Crime

I Learned It From Shooting Prairie Dogs With You, Dad!

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I have no particular insight into why an 8-year-old boy who apparently was not a victim of abuse would shoot his father and a boarder to death, "methodically stopping and reloading as he killed them." I doubt anyone does, since crimes of this sort are extremely rare:

Kathleen M. Heide, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida, said the odds of such killings "are so infinitesimal, it's really hard to even comprehend."

From 1976 to 2005, there were 62 cases in the United States in which a 7- or 8-year-old was arrested on murder charges, said Dr. Heide, who analyzed FBI data. Only two of those cases involved a child killing a parent.

Which is one reason this pseudo-explanation jumped out at me (italics added):

The boy in Arizona was no stranger to weapons—his father, an avid hunter, reportedly trained his son to shoot prairie dogs—and psychologists said that might have played a role.

Obviously, if this kid did not know how to operate a rifle, he would have had a hard time killing his father with one. But training children to handle guns is a pretty common practice in this country. (I do not come from a hunting family, but I was using a rifle just like the one involved in this case at my Jewish Community Center day camp when I was 10.) If a familarity with firearms creates a substantial risk of juvenile patricide, you'd expect this sort of thing to happen a little more often than seven times a century, wouldn't you? Maybe the step from shooting prairie dogs to murdering your father is a little bigger than the psychologists consulted by The New York Times allow. 

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  1. Perhaps he’s just insane. I doubt there’s a universal rule stating, You Must Be This Tall To Go On This Ride.

  2. Prairie dogs are a well-known gateway varmint.

  3. It might have had a role. Yeah and the NYT might have some purpose beyond re-enforcing the prejudices of its ignorant and sheltered readership, but I can’t find one.

  4. Obviously the something is going on above and beyond here – but it’s not the weapon that the psychologists are probably talking about, but more likely the showing a kid how to make small mammals explode. That said, hunting is also widespread and parental murders are rare.

  5. Perhaps he’s just insane. I doubt there’s a universal rule stating, You Must Be This Tall To Go On This Ride.

    It sounds like the kid is either completely crazy, or was abused and is just crazy enough to lash out rather than withdraw. I have trouble believing these sorts of things just happen.

  6. Yeah, don’t let anybody tell you that the ready availability of firearms here has anything to do with our murder rate being many times that of any other Western democracy. We just like to kill each other, and if some pinko managed to take our guns away, we’d club each other to death. The right to bear arms is at the core of our faith much as Jesus is at the core of a Jesus Freak’s faith. Pass the ammunition, baby.

  7. MAX HATS,

    Personally, I believe all psychologists are bullshit artists. Also, there may be old family history/genetics to play upon. On one side of my family alcoholism runs rampant, on the other side suicide and manic depression. Go figure.

  8. Lefiti Cocksuker!

  9. The holidays must be interesting a Naga’s house.

  10. Edward/Lefiti,

    Calm down. Go take some Zanax or something. Sweet baby Jesus you anger freaks are annoying.

  11. A quick look at other articles indicates that there was a history of domestic abuse calls in the home. That the boy had been “spanked” the night before, and that there was a recent divorce and remarriage by the dad, who had custody.

    There is a lot of this story that is not gonna end up in the paper, I imagine.

  12. Maybe they didn’t cover this a Jewish day camp.
    http://www.jlaw.com/Commentary/guncontrol.html

    In Judaism, safety is a religious concern. The Bible requires that a roof be properly gated, in order to prevent people from falling off of it (Deuteronomy 22:8). This commandment is understood by the Talmud as a general directive to remove any safety hazard (Bava Kamma 15b; Shulchan Aruch CM 427:8). Contemporary rabbinic authorities include in this commandment an employer’s responsibility to ensure occupational safety (Piskei Uziel 47) and an injunction against reckless driving (Minchat Yitzchak 8:148). Someone who refuses to remove a safety hazard can be punished by excommunication (YD 334:7). In general, safety regulations are treated with far greater stringency than any other section of halacha (YD 116:7). Clearly, any Jewish view of gun control would place high value on safety.

    In the Talmud there are specific regulations that resemble gun control. There is a law against owning a dangerous dog (Bava Kamma 79a). One who owns a dangerous dog must keep it tied in metal chains at all times (CM 409:3). Even if the dog is defanged or trained not to harm people, it must be chained because it may frighten strangers, and as a result may cause stress related injuries such as miscarriage and heart attacks (Shabbat 63b). One of the more pious Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair, was so stringent about this law that he refused to own mules, because they can occasionally cause injury (Hullin 7b; Terumat Hadeshen 2:105). However, there were instances where allowances were made. In border communities, where there is a threat of marauders, owners of dangerous dogs may unchain them at night for protection. Some say that any dangerous city is similar to a border community (CM 409:3).These sources demonstrate that halacha would require any gun to be carefully locked at all times, with allowances made in cases where the gun is actively being used for security. Those who are more stringent would avoid guns completely. (It should also be noted that many authorities prohibit hunting for sport; Rama OH 316:2, Darchei Teshuva YD 117:44)

  13. The article contradicts itself, saying first:

    “they have found no evidence of abuse, said Roy Melnick, the police chief in St. Johns, Ariz.”

    And then later:

    “Mr. Carlyon said the boy told the police that he had been spanked at home the night before because he was having trouble at school.”

  14. The AMA and physicians, doctors in general have a long standing bias against guns and gun ownership.

    Not surprising their fear guns shows through every once and a while.

  15. Maybe someone made the kid read some of the posts here.

    I was reading for 30 seconds and nearly resorted to patricide myself.

  16. Hah! Prairie dogs! The prairie dogs ate your baybee!

  17. sfb,

    Brother it’s bizarre. Individually we seem okay but put us together and Dante’s Seventh Layer of Hell seems to open up in the house. Also, I’m no longer in contact with my deep woods Baptist side of the family. They are the side with the suicide/manic depression troubles. I’m mostly in contact with my McNair side of the family. They are alcoholic side. Deep woods Baptists and strict Catholics don’t mix well.

  18. I like that “baby” at the end, there Lefiti.

    You’re just keepin’ it real, like you were born to do.

  19. From the same source;

    There is a second halacha that is relevant to this issue. The Talmud prohibits someone from selling offensive weapons to idol worshippers and suspected criminals (Avodah Zarah 15b; YD 151:5-6). The rule against selling to idol worshippers is based on an assumption that the idol worshippers will use them against Jews; however, if the Jews are allied with the idol worshippers, it is permitted to sell them arms. It is likewise prohibited to sell such weapons to anyone suspected of reselling them to criminals. This halacha requires that the buyers of firearms be carefully screened, and resembles in many ways laws requiring a national registry of gun and rifle owners.

  20. I wish Lefiti would teach his kid to hunt prairie dogs.

  21. Citizen Nothing,

    LMAO!

  22. Ken Hagler:

    You see a spanking as necessarily child abuse? Did you come over here by accident?

  23. . . . And give him a good spanking, every once in a while too.

  24. FrBunny

    I think it was snark, rather than sincerity.

  25. Neu Mejican,

    This is way off topic, but several weeks ago I referenced working at the Boys and Girls Club and how with a wink, the staff would condone doing a little dirt, which you took to mean diddled with the kids. What I meant was that they condoned criminal activities by adolescent males, such as breaking into garages, stealing bikes, etc. I was trying to point out how deeply rooted crime is in urban culture.

    For the record, I have never known of Boys and Girls Club staff improperly touching, seducing or molesting kids.

  26. thank you lefiti, for a comment i actually found interesting. if you want to reinvent your niche to tracking down a thread’s talmudic implications, it’d be a definite improvement.

  27. I still spank my wife, no abuse there . . . .

  28. I think it was snark, rather than sincerity.

    Ah. I can rarely tell anymore.

    “I haven’t changed since high school and suddenly I’m uncool!”

  29. She puts on a collar, and I call her Lassie . . . .

  30. John | November 11, 2008, 4:34pm | #

    It might have had a role. Yeah and the NYT might have some purpose beyond re-enforcing the prejudices of its ignorant and sheltered readership, but I can’t find one.

    Lefiti | November 11, 2008, 4:42pm | #

    Yeah, don’t let anybody tell you that the ready availability of firearms here has anything to do with our murder rate being many times that of any other Western democracy. We just like to kill each other, and if some pinko managed to take our guns away, we’d club each other to death. The right to bear arms is at the core of our faith much as Jesus is at the core of a Jesus Freak’s faith. Pass the ammunition, baby.

    Right on cue. Cocksucking ignorant bastard.

  31. Timmy,

    Well played sir!

  32. Is it too much to ask for both sides to agree that prevalence of firearms is a minor factor in people actually shooting actual other people? As stated in the article, if the kid doesn’t know how to use a gun, he doesn’t use a gun. But it’s obvious that just being around guns isn’t gonna be enough. There is a much more significant cause out there (abuse or neurology probably) and we should work together to find it.

    That way the government can take children out of “bad” homes whenever they want, or it can mandate genetic screening for “crazy” kids. Instead of taking away guns, which would be a violation of rights. It seems we’re fucked no matter what.

  33. Mom was in town for a visit just before the shootings as well. I wonder how that went.

    My guess is that we had an 8 year-old with a lot of anger issues not being addressed either through ignorance or denial. An 8 year-old’s tantrum with a gun that he knows how to use can be a very bad thing.

    I wonder what the synergy between the spanking and mom’s visit looked like. Was the boy grounded too… and not allowed to see his mom?

    Sad case.
    The things is, the kid has good chance of recovering from this and leading a normal life if he gets the proper care and treatment.

  34. You’re welcome, Hogan. It’s nice to get a little respect for a change. Jacob Sullum’s political views might benefit from some Talmudic study. Jews don’t vote overwhelmingly Democratic for nothing.

  35. Someone who refuses to remove a safety hazard can be punished by excommunication

    One who owns a dangerous dog must keep it tied in metal chains at all times

    require any gun to be carefully locked at all times

  36. Naga, thanks

  37. Is it too much to ask for both sides to agree that prevalence of firearms is a minor factor in people actually shooting actual other people?

    So is the prevalence of people. Stupid people, always getting in the way of my utopia…

  38. My guess is, if the gun wasn’t there, a knife would work just fine. Just the gun would have been easier for the kid, more efficient as it were.

    Still sad story. Shouldn’t be used for politcal ends.

  39. Rabbi Chanina, an assistant of the high priest said: Pray for the welfare of the government, since but for fear of it men would swallow each other alive. Pirkei Avot, 3:2

  40. It’s nice to get a little respect for a change.

    It’s not that hard. All you had to do was paste in lengthy quotations, carefully refraining from adding any opinion of your own. Keep it up!

  41. I do not come from a hunting family, but I was using a rifle just like the one involved in this case at my Jewish Community Center day camp when I was 10.

    That is awesome.

    I think I heard it hear that some guy had to take the train to School and he was in some gun class or club and everyday he would take his Rifle to school on that train.

  42. Marc,

    I thnk you’re on to something. Can I do the fathers of the church, too?

  43. “She puts on a collar, and I call her Lassie . . . .”

    Reminds me of a motel we were staying at in Des Moines years ago (1984?) that was owned by an East Indian couple. All the room got the playboy channel and without knocking, the owner would walk into your room if it wasn’t locked. He came in when were watching a film where the guy was telling the girl “Bark like a dog for me!” We were laughing our asses off when he came in. Anyway, later, he showed some of my band mates porn magazines with old men fucking chickens and whatnot. It was one weird motel.

    A year or two later we heard the Des Moines club we’d been playing had burned down, which didn’t surprise us because for power, we had to tap into a 220v wire that came out of the floor. The band who was playing there at the time the club burned down was named “Destiny”

    True story.

  44. Another fabulous Teaching Opportunity for illustrating semantic nullity.

    Remember, kids, this statement:

    psychologists said that might have played a role

    is semantically equivalent to this one:

    psychologists said that might or might not have played a role.

    And both are semantically null!

    As I’ve pointed out before, any statement that contains the word “might” means exactly the same thing if you add the words “or might not.”

  45. Oh yeah, Lefiti, you tell it like it is, baby.
    I really appreciate your posts and find them much more enlightening than the usual idiocy from “libertarians”.

    And your incredible talmudic scholarship deserves a lot more credit than you’re likely to find around here. Pearls before Swine!

    Hey, and for a magazine called Reason I sure am seeing some pretty un-reasonable comments around here!

    Welp, gotta go!

  46. You see a spanking as necessarily child abuse? Did you come over here by accident?

    Ah, you beat me to it by a country mile.

  47. Daddy’s “Boarder”, huh?

  48. “I have always said that I am in favor of a minimum income for every person in the country.” F. Hayek

    “That the monetary system must be under central control has never, to my mind, been denied by any sensible person.” F Hayek

    I meant that church.

  49. “My guess is, if the gun wasn’t there, a knife would work just fine. Just the gun would have been easier for the kid, more efficient as it were.”

    Lizzy Borden took an ax…

  50. In the early 90’s while working at a NM HS, part of my parking lot duty was to be sure that the guns in everyone’s gun racks stayed in the car/truck and didn’t come out into the school building with the kids.

    That was not that long ago.

    While there, I did have to talk the gun out of the hand of an angry student who went back to his truck in preparation for settling a score.

    That was a bit more tense than the gun-free confrontations that occur regularly on a HS campus.

    Anyone who denies that having guns handy is more likely escalate the danger than not hasn’t spent much time around guns…imho.

    An 8 year old with a 22: scary.

    An 8 year old with a big knife: not so much.

  51. You see a spanking as necessarily child abuse? Did you come over here by accident?

    Ah, you beat me

  52. Nothing like an anecdote to settle a decades-old debate once and for all!

    Thanks Neu Mejican!

  53. RC Dean,

    psychologists said that might or might not have played a role.

    And both are semantically null!

    As I’ve pointed out before, any statement that contains the word “might” means exactly the same thing if you add the words “or might not.”

    That little lesson seems nice and clear, but is the semantics 101 version of “DEMAND KURVE” in that it requires you to buy into a just-so story about semantic meaning.

    The semantic differences between

    “That might have been a factor” and
    “That might or might not have been a factor” are both real and meaningful.

    One carries more force and would be summarized as “it seems likely that factor played a role,” while the other is weaker and would be summarized as “it is impossible to determine if that factor played a role.”

    Semantic meaning is always more than the sum of its parts.

  54. True, the fact that the kid was 8 means that the knife probably would have had a better outcome. But the premeditation is different than escalating, what im guessing, was a heat of the moment confrontation.

  55. Of course having lots of guns around will increase the rate of shootings.

    And if we banned all sharp objects, there would be a lot fewer stabbings.

    And if we banned bricks, a lot fewer people would be bashed in the head with a brick every year.

    You can’t make laws with the intention of stopping crazy people from doing crazy things. I am sure millions of kids are treated much worse than this one and don’t go and shoot their parents. This is an isolated incident and there is no greater lesson to be learned here.

  56. Lefiti,
    Too bad I’m not Jewish, so quoting the Talmud won’t convince me. It’s a bithc, ain’t it?

  57. Did the boy suddenly develop a taste for fast exotic cars and heavy metal?

  58. Garth | November 11, 2008, 5:27pm | #
    Nothing like an anecdote to settle a decades-old debate once and for all!

    Thanks Neu Mejican!

    No problem, but I think you give anecdote too much force in debate. I thought the “imho” would signal that I was expressing an opinion and not trying to settle the debate for good.

    Oh well.

  59. Having lots of guns around probably does make it more likely that people will be shot to death. But we need them to deal with little fucks like Lefiti when they try to take over the country.

  60. “So is the prevalence of people. Stupid people, always getting in the way of my utopia…”

    Tell me about it. I’ve always been curious to ask around here, if you could have one regulation/program that would be enforced perfectly, what would you want?

    I think i’d want an IQ/political/health test or something, then allow smart people to be completely free and stupid people need to carry around a card that only allows them a certain amount of freedom. “I’m sorry sir but it says here you can’t be trusted to ______”. Then, “Oh what’s that? You want to buy pot/a gun/a whore? If I could just see your card…OK you’re good.”

  61. Andy,

    Why not save time and effort and just used a libertarian party membership card?

  62. The article contradicts itself, saying first:

    “they have found no evidence of abuse, said Roy Melnick, the police chief in St. Johns, Ariz.”

    And then later:

    “Mr. Carlyon said the boy told the police that he had been spanked at home the night before because he was having trouble at school.”

    Spanking is not child abuse. Did the article say the kid was bruised from the middle of his back to the middle of his thighs? A swat or six on the most padded part of the anatomy is not child abuse.

  63. OH! You philistine, J sub D! lol!

  64. A swat or six on the most padded part of the anatomy is not child abuse.

    I would bet you could get more than a handful of psychologists to disagree with that. Probably the same ones noted in the article.

  65. Timmy,

    Careful, lest you find yourself down a well…

  66. I bet I could find psychologists who think that even raising a child is a form of child abuse.

  67. Pro Libertate,

    That’s because you raise cattle or chickens and rear children. If you are treating your children like livestock, you are being abusive…no?

    ;^)

  68. Lefiti:

    The rule against selling to idol worshippers is based on an assumption that the idol worshippers will use them against Jews;

    …so far, so good …

    however, if the Jews are allied with the idol worshippers, it is permitted to sell them arms.

    … um … was your reference to this source supposed to be logical, or just saying that the Jewry are just as confused as the rest of the world on this subject?

    Apparently, idol worshippers are a suspicious lot because they are well-known Jew-haters, however those that are buddies with gun-selling Jews can buy them from said Jews because obviously those idol worshippers aren’t Jew-hatin’ … merely gun-totin’.

  69. Neu Mejican:

    Why not save time and effort and just used a libertarian party membership card?

    Because Bob Barr has demonstrated just how easy it is to fake one.

  70. “I have always said that I am in favor of a minimum income for every person in the country.” F. Hayek

    “I prefer to give one trillion dollars to a bunch of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan guys.”
    B. H. Obama

    “I am also very much in favor of the regressive payroll taxes that victimize those making hte least income. Thank lucifer for those Ned Deal programs, the democrats are so dumb they think SS is supposed to help them.”
    B. H. Obama

    “That the monetary system must be under central control has never, to my mind, been denied by any sensible person.” F Hayek

    Lefiti,
    I have to give you credit, you picked up on the core reason for Hayek’s Nobel Prize. You won’t find any Rothbard saying that kind of silly stuff.

  71. Pro Libertate ,
    I don’t think she was a shrink, but

    Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger: “The most merciful thing a large family can do for one of its infant members is to kill it.”

  72. Oh my god, the evil NYT lefty commie media has suggested that guns might have played some part in a gun death.

    You know, the first thing Idi Amin did when he came to power? Took all the guns. You can look it up. It won’t be long before all the ivory tower types led by president Hussein blame you and your gun for everything! Run for the hills!

    Jesus, you people will get worked up over anything won’t you.

  73. Gabe,

    I think I need a citation for that one.

    Sanger is often attributed with quotes she didn’t make.

    FWIW, she was a nurse.

    This is more typical of her:
    No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.

  74. Gabe,

    Found it in context.

    Many, perhaps, will think it idle to go farther in demonstrating the immorality of large families, but since there is still an abundance of proof at hand, it may be offered for the sake of those who find difficulty in adjusting old-fashioned ideas to the facts. The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it. The same factors which create the terrible infant mortality rate, and which swell the death rate of children between the ages of one and five, operate even more extensively to lower the health rate of the surviving members. Moreover, the overcrowded homes of large families reared in poverty further contribute to this condition. Lack of medical attention is still another factor, so that the child who must struggle for health in competition with other members of a closely packed family has still great difficulties to meet after its poor constitution and malnutrition have been accounted for.

  75. Kids who live with their parents are much more likely to kill them than kids who don’t know their parents. The obvious solution is to make all children wards of the state.

  76. capital L,

    Does that mean these kids will be more likely to kill the state?

    Subtle plan to promote smaller government?

  77. “Too bad I’m not Jewish, so quoting the Talmud won’t convince me. It’s a bithc, ain’t it?”

    Economist

    Sullum is Jewish, idiot.

  78. I only just skimmed all the comments so I’m not sure it wasn’t mentioned yet. But don’t the writers at Reason usually make it a point to address the unreliability of children this young as witnesses? I’m not saying the kid didn’t do it, just that the only evidence in this case so far is that an 8 year old child who just lost his father admitted to the crime after 45 minutes of police interrogation. The gun control points are also important to the Reason crew, but could we usually also get the “kid testimony is inherently unreliable” angle around here too.


  79. Spanking is not child abuse. Did the article say the kid was bruised from the middle of his back to the middle of his thighs? A swat or six on the most padded part of the anatomy is not child abuse.

    If a spanking makes a kid shooting spree, it’s harder to argue it wasn’t child abuse.

    Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger: “The most merciful thing a large family can do for one of its infant members is to kill it.”

    I could swear she posted here recently.

  80. Lefiti,
    I know Sullum is Jewish. But he obviously isn’t a member of a sect with strident anti-gun views. And I was pointing out that several posts explaining why Judaism would support gun control is no more relevant here than quoting the New Testament.

  81. But, of course, Lefiti has a strong desire to be enraged. I personally don’t like to angrily jerk off, but everyone’s got their thing…

  82. Isn’t troll-nursing what you guys call misallocation of resources?

  83. I AM NOT A DOUCHE!

  84. I AM NOT A DOUCHE!

    Thou dost protesteth too much.

  85. That wasn’t me juris, you douche.

  86. Luckily for the Israelis, their army doesn’t subscribe to Lefiti’s views. Perhaps they have learned from certain historical examples of what happens to unarmed people at the mercy of the State.

  87. Edward/Lefiti,

    Quit crying and take it!

  88. It wasn’t him, dammit.

    And you’re the douche.

  89. cunnivore wins the niwdoG award for finally invoking National Socialism judiciously.

  90. Is there a cause of action, civil or criminal, for anyone who, through negligence, allows someone to get hold of their firearm who then does harm with it?

    Because I think that is an OK law.

    I thought this when I saw Bowling For Columbine. Sure, I can see not charging the 6 year old who shot his classmate, but if the person whom the 6 year old got the gun from was negligent in any way allowing him to get the gun, then that person should be nailed to the wall I’m afraid…

  91. cunnivore
    If you are, like me, a fellow eater-of-pussy, shouldn’t you be named “cunTivore?”

    Just saying.

  92. CED,
    Um, why would you admit that? I’ve never seen the appeal, myself.

  93. CED, I prefer the Latin tongue.

  94. I used to shoot things when I was a kid, too, and I never shot my dad.

  95. In a couple of weeks, millions of impressionable children will watch their parents carve turkeys. How many of them will try to carve up their parents later that night?

  96. economist – that’s crazy talk. That’s like saying you don’t see the appeal of football or booze or something.

    You’re pretty much speaking a foreign language to me at this point.

    if the person whom the 6 year old got the gun from was negligent in any way allowing him to get the gun

    you have a foreseeability problem. That is, is it foreseeable that a six-year-old will load and know how to fire a weapon and will therefore take it and harm others?

    And if you’re quoting Bowling for Columbine, that’s a credibility problem for you.

  97. Someone invoked National Socialism judiciously. That’s a famous first.

  98. It’s karma, baby. Revenge of the cute little gophers.

  99. AO,
    Perhaps we aren’t using the same meaning for “eating-of-pussy”.

  100. It’s an acquired taste, economist. I would go into the details of my own life journey but the readers of the thread may not want to hear them.

  101. flygate,
    Gophers are disease-carrying vermin from hell. I hope one day to kill every last one of them.

  102. cunnivore,
    That’s okay, I’m not that curious.

  103. economist @ 7:57pm, it’s initially for the, uh, recipient’s enjoyment. And the agent’s motive is to accrue vicarious pleasure. Which then become mutual.

    But somehow an analysis seems unlikely to be persuasive if the draw wasn’t there in the first place.

  104. economist, I don’t mean it in the Chinese restaurant sense if that’s what you mean…

  105. AO is correct economist. Some of us are retarded when it comes to going down on women through no fault of our own. I, for instance, get claustophobic and feel the need to tap out of any scissor hold that may be thrown my way.

  106. Like sheep to the shearing…

  107. Uh, guys, it’s really okay. I really don’t need to know.

  108. Yes he does! Yes! He does!

  109. economist’s paramour,
    How the hell did you know I posted here? And my handle?

  110. Oh, right, fake “economist’s paramour”.

  111. Rewatching “Proper Condom Use” on South Park.
    “I don’t think old Mackey knows a hymen from a hysterectomy.”

  112. His handle! It’s always about his handle! What about my needs? What about [*sob] me?

  113. I killed the thread again, didn’t I?

  114. economist,

    Was that South Park reference aimed at me?

  115. I really should avoid asking questions about other posters.

  116. Naga Shadow,
    Nope. Just a random comment. Ugh. Mr. Mackey and Ms. Choksondik love scene. Skip.

  117. NO, you beast! Ask more questions! And ask me what I like! Ask me! Ask me! You never ask me anything!

  118. I prefer the Ms. Garrison / Xerxes Lesbian Scissor Scene, myself.

    On a side note: I love how the Wikipedia Article has a mention of the “Hells Angels Red Wings” leather jacket patch.

    Some friends of mine and I were discussing that the other day.

  119. Good. Then I’ll just quote Mr. Mackey and be on my way to another post.

    “Well . . . I . . . just . . . where in the hell did I put that damn thing?”

  120. AO,

    What? Hell’s Angels Red Wings? Okay, maybe I’ll just read his wikipedia link after all.

  121. you have to, it’s a trip.

    And I’m going to start using “Black Wings” in conversation from now on, too.

  122. “Okay, I want to discuss sexual positions, now what sexual positions have we talked about?”

  123. I swear I know how that little boy felt.

  124. “You don’t know if your children are being taught by someone who has a bad opinion of sex, doesn’t know, or is a complete pervert.”
    “Why did the camera just pan to me?”

  125. “there was a recent divorce and remarriage by the dad, who had custody.”

    The MFKM (Media Formerly Known as Mainstream) probably won’t be consulting any psychologists about the effect of divorce on impressionable children, or whether the divorce of this kid’s parents “may have been a factor” in the murder.

  126. “I prefer the Ms. Garrison / Xerxes Lesbian Scissor Scene, myself.”

    It’s chilling how H&R immediately becomes much more intelligible after one has familiarized oneself with South Park.

  127. The boy’s birth had a definite influence on the outcome.

  128. “Mrs. Garrison/Xerxes Lesbian Scissor Scene”
    Ugh. Now I’ll have the shudders for a week.

  129. Mad Max,

    It’s like a secret decoder ring really.

    Cunnivore,

    You magnificent bastard, you! I’m never gonna look at Hell’s Angels the same again. I always veiwed them as geezers whose relevance was 40 years past due.

  130. “It’s like a secret decoder ring”
    No, a secret decoder ring would have to be specific to libertarians. South Park is as popular with non-libertarians as The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and that other show the name of which I cannot recall at the moment.

  131. Actually, more popular now that The Simpsons sucks and King of the Hill has declined.

  132. Wait! Are you suggesting that King of the Hill was ever worth a watching? BLASPHEMY!!!

  133. Also, try asking anyone to see if they recall any morals or just in what way Kenny was killed. I believe that my point would be understandable.

  134. Naga,
    What are you saying? Quite a few episodes of King of the Hill were damn funny.

  135. What am I saying? That King of the Hill SUCKED! It sucked so hard that a black hole was nearly the end result!

  136. scissor me timbers

  137. CED sez Is there a cause of action, civil or criminal, for anyone who, through negligence, allows someone to get hold of their firearm who then does harm with it?

    Yes. Of course in this case that would be to hold the father responsible, civilly and/or criminally. I don’t think that is going to help much.

    There was a case recently here in Californistan where a young boy (around 4 maybe) shot his policeman father with dad’s gun.

  138. The father probably deserved it. Not sure about the boarder, but there’s got to be more to this.

  139. Mom: “Next time he gives you a spanking, shoot the bastard!”

  140. I recently taught my 12 year old son to fire the .357. He’s pretty good at it too.

    No worries here though cuz I haven’t spanked him lately and we don’t have prairie dogs.

  141. Mom: “Next time he gives you a spanking, shoot the bastard!”

    Classic thread winner type stuff. I just woke said son up LOL.

  142. “Deep woods Baptists and strict Catholics don’t mix well.”
    For evidence, see Louisiana.

  143. Ow, jeez, c’mon, Barry, why’d you hafta go there?

  144. “That is, is it foreseeable that a six-year-old will load and know how to fire a weapon and will therefore take it and harm others?”

    I think it’s foreseeable that if you leave a gun laying around where a six year old can get to it unsupervised that they might do something stupid with it, including loading it and shooting someone. If you’ve loaded the gun in front of the kid especially.

    As for Bowling for Columbine of course it’s largely twiddle twaddle but I like 1. how it refutes itself by pointing out that Canada has quite a few guns and does not have the high murder rate the US does (of course this does not stop stupid Moore from devoting the second half of the film to the evils of gun/ammunition availibility in the US) and 2. how it debunks a lot of the bullshit reasons that people give for teen violence (video games, rock music, etc).

  145. I’m late to the party, but God’s law with respect to prarie dogs is self-evident. They were crafted by the Almighty to be self-erecting targets. They serve no other use.

  146. The semantic differences between

    “That might have been a factor” and
    “That might or might not have been a factor” are both real and meaningful.

    One carries more force and would be summarized as “it seems likely that factor played a role,” while the other is weaker and would be summarized as “it is impossible to determine if that factor played a role.”

    Which is entirely my point, NM. By saying “might”, you give the illusion of having said a lot more than you have. Anything “might” be a factor; if you mean to say “it seems likely” or whatever, then frickin’ say it, and back it up, rather than slathering your sentence in misleading terms that ultimately drain the meaning out of it, while inviting your listeners to believe something you never actually said.

  147. dad shouldn’t have gotten divorce from the mom….

    1. If the mom is a bitch then the kid is stuck living with a bitch and no one to defend him.

    2. If the dad is a dick and he was just mean to the mom then he probably should have been shot anyway.

    problems solved, lets move on.

  148. RC Dean,

    Which is entirely my point, NM. By saying “might”, you give the illusion of having said a lot more than you have. Anything “might” be a factor; if you mean to say “it seems likely” or whatever, then frickin’ say it, and back it up, rather than slathering your sentence in misleading terms that ultimately drain the meaning out of it, while inviting your listeners to believe something you never actually said.

    Native born speakers of English are not confused by the wording. Saying “it seems likely” requires 11 phonemes while “might” requires 3 phonemes.

    Why work so some much harder when the message is equivalent?

    Both versions are hedges indicating a degree of uncertainty with a bias towards there being an effect. Neither version indicates that you are certain enough to “back it up” with certainty.

    Like I said, your lesson in semantic nullity is more a lesson about how much you don’t know about semantics than it is a lesson about what the “proper” way to speak meaningfully.

  149. add an “is” or delete a “the” as you see fit.

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