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‘Guns Are What You Talk About to Avoid Having to Talk About Islamist Terrorism’

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‘The Liberal Theology of Gun Control’

William McGurn writes: How does a man who entered the White House vowing to restore science to its proper place tell us that gun control is the answer to terrorism?

“Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them.”

After all, California already has strict gun control, as does France, which just had its second terrorist massacre this year. Not to mention that the one time when terrorists with assault rifles and body armor were foiled, it was because an off-duty traffic cop in Garland, Texas, was carrying a gun—and used it to shoot the two heavily armed Islamists before they could kill anyone.

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“Not that there aren’t measures society can embrace to keep the innocent from being shot and killed. The best example may be New York City from 2002-13, during Ray Kelly’s last stint as police commissioner, when the NYPD was bringing the murder rate to record lows through America’s most effective gun-control program: stop-and-frisk.”

Or that “common sense gun control” would have done nothing to stop Richard Reid (the unsuccessful shoe-bomber); the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston (pressure cookers) or the 9/11 hijackers (box-cutters). Maybe the president should be demanding common sense pressure-cooker control.

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“This was gun control for bad guys, under the theory that when you take guns away from bad people—or at least make them afraid to carry guns on the street—you reduce shootings. But it was savaged by liberals. Because they don’t want just the bad guys’ guns. They want yours.”

Yet while the critiques of the president’s antigun pitch are correct, they are also beside the point. Because liberal calls for gun control aren’t about keeping guns from bad guys. It’s what you talk about so you don’t have to talk about the reality of Islamist terror. And focusing on the weaponry is part of a liberal argument that dates to the Cold War, when calls for arms control were likewise used to avoid addressing the ugly reality of communism.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Understand this, and you understand why Senate Democrats reacted to San Bernardino by putting forth antigun legislation. Why the New York Times ran a gun control editorial on its front page, and the Daily News used its own cover to feature the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre underneath San Bernardino killer Syed Farook—labeling them both terrorists. And why President Obama used Sunday night’s address to whine about those resisting his call for gun measures that would not have stopped any of the shooters.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them.

Not that there aren’t measures society can embrace to keep the innocent from being shot and killed. The best example may be New York City from 2002-13, during Ray Kelly’s last stint as police commissioner, when the NYPD was bringing the murder rate to record lows through America’s most effective gun-control program: stop-and-frisk. Read the rest of this entry »

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Monet, Other Art from Big Collectors Lead Auctions

Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" from the Huguette Clark collection.  (AP Photo/Christie's)

Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” from the Huguette Clark collection. (AP Photo/Christie’s)

NEW YORK (AP) — Works from the estates of heiress Huguette Clark, Edgar Bronfman and other major collectors are among the highlights leading the spring art auctions in New York City, including a Monet painting that’s been out of the public eye for decades.

The anticipated auction season begins Tuesday evening with the sale of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s, which expects to raise a total of more than $245 million.

Among the top lots is Claude Monet’s shimmering “Water Lilies.” The 1907 work of Monet’s beloved garden in Giverny, France, has not been publicly exhibited since 1926 and is estimated to sell for $25 million to $35 million.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir‘s “Young Women Playing Badminton” is another highlight expected to sell for between $10 million and $15 million. Read the rest of this entry »