Reasonable Gun Laws Do Not Threaten 2nd Amendment Rights

NRA-graphic

Emotional testimony v. Cold hard facts!

I believe in the importance of the Constitution with it’s Bill of Rights to the proper functioning of our democracy. I also believe Second Amendment. Without a new amendment directly annulling it being being ratified, the government cannot take away the guns of law abiding citizens.

On the other hand, I do not believe that reasonable legislation intended to keep criminals from getting and using guns to commit crimes or to keep innocent civilians, particularly children, from being killed by guns necessarily infringes on 2nd Amendment rights.

Most of all, I believe facts are facts, and that looking beyond the biased, skewed rhetoric of entrenched sides to the actual facts, we may stand a much better chance of coming up with good policy on the matter. That is clearly illustrated in the graphic at the top of this post that appeared on a friend’s Facebook page today.  There was an emotional assertion made as a hearing that is contradictory to the facts.  The emotional assertion was repeated a lot in the media.  I didn’t hear it challenged until at least the next day. Continue reading

SAR Academic Freedom Media Review – October 6-12, 2012

Compiled by Scholars at Risk

China: Joint Statement by International Support Committee to Liu Xiaobo
Human Rights Watch, 10/12

Campus opens next to world’s biggest refugee camp
Reuben Kyama, University World News, 10/12

The Big Bang Theory of Education
Christian Caryl, Foreign Policy, 10/11

Call to waive fees for Syrians in UK
David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 10/11

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SAR Academic Freedom Media Review – September 29 – October 5, 2012

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements.  Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available here.

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UAE: Attacks and Smear Campaign against prominent human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor
Gulf Center for Human Rights, 10/5

Professors and students say higher education reforms a threat to academic freedom
Louise Brown, Toronto Star, 10/4

Syria: Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Abducted
Human Rights Watch, 10/4

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Register to Vote! Preserve your Options!

Jason Mraz urges you to “Register to Vote”

Sometimes when I ask people to register to vote they express frustration with the political system, dissatisfaction the candidates that are running, anger at the role of money in politics, or some other annoyance. Because of these things they say that they’re not sure they want to vote at all. I certainly understand the frustration, but voter registration deadlines are upon us.

As they come I urge you to remember one thing: If you register to vote before the deadline, you still have until election day to decide if you actually want to cast a ballot. If you don’t, you’ve closed the door. You will not be able to vote, no matter how much you feel like you want to come election day.  Obviously it is the Presidential elections that are getting most of the attention, but they are not all that’s going to be on your ballot.

In addition to House, Senate and Presidential races, there are state and local races, as well as local and state ballot initiatives. For example, let’s say you you are a Massachusetts resident who has strong feelings about the legalization of marijuana. Medical marijuana is the subject of a statewide ballot question, but it is not getting a great deal of coverage. In fact, I’m noticing many people don’t realize it’s on the ballot at all. Should those who care about the issue come to realize that the question is there before the election, they will be able to voice their opinion and potentially make a difference only if they have registered before their state’s deadline. If not, they are out of luck, except in the few states that offer Election Day registration.

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SAR Academic Freedom Media Review – September 22-28, 2012

I realize it is an idealistic view, but I believe passionately in the necessity of free intellectual inquiry.  It is the only way we arrive at truth. Only in the most extreme circumstances should it be compromised, for example to protect public safety. That is why I so strongly support the work of Scholars at Risk, and why I re-publish their weekly Academic Freedom Media Review every week. Even if all we do is call attention to abuses of academic freedom, we render a service. So read, re-post, or forward these messages. Visit the site of Scholars of Risk and find out more about the work.

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements.  Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available here.

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Higher education mounts rescue efforts for Syrian students, scholars
Eileen Travers, University World News, 9/28

Scholars at Risk calls for letters on behalf of Busra Ersanli of Turkey
Scholars at Risk, 9/27

Women’s situation and human rights under militarisation of society: the case of Sri Lanka
Inge Erling Tesdal, University of Bergen, 9/27
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Happy National Voter Registration Day!

Sharon Jones says “Register to Vote”

Tomorrow is National Voter Registration Day and volunteers all over the country will be out in communities helping people be sure they are registered to vote in the upcoming elections.  In this photo Sharon Jones urges you to take advantage of the opportunity provided by Head Count volunteers with clipboards.

She’s an amazing artist.  Listen to her singing “This Land is Your Land” here. Then check out some of the many photos of Rock Stars and celebrities urging you to get out and vote at these links:

 

Academic Freedom Media Review – September 15-21, 2012

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements.  Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available here.

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Iran: Ensure Equal Access to Higher Education
Human Rights Watch, 9/22

A professor in defense of tenure and academic freedom at SLU
Tim Lomperis, The University News of Saint Louis University, 9/20

Interview with Pınar Selek: ”The Old Mindset Is Still in Place in Turkey”
Ceyda Nurtsch, Qantara, 9/19

Writer Held Over Japan Comments
Luisetta Mudie, Radio Free Asia, 9/19

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SAR Academic Freedom Media Review – August 18-24, 2012

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements. Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available here.

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Government closes all universities after two-month lecturer strike
Dinesh De Alwis, University World News, 8/24

Authoritarianism harms academia
Thandwa Mthembu, Mail & Guardian, 8/24

Iran must immediately release prisoner of conscience Arzhang Davoodi
Amnesty International, 8/24

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Vote Based on Facts!

If you are trying to decide how to vote in an election, political advertising is more or less worthless, and it seems whatever laws are passed to improve the situation only make it worse.  Remember back in the day when we used to study logic and logical fallacies in schools?  I don’t know if anyone does that anymore, but political advertising is full of logical fallacies that, if you just think about it, more often than not invalidate the points it makes.

The creators of these ads have mastered the visual and auditory cues that manipulate our emotions, that they often get away with it.  We are often tricked into voting against our interests.

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