Knives, Rifles, and a Suicide

Another bad week for Democrats. After the latest debates “No candidate received a polling bump,” according to Morning Consult analyst Anthony Patterson, and the inestimable Michael Barone analyzes the various constituencies -- often conflicting -- that make up the present Democratic party.

It appears that Joe Biden still is far ahead of the pack. 

He’s added to his memorable gaffe list, this week referring supporters to a website which doesn’t exist, again calling Theresa May “Margaret Thatcher” and saying that poor kids were just as talented and intelligent as “white kids.” He capped it off with saying there were “three genders” and when a young woman asked him to name them, he forcibly grabbed her arm.

At the same time, numerous statements he made in the past which appear facially racist (not “dog whistles”) keep propping up, probably ferreted out by his party opponents. 

Stuff like this:

“I have friends on the far left, and they can justify to me the murder of a white deaf mute for a nickel by five colored guys,” he said. “They say black men had been oppressed and so on. But they can’t justify some Alabama farmers tar and feathering an old colored woman.”

He charged the ACLU would defend the black assailants, “but no one would go down to help the ‘rednecks.”

Obviously the polling mentioned by Barone is the impetus for these attacks:

“Black Democrats’ clear choice now is Biden (47% in Quinnipiac), with Sanders (11%) a very distant second. Warren, the white college grads’ favorite, lags behind with blacks at 8%. Quinnipiac has black candidates Harris and Booker receiving 1% and 0% from blacks -- they do better in other polls, but always struggle to hit double digits.”

I don’t understand exactly Black Democrats’ attraction to Biden. Perhaps his association with former President Obama, but Obama has not endorsed him, and the other candidates have tried mightily to undercut Obama’s record.

Nor do the agendas of the present party seem attractive to the Black and Hispanic voters they are counting on

A new poll shows that a majority of black and Hispanic voters support presidential candidates who are against illegal immigration.

Worse for the Democrats:

Support for Trump among minorities has increased since 2016, especially among Hispanics. A slew of polls earlier this year found that support for Trump had reached 50 percent among the group.

Trump often touts the record-low unemployment rates among Hispanics and others, including African-Americans and Asians, at his “Make America Great Again” campaign rallies, and says his presidency is aimed in part at benefiting those left behind under other administrations.                                  

In any event, this very weak field of candidates seems to encourage them to further madness. This week it was to blame mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso on the President and to demand gun control measures, some of which are already in place. For the most part the arguments are demonstrably specious and opportunistic. Perhaps to hang on to the votes of upper-class white women who are for it. 

And firearm ownership is increasing among minorities, who are unlikely to find efforts to deprive them of defensive weaponry appealing. 

The demographics of gun ownership could also change to include more Democratic voters -- it is already rising among African Americans. Even Bernie Sanders has to listen to his gun-owning constituents.

Frustrating, but in a tragic sense fitting. The gun control debate has always been part of the culture war and its conflicting visions of America, as much as an argument about firearms and public safety. And our politicians do culture warring much better than governing.

Some even laud New Zealand’s firearm confiscation. Well, New Zealand doesn’t have our Second and Fourth Amendments and there are about 300 million Americans and about 270 million firearms. That is not going to happen here. 

Violent crime is not, in any event, increasing. It’s declining

It’s incredibly hard to show that inflammatory rhetoric, whether on the right or the left, causes violent crime. All we know for sure is that violent crime across the world is declining, something painstakingly documented by Steven Pinker in The Better Angels of Our Nature. For various reasons, most people have difficulty believing that and seize on incidents like those of last weekend as ‘proof’ that we’re living in an increasingly murderous age. That’s particularly true of left-wing pundits and politicians, who really should know better, given their elite educations.

Worse for the gun grabbers, more people were killed by knives and “cutting instruments than by rifles according to the latest available figures the Daily Caller could find.

Will the U.S. adopt the London rule making carrying knives illegal? When London did so, acid attacks and death by car rammings ensued.

Angry, crazed people have a multitude of options to vent their hatred of others.

And then we have a true mystery, one that shifts the focus from this week’s on mass shootings: the reported suicide of Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein had been on suicide watch after a previous attempt but for some unexplained reason was taken off, according to more recent accounts. What we do know is that the day before the reported suicide 2000 pages of documents were unsealed and released from a prior court proceeding (a case by Virginia Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell for defamation) implicating many high officials in Epstein’s sex slavery operation, including Bill Clinton and former Democrat Senators Bill Richardson and George Mitchell, MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, the billionaire head of Highbridge Capital, his wife, the former Miss Sweden, Prince Andrew, and Glenn and Eva Dubin.

Attorney General William Barr has said Epstein’s death “raises many serious questions” and must be investigated. Will this mean that we’ll have another years’ long investigation in which all the relevant Epstein pedophiliac sex slavery evidence will be under lock and key as part of an “ongoing investigation”? I hope not.

In any event it’s another laser beam for the chattering class to chase.