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Archive for October, 2007

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people

October 20, 2007 1 comment

This cliche (in the title) is illogical. Because it says guns don’t kill when in fact it is a weapon created for the purpose of killing. And in place of “guns” one can substitute a great many deadly items, many of which are banned for good reason. For example, if we substitute bombs, mortars, IEDs, rockets, missile, grenades, uranium, plutonium, WMDs, or drugs, etc, that cliche would read:

“Bombs don’t kill people, people kill people.”

“Mortars don’t kill people, people kill people.”

“Grenades don’t kill people, people kill people.”

“Nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people.”

But clearly these do not, and ought not, justify the dissemination of bombs, mortars, grenades, and nuclear weapons to the general public. Nor should that kind of cliche be used to justify the dissemination of all kinds of deadly drugs (“drugs don’t mess people, it’s people that mess people.”)

Clearly, these cliches are not valid statements, since it is the combination of people AND the weapon at hand that kills people. You cannot take just one of these in isolation.

Also, the first statement is literally incorrect, saying “guns don’t kill people,” because they clearly do. How often people been killed or got injured from a gun shot wound, even when no one deliberately fired? Accidents happen. A child holding a loaded gun and not knowing what it will do can lead to the death of a family member. So that means you can’t take ‘people’ or ‘guns’ in isolation. A correct re-statement would instead be something like this:

“A person with a gun who is intent to kill will have a very good chance of carrying out his killing, thanks to the gun’s super-effective killing power.”

Guns are designed for killing, for self-defense as well as for murder.

Of around 10 to 12 thousand Americans killed annually, 67% of these are due to firearms, thanks to the support that firearms provide in making the killing task as easy as 1 2 3.

The Brady Campaign
Guns in the home – They don’t make you safer.

I ain’t for banning all guns, but advocate control, just as grenades, bombs, mortars, etc, are controlled and have their proper place.

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The Iran Threat (and: birth order; garlic)

October 17, 2007 Leave a comment

The Britannica blog has a series of articles on the crisis with Iran. (Both pros and cons, reflecting leftist and rightist views.) A few days ago I wrote a response to Scott Ritter’s article entitled The Big Lie: “Iran Is a Threat,” which is on that blog. I expressed the view that the Iran threat is real and cannot be dismissed (certainly not in such a troubled region where many players are competing).

A related article is The Case for Bombing Iran, by Norman Podhoretz.

Seymour Hersh’s article on Shifting Targets.

An interesting, but very speculative, article on whether birth order matters. There may be some truth to the conclusions in a statistical sense, but the methods and ‘logic’ by which they are reached are quite precarious in my view.

I also read an interesting item on the health benefits of garlic on the BBC. This has had a very long history, and time and experience seem to be on it side. I do cook and eat garlic in very modest quantities because otherwise it can be hard on my digestion.

Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored. —
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Categories: News, Politics

The Romanov Royal Family

October 15, 2007 Leave a comment
Romanov Royal Family

Romanov Royal Family

Categories: Miscellaneous

Was the Ottoman Turk killings and deportations of Armenians during WWI genocide?

October 15, 2007 1 comment

This is a hot topic now in the US since the US Congress is considering a bill saying that the Ottoman Turk killings of Armenians during WW1 was a genocide. It passed House Foreign Affairs Committee by 27 votes to 21—so it was divisive.

Bush and his Administration are opposed to labeling the killings as genocide, and are urging the Congress to vote against the genocide bill.

French MPs have passed a bill making it a crime to deny that the Ottoman Turkish empire committed genocide against Armenians in 1915.

The great Western historian Bernard Lewis, expert on Islam and Turkish history, maintains that it was not a genocide (though he admits that massacres of Armenians have taken place).

What do you think?

What definition of genocide do you follow? The UN’s? Your own? Who’s?

If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a very quick overview of the situation from the BBC:

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6045182.stm

The Online Encyclopedia Britannica says:

The greatest single disaster in the history of the Armenians came with the outbreak of World War I (1914-18). In 1915 the Young Turk government resolved to deport the whole Armenian population of about 1,750,000 to Syria and Mesopotamia. It regarded the Turkish Armenians despite pledges of loyalty by many as a dangerous foreign element bent on conspiring with the pro-Christian tsarist enemy to upset the Ottoman campaign in the east. In what would later be known as the first genocide of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of Armenians were driven from their homes, massacred, or marched until they died. The death toll of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey has been estimated at between 600,000 and 1,500,000 in the years from 1915 to 1923. (See Researcher’s Note: Armenian massacres.) Tens of thousands emigrated to Russia, Lebanon, Syria, France, and the United States, and the western part of the historical homeland of the Armenian people was emptied of Armenians.

(Source: Online Ency. Britannica, under “Armenia,” subsection on “Armenia and Europe.”)

More references

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7038095.stm
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6386625.stm
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/3181815.stm

Categories: News