The Lancet's terrible dilemma

I like the British medical journal, The Lancet. I like it a lot. I read it, subscribed to it and I've published there. More than once. So I sympathize with their terrible dilemma:

Physicians from around the world urged the publisher of The Lancet medical journal to cut its links to weapons sales, calling on the editors to find another publisher if Reed Elsevier refused to stop hosting arms fairs.

The doctors made their appeal in the latest edition of The Lancet, released Friday.

Editors at The Lancet responded by backing the doctors, calling the situation "bizarre and untenable." They wrote in Friday's edition that - in the interest of health - they may have to consider an "organized campaign" against their own publisher. (AP. Hat tip Grrl via Evolving thoughts)

So the editors are in the awkward position of agreeing with those calling for a boycott of their own journal. The rival British Medical Journal, for example, is calling on scientists to stop sending manuscripts to The Lancet until its publisher stops acting in ways antithetical to public health. In a wrenching Editorial, The Lancet's editor, Richard Horton, set out the dilemma:

Since 2005, we have been alerted to two additional arms exhibitions organised by Reed Elsevier. The 2007 SHOT Show, held in Orlando in January, claims to be "the world's premier exposition" for firearms. It attracted buyers from 75 countries. The products highlighted on the SHOT Show website foster a disturbing culture of violence. The Armalite A24 handgun, for example, is promoted as "beautiful", a handgun for "any serious shooter". The small arms business is responsible for 200,000 gun homicides annually, most in low-income and middle-income countries that are least able or willing to control the trade in weapons. Gun violence contributes to poverty, food insecurity, health-system disruption, and civilian deaths. Organising arms exhibitions helps to increase access to weapons and so encourage violence. This is in direct breach of recommendations from WHO in its landmark World Report on Violence and Health.

The 2007 International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) was held in Abu Dhabi in February. This meeting was clearly an arms fair. The website of IDEX reports that, ?IDEX provides the ideal venue for the defence industry to showcase new technologies and equipment to prospective buyers from the growing defence market in the Middle East, Asia, and Far East?. According to one news source, which The Lancet has independently confirmed, these technologies included 500 kg cluster bombs, one of the most deadly weapons encountered by civilians, especially children. (Richard Horton in The Lancet, free reigstration required)

Horton notes that when The Lancet learned of Reed Elsevier's arms dealings in 2005 its Editor and the journal's International Advisory Board asked the publisher-owner to sever its relationship with the international arms trade. They pointed out such activities by a leading publisher of health and scientific journals was inconsistent and inappropriate. Reed's response was a polite acknowledgment of the journal's editorial independence and freedom to express its opinion, but no interest beyond that in acceding to their concerns. The Editorial continues:

The editors of The Lancet face a difficult situation. We value greatly our close relationships with the Royal Colleges and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. We very much respect the work of the human rights organisations that have written to us. The collective support of these groups and individuals is vital to the journal. If they withdrew that support, our future would be materially harmed and the credibility of our work on issues such as child survival would be severely compromised. We cannot imagine that Reed Elsevier seeks such an outcome for The Lancet or any of the thousands of journals it publishes. Yet the company's present stance is leading us in that direction.

[snip]

After a great deal of reflection, including consultation within Elsevier and Reed Elsevier, we wish to emphasise the following points:

(1)The Lancet reaffirms its view that arms exhibitions have no legitimate place within the portfolio of a company whose core business concerns are health and science. This part of Reed Elsevier's operation should be divested as soon as possible.

(2)The Lancet is given complete editorial freedom by Reed Elsevier, a rare asset. Reed Elsevier - and specifically its science and medical publishing division, Elsevier - not only supports but also encourages our independence. This is a tremendous strength and should give scientists and physicians confidence in the publishing integrity of The Lancet and Elsevier.

(3)Although we do not speak officially for the company, we know that, as one of four divisions of Reed Elsevier, Elsevier operates with the highest standards of scientific, medical, and publishing ethics.

(4)Reed Elsevier can change. For example, at Reed Elsevier's Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi) exhibition in 2005, there was no explicit ban on cluster bombs. For DSEi 2007, cluster bombs are explicitly prohibited. Dialogue can move hearts and minds. Debate, as opposed to a boycott of The Lancet and other Elsevier journals, should continue.

(5)Reed Elsevier is not a monolithic structure. We meet people across the organisation with a diversity of views and perspectives. On the question of arms exhibitions, we have found that a growing number of our Elsevier colleagues, who have long standing relationships with scientific societies and authors, are questioning Reed Elsevier's decision to continue in this business. At a time of fierce debate over author-pays open access journals and open archiving, Reed Elsevier, many of them say, needs to be making strong alliances, not creating new enemies.

There is no doubt this is indeed a "difficult situation" for The Lancet. Horton expresses the hope that Elsevier will yield to what is becoming a firestorm in the international medical and health community. He is kinder to his publisher than I would be. Elsevier and its crony big time scientific publishers like Wiley and Blackwell are rapacious exploiters of scientific journals and scientists. Their pursuit of high profit and their obstinate opposition to reform an out of control intellectual property system has hurt scientists, libraries and the general public, especially in the developing world. I have no doubt there are many in the Elsevier organization who anguish over this. Unfortunately, they are not relevant to Elsevier's behavior. If they yield on this issue it will only be because it is a business decision. They could care less about the core of their business, the dissemination of scientific knowledge. For Reed Elsevier, a science journal is just a dollar's way of making another dollar.

I will probably continue to read The Lancet, but will make great efforts to do it in a way that contributes nothing to Elsevier's coffers. That's not hard these days. I have already dropped my subscription and will read them via my academic affiliation. I will also re-evaluate decisions with respect to other Elsevier journals, adding my disappointment with the publisher's arms activities as important criterion in deciding whether to read and review for a journal and submit papers to it. I will of course also talk to my colleagues about this.

I know this is very painful for The Lancet's principled editors and staff. I admire them and their public expression of disagreement with their owners. What a shame this is. Not for The Lancet. For Reed Elsevier.

More like this

Apparently Reed Elsevier, publisher of countless academic journals such as Cell, Neuron, Current Biology and the Lancet, is also organizing arms exhibition shows. In a bizarre development, the editors of the Lancet agreed with researchers who want to start a boycott of their journal. To read more:…
(via biocurious) I don't know if you remember the news item that Reed Elsevier, publisher of many scientific journals, was funding arms trade shows. It got to the point that the editorial board of the Lancet, which is owned by Elsevier, agreed with researchers who wanted to boycott their own…
Physicians from around the world urged Elsevier Group PLC., the publisher of The Lancet medical journal and other scientific and medical journals, to cut its links to weapons sales, calling on the editors to find another publisher if Reed Elsevier refused to stop hosting arms fairs. "The Lancet…
tags: Reed Elsevier, arms fairs Good news, everyone! It turns out that Reed Elsevier, the publisher and exhibitions group, has finally ended their involvement in the arms trade yesterday as the result of a two-year boycott by doctors, healthcare groups, authors and pacifist organizations. Elsevier…

"Iron Law of Bureaucracy", again.

Contributors could all stop sending things to them
and the ex-editors start a Lance-Wiki...

By crfullmoon (not verified) on 02 Apr 2007 #permalink

revere, the question that comes to my mind is how many other essential journal publishers have ties to unsavory industries?

Melanie: This is a good question. There has been a dramatic increase in concentration in the for profit scientific publishing field, with just a few publishers having a huge percentage of the market. These include Elsevier, Blackwell and Wiley. So far, Elsevier is the only one where such ties have come to light, but we can expect to hear now that this issue has been broached. Elsevier might be the only one. Then again. . .

For some years, I worked in and then ran a small library for the medical division of a publishing house in the UK so I am aware of the exorbitant cost of some scientific and medical journals and I agree that they are driven solely by the profit motives of the companies concerned. Are you saying that capitalism is immoral?

I also made a number of points in the previous thread about Elsevier which have not yet been answered. Critics of the arms trade appear to accept it as axiomatic that weapons are irredeemably evil on the grounds that they cause death and injury - both intentionally and unintentionally - to non-combatants. I can well understand why people feel that way but is it rational?

As I mentioned before, following the Dunblane massacre the UK, not suprisingly, tightened the law regulating the private ownership of firearms. Yet privately-owned motor vehicles killed and injured far more people per year than guns ever did without provoking the same level of public outrage or driving stricter legislation.

At the very least, such an attitude is inconsistent (hobgoblins notwithstanding) but, to put it simply, I am pretty sure most critics of the arms trade would use a gun without a second thought if it was necessary to defend themsleves or those they loved. I certainly would. Wouldn't Richard Horton? Wouldn't you?

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 02 Apr 2007 #permalink

All seriousness here folks. We are talking about a form of censorship on the part of Revere and he recommends everyone do the same, drop their subscriptions if you feel the way he does. Its the same thing that the Baptists do here when you start talking about evolution, work to cook the books in your favor. By not subscribing he has as afforded him in the Constitution and the laws of just about every European state, expressed his view in the one way he could besides writing a letter to the editor.

Media plays an important role in our society. It has tried and failed miserably to just publish the news and let it go. Its editorialized to the nth degree, and makes decisions and assumptions on behalf of the reader/listener that they dont have the right to. NBC here is one of the worst, CNN is the Clinton News Network. I would mention CBS but its like ranking amateurs against a professional. Their bent on weapons is the Ted Kennedy approach-Take the guns, it ends the violence. Uh, huh. Ever ridden the subway in New York where its so restrictive to have a weapon that you cant defend yourself. Crooks arent stupid, they know the system. The system is that we take your guns and depend on Big Brother to defend you. So far that exercise is failing miserably. Its no diff than deterrence. Domestic family crime would fall in the weapons category if they were removed, but rise in the steel pot against the head would rise.

As a person who packs a .40 cal. Glock to and from work each day I have to say that I have had to pull it out four times in five years. Each time I did it was to stop something from happening that was going to end in a disaster for someone who was minding their own business and being robbed. I never discharged it save once. He had a gun and was robbing a woman at a traffic light. I stepped out and drew the bead but couldnt fire because of the line of sight and oncoming traffic. I popped a shot into the air, he fired at me and took my windshield out. He ran. Jacking ended.

He later was caught....dead actually. Another motorist, another traffic light and he pulled out the gun. The woman who he was robbing pulled out a .22 mag Derringer and blew his liver out.

So I dont feel too bad about the Lancet report. Is it a medical issue or a social issue? They do merge together dont they? The folks in Europe at least the ones I talk to would LIKE to have weapons at their disposal but their governments believe them to be too irresponsible as citizens who obey the law. So their officials get assasinated, they blow up restaurants, they generally act bad but I guess you just have to negotiate with terrorists instead of protecting yourself. Anyone have the subscription number to the Lancet?

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 02 Apr 2007 #permalink

Ian: I am not commenting on whether capitalism is immoral or not. I think the major publishers have severely distorted the free market with their continual and repeated manipulation of intellectual property laws, which don't protect any scientific author, only the publisher and in ways that are counterproductive to the scientific enterprise. Regarding the arms trade, I consider it an immoral enterprise conducted by large companies who have no interest in protecting anyone but their shareholders and executives. They make money from selling dangerous products and they aid and abet the irrational practice of major powers having an arms race with themselves. Cluster bombs are immoral and have nothing to do with my defending my home and hearth and loved ones from assaults by phantom marauders or the rare real one.

Comparing motor vehicles to guns is not apt, in my view. There are a lot of issues, but at least I get some benefits out of owning a car. For owning a gun, the major "benefit" is to put everyone in the household at risk for the sake of some misplaced self confidence. Would we be better of if there were no guns? Yes, I think so, but that is an endless argument. The arms trade is something else. Saying participation in a major arms industry is related to an individual's right or possibility of self-defence I think obscures an important point of ethics for health professionals in this instance.

Randy: This is the typical pro-gun anti-gun rant on each side. I won't move the ball by taking it on here. But I will comment on this:

"So I dont feel too bad about the Lancet report. Is it a medical issue or a social issue? They do merge together dont they? The folks in Europe at least the ones I talk to would LIKE to have weapons at their disposal but their governments believe them to be too irresponsible as citizens who obey the law. So their officials get assasinated, they blow up restaurants, they generally act bad but I guess you just have to negotiate with terrorists instead of protecting yourself. Anyone have the subscription number to the Lancet? "

I don't know whom you talk to in Europe, but every European I know is dumbfounded by US gun policies. Death by firearm is exceedingly rare in Europe. Regarding suicide bombs, I don't see that guns have made much of a difference in Iraq. Note that we have assassinations, too, done by people with guns. By all means subscribe to The Lancet. You won't like their editorial policy, but you'll find that out soon enough. It is a superior scientific journal and you'll learn from it. You might even read something I've written at some point as I've published there half a dozen times.

Revere, most doctors in W. Tennessee are registered gun owners. Cluster bombs are immoral weapons? That might be a debatable issue. It sure cleans out a problem. But then again thats part of being politically correct in a war. I see that Geneva Convention is working out really well for all concerned.

I wonder if punching an ONSTAR type of button that launches out with a concussion weapon that would kill a carjacker or incapacitate him to the point of giving him internal damage just might be one of the most bought options on that car. Me, I would just run the piece of shit over like the worthless part of humanity he is if I got the opportunity. I would also assert that this international trade in weapons goes back to our Founding Fathers who ponied up with the French and bought guns and powder from them. I would have thought that G. Washington would have used a cluster munitions on the British.

War is immoral Revere and you wont get one bit of fight out of me on that one. On the other hand, I believe you should fight all wars to win them, with every weapon at hand. The reason is finality. You get into a long drawn out, drag you thru the dirt war when you are sitting on a pile of those "immoral weapons" is an exercise in stupidity. If you have to bomb a Dresden because everyone there works in a munitions factory then they are legitimate targets. Civilians or soldier in their cause. Close your eyes and tell me which label to put on either.

As for having ties to other parts of the weapons industries.... they all have defense publications for the better part. Guess what? Their weapons mags have better and more loyal readership and as individual publications they make more money.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 02 Apr 2007 #permalink

Most everything that MRK says causes me to wonder about him. However, I do agree with being a legal gun owner. I am an avid hunter and thoroughly enjoy bringing home the bacon (elk etc.). I also enjoy gardening. That does not make me a "KILLER". May I also mention that I despise the NRA. I don't think you need an AK47 to hunt with.

MRK - I have taught "hunter ed" for over 27 years and have been around guns my entire life. Guns are a part of me, but the NRA is 'WAY TO RADICAL" PERIOD.

SHOT is considered by many to be "the" premiere gun show event in the USA. That Reed Elsevier publishes The Lancet and hosts a show which is a legal exhibition of guns and related equipment unfortunately seems unethical to some. This is a company doing nothing illegal or immoral as far as I can see. Perhaps I am short-sighted, but if we begin to restrict companies from legal activities which enrich their bottom line we begin to slide down ?the slippery slope?.

Yes, guns kill people. They also protect people and countries. During WW II, when asked what would happen if a German force twice as large as Switzerland?s invaded its border, they replied ?we?d shoot twice and go home?. Those who abide by the laws of their land should be able to own the weapon of their choice. My 2nd amendment (2A) rights should not be dependant a whether another hunter thinks I should use or even own a weapon with semi-automatic capabilities.

Ann,
I too am not a member of the NRA, but for just the opposite reason. They have sold out those, who like myself, want to own an AK-47 as a "Homeland Security" weapon. The NRA has thrown non-hunters to the wind without realizing that a hunters 2A rights will disappear soon after. We need to enforce laws for those who misuse weapons, not restrict constitutional rights. I am a member of GAO, Gun Owners of America.

Ann-But there is a difference between three modes of this. Hunter, defensive, and offensive. Hunters pose about zero threat unless your name is Cheney. Defensive in relation to this part is that someone decides that they can place your life in jeopardy in many areas of this country or the world...and get away with along with your valuables, or life. We will leave the world out of this for right now and concentrate on local.

The fact is that I had to pull my weapon out four times in five year because society doesnt take care of the poor? No. The decision to go after someone a predatory role by a cognizant human and not some dog fight. They know they are doing wrong. Society tries to mollify everyone into thinking that this is something we really could do something about. Every place that I see in Europe where weapons are illegal someone gets whacked by illegal weapons. Their opinions over there are one of "Ok, we know you are right about guns but why is the situation continuing to degradate." Ask Tan06 about the Netherlands. At least they fight back if they are able to there. Hey, I wouldnt be packing on a good day if I felt safe where I have to go. But thats the reason we went from a non-packing state to a packing one. The police themselves suggested it. Very, very few people are shooting their spouses here with those legally owned weapons. They use stolen weapons or the good ole frying pan, both are equally as effective and mostly messy.

Ann-The NRA speaks for a group that I consider to be a little on out there. The Nazi party of the US belongs in part to them. But they are exercising their rights to keep and bear just as you are. So you would say you cant own that particular weapon whatever it might be?

I would be interested to know if suddenly a law was passed that made guns illegal completely and made you a criminal by condition, would you surrender those weapons you own. One thing is sure, our government is always nervous of the fact that they ARE hopelessly outgunned by legal weapons, much less illegal ones. It is one of the checks and balances that those guys thought up at the founding of this country. Its not going away. There are few voices to defend it and the NRA funds campaigns of people who think the way they do. The stance has softened a bit in the last few years but 9/11 really brought the rads in left and right.

Then there is the offensive part. It counters only the defensive part of this conversation and for years we have been outgunned in the offensive arena. They also have and have had more rights than you. You dont have the right to defend yourself against crime? Gun crime in Tennessee is mandatory 5 years minimum. Commission of a carjacking, or hold up its 15. Slowly but surely the offenders are coming off the street permanently now. But in the meantime they are out on bond and in the last week 2 guys who were out on bond for robbery, were out doing it again. So what would you have them use now, harsh language? I think not.

Its also not for you to decide if an AK47 is suitable to hunt with. If it made sense I would use a 155 howitzer. Right tool for the right problem. The Russians use them to hunt reindeer all the time now BTW. Me, I use my scoped CAR-15 that is set with an autosear to prevent full auto to deer hunt with a legal plug in the mag. I get a lot of looks but thats fine. Even the game wardens want to shoot it without the plugs in when they check me. I oblige automatically because I can see the appreciation of a fine piece of equipment. I have a lot more selective weapons for things other than quail hunting. I also dont generally hunt in my garden Ann. Not many threats in there except for the occasional cottonmouth or copperhead. I use a hoe on them instead of a point blank shot with a 12 gauge.

I wouldnt wonder too much about ME Ann. In what context should that be taken? What are you wondering ABOUT? I have been to the mountaintop and looked over the other side and seen an enemy regiment coming up it. They dont teach you that in hunter ed Ann or what to do about it, they teach that in combat infantry school. One has a possible outcome, the other a very uncertain one and unless you plan to run away you have to deal with it. Somehow I dont think in that situation that negotiations would be acceptible. .

No, here we are with yet again another politically correct juncture about weapons, the war and what to do about it. Lancet is just posturing what is happening in the worldand in particular parts of it. It changes nothing to cut subscriptions because the media always reports what it wants, right or left and we are just supposed to accept it.

As for being a killer, I like to think the things I have done have been for the benefit of the country rather than the people who would just be benign in their lives. Revere is automatically excluded from this as he is an activist in every sense of that. Pendulum swings right or left too far and radicalism (violence) is the end result of that spectrum. We always try to keep it towards the center in this country but it rarely works. I almost voted for Carter as a young man. By the time 25 rolled around I was counting, yes counting the days before he left because he didnt enforce our Constitution and his responsibility under it to protect all Americans. He lost the Presidency because of it.

We are in a right wing world as best I can see it. We are losing the Presidency right now not because of being right wing, but because we are not applying it. Failing to completely destroy the opposition prolongs our situation in Iraq. Failing to put people in jail permanently for gun crimes in this country prevents the utopia that Revere would like to see. I would like to see it too but its simply not reality. Cant outlaw frying pans either.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 02 Apr 2007 #permalink

Oh yes one other thing. The WHO is saying what? Isnt that part of the UN that was presided over by Koffi "I have a pass the ammo son" Annan until a couple of months ago? Isnt that the one that the FRENCH were backdooring the sold weapons to the Iraqi's and Iranians.

Lancet should just keep right on publishing and if a doctor doesnt want to publish, well then perish at the hands of the realities of the world. Its a grimy bucket we all have to swim in. Get used to it.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 02 Apr 2007 #permalink

Randy: Outside of the fact I couln't make heads or tails of most of your last comment, maybe Reed Elsevier and you will have to get used to things. We'll see.

revere wrote:

Regarding the arms trade, I consider it an immoral enterprise conducted by large companies who have no interest in protecting anyone but their shareholders and executives. They make money from selling dangerous products and they aid and abet the irrational practice of major powers having an arms race with themselves.

I suspect your view is quite widely held and may well contain a degree of truth. But what history shows is also true is that, whether we like it or not, there come times when we find ourselves in desperate need of those despised arms. Those arms do not grow on trees. They can take years to develop and manufacture in sufficient quantities to equip an army or navy or air force.

In World War II, my own country - the UK - only survived long enough to build up its armed forces because it was fortunate enough to be geographically separate from Europe and because, despite the intense pressure for disarmament in the inter-war years, it had managed to design and build modern fighters in numbers that were just barely sufficient to hold off the Luftwaffe.

Cluster bombs are immoral and have nothing to do with my defending my home and hearth and loved ones from assaults by phantom marauders or the rare real one.

That might depend on circumstances. Cluster bombs are of little use against small teams of suicide attackers but supposing your country found itself at war with an enemy that had a much larger pool of manpower and was prepared to deploy it in "human wave" tactics such as the Chinese army used during the Korean War. Could you, in all conscience, deny your troops weapons, such as mines and cluster bombs, which might be essential to repelling such an enemy? Such scenarios may seem far-fetched but how many people expected to be dragged into the various wars of the last and this century.

Comparing motor vehicles to guns is not apt, in my view. There are a lot of issues, but at least I get some benefits out of owning a car. For owning a gun, the major "benefit" is to put everyone in the household at risk for the sake of some misplaced self confidence.

I have had a hobby interest in firearms since I was a small boy although I have never owned one. I have no desire to shoot anyone and I do not approve of hunting for pleasure but I would like to try clay pigeon and target shooting. What is wrong with that? Now that I live in the US I intend to try such sport when I have the time and money.

And I think that the comparison between cars and guns is most apt. On the one hand, we have a machine designed for the peaceful purpose of personal transportation which causes more death and injury on an annual basis than devices which are designed to cause death and injury. Which should be of greater concern to doctors and public health professionals?

Would we be better of if there were no guns? Yes, I think so, but that is an endless argument. The arms trade is something else. Saying participation in a major arms industry is related to an individual's right or possibility of self-defence I think obscures an important point of ethics for health professionals in this instance.

Obviously, it would be far better for all concerned if everyone agreed to disarm and resolve all disputes peacefully. But, since this is unlikely to happen any time soon, there is a real danger that the sort of views that drive opposition to Elsevier's involvement in the arms trade could be naive and ill-considered.

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 02 Apr 2007 #permalink

Ian: We have some fundamental disagreements here that won't be settled in this comment thread but I am happy to have you voice them. Here are some responses:

But what history shows is also true is that, whether we like it or not, there come times when we find ourselves in desperate need of those despised arms. Those arms do not grow on trees. They can take years to develop and manufacture in sufficient quantities to equip an army or navy or air force.

"What history shows" is a very malleable concept. History "shows" many things, one being that giving great powers weapons of destruction means they are prone to use them. My country is being bankrupted by the expense and besides those dying from the direct effects abroad many are dying at home from neglect caused from that expense. The ability to conscript led Napolean on his rampages, too. We keep hearing about Munich and now the Battle of Britain. But there is more to history than cherished examples which do not, in my view, have much to do with dropping cluster bombs in areas where civilians live.

Regarding guns, you might be surprised to hear that I also have a hobbyist interest in them. I don not own one, either, and consider them too dangerous to have in a privagte home. But it is a fact that target shooting is fun for many people, including me. I have shot at clay pigeons, and although my shoulder hurt for weeks I understand it as a sport. But in the context of the international arms trade, clay pigeons are red herrings.

You are very fond of hypotheticals (my home is being overrun by human waves of Chinese). That's not what is happening in Afghanistan where the US (and I suspect the UK) use cluster bombs that wind up killing and maiming civilians, mainly children, or in southern Lebanon where the Israeli use of them before there pull-out was an act of pure malignity, as even some of Israel's supporters admit.

Regarding your car analogy, if you are going to use that kind of argument, why not throw in our mutual profession, medicine, which also causes substantial suffering and death through mistakes? Cars and medical errors cause more deaths than suicide bombers. What am I to conclude from that? That we should accept suicide bombers? They are, after all, just another weapon in a political war, like a cluster bomb. Is there no difference between a suicide bomber and a personal motor vehicle?

I understand you don't agree with me and think my views are naive and ill-considered. In response, I think yours are gravely mistaken as well. I know neither of us have moved the other, but I still think it is useful to have a place where we can speak to each other in a more or less civil manner, and while I am not inviting you (or disinviting you) to keep this up, you are most welcome here both as reader and commenter.

Dr. Spedding is also engaging in some revisionist history. Germany would have invaded Britain had the US not entered the war when it did. Churchill begged Roosevelt at Yalta to enter the European conflict when we did, although Lend Lease began earlier. You carried on your fight with American munitions and materiale.

Randy, I'm an NRA rated marksman and was at the age of 8. I grew up with guns, they are part of the culture where I grew up. revere, I'm really impressed that you shoot skeet. That's really hard stuff. I've only been a target shooter.

I do not own a gun and will not have one in the house. I no longer have the time, money or energy to maintain the skills it would take to be a responsible gun owner.

When I was still shooting, I was a self-loader. My dad had the full kit in the house. I shot both iron sights and power sights before I needed glasses.

An unskilled gun owner is a danger to herself and those around her.

Translocating the issue for a second. How would Randolph or Ian feel if Reed Elsevier was selling cigarettes? Smokers will vociferously defend cigarettes as a lifestyle choice which decreases their stress levels, and its fair to say that their limited use by an individual is only a small malignancy (if you'll excuse the pun).

Blind allegiance to the "right" of corporations to diversify and profit obscures the public good which medical journals provide. Doctors, as people who deal directly in the lives of others, should put profit a long way down their list of considerations. As such, issues of hypocrisy are certainly germane to the practice of medicine. Especially when such hypocrisy stems from accepting inducements from people who profit from activities whose primary outcome is the taking of lives (and in the case of small arms sales to LDC, that's exactly what it is).

It is a shame that the only way people concerned with such dualities can have their voices recognised by corporations is through punitive action against those corporation's share prices. But Reed does not have a 'right' to expect people to ignore hypocrisy, anymore than I have a 'right' to expect them to stop profiting from arms sales.

By Jon Herington (not verified) on 02 Apr 2007 #permalink

My point is simple. Reed E. isnt out jacking cars at the national high in Memphis TN they are out having a gunshow. They have the right to display any weapon out there! We have decided in this state that you should have the right to defend yourself because the Teddy Kennedys of the world live on an island in Mass and not on S. 3rd in Memphis.

Revere chooses apparently to just give in if someone comes a calling apparently but says he likes target shooting. Great! My daughter Mel, is quite the marksman and is already in the ROTC for the USAF. One point off of sharpshooter in fact. My son is a little worse than she is but only by another point or two. Both would clean someones clock that entered our abode and without so much as a bat of an eye. Both beat the crap out of a home invader a year ago when they were meter reading and did a lock bump. My daughter hit him with the butt of the AR-15 and my son was kicking the crap out of him when the sherrif arrived. The hearing lasted for about 10 minutes and he copped a plea. We have a LOT of home invasions here and you can submit to what might be the last day of your life at the gates of Hell, or blow them back thru it.

Yea though I break into a House in the Valley of Death, it had better not be the Krugers. For there dwelleth the beast and that beast is hungry having set off the silent alarm which causeth the children to take their weapons from under the bed and to lock and load. The beast shall feed upon me and causeth me great suffering as they tag team me into submission while one holds the rifle and the other hits me with a combat billy. Woe onto my soul as the last thief who tested the system took 36 stitches to closeth up his wounds and got 11 years. I shall not treadeth upon the ground which is so vigorously defended. I will find another who is less prepared and will submit to my evil will. Yea, I will take his possessions, his daughters virginity and sodomize his wife. I will kill them all upon my departure, including his dog so that there are no witnesses as I am in a three strike state and will go to jail for life if convicted. Have mercy upon me O' Lord.

Most gun types are not the 200,000 problems that have happened annually in the US as Revere states. Its the other guys. As for the Lancet publication, well they can enter their protest and not cover the stories of reality or they can tender their resignations. We all have to do what we are told and its not a black mark on Lancet. No one is forcing them to stay. Its a classic example of the people of conviction who live in a very elitist world telling the people that they think are beneath them that, "No, you cant have that weapon. No, we think that you shouldnt be doing that. No, dont fight a war with a cluster bomb because in our opinion its an immoral weapon." Somehow the implication is that something they say really matters. It might matter to them but if R. E. says publish they have to make a decision. Its called free will and choice. R.E. could have a differing opinion and then bend their will to R.E.'s.

Listen, nothing is more immoral than a war and as a division of the publishing giant, Lancet should just spill their guts onto the floor and it will be duly noted. We peons down here at the bottom feeder level that are so stupid and cant understand anything but what Fox News tells us, we just have to be totally dumb not to understand what they are saying.... Its a health issue to talk about the effects of bombs. No, bombs are used in wars and not on the streets. You cant carry a bomb legally under your shirt, but you can slung under a B-52. It is a directed munition as a pistol bullet is but much more accurate. It causes collateral damage in property and person. Dont you think they know that?

Jon, go drop 60,000 pounds of cigarettes in Iraq. They'll thank you for it. You would be a hero among your people. Me, I would rather drop 60,000 pounds of bombs on Tikrit or Fallujah as recommended by just about everyone on the ground. But like all the wars since Korea, we are back to political correct. I wonder how you would feel if you were on the ground in Iraq. I suggest you wouldnt like it much knowing that for the last few years your vaunted UN was turning a blind eye and opening a pocketbook so Saddam and others could fill the coffers of your enemy. The WHO is no exception to this either.

You think that Reed doesnt have the right to ignore hypocrisy. Thats a load of stuff Jon, you have the right to expect it, but it will never happen bub. The pubs of Lancet are trying to take the moral high ground about bombs. Its not a pistol and it isnt used as such. Its used to kill one crap load of people and unless you have ever seen it done, its as humane a way to take people out there is. You might gurgle for a while with a pistol shot. It will definitely hurt. Bombs pretty much take everyone they aim it at. Immoral is only in the eyes of the alive. Dead people dont suicide bomb, nor do they buy weapons.

By M.Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 02 Apr 2007 #permalink

Randy: I hope we don't meet in person because judging from your comments here you and your family are absolute magnets for violence. I've never heard of anyone in your social circumstances get involved in so much mayhem and your children, too. You sound like the amateur detectives I see on TV where every week they just happen to be around a murder. Also good people to stay away from. You never know what might happen when you are near them. BTW, Ted Kennedy doesn't live on an island and he has had two of his brothers shot to death and a third die in war. Just thought I'd mention it.

Jon: Good point about cigarettes. I wish I'd thought of it.

In exceptional circumstances, if the individual is unable or unwilling to take out an opponent, the individual can expect to suffer the consequences. End of story.

Thank you revere. You just told MRK why I wonder about him. I have never heard of so much violence in one place constantly. Please stay where you are MRK and I will feel much safer. Sounds like trouble follows you wherever you go.

My daughter hit [a home invader] with the butt of the AR-15...

Automatic weapons are obviously very practical to have around the house. The butt of a non-automatic rifle just doesn't have the same punch.

It is a dangerous world, a dangerous U.S.A. where many criminals, thugs, rapist, and what have you actually rule the streets. They have no place in our society, yet political correctness allows it.
MRK's approach is not harsh or dangerous, it's wise and effective. MRK's words might annoy some but that's because you fail to see the truth behind them. He gets right to the heart of issue and solves the situation immediately, no pussy-footing around.
In my eye it would be a great benefit to have MRK as a neighbor. If anything disastrous happened in the neighborhood, with MRK around, you'd live to see another day.
You take your way revere, and other's, and see what happens when someone attempts to abuse you physically and succeeds.
In closing, if someone invaded your home and wanted to rob, rape and kill you, would you not want to defend yourself? Or would you take the intellectual approach and talk them out of it?

Lea,

Unless you live in a very dangerous neighborhood, the chances of you suffering forced entry into your home are quite low. Using ordinary safety precautions (deadbolt locks on doosr and latch locks on windows) you don't need to use main force to protect your home. Add a home alarm system if you are that twitchy.

Lea: When was the last time someone invaded your home and tried to rape and murder you? When ws the last time you successfully used a gun to fend someone off? (We'll leave Randy out of this because it seems to happen to him all the time). More people die from firearm accidents and suicides than homicides. And if we could track the guns and gun owners it would be fewer homicides still. BTW, regarding gun deaths, it is a lot more dangerous in the US than in Europe. The reason? Guns.

Ah, once again, Revere's trinity of controversy: atheism, guns and masks.

For what it's worth, I am an armed masked atheist, which is at least slightly better than what I used to be, which was an insomniac dyslexic agnostic. I stayed up all night wondering whether or not there was a Dog.

--

Revere, re: Marquerer, I am not an atheist.

A fundamental change happened here just 12 short years ago and "King Willie" Herenton was elected mayor. The City had little or no debt, the schools were pretty much okay, the electric utility was truly owned by the people. It was also the cleanest city in the US for major metro areas. Ah, how things change.

Our newly elected mayor puts his girlfriend who is a cop in as his bodyguard and then she gets caught being the bagman for the biggest dope ring in 600 hundred miles. The city schools went to hell even though their budget quintupled. The kids in the 7th grad ended up with being taken over by the state because the children in the Congo had higher scores on the state proficiency exam. Then there was crime. Crime was on about the national average. In just 2 years it tripled, in 10 it was all the way to the point of asking for the National Guard. In the area around a certain stoplight which I have to traverse everyday there have been six gunfights between rival gangs, prostitutes running up and down the street, cops investigating crimes in the adjacent 7-11s getting shot at, and the town is run now by drug lords.

We arent magnets for violence. Just have to work near it. There is no one to act as a leader to stop it. Truth be known, I think they are involved with it as our city council member seem to be all under indictment, or most of them anyway. Bribery, drugs, influence peddling.... Yeah you know my problems here Revere. Punch up WMCstations.com and read along as it happens. We are also the near murder capital of the US now. Please, go ahead. I encourage you.

So yeah if you go to Mogadishu, you have to expect problems. Just as you would if you went into a jungle, you have to expect snakes. I do invite you to Memphis. Hell I'll pay for the ticket and I will put you on that corner the day you get here. Just make sure your insurances for your life and injury is paid up.... Wouldnt want Mrs. R. to suffer. Two hours after sundown this place is a combat zone. Its so bad that the police enforce a "no cruising" zone and have a precint just 8 blocks away. You can discount what I say all you want. I offer the ride to you for free.

Think I am kidding. My next door neighbors wife is a cop and she got held up in a mall parking lot. Gotta be that social problem issue rather than deterrence with a weapon.

Come on, if you survive the first two nights I'll spring for dinner at the casinos.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 03 Apr 2007 #permalink

From tonights news in my non combat zone....

Blood stains the front porch where Dorothy Hill-Davis was attacked Sunday night. "My clothes were so ruined I had to throw them away--I mean everything--top to bottom," says Hill-Davis. She had just returned from church. "I walked on up and got up to the porch area," recalls Hill-Davis. One of the last things she remembers is unlocking her security door. "I heard something say "whew" and I turned around and he was right there," says Hill-Davis. "I never saw his face and he clobbered me and I grabbed myself and when I did is when he snatched my purse," she adds.

Three other woman in her neighborhood went through the same thing over the last few weeks. Two were cut with a knife while walking from their cars. Hill-Davis was hit in the head, the arm, and the crook even broke her cane. "I never just imagined in my wildest dream that anything like this would happen," says Hill-Davis. But 24 hours after she was attacked, Andre Adams was in custody. He was arrested Monday inside an apartment just behind the neighborhood where the victim's live.

"He's known for burglaries, robberies, and things of this sort," says Covington Police Detective Pam Ford-Simpson. Police say Adams made the mistake of using a cell phone he stole from one of the women. Dorothy Hill-Davis is glad he did. "Definitely," says Hill-Davis.

But she says her sense of security will never be the same. Suspect Andre Davis is charged with three counts each of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. The only advice police have to potential victims is when confronted by a robber, give them what they want.

My comment to that is that you should give them what you want to... a shot to the head and it ends it.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 03 Apr 2007 #permalink

Aw melanie, you always side with revere, interesting. Not twitchy either because I have protection. Home alarm, have one.
We do live in a place where terrorist attacks, angry protestors, and disgruntled employees are a high probability of attacking and killing anyone. Where do I live? Can't tell you.

My mom lives in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in San Diego. Her street never used to be that way but if you go out after-dark now you put your life on the line. One visit to her, just a short while ago, I was outside at dark(near the front door), three young men were walking up the street, one hesitated, stooped down and was checking out the inside of my mom's car that was parked on the street. I went into the house and called the police, the police were there within seven minutes and they continued to cruise around for another half hour.

revere: to answer your questions, never. Why never? Because I am aware of the potential dangers around me wherever I go. I won't walk out of a grocery store or shopping mall without stopping and looking around to see who and what is happening.
You said, "More people die from firearm accidents and suicides than homicides." My response, don't care.

Lea: "revere: to answer your questions, never. Why never? Because I am aware of the potential dangers around me wherever I go. I won't walk out of a grocery store or shopping mall without stopping and looking around to see who and what is happening.

You said, "More people die from firearm accidents and suicides than homicides." My response, don't care. "

That makes perfect sense. That's a great way to protect yourself and it seems to work. Plus you won't get accidentally killed in your own home or take your life on impulse after reading one of my Sermonettes.

Regarding, "don't care." That's fair enough. But I do.

"[...] I am aware of the exorbitant cost of some scientific and medical journals and I agree that they are driven solely by the profit motives of the companies concerned. Are you saying that capitalism is immoral?"

I am really glad that you are not a doctor, Ian.

I am really, really glad that my doctor, when I showed up at her office with an infected wound, had a better grasp of logic than you do.

Does anyone want to explain, why is it ethical for wealthy corporations to change "intellectual property" laws to benefit themselves but unethical for real persons to protest?

Lea,

I live in Washington, DC. I don't think you know much about terrorist attacks. My mail is still screwed up from the anthrax attacks of five years ago.

The reveres and I have huge arguments about all kinds of things. I'm a theologian and they are atheists.

Your point would be?

As the head of the Library Committee of a large Academic Library for many years, I hate R-Elsevier, for the reasons that Revere has mentioned often enough in the past, particularly the negative impact on the third world.

The pain of cancelling subscriptions to minor but good journals in languages other than English, specially French, which is what people around here speak and read after all, knowing that we would be first in a long list and that the journal would fold...well...enough said. (To pay RE of course. Book budgets take a hit all over the world as well. Massive.)

I'm a pacifist (and for hyper strict gun control). Nonetheless, while agreeing with Revere's stance, I would not join it or activate for it, as it is necessary to divorce morality (some of it anyway!) from the perspective of effective action. The 'arms issue' will not bring about a boycott or the downfall of the big Science Journals Publishers - only the scientific community can do that, on scientific grounds, or matters closely related to Science, such as sharing of information, etc.

The biggest chunks of the harmful, partly black economy, are, not in order: drugs, arms, and human trafficking. Everyone in the West benefits indirectly both thru tax revenue paid by 'official' companies (particularly US, GB, Switz, and many others) and 'trickle down'. This does not excuse R-E, of course. It is not a matter of saying, that is life, get over it. Rather, indignation at the Lancet being published by R-E who, etc. seems to me ineffective, but who knows? Maybe you have to take your protests where you find them (old adage of activists) !

I know that 3 years ago my pension fund held no stock in arms companies or in the Union Bank Switzerland or in the air company Swiss(-air.) Today, don't know.

As with a gun, you should have the right to buy and keep the Lancet and other magazines in your home and office, and on your person at all times. You never know when you might have to use it. Be mindful that a single swack to the head of a leftist might not be enough. Roll the magzine tightly and aim for the spot just between the eyebrows.Its better to have a magazine and not need it than to need it and not have it. Also be advised, you might have to use your gun on them when they come to censor your childs name (Sweden). They'll get my copy of the Lancet when they pull it from the fingers of my cold, dead, rotting corpse.

Gun control starts with media hype, magazines not withstanding. The thought being is that YOU shouldnt have WEAPONS of anykind because they injure people. So does a rock up against the head. Full circle. Iron frying pans work really good.... Got a license for that pan lady?

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

Randy: Nobody's talking about banning The Lancet or preventing you from having it in your home. I wouldn't buy the New York Post, or if I did I wrap it in Hustler so no one could see I was reading it (that's a joke!), but I don't want it banned. But some consumer products are unreasonably dangerous, a fact we take for granted. Things that explode on you or electrocute you or give you cancer. Then there are things we ban that I wouldn't, like marijuana and other narcotics. But we do and very few people say "boo" about it. When it comes to guns, though, you want to put them in a special category. I don't want to get involved in the gun argument. We can't settle it here. But if you have a view on it (and on my view of it) I've let you say it here. But let's at least be clear on what is being said about The Lancet. As Jon noted in the comments, I'd say the same thing if they were bought by Philip Morris.

I agree with much that you say there, but not the special category. Cigs are a slow death, bullets are much faster. End result is the same. And dont take too terribly much issue with the marijuana but not narcotics. If MJ is ever approved you can bet that Halliburton will provide the fields, GSK will distribute. But its the old name your poison. Some are fast, some are slow but we are regulated to DEATH in this country because someone else says you shouldnt have the right to ________ and put what you want in there. I doubt you could argue on that one at all. My biggest one is that someone else says that the money in my pocket belongs to someone I dont even know. They take it and we submit. It started with the taxation, it will get worse.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

melanie: Have no desire to argue with you. I take a middle road on all this stuff 90% of the time. In truth nothing personal is meant by it ever, just like revere would like to help other's that are willing to see another side of the coin.
If I had to choose on this particular subject though it would be with MRK.
I've seen both sides of the street, poverty and wealth, have street smarts and an education. Big whoopee.
What counts is being a good human being beneath the rough exterior.

Fortunate or unfortunate melanie I do know a great deal about terrorist attacks. One does not have to live in the geographical location to have semi direct knowledge of it.

On the other hand, and in my eye, terrorism is but a reflection of the inner turmoil that mankind is experiencing. Inner turmoil reflecting outwardly.

Lea, you have written nothing which enhances your credibility.

Terrorism is what I experienced the day the Pentagon was attacked and my brother and his wife had their airplane forced down over Chicago. If you know about something more than that, do share.

Mel, when you say forced down...could you explain that? Do you mean that they were forced to land during SCATANA operations in a private plane? If your brother is a pilot he would know that process and wouldnt complain a bit. If he isnt and was on an airliner then he's lucky to be alive. There was a an order that came directly from NORAD that any aircraft that deviated for any reason from any altitude or assigned heading that they were to be shot down if they didnt return to flight path. If air combat operations had been underway, they would have been shot down anyway. In fact all airliners were diverted away from DC, the White House etc.

Me, I parked 126 airplanes in four hours that day and that included towing them in. I was disembarking passengers on the taxiways.

I think that living in the beltway is hazardous to your health Melanie. It might be a good idea to move if you are still picking up anthrax spores on your mail. Hell its in the dirt and really doesnt go away. It just slowly migrates back down to the soil from whence it came. Terrorism is where you find it.
DC is where you WILL find it.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

If you're looking for a fight it's not with me melanie, today that is. Count me out for now.
Don't care if what I say to you or anyone else "enhances my credibility."

You read and interpret only what you want to, you jump to conclusions without knowing the whole story.
There's nothing that could be shared with you as far as the terrorism scenario goes. MRK knows why it can't be shared, and he's the only I trust to have that privileged information.

Dr. Spedding is also engaging in some revisionist history. Germany would have invaded Britain had the US not entered the war when it did.

America entered the war, formally, after Pearl Harbor. That postdated the Battle of Britain by more than four months.

Sealion was probably dead from the time the Brits decided that the loss of most of their destroyer fleet was "acceptable" if the alternative were the invasion of the Home Island.

Sealion was certainly dead from the moment that Hermann Goring, on Hitler's misguided instructions, switched the attacks against Britain from strikes against airfields and radar stations (which were slowly grinding the RAF into bloody wreck) to strikes against London and, later, the other major cities that were within the Luftwaffe's rather limited reach.

That decision determined the way the Battle of Britain would conclude: with the defeat of the Luftwaffe. And that determined what would happen to the hapless German troops in the invasion barges which would have had to cross the Channel while under RAF attack. It would have been a slaughter. For the same reason that Mitla Pass was, 27 years later.

Informally, of course, the US had effectively entered the war more than a year prior to Pearl.

But the weapons that broke Sealion before it ever got to jump-off were of British design and manufacture. The most important of these was the Spitfire. Well, arguably the most effective. An argument could be raised that the effective capture and "turn-around" of the entire German espionage network in Britain by MI-5 was as important. But I would argue that the major contributions from this effort came later in the war.

Churchill begged Roosevelt at Yalta to enter the European conflict when we did, although Lend Lease began earlier. You carried on your fight with American munitions and materiale.

Yalta happened in February, 1945. Roosevelt was a dying man during Yalta, and D-Day was more than half a year prior. The last offensive gasp of the German Army, in the Ardennes, had been a done deal and a lost battle for a month. And the outcome of the war in Europe had been a foregone conclusion for more than a year and a half. From Stalingrad to Kursk/Orel, depending on how you figure it.

By Charles Roten (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

Pretty good short but accurate description Charles. Stalingrad likely did it. The Russians went cannibal to hold that town. LIke I said I never feared the Russians, but I sure as Hell respected them. Still do.

The Germans were preparing landing craft to invade and they would have lost a lot of people but likely would have been in Picadilly in a week. The one thing the Germans didnt have was an aircraft carrier. If they had one of those then the UK might have been speaking German now.

Conjecture of course but a war game I saw battled out with US Navy, Brits and Germans having one carrier tipped the balance. The Brits were "Pearl Harbored" six times in 10 simulated days and never in the same place twice achieving complete surprise in most cases. The Germans had them on their knees in a simulated 20 days. JU-88's taking one airfield in Cambridge, Ipswitch or Norwitch and supplied by air would have put London and most of the country in range and continous bombing. They even ran it out to the loss of crews and how fast they would have been able to bring the bomber command down. The targets of course would have been the gas depots and the fighter bases.After that, shock and awe.

But then again they are the Brits... I wouldnt want to piss them off on a good day.

By M.Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

revere wrote

My country is being bankrupted by the expense and besides those dying from the direct effects abroad many are dying at home from neglect caused from that expense. The ability to conscript led Napolean on his rampages, too. We keep hearing about Munich and now the Battle of Britain. But there is more to history than cherished examples which do not, in my view, have much to do with dropping cluster bombs in areas where civilians live.

I am not defending the criminal misuse of any weapon but the harsh reality is that the life and freedoms we enjoy have been and are still being defended by many types of weapon. That those same types of weapon have been used by others for oppressive purposes does not make them any less necessary. It simply supports my argument that weapons are not in themselves evil, it is the use to which they are put by human beings.

But in the context of the international arms trade, clay pigeons are red herrings.

Possibly, but I suspect that Richard Horton and many of those who support him want to ban any access by ordinary citizens to weapons of any kind for any purpose. It is part and parcel of that type of mindset.

You are very fond of hypotheticals (my home is being overrun by human waves of Chinese).

And we hope that never happens but it took more than pious hopes and good intentions to prevent that sort of thing happening in the past and that reality hasn't changed.

Regarding your car analogy, if you are going to use that kind of argument, why not throw in our mutual profession, medicine, which also causes substantial suffering and death through mistakes? Cars and medical errors cause more deaths than suicide bombers. What am I to conclude from that? That we should accept suicide bombers? They are, after all, just another weapon in a political war, like a cluster bomb. Is there no difference between a suicide bomber and a personal motor vehicle?

I base my views on those of the 19th century British philosopher John Stuart Mill as set out in his treatise On Liberty. Put simply, he argues the individuals should be free to whatever they choose up to the point where their words or actions cause harm to or violate the rights of others. The obvious problem is where to draw the line between individual freedom and social freedom. In the case of firearms, individuals should be free to use them for sporting or recreational purposes provided such use is regulated so as to minimise harm to the participants or third parties. I think you can also make a good case for allowing their use for personal defence where a society acknowledges it is unable or unwilling to make adequate provision for the protection of its members.Using Mill's principle, we can defend the private ownership of cars - although the number of casualties arguably makes it a borderline case - but not suicide bombers.

I understand you don't agree with me and think my views are naive and ill-considered. In response, I think yours are gravely mistaken as well. I know neither of us have moved the other, but I still think it is useful to have a place where we can speak to each other in a more or less civil manner, and while I am not inviting you (or disinviting you) to keep this up, you are most welcome here both as reader and commenter.

Let me say that I appreciate both your hospitality and courtesy and will try to respond in kind.

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

Melanie wrote:

Dr. Spedding is also engaging in some revisionist history. Germany would have invaded Britain had the US not entered the war when it did. Churchill begged Roosevelt at Yalta to enter the European conflict when we did, although Lend Lease began earlier. You carried on your fight with American munitions and materiale.

I'm flattered but I'm not a doctor of any kind, I'm afraid, just an ex-librarian.

The point of my reference to history was simply that an entirely worthy desire for disarmament meant that the UK nearly did not have enough of the weapons it needed to defend itself. The two leading RAF fighter types in the Battle of Britain, the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane, were both designed as partly private ventures and were only ordered in quantity when the threat from Nazi Germany became too serious to ignore.

It's also true that Britain lacked the economic and industrial resources to produce all the weapons it needed and depended heavily on what could be purchased directly or obtained under arrangements like Lend-Lease from the US.

In both cases, arms which had been strongly opposed suddenly became desperately needed. The mistake was in concentrating on the weapons as the problem and not on the humans that used them.

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

Jon Herington wrote:

Translocating the issue for a second. How would Randolph or Ian feel if Reed Elsevier was selling cigarettes? Smokers will vociferously defend cigarettes as a lifestyle choice which decreases their stress levels, and its fair to say that their limited use by an individual is only a small malignancy (if you'll excuse the pun).

If people want to smoke in full knowledge of the danger to their health - and can do so without exposing non-smokers to the risk from second-hand smoke - then it should be up to them. And if it is legal to smoke cigarettes then it should be legal to make and sell them.

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

Ian: Obviously you are a libertarian of the pure variety. What limitations do you see in terms of laws? Narcotics? Quack and fraudulent medicines?

Just curious. I would probably agree with you on many things, but not all.

And once again from the weapons free city of Memphis-from last night.

Memphis - University of Memphis students rarely think twice about walking across campus to dorms, classes and the library. There are usually plenty of people around. But Monday night, a graduate student learned why there is safety in numbers as she walked alone from the McWherter Library.

"He came up behind. He grabbed my shoulder and purse. She tried to hang onto her purse and at that point he stabbed her with something in her thigh," says Bruce Harber, Campus Police Director. Witnesses saw what happened and called police. The man got away with her purse. The attack happened around 8:40 pm on a side of campus that is normally quiet it was near Zach Curlin, behind the library. But the woman was walking alone, something police don't recommend. "Especially girls need to be careful where they are walking and especially have people with them and not be alone since it is such a big campus," says Freshman Amy Aven.

Campus police are beefing up patrols. They say crime is down 20-percent and they want to keep it that way. There is extra lighting, cameras and security phones are all over campus. "We are gonna keep officers up there during the evening hours for the near future just to make sure he doesn't come back and try to commit a similar crime," says Harber.

One thing police say the woman made one big mistake; she resisted giving up her purse. It may be a natural reaction, but police say it can also be a deadly one. "A purse or something like that, I just say give it up. It ain't worth it. Don't fight for it," says student Dan'ta Anderson. It could be a fight you won't win. The woman who was attacked is recovering at home. Police are looking for an 18 to 20 year old male, about 5-feet-10, 180 pounds. He is described as clean shaven and was carrying a bright colored back pack.

My response yet again, yell hey and he will turn. When he does he faces you with a weapon and thats all the criteria you need to eliminate another piece of crap out of the world. So lets see, if all women give up their purses with all of their money, credit cards the perfect world will be broke in how long?

And its not just the civilians either-

Memphis, TN -- A 41-year old firefighter from Columbus, Mississippi is charged with crossing state lines for the purpose of engaging in elicit sexual conduct with a minor, a minor he met online. The case spotlights a problem child advocates say has "mushroomed like a nuclear cloud."

Experts say first of all, never put a computer in your child's room. Instead keep it out in the open where you can keep track of what sites they are on. They also say activate all the parental safety settings. Bottom line is to communicate with your kids so they know online predators are out there and looking for them. Cyberspace can give you instant information, instant access to anyone or anything, including trouble from a sexual predator. Sgt. Len Edwards with the Commission of Missing and Exploited Children says, "It amazes me that there's such a large effort to locate these predators in our community through registration but yet they're free to roam about in the cyber community at will and we don't know where they're at."

The most recent case is outlined in a Federal complaint obtained by News Channel 3. The complaint accuses a firefighter from Columbus, Mississippi of chatting with a girl on line he thought was 14-years old. Ronald David Waden, 41, was known in the cyber world as firedude_65. Agents say he drove to Memphis to meet the girl face-to-face. Sgt. Edwards says this should be a wake up call to all parents. "This is something we as parents need to make sure our children are aware of and that we make sure that our kids don't give our this personal information," says Sgt. Edwards. Personal information can be found on popular sites like My Space. News Channel 3 down with Sgt. Edwards and within minutes found volumes of information on people of all ages, including teenagers. George Bolds is an FBI agent, "The amount of information that gets posted on things like My Space and some of the other Internet sights is pretty frightening."

What's even more frightening is that according to federal agents the man who called himself firedude_65 told the 'girl' online he knew meeting a minor for sex was a crime and was even aware of a recent sting operation. It turned out that girl was an undercover federal agent with a Memphis Task Force designed to keep kids safe from online predators.

Waden will be in court tomorrow for his probable cause hearing.

I didnt do the Memphis City Council or our elected representatives from the 9th Congressional District. Would have taken up too much time and room.

I think I am going to need a reloading machine.....

Bartlett police add officers, watch groups to fight crime

BARTLETT - In just four years, police calls in Bartlett have increased by 20,000. Some of it's attributed to a surge in population. But there's no question, crime from Memphis heading to Bartlett is a concern. "It's frustrating to hear every day," said resident Laurie Kleinjan. "It seems like its always on the news, the crime and the violence." But fortunately, the city's trying to attack the problem before it gets worse. 17 new officers are in training right now. The dept's asking an additional 12 be added over the next few years. "We're beefing up our police department to make sure there's no bleed over from other areas," said Insp. S.L. Todd of the Bartlett Police Dept. Police are focusing on hot spots with a lot of commerical business like Stage Road.

"We're trying to stop problem before it occurs. When we see something out of the ordinary our guys are stopping it and checking it out," said Insp. Todd. In addition, the city's now divided up into 37 different neighborhoods. Residents are encouraged to get involved with watch groups. "We've been blessed haven't had any break-ins, but again, we watch out for one another," said Kleinjan.

It's a partnership between residents, police, and city leaders to stop crime from spreading. "Yes there's no doubt Memphis has a crime problem," said Insp. Todd. "We're doing our best to make sure Bartlett doesn't have a crime problem.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

How many machete victims in the Sudan?

By Joe Six Pack (not verified) on 04 Apr 2007 #permalink

Lea : It is a dangerous world, a dangerous U.S.A. where many criminals, thugs, rapist, and what have you actually rule the streets. They have no place in our society, yet political correctness allows it.
MRK's approach is not harsh or dangerous, it's wise and effective. MRK's words might annoy some but that's because you fail to see the truth behind them. He gets right to the heart of issue and solves the situation immediately, no pussy-footing around.

Kruger : When he does he faces you with a weapon and thats all the criteria you need to eliminate another piece of crap out of the world.

The only trouble is, we have no way to distinguish the "criminals" from the "MRKs".

To all those wowsers who believe in the goodness of humanity, let me assure you that when push comes to shove, we all are capable of losing this veneer that we call civilisation.

Not only is civility skin deep - it is easily shed.

When some bottom dwelling, scum bucket, drugged out, loser has a knife to your throat, demanding that you give him money, MRK won't be there. What will you do?

v.: Your "assurances" aside, you better hope that when you are delusional from fever some wowser is there to take care of you -- when push comes to shove. That has always been the case, too. We are all capable of it.

Should everything shut down - and the non-fevered marauders are out and about - What will you do?

v.: Enough, already. Nobody knows what they will do or what will happen, but your fevered imagination is running a bit amok. If you want to prepare by arming yourself, do it. I just hope someone like you doesn't shoot me when I try to help them.

Everyone has made their viewpoints fairly clear here. Continuing to argue about it gets us nowhere.
You've got to admit it's difficult to fully express feelings on a blog without writing a book so to speak. We can all try to prove a point until we're blue in the face.
It's my belief that the commenter's on this thread are all good people that really are concerned about their fellow man, just frustrated beyond belief.

Greg: While I am in truth a gentle and kind person I never dismiss the insanity of this world, and especially the criminals that don't and won't become socially responsible. MRK is not a criminal, and he would even protect you if the situation warranted it.

Would like to hear more from you Ian H Spedding FCD. Especially appreciated this comment: The mistake was in concentrating on the weapons as the problem and not on the humans that used them.

revere wrote:

Ian: Obviously you are a libertarian of the pure variety. What limitations do you see in terms of laws? Narcotics? Quack and fraudulent medicines?

I think "The War On Drugs" is as much a failure as Prohibition and for the same reasons. People like to drink and do drugs and the question should be: why shouldn't they? According to Mills's prescription, for any curtailment of individual rights, society should show beyond a reasonable doubt that that the benefits of a ban outweigh the harm. With both drink and drugs, the health and social effects are well-known. All that happens is that by making them illegal, supply and distribution is driven underground into the hands of criminals who then reap the profits and gain considerable economic and political power. If the harmful effects are going to happen anyway, why not legalise them? The government would then license supply and distribution, ensure quality control of the product and take the profits that would otherwise go into the pockets of gangsters. That money could then be used for treatment and further research. Another benefit would be a reduction in pressure on the courts as a lot of minor dealers and users would no longer be clogging up the criminal justice system.

As far as medicines are concerned, there should be an independent authority which licenses only those therapeutic agents which have undergone prescribed testing and trials and that have demonstrated efficacy. I would not prevent the sale of unapproved potions but they should not be advertised as therapeutic agents and the law should require that they are prominently labelled as being unapproved and why. Anyone advertising and selling unapproved products which turn out to be harmful should be subject to very stiff penalties. There should be no exemptions for any of the so-called alternative or complementary therapies. There should be publicity campaigns which explain that there is only good or bad medicine - treatments which work and those which don't - nothing else. If an individual wants to try an alternative therapy then they should be free to do so but they should be informed of what is known about it and that it might have no effect at all.

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 05 Apr 2007 #permalink

Of course, the chances of any of the above actually happening are minimal, but one can dream...

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 05 Apr 2007 #permalink

Ian: For these issues you and I are pretty much on the same page. Regarding guns, we aren't. I consider myself a libertarian socialist, so I'm guessing there are a number of other places where we would part company. But the war on drugs makes as much sense to me as the war on terror or the War in Iraq. None.

Lea wrote:

Would like to hear more from you Ian H Spedding FCD. Especially appreciated this comment: The mistake was in concentrating on the weapons as the problem and not on the humans that used them.

The Second World War is thought to have had one of its roots in the harsh terms imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. There was deep resentment at what was perceived as Germany's humiliation which Hitler and the Nazi Party were able to exploit. It is at least arguable that had the Allied powers been able to be more magnanimous - as they were after WWI - then WWII might never have happened. The problem was that France - and to a lesser extent Britain - had suffered so badly at the hands of the Germans that it was really asking too much of them to put that aside and be impartial.

In the Middle East, I believe Israel's right to survive must be acknowledged and guaranteed. This means that, in the short term, she must be well-armed and able to rely on the diplomatic and military support of the US. In the long-term, however, something must be done to assuage the Arab sense of humiliation generally and to build a Palestinian state that is strong both politically and economically.

In other words, the real way to reduce the sale of arms is to address the reasons why people take them up in the first place. From that perspective, the campaign against Reed Elsevier is gesture politics aimed at the wrong target. What is worse is the editor of a highly-respected medical journal risking the reputation on which it depends by using it as a vehicle for his personal political views.

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 05 Apr 2007 #permalink

Ian:
Thank you for your remarks, you appear to be an interesting individual.
May I ask what FCD means? Do you live in the U.S.?

Greg, yeah there is. The crook is the dead guy, MRK is the one thats alive.

Tonights short news-Time to outlaw Oldsmobiles too.

WREG
MEMPHIS, TN 4/6/07 -- "He killed my baby! He killed my baby."

When Mileka Allen felt her building shake and heard a mother's cry for help, she raced downstairs and found a baby thrust in her arms. "The baby was in my arms, " remembers Allen. "She put the baby in my arms telling me to help her breathe." The baby, 17-month-old Jerkala Clark, didn't make it. Her 23-year old uncle, Kentrell Patterson, is charged with her death. Patterson and Jerkala's father, Jerome Clark, had been arguing during a family party at the Westwood Apartments in West Memphis. After Clark kicked Patterson out, Patterson took aim at him with his car. Skid marks show the path where Patterson reversed, hitting both Clark and his baby. Patterson then caved in a brick wall and kept on going. "The baby was dead on contact. I don't think he intentionally meant to hit the child. I believe his intention was to back up and strike Jerome," explains Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen." While police investigate what sparked the family feud, Mileka Allen struggles with the memory of Jerkala dying in her arms and a mother's cry for help. "I'm not a doctor, but I did all I could do.

Its a terrible thing. But again, if they cant find a gun they'll use a frying pan. This one is a frying pan molded into the shape of an Oldsmobile. Vehicular homicide, extremely aggravated homicide, murder one. Arkansas is a death by lethal injection state and way too many witnesses. He hit a kid an still was going hard enough to destroy a brick wall (you cant see it obviously) and keep going. He better stop in S. America as far as I am concerned.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 05 Apr 2007 #permalink

Kruger : Greg, yeah there is. The crook is the dead guy, MRK is the one thats alive.

Yes, exactly. That's what I was saying, in language other kinds of people would understand, a while back, in my comment about you being fear-ridden.

Also, in my comment, above, about being unable to distinguish you from the criminal. To your friends, simply because you have the fastest biggest gun, and because you have not murdered them, the dead guy is the criminal. To the dead guy's friends, despite you having the fastest biggest gun, you are the criminal. If they have any wish at all to live or to assure the living of their grandchildren, they will never cease looking for a faster bigger gun, never cease watching for a momentary relaxing of your paranoid vigilance.

I do not doubt for a moment that, as Lea says, you would even protect me, if the situation warranted it. Nor do I doubt that, as you have righteously asserted, should the situation warrant it, you would bomb my family and my family's families.

I remain unable to distinguish MRK from the criminal.

I remain too an admirer of your sense of honour. Something lacking in my comrades who think you should be shot on sight, by somebody else. Lacking too in those who surrender their freedom and their defense to you.

You may be right. A paranoid tribe will more likely survive a short-lived crisis, and stay together to participate in a rebuilding. However, should we experience a deeper crisis, if your tribe does not lose the paranoia within two or three generations, it will either kill itself from within, a social cytokine storm, or make too many mistakes and enemies without to survive.

Those who prefer different strategies need you, at a safe distance, to survive in our stead, in the event we might have chosen wrong. Similarly, you need us.

Oh lets see Greg, here is that fear ridden thing again and you love to use that as though its something to be acknowledged and agreed to. In every society when it starts to break down in social order, this is what happens. People arm themselves. You simply sit back and stay where you are because you sound to me like one that would like for government to do it all for you. Atlanta, Memphis, Newark, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles etc. are all disintegrating into chaos; light anarchy is beginning to follow. How did we get there? We have arrived here having fallen into this "government will keep and protect, and provide for me" pit which is coming full circle.

Some of us have chosen to climb out of that chasm Greg. That being the fact that government and your cytokine storm are already happening. Government by and for the people, now there is a laugh we can all giggle over. The by part is heading out the door and has been for about 20 plus years. The for has provided too much to the able bodied and turned them into social program slugs. Some need it, many dont. If it werent for the donts then the Some might be able to get healthcare. The for is and has been too much. Thus it gave rise to the few in the by category of being very, very rich and powerful on both sides and the middle class that is socially supported by the for is artificially created. We are run by coporate conglomerates around the world, and by political conglomerates in our seats of power.

You are correct in stating that a tribe with like ideas and ideals will survive and flourish in just about any crisis. But you label people as paranoid when they decide to defend themselves? Now you can call me paranoid but to make that statement means you are nuts.The above stories all happened within 25 miles of my home, some are within a mile, one was on my doorstep out here in the boonies. A meter reader was breaking into houses, my 6'2 daughter and 6'4 son had been warned and on meter reading day they sat back to wait on him to watch and see. They got him bumping the lock, introduced him to a rifle butt and my next door neighbor who is a sheriffs deputy took him in. But you know, she herself was robbed at gun point in a mall three weeks later. No, not the same guy, but the same type of guy. Arrested 17 times I think they said since high school, he was 25.

What is my point Greg? You call everything paranoid. You keep saying Lose that fear man. It just cant be that someone is invading your property and taking what is yours and not theirs, even though our Constitution says you are allowed to defend yourself from that. Those Founding Fathers were a whacked out bunch of crazies if you posture that. You assert that I am nuts just sitting out here with your guns, waiting on them to do something wrong. Even when they are wrong, I cant possibly be right when intervention is what is needed.

It just cant be that someone is taking what doesnt belong to them and to get it they put you and your family into jeopardy. So we are to just Submit,. Submit, Submit. The answer from the anti-gun groups is always to just let them have it. Its not worth it. Same story from the cops and has been for years, its not worth your life. All depends on ones perspective. Would I put a bullet in someones ass for a purse? Only if I was a chick and it was hanging on MY shoulder while I walked on MY pursuits of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Robbing me would be the worst mistake in anyones day if they didnt kill me outright.

At some point and I think we are fully there, it does become worth it. Worth it because of logical lefty progression of events. With your analogy, the crooks take over and we end up mining conflict diamonds or slaves. For me and many others it is now worth it to take matters into our own hands. Understanding the rule book is important though. It has been founded in history. Being 1/4 Jew I can tell you that during the Crystal Nights raids in Germany that if certain Nazi's were met by certain Jews with Uzi's or a like type weapon WWII likely wouldnt have happened. How about Nanking? A huge 155 artillery barrage would have stopped the Japanese cold or at the least they would have known that to take it they were going to have to die to get it.

The Jews allowed themselves to be captured in a system that took away their rights in lieu of others. The idea being that you are now sub-human therefore not entitled to having rights to bear weapons.. I have no idea where you live Greg, but those rights are being whittled away in lieu of the government in all quarters for both the right and left because someone else that thinks that you are a gun-toting crazy and MIGHT do something. No we just cant have that. Dodge City Kansas enforced a gun ban with "guns" in the mid-late 1800's. But when you left you got your gun back because out into the lawless West you went. You were the law outside of town.It is the lawlessness that I defend myself from Greg because the law only extends to those who follow it. I own legally carried weapons. I am faced down by people who dont own them legally and would use theirs in a commission of a crime.

The above is just an excerpt of the local news for two days here. I encourage you all to follow along at wmcstations.com or wreg.com. I could post you up nearly one story per day for the last ten years. Sometimes a few more, sometimes there were many more per day. Some actually had a good outcome where a weapon was used. The Kroger parking lot six months ago is a good example when a disgruntled employee went on a knife wielding stabbing frenzy when he got fired. He got six and was going for people in the parking lot but stopped when one of your gun toting crazies pulled out his legally owned and trained for weapon and told the guy to drop the knife. He didnt shoot but the assailant was seconds from dying and thought better of it and dropped the kitchen knife.

Defensive posture doesnt mean paranoia and somehow I just know you wont agree with me. By the way, three shrinks that are on this blog email me all the time and say you are wrong. They can speak up if they want. They ask me how they can prepare for BF and this kind of thing. I am not slamming you Greg. You are entitled to what you think. I suppress no thoughts but I do expect that you should simply follow along for say six months on the above sites. You have to assume that I am in the middle of a Baghdad like environment if I say I am. As long as the cops are around, all things are normal with the exception of the occasional event. Night brings down the darkness and 80% of the illegal activity. Are there answers for this? Well they wont let us bomb Tikrit, and they wont let us bomb Tchulahoma Road here either. So its an unpleasant standoff.

In Katrina the cops came thru and took everyone's legally owned weapons and then the city was robbed blind. The US Court found that not only had they violated their rights to keep and bear, they also were guilty of theft under color of badge. Now what do you suggest Greg. Talking about paranoia or doing something about it? I am in the do something about it category. At what point in time does it become worth it? The clock has already rung here, maybe you are at ten till midnight where you are, I dont know. Stick with your thoughts though Greg. If the demon comes to your house, let me know how it works out for you.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 06 Apr 2007 #permalink

v, first, I must object that you present a highly unusual scenario. We are far more likely to be confronted by a mild-mannered 'tax auditor', backed up by thugs walking in pairs dressed in somesort of Darth Vader suits.

Second, if I grant your fantasy, how do you know that MRK,,, if not our very own Kruger, then somebody just like him,,, how do you know that MRK will not be there,,, holding the knife?

As for what will I do : It depends on the actual circumstances. I might confiscate the knife. Although, drugged out losers tend to be stupid and obstinate, so I would likely damage a few joints in the hand and arm holding the knife. It might be easier to obey the experts.

The experts say you should give him all the money you can spare, which depending on the circumstances might mean all all. The experts (if you ask them quietly, away from the others in the dojo) will also tell you that, should your assailant demand it, you should drop your pants and bend in which ever direction your anatomy and assailant dictate. Then, they say, if you survive, you should thank (Revere's non-existant) God and resolve to be more sensible in future.

Some priests and politicians will advise you to press, as hard as you can, your throat against the knife. Or scream. Or beg forgiveness. Something silly.

Priest, politician, and expert alike, will tell you it is partly your own fault for offering yourself as prey in a place where there are assailants, and for being so unwary as to allow one to grab you.

Some will also point out that your fault includes allowing your society to turn its members into drugged out losers.

Obviously, taking responsibility for myself,,, avoiding dangerous places and people, learning to defend myself,,, and taking responsibility for my society,,, the adult man's and woman's burdens are easier and far better than surrendering my responsibilities, my freedom and my body, to MRK and the other criminals.

On reflection, v, I would add to your fault, partial responsibility for allowing your society to turn you into a helpless victim.

Read it and weep Greg. This is a shopping mall in SLC, it was the day before Valentine's Day.

http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/216512/
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Wave of concealed-gun permits follows Trolley Square shooting
The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY -- Applications for concealed-weapons permits have been pouring in since nine people were shot at a shopping mall.

"We are getting 400 to 500 a day," said Ed McConkie, chief of the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification. "Before it was 200-270."

While the majority of permits still go to people from out of state, the new wave of applicants are mostly Utah residents.

"People reacted in different ways," McConkie said of Trolley Square. "Many people wanted a concealed-carry permit and people who had let their permits go dormant reapplied."

Five people were killed by Sulejman Talovic before he died in a shootout with police Feb. 12. Four others survived.

Applicants who want a concealed weapon first must attend a safety class and get fingerprinted and photographed.

"I'm teaching easily 150 a week," said firearms instructor Clark Aposhian, who has seen attendance more than double since the Trolley Square shootings.

Among groups recently appearing at Aposhian's classes were 45 employees from a company and a Salt Lake City church group. He declined to identify them.

Many are asking Aposhian what they should do if confronted in public by a hostile gunman.

He advises people to look for an escape, then consider defending themselves.

He said he never explicitly advises anyone to engage in a gun battle.

Lea wrote:

May I ask what FCD means? Do you live in the U.S.?

FCD stands for Friend of Charles Darwin. I'm British but I now live in Fargo, ND after marrying an American lady.

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 06 Apr 2007 #permalink

Greg, do us a favor and DONT do something silly like putting your neck against the knife or try to confiscate the knife. Besides, no one uses knives unless they are trying to get a gun.

For you though my friend, if unarmed try to run away, if packing simply aim the weapon at their heads and thats generally enough. If they want to play more pull the trigger while aiming at their heads until they go away. Ladies if you are reluctant to hit them with a gun, keep a can of Raid in your purse. When they ask you for it, simply pull it out, cover your mouth and nose and avert eyes and shoot them in the face. Raid (20 foot wasp killer) contains about 40% nerve gas. Once hit, call 911. They will be on the ground and gurgling for air within seconds. Blinded very likely.

Avoiding dangerous places and situations? And Greg pray tell how did they get that way? Did we not provide enough midnight basketball? Did we not organize a field day for them as children? Are they the product of a broken home and whose fault is that? Are we sure we provided enough oppportunities for them to not to become criminals? We certainly have poured enough into schools at least here in Memphis. 230 million not counting the state in the last three years. Guess what? The state exam scores went down as a result. Answers? I dont have any Greg for this problem except to make it so horrendous for them to invade, jack or attack that they wont do it. Dont want to kill anyone but it gets back to the original document of this country and that is that you have the right to life, liberty (that means dangerous places too) and the pursuit of happiness. These people are nothing but predators and if necessary you take yourself out of their food chain by taking them out first. Dont even begin to think you are going to negotiate with someone that does this. You do, you are dead.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 06 Apr 2007 #permalink

Lea, I want to weep, but I'm afraid you (and they) would think I am weeping for the same fools as you.

Might I suggest you leave SLC, or at least stay out of the malls?

I don't know where to start, Kruger.

OK, here : "You are correct in stating that a tribe with like ideas and ideals will survive and flourish in just about any crisis."

I did not state that.

It is not true.

I stated that a tribe which shares particular kinds of ideas would likely, not surely, survive a short crisis better; but would surely fail in the long run. I stated, without specifying, that tribes with different organizing spirits would be needed to survive different crises. And I hinted that they would need to avoid your tribe.

I stated, "You may be right. A paranoid tribe will more likely survive a short-lived crisis, and stay together to participate in a rebuilding. However, should we experience a deeper crisis, if your tribe does not lose the paranoia within two or three generations, it will either kill itself from within, a social cytokine storm, or make too many mistakes and enemies without to survive.

"Those who prefer different strategies need you, at a safe distance, to survive in our stead, in the event we might have chosen wrong. Similarly, you need us."

Paranoid is not the same as having a defensive posture. It is more like seeing threats in everything everywhere and (the reason for which your tribe is most likely to fail) attacking, especially by deception, too many of them. It is more like failing to attach importance to the fact that others feel the same way, when you take their stuff, as you feel when (you think) they take yours. It includes exposing yourself to unnecessary danger out of a foolish sense of entitlement or pride.

You do not have a defensive posture. Your policy is offensive, to attack first and lie afterwards.

Your three shrinks are doing us a disservice by holding their tongues. They ought to at least warn us that I am using the word in a colloquial, not a clinical, sense.

Do pay attention, Kruger. v asked about a knife-wielding assailant. I should no more address gun-owners than I should address National Guardsboys breaking down her door.

I have expressed enough disdain for priests and politicians, here, including in the paragraph to which you refer, that nobody of middling intelligence is going to think that my advice is to cut yourown throat.

The advice I did give stands. If you are foolish enough to put yourself in the position v described, you very likely, "It depends on the actual circumstances.", will need to choose between having your hands or your throat slashed. You will not get even that choice unless you know how to break the wrist and elbow.

The best advice is, don't listen to no fools. Don't jump in front of no trains. Don't jump in front of no hopped up losers.

It is extremely difficult to run away from, or aim a gun at the head of, some loser holding a knife to your throat. If you pay so little attention in the real world, your little tribe won't survive its first test.

By the way, get yourself a qualified shooting instructor. Never aim for the head unless there is nothing else exposed. If you want to murder somebody, and he is not conveniently tied and immobilized, put your first bullet low in the belly. If you are lucky enough to get a second shot, between your gun kicking up and your victim falling down, you might hit the chest. A third shot has a chance at the head. Put your fourth in the cieling, as evidence that you tried to warn him.

The dangerous places got that way because we shipped the factories to Asia and Latin American. We shipped Latin Americans into the remaining jobs. The dangerous places got that way because we provided every idiot with a gun. We taught them that they have a Holy Right to anything that flutters across their impoverished imaginations. We taught them that the way to solve any problem is to blow somebody away.

Society doesn't break down when every idiot has a gun. It is the other way around. Every idiot wants a gun when society has broken down.

I find Reed Elsevier's actions unpardonable. As a freelance medical copyeditor, I do ESL (English as a second language) editing of articles destined for publication in U.S. medical journals and written by researchers all over the world whose first language is not English. I will continue to do this work, but only for researchers intending to publish in journals not produced by Elsevier. I hope I am not the only publishing professional not at the editor-in-chief level to do so.

Greg-I find your assertion that Lea should not be able to exercise her rights under the Constitution reprehensible. Dont go to the mall, dont fight back, just give it to them. Dont fight, just pull in your wings and decide that oh, the criminal element has the right to fuck with you any Goddamn time they want. I read that there are laws in place that say that it aint legal for that criminal element to do that. So Okay, so she moves where if you are sure you are right? The effing Moon? Where is there a city in America that crime doesnt come to your doorstep now? Please tell me where they wouldnt eventually end up on her front doorstep telling her that she has no rights, they are taking her things and if you fight us we then we will kill you. Non Sequitur Greg.

I know, you'll say I just need to give up my fear. I dont have any fear Greg, I have respect for a situation that grips this planet. The criminals are taking over and its because we are so politically correct. Cant shoot that guy because he was downtrodden, abused as a child, under-nourished. Pick a letter in the alphabet and I am sure some friggin' lib has a cha-cha for it to try to limit the rights of someone who is paying the bills for all the bullshit programs that produce nothing but more poverty and problems with it. Our country was founded on those types of rights because some oppressive asshole decided that he was the power Almighty and that you will submit, or be hung for treason. They started to take the guns in Boston too in 1774. They tried to negotiate then too, as did Neville Chamberlain. Noble efforts one and all, but what what the end result?

Katharine-I respect your view because if anyone would understand, you understand the freedom of the press. That doesnt mean its limited by whether they are sponsors of a gun show, a sharp knitting needle show or they are just covering it as part of a newscast. There is a major disconnect here in that weapons kill people when they are pointed or used on someone and someone thinks that I shouldnt have them because I might kill someone. Hey my favorite in '83 was a crossbow, very silent, very, very deadly. Where does that fit in? The idea to sponsor a show was made and was a decision that was made at a high level to do so. Corporations folks are in the business to improve market share and stockholder equity. Basic corporate economics 101. They dont care what you or I think. Its all about the money.

Kath you are above all doing your part right along with Revere for what you believe and that being that you both are witholding your funds or your services in protest. Good for you and I applaud you both for that. Let the market decide whether you are right or wrong. I personally say you are wrong as 1/3rd of the homes in America are armed. Some to the teeth like me. Paranoia? Nope, just good clean fun until the situation presents itself that takes it out of the fun arena as in Breaking and Entering (attempted and he got the Hell beat out of him), Rape, Rape of Child, Attempted Rape, Grand Theft Auto, Murder in the 1st, Attempted Murder in the 1st (the other two categories are a little different), car jacking and lots of others. Most of these crimes never have a culprit caught. They just go unsolved and we are just supposed to let the police handle it, form a neighborhood watch and submit, and above all become victims of the crime. We are allowed to testify if they are caught and if we are around after one of the above. Then under a plea agreement said asshole will be out on the streets with good behavior in under 10 years. Cant get a job after, so what does he do? Goes right back at it. Hey Revere, if they will execute them automatically on offense number 2 I'll give up all my weapons.

From the above by Revere, and I dont disagree with his position on it the assertion is that the Lancet is just too good to be corrupted by such a practice as being published by A WEAPONS SHOW SPONSOR and that it goes against the tenets of the magazine. Maybe, maybe not. For some it is and might be. But for me its a logical evolution in the world we live in and they are CAPITALIZING on it. I really dont disagree with what you are doing at all and it exercises your rights while not impingeing on someone elses. I I doubt personally that it will change one thing. Lancet is likely locked into a deal they cant get out of, if they bail for another publisher legally there will likely be a punishment clause for early termination that might finish the magazine completely. Did they do their due diligence when signing on with Elsevier? Probably not or they didnt care at the time they signed for the publication, it was an acceptable deal. I have read it off and on for years when there was a cite that I found interesting. The publishers can now make a decision, bail or not. Right or wrong only time will tell.

But the assertion is hypocrisy. Well lets go there. If they go out and crank their cars, turn on their lights, eat any sort of food the same would apply. That kills people. Cars hit people, it maims and kills, it also pollutes. Producing electricity pollutes the hell out of the air and that kills people. Food is produced with fertilizer unless its totally organic and that type is made by a cow generally. That cow eats hay, milo or corn and did it likely on fertilizer fields that was produced using oil. Oil pollutes the environment and that cow, well before we shut plants down we need to kill cows because they produce methane which is a huge greenhouse gas.. We are told we are going to die from that soon. So I guess we all go out and find a guy with a knife and piss him off just to see if he will do us? Hypocrisy? At what level does it become hypocrisy? Now theres the real big question of the day. Silent protest with a little vocalization is about all anyone can do.

For Revere and Kath, I just dont think that it will work any longer in the world we live in what you want to say and do. Greg, I dont make personal attacks and I dont want you to think I am but man I dont know where you live, but it must be over the rainbow cuzzin. I would truly like to see the world in a manner like you describe it but show me ONE place on this planet that exists without it being at the cost of another place or thing. I am for the middle ground, trust but verify. Do good things and they will come onto you or so they say. I try to work for that but if someone invades my turf, or tries to take the things that I worked for then get his pine box ready and I will line it with back issues of the Lancet. Dont want to, but who would have brought it upon themselves? Certainly not me for defending me and my own as afforded by the Constitution.

Revere and Kath-A+ on ideals. Kath may be another one that doesnt bend with the wind like Revere. I admire that.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 09 Apr 2007 #permalink

Oh by the way Greg. If the guy/girl already has the knife at your throat I would say you have more than a 70% chance of not making it. Dont let them get onto your turf or get the drop on you and then you will have a full head shot available to you. They pull a knife and you pull a gun and there is more than 2 feet between you it wont be a question.

By M.Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 09 Apr 2007 #permalink