Your Tuesday Random-Ass Roundup: Guns Down.

For those who don’t embrace Second Amendment remedies, it’s really hard to argue with the fact that if more people had more guns at that Tucson grocery store Saturday, more people could have been shot.

And guess which state ranks really high in firearms death rate per 100,000? You probably won’t be surprised.

Not really much more to add here. Let’s just hope we all learned something:

1. Of all the things written about the tragedy in Tucson over the weekend, James Fallows probably had the most thoughtful take on the shooting and alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner. (Blackink)

2. The LA Times has profiles on the six victims who were fatally wounded at Gifford’s public event. (Blackink)

3. Some newspaper editors really wanted you to know that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was the wife of an astronaut. (Monica)

4. Nick Baumann at Mother Jones had an exclusive interview with a friend of accused gundman Jared Lee Loughner. As is often the case, Loughner’s previous behavior, which probably seemed weird but harmless at the time, is, in retrospect, chilling. (Monica)

5. David Frum wonders if the shooting should mean getting tougher on weed. (Huh?) “After the Tucson shooting, there may be renewed pressure to control the weapons that committed the crime. But what about the drugs that may have aggravated the killer’s mental disease? The trend these days seems toward a more casual attitude and easier access to those drugs. Among the things we should be discussing in the aftermath of this horror is the accumulating evidence of those drugs’ potential contribution to making some dangerous people even more dangerous than they might otherwise have been.” (Avon)

6. No, Melissa McEwan writes, both sides aren’t “just as bad.” (Blackink)

7. A brief lesson on violent rhetoric. Also, Greg Sargent reminds us that calls for civility usually don’t amount to much. And Jill Filipovic tells us that “he’s crazy” is a cop out.  (Blackink)

8. Also, The Book Bench and Laura Miller offer their takes on the media’s reaction to Loughner’s reading choices. (Belleisa)

9. The White House might be considering working journalists in its search to replace outgoing Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. (Blackink)

10. The Reverse Great Migration? Sixteen of the 25 cities that saw the largest growth in their black populations over the last decade were located in the South. More college-educated blacks are picking up and moving to cities like Dallas and Atlanta, which could have serious political ramifications for the region. (Avon)

11. Former U.S. House leader and noted dancing star Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. (Blackink)

12. Edwidge Danticat on Haiti, a year after the earthquake: “In the emerging lore and reality of cholera, water, this fragile veil between life and death for so many Haitians, has become a feared poison. Even as the election stalemate lingers, the rice farmers in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley—the country’s breadbasket—are refusing to step into the bacteria-infected waters of their paddies, setting the stage for potential food shortages and more possible death ahead, this time from hunger. In the precarious dance for survival, in which we long to honor the dead while still harboring the fear of joining them, will our rivers and streams even be trusted to shelter and then return souls?” (Avon)

13. In north Sudan, people are not thrilled about the prospect of an independent South.  Some fear President Omar al Bashir’s promise of a conservative Islamic state in the North, while others are concerned about rising gas prices, even though recent hikes are due more to the government removal of gas subsidies.  Foreign Policy has some links and context in their morning roundup.  In short, there have been some violent clashes near the north-south border, but elsewhere, voting has been relatively peaceful.  Results should come in around February 15. (Nicole)

14. Under the wire, also on Sudan: Foreign Policy asks whether George Clooney is helping or hurting Sudan.  Clooney and others have hired satellites to monitor troop movements along the north-south border. (Monica)

15. Via Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog, amazing photos of the vote to split Sudan, Africa’s largest nation, into two separate nations. (Avon)

16. In Cote d’Ivoire, despite the efforts of several African statesmen, the latest being former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, it looks like sitting President Laurent Gbagbo is not leaving anytime soon.  Gbagbo still refuses to concede his loss to Alassane Ouattara. (Nicole)

17. How useful is a JD? More companies are outsourcing their legal work or using temps, and prospective lawyers are worrying about the  meager job prospects that await them. But  law schools continue to paint a rosy picture of  the legal profession — and are seriously caking in the process. (h/t Tabitha Mason-Elliot)

18. Amy Chua makes a case for the supposed superiority of Chinese mothers. Sara Mead of Education Week has a response. Julianne Hing too. (Nicole/Blackink)

19. From The Root, more life advice for black women. I should be prepared, financially, in the event that I can not have a husband and I still want a child. Sperm Donor Savings Account Done.  (Belleisa)

20. Phylicia Barnes, a 16-year-old straight-A student from North Carolina, went missing while visiting relatives in Baltimore. Local authorities are trying to widely circulate her picture in the hope of finding any leads, and fear that her disappearance would get more attention if she were white. (h/t Ashley Alexandra)

21. Via Vegans of Color, a textbook example of how not to argue for veganism. (Avon)

22. Kosher has become the newest battleground for sustainable food advocates (The New York Times first jumped on the story in 2008).  If Rabbi Morris Allen has his way, kosher could soon become shorthand for environmentally conscious, humanely raised and slaughtered food. (Nicole)

23. Baz Luhrmann’s take on “The Great Gatsby” is rumored to be in 3D. This makes me very uncomfortable. (Belleisa)

24. So what’s it like being married to Hugh Hefner? Actually, sounds sorta boring. (Blackink)

25. LeBron isn’t asking what he should do anymore. (Blackink)

More next week. Make this one a good one. A great one, even.


Joel Anderson —blackink —  writes about sports, politics, crime, courts, and other issues far beyond his competence at BuzzFeed. He has worked at media outlets in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Atlanta and contributed to a number of publications, including The Root and The American Prospect, among many others.
  • Scipio Africanus

    On number 20, regardless of race, are the only girls who go missing the really nice looking ones? Every time one of tehse stories goes out, the girls in questions are always gorgeous. To me, that’s the real sub-story (the main story, of course, being that a human being is missing.)