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Polling Shows People Support Closing Gun Stores

I believe the poll showing that Americans want to keep gun stores closed is correct. But people’s real views on any given topic are always more complicated than any poll can tease out. Very few people want to tell pollsters they think the economy is more important than saving grandma. What this poll tells you is that for many people, saving grandma is important to them. How many people who say “yes,” gun shops should stay closed were frantically calling around trying to make an appointment to buy guns? A whole lot if you believe the NICS figures.

Just to give a personal anecdote, someone asked yesterday whether I think the response was a) appropriate, b) inadequate, or c) excessive. Really all three, depending on context. But I chose c), and that reveals what I care about. Because in front of my mind are:

  • The drive up church services being busted up.
  • Golf courses being allowed to open but not outdoor shooting ranges.
  • California’s Governor threatening to close down beaches which can be used safely if people stay apart.
  • The arbitrary enforcement of the lockdown rules in some states (Home Depot and Lowes are getting away with violations that small businesses aren’t, and it’s destroying them).

But, generally speaking, I think the broad quarantine orders were understandable given the circumstances of where I live. Maybe not if you lived somewhere COVID was largely absent when the orders came. But no government response is going to be overflowing with competence. One reason you haven’t seen me going off on political rants is I have very low expectations of what government is capable of, and I think expecting competence is naive. Government is a poor tool to fix what ails society. Sometimes it’s all we got, but it’s never going to be really good at the things it does which are necessary. And it certainly won’t perform well during a century level crisis where nobody really has a clue.

Overall, I don’t think there’s any unity in this country at all. I’m seeing awful behavior from nearly everyone. This is exacerbating our divisions and bringing out the worst on the left and right: both have their respective pathologies dialed up to 11. What’s needed is adaptability and a little humility, and I’m not seeing any of that. When we come out of this crisis, I think our political divisions will be much worse than the already sorry state we entered it with.

OK, Maybe One More COVID Post

I started a new job right before all the lockdowns started, which meant being onboarded at the new offices, given a laptop, and sent home. I haven’t seen the office or any coworkers since. I used to work with the manager at a previous job, almost 20 years ago at this point, which is how I got in. So I at least know one person there. But I’ve had to lean on him more than I’d like to. He could use having items taken off his plate. But even when I started with clients, I tended to be there for the planning stuff, and only did the actual execution from home.

As for switching jobs when I did, let me tell you, I’m damned lucky. I have spent the past 20 years worried whether I’ll have a job in a few months. I’ve never worked for a company that consistently made money. This company is, and because we’re in the clinical trial business, we’re expecting COVID to slow the growth a bit, rather than hammer us. Trials are still continuing, and we’re signing some COVID related business, which feels good to be helping.

Our club has been closed since the order mid-March. We cancelled all events, including my steel matches, before that. The place has been shut down. We were starting to wrap up a major construction project when this hit, and that had to stop. I’ve only been there to check on the place and make sure the mail gets taken in, etc. The club is a mess. Garbage has blown in from all over the place. It really needs a work party.

I figured this would be a good time to get a lot of things done for the club, but I find I just don’t have the energy. All the energy goes into the new job, and there’s nothing left over, which is unusual for me. My mental productivity is probably half what it was pre-lockdown. So I’ve had no energy at all for the blog. I’m an introvert, so I would say I’m handling it OK, but there are limits. It’s also hard when I get calls from club members, and realize they just want someone to talk to. We’re the only social interaction some of these guys get.

One question they asked at the new job to introduce the new employees: “What are you going to do when everything opens back up.” To answer is go to the gun club I belong to and shoot the shit out of the steel targets.” But you never know how people are going to react to that answer, so I had to come up with something else quick. Governor Wolf announced construction can continue May 1st, so we’re hoping we can resume that project and have everything open when we reopen. It would be nice. But when can we reopen? Who knows at this point, and dues are coming up. I’m really hoping it’s not a blood bath of non-renewals, because we just finished climbing out of our last deep membership hole. Now we have a whole new one.

All I’m Going to Say About COVID-19

Boy the COVID pandemic sure makes me want to go colonize Mars. Between the dripping condescension over people who make different risk/benefit calculations and conclude reopeners only want to kill grandma and the “But muh rights!” crowd, get me off, please.

I’m very pro-individual rights, but the government has long had considerable power to halt the spread of communicable disease during active epidemics. All this has happened before: business closures, travel restrictions, mask mandates, etc. Fines for spitting in public were particularly severe during the 1918 Spanish Flu. I don’t think the current lockdown is sustainable economically, but for opening back up to not cause a second wave of infections, everyone’s going to have to make some sacrifices for the common good. This doesn’t mean we haven’t seen government acting like petty tyrants. When they exercise power for power’s sake, unrelated to stopping disease, the courts and people should punish them harshly.

But if the state mandates masks in an area with active outbreak, what’s it to you? Anywhere from 20%-50% of infected people are asymptomatic. That means you can’t just quarantine the sick, because we don’t know who the sick are. There aren’t enough tests to sustain the level of testing needed to sort that out. The mask isn’t to protect you so much as it’s to protect everyone else from your crud in case you’re one of those asymptomatic carriers. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. It just needs to make the virus successful at transmitting less often.

By the same token, we can’t keep everyone locked down for many more months, and a lot of places just aren’t all that affected by the pandemic. A lot of the people pushing for extended lockdown are financially well off and can afford it. It looks very different to people who aren’t, or who are facing failure of their businesses. Why wouldn’t you expect they’d make a different risk assessment? There’s only so much money you can print and borrow, and our political system will extract a heavy price in graft to keep those checks coming. There aren’t any good choices here, so why lecture people who make a different bad choice and accuse them of wanting to murder people? Not helpful.

A Terrible Thing

I hate seeing bad things happen to good people, especially in the middle of all this madness going on around us. One just does not have the words. I feel for SayUncle and the kids, as my family went through the loss of my own mother at age 43, though that was six years in the making rather than sudden and unexpected, and that does make it different. It was a difficult time, but we got through it. I pray SayUncle and his family will as well.

Truth

Reason notes: “Every petty excuse for the police to bother you is a loose trigger for further injustice.” Truer words have never been uttered. That goes double if you don’t have the money to hire a decent lawyer. Justice is for those who can afford it. If Evan Nappen hadn’t jumped on this, the dude would be going to jail.

I’m also glad to see NRA jumping on this quickly.

He Did Buy That

Bloomberg gets in trouble for telling the truth, basically admitting he bought the Democratic Majority, and wondering why they aren’t more appreciative. They aren’t, Mike. They mock you for it. You should spend your money on something else. Any plutocrat who’s anybody today has their own space program. Help us get to Mars, Mike. Help you get to Mars, Mike. Don’t let that Musk guy beat you there. He’s only worth a measly 44 billion. Who does he think he is?

They Don’t Appreciate You, Mike

Mikey, Mikey… why do you keep giving them money? They don’t respect you. They’ll happily bite the hand that feeds them. So why keep feeding them?

Anyway, in other news, my job search is over. I have accepted a position as a DevOps Engineer with a new company, and managed to avoid the unemployment line. So I’m happy about that.. Total time from beginning of search to offer was three weeks. So I’m happy to get this squared away right before we all die of coronavirus.

The Most Bloomberg Thing Ever

He’s paying people to pretend to like him. Seriously, how cartoonish is that? You can almost imagine the rich kid at recess handing out fivers so other kids will play with him. It’s a real life caricature. This is the most Bloomberg thing I’ve ever heard of. Begs the question: how much is he paying people to pretend to give a shit about gun control? I’m half tempted to switch my registration just to be able to Bern Bloomberg in the primaries. I’ve never in my life seen a more patently offensive campaign to every day people than his.

Before us is a great test of our republic: can someone actually flat out buy the Presidency?

Conspiracy!

Tam has a look at the reality of the Iowa Caucus debacle. This whole affair was made for conspiracy theorist. I admit I’m quite amused at the whole thing. On one had, I can totally see a software team being that incompetent, especially if it’s all former Hillary people right out of some code camp. What I’d like to believe, is that this was a legit attempt to rig the election for establishment Dems, but they screwed the app meant to do it up so bad the plot was foiled! But it’s generally a good rule to never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence.

Good Choices

I endorse this NRA ballot. Frank Tait is Chairman of the Board for Lower Providence Rod and Gun Club. Graham Hill is also one of the good guys. Both will support reform, which is desparately needed.

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