Freedom slipping away!

The Unknown Civil Libertarian and his ride

The Babylon Bee, a satirical website, posted this picture and the following paragraph:”First they came for our nukes, then they came for our tanks, and now they’re coming for our close air support combat aircraft,” he said in a video message to his 31 YouTube subscribers. “The founding fathers never envisioned we’d live in a country where our right to mind our own business as we fly into work or to the grocery store in a sensible fully armed combat plane would be trampled upon so carelessly.”

Funny, right? In my state of Washington, initiative I1639 was passed. The two main provisions sound reasonable, at first. 1. It raises the legal age to buy any semi-automatic rifle to 21, from 18. People wanting one also have to pass an enhanced background check, show proof that they have taken a firearms-training course, and wait 10 business days before they take possession of the weapon. It defines a semi -automatic rifle as one that uses energy from firing a cartridge to chamber the next round and requires “a separate pull of the trigger” to fire each bullet. Long guns that use manual operations — such as pumps, slides, levers or bolts — to chamber a round would still be available for people to purchase at age 18. (You currently have to be 21 to buy a handgun in Washington.) 2.  The initiative creates gross-misdemeanor and felony classes of a new crime, “community endangerment.” It doesn’t mandate that firearms owners lock their guns away. But owners could be charged under those community-endangerment crimes if someone not allowed to access a firearm — such as a child or a felon — gets ahold of it and displays it publicly, causes it to discharge or uses it in a crime.

I said “reasonable, at first.” But most, 27 of 39 counties in Washington rejected the initiative, and sheriffs in many counties have stated publicly that they won’t enforce it. Predictably, the 12 counties that voted in favor of it are both the most politically liberal and most populous. My problem with it is not what it says, but rather how imprecise and sweeping it is, and the process by which a measure opposed by most of the state was imposed on the entire state. As usual, sensational headlines (a shooting at a party), coupled with big spending and a propaganda campaign passed a measure more sweeping than it has a right to be and imposing on the people who represent the least threat. Shootings are far more common in the counties that passed it than in those that opposed it.

Since I started with an item from the Babylon Bee and my theme is freedom being lost, let’s go to the Bee again with another satirical gem which actually isn’t that far from the truth and provides the rationale for “hate crime” and “hate speech” laws, which are antithetical to freedom.

CAMBRIDGE, MA—”Responding to consumer demand, Ivy League bellwether Harvard University announced Monday its new four-year Bachelor’s degree in Feeling Oppressed. ‘For those lucky enough to be able to afford the quarter-million-dollar cost of attending our prestigious school, we are offering a comprehensive program that will prepare you for a lifetime of convincing yourself that you are a perpetual victim and nothing that happens in your life is your own fault,’ Harvard president Drew Faust announced in an afternoon press conference. ‘It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, what your background is, whether or not you’re by far the most privileged people in the history of our planet—you should feel oppressed, and we will prove it to you.’ Asked by another reporter, ‘Doesn’t Harvard already pretty much include unofficial training in feeling oppressed in each one of your degrees?’ Faust called the question ‘offensive’ and abruptly wrapped up the press conference.”

No wonder those 50 high profile people–actresses, coaches, politicians–stand accused of fraud by the FBI for cheating to get their kids into Harvard and other high profile colleges!