Everybody Who Disagrees With Me is Crazy

Loren Selig is not, as you might think, a 17-year-old mean girl at Oyster River High School. Instead, she's a middle-aged member of the state legislature from Durham; she's married to the Durham Town Administrator, Tom Selig. And she tweets:

Well, (a) it's Fort Sumter; (b) he's governor because he got 57% of the vote last November; (c) given her hostility to states resisting federal mandates, it's unknown how she feels about New Hampshire sanctuary cities; (d) "steaming turd", really?

Well, anyway, she tweeted something else that irked me enough to reply, oh so mildly:

I was Twitter-brief, but I'll try to expand a bit here. Mean-girl Selig is engaging in one of the cheapest of cheap shots: alleging that people that carry weaponry in public are, in essence, cowards, scaredy-cats, pusillanimous, chicken-hearted, yellow-bellied, …

Well, at least she didn't call them steaming turds.

There really ought to be a label for this sort of thing. It's kind of ad hominem, but that usually means that there's some sort of argument going on. It's really just a sneering, condescending insult, I guess, and presented without evidence.

As near as I can tell, the evidence actually goes the other way. As linked in my tweet, someone actually did a study. And…

Are gun owners more or less afraid than people who do not own guns? A new study from researchers at Florida State University and the University of Arizona hopes to add some empirical data to the conversation after finding that gun owners tend to report less fear than non-gun owners.

The study, led by sociology doctoral student Benjamin Dowd-Arrow, used the 2014 Chapman University Survey of American Fears to examine both the types and the amount of fear that gun owners had in comparison to non-gun owners.

“There’s a lot of popular rhetoric in the media and among politicians as to why people own guns,” Dowd-Arrow said. “The biggest claim is that they’re cowards. So, we wanted to see if owning guns was truly a symptom of fear.”

Summary: nope.

The science is settled, Loren.

Briefly noted:

  • Madeline Kearns argues Transgenderism Is the New Blackface.

    In the 19th and 20th centuries, minstrel shows featuring white actors in blackface — dark makeup worn to make them look black — spread throughout the United States. This practice was laughed off as entertainment. Today, it’s considered to be racial appropriation and stereotyping. But aren’t men who impersonate women similarly guilty of appropriation and stereotyping? If blackface is racist, then surely “womanface” is sexist.

    Theatrical cross-dressing has been around for centuries. On the stage, these performances were often ironic and humorous. But there is also a more sinister kind of female impersonation, one that serves to advance the anti-woman ideology of transgenderism.

    It was not uncommon in minstrel shows for white people to portray African Americans as ignorant and criminal, reinforcing racist sentiments. And with transgenderism, it is not uncommon for men to portray women as hypersexualized and airheaded.

    I believe the people who oppose Madeline's observation will respond: "That's different, because shut up."

  • What are the odds that any hasty plan cooked up by Chuck Schumer is a really good idea? Well, let's see what Ronald Bailey thinks about his latest… Oh oh: Chuck Schumer's Hasty Plan to Regulate A.I. Is a Really Bad Idea.

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) announced that he has launched a "major effort to get ahead of artificial intelligence." Basically, he plans to impose federal regulations on artificial intelligence (A.I.) technologies soon. Such new regulations will do for A.I. what federal regulations have already done to crop biotechnology: slow progress way down, deny consumers substantial benefits, and make sure that only Big Tech wins, all while not increasing safety or lowering risks.

    Schumer's one of the people who relies on scaring the crap out of people in order to push his agenda.

  • Jonah Goldberg names and shames one of Putin’s Useful Idiots. Specifically:

    She says the “real enemy” isn’t Russia but the U.S. government. Calling it the “Biden regime” is some tedious marketing of a fundamentally anti-American brain burp of an idea. I’ve given up trying to explain, first to the left (“the Bush regime!” “Regime change starts at home!”) and more recently to the right, that a presidential administration isn’t a “regime.” The U.S. Constitution and our system of government is the regime. I don’t expect Greene to understand such distinctions—or care. 

    But what Greene is saying is that our real “enemy”—in the context of an actual shooting war—is the Biden administration and anyone who supports it. This “white, male Christian” isn’t a criminal, he’s a victim of the regime. 

    From Steve Bannon to various MAGA remora, there’s a whole cottage industry of tough losers telling us that Vladimir Putin is a manly man standing up for Western values and that “our” real enemies are fellow Americans. One can dismiss these emanations from the “civil war is coming” crowd for only so long before it’s no longer tenable to give them the benefit of the doubt as mere grifters and poltroons. Vladimir Putin despises the West and America. He sees the people saying this stuff as modern day useful idiots. 

    I can't help but wonder what Walter Duranty, that most useful of idiots, would think about current events.

  • In our "Told Ya So" department, Becket Adams points out: That IRS Hiring Binge? It’s Happening, Just as We Suspected.

    In 2022, when the public learned that the Inflation Reduction Act earmarked an astonishing $80 billion for the Internal Revenue Service, the corporate press insisted everyone remain calm.

    The $80 billion provided by President Biden’s massive social-welfare spending legislation would be used only on the other guys, members of the press argued. You know, the millionaires and billionaires. Don’t listen to the critics, advised our commentariat. It’s a conspiracy to think an IRS wealthier by $80 billion will translate into an auditor-hiring binge and an overabundance of scrutiny and red tape for workers and middle-class families. Indeed, credulous newsrooms claimed at the time, the $80 billion will mostly address “workforce attrition.”

    On April 7, 2023, Politico scored a scoop: The IRS is on track to grow its workforce to levels not seen since the late 1990s. So much for “workforce attrition.”

    It should have been obvious (as it was to the WSJ at the time) that the $80 billion was for new employees, despite the obfuscation from the Administration about "attrition". Someone should have asked whether new employees aren't less expensive than those they replace. Oh, wait, I did.