— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) July 6, 2021
America is just emerging from its annual celebration of that time 245 years ago when a bunch of ratty-ass citizen soldiers, using their own military grade weaponry, took on and defeated the world’s most powerful fighting force to secure their independence from a distant authoritarian power. It’s known here as Independence Day or, more colloquially, simply as the Fourth of July.
This year’s observance of that brilliant British humiliation, however, comes at a difficult time here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We’re finally, blessedly, shaking off the effects of the pandemic.
I travelled to and from St. Louis over the long weekend to visit family and literally the only places I encountered that still require the wearing of a mask were a nursing home (even there, I could de-mask once I was in my mother’s room) and all facilities and conveyances that are under the control and direction of the Federal Aviation Administration.
The other aspect of American life for which 2021 is becoming known is that we appear to be turning the clock back toward 1990s-levels of violent crime. In addition to the reports from firecrackers, bottle rockets, and M-80s, the other sounds heard frequently in many urban areas over the long Independence Day weekend came from gunfire. And not just the ill-advised celebratory kind.
The media report that about 150 people died in 400 shootings across the country over the holiday. New York saw a score or so of shootings with two dozen killed or wounded. There were a dozen in L.A. And as surely as the sun rises in the east . . .
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) July 6, 2021
This continues a trend that began last year after the killing of George Floyd and has accelerated into 2021. It’s almost as if defunding and denigrating law enforcement — combined with electing a slew of soft-on-crime, politicized “prosecutors” in city after city — has had an entirely predictable result, encouraging and increasing criminal activity.
Anyway, the long weekend wasn’t a great one, law-and-order-wise.
Which brings us to the tweet and cartoon at the top of the page. China’s Xinhua News Agency — otherwise known as the official state mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party — didn’t let the combination of America’s celebration of our freedoms and the increase in “gun violence” pass without firing a rhetorical shot in our direction.
Yet somehow the budding superpower couldn’t manage to find a decent cartoonist for their government-produced agitprop. That thing looks like the kind of half-ass amateur production you see in America’s weekly alternative newspapers.
Whatever the quality of the art work, the CCP will have to forgive us if we choose to ignore the criticisms of a regime that killed as many as 80 million of its own (disarmed) citizens in an effort to “purify” its class ranks. Gunning down and literally crushing thousands of democracy demonstrators under tank tracks wasn’t a good look either. Then there’s the matter of the concentration and slave labor camps that are in operation even now. Oh and don’t forget the forced organ harvesting.
But it’s easy to see where China’s rulers are coming from. One of the their greatest fears is an armed populace, people who have the means to defend themselves against a dictatorial government that has ruled — and frequently slaughtered — them over the last 70-plus years.
History’s greatest mass murderer proclaimed that political power grows from the barrel of a gun. That’s a lesson Chairman Xi hasn’t failed to learn.
People who have the ability to decline to be subjugated, imprisoned, and systematically murdered are difficult to coerce and control. That’s not how the CCP likes to do business and Xi isn’t about to cede any of that power to the peasants over whom he rules.
The kind of totalitarian regime that rules 1.4 billion Chinese is exactly why America’s Founders included the right to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights. And if knowing that the Chinese Communist Party disapproves of your gun ownership enough to commission a (crappy) cartoon and ridicule it doesn’t inspire you to to go out and buy even more guns and ammunition, what will?
The freedom to own firearms — like all freedoms — comes with costs as well as benefits. Civilians use firearms tens of thousands of times more often often to defend themselves every year than those guns are used to kill. And while many don’t like to acknowledge it, America’s civilian gun ownership has kept us as free of government tyranny as we still are to this day. May it ever be thus.
And if the Chinese don’t like that, they’re more than welcome to take a great leap forward and piss right off.