Thursday, July 01, 2010

Newspapers: Don't Know Much About...Anything

I really should just stop reading it. It can't be good for me; one really expects to feel a great disturbance in the Force, as though a bazillion brain cells just...stopped. Theme music: "Dunno much about History..."

The paper wants to get you jailed; Page One, below the fold: "Gun owners are allowed to bring firearms to work, as long as the weapons are left in locked vehicles." No, no, no! If you do not have a License To Carry Handgun and you are not transporting your handgun unloaded and "in a secure wrapper" for purchase, sale or repair, you are breaking state law. "Handgun locked in your car at work" only applies if you have a permit. Could you have a rifle or shotgun? Possibly; I'd sure want to ask an attorney first.

The paper wants you worried; an editorial today refers to Indiana as "a state known for the looseness of its [gun] laws;" see above for just how "loose" those laws really are. Mr. Editor-thing wants one-gun-a-month laws (despite a lack of hard data showing they do anything but limit the law-abiding) and is still miffed that the state made my home address and other private data -- and that of other permit holders -- unavailable to any noseyparker who could afford the cost of photocopying. Publish yours first, d00d, along with a hint you own something criminals would like to have!

Last, the paper wants you worked up over bad math: syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts fumes that though " terms raw numbers, whites are far and away the biggest users -- and dealers -- of illegal drugs," nevertheless "black men are 12 times likelier to be jailed for drugs while ones..." Gee, it does sound awful -- until you remember that in terms of raw numbers, there are about 5.6 times as many European-Americans as African-Americans, even if we count Kim duToit and Peter in the latter category, while the "12-times as likely" comparison is per capita. Add in the known economic disparities per complexion -- poverty being a better flag for probability of drug use than skin color -- and suddenly "12 times as likely" is trimmed down to size. --Which is not to say there are not police abuses, nor that they do not fall more upon groups least able to afford lawyers and most likely to be around drug-users; but to call it a "new Jim Crow," as he and the author he quotes do, is to indulge in race-baiting hysteria. I suppose that is easier than actually doing something. Which reminds me, Al Sharpton's gonna be blowing into town to raise Cain over a recent police pile-up. It's an ugly incident, extensively covered by local media, has got one officer fired and Rev. Sharpton gives every sign of wanting to make it uglier. Help-ful. Yepper.


BobG said...

Reminds me of a couple of my favorite quotes:

"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
-Thomas Jefferson

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed."
-Mark Twain

Anonymous said...

This is why newspapers are dying, and it is rightfully so that they should be.


Aaron T. said...

Indiana as "a state known for the looseness of its [gun] laws"? I'm sure that you are better than some, but the writer is undoubtedly unaware of the recent changes in law in Arizona. It's probably because of all of the attention the new immigration law has gathered that the new gun laws have been overlooked by the media. In summary though, persons with no criminal record can (as of earlier this week) carry concealed or openly with no permit whatsoever unless specifically delineated. It's funny, but I haven't heard about any explosions of violence due here in the last week.

Crucis said...

Deliberately misleading crap like that is why Mrs Crucis and I stopped subscribing to the KC Red Star years ago. I admit we still get the Sunday paper although we haven't subscribed in years. Every Sunday morning a copy is dropped on our drive-way.

My wife does like the coupons. She keeps that and tosses the rest. It's not even worth lining our cat's litterbox.

Borepatch said...

Going with the "narrative"? Check.

Incurious as to the accuracy of the "narrative"? Check.

Ignoring the racist roots of gun control and Clarance Thomas' exposition on same? Check.

Blissfully unaware of the meaning of the word "irony"? Check.

Mystified as to declining readership? Check.