(Why isn’t this another Afternoon Warm-up? Because I started it in the morning, and all hell broke loose here, that’s why.)
1 Injecting even more stupidity into the culture…Walmart’s virtue-signalling release yesterday reminded everyone that the big-box stores stopped selling AR-15 rifles three years ago. It also announced that it would be refusing to sell firearms to anyone under 21, and this…
“We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys.”
Ugh. This is how we end up with no-tolerance fascists in public schools punishing students for chewing their Pop Tarts and pizza slices into the shapes of guns. I had a Mattel burp gun–a plastic model of a Tommy Gun—as a kid. I shot it off in the school auditorium as a stunt during my speech when I was running for president of the 8th Grade. (I lost) One of my favorite toys ever. Now corporations want to assist in the anti-gun indoctrination.
Writes Stephen Green: “‘If an object resembles something we think is bad, then it is bad,’ is the sloppiest kind of magical thinking.” It’s worse than that, though. The more sloppy thinking injected into the culture, the less competent the culture becomes.
I hate memes as a rule, but this one is relevant:
2. The all-time false equivalency champ…The calls to raise the age of legal gun purchasing, one of many gun regulation issues where the NRA’s absolutist opposition makes little sense except that it is an absolutist, no infringement means no infringement organization, is another in a long list of confusing, partisan-divide jumping controversies over “age of responsibility.” laws. There are age limits on buying cigarettes, alcohol, driving, consent to have sex, right to sign binding contracts, military service (and formally the draft), and some other activities, and they have always been used to bootstrap each other. This has been going on for decades despite the fact that physical maturity, mental maturity and emotional maturity are not always nicely synchronized, individuals vary greatly, and if we followed recent scientific studies, we would consider restricting what young men especially could legally do until about age 23.
Even as an 18 year-old, I hated the argument, “We’re old enough to fight in Vietnam, but not old enough to vote!” It’s intellectually dishonest (but then, it often issued from 18-year-olds, and they had an excuse.) My dad said that he had a recruit during WWII who had an IQ under 80. “He took orders really well. It doesn’t take a genius to carry a gun in the military,” my father said. “A physically mature 15-year-old could be an adequate soldier.” That doesn’t mean such an individual is trustworthy to vote (Larry Tribe notwithstanding), or should be allowed to buy liquor, or be deemed mature enough to consent to have sex with his 35 year-old teacher.
Still, it makes practical sense to have an agreed upon age when a citizen is considered an adult by the nation and its laws, and that sufficiently aged citizen should have all the rights and privileges of an adult. Sure, we can try to justify different ages for different responsibilities, but since all of the assumptions are based on generalities and may be inapplicable to a particular individual, it’s best to just draw a hard line and stick with it, accepting that some 15 year-olds could drive in the Daytona 500 and some 30 year-olds will vote for Bernie Sanders. Whatever the age is that we decide constitutes an adult, that adult should be able to buy beer or a gun. Those who want to raise the gun right age higher would raise it incrementally to 70 if they could. Those who want no age requirement are being irresponsible themselves.
3. I don’t understand why this case wouldn’t be 8-0. In Jennings v. Rodriguez, SCOTUS ruled 5-3 that people held in immigration detention, sometimes for years, are not entitled to periodic bail hearings. . Of course illegal immigrants shouldn’t be released on bail, so a bail hearing is an illusion. Most are in jail because they were in the country illegally, because they refused to respect travel restrictions. How can such an individual ever be rationally trusted to show up for a court date? The fact that the three liberal members of the Court voted otherwise suggests to me that the Left’s loony embrace of illegal immigration as some kind of a human right has burrowed deep into brains that I thought would hold more integrity.
Justice Breyer wrote in his dissent that for “the first time ever” that the Supreme Court had interpreted a federal law to allow the long-term confinement of people held in the United States and accused of misconduct without an opportunity to obtain bail. “An ‘opportunity,’ I might add, does not necessarily mean release, for there may be a risk of flight or harm that would justify denying bail,” he said from the bench.
They may be? These are defiant non-citizens who are in jail precisely because they showed themselves determined to avoid U.S. law and jurisdiction. If such people never can be justifiably and reasonably granted bail, why is it improper to deny them a hearing for that which will never be justly granted?
[UPDATE: As several commenters pointed out, the appellant in the case itself was not an illegal immigrant, but an alien resident whose right to remain in the country was being challenged by INS. This was one of hose cases where the facts of the case were irrelevant, as the Court was only called upon to interpret the law that was being applied to him. However, that law applies also to illegal immigrants being detained.]
4. Of course, bail would always be granted in Oakland. Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland tweeted out a statement on February 24 that she “had learned from multiple credible sources that the [sic] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area, including Oakland, starting as soon as within the next 24 hours. As Mayor of Oakland, I am sharing this information publicly not to panic our residents but to protect them.” THIS is obstruction of justice, and the INS has opined as much. Moreover, with her “good luck,” the mayor expressly endorsed law-breaking.
INS proceeded to round up 150 illegals according to the agency, but said that about 800 avoided illegal immigration arrests because of Schaaf’s tip-off. The Justice Department is looking into whether Schaaf obstructed justice. Good.
The escalating California defiance of federal law is becoming intolerable; it has been unethical for a long time. Absent having crop-dusters spray sanity gas on the whole state, I don’t see how a Constitution crisis can be averted. How far gone are Californians? This far: The Los Angeles Times issued an op-ed comparing the enforcement of our immigration laws to the Fugitive Slave Act.