Waiting For The Cool Cool Cool Of The Evening Ethics Breezes, 6/1/22: Hinckley, Depp, Wedding Snubs And Gun-Phobics

I refused to do a post on the epicly stupid Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation trial (which I call the “Deppamation trial,”), but now that the verdict is in, I have some passing observations. If you haven’t heard, the jury vindicated Depp, awarding him Depp $15 million that due to a cap on Virginia’s punitive damages, will end up being only $10,350,000. Heard got an unsatisfying two million based on one of her allegations against Depp. Meanwhile:

  • In a healthy society, nobody would care. The media publicity the trial received, blotting out information on genuinely important events, is unforgivable. These are both sick narcissists, and Depp’s lawsuit was reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s insane defamation suit that ended up putting him in jail. Depp was revealed as a vicious creep, and Heard, whose fame depends on her association with Depp, was shown to be worse. Heard will lose money, but Depp, who actually is talented, now has the career prospects going forward of Kevin Spacey or Bill Cosby. But as he has hinted, he doesn’t care, as long as he stuck it to the former love of his life.
  • On Headline News this morning, they spent ten minutes analyzing this trial compared to 15 seconds on the Sussmann verdict.
  • If 10% of the fools that followed this idiocy spent the time reading Roe v. Wade, the Alito leaked draft, and District of Columbia v. Heller, instead, our society would have taken a major step toward responsible citizenship.


1. I’m sure you will all be thrilled to hear that John Hinckley has been cleared to be a free man as of June 15. I know Jody Foster must be thrilled. I accept the conclusion that Hinckley was delusional when he shot Ronald Reagan, press secretary Jim Brady (inflicting permanent brain damage, a police officer and a Secret Service agent. Nevertheless, I believe that an assassin or would be assassin that inflicts such harm on the nation should never see the light of day again, no matter how mentally healthy treatment may render him. An assassin even crazier than Hinckley robbed the nation of President James Garfield, who might have been one of the great ones. We hanged him. I’m glad. Reagan was never the same after he was shot, and the least Hinckley should pay in compensation is his freedom.

2. Wedding un-invitation ethics. Apparently many couples who had to postpone their weddings because of the Wuhan virus are now finding that the event has become too expensive in the Age of Biden. Thus they are cutting back on elaborate venues and other gewgaws, including the invitation list. The question being posed in the New York Times is, “What’s the best way to dis-invite guests who have already been invited?” The ethical answer is “There isn’t a best way. There isn’t a good way. You committed to inviting them, and they must stay invited if you have to have the reception in a firehouse hall and serve burgers and Cheez Wiz. No exceptions.

Grace and I were disinvited from a wedding once, by a couple whom I introduced to each other and the woman had been one of my closest friends. The BS explanation was that since we were such good friends, they had decided that we were the ones to be cut because we would “understand.” Right. I understood all right: it was a snub, and I’m pretty sure why. I think I’ve spoken to either of them four times, as briefly as possible, in 30 years.

3. The rest of the story: that pre-school teacher that used LGBTQ propaganda flashcards to teach colors to 3 and four-year olds has resigned. That will probably end the episode, but shouldn’t she should be sued. The school’s principal, who professed to be unaware that this indoctrination was going on, should be fired.

Hell, everyone connected to the school should be fired, the building razed, and its former grounds sown with salt. OK, maybe that’s going a little too far…

4. A lot of women have a phobia about guns. Phobias are biases, and biases make you stupid. Two op-eds in the Times show the problems of addressing gun issues rationally and ethically, never mind effectively. The one I found particularly telling was by Times opinion-writer Pamela Paul writes that men’s insane “love” of guns is a psychological malady that must be eradicated by even more bad statistics, hysteria and fear-mongering than we have about guns already. “Public education and creative P.S.A.s helped reduce teenage cigarette use significantly,” she writes. Seriously? That’s a pathetic and dishonest analogy. Smoking kills the smoker. Once enough people knew the truth about tobacco, of course the practice declined. And there is no constitutional amendment barring tobacco bans: indeed it is unethical that the FDA hasn’t banned nicotine yet, when it should have long ago. Owning a gun and knowing how to use it conveys power to the purchasing citizen. No amount of media and activist brain-washing is going to erase that fact.

5. More men get it about guns, but conservative Ross Douthat’s essay, “The Simplest Response to School Shootings” shows how difficult finding a serious and effective solution, or half-solution, is. The best he can come up with is red-flag laws, which essentially boil down to pre-crime. He approvingly quotes a criminologist who says, “If you make buying a firearm more difficult for people who find it difficult to do anything socially, that makes a difference.”

So construct systems that discriminate against “types” of people who might turn into shooters even if they have done nothing illegal nor expressed a desire to harm anyone? Douthat wants “experiments with age-based impediments rather than full restrictions — allowing would-be gun purchasers 25 and under the same rights of ownership as 40- or 60-year-olds, but with more substantial screenings before a purchase. Not just a criminal-background check, in other words, but some kind of basic social or psychological screening, combining a mental-health check, a social-media audit and testimonials from two competent adults — all subject to the same appeals process as a well-designed red-flag law.”

Such appeals processes are expensive and burdensome, as well as stigmatizing. Futhermore, if there is any profession that has more relentlessly proven itself more over-rated and untrustworthy than psychiatry/psychology, please enlighten me. After four years of Yale psychology professor Bandy Lee stimulating the metaphorical wet dreams of Trump-haters by asserting that he was nuts, I think real doubts about these “experts'” competence and objectivity are essential. What Douthat is advocating is profiling—you know, the good kind, where white men are presumed guilty.

13 thoughts on “Waiting For The Cool Cool Cool Of The Evening Ethics Breezes, 6/1/22: Hinckley, Depp, Wedding Snubs And Gun-Phobics

  1. “Futhermore, if there is any profession that has more relentlessly proven itself more over-rated and untrustworthy than psychiatry/psychology, please enlighten me me.”


  2. Johnny Depp has a good chance at a respectable and profitable career resurgence, more so than Heard whose love life will most likely be noticeably different going forward as well.
    I mean, she can always get dates but who would ever trust her again?

    4. “A lot of women have a phobia about guns.”

    So true, but so does the sad wimpy far Left neo-democrat man who dreams of Big Brother tucking him in every night while sucking his thumb in his favorite fetal position.
    I was just at the range yesterday. Perfect overcast day and no wind. A pal of mine has been training me in multiple aspects of shooting and safety. Guns are a great life saving tool in the hands of law abiding citizens who preferably have decent range time and training. It absolutely requires ongoing practice to become proficient and safe with a firearm.

    It does take a good guy with a gun to neutralize a bad guy with a gun and it happens all the time but isn’t reported much by the MSM.
    These ignorant hysterical nearly always trembling Lefty lizard people can make themselves useful and pick up my brass.

    • “A pal of mine has been training me in multiple aspects of shooting and safety.”

      Please tell Jim Gordon that Dwayne says Hello.


  3. I don’t think Depp’s career prospects are going to be harmed much by this trial. Certainly nowhere near the Cosby/Spacey level, at least. He’s always been seen as a bit of a weirdo jerk, this just confirms that image. The notoriety boost will offset any damage to his reputation, and most likely in a week or two, all anyone will remember of this debacle is that Depp won the case and Heard crapped in his bed.

    Regarding women and guns, the times they are a-changin’… One intriguing recent development is that the huge boost in gun sales driven by the pandemic and BLM riots included a lot of female gun buyers – something like 40% of the guns sold during that period were to women, many of them first-time gun owners.

    I definitely see many more women at the range than used to be the case a couple of decades ago. Guns probably appeal to more men in a visceral way, but lots of women who were previously anti-gun have realized that when it comes to self-defense, the cops are always too far away to be of any use (and during mob violence, might just be told to stand down if the mob leans the proper direction politically).

    • Oh, I think many women are recognizing that guns make sense, especially when they are living alone. Nevertheless, have you listened to the ladies on “The View”? In “Frankie and Grace,” a long running plot involved a rift where Jane Fonda’s character’s desire to keep a gun in the house was viewed as a deal-breaker by aging hippie Lily Tomlin. I know many, many women who express the “I wouldn’t have one of those evil things in my house” view. Because, you know, it’s those guns that kill people and children…

      • For sure, many more women are afraid of guns than men. But that’s changing more rapidly than the legacy media will ever admit. I guess that’s what happens when police forces stop doing their job because of a virus and fears that they’ll be crucified if they have an encounter with a racial minority that goes bad.

        This is one of those areas where bias prevents the media from even seeing what’s happening. The stereotype image of a “gun person” remains an old white guy. But women are an increasingly large demographic in the firearms world, as are blacks and Latinos. Video games are bringing in a lot of young people who want to try shooting guns for real instead of virtually. The shooting ranges around me are a pretty solid reflection of the overall demographics of the area, where they used to be mostly that stereotype of old white dudes.

        In answer to your question, no, I haven’t listened to the ladies on “The View”. I value my hearing and sanity too much to subject myself to that screeching idiocy, and that darn sock drawer needs organizing.

  4. I would love to ask Biden and others if AR 15’s are weapons of war, that are designed to mow down large numbers of human beings, why are they the long arm of choice among civilian police departments? I would follow this up with is he willing to disarm his security detail in exchange for very restrictive gun controls, and if not why not?

    • Great thoughts, as usual.

      The AR 15 is classed by DHS as a “personal defense weapon”. If my wife was going to have a home-defense firearm to use, I would probably recommend that to her. She would initially recoil at its imposing look and size, but in the event of a home invasion, I would want her to have the option of presenting to the intruder(s) the baddest, scariest gun that she could easily use.

    • The idea of an AR-15 or even a select-fire M-4 being good only for “killing the most people possible in the shortest amount of time” is not only a bizarre notion when paired with “and only the police should have them”, but it’s also false from the standpoint of historical and contemporary military tactics.

      The idea of rifle fire for inflicting mass casualties went out by WWI as the machinegun came into it’s own, if not before, during the Napoleonic Wars, with the increasing role of field artillery. The role of the individual soldier’s rifle became the defense of his own life, the defense of those near him including the crews of support weapons, and as an aid to maneuvering.

  5. All the uninformed (or deliberately misleading) opining by Biden, the Democrats and the Leftist media about “assault rifles,” “weapons of war,” “large caliber handguns” and firearms in general once again makes me recall the line from Gen. George Patton’s “Speech to the Third Army,” as delivered by George C. Scott in the film “Patton.” Patton is derisively holding forth about stateside reporters ignorant of the realities of war when he says they “don’t know any more about real battle than they do about fornicating.” Conspicuous case in point: Biden’s statements to the press a day or two ago about the 9mm handguns that can “blow a lung out of the body.”
    Re #4: When my former agency was providing free handgun safety training for citizens seeking a state handgun carry permit, fully 70% of our class attendees were female. The only downside to training many females is overcoming their fear of guns. The upside is that most of them are more teachable than many men because they don’t think they already know (or should know) how to shoot. Many of the top shooters in the final range qualification portion of the training for every class were females. Most officers I have known have made sure their wives learned to shoot. My wife and my daughter are great shots, and either could easily “blow your lung out” if we could find some of those 9mm rounds Biden was talking about.

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