Gun control, pinkification, and splash damage

A few weeks ago, before things got super-busy in my life, I was trolling about the White House petitions website and I found a petition that sorta bugged me. I left it in a tab for me to revisit as soon as I had time. As I was distracted with other things, I’d flip past the tab, get just that little bit more irritated, but still without enough time to do anything about it, and would move on with whatever I was doing that was more pressing. Now that I have a bit more breathing space between other duties, I should finally get this off my plate.

This petition asks for all civillian firearms to be mandated, by law, to be pink.

Regulation of specific types of guns may be well- intentioned, but until we confront the underlying psychological and social issues that feed the violence, these laws will have little effect. The fact is that in America, guns have become potent cultural symbols of machismo, masculinity and power.

Therefore, we propose that every civilian firearm in America be painted a shade of bright pink over no less than 90% of their exposed surface areas.

We believe this simple act will fundamentally change the dynamic of American gun culture while still passing Constitutional scrutiny. All will be free to legally buy guns-just so long as they are Fabulous.

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Kid tries to prove his masculinity by shooting himself in the head on live video

See, it’s bullshit like this that motivates me to destroy gender roles, not just for feminism’s sake, but for men as well. This child did not, obviously, think things through before he tried to prove how “manly” he was to his friends on video chat. He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger, not realizing that the gun was loaded.

About 1:15 a.m., the teen was video-chatting — police believe it was either over Skype or another video-chat service called ooVoo — with an as-yet-unidentified person while his brothers were asleep in the room in their Kensington house.

Sometime during the video chat, things went horribly wrong.

“His manhood or his ego was challenged and he said something along the lines of, ‘I’ll show you,'” Gallagher said. “He thought he was clowning around, trying to shock the other party on the Internet site.”

That’s when the teen picked up his older brother’s gun and, believing it was unloaded, put it to his head and pulled the trigger, police said.

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The new coder culture: “Brogrammers”

A few days ago, Neil McAllister of Fatal Exception covered the age and gender disparity in the software development world, and it sounds strikingly similar to stories about the science research world, video gaming communities, the various atheist communities online, and hell, even the “Brony” community. Apparently, a sort of generalized culture has emerged within a number of software development companies where programmers act like fraternity brothers, and pretty well the only ones who can get and stay in their positions are young males willing to binge-drink. Everyone else experiences the sort of chilly climate we’ve discussed in those aforementioned, more proximate cultures.

Some say the problem is our education system. Schools and colleges should be doing more to encourage girls and young women to explore computing. Right now that’s not happening. Overall enrollment in university computer science programs is up 10 percent from last year, but enrollment among women is down.

Others say companies should provide the encouragement. Some companies already are; Etsy, for example, is offering $50,000 in grants to send women to its Hacker School training program in New York City this summer.

That’s admirable, but it falls short of addressing the real problem, which is that software development isn’t just failing to attract women. It’s actively pushing them away. Worse, they’re not the only ones.

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