Online Opinion Outpost: July 7


Gun control
Chicago Tribune

Go ahead and read that again: He bought 43 firearms in 26 hours. A national standard for background checks could have made a difference in a case such as that.

But the last serious effort on background checks failed in the U.S. Senate, even with grieving Sandy Hook parents looking on.

And the killing goes on.

Julian Zelizer, CNN

The President’s predictions were correct. In contrast to other shootings that the nation has witnessed, this time there didn’t even seem to be any momentum for gun reform. Few legislators in either party are willing to take a stand on the issue, while the opposition locks in almost as soon as the sound of the bullets starts to fade.

Why does gun reform fail, no matter how intense the outrage from horrendous attacks?

The most important and obvious factor is exactly what the President mentioned: the overwhelming power of the gun lobby.

Women’s soccer

Amy Bass, CNN

After watching this final, questions regarding America’s soccer apathy should become irrelevant, because if this game, this final, did not get people to watch, then likely nothing will. (And fans of American football who want to complain about soccer’s low-scoring games, in your world this final score would have been 35-14, OK?)

When Abby Wambach, who has the most international goals, men or women, in the history of the game with 183, and Rampone lifted that trophy over their heads, the foundation of women’s sports in the United States got that much stronger.


Mark Thiessen, The Washington Post

In other words, there is no race war in the United States today.

Moreover, none of this political correctness is helping African Americans at all. Getting rid of the Confederate flag or banning “The Dukes of Hazzard” won’t save a single black life. It won’t do a thing to help the nearly one quarter of young African American men who are unemployed — or to lift up black kids trapped in failing schools. Instead of sowing division with historical purges, let’s celebrate how far our nation has come — and focus our energies on actually helping those who have been left behind.

Detaining immigrants
LA Times

Regardless, the system still relies heavily on incarceration, which is not appropriate for most detainees — many of whom are too poor to afford even relatively low bonds. The government needs to fundamentally change the way it treats people who have committed no crime, pose no threat to public safety and whose core transgression is their desire to live here.

Same-sex marriage and religion
Dennis Byrne, Chicago Tribune

Will the tax-exempt status and government grants be cut off to schools that still respect, teach and uphold those values? What of a college that refuses to provide student housing to married same-sex couples? What of a church that refuses to rent its basement hall for a same-sex wedding reception? Numerous religious charities and hospitals could be targeted. State civil rights commissions and private lawsuits will round out the threat.

Glenn Reynolds, USA Today

Does our government now have, as its principal function, the protection of people’s rights? Or is it more of a giant wealth-transfer machine, benefiting the connected at the expense of the outsiders?

It might be a good thing for our ruling class to spend a little time pondering the Declaration of Indepence, and its principles. There is more to government than graft. May they recognize that in time.

Gluten intolerance
Moises Velasquez-Manoff, The New York Times

Perhaps the sugary, greasy Western diet — increasingly recognized as pro-inflammatory — is partly responsible. Maybe shifts in our intestinal microbial communities, driven by antibiotics and hygiene, have contributed. Whatever the eventual answer, just-so stories about what we evolved eating, and what that means, blind us to this bigger, and really much more worrisome, problem: The modern immune system appears to have gone on the fritz.

Maybe we should stop asking what’s wrong with wheat, and begin asking what’s wrong with us.

The Dallas Morning News

But Obama is correct: The 21st-century reality requires a softer, more pliable approach to relations with an island nation 90 miles off Florida’s coast.

Cuba is no longer the Communist menace once denounced as a totalitarian dictatorship working with its Soviet puppet masters to carry out a shared vision of world conquest. Cuba today is an impoverished island whose people are probably just as tired as we are of outdated Cold War dogma.

The Washington Times

But the Obama administration got nothing in return for resuming diplomatic relations. What it did do, however, was give help to a dying regime. Cuba has relations with 190 other countries. Some of them, in Europe and in Canada, have tried to invest and trade and have achieved almost nothing.

It’s difficult to exaggerate the dismal Cuban situation as it returns from immersion in the Marxist fairy tale to the real world. Much of its educated elite has long since departed, and there’s no reason to expect them to give up a good life, with their children long established as American Indians, to “go home.” They are home already.

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