Feminist and Queer Ecology Reading List

I am (finally) teaching a seminar this spring on Ecofeminisms and Queer Ecologies. While these are two very different topics, they intersect in interesting ways that are relevant to my current research project on normative conceptions of nature. I’ve been planning this seminar for some time now and over the years have collected a working bibliography that I’d like to share. Admittedly, it is still partial and unbalanced in many ways. This is a reflection, in part, of my particular interest in the topic, but also, in part, to my ignorance of the full scope of these topics. I am thrilled to have the chance to sit down and deeply reflect on these readings with a group of advanced undergrad and grad students.

ecofem poster

In part, we’ll be tracing the rise and fall of various ‘ecofeminisms’, and question the relevance of the term today. For many reasons—some very good reasons—the term has fallen out of fashion and has been replaced by ‘feminist ecology’, ‘ecological feminism’, or even the broader ‘gender and the environment’. I chose to include the word ‘ecofeminism’ in the course title partly because the history of this dialogue is what interests me. For instance, in its first wave, ecofeminism was saturated with many essentialist assumptions. Its turn from and critique of these assumptions is aided in part by a dialogue with queer ecology, which I reserve for the last third of the semester. Furthermore, ecofeminism was never a monolithic mode of analysis. Many scholars under its banner challenged essentialism in interesting and prescient ways that aided the development of environmental feminist and queer theory as its practiced today.

The reading list that I’ve comprise for the seminar follows the full bibliography. Note there are some duplicates in the full bibliography – I list multiple works in edited collections where I wanted to draw particular attention to those articles, most likely because I intended to put them on my course schedule at some point.

I especially want to thank Whitney Bauman, Lisabeth During, Benjamin Johnson, and Anne Portman for pointing out readings, commenting on the syllabus, and talking through the topics with me. I’m posting this because many other people have asked to see the final product. I hope it will be useful for further research.


Working Bibliography

Adams, Carol J. 2015. The Sexual Politics of Meat. Bloomsbury Academic Press.

Anderson, Jill et al. 2012. “Queer ecology: A roundtable discussion” in European Journal of Ecopsychology 3: 82–103.

Alaimo, Stacy. 2010. “Eluding Capture: The Science, Culture, and Pleasure of ‘Queer’ Animals.” In Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire, edited by Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson, 51–72. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Alaimo, Stacy and Susan Hekman. 2008. Material Feminisms. Bloomington: IN, Indiana University Press.

Bagemihl, Bruce. 2000. Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity. St. Martin’s Press.

Barad, Karen. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Duke University Press.

Bauman, Whitney, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin J. O’Brien, eds. 2017. Grounding Religion. New York: Routledge.

Bauman, Whitney A., ed. 2018. Meaningful Flesh: Reflections on Religion and Nature for a Queer Planet. Santa Barbara, CA: Punctum Books.

Bauman, Whitney A., and Heather Eaton. 2017. “Gender and Queer Studies.” In Grounding Religion, edited by Whitney A. Bauman, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin J. O’Brien, 56–71. New York: Routledge.

Bikeland, Janis. 1993. “Ecofeminism: Linking Theory and Practice” in Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, ed. Greta Gaard, 13-59. Temple University Press.

Birkmann, Joern et al. 2014. “Emergent Risks and Key Vulnerabilities” in Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. C. B. Field et al., 1066-80. Cambridge University Press.

Chemhuru, Munamato. 2018. “Interpreting Ecofeminist Environmentalism in African Communitarian Philosophy and Ubuntu: An Alternative to Anthropocentrism.” Philosophical Papers 0 (0): 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/05568641.2018.1450643.

Cudworth, E. 2005. Developing Ecofeminist Theory: The Complexity of Difference. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Donovan, Josephine. 1993. “Animal Rights and Ecofeminist Theory” in Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, ed. Greta Gaard, 167-94. Temple University Press.

Gaard, Greta, ed. 1993. Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature. Temple University Press.

———. 1993. “Ecofeminism and Native American Cultures: Pushing the Limits of Cultural Imperialism?” in Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, ed. Greta Gaard, 295-314. Temple University Press.

———. 1997. “Toward a Queer Ecofeminism.” Hypatia 12 (1): 114–37. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1527-2001.1997.tb00174.x.

———. 2002. “Vegetarian Ecofeminism: A Review Essay.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3: 117-146.

———. 2011. “Ecofeminism Revisited: Rejecting Essentialism and Re-Placing Species in a Material Feminist Environmentalism” in Feminist Formations 23: 26–53.

———. 2011. “Green, Pink, and Lavender: Banishing Ecophobia Through Queer Ecologies.” Ethics and the Environment 16 (2): 115–126.

———. 2015. “Ecofeminism and Climate Change.” Women’s Studies International Forum 49 (March): 20–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2015.02.004.

Garrard, Greg. 2010. “How Queer Is Green?” Configurations 18 (1): 73–96. https://doi.org/10.1353/con.2010.0009.

Geraldine, Terry. 2009. “No Climate Justice without Gender Justice: An Overview of the Issues,” in Gender & Development 17.1: 5–18.

Glazebrook, T., 2001, “Heidegger and Ecofeminism”, in Re-Reading the Canon: Feminist Interpretations of Martin Heidegger, N. Holland and P. Huntington (eds.), University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 221–251.

———. 2008, Eco-Logic: Erotics of Nature. An Ecofeminist Phenomenology, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Gosine, Andil. 2010. “Non-White Reproduction and Same-Sex Eroticism: Queer Acts against Nature.” In Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire, edited by Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson, 149–72. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Green, Cathy, Susan Joekes, and Melissa Leach. 1998. “Questionable Links: Approaches to Gender in the Environmental Research and Policy” in Feminist Visions of Development: Gender Analysis and Policy, ed. Cecile Jackson and Ruth Pearson, 259-280. Routledge.

Griffin, Susan. 2000. “Book One: Matter, How Man Regards and Makes Use of Women and Nature” in Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her. Counterpoint.

Gruen, Lori. 1993. “Dismantling Oppression: An Analysis of the Connection Between Women and Animals” in Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, ed. Greta Gaard, 60-90. Temple University Press.

Heckert, Jamie, ed. 2012. “Queer Ecology: A Roundtable Discussion.” European Journal of Ecophyschology 3: 82–103.

Hird, Myra J. 2016. Queering the Non/Human. New York: Routledge.

Huggan, Graham and Helen Tiffin. 2010. Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature, Animals, Environment. Routledge.

Haraway, Donna. 2016. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University.

———. 1991. “A Cyborg Manifesto” in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, 7-42. Free Association Books.

Harcourt, Wendy and Ingrid L. Nelson (eds.). 2015. Practicing Feminist Political Ecologies: Moving Beyond the ‘Green Economy’. Zed Books.

Harris, Melanie. 2017. Ecowomanism: African American Women and Earth-Honoring Faiths. Orbis Books.

Heckert, Jamie Vishwam. 2014. “Planning for Abundance: Permaculture and Radical Transformation.” Theory in Action 17(4).

Johnson, Alex. n.d. “How to Queer Ecology: One Goose at a Time.” Orion Magazine. n.d. https://orionmagazine.org/article/how-to-queer-ecology-once-goose-at-a-time/.

Kings, A.E. 2017. “Intersectionality and the Changing Face of Ecofeminism.” Ethics and the Environment 22 (1): 63–87. https://doi.org/10.2979/ethicsenviro.22.1.04.

Langston, Nancy. 2011. Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES. Yale University Press.

Li, Huey-li. 1993. “A Cross-Cultural Critique of Ecofeminism” in Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, ed. Greta Gaard, 272-94. Temple University Press.

Lloyd, Genevieve. The Man of Reason: “Male” and “Female” in Western Philosophy. Routledge, 1993.

Lorde, Audre. 1979. “An Open Letter to Mary Daly.” http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/lordeopenlettertomarydaly.html.

MacGregor, Sherilyn. “A Stranger Silence Still: The Need for Feminist Social Research on Climate Change,” in The Sociological Review 57 (2009): 124-40.

Mallory, Chaone. 2018. “What’s in a Name? In Defense of Ecofeminism (Not Ecological Feminisms, Feminist Ecology, or Gender and the Environment): Or ‘Why Ecofeminism Need Not Be Ecofeminine—But So What If It Is?’” Ethics and the Environment 23 (2): 11–35. https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee037.

Mellor, Mary. 1998. Feminism and Ecology: An Introduction. New York: NYU Press.

Merchant, Carolyn. 1990. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution. Reprint edition. New York: HarperOne.

Mies, Maria and Vandana Shiva, eds. 2014. Ecofeminism (Critique, Influence, Change). Zed Book.

Mortimer-Sandilands, Catriona, and Bruce Erickson, eds. 2010a. Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Mortimer-Sandilands, Catriona, and Bruce Erickson. 2010b. “Introduction: A Genealogy of Queer Ecologies.” In Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire, edited by Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson, 1–42. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Morton, Timothy. 2010. “Queer Ecology.” PMLA 125 (2): 273–82. https://doi.org/10.1632/pmla.2010.125.2.273.

Nayak, Nalini. 2009. “Development for Some is Violence for Others” in Eco-Sufficiency and Global Justice: Women Write Political Ecology, ed. Ariel Salleh, 109-20. Pluto Press.

O’Loughlin, Ellen. 1993. “Questioning Sour Grapes: Ecofeminism and the United Farm Worker’s Grape Boycott” in Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, ed. Greta Gaard, 146-66. Temple University Press.

Olsson, Lennart et al. 2014. “Livelihoods and Poverty” in Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. C. B. Field et al., 803-13. Cambridge University Press.

Plumwood, Val. 1993. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. London: Routledge.

———. 1997. “Androcentrism and Anthropocentrism: Parallels and Politics” in Ecofeminism: Woman, Culture, and Nature, ed. Karen Warren, 327-55. Indianan University Press.

———. 2001. Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason. 1 edition. London: Routledge.

Portman, Anne. 2018. “Food Sovereignty and Gender Justice.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (4): 455–466.

Ruether, Rosemary Radford. 1995. New Woman New Earth: Sexist Ideologies and Human Liberation. Beacon Press.

Salleh, Ariel. 2017. Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx, and the Postmodern. Zed Books.

Sheldon, Mary V. 2012. “So What Happened to Ecofeminism?” KJAS 2 (2): 166–75.

Shiva, Vandana. “Women and the Gendered Politics of Food” in Philosophical Topics 37 (2009):17-32.

———. 2016. Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. North Atlantic Books.

Smith, Andrea. 1997. “Ecofeminism through an Anticolonial Framework” in Ecofeminism: Woman, Culture, and Nature, ed. Karen Warren, 21-37. Indianan University Press.

Spretnak, Charlene. 1997. “Radical Nonduality in Ecofeminist Philosophy” in Ecofeminism: Woman, Culture, and Nature, ed. Karen Warren, 425-35. Indianan University Press.

Stenmark, Lisa and Whitney Bauman (eds). 2018. Unsettling Science and Religion: Contributions and Questions from Queer Studies. Lexington Books.

Sturgeon, Noël. 2010. “Penguin Family Values: The Nature of Planetary Environmental Reproductive Justice.” In Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire, edited by Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson, 102–33. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Taylor, Dorceta E. 1997. “Women of Color, Environmental Justice, and Ecofeminism.” In Ecofeminism: Women, Culture, Nature, edited by Karen Warren, 38–81. Indiana Univ Press.

Warren, Karen, ed. 1997. Ecofeminism: Women, Culture, Nature. Bloomington, IN: Indiana Univ Press.

Whitworth, Lauran. “Goodbye Gauley Mountain, hello eco-camp: Queer environmentalism in the Anthropocene.” Feminist Theory. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464700118788684



Seminar Reading Schedule

No. Day Date Title/Topic Author/Citation
1 M 1/14 Introduction to course No readings
2 W 1/16 “Ecofeminism and Climate Change” (Gaard 2015)
M 1/21 No Class Martin Luther King Jr. Day
3 W 1/23 “Introduction” & “Women and the Environment” (Mellor 1998, 1–22)
4 M 1/28 “Women and the Environment” (Mellor 1998, 22–43)
5 W 1/30 “Ecofeminist Thought” (Mellor 1998, 44–70)
6 M 2/4 “What is in a Name? In Defense of Ecofeminism (Not Ecological Feminisms, Feminist Ecology, or Gender and the Environment): Or ‘Why Ecofeminism Need Not Be Ecofeminine—But So What If It Is?” (Mallory 2018)
7 W 2/6 Catch-up Day No Reading, review and overview; contribution to building a map of the field
8 M 2/11 “Dualism: The Logic of Colonialism” (Plumwood 1993, 41–69)
9 W 2/13 “Plato and the Philosophy of Death” (Plumwood 1993, 69–104)
10 M 2/18 Guest Lecture: subject librarian on conducting research Meet in library, 614A with laptops
11 W 2/20 “Descartes and the Dream of Power” (Plumwood 1993, 104–19)
12 M 2/25 “Mechanism and Mind/Nature Dualism” (Plumwood 1993, 120–40)
13 W 2/27 Midterm proposal due
14 M 3/4 “Introduction” and “Nature as Female” (Merchant 1990, xix–20)
15 W 3/6 “Nature as Female” (Merchant 1990, 21–41)
M 3/11 No Class
W 3/13 No Class
16 M 3/18 Midterm essays due Presentations of Work
17 W 3/20 “Intersectionality and the Changing Face of Ecofeminism” & “Open Letter to Mary Daly” (Kings 2017)

(Lorde 1979)

18 M 3/25 “Women of Color, Environmental Justice, and Ecofeminism” (Taylor 1997)
19 W 3/27 “Interpreting Ecofeminist Environmentalism in African Communitarian Philosophy and Ubuntu: An Alternative to Anthropocentrism” (Chemhuru 2018)
20 M 4/1 “Inequality and Ecological Rationality” (Plumwood 2001, 81–96)
21 W 4/3 “Queer Ecology”

“Gender and Queer Studies”

(Morton 2010)

(Bauman and Eaton 2017)

22 M 4/8 “A Genealogy of Queer Ecologies” (Mortimer-Sandilands and Erickson 2010b, 1–21)
23 W 4/10 “A Genealogy of Queer Ecologies” (Mortimer-Sandilands and Erickson 2010b, 22–42)
24 M 4/15 “How Queer is Green?” (Garrard 2010)
25 W 4/17 “Toward a Queer Ecofeminism” (Gaard 1997)
26 M 4/22 “Eluding Capture: The Science, Culture, and Pleasure of ‘Queer Animals’” (Alaimo 2010)
27 W 4/24 “Penguin Family Values: The Nature of Planetary Environmental Reproductive Justice” (Sturgeon 2010)
28 M 4/29 “Non-white Reproduction and Same-Sex Eroticism: Queer Acts Against Nature” (Gosine 2010)
29 W 5/1 presentations
30 M 5/6 presentations



Grant awarded for Open Access research

Thanks to a grant awarded by Illinois State University’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies, my recent article, ‘What’s the Harm in Climate Change?’ (Ethics, Policy & Environment, 20 (2017): 103–117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21550085.2017.1291828), will be freely available online for anyone to read (also known as  ‘open access’).

The competitive New Faculty Startup Support Program awards funds to help new faculty launch their careers at ISU. The grant will make my work available to anyone studying climate change from any disciplinary perspective and, hopefully, further the integration of ethical thinking into our discussions about climate change. Institutions with limited library resources often have to make choices about which journals they subscribe to. Researchers based at those institutions often have to go through several steps to get gain access to information. Sometimes it is impossible to obtain articles without a subscription. Making an article open access removes all these barriers.

I will be working with the journal’s publisher in the coming months to change the access status of this article. In the meantime, feel free to contact me for a copy of the pre-publication proofs.

The grant also includes funding for conferences and travel. I am very grateful to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies for their support!

Joining ISU Philosophy Faculty

It is with great pleasure that I announce (what has already been announced elsewhere) that I am joining the Department of Philosophy at Illinois State University as assistant professor on the tenure track. I’m thrilled to be joining such a talented team of philosophers and teachers with interdisciplinary interests that connect them to other departments; such as women and gender studies and biology. I will be teaching course and continuing my research at the intersection of philosophy and the minor program in environmental studies, which I’ve been asked to help grow.

So far the transition from Brooklyn to Central Illinois has been relatively seamless. I have to thank my friends and colleagues (new and old) for that. They have already introduced me to a network of scholars working on environmental-philosophical issues in the area.

Parting with my NYC friends colleagues, especially my friends and students at Pratt where I taught for nearly 8 years, brought many mixed emotions. I am thankful that the world wide web makes it easy to continue working on the collaborative projects with which I became involved before leaving.

The biggest change is probably transportation. I will be taking public transit, walking, and biking much less. I will rely on a car to commute to work. However, I’m happy to say that I found Prius that gets really great mileage and is almost like a game to drive. The feedback on your efficiency is immediate and the record keeping feature makes improvement an ongoing challenge. Our place is within walking distance of a range of amenities, including at least two grocery stores, a coffee shop, a mall, and variety of restaurants. But it is obvious that the area was not designed with pedestrians in mind. Sidewalks end mysteriously and crosswalks are only for certain sides of intersections.

My classes begin in just a few days and I am eager turn my thoughts from unpacking boxes to thinking again about democracy, ethics, and the environment. I will post updates when I have the chance.

Going Fossil Free (forthcoming book chapter)

My paper “Going Fossil Free: A Lesson in Climate Activism and Political Responsibility” will appear in Handbook of Climate Change Research at Universities: Addressing the Mitigation and Adaptation Challenges, ed. W. Leal Filho (Spring, forthcoming).

Abstract   Colleges and universities already contribute significantly to the fight against climate change, but the UN has recently called upon them to do even more. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that institutions of higher education play a unique role in combatting climate change and other structural injustices, not only by conducting research and disseminating knowledge, but also by fostering a form of collective political responsibility. A philosophical analysis of different forms of collective responsibility, with specific attention to the Fossil Free divestment movement, reveals how social position facilitates this contribution more so in colleges than in other institutions.

Keywords  Climate change, collective responsibility, fossil fuel divestment, student activism

You can read a draft here. I’ll be presenting a version of this paper at a symposium in Manchester Metropolitan University this September.

Sharing Responsibility to Divest (forthcoming article)

I’m happy to announce that one of my articles has been accepted for publication in Environmental Values:

“Sharing Responsibility to Divest from Fossil Fuels”

Abstract: Governments have been slow to address climate change. If non-government agents share a responsibility in light of the slow pace of government action then it is a collective responsibility. I examine three models of collective responsibility, especially Iris Young’s social connection model, and assess their value for identifying a collective, among all emitters, that can share responsibility. These models can help us better understand both the growth of the fossil fuel divest movement and the nature of responsibility for collective action problems. Universities and colleges share a responsibility because they occupy similar positions of, among other things, power and privilege.

Keywords: climate change ethics; divestment; collective responsibility; Iris Young; social connection responsibility; group agency

Thanks to everyone who offered comments on drafts. You can read a version of the article here.

Divestment: Useful Strategy or Distraction?


I’m recovering today from the overstimulating AESS 2016 conference hosted by American University in Washington DC. Scholars from nearly every discipline, EPA advisors, and NGO leaders all met to discuss the world’s most pressing environmental issues and to share their research with one another. The highlights included a walking tour of DC urban farms, a visit to the national zoo, an environmental-education themed “game jam” organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a packed schedule full of a dozen or more concurrent sessions.

I gave a paper titled “Sharing Responsibility to Divest” a version of which will soon appear in Environmental Values. I want to thank  Robert Brecha (Physics, University of Dayton) for developing the panel CFP, organizing, and chairing the session. Robert is Research Director for the Hanley Sustainability Institute. He assembled a truly interdisciplinary team that offered three very different perspective on the topic; however, despite this difference, the consensus seemed to be decidedly in favor of divestment.

Rebecca C. Potter (English, University of Dayton) gave a paper called “The Story of Divestment: Narrative Practices that Work.” Abigail Abrash Walton (Environmental Studies, Antioch University New England) gave a talk called “Organizational Leadership and Fossil Fuel Divestment: Exploring Positive Deviance and Proenvironmental Behavior.”

I encourage you to follow up on their work and to check out the UD HSI. Robert has written a HuffPo piece about UD’s wrestle with the divestment. He will also give a talk on the topic at the Association of American Colleges & Universities conference on the State of Higher Education conference next week on a panel titled “The Benefits of Going Fossil Free: Should the AAUP Endorse Campus Divestment?”

And for all my fellow game-nerds, I want to brag about scoring this Settlers of Catan expansion at the NOAA Climate Game Jam. It’s titled “Oil Spring” and it introduces oil as a resource, however, you have to be willing to risk polluting the island…  If anyone is interested in a putting together an idea for the next Game Jam, please send me a message!


Mass shootings and collective responsibility

A portion of President Obama’s charged response to the recent mass shooting in Oregon invoked a collective, political responsibility. (Full transcript here.)

This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.

He goes on to draw a parallel between different types of laws that save lives, such as seat belt laws:

When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seat belt laws because we know it saves lives.

When a source of harm emerges as part of a predicable pattern — even ‘routine’ as Obama puts it — then the proper response is structural; laws have to change. The issue is no longer about individual responsibility, but a collective and shared responsibility. There is a slight difference, however, between seat belt and gun laws. Someone who refuses to wear a seat belt doesn’t harm me. Someone who owns an assault rifle can very easily harm me, my friends, my family, my colleagues, my students…

The President urged the press to publish facts that compare gun violence with other perceived threats so that American’s can make informed decisions when they elect their leaders.

[…] I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives, and to let young people grow up. And that will require a change of politics on this issue. And it will require that the American people, individually, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, when you decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination as to whether this cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor in your decision. If you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views.

I think that this is the correct direction, but only partially so. I want my neighbors, friends, and community to know — not only the ballot box — why I believe we would all be safer with less guns. In other words, we should be talking with one another as well as our representatives. Bad arguments should be addressed and flushed out. This is not merely a matter of personal choice or freedom when it affects so many lives so drastically and so routinely.

It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.

Australian comic, Jim Jefferies, does a good job of humorously addressing some bad reasons that float around for owning assault rifles. Laughter, I think, is not in disrespect of the victims or their families. This laughter comes from ridicule, and ridicule is often an effective, and even appropriate, response to poor reasoning that obstinately clings to itself despite the now routine mass killing of our fellow citizens.