On Put Your Phone Down

@Tyler Coates Why do hate journalism.

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 11:27 am 0

On Friends Can't Let Friends Shoot People

@Ham Snadwich Hmm. Hefty. The weapon of choice for 9-year-old soldiers around the world?

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm 0

On Friends Can't Let Friends Shoot People

@Gef the Talking Mongoose The difficulty is that a legal definition, by definition, has to be specific and the ways to cheat a definition in this case approach the infinite. That's what the Aussies chose to stop playing the game, and the Norwegians are seriously considering the same route.

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm 0

On Friends Can't Let Friends Shoot People

@deepomega Yes, legally it's chasing bubbles around the waterbed. But let's not pretend the AR-15 and its cousins are simply scary looking. The whole philosophy of an assault rifle is that lethality isn't necessarily defined in caliber and foot-pounds. This puts it well, I think:

"He'd fired an AK-47. 'It was exactly like playing Duck Hunt. It didn't move, no kickback. It was this bizarre combination of being the deadliest thing I've ever held, and it also being the most similar to holding a plastic video game gun. It was easy to totally divorce myself from that gun; you can't do that with something like a shotgun. It requires too much physical interaction on your part.'"


Posted on December 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm 0

On Friends Can't Let Friends Shoot People

@deepomega That's pretty much what the Australians concluded. What I'm trying to argue is that the AR-15 in particular isn't merely a gelded military weapon, and it's purchasers damn well know that. It's designed to send a buttload of military-grade ammo fast.

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm 0

On Friends Can't Let Friends Shoot People

@deepomega I don't doubt the difficulty in nailing down a legal definition and even more difficulty in enforcing it. But the term isn't a media invention.
In the military context an assault rifle trades a heavier cartridge to reduce recoil for rapid aim and fire, and the AR-15 and its ammo were designed to that spec. One can quibble whether rapid must mean burst or auto (note the existence of squad automatic weapons), but an M-4 still selects for semi-auto. In my book that's still pretty gaddam fast and furious for a varmint rifle.

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm 0

On The Astounding Wrongness of Bill Keller on Hate Crimes

@saythatscool Pretty sure bias crime is just a synonym for hate crime. http://bit.ly/HamzIr

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm 0

On America's Unchecked Gun Culture Killed Trayvon Martin

Though, as the shooter's attorney argued, he would likely have a case based on Wisconsin's old law as well.

True, but he would have likely had to convince a jury. The jury instructions imposed by the castle doctrine are among its most insidious aspects and a strong disincentive for DAs to prosecute. Here's what the state bar criminal section warned legislators last fall:

Assume a man kills his wife in cold blood in the family home without witnesses. I suggest that a man who is willing to kill his wife is not squeamish about committing perjury. If he takes the stand and claims that he mistakenly thought she was an intruder, under AB 69, the jury must be instructed that he is presumed to have reasonably believed that force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself. The jury, in effect, is prevented from considering if his act was unreasonable.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm 3

On Why the Tea Party Hates Occupy Wall Street

Cool story, bro.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm 0

On Absurd Taco Bell Dorito Taco Shell Is Corporate America's Most Abstract Commentary On The Absence Of Authenticity To Date

Puny half-measures. Wake me up for the Oreo taco shell.

Posted on October 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm 0