Peaceful demonstration against increased gun regulation in Richmond. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's emergency declaration proves as silly as critics said it would, after thousands of Second Amendment supporters showed up in Richmond without starting trouble.
Before the statehouse rally on Monday—organized by the Virginia Civil Defense League—Northam warned that the event would likely bring out-of-town demonstrators who had "as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection." His emergency declaration (covering last Friday at 5 p.m. through today at 5 p.m.) meant that no guns could be brought on Capitol grounds and also allocated special police resources to the area.
But the rally "passed without incident," as Northam put it in a Monday afternoon tweet.
Naturally, Northam took credit for keeping the peace with his security-theater shenanigans, saying that his teams had "successfully de-escalated what could have been a volatile situation."
And yet Virginia Civil Defense League regularly organizes "lobby day" rallies at the Virginia statehouse (as J.D. Tuccille pointed out at Reason yesterday) and such events have gone down without violent incident as well, despite a lack of gubernatorial fussing.
Impeachment update: House "impeachment managers" in the Senate and President Donald Trump's team will each get "24 hours divided over two days for their opening arguments in the Senate's impeachment trial," CNN reports, after obtaining a copy of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's organizing resolution for the process. This represents "a break from the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, when the 24 hours were split over a four-day period," notes CNN. General impeachment proceedings in the Senate start at 1 p.m. today.
Iran admits to causing Ukrainian plane crash that killed 176 people. "Investigators…discovered that two Tor-M1 missiles…were fired at the aircraft," said Iran's Civil Aviation Organization in a report on initial findings, released yesterday, about the January 8 crash.
Ugh: Joe Biden continues to campaign against Section 230, the federal communications law that built the internet as we know it. "Section 230 should be revoked, immediately," said Biden in an interview with The New York Times, published Friday. "For Zuckerberg and other platforms."
As Eric Boehm pointed out on Friday, "Biden and Facebook have been feuding for months."
When the Times interviewer responded that Section 230 is "pretty foundational" for "the modern internet," Biden said "exactly right" before launching into a buzzword salad dressed with random rambling associations:
It should be revoked because [Facebook] is not merely an internet company. It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false, and we should be setting standards not unlike the Europeans are doing relative to privacy. You guys still have editors. I'm sitting with them. Not a joke. There is no editorial impact at all on Facebook. None. None whatsoever. It's irresponsible. It's totally irresponsible.
For more on what Section 230 really is and does, watch this:
We don't need to ban (nicotine or THC) vaping, we just need to build better devices, writes Diane Nelson, a postdoctoral fellow in chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University:
The knee-jerk reaction by some states has been to pull e-cigarettes and vapes off the market. Even the federal government has suggested it might push for a ban on some vaping and e-cigarette related products. But these products have been shown to be effective at helping smokers quit—more effective, in fact, than any other nicotine-replacement therapy on the market, including nicotine patches and nicotine gum.
We don't need to ban vaping. What we need to do is the research needed to build a better vape.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) January 21, 2020
"More than 40 U.S. states could allow some form of legal marijuana by the end of 2020, including deep red Mississippi and South Dakota," reports Politico.
Great discussion with @realDonaldTrump on digital tax. We will work together on a good agreement to avoid tariff escalation.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) January 20, 2020
- Miami continues to milk the Super Bowl sex-trafficking myth:
— Laura Agustín (@LauraAgustin) January 20, 2020