Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Standard-Examiner Is Running One Hell Of An Op-ed Page Today

Local focus, local or state authors, and filled with chewy pieces, nicely argued

By Curmudgeon

OK, I realize today's main topic is going to be Mr. Schwebke's continuing to dig into the campaign financing scandal involving Hizzonah and Mr. Johnson. And that's as it should be. But as we congratulate the SE for continuing to uncover more and more of the story, we don't want to lose sight of another good page this Sunday. The Standard is running one hell of an op-ed page today. Three interesting and controversial pieces, all well composed, all chewy, and all local to Ogden or to Utah.

First there's a piece by Prof. R. C. Wadman [WSU, Criminal Justice], discussing the appalling carnage guns achieve in the US each year, and calling for amending the Second Amendment to limit gun ownership rights. Mr. Wadman cannot be passed off as just another damned anti-gun liberal. He writes:
Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and George Walker Bush, these are the people I voted for. But on this issue -- America in general and my political party in particular, has lost its way.
Next, there's a piece by Ronald Mortensen, Ph.D., a retired Foreign Service Officer, taking to task the SL police, the Utah state police, and others, for, as he puts it, preferring to "maintain good relations with Utah's rapidly growing illegal alien community." He discusses at some length the price Utahns [and Americans more generally] pay for the resulting identity theft by illegals here.

Finally, there's a piece by State Senator Patricia Jones, the Utah Senate Minority Leader. She talks about how a legislative minority, even a very small one, can contribute a great deal to the public good by its actions in the legislature. It's a piece of the quality those who log onto the NY Times or Washington Post websites are going to get to read. [Though I couldn't help but think after I finished reading it that both the nation and the Republican Party would be a lot better off if the minority leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate approached their role in Congress as Ms. Jones does her role as minority leader in the Utah Senate.]

All told, one hell of an op-ed page this morning. Local focus, local or state authors, and filled with chewy pieces, nicely argued [even the ones I disagree with some] that folks not taking the SE aren't going to find on the national news sites.

Nicely done.


danny said...

So 40,000 die from guns each year? Well, how many die from honey bee stings, from automobile accidents, from drowning, and from obesity?

So in addition to guns, should we therefore also ban honey bees, cars, swimming, and food?

Well give the good professor the chance, and he would ban them all, or at least in the case of food he and his type would allow only items to be eaten from his approved menu, all written using taxpayer funding of course.

Oh, and say goodbye to motorcycles, boats, airplanes, and hard and sharp objects of all kinds.

Then say hello to your stall, and your trough, because you see, to the professor, we are all cattle, counted by "head".

Freedom is dangerous. Thank goodness for it. Rather than maximize the number of humans as the goal, freedom maximizes the quality of life (although it does maximize the quantity of us as well.)

Sorry professor, I don't choose to have you rule over me today. Even if I wanted mommy to take care of me, like so many do, I wouldn't choose you.

The Lovely Jennifer said...

like Truth Cop in the comments section, I wonder about prof. Wadman's numbers.

How many of those "gun deaths" were:

accidents? accidents usually happen when people don't know how to properly handle a firearm. This needs education, not ban.

criminals? since when does taking guns away from law abiding citizens prevent criminals from getting guns and using them?

suicides? If someone wanted to kill himself, and didn't have a gun, he could use a rope. So, ban rope next?

shot by a cop? see criminals with guns above

Curmudgeon said...


Don't know how Mr. Wadman would reply to your points, but here's how I would:

1. How many were accidents? Does it matter? The argument would be that the easy availability of guns throughout the US all but inevitably means there will be a significant number of accidental deaths [many as we know from the papers involving children]. Fewer guns available will mean fewer accidental deaths for the same reason that fewer miles driven mean fewer car accidents.

2. How many involved criminals? Same argument. With tighter gun controls, fewer guns will be in circulation, and since inevitably a certain proportion of legal guns end up in criminal hands, there will be fewer if legal guns are fewer.

3. Suicides: well, TLJ, I know of some instances [sadly more than one] in which people are convinced that had a gun not been handy when someone depressed cratered, had the means not been easily to hand, the suicide would not have occurred. The cliche' is "it's a long term solution to a short term problem," and the argument is, if a person passes through the depths, the bottom, and a fast means is not there to grab at the nadir of their despair, more will survive the moment. An arguable point, I agree, but not one that is indefensible on its face.

The solution Mr. Wadman proposes, a constitutional amendment, is so far out of reach, it'd be chimerical to spend energy and resources on it at this point, I think. Isn't going to happen in the foreseeable future. But the arguments he raises in favor of it, were his solution feasible are not, I think, trivial ones.

dan s. said...

As curm says, Prof. Wadman's proposal is purely academic for the foreseeable future. It's also vague: he never says exactly how he would amend the second amendment, or to what extent he would restrict gun access. So I'm left wondering what purpose the commentary serves, other than flame bait.

bullet sponge said...

In reply to Curm...

1.) This is really the only argument I even remotely accept. The thought of my child going to a friend's house and finding the "hidden gun" is a scary one indeed. Nonetheless there is an endless list of things that cause more accidents than guns that we live with. The idea of all guns being out of the hands of legal owners is far more threatening to my peace if mind.

2.) Criminals obtain things illegally. How well has the war on drugs kept them out of the hands of criminals? Guns would be no different. Except you'd have an unarmed populace left to deal with armed criminals.

3.) Without any statistics to back this up it's just anecdotal and meaningless. Even with them, it goes back to my point of #1. Preventing a few suicides is not worth making an entire populace unarmed except for the criminals.

Whether Prof. Wadman voted for Reagan, Goldwater, or Nixon is not relevant. That sort of statement is a typical preface to a weak argument.

Curmudgeon said...

Bullet Sponge:

You wrote: "Whether Prof. Wadman voted for Reagan, Goldwater, or Nixon is not relevant. That sort of statement is a typical preface to a weak argument."

On that, we disagree. If you read much on-line commentary about gun control, you'd notice that a very common reaction to any proposed gun regulation is that the proposer is just another "liberal anti-gun" type, etc. Wadman's stating his Republican credentials spiked that particular knee-jerk reaction straight out of the gate, I thought. Served, then, to focus reaction [pro or con] on his proposal, not on a side matter.

TheLovelyJennifer said...

For Bullet Sponge:

your #1 - if your child goes to a friend's home and finds a hidden gun - the gun owner doesn't have the proper education regarding the handling of firearms. It could be your child or his own. He should not have a gun in his home if children can find it.

IMHO - children should not be allowed to play with toy guns. There are so many of them that look like real guns, how are they going to tell the difference, and if, upon finding one at a friend's house, they pick it up to play with it - the other kid gets shot! Wake up call!

At an early age (about 6) I learned - EVERY gun is loaded (without exception), treat it as such. NEVER point a [loaded] gun an anything you don't intend to shoot. NEVER shoot anything you don't intend to kill. And don't kill anything you don't intend to eat.

Exceptions to last rule: Someone attempting to harm my children - I will not eat them.

dan s. said...

bullet sponge: I'm not trying to get into an argument, but I think someone should point out that your second statement isn't always true. Criminals sometimes obtain things (including guns) illegally, and sometimes obtain them legally. Many, many murders are committed with legally obtained guns.

That said, your point is well taken regarding the fact that banning guns would not completely eliminate them.

I hasten to add that I still think Prof. Wadman's proposal is too vague to be worth arguing. Unless we know what type of gun restrictions he is proposing, I don't see how we can have a rational discussion of the likely consequences of those restrictions.

Give me a break said...

What kind of moron would want to disarm the citizenry of the United States in this morasss of crime we all live in?

Give me a break.

How stupid!

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