Posted by
• 04.19.13 12:30 pm

Obama is in a huff this week because his gun bill got shot down like a clay pigeon.

Like most of us, he was deeply affected by the massacre at Sandy Hook. Like much of the country, he seems to think emotions should drive public policy. Celebrities such as Jim Carrey agree.

As I write this, some numskull on Twitter is telling me, “regardless of numbers, better gun control is just a good idea.” This is despite the recent amendment being “too vague for law abiding citizens to understand and too easy for criminals to avoid.” Emotions drive modern political discourse because we are living in a nation of mathematical illiterates. Gun violence is mostly blacks killing other blacks, and even then yearly gun-related deaths only kill about a hundredth of one percent of the American population.
You know what else is responsible for killing at least 0.01% of Americans? Cars, prescription drugs, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. All of these threats to our survival cause a minimum of 30,000 deaths a year. (Some estimates put yearly prescription-drug and auto-related deaths at over 100,000.) The media cherry-picks which topics it decides are fashionable and so does the president, numbers be damned. This is what happens when you throw math out the window and let photos of dead children dictate legislation.

I don’t mind that car accidents aren’t on the news every night. Ralph Nader has already made enough money scaring us into thinking that driving is dangerous. When you factor in the countless accidents that are avoided every millisecond of American life, a hundredth of one percent is a goddamned miracle. Cars are not in the news any less than they should be.

However, the danger of prescription drugs should be in the news way more than it is today. While everyone blames the recent shooting sprees on access to weapons, few writers noticed how many shooters were on psych meds. The American pharmaceutical industry makes over $300 billion a year—compared to only $12 billion for America’s allegedly “powerful” and “well financed” gun industry—so there’s a real economic disadvantage to questioning the efficacy of prescription drugs. I think celebrities avoid this topic because they are so high on their own pills, the hypocrisy would give them a bad trip.

Prostate cancer kills only about 10,000 fewer people than breast cancer yearly. We supposedly live in a sexist patriarchy where evil men dominate poor, helpless women. But if you think prostate cancer should get at least 75% of the attention breast cancer does, somehow you’re trivializing women’s suffering.

The same goes for any discussion of late-term abortions. If you don’t see the Gosnell carnage as an irrelevant local news story, you’re against women’s rights. The general consensus seems to be that partial-birth abortions are incredibly rare and used only for emergencies. I had a Hispanic med student tell me to “Take this one in a million abortion clinic example and shove it up your ginger ass.” By my calculations, this clinic is closer to 27,000 in a million.





  1. + says:

    Less guns = less homicides

    that book by John R. Lott Jr. is bullshit

  2. Hornblower's Ghost says:

    The problem is so many fold in this debate, and exposes so much beyond the surface issue of gun control, as to what is wrong with the country in general. First we have a media that wouldn’t inform people about how dangerous to gun control all the amendments and concessions made to the gun lobby were; from universal carry law reciprocity across every state in the land, to potentially, retroactively reversing laws that ban felons from owning firearms, and releasing felons who had violated parol for having a gun. We’re actually safer without the bill passing with all the filibusters. Second, the whole process behind this bill and vote just exposed a serious problem of rot in our entire institutional process, the problem being the process doesn’t move anywhere, anyplace, anymore. Anyone in the senate can just yell filibuster like a kids’ game now and freeze the whole legislative process, and doesn’t even have to explain why, with sound reason anymore! No matter your view points on the issue, 90 plus percent of American’s including gun owners were in favor of certain amendments, like universal background checks. Yet the background check amendment was so watered down, it would’ve been useless and died anyway. Something that both gun control advocates and NRA rank and file members both wanted overwhelmingly, died on the vine. There’s a serious problem with the democratic process and whose voice is really getting heard in government now, because it wasn’t even the voice of the people who like their guns! Which brings us to the third problem, that goes beyond this issue to almost every issue with the governing process, politicians/law makers can’t do anything except get themselves reelected, and take money from lobbies like a visiting uncle handing you a twenty. We’re stuck in institutional gridlock with the two party system now. I’m starting to see some of the libertarian points now of taking their budgets away and reducing staffs, like taking things away from a kid til they start performing better in school. And the last problem, lobbies, at some point everybody is going to have to be honest and just start putting corporate names and signage over public buildings, their money buys them all the seats at the table, no matter which way the rube votes.

  3. Jim Goad says:

    ^^^ “the rube”

    You, sir, are an Urban Supremacist.

  4. Hornblower's Ghost says:

    Jim, I meant rube for anybody who believes in one party over another, to me it’s just Coke vs Pepsi, and we all know already the carnies that run both companies have more in common with one another than any of us, “the rubes”!

  5. Hornblower's Ghost says:

    And Jim, I’m not anti-gun, I believe in responsible gun owners rights, and not penalizing them as a social band aid for inability to stop gun crime. My problem is that it never occurs to people that the easier it is for you to get a gun, even if your intention is to protect yourself, it’s just as easy for the criminal who will be shooting back at you, therefore some sort of checks and a process also protects you the gun owner…

  6. Joe says:

    To make a really good point about the numbers and government. When the government started pushing for car companies to make smaller vehicles in the name of saving the environment, this caused a shift in car accident deaths by thousands per year in the United States. If the government cared for its citizens, it would give an incentive for driving an SUV instead of a Geo Metro. Take your pick, some harm to the environment, or thousands of more deaths from lighter vehicles.

  7. Jim Goad says:

    @ Hornblower’s Ghost

    The point is that the word “rube” has rural connotations, as any search of its etymology will prove. And I’ve noticed that those who verbally shit on dumbass “low-information voters” who “vote against their own interests” almost always direct such statements at rural whites and never at urban blacks, no matter how much better the allegedly dumb white yokels in flyover country consistently score on intelligence tests compared to the urban blacks, even when the urban schools are far better financed.

    I doubt these sneering urban pantywaists realize how much a Voter IQ law would adversely affect their cause.

  8. pantagruel says:

    here jim goad just makes up a definition for rube for the sake of being contrary, because why not. next, jim goad will accuse me of eating babies and remind me that negroes are naturally stupider, because that’s an argument.

  9. Jim Goad says:

    “pantagruel” never tires of losing, does he? And he’ll never once admit he’s wrong, although he’s always wrong.

    Your entire “arguments” have consisted of looking into an imaginary crystal ball and soothsaying the evil that you feel lurketh within the dark hearts of those with whom you disagree. Your “arguments” consist of things that can’t be proved or disproved, which I suppose makes you feel safe. Those aren’t logical “arguments” at all; they’re a fallacy known as “appeal to motive.” DUHHH!!!!

    But you just inadvertently wriggled out of your self-woven cocoon and made a blatant factual error—something that can be disproved! You made up that I made up something! Wrong AGAIN, dumbass!

    Oh, wait—I guess all these online dictionaries are just making it up to be contrary, too! Yep, that’s the ticket!

  10. + spell it out.
    Lott did so in a few books, does so on his blog & whenever he’s interviewed. You post an article that can’t be viewed on a mobile device, from an Ivy League progressive school’s super leftist department that I would get has $oros’ fingerprints all over it.

  11. Gavin says:

    Every time I get a book that’s “bullshit” I’m always amazed at how thorough it is. If you’re too cheap to buy it, have a look at “More Guns Less Crime” next time you’re in a book store. It is crammed with verifiable data and graphs that appear to go on forever.
    Same goes with that “bullshit” book “The Bell Curve.”

  12. Hornblower's Ghost says:

    Jim you’re starting to sound like the sensitive people you’re constantly lambasting, rube is also carney speak, and one of my first jobs as a teenager was working for carnies, so I tend to use the word to refer to people who easily fall for any gimmick. Rube has a different meaning in that context and you know it does, you’re just making the straw man for the sake of being contrary now…

  13. Hornblower's Ghost says:

    And for the second time, I used rube to refer to the average voter of either party in general, but hey don’t let that stop you from going on a roll with the imaginary attack on rural people, because it only proves the actual intentions of people who use cryptic, coded language the other way as a gimmick. Otherwise you wouldn’t be so paranoid about being on the look out for and seeing hidden code words with esoteric meanings in someone else’s statements, if you didn’t employ it so much yourself…

  14. Jim Goad says:

    First off, “Hornblower,” I was responding to “pantagruel”—gotta love the boldness of those who hide behind fake identities—who said I just made up the definition. But don’t let that fact get in your way.
    “and you know it does”
    Ahh, great, another fucking mind-reader who imputes sinister motives and dishonesty when he gets caught shitting on his own ankles. Thanks for calling me a liar, asshole. Now allow me to nail you to the wall, as I eagerly do to anyone who lies in their quest to call me a liar. Right—I’m being “paranoid” and “seeking esoteric meanings” rather than, you know, providing numerous links to prove my point. Are all these online dictionaries paranoid, too? No, I’m sure your teenage anecdotal experiences trump them all, right?
    What I know—and what you conveniently ignored—is that the word connotes a rural person, as demonstrated by links I already provided.
    Here’s more. Keep trying, though.

    bumpkin, chawbacon, churl, clodhopper, cornball, countryman, hayseed, hillbilly, provincial, hick, rustic, yokel

    n. Slang
    An unsophisticated country person.

    Slang a person from a rural region who lacks polish and sophistication; rustic

    an insulting word for someone who comes from the countryside

    An unsophisticated country person.
    And here’s the capper! Oh, my, my! Look at the first result when you search the word on Google! But as we all know, that’s a paranoid website that seeks esoteric meanings to fit a hypersensitive agenda, so please ignore.

    Instead of being stupid enough to double down on your error, you maybe should have conceded that a less geographic-specific term would have been “mark” or even “useful idiot” rather than “rube” and left it alone. Being the paranoid decoder-ring-wearing asshole that I am, even I am willing to consider that you simply misused a term. But according to you, I “know” the term means something else and was simply lying. Dumb move, kemosabe.

  15. Jim Goad just moded you fools.

  16. Not that I really want to get in a fight over this but you’re both wrong and right at the same time. It’s like someone saying look, gay means “happy” all right. It has nothing to do with homosexuality, here’s several dictionary links. I’d be interested in the specific etymology if it exists, and perhaps an examination off the most common and well-known usage ie Rube Goldberg.

    Having said that I’ve always been a little miffed by the way country people are portrayed in all media as unintelligent, uneducated yokels. I worked tobacco farms a couple of times and while the owners liked to say things like yup and howdy, they also had to understand in a theoretical and practical sense how to repair tractors and all sorts of other complex machinery, the ins and outs of weather systems, fairly complex chemistry (to deal with fertilizers and pesticides), market economics, as well as government agricultural policies and their effect on their lives in the present and long-term. It does seem very unfair the way they’re assumed to be idiots because they don’t care about all the shit that people in cities get up to.

  17. Jim Goad says:

    “I’d be interested in the specific etymology if it exists”

    I already linked to the etymology. Here it is again.

    The broader point, which got drowned by a pair of idiots who dared challenge me on this specific point, is that when people talk about “rubes” and “low-information voters,” I’ve found that the context always seems to be that they’re talking about dumb whites from rural areas, because they’re apparently scared shitless to admit there are tons of dumb-as-fuck nonwhite voters in cities, intelligence tests be damned.

  18. Ok thanks. I missed that link but I’m not a fan of that dictionary. I’ve found many of its claims are apocryphal as well as the word, which I can’t seem to remember, which means that the definition was come up with well after the period in which the word came into usage, WOP being the best example of both.

    I’m a little suspicious in this case because all of the Reubens I’ve ever known or heard of were Jewish and while I have no proof, I think the name goes back a long way in that community, as Jews are fairly traditional in name choice. If the name were Jewish that would suggest that Anglo Saxons probably would have avoided it in order not to be mistaken for Jewish. I don’t know of a large Jewish rural population in the US though I could be just stereotyping. Also Jews are not known for their lack of sophistication and knowledge. Even the people who hate them never accuse them of being stupid or lazy. Quite the contrary, in fact.

  19. I agree with you general point however, though I wouldn’t necessarily break it down along racial lines. That would be just falling into the trap, I think.

    Honestly though, at this point, I’m getting bored of arguing with liberals as almost every argument comes down to some variation of the goose and the gander and is never refuted with anything but a lot of screaming and calling me an idiot for not understanding the difference as it applies to them but not to me. It’s all very circular and exhausting. Keep fighting the good fight.

  20. Jim Goad says:

    What is this “trap” of which you speak? I’d shut up the minute everyone, white and nonwhite, shut the fuck up about how uniquely evil white people supposedly are.
    I don’t think I’m the one who rushes to break things down along racial lines, or at least not the one who gets the ball rolling; the rube-baiters do, and I respond accordingly.
    First and only “Reuben” I knew was black.
    One thing Jews are definitely not known for is being a rural population. But they are definitely known for spinning endless media depictions of retarded, toothless hillbillies.
    What I accuse of lot of Jews of being is ridiculously hypocritical when it comes to racial matters. They are the chief media propagandists behind white-bashing—and when they say “whites,” they magically exclude “Jews” from the equation—and insisting that whites are overrepresented in power and wealth, but if you start pointing out what is a much more egregious statistical Jewish overrepresentation in those areas, they’ll attempt to scream you into silence. Sorry, but that won’t work with me. When they scream, THE HOLOCAUST, I’ll calmly point out that 40-50 million non-Jewish civilians—not soldiers, but civilians—lost their lives in World War II, and I’ll calmly ask them why we never hear about them. They’ll keep screaming, and I’ll keep calmly pointing to facts. And somehow, even though they’re the ones lobbing feces and hurling insults, I’m the “hater.” Good try, guys, but try shaming someone stupid enough to fall for it. My father risked his life fighting Germany in World War II. I’m not going to have some asshole try and pin a fraudulent guilt trip on me.

  21. I hear what you’re saying. I think things are a little different in the US when it comes to race. But even so, I feel it’s a “trap” for everyone because we all will get sucked into it, making all discussions about race, rather than something more productive. You basically acknowledge this in the first sentence of your last post. It suggests “I’m only talking about this because everyone else is.” In other words you’ve let yourself be sucked into the other guys definition of terms. I suppose I’m lucky in that when I was young and a large immigration from Jamaica to Canada changed the complexion of our neighbourhood and schools and my siblings and I started bitching about white and black and so on, my mother, pointing out our native heritage, would say, I don’t know what you’re going on about, I’m the only white person here. All these divisions are basically an admission that you allow other people to define you. You may see class as a better way to divide people than race and I think David Brion Davis makes that case fairly well, but I personally feel that if we have to divide people, you might get the most practical result by looking at people’s marks in high school, as the British used to do. The quickest way to understand a democratic free society and its dynamics is not along race or class struggle lines but as: the C’s work for the B’s and the A’s teach school. If you think about it, it even explains the current situation in America more elegantly than anything else.

  22. Actually I fucked up the typing. It’s the B’s work for the C’s and the A’s teach school. If you think about it makes sense all the way from Bill Gates on down.

  23. Clovis says:

    Is “The Bell Curve” that one book that people got all mad about back in the 90s because it says that whites are thoroughly mediocre in both brain and penis size? As a strong white man, I really don’t appreciate being stereotyped like that, no matter how true it may be.

Leave A Reply