Mediaite is reporting that Spike Lee has settled out of court with the McClaine family, whose address he incorrectly posted on Twitter as the address of America’s Most Hated Man #1, George Zimmerman. The harassed and humiliated couple gave a statement to the press through their attorney, who confirmed not only that Spike Lee called them and that everything has been resolved for an undisclosed sum of money, which, isn’t that just the nicest part of the whole thing, miracles do happen, but on top of resolving the issue financially, Spike Lee was even nice about it if you can believe it. Haha. Can you believe it? Yes. You can. But what you can also do that is fun, which is what I just did, is imagine Spike Lee calling them up and just being such a dick. “What? Why don’t you grow up? It’s Twitter!” Ahh! Spike Lee! You’re so mean! But, so, I guess it’s all over, but here’s the thing that really bugs me. Here’s Elaine McClaine (ELAINE MCCLAINE! LOVE IT!) on the subject:

“He was really kind,” Elaine McClain said. “And when he called us, you could just tell he really felt bad about it. And it was just a slip, and I just know that he really, really has been concerned.”

GAHHHHHH. NOOOOOOOO! Oh man, this whole story has made me so much more upset than almost any other story in recent days, INCLUDING the George Zimmerman story itself. Like, that’s obviously just the worst thing, obviously, no one is saying that it’s not the worst thing. And I’m not the one to speak to how it has touched on the underlying racial problems in our country, or the deep, on-going, and often unexamined pain and/or fear of black life in America. I will leave that to the cast of The Help 2. But ultimately I think what happened in Florida is as much to do if not more with this country’s inherently problematic gun control laws than it does with its inherently problematic race relations. Like, both are real issues, but only one of them involves A THING THAT INSTANTANEOUSLY KILLS HUMAN BEINGS. If George Zimmerman wasn’t allowed to just carry a gun as if it’s not even a HORRIFYING THING, then Trayvon Martin would probably be alive. That is a fact, and I’m surprised people aren’t talking about it more. Moreover, George Zimmerman is just a dude who regardless of whether or not he functions as a breathing symbol of racism, or has done the heavy lifting of pointing to the bias in our judicial system, whatever the case may be, we’ve got our bad guy and we can deal with him as need be now. Justice in Court, as they say. But the Spike Lee dimension of the story is almost equally complicated and upsetting as it involves the INCREDIBLE DANGER of blank-slate vilification and calls to personal attacks, mob justice, and CROWD-SOURCED VIOLENCE, as if somehow by strangers reading George Zimmerman’s address on Spike Lee’s Twitter and going to his house and screaming and/or hitting him is going to make the situation “better.” And but, so, yes, he Tweeted the wrong address, but Elaine McClaine is 100% wrong when she says that it was simply “just a slip” because he did TWEET AN ADDRESS that he BELIEVED TO BE TRUE. The fact that it was the wrong address is the LEAST OF THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS SITUATION and I AM VERY UPSET that EVEN THE VICTIMS OF THIS HORRIBLE THING seem to think the only real problem is that the 9 SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN 8 or whatever.

By dismissing Spike Lee’s actions as a simple clerical error committed by an otherwise entirely nice man is LUNACY. It just straight up does not matter whether the address was right or wrong, the end. People should not post the addresses of other people on the Internet as a general principal but especially when the person who supposedly lives at that address is currently facing not only highly sensitive legal charges but also the frothy, hate-filled wrath of an ENTIRE NATION. Elaine McClaine says that you could tell Spike Lee “felt really bad about it” but he didn’t feel bad enough about it to actually apologize for EVER TWEETING A HUMAN BEINGS ADDRESS WITH THE CODED MESSAGE THAT OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD ATTACK AND OR ABUSE THAT HUMAN BEING IN THE FIRST PLACE. That apology is nowhere. He’s just so sorry that he didn’t get it RIGHT. So, I hope that the McClaine’s enjoy their undisclosed sum of settlement money safe in the knowledge that Spike Lee was nice to them on the phone. And I hope it was enough for them to completely ignore the actual moral ramifications of their situation. Hush hush. Let’s all make some tea and go to bed. Who cares, Jake, it’s TwitterTown.

Comments (100)
  1. Spike Lee
    123 Fake St.
    Winchestertonfieldville, IO 80085

  2. What are your thoughts on those sex-crime databases?

    If Zimmerman is found guilty but gets a light sentence, would it be ok then?

    As snarky as this reads, it’s not supposed to be. I’m 100% with you that Spike was wrong.

    • Well, protecting our children is probably one of the most important things we as humans should do. But having to go door to door and tell people you are a sex-offender just seems cruel, especially if you’ve already served time. It’s a tricky one. Sex offenders… not good.

      • How is “making sure a man who murdered a child is brought to justice” not in the “protecting our children” category? For real.

        • I was speaking to the sex crimes part. Also – I want justice to be served regarding Zimmerman – I haven’t condemned him yet. Is it fishy? Of course… but let’s not crucify the guy yet. No one is denying the tragedy of the situation here. Can we let it go to trial?

  3. $20 says Gabe’s is the next address Spike Lee tweets.

  4. Honest question: Could Spike Lee have been held legally liable if they HAD chosen to sue him? I mean, he spread that address, but he did so in a retweet. If Gabe were to post some awful slander about Gwyneth Paltrow, and I quoted it on my Livejournal or whatever, I wouldn’t be the one getting sued, because I was just quoting someone else’s words. I mean, obviously, what he did was MORALLY reprehensible, because he used his celebrity to spread this information, but I’m he even could have been held liable in court.

    • When there is a threat or promotion of violence it stops being about speech and he could be prosecuted for it. It’s not far from putting a contract on someone. There is a Black Panther Party dude being prosecuted right now for the bounty they put on Zimmerman.

      • As a point of clarification, the situation you bring up has to do with the New Black Panther Party which has nothing to do, historically or ideologically, with the Black Panther Party (for Self Defense). The former is merely trying to gain credibility by co-opting the name of the latter.

    • They could sue anyone involved, but it would be up to the court to decide how much blame each person is responsible for. In the case of Spike Lee, his ‘part’ would have to do with how much his retweet increased the awareness of the address.

      If Gabe were to recieve an annonymous ‘tip’ about Goopy, and he posted it as ‘fact’, he couldn’t just blame the originator, whether it be someone e-mailing him, or him finding someones website that only gets about 1% of the audience Videogum does, etc … Gabe would be more liable. Being sued for slander/libel has to do with damage to your reputation, so the person with the bigger soapbox/larger audience would be more likely to get sued. [This is a bad example, Videogum is a humor blog, not 'hard' journalism, and to hurt Goopy's reputation, someone reading Videogum would have to not already know she is the worst]

      TL:DR – The source is irrelevant, it’s how many people you’ve spread the info to. [And, whether you add weight. Someone might not care about seeing the address, but Spike Lee telling them the address might convince them it's real, or that it's something they should go and do something about]

  5. Whether his intentions were right or wrong, getting Zimmerman’s address wrong was just irresponsible of Spike Jonze.

  6. Got it. From now on whenever I’m minding my own business and somebody does something terrible to me for no reason, I’ll make sure I check with pop culture blogs before deciding to accept an apology to make sure I’m doing it right.

  7. At least in the end Spike did the right thing.

    • I mean, street justice was kind of the thesis of Spike Lee’s most beloved movie, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise to see where he’d stand on this.

      Good to know that Gabe is pro-Sal’s, with or without brothers on the wall.

      • i think the thesis was more that their is no such thing as “street justice,” because in the end, everyone is fucked over.

        but i said it yesterday, and i’ll say it again. Spike threw the garbage can through the window, and the McClaine’s got Radio Raheem’d

      • Isnt Spike Lee a little bitty fella? I cant imagine “street justice” is something he’d favor.

  8. “An eye for an eye makes the world go blind.’ — Ke$ha

  9. All of the points made by Gabe are basically correct but it’s not really Elaine (you can’t be serious) McClaine’s responsibility to call bullshit on Spike Lee for things that are not really about her. She’s just saying he was nice to her and she accepted that he was sorry for any injurer to her. Why does she have to comment on how Spike Lee is a racist asshole that willy nilly endangers people when he was just nice to her?

    Also, the facts of the original case have not all come to light yet so I think it’s premature to say this is definitely an example of some rampant race war against black youth. Black kids get killed way too often by people other than racist assholes like Zimmerman (who is hispanic btw). We would do well to figure out how we can change our culture so that poor kids don’t get caught up in crime. But that is a different issue. No evidence that Martin was up to criminal activity when he was killed, he did not deserve what happened to him obviously.

    Zimmerman most likely should go to jail for what he did but he’s got a story too, self defense, probably bullshit. But I think there’s lots of hyperventilation about this tragedy on all sides that needs to chill the fuck out.

  10. That must have been a LOT of fucking money.

  11. Do The Right Thing and tweet some random person’s address and call for vigilante justice

  12. i bet it went something like this:

    “i’m sorry. please accept my apology. please, babyplease, baby baby please”

  13. I completely agree, Gabe.

    One of the things this Zimmerman-Martin story keeps bringing to my mind is the whole “Minuteman” border patrol type of stuff. It all feeds from this whole mentality of “exercising our right” to arm up, and “take back control” of our neighborhood/border/country. Taking charge where they think the government has gone too soft. All of it very tangled up with racial views of the people doing this voluntary policing, all stemming from what is generally a conservative view on self-protection.

    So it is sad and ironic to see Spike (whose grievances are obviously legitimate), also resort to attempts at using vigilate justice to fill in where the government appears to have failed. Obviously tweeting an address is many steps removed from shooting an unarmed kid. But it played out similarly in that taking it upon yourself to dole out retribution is more likely to end in innocent people hurt as opposed to a safer neighborhood or a murderer being held accountable.

    • I have nothing to add here, you summed up what I am thinking pretty much exactly. All I can contribute is a round of :(

    • In no way does it excuse the whole tweeting and retweeting affair, but perhaps it’s good this reactionary vigilantism was checked before it became more widespread and intense or anyone got hurt from it. Same with the New Black Panther guy getting arrested. Our society is not entirely broken yet!

  14. I get what you’re saying and, in theory, I agree. But I don’t know if it’s fair to vilify Elaine McClain (Great name). She just wants her own family’s twitter-nightmare to be over with. And, dare I say, the family deserves some money for what they absolutely did not ask to go through? I’m guessing she didn’t spend a good deal of time trying to prepare the perfect statement that sums up every hideous angle of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. Someone from a news outlet asked her about the Spike Lee settlement, and she just answered honestly. She probably should have turned down the interview, but I don’t think she necessarily deserves to be tagged an “asshole.”

  15. The Help 2: Electric Boogaloo
    (Starring Channing Tatum & Dakota Fanning)

    #FixedIt

  16. While dumb and stupid and dumb, it really isn’t that hard to retweet someone. In that regard, it is a slip. He obviously did it on a stupid impulse. I think Elaine is great for being so kind about something so stupid.

  17. Why does he look like a frog now?

  18. Shit would have gotten real if Spike had given this McClain’s address.

  19. I was gearing up to make a Die Hard joke then I looked it up and it turns out Bruce Willis was John McClane, no “i,” so obviously no relation to the McClaines in this story. This is symbolic of my entire week.

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    • Sigh, let the ignorance flow.

      Setting aside the obvious flaws in your thinking about this specific case (using the argument that “again, even though he doesn’t even know the complete story of the Zimmerman shooting” as an excuse to not have an opinion when what is already known is more than sufficient for a reasonable person to draw some conclusions about the damaging twin effects of unfettered gun ownership and racism), the screamingly ignorant and factually untrue statement:

      “AKA the typical liberal, knee-jerk emotional reaction without knowing the facts of the case and definitely not any studies or data that justifies re-writing the constitution (because they don’t exist).”

      …really can’t be allowed to stand. It’s not hard (try spending 5 mins. googling) to find an overwhelming body of rigorously tested and authenticated research studies reinforcing what everyone with any common sense already knows: any purported successful self-defense usage of a firearm is drastically outweighed by the enormously elevated rates of homicide, suicide and accidental death among legal firearms owners. Just for a quick primer, here’s the link to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center’s listing of studies on firearms just since 2009:

      http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hicrc/firearms-research/publications-summary-2009-present/index.html

      A brief sampling of the studies gives you a flavor of it.

      • Recent science continues to affirm the guns-suicide connection
      • Veterans might have lower suicide rates without easy gun access
      • Adolescents use the family gun to kill themselves
      • High rates of homicide followed by suicide in U.S. likely due to easy access to firearms
      • The evidence indicates that for most people a gun increases rather than reduces the risk of tragedy

      And again, that’s just studies published since 2009. But I guess you wouldn’t accept that since they’re not funded by the NRA.

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        • So even if we are to assume that he was bloodied and was on his back, didn’t Zimmerman instigate the situation anyways? In the 911 call, he was only relaying he was suspicious of Trayvon, and was told to back off. Assuming he’s racist (he is) and violent (he is), can’t it reasonably assumed that he tried to pick a fight with Trayvon and it went badly for him? Trayvon was minding his own business, why would he attack Zimmerman after the 911 call took place.

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        • I have no issue with your gun argument, although I personally disagree. But I take issue with what you say regarding Martin’s murder. A boy was murdered and people are wetting themselves to smear his name. I am not saying you personally are jumping on the smear bus, but he was a real person, who was really dead, after pretty much being stalked through his neighborhood walking home.

          • Yes, and somebody should be held accountable, of course. But all this, including torgos reply, is speculation. I’ll even go on the record saying that, in my opinion, Zimmerman probably is in the wrong and probably should face some jail time but that’s not my place.

            When the Casey Anthony trial was going on I got practically attacked for being the voice of reason then too (some might call me the devil’s advocate). I watched all the court proceedings and there was not enough evidence to convict her for murder, regardless of what I or anyone else thought. If there isn’t enough evidence to convict Zimmerman (which it looks like there won’t be) then we can’t throw him in jail just because we’d like to. That’s the whole point of the justice system. The system is flawed, sure, but we have to rely on it.

            Getting all enraged about it is a fool’s errand. Let the courts deal with him, you don’t have all the facts and maybe no one ever will.

          • the record, I likewise think that the jury did the right thing in the Casey Anthony case. As terrible as it is for a possible guilty party to go innocent, we must prove guilt in our court system.

            In this matter we have significantly more information. For one, we know, for a fact, that Zimmerman was following Martin. We know, for a fact, that when he called the police to report behavior he deemed suspicious, he was told by the 911 respondent to NOT continue in following Martin. That is suspicious. This may be unwarranted or inappropriate here, but if I were being followed by someone, in a car, when I was walking unarmed through my neighborhood, I would be scared as shit. And I would assume I was in danger.

            Most eyewitness/witness testimony I have read does NOT back up Zimmerman’s claims, and I am much less likely to trust an anonymous source in this situation than a source who gives their names, especially in light of accusations of police misconduct. We have a society that wants to blame a boy for being complicit in his own murder, because he wore a hooded sweatshirt. We have people spreading false photos of the deceased to make him look scary, as if that would justify his murder.

            The fact is: Zimmerman took a life. If a police officer took a life, even in self defense, they are investigated to make sure that their action was reasonable in the circumstances. Zimmerman should not be held to a lesser conduct. I cannot say for sure whether he is innocent of murder or not, but goddamit, he deserves investigation.

          • 1. I agree that the (be it minority) rush to paint an underage person who likely was completely without fault as someone DESERVING OF DEATH is perhaps the most disgusted I have been in this country in my twenty years.
            2. “Now, unless Zimmerman came charging at Martin and tried to attack him, there is no way to justify being on top of him and slamming his head into the ground. And at that point, the use of deadly force is justified.” I agree that violence is typically a bad reaction. However, if we are going to make speculations, is it outside the realm of possibility that Zimmerman was physically threatening, called him a “nigger” or a “coon,” or in some other way provoked Martin so much that he would fight him? He wouldn’t have been beating him for no reason.

        • Do you have any to offer other than inventions and threadbare platitudes? You don’t offer anything sourceable, citaeable or objectively accurate except one study that (as noted below) contradicts your own argument even when taken at face value, which more recent and extensive research shows it shouldn’t be. Anyway, in order:

          “First, despite what the Brady campaign says, there is no statistical correlation between gun control laws and gun related crime, period. Not even going to bother googling it.”

          “Second, the suicides. So, because people are killing themselves with guns (and stupid parents who aren’t using gun safes) we should ban guns, right? I guess we’ll have to ban ropes, and pills, and heights (that will be difficult), swimming (because they might want to drown themselves). This won’t be easy. “

          I can guess why you don’t bother looking it up. Facts are inconvenient things, esp. when you’d prefer to simply invent your own statistics. Again, here’s some actual facts:

          “A broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.”

          So despite your genius conclusion, no, eliminating guns doesn’t mean equivalent numbers of homicides (or suicides) are committed by other means, they don’t happen. And if you’re too dense to understand the far-greater possibility of lethal outcomes from usage of a firearm as compared to other methods of committing a crime…well, nevermind.

          “But we’ll never ban a person’s right to own a firearm in their own home (unless we go the route of the UK which saw a huge increase in knife crime, then they banned knives and now there’s a TV camera on every corner that is equally ineffective at stopping crime, yay!),.”

          Again, do you have any actual evidence or citations to back this up? It’s simply invented and untrue.

          “Still, I’m not willing to give up my rights because of a small percentage of people killing themselves (who would arguably still kill themselves even if guns were banned).”

          Except again, facts seem to disagree with you:

          “States with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm suicide and overall suicide. This relationship held for both genders and all age groups. It remained true after accounting for poverty, urbanization and unemployment. There was no association between gun prevalence and non-firearm suicide.”

          So yes, there is absolutely reduced rates of suicide where gun ownership is lower or curtailed, despite the possibility of other methods.

          “Second, the accidental deaths. There are like 500-1000 of those a year. Definitely not going to re-write the constitution for 500-1000 lives, end of story (also, hate to say it, but it’s natural selection at work).”

          Umm, while only (only?) 592 people were killed by accidents (the majority of them children, but I guess that’s just evolution at work, right?) over 18,000 were shot and injured in a year. Just curious, what is the acceptable level of violence for you to justify the roughly 200 self-defense usages of firearms annually (statistics from those pinko liberals, the FBI)? I mean, you clearly don’t care about the 13,000 criminal firearm fatalities and 45,000 criminal firearm injuries annually, because you like to pretend that 90% of those are criminals killing criminals (and can you cite that, just curious?), so what number works for you? 100,000? 1 million? Just curious? I mean, I know you feel like a big man showing your gun off if some kid hassles you, just curious how many have to die to preserve that ‘right.’

          “Also, here’s an article where they found that guns are used in self defense around 60,000 times annually.”

          Did you actually read this article? Did you miss this conclusion (it’s in the executive summary, no need to hurt your head digging too deep): “Firearm self-defense is rare compared with gun crimes.” It also notes that the data is complied from self-reporting, which study after study has shown to be wildly inaccurate.

          Again, here’s a sampling of conclusions from other articles on how gun owners overwhelmingly use their weapons (all from the same link I posted above):

          • The claim of many millions of annual self-defense gun uses by American citizens appears to be invalid
          • Criminal court judges who read the self-reported accounts of the purported self-defense gun use rated a majority as being illegal.
          • Firearms are used far more often to frighten and intimidate than they are used in self-defense. All reported cases of criminal gun use, as well as many of the so-called self-defense gun uses, appear to be socially undesirable.
          • Recent gun owners were 8 times more likely to have threatened their partners with a gun than non-gun owners. Four main types of gun threat against partners were (a) threatening to shoot then, (b) threatening to shoot a pet or person the victim cares about, (c) cleaning, holding or loading a gun during an argument, and (d) shooting a gun during an argument.

          Yawn, this would be more fun if it weren’t so easy. Now make up some more statistics about how you need a gun because everyone is a criminal and they all have them and you can’t possibly deal with a mugging without whipping out a gun and tapping into your Dirty Harry fantasies.

          Deal with that.

          • Oh boy, here we go.

            >Again, do you have any actual evidence or citations to back this up? It’s simply invented and untrue.

            Gun related crime has risen 90% in the UK in the past decade:

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1223193/Culture-violence-Gun-crime-goes-89-decade.html

            An article about the ineffectiveness of CCTV systems, there are many others:

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/aug/17/why-cctv-does-not-deter-crime

            >So yes, there is absolutely reduced rates of suicide where gun ownership is lower or curtailed, despite the possibility of other methods.

            Sure, I said arguably, didn’t I? Still not worth giving up my rights in my opinion.

            >200 self-defense usages of firearms annually (statistics from those pinko liberals, the FBI)?

            LOOOOOOOOOOOL speaking of references, would love to see where that one comes from.

            >I mean, I know you feel like a big man showing your gun off if some kid hassles you, just curious how many have to die to preserve that ‘right.’

            lol ‘right’. Obviously you have no understanding of why the 2nd amendment is so important. You forget how different America is from other countries and how lucky you are to live here. Just a refresher, part of our greatness is because we are one of the only truly free societies in the world. Founded by and for the people, by people who understood why it was so important that it in a free society it can’t be that only the government gets guns. It’s as true as it was then as it is now.

            You clearly have your mind set and I can change it. For the record, all your data doesn’t really prove anything and I don’t have time to put together a “you’re an idiot” package of research for you. The numbers are there, roughly 30k gun related deaths a year, half are suicides. So, 30k out of 310 million a year? Sorry, not worth my right to bear arms. I’m a history buff, I’ve seen how an unarmed citizenry gets treated. And, like I said, I work in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. I NEED to carry a gun. Try visiting your friend in the hospital after he’s been nearly beaten to death, or have some crackhead hold a knife to your throat, and then we’ll see how you feel about the 2nd amendment.

            While you’re yawning like a triumphant twat, here’s a little data I rustled up in a few minutes:

            http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl04.xls

            Hey look, MA, NY, NJ with arguably the strictest gun control in the country had murder rates go up an average of almost 20%. Vermont, some of the loosest gun laws, went down 13% and Florida, home of the racist, violent Zimmerman and loose gun laws, went down 5%

            Another one from our friends at the FBI:

            http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-preliminary-annual-crime-statistics-for-2010

            2009, 2010 and 2011 all saw decreases in crime but increases in gun ownership, that’s weird?

            http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2009/1223/More-guns-equal-more-crime-Not-in-2009-FBI-crime-report-shows.

            Here are some more fun facts:

            -New Jersey adopted what sponsors described as “the most stringent gun law” in the nation in 1966; two years later the murder rate was up 46% and the reported robbery rate had nearly doubled.

            -In 1976, Washington, D.C. enacted one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation. Since then, the city’s murder rate has risen 134% while the national murder rate has dropped 2%.

            -Evanston, Illinois, a Chicago suburb of 75,000 residents, became the largest town to ban handgun ownership in September 1982 but experienced no decline in violent crime. It has subsequently ended its ban as a result of the District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court case, upon a federal lawsuit by the National Rifle Association being filed the day after Heller was entered.

            -Among the 15 states with the highest homicide rates, 10 have restrictive or very restrictive gun laws.

            -The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report ranking of cities over 40,000 in population by violent crime rates (per 100,000 population) finds that the ten cities with the highest violent crime rates for 2003 include three cities in the very strict state of New Jersey, one in the fairly restrictive state of Massachusetts.

            Also a fun note, this is all academic anyways because there are literally hundreds of millions in America already. Even if you banned guns, it would be impossible to get rid of them. The only way to completely get rid of them would be to go back in time and somehow stop the founding fathers from writing the 2nd amendment into the Constitution. If only you could build a time machine that ran on self-righteousness and willful ignorance.

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          • Here’s a summary of a study on gun crime vs gun stopping of crime.

            http://www.largo.org/Lott.html

            “adopting shall-issue laws, states reduced murders by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%. If those states that did not permit concealed handguns in 1992 had permitted them back then, citizens might have been spared approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and 12,000 robberies. ”

            “For example, in counties with populations of more than 200,000 people, concealed handgun laws produced an average drop in murder rates of more than 13%. The half of the counties with the highest rape rates saw that crime drop by more than 7%.”

            ” More than 300,000 concealed- handgun licenses were issued between October 1, 1987 and December 31, 1945, but only five violent crimes involving permitted pistols were committed in this period. And none of these resulted in fatalities. That’s of 1% misuse rate for permitted pistols in an eight year period or LESS than 1/1000 of 1% misuse rate per year.”

            “The nearly 50,000 observations in our data set allow us to control for a range of factors that have never been accounted for in any previous study of crime, let alone any previous gun-control study”

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          • This is a repost of the comment that I made that has mysteriously been held for moderation for over an hour now:

            Oh boy, here we go.

            >Again, do you have any actual evidence or citations to back this up? It’s simply invented and untrue.

            Gun related crime has risen 90% in the UK in the past decade:

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1223193/Culture-violence-Gun-crime-goes-89-decade.html

            An article about the ineffectiveness of CCTV systems, there are many others:

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/aug/17/why-cctv-does-not-deter-crime

            >So yes, there is absolutely reduced rates of suicide where gun ownership is lower or curtailed, despite the possibility of other methods.

            Sure, I said arguably, didn’t I? Still not worth giving up my rights in my opinion.

            >200 self-defense usages of firearms annually (statistics from those pinko liberals, the FBI)?

            LOOOOOOOOOOOL speaking of references, would love to see where that one comes from.

            >I mean, I know you feel like a big man showing your gun off if some kid hassles you, just curious how many have to die to preserve that ‘right.’

            lol ‘right’. Obviously you have no understanding of why the 2nd amendment is so important. You forget how different America is from other countries and how lucky you are to live here. Just a refresher, part of our greatness is because we are one of the only truly free societies in the world. Founded by and for the people, by people who understood why it was so important that it in a free society it can’t be that only the government gets guns. It’s as true as it was then as it is now.

            You clearly have your mind set and I can change it. For the record, all your data doesn’t really prove anything and I don’t have time to put together a “you’re an idiot” package of research for you. The numbers are there, roughly 30k gun related deaths a year, half are suicides. So, 30k out of 310 million a year? Sorry, not worth my right to bear arms. I’m a history buff, I’ve seen how an unarmed citizenry gets treated. And, like I said, I work in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. I NEED to carry a gun. Try visiting your friend in the hospital after he’s been nearly beaten to death, or have some crackhead hold a knife to your throat, and then we’ll see how you feel about the 2nd amendment.

            While you’re yawning like a triumphant twat, here’s a little data I rustled up in a few minutes:

            http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl04.xls

            Hey look, MA, NY, NJ with arguably the strictest gun control in the country had murder rates go up an average of almost 20%. Vermont, some of the loosest gun laws, went down 13% and Florida, home of the racist, violent Zimmerman and loose gun laws, went down 5%

            Another one from our friends at the FBI:

            http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-preliminary-annual-crime-statistics-for-2010

            2009, 2010 and 2011 all saw decreases in crime but increases in gun ownership, that’s weird?

            http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2009/1223/More-guns-equal-more-crime-Not-in-2009-FBI-crime-report-shows.

            Here are some more fun facts:

            -New Jersey adopted what sponsors described as “the most stringent gun law” in the nation in 1966; two years later the murder rate was up 46% and the reported robbery rate had nearly doubled.

            -In 1976, Washington, D.C. enacted one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation. Since then, the city’s murder rate has risen 134% while the national murder rate has dropped 2%.

            -Evanston, Illinois, a Chicago suburb of 75,000 residents, became the largest town to ban handgun ownership in September 1982 but experienced no decline in violent crime. It has subsequently ended its ban as a result of the District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court case, upon a federal lawsuit by the National Rifle Association being filed the day after Heller was entered.

            -Among the 15 states with the highest homicide rates, 10 have restrictive or very restrictive gun laws.

            -The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report ranking of cities over 40,000 in population by violent crime rates (per 100,000 population) finds that the ten cities with the highest violent crime rates for 2003 include three cities in the very strict state of New Jersey, one in the fairly restrictive state of Massachusetts.

            Also a fun note, this is all academic anyways because there are literally hundreds of millions in America already. Even if you banned guns, it would be impossible to get rid of them. The only way to completely get rid of them would be to go back in time and somehow stop the founding fathers from writing the 2nd amendment into the Constitution. If only you could build a time machine that ran on self-righteousness and willful ignorance.

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          • part 2 of 3:

            You clearly have your mind set and I can change it. For the record, all your data doesn’t really prove anything and I don’t have time to put together a “you’re an idiot” package of research for you. The numbers are there, roughly 30k gun related deaths a year, half are suicides. So, 30k out of 310 million a year? Sorry, not worth my right to bear arms. I’m a history buff, I’ve seen how an unarmed citizenry gets treated. And, like I said, I work in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. I NEED to carry a gun. Try visiting your friend in the hospital after he’s been nearly beaten to death, or have some crackhead hold a knife to your throat, and then we’ll see how you feel about the 2nd amendment.

            While you’re yawning like a triumphant twat, here’s a little data I rustled up in a few minutes:

            http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl04.xls

            Hey look, MA, NY, NJ with arguably the strictest gun control in the country had murder rates go up an average of almost 20%. Vermont, some of the loosest gun laws, went down 13% and Florida, home of the racist, violent Zimmerman and loose gun laws, went down 5%

            Another one from our friends at the FBI:

            http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-preliminary-annual-crime-statistics-for-2010

            2009, 2010 and 2011 all saw decreases in crime but increases in gun ownership, that’s weird?

            http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2009/1223/More-guns-equal-more-crime-Not-in-2009-FBI-crime-report-shows.

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          • I think Bananarama’s All Caps reply really says it all.

            “that’s where we go a-ridin’ into town, a whampin’ and whompin’ every livin’ thing that moves within an inch of its life.”
            - this guy

          • Oddly, I’m not able to reply directly to bananrama’s comments, which is probably for the best. As badidea noted below, this is not a rational person, so further dialogue seems pointless, and inappropriate for a pop culture blog anyway, don’t feed the trolls, etc.). That said, I didn’t want to leave the impression that I had ceded the ground to this illogical fool.

            Just a quick overview of the continuing patterns of invented evidence and misrepresentation needed to try and manufacture a counter argument to common sense.

            “Gun related crime has risen 90% in the UK in the past decade”

            True, but the gun ban went into effect well before that, so you’ve selected an arbitrary period of time and noted an increase in crime. How exactly is that related to gun control? That’s like saying that abortion has risen significantly since fluoride was introduced into drinking water, thus fluoride causes abortion. Just nonsense. Besides, the point I challenged was your contention the the English gun ban precipitated an equivalent rise in knife crimes, that led to the banning of knives (which is so absurd as to be truly amusing – how do the Brits cook???). Still waiting on that evidence.

            “Sure, I said arguably, didn’t I? Still not worth giving up my rights in my opinion.”

            Glad to see you can admit you’re wrong.

            “LOOOOOOOOOOOL speaking of references, would love to see where that one comes from.”

            From the CDC’s database of violent deaths (http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html) which depends on data reported by the FBI from their annual compilation of crime statistics. But, I guess that’s not a reputable source?

            “Obviously you have no understanding of why the 2nd amendment is so important.”

            As a veteran who grew up hunting and shooting recreationally, please lecture me on the nature of the 2nd amendment. Reasonable people (and no, that doesn’t include you) can actually believe the grave societal harm caused by unfettered access to handguns outweighs the value of a hobby or the fear that Queen Elizabeth will attempt to retake the colonies.

            -Among the 15 states with the highest homicide rates, 10 have restrictive or very restrictive gun laws.

            Did it ever occur to you that they tightened gun laws in response to a surge of violent crime, and that the easy availability of legal guns in bordering states (VA for DC, PA for NY and NJ, etc) may account for some of that? The Washington Post examined the history of hundreds of guns used in violent crimes, esp. those used to kill cops, and found overwhelmingly, they were legally purchased.

            As for your other “facts,” where you pick one example from 1966-1968, one from a city that had no positive or negative correlation to crime in relation to their gun control laws and one (DC) where the data doesn’t support the conclusion (try charting violent crime in DC since 1976 against the tax and population base of the city, and don’t stop looking in 1992) and they’re pretty much the definition of cherry picking. Unlike the comprehensive, longitudinal, rigorously tested and analyzed data I cited. But then, you have no real arguments, no real facts and never did, so cherry picking and invention is all you have left. Still waiting on you to cite data supporting your statement that 90% of all firearms crime are done by criminals to criminals.

            -The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report ranking of cities over 40,000 in population by violent crime rates (per 100,000 population) finds that the ten cities with the highest violent crime rates for 2003 include three cities in the very strict state of New Jersey, one in the fairly restrictive state of Massachusetts.

            So the majority are from states with loose gun laws? So much for the deterrent value of concealed carry laws. Thanks again.

            “Also a fun note, this is all academic anyways because there are literally hundreds of millions in America already. Even if you banned guns, it would be impossible to get rid of them.”

            Fascinating theory. So b/c it would be difficult to do the right thing, we shouldn’t even try? Why enforce any law to begin with, then. People still break them despite the threat of the death penalty in many states, etc.

            You really just come off as an insecure sociopath with some deep-seated violent fantasies. Your prized “debate skills” are just unfounded, unproven assertions and inventions shouted at high volume. You’re not rational on the issue, and obviously never will be, and I feel terrible for those who may come across you when you’re armed and angry (as you seem prone to be).

          • Dear bananarama,

            No ‘mod’ was intentionally banning your comment. Comments get sent to moderation for a variety of reasons— if they have too many of the same letters in a row (like a string of Zz’s), or usually way too many urls or image links, stuff like that.

            Sincerely,

            DERP

        • “Second, the accidental deaths. There are like 500-1000 of those a year. Definitely not going to re-write the constitution for 500-1000 lives, end of story (also, hate to say it, but it’s natural selection at work).”

          Please, Dr. Scientist, explain to us this new definition of natural selection. We are all on tenterhooks.

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        • Wow i’ve read this site for years and not until now have i had any urge to sign up to leave comments. The 3 seconds it took to type in my email were worth it to call you an ignorant piece of garbage. Please leave and never return to sully this funny website with your spew.

      • Well, all you’ve shown almost_uptown is that guns have the ability to kill people. These look like a lot of correlation without causation examples. Are US suicide rates substantially higher than countries with strong gun control laws? Honest question. I don’t know what the gun situation is in Russia but I suspect they have higher rates of suicide. Japan also has historically high suicide rates and you know they have strong gun control. Those are cultural issues not a mechanical fact of the gun’s presence.

        Also, there are those reports as bananarama pointed out that Martin was kicking Zimmerman’s ass when he got shot. That needs to be fleshed out. Also, Zimmerman had a history of being “overzealous” in his neighborhood watch enthusiasm. There are assholes out there. He wasn’t a minute man or member of a malitia. He was a hot-head.

        • If you’re familiar with the concept of causation vs. correlation, than you understand broad studies of societal impact can often be described as correlational. The studies I cite though, go to extensive pains to isolate variables and account for them.

          The study you cite for instance (and similar accounts where crime drops over time are attributed to a legislative change years or decades earlier) that don’t account for factors like increased sentencing guidelines, demographic and economic shifts, etc are really very correlational. NYC has tightened gun laws over time and has also experienced massive decreases in violent crime and crime generally, but no one makes the argument that that is solely attributable to gun laws. Likewise, DC’s surging crime and murder rates had a lot more to do with the gutting of the city’s economic base and collapse of social services in the period cited. Likewise, the same gun laws were in place over the last decade as DC’s violent crime rates dropped significantly (as the economic health of the city improved),and the repeal of the gun control laws corresponded with a recent upsurge in crime. But the gun laws aren’t the determinant. What is clear is that when you isolate other factors, the presence of legally owned firearms elevates the incidence of violent crime, suicide and accidental death and injury. That’s true across the industrialized world, and has been demonstrated repeatedly in varied contexts. Cherry picking examples where it may not apply doesn’t change that overwhelming truth.

          Finally, just curious, but the article you link cites what appears to be an unpublished study mentioned on a pro-gun blog, and I’d be interested in actually seeing the methodology of the study. Do you know if it has been published anywhere?

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          • I just pulled out a few quotes from the summary but if you read through it, they point out how they gathered their statistics and that they did regression analysis and lots of things to control for outliers and unrelated factors. They didn’t just look at laws and compare them to crime rates. They looked at over 50,000 cases of gun crimes and “almost ” gun crimes.

            As for suicides correlating with gun prevalence: Are you really trying to suggest that the gun is causing people to kill themselves? I think you’ve shown that your thinking is more sophisticated than than. Guns do make it easier to be successful in committing suicide, but that is not a cause of the suicide.

            And having lived in DC during the gun ban years I can say the stats are no comfort when you know of two random murders within a block your house walking from your car at midnight. I grew up in Alabama where guns are all over the place and never felt unsafe despite living in the “bad” neighborhoods. But living in a fairly posh neighborhood on Capitol Hill I had to be very alert if I strayed 2 blocks from my house. Also, the gun ban didn’t help too much during the whole sniper episode and I lived within walking distance of one of the shootings.

        • I’m rather curious as to why you think “criminal on criminal” gun-related killings are okay. And are all criminals (I assume those who have been tried, convicted and then released back into society) the same and disposable in a way that their deaths do not matter?

          I really would like to hear why you think “criminal on criminal” killings are not a big deal. And how, exactly, do you define a criminal?

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          • If your neighborhood is so bad that you fear for your safety and feel compelled to carry a firearm, you should probably consider working somewhere else.

            I’ve lived in some incredibly dangerous places in my life and have never once needed a weapon. Why? Because I know how to carry myself in a manner that does not make me look like a victim or someone looking for a fight. Also, I am rather good at diffusing intense and/or potentially violent situations. It’s not just being lucky. It’s being smart.

            Yes, gun control is a grey area, but your reactionary attitude towards criminals and what I will assume are people poorer than yourself makes me think you need some training in both empathy and the history of systematic oppression and institutional racism that has created cycles of poverty and violence.

            I don’t care if you’ve been trained with guns or not. You obviously have issues that would mar any reasonable thinking if you are getting this upset by people who disagree with you on a pop culture blog. The fact that you have constant access to a weapon that could easily end my life or that of my friends, family, strangers or even CRIMINALS does not bode well for your cause as you do, in fact, come off like a sociopath.

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          • Actually, I implied that you are a classist. I will state outright that I think you are terrible at reading, especially reading comprehension. (I am IMPLYING that you are probably also terrible at general comprehension of the world around you as you seem to only seem to take skewed statistics out of context and refuse to acknowledge the sociopolitical factors that also go into effect.) And for the record, YOU were the first person to call yourself a sociopath.

            Also, considering I worked on a crime beat for many years of my adult life, I will say poverty is the #1 factor in criminal behavior. Hungry, scared people do desperate things to stay alive. Getting caught is what makes them criminals, at least in the strictest definition of the law (assuming they were tried and convicted). But you still have yet to explain what you consider a criminal to be, so I am only capable of speculation.

          • OK, badideajeans I think you are putting forth an honest argument about poverty causing crime but I think you are over simplifying it a wee bit. Just a quibble. Since you’ve covered a crime beat you must know that there are some predators out there in the poor communities. Are guys that shoot through a door because the person won’t hand over a cell phone scared? http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/294962/murders-don-t-count-rich-lowry

            I agree that poverty is a setting for crime but it’s not THE cause of it. The problem is much larger and cultural. It may not be persuasive in this forum but illegitmacy rates in poor communities are many times higher than more affluent ones. Because of this, there is little to no support system for people that familes used to provide. You are right that this is a class thing more than a race thing but it’s especially damaging to African Americans.

            “According to a 2005 FBI report, blacks accounted for 13 percent of the population and 49 percent of all homicide victims. In 93 percent of the cases, the killer was black. Half of the victims were ages 17 to 29. That works out to 4,000 murders of young blacks in one year, overwhelmingly at the hands of other blacks.”

            I’m not saying it’s their fault but the culture of poor communities has lead to a vicious cycle that makes it very hard to alleviate the poverty that is a national tragedy in my opinion. I don’t have an answer on how to fix that culture. Unfortunately, cases like Martin only serve to obscure the fact that there is a real epidemic of young black people being murderd and they are not being murdered by racist neighborhood watches or minute men but by each other. Racialist entrepreneurs like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson just make things worse. Everyday murders are ignored then one comes along like this that fits their agenda and Whammo! national story $$$$$$$$$

          • Of course I’m oversimplifying it. Poverty and crime have ALWAYS been a problem from the very beginning of the history of time. But crap like the War on Drugs and yes, obviously, illiteracy and institutionalized racism and classism create the climate of fear and hate and ignorance that we now have (and probably always have had) where people feel the need to be willing ot take someone’s life to ensure that they won’t get mugged…. (Whatever I’m not even going to attempt to figure out the logic on that.)

            Honestly, if we’re all going to be dicks about this stuff as a society… I’d at least like someone to put some effort and skill into their crimes. Personally, I’d like to see more poisoned dresses like they had during the Elizabethan era.

          • Replying to pcbowen, here.

            Apologies, re-reading what I wrote, I definitely conflated this study (as represented) with a lot of the sort of “analyses” you see where someone points out that gun ownership went up in a year or two as crime went down, which (as you noted) if done without accounting for economic, legislative and other impact factors are pretty much irrelevant.

            I did read the summary, which was one of the reasons I was looking for the full study. As you noted they use a sample size of roughly 50,000 gun crimes and “almost ” gun crimes which (depending on how they count an ‘almost’ crime) is one or two years of national data, but they’re looking at longitudinal patterns, so I was curious how they selected the samples they used for analysis. Not implying there’s anything untoward about their scholarship, but (as I’m sure you can tell) I’m pretty firmly convinced of the research on the other side and curious how they reached their conclusions. I’d also note that self-defense usage is a very questionable area of the law (as the Trayvon case is highlighting). The WSJ has a piece today that opens:

            “At a time when the overall U.S. homicide rate is declining, more civilians are killing each other and claiming self-defense—a trend that is most pronounced in states with new “stand your ground” laws.”

            http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303404704577311873214574462.html

            Which reinforces the existing data on the subject that gun owners are very likely to misrepresent confrontations as self-defense (which is a rational behavior if the police are asking you how a situation occurred and you don’t want to get into trouble).

            Like you, I grew up with guns and lived in DC during the sniper shootings and on the Hill (I’m guessing you’re a former staffer too?). And I recognize the difference between belief in a rational policy and a sense of comfort in a bad neighborhood. I lived in Columbia Heights during the middle of a drug war and saw the cops cleaning up bodies when I’d be going home. That said, I never felt that I’d be safer introducing a gun into the mix. I was once mugged by three guys, one of whom flashed a gun. I lost an iPod, my wallet and a watch. It sucked. But I can’t believe I’d have felt better about the outcome even if I’d successfully shot even one of the three men to prevent the robbery, much less started a gunfight.

            As for suicide, it’s certainly more complicated than assuming that if someone has a gun, they want to kill themselves. Hopefully I didn’t imply that. I think the data shows though, that gun owners are more likely to channel self-destructive urges into suicidal impulses, and are far more likely to be fatally injured as a result. The veterans’ study is really on point here, since it’s a group with (generalizing somewhat) comparable backgrounds/experiences/attitudes and the presence of firearms ownership is indicative of elevated levels of suicide attempts. Ultimately, my point isn’t that guns cause suicide directly, but that a better public policy would recognize that guns make the problem of suicide worse for society, and is another reason to rationalize our gun laws.

          • OK I’m trying to respond to almost_uptown,

            I appreciate (I swear I’m being totally honest here) your fair-mindedness in this reply. So many times people back up with their arguments with “Everybody knows that. . . ” and they don’t really know why they believe what they believe. You obviously are giving it honest thought. John Lott who did that study is known for being pro-gun but he had made a career of studying gun crime and the effects of guns in a serious way.

            It’s tricky because everybody has an agenda in these types of studies. I don’t doubt that you can bring up studies that reach other conclusions. That’s the trick; to figure out which studies reach the most reliable and valid (actually measuring what they are intending to measure) results. Most of the time (myself included) people find the studies that reach results they agree with more compelling.

            Also, yep I was a staffer in the House then went to work for a lobbying firm. I was there from 1998-2003. I got to live through the crazy guy shooting up the Capital guards (I was on Cannon 5 when it happened), the sniper stuff, Chandra Levy and 9/11. Fun times, but DC was still an awesome place to live on balance.

            I lived on 5th and E NE which was nice but if you went to 6th street you had to be very careful. When I started working at the firm my bosses reaction to where I was living at that time was, “You have to move right away!” He had two friends murdered within 2 or 3 blocks of my house on separate occasions. One was beaten to death by a group of people. Had he been armed he may have had a fighting chance. The other was shot to death in front of his car, presumably as part of a car-jacking. He never had a chance, they just walked up and shot him with automatics. The gun ban did nothing to keep those out of their hands. I realize this is anecdotal so not really proof of anything. But I can honestly say I’d never felt the need or desire to carry a gun until I lived on the Hill thanks to these cases.

    • You make a good point about the rotten egg. We should just throw George Zimmerman into water to see if he floats!

      (I apologize if anyone takes offense at my buoyant take on this issue.)

    • Do you work around bears? If i worked around bears, I could see why having a gun might be a good thing. But I stopped working with bears years ago. Now I just work around a tiny yellow dog.

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        • I was just talking about bears. Bears are dangerous, especially grizzlies. It’s why I stopped working with them.

        • I suspect you meant to reply to me.

          First off, nope. Second off, so far the investigation has been shit and likely would remain shit but for relatively rare massive public outcry that has been building for over a month at this point. Third, it’s every individual commentor’s right to upvote or downvote as they please.

          • Well, sometimes bears get murdered. I just read a very sad story about a polar bear that was killed because he got hungry and ate some farm animals in Canada. As someone who doesn’t eat farm animals or Canadians, but has been well trained in the history of factory farming, I fully support giving giving arms to bears that feel threatened or at the very least, giant knives. Maybe if we let the bear have a weapon, he would still be with us. Poor guy, he probably just escaped dying on an ice floe and was super hungry… Only to be shot. For being a bear.

            In conclusion, freedom.

  21. Man, am I glad I only favstar’d that address.

  22. Okay, I very much agree that Spike Lee is a huge dick in this situation, and agree with almost all points about mob violence and badness and boo to all that stuff, and this is a very serious issue, but can I make one small snarky-but-kinda-also-serious comment?

    “I certainly can’t imagine why any African-American in this country wouldn’t trust and depend on our infallible legal system to provide justice for the brutal murder of yet another unarmed black teenager, and would never in a million years picture a scenario in which said adult, in a fit of frustration, might impulsively point to the still-unjailed murderer (using the technological equivalent) and yell “GET that motherfucker!”

    Okay, back to agreeing, and yes Spike Lee is a rich asshole who isn’t exactly lacking for resources to donate if he so chose, and yes vigilante justice is the worst, and yes to most comments above, but felt like this wasn’t even being raised as a coherent and understandable aspect, even if it’s “wrong.”
    Still, happy Friday everyone!

  23. Coming out of semi-retirement to say that I don’t see the ethical problem with resorting to vigilante violence against someone who murdered a child even if the ideology behind the action ostensibly goes against capital D Democracy.

    ~*~*~*~~my $0.02

    • *resorting to vigilante violence **when legal justice isn’t an option** as seems to be the case in Florida right now, unless they fix their shit.

      • That’s fine as long as that mob actually knows the guy is guilty and his level of culpability. The courts are the only place we have that’s set up to get to the bottom of the FACTS.

        • But the justice system is very flawed and many people get away with crimes and people are locked up and executed for crimes they didn’t commit and agh what is the difference between these two “systems of justice” anyway, really, really, really?

          /existential_despair.gif

          • Because, while deeply flawed, there is some hope that a poor or corrupt judicial decision can be reviewed, or that the people or persons making the decision can be held up to some sort of scrutiny and rebuke.

            Mob rule just delivers more violence, and seldom pauses to rationally determine the guilty party or the proportionality of the response.

            You’ll never read the headline “Upon sober reflection, the screaming vigilantes determined that Bob was not guilty, put away their flaming brands and pitchforks, and returned to their idyllic rural village”.

          • Well one is a system and one is not a system. It is inarguably true that the Justice System is flawed but it the best system we’ve got. A lynch mob has no system.

  24. Is Spike Lee an adult?

    Yay revenge! The cycle never ends!!! Let’s match hate with hate with hate.

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