The MoveOn organization is one of the numerous groups that appeal to the sentiment that the problems besetting mankind can best be resolved through coercive political means. If the marginal productivity of a worker is not sufficient to earn him or her a marketplace wage of $10 per hour, the solution is to enact legislation mandating a minimum wage at that (or an even higher) level. If some people are bigoted against others because of their race, gender, religious, or other groupings, some anti-hate legislation will quickly put an end to such dispositions. And if global temperatures should rise, let us jump to the unfounded conclusion that the cause of this phenomenon is to be found in human behavior, which can best be resolved by subjecting mankind to the only solution known to such people: regulation by the state.

It is not surprising, therefore, that such devotees of magic and wishful thinking would quickly seize the opportunity to exploit the deaths of young adults at Santa Barbara to crank out one of their favorite tools: a petition. This one is directed to the Board of Regents of the University of California, urging this body to “divest” its $88 billion endowment of investment in any companies involved in the manufacture or sale of guns to the public. It is of interest to note that this petition says nothing about the University system continuing to work – via research grants – with members of the defense industry to produce more sophisticated weapons and systems to be used by the federal government in its warring activities. The petition clearly distinguishes the kinds of businesses to be targeted for divestment, the Regents being urged “to avoid any investments in companies that manufacture military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for the general public.”

Weapons that enhance the power of the nation-state to inflict death and dismemberment upon the millions is fine, but when manufactured and sold to “the general public” to allow individuals the same means of protection that MoveOn members would not dream of denying to policemen or soldiers, is a tip-off to the politically-enhancing agenda being pursued.

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