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.

Suicide Pact

Now The Wall Street Journal has joined the bandwagon.

Gun rights need to be protected, but the Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.

Indeed, they do, and it is not. But violating the Second Amendment as a matter of routine, or gutting it as the Progressive-Democrats want to do (background checks? Where would the Progressive-Democrats stop? They refuse to say, they refuse to articulate their limiting principle) certainly would be national suicide.

…those in the gun lobby who claim that denying access to guns from those with a history of mental illness violates individual rights.

Better is the Enemy of Good Enough

In the aftermath of Boeing’s failure with its 737MAX, the FAA—and foreign jurisdictions—are on the verge of entering that larger failure regime.

As Boeing Co and safety regulators push to complete long-awaited fixes for 737 MAX jets, testing has expanded to cover increasingly unlikely emergencies including potential computer failures pinpointed by overseas authorities, according to US government officials briefed on the details.
The broader risk analyses and simulator scenarios, some details of which haven’t been reported before, show the lengths to which leaders of the Federal Aviation Administration, in coordination with their foreign counterparts, are going to verify the safety of the MAX fleet before allowing the planes to fly again.

A Brief Question

…briefly answered.  Greg Ip, in his column on a putative currency war inflicted on us by the EU asked it.  He opened his piece with this:

When Federal Reserve policy makers gather in Washington this week [a couple days ago] to weigh cutting interest rates, a big part of their decision will already have been made—in Frankfurt.

Then he asked

How should the US protect its economy against possible threats from European economies?

Gun Registration (Control)

The New Zealand government, enthusiastically led in this by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, intends to create a law requiring New Zealanders to register with the government the gun licenses they have and the guns they have.  This new…law…also is intended to make it harder to get, and keep, a gun license.

Other provisions of the thing include

  • establishment of new licensing for around 260 shooting clubs and ranges
  • expansion police authority to confiscate weapons if an individual shows (government defined) warning signs
  • require a separate license to purchase ammunition

Guns and Homicides

According to The Fresno Bee:

More people are licensed to carry concealed weapons in Fresno County than any other county in California, according to data from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the Fresno Police Department [17,400 licenses for a population of 994,000].

And

Orange County is next with 12,008 licenses [population 3.2 million].

And

Los Angeles County, with a population of more than 10 million, had only 424 permits as of last summer….

And

Hypocrisy of the British Left

Yes, ex-Prime Minister John Major claims himself a Conservative, but he’s acting more and more Left.  Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister wannabe and front-runner to replace the resigned Theresa May, has said that if needs be, he’ll prorogue Parliament to block an anti-no-deal Brexit vote, if a no-deal departure is necessary.

Prorogue: a temporary suspension of Parliament following petition of the Queen by her first minister—the Prime Minister—for permission to suspend Parliament and her granting that permission.  This use is unusual; prorogation is normally used for normal terminations of Parliamentary sessions; the term also describes the interval between that termination and the normal opening of the next session.

Federal Government and Home Lending

Investors worry about the impact on home mortgage costs from the Trump administration’s efforts to reform Federal involvement in the business—for instance, cutting Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loose from Federal controls and support.

The WSJ‘s subheadline of the article at the link sums up those investors’ worry:

[A]ny overhaul to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could reduce or eliminate the federal backstop

To which this investor—and home-owner and mortgage payer—says, “Yeah, and?”

There should be no Federal backstop at all, there should be no Federal involvement in this, or any other, industry at all.  Federal involvement only distorts the market, and Federal money, being the increased demand of additional and protected money, only drives up costs.

Health Care for All

In Great Britain, Justice Nathalie Lieven of the Court of Protection (an ironically named court, as you’ll see in a bit) has ordered a woman’s pregnancy be terminated by abortion in the mother’s 22nd week.  The woman has the mental capacity of a grade schooler, and so Lieven has ordered the abortion ostensibly for the mother’s own sake.

Never mind that neither the woman nor the woman’s mother want the abortion, and the woman’s mother has said she would care for the baby—her granddaughter—as well as her daughter (for whom she already cares).  Lieven insisted