Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Growing support for gun rights

This Pew graph shows recent growth in support for private gun ownership. I suspect this is part of larger trend that favors maximum individual lifestyle freedom. Other examples include more people favoring legalization of marijuana and gay marriage. How nice it would be to see the acid of individualism attack minority race-loyalty.


  1. holy crap it's actually below 50% again (the the gun control)

    that's really great news and something I didn't expect.

  2. What is interesting is that the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right that was unconnected with any military service.

    One is reminded of the many people who believe that school prayers and school segregation should be legal and that apportions should be illegal.

    SCOTUS gets no respect.

  3. I don't know if these three phenomenoa are related. Those being: greater support for gun rights, gay marriage, and legalized marijuana. Maybe the fact that these three changes in public attitudes are happening together is significant but that's a speculation. There are simpler explantions.

    Marijuana or rather medical marijuana is becoming more accepted for two very simple reasons. First it seems effective at relieving symtoms of nausea and arthritis. These conditions are common and there are not a whole lot of superior conventional drugs. The scientific literature shows that marijuana is roughly as effective as codiene for the simple relief of certain kinds of pain. So what?

    Since there legal alternatives it hardly matters, But if you have fibroneuralgia or arthritis or several kinds of specific pain marijuana is the best drug. MJ fans make all sorts of unsubstantiated claims but sober conservative medical experts agree that for some specific ailments MJ is the remedy of choice.

    Secondly, everyone knows that MJ is safe. The argument for continuing banning MJ is that it is a gateway drug. Smoke harmless MJ and you will soon be drug fiend addicted to heroin. Bill O'Reily may be heard advancing that argument on Fox News almost any night of the week. I believe that this argument or rather I should say falacy (post quo ergo propter quo) is losing potency because it is becoming clear that overstating the case against MJ tends to bring all warnings about illegal drugs into disrepute. A kid who discovers for himself that MJ doesn't hurt him may become skeptical about all those warnings about the opiates and cocaine. Those who indulge in over-the-top rhetoric about MJ - like O'Reilly - soon develop a credibility gap.

    I have developed a theory of homosexuality based on the work of Ewald and Cochran. I posit that it's a disease caused my toxoplasma gondii. I may be wrong of course but there are many epidemiological hints and this is a behavior changing parasite. It is also very, very common in humans. It fits the pattern of the evidence, and this is a hypothesis that can be tested.

    No one else so far accepts my hypothesis but clearly the world is ready for some rational, scientific explanation, God's will is getting invoked less often these days. In the Age of Faith we just burned them at the stake.

    Finally gun sales are simply a reaction to Obama and the opponents of Obama. The first Tea Party rally was on April 15th two years ago. I bought a gun the next day. So did millions of others. The Martin-Zimmerman case is also helping gun sales. This is not a mystery. It is a rational adaption to a changing political process. Obama has a taste for street politics. That's a polite way of saying he tries to start riots.

    One of the final phases of the fall of the Roman Republic was when the contestants Caesar and Pompeii hired street thugs - Clodius and Milo - to influence the political process. Citizens of Rome began to carry swords under their togas.

  4. Agree with Pat. It could be a bad sign in that people think the Republic is starting to fall apart and want to be prepared. It might be a good thing indicating a bad thing, if you get my drift.

  5. @Pat said --

    "No one else so far accepts my hypothesis"

    "this is a hypothesis that can be tested"

    Then test it, bro. It's a stretch hypothesis and other people can't carry your water for you. If you are right then you will be a historical scientist. You seem to talk a lot on this, but do you have anything more than talk?

    You may be noticing that homosexuality can be 'contagious', but thats just because it is partly a learned behavior. The sexual proclivities of people is very plastic and formed by experience which reinforces habits.

    If you are right and you can prove it, you would have achieved a very important breakthrough. But as always, big claims require big proof.

  6. Dan challenged me to test my hypothesis. I agree. I started to come to that position a week or two ago. I've been thinking about the Cochran, Ewald gay infection hypothesis for a couple years. I started reading a lot of books.

    If homosexuality is caused by an infection what type? Virus, bacterium, fungus, or parasite. There are a couple examples of parasitic fungi but that didn't seem like a good fit. Typical virus are are phages that hijack a cell's genetic material for their own purposes. They "eat" a cell in a sense from the inside out. Bacteria are more versatile but they typically eat cells from the outside in.

    Homosexuality is behavior change. And there are lots of parasites that change the behavior of their hosts.

    Normally the parasite makes the host do something that assures its reproduction That didn't fit. Homosexuality isn't contagious. If a gay man molests your boy he does not become gay himself.

    But there is another pattern of consequences when parasites find themselves in the wrong host. Trichinosis is the pig parasite in a person. The worm doesn't want to be in a human because it cannot reproduce if in ends up in you, but it is a serious disease nevertheless.

    Then I looked at human parasites. The most common is the toxoplasma gondii that wants to cycle between cats and mice. But millions of people have this misplaced parasite.

    This cat parasite changes human behavior. When it lives in our brains and makes us crazy - literally. In the seventies we began to learn of all sorts of behavioral consequences of this common parasite. Schizophrenia is one. Bad driving is another. My contribution is to merely suggest that there is yet another - homosexuality.

    We know that the toxoplasma gondii invades the amygdala - a sub-cortical structure. It does this both in mice and humans. We know that homosexuality is marked by changes in the hypothalamus in uteri. The hypothalamus is another sub-cortical brain structures.

    This is a very simple and obvious hypothesis. It may be all wrong but it fits pretty well the clinical findings as we know them. I expected everyone to get on board as soon as I spelled it out. I wanted some credit for my small part in it. But most of the credit should go - if I'm right to Cochran and Ewald.

    But it seems I have to go further. I'm going to take your advice and figure out how to do a test.


  7. Wait ... a test? You mean like, a controlled experiment? Infect a random group of boys with T. gondii and protect a random group from it, and see which is group is gayer?

    There has to be a better way!

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