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