May Housekeeping, Cancer, and Hootie on a Bike

BJ Campbell
May 3, 2018 · 4 min read

I think a lot, and I write things down. I spend too much time on Facebook, and the things I write there are often far too complicated to re-type. I stumbled into Medium in early March to codify some thoughts in the wake of Parkland, mostly so I could simply leverage technology to link those thoughts instead of having to retype them over and over to my social network. Figured it’d save me some time.

237,000 views later, I want to sincerely thank everyone who’s followed along as I dumped these thoughts out for public consumption. I hope they help you with your own thinking on the topics covered to date, although you should certainly make up your own mind about all of them. According to the “top writers” stats, these semi-organized braindumps with hastily concocted visual aids are apparently worthy of the #6 Medium spot on politics. So that’s fun, and in some ways, pretty funny, because I honestly don’t like politics.

Housekeeping

I was infinitely blessed by the Medium editorial staff featuring the most recent article on the front page. For that, I thank them all. For anyone who was late to the party, and may want to catch up on an article they may have missed, here’s a roundup and a brief description of each.

One: Herein we learn how Vox, Mother Jones, and other left of center media outlets manipulate numbers and graphs to imply a bivariate link between homicide rate and gun ownership that isn’t actually there. The article includes a case study for one of Vox’s more popular hit pieces.

Two: Herein we unpack the “gun deaths” numbers to discover that the main problem is not only suicide, but specifically male suicide. We also think about how to fix this problem.

Three: Herein we look specifically at gun homicide, and discover how tremendously lucky we are to live in a society that is historically safe by any reasonable benchmark. Unless you’re a black male, which is a huge problem. We also trash the media a bit, because that’s what we do around here.

Four: Herein we revisit the international comparisons brought up in (One), and discuss specifically why they don’t actually matter at all. The United States is so different from the rest of the world, when it comes to gun proliferation, that there is no way to get there from here, mathematically speaking. Nor is there an evidence driven case that we should try.

Five: We finally mention the word “Parkland,” and talk about why that event, though certainly horrific, has no bearing on the actual problem. We visualize with beer. And tigers.

Six: We discuss what “common sense reform” actually looks like, when we nail down the actual causes of the actual problems.

Seven: We discuss deeply why the media is leading us down these rabbit holes of false narrative that turn us against each other, and lead us to bad policy conclusions based on a flawed understanding of the actual problem. It’s not only bias, it’s business. And it’s going to get worse.

Epilogue: We finally talk about why AR-15s are sorta cool. Mathematically speaking, anyway.

Reader’s note: Future articles will be much less gun oriented. I’m about burned out on guns.

Cancer

I had no idea about the Medium Partner Program until I had my first article complete, but figured I’d give it a shot because my family could use the money. My smart, lovely, caring wife, and the mother of our two small kids, has early onset, stage-four colon cancer. She was diagnosed in August of last year, at the age of 41. She had surgery, and is now deeply in chemotherapy. It’s been a ride trying to make ends meet, both in terms of time and cash flow, to say nothing of the emotional component. I may write about that one day, but I’m not prepared yet.

She’s no longer working, to focus on the cancer and on spending time with our kids. One of her former coworkers recommended this week that I start a “gofundme” campaign, or a “patreon” account. I told him that sounded a lot like begging.

Hootie on a Bike

Our network of friends has been incredibly helpful thus far, though none more than Neal. Or to us, “Hootie.” Hootie is an aspiring triathlete, working towards his first Ironman in Chattanooga TN on September 30th, for charity. He started a website to fundraise for his efforts, and chose my family as the first charity recipient of the website. An image, and a link:

Follow if you like.

Handwaving Freakoutery

Culture War Analysis, Media Criticism, and Occasional Esoterica. (also gun math)

BJ Campbell

Written by

Conscientious objector to the culture war. I think a lot. mirror: www.freakoutery.com writer at: www.opensourcedefense.org beggar at: www.patreon.com/bjcampbell

Handwaving Freakoutery

Culture War Analysis, Media Criticism, and Occasional Esoterica. (also gun math)

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