Georgia Campus Carry Year One

AJC TL;DR: 27 violations; no shootings.

Basically, the AJC says that some students seem to have some issues understanding this pretty complicated law and run into situations where they are in violation. They are unaware that concealed means it needs to be out of sight. (Some supporters really want Open Carry.) Some people are negligent, such as the people at UGA who left guns in gym lockers, the conference center hotel room, or at a bus stop. This is still better than Georgia K-12 school teachers who accidentally discharged their gun or left it in places for a student to find them.

Supporters, in general, want a simpler law that allows guns everywhere as the existing one is pretty complicated to comply with given all the exceptions. Opponents, in general, want it repealed. Faculty supporters of campus carry feel the law discriminates against them because they can carry in their classroom but not their office. Faculty opponents see themselves under a more severe disadvantage to angry students still developing their executive function in the brain.

Somewhat surprised the AJC failed to add a few related things from their own reporting:

It doesn’t really look like campus carry ended shootings on campus. Nor did it spur a Wild West constant shootout situation or a rampage of mass shootings. Students are still getting robbed near campuses. So, it made some students feel safer that they are carrying a gun. Well, until they are held up and someone steals their $500 gun.

 

 

Why Trump should counter Russian meddling in 2018 elections

A common complaint the PotUS has is that Democrats should agree with him. He rails on Twitter about this lack of support.

The Russian meddling in the 2016 elections was designed to target certain groups of people to discourage them from voting. We were already divided. The meddling exacerbated it. So, Democrats would hate Trump even more because of it.

If he wants a real chance at getting Democratic voters to agree with him, then he needs to reverse the effects of the Russian Effect.

United States v. Microsoft Corp

I found this case interesting:

The facts of the case are pretty simple: The cops have a warrant for an e-mail account for someone they suspect is involved in selling drugs. They go to Microsoft to get the information. Microsoft says they’ll give law enforcement the information they have stored in Washington [State], but the e-mails for that account are stored in Ireland and the warrant doesn’t apply to their Irish data center. The Supreme Court will decide whether the facts of this case are foreign or domestic and, based on that, whether the law can be applied to information stored in another country.

The SCOTUSBlog summary:

Issue: Whether a United States provider of email services must comply with a probable-cause-based warrant issued under 18 U.S.C. § 2703 by making disclosure in the United States of electronic communications within that provider’s control, even if the provider has decided to store that material abroad.

Working for state government, in contracting a company to host our services, we have to demand that our data remain in the United States. One of the DOJ claims is that someone in Microsoft headquarters can, with the click of a button, moved the data from Ireland to the US and remove this issue. Which is why I find our lawyer demanding our data not ever go overseas hilarious. With a click of a button, it or a copy could go there and we would never know or be able to prove that it did.

Ireland filed an amicus brief that Microsoft handing over the data would not violate Irish privacy law. So, moving the goal posts, the MS argument is now that other countries will demand access to data of US citizens stored in the US. Of course, they would also like to be protected from the US government.

Of course, there is the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act that is the legislative “fix”.

It would specify that an order under the SCA applies to all data that is in the “possession, custody, or control” of the provider, regardless of where that data is stored, and it would pave the way for executive agreements—such as the contemplated U.S.-U.K. agreement—to allow foreign governments to request content directly from American providers.

 

Firearm stocks under Trump

Talking about gun regulation causes increased gun sales. People buy out store stocks seeking to get them while they still can. So in that regard, President Obama was terrific for gun stores and manufacturers. For all the talk needing to do something, there was little done. The talk was enough to spike gun sales.

Sales and stock prices of firearms makers slumped after Trump’s unexpected election victory was seen as reducing prospects for curbs on gun ownership… But tweets and comments by Trump on Wednesday and Thursday that he supported raising the age limit for purchases of some kinds of guns, as well as other measures, turned up the heat on the gun control debate, and boosted gunmakers’ shares.” (Reuters) Trump also advocates arming some schoolteachers, which would also likely boost gun sales.

This chart is interesting. There were about 3 million a year manufactured under President George W Bush. There were about 8 million a year under President Obama.

Statistic: Number of firearms manufactured in the U.S. from 1986 to 2015 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Fell through the cracks

In terms of dealing with Nikolas Cruz, there were lots and lots of opportunity for early intervention. People “saw something, said something” multiple times over the past four years.

  • 2014: Cruz was accused of shooting a chicken four years ago. It was confirmed he owned and used an airsoft rifle, but he denied shooting chickens.
  • 2016: The sheriff’s office for Broward County, Florida, was told third-hand that Cruz had guns. They determined he had knives and a BB gun. The School Resource Officer was a sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school was informed.
  • 2016: Cruz was investigated by the SRO for ingesting gasoline and cutting himself in a suicide attempt. A counselor advised he did not meet criteria for involuntary commitment for the mentally ill.
  • 2016: Florida’s social services agency looked into Cruz after he posted on social media about self-harm and assessed him not at risk of harming either himself or others.
  • 2017: The FBI got a tip five months ago about a profession school shooter comment on Youtube. There are dozens of people with this name all over the country and almost a dozen in Florida. I’d think the only way to pursue it would be to get a warrant, but before the incident, this is not a warrant many judges would grant.
  • 2018: The FBI got a tip one month ago about Cruz specifically talked of committing a school shooting which it did not investigate.
  • 2018: The SRO deputy was not near the building when Cruz started shooting. And waited outside.

It seems like for every person claiming this kid was bad news there were a couple dismissing the concerns as overblown. I mean, his mother died a couple months after the Youtube “profession school shooter” comment. The couple who took him in knew he owned multiple guns but felt he was safe and happy and thought they had the only key to the gun safe. They also had no idea about his social media use.

Borked

I often use a term “borked” to mean to fail in a spectacular fashion. (The official definition is: obstruct (someone, especially a candidate for public office) through systematic defamation or vilification.)

The “fake” news about President Trump wanting to end Mueller’s investigation in the Russia connection reminds me of origin of this word.

President Nixon ordered the firing of an independent special prosecutor looking into the Watergate scandal. The Attorney General refused and resigned in protest. The deputy who was then acting also resigned in protest. The Solicitor General, Robert Bork, was the new acting AG and fired the special prosecutor.

Bork’s memoir stated Nixon promised him a Supreme Court seat afterwards for his loyalty. Instead, he was given an appeals court seat by Reagan in 1982. Then Reagan put him up for a Supreme Court seat in 1987. He was so strongly opposed that we got a new word from it. There were 46 Senators in Reagan’s party and 6 voted against Bork. Justice Kennedy was then appointed and managed to get confirmed 97-0.

Weird that I missed the stories celebrating the 30th anniversary of the nomination on July 1, 1987. The nomination vote was October 6th, so there is still time!

The current witch hunt firestorm makes me curious what new terminology we will have in 30 years because of current events.

Facebook Feature Request: Privacy and Tags

This is essentially the issue of the Friends of Friends post. In this case, I am not really interested in expanding the audience.

Say I publish a friends only post. Victor, my friend, makes a comment tagging Roberta, not my friend, and asks a question directed at her. She is not notified about the tag. Nor can she see the comment or post.

Therefore, in my mind, allowing the tag to be done is counterproductive. Facebook should warn Victor that Roberta cannot see it. Ideally it would be ahead of time and prevent it. Less acceptable, but I would be happier is after the fact having a “Roberta cannot see this” notice. (The “Who can see this?” thing is vague and not generally very helpful clarifying exactly who can see it.)

Review: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back in 2012, I took the Moral Foundations Questionnaire test. So almost five years later, I finally got around to reading the book that explains it. Since it is now Facebook integrated, I kind of want ALL my friends to take it.

The framework presented here makes sense to me. I was fascinated by Drew Westen‘s
The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation
talking about fear being the key to reaching conservative voters. I could see that in the 2012 and 2016 elections. But, in the 2016 one, it felt like there was something missing. This book explains that pretty well for me. First, there are several values: Care, Liberty, Fairness, Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity. People who favor certain ones tend to skew into certain parties.

Also, the cycle tends to be we feel something, then judge it based on the feeling, and then create reasons to explain away the judgement. We mistake the reasoning as the basis for values and morality when it is much more subservient to the feelings. I would love to see where Behavioral Economics could go with Moral Foundations Theory.

Applied to politics, I finally understand why people so often vote for policies that will hurt them. They are keyed to emotional reactions to values triggered through how candidates express themselves. Being such a fan of behavioral economics, my impression of humans as purely rational was discarded long ago. MFT fits my observations of others and even myself better than anything else I have seen.

We also are highly social and dependent on the group dynamic. And yet, what policies are chosen to by governments can fray the social capital they have. Immigration and ethnic diversity can trigger a push back leading to more racism.

The book does not really have answers. The questions will drive some of my reading for the next decade in search of them.

View all my reviews

Patriots’ Day

I watched the movie the other day. It made me realize that I know next to nothing about what the title is referencing. The synopsis I read about the movie made clear it was about the Boston Marathon Bombing, so it made it seem that the movie was about the heroic efforts of the Boston police to track down the bombers. After watching the movie, I still had no idea about the title of the movie.

So, I did some Googling.

Apparently Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, and some other states honor the first battles of the American Revolution with Patriots’ Day. The battles took place on April 19th. For a few decades the third Monday in April is the day used for the state holidays. The Boston Marathon is run on Patriots’ Day. Thus the title of the movie.

Here in Georgia there is some hurt feelings over the governor dishonoring Confederate Memorial Day by changing it to:

Monday, April 24 — State Holiday (originally on April 26)

There was a bill on the agenda seeking to make April called Confederate Memorial Month and to officially re-instate the holiday. It looks like it never received a floor vote.

If the state wants an April holiday, then maybe Patriots’ Day fits the bill? It honors American valor and values. Georgia was one of the original colonies unlike Wisconsin.