The shooting of five people in Swiss village of Daillon, which left three people dead and two wounded, shocked the public because gun crime is particularly low in Switzerland--despite having the third highest rate of ownership in the world. With only the US and Yemen ranking ahead of Switzerland in ownership rates, Switzerland has become the poster child for staunch gun advocates in the US. Following the mass shooting in Sandy Hook School, Newtown, Connecticut in December, in which 20 children and six adults died, the fevered debate around US gun ownership and control hit boiling point with the example
The lady wants to use the UK as an example of successful gun control. She mentions the low rate of gun crime after England´s ban. Unfortunately, she neglects to bring up the significant increase in non-gun violent crime there.
I agree with her that complex problems need more than simple answers. I don´t agree that she has added much to the conversation.
Actually, the issue is fairly simple. The right to own and use weapons to defend yourself pre-dates any constitution, law, or society. It is found in nature, which arms its inhabitants with both the will to live and the tools to kill. Human beings fashion their own tools to take life and to defend it. The right of self-defense is an intrinsic part of life itself. You can no more involuntarily strip people of the tools they need to protect themselves than you can take their lives from them. Granted, there are some humans who voluntarily disarm and place themselves at the mercy of predators, but this decision is rarely rational and always regretted once they realize that they too can be killed. Under no circumstances should those deluded souls be permitted to make public policy that prohibits me from defending myself, nor can they enforce such a prohibition upon me if they try.
I will protect myself. I will not die for someone else´s beliefs.
A well-reasoned piece...for those who will take the time to read it. She points out sociological differences among the U.S., Switzerland, the U.K., Brazil and Australia, and how those differences need to be taken into account when considering accessibility processes for guns. She points out the progress, as well as the problems, with the national database following the Virginia Tech mass killing. And she ends by pointing out that the underlying issues need to be addressed - namely, how mental health policy plays in, how poverty plays in.
If you want to get serious about gun control, institute a mandatory death penalty if a gun is used in a crime. Period. If you are a felon or have been judged mentally deficient by a jury, being found with a gun or ammo gets you incarcerated for 25 years. Now that´s serious. Leave honest people alone.
Marco Rubio gave a speech at Chatham House today where he said something that made my ears p---k up. After telling us that he wants to see the Ukraine move towards Europe and the European Union to be stronger (at which I shook my head vigorously) he added that whatever relationship the UK wants to have with the EU is up to us--and that our decision to stay or go shouldn´t affect the Atlantic alliance. At that, my head nodded happily. It´s an important statement from this important man in two regards. First, it was obviously meant to tap into
Whatever terrific deal Obama, Ashton and Hague pretended they had pulled off with Iran in Geneva, the Iranians wasted no time in showing that it was business as usual. Cuddly, smiley, moderate, Iranian President Rouhani stated at the weekend that not only would Iran not dismantle any of its nuclear facilities but it would also now construct a second nuclear reactor at Bushehr. And it would enrich as much uranium as it needed. [Snip] ´the United States and its partners have already agreed that Iranian enrichment activity will continue indefinitely.´ Even more significant was the anticipated ‘sunset clause’ in the
People should use electric blankets to reduce their energy bills a Conservative peer has said. Baroness Rawlings, a former Government whip, said electric blankets, that can be used to preheat the bed or keep people warm as they sleep, offer a “simple, practical” way to reduce the cost of energy bills. The advice comes as the government has announced complex reforms to green levies in a bid to bring down household bills by up to £50 a year. [Snip] However Lady Rawlings argued the Government should consider electric blankets as a “simple” and “green” alternative to the complex negotiations with
A new pop-up health insurance enrollment center near the South Carolina Aquarium was crowded during its first hour of business Monday morning--but not with residents eager to sign up for a policy under the Affordable Care Act. The small storefront, provided by the city of Charleston free of charge, was mainly full of volunteers and paid navigators. They were busy organizing pamphlets, answering cellphones, setting up a Christmas tree--all preparing for the rush of residents they hope will walk in over the next three weeks.[Snip] “Over the next three weeks, I would love to see at least 100 consumers helped
Britons went Christmas crazy yesterday, spending £600million on a record Cyber Monday - but thousands found themselves frozen out of the frenzy by bank errors that left them unable to access their cash. Shoppers are thought to have made at least 7.7million purchases, including 4.1million from Amazon´s website alone, despite problems with RBS and Natwest accounts which left eager consumers unable to spend their money and, in a few cases, finding that their funds had completely vanished. The errors, however, did little to dampen the spirits of online retailers like Amazon, which beat last year´s sales record of 3.5million items
Throughout all my years reporting on scores of chilling examples of what social workers are allowed to do behind the closed doors of our secret family courts, the case reported yesterday on the front page of the Daily Mail is not just the most disturbing of all. It also illustrates how far our ‘child protection’ system has now gone horrendously off the rails. The facts are so shocking they beggar belief. A pregnant Italian mother who was visiting Britain had her baby forcibly removed from her womb by British doctors on the orders of a secret court, before the child
Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker´s re-election campaign risked a Scrooge image last week with a Black Friday promotion asking parents to make campaign contributions instead of buying their children Christmas presents. ´Instead of electronics or toys that will undoubtedly be outdated, broken, or lost by the next Holiday Season,´ a Walker re-election campaign email instructed, ´help give your children the gift of a Wisconsin that we can all be proud of.´ It was ´a Black Friday special that is better than any deal found in stores,´ the campaign claimed: ´Donate $5, $10 or $25 to help Governor Walker get reelected
Spanish courts have been forced to release a triple child killer, serial rapists and Basque terrorists from prison early after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) overruled a Spanish legal doctrine that had effectively prolonged their sentences. [Snip] Angel Juanes, who is chief justice of Spain´s high court, has warned that the release of so many prisoners would create "social alarm" but both the government and judicial authorities say they are powerless to act against the ECHR´s ruling. Last Friday, Miguel Ricart, who was convicted in 1997 for the kidnap, rape and murder of three teenage girls from Alcasser,
The flagship Obamacare website continued to spout error messages on Monday, hobbling a new fix that the White House bragged would avoid system crashes caused by too much Web traffic. Frustrated with news reports about crashes, delays and other online failures, the Obama administration´s ´tech surge´ team put in place an email-driven ´queuing system´ similar to the overdraft feature available with some checking accounts. [Snip] ´Can´t wait?´ the message reads. ´Leave your email with us, and we´ll send you a one-time message when HealthCare.gov is ready for you to return.´ This page, too, was prone to crash on Monday, at
A deadline to overhaul the website of President Barack Obama´s healthcare reform law has passed but it is unclear if all the glitches have been fixed. Technicians worked around the clock to meet the midnight deadline but the site was due to go offline for maintenance early on Sunday. The BBC´s Katy Watson in Washington says the test will come as people return from Thanksgiving holidays. [Snip] White House officials said the HealthCare.gov site was working well on Saturday after overnight hardware upgrades to boost its capacity. Software fixes to improve speed and reduce errors were planned for overnight Saturday
Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan, was sharply criticised by allies of President Barack Obama on Sunday for refusing to sign a new US-Afghan security agreement. Tom Donilon, Mr Obama´s national security adviser until earlier this year, said Mr Karzai was “reckless” for risking a situation in which no US or allied troops would remain in his country after next year. “I think it´s reckless in terms of Afghanistan, and I think it also adversely impacts our ability to plan coherently and comprehensively for post-2014,” Mr Donilon told ABC News. Mr Karzai last week said he would not agree to
Ukraine is on the brink of anarchy and revolution tonight as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators demanded the resignation of pro-Russian authoritarian president Viktor Yanukovych. There were deep fears that the popular uprising could spark a bloody crackdown and state of emergency from the frightened authorities. ´A revolution is starting in Ukraine,´ declared opposition leader Oleh Tyagnybok, as a national strike was called for tomorrow in support of early presidential and parliamentary elections. ´The government and president must resign,´ demanded world boxing champion turned opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, as he urged police to disobey orders from the authorities. ´Do not
Jeffrey P. Bezos has never been known for thinking small. And in an interview aired Sunday on CBS´s "60 Minutes," he outlined his latest plan for revolutionizing the retail industry: using drones to deliver packages in as little as 30 minutes. Declaring himself an "optimist," the Amazon.com founder and chief executive predicted the technology could be brought to market in as little as five years. This is more than a theoretical idea. Bezos showed CBS´s Charlie Rose a working prototype of an eight-rotor helicopter drone called an "octocopter." Emblazoned with "Amazon Prime Air," the flying robot has a claw at
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” Wednesday that when Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, “he didn’t charge food stamps.” “When Jesus had those five loaves and two fishes, he didn´t charge food stamps. He didn´t ask anybody how much money they had. He fed them because they were hungry, and that´s really where we ought to be,” McDermott said in response to Republican critics of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). In September, the House approved a plan by Republicans to cut $39 billion in food stamps over the next
The nation’s view of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, colored by the horrific Benghazi assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Libya on her watch, has suddenly turned upside down, with more now holding an unfavorable opinion of the likely 2016 presidential candidate. A new YouGov/Economist poll found Clinton, whose approval ratings have typically been sky high, with an unfavorable rating of 48 percent, more than the 46 percent who have a favorable opinion of her. The YouGov pollsters said that the change in American attitudes toward Clinton "suggests that negative press surrounding the tragic
In the US we are used to abortion advocates claiming that the risk of elective abortion is relatively trivial, and major medical organizations denying any link between abortion and breast cancer. Now a powerful new study from China published last week by Yubei Huang and colleagues suggests otherwise. The article, a meta-analysis pooling 36 studies from 14 provinces in China, showed that abortion increased the risk of breast cancer by 44% with one abortion, and 76% and 89% with two and three abortions. This new article is another example of the recent excellent scholarship on abortion in peer-reviewed journals coming out
MIDDLETOWN, Del.- Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in teacher Amy Lawson´s fifth-grade classroom. Today´s students are being asked to think more critically. For example, what might a character say in an email to a friend? "It´s hard. But you can handle this," Lawson tells them. Welcome to a classroom using the Common Core State Standards, one of the most politicized and misunderstood changes in education for students and their teachers in kindergarten through high school. In 45 states and the District of Columbia, Lawson and and other teachers are starting to use the standards
Gov. Chris Christie’s “bizarre behavior’’ in refusing to say he’ll support a possible GOP challenger to Gov. Cuomo next year could derail his chances to become president, state and national GOP insiders have told The Post. “Christie already has a problem with many Republicans refusing to forgive him because of his embrace of [President] Obama and his socially liberal policies,’’ said a nationally prominent GOP operative. “But this bizarre behavior in suggesting he won’t help a Republican defeat a Democratic governor, and a Cuomo no less, could finish off his chances of becoming his party’s nominee for president in 2016,’’ the
Senior officials in the White House have said that Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is desperate and weak,” in reaction to Netanyahu´s remonstrations against the deal struck with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Israeli television Channel 10 quoted the officials as saying “His pronouncements show a lack of self-confidence,” in an unusually harsh personal attack on Netanyahu. “We are not perturbed by his vocal opposition.”
Bill Clinton, the cliché goes, was the first black president, no matter his skin color. That being the case, Barack Obama is not the first black president, or the first African-American president, if you prefer, but the first hippie president. Clinton’s southern background and lifestyle were indeed more typically black, just as Obama’s was more typically hippie. And we’re not just talking about the “Choom gang” here, scarfing “Maui Wowie” on the sands of Oahu. We’re talking about all of it, the whole multi-culti-missing-white-mother-vanished-Kenyan-father-anti-imperialist-America-is-always-the-enemy-and-don’t-you-forget-it-nine-yards. And like most hippie culture as I knew and experienced it, it wasn’t about “peace and love.” Not
A push by activists to ease the 30-year-old blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men faces a key test this week as a federal panel hears results of the latest research. The findings will be released amid growing pressure from politicians and advocates, including college students, to change the policy. Critics say the ban is a hangover from the early, fear-filled days of AIDS, stigmatizing gay men and ignoring advances in treatment and detection in the decades since. Supporters of the policy say politics, not science, is driving the proposed change, which would heighten the risk of
President Obama completed an ambitious fundraising schedule for Democrats in November, but many of the congressional candidates he is trying to help are finding their election prospects next year imperiled by the president’s faulty health care law. Several polls in the past week have shown congressional Republicans pulling even or slightly ahead of Democrats in generic balloting for the midterm elections, a swing of at least 10 percentage points in less than a month. Pollsters attribute the seismic shift to the series of glaring flaws in Obamacare, most of which came to the public’s attention after the program’s rollout Oct.
Former Obama advisor David Plouffe appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning and predicted that President Barack Obama’s approval rating would rise over the next few months, following the increasing functionality of the Affordable Care Act. “This has been a tough task,” Plouffe said. “It’s not just health care. The shutdown affected everybody’s confidence in government. But let’s fast-forward to the State of the Union and the months after that. Health care working better, a lot of people signing up. The economy continuing to strengthen. Hopefully no Washington shutdowns.
So the troubled site apparently now works 90 percent of the time. That should be good news for Obama—but the question is whether Obamacare will get the mass enrollment it needs. HealthCare.gov finally works. Now people just need to use it. The error-plagued website, which was supposed to be the portal for Americans seeking to buy health insurance through the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act, is finally approaching basic functionality two months after it went online. In a report released Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services breathlessly announced that the website now functions more than 90 percent of