Everything is polarized (gun control edition)

In this case, I’m definitely happy to see some polarization because it means Democrats are no longer to scared of the NRA to actually take sensible positions on gun control.

Nice Pacific Standard post from Seth Masket:

This agreement on gun-control issues marks a remarkable shift for the party. A little over a decade ago, most national Democratic candidates didn’t want to bring up gun control on the stump. Democrats were largely convinced that their support for gun control had cost them control of the Congress in the 1990s and the presidency in 2000, and they radically retreated on the issue, while the NRA became far more aggressive and more explicitly partisan in its support and its messaging.

The Democrats in the early 2000s who were willing to speak on gun control espoused a wide range of viewpoints. In 2004, Democratic nominee John Kerry was largely supportive of gun-control reforms. Yet one of his top competitors in the primaries, Howard Dean, had been endorsed eight times for governor of Vermont by the NRA. Joe Lieberman, another contender that year, supported some gun control reforms, but he had opposed mandatory gun registration and voted to shield gun manufacturers from lawsuits. John Edwards voted to require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows, but ran his campaign as a staunch Second Amendment advocate

Since then, gun control has become an issue that sharply divides the major political parties. In 2004, 52 percent of Republicans supported gun rights, versus 25 percent of Democrats, according to polling from the Pew Research Center; in 2017, 79 percent of Republicans did, versus 20 percent of Democrats…

To a remarkable degree in 2020, the Democratic presidential candidates are singing a very similar tune on gun control, mainly because someone with a more pro-gun record would have a hard time coming close to the nomination today.


This is fine (environmental collapse edition)

So, this seems… not good.  Via the Guardian:

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.

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