Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing: Deriving some Physics and other info from video analysis

While the official investigations proceed, there is a ridiculous amount of speculation about the bombing, who did it, what it was, etc. Very little of this speculation is evidence based. Almost all of it is just blathering based on the beliefs or prejudices of the posters.
Instead, let's take a quick look at what we can know with certainty from the evidence we have.
The first thing we have to do is determine where the bombs went off. Fortunately, the New York Times provides an excellent infographic for that purpose:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thoughts on the gun debate part seven: Treat guns like cars.

One of the frequent things I hear when discussing the gun control issue with many people is the proposal that we treat guns like cars. Recently, Michael Z. Williamson took a turn at that idea that I want to build on a bit. Let's visit that guns/cars equivalency. Let's turn it around for a moment. There are already rather a lot of gun laws out there which most folks who aren't "gun people" don't know about.  So, let's try the analogy in the other direction; as Mike asked the other day, how about we treat cars like guns?  Here's what would happen if we tried that.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thoughts on the gun debate part six: A scholar's view of history.

This is going to be a short post. I want to call your attention to Steven Halbrook's lastest piece for the Fordham Law Review. He explores efforts to include a right to arms in their 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man, and adoption of gun registration just in time for the Nazi occupation and gun confiscations.

The full article is available here. I'm going to cite (claiming fair use) a section from his conclusion.