It’s Going to Be Hard, Says President Obama

No surprises here, the President cannot let a crisis go to waste:

In his boldest terms yet, he vowed to rally the American people around an agenda to limit gun violence and said he still supports increased background checks and bans on assault weapons and high capacity bullet magazines.

“It is not enough for us to say, ‘This is too hard so we’re not going to try,'” Obama said. “So what I intend to do is I will call all the stakeholders together. I will meet with Republicans. I will meet with Democrats. I will talk to anybody.

“I think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can’t have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids. And, yes, it’s going to be hard.”

“I will talk to anybody.” Yeah. Exactly. And that will help us how? You are always willing to talk, Mr. President. It’s what you do best. Studying, listening, thinking? Not so much. And notice that he’s not talking with anyone, no he’s talking to them. He won.

Strawman argument, anybody? “It is not enough for us to say, ‘This is too hard so we’re not going to try.'”

“We can’t have a situation . . . .” Really? We do have the situation and we will have that situation as long as there are people. Even if we got rid of every gun in the world, crazy, sin-stricken people would do damage with whatever they could turn to their evil purposes. Unless, of course, every person was some kind of battery with a really active dream life.

But, I do agree, it’s going to be really hard to do what the President wants to do–without running afoul of the US Constitution and the people who still believe it to be the supreme law of the land.

 

No Country for Old People

As Walter Russell Mead notes, visiting one’s elderly parents is now required by law. So many things are changing in China, but I cannot help but see the one-child policy as being a leading cause of the situation which the Chinese government seeks to address by passing yet another law.

Imagine that you are a girl, the first (and only) child of your parents. They wanted a boy. They tell you all the years you are growing up that you should have been a boy. They wonder how they’ll ever make it without a boy. Their line will die off. Etc.

So, you grow up, find a job in a city far far away and almost never go visit your parents. After all, they didn’t even want you to begin with.

I’ll grant you that this scenario is not the only one, but this one is played out time after time. Now, China seeks to address the long-term symptoms of a problem which it created when the one-child policy was established over 30 years ago. Not to mention the issue with over 30 million young men who cannot find brides because there aren’t enough women to go around.

When a country makes itself unwelcoming to its own young people, it does not take long before it becomes unwelcoming to its elderly. We need to be taking some notes, and making changes before it is too late.

The Dullards Are At It Again

The UK is a very, very safe place. Guns are only available to the military, special law enforcement and those handful of sport shooters willing to jump through all the legal hoops on their way to the gun range or grouse hills.

Except it isn’t, isn’t safe, that is. Solution? Ahh, yes. Ban the long knives:

[K]nifepoint robberies rose by 10 percent this year and there are some 60,000 stabbings each year. So the push is on to outlaw long kitchen knives. Once that’s done, surely utopia will be at hand.

A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

“Impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs.” So, we gotta get rid of the knives, but not the prompters? And, we’re doing nothing about impulse control? Doesn’t make any sense. But then, there’s no reason it should, is there? Ahh, when will we ever learn that the problem lies with people and not with property? It always has and it always will.

It’s not the stuff (be it kitchen knife, a Webley, or a Land Rover), it’s what we choose to do with it.

UPDATE

Here’s some lagniappe: Doctor killing patients in the UK at alarming rate. I wonder if banning the tall doctors would be especially helpful?

Warrants Not Required

Look, we all know what a warrant is. Few of us have ever seen one in person, let alone been served. The point of a warrant is to ensure that law enforcement doesn’t just go on a fishing expedition when someone somewhere wants someone else punished (whether there is good basis in the law or not). Warrants, and a strict adherence to their lawful use, is one of the things which separates us from far too many countries around the globe. In short, warrants undergird the rule of law, protecting the innocent and ensuring that we err on the side of caution.

What the US Senate just did was to ignore the protections which the warranting process provides to normal citizens. Under the law, likely to be approved by His Excellency, no warrant is required to listen in on anyone’s phone calls, email or text messages–as long as the people doing the snooping are engaged in counter-terrorism activities. Anyone who thinks that such a law cannot and will not be massively abused needs to understand that the list of “terroristic” activities may now includes such things as purchase and storage of bulk food products. No, really.

We need to protect this country from terrorism. But the way in which we are going about it is insane. Our government simply cannot bring itself to label Major Hasan’s rampage as terrorism, yet at the same time buying a bunch of stuff at the Army Navy store will get us a visit from someone in the government who’s here to help?

Power to do good things (stop actual terrorism) must be kept in check or it will be used to do evil. It’s not the power, it’s the people and their sinful selves. Shame on the 73 senators who had the opportunity to allow an emotionally conceived and freedom-killing law sunset and did not do so.

Poor Babies Are Growing Up Instead of Staying Safe

College is a good idea for some people, but the value is not the same for everyone. As Heather McDonald notes, the reality of getting a job in the North Dakota oilfields may be exactly what young people need:

Where is a teenager more likely to learn the basic and transferable virtue of showing up every day and on time, not to mention how to get along with a boss and fit into an organization — as a communications and binge-drinking double major at Missoula State University, or as a mechanic fixing broken rig equipment? Too many high-school graduates are reflexively going to college as it is, without a clue what they are doing there or how to take advantage of higher education.

If college will bring value down the road, there is nothing keeping highly-functioning driven individuals from taking a break from the workforce in their 20s (or 30s or 40s) and getting some of the learning they missed.

Meanwhile, keep that rig running and I guarantee you’ll learn skills which will be of value to you for the rest of your life.

From Russia . . . With Facts

Stanislaw Mishin, in the post entitled “Americans Never Give Up Your Guns” nails it:

The excuse that people will start shooting each other is also plain and silly. So it is our politicians saying that our society is full of incapable adolescents who can never be trusted? Then, please explain how we can trust them or the police, who themselves grew up and came from the same culture?

Exactly. Goes back to the understanding that all humans are flawed and need restraints (that is, no one is above the law). Mr. Mishin continues:

No it is about power and a total power over the people. There is a lot of desire to bad mouth the Tsar, particularly by the Communists, who claim he was a tyrant, and yet under him we were armed and under the progressives disarmed. Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns. Oh, no, they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves and do not obey without question. They hate guns in those whom they have slated for a barrel to the back of the ear.

And, before you think that such statements are too much, just look at all the calls for the deaths of those who supported Second Amendment in recent weeks.

No one is disputing that there is power in the hands of him or her who holds a gun. The question is, who is doing the holding?

And the Prescription Is . . . .

We’ve a very sick society, if one can go by the absolute foolishness which passes as news (reported by everyone from Piers Morgan to David Gregory and Geraldo Rivera). Making it even worse, these people think they are in a  special class, as noted by Jonah Goldberg:

Culturally, one of the things lots of Americans detest about the elite journalistic culture is the idea that reporters are above the law. Usually, this self-regard manifests itself in debates over revealing sources. Many journalists honestly believe they have special rights and privileges not enjoyed by all Americans. As a matter of law and logic, that’s not the case (which is why some journalists want to see the licensing of journalists). We all have the right to commit journalism.

So, go to Facebook and Twitter and email. Commit some journalism before it’s a felony. After all, once the Second Amendment goes, the First cannot be far behind.

Maybe They Won’t Come

Once upon a time, there was a historic election in the United States. Everyone wanted to be part of the party (well, if one believes the MSM). Four years later, there was another historic election. Half of the everyones want to be part of the party somewhere else:

Some 1.8 million people were at the National Mall for Obama’s first inauguration; this time, city officials expect there will be more than a million fewer visitors, the AP reports. Hotels sold out months in advance in 2009 at a daily of $600-plus, but for 2013 some places still have half their rooms available, and DC residents aren’t too likely to be able to rent out their homes for hundreds of dollars a night.

One wonders how many tons of trash will be picked up from the National Mall this time?

Feinstein’s Doing Just Fine, She Thinks

One highly-protected semi-celebrity from the fast-fading state of California is finally going to stop the madness. How? With a spear and magic helmet a variation of what was implemented back in 1994.

Supporting this move is the understanding that what doesn’t work in Chicago or DC (or other areas with local gun bans) will somehow work when applied nationally. Yes, I am struggling to understand the logic behind that. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be based on logic.

I do not know Senator Feinstein. I have never met her–and find it probable that I never shall. With that said, I think it likely that she is a true believer. She believes that making certain types of guns illegal to possess or transfer will make a difference this time, despite a complete paucity of evidence that such a move made a difference nearly 20 years ago. But true believers don’t need evidence. No, all they need is the understanding that they are right and all others are wrong, data be damned. Humans are not the problem, in her view, things are. If we can just keep people away from things–particularly evil snooty things–everyone will be all right.

As Herschel Smith notes:

But then again, this isn’t really about sporting purposes, or safety, or public concerns, is it?  It’s about government control, as such progressive laws always are.

Instead of understanding, as the founding fathers did, that all of humankind is intrinsically flawed, Senator Feinstein and her co-religionists believe that they have evolved to the point where they can see clearly to remove the AR-15s we have lodged in our collective eye. They are mature, clear-thinking adults. We, on the other hand, are the children–not bad (well, except for vocal supporters of the 2nd Amendment) just unable to function safely by ourselves. At least, that’s the fairy tale they insist on repeating to all who will listen.

It’s time to stop listening.