Written by Staff on December 26, 2023 

Published in the January 15, 2024 issue of the New American magazine. Vol. 40, No. 01 

Inside Track 

Americans — and Democrats — Acquiring Firearms at Record Pace 

The Washington Examiner reported on December 7 that in each of the previous 12 months, Americans purchased more than a million firearms. On Black Friday last year there were nearly a quarter of a million firearms sold, and the 1.6 million sold in November 2023 was the third-highest November sales in history. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimated then that by the end of 2023 citizens would have added another 14-plus million firearms to their arsenals.  

Startlingly, in a December 11 article, Newsweek reported that an NBC News survey of gun ownership in the country revealed that 41 percent of Democrats now say they live in a household where there is at least one firearm, up eight percent in just the last four years. Those Democrats contributed to yet another record: More than half of all American households now have at least one firearm. 

NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva attributes the gun purchases largely to increased crime and the fear of increased firearms regulations. “There are many communities with sustained levels of crime that have not abated. Those concerns, along with the punishing anti-gun measures by the Biden administration and threats of more gun control promised by the Biden-Harris reelection campaign, cannot be discounted as contributing factors,”Oliva said. 

When Newsweek asked retired Florida State University Professor Gary Kleck about the increasing number of Democrats owning guns, he elaborated that “it may be a response to recent increases in crime rates in big cities, where Democrats claim a larger share of the population.” That is, Democrats vote in progressive district attorneys, who emasculate criminal laws, resulting in more criminals being allowed back on the streets, where they commit more crimes. 

Progressive district attorneys have caused a doubling of gun violence in the Big Apple, and the same ideology of the liberals controlling Oakland, California, has caused a similar tragedy on the West Coast: Crime there jumped by 26 percent in 2023, including a 52-percent increase in carjackings, according to Newsweek.

Written by Staff on December 26, 2023 

Published in the January 15, 2024 issue of the New American magazine. Vol. 40, No. 01 

— Bob Adelmann 

University President Resigns Amid Antisemitism Controversy

CNN reported on December 9 that Liz Magill resigned as president of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). She faced serious scrutiny after refusing to clearly condemn calls on her campus for the genocide of Jewish people during a December 5 Capitol Hill hearing.  

In a hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, when asked directly about it by Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Magill refused to say that the speech would be prohibited. 

Asked by Stefanik to answer “yes or no” as to whether calling for the “genocide of Jews” was a violation of UPenn’s rules or code of conduct, Magill refused to answer definitively. “If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment. Yes,” she answered. A clearly annoyed Stefanik followed up with, “I am asking, specifically — calling for the genocide of Jews, does that constitute bullying or harassment?” When Magill answered that it would depend on the context, an incensed Stefanik shot back, “It does not depend on the context. The answer is yes and this is why you should resign.” 

Magill later apologized: “In that moment I was focused on our university’s long-standing policies, aligned with the U.S. Constitution, which say that speech alone is not punishable. I was not focused on what I should have been, the irrefutable fact that a call for genocide of Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate.” In the end, however, she did resign her post. 

The chair of UPenn’s Board of Trustees, Scott Bok, who also resigned over the issue, noted of Magill’s testimony: “She provided a legalistic answer to a moral question, and that was wrong. It made for a dreadful 30-second sound bite in what was more than five hours of testimony.” 

The university has been the scene of large-scale protests since Israel responded to the Hamas terror attack of October 7. 

— James Murphy

Written by Staff on December 26, 2023 

Published in the January 15, 2024 issue of the New American magazine. Vol. 40, No. 01 

WSJ: Homeownership Increasingly Unattainable

In recent years, the American dream of homeownership has become increasingly elusive, even for those who could afford it just a few years ago. 

As reported by The Wall Street Journal on December 11, the real estate market experienced an unprecedented boom during the Covid pandemic. That might be explained by people moving out of states with stringent pandemic restrictions and rising crime during the BLM protests. As a result, home prices surged, creating a challenging environment for would-be buyers. Initially, this was somewhat mitigated by historically low mortgage rates, providing a glimmer of hope for homeownership. However, this landscape has dramatically shifted, as the post-pandemic era ushered in a spike in mortgage rates. 

The Federal Reserve’s response to inflation, marked by aggressive interest-rate hikes, further complicated the situation. Contrary to typical market behavior in which high mortgage rates cool down home sales and prices, the current market is an anomaly: Sales are decreasing, yet prices are rising, fueled by a dramatic shortage in housing supply. In October, the national median price for an existing home reached an all-time high for the month, at approximately $392,000. 

The changing market dynamics have particularly affected first-time and young buyers. Their presence in the home-buying market has diminished, both in proportion and in their median age, which has been steadily increasing. This shift underscores the growing barriers for new entrants into the housing market. 

The disparity between renting and buying has also become stark. The average new mortgage payment in the United States now surpasses the average apartment rent by 52 percent, with even higher disparities in major metropolitan areas. This has led some people to abandon the idea of saving for a down payment, considering it an unattainable goal under current conditions. 

In response to rising interest rates, buyers have traditionally turned to adjustable-rate mortgages, which offer lower initial rates. However, this once-viable strategy has lost its appeal, as the costs associated with these mortgages have also escalated. 

— Veronika Kyrylenko

Written by Staff on December 26, 2023 

Published in the January 15, 2024 issue of the New American magazine. Vol. 40, No. 01 

Macron’s Migration/Refugee Bill Fails 

The BBC reported on December 12 that French President Emmanuel Macron suffered a decisive parliamentary thrashing of his flagship immigration bill. The lower house of Parliament, the National Assembly, rejected the bill by 270 votes to 265 on December 11. Parties on both the Left and the Right united — for opposite reasons — to deliver a multi-party defeat to Macron’s government. 

Macron tried to sell the bill’s provisions that would make it easier for authorities to deport migrants with prison sentences of five years or longer and make it more difficult for migrants to bring family members into France. However, the Left charged that the legislative proposal was too harsh, placing undue restrictions on refugee/asylum entrance.  

On the other hand, the Right rejected the bill as being too “pro-immigration,” citing provisions that would make it easier for migrants to get work permits and residency, which are supported by major businesses that claim there is a labor shortage. Marine LePen, leader of the conservative National Rally party and a leading contender of Macron, said she was “delighted” with the result of the vote, saying it had “protected the French from a migratory tidal wave.” 

The vote likely reflects the growing fear and anger throughout France engendered by the continuing string of deadly terrorist attacks by jihadist migrants over the past decade. The vote came only a week after the shocking knife attack on December 3 by a French-Iranian man who stabbed to death a Filipino tourist and gravely wounded two others near the Eiffel Tower. The vote also came only three days following the highly publicized trial of six teenagers convicted of conspiracy in the murder of Samuel Paty, a teacher who was beheaded outside his school in Paris by a Muslim Chechen refugee in 2020.  

Macron remained defiant, vowing to pass a compromise version of the legislation. The bill is being submitted to a bipartisan mixed commission of members from the National Assembly and the Senate for revision, and is unlikely to be returned without serious changes. 

— William F. Jasper

Written by Staff on December 26, 2023 

Published in the January 15, 2024 issue of the New American magazine. Vol. 40, No. 01 

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