Free Markets, Free People

The left’s false moral equivalency concerning guns

Leave it to former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago Rham Emanuel to provide us with the example. George Will tells the sorry story:

Politics becomes amusing when liberalism becomes theatrical with high-minded gestures. Chicago’s government, which is not normally known for elevated thinking, is feeling so morally upright and financially flush that it proposes to rise above the banal business of maximizing the value of its employees’ and retirees’ pension fund assets. Although seven funds have cumulative unfunded liabilities of $25 billion, Chicago will sacrifice the growth of those assets to the striking of a political pose so pure it is untainted by practicality.

Emulating New York and California, two deep-blue states with mammoth unfunded pension liabilities, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) has hectored a $5 billion pension fund into divesting its holdings in companies that manufacture firearms. Now he is urging two large banks to deny financing to such companies “that profit from gun violence.” TD Bank provides a $60 million credit line to Smith & Wesson, and Bank of America provides a $25 million line to Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Chicago’s current and retired public employees might wish the city had invested more in both companies. Barack Obama, for whom Emanuel was chief of staff, has become a potent gun salesman because of suspicions that he wants to make gun ownership more difficult. Since he was inaugurated four years ago, there have been 65 million requests for background checks of gun purchasers. Four years ago, the price of Smith & Wesson stock was $2.45. Last week it was $8.76, up 258 percent. Four years ago, the price of Sturm Ruger stock was $6.46. Last week it was $51.09, up 691 percent. The Wall Street Journal reports that even before “a $1.2 billion balloon payment for pensions comes due” in 2015, “Chicago’s pension funds, which are projected to run dry by the end of the decade, are scraping the bottoms of their barrels.”

So we have the Mayor of Chicago using, well, Chicago style “politics”, to make a “moral statement” that likely few of his citizens agree with and hurting an already failing retirement system by demanding stocks that are doing well be dropped. We call that “moral preening” and, of course, it’s no skin off his back – he’s not the one losing the money – retirees are.  Screw serving the public welfare – his job.  He’s all about hurting the public welfare to make a private moral statement.

As for the false moral equivalency? Here you go:

Nevertheless, liberals are feeling good about themselves — the usual point of liberalism — because New York state’s public pension fund and California’s fund for teachers have, the New York Times says, “frozen or divested” gun holdings, and Calpers, the fund for other California public employees, may join this gesture jamboree this month. All this is being compared to the use of divestment to pressure South Africa to dismantle apartheid in the 1980s.

Guns are as evil as “apartheid” and thus should be dealt with the same way. Because everyone knows that owning a gun is precisely the same as being an oppressive racist using the power of government to enforce your racism.  Or moralism.

Never mind the fact that:

Guns are legal products in America, legally sold under federal, state and local regulations. Most of the guns sold to Americans are made by Americans. Americans have a right — a constitutional right — to own guns, and 47 percent of U.S. households exercise that portion of the Bill of Rights by possessing at least one firearm.

The left, as it usually does, is going to demonize an industry just as they have the fossile fuel industry. Amusingly, that too is one of the left’s “apartheid divestment” moves.

Moral grandstanding, however, offers steady work, and the Chronicle of Higher Education reports a new front in “the battle against climate change”: “Student groups at almost 200 colleges and universities are calling on boards of trustees to divest their colleges’ holdings in large fossil-fuel companies.” Of course, not one share of those companies’ stock will go unsold because academia is so righteous. Others will profit handsomely from such holdings and from being complicit in supplying what the world needs. Fossil fuels, the basis of modern life, supply 82 percent of U.S. energy, and it is projected that they will supply 78 percent of the global increase in energy demand between 2009 and 2035, by which time the number of cars and trucks on the planet will have doubled to 1.7 billion.

Of course, that’s not a problem for fossile fuel companies because their stocks aren’t going to go without a buyer.  Institutional investors who actually are interested in helping build wealth in a portfolio will snap them up.  What will suffer? University endowment funds, that’s what. Most people would call that sort of moral preening a “self-inflicted wound”. It won’t change a thing, it’s moral relativisim at its worst and someone else will be happy to take the dividend income those boobs are foregoing.

Next up?

Institutions of higher education will, presumably, warn donors that their endowments will be wielded in support of the political agenda du jour, which might include divesting from any company having anything to do with corn, source of the sweetener in many of the sodas that make some people fat and New York’s mayor cranky. Or anything to do with red meat, sugar, salt, trans fats, chickens not lovingly raised . . . .

Bet on it.


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31 Responses to The left’s false moral equivalency concerning guns

  • Good!  Let them divert ALLLLL their money into failed/failing business models.
    On the other hand, they could be like OilGore…

  • The alternative view is that Rahm wants to take his profits.
    These companies are now selling everything they make at least 30 days before they make them.
    This can’t go on forever, even if the SCOTUS ruled tomorrow that we could own automatic weapons.

  • So Chicago furiously works to become Detroit…meh.    Another city I am unlikely to travel to for business or pleasure anyway.  They are getting what they vote for, again, and again, and again.  Someday, maybe, as used to be said round Boston, ‘daylight will dawn on Marblehead’.
    Really, I WANT Barack to have a nice home town to return to.   Maybe the South Side, see if that armed detail he just anointed himself for life with is up to the various challenges only such a gun free zone can offer.  And he can see if the skeet hunting is any good with his ‘rifle’.  I wonder if he used a high capacity ‘clip’ for it that day.

    • Barack .. Go back to Chicago ?  LOL
      All the buzz during the election was that they would setup shop in Hawaii

      • Yeah, I know, but one can hope we all receive what we so richly deserve, no?

        • I understand his brother has offered to round up some tin and a couple of refrigerator boxes to add a wing on his place….

          • Now, THAT is funny.   We shouldn’t find it odd that the President of the United States has a brother that lives in actual poverty.

          • $100 a year would increase bro’s income by several multiples…  But NOOOOoooo…

          • If he’d make it round, Barack could have another new Oval Office.

          • It’s all the brother’s fault. If he would only get off his lazy butt and come to the US like the rest of the family, he could raise his standard of living significantly. Just ask aunt Zeituni and uncle whatshisname. Maybe the next time AF 1 (or 2 or 3)is in Africa they could give him a lift.
            Or maybe big O could just put him on the welfare roles and send him a monthly check. Why discriminate against non-resident aliens? This policy of preemptive welfare would also have added  benefits such as easing the load on whoever is supposed to be enforcing our immigration laws. Call it something like “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”. I bet that huge backlog of visa applications would also disappear. It would even help lower unemployment as we would need to hire many people to run the overseas entitlement offices. Of course we would have to charge a small fee and make the recipients promise to fill out some paperwork (with the aid of government translators) and be good so those stupid wingnuts can’t complain about giveaways.

        • Now Rags, we mustn’t judge, I’m sure on his Hahvad based salary over the years he could barely make ends meet, let along send a couple hundred bucks a year to his half brother!   He’s not rich you know, he and Moochelle, they’re just everyday people like us.
          Beside that would probably just encourage his brother to bad habits, or something.  Like his auntie, or his uncle, both living here illegally in Massachusetts.   No end to the quality of this family is there?
          I mean, imagine if Jimmy Carter had relatives like this.   Fortunately we only had to contend with Billy, and after all, one mustn’t upset the messiah’s image you know – even when he’s, (hee hee) demonstrating his shooting prowess of the rare and elusive eye level flat shot skeet.

          • Note the subtle smile on the officer providing instruction?
            Bet she can fire a 155mm too.   And I’m told she was a decent mechanic during the war as well.
            My kinda queen, one with enough curiosity to find out for herself.

          • Barack Hussein Obamateer, White House Skeet shoot time is here.
            And so based on this photo, I’m to believe Barack is well acquainted with the use of fire arms for self defense and the true purpose of the 2nd Amendment?
            Which got nothing to do with ‘The hunting of the Skeet’.

          • ooooooh…a dirty dirty boy that prince….dirrrrrrrrty dirrrrrty naughty boy…..ohhhhhh ohhhhhh.
            Yeah, as opposed to helmeted Dr. Mom Pants.  I’d be telling the Secret Service detail to put the helmet away or I wouldn’t bother to ride.

          • “the rare and elusive eye level flat shot skeet.
            You skeeters should learn some geography. Camp David is in the mountains. It’s hard to find level ground in the mountains. Therefore the skeet range was built on a hillside and The President was standing upslope of the skeets. So there.

          • Yes indeedy, and the inveterate liars of the White House should learn to tell more believable lies too.
            Sure, he shoots, all the time.   All the time.   We shouldn’t discount that.
            “For most of my life, I was a terrible liar”
            Barack Obama as himself in Little Big Man.

        • It’s my understanding that the Secret Service is watching the Obama home in Chicago.
          Have the Obamas been back to it in the last 4 years ?

  • The more they mess up people’s lives, the more they will get them on their side to go hardcore socialist.  I mean you’re 65 and no job, no prospects, what choice would you have when you have nothing to lose.
    The analogy about oil may be superficially similar.  But in reality the demonization of the gun industry isn’t just show and to ensure the government gets their cut, its for keeps.

  • Good. Let them not make money. More gun and oil company investments for me!

    • We should suggest that they invent in “green jobs” but then they would just send us the bill for the pensions due any way.

    • Inconvenient questions for people who think we should just do as our betters damn well tell us to do.

  • Heh, I wish I’d bought the RGR 4 years ago; I could have bought thousands.  I got some before the “election” and it’s done me very well just since then.  Can you say $4.50/share special dividend?  I knew you could.

  • Yeah, Smith & Wesson and Glock (eg.) both “profit from gun violence” … by arming America’s police departments.

  • “..Americans have a right — a constitutional right —…” The Constitution does not grant us this right, we have it as American citizens. The Constitution protects us from the government infringing on this right. 

  • Well demonizing the doctors wouldn’t have worked as well to get Obamacare.  So they demonized one of the corporate entities, insurance companies, instead.  Of course most doctors sold out to corporations because they couldn’t deal with the bs as a small business anymore and now they are corporate entities.
    I think that demonizing the ‘redneck gun show’ didn’t work as well as they hoped.  So now, they are going to demonize the corporation.  One thing to note, they have so trained the youth in this country to be anti-business that corporations are guilty until proven innocent.