March 26, 2014
The Banality of Tragedy in the Age of YouTube

September 12, 2013
How Shakespeare Would End Breaking Bad

Three episodes remain of Breaking Bad, the riveting series on AMC that tracks the descent of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin. The show has accurately been compared to a Shakespearean tragedy, and it’s clear that the Bard’s works have influenced Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator. Perhaps, then, one might turn to the works of Shakespeare to try and divine how Breaking Bad might end—or at least, how Shakespeare would end it.
(If you’re not caught up on the show, this is a good place to stop reading.) 
Read more. [Image: AMC]

How Shakespeare Would End Breaking Bad

Three episodes remain of Breaking Bad, the riveting series on AMC that tracks the descent of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin. The show has accurately been compared to a Shakespearean tragedy, and it’s clear that the Bard’s works have influenced Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator. Perhaps, then, one might turn to the works of Shakespeare to try and divine how Breaking Bad might end—or at least, how Shakespeare would end it.

(If you’re not caught up on the show, this is a good place to stop reading.)

Read more. [Image: AMC]

December 21, 2012
Fact-Checking the NRA Press Conference



"How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?”



To our knowledge, no one — not even the NRA — has proposed a national database of the mentally ill. Since similar databases of sex offenders have done little to protect children from sex crimes, that seems unlikely to help. Also, few organizations have done more than the NRA to block the registration of anything, as they work vigorously to defeat gun registration databases wherever they find them.


Read more. [Image: AP]

Fact-Checking the NRA Press Conference

"How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?”

To our knowledge, no one — not even the NRA — has proposed a national database of the mentally ill. Since similar databases of sex offenders have done little to protect children from sex crimes, that seems unlikely to help. Also, few organizations have done more than the NRA to block the registration of anything, as they work vigorously to defeat gun registration databases wherever they find them.

Read more. [Image: AP]

2:07pm
  
Filed under: NRA Guns Newtown Tragedy Politics Media 
December 14, 2012
"Guns don’t attack children; psychopaths and sadists do. But guns uniquely allow a psychopath to wreak death and devastation on such a large scale so quickly and easily. America is the only country in which this happens again — and again and again."

James Fallows, on why the shootings won’t stop.

December 14, 2012
A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths

Even the most basic framework of Japan’s approach to gun ownership is almost the polar opposite of America’s. U.S. gun law begins with the second amendment’s affirmation of the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” and narrows it down from there. Japanese law, however, starts with the 1958 act stating that “No person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords,” later adding a few exceptions. In other words, American law is designed to enshrine access to guns, while Japan starts with the premise of forbidding it. The history of that is complicated, but it’s worth noting that U.S. gun law has its roots in resistance to British gun restrictions, whereas some academic literature links the Japanese law to the national campaign to forcibly disarm the samurai, which may partially explain why the 1958 mentions firearms and swords side-by-side.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths

Even the most basic framework of Japan’s approach to gun ownership is almost the polar opposite of America’s. U.S. gun law begins with the second amendment’s affirmation of the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” and narrows it down from there. Japanese law, however, starts with the 1958 act stating that “No person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords,” later adding a few exceptions. In other words, American law is designed to enshrine access to guns, while Japan starts with the premise of forbidding it. The history of that is complicated, but it’s worth noting that U.S. gun law has its roots in resistance to British gun restrictions, whereas some academic literature links the Japanese law to the national campaign to forcibly disarm the samurai, which may partially explain why the 1958 mentions firearms and swords side-by-side.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

3:53pm
  
Filed under: Guns Violence Tragedy Japan 
December 14, 2012

At Least 27 Dead, Including Children, Killed in Connecticut School Shooting

[Images: Michelle McLoughlin/Reuters; Shannon Hicks/The Newtown Bee]

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