Red Flag Gun Laws

In which I disagree with Ben Shapiro and others who support red flag gun laws.  There are a number of reasons for my disagreement; here are some, in no particular order. They are, each of them individually, must less collectively, deal breakers.

There’s considerable concern—legitimately so—about going through due process to protect the rights of the individual being “accused” of mental instability or of being dangerous otherwise to folks with whom he might come in contact (home, shopping mall,…). If the man truly is that dangerous, though, the court process cannot act quickly enough to mitigate the situation in the real time during which the danger supposedly exists.

There’s Surveillance

…and there’s surveillance.

The FBI is looking at ways to scan Facebook (and Twitter, et al.) postings with a view to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests.

In late 2016, following an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union into social-media monitoring done by outside developers on behalf of law enforcement, Facebook and Twitter cracked down on those services and explicitly banned the use of their data for surveillance purposes….
Facebook’s ban allowed law-enforcement agencies to look at public profiles manually but not use software designed for large-scale collection and analysis of user data.

Guns and Gun Violence

A couple of instructive graphs, via Mark Perry at Carpe Diem AEI.

Yet, Progressive-Democrats—especially those competing to become our President—insist on disarming us.

Why is that, I wonder?

The People’s Republic of China Threatens

Now they’re getting overt regarding the protests in Hong Kong against the local pseudo-autonomous government’s misbehaviors.

…those who play with fire will perish by it.

That’s pretty stark considering the overtly peaceful nature of the protests.  Yang Guang, speaking for the PRC’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of State Council:

[PRC] central government has “immense strength” and that punishment for those behind the demonstrations is “only a matter of time.”

“Don’t ever misjudge the situation and mistake our restraint for weakness.”

Guns and Deaths

Here are some actual data—facts that the Progressive-Democrats running for President are pleased to ignore—as produced by Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra):

Average # of deaths per day in US:Abortion: 1,778
Heart disease: 1,773
Cancer: 1,641
Medical error: 685
Accidents: 401
Stroke: 401
Alzheimer’s: 332
Diabetes: 228
Flu: 150
Suicide: 128
Opioids: 115
Drunk driving: 28
Underage drinking: 11
Teen texting-and-driving: 8
All Rifles: 1

His sources:

Abortion: (link: https://nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf )
Heart disease/cancer/accidents/stroke/alzheimers/flu/suicide: (link: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm )
Medical error: (link: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-america.html )
Opioids: (link: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html )
Drunk driving: (link: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html )

Yet those Progressive-Democrat politicians want to control rifles, ultimately to take away all of our weapons.

A Misbehaving Judge

PG&E is in a world of hurt, still, over the California fires that its shoddy power line maintenance contributed so heavily to starting.  However, the Federal district judge overseeing a related court case has overstepped his own bounds.

William Alsup, a US district judge in Northern California, ordered PG&E to respond “on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis” to the Journal article published July 10.

This is just plain wrong.  Leaving aside the fact that newspaper articles, no matter how seemingly well-documented, are not evidence of anything—they’re only allegations, and they were not brought to Alsup by any parties to that case; he went and got them all by himself.

A Misunderstanding

In a house editorial concerning the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding President Donald Trump’s authority to reallocate some DoD funds toward building a border wall, The Wall Street Journal expressed the hope that the ruling—which lifted a nation-wide injunction issued by a Federal district [sic] judge—would send an appropriate signal to district judges regarding nation-wide injunctions.  The editors also had this remark regarding such injunctions.

The proliferation of national injunctions has inserted judges into policy debates in ways they should avoid….

This is a misapprehension of the situation and a mischaracterization of what the judges are doing.

Freeze the North Pole

…or keep it frozen.  Or add more ice to it.  Or something.

Here’s an idea:

A team of designers led by Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha proposes re-freezing sea water in the Arctic to create miniature modular icebergs using a submarine-like vessel, in a bid to combat climate change.
The Indonesian designer worked on the prototype with collaborators Denny Lesmana Budi and Fiera Alifa for an international competition organised by the Association of Siamese Architects.

And they won a consolation prize for that.  After all, as Kotahatuhaha said,

Warrant-Proof Encryption

Attorney General William Barr, in front of the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University, said that

“warrant-proof” encryption was “enabling dangerous criminals to cloak their communications and activities behind an essentially impenetrable digital shield.”

Of course.  And the FBI, in the aftermath of a mass-shooting in California a while back, (in)famously said that it needed Apple to crack the lock on one of the murderer’s smartphone so they could read it, insisting they were helpless without Apple’s cracking (and they demanded then, too, that Apple install encryption backdoors on its commercial cell phones).  Then the FBI hired a third party, which cracked the encryption forthwith.

Unify Our Way, Or Else

Cenk Uygur thinks we all should just meekly acquiesce to what four first-year House Progressive-Democrats tell us to do.  First, he says

Nearly everyone in Washington seems to assume that progressives should shut up, accept their place, and unify around the status quo. Think about what an arrogant and preposterous request that is.

Then he says

We signed up to rout him [President Donald Trump] and send him home. If you’re not on board with that, get out of the way and let us do it.

Wow. Think about what an arrogant and preposterous request that is.