Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Christmas Wish! Plus Other Things!

I DIDN'T REALLY THINK THINGS THOUGH when I decided to do my Michael Jordan-esq “I’m Back” announcement recently. It’s Christmas! Also Hanukkah and Kwanza. It’s probably other Holidays too, but I’m the stereotypical American that is blissfully ignorant of things outside his personal experience.

Regardless, I’ve been struggling with what to do with this blog, I’m toying with the idea of doing a theme, or interviewing folks, or whatever. It seems like me continuing to talk about my pets or home improvement projects might not be the best use of everyone’s time.

We’ll see though, that also means more work for me. I’m not a huge fan of actually doing work that I don’t have to. I noticed lots of folks are taking time off of blogging for the holiday. But I may post a few times - even if no one is around. I need the practice.

IN THE WAKE of the horrific school shooting last week – which I hope to never mention again – I did get led down a rabbit hole of statistics. I found some stats (real ones, not made up ones) that made me do a double take: 

Murders in the U.S. in 2011:        12,664

When we factor in the population base, some quick head math tells me that the odds of getting murdered in the US in a year is about 1 in 24,000.

In England – 1 in a million.*

That’s a pretty stunning disparity. What can I say? Wow. I would add that this has nothing to do with all that gun control talk that has been dominating the news since the tragedy - but that is a HUGE difference. I didn't read any details about why that might be the case. I just saw the stats. I have my opinions, but I'll leave it to others to interpret what they want from the data.

IN LESS EXCITING NEWS, I took the missus to see The Hobbit this week. Her review was more or less identical to mine. Except that she turned to me halfway through the movie and mentioned she really wanted to throw up. A comment on the HFR 3D and not the quality of the movie itself.

She did have a complaint, but it’s pretty spoilery, and I figure it’s new enough of a movie that I might unwittingly ruin the experience for others if I blurt it out.

*That's me doing math there. I only mention it because I was pretty generous with rounding. I think I came up with something like 1 in 963,000 - but that's close enough to round up to a cool million in my book.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A few more movies like that and she won't even notice.
Whatever theme you come up with is good with me!

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Maybe England just doesn't worship guns the way we do here. Of course it was guns that helped us get rid of the English. I read yesterday more people were killed by guns this year than in car accidents. Sadly most car crashes are accidents while most gun deaths are not.

Jo said...

I don't know any country that worships guns the way the US does. I wonder how many of the murders in either case were committed with guns.

I like your blog so don't be away too long.

Andrew Leon said...

Yeah, the numbers have a huge gulf between them.

And, you know, I like when you talk about whatever. Just don't change the name!

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

Americans love their guns. And honestly, there are a lot of Americans who own guns that wish that many Americans were dead. Sad but true. Many of them are religious or affiliate themselves with religions and are radical as can be. For example, I'm sure the Westboro Baptists would like to round up all us homosexuals and just gas us in concentration camps. They'd say it was god's work.

Andrew Leon said...

@Michael: See, I'm generally opposed to violence, but those guys need someone to smack them around.

Rusty Webb said...

@Alex – Is anyone else doing a 48fps besides Jackson?

@PT – That is sad. But your right that they don’t have many guns over there.

@Jo – One of those links up there do have murder by gun as a stat too. In the U.S. I think it was close to 9000.

@ Andrew – The name stays. Although I have been thinking of changing the web address to reflect my super-awesome pen name.

@Michael - I know your right. I suspect a huge number of those gun related murders happened because - well - when all you have to do is point and click and someone dies - getting drunk and angry can lead to something ugly. I read about a guy that was complaining about his pizza taking to long in a restaurant in Florida and another man shot him (no one died though). The shooter said it was cool though, because Florida has a 'stand your ground' law so you can shoot someone if you feel threatened.

Deborah Walker said...

We don't have a guns culture here in UK.

I think we also have some of the most stringent gun controls in the world. Nobody I knows owns a gun.

Tonja said...

One of those numbers for the US was friends with my daughter. If his dad had owned a semi-automatic gun and multiple clips instead of a mere shotgun, he might have killed me too. I was walking down the road where it all went down. And I live in upper-middle class burbs.

Write about whatever you want...we'll be here.

Briane P said...

So long as you keep writing, I don't care what you write about. Well, unless you write about how much you hate my writing in which case we will be in a feud. But I hope you don't do that because I already have feuds running against the guy who lives behind us, Republicans, and McDonalds because they made it possible to add a McRib to any meal for $1 and I had just actually lost 10 pounds but now...

So clearly I am not lingering on sentiment.

Also: true story: it took me SEVEN TRIES to correctly type the word "hate" because I'm doing this on my Kindle Fire and for some reason it autocorrects "hate" to "bate" and sometimes to "hats".

But I persevered and we are all better off for my effort. AMERICA!

Trisha said...

Agreed that the US LOVES its gones, and I really do not get it. I was saying to people the other day...I will never, ever understand a gun-loving culture. Australia isn't a country like that either, so we'd have way less murders than the US per year. I'm like Deborah - nobody I know owns a gun. Though the other day I did find out one of my friend's dads (who I've never met) owns a gun for hunting. I always remember being shocked to learn my city (of 1.5 million people) had a gun shop.

The Golden Eagle said...

It just seems sad to me that so many people in the US are so intent on keeping objects built to kill things. And people, in some cases.

Cindy said...

I'm interested to see what you come up with for your blog theme. Have a great Christmas!!!!!!!