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Report: States With Stand Your Ground Laws Have More Homicides
If you’re interested in reducing violent crime, homicides, or racial bias, you should repeal Stand Your Ground laws, according to new recommendations from an American Bar Association Task Force. In a diplomatic fashion, the 62-page preliminary report hedges from calling for the outright repeal of the controversial “shoot first” provisions, but instead suggests that the laws are a “solution searching for a problem,” that they are associated with increased homicide rates and reinforce racial bias, and that any state concerned with these problems should probably do something about it.

Disaster Sociologists Study How Hurricane Sandy Changed Life In New York
Hurricane Sandy has ushered in big changes all over the New York metropolitan region, from seawalls to city ordinances. It may have also changed things in the Ivory Tower.

Supported by New York University and its Institute for Public Knowledge, a young cadre of social scientists calling themselves the Superstorm Research Lab is quietly rethinking business as usual in academia. Though their work fits squarely in the established field of disaster sociology, the Research Lab is deeply invested in pushing the boundaries between scholarly research and efforts to make real change.

Read the white paper:  A Tale of Two Sandys

Sex Offender Laws Have Gone Too Far
"Our draconian policies about sex offenses reflect our ignorance of them."

"Is the American approach to sex registration working? Who goes on the registries, for how long, and for what kinds of crimes? Do the answers suggest that they are helping to keep kids safe—or sweeping in too many people and stoking irrational fears?"

Author of "Broken Windows" Policing Defends His Theory
In 1982, after another year of record lawlessness in New York City, two college professors advanced — or, more accurately, rekindled — a plausibly uncomplicated theory that would revolutionize law enforcement in the city: Maintaining public order also helps prevent crime.

European Court Finds CIA Interrogation Techniques "Amounted To Torture"
The European Court of Human Rights concludes that so-called enhanced interrogation techniques - specifically approved by John Yoo and Jay Bybee for use by the CIA on Abu Zubaydah at a Polish black site - amounted to torture.

The Draw Of the Undertow:  Extremity, Otherness And Emergent Harm In Gaming And Pornography

"My own interest in the cultural and social impact of video games probably began with morally conflicted feelings while playing Grand Theft Auto III for the first time. I remember experiencing a real sense of surprise at the possibility of running over pedestrians and perhaps more so, a sense of worry at what other, younger, players might take from the game. The game felt like an incredibly violent space, a bleak vision of a city without moral codes or goodness, a space most of all where we were being goaded to bring out our more callous side, running over the homeless in tunnels, sniping at the unsuspecting or beating and stabbing to advance, or just for the sheer hell of it."

 

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Four Ways 3D Printing May Threaten Security
"3D printers already produce everything from prosthetic hands and engine parts to basketball shoes and fancy chocolates. But as with any technological advance, new possibilities come with new perils.​​​​​​​
A new RAND paper, Additive Manufacturing in 2040: Powerful Enabler, Disruptive Threat, explores how 3D printers will affect personal, national, and international security. The paper is part of RAND's Security 2040 initiative, which looks over the horizon to anticipate future threats.
The same technology that might one day custom-print heart valves can just as easily produce gun parts. The same machines that allow astronauts on the international space station to print their own tools might also help a state like North Korea print military or industrial equipment to get around international sanctions...."

They May Cause Harm

by digby



Here's a great article on the use of tasers and what's becoming an important part of the debate --- the fact that they are killing people with them:

On a balmy fall night, two police officers in a squad car in east Bradenton spotted a man on a bicycle without a headlight.

Derrick Humbert, 38, rode a bike around town because seizures from a head injury prevented him from driving. He worked odd jobs as a short-order cook and gardener. He took care of his three kids, 2, 8 and 11, while their mother worked the evening shift at a 7-Eleven.

On this Monday in late September, he was riding home from a convenience store just after midnight when police told him to stop.

Instead, he pedaled around a corner past three houses, jumped off the bike and ran into a yard, the two officers chasing him on foot.

Read on...

The Way of The Gun

Iconic characters from crime fiction's most popular writers reflect on their tools of the trade.



JOE PIKE, BusinessmanGUN: KIMBER CUSTOM II MODEL 1911 .45 ACP“The best semiautomatic combat pistol made. The lowered ejector port, full-length guide rail, beveled magazine well and superb tolerances give outstanding out-of-the-box accuracy and reliability. The big .45 ACP bullet is heavy and slow, but that’s what you want. A lighter, faster bullet will punch through a man, carrying its energy with it. A .45 hollowpoint flattens and dumps its energy into the target like a truck T-boning a Prius. You don’t need to double-tap with the .45. One shot will knock a big man off his feet. LAPD SWAT uses the Kimber. USMC Special Operations Command (Force Recon) uses it. I use it. That’s all you need to know.”WRITER: ROBERT CRAISRead on...