Heller et al [and] Obama-era uptick' are also 'part of this story'? Isn't there a chance that these factors --- less deportations, less gun prosecutions, de-policing --- are aggravated by there being so many more guns in circulation?"

Rather slimy--how can you not agree 100% with my point if you agree that they are contributors? Moreover, you don't even address the point that legal gun ownership has been associated with lower crime rates for years.

Personally, I think that legal gun ownership isn't the problem when it comes to crime--obviously, the Pulse nightclub shooting is a counterexample, but the reality is that legal gun ownership isn't driving murders generally, and unless you have some evidence that the availability of guns to criminals is made a whole lot easier by law-abiding people having more guns, then the "I wonder whether" is just tendentious sniveling.

Sad to say, this is just typical Doug Berman. Murders go up by a lot, and Doug's looking not at Obama, but Heller. Callahan kills kids, and the state's to blame. Hillary wants to prosecute people for political speech, and you fear that incarcerating serious criminals for serious time is more indicative of a commitment to freedom.

You're intellectually dishonest because you aren't addressing the issues and pressing with this faux earnest "I wonder" nonsense.

Quite frankly, your beef with tarls is your beef with tarls.

Doug,

If those numbers are indeed correct, then, yes, you were right.

It's not hard, Doug. You should try it sometime. I know you can do it.

That said, it does not really show how many new guns are "on the street." Backgound checks are done for any sale by a dealer, whether it be a new or used gun.

The main issue is this. The amount of guns on the street has been going up virtually every year of this nation's existence. The murder rate goes up and it goes down, despite this constant increase in guns. It's absurd to believe that this lack of correlation for almost 240 years suddenly reversed in 2008...or 2012.

Remember, one does not have to sell more guns this year than last for the number of guns on the street to rise. It only takes one more sale than the minuscule number of guns that are irretrievably broken, seized by police, etc. There are now fewer gun owners (at least by percentage of the population) but more guns. There is now more than 1 gun for every man, woman, and child in the US.

You stated: "You have already revealed you are not committed to being a man of your word, but I hope you can be a man willing to admit when he is indisputably wrong about the facts."

Says the man who STILL has not shown any evidence that federalist is an alt right echo chamber guy and who has claimed simultaneously that the comment was meant to zing federalist AND that he did not imply any negative connotation when he used it EVEN THOUGH he implied the "echo chamber" was filled with nut jobs talking about Hillary is going to die conspiracy theories.

As I said, Doug, you got big onions talking about anyone not being a man of their word. One cannot logically hold all of the positions above. You do.

Either you were trying to insult Federalist with the alt-right, meaning you know it is insulting to many, OR you were not trying to insult him and did not know.

Considering that accusing someone of hanging out in "echo chambers" that constantly talk about Hillary dying is obviously an insult, it's the former. Man up, Doug.

Then, in light of your definition of alt right given here again, that it is non-traditional conservative internet types. Yet, you stated that this website and Powerline were (or might be) "alt-right. How do they fit such a definition? Or, were you "smearing" them? They are not alt right and you know it but it was a convenient ploy at the time. Bill Otis-alt rightist. lol

You stated: "and I continue to lose more and more respect for you Tarls..."

I'll let you know when I care, Doug. Here is a hint. You are not my professor. You are not my dad. You are not my priest. You are not Jesus. You are not my wife. You are not my kid. You are not my employer. You are not even someone I know. When a man who slithers out from under his own words day in and day out tells me that he lost respect for me, I don't blink an eye. Why? Becuase such words from you are a ploy. A tactic. Nothing more. Getting a sincere and honest word from you is a Sysiphian task.

You stated: "when you make this false claim and refuse to provide any support for it (and therefore lead me to believe you really think criticizing US mass incarceration amounts to anti-Americanism)."

First, a false premise. Calling it a "false claim" does not make it one.

Two, the second is non sequitur, but you knew it and typed it anyway. I "lead" you nowhere. You chose to come to that conclusion because you believe it is a good debating ploy.

I am not addressing the issues YOU want me to address, federalist, but I am addressing issues that concern trying to figure out all the reasons why we are having a big spike in (only GUN) murders. And you keep over-reacting to what I say (when you are not just flat-out mischaracterizing what I say).

I agree that legal gun ownership has been associated with lower crime rates for years, AND THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF MY FIRST INQUIRY TO BILL!! There is a an interesting and important empirical case for the "More guns = less crime" claim. And my first post was intended to ask whether those drawn to those data --- of which I am one, as I am a fan of Heller + McDonald --- need to worry about whether the big 2015 uptick in (only GUN) murders now makes the "More guns = less crime" claim a harder one to sell.

I share your view that "legal gun ownership isn't the problem," but I also worry that an unprecedented spike in gun manufacturing/sales in the US may be a contributing factor to increased gun murders. After all, the latest data indicates that "privately owned firearms are stolen in America with alarming frequency: between 300,000 and 600,000 every year." https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/21/gun-theft-us-firearm-survey

This is a huge number and one that would appear to be increasing considerably as there are more and more legal guns privately owned: BJS data from 2012 says that even as overall thefts declined from 2005 to 2010, the number/percentage of thefts involving firearms increased: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fshbopc0510.pdf And during that period we averaged "only" roughly 230,000 gun theft/year

So, there is a strong empirical basis for saying that (1) a lot more people legally having more guns (after Sandy Hook, a fact I had right and Tarls had wrong but won't even be man enough to admit this), and (2) more people having their guns stolen by more criminals, results in (3) criminals having guns. Is this "evidence" good enough for you to think I am not involved in "just tendentious sniveling."

The more you and Tarls call me names, while at the same time showing little concern for a serious and honest and accurate discussion about real facts concerning guns and gun crimes, the more and more I conclude name-calling and ignoring inconvenient facts are more important to you than having a real honest discussion. And the great irony here is that you are showing these impolite and ignorant tendencies, in response to a post in which Bill is rightly complaining about the eagerness of folks on the Left to respond to undeniable facts with name-calling and ignorance about reality because it serves their political interests.

Doug,

The following illustrates PERFECTLY what I mean.

You stated: " (1) a lot more people legally having more guns (after Sandy Hook, a fact I had right and Tarls had wrong but won't even be man enough to admit this), and..."

Well, yeah, I did "admit" it but let's assume you were typing when my post went up (possible.)

You had NO IDEA whether I was not "man enough to admit it" or the AT LEAST equally plausible scenario that I had just not seen your post/link yet. However, you CHOSE to automatically believe and express the most negative scenario out of convenience for your "position."

That's slimy.

As far as gun thefts, number of guns, etc. Your data is irrelevant unless you can come up with a sensible theory as to why 310,000,000 privately owned guns is somehow that much worse than say, 280,000,000.

Just saw your comment, Tarls, and I now have some more respect for you now that you have admitted you were flat wrong on the facts concerning gun sales after Sandy Hook. Might you also admit you were foolish to call me out for being factually wrong on this front without even taking the time to look up the facts, and that such foolishness here (not to mention all the name-calling) is likely a product of your dislike for me because _____. (Actually, I an not quite sure why you dislike me... is it because I am a lawyer? Because I call myself a libertarian? Because I support marijuana reform?)

Back to the alt-right echo chamber fun: I was trying to tease federalist with the references, especially because it came after his reference to a name I found on a bunch of alt-right sites. It is possible I wanted to tease someone but not insult them? More to the point, I never said or suggested in my comment that I could "back up" the teasing reference to federalist having discussions in the alt-right echo chamber. But you said you could back up your statements about America haters being 95% of my commenters. And all I am asking for is a few example of a few comments that you say backs up your statement. I really do not think it takes "big onions" to ask you to do what you said you could do to support your claims about people who comment at my blog.

Fair points, Tarls, in your 1:14pm post (which I just saw) and part of the reason I got snide this way (and wrongly assumed you would not respond) is because you keep being unwilling to "back up" the claims about 95% of my commenters being haters of America after saying you could.

And you are right that I far too quickly "CHOSE ... most negative scenario" and for that I sincerely apologize. You now clearly are a man willing and able to admit when he is wrong, and I am sorry that I assumed otherwise. And I really do not want to be slimy in my dealing with you even though you plainly like to think of me as a snake because ______?

On substance, Tarls, 310,000,000 privately owned guns is clearly not "much worse" than say, 280,000,000. But isn't 500,000 stolen guns in 2015 now in the hands of criminals "much worse" than 200,000 stolen guns in 2008?

Again, my point throughout is not at all that this data or other clearly "explains" anything. But when (only) GUN murders spike up in 2015, I do think we ought to consider just a bit at any and all data we have concerning the (1) the total number of guns, and (2) the total number of guns now ending up in the wrong hands (and also the failings of local, state and federal folks for prosecuting fewer gun crimes). No?

You stated: "Might you also admit you were foolish to call me out for being factually wrong on this front without even taking the time to look up the facts,..."

Huh? I provided a link to the numbers. Were they wrong? Perhaps. But that is not on me as much as the one who published them. It certainly is not a case of me not "even taking the time to look them up."

I would also point out that you made the claim without taking the time to look them up and then provided completely irrelevant sources such as the ones discussing a rise in background checks over a 48 hour period.

You stated: "...and that such foolishness here (not to mention all the name-calling) is likely a product of your dislike for me because _____. (Actually, I an not quite sure why you dislike me... is it because I am a lawyer? Because I call myself a libertarian? Because I support marijuana reform?)"

To the degree it could be called "dislike" (it's not, really), it's due to your penchant for looking to win debates rather than to be truthful.

BTW, how much name calling was in your previous post condemning name calling? Quite a bit from my perspective.

You stated:" I was trying to tease federalist with the references, especially because it came after his reference to a name I found on a bunch of alt-right sites. It is possible I wanted to tease someone but not insult them?"

THIS is what I am talking about.

Doug, I should not have to explain this to you. You are not a dumb guy.

There is no "tease" or "insult" if alt-right only means "non-traditional conservative on the internet a lot." If I call you "honest", it is not a "tease" because people associate "honesty" as a good thing. If I call you "dishonest", it is a tease or insult because people think negatively of dishonest people.

The same is true of alt-right. If you did not think there was a negative connotation to it, it would make no sense to use the phrase to tease him. It only works if it has a negative implication, such as a bunch of idiots talking about "Hillary dying."

You cannot have it both ways.

You stated: "More to the point, I never said or suggested in my comment that I could "back up" the teasing reference to federalist having discussions in the alt-right echo chamber."

So, throwing out accusations that are untrue is OK as long as you don't say you will back them up? Even if someone asks you to? How is that better?

You stated: " But you said you could back up your statements about America haters being 95% of my commenters. And all I am asking for is a few example of a few comments that you say backs up your statement. I really do not think it takes "big onions" to ask you to do what you said you could do to support your claims about people who comment at my blog."

And I can...but won't. Why? Because I am not going back three(?) years to when I left the cesspool and dig up old quotes. I don't have time for that even if I felt you would take an honest look at them. Some dogs live with their fleas long enough that they they think of the fleas as their family. Or, I am also "man enough" to admit that there is a small chance that your blog has turned over clientele enough where it has gotten better. In my short return over there just a couple weeks ago though, posts by such luminaries as "fat bastard" did not convince me that it changed much.

You stated: " ...and part of the reason I got snide this way (and wrongly assumed you would not respond) is because you keep being unwilling to "back up" the claims about 95% of my commenters being haters of America after saying you could."

Got it. It is MY fault you jumped to conclusions. (Another Bermanism, the "unapology." Say you are wrong and then find a way to actually blame the other person or put a stipulation in there that renders the apology meaningless, such as your "apology" to federalist.) SMH

You stated: "And I really do not want to be slimy in my dealing with you even though you plainly like to think of me as a snake because ______?"

you slither.

I'm closing comments on this thread.

I would appreciate it if all commenters would address issues and facts and refrain from remarks about each other.

"On substance, Tarls, 310,000,000 privately owned guns is clearly not "much worse" than say, 280,000,000. But isn't 500,000 stolen guns in 2015 now in the hands of criminals "much worse" than 200,000 stolen guns in 2008?
Again, my point throughout is not at all that this data or other clearly "explains" anything. But when (only) GUN murders spike up in 2015, I do think we ought to consider just a bit at any and all data we have concerning the (1) the total number of guns, and (2) the total number of guns now ending up in the wrong hands (and also the failings of local, state and federal folks for prosecuting fewer gun crimes). No?"

It's not like there were not enough guns to steal when there were "only" 280,000,000 guns on the street. I suspect the criminals found victims to steal guns from quite easily.

In other words, it cannot be a gun sale problem, it is a gun THEFT problem.

You then have to consider, why are there more gun thefts?

Do people keep guns less secure than 8 years ago? I doubt it.

Have sentences for gun theft (and possession by a felon) gone down over the last 8 years? I doubt it. Prosecutions? Perhaps. But, again, that would not be a "gun" issue.

Are there now more people on the street due to prison downsizing who have a proven criminal record and may want to steal guns to commit more crime? Hmmmmmm.....

I'm closing comments on this thread.

I would appreciate it if all commenters would address issues and facts and refrain from remarks about each other.

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