July, 2016

Thought Police

July 30th, 2016 16 Comments



My bride called me into the living room this morning to watch something Lou Dobbs was planning to discuss about liberal bias among the internet giants Google, Facebook, and Apple. In fact, when that segment came on, the only company discussed was Google, which was accused of using an algorithm that would somehow negatively influence Donald Trump’s presidential campaign by limiting access to his website, or perhaps to stories about him, or somehow impede his getting his message out. Or something. The little I heard Lou Dobbs discuss with his pundits was fuzzy at best.

I went onto Lou Dobbs’ official Fox News page, but there was nothing there about this particular topic, but… But I think it is unwise to ignore seemingly meaningless coincidences.

Several months ago there was a story floating around about liberal bias at Facebook and employees there using algorithms to suppress trending news items that reflected badly on liberal views and actions, while inserting stories they (the Facebook employees) felt deserved attention. Frankly, I paid little attention to it, but a young man whom I love very much works for Facebook and I questioned him about it.

He is, as the young usually are and should be, very liberal himself, but he denied any such formal liberal bias as part of Facebook’s official policy, while admitting that it is an enormous company and sometimes individuals might allow their personal views to influence some of the choices they made professionally.

Then came the curious case of the Bookworm Room. The Bookworm Room is a conservative blog (http://www.bookwormroom.com/) that I follow as time and magazine deadlines allow. The lady who writes it is a lawyer, highly intelligent, and even more conservative than I, and that’s saying something. She wrote a blog explaining what fascism is (http://www.bookwormroom.com/2016/07/23/dear-elites-no-trump-is-not-a-fascist-but-hillary-probably-is/), something I would have thought needed no explanation at all to anyone who had ever taken a high school world history class. She specifically took a New Yorker writer by the name of Adam Gopnik to task for calling Trump a fascist. I no longer read The New Yorker, so I have no idea if Mr. Gopnik really is ignorant, or if, like so many progressive liberals these days, he simply operates on the principle that words mean whatever the hell he wants them to mean, so that black is white and up is down and for God’s sake don’t confuse him with facts.

Apparently that particular blog was so well received by her readers that the proprietress of the Bookworm Room decided to “boost” that post on her Facebook page. For those of you who, like me, are new to the wonders of the internet generally and Facebook specifically, that means that for three dollars you can essentially advertise a particular post on your Facebook page and drive more traffic to your website. I’ve never done it, but I may give it a try when my next book comes out. What I won’t do is try to “boost” any of my conservative blogs, because apparently Facebook’s advertising policies preclude conservative thought. You can read what happened here:  http://www.bookwormroom.com/2016/07/25/facebook-refused-to-let-me-promote-my-post-explaining-what-fascism-really-is/

My interest in all this is that so much of the mainstream press and virtually all of our government already indulges in Orwellian (think 1984) “Newspeak,” repeating lies and pablum in a slightly more subtle version of the North Korean “Dear Leader” broadcasts that run twenty-fours a day in that paradise. Since it is impossible to trust what our elected officials say without verifying it from some other independent source, or to believe the spin the major print and television outlets present as news, the internet becomes a forum where (sometimes, with a lot of digging and a lot of confirmation) the truth can be found, and alternative opinions can be expressed. (If you think I’m a radical, right-wing extremist in a tinfoil hat, I would suggest you think back over how any number of events were treated, at least initially, by the current administration, politicians, and major news outlets. Consider Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the Ferguson shooting, the IRS scandal, the Associated Press scandal and the related James Rosen scandal, Eric Holder’s perjury in front of Congress, Solyndra, Harry Reid… Do you want me to go on? Don’t trust me: do your homework.) But if the major heavyweights of the internet are going to start controlling what people say—which by definition means also what they think—we’re in even worse shape than I thought we were.

I don’t normally post links to other people’s blogs, but I’m doing so in this one because, to quote one of the ultimate progressive left-wing politicians of our time, former President Bill Clinton: “If people won’t let you speak, it’s because they’re afraid of the truth.”

Ah, Youth!

July 24th, 2016 16 Comments

Bobcat 018 (Small)

I’ve been writing almost exclusively about books and politics and Second Amendment issues lately and much of that is due to the aftereffects of the horse wreck, my not being able to do some of the things I used to do outside.

One of the things I used to do that I do not miss in the slightest is weed whacking the critical areas around the property that must be cleared in case of fire. Fire is an ever-present danger in these mountains, and clearing one’s property is required by both law and common sense. Behind our house the hill rises steeply and weed whacking is limited by natural obstacles: a property boundary fence here, boulders there, a sudden rise in incline in this area, more boulders in that area, a natural cut, trees… You get the picture. The men I hired to do what I used to do followed pretty much the same boundaries I would have followed: above that area the weeds are dangerously thick this year; below it, everything is cut down to the dirt.

So I was standing with my back to the window, talking to my bride, when she suddenly yelped and pointed out at the hill. For a moment, what I thought I saw was one of our ridiculously overly-domesticated and overly-pampered indoor-only cats trotting across the cleared area. Then I realized it was a bobcat kitten. (Not the bobcat in the photo above; that one is a fully grown bobcat, with attitude, and in a bad mood.)

Not a kitten exactly, as much as barely an adolescent, a very young bobcat hovering in that awkward stage between childhood and adulthood. He had probably only within the last week been kicked out of the house for talking back to his mother and he was now boldly exploring his world with no thought to either danger or his next meal. There are ground squirrels galore in the boulders back there—I have been shooting them with monotonous regularly, but every time you kill one, twenty more come to the funeral—but no bobcat ever caught a ground squirrel by trotting blithely along in the open.

We watched him trot up at an angle to the base of one of the groups of boulders where he threw himself down on his back in a dusty spot and wriggled as hard and as thoroughly as he could. I know what he was doing was taking a dust bath to discourage fleas, but something about the way he did it, the youthful energy, the joie de vivre, the quality of making even a necessary toilette something of a game, made my wife and me both laugh. And when he got up, he didn’t just “get up;” he bounced up, shook himself vigorously, and vanished into the long weeds above.

That youthful exuberance reminded me of a boy I knew half a century ago, a boy whose boundless energy and sheer joy of living in his own healthy body used to make both his parents alternately laugh and tear out their hair. Unlike Mama Bobcat, they were patient and forbearing enough not to throw me out on my own.

I wish that young bobcat well.

Golden Days, Black Hearts

July 15th, 2016 18 Comments

French flag


France was my father’s favorite country. I think it was in part because he had studied in Paris as a very young man (footloose and fancy free in his “Paris twenties”), in part because he had bicycled through much of France at that time (instead of studying), in part because he loved the language (even though he spoke it atrociously), in part because of the food, the wine, the architecture, the landscape, the whole ball of wax. He loved France.

Many of our vacations during the years we lived in Germany were spent driving around France, particularly southern France, the itinerary based on which cathedrals and museums my parents wished to see, and which five star restaurants my father wished to dine at. Because he was a civil servant living on a civil servant’s salary, and because the exquisite dinners took so much of his very limited budget, we stayed at the tackiest, cheapest little hotels we could find and ate picnics during the day, usually on sun-drenched hillsides, occasionally crouched in the little car as an icy rain blew sideways on us, but they were all golden days when he was there.

I can remember only a very few exceptions to the cheap-pension rule and one of those was our visit to Nice. Perhaps there were no cheap pensions available, perhaps for other reasons, but if memory serves we stayed at the world-class Hotel Negresco, with its soaring ceilings and grand staircase, and its ornate, over-the-top exterior, like a wedding cake designed by a mad pastry chef.

When the news broke about the latest Islamic terrorist attack, I recognized immediately the tree-lined boulevard, the Promenade des Anglais. I remember walking along that boulevard with my parents on a blistering day, and stopping at a little outdoor café to drink bottled water, and to see that same boulevard littered with dead bodies sickened me.

My bride just came into my office a few minutes ago, spitting with anger. Some French politician, she didn’t know who, apparently said that France must learn to live with terrorism. I wonder if the French soldiers who fought and died so gallantly in World War One would agree with that. I wonder if the courageous men and women, and children too, of the French resistance during World War Two would agree with that. I only know that I, as a more primitive and less refined man, can think of other, less accommodating reactions, and my heart bleeds for France and for any country that has leaders who could be so anemic in the face of evil. I know of some others.

Dallas Memorial Service

July 12th, 2016 21 Comments

Barack Obama


I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him…

President Barack Hussein Obama came so close. He spoke so eloquently, but…

For the first five minutes of his speech he rightly and gracefully praised the rare and shining courage of the Dallas police officers, both those who were murdered and those who risked their lives to save civilians who were marching in a Black Lives Matter protest against the police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. But it should have ended right there, as a brief eulogy, instead of droning on in yet another lecture to the American people on how he thinks the world should be.

President Obama came so close. He spoke so eloquently, but…

The Dallas Police Department has been praised as being one of the most advanced and innovative departments of any major metropolitan area in the country, and the President himself acknowledged that, but he should have stopped there. This was a memorial service for five dead officers from that rightly lauded department, not a place to criticize. But beyond Dallas, in general terms, name a police department anywhere in this country that does not use screening protocols to weed potential racists out of the applicant pool. Name a police department in this country that does not have protocols and practices at the supervisory level specifically intended to identify such biases. Whatever the truth of the shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, whatever the causes—fear, inadequate training, faulty communication, faulty judgement, officers who were perhaps too high strung or under too much stress, racial bias, whatever—this was not the place for that conversation.

President Obama came so close. He spoke so eloquently, but…

The President rightly stated that we ask too much of our police, expecting them to be social workers, parents, teachers, drug counselors. But he should have stopped right there instead of disingenuously allocating blame on society at large for the poor schools, festering poverty, lack of employment opportunity, and resultant violent crime in inner-city neighborhoods that police must then try to control. The cities with the highest rates of poverty, poor schools, lack of employment, and violent crime are the President’s home town of Chicago way up at the top of the list, followed by Baltimore, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and New Orleans, all cities with Democratic mayors and Democratic controlled governments, so I would be happy to have a debate with the President about what might work to ameliorate poverty, poor schooling, lack of employment opportunity, and violent crime, but this was a memorial for five murdered police officers, and not the place for that conversation.

President Obama came so close. He spoke so eloquently, but…

But he can’t help himself. Like a card shark drawing your attention to the king in one hand so you miss the ace he is palming in the other, he had to say: “We flood communities with so many guns that it’s easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.”

Ah, Barack, Barack, Barack. You simply cannot tell the truth, can you? You claim to have taught Constitutional law and you are the President of the United States, so you are supposed to have a working knowledge of the laws of the land, the same laws you have sworn to uphold, and yet you lie every time you open your mouth about guns, and if you have to lie, it vitiates whatever validity or authority or integrity you might once have had. Federal law 18 U.S.C. subsection 922(b)(1), (c)(1) states, as you well know:

(b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliver—


any firearm or ammunition to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than eighteen years of age, and, if the firearm, or ammunition is other than a shotgun or rifle, or ammunition for a shotgun or rifle, to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than twenty-one years of age.

But you just couldn’t stop yourself from lying yet again to advance your own, dreamy utopian progressive agenda. It doesn’t matter, because even if you had been able to bring yourself to tell the truth, this would not have been the place for that conversation. You came so close.

O judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts,

And men have lost their reason…

Dallas Shooting

July 9th, 2016 16 Comments



I received a message from someone taking me to task (very mildly) for not weighing in on the unspeakable shootings in Dallas. But what can I say? What is there for anyone to say? I can no more wrap my head around that kind of evil than I can comprehend the equally unspeakable evil of ISIS. Evil exists and there is no point trying to understand or explain or justify—as if one could!—or in any way reduce it to a level comprehensible by normal people. Remove it from the gene pool (that’s been done, thank God) and if you’re in a position to do so, do whatever can be done for the victims and their families. And no matter where you live in America, wave to your local law enforcement officers when you see them driving by. If you encounter officers on the street, take a moment to thank them for their very real and very courageous service to us all. Let them know they are appreciated and supported and depended on. Let them know they are a glad and reassuring presence in our midst.

A Fourth of July Response

July 1st, 2016 61 Comments

Kimber 1911 001 (Small)


I was going to reply to the following response to my June 24 blog, Beware of Politicians Bearing Gifts, but the author has raised enough issues that I felt it worth making my response to her response into its own blog. (I have no idea whether the author is male or female, but I have to use a designation and I have opted to use the feminine gender.) She is clearly an intelligent lady, and clearly distressed by the terrorist attack in Orlando, but she differs from me in her hope for a solution. Here is her letter:

Why, the old “slippery slope” argument trotted out again. Some of the reforms being proposed were so common sense and benign, and VERY limited to specific scenarios, yet gun rights people like yourself claim to want to fix things, but resist every single possible attempt to try to do ANYTHING. Every politician on the other side automatically must have a hidden agenda designed wholly for the purpose to take away your rights bit by bit and take away your guns, (guns, guns, guns, they want my guns so they will have absolute control like Hitler!). There is no possible way that anyone in politics could possibly just be seeking a better way, especially those dirty Democrats who just want all your guns and really nothing else, save for medical care for brown babies, and maybe to let immigrants into our country, which is a new thing, not something that America actually stands for right?

Do some people here even listen to themselves? Do they even see reason any longer? Or are they so fully entrenched in ideology that nothing could possibly mean more than an idea or a liberty that is actually more illusion and conceptual than anything. Lets keep drawing lines in the sand and getting more firm in our beliefs, that’s how it ends for all of us you know, not how we move forward as a nation and solve our actual problems.

Mr. Parker, I’ve been a fan for a long, long time, but as someone who seems pretty well read and educated, I thought you of all people would see more reason. Yet the last couple years on this blog I have seen you progressively get more one sided and closed minded. No one is ever wholly right, or wrong. Us average people live our lives in the grey areas, and to be so far on one side or the other does more damage to our ideals than anything else happening today. Dismiss me as some liberal or other easy label, but it won’t make it true, I am a person who looks for truth, and I say to you that your words are only your version of the truth, and that you have stopped considering anything else that doesn’t fit into that version of the truth. Shame on you, and shame on us all who don’t look for answers, and a better way forward. If all people can do is parrot other people’s words, then they have no voice that is worth hearing. If you don’t like something, how come your only answer is to do NOTHING? Where are your ideas, where is your light in the darkness? To do nothing is a greater evil than updating a few outdated liberties that have become passé in a very different world than the one our founders could ever have conceived. If the answer is “more guns” or “leave it alone” then clearly you haven’t heard the question.

The true slippery slope is the one where you do nothing to stop your decent into the abyss.

Doubt this gets posted, but I hope at least one set of eyes reads it.

Let me start at the end: you do me wrong. In all the years I have been writing this blog, I have never refrained from the posting a comment from someone who criticized or disagreed with me. In fact, I not only post comments from people who disagree, frequently strongly, but I have also always posted comments from people correcting me on this, that, or the other. The only comments I do not post are the profanity-laden ad-hominem attacks written by people with low IQs. (If you have to use profanity to make your point, you have not succeeded in making your point and you clearly haven’t anything intelligent to say to begin with.)

I’m going to ignore your comment about “babies with brown skin” and the mention of immigrants because I have no idea what you are referring to and I assume it was just an anomalous outburst. I made no comment about immigrants or about babies of any color, nor are either of those issues affected by any aspect of the gun control/due process debate.

With those two items out of the way, let me try to address your concerns.

You seem to dismiss the concept of “slippery slope” as a fallacious argument. I could honestly, without exaggeration, utilize more words than I have written in the history of this blog giving you examples of well-intentioned legislation that descended into either unenforceable chaos (the Eighteenth Amendment would be a good example) or into something that was never intended when the law originally passed. An obvious example of the latter would be the Sixteenth Amendment which, when it was passed was intended to range solely from a one percent income tax on the low end (up to $20,000 which in today’s dollars would translate to about $300,000) to seven percent on the high end ($500,000 then, approximately $8,000,000 in today’s dollars). Who among us would not relish a return to those income tax rates? And yet, when one congressman rose to protest the very concept of any federal income tax with the words (I’m paraphrasing; it’s been over fifty years since I took this particular history class): “My opponent claims a starting tax rate of one percent. That’s today, but I can foresee a time when it will rise to two percent, then three, perhaps even someday as high as ten!” he was literally laughed off the floor as being unrealistically preposterous. So slippery slopes are far too real, too slippery, and too numerous for me to have to defend myself on that issue.

I know all too well some of the politicians arguing in favor of “no fly, no buy” do in fact have hidden or not so hidden agendas (Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Diane Feinstein—who once famously stated that if she could she would confiscate all the guns in the land, “Mr. and Mrs. America, too bad, turn ‘em in,”—would be good examples), while some are probably well-intentioned, but good intentions do not mitigate or compensate for a badly-crafted law.

Or are [the readers of this blog] so fully entrenched in ideology that nothing could possibly mean more than an idea or a liberty that is actually more illusion and conceptual than anything.” I assume you are referring to the Second Amendment, which I would argue is a good deal more than mere illusion or concept, but I was actually discussing due process. Due process is such a critical part of our legal system it can be fairly said that without it America is no better than, oh, let’s say Venezuela, where people are starving in the streets, or Saudi Arabia, where a raped woman can be and usually is both flogged and imprisoned for having been raped. Due process applies specifically to the Amendments I mentioned in my original blog, so forget about the Second Amendment for a moment and ask yourself about those other amendments and liberties that would be jeopardized by doing away with the concept of due process. Are you really willing to so casually surrender rights that are dependent upon a fundamental aspect of the law that protects every single one of us? Because if you give up due process in the instance of the Second Amendment, it will be that much easier for it to be taken away in other instances, just as a tax of one percent can be raised… But no, that’s a laughable idea.

“Mr. Parker, I’ve been a fan for a long, long time, but as someone who seems pretty well read and educated, I thought you of all people would see more reason. Yet the last couple years on this blog I have seen you progressively get more one sided and closed minded. No one is ever wholly right, or wrong.” On the face of it, you are absolutely right, no one is ever wholly right or wholly wrong, but let me tell why I am one-sided and close-minded on this issue. If you disagree with me after I explain myself, we can then debate further.

If I lie to you, you would be a fool to trust me any further. I believe that’s a reasonable statement, and expounding on that, only a fool trusts a proven liar. Starting well before the creation of this blog, I researched every statement, pro- or anti-gun, that had any relation to magazine articles I was writing. Since starting my blog, I have even more assiduously tried to track down the truth of every statement I repeated or made myself. The final arbiters of truth I use vary from issue to issue, but when the issue is the Second Amendment, which probably accounts for ninety percent of all the arguments I have had to make, I rely on the FBI. They are arguably the finest law enforcement agency in the world, and they are the only completely non-partisan organization in this country to track and record the facts of all kinds of violent crime in America, breaking them down into every conceivable category and demographic you can imagine and a lot you probably never dreamed of. In close to fifteen years of doing this by utilizing the internet, and for longer than that before I had a computer, I have never once—not one single time—caught the NRA lying. I have caught the NRA using partisan studies that anti-gun sources deride (even when they can’t counter them) and I have caught it making tone-deaf comments when silence might have better served the purpose, but I have never caught them in a lie, even on topics where I personally disagreed with them. By way of contrast, I am not going to waste my time or yours by laboring over the stony and uneven ground of falsehoods that are repeated ad nauseam by politicians, the mainstream press, and every anti-gun organization out there; instead I will cite just one source for you to check up on: our president, Barack Hussein Obama. I’ll make it easy for you. Go to the virulently anti-gun Washington Post and look up their “Fact-Checker” column. Virtually every time the president opens his mouth about the gun issue, the Washington Post awards him another one or two or three or however many Pinocchios for, shall we say, taking liberties with the truth. If you are more ambitious and have a taste for doing your own research, read practically any statement or statistic quoted by other liberal politicians or on any of the various anti-gun organization websites (Everytown [sic] for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, Violence Policy Center, too many others) any of them, and then check those statements and those statistics against the dispassionate and objective numbers on the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Tell me what you find.

So when you say that I am becoming progressively more one-sided, you are absolutely right, because I would be a fool to trust a liar. The day I hear an honest statement from the other side, you will read me rejoicing right here on this blog. Until then, I will base my decisions about right and wrong and what is in the best interests of this country that I love so much on the truth, not on emotionalized spin or weary reiterations of deliberate dishonesty. My words are not “my version of the truth.” My words are the truth I find by doing the best research I can possibly do. And my words are written in good faith; if you catch me in a mistake, tell me and I will rectify it. Until then, don’t let yourself be fooled by those who have proven themselves unworthy of your or anyone’s trust.

“To do nothing is a greater evil than updating a few outdated liberties that have become passé in a very different world than the one our founders could ever have conceived.” The US Constitution was written precisely to protect your God-given, “unalienable rights [including] life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Those rights, and the liberties enumerated in the Constitution, were not passé when Aristotle wrote about them 2300 years ago, nor will they be passé 2300 years from now. The founding fathers knew both from history and from bitter experience that those rights could be taken away, either by sudden violence, or by gradual erosion, and they designed and crafted the Constitution as a bulwark to protect those rights, both by delineating certain liberties—liberty to worship as we choose, to speak our minds, to own property, to defend ourselves, and so on—and, at least as important, by severely curtailing the reach of government and limiting its power over those liberties. The founding fathers realized the necessity of that bulwark because they knew what so many seem to have forgotten today: that man’s essential nature is immutable. To deny that is to deny both human nature and the laws of evolution. Look around. Where do you see man so evolved that you can safely dispense with your liberties? In any of the strains and permutations of radical Islamic terrorism? Indeed, anywhere in the Levant other than Israel? In China’s saber-rattling and expansion of territory into international waters? In North Korea’s development of one nuclear weapon after another? In Iran’s quest for their own nuclear weapons, or in their stated desire to wipe America and Israel off the face of the earth? On the continent of Africa, where tribal animosities still erupt into the kind of wholesale bloodshed that occurred in Rwanda? In which corner of the globe will you hide with your rights, after you have relinquished your liberties and due process to the use and misuse of mere men who have all the same evolutionary instincts for good or ill as the rest of us? Or do you believe America is somehow immune from the laws of nature and evolution? Man is what he is, and the Constitution reflects man as he is, not as we would like him to be.

Finally, you have challenged me to offer my own solutions, my light in the darkness. I would humbly suggest that encouraging dialogue in this forum is one way to grope toward a solution. But beyond that, I do have a suggestion that would go a long way to curbing the violent criminal use of firearms. It would be to enforce the laws that are currently on the books. According to the Syracuse University Transitional Records Access Clearinghouse project, which tracks, among other things, ATF prosecutions, under Barrack Hussein Obama prosecutions of gun crimes have dropped to forty-five percent of what they were under George W. Bush, and it was too damned low even back then. (Interestingly enough, the ATF districts with the cities that have the strictest and most draconian gun laws in America—Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles—are the districts with the lowest rate of federal gun law enforcement, so we could start right there.) That’s one suggestion. Another novel concept might be to enforce the law that makes it a felony to lie on a federal form. Whenever a person wishes to purchase a firearm, he or she must fill out a National Instant Criminal Background Check System form 4473 (NICS, the background check that anti-gunners would like you to believe does not exist). Of the millions of applications to purchase a firearm in recent years, only 1.2 percent (76,142) resulted in a refusal (which reinforces the argument that the vast bulk of law-abiding gun owners are just that: law-abiding), and of those refusals, while some were overturned upon appeal, only sixty-two cases were referred for prosecution. Sixty-two. Total. Even the anti-gun, pro-Obama New York Times urged the government to pursue such cases. (To give the Times credit, it admitted that this was a step pro-gun organizations like the NRA have called for for decades.) I could give you more examples, but the bottom line is that if the government can’t be bothered to enforce the laws already on the books, why should anyone be in favor of yet more laws?

So when I see the president weeping in a news conference even as he claims a terrorist attack was “workplace violence,” or “a hate crime,” or a case of “gun violence,” when he knows damned well what the attack was and what the laws are and how they could be enforced; when I see anti-gun politicians sitting on the floor of the congress, wringing their hands and shrieking for more laws when they know damned well it is only political theater to suck in those who don’t know how many laws are already on the books, or what the reality of violent crime is, I am indeed moved, but only to contempt.

For the record, I am a survivor of so-called “gun-violence.” I was shot twice, so I have some skin in this game. I know all too well what the cost of violence is, both physically and emotionally, but I also know that punishing the law-abiding for the crimes of a tiny minority is as unethical as it is ineffectual. These are things worth thinking about over the Independence Day weekend.

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