Another reason we need gun control

There are crazy people out there who don’t know they’re crazy (Via CNN):

Police arrested a soldier carrying an AR-15 rifle and ammunition at a Fayetteville, North Carolina, mall after officers received multiple reports of an armed man walking through a Macy’s department store.

Bryan Wolfinger was tracked down within minutes near the Macy’s wing of the Cross Creek Mall on Thursday evening, police said.

He was detained without incident, according to police, and charged with “going armed to the terror of the public.”

Wolfinger, who is assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, was carrying the rifle, a Kevlar vest and multiple ammunition magazines, and he intended to have photographs taken with the gun and the other equipment, CNN affiliate WNCN reported, citing Fayetteville police.

Police have released Wolfinger, and he is “with his chain of command,” said Master Sgt. Patrick Malone, a spokesman for 82nd Airborne Division.

“These charges represent actions that are wholly inconsistent with the high standards and values we expect from our paratroopers,” Malone said. Fort Bragg is fully cooperating with the police investigation, he said.

Yes, when you wear a bulletproof vest and carry an assault rifle with tons of ammunition through a mall, people are going to be upset. Let’s just be thankful there wasn’t another heavily armed open carry fanatic strolling through the mall who would decide he should take preemptive action against gun-nut No.1.

And yes, this should be considered a terrorist act. People were terrified.

Another atrocity … another plea

From the Rude Pundit:

We know, right? We know that, at the end of the discussion, after we’ve talked about racism and hatred and mental illness, what remains are the guns. No, you won’t get rid of racism and hatred and mental illness by taking the guns away, but nothing will ever get rid of that. Those aren’t tangible things. Ideas can’t be taken out of someone’s hands, alive and warm or cold and dead, melted down, and eliminated.

But guns can be.

Guns amplify the racism, foster hatred, and give an easy outlet to the mentally ill. The sad part is that we know this. We know it to be true. Even the vast majority of people who cling to the belief that only guns can stop guns understand the equation. Easy access to guns means more murder.

Phoenix, Aurora, Newtown, Navy Yard, Charleston …
This headline sums it all up, thought:

Where’s it going to be next. Because nothing is going to be done to stop it.

The tragedy of war … since 1400

The following chart gives a detailed account of war dead in conflicts since the beginning of the 14th century. (Click to enlarge: via Our World in Data)

ourworldindata_wars-long-run-military-civilian-fatalities-from-brecke

Amazingly, the rate of death is near the lowest point it’s been in history. Now, of course, the world population in 1400 was about the same as it is in the combined population of the United States and Canada (about 350 million). There are 7.23 billion people in the world now.

But even with that. despite the more impersonal and highly more devastating weapons of mass destruction (nuclear weapons now, battle axes in the 1400s), somehow humanity as a whole is now resisting the urge to kill everybody in site.

Don’t get me wrong. Humanity still is filled with homicidal tendencies, but we don’t act on them at the same rate as we used to. That’s got to be good for something, right?

The bad intelligence

TMW2015-05-27color

2015 Pulitzer Prize Nominated Finalist

Dan Perkins, drawing as Tom Tomorrow, of Daily Kos for cartoons that create an alternate universe — an America frozen in time whose chorus of conventional wisdom is at odds with current reality.

 

Tom Tomorrow is so much better than 99.9 percent of the editorial cartoonists out there today, and he really deserves to win the Pulitzer. But someone has to write him a better cover letter.
Here’s the letter he sent to the board for this year’s entry
To whom it may concern,
Enclosed please find my entry for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize under the cartoon category. I have tried to include a representative sampling of the diverse approaches I use in my weekly efforts to inform and provoke readers through humor and satire.
I am submitting this entry in my capacity as a cartoonist for Daily Kos, but please note that my work is syndicated to approximately 80 print newspapers across the country as well.
For 25 years, I have tried to push the limits of what an editorial cartoon can be — in approach, in subject matter, in appearance. These efforts have¬† earned professional recognition including the 2013 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning and the RFK Journalism Award (on two occasions), and praise from sources ranging from the New York Review of Books to Entertainment Weekly to authors such as Dave Eggers and the late Kurt Vonnegut.
I thank you in advance for your time.
Go to the Pulitzer site to check out the cover letters for the other entrants in the editorial cartoon category. You’ll see that their bosses really pushed their guy, and that seems to matter in the real world. The folks at Daily Kos need to up their game and make an effort to promote their guy for a prize he definitely deserves.