Newsroom: December 2017

Programming notes: As mentioned back in Worldwide Blueprint we are coming to the close of the Run in 2017. This and one more essay, then we adjourn for the year and reload on January 13th with a news update. However, unlike what was laid out in that Run, the second January update will be a look at sex trafficking.

But, for now, let us discuss the news. This month, Black Friday sales continue to set records, ISIS militants are confirmed in Canada, and “firearms amnesty” in the United Kingdom.

1.) Black Friday. In what is starting to seem as an annual tradition, NICS background checks for Black Friday set a record. 203,086 background checks were run through the system, but multiple firearms can be tied to the same BGC, so the number of firearms sold was likely a lot higher.

Not much more to say there, really.

2.) ISIS in Canada. We already know that ISIS has fighters in the UK, that much has been shown fairly clearly. But now, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale, has confirmed that the government is watching a least 60 ISIS fighters in the country. This comes on the heels of an extremely controversial plan to “reintegrate” ISIS fighters back into the country. According to The Daily Caller, Canada’s PM, Justin Trudeau, says that the goal of the program is to “monitor them, we’re also there to help them to let go of that terrorist ideology.” However, Goodale has noted that “once a person has been in a war zone, once they’ve been actively engaged in terrorist-related activities, the capacity to turn them around is pretty remote. That’s why you have to use the other tools, including collecting the evidence and prosecuting wherever and whenever you can.”

This leads to the idea that a person too dangerous to be released from prison shouldn’t be released (which we have discussed here), but the question in this context is a bit more complicated. Namely, should Canadians affiliated with ISIS be allowed back into society at all?

3.) The United Kingdom. By now, you’ve heard that the UK has very little gun crime, compared to the US. The interesting thing is that, in mid-November, we actually saw a 27% increase in gun crime throughout the UK, and the government set up an amnesty program for people to turn in their firearms, no(t many ) questions asked. The event was known as the “National Gun Surrender.”

But, when gun crime is rising by almost 1/4, it is not exactly a point in favor of gun control advocates here. Leaving aside the laughably small hauls gun buybacks tend to pull in around the US.

4.) Gun ownership. Finally tonight, a great article on how gun control, as a policy, is elitist at best, and ineffective at worst. Scott McPherson, over at The Future of Freedom Foundation, brilliantly illustrates how gun control is not so much about crime, and more about exerting self-granted authority.

At its root, gun control is an elitist policy. One group of people decides that by virtue of birth, social status, economic status, or political persuasion, they should control the ownership of firearms. The framers of our Constitution explicitly rejected that notion, lauding instead the value of an armed populace. To protect the right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791.

Elites are even less comfortable when commoners use guns, in defense of themselves and others. On NBC’s Today former vice president Joe Biden, who is guarded around the clock by Secret Service agents, was asked specifically about Stephen Willeford’s use of an AR-15 rifle to stop a madman who killed twenty-six people in a Texas church. Biden didn’t even acknowledge Willeford’s competence, presence of mind, and incredible heroism on that tragic day, offering dismissively, “Well, first of all, the kind of gun being carried he shouldn’t be carrying.”

Next week, we discuss this year in gun rights, and set the stage for next year.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

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