August 31, 2018

A Letter to the Bishops

To the Roman Catholic Bishops of the Dark Coterie, and Pope Francis, Greetings!

I, a member of the laity, a convert to the Catholic church, a doctor of the law and a teacher, have for some months...or perhaps years...remained silent, while in my acts and prayers focused on my own faults and omissions. Ever in my mind was the story related of Abba Moses, the Desert Father:
In Scetis a brother was once found guilty. They assembled the brothers, and sent a message to Moses telling him to come. But he would not come. Then the presbyter sent again saying, ‘Come, for the gathering of monks is waiting for you.’ Moses got up and went. He took with him an old basket, which he filled with sand and carried on his back. They went to meet him and said, ‘What does this mean, abba?’ He said, ‘My sins run out behind me and I do not see them and I have come here today to judge another.’ They listened to him and said no more to the brother who had sinned but forgave him.
When this latest round broke - of things reported that you have done, have covered, have ignored, have dismissed - in the grand jury statement, I could read only parts of it. And those parts were a very monument of horrors - of lives destroyed, secret meetings and symbols of slavery, cover-ups, payoffs, pederasty, quid pro quo sexual favors, profaning the Sacraments, and God Himself only knows what else. Did Steven King and Gilles de Rais draft a play on the topic, scarcely could they hope to design a more lurid and demonic affair.

We among the laity have for years carried the hope that the Church Herself would correct course; that a reformer would appear among the clergy whom would cleanse us of this festering canker. But it appears that the good among the clergy were cut short and departed early on, embittered or silenced, and those that remained had a far slimmer chance of attaining any position which would permit reform. We are aware of the good Bishops and seminaries among us. We are also aware of the bad.

And you, Dark Coterie, are among the bad. I am hesitant to say this of any priest, bishop, or cardinal - I have in me the convert's respect for the Church. But, you have thrown your lot in with the Pharisees - hypocrites, binders of burdens, creators of children of hell, blind fools, blind men, filled with extortion and rapacity, full of iniquity. How can you read Matthew 23 and not tremble if you possess even a mustard seed of faith? Fear the Lord. His Judgment is Just.

But you have accomplished worse yet. You have scandalized the Faithful, you have stunted the Church, you have thrown open the walls of the castle in which we seek shelter to the Barbarians - to those who mock and castigate. Religious freedom is under attack in the United States and the rest of the world, and you float through life in a hellish spectacle and play at games as the Church catches fire.

And those among you who covered for others? Were you compromised, that you permitted this to continue? Did you believe that you protected the Church by paying off or denigrating the victims, even as you subtly and continually undermined Her Foundations? Did you not believe that a reckoning would throw back the foul rotting cloud and reveal all? Did you Believe?

Do you Believe? Will you repent, in sackcloth and ashes? Will you show that you are sorry, instead of sorry to be caught? Will you be bound in chains? Subject yourselves to the law? Will you sacrifice your tassels and fringes and phylacteries and the higher seats at the table and your special titles, and repent, in sackcloth and ashes?

The time is fast approaching when you will be forced to repent, if you will not do so of volition. The laity already flees in scandal - perhaps your repentance, repentance in sackcloth and ashes, will begin a healing process. The hour is late. The time is short. Repent. Repent. Repent.

August 17, 2018

Bread and Circuses

In the foreword to Amusing Ourselves to Death, author and cultural critic Neil Postman set forth the possibility that Orwell was wrong - it wasn't an external tyranny that was "out to get us," in an Orwellian nightmare, but an internal tyranny of distraction and pleasure. In his own words:
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions". In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.
There can be no educator even remotely in touch with students who does not feel a chill upon reading this passage. It is worthwhile to know that Postman first published these words in 1985 - in 1985, when there were no iPhones, no Androids, no tablets, no internet, and barely any personal computers. The FCC noted in the New York Times in 1984 that the total number of TV stations was roughly 1,169. This sounds like a great deal, until you find out that the total number in 2017 was roughly 1,700, available networks have increased from 3 - 5 in 1984 to over 50 now, and that number of hours watched in 1984 was 7, rising as high as 9 after 2000, but falling back to 8.   This, of course, does not include stats related to computer use, video gaming, etc. For instance, from 1977 - 1993, the Apple II models sold 6 million units, worldwide. Compare that with total sales from the Playstation 4, estimated at 70 million consoles (introduced 2013), the Xbox One, estimated at 18 - 19 million consoles in 2016 (introduced 2013), and the Wii Switch, estimated at roughly 20 million consoles (introduced 2016). Of course, these numbers do not take into account legacy consoles, other manufacturers, or PC gaming systems.

Anecdotally, educators are very familiar with the ADHD-like effects of technology on their students. For instance, attention spans are very short, student no longer read significantly (and reading online does not appear to have the same impact), students often simply cut and paste portions of (what they imagine to be) articles addressing the topics of essays, and rarely seem to study. Even classes which seem to demand more than a couple hours of reading in a week are summarily dropped as "too difficult." And studies of students' habits back up these anecdotes, and reveal in many cases that students simply learn nothing in college. And, of course, there is the strange almost mandatory requirement of sexual freedom and experimentation, combined with the nearly puritanical insistence on strictures surrounding that experimentation, which treats women as de facto victims at any point in sexual activity, placing men in constant fear of punishment for lack of awareness of this victimhood.

Where am I going with this rambling, you ask?

In his Satires, the Roman poet Juvenal stated:
And what does the mob of Remus say? It follows fortune, as it always does, and rails against the condemned. That same rabble, if Nortia had smiled upon the Etruscan, if the aged Emperor had been struck down unawares, would in that very hour have conferred upon Sejanus the title of Augustus. Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things—Bread and Games!
Hence, the famous phrase "bread and circuses." But, witness our modern debates on mandating a basic wage for all people, regardless of will to work, to produce, to contribute, or not to do any of these things. To provide healthcare for all, on the same terms. To ensure that every person has a cell phone. To ensure that every person can purchase the things which they desire for entertainment, and to be provided with the things which ought to have been first considered. Witness the railings against student college debt (and the lack of the same concerns), when statistics indicate that $400+ per month iPhones, or the like, are a standard item among college graduates.

I think Postman was right, and that (like the late Romans), we are now in the midst of a society fueled by distraction. I do not say "amusement," as much of our own distraction is focused on rage by proxy - massive jerks of (perceived) righteous rage on social media. Our media is full of stories about people who are angry that the wealthy have much more than the poor - people who seem fueled by envy and anger, but who (one can find without much searching) have better housing, better conveniences, better care, and more available amusements and leisure than most people in recent history.

Our culture is also one which seeks to be immune from pain, or distract away from it. Witness the opoid crisis in full swing, along with the numbers of people addicted or heavily using prescription painkillers. Witness the massive push for legalization of marijuana in the United States.

Video games, sex, and addictions - all methods of distraction and avoidance of problems, pain, and (truth be known) boredom. I cannot really explain or hazard a guess as to the outcome, but I doubt that culture will be very attractive when some sort of tipping point is reached, and it all crashes down.

August 7, 2018

1st Amendment, Free Speech, Censorship, Hate Speech, Facebook

I should be working on some questions for a deposition I am taking tomorrow...I really should. But Tommy Jordan, III (who blogs here) HAD to go and post a question on Facebook (the "Post") seeking input as to what people thought of Alex Jones (this guy) being banned by various media platforms (Facebook, Apple, YouTube). Being well-connected on Facebook, there have been a wide variety of responses to Tommy's post. Most were well-intentioned, but many were also full of serious errors. I felt compelled to respond in this blog post. Thanks, Tommy.

The purpose of this blog post is to discuss some differing concepts raised by Tommy's post, and try to make some differentiation. I plan to keep things as simple as possible (who really wants to read about all the fine points of 1st Amendment debates during the Founding of the United States), while at the same time attempting to create fine enough points of distinction that the differences in the concepts can be observed.

The best place to start, as it was raised by a number of commentators on the Post, is with the 1st Amendment freedom of speech. And the place to start, if one wishes to do so with first principles in mind, is the text of that amendment, as the text pertains to freedom of speech. In relevant part, the 1st Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...
That's it. Of course, there are many court cases following which interpret this speech in different aspects and situations. But, what is critical, especially in the matter of Alex Jones, is to realize that the 1st Amendment restricts Congress from making laws. That's it. Now, it may have some impact on other government entities (such as state governments, local governments, etc.) due to other legal matters, but none of them change the central idea that, absent some form of government action, the 1st Amendment is not implicated in regard to speech.

So, for example, if the government makes a law requiring Facebook to remove all "hate speech" from its pages, then the government has violated the 1st Amendment, even if Facebook were willing to go along when requested. But when Facebook, in and of itself, decides to block or remove certain content on its own, no dice. Perfectly legal. Now, this is not to say that what Facebook does could implicate Civil Rights laws (so, if Facebook decided to remove all speech by Hispanics, that might implicate Civil Rights), or other laws aimed at copyright and trademark protection. However, simply in terms of blocking content Facebook doesn't like, for reasons other than Civil Rights, the 1st Amendment free speech doctrines do not apply.

Which leads me to "censorship." This term should go down with words which are "meaningless, f**king term[s]." This word gets thrown around as a derogatory phrase so often, with so many different (intended or unintended) nuances that it should be reserved for historical context only. It's like calling someone a "Nazi" - 99% of the time, the speaker has no capability to make the distinctions necessary to actually use the term correctly. Thus, the speaker is revealed as a mindless ***kwad.

Now, if we're not going to drop it, then we should make an attempt to use it more precisely. Censor, in the words of the Oxford English Dictionary, means several things. As a noun, it means:
One who exercises official or officious supervision over morals and conduct.
Or, more broadly:
An official in some countries whose duty it is to inspect all books, journals, dramatic pieces, etc., before publication, to secure that they shall contain nothing immoral, heretical, or offensive to the government. 
Note that the idea of "official" or "governmental" exists in both definitions. Relatedly, censor, as a verb, has the expected definition of "[t]o act as censor to." And therefore, censorship, as you might guess with a little thought, means:
The office or function of a censor...official supervision. [Also] control of dramatic production and films...[or]...of the press.
Now, turning to Facebook's control of content on its network, absent being forced to do so by the government, it cannot be censorship. Facebook is free to block or allow whatever content it wishes (absent, as I said before, certain specific limitations not implicated here), including anything at all which it or its audience dislikes, and it is not a censor. People who throw the word around willy-nilly, without bothering to understand the meaning of the term, ought to be forced into remedial English class taught by the ghost of Ambrose Bierce.

"Hate Speech" is another meaningless f**king term. It's a bull***t phrase, weaponized and deployed (mostly by the Left), to shut down conversation. What does it mean? Sometimes it's used to denote language which contains racist, sexist, and other *ist content. But, it's more often used to refer to speech the speaker simply doesn't like, or doesn't want to have to discuss. Claim that children who believe they are transgender often grow out of it? "Hate Speech!" Claim that people who have been charged with sexual assault should be given the benefit of "innocent until proven guilty?" "Hate speech!" And so on, and so forth. should be kept in mind that Facebook is free to deem "hate speech" any language, images, argument, discussion, meme, phrase, etc., it wants, and free to block it from its network. It doesn't matter whether it's Alex Jones or St. Patrick himself blogging about driving the serpents out of Congress - Facebook can block it.

Finally, the people on the Post who commented that it's a sad state of affairs are, likely, closest to the truth. Given that users on Facebook are capable of simply blocking or ignoring speech they don't like, and others are capable of debating speech they don't like, Facebook seems to be acting rather paternalistically. It does so, no doubt, to virtue signal how much it wants to protect people from "hate speech" and "evil" and etc. But in doing so, it helps contribute to the Balkanization of our politics and our society, by insulating people who might otherwise be open to discussion from each other. In that way, Facebook simply reinforces societal echo chambers, so that nobody need "fear" being exposed to opinions with which they disagree, or facts which might contradict their own opinions.

June 27, 2018

Women are Evil?!

There is a species of blog post / article out there which pretends via headline or introduction to discuss an issue in an evenhanded or politically neutral way, but then proceeds into the usual tribal claptrap, name calling, etc.

One such article appears today in Huffington Post, entitled "Women are Evil." Given the title itself, one might suspect that it is a bit broad. However, if simply making the claim that women can engage in evil acts, even as men do, then it would be an unremarkable and unsurprising bit of opinion, somewhat on the level of claiming that bacon and pulled pork both come from the same animal.

But, this particular article deals with the evil women in a different way than expected. The article begins with the broad statement:
The monsters are always men. They menace from the highest positions of power; they lurk in the shadows of our subconscious. At this time of reckoning ― thanks to movements like Me Too and Time’s Up ― some of our cultural monsters are being revealed. 
Again, with the exception of rhetorical flourish (surely the author is aware of true female monsters), an unsurprising statement.

The author continues to lay out her argument that women are evil as follows:
But there is a reckoning that hasn’t yet happened and that’s with women, who use their bodies and social positions as wives and mothers to mediate how we handle the monsters of our society....These intermediaries are all too often women ― white women ― of privilege, who are doing quite well under the patriarchy. It’s a neat trick ― enforcing a system that affords you an amount of privilege but also oppresses others just like you. And it’s one white women have been playing for years...It was 53 percent of white women after all who voted for Donald Trump, a president who has publicly admitted to assaulting women. Women are in positions of power in his cabinet and it is his daughter Ivanka who provided much of the cover for his policies during the campaign. Her presence, for many Trump supporters, continues to soften his most aggressive and erratic positions.
The author, Lyz Lenz, continues with examples of women (especially white women) whom she claims "cover up" for male monsters - the 53% of white women who voted for Trump, Kirstjen Nielsen who (in defending the Trump zero-tolerance policy became "another female human shield"), Ivanka Trump (who provides "cover" for Pres. Trump's policies and softens Pres. Trump's positions), and so forth.

There is an odd contradiction here. First, the argument that women are victims of male monsters and the patriarchy, in statements such as:
Patriarchy both shelters women as frail things in need of coverage and uses their bodies as human shields. It also abuses women and puts them in places where calling out abuse puts them in more danger.
Then the argument that these women are evil and intentionally "using the purity of their bodies and their roles as women and mothers to justify the menace of their actions." And that:
Ivanka Tump [sic], Melania Trump, Conway, Sanders and Nielsen are complicit. They are no innocent mothers, whose uterus provides protection for their involvement. They actively benefit and stand for a system that also demeans and destroys.
The essence of Lenz's argument is, in my own summation:
White women benefit from the male hierarchy, so they are willing to use their bodies and status to protect the evil actions of corrupt male moral monsters within the hierarchy, which abuses white women and prevents them from revealing the abuse; so their complicity in covering up the male evil destroys their innocence. 
So, Lenz appears to indicate both that white women are abused by, and victims of, the patriarchy, while simultaneously claiming that women (such as those who opposed suffrage) are not innocent and are independent moral agents.

This is a demeaning article which is viewed through the twin lenses of race relations and sex relations. In fact, the author seems like a monomaniac, so focused and biased that even women who wrote in support of men who were entirely cleared of wrongdoing (see Junot Diaz) are chided for daring to support a male even accused of sexual wrongdoing.

This article simultaneously paints women as victims, oppressors, independent thinkers, cowed into submission to powerful men, incapable of thinking independently, evil, and biased. There IS no reason, in Lenz's mind, that a woman could have supported Trump over Clinton, other than being such a victim of patriarchy that women were bowing to their husbands',  boyfriends', or fathers' demands that they vote in a certain way.

What a terrible article, devoid of any real thought, and simply mean to vilify women with whom the author disagrees, perhaps for the author to attempt reaching a moral high ground different than "I don't like Trump, and therefore, anyone white woman who supports him must be evil."

June 9, 2018

Conservative Authors - June 9, 2018

Okay, so I recently posted a query on one of my conservative / libertarian Ben Shapiro groupie sites, asking whether anyone had put together a list of conservative / libertarian / classical liberal authors to read. People had suggestions, but no list has apparently been produced. So, I will make an attempt below. This initial list will be authors only - we will get to works later. I am trying to divide these by century, with authors who lived across divides classified in the later. I am using various sources for these names, including Wikipedia, Russell Kirk's Conservative Mind, the ISI website, and various searches using the privacy-attacking know it all Google.

Really, the idea of a "conservative" seems to have come about with Edmund Burke, although I am sure there were people writing earlier who could be considered as such. I will begin the list with Burke, and will add more if I discover earlier. Also, as should be obvious, not all of these will fit within any given conception of the term "conservative," and it is difficult to

18th Century
Edmund Burke
Thomas Jefferson
Alexander Hamilton
George Washington
J.S. Mill
Thomas Paine

19th Century
Benjamin Disraeli
Frederic Bastiat
Jean-Baptiste Say
Henry David Thoreau
James F. Cooper
Alexis de Tocqueville

20th Century
George Santayana
G.K. Chesterton
C.S. Lewis
Leo Strauss
Eric Voegelin
Richard M. Weaver
Michael Oakeshott
Friedrich Hayek
Russell Kirk
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Peter Viereck
Roger Scruton
Rene Girard
G.E.M. Anscombe
Milton Friedman
Robert Nisbet
Richard M. Weaver
Murray Rothbard
Ludwig von Mises
Wilhelm Ropke
Karl Popper
John Dalberg-Acton
Bertrand de Jouvenel
Michael Polanyi
Mel Bradford
Harry Jaffa
Henry Hazlitt

21st Century
Ben Shapiro
Jonah Goldberg
Walter Williams
Thomas Sowell
Antonin Scalia
Clarence Thomas
William F. Buckley, Jr.
George Nash
Robert Nozick
James V. Schall, S.J.
Wilfred McClay
R.V. Young
Patrick Deneen
Richard M. Reinsch II
Robert George
Pierre Manent
Yuval Levin
George W. Carey
George Panichas
Jude P. Dougherty
Thaddeus J. Kozinski
Peter Augustine Lawler
Bradley C.S. Watson
Ross Douthat
Christopher Dawson
Remi Brague

April 18, 2018

Hollywood Has a "Gun Problem?"

Do they call them "action movies?"

In a recent blog post on the film "A Quiet Place," critic Nicholas Barber turns his review of the film into a bit of a personal-political screed against Hollywood's "gun problem." Now, while I have not seen the film, Barber indicates that it's set in a time "just after a horde of feral alien-monsters has gobbled up most of the human race."

Sounds rather like a situation where guns might be useful. But, I digress.

He continues, in considering the family who apparently occupies most of the movie:
I won’t reveal exactly how they survive, but it would be easy to watch this film and come away with the impression that when your country/town/home is invaded, there is nothing that the authorities will be able to do about it. Your community won’t be any help, either, and there is no way you can negotiate or co-exist peacefully with the invaders. No, your only hope is to festoon your property with security cameras, learn how to hunt and prepare your own food, grow a shaggy beard (if applicable), and, most importantly, keep a shotgun handy. 
So, what he's saying is that we are living in a post-apocalyptic landscape, where nothing makes sense, the authorities are toast, the community is eaten, and people are reverting. Could be plague, zombies, nukes, you name it. Does Barber think that, but for the power of the Church, Europe would have survived the black plague? This is part of the nature of horror, especially modern, apocalyptic horror. The neighbors are fish food or have transformed or have burned up. People are themselves becoming monsters in their loneliness and dissolution of community. Look at The Road by Cormac McCarthy:
Perhaps in the world's destruction it would be possible at last to see how it was made. Oceans, mountains. The ponderous counterspectacle of things ceasing to be. The sweeping waste, hydroptic and coldly secular. The silence.
Or perhaps, if you want movies, The Book of Eli:
People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now.
Or, if you want to go more classic, how about Lord of the Flies:
Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn't you?' said the head. For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. 'You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” 
Barber goes on, really getting psychoanalytical with his film critique:
One of the fondest fantasies of Second Amendment obsessives is that a private citizen with a box of ammunition could fend off the US Army, should the need arise, and that fantasy is endorsed by “A Quiet Place”, in which gun-toting farmers fare better against the aliens than the entire American war machine.
IS this a "fond fantasy?" Even IF it is, he's missing the point of guns. Guns will be necessary when door to door roundups of people are in progress. It's not the US Army - it's a soldier, a neighbor, a police officer, coming to take your family.

Do you contend this is unthinkable? Do you read modern history at all? Do you know the reports of the secret police, coming in the darkness, of the disarmament of the populaces where tyranny was thereafter enforced? Or, if you do read, is it YOUR fantasy to be one of the elite who is in charge, and let others fend for themselves?
Defenders of the right to bear arms will also see flattering reflections of themselves in the film’s heroes, a photogenic white family that lives on a backwoods farm. 
Sure, unless it's Colion Noir. Or, perhaps, one of the Southern Blacks who was disarmed by Jim Crow. As noted in Slate:
The Black Code restrictions were a piece with violent attempts to disarm blacks perpetrated by local police, white state militias, and Klan-type organizations that rose during Reconstruction to wage a war of Southern “redemption.” The formal Ku Klux Klan emerged out of Tennessee in 1866. But across the South, similar organizations cropped up under names like the White Brotherhood, the Knights of the White Camellia, the Innocents, and the Knights of the Black Cross. Black disarmament was part of their common agenda.
But, I suppose, Southern Blacks were simply lost in their fantasy of equal rights to vote, equal rights to own property (and defend it). After all, it was surely untrue that, during Jim Crow, Blacks needed anything other than the (corrupt) local authorities, (inactive) federal government, (hostile) neighbors, to defend themselves. I am sure that local police departments, in that day and time, rushed out to arrest white rapists when local Blacks complained.

After chattering on in this vein, Barber closes with:
After all, it wasn’t so long ago that action heroes were never seen without a cigarette, but now even James Bond has kicked the habit. Maybe Hollywood could address its gun addiction next. When films like “A Quiet Place” tell us that a shotgun cartridge will answer our prayers and solve our problems, we shouldn’t be so quiet about it.
Well, now, Mr. Barber, that would really depend on whether your problem is an alien about to devour you, or you have a flat tire. Guns aren't the answer to everything, but in the post-apocalyptic imagination, they surely have a place when something looks to make you the next fare. In the meantime, perhaps you can stop psychoanalyzing gun owners and NRA members, and get down to actually reviewing movies.

March 5, 2018

Gun Controls That Might Work

As noted in my previous post, some of the gun-control legislation and individual / corporate actions and reactions after school or mass shootings are "feel good." Like Dick's Sporting Goods choosing not to sell any "assault-style" weapons any longer - the moves give people good and happy feelings, but do nothing to limit crime in the greater sense.

I am generally pro-Second Amendment. I believe that people have the right to defend themselves, with deadly force if necessary. I also think that most progressives who talk about "doing something," either: (1) Do not offer or cannot understand what legislation will do and not do; or (2) DO understand that legislation which makes any given firearm or type illegal will fail to accomplish its ends, and are seeking gradual steps towards seizure of all firearms.

With that said, there are some laws and actions which I think will help the violence situation. As I noted in my previous post, the majority of gun crime occurs with stolen weapons. To whit: "...further reading seems to indicate that in cases of gun crime 'in approximately 8 out of 10 cases, the perpetrator was not a lawful gun owner but rather in illegal possession of a weapon that belonged to someone else.'"

Therefore, I propose the following laws:

1. Tort or criminal liability for gun owners who fail to secure their weapons and report the theft of those weapons to police. As indicated in the article, "But more than 40 percent of those stolen guns weren't reported by the owners as stolen until after police contacted them when the gun was used in a crime." Hopefully, such a law will have the effect of making owners more aware of the need to secure their weapons, and the need to report their theft. The article also states that "[o]ne of the more concerning findings in the study was that for the majority of guns recovered (62 percent)"the place where the owner lost possession of the firearm was unknown."

2. Cracking down hard on straw purchasers. This is a problem where someone who cannot legally purchase a gun prevails on friends or family to purchase a gun on their behalf. The article notes that "One potential sign that straw purchasing is a factor in the Pittsburgh data: Forty-four percent of the gun owners who were identified in 2008 did not respond to police attempts to contact them." We have laws already against straw purchasing - the need to be enforced harshly.

3. Tort or criminal liability for parents whose in-home children are perpetrators of gun crime using weapons owned by the parents, in addition to tort or criminal liability for parents whose children post social media which threatens violence against again person, and which violence is later carried out.

4. A system of required weapons insurance policies for gun owners, which insures against use of the weapons in crime, and which will provide cushion for the above liabilities for victims.

Just some thoughts.