It’s been reported that the mass shooter who killed seven people and injured 22 last Saturday in Odessa, Texas, before being killed by police was previously ruled mentally unfit by a court and banned under federal law from buying a firearm. But he bypassed a background check by buying the gun from a private individual, which doesn’t require a background check under Texas law.
Texas officials say they are discussing changes in the law to close that loophole, but they want it to apply to sales to strangers and not force people who are just transferring a gun to a family member to have to put them through the federal background check process.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, where at least 25 people were shot, seven fatally, during just the first half of the Labor Day weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot knows exactly who’s to blame: Republicans (FYI: Chicago’s last Republican mayor left office in 1931.)
Lightfoot tweeted, in a rant directed at Sen. Ted Cruz, that “60% of illegal firearms recovered in Chicago come from outside IL — mostly from states dominated by coward Republicans like you who refuse to enact commonsense gun legislation.”
This overlooks the fact that Chicago has “common sense gun legislation,” which mostly amounts to making it very difficult for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, yet that seems to be no impediment to criminals whatsoever. Her assumption that if every other state had the same anti-gun laws, it would keep criminals from accessing guns is quite a leap. First of all, by her own admission, the 60% of guns recovered in Chicago that come from outside Illinois are already “illegal” to own, yet the criminals got them anyway, just as the shooter in Texas found a way around the law because that’s what criminals do: they violate laws. Secondly, if 60% of the illegal firearms come from outside Illinois, then where do the other 40% come from? Do criminals get them locally despite the anti-gun laws? Yes, they do.
A few years ago, a survey of young male state prison inmates found that only 10% had obtained their weapons by buying them from a gun store. The other 90% got them through illicit means such as underground gun traffickers, sharing weapons with fellow gang members and other illegal means.
If we ever hope to disrupt the flow of weapons to criminals, law enforcement should be targeting those illegal underground weapons suppliers instead of adding more and more restrictions on lawful gun buyers and sellers who aren’t the problem and are just trying to protect themselves from the people with all the illegally-obtained guns.
If you’d like a case study of why Americans have more trust in phone psychics than in the media, this week brought the perfect example:
Bloomberg News reporter Ben Penn dug through some old Facebook posts by Trump Labor Department appointee Leif Olson and lifted some completely out of context. Olson had clearly written the posts to sarcastically mock alt-right anti-Semites. Penn left that part out and cast them as Olson writing serious anti-Semitic comments.
As the old saying goes, a lie can go halfway around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on (now, with the Internet, the lie can go around the world 100 times.) The Labor Department quickly announced that it had accepted Olson’s resignation (I assume that means he had no choice), and he was jobless and his reputation smeared, all because of a lie by an unscrupulous reporter who seems to think that "getting" someone in the Trump Administration is his job, and the truth be hanged.
I would hope that now that the truth has its shoes on and is ready to kick some tail that President Trump will order his Labor Department to rescind that unfair “resignation.”
It’s time to stand up to this irresponsible, unconscionable and dishonest bullying and just say “no” to the “cancel culture.” This example is so unfair and so blatant that even anti-Trump liberals like Jonathan Chiat and Vox.com blasted it. As David French notes in the linked article at National Review, these partisan hatchet men only have the power that the rest of us grant them. It is a supreme injustice that Leif Olson is unemployed while Ben Penn still has a job as a “journalist.” But both of those injustices can be corrected.
A new study by a University of Houston management professor found that the #MeToo movement has had an effect on behavior in the workplace, but it’s a mixed bag. On the plus side, about three-quarters of men said they were being more careful about potentially inappropriate behavior toward women, and about the same number of women said they were more willing now to speak out if they were sexually harassed.
However, “19% of men said they were reluctant to hire attractive women. 21% said they were reluctant to hire women for jobs involving close interactions with men. And 27% said they avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues.” It’s definitely a step backward for women if employers are reluctant (a three-dollar word for “scared silly”) to hire attractive women, invite women employees to after-work social gatherings or send them on business trips with male colleagues. And while the study didn’t address this, I can’t help but imagine that this has made many men gun-shy to agree to mentor female employers or accept female interns.
The researchers said that some of this is a manifestation of the “Mike Pence rule,” referring to the Vice President’s rule of never dining alone with any female other than his wife. He was widely ridiculed for that at first, then he suddenly seemed like the wisest man in Washington.
I have to take issue with one statement in the linked article: “The results were surprising.” I was hardly the only one who predicted these exact unintended consequences. And let me be absolutely clear: I am not saying there should be any backlash against women for standing up against sexual harassment in the workplace. All women should be treated with respect and all men should treat them that way. The lecturing from the left is particularly galling, since they are the ones who gave us the “sexual revolution,” while those of us from Southern conservative families were raised by mammas who made us fetch a switch if we ever showed disrespect to a lady.
This is not a backlash against women demanding the respect they deserve. It’s a backlash against the weaponizing and politicizing of accusations of sexual misconduct, as we saw in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and the abandonment of the bedrock rights of due process and the assumption of innocence until proven guilty. When we’re told that all female accusers must be believed, regardless of the evidence, and a United States Senator like Mazie Hirono declares that men should just “shut up,” even if they claim the charges against them are false, then men would be insane not to be extra-cautious to avoid situations that might make them vulnerable to false accusations that could destroy their careers and reputations.
If you want women and men truly to be equal, then both deserve the same basic rights of equal protection under the law. This isn’t a matter of “sexual politics,” it’s just civil rights 101.