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Re: “Morgan-Jones interview is a delicious media moment

Yeah. And the Morgan-Shapiro interview was just scrumptious. Funny how you didn't follow up by mentioning this. Guess it is a matter of taste. Or flagrant bias.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by craig on 01/17/2013 at 10:26 PM

Re: “Obama: 'We've suffered too much pain'

"Topping his list is enacting universal background checks for people purchasing guns. Currently, as many as 40 percent of the guns purchased in the US are sold without background checks, he said. "

GIGO, as they say. This is the kind of stuff a reporter should look into. It's not that hard.

"The dubious statistic of guns that avoided background checks — which is actually 36 percent — comes from a small 251-person survey on gun sales two decades ago, very early in the Clinton administration. Most of the survey covered sales before the Brady Act instituted mandatory federal background checks in early 1994.

If that alone didn’t make the number invalid, the federal survey simply asked buyers if they thought they were buying from a licensed firearms dealer. While all Federal Firearm Licensees do background checks, only those perceived as being FFLs were counted. Yet, there is much evidence that survey respondents who went to the smallest FFLs, especially the “kitchen table” types, had no idea that the dealer was actually “licensed.” Many buyers seemed to think that only “brick and mortar” stores were licensed dealers, and so the survey underestimating the number of sales covered by the checks.

Another reason for the high number is that it includes guns transferred as inheritances or as gifts from family members. Even President Obama’s background proposal excludes almost all of those transfers.

If you look at guns that were bought, traded, borrowed, rented, issued as a requirement of the job, or won through raffles, 85 percent went through Federal Firearm Licensees and would have been subject to a background check. Only 15 percent would have been transferred without a background check."

So lets'a have a real conversation, one that starts with facts. Not unexamined repetition of fiction.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by craig on 01/17/2013 at 10:22 PM

Re: “Some useful gun-death statistics

Here are some useful statistics:

-Serious violent crimes involving weapons are down by 26% from 2002 to 2011 despite general liberalization of gun control laws in the same period.
-Mass shootings have not actually increased in frequency, peaking in 1929
-The only independent factor found to be associated stopping or neutralizing would-be mass shooters has been the presence of someone, a law-abiding citizen, with a concealed weapon. All of the tragedies that have reached national attention have occurred in gun-free zones. There are numerous (largely unreported) incidents where a person walked into a crowded public place, started shooting, and was supressed, arrested or killed because someone there had a (legal) gun and stopped them.
-While a causative relationship is debated and disputable, there is a correlation: states with higher rates of legal gun ownership have lower rates of gun-related crime. At the very least, we can take away from this that legal gun ownership (regardless of the type of weapon) doesn't necessarily correlate with a higher likelihood of gun-related crimes.

These, and other facts, are things a journalist can learn about and report if he or she chooses to. They're complicated. They don't fit well on a bumpersticker. They're part of what a real conversation is about.

Until then.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by craig on 01/11/2013 at 12:53 AM

Re: “Obama inauguration inducts acceptance

Thank you for clearly identifying the racism and sexism that continues to plague our country. According to Mr. Macaluso, the choice of Mr. Blanco is commendable because he is Cuban and gay. So much for MLK Jr.'s dream. And if you still don't get it, imagine a post heralding JFK's choice of Robert Frost because he was an Anglo-Saxon heterosexual.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by craig on 01/11/2013 at 12:14 AM

Re: “Petraeus scandal may pull covers off the effects of war

I suspect that Gen (ret) Petaeus' legacy as an incredibly well-respected leader, particularly among the troops, and remarkable accomplishements, despite lack of support from this Administration, will eventually dwarf the media's current fascination with his human failings (and he is human). There isn't a shred of evididence that his "years of multiple deployments" were the root of his foibles. None. So please stop trying to coopt this man's story for some sort of erstatz psychoanalysis on PTSD.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by craig on 11/19/2012 at 9:02 PM

Re: “Hurricane Sandy and climate change: It's complicated

"There has been a series of extreme weather incidents. That is not a political statement, that is a factual statement. Anyone who says there is not a dramatic change in weather patterns is denying reality," - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Wow. I never would have guessed that Andrew Cuomo was a respected, published and scientifically-established climatologist! Probably for lack of any demonstrable authority in this regard.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by craig on 10/30/2012 at 9:45 PM

Re: “Hurricane Sandy and climate change: It's complicated

"what more do you need to know"

Well, the cyclic nature of superstorms over the course of the past few centuries are a start. But, hey, who wants to deprive the simple of simplisms at the hour of expediency. For once, NPR decided to report science rather than bumperstickerisms. Would that other leftists could learn from this.

Until then,


3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by craig on 10/30/2012 at 12:38 AM

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