Thursday, March 23, 2006

Comment on Belmont Club:
If you want to use the mortality statistics for Americans to compute the effectiveness of the terrorists as soldiers, you have to look at combat deaths. These are quite a bit lower than overall deaths. And with their increasingly overwhelming dependence on IEDs and suicide bombs, which require little to no combat readiness, the picture is of abysmal effectiveness in force-to-force combat. In fact, it might be argued that the shift to bombings is a sign that the combat effectiveness of the average terrorist is approaching zero. This means that if civil war ever really does break out and terrorists try to control cities and launch actual combat operations, they will fail miserably.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Overlooked point

In Steve Sailer's famous "Baby Gap" article from 2004, I noticed this overlooked insight. I wonder why no one has picked up on this:

The endless gun-control brouhaha, which on the surface appears to be a bitter battle between liberal and conservative whites, also features a cryptic racial angle. What blue-region white liberals actually want is for the government to disarm the dangerous urban minorities that threaten their children’s safety. Red-region white conservatives, insulated by distance from the Crips and the Bloods, don’t care that white liberals’ kids are in peril. Besides, in sparsely populated Republican areas, where police response times are slow and the chances of drilling an innocent bystander are slim, guns make more sense for self-defense than in the cities and suburbs.

I've known, or known of, several white liberals who have moved out to the country and have no problem at all with gun ownership. They would definitely vote for gun control in cities, but insist on their 2d amendment rights in the country. What's the difference? In the city, more dangerous people are around and you don't want them to have guns. And it's at least possible to fool yourself into thinking the cops will protect you, since you see them around all the time. And of course the racial angle makes it all explicable, even if only Sailer can point out the emperor's lack of garments. Bravo to him, despite his goofy attitude on the liberation of Iraq. There's another good point about school vouchers leading to competition for space in good public schools in the suburbs that I also missed when I read the article before. Read it all. Again.