Nearly 60 people have been killed in mass shooting incidents in the last month:
- March 10 – Alabaman shoots mother, grandmother and eight others.
- March 22 – Shooter kills three cops and self.
- March 31 – Shooter kills six in Silicon Valley
- March 29 – North Carolinian shoots eight in nursing home.
- April 3 – Fourteen shot in Binghamton New York.
- April 4 – Glenn Beck fan murders three cops.
- April 4 – Security guard shoots his five children then commits suicide.
- April 7 – Floridian shoots wife, daughter, two others, and self.
- April 8 – Catholic volunteer wounds four, kills one.
That’s a lot of killing. It’s more than our combat losses for the same time period in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. It’s no wonder people are starting to wonder what should be done about it. Thankfully, our leaders have the right answer. Make guns even more available.
Here is another great moment in A.P. history. In its quest to become the RIAA of the newspaper industry, the A.P.’s executives and lawyers are beginning to match their counterparts in the music industry for cluelessness. A country radio station in Tennessee, WTNQ-FM, received a cease-and-desist letter from an A.P. vice president of affiliate relations for posting videos from the A.P.’s official Youtube channel on its Website.
You cannot make this stuff up. Forget for a moment that WTNQ is itself an A.P. affiliate and that the A.P. shouldn’t be harassing its own members. Apparently, nobody told the A.P. executive that the august news organization even has a YouTube channel which the A.P. itself controls, and that someone at the A.P. decided that it is probably a good idea to turn on the video embedding function on so that its videos can spread virally across the Web, along with the ads in the videos.
At least, according to U.S. law:
18 U.S.C. 2332a
- (2) the term “weapon of mass destruction” means—
- (A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title;
- (B) any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;
- (C) any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector (as those terms are defined in section 178 of this title); or
- (D) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life;
18 U.S.C. 921
- (4) The term “destructive device” means—
- (A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas—
- (i) bomb,
- (ii) grenade,
- (iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
- (iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
- (v) mine, or
- (vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
- (B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and
- (C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.
The term “destructive device” shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684 (2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10; or any other device which the Attorney General finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, is an antique, or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes.
i’m sure the shotgun exemption is there the cover Dick Cheney. Other than that, the law is so vague it is meaningless (unless you think it’s there to allow law enforcement to claim anything they want to be WMD, or unless you think this is solely to say “see, Iraq did have WMD after all!”). In fact, it is unlikely to be tried in court, since just about all military weapons fall under this law. The Constitution defines ratified international treaties as having the force of law. The U.S. is signatory to international treaties which forbid holding weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, the government is equipping their army illegally.
One of the few home secretaries who dominated his department rather than be cowed by it was Lord Whitelaw in the 1980s. He boasted how after any security lapse, the police would come to beg for new and draconian powers. He laughed and sent them packing, saying only a bunch of softies would erode British liberty to give themselves an easier job. He said they laughed in return and remarked that “it was worth a try”.
Now the try always works.
Turtle rescuers in South Padre Island, Texas, US, have demonstrated the first fin suit designed to allow a green sea turtle that lost three of its flippers to finally swim in a straight line.
Workers at Sea Turtle Inc strapped Allison, a five-year-old rescued turtle, into a neoprene “ninja” suit that holds a carbon-fibre fin in place on her back.
The fin acts as a rudder, allowing her to propel herself forward with her sole fin.