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Consistency matters: Why we shouldn’t create a second class

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Many Republicans are caving into leftist pressure in regards to the Second Amendment. Among the popular grounds from which Republicans are caving is raising the gun buying age to 21. Both Trump and Rick Scott are among the cavers. The belief behind raising the minimum age to 21 is centered on the premise that 18 years-olds cannot think clearly. The biggest fact cited to support this is the whole thing about the brain not being fully developed until 25.

Inconsistencies Rampant

The age of consent varies state to state as does a drivers license. The age to vote is 18. The age to buy cigarettes is also 18 except for a few states that raised the age to 19, and California is 21. Nonetheless one can enter into a contract at 18, watch porn at 18 (a meaningless age barrier with the internet), and get married at 18. Getting married is probably the most adult thing an 18 year old can do. A person can enlist in the military at 18 and men must register for the draft at said age. At 21 you can purchase alcohol, marijuana, and handguns. There is no consistency in our country when it comes to the rights of young adults. The government legislates them as they see fit.

Brain Development

If the premise for alcohol and firearms is the development of the human brain, then the age should be mid-twenties. If brain development is what qualifies a person to make responsible cognitive decisions, why are the most meaningful decisions a person can make, the earliest rights a person receives? Voting, marriage, and military service are three of the most meaningful choices a person can make. I agree that voting isn’t as meaningful, but in our political system, voting is a trusted right to citizens. Alcohol and marijuana are the most trivial of these and are restricted to 21. Handguns are restricted to 21.

Perhaps the person with this argument would specify a level of danger as a premise for denying the “underdeveloped” human rights. Again we see a problem here. Alcoholism is dangerous but not inherent. Small amounts can be beneficial, but alcohol is far safer than cigarettes which you can purchase three years earlier in life. Marijuana, by every metric, is safer than cigarettes and alcohol by most. Military service has the risk of death. Are eighteen-year-olds developed enough for the military? Because how can they be if they aren’t developed enough for the rifles they will be assigned? This argument falls apart at the inconsistencies. Perhaps one would argue that the inconsistencies are flaws in the system that were not implemented using “brain development”, which isn’t true in many of these.

Young adults aren’t developed enough to purchase a firearm but we’ll let them, and push them to, go into debt to attend glorified summer camps to maybe achieve a certificate that says you are somewhat qualified for a job.

Brain Deterioration

If we gain rights due to brain development, the logical flow follows that we should then lose rights as our brains deteriorate. The premise of using brain development follows that cognitive optimization is essential to being trusted and endowed, by the state, certain inalienable rights. As we humans age, our brains shrink. Our memory and quickness become fade. And these are mild compared to degenerative diseases out there. If brain development is the standard than many old people should lose their “majority” status and accompanying rights. The old politician seeing this argument would then respond that “brain development is tied to mature decision making.” But do our young people act irrationally due to biology or culture? I counter with two examples:

Example 1: Chicago

Chicago’s crime should come as a shock to no one. It’s an overused talking point. Chicago not only reaps an atrocious body count but much of the of crime committed is by young offenders. 2011 data shows that 53% of homicide offenders were between the ages of 17-25. The “fully developed 26-35 year olds were 26% of the convicted. What’s unique is that Chicago is above average when it comes to young people committing murder. But it’s not just offenders, it’s also the victims who are young. Compared to other cities, Chicago is an outlier for youth violence. Not being able to trust youth with a gun would reasonably have far more to do with underlying cultural issues instead of brain development. But I’m sure blaming Indiana will solve all of Chicago’s problems… Point being, unless we are to assume that minorities are inferior, which I don’t, I remain steadfast in contending that the poor decision making of America’s troubled youth is far more correlated to cultural issues (fatherless homes, political corruption, big government etc.) than an underdeveloped brain.

Example 2: Alcohol

I raise the argument that denying rights to young adults is bad for the general welfare of our population. Restrictions upon young adults have only worsened our culture and the health of young adults. Pushing the age off alcohol to 21 has rendered, decades later, rampant alcoholism among young people. According to Addiction Resource Approximately 20% of college students meet the medical criteria for having an Alcohol Use Disorder, which includes alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Not all college students who binge drink end up becoming alcoholics, but they are only a step or two away from developing alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence. Since like to do comparisons with Australia and Switzerland with guns, how are all these other countries with alcohol? Turns out the countries with the most alcoholics are former communist states, uncorrelated with the legal age, of which the US is among the highest. It’s not a faulty analogy to point out that the alcohol at 21 age discrimination has yielded no empirical benefits (reduced drunk driving deaths have many other factors) while enabling a youth worship of the bottle. Good job politicians…

Prolonged Adolescence

Prolonged adolescence is one of the biggest threats to our culture and perhaps our economy. Adolescence was largely a 20th-century invention, whereby society created a period between childhood and adulthood. Teenagers always existed but at what point should adults be treated as, and act like adults? They graduate high school, go to college while not working except when on break. This is a general state of many college students, with the addition of underage drinking. What enables our youth to be so lackadaisical? Young people aren’t treated like adults, therefore do not act like them. We don’t hold young people to higher standards because we can’t trust them. So they carry on adolescence. The partial blame goes to the politicians who regulated the ages between 18-21, the notorious years for prolonged adolescence.

Age of Majority

When rights are protected at the age of majority, those at the arbitrary age selected are entitled to equal protection as those well above the arbitrary protections. This is a consistent platform for all rights to be protected. This is the most logically defensible solution. The age of majority is not only fair, it is beneficial to our culture as a whole.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Don McCullen

    March 1, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Awesome piece Ray!!! Well said.

  2. ed

    March 2, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Well said Ray !

    Though I’m against Trump’s “National Military Parade” idea for a number of issues, if he DOES succeed in squandering the time & money of the military in such a useless exercise, I hope we get to see the soldiers marching down the street carrying broomsticks instead of rifles and frequent explanations by the press narrators is that the broomsticks are the Military replacement for the rifles that the soldiers are too young and not trusted by their Commander-in-Chief to carry because those carrying broomsticks are under 21 and will therefore be shouting “bang bang” at their foes.

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Opinions

Trump, GOP will work with Dems to add global warming legislation to infrastructure spending

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Trump GOP will work with Dems to add global warming legislation to infrastructure spending

As 2018 winds to a close and the failed two-year experiment giving Trump, McConnell, and Ryan complete control of Washington breathes its last, Democrats have been busy charting a course correction after having their agenda temporarily knocked off course in 2016.

I wrote last week about how Democrats would be placing a new focus on their Democratic Socialist-inspired agenda in a host of areas from gun control to global warming. In that piece, I introduced you to the Green New Deal, a plan being promoted by Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist from New York.

The goal of the Green New Deal is to pass laws in Washington forcing the United States to become 100 percent dependent on so-called green energy. And while it’s tempting to write-off Ocasio-Cortez’s plan to create an environmental Xanadu as nothing more than the naïve rantings of a textbook left-wing loon — which she is, by the way — the reality is that Al Gore’s Church of Global Warming is about to experience a revival.

Since the Democrats will control the House, it’s a given that the global warming agenda will be advanced under Nancy Pelosi’s “leadership.” But what about the Senate?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote in an open letter to Donald Trump on Friday that the United States’ transition to renewable energy “must” be included in the infrastructure spending debate expected to take place in 2019.

“It is crucial that we immediately enact legislation to combat climate change and create millions of jobs. Therefore, any clean infrastructure package considered in 2019 must include policies and funding to transition to a clean energy economy and mitigate risks that the United States is already facing due to climate change.”

So, who cares? Right? After all, the Senate is still under GOP control and Trump could always veto the bill even if it makes it through the Senate.

Well, besides the fact that Trump has NEVER used his veto pen — probably because he’s been busy using his executive order pen to destroy the Second Amendment — he and the GOP love big-government spending as much as the Democrats.

You may recall that Trump announced in his first State of the Union address — and repeated in his second — plans to spend $1 trillion or more on infrastructure. On top of that, Republicans in the House released an infrastructure-spending plan back in July when they were busy trying to buy votes in the hope that it would save their majority.

By the way, the GOP would pay for their Obama-esque infrastructure plan by raising gasoline taxes by 15-cents-a-gallon and diesel taxes by 20-cents-a-gallon. It would also raise taxes on a host of “green transportation” alternatives, such as: bikes, bicycle tires, and car batteries. All of these tax increases are supported by Trump.

I can hear the cult now; “Trump said last week that he doesn’t believe in global warming, and he called on the world to end the ‘ridiculous‘ Paris climate agreement that he withdrew the U.S. from last summer.”

As is usually the case when it comes to Donald Trump, nothing he says can be counted on.

First, Trump has pretty much made Ivanka his climate czar and she’s a devotee to Al Gore’s global warming religion. Second, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement was in-name-only. In the same speech where he announced the withdrawal, Trump made a commitment to negotiate a way to get back in it. Third, to borrow a phrase from Al Gore, we have the “inconvenient truth” that only days after his 2016 victory, Trump said in an interview that he believes there is “some connectivity” between humans and climate change.

The Democrats will control the agenda in 2019. And when you add Trump’s lack of any firm convictions, his past commitment to work with “Chuck and Nancy,” his 2020 aspirations, and his love of big government, then a budget-busting infrastructure bill that includes some or all of the Green New Deal is pretty much a done deal.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Binge-worthy show: The Night Manager shows why Tom Hiddleston should be the next James Bond

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Binge-worthy show The Night Manager shows why Tom Hiddleston should be the next James Bond

He’s too posh. He’s too pretty. He isn’t intimidating. He’s too big as a Marvel character. There are many reasons people have dismissed the notion of Tom Hiddleston playing the role of James Bond in the famed series. All of these reasons can be dismissed by watching The Night Manager.

Available on Amazon, the AMC-BBC collaboration is six episodes long. There are reports that it could be brought back for another series, but if it never comes back, rest assured the single series is still worth a watch. The funny part is that Hiddleston might be the main draw, but he’s not even the best overall performance. That honor goes to Hugh Laurie, the well-mannered villain of the show.

As usual, no spoilers.

Much effort is put into making the beautiful people look as beautiful as possible in lovely settings even when things get crazy. It opens with Hiddleston cutting through a crowd of protesters just prior to the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. He’s on his way to work to engage in his craft as a manager at a high-end hotel in Cairo. Even through the chaos, Hiddleston holds an air of separation from both the protesters and the military holding them back. And he does all this while wearing cargo pants and an untucked linen dress shirt.

This is where the presence of Hiddleston comes into play and demonstrates why he would be able to play James Bond. His sharp eyes announce he’s not to be reckoned with while simultaneously charming the observer. As one character later notes, “Everybody is attracted to you.”

The men want to be on his side and the women (and one man) want him to be by their side.

His impish grin may have been perfect for playing Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it takes a more menacing turn in The Night Manager. We realize there’s grit behind his boyish looks that betrays two tours in Iraq and a personal grudge he’s held with him for years. If Daniel Craig brought emotionless chills to the Bond character, Hiddleston would bring an emotional fortitude. He’s only truly happy when he’s doing the right thing, which may go against the stereotypes associated with a world-class assassin, but luckily we’re in a world where stereotypes are being broken.

There’s another reason Hiddleston would be the right person for the role. Unfortunately, it’s a political one. Some are pushing for a minority or a woman to take the role to the next level. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as it’s done with the most qualified person in mind and not just to make a political statement about inclusion. With Hiddleston, it’s an opportunity to use the same formula while mitigating the damage that is sure to come if they don’t select a minority or a woman. Everyone likes Hiddleston. He’ll make the passing on a controversial choice easier to swallow.

There’s even a scene when he orders a vodka martini at a bar in Cairo. It was the most obvious nod to the Bond franchise they could have made without asking for the drink to be shaken.

If you only watch The Night Manager to verify my Bond assertions, so be it. If you watch it for its great acting, engaging espionage, and brilliant storyline, well that’s even better. Either way, get your six-hour binging snacks ready.

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Jonah Goldberg throws water on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal

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Jonah Goldberg throws water on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal

In a thought-provoking piece on National Review, senior editor Jonah Goldberg took a sober look at the ever-growing fire that drives the climate change debate. In the process, he threw water on their fire, particular the one being fanned right now but incoming-Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal.

While acknowledging the science seems to support substance to the climate change debate, Goldberg points out the overstated ways in which the debate is being framed. People like Ocasio-Cortez tend to blow the alarms harder and louder than necessary and the policies that arise from their klaxon calls are usually overkill.

Climate Change Frenzy Clouds Our Judgment

https://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/climate-change-frenzy-clouds-our-judgment/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pushing a “Green New Deal.” As I’ve written 7 trillion times (give or take), progressives have wanted a “new New Deal” even before the first New Deal was over. Painting an age-old progressive idol green has nothing to do with science and everything to do with marketing.

As I suggested in the bit about the science-fiction story, I don’t think there is very much to do right now. Oh, I am very much in favor of R&D for all sorts of things. Cold fusion would be the equivalent of discovering faster-than-light travel. Personally, I am very interested in geoengineering — the science of actually fixing the problem. I am convinced the world has a low-grade fever that could get dangerously high in the future. That fever isn’t all bad by the way: E.g., it extends growing seasons and accelerates tree growth.

Whether climate change skeptics are right or not, there’s definitely reason to question the ways in which environmentalists are pushing their agenda. There’s a difference between having the debate and trying to quash it before it starts.

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