Lest you thought the "bulletproof" backpack trend wasn't heinous and exploitative enough, Wonder Hoodie is now selling a "bulletproof" hoodie.
I use "scare-quotes" here because, like most "bulletproof" products on the market, this hoodie claims to rate a IIIA on the National Institute of Justice's Body Armor Performance Standards. This means that the padding is "Tested to stop .357 SIG and .44 Magnum ammunition fired from longer barrel handguns. No rifle ammunition protection."
So it's not really bulletproof so much as it is bullet resistant for certain handguns. Which ain't gonna help in the occasion someone shows up with an AR-15 or similar semi-automatic rifle. Also, if we're being technical, it hasn't actually been tested and certified by the NIJ, but rather by an independent lab. But I digress.
If it does make you feel comfortable about the statistically likelihood situation of a mass shooting, then by all means, spend the $800 for the adult-sized hoodie, even though you're more likely to die in a boating or a spaceship incident. (To be fair, a deliberate assault by a gun is way more likely than either of these events, though still a lower risk than death from cancer, flu, or falling.) And to make it even more worth the exploitative emotional manipulation investment, the company also offers a "Limited Lifetime Warranty." Here's what that entails:
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If you get shot (God forbid) with our hoodies on, we'll send you a replacement hoodie FREE of charge. Just include the police report or news clip.
I’ve written extensively on gun violence, spoken on international TV and radio on the subject, and even pursued a gun license in the strictest city of one of the strictest states in the country. Despite my first-hand experience, the most ardent defenders of the Second Amendment — like those who marched on Richmond, Virginia this weekend to protest "Jim Crow" gun laws — will still tell me things like, “We don’t need more laws! We need to enforce the laws on the books!” or “We can’t stop every shooting because that’s just the price of freedom.” Those same #2A Avengers will of course acknowledge that yeah, okay, maybe NICS has some problems, or maybe those Parkland cops should have done something earlier, and then swiftly retreat back into the same tribalistic mindsets that always prevent human progress.
So I wrote this essay, hoping to have a rational conversation. It was originally published on Medium in 2018, but it remains frustratingly relevant, so I'm posting it here.
Naming something gives you power over it.
That’s the basic idea behind all the magic in every folktale dating back for centuries, from “Rumpelstiltskin” to the Rolling Stones’ “Hope you guessed my name.” Ancient shamans didn’t practice “magic”; they just had knowledge, and names for things like “eye of newt” that no one else could understand. To name something is to know it, and knowledge is power.Think about the relationship between “spelling” and “spells” and you won’t be so surprised that Harry Potter has been all over the gun violence conversations lately, on both the Left and the Right—which makes sense, considering that they have a word you memorize and practice reciting in order to kill people. Read the rest
Police say that Christy Sheats, the gun nut mom who shot dead her two daughters during a family confrontation that spilled into a Texas street, returned inside to reload before executing her child in view of horrified neighbors. She was still shooting when cops arrived, which is why they killed her. Read the rest
The Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined there is no second amendment right to concealed carry.
Via Mother Jones:
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This morning, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a long-awaited opinion in a case challenging how concealed-weapon permits are issued in California. Writing on behalf of the seven-judge majority, Justice William Fletcher delivered a blow to pro-gun advocates, stating that "there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public."
The case's lead plaintiff, Edward Peruta, had argued that the state's current system for issuing concealed-weapons permits is arbitrary and unconstitutional, since it gives sheriffs and police chiefs broad discretion in determining who has the "moral character" and "good cause" to pack a hidden gun. In his finding that such regulations are constitutional, Fletcher cited the Supreme Court's 2008 Heller decision, which affirmed the right to keep guns for self-defense, but found that "the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited."
A long time, and well loved, resident of Yellowstone National Park, Scarface the bear, has been found shot dead. Scarface has been entertaining photographers, non-threateningly, for decades. It seems unlikely he was killed in self-defense, as he was unlikely to disturb family pic-a-nics.
In the ongoing research into the habits of the grizzlies in Yellowstone, Scarface had been captured, collared, and released 17 times.
Scarface did survive to a ripe old age for his species, 25. In his prime, he weighed 600 pounds. He was down to 338 pounds and biologists expected this last winter to be his last. They meant a death from old age, not from gunshots. Social media were full of outrage from biologists and wildlife photographers, for whom Scarface had become a symbol of the species struggling for survival against climate change and the invasion of bear habitat by humans.
Shooting a grizzly is unlawful except in self-defense, but Scarface had a long history with people that made him an unlikely candidate to attack a photographer or a hunter. Because of the Endangered Species Act violation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened an investigation into the circumstances of the shooting. Several photographers, decrying the shooting, declared that Scarface was the most photographed bear in Yellowstone.
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