Gun Deaths in the USA

In a story titled “Gun deaths shaped by race in America”, the Washington Post cites statistics showing how race ties into gun-related deaths in the USA.

The statistical difference is dramatic, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A white person is five times as likely to commit suicide with a gun than to be shot with a gun; for each African American who uses a gun to commit suicide, five are killed by other people with guns.

Source: Washington Post

Source: Washington Post

Although it is much more useful than the one promoted by the Huffington Post, the Washington Post’s above-shown gun-death statistic dances around the elephant in the gun-death living room.

In a column for TheRootDC, Barbara Reynolds writes the following:

The slayings of all children are horrible, yet even in death, they are not treated equally.

If slayings happen in a single event, as in the terrible shooting deaths of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., there is public and media outrage. And if the killing is believed to be racially motivated, as in the Trayvon Martin case, civil rights leaders bring thousands to protests, as they did in Sanford, Fla., to push for punishment of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch member accused of shooting Martin. All that is as it should be.

Yet if there are no guys like Zimmerman — who is of white and Hispanic background — to attack, there is often numbness, an unjustified nothingness when the issue is blacks killing blacks. The civil rights machines don’t crank up, the pulpits seldom roar with vitriolic sermons and editorials crying out loudly for an end to the black-on-black carnage are few and far between. In fact there is such a lack of programs, protest or caring about black kids getting killed, I wonder have their lives ceased to matter at all to the power brokers.  As Charles Ramsey, the former D.C. police chief, reportedly said at a gun forum, “Nobody in this room would have known Trayvon Martin if he had been shot by a black kid.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that among 10- to 24-year-olds, homicide is the leading cause of death for African Americans, and other reports show that more than 90 percent of the violence is from other blacks, mostly from guns.

As I noted in an earlier post, murder is an immoral act, and guns don’t act on their own when they are involved in murders. The existence of a loaded gun will not by itself cause a murder to take place. In order for that to happen, a person has to choose to commit the murder.

Michael Bloomberg can demand stricter gun laws, and Jesse Jackson can insist that the Department of Homeland Security patrol the streets of Chicago, but how do those ideas eliminate the apparent immorality of people who choose to commit murders?

Well, those ideas don’t eliminate such immorality. That kind of immorality isn’t caused by the existence of loaded guns. Murder by any means is immorality put on display.

So, is such a display of immorality uniform in regards to race or ethnicity? Answer: No.

The Wall Street Journal has placed online U.S. murder statistics for the years 2000 to 2010, compiled from FBI statistics coming from every state except Florida.

Out of the 165,068 murders that took place between the years 2000 and 2010, 1,172 were committed by American Indians, and 2,156 were committed by people of Asian or Pacific Island descent.  15,843 of the murders were committed by Hispanics, 49,936 by non-Hispanic Whites and 68,531 by Blacks.

The lower numbers of murderers who are American Indians, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics could be due to those groups being minority groups within the USA. However, Blacks also make up a minority group within the USA, and yet the statistics show more Black murderers than non-Hispanic White murderers. Why is that?

Are we to blame poverty for people becoming murderers?

The University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center reports, “In 2010, 27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were poor, compared to 9.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 12.1 percent of Asians.”  If poverty were driving people to commit murder, then why is there a disproportionately-small number of murderers who are Hispanic, and why is there a disproportionately-large number of murderers who are non-Hispanic Whites? The statistics do not show a correlation between the ethnicity of people who are in poverty and the ethnicity of people who commit murder.

Despite the fact that the USA has the world’s highest rate of gun ownership, the gun homicide rate in the USA is roughly 3 per 1,000 people (as reported by Richard Florida of The Atlantic Cities and by Simon Rogers of The Guardian). Yet, the gun homicide rate isn’t uniform through the nation. Instead, it is highest in particular urban areas, as seen in the image below.

Map by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute

Map by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute

Detroit has a murder rate of 35.9 per 1,000 people. New Orleans has a much higher rate of 62.1 per 1,000 people. If New Orleans were an independent nation, then it would be second only to Honduras in murders by nationality.

Now, compare the gun murder rate in the USA to the rate of gun ownership in the USA.



Apparently, there is no correlation between the percentage of legal gun ownership and the gun murder rate.

So, what give gun-control advocates the idea that they can reduce the number of deaths by guns by making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain them?

The above-given statistics appear to indicate that the rate of gun-related deaths is high in places where the rate of legal gun-ownership is low.

Could it be that armed criminals are more likely to commit gun-related crimes in areas of low gun-ownership because the criminals expect their intended victims to be unarmed?

As for the significantly-high black-on-black murder rate that Barbara Reynolds cites (and that the Washington Post dances around), that rate could simply be the result of where the perpetrators live. Densely-populated urban areas have been known as areas of violence as long as there have been densely-populated urban areas, even when there were no guns to control.  The high black-on-black murder rate in the USA could simply be the result of the USA’s African-American population being heavily concentrated in urban areas.

So, what should be done to reduce the number of gun-related deaths in the USA? Is it possible to reduce the number of those deaths without dealing with the underlying cause of that number? What if that number is a symptom of another social ailment?

Whenever a physician discovers swollen lymph nodes in a patient, the physician doesn’t simply try to cure the lymph nodes. Instead, the physician investigates the cause of the swollen lymph nodes, which all too often are caused by cancer.  In a community, a significantly-high rate of gun-related deaths could be the social equivalent of swollen lymph nodes. It would be foolish to try to stop the swelling without acknowledging the moral cancer that is causing the swelling.

As it turns out, acknowledging moral cancer isn’t a popular thing to do. Politicians, media members and social/civil-rights advocates who want fame and fortune are going to promote whatever is popular among their supporters, even when what they promote won’t cure a thing. That includes gun control.


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  • Plinytherecent

    You say that “there is no correlation”. Casual observation suggests a negative correlation (which would be quite significant, if true). Can you plot it? Run a regression?

  • $47353571

    While I agree with you that gun control probably isn’t the only answer we need to curb gun related violence I think your looking to simplistically at these statistics to fit your own argument. There is no way Illinois and New York have gun ownership that is that low. Legal registered gun owners…maybe, but I would not be surprised if the illegal gun ownership is more than 10X what this study suggests. This suggests two things. One is they’re not doing enough to enforce existing gun laws, and the second is the gun related crimes in those areas may be significantly higher if gun laws weren’t as strict as they are. Comparing states is a fools errand because while Montana may have more gun owners than New York it also has a much smaller population and completely different culture. Gun ownership there is related to sport/hunting and isn’t necessarily considered something that is needed for protection. In Chicago, New York City, New Orleans….protection and violence are the main reason to own guns. To me this suggests that states and even cities need to have their own laws that are designed to suit their given populations at a given point in history.

    As for the issue of race and violence one of the more compelling arguments I’ve read about in relation to this topic is connected to attachment theory which suggests that how children are raised especially in the first few years of life plays a huge role in how they relate to others as they grow up. To really explain this I would need a post longer than anyone is willing to read but if you are really interested in this topic I’d suggest looking into it because i believe it offers possible solutions to violence especially in urban areas. Essentially researchers point out that urban populations have a tribal mentality but have what they call an avoidant attachment pattern as a whole, which causes them to distance themselves from others, have a me vs others mentality, have a reduced capacity for empathy and poor impulse control (not just as an outward behavior, but at a neurological level there are differences in prefrontal cortex development). This isn’t to say that in some way any given culture has better or worse mental function. It suggests that this is an adaptive behavior pattern that has developed over time as a survival mechanism (at its core attachment theory has roots in evolutionary and psychoanalytic theory) and it allows them to function at a level that is necessary for their environment. Ultimately this is something that is passed down generation to generation but that is easily fixed with providing a more compassionate environment for parents to raise their children, and for children to grow up. This is my main issue with the gun control debate. While I think in certain areas it may help and be a band aid, it would be much more efficient if we would focus on the core of the issue which is how the environment is shaping the minds of a culture and what we can do to move in a more positive direction. Easy things like early childhood education, better mental health, a requirement for parenting classes in order to receive aid if you have children, etc.

    • LiberalNightmare

      So gun control isn’t enough? We also need to control how people raise their children and what they teach them too?

      Gun control is a slippery slope indeed.

      Here’s a simpler idea.
      1. Punish the bad people.
      2. Leave everyone else the ^%$# alone.

      Its just crazy enough to work.

      • $47353571

        I never said anything about “controlling how people raise their children.” I said offer programs that help them improve their parenting skills that help raise their standard of living. In other words “education.” As a country we ‘punish the bad people’ plenty. We have the largest and most crowded prison system in the world. What we don’t do well is take care of the least of thee. To tie this back to my original post its much easier to just punish, unfortunately that approach does nothing but create an avoidant society…which is what we’re becoming. Disconnected, not empathetic to the shared needs of ‘others’, and emotionally dismissive of anything that doesn’t resonate with us personally. Suggesting punishment is ironic because its significantly more of a financial burden on the tax payer than instituting programs that assist people before individuals become ‘bad people.’ Early Childhood education is the best example of this. Far from “controlling how people raise children”, if we had a quality early childhood education program instead of these privately owned daycare centers that have poor standards the return on any government investment has been statistically proven to be 7:1. That means for every dollar the gov invests they’d see $7 back by the time that child reached the age 18. But we don’t do that because 1) its not a quick enough fix for our iphone microwaved culture 2) Closed minded conservatives consider it “controlling how people raise and teach their children.”

      • $47353571

        I never said anything about “controlling how people raise their children.” I said offer programs that help them improve their parenting skills that help raise their standard of living. In other words “education.” As a country we ‘punish the bad people’ plenty. We have the largest and most crowded prison system in the world. What we don’t do well is take care of the least of thee. To tie this back to my original post its much easier to just punish, unfortunately that approach does nothing but create an avoidant society…which is what we’re becoming. Disconnected, not empathetic to the shared needs of ‘others’, and emotionally dismissive of anything that doesn’t resonate with us personally. Suggesting punishment is ironic because its significantly more of a financial burden on the tax payer than instituting programs that assist people before individuals become ‘bad people.’ Early Childhood education is the best example of this. Far from “controlling how people raise children”, if we had a quality early childhood education program instead of these privately owned daycare centers that have poor standards the return on any government investment has been statistically proven to be 7:1. That means for every dollar the gov invests they’d see $7 back by the time that child reached the age 18. But we don’t do that because 1) its not a quick enough fix for our iphone microwaved culture 2) Closed minded conservatives consider it “controlling how people raise and teach their children.”

        • herddog505

          RickOShea Far from “controlling how people raise children”, if we had a quality early childhood education program instead of these privately owned daycare centers…

          Oh, dear heavens.

          Quite aside from the idea that – somehow – our fumbling, incompetent government (you know: the same one that allows some of these cities to be nearly as blood-soaked as a battlefield) can provide quality daycare better than the private market, what exactly are you suggesting BUT that they government “control how people raise their children”? Indeed, it’s not even how PEOPLE raise their children, but rather how the GOVERNMENT, through these early childhood education programs you advocate, will do so. What are you saying but that people are doing a sh*tty job of raising their kids, so it’s time for Uncle Sugar to step in and do it for them?

          We’ve been doing this for decades. Hasn’t really worked, has it? Why, then, should we do more of it?

          Oh, wait. I forgot: the lefty answer to the failure of government programs to have good outcomes is. (wait for it!) MORE government programs.

          • jim_m

            Rick is obviously and idiot lefty that believes that government is the solution for everything because government is more intelligent than the public. Never mind that government is composed of the rejects of society who have proven that they cannot make t in the private sector and lack the intelligence to succeed on their own. THESE are the people who should have control of our children from the earliest of ages.

            Rick is probably one of the morons that believes that we should dispense with this antique notion that children belong to their parents when the left knows that children belong to the state.

          • herddog505

            I takes a village, you know…


            I don’t say that parents don’t often rely on help from others: grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, etc. to raise their kids. But the idea that Uncle Sugar should be in the child-rearing business is downright scary.

          • jim_m

            Help is one thing, responsibility is quite another. This idiotic claim by the left that children do not belong to their parents is really frightening. No nation has ever gone down that path and found anything but death and ruin. This is the claim made by the USSR and Nazi Germany.

            Anyone who takes the view that children and therefor the whole of the public, are property of the state, has transitioned into an ideology that treats people as property and does not value life except as it can serve the state. Such a world view has been used to excuse the murder of millions in service to the state.

          • Brucehenry

            Godwin alert

          • jim_m

            Why? You deny that there is something seriously wrong with the idea that the state owns the people? That was the case is the soviet union. The issue is that you just dislike having it revealed that your ideas have been advocated by some of the biggest mass murderers in world history.

          • Brucehenry

            If everything can be compared to Stalin’s gulags and Hitler’s death camps, it cheapens the comparison. Just as you claim accusations of racism are meaningless from overuse.

            If you keep comparing everything anyone you disagree with says to Stalinism and Nazism, no one will take you seriously pretty soon. Trying to help you here.

          • jim_m

            No. I really think that the left is on a path to go right where the USSR went. And I think that you will excuse it every step of the way and deny that it is happening.

          • Brucehenry

            Oh, OK. Carry on, then.

          • jim_m

            You will. I will be right there telling you about the road you are walking.

          • LiberalNightmare

            I think the comparison is apt in this case.

            I’d also add china to the comparison,

          • Brucehenry

            Well of course you do.

          • $47353571

            Then it must be apt for liberals to continue calling you racist women haters? Its not apt in either case. Its close minded in both.

          • jim_m

            Actually, it is deeply revealing that the left considers treating people based on their abilities as a racist act and that believing that raising children is a legitimate pursuit is misogyny. It is also revealing that government “ownership” of children is not socialist or in any way resembles the government intrusion common in the states we have mentioned.

            The only people with closed minds are on the left.

          • retired military

            It worked for the left as far as Bush is concerned. or are you saying you never heard of Bushitler? Or the left still comparing the GOP to Stalin and Nazis?

            How many jews did Hitler kill?

            How many unborn babies have been killed by abortion? And Planned parenthood wants to be able to kill live children and Obama voted for it 4 times.

          • $47353571

            What does that mean?

          • Brucehenry

            Google “Godwin’s Law.”

          • jim_m

            There is a difference between calling someone a Nazi and pointing out that the things they are doing were also done by both the Soviets and the Nazis. I suppose that sort of “nuance” is beyond your capabilities to perceive.

            Perhaps it is preferable for you to ignore the fact that the American left has now ventured so far toward these models of tyranny. Ignoring that fact does not change it.

          • Brucehenry

            Technically, Godwin’s Law doesn’t require anyone to specifically call anyone else a Nazi. All it says is that, in any online discussion, regardless of topic or scope, the probability of someone eventually comparing something to Nazis or Nazism approaches 1.

            We can always count on you, Jim, to prove ol’ Godwin right every single day.

          • jim_m

            One could also characterize it as saying that someone will provide an accurate description of left wing ideology. It is essentially a congruency.

          • $47353571

            What is this magic Google everyone speaks of! It’s like a wizard with infinite knowledge! Amazing!

            Cool..thanks for introducing me to a new concept. It is very true…especially around here!

          • Brucehenry

            If ever oh ever a wiz there was…..

          • Brucehenry

            If ever oh ever a wiz there was…..

          • retired military

            Hitler killed 6 million jews in about 5 years. The left has killed 30+ million unborn children in just about 40 years. Which is the bigger monster?

          • $47353571

            Holy cow you all watch a lot of Fox News. No one is suggesting turning your children over to the state. It wouldn’t be a mandate. It would be an option. You don’t want it, don’t take it. And how is this any different than public education? You are a product of that same system. Are you a brain washed liberal socialist nazi just because you went to a federal funded public school system? NO. You’re an educated independent thinking person who is capable of being not just a free person, but a conservative minded person…which is the entire goal of the education system. To create free thinking people.

          • jim_m

            I don’t watch FOX news at all as a matter of fact.

            You claim that the goal of the education system is to develop free thinking people. That may have been the goal 40 years ago. It is not today. The news is filled with teachers demanding acceptance of ideological beliefs by their students or the student are flunked or even suspended from school. Education is one of the least intellectually tolerant fields in the country. It is more about indoctrination than it is education.

          • Think I’ve seen that movie before – wasn’t it produced during the ’30’s, over in Germany? And weren’t they doing a Japanese version of it? As I recall, the German ending was a total downer, and the Japanese ending was a real bomb…

          • Brucehenry

            Godwin alert.

          • Yeah, history is SUCH a bitch that way.

          • $47353571

            I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which we never became nazi’s one nation under God in the education system that you came out of and didn’t murder jews with liberty and justice for all.

          • $47353571

            Uncle sugar has been in the child rearing business since the late 1700’s. Everyone here is a product of Uncle Sugar’s child rearing business of education. Are you saying its a total failure?

          • herddog505

            There’s a difference between education – readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic – and child rearing. The one is concerned with imparting facts and methodologies; the other is concerned with building character, morals, and cognitive abilities.

          • Brucehenry

            MY 9th grade Civics was nothing BUT indoctrination about the wonders of democracy. There was no discussion of how it could be corrupted by powerful, monied interests.

            In the 11th grade, I had to take — and pass, in order to graduate — a course called “Americanism vs Communism.” It told me in no uncertain terms how wrong the antiwar folks were and what dupes of the Russians we kids were for giving them any credence. There was quite a bit in there badmouthing the Civil Rights movement, too, a badmouthing that was kinda, umm, not fucking needed in the midst of our local fight about integration and “forced busing.”

            There was no mention in my American History classes of the extermination of the Indian tribes, or much about the slave trade, or much that was positive about the labor movement.

            So please spare me the wailing about how TODAY’S kids are being indoctrinated.

            I guess this should be in a reply to Jim and not you, Herddog.

          • jim_m

            You make an excellent argument for the complete discontinuance of public education. I agree with that.

          • Indeed he does, every time he posts a comment.

          • herddog505

            Well, I don’t say that you haven’t got a point. I suppose my weak rebuttal is that this is the sort of indoctrination American kids OUGHT to have, just as kids in other countries ought to learn about the histories and governments of their countries and why those things are worth upholding / defending.

          • $47353571

            yes and no. You’d be surprised how many parents, especially wealthy parents leave the character building, morals and cognitive ability aspects to the schools system. (when I pointed out wealthy parents I am not labeling that as a problem that they have exclusively, just pointing it out because people like to blame that problem on the poor, when it happens across the board. Its just surprising even to me that its such a problem from well off and seemingly morally stable families.)

          • Not surprising – the Scout pack and troop my son was in was a mixed bag – all strata of the socioeconomic ladder. The worst kids in the den belonged to the high-income parents.

          • jim_m

            I went to private school as did my brother and sister. My parents sacrificed to give us a leg up. We all three went to private universities.

            Even so my success is less to do with the education I received and far more due to the work ethic and moral foundation I was given as a child. Education only gives you one of many tools to be successful. What makes you successful is the desire to work hard to succeed. People can and do succeed without education all the time.

            Lurking behind all your talk about education is an assumption that people should be able to achieve equality of outcome. This is BS. Equality of opportunity is all anyone should be expecting.

          • Brucehenry

            LOL the man who received expensive private education at both secondary and higher levels, the man who admits his parents gave him and their other offspring, in his words, “A LEG UP,” wants to lecture the rest of us about equality, work ethic, and success.

          • jim_m

            Yes, it was a superior education. But it did not define my career or my success, or that of my siblings. What did make that happen is the other characteristics that I mentioned.

            Education, particularly at the post secondary level, is only important in so far as it impacts what employers will open their doors to you. Secondary and primary school education are meaningless in that regard and more often than not leave the student ill prepared for college.

          • Brucehenry

            Easy for you to say.

          • jim_m

            Accurate too.

          • So? Is it extremely bizarre to think that having a good work ethic might help you succeed in life? Or that parents might sacrifice in order for their kids to go further than they did?

          • Brucehenry

            No. Neither is it bizarre for a guy who was handed an expensive private education by his parents to attribute all his success to his own work ethic. It’s all too common, as a matter of fact. I call it Mitt Romney Syndrome.

            Think about it. Was it “equality of opportunity” when Jim applied for that first job out of college, and his resume boasted of his private education while his competition was educated at Podunk State, if at all?

          • jim_m

            I attribute my failures and successes not to an education that I largely do not use in daily life, but to my own actions. I do not fail (and I have failed at times) because I lacked education. I failed because I failed to execute.

            When I applied for a job out of college, the university I graduated from was hardly paid any attention. What was paid attention to was the internship that I had gone through as a requirement for passing the ASCP certification exam. That final year was the only education that had any impact on my employment.

            F you bruce. I value education but I don’t use it as a crutch to excuse my failures or anyone else’s. Nor do I think that having an education makes me better than someone else (like obviously you think it does for you). When I have hired people I don’t look at their education I look at what they have accomplished. If they are a new grad I look at their innate intelligence. In some of those positions the law constrains me to hire college graduates. However I know that there is no real difference between someone with an associate’s degree and a bachelors. What separates people is their ability, not some piece of paper.

            Education helps, but it does not make or break anyone. Unlike you I look at who a person is and not superficial things like the color of their skin or whether they cooled their heels for 4 years getting a BS degree. What a shallow, revolting wretch you must be to value people only for meaningless crap.

          • Brucehenry

            I don’t have much of an education at all, Jim.

            What do you think the meaning of the phrase “a leg up” is, Jim? Why do you think your parents sacrificed to make this private school education, this leg up, a reality for you? Because it would give you an ADVANTAGE over the kids who didn’t have it.

            There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. It’s what we all want for our kids. I just found it humorous that a guy who routinely lectures others on “equality of opportunity” would, unprompted, ‘fess up to having an unearned advantage over those who didn’t have the same opportunity.

            And it’s amusing, although unsurprising, that you would totally discount the value of this education on your resume, instead attributing ALL your success to your own bootstrap-pullin’ and diligence. Your parents coulda saved that money and you could have worked your way through Pembroke State with the same exact result, huh?

            And everyone who hasn’t achieved the same level of success, even if they had an inferior education, simply must not be as hard-workin’ and two-fisted as you, right?

          • jim_m

            Education is not everything. I hold a position now that usually requires an advanced degree. Being that I do not have such a degree, I hold it because I have proven that I can perform.

            The things I have achieved in my career are largely because I asserted myself and I worked hard. Education may ( i emphasize may) open an initial door, but your ability takes over from that point.

            Fuck you bruce. I didn’t say that hard work was a guarantee of success or that people who are not successful do not work hard. In general it does pay off. But then so does having connections. People who go to Harvard do not receive a superior education (from having talked to Harvard grads, I would say that the education they receive is merely average) instead they acquire connections that help them get ahead.

            Education is not a panacea like you dumb-ass morons from the left think it is. But you are obviously too freaking ignorant to figure that out,. I suppose since you don’t have a higher education you really are a dumbass, lacking in any real cognitive ability and that is why you are such a wretched failure in your life. However, I have seen people with HS degrees outperform people with college degrees in the same damn job. People who do the work succeed. People who don’t, do not. It has little to do with education, But I suppose lacking any education yourself you are too jealous and ignorant to understand that point.

          • Brucehenry

            Connections do matter. Like the connections that can be formed in expensive private prep schools and private universities, potentially giving one a “leg up” on others.

            “I suppose since you don’t have a higher education you really are a dumbass,” says the guy who constantly rails against “elitism.”

            And I didn’t say I had NO higher education. I said I didn’t have MUCH of one. And I don’t know that I’m such a wretched failure in my life. While it’s true I had a misspent youth and played catch-up later, and have made many financial mistakes, I have two beautiful daughters who love me and a 24 year (first) marriage. Yeah, I live to large extent paycheck to paycheck, but I don’t resent those who have achieved greater success, except when they make claims to special virtue, as if their financial success means they are favored by God or something. Very little patience for guys like that.

          • jim_m

            I made no such claims. You can stop imputing your own sour grapes on me any time now,

          • Brucehenry

            No, you didn’t claim to be favored by God, lol, figure of speech. You only claimed that any success you have achieved in life is due solely to your Puritan work ethic, and the expensive private education that was gifted to you is purely coincidental.

          • jim_m

            I also blamed my failures on myself. The difference,between you and me is that I own my failures too.

          • Brucehenry

            As do I, as in my admission of a misspent youth and the making of many financial mistakes, did you miss that?

          • Progressive projection strikes again.

          • jim_m

            Your parents coulda saved that money and you could have worked your way through Pembroke State with the same exact result, huh?

            Actually, yes.

          • $47353571

            Education opens doors. How else do you explain the ceiling that people face when they don’t have a certain degree? I can be as knowledgeable and skilled as anyone in my field, and at times even more so, but there were still certain jobs I wasn’t “qualified” for because I didn’t have my masters or PhD. You may base your hiring practices on experience, but education is still a marker for most before they’ll even consider experience. I agree with you that primary and secondary schooling are pretty meaningless in the job market, but they are not meaningless to the college market. How well you do, and what school you come out of matters if you want to go to Harvard, Yale, or even a liberal arts school like Swarthmore. I could have had a 4.0 with a litany of extra curriculars and public service and still been rejected by most of the top 20 schools in America and it wouldn’t have had anything to do with my work ethic.

            To add an anecdote to your story from the opposing perspective…I find it hysterical when I apply for jobs and people see “Walt Disney Co” on my resume and instantly assume its some sort of positive work experience. Its one of the largest companies in the world and its known for superior service, marketing, etc, but I worked there in the parks as an intern during undergrad and my job was so easy an untrained monkey could have done it. Even if I worked at the top of my ability I was still barely straining a brain cell, but I have been given jobs and even a promotion based solely on the fact that I have “experience” that others don’t have because I worked at Disney, when in reality I was little more than a glorified carny. I keep it on my resume to this day simply because it catches peoples attention even though its the most worthless experience I’ve ever had (aside from it being the funnest thing I did in college). My point isn’t to disregard your hiring practices because experience is important, but realistically you need both, experience and education because you can’t really rely on either. And some people work really hard at academics and are invaluable workers because of their focus even though they may be missing some of the practical sense that comes with experience.

          • You need to learn the difference between education and accreditation, the two are not interchangeable.

          • $47353571

            No, but it is naive to think that everyone thinks this way.

          • I don’t think everyone thinks that way. I’ve seen far too many examples of it otherwise in my adventures in contemporary parenting, via school, Scouts and the like. I do know that my son’s better educated in 9th grade now than I was when I graduated high school back in the ’70s – but that’s because he had teachers that pushed him hard, and parents that supported him and did what was needed when it was needed.

            My own folks were a nice example of benign neglect – I had food, clothing, and a roof over my head, but beyond that… well, let’s just say things were lacking a bit. They did the best they knew how… but I really wish I’d been smart enough to realize I needed tutoring in math and science, and asked them for it.

            It comes down, I think, to wanting to be good parents – and either having good role models (like my lovely bride did) or not so great role models (like I did) and determining to do the good things and not do the bad… and being willing to do a good bit of analysis to figure out which was which.

            In retrospect I can tell a lot of what my dad did wrong – and I’m trying hard not to do that with my son. Probably overcompensating and getting plenty of things wrong on my own – but so far it seems to be working.

          • $47353571

            Two of my favorite parenting books on the subject of not repeating your parents mistakes are “Parenting from the Inside Out” and “The Whole Brain Child” both by Daniel Siegel. The first is an indepth review of attachment theory and how it relates to parenting. The second is easier to read, more neuroscience based, and practical application of the typical “12 parenting techniques” type of parenting book.

          • $47353571

            I don’t think that’s what he’s doing at all. He’s just using his life as an example. It’s just as easy to say kids who have that leg up and go to expensive schools end up with a sense of entitlement and actually fail as adults because they don’t develop a strong work ethic. It happens all the time. What he is doing though is providing a good example of what a secure attachment gives a person later in life. Throw out the private schooling is what he said…and his upbringing would have given him a leg up. Not the money, but the way he was raised. That’s what I’m getting at as well. People are not raising their children to give them this standard of work ethic, and while I do not agree with cutting welfare programs completely we are enabling entire generations to be raised poorly without the benefit of private schools and financial support by not doing something to help correct this problem and just giving a handout to keep them afloat. I’m NOT suggesting that this should solely fall on the shoulders of the gov to provide. The private sector can play a role, individuals, churches, anyone can play a role and if the need is filled than the gov aspect of it won’t be needed. But the answer isn’t I pulled my self up by my bootstraps so they should be able to as well….because some people don’t have boots let alone straps to pull up, and don’t have the moral compass to do it without guidance.

          • jim_m

            My brother graduated from HS as co-valedictorian. Both he and the other boy went to Northwestern. The other boy flunked out after a semester because he spent his time lounging around watching TV, which he had not been allowed to do at home.

            He had the best education available in our town. He failed not because he was poorly educated, but because he did not apply himself.

            Otherwise you summarize my point well. Thanks.

          • Brucehenry

            “I don’t think that’s what he’s doing at all.”

            You’re new here, you don’t know Jim.

          • jim_m

            Sorry, Bruce, but he really did capture what I was saying. Education is not a replacement for work ethic and morals. While it may open an initial door it is the ability of the individual that determines his success and not what education he has received.

          • Point for you, sir. That was well said.

          • jim_m

            Everyone here is a product of Uncle Sugar’s child rearing business of education.

            That is simply not true.

          • $47353571

            If you went to private school I suppose you’re right, but you were most likely raised by people who did go to public school so in an indirect way…maybe. (I get that I’m reaching here.)

          • $47353571

            Privately owned day cares may be fine in upper class America, and that is one of the ironies in our society. Our privately, often church run preschools are providing a fantastic level of care for a small tuition that rivals some universities. Nothing wrong with that, it is free market economy. Unfortunately they only serve a small fraction of the population. The kids who really miss out on the quality education are those in the middle class who don’t qualify for the gov programs (which are poor by most of today’s standards anyway) and don’t have enough to send them to a quality center. Its not that people can’t raise their own children, and in this case its not a lack of jobs that causes a problem…its that both parents work and someone has to take care of the kids. We live in a society where two jobs is a necessity in most cases, and relatives don’t live as close as they used to. Someone needs to step in and the private sector isn’t doing it. Right now they’re either catering to the wealthy, or the quality of the care provided balanced with the cost is a losing situation for families. I’m not saying the gov needs to be in complete control mandating these programs. Children do not have to go to school at 2 or 3 if parents don’t want to send them. But as a country shouldn’t we provide something of substance for these families..not just poor, but middle class as well.

          • jim_m

            You really are divorced from reality. With less over reaching government regulation day care could still be the province of neighborhood mothers who are earning a few extra dollars.

            As for early day cares that are providing some sort of leg up educationally, there is no longitudinal evidence that supports the assertion that they are actually do such a thing. Head start studies show that these programs have zero impact on later education ( but by all means don’t let facts intrude on your ideologically defined “reality”)

            As I mention above, it is primarily the fault of government regulation that day care is so freaking expensive. The problem is that government makes it impossible for people to provide these services not that private enterprise is unwilling to do it. And it isn’t just laws to ensure that child predators are not running day cares, it is nonsense like the ADA forcing people to spend oodles of dollars making their homes compliant and faceless bureaucracies demanding multiple permits (and in many locales bribes) in order to simply open your doors.

          • $47353571

            Forget head start. It along with programs like no child left behind need complete over hauls. Quality early childhood education is what we’re talking about, and this is one of the longest running studies on quality high scope early childhood education. This is current, longitudinal, and replicated. This is what we as a country should be striving for as a standard for early childhood education regardless of whether it is public or private

            As for the neighborhood mothers theory I wish it were that simple. My mom ran a daycare out of our house and still does. She does so without the hassles you mentioned, and always has. The fact that prices for “daycare” (which is entirely different than early childhood education) have gone up actually helps her because it puts her in more demand because she can easily undercut prices. The problem is when I go home I cringe at how low her standards are for what she’s providing. Even my own mother wouldn’t qualify as a quality center, yet she passes all current state standards. I know this is anecdotal, but my point is people need to be trained appropriately if high standards are to be attained and be effective in the long run. And the cost of child care actually helps nieghborhood moms because they can undercut prices easily. The problem is in most cases they’re not qualified and you get what you pay for.

          • herddog505

            My brother and his wife were lower-middle class when my niece was born. She went to private day care. It might not have been the one that the doctors and lawyers in the city were using, but it was the best they could afford.

            Parents face a choice: they can work hard(er) to give their children all the advantages that they can (as most parents do), or else sit on their hands and hope that their wise, all-knowing, benevolent government will do it for them. It may be that this hard work means that one parent actually stays home with the kids, at least during the critical early years of life.

            I have no illusions that this is easy: raising children is expensive both in terms of time and money. But it’s a pat and, I think, dangerous suggestion that all we need is MORE government spending and MORE government programs.

            How DID parents do it fifty or a hundred years ago without Head Start, free lunch, free breakfast, free this, free that?

          • $47353571

            Fifty years ago we lived in a different society that didn’t require both parents to work, and life was also a lot more affordable than it is now.

            I agree with you people need to make sacrifices. In an ideal society that would be the best solution. Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal society and while there are plenty who are just lazy, there are those who simply cannot sacrifice any more than they already are and they’re still barely able to stay afloat.

            There will be a cost to others regardless. If you let those at the bottom sink they’re going to cost money either way. So they can cost you money as they are suffering (jail, crime, health care, homelessness, etc) or they can cost you money and you can alleviate some suffering (social programs, early childhood edu, welfare, etc). I don’t see how this can turn out any other way because you can’t just throw them all in jail, or leave them to die in the streets. It’s a problem, and unfortunately whether we like it or not…its everyone’s problem. For me, while I do not agree with more government programs until we as a collective society step up and take care of this problem on our own I see no other alternative, and I’d rather be on the side of alleviating suffering than paying for people to suffer as a consequence.

          • You don’t have kids, do you? Got plenty of talking points, though.

          • $47353571

            Not that this should matter but if it gives you perspective yes I do have children. I’m also a early childhood specialist/researcher and teacher, and I do counseling work with children who have experienced trauma. I’m a male so I’m pretty rare in my field, and I understand why very few men work with children. It’s impossible to make a living and support a family without carrying more than one job. So my life runs the gauntlet of these programs, and believe me while we may disagree philosophically on certain points there isn’t a more frustrated group than those who have to work in these gov run programs and systems. I can kindheartedly agree that the way we’ve been spending our money on education, social programs, etc has been wasteful and disgusting but I also see the vacuum that would be created if we just cut them all together, and even worse I see the results of our failures first hand in the children I work with. However if there is a program I would stand behind it is a universal preschool program that strives to implement a high scope early childhood program because I view it as an investment with the right moral outlook for the country. Its research that I first read about nearly 15 years ago and have been wondering for years why no one has been listening to this guy (Heckman) until now. He’s on to one of the most efficient and cheapest solutions to multiple problems in our society, and no one is willing to give it a shot because they don’t fully understand child development, attachment theory or how the idea relates to the big picture. They all see the small picture, the here and now, the media version, or the age old religious principles that are not so much based in the bible as they are in human/American beliefs about the bible. I’m not suggesting you have to jump on board…just don’t shut it down simply as another program with a liberal socialist agenda because it has the potential to be a historical program but it will require conservative influence in order for it to be done properly.

          • jim_m

            if there is a program I would stand behind it is a universal preschool program that strives to implement a high scope early childhood program because I view it as an investment with the right moral outlook for the country.

            Says the ideologue despite evidence that such programs have no lasting impact on educational outcomes. A great example of how the left believes in their ideology despite the evidence that it does not work. The solution is never to do something else, it is always to expand the government program that failed.

          • $47353571

            I’m not advocating expanding head start. I’m suggesting a different direction in the same area. I think I’ve already responded to this somewhere else (this thread is getting confusing). Find that post and check the link I posted there. That research is what I’m referring to. I think it agree’s with my point and your point about head start.

          • “However if there is a program I would stand behind it is a universal preschool program that strives to implement a high scope early childhood program because I view it as an investment with the right moral outlook for the country.”

            Catch them early, and you can train them to think properly. Yes, it’s pretty clear.

            But instead – you get Head Start. And Head Start’s going to be IT. Because if you hadn’t noticed, the government’s broke… and the remnants that will be left when Obamacare hits won’t be prioritized towards child development.

          • $47353571

            No, catch them early and teach them to think critically.

          • One of the things my son got around 6th grade was a course in logic.

            About two months into 6th grade he was watching the news. Something came on about a particular issue he was familiar with and he looked at me and said “That’s argument by authority. And they’re wrong. Do they think we’re stupid?”

            He did some research on line and just shook his head. “Yes. They do.”

            I shrugged. I gave up on the evening news a long time ago – shallow examination of their subjects and issues, a ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ philosophy, and a marked disinclination to examine their own ideologies aren’t doing them any favors. And lately, their local issues coverage is focused on carjackings and random murders, not to mention the school cheating scandal. “If it bleeds, it leads” is all well and good in small doses, but there needs to be something to dilute the gore.

            Anyhow, at this point he’s doing a pretty good job thinking for himself. He won’t directly contradict a teacher on something that’s wrong – he’ll just study up on it to his satisfaction.

            In the long run (or even in the short) I fear that any government preschool initiative will be taken over by folks who know that there’s just one way to think, one way to believe, and that’s their way. And they’re the experts, with the funding, from the government – so they will be right. And because that funding comes from government, they’ll be very careful to make sure that funding continues by pleasing the powers that be.

            And what the powers that be want taught is what will be taught. Critical thinking won’t be one of those things.

            I wish I could be more optimistic on that.

          • $47353571

            I am the opposite. I still think as people we have a lot of power and say in what our elected leaders do…we’re just not exhibiting it today. We’ve become apathetic, especially compared to the zeal the now boomer controlled gov displayed as youth who wouldn’t be easily swayed by much, let alone our apathy. So we’re at an interesting social point in our history. Our leaders are former activists who saw their efforts bring in wave after wave of change. They watched a leader get assassinated as youth, and another get impeached heading into young adulthood. I wouldn’t say the boomers grew up with a sense of pride or faith in government and now they’re part of it themselves and idealistic as all get out. Black and white thinkers as youth who grew up to be part of perhaps the most divided political system in the past 80-100 years where compromise is a dirty word.

            But this is all way off topic… point being we’re talking about early childhood education where children are barely, if at all capable of understanding the broad concepts people are afraid they’ll be indoctrinated with. The point is to establish a foundation for learning, to foster executive functions in the prefrontal cortex like self control and attention, and encourage prosocial skills. I don’t know how many would take seriously the accusation that private schools are indoctrinating children with conservative political values just because they incorporate religion and biblical moral teachings. The case could easily be made…but only from an adult perspective. Not from the perspective of what a kid is actually capable of learning or retaining at that age. In my opinion the idea is as nonsensical as indoctrinating young children in public schools with liberal ideals. We say the pledge of allegiance every day in my class and even though I’ve explained it conceptually before…most of the kids I’ve ever taught can hardly understand the difference between what country they live in and what state they live in. And every year we talk about American history and the constitution, and not once have I ever had a student who could grasp the concepts of freedom and independence…. so the idea of instilling this overt sense of patriotism based on philosophical concepts is really far fetched to me and the fears are based on a misunderstanding of how children think and learn.

          • And you propose to reinforce dismal failure.

          • What age group do you work with?

            I’m not sure it’s apathy so much as resignation – the powers-that-be have their own ideas about what’s good for us, and they aren’t going to bother asking for permission… or even take the time to explain what’s going on. (I’m looking at the financial melt-down in 2008 – I’m still occasionally trying to trace things through to understand why there was no time for anything but throwing hundreds of billions into the breach to try to stabilize things, for example.)

            And even if the faces change – the staffs doing the support work don’t. They’re the ones who decide what gets pushed up for the attention of the elected official.

            Dang. I’m getting more cynical by the year. I’ve got to watch that.

          • What age group do you work with?

            I’m not sure it’s apathy so much as resignation – the powers-that-be have their own ideas about what’s good for us, and they aren’t going to bother asking for permission… or even take the time to explain what’s going on. (I’m looking at the financial melt-down in 2008 – I’m still occasionally trying to trace things through to understand why there was no time for anything but throwing hundreds of billions into the breach to try to stabilize things, for example.)

            And even if the faces change – the staffs doing the support work don’t. They’re the ones who decide what gets pushed up for the attention of the elected official.

            Dang. I’m getting more cynical by the year. I’ve got to watch that.

        • jim_m

          I said offer programs that help them improve their parenting skills that help raise their standard of living. In other words “education>

          By all means let’s “do something” about education to improve people’s lives. Alas to moron lefties that means “Let’s spend billions of tax dollars on education”. Which means wasting billions of tax dollars on non-teaching union jobs and other BS activities that contribute nothing to the actual education of students.

          If you don’t like that fact check out the pending graphs from the Dept of Education.

          Education does not improve people’s lives. Economic growth that creates opportunities for people to improve their lives, improves people’s lives.

          We have spent billions on education and received nothing in return as a nation. Leftists always turn to this sacred icon of their belief that if we just educate people everyone’s life will be better. Education does not lift people out of poverty. Jobs do. But the left hates business. The left hate corporations. The left hates economic growth and their policies are geared toward halting any economic expansion (except the expansion of government which is inherently parasitic and can only produce a fraction of the jobs that the free market can).

          • $47353571

            Wow, those are some sad stats! And I’m inclined to agree with you on parts of your argument. The teaching unions need to go. I believe they’re serving adult self centered interests at this point and hurting education more than anything. No child left behind is a horrible program, and it also needs to go. As a nation we’re not child centered right now so we aren’t using money in their interest. However the greatest generations in American history were all preceded by vast reforms in education related to the country collectively focusing on children. The GI generation, the WWII heroes that shaped perhaps the greatest age in our history as adults came of age during the reforms of the 20’s and 30’s. The same is true of the Revolutionary generation. Jobs, and a good economy although important, certainly weren’t a deciding factor in creating these generations…especially not the GI’s who came of age during the depression. They relied on education, and as adults pushed their children to even higher education standards. Education does improve lives, and the lack of it is a major determining factor in slow business growth because even if there’s money circulating in the economy how are all of these businesses going to grow and stay afloat without a qualified work force? (right now a lot are saying there are plenty of jobs but they have to hire from overseas to find qualified workers) How would WWII have gone if that American generation wasn’t the most educated generation on the planet at that point in history?

            Our education system is in the toilet for sure, but that doesn’t mean flush it, plunge it, and throw away the toilet so we can build a new car company. It means fix the damn toilet so it flushes correctly so that generation of children can build a car company that makes flying cars (or hover boards!). And I don’t mean let the liberals fix it because that certainly would lead to a disaster. The Conservatives need their own angle on education that is more child centered that is more than just an argument against the liberals education agenda. I’d vote for that.

          • jim_m

            When the toilet is broken you replace it. There is no way to get rid of unions and their destructive force in public schools. What you can do is create alternatives for public schools and let people access them.

            You say conservatives need a child-centric position on education? What do you think vouchers has been? What do you think school choice s about? It is the fascist left that stands in the school house door demanding that nothing change (gee seems that this has happened before huh?)

          • $47353571

            I like the idea of school vouchers in theory but at least in my experience the private schools do not select students as fairly as they should. I think there’s a lot of room for discrimination (easy example is their tendency to take athletes or other ‘stand outs’). Its a good idea, and so is school of choice, but its kind of like looking at the idea through a narrow funnel. People will always chose the best school, which will over burden that school, and ultimately lower the standard of education it can give (if it allows too many students in). It works better in less populated areas. If they could broaden these ideas to have a more positive affect on all schools and not just a select few they’d be near perfect ideas.

          • jim_m

            A free market is an active thing. When one source of a good or service is overwhelmed and the availability or quality declines then people go elsewhere. The point is that stasis is almost always an indicator of a suboptimal system. Stasis is an abnormal state, yet the left demands that we achieve stasis in many things. The point is to allow people the freedom to adapt to a changing world. The left would deny that freedom in an effort to control the world and eliminate change. It is ultimately a failed utopian ideology.

          • jim_m


            And here is another reason to stop the public funded support of education. It has deranged education to the point where it is no longer about learning but about indoctrination. It is about promoting intellectual intolerance.

            Education is not the answer. A return to basic moral precepts is. And part of that is to promote a diversity of opinion and not some lock step authoritarian state that prohibits dissent from the approved ultra-leftwing ideology.

          • $47353571

            I appreciate the point, but that article reads more like propaganda to me because its mostly anecdotal. Colleges vary in how liberal they are. I will not deny that there are a lot of liberal professors, but I had my fair share of conservatives and Republicans as well. I can’t take the indoctrination argument seriously because I am a product of that system and in no way am I indoctrinated, or can I look back and sense that there was an even an effort indoctrinate. I do think education is becoming more and more about rote learning, which is could be considered a form of indoctrinated learning as a process…but not in the sense that its promoting intellectual intolerance. Passivity in the face of a challenge maybe, but not in the sense that an agenda is somehow subliminally being pushed on our children. Education in general although designed to do so is failing miserably at creating independent thinkers. Returning education back to this idea, perhaps even with a moral precept wouldn’t be a bad idea. Perhaps I was just a difficult student but I always felt free to show dissent starting way back in elementary school, and I thrived on going against the grain once I hit college, and post undergrad (both private Christian and public). But that is anecdotal and unique to my experience.

          • jim_m

            You clearly missed the point that the article is about a 360 page report criticizing Bowdoin for its ideological straightjacket

        • “Far from “controlling how people raise children”, if we had a quality early childhood education program instead of these privately owned daycare centers that have poor standards the return on any government investment has been statistically proven to be 7:1.”

          The HeadStart.program results don’t quite match up with your assertion. Massively funded by the government, it’s had no long-term results. Any good results have usually disappeared by the end of first grade.

          “Head Start, the most sacrosanct federal education program, doesn’t work.

          That’s the finding of a sophisticated study just released by President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services.

          Created in 1965, the comprehensive preschool program for 3- and 4-year olds and their parents is meant to narrow the education gap between low-income students and their middle- and upper-income peers. Forty-five years and $166 billion later, it has been proven a failure.

          “Instead of throwing more dollars at this proven failure, President Obama might consider throwing his weight behind proven successes.”

          The bad news came in the study released this month: It found that, by the end of the first grade, children who attended Head Start are essentially indistinguishable from a control group of students who didn’t.

          Why toss money at a failed idea? Because “This time, we’ll do it ‘right’?”

          • $47353571

            Head start is not a failure across the board. Head start was never properly funded and was pretty much started and then left dangling in the wind. If you want a job working with children head start will hire just about anyone regardless of whether they’re qualified to work with children and they don’t have any measurable academic or social standards for the children who attend the program. Which means its up to the individual directors to put together a solid program. It happens and some head starts are very successful. However the majority are not. The statistic you point out about children who attended head start not making any gains ahead of those who did not by the end of first grade is based on poorly run programs, and the results are based on one singular study. And even that is beside the point. The question should be how much worse off would those children who attended head start be compared to if they had not. For better or worse head start at least provides children with a place to go when both parents work and can’t afford care.

            However I can concede that in general head start hasn’t been a successful program. But people have been pointing this out since the early 80’s, and they’ve done little to correct the problem. What Obama’s proposal is based on is called a “high scope” program. High scope would be more comparable to the standards of quality public education, and an economist named James Heckman has been studying the economic side of quality early childhood education for more than 20 years. The numbers I mentioned in my previous post (the 7:1 return, and in some cases 12:1) are from his 20 years of research. It really is a common sense move to implement his findings because early childhood is not an expensive program in comparison to what we have now, or the alternatives. Its a smart financial and social investment. It surprises me a bit that more conservatives are not on board with this idea because it falls in line with a lot of conservative ideals, but for some reason the media has everyone convinced its “socialism” and “the gov taking babies from the home” when its essentially the complete opposite. For anyone who is uninformed on this topic , I know its boring but I encourage you to read this study.
            (or watch this video if you have some time to spare)

          • herddog505

            Head Start failed because it attempted the impossible: substituting a government program for good parenting.

            Estimating, as we did, the magnitude of the differences in children’s cumulative experience before the age of 3 gives an indication of how big the problem is. Estimating the hours of intervention needed to equalize children’s early experience makes clear the enormity of the effort that would be required to change children’s lives. And the longer the effort is put off, the less possible the change becomes. We see why our brief, intense efforts during the War on Poverty did not succeed. But we also see the risk to our nation and its children that makes intervention more urgent than ever.*

            Briefly, the research found that children who were exposed to greater numbers of words prior to age three (which tends to correlate to the wealth and education of the parents) not only had larger vocabularies at a younger age, they also had a greater ability to learn NEW words as they grew older. In short, Head Start is too late: the childrens’ vocabularies and abilities are largely set long before even the most well-intentioned teachers get their hands on them. I don’t see that ANY government program short of collecting children at birth and handing them over to some sort of assembly-line system will fix that.



          • $47353571

            This is a good study, but this only applies to language, and the high scope programs suggested by the Obama initiative are aiming higher than simply to increase vocabulary. Vocabulary has an early developmental window that is before the preschool years, and if children aren’t exposed to language during that window they’re already a step behind. This study and their subsequent studies pointed this out. Head Start was an attempt to bridge this gap because as I stated they’re already behind, and they will continue to stay behind if no attempt is made to catch them up…so like a lot of bad comparisons the question isn’t how far behind they were compared to those who did not attend head start. The question is how much FURTHER would they have been without head start. I am by no means saying the program is a success, because in the big picture it is not. I am however not making a completely ridiculous claim like head start failed because it was substituting good parenting. Head start was put in place because of poor parenting, so its actually the inverse…part of head starts failure, as was directly pointed out in this study was its failure to assess how devastating poor parenting is, and how much more it would take to overcome that deficit. (heck that’s even mentioned in the part you put in italics! “we also see the risk to our nation and its children that makes intervention more urgent than ever”)

          • herddog505

            In other words, the program failed because (wait for it!) WE DIDN’T SPEND ENOUGH!

            Uncle Sugar sees a problem. Uncle Sugar develops a program and spends billions. Program fails. “Hey, it’s not OUR fault! But we’ve got an even better program! Trust us: we’ll get it right… sooner or later.”

            And I see in the sidebar that some lefty clown on MSNBC (where else?) has said that children BELONG to the state*. And you wonder that some of us suspect that this is EXACTLY where these programs are headed.



          • $47353571

            If you’re going to post a link don’t post a biased one because it lacks credibility and makes you look close minded. And what some lefty clown, or what some conservative clown says on a news network is mostly there for entertainment and has no real voice of authority or connection to reality in most cases…so I wouldn’t take it all that seriously, or let it bother you.

            And I never explicitly stated that head start failed because it wasn’t funded enough. It failed for multiple reasons, design being a primary reason. There are a lot of gov run programs that function well during one point in history, and then fall apart later (social security), and there are also programs that fail from the start and run well from the start and continue to run well. We are an imperfect gov run by imperfect people so failure is part of the design not just of government but of creation in general. God created a perfect world, but we are not perfect which is why he allows us to fail, refocus, and try again. We should not ask for any more than that from our elected officials because even though at times they may act like it…they are not Gods. Our history is full of failed programs…including national private, church run education…and successful programs from both sides of the isle. Don’t be so quick to judge a program just because it didn’t come from your side of the isle.

          • Don’t tell longstanding members what they can and cannot post in their comments.

          • $47353571

            What was this in response to?

          • Thing about a private program though – if it doesn’t work, it’ll either get changed or cancelled because the private parties funding it hold it responsible for results. They started it with a goal in mind, they want to see results, and if there’s no results then there’s no reason to keep funding it.

            Government programs, however, don’t necessarily need to provide results… just promise that sometime in the indefinite future, real soon now, things will work just as they promise… as long as the money keeps coming in.

            And the folks managing the money shrug and go “Well, hey – it’s not like it’s OUR money” and fund it for another year, or five.

            Eventually the sunk costs get to the point where to admit that a program isn’t working is too much of a political liability… so they just quietly keep the funding going.

            I think part of the problem is that we’ve now got a political class that is very good at getting elected and fundraising… and pretty much nothing else. they’re not worried about how things are working so much as they are about them seeming to work long enough to get through the next election.

          • $47353571

            There’s some truth to your statement about the Gov continuing to fund failing programs. In my experience private companies are just as likely to milk a failing program though because the people at the top are usually still turning a huge profit. This was what happen with some of the bank fall out. As an anecdote where I live there are two main mental health providers, both private for profit, and they provide horrible service to the community. The out patient clinic pays their clinicians that work in the field a barely livable wage and their caseload is so heavy it doesn’t allow them to provide quality care to the patients. A story broke a few years back that the higher ups were making multi-million dollar salaries and the company had million dollar retreat homes scattered throughout the state that sometimes didn’t see use in a year. It found that its funds were lopsided close to 70% allocated to top executives, with the remaining 30% going into the service they were providing. It ultimately lead to tax evasion charges and a mess that nearly collapsed several mental health facilities in the state. The inpatient clinic won’t keep a suicidal patient if the client can’t pay or insurance won’t cover them, and no one stays more than two weeks because the cost is so unnecessarily expensive. Their solution is bounce people who are a danger to themselves or others to the local hospital where they become someone else’s burden. Same situation with higher ups making ridiculous amounts compared to those who actually provide the counseling. These are private companies in the field I work in, and if I have to refer out its a rare case that I refer to these companies over the state run mental health agency. And I’m not saying the higher ups shouldn’t be making a ton of money, they should, but their product should match their salary and if it doesn’t they should allocate some of their salary to improve their product.

            My point is we’re just not a morally responsible society, especially when it comes to money and I think the private sector is just as guilty of that as the government.

          • “This was what happen with some of the bank fall out.”

            If there hadn’t been massive bank guarantees (IMHO, of course) things wouldn’t have gotten nearly so bad with the banks. Add in the ‘suggestion’ mandated by law that a fair percentage of loans were required to go to people who didn’t show any ability to repay the loan aside from a regular pulse, and you were looking at a slo-mo disaster… that Barney Frank was saying was perfectly all right and didn’t need government oversight.

            Makes you wonder who’s hand was in HIS pocket, and what they were playing with…

            “And I’m not saying the higher ups shouldn’t be making a ton of money, they should, but their product should match their salary and if it doesn’t they should allocate some of their salary to improve their product.”

            I agree. That’s one of the things that so ticks me off about public schools… there’s a lot of money being tossed at a lot of highly paid ‘administrative’ staff – while the teacher gets the short end of the stick. But when there’s no effective competition, you don’t really have to worry about turning out a quality product, do you?

            Monopolistic companies don’t tend to turn out a lot of good, innovative products. (Like AT&T before the breakup. They provided phone service. That was it.) And in the case of the school system – you’re looking at product with quality variance deficiencies that’d quickly see lawsuits in the commercial realm.

            “My point is we’re just not a morally responsible society”

            Why should we be? Since the ’60s, the concepts of morality and responsibility have been pretty much dismantled in public education. And with the folks in charge coming from such a society, why would we expect our politicians to be any different… and why would we look to THEM to provide any sort of moral guidance and/or action at all?

            Are you familiar, by chance, with Kipling’s “The Gods of the Copybook Headings?”


            The Gods of the Market are in charge – we shall see what happens.

          • herddog505

            Someone needs to step in Biased to report what somebody else said, including video so that people can SEE it???

            At any rate, it stands: you claim that you don’t want to tell people how to raise their kids. OK: I accept that. However, I think that you ought to admit that there are others in the country who are perfectly fine with the idea that “society” or the government ought to decide (dictate) how children ought to be raised, which is exactly what I and others here fear is the end result of “Someone needs to step in.”

          • $47353571

            Someone needs to step in when parents are failing their children…absolutely. Should we as a country stand by when children are being abused, or neglected based on the idea that its not the gov place to tell people how to raise their kids? This is an extreme example. The other end is should the gov step in and tell you what time to put your kids to bed and what kind of toys they should be allowed to play with? Absolutely not. Its a gray area, it’s not an absolute black and white idea. But yes someone needs to step in when children aren’t being taken care of or being given what they need to grow up and be healthy and functional people in our society.

            I do think there are people who think certain people shouldn’t be allowed to raise their own children, but I think most say this sarcastically and know its a slippery slope where certain rights should always be protected. I think people forget that even if the gov did have these evil intentions we as a country still have the ability to not comply and rise up against our leaders. There’s a fine line between personal rights and personal responsibilities and sometimes one is lost if the other is neglected and when that happens people develop these fears that they’re being infringed upon or attacked when really its just a systems way of trying to find a balance between the two. So in the case of someone needs to step in to protect and help children and families if private entities and individuals aren’t doing enough the gov will have to step in, but if we as people did more to help others the government wouldn’t need to. We’ve become apathetic and close minded towards others who are different than us especially when it comes to issues that even tough on our political beliefs and as a result we..the public, the voters are perhaps the most dysfunctional aspect of our government.

          • Some cures are worse than the disease. “Child Protective Services” is the poster child for that syndrome.

          • $47353571

            Dysfunctional or not a lot of children would be dead if it weren’t for Child Protective Services.

          • herddog505

            I’m pretty sure that protecting children from physical abuse isn’t quite what that MSNBC harridan was talking about.

            And where DO we draw the line between “children aren’t being taken care of or being given what they need to grow up and be healthy and functional people in our society” and “the government telling people how to raise their children”? If a parent doesn’t give his child an iPad, does that count? How about if a parent takes his child to church where the child learns that homosexualty is a sin? What about parents who teach their daughters that their real goal in life is to get married and have children, NOT to be a doctor, lawyer, or corporate executive? Or parents who teach their kids that smoking pot is perfectly acceptable, or that people of a certain / different religion or ethnic group are subhumans who ought to be killed?

            I appreciate your interest in the welfare of children; I think most people have a similar view that they ought to be raised in a healthy, supportive, nurturing environment, be given the best possible education, taught to be productive members of society, and be protected from violence and other abuse. Certainly I believe this.

            However, I get very nervous any time the government gets involved with things other than investigating and prosecuting actual crimes because the government’s track record of success is not so hot, while its track record of meddling is fairly good. For example:

            Child welfare workers and cops stormed a New Jersey gun advocate’s home after an anonymous tipster reported a Facebook photo of the man’s smiling, 10-year-old son holding an assault style rifle.

            Now Shawn Moore, the dad, is claiming the authorities violated his rights when they threatened to take away his children as they searched his home last Friday night with no warrant.

          • $47353571

            AS I mentioned in my last post there’s a lot of grey in protecting the rights of children and the rights of the parents simultaneously. There isn’t a black or white dividing line so I can’t answer that question for you. I agree with you that the gov botches up a lot, I even think they screw up investigating and prosecuting crimes (financial collapse, the banks and CEO’s who got off clear and free are a good example of that). As far as the picture of the man, the kid and the guns I suspect there was other evidence, or enough public outcry that they had probable cause to investigate. Realistically it is perfectly legal for a kid to hold a rifle, and it is perfectly legal to take a picture of a kid holding a rifle…but I think when a person publicly posts a picture like that they are inviting scrutiny, warranted or not, because we do live in a society of diverse opinions where grey areas concerning children exist. This is one of those instances where it doesn’t hurt to investigate and if they find that the child is being taken care of, provided for, and all that…no harm no foul, as long as there’s no unreasonable prosecution or action taken simply based on a differing opinion on gun control (that would be an incredible violation of rights) I can understand the man feeling like his rights were being violated, but I could also put myself in that mans shoes and I’d look at it like I do any unwanted police investigation. They’re just doing their job and ultimately looking out for the best interests of my child. Some may not see it that way and that’s fine, just my opinion.

            And like I said before I wouldn’t let what some fool on the news says rattle you. They have no say in what actually happens and her opinion is baseless media commentary.

          • The conceit that you’re showing is that you seem to think that nobody but you has ever looked at this issue. That we’re not able to research anything for ourselves, and we’re dependent on others for our opinions.

            There’s this little thing called ‘Google’, you know and the Internet is a marvelous resource for anyone with even the slightest bit of curiosity about what they can do for their offspring.

            We’re not dependent on some voice of authority saying “Head Start Really Works” (with the unspoken assumption of “Just ignore all the stats that say it’s worthless.”) And there’s a much larger range of day care options between Head Start and Super-Premium-Mondo-Montessori.

            More and more I think the closest you come to actual parenting is what you’re finding in a textbook.

            If a social program doesn’t work as designed – it will never be cancelled. It’s that simple.

          • $47353571

            I’m not assuming people haven’t looked at this issue. I have more hope for people than that. I do assume that most people look for info that suits their view point, which is one of the downfalls of this magic Google you speak of (it sounds amazing! I’m so glad you sarcastically pointed it out for me. Otherwise I would’ve continued doing my own research in person which requires actually talking to people and stuff). I also never suggest that you were dependent on my opinion but I’m sorry if opinions of others makes you feel so insecure that you feel like I’m telling you what to do. And if you don’t like the sarcastic and demeaning tone of this response I’d suggest not responding this way yourself and try to engage in the actual discussion with a little more tact. But I’m glad you found this Google…I’d hate to hear your opinions without its magical powers.

          • You’re really coming across as the standard pedantic know-it-all who doesn’t give a shit about what anyone who doesn’t have the minimum square footage of certificates on their wall might think.

            If you respect our opinions, you’ve got a strange way of showing it.

          • Reminds me of our soi disant cognoscenti in that…

          • Whoops – wrong comment.

          • And… after reviewing more of your comments, I’d like to apologize for my tone and sarcasm earlier. I’m sorry to come at you in such a rude manner, it wasn’t warranted at all.

          • $47353571

            No problem. Unfortunately it usually comes with discussing politics and as someone who doesn’t align himself with either side…I’m used to it.

        • LiberalNightmare

          Closed minded conservatives think the numbers you throw around to justify your previous response are probably bull sh!t.

          We also think that govt intervention into early childhood education has resulted in sex education for 5 yr olds and first graders singing odes to Obama on you tube,

    • herddog505

      RikOSheaI think your looking to simplistically at these statistics to fit your own argument. There is no way Illinois and New York have gun ownership that is that low.

      In other words, because the statistics don’t back up the liberal positions that “ZOMG! WE NEED GUN CONTROL!” and “WE GOTTA SPEND MORE ON ‘THE POOR’!” you not only think that they aren’t appropriate to the argument but you don’t even believe them.

      Now, as it happens, I think you’re probably right to the extent that more people have guns in NY and IL than the stats – which measure LEGAL gun ownership – indicate. However, I think that this is part of the point: despite the crusade by lefties in those places to implement “gun control”, the crooks – somehow – are still getting guns. The lefty answer, of course, it MORE gun control not only there, but through the rest of the country.

      I invite you and anybody else to read this editorial, written nearly a century ago by H.L. Mencken, on gun control. With a few minor changes such as substituting “assault weapon” for “revolver” or “War on Drugs” for “Prohibition”, it could be published today.

      RickOShea[R]esearchers point out that urban populations have a tribal mentality but have what they call an avoidant attachment pattern as a whole, which causes them to distance themselves from others, have a me vs others mentality, have a reduced capacity for empathy and poor impulse control (not just as an outward behavior, but at a neurological level there are differences in prefrontal cortex development).

      This doesn’t explain why the murders in the US are concentrated in a relative handful of urban areas nor why some urban areas are so much worse than others. Further, aside from suggesting that (naturally) we gotta spend more on some new program to help these people act like civilized human beings and not kill each other (my own program for that is cheap, involving as it does little more than a tree, a rope, and a skittish horse), it tells us nothing about what to do. Further, we have some evidence that high murder rates is not a question simply of urban life, but of WHERE the people live: in Chicago, for example, the majority of violence is confined to a relatively small number of discrete neighborhoods. Finally, if urbanization is the cause of murder, then how do we explain countries like Japan that have very small rates of homicide despite very high population densities? Oh, I forgot: they don’t have icky ol’ guns.

      RikOSheaearly childhood education, better mental health, a requirement for parenting classes in order to receive aid if you have children, etc.

      In other words, more of the same social spending that has done jack sh*t to curb violent crime in the past. I remember when lefties thought that healthful physical activity would turn the trick, so they pushed “Midnight Basketball”. There’s ALWAYS a fancy pseudo-psychological / sociological theory that tries to explain away that some people are simply wicked and that we won’t have a problem if we just spend more money.

      Here’s a thought: as LiberalNightmare suggests, punish the guilty and leave the rest of us alone. But that won’t happen, as it would require the mayors and chiefs of police in this violence-wracked cities to actually do their jobs, and THAT might mean treading on the toes of minority voting blocks that they rely on to keep electing them into their phony-baloney jobs.

      • Brucehenry

        Loved the Mencken editorial.

      • jim_m

        punish the guilty and leave the rest of us alone.

        Your guilt is the same as your existence in the minds of these lefties. You cannot be trusted to do the right thing so you need to be “educated” and controlled. Your choices need to be limited to the left wing approved choices. You cannot pack your child’s school lunch because you have not been properly trained as a nutritionist. You cannot be trusted to choose the right size of drink for yourself so they need to make illegal the ones they “know” are wrong for you.

        But don’t worry, these rules are not going to be imposed upon those who work for the government, so ultimately the rights of the people are not infringed because the government IS the people.

      • LiberalNightmare

        I enjoyed Mencken’s editorial.
        Never read him before, It is interesting to see that over time the arguments on either side haven’t really changed.

      • $47353571

        That is an awesome article. Thanks for sharing. And just to clarify I am not an advocate of strict gun control (I think what they’re proposing is pointless). I am an advocate of not ignoring the problem of gun violence, and I believe their are answers on both sides of the fence. My point about attachment does explain why murders are concentrated to certain areas. It’s not that black people raise people a certain way and white another. Its that people in certain areas raise their children a given way based on their environment, and how they’ve made sense of their own upbringing. Insecure attachments along the avoidant and disorganized patterns often result in people with low levels of resilience in the face of adversity, low impulse control, and aggression (and I am stating that very simplistically). And I’m not even factoring in the effects of trauma or witnessing violence. This is that “mentality” that people always refer to when they talk about urban youth that seems indifferent to the world, and just out to get whats theirs. This also explains Japan. Japan is a collectivist society which wouldn’t raise as many children to have avoidant attachments. They would have more secure attachments, or anxious attachments which would lead them to cling to others instead of push them away and this would lead to less aggression and violence.

        I know this sounds like touchy feely therapist talk to a lot of you, but it should make you feel a little better knowing this isn’t an approach the democrats are focused on (which means its ripe for the conservatives to take). Its an interesting area of study that is growing as brain research grows because its one of the few social theories related to parenting that can now be empirically proven. As parents I’d encourage anyone to look into Attachment Theory (not Attachment parenting or attachment therapy, both are distorted views of the actual theory) because its much more in depth than I can explain here.

        But as it pertains to this post here is a link to a chapter written by Fonagy, one of the leaders in the field about attachment and violence

        And just because dude above posted a cool link from the past about gun control here’s a link to an article about children’s rights from 1892 that could easily be published today and be just as relevant that I think would appeal to everyone here.

  • GarandFan

    Poverty? Wasn’t there a liberal “war on poverty”? It began about 1964-65. Trillions have been spent.

    • Yeah, I think we lost that one…

      • Par4Course

        No, the Democrats “won” the War on Poverty by getting a higher percentage of Americans dependent for survival on government benefits. These people, white, black and Hispanic, vote for the Donkey Party out of (the probably unfounded) fear that the GOP will cut their payments. The present system is unsustainable because we can’t continue forever to burden more future generations with debt in order to finance current welfare (“entitlement”) payments.

        • Guess it depends on your definition of a ‘win’.

          End states matter – but a lot of politicians look at the immediate results, and their desire is to remain in office so they’ll shape policies to please as many people as possible.

          That something might be immediately useful to keep them in office but harmful in the long run isn’t really something they lose sleep over.

  • ackwired

    The elephant in the living room that consistently gets danced around in these articles is the fact that guns make it possible for people to kill that could not kill if they did not have guns. Guns are not responsible. They are not the perpetrators. But they are the enablers.

    • jim_m

      So instead of blaming the people who commit the crimes you intend to take away the tools they use and punish the millions of people who use those tools responsibly. That’s just nuts.

      More people are murdered with hammers than assault rifles. When are you going o ban hammers? This isn’t about murder at all. This is about an ideological position that is against the public being allowed to defend themselves.

      • Brucehenry

        I don’t advocate for more gun control necessarily, but this hammers v guns thing is silly.

        The latest push for more gun control comes in response to Aurora, Tucson, and especially Newtown. Most of the proposals are at least nominally meant to address mass shooting incidents like those.

        Are you claiming that Lanza could have killed 26 people in 5 minutes with a hammer? Or that Holmes or Loughner could have wreaked their havoc with hammers?

        • jim_m

          It is silly. It demonstrates that if murder really were the end point that people would be talking about limiting other weapons.

          In a similar vein, people say that accidental deaths with guns are unacceptable but they ignore that swimming pools cause more accidental childhood deaths than guns do.

          What is silly is the left wing media people who make millions depicting murder and violence and claim that their movies and video games have no influence on the people who watch them and then turn around and sell millions of dollars of product placements knowing that people will be influenced to buy the products shown in their movies. Hypocrites all.

          And what is silliest of all is the claim that this is about saving lives. If saving lives were the point then people would be asking what it is that causes a person to believe that murder is the solution to their problems. Why do people believe that violence and murder is acceptable? Well the answer to that might be that it is because the left wing education establishment teaches that values are relative and that there is no right answer on who s valuable enough to be allowed in the life boat. It might be that the left wing entertainment industry is teaching people through their movies that murder is cool.

          But then that would jeopardize the millions of dollars that flow through those businesses to fund the democrats. SO we can pretty much guarantee that there will be no assessment ever made as to why people think murder is acceptable.

          And yes, it is silly to think that this is anything about saveing lives when it is only and only ever has been about controlling lives.

          • jim_m

            And bruce, the answer is that if they did not have guns they would probably have blown something up. Plus, do you really think it is that much worse if some one murders only a few people when they could have been stopped? Apparently you really don’t care about stopping them. You care more about ideological control over others.

        • LiberalNightmare

          << Most of the proposals are at least nominally meant to address mass shooting incidents like those.

          Obama and Biden have both said that the proposed gun control legislation wouldnt have any effect on those mass shootings.

        • herddog505

          BrucehenryMost of the proposals are at least nominally meant to address mass shooting incidents like those.

          In other words, we’re supposed to give Barry and Uncle Choo-choo and DiFi and Baby Cuomo and Trashcan Chuckie an “A” for good intentions?

          As I wrote on another thread, I recall when the dems were pushing “Midnight Basketball” to try to address – NOMINALLY address – urban violence.

          I’m interested in ACTUALLY addressing gun violence, such as by closely uniting murderers and ropes or, at least, putting murderers away in a prison cell for the rest of their evil lives.

          • Brucehenry

            In this case I wasn’t so much arguing with Jim’s points so much as mocking the analogy. I’m not a gun grabber.

        • retired military

          If Holmes, or Lanza were an abortion doctor they could have killed more with the blessings of Obama and Planned Parenthood.
          The issue of children deaths by guns shows the duplicity of democrat politicians.

          • herddog505

            Well, at the very least, MiniTru wouldn’t speak of it (cf. Kermit Gosnell).

      • More are killed in the United States each year by knives, blunt instruments, and fists than are killed by guns. Banning fists should prove interesting…

        • jim_m

          Muslims will gladly cut off people’s hands. They already have a lot of practice and the left adores them.

      • ackwired

        Make up anything you want and pretend that I’m saying it, Jim. I’ll stay with what I actually said. The gun advocates are simply afraid to admit that it is easier to kill with a gun than without one. That’s why you have to make up some strawman to argue against.

        • jim_m

          You acknowledge that guns allow people to defend themselves. The fact is that Wayne Lapierre is correct that mass shooting end when the shooter is confronted by a good guy with a gun. The answer is not to take guns away from people, but to put guns into the hands of the law abiding so that they can stop these mad men. Unfortunately, the left has fixated on the opposite. The left wants to delay the arrival of that man with a gun. The left wants more dead people. It’s that simple.

          • ackwired

            I have never advocated taking any guns away from anyone. I would just like to see some honesty on both sides of the argument.

          • jim_m

            What is dishonest on the pro-gun side. It isn’t the pro-gun people who are pushing to limit people’s civil rights and then admitting that their efforts will have no impact on crime. The anti-gun people have been as dishonest about their intentions and ultimate goals as anyone could be. Given that fact there is no reason to offer any compromise what so ever.

          • ackwired

            I won’t repeat my previous posts in this thread. They deal with the dishonesty on the gun advocate side.

    • LiberalNightmare

      Guns also ‘enable’ people to defend themselves.

      • jim_m

        That’s what the left says the government is for.

      • ackwired

        Very true.

    • herddog505

      No, the elephants in the room that constantly get danced around are:

      — Race

      — Welfare state and the disintegration of the traditional family (it would be of some interest to know if black communities seventy years ago had the sorts of crime rates that they have now; I’m guessing not)

      — Revolving-door prison system that puts thugs and hoodlums back on the streets to go from bad to worse*

      — Education system that is focused more on “diversity” and “self-esteem” than on preparing kids to do useful work and earn a good living

      — democrat control of major cities where crime is such a problem (I suspect the correlation on that approaches 1.0). Let’s face it: Rahm-bo’s plan for dealing with the violence in his city is to… tell the gangbangers to not shoot kids. Yep: let’s appeal to the better nature of murders, many of whom ARE kids. democrat crime control policies in action, ladies and gentlemen.

      O’ course, lefties have ready answers – excuses, really – for all those things. RAAAAACISM is always good, along with “we aren’t spending enough” and “we need to UNDERSTAND the causes of crime” (hint: it’s criminals).
      Meantime, the streets get bloodier, and the lefties call for more regulations that do nothing to stop crooks, but rather punish law-abiding citizens.



      Bureau of Justice Statistics recidivism studies that surveyed offenders released from prisons in 1983 and 1994 found high rates of recidivism among released prisoners.

      Of the 108,580 prisoners released from prisons in 11 states in 1983, nearly 63 percent were re-arrested within three years, 47 percent were convicted of a new crime, and 41 percent were returned to prison or jail.

      • herddog505

        Speaking of recidivism and the evils of letting democrats have f*ck-all to do with law enforcement:

        [T]he [the year-old] girl was kidnapped at knifepoint from her own home in the middle of the night by two complete strangers in what police say was a “hot prowl” burglary that escalated. One of the suspects, Daniel Martinez, is in custody and, evidently, thought he was just going to be driving the getaway car for a burglary. Instead, the other suspect, Tobias Dustin Summers, kidnapped the girl. Martinez wanted no part of that crime, so he split the scene. Summers then took the girl to a nearby abandoned house, where he sexually assaulted her — and took nude photos of her — before the girl was finally dropped off at a shopping center several miles away. Someone spotted her walking barefoot through the parking lot, battered and bruised.

        Less than a year before this girl was kidnapped, Martinez was convicted of ”threats of death or great bodily injury,” which you might think would have kept him locked up a while, considering his previous convictions for burglary, petty theft, grand theft, resisting a police officer and unlawfully entering a property.

        Summers has convictions for receiving stolen property, grand theft, possession of an explosive and presenting false identity to police. In 2009, he was convicted of battery. Originally, he was also charged with annoying a child, but it was dismissed.

        LAPD officials said [Summers] was released from custody in July 2012 under realignment.

        And what is this “realignment”, you ask? Why, that was Governor Moonbeam’s plan to – pinky-swearz! – save money AND keep hoodlums locked up. What genius! Oh, well, maybe his plan wasn’t quite so much on the keeping hoodlums locked up. Guess you can’t have everything…

        Do we STILL need to talk about GUNS as the elephant in the room?

        • ackwired

          I don’t think you have talked about it yet. You have not addressed the fact that guns make it orders of magnitude easier to kill. My point was and is that gun advocates are afraid to address this fact. I think that you have admirably made my argument.

          • herddog505

            Oh, you mean I haven’t agreed with you that one tool makes killing a bit easier than another tool (or bare hands)?

            That I haven’t agreed with you that guns are an elephant in the room that NOBODY (aside from Barry, Uncle Choo-choo, the dems in Congress, the UN, a variety of dem governors, MiniTru, a variety of dem mayors, etc.) talks about?

            That I haven’t agreed with you that firearms and ammunition manufacturers have to show “responsibility” (whatever that means) with regard to the products they manufacture?

            This little girl was NOT a victim of gun violence. She WAS a victim of a pair of hoodlums who were on the streets instead of in prison because of liberal law enforcement policies.

            THAT’S the elephant in the room.

            But let’s talk about that “magnitudes” easier bit. FBI data on weapons used in homicides (2011*; partial list):

            TOTAL – 12,664

            — handgun: 6,220 (49%)

            — rifle: 323 (2.6%)

            — shotgun: 356 (2.8%)

            — knives: 1,694 (13%)

            — blunt instrument: 496 (3.9%)

            — bare hands: 728 (5.7%)

            One is more than twice as likely to be beaten or strangled or kicked to death than he is to be shot by anything but a handgun. He is about four times more likely to be stabbed to death. But where do lefties want to focus our efforts (aside from letting thugs out of jail, that is)?

            “Assault weapons”.

            Smart. Very smart.

            And WE’RE the ones who don’t want to talk about the “elephant in the room”????



          • ackwired

            You DO keep making my point.

          • herddog505

            Oh? You keep waving your hands about things, demanding that people admit this or that. You want people to admit that guns… can be lethal weapons? OK:

            Happy? What’s next? Would you like for us to talk about how water is wet? How fire is hot?

            It’s not “talking around the elephant in the room” to NOT waste time discussing the obvious.

            But, if you’d really, really like to keep talking about how guns can be used to kill people, please feel free. I would rather spend my time trying to come up with better ways to dissuade people doing that (along with using knives, baseball bats, their fists, etc. for the same evil purpose).

          • ackwired

            LOL…you are getting closer. But you still can not bring yourself to admit that guns make killing easier by orders of magnitude. It is an obvious fact. Just admit it and be honest.

          • herddog505

            Jebus… Yes, guns making killing easier. What’s the point of getting me or anybody else to admit the obvious???

            Oh, I know: “Guns make killing easier, so we ought to ban them.”

            How silly of me not to have seen it coming…

          • ackwired

            That wasn’t so hard, was it. No reason to talk around it for half an hour.

          • herddog505

            Ai-yi-yi. As I wrote above, what’s next? Talking about how fire is hot or water is wet?

            Who, exactly, has been claiming that guns CAN’T be used to kill people? How is the pro-gun side being “dishonest”?


            And now that you’ve gotten me to admit something that’s so blindingly obvious that it never occured to me that it would have to be stated explicitly, what’s your point? What would you have us do? You’ve written here and there that, “Oh, *I* don’t want to take guns away (even though they make killing ‘orders of magnitude’ easier than other tools and weapons)”.

            Or would you like to talk about some other mythical elephant in the room, such as manufacturers who aren’t being “responsible” because they… um… er… well, they just aren’t being responsible, SO THERE!

            I can’t wait to see what you come up with. More elephants, no doubt…

          • ackwired

            So now the discussion is more honest. We are not misleading people by trying to convince them that it is just as easy to kill with fists, or knives, or hammers, or other tools or weapons.

          • herddog505

            Define “easier”. Given that people use guns, rocks, fists, knives, hammers, etc. to kill each other on a fairly regular basis, clearly all these methods are “easy”.

            But, again, what’s your point? Let’s say for the sake of argument that a gun is a magic death ray*: it’s so easy to kill somebody with one, a caveman could do it.

            Again, what’s your point?


            (*) Actually, they aren’t so “easy”. In 2011, there were 59,208 firearms related INJURIES (from criminal causes) compared to 8,583 deaths (murders).

            The magic death ray… ain’t quite so magic.

          • ackwired

            On the same day as the Newtown massacre, a deranged man in China terrorized a school. He used a knife and stabbed over 20 children. They all survived. It is “easier” to kill with a gun.

          • jim_m

            And knives make killing easier, and axes, and hammers, and clubs, and gasoline soaked car tires, etc, etc, etc

            The point is that you don’t ban things reflexively because someone missuses them. There are already many, many laws regulating guns and gun ownership. The obama admin has seen gun law enforcement plunge due to their incompetency.

            The proposition that we should take away the civil rights f the law abiding in response to the unlawful is insane.

          • ackwired

            That is your point, and it is a good one. But it does not justify misleading people.

          • jim_m

            Nobody said that you could kill someone with a gun. Just that this so-called point of yours, that guns make it easier to kill people, is not much of a point. Banning guns does not reduce the murder rate. If people want to kill someone they generally find a way.

            Banning guns is more effective at banning self defense than it is in banning violent crime.

          • Note that murder is far more often accomplished with fists, blunt objects, and knives than with firearms, lest your foe start pulling…


          • herddog505

            Jebus… Yes, guns making killing easier. What’s the point of getting me or anybody else to admit the obvious???

            Oh, I know: “Guns make killing easier, so we ought to ban them.”

            How silly of me not to have seen it coming…

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  • jim_m

    The NYT reluctantly stumbles into the truth.

    Research on mass shootings over the last decade has bolstered the idea that people at the scene of an attack have a better chance of survival if they take an active stance rather than waiting to be rescued by the police, who in many cases cannot get there fast enough to prevent the loss of life….

    In 16 of the attacks studied by the researchers, civilians were able to stop the perpetrator, subduing him in 13 cases and shooting him in 3 cases.

    Relying upon the government to protect you is a ridiculous fantasy and a dangerous delusion. That’s probably why the left supports that course of action. Of course, doing nothing and allowing yourself to be murdered means that they can use your dead body to take more of our civil rights away, which is what they really want anyway

    • LiberalNightmare

      Uh oh, someone at the times is about to be fired.

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  • The other correlation is murder rate to long term dominance by the Democratic party for that city.

    New Orleans @ 62
    Detroit @ 35
    Baltimore @ 29

    Washington, DC @ 19

  • Inflation adjusted spending on education (K-12) vs Performance since 1970:

    Dismal Failure.

  • trjonez

    So then,..I heard on Bill Cunningham’s Sunday night radio show that if all the black democrat gun homicides were removed from the U.S. gun death statistics,..

    America would then have the same gun death rates as those lovely, civilized and caring European countries called called Norway and Britain.

    Say,..isn’t Piers Morgan from Britain?

    Maybe Piers can get Obama to take the guns away from the people that got him elected?