Quick hits

1) I loved seeing “Sue” the T. Rex in Chicago a few years ago.  Here’s the story of how Smithsonian was blindsided on how expensive she would be and was massively outbid.

2) Here’s a school system that thinks making a fellow student “uncomfortable” (in this case by twirling a pencil) should lead to a suspension and psychiatric evaluation.

3) I was prepared to think Jezebel was over-reacting, but these ads are truly horrible.

4) The reason that acceptance rates at top colleges are down is because too many kids are applying to way too many schools.  And you get this:

Bruce Poch, a former admissions dean at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., said he saw “the opposite of a virtuous cycle at work” in admissions. “Kids see that the admit rates are brutal and dropping, and it looks more like a crapshoot,” he said. “So they send more apps, which forces the colleges to lower their admit rates, which spurs the kids next year to send even more apps.”

5) The marijuana legalization opponents predicted a major crime way if marijuana became legal.  Not at all surprisingly, they are wrong.

6) Not just unemployment, but labor force participation rate is a real problem these days.

7) All those constant Lumosity pitches are not based on a lot of actual science, but here’s some evidence that brain-training really works.  Time to start playing the N-back game?  (I’ve actually been thinking this might really benefit my son with ADHD).

8) The best evidence Obamacare is working.  Drum on how you’ll never actually hear even a modest admission of that from conservative sources.

9) I love looking at American health care in a comparative perspective.  A really good article on how the German system works and what we can learn from them.

10) Tell white people they will be a minority and they become more conservative.  Yikes.  Jamelle Bouie on how this means the whole country could end up like Mississippi (double-yikes!)

11) American’s are hopelessly resigned to the fact that we can’t make meaningful changes in campaign finance.  And I’m one of them.  Larry Lessig says we need to get past this.  He’s right, of course.  But I’m just too skeptical of real change.

12) Vox explains the oil curse.  Simple but compelling.

13) I started reading this column about the recent Ebola outbreak and thinking about the book I read last summer by David Quammen about zoonotic diseases.  Then I noticed the column was by Quammen.

14) Listened to a fascinating Fresh Air interview about a new book detailing how Michael Rockefeller (of those Rockefellers) was likely killed and eaten by cannibals.  And here’s a Slate piece on the book.  Pretty amazing and compelling stuff.

15) Been reading for a while about how caffeine can improve your athletic performance.  Here’s a nice how-to guide from Vox.  (Before our 5-mile doughnut run, I actually gave my 14-year old son some caffeine– something he otherwise never has).

16) Totally deserves it’s own post, but since I haven’t gotten around to it yet… Here’s how a recent study find tens of thousands “suspicious votes” in NC.  But history very strongly suggests that when they are examined more closely, only a very small handful will be the result of malfeasance.  Not surprisingly, Republicans are simply pretending otherwise.

17) I’ve long known Jim Demint is a moron.  He argued this week that “big government” had nothing to do with ending slavery.  Jamelle Bouie’s takedown.  Adam Gopnik’s is even better:

This is, in plain English, so ignorant that, as I say, there has been no shortage of corrections. A debate about whether big government freed the slaves is pretty much the only debate that a liberal is guaranteed to win. The Civil War was the original big-government overreach: it came from Washington, D.C.; it involved raising new taxes (in fact, it is the origin of a number of taxes); it confiscated rifles from rebels; it did special favors for minorities (in this case, the special favor of recognizing them as human beings and setting them free from lifelong bondage); and, in the end, it imposed a bureaucracy on an unwilling population (that is, it imposed the Union Army on the South). Many things can be said about the Civil War, but not that it was done with the benign neglect of the federales. The moral point was argued for decades, as it is with most issues in a democracy. But that big government freed the slaves is as sure a fact as any in history.


Common Core realities

I don’t know since when my beloved local NPR station got into writing such stories, but I love this piece disabusing many of the myths of Common Core:

“Common Core is a federal takeover of education.” 
The federal government did not write the standards, nor does it mandate that states adopt them.

They were developed by organizations made up of governors and school officials – theNational Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. These two groups insist that the development of the standards was state-led and included insight from educators and experts…

Opponents also condemn the fact that private foundations, such as theBill and Melinda Gates Foundation, helped fund the development of the standards.

On, no, private foundations!!

“Common Core standards mean students will have to take even more tests.” 
Common Core has not led to more assessments.

For decades, North Carolina has implemented state and national tests, regardless of the standards. Today’s tests are aligned to the new Common Core standards. Right now, North Carolina lawmakers are weighing the fiscal and academic consequences of replacing their own state-written with national tests aligned to the new Math and English standards.

Now that’s a big myth.  We’ve got too many tests, but it really has nothing to do with Common Core.  Basically, it seems that some people have decided to take everything they don’t like about education and blame it on Common Core (hmmm, sounds similar to a certain health care policy).  Anyway, more myths usefully debunked at the site.


Quick hits

On time this week.  Enjoy.

1) Are you really so busy?  Probably not (okay, DJC is pretty busy– though not too busy to read this blog).

2) How phthalates may be affecting male fertility.

3) Right-wing columnist says Republicans should just stop worrying about non-white people.

4) I love this study that clearly demonstrates causality (an actual experiment) on how money buys access in DC.

5) This one takes a while, but totally worth it.  How malaria keeps developing resistance to whatever we throw at it and the desperate (and very important) fight to prevent the latest resistant strain from spreading.

6) Republicans in NC continue to make it harder for college students to vote.  Just a coincidence.  They probably didn’t even know that young people are more Democratic these days.

7) Quality and profit in higher education are inversely related.

8) Body language really isn’t so great for detecting lying.  Also, a fun little test you can take yourself with it.

9) Fortunately my kids have never had lice.  But if they do, it’s good to learn that schools are becoming more rational about it.  Lice are basically harmless, it’s just that we’re grossed out by them:

Lice are not particularly contagious, they hurt basically no one, and they’re not a public health risk. Lice don’t actually matter. It’s high time that squeamish parents and school administrators stop acting like they do.

10) Probably not a good idea to get a degree in art or education from a lower-tier public university (at least economically speaking).

11) Hooray.  Now thanks to the success of the gun nuts, we’ve got a “knife rights” movement.

12) Nice Kristof column on the “takers” that conservatives never complain about.

13) I grew up right near Mclean, VA and I totally get that way too many parents are way too obsessed with their kids going to the most elite colleges and doing everything in their power to make that happen.  Personally, I went to Duke, Kim went to Duke, but we’ll be quite happy to have the kids go to NC State (or any other fine NC public institution).

14) How about a pill that increases the plasticity of your brain so you can learn things like you could when you were a kid.  It’s coming.  Brave new world.


Common Core math

So, Evan (my 2nd grader) had a pretty interesting math homework problem last week.  It presented a math problem and then said a student had made a specific error in solving the problem, i.e., 250-90=140 or something like that, and the homework was to get the actual right answer and explain what the hypothetical student had done wrong.  Common Core math(!!) I thought.  Not just applying an algorithm to solving a subtraction problem, but rather showing that you understand how math/subtraction actually work.  Cool.  Now, in this case, neither Evan, nor myself, nor my wife could quite figure out why the mistake was made, but I really appreciated that a seemingly simple math problem was calling for higher order thinking.

Earlier this week, I came across this nice blog post from a math teacher defending this kind of common core math from right-wing attacks that really puts things in perspective (and I think would have helped me figure out the particular homework problem):

Over the past week, I’ve seen this image multiple times on Facebook and elsewhere, a supposed denunciation of the Common Core version of math that kids are now learning:

That picture is especially popular on conservatives’ Facebook walls… and I’m sure one of your relatives has said something about it, too.

On the surface, it seems ridiculous. The top makes sense; the bottom is silly; screw you, Common Core!

Except that the top doesn’t make sense, the bottom does, and the connection to Common Core is completely misunderstood. (Says this math teacher.)

Here’s what’s going on: The top is how most of us learned subtraction. I’m sure your teachers taught you what was going on mathematically, but do you really remember what they said? Probably not. For us, it’s just an algorithm. You can do it without thinking. You hope there’s no “borrowing” of numbers involved, but if you had to do it by hand, you could probably pull it off.

The problem with that method is that if I ask students to explain why it works, they’d have a really hard time explaining it to me. They might be able to do the computation, but they don’t get the math behind it. For some people, that’s fine. For math teachers, that’s a problem because it means a lot of students won’t be able to grasp other math concepts in the future because they never really developed “number sense.”

That’s where the bottom solution comes into play. I admit it’s totally confusing but here’s what it’s saying:

If you want to subtract 12 from 32, there’s a better way to think about it. Forget the algorithm. Instead, count up from 12 to an “easier” number like 15. (You’ve gone up 3.) Then, go up to 20. (You’ve gone up another 5.) Then jump to 30. (Another 10). Then, finally, to 32. (Another 2.)

I know. That’s still ridiculous. Well, consider this: Suppose you buy coffee and it costs $4.30 but all you have is a $20 bill. How much change should the barista give you back? (Assume for a second the register is broken.)

You sure as hell aren’t going to get out a sheet of paper and do this:

Instead, you’d just figure it out this way: It’d take 70 cents to get to $5… and another $15 to get to $20… so you should get back $15.70.

That’s it. That’s the sort of math most of us do on a regular basis and it’s exactly the sort of thinking the “new” way in the picture is attempting to explain. Granted that was an *awful* example to use, but that’s the idea. If students can get a handle on thinking this way instead of just plugging numbers into a formula, the thinking goes, it’ll make other math skills much easier to understand.

Cool.  I really liked that explanation.  The Tea Party, apparently, wants our kids to be drones who can simply apply formulas they’ve been given.  Personally, I’d prefer my kids actually understand what they are doing and be able to think creatively with that knowledge.  To each his own, I suppose.

Quick hits (part 1)

Never posted a quick hits last week.  Friday night (when I usually work on them) at the ACC Tournament and busy weekend of soccer, etc., plus a busy week.  Anyway, I’ve got two weeks worth of hits now.  My goal is part 1 for Saturday morning with part 2 to follow on Sunday.  Enjoy.

1) Totally intrigued by this speed reading app.  It really does work.  Though, I have a hard time imaging myself using this for more than a few minutes at a time.  The Atlantic throws some cold water on things.

2) Really enjoyed this story about the SAT overhaul.  Seems like this will generally be a more meaningful test.  Glad this will take effect in time for my oldest son in a few years.

3) The physics of the new World Cup soccer ball.  Probably better than the last ball.

4) There really is just too much good television these days.  David Carr.

5) Federal judge rules that college faculty don’t have the right to proselytize while teaching.  Damn, there goes next week’s lecture on lobbying.

6) Really amazing first-person account from one of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre (shared on FB by a VT professor friend who had some friends/colleagues among the victims).

7) Maybe buy local isn’t so great when it comes to meat.

8) It ain’t easy going from being a political reporter to working as a wage slave in a Sporting Goods store.  Nice essay.

9) If the moon were only 1 pixel.

10) Can a rubber hand make you less racist?  Yes.

11) I didn’t actually know about the “thigh gap” till I read this.  Interesting.  And awesome in the “photoshop fail” sense.

12) Robert Reich on America’s “great U turn.”  Good stuff.

13) More evidence that we are just stupid to expect our teenagers to start high school so early in the day.

14) Love this gallery of awkward photos of cats and dogs with furniture.


Common core opponents vs. reality

So, at first I was just going to share the first-hand observation (via FB) of a friend who was at a hearing yesterday on Common Core in NC:

Tough call which comment at this public hearing on Common Core is the most bizarre. One contender: “My exceptional children are a blessing to North Carolina, but the schools of NC are not a blessing to my children.” Nice! Also the women who fretted that Common Core teaches pornography and read aloud from The Bluest Eye were interesting. But the guy who held up the bible and said feminism is ruining this country surely takes the cake.

And then I read this N&O story and the crazy is even worse.  Yikes:

RALEIGH — Critics of the Common Core State Standards charged Thursday that the education guidelines are doing everything from promoting abortion and globalism to causing children to hate to go to school.

Opponents of the Common Core made up the majority of the speakers Thursday at a public hearing of a state legislative research committee that is considering whether to recommend dumping or overhauling the standards used in North Carolina’s public schools. Legislators, who could draft legislation next month, heard from 60 passionate speakers, on both sides of the issue.

“I demand that you listen to the will of the people and obey Jesus Christ,” said Alan Hoyle of Wake Up Call Ministries, who held up a Bible as he charged that Common Core promotes “sodomy, abortion and feminism.”

And there’s more!

“Hear the cry,” said Rick Hopkins, chairman of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. “Stop Common Core now. Return our schools to a system of education, not indoctrination or social engineering. Leave the sex education, religion and political views of the children up to their parents and churches.”

The conspiracy theme was echoed by speakers from the Stokes County Tea Party, such as E.A. Timm, who charged that Common Core is a “stealth federal takeover” that will help communists gain control.

“Education is a fundamental natural right of the parents and is best handled locally,” he said. “Common Core makes that natural right untouchable by the parents and opens the door to national totalitarian control.”

Speaker Frank Livingston charged Common Core is not about federalization but about globalization, linking such parties as Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the United Nations, education theorist Bill Ayers and the Muslim Brotherhood to the standards.

I only hope the majority of NC Republican legislators are half-sane enough to recognize how completely batshit crazy this stuff is (sadly, you actually get some NC legislators saying stuff this nuts).  I’d like to think the crazy speaks for itself, but I just don’t have a good feel for what passes for sanity in the Republican echo chamber.  Sure, these comments are the more extreme elements, but this is absolutely your Tea Party.

Again, Common Core is not perfect, but for the most part it is about raising standards and teaching critical thinking.  I would be so saddened if this effort in NC is undermined by a group of nutcases with such a tenuous grip on reality.   We really need the Chamber of Commerce Republicans to speak up against this embarrassment and loudly.

“Student” athletes

I get that the NCAA tournament is a really big deal for the universities that get to participate.  But do the “student” athletes really need to miss two entire days of school for a basketball game?!  This photo is from the NC State basketball team at 9am yesterday, flying to Dayton, Ohio  (I’m guessing about a 2 hour flight) for a 9pm game today.  I know it’s not this bad for regular season games, but even then it seems that teams regularly leave the day before for 7 and 9p games.  How that is compatible with being a properly functioning university student is beyond me.  Maybe UNC has it all figured out.

Common Core = Obamacare?

Really enjoyed this piece from Seth Masket on how the politics of Common Core are (very sadly) becoming all too much like the politics of Obamacare.  Seth:

But that’s not at all what you’ll hear about it in the conservative media. For them, not only is the Common Core a massive federal intrusion into state and local education policy (a debatable point, but one roughly grounded in reality), but it’s a primary tool of President Obama and the Left (and possibly the United Nations) to fundamentally transform education, to undermine the authority of religion and parents, to track the location and behavior of children who’ve committed thought-crimes (perhaps using iris scans), and to essentially impose collectivism upon America. As Glenn Beck sums up, “This is like some really spooky, sci-fi, Gattaca kind of thing.”

None of this is true, of course, but that hasn’t stopped some people from believing it. In this sense, it’s very much like “Obamacare.” I’m not referring to the Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama in 2010, but rather the cartoonish version of it that’s a federal takeover of the health care system, replaces the capitalist economy with socialism, and establishes government death panels that determine who gets life-prolonging treatment and who doesn’t. Many people are terrified of Obamacare even as they sign up with health insurance exchanges, enjoy access to insurance despite having pre-existing conditions, or sign their children up even if they’re 25 years old—that is, take advantage of the provisions actually contained in the Affordable Care Act. It seems quite possible that “Obamacare” will continue to be unpopular even as the provisions of the ACA gain in use and acceptance.

So it is with the Common Core, which many on the right will continue to associate with Obama’s perceived socialist agenda at least until he leaves office (and despite the fact that it was first developed before he was even an Illinois state legislator). Every complaint about education, from the rise of standardized tests to an annoying assignment by a random teacher, gets blamed on the Common Core.

This is so damn frustrating.  Sure, the common core is not perfect, but I refuse to accept that having some high-quality national standards on education is a bad thing.  Last I checked, the quadratic formula was the same in Minnesota and Mississippi and subject-verb agreement was the same in North Dakota and North Carolina.  Also, there’s still no national tests, just national learning objectives that states, of their own volition, have agreed to.

The other day I heard a little bit of the truly moronic Jim Demint on Diane Rehm giving conservative complaints about Common Core:


Well, it depends on what those standards are. Certainly, equality, justice, opportunity, we need to make sure that everyone gets a fair chance. And that’s one of the roles of the federal government is justice. But what I found in the industry — and I was a consultant to a lot of companies on quality improvement — is it was a standards often kept quality down. That sounds counterintuitive, but what you want is a continuous improvement process where you’re constantly competing with others.


If you have 50 states competing for the best education system, they’ll tend to pull each other up. If you create one-size-fits-all at the federal level, then people start teaching to the test. They try to game the system. We’ve seen that with almost every federal program, Republican or Democrat. And the quality of our schools has not gone up. But the cost has. And what we see when you break out from under that one-size-fits-all mold — even in New York right now, with their charter schools, these were poor disadvantaged children that are scoring a lot better than those in the traditional schools.

So, standards are bad when the federal government does it, but okay when state governments do it?  And the only educational standards that should be national are equality, justice, and opportunity?!  Please!  Is it too much to want all American students to know certain basic mathematical concepts, critical thinking, good writing, etc?!

Quick hits

1) Enjoyed this book review about The Meat Racket– a harsh critique  of our modern approach to meat production

2) College– perhaps not the great leveler after all.

3) It’s our imagination that truly separates us from other animals.

In all six domains I’ve repeatedly found two major features that set us apart: our open-ended ability to imagine and reflect on different situations, and our deep-seated drive to link our scenario-building minds together. It seems to be primarily these two attributes that carried our ancestors across the gap, turning animal communication into open-ended human language, memory into mental time travel, social cognition into theory of mind, problem solving into abstract reasoning, social traditions into cumulative culture, and empathy into morality.

4) Really enjoyed this teacher’s defense of the Common Core.  It may not be perfect, but so preferable to the status quo.

5) The Supreme Court just heard a really big death penalty case, but nobody is paying attention.

6) Animated gifs (that’s a soft “g” by the way, damnit) showing cities moving from day to night.

7) What happens when a Colorado family tries to opt their kids out of standardized testing.  Damn to the school administrators freak out.

8) Unfortunately, it seems that among corporate executives only women actually care about work-life balance.

Another says:

“The 10 minutes I give my kids at night is one million times greater than spending that 10 minutes at work.”

As the authors point out, most women would not brag about only spending 10 minutes a day with their children.

Personally, I find that shameful.

9) Chait on the GOP’s phony support/ actual opposition to the Earned Income Tax Credit

10) Never did get around to giving this it’s own post.  Nice job putting the current NC Democratic party troubles into the larger historical context of political party organizational power.

11) Pope Francis has changed some attitudes of American Catholics, but not their behavior.

12) Greg Sargent nicely deconstructs Paul Ryan’s intellectual incoherence about the safety net being a “hammock” for the poor.  Another nice take on Ryan and poverty from Yglesias’ Slate replacement (very excited about this) Jordan Weissman (who had been doing great work at the Atlantic).

13) And because I know DJC is reading this, Daylight Savings Time saves lives and prevents crime

Teacher appreciation

My college roommate wrote this awesome letter to his hometown (Gastonia, NC) newspaper.  Love it:

A few weeks ago, the phone rang in my office. And on the line was Larry Moore, my French teacher from Southwest Middle School. I had not heard from him since I was in high school at Hunter Huss probably 25 years ago.

He phoned to say that Southwest was having a Black History celebration on Feb. 23, and asked if I would come to participate or send an essay that could be read as part of the event. Mr. Moore also said how very proud he was of me. There are no words for what something like that means to an adult man, after so many years and miles of separation, the simple and genuine act of a teacher’s encouragement and congratulation.

Teachers are the last, best hope for our American democracy. I regret that I’ve seen in North Carolina, here in New York and also nationally, an ill-advised effort to denigrate the work of teachers and what they do for our children every day. Teaching is hard work, and it is also impactful and meaningful individually and as a whole to our society.

What I learned is important about citizenship and my role in building a great country came from fifth grade civics class, and what I still love about reading started with Mrs. Cole’s fourth grade reading challenges and library visits at Hershal H. Beam Elementary. Hershel Beam was also my principal. He was a man with a profound love and interest in children’s development and potential. I remember that kind of love, even though it was more than 30 years ago now.

I have been fortunate in my life to sit in the classrooms of some very learned professors, at Duke, Princeton, Harvard and Columbia universities. I’ve learned from some of the smartest people in the world, but I also have not forgotten where all of that learning began and also where I received the foundation to “go do what God has in store for you,” as Hershel Beam would say with such a commanding voice.

I say without reservation that the most caring educators I’ve had were all in Gastonia. So if you ever wish to know where Gaston County’s most precious resource is, look to your children’s classrooms in appreciation.

Jamie Smarr, of New York, is vice president of The NHP Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making investments that preserve and create affordable multifamily housing for low- to moderate-income families and seniors.

I wish I didn’t feel the need to check off the “politics” category for this.  But sadly, it seems that genuinely appreciating teachers and the work they do has become a partisan issue.  So far, my kids have had almost 19 combined years of public school education, and almost every teacher they’ve had has been a qualified and dedicated professional.  If we want successful education in this country it means investing in teachers and treating them like professionals.  Is that really too much to ask?

Quick hits

1) Saletan on the pro-choice case for infanticide.  Or at least for making us wrestle more fully with the morality and philosophy of the issue.

2) Yes, Whole Foods is America’s temple to pseudoscience and making liberals, therefore, look bad.

3) Alec Baldwin (who, by the way, I love) on why he is saying goodbye to public life.

4) The Republican talent gap on political campaigns.

5) A collection of sad faces from silver medalists.  Pretty irresistible.

6) Love this “how to take a shower with a gay athlete.”

7) Chipotle will soon be offering a vegan burrito based on shredded soy.  If you’ve been following my occasional musing about meat, you know I’m excited about this.  I optimistic that it will be tasty enough that I will, sometimes, replace it for my usual carnitas.

8) How to get fit in a few minutes a week.  High-intensity interval training is awesome.  But even more awesome if you don’t do it every day.

9) Ads in the science magazine Omni from the 1980′s.  Loved these.

10) The real IRS scandal.

11) John Dickerson on the dangers of trying to “be real” for politicians.  Great line:

The most wonderful version of this is the Nixon administration effort to humanize their boss. He met small groups of reporters for cocktails and tried to peddle amusing stories to make them think he was not such a cold fish. He didn’t succeed, because he was a cold fish.

12) Great Businessweek piece on the academic/athletic scandal at UNC.  The part that always kills me about this is that just because there were some non-athletes in fake classes (who’s enrollment was disproportionately athletes) the UNC administration has the gall to insist this is not an athletics scandal.  Sure, as a Duke grad and NC State employee, I’m supposed to hate UNC.  I don’t.  It’s a great university that usually reflects very well on our state.  I hate to see them ruining that.

13) Ivy League schools very narrow view of increasing economic diversity.

14) I was vaguely aware that big stuff was happening in Venezuela.  Nice piece in the Atlantic explains what’s really going on (was especially fascinated by the role of Cuba).

15) Teenager blows families $80,000 settlement because she blew the confidentiality agreement by posting about the settlement on facebook.

16) Love this– former Pizza Huts re-purposed (I can think of several in Cary and Raleigh).

When is it okay to shoot my students?

Brilliant Op-Ed from a professor in Idaho– where guns have newly been allowed on campus.  Also fits perfectly with the Lithwick piece from yesterday.  In case you don’t feel like reading it all, here’s most of it:

In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?

I am a biology professor, not a lawyer, and I had never considered bringing a gun to work until now. But since many of my students are likely to be armed, I thought it would be a good idea to even the playing field…

I assume that if a student shoots first, I am allowed to empty my clip; but given the velocity of firearms, and my aging reflexes, I’d like to be proactive. For example, if I am working out a long equation on the board and several students try to correct me using their laser sights, am I allowed to fire a warning shot? …

While our city police chief has expressed grave concerns about allowing guns on campus, I would point out that he already has one. I’m glad that you were not intimidated by him, and did not allow him to speak at the public hearing on the bill (though I really enjoyed the 40 minutes you gave to the National Rifle Association spokesman)…

In terms of the campus murder rate — zero at present — I think that we can all agree that guns don’t kill people, people with guns do. Which is why encouraging guns on campus makes so much sense. Bad guys go where there are no guns, so by adding guns to campus more bad guys will spend their year abroad in London. Britain has incredibly restrictive laws — their cops don’t even have guns! — and gun deaths there are a tiny fraction of what they are in America. It’s a perfect place for bad guys.

Some of my colleagues are concerned that you are encouraging firearms within a densely packed concentration of young people who are away from home for the first time, and are coincidentally the age associated with alcohol and drug experimentation, and the commission of felonies.

Once again, this reflects outdated thinking about students…

I want to applaud the Legislature’s courage. On a final note: I hope its members will consider my amendment for bulletproof office windows and faculty body armor in Boise State blue and orange.


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