In posting this cartoon to his Twitter page, Pat Byrnes admitted that he’d likely undercounted the number of gun deaths on the left side, but was content to make the point that, despite the successful intervention of a bystander in an Indiana mall shooting, “Good guys with guns” are a pretty poor defense system.
Not only are successful bystander interventions rare, but they can cause deadly confusion. The above-linked CNN story cites a NYTimes analysis (paywall breached) that includes an anecdote about a good guy with a gun who was mistakenly shot and killed by police.
And, as this graphic from that NYTimes piece shows, civilian shooters are barely a blip on the radar, and unarmed civilians have more often subdued a gunman.
Gary Varvel (Creators), however, feels that the solution to shootings is to have more people carrying more guns in more places with fewer restrictions.
Dan Rather would disagree, which takes us away from Greenwood, Indiana, and back to Uvalde, where the commentary continues to reflect “common knowledge” rather than issues uncovered in the investigative report, or even the main, obvious one that Rather cites.
So why waste our time and breath on the gun debate, where the people in power who could help refuse to do so, when we could be wasting our time and breath on an entirely different, more global crisis where the people in power who could help refuse to do so?
The killer heat wave striking Europe hits Britain amidst a governmental crisis, and Peter Schrank evaluates the candidates for new Tory leader, which brings to mind a very old gag from “Beyond the Fringe,” in which it was explained that Britain has two main political parties, “The Conservatives, who are conservative, and the Liberals, who are conservative.”
Most British cartoonists are citing the seriousness of the crisis, though Patrick Blower was among commentators there who dismissed it as panic over predictable summer weather. To be fair, I note that this cartoon ran a week ago, before temperatures hit 104 F, but I haven’t seen him address the topic since.
What I did catch was a demonstration by environmentalists against Murdoch papers for their denial and downplaying of the climate crisis.
As American journalist Garrett Graff warned, this is no time for the usual “Wow it’s hot!” coverage cliches, and carbonbrief.org has a masterful, must read wrapup of how British media are addressing the crisis. complete with Twitter citations and an array of front pages from UK newspapers. Don’t miss it.
That’s not to say you can’t address things with a bit of humor, as Matt Pritchett demonstrates, the stiff upper lip having gotten Britons through a number of crises in the past.
And Guy Venables provides a grim laugh by restating an insipid first-world cliche as, instead, a suggestion of brave resistance.
Which reminds me to post this key for Americans as they read about weather, wildfires and deaths expressed in Celsius numbers:
0 is cold
10 is not
20 is warm, and
30 is hot
And 40 is off the charts at 104 degrees in countries where it’s not so much that they aren’t used to it as that they aren’t prepared for it, both in their habits and in their infrastructure.
Jonesy turns a cynical eye on industry’s response, and I particularly like the “and quickly” part, which suggests that they recognize the crisis but only as a threat to their portfolios, not to their fellow citizens or even themselves.
It’s a sharp attitude mirrored down in Tasmania, where they had a little snow the other day, and whence First Dog on the Moon provides what would be tasteless if it were truly offered as advice but is, rather, a sarcastic continuation of his long-time, on-going, furious demand for action on climate change:
We’re not likely to see the hundreds of deaths here that are already piling up across Europe from the heat, but, as Patrick Bagley points out, it’s not because those in control are not enamored by the fossil fuel industry as it slips $$$ into their pockets.
Like the Aussies that First Dog cites, we are better prepared for high temperatures in the US, where rising temperatures call for increases in doing what we already know how to do. But even our normal heat waves cause deaths particularly among the elderly poor and we won’t all get out of this summer alive.
Ann Telnaes is less inclined than Bagley to point the finger specifically at industry or government, given our own collective unwillingness not only to modify our behavior but to at least stick a peg in the ground and stay at our current unacceptable, self-destructive levels.
Government should be doing more, and industry should be doing more, but, as with any addictive behavior, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. The question is whether we wake up before we actually hit rock bottom.
As Dylan wrote about something else, “How many deaths will it take ’til they know that too many people have died?”
You know where the answer is.
Finally today, in lieu of music, this analysis from the BBC which doesn’t guarantee that anyone is really going to wake up, either there nor here nor in Tasmania, despite the best efforts of cartoonists, climate scientists, environmental activists and others who get it.
But at least it’s an indication that someone besides cartoonists is paying attention.