Sep 10 2010 2:24pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 16

Well, hey there, kids! I Spy With My Little Eye… a Wheel of Time Re-read! However did you guess?

Today’s entry covers Chapters 23 and 24 of Winter’s Heart, in which I muse on navigational difficulties, Constitutional Issues, and the uneasiness incurred by a lack of ruth in one’s companions.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, in which you can find links to news, reviews, and all manner of information regarding the latest release, The Gathering Storm, and for WOT-related stuff in general.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels, up to and including Book 12, The Gathering Storm. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, I Spy… a post!

Chapter 23: To Lose the Sun

What Happens
Shalon follows Harine and Harine’s Swordmaster Moad through the gateway from Cairhien, trying not to fall off her horse. Cadsuane had not let Shalon watch her form the gateway, and Shalon tries not to think about the trap she is in. She watches the Aes Sedai with Cadsuane, trying to see an advantage in the tensions there. She is puzzled by Eben, one of the Warders already through the gate, because she could have sworn she’d seen him in an Asha’man’s black coat before. Harine is muttering an often-repeated diatribe about how she will no longer put up with Cadsuane’s disrespect of her authority and position; Shalon isn’t really listening, thinking about the Aes Sedai and wondering how they manage with such a disorganized ranking system.

Supposedly the White Tower was like some mechanical contrivance that ground up thrones and reshaped them to its will. Of course, the machinery did seem to be broken, now.

Harine demands that Shalon figure out where they are; Shalon can’t be accurate without her sextant (which is a carefully hidden secret from the shorebound), but guesses that they are three or four hundred leagues south of Cairhien. Both she and Harine realize the implications of this, and Harine orders Shalon to learn this gateway weave at all costs. She suggests Shalon offer Cadsuane to spy on Harine in exachange for the knowledge, to Shalon’s shock; Shalon tries to dissuade her, knowing that the pretense will ruin Shalon’s plan to tell as little as possible for the spying she’s already been blackmailed into doing, but they are interrupted by Sarene, who tells them Cadsuane has instructed her to be Harine’s attendant and answer whatever questions they might have. She adds that she understands if Harine feels “discomfort”; this seems to utterly fluster Harine, who demands someone else, and also more respect.

“I can ask her to name someone else,” Sarene said doubtfully, as if she did not expect her asking would change anything. “You must understand that she gave me quite specific instructions that day. But I should not have lost my temper. That is a failing of mine. Temper destroys logic.”

“I understand obeying orders,” Harine growled, crouching in the saddle. She looked ready to launch herself at Sarene’s throat. “I approve of obeying orders!” she very nearly snarled. “However, orders that have been carried out can be forgotten. They no longer need be spoken of. Do you understand me?” Shalon stared sideways at her. What was she talking about? What orders had Sarene carried out, and why did Harine want them forgotten?

Sarene doesn’t think this is very logical, but accepts it. Harine wants to know where they are going, and Cadsuane interrupts to answer that they are going to Far Madding. Harine asks if the Coramoor is there, but Cadsuane only tells her to keep up and be quiet, and listen to Sarene, who “has her instructions.” Shalon expects Harine to explode, but Harine actually stays quiet, and Shalon hopes this does not end up rebounding on herself. Shalon goes back to puzzling over the Aes Sedai. She has mentally divided them into two “boats”: Corele, Merise, Kumira and Daigian are in Cadsuane’s boat, while Nesune, Erian, Sarene, Beldeine and Elza are in the other, though they don’t even seem to like each other.

Sometimes Alanna seemed in one boat, sometimes the other, while Verin appeared to be in some way of Cadsuane’s boat but not in it. Swimming alongside, perhaps, with Cadsuane holding her hand. If that was not strange enough, there was the matter of deference.

Shalon thinks that according to their (very odd) hierarchy that ranks by strength, some in Nesune’s boat should outrank those in Cadsuane’s (except Cadsuane herself), and yet Cadsuane’s sisters only defer with near-contempt to them. She’s also still puzzled by the Warders; along with Eben, she thinks that she’d seen Jahar and Damer in black coats as well, though she’d been very distracted by Ailil at the time. Sarene makes a sudden comment that the men can no longer channel now; startled, Shalon asks if she means that they were gentled, and if that’s why they were bonded. Sarene explains that Far Madding has a ter’angreal (or maybe three) that duplicate the effects of an Ogier stedding. Shalon doesn’t understand (she thinks Ogier are mythical), and Sarene tells her that within a stedding, channelers cannot use or even feel the True Source; the imitation Far Madding uses has a larger range for men, but the women will feel it before they reach the bridge.

“You will not be able to channel in there?” Harine said. When the Aes Sedai nodded without looking away from the city, a thin frosty smile touched Harine’s lips. “Perhaps after we find quarters, you and I can discuss instructions.”

“You read the philosophy?” Sarene looked startled. “The Theory of Instructions, it is not well thought of these days, yet I have always believed there was much to learn there. A discussion will be pleasant, to take my mind from other matters. If Cadsuane allows us time.”

Harine’s mouth fell open. Gaping at the Aes Sedai, she forgot to cling to her saddle, and only Moad seizing her arm saved her from a fall.

Shalon had never heard Harine mention philosophy, but she did not care what her sister was talking about. Staring toward Far Madding, she swallowed hard. […] What would it be like not to feel it, like the sun just out of sight beyond the corner of your eye? What would it be like to lose the sun?

They ride on, and suddenly Shalon feels the Source vanish. She feels empty, but thinks it is not as bad as she’d thought—as long as it didn’t go on too long. At the bridge fortifications, Cadsuane hands a purse to one of the guards as another writes down all their names; Harine is contemptuous of what she assumes is a bribe, until Sarene explains that the purse is the fee for peace-binding the men’s swords, as otherwise they would have to leave them here. Harine asks how Moad is to defend himself, then, and the guard answers there’s no need for anyone except the Street Guards to do that.

“Let any man as wants start carrying a sword, and soon we’d be as bad as everyplace else. I heard what they’re like, Mistress, and we don’t want that here.”

Moad accepts this without a fuss, but the Warders are not so sanguine, until someone (Shalon suspects Merise) settles them down. As they ride into the city, Shalon tries to pay attention to Sarene’s tour guide speeches, but all she can concentrate on is the absence of the True Source.

It had always been there, promising joy beyond knowing, life so rich that colors paled when the Power was gone from her. And now the Source itself was gone. Gone. That was all she was aware of, all she could be aware of. It was gone.

And just when I thought I’d exhausted all the ways in which I could infuriate people with my opinions on controversial subjects, we get this chapter. Which means, boys and girls, I now get to talk about—dah dadaitah! – gun control.


(Well, okay, “sword control” technically, but it amounts to the same thing in principle.)

And here is my kind of sort of stream-of-consciousness thoughts on this: I have had nothing but positive experiences with firearms, myself. My father was a hunter, and used to take me and my sisters out to the firing range to show us how to use (and respect) the guns he owned, and these times are honestly among my fondest memories of my father. I'll be honest: I like guns. They are, well, fun, in the way that many activities with a calculated element of risk are fun.

That said, I have heard all the arguments for banning guns, and the horrors that can be perpetrated by them, and I sort of agree that banning weapons is probably the more mature civilized thing to do—except for the rather large problem of the total lack of indication, as far as I can tell, that banning guns would actually work.

People, unfortunately, have a remarkable tendency in my experience to be perpetual teenagers about things Mom and Dad tell them they can’t have, and the more dangerous or detrimental or morally questionable it is, the more people want it. You ban alcohol, you get the Roaring Twenties; you ban drugs, you get—well, you get the last sixty years or so. I’m against the War on Drugs not because I think teenagers being hooked on smack is super-great, but because as far as I can tell the War on Drugs has in no way prevented that from happening. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, and therefore the only thing that banning legitimate gun sales (in the U.S., anyway) will do in my opinion is guarantee the livelihoods of the black market dealers who will rush to fill the vacuum.

It is a sad but unavoidable truth that if people really want to kill each other, they’ll find a way to do so—as Rochaid and Kisman (and Rand) demonstrated quite ably in Chapter 22, by the way. Banning weapons does nothing but force people to get creative about it, because it’s addressing a symptom of violence rather than the cause. Perhaps it keeps “honest people honest,” to an extent, but it’s not the honest people we were really worried about in the first place, was it?

I dunno. It seems like a lose-lose scenario either way, really, so in the end it comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils. Total bannination might work in a small and more easily-policed place like Far Madding (although, see above about how it really doesn’t), but on a larger scale—like, say, a nation of ~350 million—it’s nigh-impossible to pull off as far as I can see. It sucks, but it seems to me like a far better proposition to keep things like weapons (and drugs, and porn, and etc.) legal, and therefore at least get some tax revenue out of it—and some measure of control over how the goods are distributed—than to leave it all to the tender offices of smugglers, gangsters, and terrorists. Because I’m pretty sure those people don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut over whether five-year-olds get shot on the street, you know?

So that’s how I see all that. Feel free to tell me how I’m wrong. (Seriously, do; I might not agree with you, but as long as you’re not being a dick about it I’ll always consider differing opinions, especially since I freely admit this whole area is something I don’t have the strongest background on in the first place.)


Sextant: Shamefully, though I recognized through context that a sextant must be a navigational device, I had no idea what one looked like until I looked it up. Sometimes I am in awe of the things people come up with, really. Also, I am a tad disturbed that the first thing I thought when I saw the picture was “ooh, steampunky!” My brain is officially warped, you guys.

(Though if you want something seriously steampunk-awesome-looking, you go for the astrolabe.)

Though of course, that article was still no help in telling me how the thing actually works (or rather, it doesn’t help me understand how knowing the angle between the sun and the horizon tells you where you are), but that’s probably not Wikipedia’s fault; you start talking to me about latitude and degrees and altitudes and things, and my eyes pretty much glaze over, because me and geometry? Are Not Friends.

(Not to mention, I have no sense of direction whatsoever, to the point where I sometimes suspect I have a very mild version of this disorder. I don’t get lost in my own house or anything, but every time I come up out of the subway at a stop I am not familiar with, it takes me an embarrassingly long time to reorient myself as to which way is north or west or whatever direction it is I’m supposed to be going—and I’m not even going to tell you how often I end up being flat wrong. My point being, I could have been many things in my life, but a navigator is most definitely not one of them.)

…And, yeah. It’s pretty clear by this point that I have almost nothing to say about what actually happened in this chapter. Possibly this is because very little happened. And also because Shalon is boring and Harine is horrible, and I don’t care very much about them, and really would just like to get on with it, thanks. (Although, Harine’s interaction with Sarene was rather hilarious.)

Shalon’s thoughts do remind me that I forgot to remember (er, if that makes sense), when recapping the chapter before this, that until I read this one I would have had no idea what Lews Therin was blathering about re: the horribleness of Far Madding, and that I would have also been confused about why Kisman and Rochaid were trying to kill Rand with swords, because I wouldn’t have known until this chapter that channeling doesn’t work in Far Madding (or at least not why). So, um, oops?

Also, I’m not sure, but the above paragraph may contain one of the most tortuously grammatically contorted sentences I’ve ever written. Sheesh.

Chapter 24: Among the Counsels

What Happens
Sarene shakes Shalon out of her daze, and tells her that the ter’angreal is in the Hall of the Counsels, which they have just arrived at. Shalon notices Harine frowning at her and apologizes, promising to do better, and is worried when Harine says nothing in reply. Cadsuane leads the party into the stableyard, where a man runs up to tell them they must be mistaken in coming here; Cadsuane tells him to tell First Counsel Aleis Barsalla that Cadsuane Melaidhrin is here.

The man’s smile slid off to one side, and his eyes widened. “Cadsuane Melaidhrin? I thought you were—!” He cut himself short at her suddenly hard stare, then coughed into his hand and reassumed his fulsome smile.

Cadsuane tells him to tell Aleis she doesn’t have all day, and the man looks sick before running off. Cadsuane instructs Verin and Kumira to come with her and the rest to wait, and then has to haul Alanna back from trying to head into the city right then; she tells Merise to “sit on her” if necessary to keep her here. Shalon suddenly notices that Jahar is no longer with the group. Harine confirms with Sarene that this First Counsel is the equivalent of the ruler of Far Madding, and marches over to Cadsuane to demand to be taken along, but Cadsuane dismissively tells her she and Shalon will come along as well before Harine can even demand it, which infuriates Harine even more. They head inside and up a flight of stairs leading to a balcony overlooking an enormous domed room. Kumira pulls Shalon and Harine aside while Cadsuane and Verin confer, and explains that the Counsels do not like to see Aes Sedai, especially those who are originally from Far Madding (like Cadsuane and Verin).

“I think they would like to pretend the Power doesn’t exist. Well, their history gives them reason, and for the last two thousand years they have had the means to support the pretense. In any event, Cadsuane is Cadsuane. She seldom sees a swelled head without deciding to deflate it, even when it happens to be wearing a crown. Or a Counsel’s diadem. Her last visit was over twenty years ago, during the Aiel War, but I suspect some who remember it will want to hide under their beds when they learn she is back.”

Kumira leads them to the rail to show them the “guardian”:

Beneath the balcony, three women in white sat on stools spaced equally around the edge of the floor, right against the dome’s wall, and beside each woman, a disc a full span across that looked like clouded crystal had been set into the floor and inlaid with a long thin wedge of clear crystal that pointed toward the chamber’s center. Metal collars surrounded the murky discs, marked off like a compass but with ever-smaller markings between the larger. Shalon could not be sure, but the collar nearest her appeared to be inscribed with numerals. That was all. No monstrous shapes. She had imagined something huge and black that sucked in the light. Her hands tightened on the rail to keep from trembling, and she locked her knees to hold herself still. Whatever was down there, it had stolen the Light.

They are then joined by twelve richly dressed women, the obvious leader of whom introduces herself as First Counsel Aleis Barsalla, and proceeds to welcome Harine elaborately and effusively (to Harine’s satisfaction) while ignoring Cadsuane completely, inviting Harine to stay with her as her guest. Cadsuane asks dryly if she gets no welcome, and Aleis answers that she is grateful to Cadsuane for bringing the Wavemistress, and implies strongly that she can leave now. Cadsuane smiles and thanks her instead for her generous offer of accommodations, and accepts; Aleis is about to refuse when Harine reluctantly agrees with Cadsuane. Shalon remembers now the promise Cadsuane had extracted from Harine, that she must be included in any invitations Harine received, and realizes Cadsuane had known what reception she would get here.

“No need to be disheartened, Aleis.” Cadsuane leaned toward the First Counsel confidingly, but she did not lower her voice. The reverberations in the dome magnified her words. “I’m sure you no longer have any bad habits for me to correct.”

Aleis glares at Cadsuane with hatred, and Shalon notices the effect her words have on the other Counsels. She wonders how exactly they determine rank among themselves, and why Cadsuane has chosen to meddle with them so directly. Then Verin pipes up to point out the guardian has gone active, indicating a man has just channeled, and Shalon sees the discs have gone black and the wedges moved to indicate (Shalon realizes) a triangulation of the spot it happened; Kumira whispers that it would have been red for a woman. Aleis calmly says it must be an Asha’man, but they cannot trouble the city, and are welcome as long as they obey the law. She asks for Verin’s name, and Verin answers “All of you may call me Eadwina,” startling Shalon. She brings up Guaire Amalasan’s siege of Far Madding (ignoring Cadsuane’s attempt to shut her up), and how he crushed the city like “an overripe plum” even without being able to channel to do it. She then thoughtfully mentions the four nations’ worth of armies the Dragon Reborn has at his disposal, plus the Aiel.

“Very fierce, the Aiel. I wonder you can be so complacent about his Asha’man scouting you.”

“I think you have frightened them quite enough,” Cadsuane said firmly.

Verin finally turned from the gilded rail, her eyes open very wide, a round, startled shorebird. Her plump hands even fluttered like wings. “Oh. I didn’t mean… Oh, no. I would think the Dragon Reborn would have moved against you already if he intended to. No, I suspect the Seanchan… You’ve heard of them? What we hear from Altara and farther west is really quite horrible. They seem to sweep everything before them. No, I suspect they’re somewhat more important to his plans than capturing Far Madding. Unless you do something to anger him, of course, or upset his followers. But I am sure you are too intelligent to do that.” She looked very innocent. There was a stir among the Counsels, the ripple that small fish made on the surface when a lionfish swam below.

Cadsuane sighs and announces she’s done talking about this, and Aleis reluctantly tells one of the Counsels to show Cadsuane and Harine to their quarters before dragging “Eadwina” off to talk some more; Verin looks alarmed, but Shalon doesn’t buy it for a moment, and thinks she knows where Jahar is now. Harine is furious at being left to underlings; Cadsuane smiles in Verin’s direction before collaring two of the other Counsels and beginning to lecture them as they walk, the two growing more and more nervous. Shalon and Harine follow, and Harine suddenly asks if this place troubles Shalon; Shalon tells her it is like she’s “lost her eyes,” but promises again not to let her fear get to her. Harine answers that Shalon never left Harine alone when she was afraid of the dark as a child, and promises the same to Shalon. Shalon is astounded at this level of familiarity from her sister, but smiles and thanks her, and Harine smiles back. Harine then muses that Cadsuane has unsettled the Counsels enough that she might be able to make a real bargain here, and instructs Shalon to find out why Cadsuane would do so. Shalon is of the opinion that Cadsuane “meddles the way anyone else breathes,” but says she will try.

“You always have, sister. You always will. I know that.”

Shalon sighed again. It was much too soon to test the depth of her sister’s newfound warmth. Confession might bring absolution or not, and she could not live with the loss of her marriage and her rank at one blow. But for the first time since Verin had bluntly laid out Cadsuane’s terms for keeping her secret, Shalon began to consider confession.

Man. Verin is sneaky enough for a hundred Aes Sedai on her own; her and Cadsuane working together is downright terrifying.

It’s no secret that Cadsuane is hardly my favorite character, but I do have a certain amount of grudging admiration for her when I’m not busy being utterly pissed off at how she treats Rand. I think I’ve said this before, but really it’s only when she’s interacting with Rand that I loathe her; the rest of the time she ranges from neutrally amusing to sometimes mildly awesome.

And then she meets up with Rand again and ruins it. Grr.

That said, here she manages to achieve “mildly awesome,” albeit in a way that makes me slightly queasy even as I acknowledge the cleverness of it. This whole “softening up” thing she and Verin are doing here on the Counsels is awesome in its effectiveness, and all, but it’s also faintly unnerving, in that as far as I can tell Cadsuane doesn’t at this point have any evidence that scaring the Counsels off doing anything to Rand is even necessary.

What she’s doing here—unbalancing a stable government, to the point of possibly causing a coup among the ruling body of what probably can be considered a micro-nation for all intents and purposes—is nothing more than prep work. In other words, she’s doing this just in case Rand falls afoul of the Counsels, not because she’s sure he will (though, given her low opinion of him, she might be more sure than not, but still). I mean, wow. Nothing says “ruthless” louder than a preemptive strike that you don’t even know for sure you’ll need!

And, you know, ruthlessness is a great asset in an advisor—as long as you can always be sure it’ll be to your benefit, of course—but otherwise it’s not exactly the most endearing—or comforting—trait to have around. Mostly because of how ethically shaky it makes the things she does; her actions in this chapter, for example, are the very definition of the ends justifying the means. And, I agree with her ends and all, but… well. Cadsuane walks a very fine line, in my opinion, between acceptable pragmatism and repellent callousness, and so my mental carousel re: Cadsuane hatred/not-hatred continues to go round and round. Erg.

Moving on. I’m toying with a Looney Theory here that the “guardian” ter’angreal of Far Madding might have a larger role to play in the last two books. I base this on the long-held and popular theory that part of re-sealing up the Dark One is going to involve eliminating people’s ability to channel altogether.

After all, since WOT is supposed to be a future and/or past Earth, for our own Age to happen magic has to disappear at some point, and a change that profound seems like it would need a suitably apocalyptic event—like, say, Tarmon Gai’don—to come to pass. And, as we see, the guardian ter’angreal creates a null-magic field, so…

I don’t have any real idea of how this would actually work, mind you; I’m just thinking out loud here. And possibly it doesn’t make a lot of sense, since the guardian uses magic in order to block it which means ergo magic has to exist for it to prevent magic but if the whole world were covered in an anti-magic field how could you tell the difference and oh no I’ve gone cross-eyed.

Well. It’s a thought, anyway!

And that’s about what I got on this one, kids. Have a de-gorgeous weekend, be excellent to each other in commentage, and I will see youse Tuesday!

1. Tenesmus

2. Joruus
Why does the "Recent Blog Post" say this was put up 11 hours ago? It just got here!
3. Speradigm
I hate when Ruth isn't among my companions.
Chris Lough
4. TorChris
@Joruus. Because our scheduling software is on military time but defaults to AM hours and I forgot to change the 1 to 13. Fixing now.
Rob Munnelly
5. RobMRobM
Hello Mr. or Ms. TorChris. You seem to be new here. Have you taken over from the mighty Pablo in facilitating re-read goodness to the multitudes? If so, welcome.

Daniel Smith
6. Smittyphi
Another post - Yey!
Selected Chapters - meh
Commentary - Yey!
The reason you have developmental topographical disorientation is because you don't have enough iron in your nose. If you have no idea what i'm talking about, you haven't seen enough Home Improvement episodes.
Mike McCaffrey
7. earlgrey
Have to agree with you on gun control. I've been in the Army, understand how to use guns, but don't want one for myself. If you want to have one, go ahead.
8. AndrewB

Do you think that assualt rifles should be banned from the general public? It is one thing for a hunter to use rifles and for Jane Q Public to protect her home. It is another thing for them to need an Uzi or AK-47.

Well, that is my opinion anyways.

Likewise, I do not think that either of these two chapters merits much discussion.

Thanks for another interesting post.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Andrew B
Jeff Weston
9. JWezy
Regarding the feasibility of gun control, consider that Canada and most of Western Europe seem to be making quite a go of it. It therefore must be possible, it's just that we Americans can't seem to get to the point of letting go of our shiny noisy toys.
10. Tenesmus
Since Verin is in these chaps, I thought I woudl share something that caught my mind's attention when I was doing a re-read of TGS. It was the sequencing of Chapters 36, 37, and 38.

Chap 36: Mat chats with Verin
Chap 37: Rand balefires Natrin's Barrow
Chap 38: Verin shows up at the WT.

At the Washington DC TWOK signing, I asked Brandon Sanderson, "After visiting Mat, and before visting Egwene, did Verin visit with any of the Foresaken?" He looked a bit suprised, hesitated, and had a "hmmmm" moment before talking about Verin's letters and how they may influence events in ToM. The thing is, I didn't even get a RAFO, he completely dodged the question, which probably means something...just not sure what.

Since we now know that Verin was Black, it bothers me that we never get a POV from her in the midst of Darkfriends or Foresaken. We have seen Moggy and Messy pushing around black sisters in several books, but given Verin's unique position, it would have been gripping reading to see Verin getting orders from a FS.(perhaps Verin was the AS at the DF social in TGH...)

Anywho... I got to thinking, as a fan I would love to have read that, and since Bradon is a fan, wouldn't he have also loved to see Verin mixing it up with a Foresaken? Of course, and he is in the position to actually write it.

So... given Brandon's non-response and the unique structure of chaps 36/37/38 of TGS, I believe that Verin was at Graendal's hideaway just prior to Rand balefiring the place, and we may even get a split Verin/Graendal POV in the Prologue to ToM. I mean... why would you randomly stick a Rand chapter between two Verin appearances? Wouldn't it flow better to go from a Mat chapter to an Egwene chapter with Verin the constant in the two? Just saying...
charles dumel
11. charlesdumel
I'm not sure I understand how the FM anti-magic mojo works.
I think I read somewhere that the FM ter'angreal expands the field of a local stedding, is that right? And why is se size of the fiels different for men and women?
Chris Lough
12. TorChris
@RobMRobM. Thanks! I am indeed new (Here I am.) and have been scheduling the site for a handful of months now.
13. TehBane
It's not only sword-control, it's magic-control. And Far Madding kind of reminds me of Switzerland. My friends and I were discussing what we believe would be an epic idea.. translating Randland into a Total War game. Far Madding as a battlefield would add an interesting dimension to the game.

Leah's theory is interesting.. that if Rand controlled the Guardian, he could have a major advantage. But I'll do you one better. What if Matts' Band of the Red Hand controlled the Guardian? It would be like his medalien, but on a massive scale. With his Dragons and Crossbows against a Seanchan unable to use Channelers, he could achieve a major upper-hand.

Another killer strategy would be to travel the citizens of Hinderstrap into the enemy camp each day... Since they can't be killed permanently, they would make the perfect suicide bombers. That's from my demented mind though, probably all sorts of ethical and moral laws being broken there.
TW Grace
14. TWGrace
/politics mode on

Do you think that assualt rifles should be banned from the general public? It is one thing for a hunter to use rifles and for Jane Q Public to protect her home. It is another thing for them to need an Uzi or AK-47.

Bah, as someone who builds rifles (both "assault" and precision target ones). The only real difference between the two are semantics. "Assault rifles" make good hunting rifles. As a matter of fact AR-15s (the rifle from which the M-16 family of rifles derived) are among the most popular hunting rifles going now and they are probably among the best "rifles" to use to for home defense.
/politics mode off

Learning to navigate with a sextant was fun.
Rob Munnelly
15. RobMRobM
@12. So is it you or Torie whom we should beg to get a spoiler thread for Towers of Midnight once the Prologue and early released chapters become available? Inquiring minds want to know. (Prologue scheduled to be released on 9/21, in case you were wondering and for planning purposes....)

Daniel Hanley
16. dmhman749
Hopefully this won't turn into too much of a gun control argument, but to Jwezy @ 9, I do just want to point out that in Britian, at least, the numbers of murders by stabbing have skyrocketed as gun control efforts have intensified. As Leigh said, "if people really want to kill each other, they’ll find a way to do so".

Anyway, on the chapters themselves, I agree that there isn't a whole lot there. Verin is the only character here that I actually care about, but she shows off her subtle awesomeness fairly well here.

To Tenesmus @ 10, it seems quite likely that the two Aes Sedai at the DF social were Verin and Liandrin (I think there were two...been a little while since i have read TGH though). That is quite interesting though. There are a lot of possiblities for interesting meetings with various forsaken though. Keep in mind that the chapters are not always in chronological order though. Im not sure offhand if verin's visits really were right around Rand's balefire of natrin's Barrow, but it might not be.
Justin Vickers
17. ScoundrelTheToy
@TehBane The last thing you said had me lol'ing. After I felt kinda bad about it though, dirty!
18. BigJohn42
re: Loony Theory Development

Whatever was down there, it had stolen the Light.

Could this have something to do with Mat having to "Give up half the light of the world" ?
Lucas Vollmer
19. aspeo
Good post Leigh!

I don't really have much to say right now, other than Verin is all sorts of interesting! Maybe I will think of something later after some more people have commented.

Other than that I just want to say that I support some forms of gun control, but I don't think people should be unable to own guns at all. I own a couple of guns to hunt with, and they are certainly not toys or trophies to be shown off. They are tools that are to be respected and not played with.
Chris Lough
20. TorChris
@15. Torie will see a suggestion more quickly, but either works. Irene is a good person to ask, as well. (Basically, if you ask for it in comments then one of us will see it.) A spoiler thread is a great idea! We'll put that up when the prologue is released.
Birgit F
21. birgit
it seems quite likely that the two Aes Sedai at the DF social were Verin and Liandrin

Wouldn't Verin be smart enough to hide her ring?

I think Leigh forgot why Harine is acting this way in this chapter:

"Escort these two to their rooms," Cadsuane commanded. "They wish to fast and meditate on civility. See that you do. And if they offer one uncivil word, spank them both. But be diplomatic about it."
Sarene gave a start, half opening her mouth as if to protest the illogic of that, but one glance at Cadsuane's face and she quickly turned to the Atha'an Miere women, gesturing for them to rise.
WH ch. 13

I'll try to explain the German position on gun control. Here police and hunters and the like can get a licence for guns, but they are forbidden for other people. Of course criminals can get weapons if they really want to, but the idea is to keep the violence of fights between ordinary people down. If kids can only hit each other with their fists, their quarrels probably won't be lethal, but if they run around with guns or knives they can seriously hurt each other.

EDIT: In the quote block line breaks disappeared (I'm using Firefox).
Ty Margheim
22. alSeen

Uzis and AK-47s are completely legal to own. They never have been illegal. You just have to buy a different "stamp" to own a fully automatic weapon.

Assault weapons are mechanically indistingishable from other weapons. The definition of an assault weapon from the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was purely cosmetic. Some of the definitions were only by name. So all manufacturers had to do was change the name or remove something simple like a barrel shroud or a bayonet lug.

Most assault weapons are no more deadly than any typical hunting rifle. Every hunting rifle I have ever used has been more powerful than the AR-15 (which is what most people that talk about banning assault weapons consider to be evil).

The other issue with removing guns from the general public is that anyone that is smaller and weaker is suddenly at the mercy of anyone larger and stronger. Sure you can learn self defense moves, but few people have the time to do so. A person can be taught how to defend themselves with a handgun in a day and it only requires minimal practice. Now that 90 pound grandma is a match for a 280 pound meth addict that just broke into her home.
Hugh Arai
23. HArai
JWezy@9: Speaking as a Canadian, there's a lot of debate here as to whether our gun control is actually doing anything. It's costing a lot of money, and it's registered a lot of legally owned hunting rifles and shotguns used primarily by honest citizens but it's not clear that it's actually keeping people from shooting other people. Criminals tend not to sign up you see, although the police apparently find it useful to track stolen firearms.

My personal opinion is that like any other potentially dangerous tool (like say a car or truck or chainsaw) people should have to be well trained before obtaining one, and should be held strictly responsible for maintaining proper condition, storage, and use.
24. Looking Glass
BigJohn42 @ 18: While it's not impossible, there's a lot of foreshadowing that seems indicate Mat will lose an eye at some point. "Half the light of the world" more likely refers to that.
Rob Munnelly
25. RobMRobM
TorChris @20. Make it so! We did the same for Gathering Storm last year. Consider it as an investment in your mental health, as failing to open a fresh spoiler thread may obviate the need for dozens of pleading request emails....

Bouke de Boer
26. Bouke
Ah, the ever interesting and practically unsolvable problem of gun control... I agree with JWezy @9 that it does work in other places, so why not in the US? But then, it is much harder to change a practice that has been in operation for al looooong time, than have a gun-controlled situation from the off.

Don't have much to say on these chapters, the actual outcomes of these events take place in later chapters, so this feels more like scenario prepping.
What did strike me was your comment on the disappearing of magic at some point, Leigh. Yes, magic would have to disappear in order for our 'present' Earth to be one of the Ages.
However, IIRC, our 'present' Earth seems to be the First Age (Mosk and Merk etc.). Why should the world-altering event of the loss of magic have to be the end of the Third Age? Just because this is a tale of one of the Third Ages (possibly the most important one, I agree), that is no proof that nothing of interest or major importance happens in Age IV, V, VI and VII...
In all fairness, from a statistical point of view, there is a larger chance of this happening in any of those four Ages than there is in this single one...

On Verin: besides dmhman749 @16 pointing out the chronology, I don't see how the mere happenstance of an event, that has seemingly nothing to do with these two chapters, in between them gives any credence to the idea that they are in fact related. To me, their connection stops at the glue in the binding of the book.
27. Greyman
Verin was a little too obvious in this chapter, imo. And Cadsuane (which is probably my least favorite name in the series, by the way) spends too much time asserting her dominance over others. I wonder what makes her so insecure...
Bouke de Boer
28. Bouke
Bigjohn42 @18 and Looking Glass @24: Didn't Egwene dream that Mat put one of his eyes on a set of scales?
Would be grateful for the exact reference, I have no idea when or where this is mentioned. Might also be Perrin in a wolf dream or Min...
Skip Ives
29. Skip

A sextant works just like a GPS device, it triangulates your position based on the locations of known fixed points. The only difference is that you have to do the math yourself, and it works best at sea, where altitude doesn’t have to be factored in.

Some of us were sailing the ocean before GPS was widely available.

Also, don't feed the trolls people.
30. WesJN
Mr./Ms. Q Public Has not been able to own fully automatic weapons since the 30's. So he/she CAN'T own an assault rifle or submachinegun (uzi). If you mean "assault weapons" that is a made up term with no real value used as an emotional argument by people with no understanding of firearms.
Ty Margheim
31. alSeen
30) Not true at all. All you have to do to own a fully automatic weapon is to go to an FFL, fill out the paperwork, pay your 200 dollars for the transfer stamp and then buy whatever full automatic weapon your pocketbook can afford.
32. Nalwin

Just to ramble a bit about the gun control thing, after a little checking on the internet comparing Britain and America.

America has a much higher murder rate than Britain.
If you take out firearms murders the murder rate is almost exactly equal.

Britain and America being very similar the only difference is we in Britain have fewer guns. Fewer guns fewer murders.
Its not true to say that banning guns just leads to other kinds of murdering. That has not happened here.

On a WOT related note, Mat with Farmaddings guardians in carts rolling around would be awesome, but i kinda think that any army with channelers would just travel around/past/away from him.
He could attack a city, but even then if you knew your main weapon would be useless in a fight against him wouldnt you just get outta dodge for a while until he went elsewhere?
Matthew Hunter
35. matthew1215
Gun control: Leigh, you're way off base in considering gun control to be the more "civilized" option. In many ways, the existence of firearms enables civilization. Consider the saying: "God made man, but Samuel Colt made men equal." With a firearm, an honest man can face an attacker on terms close to even. It matters little if he is old and frail, rich or poor, trained or not, noble or serf. To attack the honest man armed with a firearm is to risk everything on even odds.

Significantly the odds do not change even for small groups of attackers; a criminal gang is no safer than a lone bandit. Though such a gang may overpower a man with a firearm, they may not do so without risk to their own members; trading one for one with honest men will shortly reduce the supply of criminals to nothing.

What does this say for the rights of women, whose physical qualities (on average) make it difficult to defend herself on equal terms when attacked by a male criminal? The right to carry a gun is the right to face a rapist on equal terms, the right to say no and make it stick. The right to carry a firearm has done more to ensure the equality of women in society than any other single factor, with the possible exception of the right to vote.

Finally, consider what happens when civilization breaks down and must be enforced. With a sword or a knife held by the defender, an attacker may feel that he has a chance of success. He may be willing to risk and even to take injury in order to complete his attack. The result is a bloody melee where neither party escapes unscathed.

With a firearm the vast majority of defensive uses involve mere threats. "Freeze or I'll shoot!" leaves no blood on the ground and the police can sort out who was at fault at their leisure. The threat of instant death often removes any necessity for actual harm, resulting in a civilized resolution of the dispute in a court of law.

I don't consider it hyperbole to state that modern civilization was built upon the gun -- and I consider this to be a very good thing indeed.
Lannis .
36. Lannis
I have to admit, the "Cadsuane?! I thought you were dead!" gimmick never gets old for me. I'm easily amused...

Speaking of being easily amused...

TWGrace @ 14: Learning to navigate with a sextant was fun. Okay, my dirty filter's set on high today. I can't even read that line without snickering.

@ TorChris: Welcome! Nice to have you aboard Rocket Tordot. I see RobM is already campaigning, but I'll toss my name in as seconding the motion for a ToM spoiler thread, pretty please! ;)

Oh so glad it's Friday. Thanks for the post, Leigh! Have a great weekend!
Birgit F
37. birgit
Didn't Egwene dream that Mat put one of his eyes on a set of scales?
Eg dreamed it in TDR ch. 25. Here is a list of prophecies:
38. WesJN
31) Then your Mr/Ms Special License Holder rather than Q Public
39. TehBane
@Nalwin - Matt has always depended on the element of surprise anyways, the Guardian would just be one more unpleasant surprise up his lacy sleeves.

@ScoundreltheToy - It is kind of humourous eh.. combine Achmed the Dead Terrorist with Zombies and Kenny from South Park and there you go...
Matthew Smith
40. blocksmith

Another reread and once again beaucoups appreciation sent your way.

Relative to gun/sword control...clearly, in Far Madding, it only works if people outside the police force want it to work. The wire can be taken off, just like legitimately purchased firearms can be used to commit crime...even though statistics show (at least ones that I have seen) that most firearms used to commit criminal acts were obtained illegally. Anyway, long and the short of it, Far Madding to me, is all kinds of messed up.

Cads is Cads, Harine is Harine, Verin is mostly sneaky (conniving?) Verin, and Sarene is somewhat informative. And Shalon is up that creek without a paddle.
41. mediri
leigh, thanks for the recap though i do wish you had had more to say about the chapters themselves. i know not much happened but i actually rather enjoyed reading these chapters. part of it is the whole, looking at the main story through the eyes of a less important character bit and also, i sort of enjoyed Shalon's POV. she seems less annoying than the majority of the seafolk we meet and i found her position of being dragged along on this trip and stuck with a bunch of frustrating people interesting to read.

also, for whatever reason, i have always found the theory that the series must end with the end of channeling to be rather disappointing.
Ty Margheim
42. alSeen
38) That's just semantics. The only difference between the two is the willingness to pay 200 dollars to buy the gun (plus then the cost of the gun) and the ability to pass the same background check that you have to pass to buy any gun.

Most average Americans are able to own a fully automatic weapon. Which I think is great and fully support.
Bouke de Boer
43. Bouke
Birgit @37: Thanks!

I do remember that I felt quite good about myself remembering this dream when Mat hears "You'll give up half the light..." for the first time. Yay me?
44. TehBane
@Nalwin - Also, I doubt Seanchan pride would let them just dance around Matt, they would want to get rid of him no matter what the cost.
45. WesJN
42) I think its great too. But the extra effort and money DOES make a significant difference otherwise it would be far more common to own the REALLY awesome stuff
Matthew Hunter
46. matthew1215
32) The crime rates in the UK have been rising significantly even as they ramp up their gun control measures dramatically. Regardless of weapon, Americans have always been significantly more violent than people in the UK; when you look at how gun control laws correlate with crime rates in the UK, the only possible conclusion is that gun control makes things worse. There's room for debate about how much worse. Trying to handwave the US and the UK as culturally similar on the matter of firearms is missing the minor fact that we fought a revolution over that issue 200 years or so ago.

In the US, the CDC under the Clinton administration sought to study gun control laws and was unable to find even a single law with demonstrable benefits.

For those of you wishing to participate in the debate, it's useful to begin by trying to answer just one question.
47. Betteroffdead
*31) It's a bit more involved than you make it out to be. In order for someone to legally own a fully automatic firearm (not the semi-automatic weapons that so many people inaccurately call "assault rifles), you have to obtain a special Class III FFL. This license has an annual cost to maintain (~$500 I think), and comes with a security background check to make the military blush. In addition, all FFL (no matter class of license) are subject to a host of rules, including keeping very detailed records on every transaction and that the ATF may inspect their firearm collection pretty much at will. Penalties for non-compliance can include jail time and/or thousands of dollars in fines.

Anyone who thinks this is like purchasing license plates for a car has no idea what they are talking about.
Eric Hughes
48. CireNaes

No, no, no...this was the link you should have used.
Colleen Palmer
49. arianrose
@ 10. Tenesmus

I've been off the theory boards lately, but now I have this image of Verin being the one to place the Compulsion that makes Rand think he's taken out Gaendal... but then, of course, there had to be someway to remove it. Still, that will amuse me for awhile.

And Graendal being Verin's "patron" would make me snort milk through my nose. All sorts of pleasant irony available there.
Eric Hughes
50. CireNaes
Deleted for double post
Eric Hughes
51. CireNaes
Deleted for triple post
Vincent Lane
52. Aegnor
Cadsuane doesn't destabalize the governement here (she doesn't do that until later). And she does have reason to worry, as they have accepted Elaida's proclamation. She knows Rand is in town, and knows that if Far Madding's leaders got ahold of Rand they would turn him over to Elaida, which she definitely does not want.
Ty Margheim
53. alSeen
47) You do not need an FFL to own one. An FFL is only required of dealers. If you want to sell one I think you do have to go through an FFL. You also have to go to an FFL to buy one.

"It is a common misconception that an individual must have a "Class 3 License" in order to own NFA firearms. An FFL is required as a prerequisite to become a Special Occupation Taxpayer (SOT): Class 1 importer, Class 2 manufacturer or Class 3 dealer in NFA firearms, not an individual owner. Legal possession of an NFA firearm by an individual requires transfer of registration within the NFA registry. An individual owner does not need to be an NFA dealer to buy Title II firearms. The sale and purchase of NFA firearms is, however, heavily taxed and regulated"
54. LogainsBrother
Long time reader, first time commenter.

I only wanted to say that, unless there will be a real twist ending, I find it unlikely that magic will be erased from the world at the last battle. The series seems to be laying strong hints that state otherwise. Just off the top of my head:
- Elaida's "palace", which is somewhere in advanced construction stages, is built to be the same shape, and just a bit bigger than the White tower. It looks like the obvious place to house the male channellers after the destruction of the Black Tower.
-Saidin has been cleansed. If magic was to be destroyed, it would be a terrible waste of plot and foreshadowing of future male-female cooperation.
- AS and Ashaman are already starting to form "working realtionships", which will only grow as more bond each other.

This is of course only guessing on my part, but these bits of plot seem to be pointing in the same direction and I find it hard to believe that all of these are red herrings.

Besides, I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that RJ left the question of whether WoT is the future/past Earth open.
I might be wrong though.
55. BigJohn42
re: Looking Glass @24 & Bouke @28

I was thinking along the lines of "Looney" theory, and the quote above tickled the thought of Mat's prophecy out. I highly doubt that's where it's going, but we were asked for Looney Theories.

I, for one, think that line of thinking has potential to turn into a Looney Theory, properly nurtured.
Bouke de Boer
56. Bouke
Haha! I'm not stopping you, BigJohn (especially given what your name implies...). Live the dream!
Luke M
57. lmelior
According to a Storm Leader report from The Gathering Storm booksigning in Philadelphia, the Far Madding ter'angreal can't stop the True Power.

Not saying it won't play an important part, just an interesting thing to note.
Daniel Hanley
58. dmhman749
To LogainsBrother, while i also believe that it is unlikely that the One Power will be cut off, your points don't automatically point towards this.
-Elaida's palace could simply be a testiment to her arrogance, and part of why she was such an unfit Amyrlin. It doesn't have to have any further role in the fourth age.
-Magic isn't going to be destroyed regardless. Whenever it happens, magic will be somehow cut off from humanity, but the One Power will still be out there, driving the wheel of time and waiting to be re-connected. When it does, saidin needs to be clean, so the cleansing is still a vital part of turning of the wheel, even if access to saidin is cut off for however many millinia in the last battle.
-The AS and Ashaman relationships/bonding could just be important as some of these come out as darkfriends, and the black tower falls apart. Plenty of importance there in the immediate present, regardless of what ends up happening in the last battle.

Not saying that none of these will come to pass...i tend to agree that most of these are likely, but they don't by any means definately point towards the continued access to the one power in the fourth age.

To arianrose, the compulsion used before Rand possibly balefired Graendal was far, far more complicated and complete than the type Verin could do. Unless Graendal taught her true compulsion for that purpose, which might be possible, but the forsaken have been pretty slow to teach black ajah age of legends weaves so far in the story.
john mullen
59. johntheirishmongol
Throwing in my 2 cents on the gun debate, studies have show that cities that encouraged gun ownership had significantly less crime that those that try to control and eliminate guns. Historically, bigger and stronger kicked butt on smarter, but guns even that out. Frankly, guns should be a woman's best friend and protector, and for some reason, it's usually women who are against guns.

Back to the story, I can almost stand cadsuane here but I agree her and Rand is never good. Verin however, plays the ditzy brown to perfection.
Tess Laird
60. thewindrose
From To Lose The Sun:
Harine snorted. "This is ridiculous. How is he to defend himself?"

"No need for any man to defend himself in Far Madding, Mistress." The stocky man's voice was coarse, but he did not sound mocking. He was stating the obvious. "The Street Gaurds take care of that. Let any man as wants start carring a sword, and soon we'd be as bad as everyplace else. I heard what they're like, Mistress, and we don't want that here." Bowing to Harine, he strode on down the column followed by the man with the writing board.

Moad briefly examined his sword and dagger, both neatly wrapped hilt and scabbard, then eased them back in place, taking care not to snag his sash on the seals. "Swords only become useful when wits fail," he said. Harine snorted again. Shalon wondered how that fellow had gained his scar if Far Madding was so safe.

I like a couple of things that RJ did here. One is Moad's comment "Swords only become useful when wits fail". Then there is Shalon's observation of the scar on the soldiers face and by his statement it is obvious he hasn't been outside of the Far Madding area much or at all " I heard what they're like, Mistress, and we don't want that here."

61. Hari Coplin
Damn it, my bowser crashes after I wrote about the things I didn't need to think too much(and I take this as an omen, perhaps tomorrow)(doing that is too much for tonight). Anyway, the interesting question is statistics by Finland against say Minnesota or Wisconsin. Finland is up there though not near at guns, and also we have historically had the threat of a Soviet attack. Now, I am not becoming a pacifist, but is still seem the guns do no better for Minnesota or Wisconsin than for Finland, not to mention many of our weapons are illegal remnants of the war. Yet I don't know about all this, sincerely...
Kim B
62. Amaranthine
There's one thing about the guardian of Far Madding that I've never been able to understand (though there's probably a quite simple explanation). If the guardian acts as a shield to keep people from channeling, how did Jahar channel? Is he still outside of the city limits?
Sydo Zandstra
63. Fiddler

I think he borrowed Nynaeve's well. But I am not sure.
64. Freelancer
Hi Leigh, happy Friday.

Gun control is how government becomes tyranny. You want Big Sis in your closet, let her take the guns away. I'll elaborate when someone brings an intelligible argument in opposition. I've never heard one, myself.

It's actually trigonometry, not geometry. Navigation. Triangulation and all that. And that's where I'll leave it, so's your eyes stay unglassy.

Cadsuane. She promised Rand she would do whatever she felt necessary. So she began here what would culminate later when she would, in her own words, "ruin a good woman", simply to protect Rand.

Verin. I don't think she and Cadsuane cooked this up between them. They are still a bit unsure of each other at this point. Verin just sees what she thinks will work, and does it. In a way nobody would expect, nor be able to counter. Mole for the Light rocks the house.

Jahar was just outside of the Guardian's protection against saidin when he channeled. Aleis seems certain of that once the guardians pointers had been interpreted, since she is not concerned and says that the Asha'man are welcome in the city as long as they are peaceful.

It was nice to see a tender moment between Sea Folk family members. Those are hard to come by. They keep the external discipline so hard that they just about ruin familial feelings.

And, I'm out. If there's anything worth reporting, I'll do so...
65. Jonellin Stonebreaker
@62. I believe that Cadsuane lent him a "well"( one of the many terangreals she carries) that let him use stored saidin.
Kudos to the many members on this site, especially our lovely host.

Per the gun control issue, I believe that a straw man has been set up by certain individuals conflating gun control with gun bans or confiscation.

I have no issue with those who believe that we have the right to own long guns and handguns; I myself am a deer and elk hunter and own 1 shotgun (slug gun, actually) and 2 rifles.

I do, however, have a problem with individuals who think that this right is unlimited and should be no more controlled than the right to buy soda.

To own an instrument whose primary purpose is the taking of life ( and if you say that you prefer silhouette shooting or target shooting, then why not use air pistols or air rifles?) is an awesome responsibility , and in my opinion everyone allowed to do so should be thoroughly screened , trained and licensed in the proper and safe use and storage of firearms. Sadly, some absolutists make it easy to paint all gun owners as crazy nutters.
Ty Margheim
66. alSeen
65) Your view that the primary purpose of firearms are to take life says more about you than it does about firearms.

The firearms that I own have never taken any form of life. Thousands of rounds have been fired through them. Only a tiny fraction of 1% of the ammunition fired in this country is ever used to take a life.

Should private pools be regulated? They are responsible for more deaths of children than firearms are each year.
Tess Laird
67. thewindrose
I am pretty sure that wells are atuned to either saidar or saiden and can't be interchanged. When Cadsuane confronts Aleis she says:
"Even what we think is perfect can have flaws, Aleis." Cadsuane drew on her own Well, taking saidar in a measured in a measured amount. She had practice; the little hummingbird could not hold so much as Nynaeve's belt. "Flaws can pass unnoticed for centuries before they are found." The flow of Air she wove was just enough to lift the gem-encrusted coronet from Aleis' head and set it on the carpet in front o the woman's feet. "Once they are found, however, it seems that anyone who looks can find them."

Thirteen sets of shocked eyes stared at the coronet, One and all, the Counsels seemed frozen, barely breathing.

"Not so much a flaw as a barn door, seems to me," Damer announced. "I think it's prettier on your head."

The glow of Power suddenly shone around Nynaeve, and the coronet flew toward Aleis, slowing at the last instant so that it settled above her bloodless face rather than cracking her head. The light of saidar did not vanish from the girl, though. Well, let her drain her Well.

Jahar was missing from the party that entered into Far Madding - he went beyond the barrier for saiden and channeled to set off the alarm when Cads and Verin were talking to the counsels the first time in Amoung The Counsels. After the rucus that this causes, Shalon thinks to herself that she thought she knew where Jahar was, she just didn't understand why they had him do it.

Don Barkauskas
68. bad_platypus
the windrose @67: I have to admit I don't see how the quote you provided even hints at Cadsuane's and Nynaeve's Wells being saidar-specific. I do agree with you, however. First of all, it makes sense that something made to store saidar would have to be different than something made to store saidin. More important to me is the following quote:
Nynaeve actually giggled! "It is a well... nd full of saidar. Not very much, but all I have to do to refill it is embrace saidar through it as if it was an angreal."

This clearly links the Well with angreal, which we know are gender-specific.

EDIT: Quote from Winter's Heart, Chapter 32.
Thomas Keith
69. insectoid
Great post, Leigh! Can't say much now, gotta just skim through...

Let's see... ::scans:: Blah blah Shalon, blah blah Harine, blah sextant, blah blah blackmail... Meh. Oooh... fun ter'angreal!

Eadwina: Heh. Being exiled and having to go under an assumed name must have something to do with her... activities? Hmm.

TorChris: A belated welcome, then! :)

Pupxpert, Free: Have a good time!

70. CaitieCat
As to whether the current Age (as in, us) is the past or future of the WoT world as we know it, I tend to believe it's both.

Come on, it's the WHEEL of time. One thing about wheels, what goes around, comes around. The Wheel turns endlessly.
71. Hrothgordo
In regards to the chapters:

First, my understanding is that the FM ter'angreals establishes male and female anti-channelling bubbles at certain distances, but that the triangulation functinality is has substantially further range. Jahar would not have needed a well to perform cause the "radar" too go off. He just needed to be outside of the anti-magic shield.

If that wasn't the case, Cads display later in the book would be unneccesary.

I understand the confusion though as the POV suggests that Jahar suddenly disappeared. But it could be read as Shalon only then noticed that Jahar wasn't with them, not that he had suddenly left. And that makes more sense (since it would take far less effort to accomplish and not divulge a fairly important tactical advantage to the FM Council).

As to Verin/Cads manuevering, I think that move was awesome but far less ruthless/reckless than Leigh's comments suggest.

The overall goal of the exchange was two-fold. First, the interchange tells Cads whether the Council members know that Rand is in the city, and also whether they already had captured him.

The secondary portion was the "scaring the hell out of them" portion. But was less likely to have been aimed at the mess Rand causes but more at the current politics. From Rand's earlier chapters we kknow that FM has publicly stated that it will adhere to Elaida's decree regarding him.

So Cads is playing the odds that it is unlikely that they can get Rand out of town without them knowing he is there. This is a "subtle" way of telling them that it might be better to just sit by the sidelines.

It would have worked too, as the Council had already decided on this course of action. As long as Rand didn't make a huge stir in the city he was fine. Unfortunately, he was less than low-key.

Cads then used the foundation she had already built to force the Council to release him. I doubt highly that was the original plan.

As to the gun control question, I won't wade too deeply into that mess. I will say though the following things:

1. The vast majority of gun owners take that right very seriously. Many of the hunters I have met have similar stories to Leigh on spending time with their fathers.

These owners are also the most strict view in responsibility for the weapon. I can pretty much guarantee that Leigh's dad would have severely punished her (or tanned her hide) if he ever found her screwing around with a gun.

2. Unfortunately, that is not ALL gun owners. And letting stupid and dangerous hang together is always bad. Be it vice-presidents who go out hunting after they have been drinking (all my hunter friends call that a big NO-NO). Or parents who don't lock their guns up around children who haven't been taught how to handle them.
Tess Laird
72. thewindrose
I agree with you that I explained that poorly. Doing to many things at once. Also agree that the Wells are angreal. The parts I quoted from the book were to show that Cadsuane was using her Well, and then it seemed that Flinn was using the power, but it was actually Nynaeve.
When Cadsuane's group arrived at Far Madding, they went through security all together - getting any weapons they had peace-bonded. After that they went straight to the Hall of Councils, and this is when Jahar most likely seperated from the group and went back out, beyond where the guardian protected the city proper from saidan. He then channeled, and Verin went into her spiel about channeling men and if they are worried about Dragon Reborn. I just want to add that from this, I think Cads and Verin were working together. From Among the Counsels:
Cadsuane did not watch Verin leave with Aleis, not openly, but her mouth curved in a faint smile when they vanished through the next arched doorway along the balcony.

Why send Jahar out to channel, if not to stir the pot up a bit? And Cadsuane and Verin were cooking up something on the way to Far Madding, and we have the very apt observation from Shalon:

Verin appeared to be in some way of Cadsuane's boat but not on it. Swimming alongside, perhaps, with Cadsuane holding her hand.


73. deBebbler

After discovering your re-read, and staying up many late nights reading, this was my first post "on time." It also happens to be the first time where your musings reflected my thoughts exactly. A surprise, considering that your politics usually make my eyes cross.

Boooooorrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnngggg chapters, check.

The Story ends with no Power, check.

Banning guns means only the types who don't give a flying fu*k at a rolling donut will have them, check.

Cheers to you. Your efforts are nothing short of amazing.
Russel Maxwell
74. rdmaxwell
Let me jump into the gun debate here for a moment. I was on a jury for a murderer who pled self defense. He had been in an argument in a bar. Yet he walked out of a bar (he had not been drinking) and got the handgun from his pickup and confronted the man who had followed him out, and ended up shooting him and killing him. Yet if he did not have the weapon he would either have driven away, or had a fist fight.

I don't know what the right answer is about gun control. I can see both sides of the issue, and there is no easy fix.

Other than that--loving this re-read Leigh. can't wait for the next installment.
75. Shadow_Jak
Hi everyone. I'm baaaack... (for a while at least)
So very glad to see the re-read still going strong.
Great job as always Leigh!

I'm in the minority again... I actually, really like Cadsuane. Couldn't stand her at first, especially the way she treated Rand. But somehow, once I learned just how many aces she has up her sleave, or in her hair actually, it changed my outlook on her.

She wasn't just depending on Rand's restraining himself... She was quite prepared to give him a whupping...

And am especially enjoying reading about Verin now that we know her true colors.


Yet if he did not have the weapon he would either have driven away, or had a fist fight.

Or maybe he would have been dead instead.
77. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
Good gravy these last 2 chapters have been boring. The great thing about re-reads (both guided and otherwise) is that you can skip crap like this.

But I get to put my foot (or hand, or whatever the expression is) into the hornets' nest on gun control:

I generally tend toward the same opinion as Leigh and others, that gun control is useless without idiot control. With regard to Matthew1215's "one question," (from an oh-so-unbiased source, based on the description of the blog), I suppose every single accidental gun death would allow me to answer a "yes" to the question.

I do think it would be an overall good thing to get rid of every gun in the world, because while there would still be violence, I will venture that you have to REALLY mean it to kill someone with a bladed/bludgeoning weapon instead of a gun. Do we really think gang violence would be perpetrated at the same rate if drive-by's were conducted with longbows? And yes, civilization may have been built on the revolver, or whatever that quaint saying was, but it was also built on the covered wagon and adobe bricks, and we've gone ahead and abandoned those.

By the way, I tend to really love parenthetical phrases, apparently.
78. Freelancer

I would respectfully suggest that the shooter in the case upon which you sat, had he no access to a gun, could have accomplished the same result with a knife, or a baseball bat, or a lead pipe. Such incidents do happen, all the time. What happened there is not in the least about that firearm, and incidents where uncontrolled people do wrongful things is a very long way from a valid argument for anti-gun laws.

The following is quoted from an Orange County Register article by columnist Gordon Dillow:

Of course, whenever gun ownership rights are debated, anti-gun activists like to point out that about 30,000 people are killed by guns in America every year -- although they seldom note that about 60 percent of those deaths are suicides, or that the firearm murder rate has dropped by 40 percent in the past 15 years, or that far more people are killed by motor vehicles or medical malpractice every year than are killed by guns.

And they never mention how many crimes have been prevented by citizens bearing arms.

Once again, that's a hard thing to quantify. One U.S. government survey in the 1990s estimated that more than 80,000 Americans a year used guns in an effort to protect themselves or their property against crime. Other estimates put the number far higher, at more than 2 million crimes prevented each year by the presence of privately-owned firearms.

But those are estimates and extrapolations – which means we can argue about the numbers all day long.

And any occasions where a private citizen uses a gun to prevent a crime, and the incident results in the killing of the perpetrator, the anti-gun folks include that as part of the 30,000 number.

Some people say that there are two kinds of people in the world, the sheep and the wolves. Others correct that by adding a third group, the shepherds. But to complete the analogy, one more group must be recognized. The wolfhounds. Would you be a sheep, hoping the shepherd is there when the wolves arrive, otherwise helpless, or would you be a wolfhound, willing and able to drive off or kill the wolves before they can harm the sheep?

I will make no bones about the fact that my weapon is there for the taking of a life. I sincerely pray it is never necessary, and I would rather scare someone off, or only injure them, rather than kill them. But since I have the choice, I will hold the lives of my family in my hands, rather than deliver them into the hands of the lowest among us, and I will not apologize for that choice.
79. Alfvaen
I confess that the whole thing with Narishma's channeling being detected confused me. It hadn't occurred to me until now that it might be detecting channeling outside the city. Because if, as I had assumed, it only detected channeling inside the city, where it was supposed to be impossible, then they were all taking it rather calmly. One wonders how they do react when they can detect channeling inside the city...
80. Freelancer

You'll see how they react when we get to the chapter entitled Blue Carp Street.
81. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
The whole argument about "that guy would have done the same thing with a baseball bat" doesn't hold water. I can run from a dude with a bat. Or even take the bat away from him, if I am skilled in self-defense (which I sure am not). When was the last time you heard "man goes on bludgeoning spree -- kills 5, wounds 9?" That's 13 people that would have been OUT OF THERE. How about guys with slings on top of clock towers? Yeah, guns don't kill people, people kill people. But guns help.
82. Freelancer
And if only one of the people where someone goes on a shooting spree also had a gun, the results would be much different also. I will reiterate that far, far, more occasions of lawfully owned firearms helping to prevent a crime occur than are ever reported. Are you going to stop bad people from having guns? No. So live in the real world which confronts you, and consider that you have to choose how to deal with the fact that people who might choose to hurt you might be armed. You are welcome to choose to give them the advantage. I will choose otherwise.
Thomas Keith
83. insectoid
HWCWTN @77/81:

Yeah, guns don't kill people, people kill people. But guns help.

I couldn't have said it better... no idiot control! And that's all I'll say on the subject.

Free @82: Well, I didn't enjoy my evening much... how 'bout you? Get any interesting whole, half-, or quarter-answers from Brandon? ;)

Theresa Gray
84. Terez27
@Leigh - the greater significance of the Guardian likely has to do with the fact that the male perimeter is outside the female perimeter....and the 13 Aes Sedai with the Borderlanders seem to be inside that area where the women can channel, but a man could not. Dun dun dun...
Jonathan Levy
85. JonathanLevy
Looking Glass @ 24
BigJohn42 @ 18
While it's not impossible, there's a lot of foreshadowing that seems indicate Mat will lose an eye at some point. "Half the light of the world" more likely refers to that.

I'm in agreement with Leigh that the One Power is going to be inaccessible in the next age. As for Mat's role in this, well, I used to believe that 'half the light' = Saidar until Saidin was cleansed. It seemed to fit: full light of the world = OP, half the light = Saidar or Saidin. Saidin was tainted, pretty much 'given up'. All that was necessary was to turn off Saidar somehow. But since Saidin was cleansed, that doesn't fit so well. So I'm guessing it'll have to be his eye ;)

21. birgit @ 21
I think Leigh forgot why Harine is acting this way in this chapter:

I was about to ask about that! Are you saying Jordan denied us another spanking by putting it off-screen? How cruel of him! :)
I'll try to explain the German position on gun control...

That line is just begging to be completed in so many hilarious ways. The temptation is so great I can almost taste it! This is what a fish must feel like just before he bites the hook.

alseen @ 22
The other issue with removing guns from the general public is that anyone that is smaller and weaker is suddenly at the mercy of anyone larger and stronger.

This, I think, is a very good point. But I'm sure you'll agree that Grandma doesn't need fully automatic fire to defend herself. I tend to accept most of the self-defense arguments against gun control, but it always confuses me when people apply them to fully automatic weapons. Fully automatic fire is used by soldiers with too much ammo, gangsters doing drive-by shootings, and fools trying to impress other fools. Plus it's really cool to try it just once.

Bouke @ 26
However, IIRC, our 'present' Earth seems to be the First Age (Mosk and Merk etc.)

This is one of the old old tales quoted by Thom, and yes, it does sound like our world. But there has been lots of foreshadowing of an upcoming industrial/scientific age (gunpowder, steam power, telescopes, flight) which would fit our world very well if only the OP vanished.

LogainsBrother @ 54
Yeah, it would be such a bummer if the OP vanished, wouldn't it? Egwene, just re-forged the white tower, ready to be the Amyrlin Seat for 300 years. Ashaman, just learned to channel. 70-year-old novices, just became Accepted. Sorry! All gone!

The only happy person would be Elaida.

HeWhoComesWithTheNoon @ 77
Do we really think gang violence would be perpetrated at the same rate if drive-by's were conducted with longbows?

Why do the gangsters do a drive-by, instead of coming into your living room? Because you might have a gun. Most of the middle ages can be characterized as gang violence inflicted by groups of men with swords and horses, either on each other or on unarmed civilians. A few quotes from Froissart's Reminiscences of the Bascot de Mauleon, late 14th century:
A gangster stakes out some new turf:
'Now, after I had lost the castle of Tuzaguet...I decided that I must do something to bring me in some money, if I was not to go on living in poverty. So I sent some men to prospect the town and castle of Thurie, near Albi, which castle has since brought me in, through plunder, protection-money ... one hundred thousand francs. Let me tell you how I got it...'

The depredations of gang wars:
'... At the time I am speaking of, the country was so bruised and battereed and so full of companions in every place that hardly anyone dared to go out-of-doors... The gentry of Auvergne, Forez and Velay were so worn down... that they were afraid to take up arms against them...The great lords were hostages in England, and meanwhile their people and their country were being pillaged and ruined and they could do nothing about it...'

The Sack of Limoges (1370) indicates just how much the life of a peasant was worth to a knight:
'Lancaster, the Earl of Cambridge, Sir Guichard d'Angle with all the others and their men burst into the city, followed by pillagers on foot, all in a mood to wreak havoc and to do murder, killing indiscriminately, for those were their orders. Men, women and children flung themselves on their knees...neither man nor woman was heeded, but all who could be found were put to the sword...More than three thousand psersons, men, women and children, were dragged out to have their throats cut...'

Rich men had swords and horses and time to train, and could not be matched by a peasant. The cheap manufacture of firearms leveled the playing field, and broke the power of the knights. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be living in modern times. Perhaps it's a mistake to be rushing about looking for new ways to perfect it, at the cost of ruining what we already have?
Birgit F
86. birgit
Cads and Verin did plot together:

Arched doorways edged with white stone, like the one they had come through, marked stairs at three other places around the long balcony, but they were alone, and that seemed to please Cadsuane, though all she did was nod to herself. "Kumira, show the Wavemistress and her sister Far Madding's guardian." Her voice echoed faintly inside the vast dome. She drew Verin a little distance away, and the pair of them put their heads together. There was no echo of what they whispered.
Holger Marx
87. DreamHealer
Leigh's opinion on gun control is one of the things that make Germans like me ask "Why are Americans so crazy?" every now and then. The thought of everyone being able to buy and own and carry around guns in public is just really scary for me. 

I know there will still be violence even if guns are banned, but shouldn't some things (like guns, hand grenades and nuclear weapons) be banned just to make a point? Guns cause nothing but pain (for people or helpless animals), why should anyone except the police be allowed to own them?

I know that Leigh's opinion is nothing out of the ordinary in the US, but today was the first time (I think) this re-read post contained something I really could not understand. Guns for everyone? Are you kidding me?

Landmines for the front yard, anyone?

(By the way, I love those posts, Leigh!)
Maiane Bakroeva
88. Isilel
I would hate an ending to WoT where OP disappears. For one, a lot of characters are channelers and that will make most of them pine and die and the few strong enough to survive will suffer for the rest of their lives.

For another, it is such a tired trope, that was massively overused in literature that historically associated magic with the Golden Age/childhood and book finale with growing up or approaching reduced contemporary times. IMHO, it is a pretty dismal view that needs no further perpetuation.

Finally, IMHO the channeling ability getting bred out of humanity due to a plague or whatever would fit the notion of WoT being a phase of our own world better. All these rumors of mediums, ESP, etc. - those are the "wilders" of our times.

Re: the chapters - I dunno, I found them pretty interesting, what with descriptions of a massive ter'angreal, Shalon's observations as well as despair at the loss of OP and Verin at work. Seeing Harine put in her place didn't hurt either. Too bad that Sarene's philosophy and Kumira's supposed intellectual gifts won't lead to anything.

Re: guns, IMHO they only escalate everything. While introduction of them did spell end to knights, it also made wars progressively more destructive and causing greater losses of life. So, I can't share the enthusiasm.
Also, let's not forget that warlike farmers, like those in Scandinavia in early Middle Ages, didn't make things any more peaceful and secure.

Ditto with uncontrolled private gun ownership - it makes murder that much easier, both technically and by reducing the "hands-on" aspect. All advantage is on the side of the agressor, really. Women defending themselves? They usually don't get a chance. And a bulgar is far more likely to use lethal violence preemptively too.
It is not a coincidence that all the mass shootings were perpetuated by gun-nuts or children of the same. Yes, even here in Euro-Commie land. With completely legal weapons, even, IIRC.
Rob Munnelly
89. RobMRobM
Miscellaneous thoughts
- Like Isilel (see, I finally spelled your name correctly) and others, I too would be surprised and disappointed if the OP disappears at the end of the series. The groundwork for a new golden age is present - thousands of Kin back in or near the WT, a young talented forward looking Amyrlin, lots of Asha'man ready to employ cleaned up saidin, burgeoning technological progress for the unpowered, and plenty of Seanchan farmers who can fill the massive unpopulated areas in many parts of Randland.
- I don't really like these FM chapters, as I noted in the last post. I did like seeing Verin in high sneaky mode and, shockingly, the first likeable Sea Folk character since the Windfinder in The Shadow Rising. Apart from that, meh - just moving the pieces around and getting ready for things to happen.
- Yes, we are supposed to be an earlier age than the present - also don't forget about Anla the Wise Counselor (although she isn't that big of a deal as of 2010, let alone thousands of years in the future) and the Mercedez Benz symbol in the cellars of the Stone of Tear.
- Not going to get into the gun control debate, but nice move, Leigh, for juicing up the post counts by taking a controversial position. You go girl and put those Malazan re-readers in their places. (Actually, I reading those books now - and they're not bad.)
- Re guns, I will kind of lie -- I actually like Cullen Murphy's position in the Atlantic Magazine a few years ago, which notes that the US Constitution Second Amendment right to bear arms references a "well regulated militia" - so he proposed to require gun owners to be part of a militia and drill the heck out out of them.)
- Yes, Mat is going to loose an eye in Finnland. Losing half the light prophecy plus Egwene dream of Mat with his hat over his face with blood. It will be part of the deal to get out Moiraine.
- Tehbane at 13 - the Hinderstap theory shows true originality, if a somewhat twisted mind. *bows*

Max Espensen
90. Andvari
Re: gun control, as a Brit my opinion is as you might expect. I agree with the first paragraph of DreamHealer@87, I generally like and admire the USA but still think this something which is an unpleasant aspect of American culture. But it really is a thing which is enshrined in the culture, as I suppose not having guns so freely available is for us, and I think the fact the even Leigh, who I would consider one of the most pacific, unconservative Americans (on the basis of her writings here) I can think of is still more pro-gun is indicative of how much it is, because I bet a British version of Leigh wouldn't be!

It's interesting to note that all the people (on both sides) who have said "statistics show..." or "it's a fact that..." have actually not shown any sort of proof at all of anything, so until you do you're just stating your opinion. I have no desire to get into a debate about it, I just find it interesting. That just one question site is also a complete nonsense as you can just invert the question and make the opposing point just as easily. I'm happy for Americans to have guns to be honest because I think they're more needed there (though that could be just because of the gun law itself meaning guns are more accessible in general).

I do like Verin and Cadsuane's plan here though. I tend to think it's a little unsubtle but that's probably because of our omnipotent knowledge of events and access to their previous conversations, to the Far Maddingians (?) it could easily be construed as idle talk. I always think though that the surely all people even casually acquainted with Aes Sedai must realise that when one of them says "call me Dave" that it's a deception.

I liked the quote about Cadsuane having to deflate swollen heads....uh quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (I don't know the Latin for deflates...) and I'm generally not a Cads-hater.
91. Razumikhin
I don't really want to participate in a gun control debate here, but the inference about people killing each other anyway is either a strawman or unsound. As I read it, the argument is one of the following two:

1) All people who want to kill someone will find a way to do it with the means available.
2) Guns are only one of the means available.
3) Banning guns will not stop everyone who wants to kill someone from doing it.


1) Some/Most people who want to kill people someone will find a way to do it with the means available.
2) Guns are just one of the means available.
3) Banning guns will not stop some/most people from killing.

Now, if you meant the first one, then you rest on the false premise (1). It is implausibly strong to suppose that all murders are calculated such that the unavailability of a gun immediately would not be a deterrent. More plausible is some incarnation of premise (1) in the second argument (whether it is some or most is an empirical question). The problem is that the second argument is not a challenge to gun control, unless we presume that gun control is not worth it if it does not stop all killings. Gun control might simply *reduce* the number of killings, and therefore be justified.

Now, the issue gets tricky here, because we need to determine if it does in fact reduce killings, and also if that is a worthwhile consequence for the freedom to possess guns, etc. (as well as questions about what form gun control would take, it is not all Far Madding prohibition style). All I want to say in this post, though, is that the "they'll find a way to kill anyway" argument does not work.
Tess Laird
92. thewindrose
Jonathan Levy said:
That line is just begging to be completed in so many hilarious ways. The temptation is so great I can almost taste it! This is what a fish must feel like just before he bites the hook.

I hope that is an indictaion that our reporters are going to be back!

93. Nalwin
The problem with the gun control argument is statistics.

Anyone can just make it up however they want. You can look at a set of statistics and interpret them a number of different ways. The same set of statistics can be used to both support and oppose gun control depending on how you look at them most of the time.

Compunding this is the fact that over the years the ways of reporting crimes have changed so even making a comparison between statistics from the same source over a number of years doesn't show an accurate comparison.

Suffice it to say that if you want to support gun ownership you can find numbers to back yourself up.
If you oppose gun ownership you can find numbers too.

I would like to live in a world where I dont have to worry about getting shot, either by accident or on purpose, or worry about shooting someone before they shoot me. I would like to live in a world where someone getting shot is big news, where everyone in the country is like... "omg someone got shot, with an actual gun! wtf?!"
Oh wait... I do... yay me!
Ty Margheim
94. alSeen

almost no body uses full automatic weapons for self defense.

Semi automatic is another matter, but most people think that all EBR (evil black rifles) are full auto. They aren't.

The AR-15, probably the most popular EBR, is normally chambered for .223 (same as many hunting rifles) and fires only one bullet per pull of the trigger.
Ty Margheim
95. alSeen

You are just flat our wrong about women not being able to defend themselves.

Here are just a few,2933,406185,00.html

You can find hundreds of stories like those.
Sharon E.
96. Sulin
My $.02 about the gun control issue: Freelancer's 100% correct! Also, I'm thankful that I live in a country where it's citizens still have the choice (more or less) to own a firearm or not. Someone breaks into my home, threatens my family...I will defend it till the last round of .45 ACP leaves the chamber of my Kimber 1911. God bless Texas!

John Massey
97. subwoofer
Saturday morning- well, I'm relatively sober so let's give'r.

These chapters-I have mixed feeling because, of course Cranky Pants. Now I'll just put it out there, but is she still so cocky because she has an ace in the hole- one of her hair thingys? Or after 1000 years on the earth, being a pain just comes naturally.
I also think that Verin was coming from left field; she was not in cahoots with Cranky Pants. There was no cahooting. I do wonder about the “call me Shane” bit, did Verin get her hand caught in the cookie jar or is this the place where she earns her BA stripes?
True Power- well, it is a gimme that it works here. Look at Rand in the cuffs, he could not channel by touching the Source so then he goes to the Dark Side. Same thing here, the ter is only made for stopping folks touching the Source, for the real bad asses of the world, it is a walk in the park and they have carte blanche to slap around normal channelers because any AS is fettered.

Gun control- did I mention that I just came back from some scouting? Now, I bow hunt but I am firmly in the camp of “we need ‘em”. Gov’t can pass all the laws they want, baddies will still find a way to clap their hands on guns and use them. Normal law abiding folk will just be sitting ducks. Much like the FM ter, everyone but the real bad guys are going to be handicapped, not exactly the best of situations.

More people die of alcohol related causes, so do we ban liquor?- for the love of God, NO!!! There will always be douches that abuse the system and abuse the privilege but should that ruin it for the rest of us? I enjoy a drink, when I go out with the intention of drinking, I make sure I do not drive home. When I have dinner parties at home, I make sure my guests are safe and responsible as well, that is in my control as a rational, responsible adult. That person that was angry, went to his vehicle and came back and shot someone, first off, a coward- settle matters with your fists if you must, secondly, what if they got behind the wheel and pointed a 3000lb bullet at the other party, it happens all the time, dead is dead.If people step up and are doing the right thing, there would be no deaths related to drinking and driving or alcohol abuse. Same for guns, if people step up and do the right thing…

Canadian gun control blows goats. Back in the day we used to just need an FAC and it was all wavy gravy. The last gov’t passed a bill for a national gun registry, which my province vehemently opposed because it was drafted by donkeys and is just a big cash grab. I have guns, but I am responsible for them. My children will get my sermon on the mount about the importance of them and the importance of respecting them. And they will never get the keys or combos to the cabinet.

Alice Arneson
98. Wetlandernw
RobM - the Mercedes Benz symbol is in the Panarch's Palace in Tanchico. Just doing my usual nitpick job. :)

I have to actually read the chapters again; in a summary, not much happens, but I seem to remember all manner of little gems buried therein. Will have to find time to find them.

Not going to get heavily into the gun thing, but I'd like to point out a few historical facts about guns in the USA. When Europeans first began to seriously settle the land here, guns were not uncommon. I don't know how useful they actually were in hunting; given the accuracy and reloading issues of a muzzle-loader, I suspect trapping was just as effective. Still, they became a regular facet of life in America. As the technology advanced, they became much more helpful.

Jump forward a few hundred years to settling the West. At this point, virtually no one went west without at least a rifle. Even the overt pacifists, who consciously and rigorously refused to kill a human for any reason (even at the risk of their lives) carried rifles to protect themselves from wild animals and to hunt for food.

Speaking personally, I grew up in that environment; we had quite a collection of rifles, shotguns and handguns. My dad loaded his own shells, and even let me help sometimes. He taught each of his (7) kids how to use the rifles and pistols, and without ever making a huge deal about it, he taught us that they were tools to be handled carefully and not toys to be played with. The only thing I ever shot besides targets were gophers, but even that was needful on a farm. (If you've never lived it, you wouldn't belive how needful!)

So back to "gun control" - for all that it might make sense to required training and licensing to own a gun in our current society, the idea of eliminating our ability to own them at all is in direct opposition to our heritage. They have been part of our development as a culture since before we were even a country; much of what we casually drive across on a road trip now was wild and dangerous only a century ago. Europe, with its millenia of recorded history and hundreds of wars fought with spears, swords, bows and arrows prior to the development of firearms, is a very different backdrop than "the wild west" which forms much of the American story. (And before anyone argues about how much of the population is back East, remember that "the wild west" used to start about a hundred miles inland from the East Coast and just moved farther west as the land was settled. Less than two hundred years ago, Kentucky and Tennessee were "the wild west" where Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett gained fame as frontiersmen.)

Much of the same is true for Canada, I suspect - and considering subwoofer's feelings on the subject, the attitude toward restrictions is about the same, particularly out west!

::darn politicians::grumble grumble::money grabbers::grumble grumble::

Hi, Sulin!
99. joebobrich
Gun control, eh? Nice can o worms. Seems to me that if we can license and regulate automobiles and no one says boo, we should be able to do the same for machinery who's main purpose is to kill, wound and maim. Gun control doesn't mean banning guns. That type of prohibition leads to, well, Prohibition (with a capitol P, as in the 20's and 30's.) Cars have been licensed, taxed and regulated damned near since their appearance in our society. In order to drive one, you need a license. To get that license you've gotta take tests. In order to own one, you've got to pay taxes on it, get plates, pay for insurance, etc. When you drive, you've got pretty strict regulations to adhere to. Certain engines are not 'Street Legal."
So what's the problem of applying a similar system to guns? The first part of the 2nd amendment speaks about 'a well regulated militia.' The 'well regulated' part of that tends to be ignored.
As we can see from Jordan's example, outright bans don't really work.
Barry T
100. blindillusion
When it comes to the possibility of the One Power ceasing to exist after the Last Battle, well, I'm torn. If it were to come about as a result of defeating the Dark One (though I still say the battle will be with Moridin (because fighting a deity? mmk.)) then I'd be disappointed, as it would seem a cop out.

But if sacrificing the ability to channel is the only path to victory, well, I think I could live with that. After all, at least that route is a conscious decision.

Other than that...should the Guardian be used to create a nulling field that covers the entire world? well, it would give adventures/treasure hunters something to hunt for for a few thousand years. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy for the Power to emerge again one day.

Imagine being that guy: Finding an odd mechanical device buried in a Hall that shouldn't exist and feeling a need to shut it down.... And then he does.... And the next thing he knows...his trail guide somehow blows half the mountain away and his wife goes into a trance saying, “And so it begins again.”

Sweet, sneak in just in time to take 100.
James Jones
101. jamesedjones
98 Wetlandernw
The only thing I ever shot besides targets were gophers, but even that was needful on a farm. (If you've never lived it, you wouldn't belive how needful!)

I've never lived on a farm, and I still understand the need for this. Over a decade in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, coupled with a susceptibility for ankle sprains, killed any concerns will removing their cute little, hole-digging, whack-a-mole-related, hides from existence.

As far as gun control is concerned, I feel that they are tools that should come with reasonable restrictions. I don't believe they should be banned, but I certainly believe that anyone convicted of a violent crime should not be allowed to obtain a firearm, legally (yeah, I know it won't stop them; I just don't think we should make it easy).

Personally, I don't own a firearm since they are so dang expensive, but I have enjoyed using them. But then, I enjoy using paint-ball guns, water pistols, and rubber-band guns, too. They're kinda more within my budget.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
jamesedjones @101 - Yeah, I don't actually own any guns now either, because I have no need of them. But all that practice in my youth sure paid off when I was able to shoot down the estimating manager in laserquest! :) He never even knew I was there until he beeped. (Engineering vs Estimating! Good times!) (Oh, and I totally relate to the sprained-ankle thing. Little stinkers.)

Oops. Forgot this bit which I'd written elsewhere:

joebobrich @99 - "Cars have been licensed, taxed and regulated damned near since their appearance in our society." That's the trick: "since their appearance." We were a sufficiently organized and governed society by the time cars were developed that there was infrastructure (and some necessity) for said licensing from the get-go. Same is demonstrably not true for guns.

blindillusion @100 - Well, one could argue that the Dark One isn't exactly a diety, just a different sort of creature, but RJ didn't entirely make that clear. From Christian theology, only God is God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); Satan is not a diety but rather a fallen angel, equal and opposite to Michael the Archangel. Not sure if RJ meant the same distinction to apply in WoT, but from the ability of the Creator to imprison the Dark One, it could readily be inferred.
Tricia Irish
103. Tektonica
Everyone seems to be weighing in, so.....

I agree with Free and Wetlander.

Guns are part of our heritage here in the very large land mass that is the USA (and Canada). The settling of said land mass required hunting for food and protecting of life. It's really part of the American Psyche. The fact that we had to fight a war of independence also contributed to our attitude of self-sufficiency, and well, freedom.... to do as we please, and responsibility for taking care of our own.

I also believe that the "criminals" will get guns no matter what laws exist, leaving the rest of us vulnerable.

If you want to carry a concealed weapon here in Florida, (and this may be a federal law, I don't know), you have to take a course, and they do a background check. I have no objection to this. There's nothing wrong with a little education! Unfortunately, the criminals don't care about education nor do they want a background check, so they will continue to get their guns on the black market anyway. Sigh.

The breakdown in family, and the superficiality and selfishness rampant in society today probably has much more to do with violence, than any guns.

WoT: Sigh. I'm having trouble staying really involved with these chapters, although they're going to get good very soon.....I am keeping up with all the excellent commentary, though. ;-)
Ty Margheim
104. alSeen

You do not need a license or need to license your car just to own it. If you want to use it on public property you do, but many farmers own vehicles that are only operated on their farms and don't license them. This is exactly the same as with guns.

In most states, if you want to carry a gun concealed you have to get a license. Some states allow you to carry openly, but most people don't.

There are also many laws covering what you can do while you are carrying concealed.

The first part of the 2nd amendment speaks about 'a well
regulated militia.' The 'well regulated' part of that tends to be

It doesn't get ignored, it gets missunderstood. It is clear from other writings of the same period as the Constitution that the meaning of the term was closer to “properly operating” or “in its ideal state”. It did not mean "controlled by the government."

Also, the construction of the sentence doesn't mean that only members of the militia are allowed guns. I am constantly amazed that anyone can read it and think that it does. "The people" means the same thing in the Second ammendment as it does in the First, Fourth, Nineth, and Tenth.

And lastly, even if it did mean that, in the United States the definition of the militia is as follows

The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

That's just the federal definition. Many states simply say that anyone over the age of 18 is part of the militia.
Sandy Brewer
105. ShaggyBella
Well, Randland has no guns to outlaw, but Couladin's Shaido were very good at killing, using knives & spears. Also The Band- using crossbows (plus a few Dragons & Aes Sadai) could eliminate a 10,000 entire force to the last man. 2Rivers folks... excellent with Longbows. Mat and Thom could throw knives with the best of them, etc.

That's what these chapters need...more battles. I miss the battles! Even a little hand to hand combat with Gall or Perrin and his ax. Who needs guns?
106. TehBane
@RobMRobM - Only somewhat? (bows back)

I'm staying out of the whole gun-control issue. Looks like there has been some excellent points raised already.

But I do like the Swiss option. Everyone gets some military training, and a weapon in their house. You don't often hear of gun related crimes there now do you... They're more true to the US Constitution than the US is on that matter...
Matthew Hunter
107. matthew1215
87) Guns do not cause "nothing but pain"; they are tools, and are used for protection far more often than they are used for evil purposes -- and they are used as an effective threat of harm more than they are fired in earnest. Even more than both, they are used to secure food and as a hobby for million of americans. It's important to understand the magnitude of this: in America, there are hundreds of millions of firearms in the hands of ordinary folks, and literally less than one in a million of those firearms will ever be used in a criminal fashion.

You admit the flaws in your own argument when you ask why anyone *except the police* should be able to own them? If guns cause nothing but pain, why should be police be allowed to have them? Why should the military be allowed to have them?

(For that matter, if guns should be banned because they cause pain to helpless animals, should we also ban butcher knives and pass laws requiring a vegetarian diet?)

One of the other minor differences about America is that we don't believe in nobility, here. Every american has the right to defend himself. We don't believe in giving that up in return for the protection of a special class.

Finally... you say that the thought of everyone being able to own and carry guns in public scares you. That's something that scared a lot of people in the united states when we first began passing laws to allow the concealed carry of firearms by the general public, generally in the past 20 years. Every time the issue came up in a new state, newspaper editorials described how blood would run in the streets, and we would go back to the days of the wild west, with duels at high noon by people wearing cowboy hats.

At present, something like 40+ states have "shall-issue" concealed carry laws, meaning that anyone with a clean criminal record can purchase a firearm and obtain a license to carry it in public -- a license which is not at the discretion of the police, but is available to everyone who applies subject to their criminal record being clean. The streets have not run red with blood. There have been no dueling cowboys.

There IS a debate among criminalogists about the effects of the concealed carry licensing laws. The debate is over whether the laws have actually reduced crime rates by a small but significant amount... or have had no effect at all. No serious criminalogist can argue that the laws have increased the crime rate.

The facts of the matter are simple: Law abiding folks don't commit murder, whether or not they own guns. Sometimes, they can save their own life by having a gun. Criminals will commit crimes, whether or not they own guns, and now that guns have been invented, they can get guns whether or not they are allowed to have them. The question is whether we allow law abiding citizens the best tools to defend themselves from criminals who will always have the tools of their choice.
Matthew Hunter
108. matthew1215
77) It's just a question, I never said it wasn't from a biased source. For that matter, I'm a biased source. I have a pretty firm opinion on the topic. It's telling, however, that the question is so difficult to answer:

Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?

The fact is, you can't. No one can. Because restricting access to handheld weapons doesn't make people safer. Sometimes, it makes some people feel safer, but feeling safer isn't being safer.
John Massey
109. subwoofer
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Me Da doesn't believe in guns and doesn't know two things about them, sometimes I think those two concepts go hand in hand. I received my training in the army and my Master Corporal drilled it into me about the importance of not putzing around with them. Back then most of the violence in relationship to guns were my fellow basics getting smacked around for not paying attention.

And I am not against proper registration, as long as it is thought out and drafted well. Current Canadian legislation penalizes farmers and hunters and ingores the criminals... and costs billions of dollars. Not really a big fan of that.

Why the heck is it when we want examples of utopia, folks always cite a Swiss example? Beyond ridiculously high taxes, I am sure they have their own host of issues. But I am in favor of conscription, everyone who turns 18 has to do 2 years in the ranks. Nothing wrong with that. Gives kids these days some much needed discipline and respect.

Gahhhh! Stay off my lawn! And leave those apples alone! Now where did I put my teeth?

Matthew Hunter
110. matthew1215
88) You say, "It's not a coincidence that all the mass shootings were perpetuated (sic) by gun nuts or children of same." However, that's not at all true. Most mass shootings are committed by people who aren't allowed to own guns, aren't allowed to carry guns, in places where even people who are allowed to own guns aren't allowed to carry them. Off the top of my head this is true for Columbine and the Virginia Tech shootings. I could come up with more counterexamples for you with a little research. Law-abiding gun owners are not the problem; criminals are.

You say that all advantage is on the side of the aggressor, but that's not true in actual practice. As an illustration of this, compare the rate of "hot" burglaries versus "cold" burglaries in the US and the UK. In the US, where gun ownership is common, criminals break into houses where the owners are gone, so they don't risk meeting an armed citizen defending his home. In the UK, criminals aren't at all concerned about breaking into a house while the owner is home, confronting the owner, and victimizing them in the course of committing their robbery.
Matthew Hunter
111. matthew1215
93) (plus everyone else who says statistics aren't available or aren't conclusive) A lot of statistical work has been done on this question. There are basically two sides to the argument. Either more guns means less crime, or there are no measurable benefits to any gun control laws.
Elena Vaccaro
112. EarthandIce
Wow. I log in to copy the post (I have to get my 'Net fix at a library) and the very last post is about gun control.

Rant warning!!!

My 2 cents is if guns are outlawed, then only criminals would have them. Now that is not to say there should not be saftey courses available. The state I live in in the US (Indiana) mandates gun saftey training every two years for hunters applying for permits. Granted that only takes in rifles and shotguns, not hand guns.

In addition, I have done some research on my family tree which goes into looking at the history of each generation. When the colonists had a tenative foot hold on this side of the ocean, they started pissin off the Native Americans. Several of the States mandated every household own and know how to use some sort of firearm.

That continued until said 13 colonies decided to tell His Highness George IV to get lost. Then said monarch's soldiers were introduced to guerilla warfare.

Oh, and I agree with the 2 year manditory service. The
Israelis have the best military force in the world, and can call on every citizen to join if need be. The discipline teaches respect for the firearms, as well as saftey.

Now I will read the post.
Matthew Hunter
113. matthew1215
99) A couple points. First, you invoke "well-regulated" from the 2nd Amendment; what that phrase means in historical context involves "properly functioning" more than "restricted by government". The early American government's idea of a well-regulated militia involved laws that *required* everyone to own a weapon suitable for military use and provided for government subsidies to those who could not afford one.

Second, you ask why we don't regulate guns like cars. I say, sure! We don't require a license to buy or own a car, just to drive the car on the public roads. That license is available to everyone over 16 or so with a test a trained monkey could probably pass. It's good in all 50 states and practically everyone has one. We don't actually have to pay taxes on cars aside from sales taxes that we pay on everything (some states may have property taxes or the like). We only have to insure or register cars that we intend to carry in public. We can buy cars across state lines and ship them from one place to another without any headaches. We can buy cars that can easily triple the speed limit on the public roads and drive those on the public roads (so long as we don't go quite that fast); we can buy cars that aren't legal to drive on the public roads so long as we only use them on private property. Since you don't have to pass a background check to buy a car either, I'd be willing to let you add that requirement if you remove the requirement to register guns carried in public. Sound good? It does to me.
Maiane Bakroeva
114. Isilel
Tectonica @103:

The fact that we had to fight a war of independence also contributed to
our attitude of self-sufficiency, and well, freedom.... to do as we
please, and responsibility for taking care of our own.

Well, I don't want to inflame the proceedings, but I have to point out that it didn't work that way for certain ethnic minorities that were quite brutally oppressed for the longest time in the US...

Nor did pretty much universal gun ownership among the men in such places as Afganistan or pre-revolutionary Caucasus historically lead to a more free and secure existence.

Personally, I suspect that experience of the colonists in the recent 7-year war with France had much more to do with military successes of the American Revolution than with widespread private ownership of firearms, which wasn't quite as unheard of in the rest of the world as you think...

There is also something to be said for raising a threshold of accessibility of deadly weapons, so that idiots can't get them on a whim.
I mean, it isn't like I couldn't legally get some guns here in Europe if I wanted to - but thankfully, there just isn't any reason for me to do that.

Matthew 1215:

Re: Columbine and Virginia Tech massacres, they were performed by guns bought from official vendors, either by perpetrators themselves or by their friends. Those weren't black market weapons.
Ron Garrison
115. Man-0-Manetheran
Ain't it fun to read Verin's chapters now that we know what we know? A whole thread discussing controlled substances (mostly guns), however, is boring and a waste of space here. It would be better on a blog dedicated to CSI, don't ya think?

Wetlandernw, you are right, there are lots of little gems in this book, but no one seems interested. So, I'll go back to reading instead. The Towers of Midnight will soon be upon us, and I have 3 books yet to re-read!
Tricia Irish
116. Tektonica
Isilel@114: I have no idea where you're coming from with that, and I'm not touching it with a ten foot pole.
Maiane Bakroeva
117. Isilel

Ain't it fun to read Verin's chapters now that we know what we know?

Oh, yes! Frankly, I'd love a mini-reread focussed entirely on the chapters where Verin appears. It could be great fun, trying to puzzle out what she really is about in them, from the height of our TGS knowledge her.
OTOH, here it seems that she is just working with Cadsuane, nothing too mysterious.

I'd love to learn more about the debacle that would get her flogged in Far Madding if she was recognized, though... Interesting, how she uses the name of her old sweet-heart for her pseudonym, too.
Valentin M
118. ValMar
Wow, discussing gun ownership in a forum where the majority are Americans. What next? Abortion, Health Reform, :)
Re: guns. It seems, this ship has already sailed, as far as the US is concerned. For better or worse things won't change much, there's a stalemate.
From reading some of the comments it sounds like in the US unless you are a black belt or a giant bag of muscles you must have a gun to live a normal life. Maybe you guys were overstating your point to help your argument, but I hope you don't work for the US Tourist Board (or equivalent org).

One last point on this. Someone, Tec I think, said that the legacy of your War of Independence was a key to the US attitude to gun ownership. Guess what? Other nations too had to fight for their independence. Or existence. Numerous times. Including centuries of guerilla warfare. These places don't share US attitudes on guns (please don't give Afganistan or Chechnya as counter-examples;)). I'm not saying it's good or bad. Just how it is.
Like most Europeans I find the idea that you can buy a gun with your groceries disturbing. Sure, have the Right to own a weapon, but the availability and licensing should reflect the sheer letality of the product. It just seems so mundane and casual, gun ownership in the US. Or maybe I get the wrong impression.
Re: WOT. I want to add my voice to the ones who say that it will be very disappointing if channeling is removed at the end of the 3rd Age. The fact that in our time it isn't there doesn't mean much- we could be 6th, 7th, 1st Age...
John Massey
119. subwoofer
Start talking about CSI? Why? Isn't the show bad enough as it is? Glorifying lab jockeys, yippy skippy;) Do lab jockeys really get to carry guns? I thought that was reserved for real cops( see the tie in with guns and CSI and... ahhhh I got nuthin').

At the begining of me first post I did talk WoT related- Has anyone done a tie in with Wheel of Fortune? Pat Sajack as the Creator and Vanna as Bela? How many "b's" Vanna? Clop clop clop.

I will put it out there again- if the ter'angreal stops channeling, how does one make such a thing? Was it made by someone using the True Power? I can understand how the leashes were made, but something that cuts off a host from the Source? Kinda sketchy if you ask me. Unless it was done by mistake, somebody was trying to make a ter'angreal that would play cutthroat bridge and something went horribly wrong...

Alice Arneson
120. Wetlandernw
FWIW, I now wonder if part of Verin's careful and deliberate cooperation with Cadsuane in these chapters was all part of testing her out. Given Cadsuane's involvement in things, it was now vitally important for Verin to determine whether she was Light or Dark. Somewhere in the next couple of chapters, she'll put away a little vial, thankful that she doesn't need to use it. Any thoughts?
Sydo Zandstra
121. Fiddler

Ok, let's go over this piece by piece...

Well, I don't want to inflame the proceedings, but I have to point out that it didn't work that way for certain ethnic minorities that were quite brutally oppressed for the longest time in the US...

You are talking about Indian Tribes, is my guess. I don't think this is related to the whole gun debate, really.

Nor did pretty much universal gun ownership among the men in such places as Afganistan or pre-revolutionary Caucasus historically lead to a more free and secure existence.

You are making a comparison between 18th/19th Century America and 20th century post-USSR central Asia situations. Tek was talking about cultural tradition, not about possession and the effects. I don't think the whole history of colonizing the American West had a country like Russia looming over it. It was a time where individuals needed to rely on themselves for protection.

Personally, I suspect that experience of the colonists in the recent 7-year war with France had much more to do with military successes of the American Revolution than with widespread private ownership of firearms, which wasn't quite as unheard of in the rest of the world as you think...

Prove it. The French and Indian War had Britain fighting France there, with oppressed Indian tribes helping both camps. Also note the dates between that war ending and the American Revolution starting.

And if you think about everybody in Europe could own a firearm in those times, think again. This was the time of muskets, only being used in armies and militia.

There is also something to be said for raising a threshold of
accessibility of deadly weapons, so that idiots can't get them on a whim.

I think several people have described how there is such a threshold.

I mean, it isn't like I couldn't legally get some guns here in Europe if I wanted to - but thankfully, there just isn't any reason for me to do that.

I live in Europe too, and I don't think I need a gun. Yet. And I usually stay out of gun debates. However, I find your arguments here easy and not well founded.
John Massey
122. subwoofer

Don't put the vial away!!!!!

Use it!

She is irritation personified!

John Massey
123. subwoofer
Go with what Free says about guns @78. He's been around for a really long time, and has first hand experience, it makes good sense, of course, as a hound, I am biased;)

Edit- see? I be nice:)

Thomas Keith
124. insectoid
Sub @123: ROFL!! Careful, Sub... ;D

Matthew Hunter
125. matthew1215
114) The two perpetrators at Columbine were legally barred from purchasing weapons. They obtained their weapons illegally by having someone else (who could pass a background check) purchase the weapons for them. The Virginia Tech massacre was committed by someone who had already been ruled mentally incompetent; the state government dropped the ball on getting him into the system as a prohibited person, but he was not legally allowed to purchase the weapons.

As for the other parts of your post, no one's claiming that broad firearms ownership is the only requirement for modern civilization. Lots of other things are necessary too.

As for raising the threshold of availability of weapons... clearly it's not something you've done. It's not exactly a trivial operation in the US. The rules vary by state. Universally, there's paperwork and a background check and possibly a wait of up to 48 hours, even assuming you pass the background check. Some states or cities require a license of varying degrees of difficulty, and have more or less onerous additional requirements or banned weapons.

As for "not working out that way for certain ethnic minorities that were quite brutally oppressed", an earlier posted suggested you were talking about indian tribes. If so, I'll suggest that mostly trading firearms to indian tribes was banned -- that would make what happened to them the result of gun control, not gun ownership. If you were instead referring to slavery and its aftermath, you need to read up on your history; gun control laws in the US were created in many cases to keep freed slaves from arming themselves. Read The Racist Roots of Gun Control and about the Deacons of Defense.

118) We can't usually buy guns with our groceries. If nothing else, the process takes long enough that our frozen goods would have melted by the time we finished. People here don't need to own guns to have a normal life; many of the people I know don't own guns and don't have a black belt. On the other hand, we also know that life can throw surprises our way and it's better to be prepared than not. Most people won't ever need or use a gun in self-defense, but would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

You might think for a little bit about why gun ownership in the US is (relatively) mundane and casual. It's because people here mostly take the responsibility of owning firearms seriously. When taken seriously, accidentally injuries are incredibly low and continue to fall rapidly. Honest folk who own guns don't commit crimes with them. When you look at how many guns are used in crimes it is one in millions.

America has issues with crime that have absolutely nothing to do with the behavior of ordinary, lawful gun owners.
Tricia Irish
126. Tektonica
Fiddler@121: Thank you. You totally got what I said. Spoken like a true American. LOL. (That's meant to be a compliment.)

Sub@123: Be nice now....Free is right!

Matthew@125: Good too. I've never seen a gun for sale at Publix. A SunPass for the Turnpike, but never a gun. ;-)

It's not the honest people you need to worry about.

PS: I'm still having to sign in Every. Time. I . Log. On. Argh!

Edit: To get the smiley face in the right place.
John Massey
127. subwoofer
Incidentally @ShaggyBela, love the new icon, very fitting:)

@EarthandIce- is that a kitty in a box?

Tricia Irish
128. Tektonica
Psst: Sub: Meet you in the Bunker for some revelry.....I've got some Maker's Mark.....and no ammo.
129. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon

Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?

Yes. As I said in the previous post, every single gun-related accident that resulted in death or injury could have been prevented with better gun control. All I was doing was refuting your argument, however, not advocating for a total gun ban. Why do pro-gun people always equate "gun control" to "gun bans?" I think it'd be great to somehow remove all guns from the world, but we've gone ahead and passed that point of no return, and of course it's not realistic. I agree that the problem with gun control is that it only works on the law abiding citizens. However, the suggestion seems to be that every law-abiding citizen who owns a gun never does any harm, instead just preventing crimes and settling the west. Well, the "settling the west" ship has sailed, so it's not really a valid argument to the issue of gun control. We used to need them, so we need them now?
Also I want to point out that referencing a website called "firearms and liberty" doesn't exactly back up any argument you make. "Look, I feel this way! And these people who also feel this way agree with me! I must be right!" Not to say that the articles can't be interesting, but not exactly unbiased again. Biased doesn't mean invalid or anything, I'm just pointing it out.

@Jonathan Levy

Why do the gangsters do a drive-by, instead of coming into your living room? Because you might have a gun.

Really? Is that the reason? Are you speaking from experience? I venture a guess that the subset of people who commit drive-bys and post on message boards is virtually nonexistant, so I suppose you're just supposing. Supposing is fine and dandy, after all, it's all I was doing. But your supposition can't refute mine. My supposition was "there would be less drive-bys if guns didn't exist." Your argument is that those same people would be in the house using handheld weapons. Possible. But not mutually exclusive.
@the world at large

It also doesn't make sense that guns level the playing field. Well, they may make it easier for the little guy (or gal) to defend himself from the bigguns. But following that same logic, getting rid of all guns would also eliminate or at least greatly reduce the incidence of physically inferior people perpetrating violent crimes against those physically superior. That's ridiculous, and so is the reverse. And although cheap guns may have ended the poopiness that was the middle ages, cheap, readily available tasers, or swords, or, y'know, upbringing that makes people realize it's not ok to just loom over the dude next to you and extract money/sweat/happiness from him, all accomplish the same thing, with the cool byproduct of no gunshot wounds.

Look, guns being a necessary evil don't make them the same thing as a boon.
John Massey
130. subwoofer
@Tek- I'm there whoot! Whoot!

Ahhh! It's shaping up for a fine night! Much better than freezing my fur off in a tree stand!

Barry T
131. blindillusion
*looks around* Hmm... *whistles*

Tek...think I could get in on that Maker's Mark? Bunker party. Sounds like good times.

- Wetlander: I agree with your musings on the Dark One. I suppose what I'm saying is that I wouldn't want Rand to actually fight the Dark One, because deity or not, it is a being that defies direct confrontation.

I want the Champions to be Champions. Let's see who wins without bringing in phenomenal cosmic powers Otherworldly Powers.

Granted, one could say the True Power is Otherworldly, but it's being used by someone who for all intents and purposes is still human.
Roger Powell
132. forkroot
Hello all -- been catching up on the re-read on the small screen of my iPhone while on vacation. Boston, Cape Cod, lobstah roll with RobMRobM, it's all been good.

So my question to the group is: Do we need to petition Torie (or Irene or TorChris (hello!)) for another thread devoted to a discussion of Gun rights in the USA?

Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting thing to discuss, but gosh there's a lot of other forums for doing so. There are a lot of eloquent and creative posters on this re-read. That was really evident on the last thread (the "memos"). Here's a vote for refocusing that creativity and eloquence on WoT.
Matthew Hunter
133. matthew1215
129) You cannot prevent all gun-related accidents merely by banning guns. There will still be accidents from people owning illegal guns. More importantly, you will not have made people *safer*... as removing guns from the hands of those who would have defended themselves from criminal attack with those firearms will no longer be able to do so. You have to make people *safer* overall, not just reduce the rate of injuries with firearms.

Why do pro-gun people equate gun control to gun bans? Because the people who advocate for gun control professionally seek gun bans. The evidence on that point is overwhelming. The gun controls advocated by "reasonable people" are already in place (background checks against criminals, mainly). In that context advocating for more gun control is basically advocating for a ban on guns. Sometimes it's a piecemeal thing (ban assault weapons, ban sniper rifles, ban cheap guns as being used by criminals, ban expensive guns because they are too powerful) but it all results in a total or near-total ban on guns.

As for law abiding citizens never doing any harm... that's overwhelmingly accurate. I wasn't just pulling numbers out of a hat. There are roughly 200 million guns in private hands in the US. How many of those are used in crime? Very, very few. How many of those are used to defend against crime? Also few, compared to the total, but probably more than used in crime. (In Texas alone there are 400,000 people licensed to carry a concealed firearm, if you think that counts; national studies range from 80K/year on the low end to 2.5 million / year on the high end).

As for the websites I reference... why don't you actually read the paper and judge for yourself the accuracy of its arguments? If you insist on validation by a neutral source, the author of that paper has contributed to briefs on the winning side of at least one supreme court case on this issue. An author with an opinion can still produce accurate and unbiased and informative scholarship.

As for your argument about tasers or swords... that's just silly. Swords have similar problems to guns -- they tend to be deadly when used. They are worse in that using them effectively requires training and armor, allowing the strong, trained nobility to rule the peasants with impunity. Trying to bring up people who aren't criminals is helpful, but someone's going to decide to be a criminal anyway. Maybe because they are genetically inclined to be that way, maybe because they just choose to be evil. Human conflict is inevitable. The best we can hope for are tools to keep the playing field reasonably level so that career criminals don't have a big advantage.
Alice Arneson
134. Wetlandernw
Tektonica & subwoofer - Can I come too? Might even get my husband to join us - he likes Maker's Mark...

blindillusion @131 - I'm pretty much with you on this. Even if the DO is a step down from the Creator, the idea of a human confronting the evil equivalent of an archangel is more than a little unbalanced. Champion vs Champion seems more reasonable, but something's got to happen to seal up the prison again. However... it doesn't necessarily have to be perfectly sealed (like it was before the Bore) at the end of this Age, just sealed enough to make sure the DO can't get all the way out. I know how I "expect" it to turn out, because it's the way fantasy stories "should" go, but RJ likes to turn things inside out and upside down, so I'm no longer convinced that the expected ending will be there intact. I'm quite sure it will be a really good ending, though.

So anyway... I do think there will be a Rand V Moridin matchup, but I'm not sure that will be the end of it. However, I don't see Rand standing against a completely-freed DO, either; I think he will defeat or outwit Moridin and remake the seal before the DO gets out. But it's late and I'm rambling.

forkroot @132 - Hear, hear!! I'm now scanning rapidly over the "gun control statistics" posts, because they're meaningless. Statistics can be made to say anything, and the only ones persuaded by them are those who desire to be persuaded. Especially on something with as many variables as this!!

Glad you had a fun vacation, though. We did a road trip (Montana and back) over the long weekend and I had to go computerless for four whole days. Promptly upon our return, we went back to school, so I'm gone all day during the week. So much for my summer fun... Back to the grindstone. And unlike some here, I can't access the web from my "workplace." Very sad. Very, very sad.

Okay, not really. :)

Hey, given that you were reading on your phone, maybe you were just as glad I wasn't on here posting the usual wots... How convenient!
j p
136. sps49
Wow, I missed a lot.

I will relate something that happened to my mother- not a friend of a friend, but my own mom.

Someone tried to break in to her home. She had just returned from a week long visit; the police later suggested that the criminal probably had been waiting for her return, with the implications thereof.

She armed herself with a 5-round .38, sat against the wall, and dialed 911. The dispatcher told her the police were on the way, but if the assailant came in, to empty her revolver into him.

The police arrived just in time. But if the response time had been longer?

My own opinion is that if one person at 101 California St. had been armed, fewer people would have been murdered.

And I believe there is so much pushback against any more restrictions because almost everyone (on all sides) is sure that they are intended as only the first step toward a total ban. My family is unanimously against that.
137. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
129) You cannot prevent all gun-related accidents merely by banning guns.

Never did I state this -- all I did was disprove your statement (or "question") about there not being a single situation where banning guns is beneficial. I actually have written several times that I don't think banning guns is a realistic course of action. I speak not for anti-gun activists, but for people against broad sweeping absolutes that are incorrect.
As for my argument about swords and tasers being silly, of course it was. It was in response to a silly argument about how 14th century writings about peasant/lord relations somehow proves that gun control is a bad idea. Fight fire with fire and all that.

Again, to sum up my position, I am against gun bans. I would tentatively be for the unrealistic concept of a gunless world, but it's a moot point due to ridiculousness.

But the base argument that guns don't contribute AT ALL to any sort of negative outcome is completely ludicrous.
138. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
I read the articles you linked. Interesting stuff about the history of some gun control laws. However, with no references or even mention of anything taking place within the last 40 years, I find it shaky to tie current gun control impetus to those same issues. In fact, I find it delineates gun control as racist in much the same way that whips are racist.

Criminalization of marijuana has a similar history. Read about Harry Anslinger and some of the things he testified to before congress in his quest to make pot illegal (sorry to presume you haven't if you have). There's some crazy stuff in our history. But it doesn't always equate to today. That's not to say that it never does, of course, but everything needs to be put in perspective.

Along those same lines, re: the second amendment and what it really means, I tend to be of the opinion that the brilliance of the constitution wasn't in its infallibility, but instead in the certainty of the framers that things would NEED to change in it, and the outlining of the mechanism for that to happen. I consider the idea of a "well-regulated militia," no matter the definition of "well-regulated," ot be quaint and outdated. And also not the same thing as nuts with guns. All people with guns are not necessarily nuts, certainly, but can we at least agree that some people with guns are nuts, and that taking the guns away from those people would be a net gain?
Ty Margheim
139. alSeen
137) HeWhoComesWithTheNoon

The question is not if guns contribute to a negative outcome. The question is if the negatives outweigh the positives. I think the evidence is overwelming that they do not.

According to the Department of Justice under the Clinton administration (who I think we could all agree was predisposed to finding that guns were not a good thing) there were 100,000 defensive gun uses a year. Compare that to the 40,000 gun deaths at the time and you have more than twice as many positive uses than negative.

And if you break down that 40,000 you find that it included deaths from justified police shootings and shootings by civilians that were justified. that shifts the positives even further ahead.

and in reply to 138)

The mechanism for changing the Constitution that was invisioned was through Ammendments, not through deciding out of the blue that what an Ammendment says no longer means the same thing.
Alice Arneson
140. Wetlandernw
Good grief, you guys! Give it a rest, already.
141. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
Sorry Wetlandernw, I just want people to stop putting words in my mouth.

Alseen, I'm not debating gun control. I'm debating a statement made earlier, that there is no affirmative answer to the statement

Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?

That's it. I beg you to read what I have written before responding.

I don't think banning guns is a realistic course of action.
I agree that the problem with gun control is that it only works on the law abiding citizens.

I generally tend toward the same opinion as Leigh and others, that gun control is useless without idiot control

These are quote from my earlier posts that may help you understand what I'm talking about.
And regarding the Ammendments , the mechanism to which I refer is not only the amendments, but repealing of them. I'm not deciding anything out of the blue. I'm just saying that since it's pretty clear that an organized militia is not actually necessary to the security of a free state, that MAYBE it's possible to review things. Not saying that we should repeal the 2nd amendment and take away the right to bear arms. Just pointing out that the fact that it was an amendment doesn't automatically make it sacrosanct, especially since one part of the text is pretty obviously out of date. And before I get built up as another straw man, I want to point out that I'm not saying an organized militia is even a bad thing, just point out that it doesn't exist and doesn't seem to have hurt the security of a free state.

Jonathan Levy
142. JonathanLevy
Freelancer @ 78
Don't forget all the times a crime is not committed for fear that the victim might be armed. No way to quantify that one, either. BTW, the sheep/sheepdog example sounds familiar. Have you been reading Bill Whittle?

subwoofer @ 109
Me Da doesn't believe in guns and doesn't know two things about them, sometimes I think those two concepts go hand in hand

There is a lot of truth hiding in this one sentence.

matthew1215 @ 110
I was about to bring up the question 'hot' robberies in the UK, but I see you've already covered it perfectly.

ValMar @ 118
Wow, discussing gun ownership in a forum where the majority are Americans. What next? Abortion, Health Reform, :)

Obviously, the next topic should be gay marriage, as it's been ever so long since we last brought it out for a good thrashing. Sorry, didn't mean that to sound bsdmophobic.

One last point on this. Someone, Tec I think, said that the legacy of your War of Independence was a key to the US attitude to gun ownership.

I think it's more accurate to say that the experience of the Frontier was much more significant in forming attitudes towards guns than the war of independence. Having a relatively lawless frontier for the first 200 years of a society's (not a nation's) existance is a rather unique experience.

subwoofer @ 122

HeWhoComesWithTheNoon @ 129
Really? Is that the reason? Are you speaking from experience?

You'll find out when I discover your address! Muhahahahahaha!
But seriously. The purpose of a drive-by shooting is to intimidate the target without taking a risk. But what risk can one person pose to 2-4 people invading his home by night with the advantage of surprise? See matthew1215's post about hot robberies. The target will be taken before he can resist, or quickly overwhelmed if he does, or his family will be taken hostage... unless he has a gun. Four men with guns might still defeat one man with a gun, but one of them may wind up dead and none are willing to risk being that man.
But following that same logic, getting rid of all guns would also eliminate or at least greatly reduce the incidence of physically inferior people perpetrating violent crimes against those physically superior.

The two cases are not equivalent. With no guns, strong bullies quickly get in the habit of targeting weaker people and using the threat of violence to get their way, because they discover they can do it without risk. With guns, weaklings who think to bully people using their guns have to be very very careful because you never know who might have a gun. They can't pick out easy targets.

HeWhoComesWithTheNoon @ 137
The quotations I provided from the 14th century were aimed at proving that organized gang violence predates the wide distribution of firearms, in response to a post which suggested otherwise. This, I believe, they achieved. That by themselves they were supposed to prove that 'gun control is a bad idea', and therefore silly, is an inference which you made, not a claim I put forth. Perhaps you should read an argument more carefully before denigrating it.
Matthew Hunter
143. matthew1215
138) Under current US law, if you are nuts, you can't have a gun. Ditto if you are addicted to drugs, if you beat your wife (or your husband), or are a criminal in general. Your formulation is a little suspect; "gun nuts" is often used as a perjorative term to insult people who are heavily involved in the gun culture. Suggesting that we should take guns away from that segment of society and that it would make everyone better off... well, suffice it to say we don't want to go there. Take away guns from violent criminals (preferably lock them up too) and leave everyone else alone.

Re: marijuana, I don't use it (or any other form of recreational drugs) but I think it should be legal... just as alcohol is legal. I think you are perhaps a bit too casual in assuming it doesn't equate to today. There are many policies from the past that we continue today not because they are good policies, but because we as a society have yet to elect politicians who seek to seriously reevaluate our previous social consensus. (With the Supreme Court decision in Heller, we began that re-evaluation).

Oh, and you mentioned that the link I pointed you to doesn't mention anything from the past 40 years or so. Since that time, you may have noticed that racism has become something that no one admits to openly. And most of our current politicians are well over 40 years old. It's certainly not impossible for some of them to have racist motivations, but the point wasn't to imply that; the point was that armed self-defense enabled the civil rights movement, rather than (as someone had claimed by implication) that guns had done nothing to protect oppressed minorities in the US..

As for changing the constitution, if you want to change it, get an amendment ratified with the changes you desire. I don't think you'll have much success repealing the 2nd.

137) Not "beneficial" -- "safer". That means, more safe than before. You can't just produce some "good" outcome and safe that's proven; you have to show that across the whole population, people are safer.

As for the argument that guns don't contribute "AT ALL" to any sort of negative outcome... guns are tools. They can be used for good, for evil, or for results with no moral quality at all. No one is claiming they are only used for good. I at least am claiming they provide a net benefit to society.
144. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
@Johnathan Levy

perhaps so :)

My point about gang violence was just to illustrate the idea that gang violence's seriousness is aided by gangsters' access to firearms, not that it's totally dependant on them. The problem with your argument wasn't that it was silly per se, just that it was silly as a refutation of my argument. Which wasn't totally what you were trying to do, so I apologize for the aforementioned "silly" description.
Matthew Hunter
145. matthew1215
141) In the US, by federal law, every male citizen aged 18-45 and not in the organized military forces is a member of the unorganized militia. Many states still have formal organized militias (usually called "emergency response volunteers" or something similar). Not only do we still have a militia, I firmly believe it remains necessary to the security of a free state. As recently as WWII, when Japan considered invading the US pacific coast, one of their generals is reported to have argued against the invasion, saying that "there would be a rifleman behind every blade of grass."
146. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
So you firmly believe that having a militia is necessary to the security of a free state because an outdated definition technically states that there is one, despite the fact that it's not really true in all cases. And also, because in 1943 a foreign country was reportedly considering invading us but didn't based on an incorrect assumption one of their generals had. Gotcha.

But I don't want to do this all the way until the next unbearable sea folk/cadsuane chapter. It's been a sprited debate. Keep it real.
Matthew Hunter
147. matthew1215
146) No, I believe it for philosophical reasons that aren't worth getting into here. I offered some evidence to support my position that the militia remains relevant because I could do that a lot faster than debating philosophy of government with you. You said it was pretty obviously out of date; I provided an example from current law and history within living memory to demonstrate otherwise.

I should note the general's assessment, while hyperbole, was fundamentally accurate.

I've enjoyed this debate; it's been remarkably civil.
Dorothy Johnston
148. CloudMist
(Pokes head in, looks around.)

This is the WOT re-read thread, isn't it? :)
Tricia Irish
149. Tektonica
Whew....glad I spent last night in the Bunker with Sub and Wetlander and Blind!

The Gun Control Issue has officially been flogged to death. Please. Argh. All well stated, but enough already. I'm cross eyed.

Psst: Cloudmist...we're hiding in the Bunker.....
Jonathan Levy
150. JonathanLevy
HeWhoComesWithTheNoon @ 144
No problem :)

HeWhoComesWithTheNoon @ 146
But I don't want to do this all the way until the next unbearable sea folk/cadsuane chapter

Maybe if we keep this up, suddenly Cadsuane and the Sea Folk won't seem so unbearable after all!

John Massey
151. subwoofer

It was a fine night, that went on into the small hours of the morning... er... now.

Guns- well, on the bright side as the debate rages on, we are not cluttering up the general discussion thread or spoiler thingy or whatever, and at least when we get a new thread( unless something goes sideways with Leigh's teeth) on Tuesday, this will all theoretically be put to bed. Cranky Pants will still be up for debate, but I don't see this monster rearing it's head again.

Speaking of guns, I don't see any WoT wise. Unless Matster figures out some way to shrink the dragon eggs into some kinda blunderbuss. I don't see any pistol action taking place because I think the leap from "eggs" to bullets/shells is a big stretch.

And I am actually coming around with the Sea Folk, they do display some characteristics which I find almost admirable.

Edit- thanks for the spell check Tek- another hiccup in the new post box. That and I have a new computer now so not everything is installed yet...

Maiane Bakroeva
152. Isilel
Fiddler @121:

I was talking about the 19th century, actually. A lot of people this side of the Pond, particularly in mountain regions, owned firearms. Even in such places as Bavaria or Austro-Hungarian Empire, not to mention peoples of Caucasus, Afganistan, etc, etc. Those firearms may not have been the most modern - but armies were also equipped with antiquitated junk more often than not, so...


the point was that armed self-defense enabled the civil rights movement

Really? I have always heard that armed militants' contribution to it was marginal at best and often harmful at worst.
Also, that some blacks in rural areas owned hunting rifles much earlier, but never dared to use them for self-defence, because they knew all too well that revenge on their families and communities would be terrible if they did. Ditto Native Americans and Innuit.

Jonathan Levy @142:

Four men with guns might still defeat one man with a gun, but one of
them may wind up dead and none are willing to risk being that man.

So, gang violence was never an issue in the US, since law-abiding citizens had guns and could defend themselves?
IMHO, it is all a bit facile, since skill, ruthlessness and organization of attackers, as well as fear of revenge if they are successfully thwarted always were the deciding factors, IMHO.

Anyway, I am not arguing for total bans or whatever - I agree that it would be completely impractical. But IMHO, gun owners should be held liable for crimes commited with their weapons if any laxness in storing them can be proven.
And possession of illegal firearms should be a much more serious crime than it currently is.

And that's the last of what I have to say about the subject.
Tricia Irish
153. Tektonica
Sub@151: Blunderbuss.

What a great word! It's fun to read and to say out loud! Makes me laugh. I'd forgotten all about that word.

But which came first, the actual blunderbus, or was the name derived from the mess it makes, or the noise?

Edit: This is rich!! Thank you Wiki:

The blunderbuss is a muzzle-loading firearm with a short, large caliber barrel, which is flared at the muzzle, and used with shots The blunderbuss is an early form of shotgun adapted to military and defensive use. The term dragon was used to describe a blunderbuss in handgun form, and it is from this that the term dragoon evolved.

The term dragon is taken from the fact that early versions were decorated with a carving in the form of a mythical dragon's head around the muzzle; the muzzle blast would then give the impression of a fire breathing dragon.

So you suppose this is where RJ got the term for his cannons???
diane heath
154. jadelollipop
Is it Tuesday yet? We need new chapters of WOT to discuss
Valentin M
156. ValMar
Yes, this so-called debate on guns is hijacking the WOT stuff. Oddly enough, on Sky News they just run a story of a man in Kentucky shooting death his wife, step-daughter, and 3 neighbours over an argument of how his eggs were cooked.
If only guns were never invented... or wife, daughter, and neigbours were having their lunch with their guns on their belts.
The best solution maybe either no one or everyone must carry a weapon.

Tried and failed to think of a WOT current chapters issue to post.
Maybe people can have a "Theory Competition" for the next book- contestants may have, say, 10 theories/occuranses for the next book/end of series and get points for getting each one right. Maybe full points for completely correct and half for closely correct.
Or, a number of Yes/No occurances can be decided on (e.g. Moiraine rescued Yes/No; Greandal was killed by Rand Yes/No) people can post their yes/no choices and then we see who got most right.
Hugh Arai
157. HArai
Cloudmist@148: This is the WOT re-read thread, isn't it? :)

Used to be. Now we have a modern thread based on the "equality" given by the free access to anecdotes and statistics.
Or something like that :)
Barry T
158. blindillusion
Ya know, I'll just bet Leigh is laughing her ass off right about now. Just saying.
Valentin M
159. ValMar
Blind, I am sure that Leigh had no idea that the chicken she threw in the 'gator pool will turn the water red.
Ty Margheim
160. alSeen
159) These types of debates broke out regularly on rasfw-rj. Leigh was well aware of what would happen. We were way more active in our discussions there than we are here.
Valentin M
161. ValMar
alseen, I didn't mean literally that Leigh had no idea. I might as well have called her an idiot and be done with it.
This rasfw-rj sounds as if it was like a lake full with silverpike :)
Ty Margheim
162. alSeen
I loved raswfr-j (forgot the dash was between r-j when I first mentioned it). Back when I started reading the books in '96 it was the only outlet I had to discuss anything from the books except for my father and brother.

It is now a pale imitation of what it once was.

I know that it was partly responsible for at least one wedding. A friend from the group that I finally met when I went off to college came with me to a party with another group of friends. He met his wife there.
John Massey
163. subwoofer
@alseen, yes, but the world is not flat.

Back in the day you had books coming out every so often, lots of stuff to look forward to, the height of the WoT ie before Path o Sharp Knives and this one. The author was also alive. And all of us that are into it enough to even look at a rolling doughnut are older, have families and stuff. There is some fresh blood out there, and some of it is thankfully not emo. Heck, back in the day, I was hardcore into kicking ass. I have mellowed somewhat in my twilight years, now I just call people names, maybe just a light slapping around... unless we are talking football. Anyways, we have a decent group of folks here that, shocker of shockers, have lives beyond WoT. Not to say that we don't get into it, but it does not define us.... maybe I'm just speaking for myself here.

Folks are still having meet ups and reunions all over the place.

I need a B52- I'm headed for the bunker bar. Sit back, watch some ball on the big screen. Maybe get into the Bowl of the Winds...

Matthew Hunter
164. matthew1215
152) There's a difference between armed self defense and armed militants. The deacons for defense and similar groups would protect civil rights workers as they traveled through the south. Without their efforts many of those workers would have been intimidated, hurt, or killed. Armed militant movements aimed at overthrowing the government were probably not very helpful, but if nothing else they provided the "or else" in people's minds. As in, "Give us the civil rights we deserve, or else." It's a good thing that it didn't come to that.

159) Oh, I'm sure Leigh had a pretty good idea. She knew I was lurking, and if she didn't remember me from rasfwr-j before I am sure she does now

156) Bad people do bad things. .Blame the people, not their tools.
Bouke de Boer
165. Bouke
Jonathan Levy waaaay back @85: Yes, there are numerous hints of technology etc (f.i. Academies), but that doesn't mean this is the state directly after TG and the end of the Third Age. And as CaitiCat @70 and ValMar @118 also point out: 'our' Earth Age could be any of the other five Ages (since it definitely is not the 2nd...)

On the FM ter'angreal: I don't think this will be related to the Age(s) without the OP. Is there a ter on record of which it's effect can be magnified in any way? If not, the only way such a device could be used to ban the OP is for a huge one to be constructed, and who in their right mind would want to do that?!
Although, as I type this, what if the sealing of the DO involves another backlash that seriously taints both saidin and saidar? Hmm... But then, how would the OP reappear again in a future second Age?
Matthew Hunter
166. matthew1215

Anyway, I am not arguing for total bans or whatever - I agree that itwould be completely impractical. But IMHO, gun owners should be held
liable for crimes commited with their weapons if any laxness in storing
them can be proven.

Oh, and you would hold people liable for the damage done when a thief steals their car? People who have their firearms stolen are victims, no need to victimize them further. Most gun owners are responsible and store their firearms safely anyway; what do you suggest we do about those who aren't? Give police carte blanche to conduct regular inspections and overturn the 4th amendment? The ONLY thing that safe storage laws and liability does is increase the cost and risk associated with being a gun owner. It's a small step that sounds reasonable at first glance, but the strategy is to inflict a death of a thousand cuts on the gun culture as a whole. When you increase the costs a little bit here, a little bit there, a little more over there... you end up discouraging people from owning guns.
You might say, "Well, yes, that's the point." To which I respond, "I don't have to go along with your efforts to make it harder to own a gun." Good faith efforts to improve the situation I'm at least willing to entertain, but making gun ownership harder isn't arguing in good faith.

In this respect, the gun control advocates in the US have completely poisoned the well for the debate; they want complete bans, everyone knows they want complete bans, and every proposal they advance is focused on getting to a complete ban eventually. For those gun owners who have been paying attention, there's not really any room for further "good faith gun control laws" because there is no good faith. Anyone who wants a new gun control law can start by offering to remove existing gun control laws as part of the compromise. Otherwise nobody's listening.

And possession of illegal firearms should be a much more serious crime than it currently is.

Currently, possessing a firearm while a prohibited person is worth 10 years in federal prison even before you actually DO anything criminal with it; using a firearm in most crimes also invokes a sentence enhancement. Now we can quibble about how effectively those laws are enforced, and whether we should make more room in our prisons by, say, throwing out the nonviolent offenders and making violent offenders serve their full sentences... but you won't find much opposition from me there.
On the other hand, I don't know if that's the sort of illegal gun you meant. What makes a gun "illegal" aside from being possessed by a prohibited person, if anything?
Lynn McDonald
167. meal6225
Sarene mentions a "Theory of Instructions"--do we know more of this? Is it important?
I'll bring some mint julip Maker's Mark to the next bunker party.
Thomas Keith
168. insectoid
Tek @149:

The Gun Control Issue has officially been flogged to death. Please. Argh. All well stated, but enough already.

I know... really! Have pity on poor Bela, people! ;)

Blind @158: Agreed!

Theresa Gray
169. Terez27
Yeah, so how about those WoT books? Doesn't anyone want to talk about the Borderlanders or something? LOL.
Valentin M
170. ValMar
Terez @ 169
Nay I say. We can still have a go at Health Reform. Then have a dabate and inevitably conclude that this revolutionary nonsense has gone long enough. The US was a good idea to begin with but has gone out of hand. It's time to come back to the fold and become an Overseas Protectorate to the UK, with Tony Blair as governor. The US embassy in London will be sold to pay for the millions worth of parking tickets.
Then we can sort out the Middle East.
Tricia Irish
171. Tektonica
Did anyone see my post at 153?

Sub brought up the word Blunderbuss and I looked it up in Wiki.
It is very funny and RELEVENT to WOT, really! Check it out!

I tried to copy and paste it in here for you, but nothing would appear except "The." ? Sorry.
Barry T
172. blindillusion
Tek. Saw it and couldn't agree more that this is where Mr Jordan got the name for Aludra's Dragons.

Tricia Irish
173. Tektonica
Ah, the Blunderbuss!
Thanks for the picture, Blind....what a silly looking hand gun!
What's with the "bell bottom" barrel? Talk about scatter shot!
174. shai'tan
Phew. Finaly caught up with the re-read...

Somthin I've always wanted to see for no reason other than it would be awsome: Cuendillar Armour.

Maybe as a 'gift' from Egwene as Amrylin for a alliance/truce with the Dragon?
Or I can totaly see Perrin in shiny ridged cuendillar platemail swinging that trusty hammer around...

Or Cadsuane doing her embriodary in an oversized cuendillar helmet while bitching about Rand. That would be cool.

Good work Leigh, much respect.
Rob Munnelly
175. RobMRobM
Interesting, spoilerific news.

Over at Westeros, the GRRM site, in the Song of Ice and Fire blog pages, there is a Towers of Midnight synopsis thread. Posted at 8:32 today is a link to a short, free excerpt from the ToM Prologue, consisting of the introductory quote (from a character we all know and love) and a chunk of text involving our favorite Malkieri lord. There is no cite to where this is sourced from but it looks very real (and there is dedication to a bunch of WOT fan experts, including Linda from 13th D, Jason from Dragonmount and our own Leigh Butler).

Interesting. From text accompanying the piece, the excerpt is only part of the character's point of view, because Brandon read more of it while at DragonCon. If people have trouble finding it, i could post it here but didn't want to do it because of consideration of those who don't want to be spoiled.

Barry T
176. blindillusion
Rob. Thanks much for posting that.

...Though it seems it's time to start going further afield farther afield to differing sites in search of WoT tidbits.

Happy hunting all.

Oh, should any decide to read what Rob's leading you too...the first part is beyond beyond MOA.
Rob Munnelly
177. RobMRobM
Well, I was actually going to Westeros for GRRM developments - mainly, discussion of three or four minutes of Game of Thrones mini series preview on HBO this evening - which looks awesome, man. And, yes, the first part of the ToM prologue is a BIG cool deal.

Thomas Keith
178. insectoid
RobM² @175: ::to self:: I've got to resist going and looking for that... don't want it spoiled so soon!

But I want to see.
No, you don't; you can wait another week and a half!
No, no! I want to see it now!
Quiet, burn you! You're just a voice in my head!
No, I'm not! I'm REAL!

xD I figured everyone could use a laugh.

Sandy Brewer
179. ShaggyBella
Twitch! (For WOT content.) I try never to discuss politics or religion. Because there are never any winners and no one ever is convinced to change their opinion.

Shalon's thoughts about Ogier:
"Here come the Aelfinn to steal all your bread; here come the Ogier to chop off your head."
Nice children's tales the Seafolk have.
Tuon mentioned the Foxes stealing your skin and taking the nourishment from food so you starve to death while eating your fill. (KOD Ch 10)
Any connection between these two food theft tales?
Theresa Gray
180. Terez27
@Rob - I typed that up. :p Thought that would be obvious from the link to my summary at the bottom, though I guess you wouldn't have clicked on it if you didn't want spoilers. It's the free sample that was the preview for Distinctions in iBooks.

@blindillusion - I posted it at Theoryland, Dragonmount, on Twitter, and on the Wheel of Time fan page on Facebook (the big one). I didn't post it here know. ;) I think it's legit because it was offered for free, but didn't want to be too in-your-face about it. Though Dragonmount tweeted it earlier today...
Thomas Keith
181. insectoid
Okay, so the little voice in my head broke me talked me into going and finding it. *Twitch*! I wonder very much who and how that excerpt got leaked.

::refreshes page:: Okay, so it was you, Terez. Naughty, naughty! :)

nearly there...

Theresa Gray
182. Terez27
It was free, and iBooks leaked it, not me. :p For many hours, iBooks was the only place to get it, but I figured that was extremely unfair to fans without iEquipment. Anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch can get iBooks for free and view it, but...
Jonathan Levy
184. JonathanLevy
Bouke @ 165
Yes, there are numerous hints of technology etc (f.i. Academies), but that doesn't mean this is the state directly after TG and the end of the Third Age. And as CaitiCat @70 and ValMar @118 also point out: 'our' Earth Age could be any of the other five Ages (since it definitely is not the 2nd...)

The inventions of these academies puts Randland somewhere in between the 16th and 18th centuries. If the 4th age is not our age, then these discoveries have to last 3,000 years without advancing, then survive whatever cataclysm ends the 4th age, and be present at the start of the 5th age. Of course, if our age is the 6th or 7th or 1st, they have to rinse and repeat. And repeat.
There is a more subtle point here - our age is an age of discovery and invention without the One Power. It's not just a matter of having technology X or discovery Y, it's about ongoing discoveries and scientific research. It's the attitude of mind which counts here. In that sense, some part of Randland has already made the transition into the fourth age. This is why I don't think we'll be waiting another 3,000 years.

Freelancer @ 183
Out of altitude, out of ideas?
A couple of years back I spent a few weeks reading pretty much every article on that site. Enjoyed almost all of them. :)

Tek @149:
The Gun Control Issue has officially been flogged to death. Please. Argh. All well stated, but enough already.

I say, anyone who brings up gun control again, we take him out to the back and shoot him. With my new .44 Magnum Colt Anaconda (six inch barrel), which I got last week. The coolest gun in my 37-piece collection. Her name is 'Wanda', btw. I've been cleaning and oiling her every day, you know. Except at night, of course, when she cuddles up in our bed. I hug her and give her a little kiss on the cylinder and she goes to sleep as I caress her barrel and whisper into her ear that I love her I love her I care for her and feed her and clothe her and say good night my precious mypreciousmypreciousmyprecioussssssssssssssssss...
Birgit F
185. birgit
Sarene mentions a "Theory of Instructions"--do we know more of this? Is it important?

Sarene misunderstands what Harine is talking about.

"You will not be able to channel in there?" Harine said. When the Aes Sedai nodded without looking away from the city, a thin frosty smile touched Harine's lips. "Perhaps after we find quarters, you and I can discuss instructions.""You read the philosophy?" Sarene looked startled. "The Theory of Instructions, it is not well thought of these days, yet I have always believed there was much to learn there.

Sarene bullied Harine at Cadsuane's instruction. Harine thinks that in a place where Sarene can't channel she can get the upper hand. Sarene doesn't understand her threat and thinks she is talking about some obscure book of philosophy.
Tuon mentioned the Foxes stealing your skin and taking the nourishment from food so you starve to death while eating your fill. (KOD Ch 10)

In many stories you can't leave Fairyland if you eat there.
Heidi Byrd
186. sweetlilflower go out of town for four days and come back to this topic? I won't mention it b/c I don't want to end up as Jonathon Levy's first victim, but I don't think I have ever just skipped so many comments on the re-read before. I'm wagging my finger at most of you.

I really love reading the Verin chapters after TGS. She is such a layered and interesting character. Plus, even though we know she's BA, we still don't have any idea as to what her agenda actually was.

I agree that reading the Cadsuane bits where she's not with Rand are a lot of fun. Especially where she really goes all in for him.

The Seafolk are still mostly annoying, but I understand them a lot better with each re-read of the books. (Surprisingly)

On the theory that the Source will be cut-off during TG, I really hope not. I've heard this theory before, and it hasn't grown on me at all. Otherwise, why did we have to read so much about Egwene uniting the WT? I like Egwene, but if the Source is gone I'm gonna be a little pissed. Plus there's the Kin, and all of the other channeller stoylines that seem extraneous if there is no Source in a few weeks(storywise).

So, that's what I got.
Theresa Gray
187. Terez27
Would you be pissed if Tar Valon was gone? :) I can't remember if you commented on that at the TOM panel or not...
Bouke de Boer
188. Bouke
Shai'tan @174: Cuendillar armor, excellent! Isn't cuendillar really light as well? That would be even better, going around light as a feather and practically untouchable in full plate. This is beginning to sound like Shardplate... (without the power-enhancing obviously)

Jonathan Levy @184: I agree that these beginnings of technological advancements would indicate significant breakthroughs in the near future ('near' in comparison to the total length of an Age, this could still take hundreds of years). However, that is assuming that there is no magic. Without magic, necessity forces change. With magic, it's a completely different playing field. Also, we don't know the effects of TG, which might destroy the Academies or not. Yes, some people will still have the 4th Age mindset, but these are non-channelers, and if magic is still around, there is hardly an incentive (comparison with alternative fuels come to mind, although the cost is the bottleneck there)
That's my techical and logical reply. To finish with a more emotional point: I would be seriously disappointed if all this build up of channelers and new possibilities of male/female cooperation is snuffed out before it has been given a chance. You can't do that to me, RJ/BWS!!
Max Espensen
189. Andvari
Haha, if RJ had always written what the fans want, do you think we would have had the Faile rescue plotline?

I too don't want the One Power to disappear at the end but accept it would be a dramatic, if disappointing, result and if it can be worked into the plot using the mechanics of the constructed world that it was somehow necessary and the only way to do it I would be satisfied. Because of this conceit that it is our world in another age (one that I don't care much for, it is neither original or significant) we are forced to conclude that the One Power is made inaccessible at some point but it is somehow more comforting to think it will happen when our protagonists were long since dead.
Jonathan Levy
190. JonathanLevy
Bouke @188
Logically, you're right - if necessity is the mother of invention, then having the OP kills the necessity. And in fact throughout the 3rd age there have been very few technological improvements. But from a literary point of view, these academies become meaningless unless they're a herald of future change. Why bother to introduce them? If the point was to satisfy Rand's desire to leave something behind after he's dead, then any old library or university or academy would do - there's no need to have them suddenly start laying the groundwork for an industrial revolution.

Emotionally - yeah, the disappearance of the OP would be hard to swallow, unless it was done perfectly, and was absolutely necessary to win TG. I don't think expanding the range of the FM ter'angreal would qualify. On the other hand, after the Chat With Verin Sedai, I think BWS/RJ can pull it off.

sweetlilflower @ 186
Bang! Bang! - that awful sound... my baby shot me down...
James M
191. Otoahhastis
So, if Randland is just another Age in our land, is Bigfoot an Ogier or a Trolloc?
192. eclectic
I just wanted to add one piece that amazingly nobody referenced during the whole gun control debate: The fact that there are literally hundreds of millions of guns in the US. There are more guns in America than people. If we had wanted to do any type of gun ban in the US, we would have had to do it a very long time ago, and that time is way past. I therefore disagree with the person who so distrusts those he disagrees with that he sees a gun ban behind every effort to make people wait 3 days to get a gun or to have background checks at gun shows, where currently there is no check and any prohibited person can freely buy a gun. But since the other side is SURE that this is just a red herring for a gun ban, which is completely and utterly impossible in the first place, we can't reach any type of agreement. The same lack of trust and hyperbolic argument against the "other side" applies equally to other hot button issues and makes our politics unbelievably damaging to the country as a whole. Fox News leads the way in polarizing America, and millions of Americans believe it, and now we have a significant proportion of Americans that believe stuff that JUST AINT TRUE, like Obama is a Muslim, not born in America, health care reforms means death panels killing Grandma, internment camps for conservatives is right around the corner, and a hundred other silly things fed to the ignorant and the convinced conservative that goes as truth.

There will never be a gun ban in America, unless perhaps Jesus really does come back, which ironically many of the same conservatives yearn to see happen. Any such attempt would mean hundreds of millions of guns would be hidden away, and would require the repeal of the 4th amendment as well as the 2nd, neither of which will happen either. It's a red herring.

I weep for my country that has been hijacked by zealots who believe what they believe and no amount of evidence convinces them otherwise. Not saying any of them are here.
Maiane Bakroeva
193. Isilel
Jonathan Levy @190:

if necessity is the mother of invention, then having the OP kills the necessity.

Couldn't disagree more. Most of the benefits of introduced technology can't be replicated with OP, not without huge, OP-oriented infrastructure, which channelers of the Third Age don't have. Also, they are much less plentiful than they used to be in AoL and TG is going to cull them further, IMHO.

Generally, I can't agree with the venerable trope of fantasy that magic only accessible to a few is going to somehow impede technology that would benefit many. IMHO, it is just another relic of associating magic with childhood/primitive past and technology with adulthood/age of rationality and progress, and needs to be discarded.

And in fact throughout the 3rd age there have been very few
technological improvements.

On the contrary, we were told that technology rose twice previously during the 3rd Age, but Ishy took great pains to thoroughly smash it.

Finally, "our" age didn't start at the technological level of the 17th - 18th century, so a cataclysm that would throw everything back into the stone/bronze age seems to be indicated between Randland of WoT and "us".
194. simonk1905
first up I am a resident of the UK and a christian. This probably colours my thinking on this but the opposite is also true.

Also once a freedom has been granted it is extremely difficult to take that freedon away. Like prohibition.

So banning privately owned guns does not stop people from being killed or injured by the misuse of firearms. I am sure everyone has heard of Raul Mote.

However it does severly restrict the availability of those firearms to the general public. So what it really does is resuce the availability of long range indiscriminate weapons falling into the hands of a large proportion of those people who are pre disposed to committing atrocities in their local school (Columbine / Dunblane).

Criminals will always find ways to circumvent any laws. Also crime is in no way stopped or reduced by the general public owning firarms. I would just say the potential for death is greater in the ensewing gun battle.

Now to my real point. I think there are too many guns in the USA for them to banned. basically in the UK gun ownership has never been very high. In the US ever since the war of independance and also the civil war it was encouraged for people to own guns to stop the king/queen of england invading, to quote homer simpson. This has led to a totally different attitude and level of gun ownership between the two countries. So banning them will not stop there being loads of guns. You would need to hoover up all the guns that are still out there and just by this thread you can see that there are many out there who would not give up there guns easily. You would just create more criminals.

Also look at switzerland I think it has the highest gun ownership in the western world and one of the lowest crime rates. Now who knows why that is but it is interesting.

As for the self defense issue and the mighty preying on the frail this is a non argument as there is still rape and assault and muggings in the US. Guns do not stop this sort of crime just as banning guns does not stop murder.

I am rambling now but I think that the US and the UK are sufficiently different so that comparing the two on gun crime is fatally flawed. Needless to say I would rather live in a country where gun owenership is banned.

I will leave you with this. Jesus said if a man strikes you you should turn the other cheek.

you should think on this before you whip out your magnum .45. As a christian I cannot ever consider owning a gun an option in my life.
195. Eclectic
I personally do not believe the OP will go away after Tarmon Gaidon. There is too much set up to reset the Age of Legends with both male and female Aes Sedai working together again and the cleansing of saidin for Jordan to do that, I think. Also, the ending that I've always believed would happen would be impossible: We know Rand has to die and 3 women will be at his funeral bier, but I believe Nynaeve will Heal Death (just one more thing in a series of things that were impossible until they were not) and Rand and his harem will live happily ever after.
Bouke de Boer
197. Bouke
Isilel @193:

Generally, I can't agree with the venerable trope of fantasy that magic only accessible to a few is going to somehow impede technology that would benefit many. IMHO, it is just another relic of associating magic with childhood/primitive past and technology with adulthood/age of rationality and progress, and needs to be discarded.

Excellent point, hadn't thought of it that way... @Jonathan Levy: maybe we can have technology and magic peacefully coexist? Or would that ignite a war for dominance?
James Hogan
198. Sonofthunder
Wow, quite...a lot...of comments. Just made my first transatlantic flight - to all of you in the UK, *waves*. I'm over here now! And you know how you know you're addicted to WoT? When your first purchase in a foreign country is a pre-order of a certain book. I was walking through Aberdeen yesterday and went in a fun looking book store(Waterstone's). They had a half-off deal for pre-ordering ToM! So of course, I did what any sensible fan would do and promptly put my name down.
And Terez, thanks for the write-up of that section of prologue!! You're the bestest. I have to say, I am the most unlikely person to *squeeee* ever...BUT. Reading those first few lines, I almost did.
Marcus W
199. toryx
When I got online this morning and saw that there were already 197 comments on this particular post I thought, "Wow. I wonder what the fuss is about?" Then I read Leigh's commentary and it all became clear. Cadsuane and Gun Control at the same time? That's positively incindiary!

And that's all I've got to say about that.
Jonathan Levy
200. JonathanLevy
Isilel @ 193
Most of the benefits of introduced technology can't be replicated with OP, not without huge, OP-oriented infrastructure, which channelers of the Third Age don't have

Perhaps I should have been more precise: Having the OP will kill technological innovation not because 'anything that can be done with technology can be done with the OP', but because of the idea that the OP is the proper means of solving these problems. People don't look for other means. A real-world analogy would be medieval alchemy inhibiting the growth of true chemistry, simply because of the false ideas it promoted.
On the contrary, we were told that technology rose twice previously during the 3rd Age, but Ishy took great pains to thoroughly smash it.

We are told that civilization rose to prominence. This is a very different thing than 'technology rising'. We are told that the Ten Nations emerged from the breaking and restored something of civilized life. That doesn't require any new technological discoveries at all.
For a real-world example, take the Roman Empire, which brought civilization to an unprecedented height, without basing it on technological innovations. There are other examples - various central and southern American empires, the Persian empire, etc. This is not to say that there were no inventions at all - of course there were - but that the age was not an age if discovery and invention like ours.
Eclectic @ 195
There is too much set up to reset the Age of Legends

We've often heard that the wheel turns, and change comes, and that what is lost is gone forever. The Aiel are broken, the last of the Nym is dead. Change comes no matter how hard you strive against it. I don't think RJ was setting up a return to the AoL at all. I think the Fourth age is going to be quite different from the Second.
Ty Margheim
201. alSeen
I wasn't going to respond anymore, but I just have to.

There is no "gun show loophole." If you buy a gun from a dealer at a gun show, you still go through the back ground check. If you buy a gun from an individual, you don't. Just like you don't go through a background check if you buy a gun from your neighbor. It is a private transaction between two individuals for a legal item.

Also, what is the point of a 3 day waiting period?

194) What is it that you see about being a Christian that causes you to think you could never own a gun?

As a Christian, it is my responsibility to protect my family. Part of that is teaching my wife (who had never fired a weapon) to be competent with a handgun so that she can use it if someone breaks into the house. Part is also teaching my children how to properly deal with guns. As they get older, it will be to teach them the proper way to fire one. Which is exactly the same situation as with kitchen knives, the stove, driving a car, using a circular saw and other things that can be dangerous if not treated properly.
Matthew Hunter
203. matthew1215
194) Also crime is in no way stopped or reduced by the general public owning firarms. I would just say the potential for death is greater in the ensewing gun battle.

You may be correct, but only by a technicality. Once the criminal threatens you or breaks into your home, the crime has been committed. If the victim is able to defend himself, the crime has still been committed... but the outcome is much better for the victim.
As for the potential for death being greater in a gun battle... it's fairly rare for a gun battle to actually happen. Mostly only one side has a gun. FBI crime statistics indicate that resistance with a firearm is the most effective way to avoid being injured as the victim of a crime -- better than not resisting (!!), better than resisting with some other weapon.

As for the self defense issue and the mighty preying on the frail this is a non argument as there is still rape and assault and muggings in the US. Guns do not stop this sort of crime just as banning guns does not stop murder.
No one says that guns would completely stop that type of crime.
What they do is remove the advantage of size and strength from the attacker, and reduce the advantage of numbers. Guns make the most vulnerable targets potentially deadly, and they force the criminal to put his life at risk every time he decides to shake down a little old lady for her social security check. More importantly... while guns do not stop rape or robbery or hot burglary or murder on a societal level, for specific individuals they do just that.

I will leave you with this. Jesus said if a man strikes you you should turn the other cheek. You should think on this before you whip out your magnum .45. As a christian I cannot ever consider owning a gun an option in my life.
There are reasons I am not Christian. But Jesus also said, in Luke 22:36, "if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."
I would submit that there is a significant moral difference between allowing a minor insult to pass unanswered compared to allowed yourself to be robbed or killed.

However it does severly restrict the availability of those firearms to the general public. So what it really does is resuce the availability of long range indiscriminate weapons falling into the hands of a large
proportion of those people who are pre disposed to committing atrocities in their local school (Columbine / Dunblane).

Actually, it doesn't. If you look at individual incidents you will almost always find that the killers broke multiple gun control laws in order to obtain and use their weapons. In columbine, for example, they committed a straw purchase to obtain some of their weapons and stole the others, IIRC sawed off their shotgun, carried those weapons concealed in public without a license, carried those weapons into a school (which is extra-special federally illegal). To top it all off, if they hadn't been able to get guns, they might have spent more time getting their improvised bomb to work properly.

In Dunblane, if I recall correctly, the individual legally owned his weapons only because he had some sort of special connection the police who approved his permits. Following the appropriate rules he should have been in jail for other crimes and certainly not collecting guns. But then, the gun control measures passed following his massacre didn't have anything to do with the guns he actually used, did they? Nope: just a knee-jerk reaction to make guns even more illegal. If gun control doesn't work, try harder.

Oh, and one minor point. Firearms are very discriminating. It's not easy to shoot accurately at long ranges, but the bullets go pretty much where you tell them to. Grenades, flamethrowers... those are "indiscrimate".
204. MasterAlThor
I went throught the first 100 comments or so and then I just couldn't take it anymore.

Here is what I have to say about gun control.

Rant begins....feel free to skip. I may use offensive language here.

I have never owned a gun. I have never fired a gun. I have held a .22. Never held a rifle.

Guns are a useful tool. And any tool can be misused. People should have to register their guns. If you are an honest person you have no issue with this.

I have no problem with anyone owning a gun. I choose not to own one. I have small children and police tend to shoot black people who have one.

I was not raised in a home that had guns in it or with parents that used and tought there children to use guns correctly. I believe that my parents just thought that we would figure it all out on our own. Well I did. I use common sense.

If you live in the US, we have the right to bear arms. Yay us! You live somewhere else and your government says you can't have them, well I am sure you like living that way.

Back to common sense, the gun laws are suppose to keep the criminal element in check. Funny, it doesn't really do that no matter what other posters have said here. Criminals will do what they do, they don't care about laws, that is what makes them criminals. Fix that and there will really be no reason to have guns other than hunting or collecting.

Honest citizens like Free, Wetlander and Sulin should never have to use their guns. But we live in a world were criminals exsist. I want to move next door to Sulin so she can shoot criminals that try to come on my property. They can do that in Texas.

The US is big on protecting our property, family and our self preservation.

As far as people going nuts and going on shooting sprees. Ted Bundy didn't use guns. Most serial killers don't use guns. Psychopaths tend to use what they are comfortable with. Don't blame guns on that. Don't say that the Va Tech killer was a gun owner or supporter or whatever cause that isn't true. And remember Va Tech is a gun free zone. Helpted alot there didn't it.

To my friends across the pond. If someone uses a gun to commit arime, what happens? Are guns banned in Enland, France, Germany, whatever? If Joe/Jane citizen can't own a gun, then how do they protect themselves or their property?

I mean if a evildoer decides to rob you with a gun.....did your ban really work?

Rant over.

Good post Leigh.

Rob Munnelly
205. RobMRobM
On behalf of their dead equine friends, Bela, Mandarb and Aldeib say "neigh" to more gun talk.
Gerd K
206. Kah-thurak
I am not sure how people get the idea that firearms are very usefull self defense weapons. In most self defense situations they are virtually useless, as you simple wont have them with you... unless you plan to carry them in a holster everywhere you go. The only cases where a gun can be used for self defense is when someone breaks into your home and you have enough warning to get your gun and confront him. And then there is still the question if raising the stakes to that level is desirable.

The self defense ideas aside, the availabillity of guns to large parts of the public makes a lot of situations much more dangerous. I am quite happy that in germany, where I live, guns are rather rare compared to the US. And still a lot of crimes are comitted using legal weapons... every case of killing spree in germany in which people were killed used legally available guns. How many more such incidents would have happened if they were easier to obtain?
Daniel Hanley
207. dmhman749
To Kah-thurak, your argument that guns are not good for self-defense is that many times people will not have them on them? really? I was hoping to let the gun debate lie, but thats such a random argument, i feel i have to respond. There are so many arguments with at least some merit towards gun control that i was just surprised to see one as completely inane as that.

ANY form of defense is useless when it is not available. Thats simply not an argument against the form of defense itself though, its an argument in favor of making sure that that form of defense is available when you need it. Its like saying locks on doors are useless because a lot of people leave their doors unlocked. In fact, the only way that argument can contribute to a gun control argument is to point out that things like gun-locks should not be required as they increase the time it takes to bring a gun into action to defend your home.

You should argue the merits of the weapon itself, not the fact that sometimes it doesn't apply because the person couldn't get to it. Certainly there are some cases where someone owned a gun, but didn't have it on them when they were robbed, etc, but thats no different than if they didn't own a gun. We should be comparing the benefits of those who do have guns available when crime happens to them, against the dangers of having guns.
208. cheekyhamster
I agree with Rob -- let's say "neigh" to more gun talk, and focus on the re-read.

Sarene is HILARIOUS. And totally clueless. I was just thinking about how on earth she could've carried out Cadsuane's instructions when Shalon was there and presumably could block her spanking, but I realized she must've escorted Shalon to her rooms first, then was taking Harine when Harine launched into another hissy fit, at which point Sarene lost her temper and wailed on her. I would've paid to have Jordan write that scene.

And, totally agree with Leigh re: Cadsuane walking a fine line by launching a pre-emptive strike that may or may not have been necessary. "Ruthless" is absolutely the word to describe that gray-bunned lady.
Ty Margheim
209. alSeen

Every time I think I'm done, something as stupid as your comment draws me back in.

Your comment is so easy to disprove, in fact, I've already posted links to 5 different stories that took all of 3 minutes to locate. Here they are again.,2933,406185,00.html

Those are just stories about women using a gun to defend themselves.

Even the Department of Justice under the Clinton administration found that there were at least 100,000 defensive gun uses a year in the USA. Your statement is just plain wrong.
Rich Wallace
210. Richman2000
Even Hitler was for gun control. Then the populace couldn't defend themselves.
Elena Vaccaro
211. EarthandIce
Sub @ 127: Yep. I had to look for a while to find the one I wanted. It looks like my baby when he was a kitten, blue eyes and all. He will soon turn 14.
212. CaitieCat
Even Hitler was for gun control.


Houston, we have achieved Godwin. I say again, we have achieved Godwin. Commence selection of new deceased equine for anticipated flogging procedure.
Gerd K
213. Kah-thurak
Anecdotal evidence is a waste of time. Someone might deliver twenty stories of people killing relatives with their guns because they mistook them for criminals. What is the point? You also might refrain from insulting people who dont share your opinion.

It is a matter of perspective I guess. My interest with self defense is a general one, as I study martial arts in a self defense context (though my interest is more academical than practical as for me personally the likelihood of having to defend myself is rather low). Self defense situations will rarely arise in an enviroment you control, and this is why I pointed out that guns are overrated and in most cases useless for selfdefense. If you feel the need of self defense and wish to use a weapon it should be one you can - and want - to carry with you at all or at least most times. That eleminates most options as most arent legal or to large to be carried around. Firearms obviously are unsuited.

If you are solely looking at the defense of your home (which I find a rather unlikely problem compared to other risks) a gun becomes more interesting. However you should ask yourself if you really wish to confront someone who is robbing your home with a gun. If he also is armed things might escalate beyond control and you could get killed instead of robbed.

I can understand, that in an enviroment with a very high crime rate one might desire to have a gun. I was talking about germany though and this just is not the case. Guns are only available to very few people (hunting, licensed sports, police) and in my perception they do more harm in the hands of "civilians" than good.
Valentin M
215. ValMar
Yeah, it's getting tiresome, this gun talk. Clearly US society is set up with mass firearms ownership and no amount of talk will change it. Crime in the US isn't lower than places with less guns circulating around, but maybe it will be even higher without them. We are wasting space on our WOT forum here.

Cheeky @ 208
I think Shalon was still in Cads custody and hasn't got a clue about the spanking. In fact I'm pretty sure.

Caitie, you beat me to it. We got "Hitler" in. Some genius will always bring him up.
Elena Vaccaro
216. EarthandIce
191. Otoahhastis

So, if Randland is just another Age in our land, is Bigfoot an Ogier or a Trolloc?

I started laughing out loud in the library when I read this!! My vote goes to an Ogier, because a Trolloc would be on a killing spree (with an ax or spear or mace or some other pre-gunpowder weapon!!!!)

I was only able to skim most of the posts, will leave the gorilla alone for now, as I stated my opinion and reasons earlier.

There was a fortelling, I think by Nicola about the Three becoming One. My thougths were the three powers (saidar, saiden, and the True Power) all become one to seal the Dark one up. That eliminates all three powers from the world after The Last Battle. But several references that have to take place after The Last Battle now make me wonder.

Even though Cadsuane really irritates me with how she treats people, especially Rand when she knows how other Aes Sedai have treated him, she can put the Sea Fold in their place.

And I really like horses, so please do not kill off Mandarb, Bella or any other equine in Randland. Possibly the War Mule from Malazan? Still an equine, just a bit of a mixture and I think it would fight back . (Evil Grin)
Matthew Hunter
217. matthew1215
192) Background checks at gun shows are required in exactly the same way backgrounds in any other venue are required: if you are in the business of selling firearms, you must conduct background checks and are subject to onerous federal regulations for licensing. If you are an individual selling a few guns but not being "in the business", the requirements depend on state law with some broad federal requirements, plus the policies of the show itself. A lot of them voluntarily require background checks. That said... if you are not a criminal, and you want to sell one of your firearms to a friend who is not a criminal, there's no reason for the government to get involved. If your friend is a criminal, it's illegal for you to sell him the gun knowing he's a criminal, and it's illegal for him to possess it.

You may not know this, but gun shows generally aren't used by criminals to acquire guns. The largest source of crime guns are family and friends (40%) or theft (40%). Most of the people selling guns at gun shows are dealers (who must run the usual background check on sales there, just as they do in their store); there may be a few private sellers but there are also lots of police. Criminals don't like to hang around police while committing crimes.

As for waiting periods... I like to call those "victimization periods". As in, the 3-day victimization period during which a criminal can hurt or kill their victim before their victim can legally arm himself or herself. You may have noticed that criminals don't buy guns legally and aren't subject to a waiting period. Why burden the honest citizen for no gain? We did have a waiting period at one point (some states still do) in order to provide the police with a chance to do a background check; we removed it when we put in place the NICS system that can instantly (in most cases) verify that the buyer has a clean record.

How many people do you imagine legally buy a gun and then commit a crime with it within 3 days? I assure you it's a vanishingly small number.

As for gun bans being a red herring... Diane Feinstein (still in the Senate) once said that if she could get the votes for a gun ban -- "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in" -- she would. Banning guns is a practical impossibility and politically difficult, but even so it is the goal of the vast majority of gun control advocates and politicians. Ordinary folk are often not aware of the gun laws that already exist, or figure that one small compromise won't make a difference, but I have a lot more quotes I can provide you from politicians and advocates seeking a complete ban if you don't believe me.

As for your rant about death camps, our president's religion, and so on.. you're describing what we in polite company call a stereotype. Frankly, a rather offensive one. No one here has brought up any of those topics, so quit with the ad hominem.

Finally, you say that a gun ban would require the repeal of the 4th amendment as well as the 2nd. The 4th doesn't come into it; it's easy to get a warrant to search everyone who ever bought a gun, the government can get those records trivially. The 2nd Amendment was essentially meaningless until the Heller case a few years ago. The vote in Heller was 5-4. That should scare you if you believe in the constitution, even if you don't believe in guns; there are four votes on the Supreme Court to completely ignore an enumerated constitutional right. I know it scares me.
Ty Margheim
218. alSeen
213) I did not call you stupid, I called your comment stupid. And it was. Of course, you ignored the rest of what I wrote about the Clinton DOJ.

And then you continue to make statements that are just plain stupid. "Firearms obviously are unsuited." Really? Police don't think so. The millions of Americans that carry concealed handguns legally every day don't think so.

"However you should ask yourself if you really wish to confront someone who is robbing your home with a gun. If he also is armed things might escalate beyond control and you could get killed instead of robbed."

How else would you want to confront them?

I'm not sure if you just ignored my statement earlier, or if you didn't see it.

The Department of Justice under the Clinton Administration, who anyone would say was predisposed to find that guns are not helpful, found that there were over 100,000 defensive gun uses by civilians every year. And they only counted times when a gun was actually fired. They did not count times where the presence of the gun stopped the assailant. Compare that to the 40,000 gun deaths. When you consider that the 40,000 includes justifiable shootings by police and civilians and the numbers come out even more favorably towards guns.

These are numbers from the administration that brought the USA the Assault Weapons Ban. Numbers from less biased sources put the numbers of defensive gun uses much higher.

You can argue all you want that guns shouldn't be in the hands of civilians, but you should at least try to use arguments that are not provably false.
219. MasterAlThor

Did you just really bring politics into this? Did you just say that Fox News is responsible for polarizing the country???

Why next you will be saying that people who watch Fox are racist.

Oh to laugh.

Cait Glasson
220. CaitieCat
EarthandIce, no worries - we can use an already-deceased equine, rather than requiring any to be newly slain. After that hard winter outside Tar Valon, I'm sure the Amyrlin has a few still-frozen former mounts somewhere.
Barry T
221. blindillusion
We keep this up and our annual Tordot Horse and Rodeo Show will be a complete bust. =/

Poor, poor horses.

Somewhere, rodeo clowns are crying. Hope you're proud of yourselves.
Matthew Hunter
221. matthew1215
204) Firearms registration is opposed by most gun owners because it serves no useful purpose. It doesn't solve crimes, it doesn't prevent violence, and it gives the government a handy list of guns to confiscate should they decide to do so. I am an honest person, and I have issues with gun registration.

You are of course welcome to choose not to own a gun because of your small children. I hope your concerns about the police are mistaken or exaggerated, but I understand they may not be.

206) In the US, millions of people do carry their guns with them regularly and legally. (400,000 in Texas alone). As for raising the stakes in a home break-in, by the time the criminal has broken into an occupied dwelling he has already raised the stakes; it's up to the victim to match them. And as for shootings in Germany... so what you're saying is that your government's careful efforts to allow guns only for carefully vetted and approved citizens has resulted in giving guns to criminals who use them in mass shootings? In other words, gun control doesn't work?

Everyone has the right to self-defense with the best tools available, until they do something that justifies removing that right with due process of law. I would rather live in a place where guns are widely available to the general public (and thus to me) so that I can use them to defend myself at need than live in a place where only criminals and police have guns.
Matthew Hunter
222. matthew1215
213@209) You might have noticed that the same post containing the anecdotal evidence you criticized also included a DOJ statistic on defensive gun uses. The low-end estimate is 80K/year from the National Crime Victimization Survey. 2.5 million per year is the middle ground estimate. (See work by Gary Kleck on this topic).

213@207) I've already indicated that many people (millions) choose to carry their firearms with them on a regular basis, and millions more have firearms in their homes just in case. By breaking in, the criminal has already escalated the situation. Granted, I wouldn't recommend hunting through your house hoping to find a criminal -- better to barricade a room with your wife and kids (if any) behind you and call the police. But as the saying in the US goes... order a pizza and call the police, see who gets there first. It's your responsibility to stay alive until the pizza police get there.

Finally, about "civilians". I don't believe in giving special rights to police or the military. They are not better than I am, they do not have any more right to self-defense or the use of force than I do. They are simply ordinary citizens hired to devote their full time and attention to a job that is the responsibility of every citizen.
Cait Glasson
223. CaitieCat
Somewhere, rodeo clowns are crying on black velvet. Hope you're proud of yourselves.

I fixed it for ya. :)
Gerd K
224. Kah-thurak
I am not inclined to argue about numbers which I cannot verify and most certainly not about an administration of which I have limited knowledge (espeacially concering domestic american issues). You would most likely find it difficult to put anything concerning the Schroeder administration into perspective, wouldnt you?

Obviously if you are allowed to carry concealed guns, which even in the US is not normally legal, you can use it for self defense. How is that helpfull for a general approach?

Anyways I did not even suggest that guns should be banned in the US. I do not think this is really possible as there simply are too many of them in circulation. I was talking about germany. Here the situation is quite different, as most people do not have access to guns. And as far as I know the crime rate is in generally lower than in the US.

The discussion never the less goes more in the direction of further restrictions as legal weapons were used in school shootings/killing sprees in recent years.

As to the question how I would confront a bulgar in my home: Against any intruder who is not armed with a gun I can defend myself well enough with a bokken or any 50+ cm long stick and I really would not want to fight anyone who has a gun. So a gun would not be of much use to me, would it? Though essentially Mathew1215 has the right of it: Not confronting anybody should be the prefered option.
Birgit F
225. birgit
And I really like horses, so please do not kill off Mandarb, Bella or any other equine in Randland. Possibly the War Mule from Malazan? Stillan equine, just a bit of a mixture and I think it would fight back . (Evil Grin)

Mandarb is a trained warhorse, he doesn't need guns to fight back. If you want more aggressive equines from other series we could import a herd of hrulgin from Ulgoland. Is Dashiva a grolim from Darshiva in Mallorea?
Sam Mickel
226. Samadai
Just a reminder that I am going to the WoK signing tonight in Portland. If anyone has any questions they would like me to ask, let me know. You have until 3:00 pacific time.
Cait Glasson
227. CaitieCat
My only entry in the whole stakes (and I won't be discussing it, so save yourself some keystrokes and blood pressure):

If I have to confront a person during a break-in of my home, I hope that next time I shall do what I did last time - phone 911, then grab my cane and prepare to defend myself with it, and suggest that now being caught, their best bet is retreat and trying a different line of work.

Anything more lethal than that would feel immoral to me*: am I truly willing to risk potentially lethal force in order to defend property? No, I am not. I would be distressed by losing some of my material goods, as I was last time. I would be more distressed by knowing that some electronics were considered worth a human life.

Instead, I buy insurance. If my stuff is taken, I report it, I buy new stuff, I endeavour to secure my premises against such an incursion again. I consider it the price of living in an imperfect society, one which requires people to steal to resolve some issue they're facing.

Frankly, if one wants fewer people prematurely dead in the US, the first step might be the ending of the right of politicians to declare "War(s) on $CONCEPT"; the relatively free access to guns only exacerbates the issues related to those types of "war" (such as Drugs, Terror, Obesity, et c.), which are obviously and inherently unwinnable.

* Please note the emphasis here; how you choose to resolve this is up to you, this is my personal moral stance.
Valentin M
228. ValMar
Sam @ 226
How about if there'll be European Tour for TOM? This should be straightforward to answer- yes (details forthcoming?), no, maybe.
Matthew Hunter
229. matthew1215
224) You can verify the numbers via the DOJ website if you care to. You certainly don't get to ignore both anecdotes and statistics.

Millions of people in America legally carry guns. Not police and military (those are additional millions); just ordinary folks. Most states now allow anyone who can buy a gun to obtain a concealed-carry license by taking a short training course. Two states don't require a license at all and a few have stricter requirements. I don't know the details on other states, but in Texas it's legal to have a gun in your car (read the fine print first) without a license.

There are reasons that european nations usually (not always!) have lower crime rates than the US, and that reason is not guns.

As for defending yourself with a stick: Can your sister? Your mother? Your daughter? Your grandmother?
230. MasterAlThor

I wish that I was. I may not have been raised on the bitter pill of racism, but I do have eyes and history to back me up.

Granted, police have a tough job. I choose to make sure that I am not in a situation that would call for them to have to make a choice.

Ty Margheim
231. alSeen
"Obviously if you are allowed to carry concealed guns, which even in the US is not normally legal, you can use it for self defense. How is that helpfull for a general approach?"

This very statement shows that you have no understanding of the situation at all.

Only two states in the US have no kind of "carry concealed" provision. Illinois and Wisconsin. Ten others are "may issue" meaning that it is up to the sheriff or similar authority to decide if you are allowed to carry a handgun concealed. These states vary from it being a formality to the right being almost non-existent, like California.

38 states in the US are "shall issue," meaning that if you fill out the paperwork, take the class (not all states require one), pay your money and pass the background check (same one that they do when you buy a gun) then the state is required to let you carry a handgun concealed. It is no more difficult than getting a drivers license in many states. In fact, in my state (South Dakota) it's even easier to get the CCW license. When I turned 18 I went down to the police station, paid my 10 dollars, filled out the paperwork and had my license a week later. I have carried for 14 years now.

There is even one state that you don't have to have a license to carry concealed.

"The discussion never the less goes more in the direction of further restrictions as legal weapons were used in school shootings/killing sprees in recent years."

The Columbine shooting was not commited with legally owned guns. The Virginia Tech shooting was, but they shouldn't have been. The shooter should have been banned from owning guns due to his mental status but the state was lax in entering that information into the system. The Fort Hood shooting was, but the person that did it was active duty military would have had access to guns in any case.
Matthew Hunter
232. matthew1215
227) I appreciate your moral position and applaud your ability to state your position without criticizing those who choose differently. I favor gun ownership as a social good, but I support everyone's right to make their own decisions about how to react to crime.

I do, however, have one question for you.

What would you do if the criminal who has invaded your home isn't going to stop at property?

Most gun owners aren't all that eager to shoot it out with a criminal to defend property. They want to defend their life, and possibly the lives of their spouse and children.
Matthew Hunter
233. matthew1215
231) Two states where you don't need a license now, Alaska and Vermont. I think Arizona is considering legislation to that effect too.
234. Wortmauer
So, my decor is very minimal, I have no knickknacks or framed paintings or anything. Now that I've seen a picture of a blunderbuss, I'm a little bit tempted to buy one just to hang on the living room wall.
Ty Margheim
235. alSeen
233) I had forgotten about Alaska's recent change.

Then we have the 28 (I think that's right) states that allow open carry without any kind of license, and the 13 others that you can with a license.
Sharon E.
236. Sulin
@224-Obviously if you are allowed to carry concealed guns, which even in the US is not normally legal, you can use it for self defense. How is that
helpfull for a general approach?

....I was going to respond to that but alseen @231 beat me to it.
Chris Chaplain
237. chaplainchris1
Seriously? We're still on gun control? It'd be one thing if a) there were a hope of resolving things, or b) all this hadn't been said elsewhere. *blech*

I mean, obviously folks can talk about what they want, but I was hoping for some escapism. You folks are making me prefer actually working, and that's just unnatural.

So let's talk about Verin for a minute. As somebody else mentioned, I find it interesting (and sweet) that she uses Eadwina as her pseudonym, since Eadwin was her beau before going to the WT. I also find it interesting that she's apparently wanted in Far Madding, but isn't known by her appearance. (Unlike Cadsuane, who's not apparently run *afoul* of the law, even if Aleis clearly doesn't like her; but also unlike Cadsuane, who is well-known. Apparently, whatever sneakyVerin did in the past to get herself some infamy in her hometown, sneakyVerin did it sneakily enough to be able to still operate freely in Far Madding so long as she hides her name. One guesses that would make her more effective in Far Madding than Cadsuane, even as shown in Verin's manipulations here.

Also, isn't it Romanda who's also from Far Madding, and had to flee town ahead of the law, with the help of her maid? Anybody else looking forward (in my case, with some trepidation mixed in with anticipation) to Romanda and Cadsuane crossing paths?
Ty Margheim
238. alSeen
237) I'm done discussing things that are just differences of opinion, but when someone says something that is provably wrong (like the comment about how carrying a gun is normally not legal in the US) then I'm not going to just let it go by.

Maybe I'm suffering from a little bit of
but I do think that such missinformation should be addressed.
239. Eclectic
Congratulations...Leigh took a WoT thread and turned it into a political argument. I can't stand Fox News conservatives, and listening to them spout off stuff that just aint true (like a gun ban is in any way possible) just makes me mad. I guess I wont be coming back here rather than listen to such people.

I quit reading anything smacking of politics because of people like this. I thought I could occupy my time instead reading about WoT. Thanks for nothing.
Tess Laird
240. thewindrose
How about this: Who thinks Aleis is one of the rulers that wasn't sitting after Cadsuane played bongo on her bottom?

::Please note that there is now a thread on how to combat zombies hand to hand.(Some may want to go there and bring up better methods??):: Pretty Please! I want more talk of WoT here.

241. MasterAlThor

Normally I wouldn't respond but what the heck.


If you do come back, make sure that you understand that there is a wonderfully diverse group here that can discuss political, ethical and a myriad of topics here. None of us care if someone is conservative or liberal. What we do care about it hearing interesting and thought provoking debate.

Seriously, you are making yourself look silly. Take a look at this reread. All of it. Sometimes we take things and run with it. Some people don't join in others do. Not all of it is just on WoT.

We try to be respectful of each other.

Valentin M
242. ValMar
Eclectic @ 239
This is a blip, I'm sure and it isn't likely to happen again. I guess.

Edit- I should've known one of the resident gurus will sneak in with a better post. Also, true, Alseen.
Ty Margheim
243. alSeen
Yup, just a blip. It's rare that people get into huge debates that are
TANgential to the main topic of a site.

Very rare.
Sam Mickel
244. Samadai
I was sent this in an e-mail. seemed appropriate to share here.

(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is


(B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians

per year are


(C) Accidental deaths per physician


Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of
Health and Human Services.


Now think about this:


(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S.



(Yes, that's 80 million)

(B) The number of accidental gun deaths

per year, all age groups,



(C) The number of accidental deaths

per gun owner



Statistics courtesy of FBI


So, statistically, doctors are approximately

9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.


Remember, 'Guns don't kill people, doctors do.'




Almost everyone has at least one doctor.
This means you are over 900 times more likely to be killed by a doctor as a gun owner!!!


Please alert your friends

to this

alarming threat.

We must ban doctors

before this gets completely out of hand!!!!!


Out of concern for the public at large,

I withheld the statistics on


for fear the shock would cause

people to panic and seek medical attention!
Matthew Hunter
245. matthew1215
243) Now that's a trip down memory lane. It's been way too long since I've gone off on a TANgent.
246. Snaggletoothedwoman
SAMADAI...... ROFLMAO!!!!! that is faboulouseical!!
**to the bunker** Bottle of scotch in hand** anyone care to share?
Ty Margheim
247. alSeen
245) It was just an OBreference to an earlier time.
248. daviddragon3
The wonderful thing I find in the WoT is the different ideas that are presented. Sure the gun talk seems like its not from the WoT fantasy but when you have the Tinkers and their ideas included with everything else it seems that RJ is having that discussion with us as well.

The Tinkers follow a clear path for them that has been handed down through the ages. A little miss directed over the years but the main idea of peace seems to continue through out time.
The Tuatha'an follow a totally pacifistic way of life. They will not attack others, or use violence to defend themselves. If attacked, they will ask why the person is trying to harm them, or run away, believing there is never any good reason to harm another, and that by denying someone the chance to hurt them, they are helping the other person.

The leaf lives to its appointed time and does not struggle against the wind that carries it away. The leaf does no harm and finally falls to nourish new leaves. So it should be with all men. And women.

This gun discussion is lacking this main idea which is included in the WoT.
Matthew Hunter
249. matthew1215
246) A newsgroup long past, a newsgroup yet to come...
251. Wortmauer
"Statistics courtesy of FBI" is not a reference, it is a .

Also, while email forwards are never inaccurate, misleading, or just plain full of it, they do tend to be badly formatted. Accordingly, as a courtesy to your readers, please reformat as you paste.
252. Freelancer
Clearly, Eclectic, is not.

Always strikes me odd when someone in red pops up to say, "I've never posted here before, but now I'm leaving". As if we'd miss you? If someone wishes to be a silent lurker, by all means do. But precisely what kind of reaction is being sought by making the first and last comment one of that nature? I imagine we're all supposed to feel sad that expressing opinions in a web forum drove off someone who couldn't take opinions in a web forum.

MasterAlThor & Samadai

G'day, brothers. Well played, both.
Matthew Hunter
253. matthew1215
248) I do find the Tinkers and the Jenn Aiel to be interesting concepts. Jordan isn't just giving us the idea of a pacifistic ideal to aspire to, though. He's showing us the practical results of that belief system. It's interesting that both Tinkers and Jenn develop defense mechanisms once the social order broke down. The Jenn developed guardians from their fallen brethren who took up arms; the Tinkers developed their dogs to present the threat of violence, and learned from Trollocs that the threat is not always sufficient.
Karen Fox
254. thepupxpert
Free & Insectoid - I didn't make it out there but I heard it was packed. I got food poisoning... aargh! Really really sick. Having the book shipped out to me this week.
James Jones
255. jamesedjones
239 Eclectic
I guess I wont be coming back here rather than listen to such people.

Don't worry. I stop reading the reread all the time. I get upset about stuff that someone posts. I get a pain in my neck. I get into trouble at work. I loose interest. I break for nookie. I get into trouble at work. I worry about my blood pressure when reading the comments. I wonder about Life; the Universe; and Everything. I get into trouble at work. I go on with my life. I buy a new book. I get into trouble at work. I start stamp collecting. I mail holiday letters (and stop collecting). I get into trouble at work.

When I logged in and found a whole stream of comments about gun control this weekend, I stopped reading and did something constructive with my life (after getting shot down for nookie). But I came back. It's understood.
256. daviddragon3
253) I agree the idea is better than the substance. The Tinkers way is an idea that completely breaks Aram and the Aiel themselves.
I just wonder if their way will be more defined in the coming books. I am intrested if the song will be found and what affects it will have on our Randlanders.
Then we still seek. As it was, so shall it be, if we but remember and seek and find.

Karen Fox
257. thepupxpert
I’m coming late into the gun debate but I wanted to share my story, albeit this was not a gun it was mace. I was accosted by a transient when I was teaching class once, we were outside in the parking lot of the pet store and I had 20 students and their dogs, and these three transients were upset that we had taken over “their” parking lot for our class. One of them came up to me and grabbed my dog’s leash and shoved me. My big 120 pound Bullmastiff just looked dumbfounded and looked at me like, “Why aren’t you doing something about this?” The class just stood there in shock while I grabbed my dog and jumped back, and then a couple of the men realized that I was in real trouble and stepped up to help and someone called the police, who came and took them away.

After that, I got a can of mace. I swear, I spent months just looking for an opportunity – any opportunity - to use my mace. I was really shook up by that encounter and I was not going to let anyone get close to me like that again. Finally after about two years the mace expired and I did not get another can. I never did like who I became after that incident and I never did shoot it off. Thankfully I didn’t get a chance to use that mace because if I did I’m sure I would’ve gotten myself in a heap of big trouble.

I agree with @74 rdmaxwell that because the gun was there, it got used. Because my mace was there, I would have used it, too. Too many people get guns for the wrong reasons, methinks.

I’m also not buying the argument that women should be the ones to be touting guns. The big problem with that argument is that a man can still overpower a woman physically, whether she has the gun or not, and now you’ve got your own gun pointing at you. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

BTW did anyone ever see the Gene Simmons Family Jewels episode where Shannon has a Tazer and Mace party and while they’re all trying them out, she accidentally maces her neighbor in the face? And then tazes her as she’s walking out the door?
Sam Mickel
258. Samadai
Last chance for questions. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Noneo Yourbusiness
259. Longtimefan
So if the watchers of the anti channeling a tron are sitting around to observe the markers to triagulate the channeling why are they sitting on little wooden stools?

It seems very uncomfortable. mabye not big comfy chairs but a little padding. a touch of back support

I mean really, those poor people have to sit there and stare at the floor for hours and chances are there is not a lot of channeling going on around Far Madding anyway.

It is generally remote and does not seem to have a lot of interest for people who can channel since, well, you know, lack of channeling ability being kind of bleah for the channeling kind.

I find it just completely unbelieveable that any culture would have someone sit on a small, hard wooden stool to monitor such a boring, floor mounted device. I mean really. where is the embroidered silk pillow? Where is the soft woolen blanket draped over the seat?

It is just so unrealisitic it breaks my suspension of disbelief! I am outraged! I cannot beleive people keep reading this series after such unrealistic writing.

Rant, rant, rant.

Sorry I got here so late. I was busy. Oh well, Hopefully tomorrow is a better conversation.

Karen Fox
260. thepupxpert
ooh sorry I didn't see the gun discussion ban - pardon my last post!
Ty Margheim
261. alSeen
260) What ban? We could start talking about anything that comes up if we wanted to.
Karen Fox
262. thepupxpert
I think most people are tired of the gun discussion, that is all. I just came in late to it so I was all fired up - no pun intended.
Gerd K
263. Kah-thurak
I stand corrected about the concealed carrying...the whole idea of beeing allowed to do that seems to be to alien to someone living in a country where the concealed carrying of knifes and the likes is prohibited ;)

Though what does it change? You dont only need to be allowed to carry a weapon to make it usefull for self defense you would actually need to do it. Would you really carry a gun in your day to day life? This feels kind of crazy to me. I dont know how unsecure I would need to feel on the streets of my hometown/city to even consider that. A sad thought really.

For real and somewhat likely self defense situations a well designed pepper spray "weapon" is probably better suited. You can attach it to your keys and therfore really have it when you need it, and using it will not result in you killing anybody, which really is a good thing, wouldnt you say?

As for the school shootings... you will have to accept that the german incidents were commited with weapons legally available in the families of the offender or to the offender himself. With guns having been legally available in the US for such a long time it is pretty obvious that practically everyone can get one, legal or not, but this just isnt true over here and I really am quite content with this situation.
Ty Margheim
264. alSeen

Yes, there are many many people that carry a handgun in day to day life. For just the very reason you say. A gun is useless unless you have it with you.

There are 5 shot revolvers that weigh just over a third of a kilo that are small enough to carry and still shoot a round that has stopping power. Titanium is a wonderful metal.

I agree that pepper spray is a wonderful thing. That's why I carry both. I would rather have the option of choosing which would be the better method in any particular situation.
Tricia Irish
265. Tektonica
Samadai@244: You are the best! ROFLOL...I needed that after a 680 mile drive. Whew. Guess I didn't miss much today accept Eclectic, whoosh...come and gone.....

Have a great time tonight! Lucky you kid.

Alseen@264: Where do you live, for heaven's sake?
266. Shadow_Jak
So, speakingof concealed weapons... Do you suppose Fain has his ruby hilted dagger "peace bonded"? Or was he able to hide it from the gate guards?

As for Cad's treatment of the City Counsels... I don't think this was overdone or needlessly done.
Aes Sedai have no special sway in Far Madding. If things got ugly, her 'well' would not be enough to free her and her friends, much less the Dragon Reborn. It could have taken a fair sized army. She needed to be seen in command of the situation.

PS) excellent work mathew1215 and alseen (and others).

edit to correct my usual typos...
Ty Margheim
267. alSeen
265) I live in South Dakota. It doesn't matter where I live though. I don't expect to ever have to use a gun in self defense, but I would rather have the option.

I think the key difference between people who carry every day and people that think those other people are paranoid is that people that carry don't view guns as anything other than tools. Carrying a gun to us is no different than having jumper cables in the back of the car or a fire extinguisher under the sink. We aren't being paranoid, we're being prepared.
Matthew Hunter
268. matthew1215
263) Where to start...

I stand corrected about the concealed carrying...the whole idea of being allowed to do that seems to be to alien to someone living in a country where the concealed carrying of knifes and the likes is prohibited
Carrying concealed knives in the US is often prohibited (depending on the state) with typically restrictions like length, single edge, not a switchblade. While gun ownership has been pretty broad for most of our history, carrying firearms went "out of style" during the post-civil-war era. The idea (just to be clear, not MY idea) was to ban it for everyone and only enforce the ban on oppressed minorities. It worked too well, and eventually ended up getting enforced on everyone. Restrictions on the carry of concealed firearms were reformed on a state by state basis to the current system starting in the early 1990s.

Though what does it change? You dont only need to be allowed to carry a weapon to make it usefull for self defense you would actually need to do it. Would you really carry a gun in your day to day life? This feels kind of crazy to me. I dont know how unsecure I would need to feel on the streets of my hometown/city to even consider that. A sad thought really.
Alseen responded well to this. People can and do carry daily. Not everyone with a license does. It's not because they are scared of the world in most cases, though some people are certainly responding to specific threats. It's more of a be-prepared mentality. Most of the people I know who carry a firearm regularly also have a flashlight, a (legal) knife, a first aid kit, pepper spray, sometimes even blankets, clothes and food in their car.

One other thing to keep in mind is that the US is a BIG place with lots of space. One of our states is about the size of a typical european country. I can live in my city, drive 100 miles in one direction and be in a different city; 200 miles in another direction, another big city; 200 miles in a third direction, another big city... or 500 miles in a fourth direction and not pass through anything with more than one stoplight. If your car has a breakdown in the wrong place you can be on your own in the dark all night with nothing but an angry bull for company -- and that was within 20 miles of home.

In America we believe in being prepared, not in being paranoid. We believe in having adventures and getting ourselves out of them if necessary.

For real and somewhat likely self defense situations a well designedpepper spray "weapon" is probably better suited. You can attach it to your keys and therfore really have it when you need it, and using it will not result in you killing anybody, which really is a good thing,
wouldnt you say?

What are the pros and cons of pepper spray versus firearms?
* Pepper spray is less likely to disable the attacker (particularly drunk or drugged attackers may not really care about being sprayed)
* Pepper spray is less accurate, has a shorter range, and can usually be used only a few times. Firearms are accurate, effective at longer ranges, and typically carry between 5 and 19 rounds with the possibility of a reload.
* Pepper spray is often regulated in a manner synonymous with firearms. Carrying or buying pepper spray may have the same legal penalties as carrying a firearm. Sometimes even the same legal penalties as using a firearm.
* Using pepper spray escalates the situation without extricating you from the situation. You may just piss off your attacker. You may just think you pissed him off and have to shoot him, then find out later that he was just yelling and waving his arms around to get the stuff out of his eyes. (Once pepper sprayed, people don't tend to react calmly and rationally to instructions to defuse the situation).
* The mere threat of a firearm is often sufficient to end an attack -- no need to use it.
* If used successfully, the attacker will be in immediate need of medical attention. While he gets medical attention, he's not attacking you. If he continues attacking you, he will likely be unable to continue for more than a minute or two
* Pepper spray is cheaper.
* Pepper spray will probably not kill your attacker.
* Your attacker knows that pepper spray won't kill him.

Earlier I mentioned an FBI study on victim responses and injury rates. I pointed out that according to that study, resisting with a firearm resulted in fewer injuries to the victim than resist with another weapon, resisting with pepper spray, or not resisting at all. That's solid evidence of outcomes, at least in the US. It is clear that firearms are uniquely suited for self-defense.

Now, if you personally are a pacificist and prefer not to take the risk of killing someone while defending yourself, I can respect that. But ask yourself: If you are attacked, and you call the police to save you, and they come... they will bring guns. That's not pacifism so much as refusing to take responsibility for your own safety. Harsh, perhaps, but true.

With guns having been legally available in the US for such a long time it is pretty obvious that practically everyone can get one, legal or not, but this just isnt true over here and I really am quite content with this situation.
You are, and that's fine, but your attitudes and votes on this issue deny the right of self-defense to your countrymen and women who may not feel the same way that you do. I don't have a problem with individuals choosing how to defend themselves, I do have a problem with people telling other people that they may not have the most effective self-defense tools available.
Roger Powell
269. forkroot
I was on the plane coming home when you asked for questions. I thought of a question but of course it's too late ... maybe if someone goes to a later signing they can ask:

Are there angreals, sa'angreals, and/or ter'angreals that work with the True Power? (I'm guessing "no")
Daniel Hanley
270. dmhman749
It has been indicated that there is no limit for the amount of the TP that can be drawn(or at least you can draw as much as the DO allows without it burning you out or killing you). Ex-When Rand draws the TP, he thinks he is holding as much of the TP as he held of the one power with the Choden Kal. There are other places that the forsaken say similar things about it. Which means that an angreal or sa'angreal for the TP would be completely pointless. Ter'angreal...*shrug* Maybe, but there are not any people with the talent for the creation of ter'angreal who can draw the TP, so it doesn't really matter.
Matthew Hunter
271. matthew1215
257) After that, I got a can of mace. I swear, I spent months just looking for an opportunity – any opportunity - to use my mace. I was really shook up by that encounter and I was not going to let anyone get close to me like that again. Finally after about two years the mace expired and I did not get another can. I never did like who I became after that incident and I never did shoot it off. Thankfully I didn’t get a chanceto use that mace because if I did I’m sure I would’ve gotten myself in a heap of big trouble.

I've noticed before that a lot of people -- not everyone -- who favor gun control seem to have little trust in their own self-control. They think about what they might do with the power to kill someone at their fingertips all day long. They worry that the power would tempt them, and they would eventually use it. I believe people know themselves best, and if they don't trust themselves to own or carry a firearm, they probably should not do so. I don't trust them to set the rules for others with more self-confidence.

257) I’m also not buying the argument that women should be the ones to be touting guns. The big problem with that argument is that a man can still overpower a woman physically, whether she has the gun or not, and now you’ve got your own gun pointing at you. That’s all I’m going to say about it.
I think it was alseen who posted 5 links earlier to news stories where women using firearms in self-defense successfully. I think you will find that physically overpowering a woman armed with a gun and willing to use it is more difficult than you think. (I don't recommend you actually try it, because it would be difficult to repeat the experiment). You're talking about a TV Trope not a real issue. (Edit to Add: Defensive Failure is a better trope for what I meant).
Sharon E.
272. Sulin
JEJ@255- ROFL!!! That's the best laugh I've had all day :D
Ty Margheim
273. alSeen
Now a question about an actual Wheel of Time issue.

Does anyone else think that Rand did actually kill Min when Semirhage had him in the male a'dam. The balefire that killed Semi would have erased those actions so she would now be alive.

My theory is that killing her is what actually broke his mind.

That would also leave Elaine as the only one of Big Love's harem that hasn't been killed and brought back with balefire.
Theresa Gray
274. Terez27
The balefire did not even erase the bruises, since it was an indirect action. Rand did the strangling, not Semirhage.
Ty Margheim
275. alSeen
It wasn't that powerful a shot of balefire since nothing else was destroyed, so it wouldn't have removed her back that far. She could easily still have bruises.

And of course when I just now went back and read that section I noticed something hadn't before.

"He opened his eyes and released Min. She gasped and sobbed."

So I am wrong. Oh well.
Alice Arneson
276. Wetlandernw
forkroot @269 - I make no promises, but if I get a chance I'll ask tomorrow night. Will depend on how many people show up and how much time I get to talk to him. Might have a slight advantage, as I'm his official shardbearer for the night, but that might just as well keep me too busy to talk to him much.
Ron Garrison
277. Man-0-Manetheran
eclectic@192: Obama is a Muslin. I know because I saw the sign at a teabag rally.
CaitieCat@223: black velvet - priceless!
Samadai@226: You could ask BWS what he thinks about gun control and see if he gives you a look that says "who are you, and what are you doing here?"
And I'm sure it is true 'cause I heard it on Faux News, but Sarah Palin can shoot Vladimir Putin from her front porch with a blunderbuss.
chaplainchris1@237: Yeah, seriously...and sadly.
Heidi Byrd
278. sweetlilflower
@Terez27: While scroling through all of the uninteresting horse beatings, I pondered your question and I still don't have a definite answer. In case you forgot, what with all of the other interesting conversations going on, you asked if I would be upset if the WT were destoyed. On the one hand, I would be sad to see it torn down because it is probably the only reason people even know there will be a LB. On the other hand, I think it would be better for the AS if they were forced out into the world. So, there you have it. I WOULD HATE TO MAKE A DEFINITE STATEMENT ABOUT A POTENTIALLY CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC BECAUSE I WOULD SURELY GET HUNDREDS OF OPINIONS THROWN AT ME AND I WOULD HATE TO LOGIN TOMORROW ONLY TO FIND ANOTHER HUNDRED POSTS TO JUST SCROLL THROUGH. I am still wagging my finger at all of you!!!! (Can't help it, its the mommy in me coming out)
On a side note, this issue (still not mentioning it by name so Jonathon doesn't do away with me) has fast become an LTT argument. Was he real? Was he a construct? WE WILL NEVER COME TO AN AGREEMENT!!!!!!!
So, do you want to see the WT destroyed?
andrew smith
279. sillyslovene
Personally, I think that it's gotta go. Thematically, it is the bastion of the Female/Saidar imbalance of the Power for the last 3,000 years. Yes, it could be balanced by the Black Tower, but in my mind, if the Black Tower needs to be razed in Blood and Aes Sedai walk its ground (can't remember the exact quote, too lazy to find it), then it makes little sense for the WT to escape unscathed as well.

Personally, I also think that it has been trumpetted a bit too loudly that no one has ever breached its walls. I like the thought of Dragonmount full on erupting and turning the WT (and everything else in the vicinity- see I don't just have it out for the Tower :) ) into a slag heap. After all, we must clear rubble before we can build.
Alice Arneson
280. Wetlandernw
sillyslovene @279 - In full, that Foretelling says:
The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al'Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds."

Well, whatever it all means, sisters are walking its grounds already. Toveine's crew, bonded to Asha'man, walk around the grounds all the time. No mention of razing, although obviously rending isn't meant to be pleasant either. However, given Elaida's penchant for misinterpreting her Foretellings, the sisters walking its grounds as bonded "warders" rather than as The All-Conquering Arm Of Elaida The Great Amyrlin is a very fitting fulfillment. Me, I think that the WT will have nothing to do with the blood-and-fire rending - it will all be internal to the BT factions, and the WT will learn about it second-hand. There's also an argument that the "remnant cast out and scorned" is probably the BA who fled the Tower, and the WT is already whole again.
281. Sylence
Actually Rand doesn't say that he is holding as much of the TP as he does the OP with the Choedan Kal - he says that it feels as good as holding as much of the OP as he did during the Cleansing. The OP makes you feel more alive when you hold it and the more you hold the more alive you feel. The TP does the same thing, but it feels even better so holding less of it is equal to holding a huge amount of the OP.
andrew smith
282. sillyslovene
@wetlandernw 280

Yeah, I meant most of that as mostly tongue in cheek. Thanks for putting up the whole foretelling though...helps keep me lazy. ;)

I guess I should have just said- if the point at the end is to restore balance (which I am hopeful will be the case, what with all that foreshadowing, themes and tropes), then some massive cleansing has to happen at the Black Tower and there needs to be a giant rapprochement with the White Tower, at the very least. Unless they are both either completely destroyed or broken down to the point that they must come together and rely on one another to survive.
I think either is possible at this point. Personally, I would rather have the second option- destruction to the point of needing each other to survive.
Sam Mickel
283. Samadai
Had a great time at the signing tonight. Brandon Sanderson really is a great guy.
Forkroot, Brandon remembered us from when we kept him late at the last signing.
He read from the prelude to Way of Kings. No one really had any WoT questions. I picked up a couple more items that they were giving away.
He gave me a clue to one of the pieces for the GreatHunt, and I saw another guy grab one of the stickers with a code on it. He showed it to me, but I won't put it on here, so he can have a chance to post it. Saw one of the once upon a time posters on here there. Bchurch, it was nice to see you.
Jonathan Levy
284. JonathanLevy
toryx @ 199
Cadsuane and Gun Control at the same time? That's positively incindiary!

If only I had a gun to control Cadsuane....

sillyslovene @ 282

I guess I should have just said- if the point at the end is to restore balance (which I am hopeful will be the case, what with all that foreshadowing, themes and tropes), then some massive cleansing has to happen at the Black Tower and there needs to be a giant rapprochement with the White Tower, at the very least. Unless they are both either completely destroyed or broken down to the point that they must come together and rely on one another to survive.

Nicola has a foretelling where she says something like "The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future lies on the point of a blade" (I'm quoting from memory).

I take this to mean that after Tarmon Gai'don, (the great battle), there will be no era of peace. There will be tension between the Seanchan and the rest of Randland, and between the white tower (Servants) and the black (guardians).

If this interpretation is correct, then we can expect the white tower and the black tower to be independent but balanced, similar to Seanchan vs. rest-of-Randland. I imagine the Black Tower will have a purging similar to the White Tower's, but I don't think they'll be weak and ruined.
Theresa Gray
285. Terez27
If that interpretation is correct, then why does the world seem to depend on Rand's return?

@sweetlilflower - I want it to be destroyed mainly for the symbolism, but partly also to even the playing ground between the Aes Sedai and the other channeling groups. There is too much tradition tied up in the Tower, too much assurance of their place in the world. And besides, the ancient Aes Sedai built Rhuidean for something. :)

@samadai - The guy with the code emailed me. At least, I assume that was the guy - Cory? He had code 19.
Wesley Parish
286. Aladdin_Sane
Gun control FWLIW - why oh why oh why can't I pack a concealed RPG on my person? A howitzer in my car? An anti-satellite launchpad in my backyard? Since we're talking about the need of a militia to control Uncle Sam, and Uncle Sam has the nuclear weapons, why can't I carry a one-kiloton nuclear grenade, like my heroine Lavinia of Norstrilia, subject of Her Absent Majesty the Queen?

I have it on good authority that the tinfoil in my hat band won't protect me, because the bowler hats I use are made by a subsidiary of the Co, Pty Ltd, a commercial subsidiary of the US Federal Govt., Pty Ltd.

Now the laughter has settled, let's get back down to business?

These chapters provide further insight into Cadsuane's character - she's by now recognized as the Aes Sedai of Aes Sedai, manipulative to the limit.
Birgit F
287. birgit
LoC,Ch14 - "The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."

That sounds like channeling is still around after TG.
A balance between guardians and servants need not be a conflict. The world was unbalanced when only women could channel safely. When Black and White Tower work together, that balance will be restored.
Jonathan Levy
288. JonathanLevy
birgit @ 287
You know, that's a very good point. If there's no channeling, then the WT & BT lose most of their significance, and their question of their balance becomes irrelevant, and there's no reason for them to even be mentioned in a foretelling.

You know, I think you've made me change my mind about gun control the OP disappearing after TG. It's gotta be there for this foretelling to make sense. Maybe it'll slowly fade away over a few centuries - the breaking took about 300 years, didn't it? The Age Transition doesn't have to be instantaneous.

Imagine that - the Saidin/Saidar accessible to humans becomes disconnected from the True Source. Now it's finite, and will slowly be used up over the next 300 years. Like a really really big well. Gradually, weak channelers will be unable to channel at all, and only the strongest will be able to get some Saidar/in. Then that'll be gone, and we'll transition to our age. Where's the ... ah... loony theory thread... I know I... um... had it here somewhere.... Don't bring the girl next time... too distracting.
Bouke de Boer
289. Bouke
Here I was, thinking I needed to read through a hundred-odd comments. And then I saw that most of them were on gun control. Skipping commencing...

Jonathan Levy @288: Birgit's argument does settle the issue doesn't it? I do appreciate your tenacity for the loss of the OP in the Fourth Age, though.
The well-theory reminds me of GRRM's version of the Suvudu deathmatch final. Nice!

Zero and zero channelers would still make a balance, I think, but what's the point of wasting this info on an otherwise perfectly allright Foretelling?

Edit: Freelancer @252: Heh, excellent.
Tricia Irish
290. Tektonica

Glad you had a great time! Too bad about WoT questions, but about what I expected. This is Brandon's MOA, after all, with his own thing. I hope to meet him sometime....

BTW, are he or Harriet coming to Jcon this year?
**fingers crossed** aaaaand....**twitching!**
Daniel Hanley
291. dmhman749
Well, the foretelling specifically says that the guardians will balance the while 0 of each would be a balance, i certainly wouldn't say it was the guardians doing the balancing, being as they don't exist anymore...

On the other hand, I read a theory over at theoryland(think it was under the gawyn will kill rand theory) in which all of that came to pass before the last battle(at the battle of caemlyn, more or less--the world not being done with battle referred to the actual last battle according to that theory). If that is the case, it could all already be fulfilled by the time that the last battle happens and access to the one power is cut off. Not saying I think thats whats going to happen, but it is possible.

As for Tektonica @ 290, I wouldn't say WoK is BS's MOA...its going to be a 10 book series. So while WoK was a very good book, and a GREAT start to a new series, Its going to be a couple of years before the series really picks up enough steam to start rivaling the WoT(which I hope it does...the potential is there, especially if BS continues to grow as a writer as we have seen over the past few years). I assume BS understands this. I doubt there was a whole lot of talk or questions about the WoT when the Eye of the World came out(unfortunately, i didn't start reading until after book 5 came out, so i don't know this, but it seems likely)
Heidi Byrd
292. sweetlilflower
Did anyone ask him what exactly a Voidbringer is? Is it what the two ladies think it is? I am trying to ask the question in a way that won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't finished the book.
293. MasterAlThor

I am offended and laughing at the same time. Thanks.


We have been properly chastize. I will try to behave.


I see you......poke. Just seeing if your real or not. LOL


Where in the blue blazes have you been? We miss your pool parties.


Sorry I didn't get a chance to come up with a good question. Glad you had fun though.

294. alreadymadwithzero
birgit @287, Jonathan Levy @288
There is such a thing as zero balance.
Tess Laird
295. thewindrose
Today is Tuesday!! New post day!!

I am twiching and I've got an itchy trigger finger;)


Amir Noam
296. Amir
Jonathan Levy @288:
As long as we're throwing around loony theories, why not go for the exact opposite? Instead of an age where no one can access the OP, how about an age where everyone can?

Now, I don't believe for a moment this will indeed happen (as you mentioned, for literary reasons it makes sense that Rand's academies will do *something*). However, the more I think on this, the more a like this. After all, each age of the 7 must have some unique characteristic, right? We already have the 2nd age (OP miracles), the 3rd age (life after the breaking, dwindling power) and our age (probably the 1st. Age with no OP). There are 4 ages unaccounted for that need to be defined in a unique way. Why not some age in which everyone can channel to some degree?

Kinda reminds me of the end of the Darksword series (which I've read waaay back years ago). IIRC, at the end all the magic is scattered/distributed throughout the entire world so all can share it.

And in unrelated news, is this thread really now reaching 300 posts in 4 days??
Daniel Hanley
297. dmhman749
Well, a solid 200+ of the posts are on the gun control debate, leaving under 100 about WoT matters, which isn't so unusual.

As for everyone using the OP...I don't really see how that would happen(or not quickly). There appears to be a channeling gene that allows people with it to touch the OP. Most of the population(especially after all the killing off MCs and the aes sedai just not having kids) doesn't have the gene. So it would take thousands of years of channies having lots of kids to get the gene wide spread enough for this sort of thing. Maybe the next age will have steadily increasing rates of channies, and the 5th age could be an age in which everyone channels. Unless something happens to suddenly change everyone on a genetic level to give them the gene, but that would be...well...stupid.

Really, my guess is that we simply won't get enough of a look at the 4th age to get that good of an idea of what will define it as an age.
Jonathan Levy
298. JonathanLevy
alreadymadwithzero @ 294
True, but people usually don't bother to foretell zero-balances. For example, Nicola's foretelling did not include: "And Lini shall balance Balwer, and Morgase shall balance Alliandre". I see Bouke already made this point @289

Amir @ 296
Yeah, I've always thought it would be wonderful to find out what Robert Jordan had in mind for the other ages. I'm sure he at least sketched out the general outline of each age. I don't think we'll find out in ToM or aMoL. We'll have to hope his notes get published in an encyclopedia afterwards. I'm sure you'd love to read that... hehehehe :)

Still, everyone-channeling is kind of hard to imagine - can't think of a way to go about creating that situation. Also, guardians-balancing-servants-wise, if everyone channels, the guardians & servants also lose their significance, in another way. And even if we do have everyone channeling, that still leaves a couple more ages to account for. I suppose we could have one where only men channel, as a counter to the 3rd age, but the idea isn't so appealing.
Bouke de Boer
299. Bouke
Amir @296: Yes, at the end of the Darksword trilogy, magic is available outside of Thimhallan. However, that didn't mean that everyone could then use the magic. Death (i.e. Technology) was still the main profession out there... especially on Earth.
Amir Noam
301. Amir
dmhman749 @297:
I think the channeling ability is more tied to the "soul" than to a gene. Even putting aside the whole Arangar thing (reincarnation in a woman's body but channeling saidin), it seems that the pattern itself chooses the time when channelers are needed. AS do not have children throughout the 3rd age and were culling male chanellers, but recently (in the story timeline) lots of chanellers pop up, some stronger than were seen for thousands of years.

Jonathan Levy @298:
Everyone channeling is hard to imagine but can be done. Maybe this is an age when evryone has just a bit more of what we'd call "super-natural abilities". Or maybe something else will distinguish these other 4 ages. Maybe there'll be an Age of Cheese or something.

And for the record, I never said that I believe this theory, just that I liked it :-)
Daniel Smith
302. Smittyphi
thewindrose @295 HAHAHAHA!! Seriously, wiping tears from my eyes. The cat's expression is priceless.
303. ros briagha foskett
I am just SO HAPPY that I live in a country where most folk do not have guns. Sadly, hunting in this country has effectively wiped out most of our wild creatures, and some folk can't wait to kill the few that are left. Never felt like fun to me to rob another beingof its life, though I have killed - a goose that the fox did not quite finish off. Horrible! I hope the folk in the US stop before they kill al;l their wild life, but it is a dim hope...
Brandon D
304. Ishmayl
@184. Jonathan Levy
I don't know, have we ever been told explicitely that each Age is actually 3000 years? Is that necessarily always true? Maybe the next "Age" will only be a few hundred years while the OP fades out of existence or something? I have no specific evidence on this one way or another, but like Eclectic said @195, I think there has been far too much build-up of Male and Female Channelers working together again to immediately lose access to the OP.
Ty Margheim
305. alSeen

Most hunters in the US are far more concerned about wildlife management and protecting animals than any member of PETA. After all, if animals get wiped out, you can't hunt them anymore.

If it wasn't for deer hunting, deer would become over populated, resulting in wasting disease and deer overrunning the habitats of other animals.

While humans may be responsible for the problem in the first place because the natural predators were reduced in population, it is our responsibility now to make sure populations are kept in check.
Daniel Hanley
306. dmhman749
We have explicitely been told that each age is NOT 3000 years in some interview I remember reading at some point. I highly doubt one would be as short as 300 years(its an age...things from the prior age are supposted to fade to legends and myths by the time it rolls to an end...besides, do you really think that 300 years is long enough for entire cities to rise and fall(or change names, anyway), for new titles to come about, etc as we have seen in the quotes from the 4th age).

To Amir @ 301, What indication of stronger channies being born have we had? Sure, there is rand, but hes a pretty special case. Other than that, there has just been a much better effort to FIND channies of late. Ex-there are several high potential channies recently found in the two rivers...the indication has been that there always has been because of the old blood being so strong there, the white tower just never looked there before.

Anyway, it has always been pretty clear that it is a genetic thing(what with the culling of humanity of the ability mentioned so much)...maybe only the bodies with the correct gene can have souls with the ability reborn into them? maybe the DO can break the rules because hes the DO? Maybe the gene doesn't specify saidin or saidar, only the ability, and the DO found bodies with the channeling gene, so the reborn forsaken could still channel(which would make more sense for why the DO couldn't find two male bodies on short notice)

To ros briagha foskett @ 303...umm...well, hunting is highly regulated. there are hunting seasons, and if a population of some animal gets too low(such things are tracked), they will limit how much that animal can be hunted, etc. I personally don't hunt because i find it mind-numbingly boring, and i refuse to get up that early in the morning, but i have friends who do...I don't see the problem though. the hunters I know all eat what they kill, so how is it any different from buying meat at the store. They are doing it personally, but they are not wasting the animal. They definately don't want to drive the animals they hunt to extinction either. Besides, the US is a big country, with a lot of wilderness left. I know that isn't a luxury some other countries can enjoy, but animals don't get wiped out through hunting anymore(since it has become regulated)...animals get wiped out through destruction of their habitats as cities expand, etc, but that is an entirely different issue.
Brandon D
307. Ishmayl
@306. dmhman749

besides, do you really think that 300 years is long enough for entire cities to rise and fall(or change names, anyway),

technically speaking, America is much newer than 300 years, and yes, cities have risen and fallen in that time. Something I always find intriguing about fantasy is the fact that there are so many ridiculously-long periods of thousdands-or-even-tens-0f-thousdands-of-years, when here in "the real world," "Ages" are much shorter. You have the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Industrial Age, the Pre-Modern Age, and the Modern Age, and tons of cultures have their own specific versions of those, in some way or another. So yeah, I think you can successfully and definitively call 300 years an Age, if enough important things happen in it.
Daniel Hanley
308. dmhman749
Hmm...good point, but you get the indication that they are speaking of legends of long ago in those quotes... I suppose i may be reading too much into it, but it just doesn't seem like a history lesson of what happened just a few hundred years ago(still in living memory of channelers, for that matter).

Also, all of those are not the same use of the word 'age' as in the wheel of time. in the wheel of time, ALL of those, from the 'stone age' through the 'information age', etc are all one AGE, defined by the rise of scientific theory and technology, and making up one spoke of the wheel. THAT is the magnitude an age should contain, not just some shifts in national bounderies and some advances in technology
Sandy Brewer
309. ShaggyBella
There are so many deer living in Helena Montana, that I saw 2 does chomping grass Sunday 830 AM right next to one of the main highways IN town, 3 feet from the sidewalk. They are all over the place, no huntin' in town and they know it. I don't think we will run out for a while.
But post!
Bouke de Boer
310. Bouke
Re: length of an Age: I don't think it is necessarily the actual amount of years that defines an Age, but more a significant change that separates two spokes. Plus, (almost) all knowledge of previous Ages should have faded to legends and myths etc. until a certain wind arises at a certain place and blows to another certain place. Etc. etc. etc.

Edit: New Post!!
Jared Farish
311. jfarish102
Long-time lurker here. I know I am a little late to the discussion, and have not read everyone's posts, but here goes.

All the other channelers really don't understand the heirarchy and structure of the Aes Sedai, and they all mention it. This chapter mentions it at length. In fact, none of the other channelers have a very high opinion of them at all. I wonder if that will change, if RJ is leading up to something that will show that the Aes Sedai really have something to offer after all, especially in terms of their structure or heirarchy. Or maybe (as is already happening) Egwene will simply get rid of all the silliness(sp?) of their ways and help them behave like thinking adults. We shall see.

As for guns, "gun control" has never been, and will never be, an effective means of protecting people or reducing crime, if by gun control you mean passing laws to limit their availability. As Leigh has already noted, people will find a way to do what they want to do, i.e. prohibition. If as a society we are hoping that our laws will keep people from shooting our children or using guns to kill or steal, then our society is in a VERY desperate situation. Laws and law enforcement should be the LAST resort to keeping order, not the first. The first should be our own desires, discipline and (dare I say it in a public forum?!) morality. In other words, we are taught the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, and then we choose the right. Not because the laws tell us that we should, but because that's the type of people that we have become.

Wow, that post was starting to be as long as one of Leigh's! Thanks for letting me put in my two bits!
Torie Atkinson
313. Torie
Sorry to have neglected you all, I was on vacation. N.B. for the week: comments that don't say anything still count as "FIRST!!" See example above.

The gun rights discussion has teetered so far off topic I have to ask you all to rein it in. Gun control in Randland: have at it! Gun control in real life/ philosophy/ political theories: there are lots of places on the internet for that, and this site isn't one of them. Keep it on topic.
Tess Laird
314. thewindrose
Torie - Love how you edited the first comment. I have one at 295 you may appreciate:)
To rest of regulars - I am not brown nosing - move along nothing to see here;)

Edward Phippen
315. Grimwanderer
In terms of gun control I am of two minds.

On one hand, I remember reading an article in high school (lo, those many many many years aho :-( ) about two towns. The first town passed an extremely restrictive gun control law. It was, if I remember correctly, later over turned. While in affect, however, crime skyrocketed. The second town (a quick web search turned up Kennesaw Georgia but for some reason my memory has the city in the article out West), passed a law mandating gun ownership (again... I don't remember all the details; it may have been all adults or all households or whatever). In this town, crime rates dropped. The idea that anyone you assaulted might have a gun (and fight back) was a significant deterrent. I get it. I really do.

On the other hand, however, I personally find guns abhorrent. My feelings on the subject draw from two incidents in my life.

The first was having a stepfather (a Vietnam vet with flashbacks) get in an argument with my mother which ended up with him trying to shoot the rest of our family. I was about 12. I had gone to bed but heard the argument and got up to see what was going on. I opened the door to see my mother and others trying to get the gun away from my stepfather. My sister ran to my room and had me get outside through a window and run to a neighbors (across a field). Amazingly, everyone got out safely that night. The local sheriff went in to talk my stepfather down and was held at gunpoint for hours before being released. Eventually the police used tear gas to get my stepfather out of the house, disarmed, and he was arrested (that was, as might be assumed, the end of the marriage). There is something about being on the wrong side of a gun that really leaves a hatred of them.

The second is much more recent and is an instance where I am extremely grateful that guns were not involved. About a month ago, I was returning from a business trip. I had arrived in town by train and was walking home. I remember leaving the train station but the next memory I have was sitting in the emergency room a couple hours later. I was having a hard time thinking clearly and my memory wasn't working. I found out later that I was jumped by three guys who wanted to steal my phone. I was hit in the head and knocked down (leaving me with a concussion, a swollen jaw, and various cuts and scratches from hitting the sidewalk). As bad as the pain was (I'm still having headaches, some memory troubles, sensitivity to bright light, etc), this could have gone much worse if the assailants had a gun. Nor would a gun have helped me as they apparently came up behind me and I was down before I knew what was happening.

(And these experiences don't even count the trama that was seeing Bambi for the first time as a child!)

I see comments like many of those above and have to shake my head in disbelief. For example: "Now that 90 pound grandma is a match for a 280 pound meth addict that just broke into her home.". Sure... if Grandma is lugging her .44 magnum in the pocket of her housecoat all the time. Or do you thnk granny can ask the nice 280 lb meth addict to have a cookie and some tea while she gets her gun from the closet?

I know the arguments against gun control. Guns enable self defense. Guns are for hunting or sport. Or, if you are paranoid and - IMHO - rather delusional, guns to fight off the evil tyrannical overlords (Ma! Ma! They want to give me healthcare! Where's the shotgun?)

But doesn't it say something incredibly sad about the human race, and our so called civilization, that we haven't crawled further out of the mud than this?
Edward Phippen
316. Grimwanderer
And, after the long diversion, a few comments about the chapters and the rest of the re-read.

First, thanks (as always) to Leigh for a fantastic job. And thanks to Tor for hosting it.

I enjoyed seeing these chapters through Shalon's eyes. It was nice to see the Atha'an Miere through a more sympathetic perspective ... especially seeing Harine as something other than a complete PITA. I understand Harine's reaction to SWMNBN, and empathize, but would relate more if she hadn't been portrayed as such a worthless excuse of a human being for the last x books.

Plus I enjoy almost any scenes with Verin. It was a nice touch that she was (apparently) trying to be sympathetic towards the Sea Folk (or was she just manipulating them)?

As Leigh pointed out, these chapters helped the earlier ones with Rand & Co make far more sense. It is easy to forget the confusion many / most of us felt the first time we read Rand's encounter with Rochaid & Kisman (& near encounter with Fain). We didn't have the info to really appreciate what was going on from those chapters exclusively. These chapters fill in those blanks.

Of course, they also feature SWMNBN and set up her re-uniting with Rand. Pity. Oh well, nothing's perfect.

I'm sure there was more I wanted to comment on ... But it's after midnight and I'm and old man so ...... zzzzzz
William McDaniel
317. willmcd
I concur with my fellow after-the-fact commentator Grimwanderer @316 that the Sea Folk POV in these chapters was a useful thing.

Like many other WoT readers, I had found the Sea Folk mostly intolerable up to this point. But as I read these chapters, it slowly dawned on me that the key to understanding them is that they are effectively a fully militarized society, built on the concepts of following orders and rigid hierarchies of authority. This can be clearly seen in Harine's ranting in Ch23 about orders, protocol and to whom she has to answer. It is also evident in Ch24 when Shalon notes with some curiosity the the First Counsel has requested her subordinates to do something rather than ordered it, and starts to put together that the request may actually have been an order.

It seems to me that the Sea Folk aren't very good at looking at other societies except through their own cultural lens (and who is, really?). When they speak to people they feel are subordinate to them (which, for a Wavemistress, is everyone but rulers, more or less), they do so in the form of orders which they expect to be obeyed. This may not make them more palatable to be around, but it at least explains their behavior.

Also, seeing the private interaction between Harine and Shalon (along with Talaan's earlier statements to Nynaeve about her private relationship with her mother), adds humanity to the Sea Folk.

I also immediately tuned into the "gun control" parallel RJ was drawing, and appreciated commentator TehBane @13 pointing out that in Far Madding they don't just control swords, but "magic" also, attempting to create a "safe" society through the elimination of weapons. I will refrain from commenting on gun legislation in the real world (as others have done so ad nauseam), but will only point out that RJ seems to be advancing the opinion that attempts to create a "weapon-free" society will not be effective. In our first chapter in Far Madding, we saw a fight involving swords, and two people stabbed to death in their beds in a case of mistaken identity.

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