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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Perfect Newtown Solution

Like most of the world, I've been horrified by the Newtown shooting but was curious when I encountered this link on Facebook:

McArdle Wins Worst Newtown Reaction Award

I'd never heard of McArdle but was curious what the WORST idea in the world might be.  

It turns out this worst idea was to "gang rush" the shooter, which (unless you're 20 six-year-olds) isn't such a bad idea.  It's actually worked to various degrees on many similar occasions, as well as being a successful  Japanese war tactic.  But that's not what this post is about.  It's about drilling beyond media distortion.  

If you ONLY read the link above you will have missed probably the best post-Newtown analysis to date.  

And yes, it's the very column in question:

There's Little We Can Do to Prevent Another Massacre

Yes, it's long and involved, but it's also based on some excellent research and logic.  If you can't take the time to read it, I'll summarized in a more generous fashion than Jonathan Chait:

1. Understand the shooters motive (or lack thereof).

2. Understand what has work in the past (and what hasn't).

3. Understand what CAN be done (and what can't).

4. Not all problems have a perfect (or even good) solution.

That didn't do it for you?  Sometimes you just have to do your homework.  Now go back and read her column.  It's worth your time.  And even her follow-up defense of the last two paragraphs (out of 57) is worth thinking about:

Now, does Megan McArdle deserve the award for the WORST reaction?

Or congratulations for the most rational thinking so far presented on the topic?  

And why does Jonathan wish to take her analysis SO out of context?  Where is HIS actual rebuttal as opposed to simple reaction?  Where is HIS solution?