Oct 08 2016

Liberty Update: Free Tampons, Jeremy Mardis, & Gun Control Fails (Again)

Transcript as follows:

Cornell students passed a student-sponsored referendum this week to provide free tampons and menstrual pads in all bathrooms on campus. 78.6% of the roughly 3,000 ballots voted yes. The referendum will now go to the school’s president for the final decision. If passed, the free products will be offered in both men’s and women’s bathrooms in order to account for the school’s transgendered population. “No” voters cited both the possible financial burden of supplying these products in EVERY SCHOOL BATHROOM, and noted that they will probably be a complete waste in the men’s room, as approximately 1% of the school’s student body identifies as trans. Critics also argued that the school shouldn’t be subsidizing anything not directly related to education, and probably shouldn’t be subsidizing anything at all. Nonetheless, supporters claimed that free menstrual products are a basic human right, right up there with water and shelter, and that not realizing it’s a human right is apparently insane and ridiculous. I hadn’t heard of this specific human right before, so just to be sure, I read through the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and I didn’t see free tampons on there, but maybe they just haven’t updated their website yet. They should probably get on that, or else the feminists at Cornell are gonna be mad.

I guess it’s understandable, as the UN was already pretty busy this week, publishing a report that condemned the US for human rights violations against the black community. The report accuses the US of racial terrorism, unjust incarceration of blacks, and compared recent police shootings to lynching. The report claims that a pattern of state violence has led to a human rights crisis – which can easily be argued as police have long since moved from “protect and serve” to a paramilitary law enforcement organization with no duty to protect. But the report suggests that the problem be solved with reparations to blacks, in the form of counseling, debt cancelation, financial support, and other such peace offerings. The report also requests monuments, education opportunities, and suggests the US “pass another law” to make sure American’s recognize how horrible slavery and segregation were. The suggestion to lower mandatory minimum sentences and engage in actual criminal justice reform are halfway down the list, along with suggestions on how to address cases of excessive force.
Meanwhile, Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, came out recently to also call police-shootings a form of “state violence” and called continued investigation into the viability of police-free communities, suggesting that police shootings and lack of accountability are no longer a case of a few bad apples, but evidence of a corrupt and corroded system.

Charlotte police released footage of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting late last week, though neither of the videos released offer much information and doesn’t clarify whether or not he was holding a gun. While officers initially stated they approached Scott because they could see him holding a gun, the Charlotte Police Chief (Kerr Putney) told reports at a press conference that Scott was approached for weed possession. This, coupled with gun possession, made Scott a “public safety risk.”

Footage was also released this week from a Louisiana case dating back to November 2015 that left six-year-old Jeremy Mardis dead and his father, Chris Few, wounded. The boy was sitting in the front passenger seat of Few’s car when police attempted to serve him a warrant, though current news reports state that he had no outstanding warrants at the time. Few fled, ending up in a dead-end street. Officers claim he tried to back out and hit them, which also turned out to be false. The beginning of the video is silent, but shows Few with his hands up and out of the vehicle. The sound cuts in the moment shots are fired. A total of 18 shots were fired into the vehicle, with 5 of them hitting Mardis. Few was unarmed and police state they did not know a child was in the car. The footage was released after the pre-trial hearing this Wednesday. Both officers involved are being charged with the murder of Mardis and the attempted murder of Few. Their trials are set for November 28 and March 13. Both officers have a history of complaints against them, including both excessive force and two counts of rape, one of which involved a 15 year old girl.

It was revealed this week that the Cascade Mall shooter, who shot and killed five people late last week, was not only turned away by a gun shop hours before the shooting, but was also a federally banned person due to several domestics charges he’d racked up earlier, and was banned from owning guns since last December. A Seattle Times editorial, like many people before, is using this tragedy as a call to arms for more gun control. The article claims that the common thread in all mass shootings is the guns themselves and damnit, they must be stopped – by voting yes on a bill that would issue court orders to stop people from owning guns. The writers admit that such a law might not have stopped this particular shooting, because the shooter already had a court order against him, but golly, it probably could have stopped all the other ones. Now, to review, the Cascade Mall shooter got his guns illegally, and even went to a gun store two hours earlier, inquiring on how to get a gun illegally without a background check. The clerk turned him away and called the police, who have confirmed this story. Ultimately, the shooter acted like a criminal and stole a gun from his stepfather.

If voted in, Initiative 1491 would allow anyone who had lived with a gun owner in the past year to file court order stripping them of their firearms. The order would only be able to be fought after their guns are taken, and only at a legal hearing held sometime in the next 14 days. You would think that if someone was deemed that dangerous, some sort of action would be taken against them, rather than only having their guns removed. In the mental health world, most states require that every mental health worker has to observe Tarasoff laws, which means if someone makes a serious threat against another person, they immediately need to be reported to the police, transported to a hospital for evaluation, and the potential victim needs to be warned of the threat. You would think that if someone was deemed that much of a threat as to have their guns taken, that there would be an active threat or the person evaluated in some way, rather than left alone on their doorstep for up to 14 days. I mean, if the order does nothing other than take their guns, they’re worried enough to take them but not worried enough to take any actual preventative actions, because anyone hell bent on causing harm will do it regardless of weapon of choice.

Also, a story of true heroism this week – a University of Michigan student has taken advantage of the school’s designated personal pronoun policy to request to be referred to as “his majesty.” The school has implemented a new policy whereby students can input their own personal pronouns in their online student accounts, which will then be automatically populated into all class rosters. Meaning, at the start of every semester, professors will be getting lists of students with their personal pronouns next to every name. The student, Grant Stroble, states he takes no issue with schools looking to refer to students in the way they prefer, and even likens it to calling someone by their preferred nickname, like Nick or Joe. His issue is that the school is institutionalizing the use of what he calls “arbitrary pronouns” and may punish anyone on campus who refers to someone with a different pronoun, even if it is accidental.

Gary Johnson’s latest endorsement comes from the Chicago Tribune, who called Johnson “principled option.” The paper, which reaches a daily readership of 500,000 and a Sunday audience of 900,000, states that the libertarian ticket is not a squandered vote, but is instead a vote for principle and, even if he doesn’t win, will send a message.

Johnson also got an endorsement from Jeb Bush this week, though not officially. Audio obtained by atendeees to a private luncheon held by the Manhattan Institute on the topic of education reform. Bush suggested undecided voters vote for Johnson and even made a joke that Johnson would win the election and would be calling him after the win, calling Johnson “President” several times during the event. Obama would disagree with this endorsement, as he told listeners that a third party vote is a vote for Trump while speaking on a radio interview Wednesday morning. He further suggested that voting for Johnson would not only give the election to Trump, but ruin all 8 years of Obama’s presidency. Johnson also had the pleasure of being attacked by Nancy Pelosi and George Takei recently, with Pelosi saying people only like Johnson because “they like his hairstyle or whatever” and accusing him of wanting to take away “clean air,” which is super intelligent and concise.
Of course, Johnson had what he is calling another Aleppo moment this week, which if you have television or internet you probably already know. In an interview with Chris Matthews, he was asked to name a world leader he respects and admires. A good libertarian answer would have been something about how politicians and world leaders are not necessarily people to admire, especially with Matthews’ specifying that this leader still had to be alive and active today.

For those looking for a third party candidate and unimpressed with Johnson, former candidate Darryl Perry of New Hampshire has announced he is an “official write-in candidate” in 17 states.

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