Davenport on Guns: The “Endless Arms Race”

John Davenport has a piece on gun violence and gun regulation in Salon, “An endless arms race: How to fight the NRA’s absurd solution to mass shootings.”

As we celebrated Independence Day, there was no independence from the scourge of gun violence and the toll it is taking on the American psyche. The shooter who attacked a parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing six people and wounding at least 38 others, used a “high-powered rifle,” according to authorities. Survivors report a rain of bullets at the height of the attack.

This attack is bound to renew calls for more “red flag” laws that would help identify and disarm emotionally or mentally unstable persons who are making threats of gun violence or praising mass murderers. But would the Highland Park shooter’s online record of participating in “death fetish” culture sites and making art featuring mass killing have been enough for a judge to order seizure of his guns?

Thoughts and Prayers

It’s late, and I need to go to bed, so I’ll keep this one short. I see a lot of people out there bloviating about the catastrophic moral horror of the Supreme Court’s decision in its recent “50 yard line prayer case”: Kennedy vs. Bremerton School District. Setting aside the absurdity of the very idea of American football, I don’t see the problem here. Can someone explain to me what the big deal is about this case, whether constitutionally or morally?

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In the Wake of Dobbs

For whatever reason, PoT has not, in the eight years of its existence, focused much on abortion or related issues. But we’ve run a few relevant posts, all written by yours truly. Most, I suppose, nibble at the edges of relatively peripheral issues; few are directly relevant to the recent overturning of Roe vs. Wade through Dobbs vs. Jackson. Still, for whatever it’s worth, I thought I’d dig a few out of the vaults. 

In 2015, in the wake of the mass shooting at an abortion clinic in Colorado Springs, I wrote a pair of posts on whether opponents of abortion were logically or morally obliged to engage in vigilante violence in order to oppose abortion. Jason Brennan had argued that they were; I argued that they weren’t. Continue reading

The Right to Boycott

As many readers of this blog will remember, earlier this year, we had a months-long discussion of the pros and cons of “cancellation” and related topics, initiated in part by this long post of mine in December, and this long rejoinder by David Potts a few weeks later. Feel free to click the “cancel culture” tag to follow some of the preceding and subsequent discussion, which eventually petered out (at least on my end) less through any dearth of topics left to discuss, or desire to discuss them, than from the lack of time to pursue the discussion to a proper conclusion. That said, I thought that the discussion was a useful airing-out of some contentious issues.    Continue reading

New Blogger: John Davenport

I’m pleased to announce the addition of a new blogger to Policy of Truth, John Davenport, Professor of Philosophy and Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Fordham University. John and I first met at Notre Dame in the 1990s, where we were both graduate students in philosophy; he was also an occasional visitor at the Felician Ethics conferences I used to organize when I was at Felician University, and he’s a fellow New Jerseyan to boot. He has wide-ranging interests in the history of philosophy, in ethics, in political philosophy, and the philosophy of religion (click the preceding link for details). His first post, forthcoming in a few days, is a defense of intervention in the Russo-Ukrainian war. I’m a bit bogged down in the MacIntyre conference right now, but I have John’s post in hand, and will be posting it at first opportunity. (I decided not to subject him without guidance to WordPress’s “block editor.”)

Welcome, John, and we’re looking forward to your participation and contributions!

ISME 2022: “Cross-Cultural Encounters”

David Potts’s recent post on Alasdair MacIntyre induces me to advertise the forthcoming fifteenth annual Summer Conference of the International Society for MacIntyrean Enquiry, which takes place next week (June 15-17th) in Mugla, Turkey, in association with the Department of Philosophy at Mugla Sitki Kocman University. For those unable to travel to Turkey on such short notice, there’s an online component as well. I’ll be giving a version of a paper I’ve previously posted here, “Teaching Machiavelli in Palestine” (online, alas; Thursday night afternoon Eastern Time). The conference is free and accessible to all, but requires registration. This year’s theme is “Cross-Cultural Encounters,” an important one in MacIntyre’s work.

I’ve attended maybe three or four of ISME’s conferences in the past, and have always found them worthwhile: indeed, I’m taking three days of PTO from work next week to attend the whole of this year’s conference. Though I don’t see anything on David’s topic, the program otherwise looks spectacular; I hope to see some PoT people there.

PS. From the conference organizer, Peter Wicks:

The in-person sessions held at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University will also be available to watch online. Some will be livestreamed while others will be made available after the session has taken place. I will add the appropriate links to watch the in-person sessions to the online schedule when they become available.

Imprisoned: A Tale of Two Households in Hebron

Guest post by Gary Fields
Dept of Communications
University of California at San Diego

Al-Khalil (Hebron) is the paragon of Israeli apartheid, exemplified by the Abu Eisheh family and Zlekha Mutaseb and her mother. Both families were kind enough to spend a few hours with me telling me about their life in the Old City. It would take a lengthy explanation to provide enough context for their similar predicament but let me just say that both households are victims of the outrageously violent settler community in the Old City and the State of Israel that defends them.

 
What is different in Hebron is that the 500 Israeli settlers here have colonized the core urban space of the Old City through property theft and live literally next to, and even on top of the 30,000 Palestinians who reside in the same space. What the Israeli apartheid state has done for these settlers is create gated communities for them by prohibiting Palestinians from accessing large areas of the Old City that they have used for generations. In what is shocking even to South Africans who come here, Palestinians are literally forbidden to walk on certain streets in the Old City because they are Palestinian. If that is not apartheid, nothing is.

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