Monday, March 01, 2010

Double Tap

Two by Mark Steyn, one new, one old.

America's future could be all Greek to us

While Barack Obama was making his latest pitch for a brand new, even more unsustainable entitlement at the health care "summit," thousands of Greeks took to the streets to riot. An enterprising cable network might have shown the two scenes on a continuous split-screen - because they're part of the same story. It's just that Greece is a little further along in the plot: They're at the point where the canoe is about to plunge over the falls. America is further upstream and can still pull for shore, but has decided, instead, that what it needs to do is catch up with the Greek canoe. Chapter One (the introduction of unsustainable entitlements) leads eventually to Chapter 20 (total societal collapse): The Greeks are at Chapter 17 or 18.

The Case of the Missing Trigger Locks

Something funny happened in Michigan last week. A six-year-old boy shot dead a six-year-old girl. That's not the funny thing. That's a tragedy, and one so freakish that no parent would ever expect to have to confront it. But what was funny was what happened afterward. Hercule Clinton, Sherlock Gore and Perry Bradley began sifting through the evidence and quickly decided whodunnit: it was the National Rifle Association with their opposition to trigger locks.

You really need the obtuse sidekick to do justice to the brilliance of their deduction. "Good grief, Holmes, that's amazing," says Dr. Watson. "We're standing in the middle of a crack house, whose proprietor, a drug dealer with an outstanding warrant for burglary, had been entrusted with the care of his nephews by a drug-addicted single mother, whose wretched progeny had been exposed to marijuana since the day they were born, following the arrest of their father, who has sired six children by three different women, and in which said crack house this unfortunate young chap didn't even have a bed to call his own but slept where he could and thus happened to find under some blankets, secreted there by a ne'er-do-well teenager, a loaded stolen pistol with which he dispatched his fellow first-grader. And yet you say: all we need are trigger locks."

"Elementary, my dear Watson. Trigger locks, plus background checks on gun-show sales, plus more guidance counsellors and anger-management classes. Skip the magnifying glass and deerstalker. I can phone this one in."

The death of six-year-old Kayla Rolland isn't a gun story. It's a social disintegration story. But that's too judgmental for contemporary tastes, especially when, as in this case, the "family" is black.

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