The amazing cluelessness of the pro-gun crowd

In the bid to have guns everywhere they possibly can, the pro-gun crowd has long been pushing to pass laws to ensure guns are allowed on college campuses.  They’ve had only limited success, but now they think they’ve hit on the key– combine it with concern about sexual violence on campus.  Seriously.  The cluelessness speaks for itself, nowhere better than this:

The sponsor of a bill in Nevada, Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, said in a telephone interview: “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.” [emphasis mine]

Seriously?!  And that’s a Republican woman making this argument.  Of course, you need pay only the most passing attention to the issue to know how out-of-touch this approach is.  Not news to you, but, here it is:

“It reflects a misunderstanding of sexual assaults in general,” said John D. Foubert, an Oklahoma State University professor and national president ofOne in Four, which provides educational programs on sexual assault to college campuses. “If you have a rape situation, usually it starts with some sort of consensual behavior, and by the time it switches to nonconsensual, it would be nearly impossible to run for a gun. Maybe if it’s someone who raped you before and is coming back, it theoretically could help them feel more secure.”

I’m, of course, no fans of these laws, but I suspect that they probably end up making little difference.  That said, the fact that the supporters see this as a solution to campus rape truly shows how ignorant they are on this important issue.

It’s the $%^& snacks!

Really enjoyed this post from Yglesias looking at the factors contributing to America’s obesity epidemic.  Everybody likes to blame large restaurant meals, but, really, it’s those super-palatable, irresistible snacks:

The above is a table from David Cutler, Jesse Shapiro, and Ed Glaeser’s 2003 study “Why have Americans become more obese” and what it shows is that pretty much all of America’s increased calorie consumption between the late-1970s and the mid-1990s came from increased snacking. Women actually started eating smaller meals during this period, they just more than made up for it with snacks.

That data is a little out of date, but according to Professor Richard Mattes the snack explosion only continued. In 1996, the average American ate about 423 calories worth of snacks per day but by 2006 that was up to 580.

The centrality of snacking to obesity is a significant challenge for public policy. There’s a lot of focus on chain restaurant portion size, both in the media and in terms of the Obama administration’s push for menus to state calorie contents. But the issue really doesn’t seem to be that people started ordering gigantic meals. It’s more that they started supplementing regular meals with more sweetened beverages and bigger bags of chips. It’s noteworthy to me that I see a lot of emphasis lately on fancy places trying to push “healthy” snacks — nuts and dried kale and what not. But it’s clear from the data that the actual pattern of the healthier eating habits of yore was simply less snacking rather than a universe of tasty nutritious treats.

One thing I really enjoyed about weight watchers was the food journaling and learning what was doing me in.  That’s right– the @#$% snacks.  I quickly learned that when I want to lose weight, it is almost all about cutting out the extra snacks.  Obviously, I’m far from alone in this.

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