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The Libertarian Party and its presidential candidate Gary Johnson continue a historically high level of attention from major media. Some of the latest:
• USA Today, a very widely read paper in this here USA, profiles Johnson. Given his past as the first governor to advocate legalization and a former CEO of a pot-field company Cannabis Sativa, they couldn’t help asking him when he last indulged. Seven weeks ago, in case you needed to know. The rest of it is decent basic limning of some of his differences with his major party opponents.
“China has a much lower incarceration rate than the United States, they don’t spy on their citizens like we do with the NSA,” Johnson [said]…Pressed further on that controversial point, Johnson pointed to the National Security Agency’s widespread collection of metadata from private citizens. When told that the Chinese government monitors political dissidents, he replied: “What do you call the NSA and the satellites that are trained on us and the fact that 110 million Verizon users are having everything we do on our cell phones being data-collected?”
The Beast also got Johnson to react to Mitt Romney’s questions about the probity of pot legalization:
While open to voting for a Johnson-Weld ticket, Mitt Romney recently told CNN: “It would be hard to come to support someone that takes those kinds of views… Marijuana makes people stupid and it is just not a good idea to say let’s have more people falling prey to that.”
“Are you any more stupid than the consumption of alcohol?” Johnson fired back to The Daily Beast. “Should anyone be denied to ability to get stupid for an hour or two, as long as that being stupid doesn’t harm anyone else?”
Johnson admitted that his preferred method of consumption is via edible marijuana goods—gluten-free brownies mostly, due to his celiac disease.
• The Providence Journal stresses Johnson’s mountain climbing exploits for an analogy to his current challenge:
During an earlier interview, in 2001, Johnson, in cowboy boots and with a turquoise clasp on his bolo tie, stood out amid the dark suits at a National Governors Association meeting in Providence. At the time, he was talking about climbing Mount Everest, and since then he has reached the summit of the world’s highest peak…
“The similarities are incredible: you put one foot in front of the other, and you can’t predict the outcome,” said Johnson, now 63 years old. “In the case of Everest, you don’t stand a chance if you don’t show up in Nepal and attempt the journey.”
• As we’ve noted before, Utah is where Johnson is polling the highest, and Donald Trump is very much unloved. Johnson’s campaign chief Ron Nielson told me it’s one of their major planned areas of emphasis, and The Los Angeles Times talks to Utahns on the ground, in the Libertarian Party and among disaffected Republicans, raising hopes Johnson can possibly beat the GOP there.
Matt Welch has had his eyes on the polls related to Johnson, and explains in granular detail what they tell us.
When The New York Times last year in a front-page editorial called for a full ban and confiscation/buyback on what they claimed they could, somehow, easily define as “assault weapons,” I explained that the problem they were trying to solve at enormous expense in both money and the civil unrest that would arise in America from the attempt to fully remove an almost universally peacefully used object from millions of Americans hands amounted to around 2 percent of U.S. homicides.
The entire category of “rifles,” of which the ones people want to ban because of their appearance and/or similarity to “military” weapons are just a portion, were used in 248 homicides in 2014.
The Marginal Revolution blog yesterday provided some more interesting context of what that number means comparatively in terms of all the FBI’s data on instruments of murder in 2014, with the sums added up conveniently.
It might also be interesting that the whole number of rifle homicides has plummeted by 32 percent from 2010 til 2014, rather than being a growing crisis.
At any rate, outweighing rifles as an entire category in terms of whole numbers of murders in which they were used in 2014 in America are: Knifes, at 1,567; Blunt objects such as clubs and hammers at 435; and what the FBI calls “Personal weapons” and then defines as “hands, fists, feet, etc.” at 660.
Well, nobody needs hands.
Jacob Sullum summed up well that the “assault weapons” so vilified recently are not a uniquely destructive weapon in practice in America.
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