Saturday, April 28, 2007

I do not Like to Hear Good News

I just wanted everyone to see this Mary Katherine Ham video. I find it to be relatively hilarious. That is all.

Pragmatism vs. Principles

I often find myself torn between practicality and principles. It's a hard place to be in sometimes.

Elections are often a struggle for me. I often want to vote for the Libertarian, while feeling I should vote for the Republican. In some cases, I stand by my principles. In others, I hold my nose and vote for the best electable candidate. In a perfect system, the Libertarian would be electable. And I know that I'm not fixing the system by holding my nose. But I also know that I'm not being practical if I let the Democrat win because I voted Libertarian. On the plus side, one vote hardly makes a difference. Of course, with everyone thinking their vote is meaningless, large groups can be easily influenced to throw things off in an election.

Another difficulty is following laws I think are unjust. I should be able to carry a gun without any sort of licensing, but I could get into some trouble for carrying without a permit. I can't afford the legal troubles, but I shouldn't have to jump through hoops for my rights. And I certainly don't like the idea of being entered into a computer as a *gasp* gun owner. After all, the carry permit gives the government a nice little database of otherwise law-abiding folks should they ever ban gun ownership. I won't say here which decision I made, since I don't particularly want to openly encourage either breaking the law or submitting to unconstitutional restrictions.

I also find myself in the peculiar position of having to enforce rules on a college campus. Like many colleges, we do not allow firearms on campus. I don't completely follow this rule, as some of you may have guessed. I also try my best not to force others to. We have some military students who feel they should be allowed to concealed carry, and I just tell them to keep it quiet (and I often comment on the quality of their particular choice of weapon, but that's beside the point). It's helpful that my immediate boss doesn't believe in the rule, either. He has tried to help people out a bit, such as a fellow who wondered if there was anywhere on campus he could store a shotgun. He wanted to comply, but he also wanted to go duck hunting. My boss suggested he leave it with one of the gun-friendly employees of campus security, several of whom live within five to ten minutes of campus. I would've suggested the trunk of his car. I don't encourage this too openly, as it could cost me my job, but I'm not so worried as to roll over and not have a gun on campus.

I'm a bit too principled to be practical, but a bit too pragmatic to be idealistic. And the dichotomy makes me feel like a hypocrite.

Why carry?

Quite a few of my compatriots have written on this topic lately, and I'll link their eloquent responses at the end of the post. They got me thinking about it, too.

Many who know me think of me as a "gun nut." If they have a question about a gun, they come to me because I either have an answer or know where to get one. They don't, however, necessarily agree with my views on guns. On more than one occasion, people have said I'm paranoid.

I don't wonder whether that bush is the hiding place for some mugger. I don't think every creak in my house is a burglar. I'm prepared, though, for the possibility of something bad happening. You don't lock the door out of paranoia. You don't put on a seatbelt because you plan to crash. You don't carry a firearm because you expect to need it.

Others joke that I'm eager to kill. They know (I hope) that I would prefer not to kill anyone. I would rather be the one still alive should it come down to kill or be killed, and I also know that the presence of gun can be enough to diffuse some situations.

There are those who carry and assume they'll be ready. I know someone who has a pistol ready in case things go bad, but he admitted to me that he has never fired it (this same gentleman has a high-end 1911 he regularly fires, but is afraid to use as a carry gun, in case it should be taken away). I take my XD to the range every time I go (no matter which guns I plan to fire, I fire it, too), and I stay in practice. I don't do this because I expect to need the training, but because it would be best to be prepared. Sun Tzu wrote that "The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable." Or, as the Boy Scouts put it "Be Prepared." Remember that the responsibility falls to Just. One. Person. Yourself.

Finally, I carry for those who won't or can't. If there is ever a situation in which I can save a life or two, it's worth it. I don't expect to, but I am prepared for the situation. Sometimes, a part of me wishes I could've been around for the latest shooting. It's not what a reasonable person should think. After all, I'd be likely to be shot. But I'd also be likely to stop the shooter, saving people's lives. Yes, my instinct for self-preservation is intact (I think), but I really hate to see lives cut short because no one was willing or able to defend them. I don't even want to do it because of the possibility of "hero" status. I would expect heavy criticism, in fact. People would say the shooter could've been talked down, others would ask why I was carrying in the first place, and some would undoubtedly accuse me of wanting to kill. But a few lives would continue as a result, and I would know that I had done the right thing. No matter how anyone feels about it, I would know that I had done something right. If I have no other justification for my existence, that alone would be enough.

I don't carry because I want to. I carry because it's necessary.

More eloquent reasonings:
Why Do I Carry? at Blogonomicon
Confessions of a Deathbeast at Hell in a Handbasket
Why I Carry at What Would John Wayne Do?
Last Words on Why I Carry at When Your Only Tool is a Hammer
Just. One. Person. at Joe's Crabby Shack

Guy in NYC picks on the old

It's bastards like this guy that make it necessary for little old ladies to carry concealed weapons. Of course, he picked NYC to mug in, and we all know that the victim disarmament laws there make self-defense difficult, to say the least.
Had the 101-year-old woman been armed, he suddenly wouldn't have had the advantage of strength. Of course, pro-gunners have been saying this for a long time. It's too bad NYPD will be patting themselves on the back for catching him. They should be looking at how to lower victimization rates.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Irony

A country that got its start as a place to dump criminals decided to have high standards regarding the sort of rappers they let in.
It's really not the sort of thing I would normally be aware of, but it made it into my BBC newsfeed somehow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Just.One.Person.

This comes from Joe's Crabby Shack. It's the same sort of thing a lot of folks have been saying for a long time, but he condenses it to these three simple, meaningful words: Just. One. Person.
Either you take responsibility for yourself or you give in to the herd. Either way, sometimes, it's Just. One. Person. who has to do or die. I take responsibility for my own defense, and, if necessary, the defense of others. If you won't take reponsibility, the weight of that decision may come back to haunt you. Maybe you protect 30+ students, maybe you protect your family, or maybe you just protect yourself. In any case, you make a difference as Just. One. Person.

It's time to get rid of our collectivist mentality and recognize that everyone is Just. One. Person.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A hero

Alan mentioned someone (a more thorough bio at Last Refuge of a Scoundrel) who's been overlooked in the VT massacre. Liviu Librescu threw himself between the gunman and the students. The only man in the room who didn't cower was the 75-year-old professor and Holocaust survivor.
I guess it's true that they don't make 'em like they used to. It's just too bad there weren't a couple more like him. Maybe they could've cut the body count.
Hell, if the cops had gone in, they could've been the heroes with the kevlar on. If I (unarmed, considering VT's rules) rush a gunman with a couple friends, I'm taking a much bigger risk than a couple cops with kevlar and sidearms.
The whole situation makes me sick. Everyone's disarmed, no students rush the shooter, and the cops waited to enter the building. All after the guy had killed earlier and wandered the campus.
At least we had one hero, and Mr. Librescu deserves to be honored for that.

Buying back my rights?

Thanks, Dennis! It's great to know that you'll try to be sure I'm given a little money in exchange for the Constitution and my carry weapon.
"Kucinich is currently drafting legislation that would ban the purchase, sale, transfer, or possession of handguns by civilians. A gun buy-back provision will be included in the bill."
"'America is being engulfed in violence every day. Let’s show them we have the wisdom and the courage to come from our hearts to meet this challenge,' Kucinich said." I meet the challenge by exercising my fundamental right to self-protection (and, if necessary, the defense of others). I won't even comment on poor old Dennis's grammar.

Recommended reading

After reading Hammer's argument for concealed carry, I have very little to add. Too bad the gun-grabber is probably firmly entrenched, no matter how many well-reasoned arguments he reads.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Warning Signs

Not to be too obsessive about the Virginia Tech shooting, but I'm also tired of the talk of "warning signs." Oh, he wrote some weird stuff? Not really an arrestable offense. The implication her is that they'll trample two Constitutional rights for a bit of safety. He shouldn't have been free to write whatever bizarre stuff he wrote, they seem to say. Well, let's go arrest Stephen King. His writing is obviously a warning sign.
Give me a break. Yeah, you feel like you missed a sign that the kid would go nuts. Nothing could've been done. Forcing him into counseling wouldn't have prevented this. Someone forced into therapy gains damned little from it. And we can't arrest someone for writing something a little psychotic. Hell, if H.P. Lovecraft had gone on a killing spree, I'm sure the Cthulhu mythos would've been a warning sign to some.
If you want to take some blame, feel bad that you didn't rush him. Feel bad that you didn't fight to retain the right to bear arms. Don't get depressed that you missed the warning signs.

I could be a suspect.

Wow, someone had been to the range, so the police decided he was probably the shooter in the first building hit at VT? If there's ever a shooting around here, I know of several people who'd be suspects based on frequency of range visits, then.
The sad thing is that I'm not surprised by this sort of news. I want to be, but it's just too predictable. "Oh, no! That guy has guns. He must be a murderer."
I hope he files suit. I know it probably won't go anywhere, but it's not right for the police to question him because he's a known gun owner.

Police "Protection"

Well, everyone is still talking about Virginia Tech. Some offer prayers, others offer comforting thoughts, and many offer solutions. Sadly, many of these solutions involve more gun laws. You do not stop criminals with more laws. Many on this end of the blogosphere have responded to the calls for gun laws. Others are trying to figure out ways for the police to respond more efficiently. It is this idea that could be more dangerous than even the pushes for gun bans. After all, who is going to argue with making the response better?
I am.
As a nation, we keep buying into the dangerous notion that the police are here to protect us. This is wrong; it is wrong both practically and philosophically.
In practice, the police cannot be everywhere. They can't respond in time to save everyone. It's impossible. If someone breaks into your home to kill you, there will be violence before the police arrive. And that assumes you can even get to a phone.
The philosophical problem with our reliance on police for protection is the scope of law enforcement. The police are supposed to respond to crimes. They are not here to keep you safe. The job of the police officer is to respond to crimes. Their patrols may deter crime, but a police officer cannot prevent a crime. A cop won't arrest someone who might commit a crime. They shouldn't be allowed to. A free society cannot allow that.
In any free society, personal responsibility is important. This includes the responsibility to provide for your own self-defense. If you don't feel you can carry a gun, don't. But know that your choice will have consequences. So will the choice to carry a gun. You must decide what you will or will not do, and take responsibility for it.
When we ban guns in certain places, teach people to rely on the police, and allow a fear of firearms to spread, the country fails to teach the appropriate level of responsibility.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

I don't want to downplay the significance of this tragedy. I don't want to cheapen the lives that were lost. Some do. Some have already leapt up to use this tragedy to their ends. Like I said, I don't want to do that. But I do feel a certain duty to respond, and it may make you think I'm twisting the legacy of the victims. For that, I apologize. But I do not apologize for the overall message of what I'm about to say, so please do not dismiss it.
People have already demanded more gun laws. They do it "for the sake of the victims" and "to prevent future tragedies." Virginia Tech already had rules against guns on campus, and they believe that "guns don't belong in classrooms" and that their policies against them are "sound." No doubt they'll try to find more effective ways to disarm people, but the killer did not kill because of lax rules. If someone wants to kill people, there's always a way. More laws won't help. Mind you, the fact that he was able to kill in one place, wander around campus for two hours (Thinking on the Margin has a map), and then kill again shows that there was a definite problem with the police and university officials involved.
Would fewer rules have helped? It's possible that an armed student could have defended everyone. It's also possible, given some of the college campuses I've been on, that everyone in the vicinity would have still been unarmed. It is impossible to know for sure whether anything would have changed. The killer may have even chosen somewhere else had the rules not required victim disarmament.
One thing to note, though, is that the killer was allowed to roam, then start killing again. We can't always rely on the quick response of the local PD. You could very easily be one of the victims. Shooting the Messenger has an interesting piece on this.
In any case, buy some high-capacity magazines, any modern semi-auto rifle you might have been eying, or whatever else you can afford. This tragedy is bound to pass HB 1022. Which won't help the victims or anyone else.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Pledge

I got it from The War on Guns, though it has been passed around a bit. It's a good pledge (here's a certificate, if you want something for that empty frame you've got lying around).
In recognition of THOMAS JEFFERSON'S admonition that The price of freedom
is eternal vigilance, and the propensity for governments to abuse their
warrants, I solemnly swear my allegiance The United States of America. I
specifically swear that I will oppose any initiative to place foreign armies
within our borders, including United Nations forces.
I here swear upon my honor that I WILL USE ANY MEANS NECESSARY, including
violence, to eliminate any such presence, and those responsible for its
sponsorship. So Help me God.

At the same time, I may as well state that I also swear to fight tyranny from within. Of course, this is a little fuzzier, what with the amount of tyranny we already endure. I will not live in a world in which Americans can no longer own guns. Of course, this is partially due to the dramatic decrease in my life expectancy when they came to get them.

While I'm here, sorry about the decreased activity around here lately. Comcast has been pretty frustrating, dishing out random disconnects at inopportune moments. They refuse to take responsibility for it, and it's been a little struggle to argue with them. Also, I've been busy. Sorry.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Banning...Legos?

I was shocked and dismayed when I found out some teachers banned Legos for a little social experiment.

The article includes such Leftist gems as: "the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive." Kids who are 5-9 years old will have power structures, be they rule of strength or "finders keepers." The fact that these are viewed by a couple of Leftist teachers as mirroring capitalism will not affect these kids. Yes, kids with more "cool pieces" might have more bargaining chips, but they've invested themselves in finding them. Ask a kid if it's fair for everyone to get part of what s/he found, and you'll hear, almost universally, that the other kids should find their own or at least help. It's not capitalism or oppression: it's a sense of inherent fairness.

The teachers decided to try to "promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation." In other words, complete socialism. Rather than kids being kids and figuring out their own ways of playing, they were supposed to share equally while never being sure that everyone was contributing equally. Kids know this isn't fair. Instinctively, a child has a sense of fairness, and it doesn't include full-blown socialism. They'll share, but they don't do community ownership well.

The teachers, of course compared their life experiences to the situation. They "shared our own perspectives on issues of private ownership, wealth, and limited resources." One grew up "without much money" and dislikes those with resources. Another felt bad for the kids who had a few Legos, but couldn't get more without upsetting the "power structure."

"We recognized that children are political beings, actively shaping their social and political understandings of ownership and economic equity — whether we interceded or not. We agreed that we want to take part in shaping the children's understandings from a perspective of social justice." Did it ever occur to these people that kids will be kids?

They talked to the kids about the power of possession, trying to make kids who dug through the bins feel as though they were wrong to dole out pieces. It sounds as though those kids put a lot of work into finding the windows, doors, and other "cool" pieces, then gave them to others as they saw fit. Did those other kids go look through the bins for their own pieces? No wonder the kids with the most cool pieces had the most power.

They asked the children about power. One kid said that he liked it because he could tell others what to do, but that he sometimes didn't like it. Of course, the teachers focused on the idea that he could tell others what to do. That's how kids view power--control. It's almost all the power they have.

The teachers then created a trading game, in which the made sure the rules were skewed arbitrarily. They set two children up to win the first round, then let them each make a rule for the next round. They were surprised that the kids made fair rules (as I've mentioned repeatedly, kids know fairness, and they follow their perceptions of it). Some kids, of course, disliked the winners because the game wasn't fair. "They were unable or unwilling to see that the rules of the game — which mirrored the rules of our capitalist meritocracy — were a setup for winning and losing." The rules mirrored our "capitalist meritocracy?" In Leftist minds, yes, our society is arbitrary and ruthless. Of course, the "Land of Opportunity" isn't perfect, but it's far from the rigged game the teachers set up.

The teachers gave up on their rigged game when it became obvious that kids don't apply that game to real life (nor should they). They moved on to defining ownership. Kids of that age, of course, have very set ideas of ownership. They don't question whether the current owner or the creator actually owns something: once a transfer is done, it's done. It's cut and dried.

They then made the children build a new Legotown in teams. They felt the children learned to be good little socialists, since they didn't get mad at each other for changing designs (of course, it was part of the rules, and kids of that age play within the rules given). Rather than seeing ownership in each kid's prized lego person, they saw that as "personal expression." The kids only had one thing that was theirs, so they treasured it.

At least one of the kids wanted houses of equal sizes, which was a huge leap forward in the teachers' minds. I'd like to see them stop valuing the "special pieces," though. They probably continue to debate those pieces to this day.

They determined new rules for the new Legotown: everyone could use any building anyone created, though the original builder was the only one who could change things; Lego people could be saved by "team," not individuals; structure size would be standardized. Do they still follow these rules? I don't know. I would guess that a particularly creative kid or two still "own" more structures, and they have found ways to link them into larger structures (though separate enough to argue that they're all standard size). A bigger kid or two may have "teams" that they control. Or maybe they've moved on to other games.

You can bet that kids will have power structures. The teachers can do all they like to force these kids to adopt socialism, but they only hurt the children. They say they tried to let the kids make the decisions, but kids will always defer to the adult (until around 5th grade). They may subvert rules (kids are creative), but they won't feel they're on a level playing field with adults. It sounds as though they'd already made their rules of Lego, and the teachers didn't like them. They guided the kids to say a few things they could use as an argument for socialism, then designed a "fair" system.

Of course, all this happened in Seattle, which makes perfect sense. I just hope others who read the article don't try to spread the experiment.

Unintended Consequences

I'd like to encourage everyone to head over to The War on Guns and read this post. It's an excellent article on the law of unintended consequences.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Toy guns fool Beaverton, I guess

War on Guns pointed me to this little gem. Now, I'm not a huge fan of Beaverton in the first place, but I thought they might be a little smarter than this.

They have, de facto, banned any toy that looks like a gun. They allow for clear guns (at least according to the article), but I wouldn't count on them. The law bans "any toy or imitation that substantially duplicates a lethal firearm or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm." The scary and ill-defined words "substantially" and "reasonably" make this the sort of law that can easily expand.

In almost any state, committing a crime with a replica gun will get you the same sentence as a real one. After all, you certainly wanted the victim to believe it was a real gun, and thus used some of the power of a firearm.

In almost any state you can carry, a toy firearm is still enough of a threat to use your own weapon. A lot of high-powered civil attornies will milk you for a lot of money over it, and a prosecutor will try to convince the jury that you should've known it was fake, but the law says you can use appropriate force, since there's no way to know it's fake.

Why, then, are the toy guns banned? They claim they're only banned in public places, but that makes it awfully hard to buy them. It also makes it hard to transport them to and from places you can go to have fun with them.

I'll tell yo why they're banned: the continued demonization of firearms is much easier to force down people's throats if toy guns are banned. If children aren't exposed to them, it's easier to keep them from ever learning about them. And ignorance, as we see constantly, breeds fear.

There were a couple things that scared me in the comments, too. People on both sides of the issue were criticizing or praising the police. The police do not make laws. This was the creation of a city council that wanted to make people feel good. Another scary thing is the last comment. People actually believe this sort of stuff:
I applaud the Beaverton police for taking action on this issue. Again, it's not the police, though I'm sure one or two from the department gave strong endorsements.
Like it or not folks: The majority of the public does not want people walking the streets with guns - real or phony (toy, replica or what have you). It makes people anxious and nervous. There are a lot of folks who do not feel safer because there are people with concealled [sic] weapons permits packing. Because some folks don't feel "comfortable" with my rights, I am supposed to feel guilty about my guns? And why do they feel uncomfortable? It's largely due to misinformation and lack of education. And "the majority" may not be the actual majority. There are a lot of gun owners out there.
I think the majority agrees one should be allowed to own (and even carry) a gun if you like. Fine. So be it. But you just said that the majority doesn't want me to carry. Of course, you only grudgingly bestow upon me this preexisting right. i especially like the choice to put "and even carry" inside parentheses. That way, you can express your particular dislike for the bearing of arms, though you probably dislike the keeping of arms, as well.
BUT there is also good portion of society [sic] that is willing to sacrafice [sic] a little bit of (perceived) protection for peace. I don't think you meant to write this exactly like this. You mean to say that they'll trade liberty for safety (despite certain famous quotations warning against this trade), not protection for peace. Your way doesn't even make any sense.
Really? Do our kids need to practice at violence? Shouldn't we be teaching them more useful and important things to better them as humans? Aren't there sports and games they can play that are healthy and build REAL life skills? Our children should indeed be learning real life skills. You are correct in this. We should teach them gun safety, good marksmanship, and the importance of protecting all of our precious liberties. While I certainly believe this should be done with real firearms, I also find that airsoft guns are kind of fun to play with, even at my age.
I am all for this ordinance. It could save lives and money for the city. Where would these savings come from? I haven't heard of any airsoft-related deaths in Beaverton, and the enforcement of such a bizarre law may cost more money than the tickets bring in. Period. It is not about gun owner rights, the second amendment, etc. No, it is about mass hysteria over fairly harmless toys. The city of Beaverton had been responding to an ususal number of calls around toy and replica guns. Hmm, were they? I'd like to see what all these calls may have been. After all, I haven't seen many airsoft guns out in public, since most people know they can look fairly realistic. For all you less government is better people out there...they wouldn't need to do this if people were being more responsible. And we don't need another useless law on the books. It's illegal to use these as though they are guns, so there's no need for another law. Absolutely. But since parents - the grown ups - aren't taking the initiative to solve this, the police did. City Council passed the law, and I see no evidence that it was needed. If you don't think parents are teaching children the dangers of waving fake guns in public, start allowing gun safety into schools again. Don't point fingers at them - look at your neighbors, cousins and friends.
Do you think that speed limits are the first step in taking our cars away? No, I think speed limits are not only a way to make money, but a way to regulate traffic. Many of them are bizarre and ridiculous, and those are often the ones used to generate extra income for the police. But speed limits are obviously a completely different subject.
I am sick and tired of gun owner mouth barffing [sic] of "liberals this.... and liberals....that" preaching their paranoia and fear. Well, I can't say much about the "liberal" part. The classical definition of liberal tends to be centered on individual rights. I could, of course, point to modern "liberals," who tend to be Leftists, bent on nannying us all. As for the paranoia and fear, I'll point out that there are all sorts of attacks on our 2A rights at every level, so you'll have to forgive us if we get a little defensive about them. I assume you are talking about the fear of getting them taken away, since most of the fear-mongering I see comes from the Left. Y'know, the stuff about how we're unsafe because of "assault weapons" (which are very rarely used in crimes--they just aren't as concealable as handguns), handguns (which are the only guns a law-abiding citizen can really carry in public--and are used to prevent a lot of crimes), and "sniper rifles" (which is usually the term for anything scoped, like common hunting rifles).

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Godzilla's gun?

Well, War on Guns found an interesting editorial.
Why do I hear that guns not suitable for hunting should be banned, then that arms with no military use aren't protected by the 2nd Amendment? If I'm supposed to be allowed military arms (I am), allow them. This editorial, of course, figures that civilians have no need for a .50 caliber rifle (it mentions hunting coyote, though I might point out that there is game bigger than that--but hunting isn't a Constitutional right, so let's stay off of that).
The myth of shooting down airplanes from several miles away is repeated again. The trajectories of airliners and bullets do not make this scenario possible. Given the speed of a jet, the problem with sighting in at those ranges on even stationary targets, the high altitude, and the effect of wind on the bullet, it's not something even the best marksman would be capable of.
The paper's editorial board would also like us to know that the .50 is capable of piercing armor and disabling vehicles. Of course it is. That's what the military's supposed to use it for. Of course, should we ever be at war with a tyrant from within, that capability would be very useful. The paper declares that civilians shouldn't own a .50, "particularly in an age of terrorism." Will a terrorist shy from armoring a vehicle in any way possible?
Finally, the paper mentions possible attacks on chemical and industrial plants. Of course, explosives are cheaper and far more effective. Also, what would one target? Chemical vats are very strong, generally behind thick walls, and would be quickly and effectively repaired with minimal problems. Unlike what movies like to show, the vats don't blow up in spectacular special effects.
Suburbia generally supports "reasonable" gun laws? Perhaps, but that doesn't make those people right, the law any more Constitutional, or your points any more valid. It just means those people are willing to trust the government a bit mroe than I am. I'd like the ability to defend my freedoms with a weapon capable of aiding resistance to armored vehicles. I may never need it, but that doesn't make it less of a good idea. I haven't been sick in a long time. Does that mean I should save money by cancelling health insurance?
Finally, I must ask some questions:
Is the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune willing to accept "reasonable" controls on the freedom of the press? The internet gives a worldwide audience. You could influence too many people. Scale back to print. Oh, and you sell outside of Chicago...that needs to stop, since you are, in fact, the Chicago Tribune. Every journalist must be licensed, and they're going to have to provide addresses, phone numbers, criminal background checks, and consent to make this information available publically.
Also, are you aware of the severity of your hyperbole? "Did he possibly mean . . . obliterating the state's entire coyote species with a single shot?" Come on. I expect some level of hyperbole in every editorial, but this is just dumb. Someone may have thought it clever, but it is neither witty nor intelligent.