Video of the day

Bald Eagles descending upon a bunch of fish in the back of  a pick-up truck in Alaska.  Pretty cool.  Story here.

Photo of the day

From N&O day’s best:

A rainbow is seen over the fields and mountains prior to an Ascension Day procession on May 9, 2013 in Grassau, Germany. Ascension is an ecumenical feast that commemorates the ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven. Bavaria, in contrast to the rest of Germany, is heavily Catholic, and the religious calendar plays a strong role in its deeply-ingrained folk traditions. (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Getty Images) LENNART PREISS — Getty Images

Map of the day

Via Deadspin,a map of the highest paid public employee in every state.  In most cases, it is a football coach.  Before looking, I correctly predicted it would be a basketball coach in NC (Roy Williams)

And, in those few places where it’s not coaching, it pays to be at the top of Medical higher education.

But gun control wouldn’t have stopped…

Excellent post in the Atlantic about how absurd the argument of “well, gun laws would not have stopped ….” is:

Yet arguments like that ignore the fact that Step X — whether it’s expanded background checks or other proposals before Congress — might well have helped prevent or mitigate some horrendous past incident, and could spare us future tragedies.

For instance, expanded background checks might have saved the life of Ricky Byrdsong, the former Northwestern University basketball coach killed by white supremacist Benjamin Nathan Smith in 1999. Smith tried to buy a gun from a licensed dealer in June 1999 but was blocked because of a domestic-violence restraining order against him. The next month he bought one from an unlicensed dealer and used it to target blacks, Asians, and orthodox Jews in a three-day, multi-city rampage. Nine were wounded and two died, among them Byrdsong, who was shot multiple times while walking with two of his children.

And, yes, expanded background checks might have kept Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold from killing 13 people and themselves in the 1999 Columbine massacre. Three of the four guns the two 17-year-olds used in the shootings were purchased for them at a gun show by Robyn Anderson, then 18. “I would not have bought a gun for Eric and Dylan if I had had to give any personal information or submit to any kind of check at all,” Anderson said in a statement in 2000. “I wish a law requiring background checks had been in effect at the time.”

Of course there’s always going to be gun crimes that would not have been stopped by a particular law.  But to therefore argue that that particular law is pointless based on one high profile case is absurd.  Our laws preventing ex-felons from legally purchasing guns would not have stopped Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, or many other nuts from committing their crimes.  Does the NRA therefore believe that even ex-felons should have unlimited rights to legal gun ownership?  Laws against DUI would not have stopped many non-intoxicated fatal accidents.  Should we eliminate laws against DUI?  Absurd, isn’t it.

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