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Journalists should be held accountable like you and me: A response to Kevin Sullivan

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Due to it’s timely matter, The Commentator has decided to publish this piece online. It will also appear in our physical publication later this month. 

On Monday, January 6th columnist Kevin Sullivan published an opinion column in the Daily Emerald that left a rather sour taste in my mouth. Of course, I’m not much of one to read the Emerald regularly (because I already know how to have fun in the snow in Bend and find an instruction manual for this not necessary), but when I happened upon Kevin’s most recent opinion piece “Athletes should be held accountable like you and me” I knew a response from The Commentator would be necessary. Of course, here at The Commentator, we couldn’t agree more with Kevin’s notion that athletes are a favored bunch throughout our national universities (and especially here at UO). Kevin, we commend your effort to put these athletes in their place and ensure that everyone is held accountable for their actions.

The problem with Kevin’s piece is his insight into the Jameis Winston rape case that was closed a little over a month ago in December. Writes Kevin:

         Imagine a case of sexual assault. A 9-11 call surfaces after a month of the case being in the mainstream news but a year after the survivor first reported the rape. The survivor has already identified the man who had raped her and DNA evidence had proven that he indeed had sex with her.
        This guy was obviously convicted right?
        Wrong.

Now hold it right there, Kevin. Why should this guy obviously be convicted? Based on the story you just told, I reached the conclusion that the man should obviously not be convicted! We’re supposed to think that DNA evidence proving that two people had sex is evidence of rape? Because there’s no such thing as consensual sex, right Kev?

I’m not here to argue against the innocence of Winston [...] I’m here to state the truth writes Kevin right after conclusively referring to Winston as “the man who had raped her“. Welcome to America, where all are guilty until proven innocent… good thing our justice system doesn’t operate on the same rules that Kevin does.  All I’m saying is that we have words like “alleged” so that journalists can refer to the accused without definitively calling them, as Kevin does,  ”the assailant“. Throughout his piece, it is clear that Kevin has made his mind up about the Winston case. He repeatedly refers to the accuser as “the victim” and contextualizes the story in a way that makes it obvious to us all that the tenant of “innocent until proven guilty” is only applicable until an Ol’ Dirty Emerald columnist decides that it is not. And all this in a piece where Kevin calls out the media for not properly framing a story and for “poorly reported stories“. Kev, we’re all beginning to drown in the irony here.

Of course, I cannot disagree with your main point that the accuser received a lot of hate from FSU fans and the public alike. Yes, that happened, but it does not determine whether or not Winston is guilty or not. Let’s be honest this rape allegation will always be tied in with Jameis Winston’s name as well. The truth is, there just was not enough evidence to convict Jameis of anything. This doesn’t mean that he isn’t a rapist, but (without concrete evidence) we will never know what happened.  Of course, since Kevin is already sure of his verdict, we invite him to pour through the case evidence that the state attorney released.

The point is, while there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with our judicial system, it’s ethically wrong to debase the innocent until proven guilty that our justice system is based on. Kevin, until you’re ready to present concrete evidence that Jameis Winston is a rapist, we cannot refer to him as one. And when you do have that concrete evidence, we highly encourage you to fax it over to the Tampa police so the case can be reopened.

It was not only Kevin’s absurdly definitive reporting of Winston’s guilt that infuriates us here at The Commentator. It seems like it would also be relevant to point out here that the opinion piece misreported a couple things. Writes Kevin:

[O]ne insightful anchor on “Good Morning America” put it on Dec. 12, “I just want this one to go away.”
Let me repeat that.
One of the anchors from ‘Good Morning America,” the leading morning show in America, said that he wanted the story of the Winston case to “go away.”

Good thing you repeated this twice, Kevin. Does that mean we can charge you with two accounts of false reporting? Take a look at the video that is being referenced, and I think it will be as clear to you as it was to me- Stephanopoulos says “They just want this one to go away.” Of course, by changing this one critical word you completely change the intention of Stephanopoulos’ comment. I see what you did there. Clever, Kev. Very clever.

Of course, why stop here? Let’s also get a source for those statistics you’re referencing. Writes Kevin: “the percentage of women who falsely report rape is very low and not any higher than any other false reporting of other crimes” I’ll forget about how terribly phrased this sentence is for a minute, so I can present some statistics:

Since 1996 “unfounded” rape accusations are reported by the FBI to be around 8%, while other index crimes have been around 2%.  Of course, “unfounded” does not necessarily mean “false allegation”. It is almost impossible to discover the true percentage of false rape accusations, but many estimate that they are higher than index crimes. Of course, I’m guessing Kevin found his statistics in ”Against Our Will”. Nice. Very reliable source, Kev.

“Football should not trump [...] our judicial system” writes Kevin in conclusion to his article. Let us remind you, Kev, that bad journalism should not trump our judicial system either.

Alright, kiddos, that’s all we’ve got until we hear back from Kevin. In the meantime let’s all remember that everyone accused of rape is guilty, especially if there isn’t enough evidence to prove it.

Thomas Tullis

Win a Sudsy T-shirt!

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Want to win one of these??

sudsy_tees

Where in the world is the Oregon Commentator? Do you know where we moved the distribution box missing from the picture below?

Email your responses to WINTHINGS(at)OREGONCOMMENTATOR.COM and win a free Sudsy t-shirt!

Disclaimer: Sudsy t-shirt must be picked up on campus.

13th & Uni

The Commentator has fallen victim to dismal segregation and hilarious categorization. The photo above demonstrates how bigotry can have a serious effect on a journal of opinion. The Commentator distribution box just couldn’t take it anymore and ran away to another location. Can you find it?

And anyway, who’s decision was it to put the Emerald next to the Register Guard and the Weekly? The latter two clearly contain news of some manifestation.

Favoritism and Plagiarism in the Ol’ Dirty?

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

I don’t use Facebook and haven’t perused the UO Confessions page, but this link was sent to me: I’ll let this speak for itself.

“Let me tell you about the state of the Emerald right now. A article regarding UO Faculty was written and the UO administration got fired up. They then chewed out the Editor-in-Chief of the Emerald, who has been described by various employees of the Emerald as being tyrannical. The EiC proceeded to blame the online and print news editors, as well as the reporter who wrote the story. The issue was that the writer didn’t incorporate the administration’s side of the story in the article. The managing editor, who is responsible for approving the stories, was then subjected to harsh and unfair criticism by the EiC. The managing editor, fed up with the lack of leadership at the top, put in her two-week notice a few days later. The EiC then “dismissed” (fired) her on the spot. Both the online and print news editors, who have written some of the Emerald’s most read stories in the last two years, then resigned. As of yesterday, after being fed up with management and the way things are being run, the author of the original article resigned. The news desk is now down to two people. On top of this, the EiC is seriously considering hiring a former friend he worked with at Lane’s newspaper as managing editor. This individual worked for the Emerald during the summer and PLAGIARIZED stories. He is the leading candidate for the job despite two other current Emerald staffers who have applied. Welcome to the chaos of Revolution 2012.”

 

Ol’ Dirty Drops the D

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

D for Daily. They’ll always be Dirty in our hearts.

Starting next year, the Daily Emerald will cease production of their daily newspaper, and instead turn their attention to becoming an all-encompassing media company called the Emerald Media Group. This will entail publishing two bikweekly printed issues, as well as featuring “real-time news, community engagement, photo galleries and video on the web, mobile and social media, new web and mobile apps,” according to Ars Technica.

According to the Emerald, part of the reason for the change is financial, with advertising dollars disappearing while publishing costs remain the same. “The competition for the student ad dollar today is not (another newspaper.)” said Emerald publisher Ryan Frank in an interview with Ars Technica. “It’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. This is about following where the industry is going, about how we train our students to do the jobs that exist today.”

However, distribution and mission-related concerns also played into the final decision. As the Emerald notes in their brief on the new plan, “Daily is too slow. Our newsroom will report in real-time on our website, on mobile apps and through social media. We will wrap up our report with a morning email edition Monday-to-Friday. We will add blogs on topics relevant to college students, such as football, fashion and sex. We will engage with readers through whatever digital channel is most relevant to them.”

Only time will tell if this grand experiment succeeds, or falls flat on its face. Maybe it’ll take off, maybe even fewer people will read the Emerald. Maybe Ethos will laugh at EMG’s layouts at every turn. Hopefully fewer printed dailies will end up clogging storm drains on Alder. It’s going to be an experiment, and one hell of a jump.

“It’s time for a revolution,” the Emerald claims in a video promoting the upcoming change in direction. “Something completely different.”

However, one thing’s for sure: the Commentator will always find a way to make fun of our friends at the Ol’ Dirty. Cheers.

ASUO ELECTIONS ’12: I’m Tellin Y’all It’s SABOTAGE

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Updated 4/9/12 – 3:35 PM

1) ASUO Constitution Court rules “these matters are best left to the ASUO Elections Board for adjudication.”

And also! Both related and unrelated..

2) ASUO Constitution Court rules to remove VP Candidate Lamar Wise from his position as ASUO Senate President as a result of a grievance filed by ASUO Senator Lindy Mabuya.

A Statement from the Katie & Alex Campaign:

“We made it a standard to run a clean campaign and I am extremely disappointed that this isolated incident has occurred where two individuals exercised extremely poor judgment. It saddens me immensely that this has occurred, as the rest of the Katie and Alex team, as well as the Ben and Lamar team, ran an amazing outreach drive to engage students on extremely important matters. The individuals responsible for this have been removed from the campaign.”

Ben Bowman and Lamar Wise of the Ben & Lamar campaign, along with Sam Dotters-Katz of the YES (Your EMU SRC) campaign, have filed grievances against the Katie & Alex campaign; they claim to have been hacked by Chuckie-D himself (Former OSPIRG Chair Charles Denson, spouse of VP Katie Taylor), and that their campaign materials were fucked with.

Wait what? Ben & Lamar’s management team confronted the Katie & Alex campaign, and “at least five” members “came forward with this information and all showed remorse except for Denson*.”

Hacked how? Wise says he lost access to his Gmail after opening a phishing website disguised as a Google Calendar component. Dotters-Katz says his email was also tampered with.

Fucked with how? Denson apparently used “find and replace” to jumble 12,000 phone numbers on a contact list of possible Ben & Lamar voters. The grievance states that hundreds of volunteer hours were wasted making calls to the wrong people. Dotters-Katz had a similar complaint, claiming that contacts of the YES campaign were either deleted or tampered with. Among the deleted was a list of student leaders in support of the campaign.

So who exactly? The grievances name Katie Taylor, Charles Denson, Kerry Snodgrass, Molly Bennison and Andrew Rogers as the people aware of the act.

Sam Dotters-Katz is calling this an “unprecedented act of cyber espionage.”

The Ben & Lamar campaign is calling for an immediate injunction on the election.

As for us at The Oregon Commentator, we’re calling for Katie Taylor and Charles Denson’s expulsion from planet earth. That’s right. We’re tired of writing about them. Did you think we were actually surprised by this? They’re simply living up to what we’ve called them out on being all along: the devil’s spawn. Look, this isn’t an absurd accusation. They’re a young married couple! Why else would they devote themselves to a life’s work of student manipulation? It just doesn’t make any sense.

We’ll just have to see what the ASUO Constitution Court  ASUO Elections Board does about this. Since these grievances concern the devil himself, let’s hope the Court Board likes a good exorcism.

Demons be gone!

*This post is a regurgitation of this ODE article, so read the original. Love you Emily!

 

Ol’ Dirty’s Attempt to Save Trees Deemed Outragiously Racist

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

On March 6, during an intramural basketball game, a fight broke out between opponents from each team. Becky Metrick covered the story the next day in Daily Emerald, which can be found here. Today, the Emerald‘s front page features an article by Josephine Woolington covering the meeting organized by Kendaris Hill (former president of the Black Student Union). According to the concerned students of the Black Student Union, the Ol’ Dirty‘s placement of the photo (probably the first or third one in the series here) of Amin Tufa being taken into custody by DPS officers was inappropriate. The picture was placed on the front page next to an unrelated headline regarding crime in the West University neighborhood.

Let me just say a few things:

1. Black people have been on the front page of newspapers before! It’s not a new thing.

2. Crime happens. And if it happens next to or on campus, perhaps it should be covered in the campus newspaper, no?

3. I sure as hell did not immediately pin all of the crime conducted West of campus on Tufa when reading the headline. That would be racial profiling.

4. Finally, Black Student Union… You do know that the editor-in-chief of the Emerald is black himself, right?

Editor-in-chief Tyree Harris as quoted by Woolington in today’s Ol’ Dirty: “The story was clearly questioning everything involved in the situation. [...] Nobody in the newsroom was trying to portray this story in a stereotypical way.” I agree with Harris’s assertion that the stories were indeed questioning the situation.

Apparently, the Ol’ Dirty better think twice before putting a picture of a black man next to the word “crime” in a cramped newspaper– lest they hurt somebody’s feelings. Ol’ Dirty, why must you be so environmentally conscious so as to save space by putting your stories so close together! Haha, I kid, but basically, these complaints translate to: “It confuses people when the word ‘crime’ and a picture of a black man appear together but do not relate nor coincide!”

So, perhaps the next step is to start giving each story a 1.5 inch border between it and any other story, making the newspaper a more safe and pleasant thing to read. However, complications may arise with the Climate Justice League. Seems like Ol’ Dirty is in some hot water! The links to the ODE stories are above– Your thoughts?

Holiday Reading

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Mobile Mayor Sam Jones holds intruder at gunpoint; man says God sent him

Cat travels 200 miles under car hood in Ohio

Swallowed pen still works 25 years later

12 Horrible Christmas Gifts To Help Say, “I Hate You” Though, we’re still not sure why these are bad ideas. I mean, we got #4 for the Ol’ Dirty. Also, really, I can think of worse things: a life’s subscription to the Ol’ Dirty, used underwear, rotten moldy apples….these people are just not very creative.

David And Janean Richards Set Guinness Record With 331,038 Xmas Lights

 

Vandals deface estate, Peter Parker gets there to photograph it

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

When an “anonymous tip” was given to the Oregon Daily Emerald Staff, intrepid journalist and photographer Peter Parker was first to the scene of the crime. He arrived at 1:35  in the morning, in time to see the culprits sprint away from the hit and run deed in a sparsely populated suburban neighborhood not anywhere near where a reporter would be imagined to be at that hour. Hell, the photographer even reacted faster than the Chancellor and his family who were home at the time. After snapping a photo of the web-slinging vigilantes so clear he had to be standing to take it, and not running after the culprits who would have surely seen the bespectacled reported just gawking from where the crime scene was, he raced back to the Daily Bugle, where his boss Mr. Jameson had no clue how he was the only one capable of getting a clear shot of the radioactive renegades. Pausing a moment to clench his cigar in hand and declare that Spider-Man was a menace and that the city has no room for vigilantes like him, the meek Peter Parker stepped out with his payment, changed in a phone booth, and fought the Green Goblin on top of a building, because he was goddamned Spider-Man and only an idiot wouldn’t realize that for a photographer to get such a clear shot of the vandals in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, they would have to have been party to the valdalism and the vandals are a little less “unidentified” than the Emerald lets on.

Seriously, the photo snap is from behind, but the reporter knew that they were not only all wearing bandanas and masks, but that they were all male. How did they accomplish such investigative journalism? Because they were in the same group and are using the Emerald to give their boring, unimaginative vandalism the attention they crave by legitimizing it with a report. Seriously, either their stories have no editorial process or their editor missed some Blue’s Clues shit here.

 

EDIT: Overnight the story, along with the images in question, was pulled from the ODE’s website. Luckily, the Register Guard still had a copy of the good one, because you can’t just upload things online and erase all traces of them.

http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/27240641-41/lariviere-state-university-board-oregon.html.csp

Eugene has no need for vigilantes! Curse you, Spider-Maaaaaaaan!

As you can clearly see, the perps are all male and wearing masks and bandanas.

Evolution has nothing to do with science.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Shaggy 2 Dope is the Oregon Commentator’s science blogger. A guest contributor who is not a student, Shaggy enjoys music, professional wrestling, playing with his children, and anti-social acts of violence. He writes every week in response to JoAnna Wendel’s Oregon Daily Emerald science column.

Hello friends. I’m sorry it’s been so long since we last spoke. I realize that my nemesis, Oregon Daily Emerald columnist JoAnna Wendel, has published two articles since I issued a public challenge to her and I have not responded. I intend to. I’d say that being a multi-platinum recording artist, record label-founder and all-around renaissance man is demanding, but that’s no excuse. I’ll try to be on time next week, but here are my thoughts on Wendel’s work this week.

Wendel’s first column alleges that a new “species” of human has evolved. “Collegius baconus” is supposedly its name and Wendel says it has evolved in visible time, and that she’s surprised. Well, of course a scientist would be surprised.

What they don’t realize is that evolution is one of life’s little miracles, like looking into your son’s eyes after he gets into his first hockey fight or the little yellow powder that makes Funyuns so salty. “It’s just salt dude!” they’ll tell you. Maybe they’ll say, “Evolution is a natural process,” or, “Your son displays early signs of psychosis.” But no, scientists, who, as I have already elaborated, are all motherfuckers, are always trying to leech the magic out of miracles like evolution.

They are making me so pissed.

Everyone knows evolution has nothing to do with scientists. If scientists had their way, we probably never would have heard of evolution. Evolution: it’s something human beings have known about since the beginning of time. If we’d left it up to scientists, they’d probably tell us evolution is caused by “chemical imbalances of the brain” or “too much drinking” — just a few of the outrageously false explanations the medical scientists with which which I’m forced to talk try to come up with — and they’d be wrong.

Evolution is a miracle. It has nothing to do with science. You can’t explain it, just like you can’t explain what’s inside Fonz Pond.

Fonz Pond

I’ll tackle Wendel’s other article a little later. Shaggy out.

JoAnna Wendel: You are on notice.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Hi there. My name is Shaggy 2 Dope Utsler and you may know me as a member of multi-platinum rap group Insane Clown Posse. My reason for writing this post is to warn JoAnna Wendel that I will not put up with her nonsense anymore. Wendel is a columnist for the campus newspaper here at the University of Oregon (her work can be viewed here). Her column, simply put, is virulent. It concerns science. I have made my opinions on science known before. They can be viewed in longer form here. To wit: the lies of scientists, all of whom are motherfuckers, are making me increasingly pissed. This means you Wendel. So every time you see fit to make me pissed by spreading your lies, I will publish a refutation of said lies on this blog. It is not enough, but I hope to do a public service in this way. And public service has always been the watchword for the Insane Clown Posse.

Emerald, too easy. Like always.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Dear Oregon Daily Emerald i.e. Ol’ dirty,

You guys are seriously making this too easy. You could at least hide the egregious errorz. This is like handing out the Easter eggs two minutes into the hunt. Or maybe the West University/South Hills thieves got your copy editors (in which case I am very sorry for your loss–because that would not be a laughing matter at all. Not even a little bit.)?

Love always,

Theee Commentator

UO ASL Professor Fired For In-Class Comment

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

The Oregon Daily Emerald is reporting that University of Oregon American Sign Language Professor Peter Quint has been fired for a comment he made to a student in his ASL 203 course on May 4th. From the article:

Quint began the class Wednesday with a personal story about being confronted by a group of men with guns while traveling in Pakistan with a group of friends. According to students, Quint, who is deaf, explained he was able to get out of the situation safely because he could communicate to the men that he was not a threat.

The story was intended to highlight the importance of communication, students said. It came about after several students repeatedly ignored Quint’s requests to only sign conversation. Quint lost his hearing due to meningitis when he was two and insisted students only sign during his classes so everyone could participate.

According to students present, later in Wednesday’s class, Quint noticed that a student spoke rather than signed, got upset and asked the student, “Do you want me to shoot you?”

“He wasn’t saying he was actually going to shoot anyone,” Claire Johnson, who is in several of Quint’s classes this term, said of the comment, adding that it was intended to relate back to the story and was taken out of context. “I didn’t find it threatening.”

While an inappropriate comment, certainly, was Quint entirely out of line? I’ve never taken an American Sign Language class, but I have taken the 200-level Spanish sequence, and in those classes we were required to speak Spanish. Indeed, in 201, if you spoke English at all the professor would not acknowledge your question or comment.

It doesn’t seem like this situation should be any different, especially since ASL now counts for language requirements in preparation for a Bachelor of Arts degree. And especially since Quint could not hear his students, whereas most if not all Spanish profs at the UO can speak English, the need to sign was even more immediate.

According to the rest of the article, the students in Quint’s classes were not given much if any say in the process of his termination. Who made the decision to fire him, and what was their motivation? Did Quint have tenure, and did that contribute to his firing?

This story, needless to say, is developing. We’ll provide more information as it comes available.

Did the Ol’ Dirty ever have class?

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

“Well, that’s embarrassing.”

That was my reaction when I opened to the opinion page of the Oregon Daily Emerald today and found this:

Top 10 Ways you know you’re Republican

Whether you’re a gun-toting Texan or a money-hogging oil tycoon, the GOP has enough emphasis on “good ol’ American family” to make you idolize people like Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

If you don’t know whether you’re a Republican at heart, we have 10 signs that show that you are indeed a Republican.

1) Your idea of a tea party consists of 40-year-old men with guns
2) You’re pro-child and against educating them
3) You still think Barack Obama was born in Kenya
4) You believe Judgment Day is May 21
5) Women’s Rights?
6) The thought of things trickling down turns you on
7) Sarah Palin? Michelle Bachman? Total RILFs, bro
8) You’ve gone through three divorces, but you think gay marriage will ruin the American family structure
9) You think Dick Cheney is a good hunter
10) Your news is fair and balanced

Let’s let alone for a minute the fact that the Emerald opinion desk wouldn’t know subtlety or humor if they walked up and introduced themselves. Let’s also let alone the fact that there are so many better things the Ol’ Dirty could have put in that space that students would have cared about. (While we’re at it, we can also ignore the gross misspelling of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s name, although it will serve to illustrate my point.)

This list shows a complete lack of knowledge or understanding of the Republican Party and what it’s about, especially in Oregon.

I am a registered member of the Oregon Republican Party, and a proud one at that. I am a member because of the three things the Oregon Republican Party stands for: accountability in spending, protecting our environment and protecting our schools. The misspelling of Rep. Bachmann’s name was not the only flaw in the severely misguided column; it is clear that when it passed through the opinion editor’s desk, it was never fact checked, not even a little bit.

Not every Republican is a tea-partier, a birther or a social conservative. We’re not all religious nuts, and we don’t all blindly stand behind elected leaders from our party.

Republicans identify as such because we believe in fiscal responsibility and civil liberties. We believe that all our constitutional rights should be exercised to their fullest extent, including the right to keep and bear arms. We believe in national defense, a free market and energy independence.

We believe in making a better America for all citizens.

At the Oregon Commentator, we publish blog posts and articles that are based on facts. We make fun of people, too, but it is always warranted and has a point. And we make sure to fact-check our pieces to the fullest extent, especially if we’re going to call someone (or a group of someones) out.

I would implore the folks at the Ol’ Dirty Emerald to, in the future, do some fact-checking, research “humor” and find some class. That is, if they haven’t strayed too far from it already.

I’ll leave you with three reasons it’s awesome to be a Republican:

1. Save what you make. Keep what you earn.
2. Avocados, papayas, bananas and every other fruit and vegetable that isn’t grown in the Willamette Valley (nom).
3. Teddy Roosevelt. Enough said.

Oregon Legislature ponders how to make high school even worse

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Apparently just learning how to show up on time and do what you’re told isn’t good enough anymore. The front page of today’s Ol’ Dirty featured a story about Oregon House Bill 2732, which would withhold a graduating high school senior’s diploma until they “showed proof of application to college, the U.S. armed forces or into an apprenticeship program.” Sound like complete bullshit? Apparently not enough bullshit for the majority of the Oregon House of Representatives.

The vote was split 33-26. Two thirds of the House Democrats voted for it, and while the Republicans weren’t so keen on it (only one third voted for it).

So in addition to forcing young adults kids to enlist in the military or take on tens of thousands of dollars of debt in hopes of a brighter job market by the time you’ve hit legal drinking age, it will also create a new breed of dropout for students who don’t want to do either, or don’t know yet. That’ll be great for the already-shaky state of the Oregon educational system. But Rep. Tobias Read (D-Beaverton) sees it another way:

“This bill does not intend to tell anyone what the right choice is for them. It merely seeks to prompt consideration of that question,” Read said on the House floor. “Think about the student who intends to work in the family business. Wouldn’t he likely benefit from some accounting or bookkeeping classes at the community college.”

Yes, yes he (or she) would. But does he really think that there’s anyone on the face of the earth who’s thought about that more that the student has? After all, they’ve had a long time to think about it, and by that time probably had to answer to the incessant “So what are you going to do next?” from the family about 470 times. Maybe he knew exactly what he wanted to do at 18, and never spent most of his twenties wondering if what he was doing was really what he should be, (unless everyone else feels that way, too; if so, ignore that last sentence).

Next it moves on to the Democrat-controlled Oregon Senate (60% Democrats / 40% Republicans), where it will likely fester for some time before being passed along party lines and then blocked by the courts.

Apparently Guns Cause Suicide

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

The Oregon Daily Emerald reported today that the family of a university alumnus, Kerry Lewiecki, who committed suicide with a firearm are now pushing the legislature for a waiting period for handgun purchases. From the article:

“People get the idea that they can’t go on living and they act on that within minutes or even hours of having that thought,” said Lewiecki’s father, E. Michael Lewiecki. “If (Kerry) had not been able to purchase a handgun so easily, I think there’s a good chance it might not have happened.”

I sympathize with the family’s  loss, but I don’t see any logic to the argument that people who decide to kill themselves are regularly purchasing firearms at the time of their decision for the express purpose of doing so, even if Lewiecki did. Sad as it may be, I’m fairly confident that, had he not had access to a firearm, Lewiecki would have found another way to kill himself. Unless we as a society are intent on putting 14-day waiting periods on sleeping pills, too, then let’s be careful to not confuse method with motivation.