(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘legislation

“Fondling their weapons, feeling suddenly so young and good they are reminded that guns are more than decoration, intimidation, or comfort. They are meant.”*…

Micah Harris (31) – Oxnard, California Since he was a boy, Micah Harris has had just one wish—to surround himself with the same guns he’s seen in Hollywood movies. He would dream about them at night, first and foremost among them, “Bruce Willis’s Beretta from Die Hard. It’s a legend.” However, surrounding oneself with firearms is no simple thing in California, and not well looked upon either. When he decided to buy his first rifle, a Remington 700, the bureaucratic hoops he had to jump through were so many and so complex that he decided to set up a YouTube channel, posting updates on his progress and sharing what he learned along the way. The channel garnered moderate success. Today, Micah knows all the rules and advises others on how to buy the firearms they want. He manages a gun shop that he founded with a friend, and he’s also a member of the NRA. Losing some friends in a mass shooting only strengthened his convictions about the importance of knowing how to defend oneself. “Shootings are a tragic way to use a tool that was never conceived for that purpose. If I could speak to the victims, I’d tell them I offer them all of my help and understanding, and that I’d be happy to teach them how to use guns, so that they could defend themselves in the future.” Choosing a favorite gun is kind of like choosing a favorite child. If I really had to, I’d say an Mk 12 Mod 1
Torrell Jasper, a.k.a. Black Rambo (35) – Schiever, Louisiana (in the background, Allen Craff, Tyrone Gathen, James J. Herbert) Every day, nearly six hundred thousand people wait for Torrell Jasper to make his appearance on Instagram and show off one of his guns. To find him, just type in “Black Rambo,” a nickname he’s extremely proud of, and make sure you don’t end up on his son’s account by mistake (at 13, he’s already trying to make a name for himself on social media). Torrell, now 35, learned to shoot from his father as a child. A former Marine, he spent a few years in war zones, “where pulling the trigger and hitting the target was a question of life or death.” Now, back in civilian life and working as an A/C systems installer, Torrell, a.k.a. Black Rambo, mostly just has fun with his guns. People have fun watching him, too. About a hundred different manufacturers of firearms and related paraphernalia have, over the years, asked him to use and promote their products, and he loves being the center of attention at least as much as he loves owning a flamethrower. “There are no weapons I would ban ordinary citizens from owning, but if I had to name one, well, a bazooka isn’t really something you need,” he admits. That said, he has no fear that an item in his arsenal might be dangerous for his young children or for any of his many followers. “It’s not guns that hurt people, it’s the people holding the guns.” I couldn’t say which weapon is my favorite. I can’t choose just one. I love them all. That’s why I buy so many. The first gun I ever bought was an AK-47.

Two of the arresting portraits in Gabriele Galimberti‘s striking series “The Ameriguns,” @GabrieleGalimba.

* Toni Morrison, Paradise

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As we pine for ploughshares, we might recall that it was on this date in 2021 that U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez of the Southern District of California ruled that sections of the 1989 California state ban on assault weapons– military-style rifles like the AR-15, so prominently featured in the photos above– was unconstitutional. In his opinion, Benitez opined, “like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.” Later that month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit blocked his ruling.

For a different set of Pictures: “America’s gun culture – in seven charts.”

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 4, 2022 at 1:00 am

“Count my own money, see the paper cut fingers?”*…

A fascinating look, from The Pudding, at who’s on those banknotes…

If you open your wallet right now, who do you see there? You’re probably looking at people who made history in your country. Without even noticing, you’re always carrying around reminders of prominent people in your wallet, but have you ever wondered, who gets to be on banknotes?

In many places, paper money still fails to represent a portion of the population it serves, with many countries preferring to showcase people (usually men) in positions of power or of national acclaim on their banknotes. However, money can also be a platform to uplift the unsung leaders who deserve our gratitude for making our countries what they are. We decided to investigate this imbalance. We gathered data about the people who appear on banknotes around the world, to see what we could learn about them and their countries.

We wanted this analysis to be as international as possible so we inquired into 38 countries from all 22 sub and sub-subregions of the world, based on the United Nations’ Statistics Department geoscheme. Our dataset represents [236 unique banknotes and 241 unique individuals].

The majority of the individuals depicted on banknotes are male [79%].

We looked at their professions and accomplishments, among other characteristics, to understand who is featured on the banknotes of the world, and what it took to get there…

A visual essay about the famous figures who represent today’s currencies around the world: “Who’s in Your Wallet?,” from @puddingviz.

* Drake

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As we count ’em, we might recall that it was on this date in 1863 that Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864, which changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the minting of the two-cent coin– the first piece of U.S. currency to bear (as a result of this legislation) the legend “In God We Trust.”

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

April 22, 2022 at 1:00 am

“Torture the data, and it will confess to anything”*…

Source: @piechartpirate

Add movement to a bar chart, and you’ve got yourself an audience-pleaser. These so-called “bar chart races” are not popular with data visualization experts– but what do experts know?…

I’m not a betting man. But I do enjoy a good bar chart race — a popular way to visually display and compare changing data over time. Bars lengthen and shorten as time ticks away; contenders accordingly hop over each other to switch places in the ranking. Will your favorite keep their lead? Look at that surprise challenger rush to the front! Meanwhile, furious battles are waged for the middle and even the lower spots on the list.

Bar chart races are a spectacular way to animate certain types of information, but the so-called dataviz community is skeptical. Many data visualization specialists complain that bar chart races are like a sugar rush: a lot of entertainment, but very little analysis. Big on grabbing attention, small on conveying causality. Instead of good seats at the data ballet, you get standing room only at the information dog track.

Well, all that may be true. But when is the last time you’ve been glued to a statistic about global coffee production? Bar chart races are fun to watch, not least because you can pick a favorite early on and get to see them win — or lose. In other words, you’re emotionally invested in the animation in a way that’s lacking from static stats.

Bar chart races are used for just about any dataset that can be quantified over time: best-selling game consoles, most trusted brands, highest grossing movies…

Any dataset that can be quantified over time can be turned into a contest that is both exciting and (a little bit) enlightening: from @VeryStrangeMaps, 10 examples of “Bar chart races: short on analysis, but fun to watch,” for example…

Ronald Coase

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As we ruminate on representation, we might check our watches: it was on this date in 1918 that the Standard Time Act (AKA, the Calder Act) became effective. Passed by Congress earlier in the year, it implemented across the U.S. both Standard time (the creation of time zones anchored in UTC, the successor to GMT) and Daylight Saving Time.

U.S. Time Zones (somewhat revised from the original division)

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“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself”*…

 

The 93rd U.S. Congress, 1973-74, considered 26,157 bills; it made 738 (3%) of them law.  The 103rd Congress, 1993-94, enacted 458 (5%) of the 9,746 bills it considered.  The current Congress– the 113th, 2013-14– has so far introduced 7,980 bills, and passed only 100 (just over 1%) of them.

The Legislative Explorer, from researchers at the University of Washington’s Center for American Politics and Public Policy, allows readers to follow the lawmaking process– over 250,000 bills and resolutions introduced from 1973 to present– in action.

The left half represents the U.S. Senate, with senators sorted by party (blue=Democrat) and a proxy for ideology (top=liberal). The House is displayed on the right. Moving in from the borders, the standing committees of the Senate and House are represented, followed by the Senate and House floors. A bill approved by both chambers then moves upward to the President’s desk and into law, while an adopted resolutions (that does not require the president’s signature) moves downward.

Each dot represents a bill, so one can see them move through the process.  The drop-down menus at the top allow a shift of focus to a specific Congress, a person, a party, a topic, and several other categorizations; and there’s search to allow one to examine specific bills.  Counters across the bottom of the screen keep track of the action… or the lack thereof.

Give it a try.

[TotH to Flowing Data]

* Mark Twain

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As we yield, Mr. Speaker, to the gentleman from the District of Columbia, we might think expansionist thoughts in honor of Thomas Jefferson, whose emissaries Robert Livingston and James Monroe  signed the the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, called by some “the letter that bought a continent,” in Paris on this date in 1803… and in one stroke (well, three strokes– Livingston, Monroe, and French representative Barbé Marbois all signed) doubled the size of the United States.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

April 30, 2014 at 1:01 am

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