URLs du Jour

2021-04-12

  • Eye Candy du Jour from Michael Ramirez.

    [Divison vs. Unity]

    I've been puzzling over the Woke strategy, and Mr. R illuminates the problem well: nonstop accusations of implacable racism are supposed to make us all get along with each other someday?


  • But That Ain't the Only Way to Divide Americans. J. D. Tuccille notes that Wheezy Joe has hit on an old favorite: Biden’s Gun-Limitation Schemes Make a Mockery of His ‘Unity’ Message.

    Just months into President Joe Biden's tenure, his early calls for "unity" look not only insincere—something we expect of any politician—but positively laughable. Last week, he threatened executive action to tighten restrictions on privately owned firearms in a move bound to infuriate gun owners, including millions of people who purchased tools for self-defense for the first time amid the chaos of the past year. Much of the country is certain to ignore his dictates, including state and local governments who have already vowed that they won't enforce such rules. Forget unity—the president has found an effective means of deepening the country's divisions.

    Just months into President Joe Biden's tenure, his early calls for "unity" look not only insincere—something we expect of any politician—but positively laughable. Last week, he threatened executive action to tighten restrictions on privately owned firearms in a move bound to infuriate gun owners, including millions of people who purchased tools for self-defense for the first time amid the chaos of the past year. Much of the country is certain to ignore his dictates, including state and local governments who have already vowed that they won't enforce such rules. Forget unity—the president has found an effective means of deepening the country's divisions.

    "I asked the Attorney General and his team to identify for me immediate, concrete actions I could can take now without having to go through the Congress," the president huffed from the White House on April 8. "And today, I'm announcing several initial steps my administration is taking to curb this epidemic of gun violence."

    J. D. makes the obvious observation: if there were a set of unifying proposals to curb "gun violence", they would sweep though Congress easily. Biden's not interested in "unity" on this issue; he's interested in finding ways to push people around, and (probably) make criminals out of existing gun owners.


  • Hey, You Know That Failed Policy We Tried Thirty Years Ago? Chris Stirewalt claims, plausibly, that Biden’s Reboot of 1990s Gun Restrictions Is a Predictable Flop.

    The debate over gun control has been so pointless for so long that even to make note of its futility has become pointless itself. It’s like art-house cinema: nonsensical but annoyingly derivative and going nowhere fast. That’s what happens when people don’t want to get to the point—which President Biden and most of his fellow Democrats certainly do not want to do.

    We’ve been on repeat for nearly 30 years now, with Biden’s new suite of firearms proposals just the latest remix. The president knows. He was there when the template was set in 1994 with the federal weapons restrictions he helped pass as a senator. The legislation was part of an enormous crime bill approved with bipartisan support—the same legislation Biden spent much of 2020 atoning for because of its increased federal prison sentences for drug offenders.

    The “assault-style weapons ban” component was passed in response to a series of mass murders, particularly the 1991 massacre that left 23 dead at a Luby’s Cafeteria in Central Texas. But what advocates believed was strong public demand for federal restrictions on semiautomatic weapons and ammunition capacity was a mirage. While voters were indeed alarmed about the crime wave of the era—New York City had 2,245 murders in 1990 compared with 462 last year—the weapons limits immediately turned into a political liability for their proponents. This was the beginning of the two-decade heyday of the National Rifle Association and, as it was with many issues at the time, a sharp turn toward partisan orthodoxy.

    Stirewalt notes that the "patronizing proposals are a reflection of Democrats’ desires to please base voters without further jeopardizing paper-thin majorities in both houses of Congress." And he wishes (forlornly) that they'd just explicitly propose what they implicitly desire: repeal of the Second Amendment.


  • It's Like Nominating Carrie Nation to be Chief of the Liquor Commission. Michael Graham notes there's a local angle to the gun-grabbing effort: Biden's ATF Pick Backs Gun Bans, Debunked Waco Conspiracy. Will Hassan Back Him?.

    Few Granite Staters have ever heard of David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. But if his nomination makes it to the floor of the Senate, he’s likely to become a local celebrity.

    That’s because Chipman’s going to need the vote of Sen. Maggie Hassan, a solidly-blue Democrat in a purple state with one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the nation and fewest restrictions on legal gun ownership. Hassan’s up for re-election next year, so Republicans and Second Amendment groups will make sure Granite State gun owners know all about Mr. Chipman before she casts that vote.

    Chipman, a 25-year veteran of the ATF, has hardly been subtle about his support for gun control. He’s a former lobbyist on behalf of not one, but two anti-Second-Amendment organizations: the Mike Bloomberg-backed Everytown group and Giffords.org. Not surprisingly, gun-control advocates hailed his nomination. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) celebrated Chipman’s pick as “exactly what A.T.F. needs.” CNN calls him “a fierce advocate for gun control.”

    Michael details Chipman's expressed opinions over the past years, which range from extreme to wacko (about Waco). And speculates that our state's Senator Hassan might not want to irk NH gun owners by voting to confirm him.


  • Zero Is Not an Acceptable Option. Andrew A. Michta (in an NRPlUS article, sorry) touches on an issue about which I've thought a lot about over the years: The Zero-Risk Western Society.

    A year of the COVID pandemic has transformed some of the freest and most affluent societies in the history of the West beyond recognition and in ways perhaps never imagined. Not even amid the last century’s two world wars did we experience anything similar to the past twelve months, whereby the economies and lives of entire nations were stopped on a dime by executive fiat, when normal human interactions were forcibly halted to save us from a pathogen that, according to many a pundit — at least initially — would have otherwise killed millions. During this past year “lockdowns” gained widespread currency: a term eerily connoting the idea of incarceration, only this time it was to be effected by the citizens themselves, urged to accept a de facto self-imprisonment mandated by pro publico bono and based on the mantra of “trust the science” repeated by government officials and media outlets. As a result, Europe and North America of a year ago and today look like two different worlds.

    I offered my take as a comment, inspired by Bjørn Lomberg's recent book: It's funny how this works. 30K-40K people in the US die every year from traffic accidents. It would certainly be possible to "save" a lot of those lives by draconian restrictions on driving. But such restrictions are not on the table; even in these sensitive times, as a society we've (more or less) collectively decided that those dead people are "the price we pay" for having a transportation system we like. But as Michta notes, that decision making doesn't easily translate to other areas.


  • Twitter Doesn't Like the Truth. The Federalist notes its latest censorship: Twitter Hides BLM Founder Buying $1.4 Million Home In Mostly White Area.

    Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors purchased a $1.4 million home last month in Topanga Canyon, a secluded area of Los Angeles whose population is reportedly less than 2 percent black. The self-described Marxist is now facing criticism for the extravagant purchase, including from Jason Whitlock, an African-American sports journalist.

    Whitlock tweeted about the controversy last week, writing, “Black Lives Matter Founder buys $1.4 million home in Topanga, which has a black population of 1.4%. She’s with her people!” He added a link to the story on the celebrity property blog The Dirt. Twitter quickly deleted his post and locked his account for “violating our rules against posting private information.”

    I suppose the argument is that someone could figure out the location of Patrisse's new digs from the Dirt article. But it's the same sort of stuff you see in the WSJ's "Mansion" section on Fridays. So I suspect the real problem is that it exposes the BLM organization as a pack of grifters.