Balkinization  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The wisdom of Publius and our militarized society

Sandy Levinson

In Federalist 8, Publius (in that case Alexander Hamilton) warns that failure to ratify the Constitution would lead to the almost inevitable breakup of the fragile United States (under the Articles of Confederation) and the creation of two or three independent countries.  Each of them would have to create its own armed forces.  More to the point, each of them would genuinely be consumed by fear of war and thus become steadily more militarized in its culture.  On the other hand, if we ratified the Constitution, there would be only one standing army to pay for and, more importantly, we could rest secure that we really wouldn't have to worry very much about the prospects of actual war, since we would be united internally and we'd have the "pond" of the Atlantic Ocean to protect us against against imminent invasions from European powers.

Whatever one thinks of that argument's validity in 1787, it speaks to us today in a very different key:  That is, the "pond" is no longer an effective barrier, even when supplemented by the far bigger one of the Pacific Ocean.  Instead, we are terrified of an attack from North Korea some ten thousand miles away, and we have military bases literally all over the world (including, of course, South Korea, 65 years after the "armistice" that ostensibly ended the armed conflict there).  And we have become a thoroughly militarized culture, where the "defense" budget is the tail that wags the dog, seemingly immune from serious cost-cutting.  We reflexively treat everyone in the armed services as a "hero" whose service demands gratitude, unlike, say, school teachers who, especially if they are in the public schools, are increasingly treated as almost contemptible by the powers that be.

What provokes these remarks is a fascinating piece in The Economist on the Parkland school shooting by Nikolas Cruz.  Not only was he not an undocumented alien or a Muslim, which one suspects was the hope of the Trump Administration; he was in fact a "veteran," so to speak, of the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp program, funded by federal tax dollars through the Pentagon, "that provides military-style training to high-school pupils."  As the article points out, the program (or, in Brit-spelling, "programme") has become an essential recruiting tool for the Pentagon, especially in these days of low unemployment when youngsters might legitimately wonder why they should go into the armed forces rather than seek some other form of employment.  (This, of course, brings up very important questions about our move toward an "all-volunteer" army, the topic of a separate discussion).  The article notes that a disproportionate number of the programs are at schools with a greater enrollment of African-American and/or poorer students (defined by eligibility for reduced-cost lunches).  One suspects that Mr. Cruz was just the kind of person, ex ante, they were looking for.

All programs are subject to failures, of course.  It is interesting, though, that no one, save the Economicst, has suggested that the ability of Mr. Cruz to pick up sharpshooting skills in the JROTC should cause us to think further about that program, as against the hysteria that leads trumpistas to advocate armed teachers and the like to guard against what is, at the end of the day, a far smaller threat than, say, the prospect of "ordinary" fire-arms accidents taking the lives or injuring children and other innocents.

So the next time we see a highschooler wearing a marksmanship medal gained through the JROTC should we say "thank you for your service" or wonder about the potential for some future non-state-sponsored violence?   In any event, each day beings more corroboration for Publius's basic insight.  We are increasingly defined as a "national-security, surveillance society." Donald Trump certainly didn't start it. He is simply the most grotesque manifestation of what that entails.

Comments:

"What provokes these remarks is a fascinating piece in The Economist on the Parkland school shooting by Nikolas Cruz." I wondered for a while why this upmarket journal was hiring a journalist with Mr.Cruz' limited qualifications.

On your orthography comment. British English uses "program" for software, "programme" for anything else.

 

I wonder if the NRA looked upon the JROTC as a means for training a good guy with a gun?

By the way, I could not access the article in the Economist as apparently I used up my "freebies."

And James, I had the same initial reaction. At first I thought it might be Ted Cruz, which of course didn't seem right.
 

Shag: "I wonder if the NRA looked upon the JROTC as a means for training a good guy with a gun?."

The NRA has worked with youth, schools, universities and the military to establish marksmanship programs for over a century:

The NRA's interest in promoting the shooting sports among America's youth began in 1903 when NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones urged the establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies. By 1906, NRA's youth program was in full swing with more than 200 boys competing in matches at Sea Girt that summer. Today, youth programs are still a cornerstone of the NRA, with more than one million youth participating in NRA shooting sports events and affiliated programs with groups such as 4-H, the Boy Scouts of America, the American Legion, Royal Rangers, National High School Rodeo Association and others.

Due to the overwhelming growth of NRA's shooting programs, a new range was needed. Gen. Ammon B. Crichfield, adjutant general of Ohio, had begun construction of a new shooting facility on the shores of Lake Erie, 45 miles east of Toledo, Ohio. Camp Perry became the home of the annual National Matches, which have been the benchmark for excellence in marksmanship ever since. With nearly 6,000 people competing annually in pistol, smallbore and high-power events, the National Matches are one of the biggest sporting events held in the country today.

 

SPAM's last two paragraphs seem to be quotes, perhaps from some NRA website or NRA site on the Internet, or maybe from SPAM's personal records as a card carrying member of the the NRA. The mission of the NRA as a sportsman's organization has changed in recent years from reasonable gun controls to close to absolutism on the 2nd A. The language quoted by SPAM focuses on sportsmanship rather than the NRA's current mantra that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. Good marksmanship serves the bad guy with a gun as well as the good guy with a gun. The problem is determining who is the good guy and who is the bad guy with a gun.

It's not only the NRA that has changed: The Republican Party was once the party of Lincoln. The current NRA serves as the de facto marketing arm of the gun industry, which provides financial support to the NRA and the NRA in turn supports most Republican elected officials. The more guns that are sold, the more support by the gun industry to the NRA and more support by the NRA to most Republican elected officials. This circularity results in more and more deaths by means of guns in America.
 

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Sandy:

The Founders had a problem with a standing military, not a "militarized culture." Those victorious armed revolutionaries viewed the armed citizenry (aka the militia) as the primary defense of the nation against tyranny - both foreign and domestic.

The Economist article is largely clueless.

The JROTC program does not divert students from university, it prepares them for an ROTC scholarship to university.

JROTC does not "target" poor students. Rather, upper middle class and wealthy school districts and universities with a progressive and anti-military bent have run JROTC and ROTC off campus since Vietnam.

Finally, the suggestion that JROTC in any way, shape or form trains students to become terrorists is a reprehensible slander. JROTC students gave their lives to help their fellow Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and, if they were armed, these cadets would have killed the terrorist.

Rather, as the article noted and you neglected to repeat, JROTC instills discipline and their cadets are often high academic achievers. What many civilians do not realize is the military is one of the most educated organizations in the United States. Officers are at minimum university grads and often have extensive post-graduate education. The enlisted generally have some and often complete university. Of course, this does not include the hundreds of hours of professional education they undergo.

 

Shag:

Follow the link I provided for the NRA history.

Defending our fundamental right to keep and bear arms hardly precludes supporting and managing marksmanship programs. Indeed, the term "well-regulated" used in the Second Amendment refers to marksmanship of the armed citizenry making up the militia. All of the programs which are mentioned in the quoted excerpt of NRA history are all going strong after a century.

The NRA supports elected representatives who defend our fundamental right to keep and bear arms - regardless of political party. The Democrats' problem is the voters fired most elected Democrats who defended the Second Amendment because of their support of other progressive policy like Obamacare. The Democrats who remain are now almost exclusively the party of firearm prohibition.
 

This is from SPAM's penultimate (still my favorite word) paragraph at 7:48 PM:

"JROTC students gave their lives to help their fellow Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and, if they were armed, these cadets would have killed the terrorist."

Of course that "terrorist" had been as a student a member of that JROTC. SPAM seems to be suggesting that JROTC students should be armed in that High School. But in any military organization, not just the JROTC, how do you determine the good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun? With the bravado of Donald Trump SPAM states that these JROTC cadets, if armed, "would have killed the [JROTC trained] terrorist." SPAM doesn't say "could" or "possibly" but "would." Perhaps SPAM would prefer that these high schooler be armed with AK-15s like the JROTC trained terrorist?

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], SPAM failed to provide the source of his quotes at 6:08 PM.

 

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I followed the link and suggest that those interested read the whole NRA post, including its closing paragraphs. This is not the full story of the NRA today. Recall how Donald Trump bowed to the NRA on Parkland gun control provisions he espoused on TV. Trump remembered the $30 million from the NRA that funded his campaign. The obvious goal of the NRA is more and more guns per the circularity set forth in my earlier comment
 

Sandy's closing paragraph descriptive:

" We are increasingly defined as a 'national-security, surveillance society.'"

is a major concern.
 

Shag: But in any military organization, not just the JROTC, how do you determine the good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun?

The terrorist is shooting the unarmed, the soldiers are shooting the terrorist.

With the bravado of Donald Trump SPAM states that these JROTC cadets, if armed, "would have killed the [JROTC trained] terrorist." SPAM doesn't say "could" or "possibly" but "would."

With experience of a graduate of the Army ROTC system, I can assure you a group of armed cadets would have killed this terrorist.
 

"The JROTC program does not divert students from university"

Citation? Do JROTC program participants go to university more or less than non participants?

"upper middle class and wealthy school districts and universities with a progressive and anti-military bent have run JROTC and ROTC off campus"

Citation? Evidence of correlation (at least) between SES of school districts and lack of JROTC programs?

"the suggestion that JROTC in any way, shape or form trains students to become terrorists is a reprehensible slander"

What was the ratio of JROTC participants that were murderers at the school? There were no non-JROTC particpants there were murderers, but many non-participants that were heroes by your standards.

"if they were armed, these cadets would have killed the terrorist."

Laughable. There was an actual, trained, adult 'good guy with a gun there' (the resource officer) and he did nothing. But Bart confidently asserts as 'fact' that had these kids had a gun, all would have been ok.

Let's all have an extra laugh at Bart's BS paean regarding JROTC. Conservatives like Bart regularly decry the federal government's role in education, but the JROTC program is a federal program aimed at those in state and local educational systems. It's all OK if it involves militarization of youth! One of the foundational tenets of fascism is, of course, military-worship.



 

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"Indeed, the term "well-regulated" used in the Second Amendment refers to marksmanship of the armed citizenry making up the militia."

Profoundly stupid. In the text of the constitution it time and again refers to the power of the government to set rules.

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof,

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another

" can assure you a group of armed cadets would have killed this terrorist."

This is the same self-assured idiot that told us the 2008 election returns (and the 2012) were great news for the GOP candidate.


 

Check this NYTimes article:

"Congress Quashed Research Into Gun Violence. Since Then, 600,000 People Have Been Shot." By SHEILA KAPLAN MARCH 12, 2018

with interesting information, including:

"The Dickey Amendment technically did not ban gun research, only advocacy. Its real goal — one it easily achieved, according to public health officials in place at the time — was to scare federal agencies into thinking twice about even collecting data that might reflect badly on gun ownership." And this:

"Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the N.R.A., said the group continues to support the Dickey Amendment. 'We oppose taxpayer dollars being spent to advocate for gun control,' Ms. Baker said."

Baker is merely confirming that the NRA is de facto marketing for the gun industry, which funds the NRA, which in turn funds most Republican elected officials, with circularity as previously noted. Perhaps research might reveal how to distinguish in advance the good guys from the bad guys seeking guns. SPAM would make such a determination after an event. Of course, a good guy with a gun might evolve into a bad guy with a gun. Perhaps the availability of health care might serve to address the potentially bad guys, but we all know that Republicans object to affordable health care.
 

Mr. W. making Prof. Akhil Amar proud with his "intertextualism" of seeing how words are used in various parts of the Constitution. I respect his position than this (complete) discussion of the term in D.C. v. Heller:

Finally, the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training. See Johnson 1619 (“Regulate”: “To adjust by rule or method”); Rawle 121–122; cf. Va. Declaration of Rights §13 (1776), in 7 Thorpe 3812, 3814 (referring to “a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms”).

This is an example, mind you, of being able to use a person's own words against them. "To adjust by rule or method" is an open-ended concept & not limited to "imposition of proper discipline and training." Anyway, a range of gun regulations can fit within those terms anyhow. I find this somewhat less powerful than it should be because people talk past each other. They in effect use words with an implied amendment:

https://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/facpub/2021/

Regarding the subject matter, I don't know ... a well regulated JROTC program can provide a structured sensible approach to guns and the military in general. A person can be quite concerned about the breadth of the military today but it has its place. In respect to pressure on the poor without alternatives, the best answer there probably is to have more outlets sponsored by the government. The open-ended nature of a possible public service requirement comes to mind here.
 

Off topic & realizing he might not be talking about it, saw a familiar name regarding litigation involving the Electoral College:

https://verdict.justia.com/2018/03/09/2020-presidential-election-legal-maneuvering

I was concerned when Massachusetts was involved but the inclusion of Texas shows an attempt to have a nation-wide approach there.

["recently filed Complaint—in which University of Texas Law Professor Sandy Levinson is a named plaintiff"]
 

""The Dickey Amendment technically did not ban gun research, only advocacy. Its real goal — one it easily achieved, according to public health officials in place at the time — was to scare federal agencies into thinking twice about even collecting data that might reflect badly on gun ownership.""

It's real goal was to stop the CDC from engaging in 'research' the results of which it had announced in advance. In '89, the head of the CDC said, "We’re going to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes deaths." Not find out if, mind you. The outcome was pre-determined. You can easily find numerous quotes by people in the CDC, and the researchers they hired. They weren't investigating a topic objectively. They saw themselves as leading a crusade to alter public opinion.

I don't want the CDC doing research into crime, any more than I want the FBI publishing it's own studies of kidney disease. They lack the relevant expertise. In fact, they could almost be described as having anti-expertise, based on the 'research' I've seen that they funded prior to the ban. It stank.
 

So Brett doesn't believe that injuries from guns are a public health issue. Query: Does Brett believe in "machete justice"?
 

"I don't want the CDC doing research into crime, any more than I want the FBI publishing it's own studies of kidney disease."

The Centers of Disease Control's main goal is to protect public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease, injury, and disability in the US and internationally. This is going to in some fashion overlap with guns, especially since mental illness (particularly self-harm) is a significant factor. Also, the medical community have an important role in dealing with the results of gun violence. FBI's relation to kidney disease is less clear.

[Looking into this recently, I found hits that said the research actually helps NRA messaging though others argued not so fast ... Rand recently supported more research generally, their analysis on the effects current policy repeatedly turning up "inconclusive." https://www.rand.org/research/gun-policy/essays/improving-gun-policy-science.html ]

Shag's reference speaks of "real purpose," which involves the sort of mind reading that can lead to problems. The named advocate of the provision later came out for its repeal, agreeing -- arguing that notwithstanding a limited intent -- it in practice had overly broad results. We can possibly agree with this Republican that the original funding limit was a reasonable answer to certain advocates [putting aside that "CDC" goes beyond them] but was taken too far.

Overall, the useful point is that funding is helpful & that in relative part, there will be some sort of health aspects to the whole thing. As with research on drugs et. al., this will have some effects on crime policy in some respect as well. To the degree someone disagrees with certain research, this can be true on any subject matter.
 

No, they're NOT a "public health" issue, they're a criminal justice issue. The CDC lack any relevant expertise in the matter. It's about as appropriate for them to be researching crime, as it is for the FBI to be giving authorative opinions on malaria.

Crime is a consequence of human decisions, epidemiology is not a good fit to analyzing it.
 

"The named advocate of the provision later came out for its repeal, agreeing -- arguing that notwithstanding a limited intent -- it in practice had overly broad results."

It did. Faced with a command to cease propagandizing for gun control, the CDC decided to just drop the entire topic, rather than attempt to conduct honest research. Perhaps they were afraid that honest research would be construed to be propaganda. Or maybe all they'd wanted to do in the first place was propaganda; That would certainly have been consistent with their public statements at the time.

But I consider it small loss, as the CDC is not the only agency of government capable of conducting research, and, as I keep coming back to, they are not the ones with the most appropriate skill set for studying CRIME, rather than disease.

Crime and disease are fundamentally different in important ways: Crime is a matter of human motivation, disease of non-volitional transmission. You can't treat guns like a pathogen: People shoot people because they chose to, and the vast of those with access to guns chose not to.

Contrast that with influenza: People, on exposure, do not decide whether or not to get sick.

They're simply different fields with different skills and assumptions. And the CDC doesn't know what it's doing when it ventures into criminology. That was very evident back before the Dickey amendment. The 'research' they were funding was utter dreck.
 

CRIME is not the only thing involved.

The Dickey Amendment: "none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control."

In relevant part, gun research will overlap with public health policy, and it is logical for the agency specifically involved here to be funded. As Rand etc. notes, more research will help. And, in relevant part, they can be involved.

Finally, your own argument is that germaneness wasn't the point. It was bias. If anything, the funding rule should be general there, since we are talking research, not advocacy. OTOH, to the degree "gun control" (a term that often means "regulations I don't like") is sensible in some fashion (such as certain medical conditions), the rule is overbroad.

As to crime vs. disease, the two are not mutually exclusive. Disease can influence crime. So, e.g., drug abuse can be a result of medical reasons and have criminological effects. Medical testimony repeatedly arises in criminal cases. And, research will be helpful on drawing lines, some things currently criminal very well should not be in certain cases.



 

I find trying to figure out "why" they stopped a bit tedious but it repeatedly is the case that there is pressure not to do something that goes further than the bare minimum of the requirement. Someone suspicious of governmental power might find this unsurprising. I also am unsure how the CDC was influenced years after the specific people cited made some remarks.

I'm not even sure how broad the limit was in practice -- there appears to be some dispute over it. Anyway, the sponsor of the amendment supports overturning it, and the bottom line is that to the degree it's relevant, each agency shouldn't be stopped from doing relevant things. And, guns are more relevant to public health than kidneys to the FBI.
 

"Crime is a matter of human motivation, disease of non-volitional transmission."

That's just nonsense. Alcoholism and drug abuse are treated as diseases. The same is true for heart conditions, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, all of which have strong elements of human motivation.

Epidemiologists have studied homicide for a long time and do so the world over.
 

"CRIME is not the only thing involved."

Yes, crime IS the only thing involved. You have a gun, it just sits there inert unless somebody picks it up and does something with it, a volitional act. The CDC wanted to treat the guns as the cause of the crime, when human decisions were the cause.

It's like pretending that tire irons cause beatings.

Literally, they were doing stupid things like comparing how often homes where somebody got shot were found to have a gun owned, compared to how many guns were claimed to be owned in homes that didn't have anybody shot in them. Completely blowing off any possibility that somebody had gotten the gun BECAUSE they knew they were at risk of crime, or that some of the people in the non-crime homes were lying about whether they owned guns.

The research was that pathetic, with glaringly obvious sources of errors, left uncontrolled for, assumed directions of causation.
 

Imagine, in some states doctors are limited in pediatric medicine from discussion with patients about guns in the home that might put young children at risk as well as be relevant in matters of domestic problems the doctor treats. A pediatrician can warn parents about securing certain items - poisons - so that young kids won't have access. Who knows, a doctor asking such questions just might reveal a potential mass murderer. Brett seems very protective of his arsenal, or is he an NRA troll at this Blog?

Imagine a 4-year older who picks up a gun in the home that is not secured "and does something with it, a volitional act" - that as far as Brett is concerned "involves only a crime." Brett obviously has no problems with the NRA circularity I described earlier.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], domestic violence is a crime, whether with or without a gun, but Brett doesn't think that's a public health issue?
 

Shag, if somebody went on a poisoning spree, maybe they got a job at McDonalds and dumped rat poison in the shake machine, it would certainly have implications for the health of the people who were poisoned, but it would not be a public health issue, it would be a crime issue.

The people were poisoned "with" rat poison, but they were not poisoned "by" rat poison. They would have been poisoned by a human being. Rat poison didn't cause them to be poisoned.

People are not murdered by guns, the way people die of influenza. They are murdered "with" guns "by" people. Guns are not a causal agent here, they are simply a tool. Epidemiologists have very little to offer here, and politically motivated epidemiologists have even less to offer, judging by the atrocious quality of the "research" that led to the Dickey amendment.
 

I'm picturing Brett wearing a "Dickey" as he spouts his idiocy. Frankly, Brett is "simply a tool" of the NRA spouting its talking points. If Brett does not secure his arsenal, then in his view that's merely a tool box, each item of which is not "a causal agent." Perhaps Brett would be the "causal agent" if one of those tools were then used by a person - including a young child - to harm someone. Frankly, I doubt that Brett knows much about such research at all. Brett is a self-described anarcho libertarian and 2nd A absolutist plain and quite simple.
 


السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته اما بعد ، اهالي المنطقبة الشرقيه بالمملكة العربية السعوديه يسر شركة شام للخدمات المنزليه ان تعلن لجميع اهالي المنطقه عن بدأ تقديم خدماتها الخاصه بالمسابح للموسم الصيفي الجديد وذلك من خلال فروعا في مدينة الدمام ومدينة الخبر ومدينة القطيف ومدينة الجبيل ، واما عن فرعنا في مدينة الدمام فسوف تجدونه علي المتصفح تحت اسم
شركة تنظيف مسابح بالدمام
وايضا تحت اسم
شركة صيانة مسابح بالدمام
مقترنا برقم هاتف مندوبنا بالدمام لذل فللفحصول علي اي خدمه تخص المسابح تنظيفها او تشغيلها او صيانتها فليس عليك الا التصال بنا وسوف نصلك فورا ، واما اذل كنت من اهل مدينة الخبر وتحتاج الي ان تستفيد من خدماتنا في مدينة الخبر فسوف تجدنا علي المتصفح تحت اسم
شركة صيانة وتنظيف مسابح بالخبر
وفي هذا الفرع نسعد بتقديم كل الخدمات التي تخص المسابح لاهالي الخبر من خدمات تنظيف او صيانة او تشغيل برك السباحه ،ولاننا قد عملنا في شركة شام علي تغطية المنطقة الشرقيه كافه فقد حرصنا علي ان يكون لنا فرع في مدينة القطيف يختص بتقديم خدمات المسابح لجميع اهالي مدينة القطيف والذي سوف تجدونه علي المتصفح تحت مسمى
شركة تنظيف وصيانة مسابح بالقطيف
وهنا سوف تجدون كل ما يخص المسابح من خدمات تنظيف المسابح بالقطيف وصيانتها وتشغيلها ‘واما عن مدينة الجبيل فلنا ايضا هناك فرع يختص بتقديم خدمات المسابح لجميع اهالي الجبيل من تنظيف وصيانه وتشغيل وهذا الفرع سوف تجدونه علي المتصفح تحت اسم
شركة صيانة وتنظيف مسابح بالجبيل
بهذا اعزائي نكون في شركة شام قد استطعنا ان نغطي كافة انحاء المنطقة الشرقيه وتقديم كافة خدمات المسابح التي يحتاجها اهالي المنطقه باحدث الاساليب والطرق العلميه وباستخدام افضل مواد التنظيف واحسن اجهزة ومعدات الصيانه والتعقيم ، فلا تقلق عزيزي العميل ولا تحتار فشركة شام هي افضل اختيار .




 

BD: "The JROTC program does not divert students from university"

Mr. W: Citation? Do JROTC program participants go to university more or less than non participants?


Center for Strategic and International Studies...looked at the success of JROTC in public schools in Chicago, Washington, and El Paso, Texas, between November 1997 and April 1998. They found that the participants in Washington reported higher grade point averages and SAT scores, fewer absences and infractions, and a lower dropout rate than their peers. JROTC members in El Paso committed fewer infractions than other students, while participants in Chicago had higher grades than their peers, the report says.

RAND found:

Grade-point averages (GPAs) for the JROTCCA students were significantly higher following enrollment in the program than would have been expected if they had been enrolled in the general academic program in six of ten cases. The differences were generally substantial, with most in the range of one-quarter to one-half of a grade point higher on a four-point scale. Also, absenteeism for the JROTCCA students was significantly lower than what would have been expected for these same students in the general academic program in seven of ten cases.

In the two cases for which four-year graduation information was available, nearly twice as many of the students enrolled in the JROTCCA program in the ninth grade graduated as would have been expected to graduate had they been in the general academic program. In many cases, GPA and absenteeism in the JROTCCA program were also significantly better than what would have been expected in the standard JROTC program, as well. Discussions with students suggest that high student satisfaction may be responsible for the low rates of absenteeism among JROTCCA students.


BD: "upper middle class and wealthy school districts and universities with a progressive and anti-military bent have run JROTC and ROTC off campus"

Mr. W: Citation? Evidence of correlation (at least) between SES of school districts and lack of JROTC programs?


During Vietnam, the Ivy League universities infamously ran out their ROTC programs, claiming the military did not meet their academic standards. Then, these progressive universities shifted gears and claimed ROTC was not welcome because the military was not welcoming homosexuals.

There are no studies or many articles which I can find concerning JROTC.

San Francisco ran JROTC out of their schools.


BD:"the suggestion that JROTC in any way, shape or form trains students to become terrorists is a reprehensible slander"

Mr. W: What was the ratio of JROTC participants that were murderers at the school? There were no non-JROTC particpants there were murderers, but many non-participants that were heroes by your standards.


Are you really offering the logical fallacy as an argument? Like I said, a reprehensible slander which you are now joining.

In reality, what nearly all mass shooters share in common is they were raised in fatherless homes.


 

BD: "if they were armed, these cadets would have killed the terrorist."

Mr. W: Laughable. There was an actual, trained, adult 'good guy with a gun there' (the resource officer) and he did nothing. But Bart confidently asserts as 'fact' that had these kids had a gun, all would have been ok.


If I was in a firefight (and I have been in multiple firefights), I would take a military trained JROTC or ROTC cadet over a school resource officer nearly every time. School resource officers are police who are too inept for street or administrative duty.

Mr. W: Let's all have an extra laugh at Bart's BS paean regarding JROTC. Conservatives like Bart regularly decry the federal government's role in education, but the JROTC program is a federal program aimed at those in state and local educational systems. It's all OK if it involves militarization of youth! One of the foundational tenets of fascism is, of course, military-worship.

Hero, the purpose of JROTC is training to provide officers for the national military. Unlike the common core bureaucrats, the military makes no attempt to direct state and local K-12 curriculum.

As for the suggestion that training future military officers is a foundational tenet of fascism, do you know what the letters F O stand for?

BD: "Indeed, the term "well-regulated" used in the Second Amendment refers to marksmanship of the armed citizenry making up the militia."

Profoundly stupid. In the text of the constitution it time and again refers to the power of the government to set rules.


The constitution nowhere else uses the term well-regulated. Different terms. Furthermore, the Bill of Rights never uses the term regulation because the purpose of these amendments was to limit, not grant government power.
 

NYT: "The Dickey Amendment technically did not ban gun research, only advocacy. Its real goal — one it easily achieved, according to public health officials in place at the time — was to scare federal agencies into thinking twice about even collecting data that might reflect badly on gun ownership."

Brett: It's real goal was to stop the CDC from engaging in 'research' the results of which it had announced in advance. In '89, the head of the CDC said, "We’re going to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes deaths." Not find out if, mind you. The outcome was pre-determined. You can easily find numerous quotes by people in the CDC, and the researchers they hired. They weren't investigating a topic objectively. They saw themselves as leading a crusade to alter public opinion.


Totalitarians generally cloak their propaganda in casual correlation pseudo-science manufactured by the government bureaucracy so they can claim their policy opponents are anti-science.
 

SPAM and Brett support the totalitarian NRA propaganda remedy of more and more guns manufactured by the gun industry, which then funds the NRA, which in turn funds most Republican elected officials to propagate even more guns with no controls, providing the circularity mentioned several times.

And SPAM, do you neighbors know of your boorish claims about your multiple firefights?
 

Shag:

Totalitarians want the government to run our lives, the NRA wants the government out of our lives. Doubleplusungood doublethink.

My neighbors are mostly fellow military vets. Great place to live.
 

Sandy Levinson wrote a book that opined about what the Federalist Papers can teach us in today's world. Here's a version of Federalist 8's entry:

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2015/09/22/federalist-8-on-the-rise-of-a-militarized-state/
 

"Guns are not a causal agent here, they are simply a tool. Epidemiologists have very little to offer here"

Again, it makes sense that epidemiologists study heart disease and alcoholism by looking at the ease of access of both fast food and alcohol in an area even though the fast food and alcohol don't leap into the mouths of unwilling people.
 

The question was "Do JROTC program participants go to university more or less than non participants?" The two studies you cite, while interesting, are about high school performance not whether those people go on to college.

"There are no studies or many articles which I can find concerning JROTC."

Then you shouldn't say things like "upper middle class and wealthy school districts and universities with a progressive and anti-military bent have run JROTC and ROTC off campus." You don't know that for JROTC and your example for ROTC is outdated.

"School resource officers are police who are too inept for street or administrative duty."

Talk about reprehensible slanders.

"I would take a military trained JROTC or ROTC cadet over a school resource officer nearly every time"

LOL, Bart are you unaware that JROTC firearms training is done with air rifles? I guess they may put the mass murderer's eye out.

"the purpose of JROTC is training to provide officers for the national military."

Using the state and local schools as their training grounds.

"The constitution nowhere else uses the term well-regulated. "

Another LOL, it uses the root term throughout. Bart's argument is like saying 'well respected' doesn't mean highly respected but some non-respect related definition.

"Furthermore, the Bill of Rights never uses the term regulation"

Laughable again, regulated is to regulation as manipulated is to manipulation. Bart's bizarre interpretation asks us to ignore English grammar. Down with suffixes and past tense!

"As for the suggestion that training future military officers is a foundational tenet of fascism"

I'm saying, not suggesting, that military worship is a foundational tenet of fascism. Hitler, Mussolini and Franco loved military garb, parades, titles, etc., and all had programs for the youth to get into that.







 

"Guns are not a causal agent here, they are simply a tool. Epidemiologists have very little to offer here"

Mr. W: Again, it makes sense that epidemiologists study heart disease and alcoholism by looking at the ease of access of both fast food and alcohol in an area even though the fast food and alcohol don't leap into the mouths of unwilling people.


Seriously, why?

Are these studies going to tell us yet again that our decision to excessively consumption of alcohol, food or almost anything else is unhealthy?

As for firearms, are studies going to tell us that people can use firearms to harm others or themselves. News at Ten!

As Brett correctly noted, such studies are created for propaganda to justify disarming this who do not harm others or themselves.

Then you shouldn't say things like "upper middle class and wealthy school districts and universities with a progressive and anti-military bent have run JROTC and ROTC off campus."

You asked for cites, I gave you cites directly on point. The fact that academics have not studied JROTC removal hardly means it did not occur.

BD: "School resource officers are police who are too inept for street or administrative duty."

Mr. W: Talk about reprehensible slanders.


Have you ever worked with these officers? I have done so for years as a prosecutor and then a defense attorney. Do you think the police are going to send their best and brightest for what is essentially babysitting duty?

BD: "I would take a military trained JROTC or ROTC cadet over a school resource officer nearly every time"

Mr. W: LOL, Bart are you unaware that JROTC firearms training is done with air rifles? I guess they may put the mass murderer's eye out.


What makes you think that JROTC is the cadet's only experience with firearms? The roughly 100 million armed families in the United States produce the vast majority of military members. My father started teaching me to use firearms back when I was 12. The majority of men with whom I served hunted or target shot before they entered the military.

The main reason I would rather go into a firefight with JROTC or ROTC cadets than a school resource officer is because they are more dedicated and disciplined. They generally will not piss their pants and hide as the mere sound of a firearm.

BD: "The constitution nowhere else uses the term well-regulated."

Mr. W: Another LOL, it uses the root term throughout. Bart's argument is like saying 'well respected' doesn't mean highly respected but some non-respect related definition.


When you keep laughing our of ignorance, you sound like an ass braying.

Words have different meanings depending on the situation. In Heller, Scalia correctly identified the original meaning of the term "well-regulated" when applied to the the military:

Finally, the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training. See Johnson 1619 (“Regulate”: “To adjust by rule or method”); Rawle 121–122; cf. Va. Declaration of Rights §13 (1776), in 7 Thorpe 3812, 3814 (referring to “a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms”).

There are more references to determine the original meaning.

https://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2014/06/24/well-regulated/
 

"Again, it makes sense that epidemiologists study heart disease and alcoholism by looking at the ease of access of both fast food and alcohol in an area even though the fast food and alcohol don't leap into the mouths of unwilling people."

You seem absolutely determined to ignore my points concerning the actual quality of the "research" that led to the Dickey amendment. I really suggest you look at some of it. A high school science fair project would have gotten marked down for that quality of work!

I described one of them for you: The notorious Kellermann study, "Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home", still being cited. Here's a more detailed description of the problems with it.

You're assuming the epidemiologists are approaching the question objectively. The CDC was hiring the research equivalent of Carrie Nation, only researchers they knew would arrive at the 'right' conclusions regardless of the facts they encountered.

Anyway, the point remains: The appropriate skill set here is that of criminologists, not epidemiologists.
 

OFF TOPIC: The NYTimes website provides: "Justice Scalia’s Fading Legacy" by Linda Greenhouse MARCH 15, 2018 at:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/15/opinion/justice-antonin-scalia-legacy.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=sectionfront

addressing the use of legislative history by SCOTUS in interpreting the Constitution.

 

Bart's floundering is sea worthy. Of 'well-regulated' Bart orginally offered this:

"the term "well-regulated" used in the Second Amendment refers to marksmanship of the armed citizenry making up the militia."

To which I offered "In the text of the constitution it time and again refers to the power of the government to set rules."

Now Bart actually himself brings up this from Heller: "the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than *the imposition of proper discipline and training*. See Johnson 1619 (“Regulate”: “*To adjust by rule* or method”)

As I said all along, it doesn't refer to 'marksmanship' but the power of the government to 'regulate,' that is 'adjust by rule' the militia
and a 'well regulated' militia is one that has been well adjusted by rule.

"You asked for cites, I gave you cites directly on point."

Demonstrably wrong, and I showed this last comment, to which you have no answer, so I'll just repeat it. I asked for citation for the question "Do JROTC program participants go to university more or less than non participants?" The two studies you cite, while interesting, are about high school performance not whether those people go on to college. Good high school performance does not necessarily mean one then goes on to college (they may, for example most relevant here, go into the military instead).

"I have done so for years"

So Bart's 'evidence' for his slander of school resource officers is his personal experience and judgement. We all know what that's worth around here.

"Do you think the police are going to send their best and brightest for what is essentially babysitting duty?"

Essentially babysitting duty? In the era of Columbine, Newton, Parkland? Yeah, just babysitting.

"The main reason I would rather go into a firefight with JROTC or ROTC cadets than a school resource officer is because they are more dedicated and disciplined."

With air rifles. All that discipline is at most carried out with air rifles.




 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

You seem absolutely determined to ignore my points concerning the actual quality of the "research" that led to the Dickey amendment."

No, it's you that are absolutely determined to ignore my comments. I've said nothing about the supposed bias in the research previously, what I responded to was your comment about how epidemiologists study diseases and not things involving human behavior/motivation and therefore it's inappropriate for them to study the latter things. But as I said very early and you keep ignoring, that's nonsense. Alcoholism, heart disease, sexually transmitted, etc., all have huge components involving human behavior/motivation. You're just wrong on that point yet you keep repeating it. If you want to say 'hey we can't trust this agency because of bias in the past' that's one thing, but drop the nonsense about how this isn't a reasonable area of study for epidemiologists because there's a component of human behavior/motivation.

"Are these studies going to tell us yet again that our decision to excessively consumption of alcohol, food or almost anything else is unhealthy?"

Bart really is an un-curious, content to be ignorant fellow.

They tell us how the prevalence of the diseases can be better understood and may be lessened or ameliorated.

If the prevalence of alcoholism is indeed related to ease of access to alcohol, for example to the proximity, number, and operating hours of liquor stores, then that's important for lawmakers and communities to know when allowing, licensing or in the case of some states operating such stores. It can also be important when thinking about where and how to target educational prevention campaigns.
 

Our dyslexic dynamic duo Brat and Bert continue to misfire with their arsenals of NRA (s)taking point. Are the skill sets of the NRA criminology or just quasi-criminality? Brett doesn't brag about his military career as does SPAM, perhaps because of bone spurs or small hands like Trump. Imagine SPAM and his ex-military buddies getting together in his rural mountain top community in the Mile High State (of mind) with Bud Lites and/or Ganja relating experiences of their multiple firefights, with open or concealed carry, a bunch of good guys with guns who share Trump's bravado (even without a gun) in case a bad guy with a gun pops up. Perhaps that ad hoc militia led by Intelligence Officer SPAM would be well-regulated if they used Serutan (that's Natures, spelled backwards!) in challenging the tyranny of government in their version of the 2nd A. Of course if they fail, then it's treason.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], the NRA runs the government via funding of most Republicans in control of the central government at the present time. The NRA seems comfortable, as the marketing arm of the gun industry, with this observation by Sandy that I referred to earlier:

" We are increasingly defined as a 'national-security, surveillance society.'"
 

CORRECTION: My 7:02 AM comment closed with " ... in interpreting the Constitution." This should have read " ... in interpreting statutes." Sorry.
 

It's important to take a second and say that this discussion is a great one for why I increasingly don't take what Bart and Brett have to say with any view other than dishonest propagandizing. What I mean by that is there's no interest by them to have a discussion and see where the truth leads, they come to each discussion knowing where the truth lies (for them) and they want to throw whatever they can against the wall in defense of that pre-ordained stance (ironically, it's the very thing they're criticizing the researchers for doing). A tell tale sign of this is that when they say something that is obviously and profoundly mistaken there's no 'huh, well I guess that was wrong, I didn't know.' Instead, they just move on to the next thing to lob, hoping that it will stick to the wall. That's what a propagandist does, not someone having an honest conversation.

So for example, they both entered with this foolish line about how 'epidemiologists study disease, not things with human behavioral/motivation components.' I guess they heard such a nonsense thing from some pro-gun source and it has a facile charm to it (guns aren't diseases themselves, yes), and so they thought they'd lob it. Here's where having an open mind, not living in an ideological bubble and not seeking out informed opinions on subject you don't know much about and about which you have a passionate bias makes one say really silly things. But much worse than that is, when it's pointed out to you, still refusing to digest it, but instead just pivoting to the next thing to throw on the wall (and, indeed, even coming back later and invoking the first piece of foolishness).

I work in the social sciences and as such I know epidemiologists (I'm not one though, so unlike Bart and Brett I won't pretend to know the raison d'etre and ins and outs of their field). But from my experience with it, it's just social science applied to the kinds of subjects that land people in the doctor's office. Epidemiology has long and is everywhere (from the local health department to the CDC to the WHO) involved in lots of subjects that involve human behavior/motivation. Poisoning, for one. Drowning, for another. Car accidents. I mean, I would have assumed everyone knew that mortality of whatever cause is a basic subject for epidemiology. But it's even worse: actual long recognized diseases, if you were going to limit epidemiology to that (for no good reason, but arguendo), have human behavioral/motivation components. Heart disease. Diabetes. Sexually transmitted diseases. There's a long list where human behavior and decisions plays a huge part in the onset, seriousness, prevalance and treatment of actual, fully recognized diseases.

So it's really such a basic and profound blunder to say something so foolish about the subject, indicating a profound ignorance of the subject. A person having an honest discussion trying to get at truth would take a major step back at this moment and ask 'how could I have been so wrong about something I was so confident about? Maybe I should use this as an opportunity to take a while and learn something more about the subject, something free from the sources that led me to such a blunder? Maybe I should be more skeptical of those sources in general from now on?'

But no. That's not what you get from them. They just move straight on to the next thing to throw up against the wall. And in a few days (heck, even within this very discussion), they'll even forget how profoundly wrong about this specific thing and repeat it. Because it feeds their bias, puts them back where they were before, which was where they were confident that all the facts in the world fed the place where they started from and wanted to be in the first place.

And you can't have an honest discussion with such a person. They can only be mocked or ignored.
 

"'epidemiologists study disease, not things with human behavioral/motivation components.'"

But, I didn't say that. Obviously there's a behavioral component to most health issues. If people adopted the Asian practice of wearing face masks in public if you're sick, our influenza epidemics would be must less severe, for instance.

But epidemiology is about things that are alive, spread on their own, are themselves causal. You know in advance that fever and congestion don't cause the influenza virus to appear. You don't know that being at risk of being shot or planning to kill yourself doesn't cause you to buy a gun.

It's not that epidemiologists are totally clueless as a class. Who knows, maybe the FBI's interviewing skills could have some application in the medical field, too. But they're NOT the relevant experts when it comes to crime. They're amateurs dabbling in somebody else's field. Sometimes highly biased amateurs.

Again, I urge you to actually look at the Kellermann research that prompted the Dickey amendment. Look at what the fuss was all about. The "research" that prompted the Dickey amendment was total bilge, it was horrible. It had huge, glaring problems with it. Assuming the direction of causation. Not controlling for confounding variables. Assuming that asking people if they owned guns was as accurate as searching the home after a homicide.

Look at the actual research, and criticism of it.

There are a small population of "researchers", Kellermann, the eponymous Carl Bogus, who basically specialize in churning out research guaranteed to justify gun control. The CDC knew the results they would get from their research, just by who they'd picked to do it. It's literally like hiring Carrie Nation to do research on alcohol.

The Dickey amendment was perfectly justified in light of what the CDC was doing, what they'd announced they were going to do.
 

Bart's floundering is sea worthy. Of 'well-regulated' Bart orginally offered this: "the term "well-regulated" used in the Second Amendment refers to marksmanship of the armed citizenry making up the militia."

Mr. W: To which I offered "In the text of the constitution it time and again refers to the power of the government to set rules."

Now Bart actually himself brings up this from Heller: "the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than *the imposition of proper discipline and training*. See Johnson 1619 (“Regulate”: “*To adjust by rule* or method”)

As I said all along, it doesn't refer to 'marksmanship' but the power of the government to 'regulate,' that is 'adjust by rule' the militia and a 'well regulated' militia is one that has been well adjusted by rule.


1) What is the primary task to which an armed militia member would train if not marksmanship?

2) The Militia Clause grants Congress the power to train the militia. No one has argued otherwise.

3) The regulations to which you refer are meant to abridge the right of the people to keep and bear arms, something the Second Amendment expressly forbids.

BD: "Do you think the police are going to send their best and brightest for what is essentially babysitting duty?"

Mr. W: Essentially babysitting duty? In the era of Columbine, Newton, Parkland? Yeah, just babysitting.


You make a good point about the need for better trained police securing our schools, but as the Broward County SO's school resource officer demonstrated, they are little more than babysitters.

BD: "Are these studies going to tell us yet again that our decision to excessively consumption of alcohol, food or almost anything else is unhealthy?"

Mr. W: If the prevalence of alcoholism is indeed related to ease of access to alcohol, for example to the proximity, number, and operating hours of liquor stores, then that's important for lawmakers and communities to know when allowing, licensing or in the case of some states operating such stores. It can also be important when thinking about where and how to target educational prevention campaigns....

I work in the social sciences and as such I know epidemiologists (I'm not one though, so unlike Bart and Brett I won't pretend to know the raison d'etre and ins and outs of their field). But from my experience with it, it's just social science applied to the kinds of subjects that land people in the doctor's office. Epidemiology has long and is everywhere (from the local health department to the CDC to the WHO) involved in lots of subjects that involve human behavior/motivation. Poisoning, for one. Drowning, for another. Car accidents. I mean, I would have assumed everyone knew that mortality of whatever cause is a basic subject for epidemiology. But it's even worse: actual long recognized diseases, if you were going to limit epidemiology to that (for no good reason, but arguendo), have human behavioral/motivation components. Heart disease. Diabetes. Sexually transmitted diseases. There's a long list where human behavior and decisions plays a huge part in the onset, seriousness, prevalance and treatment of actual, fully recognized diseases.


My friend, you just conceded Brett and my point that the purpose of these studies is to provide a pretext for the government to direct our "behavior and decisions," more succinctly, our lives.

 

SPAM and Brett confirm that they are NRA trolls at this Blog. The changing demographics, including the current movement of students soon to be voters, cannot be offset by anarcho-libertarians and 2nd A absolutists.
 

Shag:

The "current movement of students" is the same old firearm prohibition movement using their kids as props. This faux children's crusade arguably a form of child abuse.

The political math of firearm prohibition is simple. Several times more people own the AR-15 rifle alone than belong to your firearm prohibition movement. A majority of voters belong to a family who owns firearms. We vote.
 

"But, I didn't say that."

Here's what you've said on the topic:

"Crime is a consequence of human decisions, epidemiology is not a good fit to analyzing it."

Now you seem to concede that human decisions play a big part in many public health issues.

And you continue with this nonsense: "But epidemiology is about things that are alive, spread on their own, are themselves causal."

That's just not true and we've been over this. Heart conditions are not 'alive' and 'spread on their own.' Alcoholism and other substance abuses isn't 'alive' and spread on their own.' But more importantly as I just said epidemiology has long and everywhere studied things like traffic accidents, drowning and poisoning.

So why do you keep saying something so either profoundly stupid of dishonest as 'it's the study of living organisms?'



 

SPAM's "firearm prohibition" is not the movement of reasonable gun controls. SPAM's support for the mass-murdering capabilities of AR-15s is obscene and suggestive of threats of the non-voting kind. SPAM ignores polling for reasonable gun controls. Once upon a time, the NRA was for reasonable gun controls. Query: Is SPAM an owner of an AR-15? Does SPAM conceal carry one in his "militarized" rural mountain top community? Many owners of firearms and their families support reasonable gun controls.
 

"What is the primary task to which an armed militia member would train if not marksmanship?"

The NCAA tournament is starting in earnest today and many will talk about how some teams are 'well-coached.' If a Bart said 'well-coached' means the ability to shoot free throws well everyone would have a good laugh, because that's one possible *product* of what 'well-coached' means, not *what* well coached means. A well coached basketball team involves knowing when to practice a team, when to rest them, what kind of defenses and offenses to run, teaching them how to do myriad non-shooting skills, etc., etc.

My son is the in Marines and my wife served in the Navy. They spent some time honing marksmanship, but it was a fraction of what they did. And even with the gun related activity they did, much of it was on the safe keeping and operating of the arms.

"you just conceded Brett and my point that the purpose of these studies is to provide a pretext for the government to direct our "behavior and decisions," more succinctly, our lives."

Not at all, it's more that you're a fool with poor logic.

Understanding that limiting the number of liquor stores in an area can result in less alcoholism doesn't entail that we must limit the stores anymore than understanding that eating vegetables is good for means we must pass a broccoli mandate.

"they are little more than babysitters."

As usual, you have only your limited experiences filtered through your well known poor thinking skills to back this statement up.
 

I appreciate that Mr. W. mixes some substantive discussion among the mocking and ignoring.

To touch upon something else referenced by Sandy Levinson:

"We reflexively treat everyone in the armed services as a "hero" whose service demands gratitude, unlike, say, school teachers who, especially if they are in the public schools, are increasingly treated as almost contemptible by the powers that be."

I would offer respect to both types of "service," a choice of words that is warranted, but do think the term is underused. I know a few teachers who serve in public school and respect them a lot and they serve an essential purpose. It reminds me of the 2000 election, when for some people the only votes in Florida that seemed to really count were military ballots.
 

So, why do you refuse to look at the actual research that prompted the Dickey amendment?

Could epidemiologists do good work here, if they approached it in good faith? Yeah, maybe, but again we already have these people called "criminologists" whose actual specialty is this sort of thing. So, cobbler, stick to your last.

It's called comparative advantage. Let the epidemiologists study actual diseases, and let the criminologists study crime. Rather than having each of them do a substandard job of doing the other's work.

But why ignore that, when the CDC actually was hiring people to do research in this area, they were hiring hacks who churned out propaganda? That seems rather relevant to the question of whether they should be allowed to resume hiring people to research in this area.

Again, I urge you: Look at the research that prompted the Dickey amendment. It really was awful, that's not somebody's imagination.
 

What proposed “reasonable gun control” does not seek to deny a portion of the people access to all firearms or all the people access to particular firearms. This is no more “gun control” than the Prohibition was “alcohol control.”
 

It was explained how epidemiologists fit the cobblers metaphor.

====

The Dickey Amendment: "none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control."

The amendment doesn't say that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should not address injury prevention and control. The concern is "advocate or promote." Nonetheless:

The actual amendment sponsored by Jay Dickey, a congressman from Arkansas, did not explicitly forbid research into gun-related deaths, just advocacy. But the Congress also lowered the CDC’s budget by the exact amount it spent on such research. Message received. It’s had a chilling effect on the entire field for decades.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/02/gun-violence-public-health/553430/

Plus, "advocate or promote" are open-ended terms. If, e.g., guns are associated with suicide in certain contexts, there might be a statement in a study suggesting "control" of "guns" in a certain respect. Not allowed?

"The CDC is best known for fighting diseases—it’s in the name—but its public-health purview is indeed wider. The agency studies drownings, accidental falls, traumatic brain injuries, car crashes, suicides, and more."

Cobblers are sticking to their last. And, Jay Dickey (R) supported [he has since died] overturning the amendment to help them. But, Mr. W. was making a wider point that goes far beyond this anyhow.

A claim is made that specific research was bad. Mr. W. has read things Brett has read and obtained different conclusions in various cases. So, I'm not assured in the least that there will be agreement on this point. But, even if true, the amendment still is not about not funding the research at all. Mr. W.'s point that such research is germane is not changed because of the Dickey Amendment.
 

SPAM as a 2nd A absolutist apparently is unaware of the dicta in Justice Scalia's majority opinion in Heller (5-4, 2008). Recall Heller's basic decision dealt with specific type of arms in the home for self-defense. The 2nd A absolutist view leans on insurrection, which Scalia discounted as a purpose of the 2nd A. SPAM, an attorney, took an oath regarding his obligations the Constitution. Once again SPAM is drifting towards perilous territory with his 10:55 AM comment. Obviously SPAM is under the influence of the NRA.
 

"But the Congress also lowered the CDC’s budget by the exact amount it spent on such research."

No, had spent on such advocacy. That they called the propaganda they paid for "research" doesn't change that it was propaganda.

Agreed, there's a place for criminological research. And it's not the Centers for Disease Control. Even if they could be trusted to do it honestly, they're not the right people to be doing it.

But they can't be trusted to do it honestly, based on what they were doing before the Dickey amendment. There's a place for research into people committing crimes with guns. It's staffed with criminologists, not doctors.
 

Shag: SPAM's support for the mass-murdering capabilities of AR-15s is obscene...Recall Heller's basic decision dealt with specific type of arms in the home for self-defense.

Scalia's opinion defined the "arms" protected under the Second Amendment included firearms commonly owned by the people.

The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the United States and is owned by an estimated 11 million Americans. Semi-automatic weapons are the most popular firearm in general and are owned by tens of millions. Both easily fall under the Heller definition of arms protected by the Second Amendment.
 

BD: "What is the primary task to which an armed militia member would train if not marksmanship?"

Mr W: The NCAA tournament is starting in earnest today and many will talk about how some teams are 'well-coached.' If a Bart said 'well-coached' means the ability to shoot free throws well everyone would have a good laugh, because that's one possible *product* of what 'well-coached' means, not *what* well coached means. A well coached basketball team involves knowing when to practice a team, when to rest them, what kind of defenses and offenses to run, teaching them how to do myriad non-shooting skills, etc., etc.


Good analogy.

Like basketball is not solely about shooting baskets, I agree that training a militia would not be solely about shooting firearms.

And just like a well-coached basketball team has nothing to do with prohibiting possession of basketballs, a well-regulated militia has nothing to do with prohibiting the possession of arms.

Mr. W: If the prevalence of alcoholism is indeed related to ease of access to alcohol, for example to the proximity, number, and operating hours of liquor stores, then that's important for lawmakers and communities to know when allowing, licensing or in the case of some states operating such stores.

BD: you just conceded Brett and my point that the purpose of these studies is to provide a pretext for the government to direct our "behavior and decisions," more succinctly, our lives.

Mr. W: Understanding that limiting the number of liquor stores in an area can result in less alcoholism doesn't entail that we must limit the stores anymore than understanding that eating vegetables is good for means we must pass a broccoli mandate.
.

That is precisely what you suggested lawmakers use this propaganda to achieve.

 

It has not been shown that none of the research, however Brett finds some of it bad or the opinions of some in the CDC of what the evidence warranted, was actually research.

Anyway, latching on to such a point, however useful in cable news talking head type debate, is of little note regarding the big picture.

The Dickey Amendment did not disallow research across the board that in various cases will involve guns, "criminological" [a vague, somewhat open-ended term] or otherwise. One thing that immediately comes to mind, and this is a major subset of deaths from firearms, are suicides. Research there as Mr. W. noted as to liquor stores need not result in "gun grabbers" getting much solace policy-wise. Concern with things said by people over twenty years ago doesn't tell me what should be in place today, in 2018, with current leadership.

It has been noted repeatedly, without actual refutation, that epidemiological studies are valuable in this context, it a factor in formulating crime policy in numerous ways. But, that isn't even the reach of the Dickey Amendment. Which mind you its own sponsor think thought is worth repealing. Anyway, the Dickey Amendment is but a minor aspect of the wider story here, and I appreciate Mr. W.'s discussion on that front.
 

BTW, including an interesting reference to the Articles of Confederation, this might interest Shag and others:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/03/second-amendment-text-context/555101/

I know how Sandy Levinson prefers us keeping on topic, so tried to directly reference what he specifically talked about. But, I appreciate he leaving comments open even while we go on tangents. I also wish his project, referenced in another post, that focuses on young people well. Teaching the future of America is after all his day job.
 

"The Dickey Amendment did not disallow research across the board that in various cases will involve guns"

It didn't apply *at all* to any agency except the CDC. Why are gun controllers so hung up on the idea that gun research has to be done by the CDC?

Answer that, and you'll understand why the Dickey amendment was justified: It was the only agency willing to be used by them as a propaganda mill.

And, yes, it is nice that Sandy permits comments. Even hostile ones. I might frequently disagree with him, but I find that admirable.
 

I tried an argument here (advert for blog post) that nothing stops a supply-side gun control strategy on the Tokugawa model: buying out the small domestic US gun manufacturing industry - $5bn tops - and then using the power of ownership to restrict sales to civilians drastically. The buyer could be the Federal government (forced nationalisation) or a market buyout by group of liberal billionaires. The sales policy would be single-shot bolt-action hunting rifles, double-barrelled hand loading shotguns, also for hunting, and revolvers for self-defence. The Tokugawa-Purdey Gun Corporation would cut all ties to the NRA.

Of course, this would only be a first step. It would be essential for the federal government to follow up with similar restrictions on imports: politically easier, as foreign gunmakers like Glock have little lobbying power. Effective control would also involve a large-scale buyback, target 200 million weapons, possibly financed by a steep gun license and/or taxes on ammunition.

My question to the commenters here is whether there is any constitutional objection to this plan. I suppose not. The 2nd Amendment as interpreted by Heller allows extensive regulation of the exercise of the right to bear arms. Is there any objection to nationalisation in the public interest?
 

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