BIBLICAL BATTLE BY BIG BOYS BETRAYS BOISTEROUS BRAGGADOCIO
Governor Ralph Northam relied upon 1 Corinthians while Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. rejoined with Exodus 20:16 in a verbal brawl about Liberty University’s decision to allow students back to campus from home while the coronavirus raged. Quoteth the governor, It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. Retorted Falwell, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
As biblical battles tend to unfold, it’s always a better bet to place one’s money on the participant who has more practice. This is not to suggest that Northam is not religious but to be aware of the realities of their differing professions. Falwell pulled no punch in calling Northam a bearer of false witness upon being criticized for violating a trust.
Round Two may be forthcoming. The New York Times reported that a group of returning students exhibited COVID-19 symptoms. Some 800 of 1900 returnees from spring break have left the campus. No students have been accused of bearing false witness or symptoms, or of violating the U’s trust.
SHOULD SHOOTING BE FUN?
As with the advent of Barack Obama to the US presidency, some national events spur gun sales without rationale. The COVID pandemic is no exception and, despite strong health advisories against congregating in groups larger that 10 and social distancing, gun stores have experienced a surge in sales, prompting some states to exempt such commerce from closure. At the same time, other states, such as Virginia, have ordered the closing of businesses characterized as “nonessential” entertainment or amusement. This broad brush has raised the hackles of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), which has threatened to sue Governor Northam to amend his closure order as it applies to indoor shooting ranges.
On March 23, the Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory guideline that the firearms industry should be considered part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Snared in the Northam closure order is none other than the indoor shooting range at NRA headquarters in Fairfax. The question arises whether indoor shooting ranges are covered by a DHS guideline or are entertainment/amusement subject to gubernatorial discretion.
TripAdvisor lists shooting ranges under “fun and games.” The Virginia is for Lovers website characterizes shooting ranges as “sport.” Apparently, the VCDL thinks otherwise. If shooting is not fun, then what goes on at shooting ranges that is obscured from the public? What critical infrastructure activity occurs?
PAYBACK PLAGUES PIED PIPER
The tale of the Pied Piper originated in Germany in the 13th century. An itinerant musician in colorful garb was hired by a town to eliminate a rat infestation by luring them away with pipe music. When the town reneged on payment, the piper lured the town’s children away. More recently, however, WV Governor James “Jim” Justice (how’s that name for irony?) piped a duet with Jerry Falwell to lure Virginians to relocate to the Mountain State.
Last year, VoxFairfax (https://wp.me/p9wDCF-w4) reported about Justice’s failure to adhere to mine safety laws covering a part of his billion-dollar business empire, including coal operations in southwest Virginia. A civil case was lodged by the US Attorney for Eastern Virginia, seeking to claim payment of safety violation fines related to nearly 2,300 violations since 2014.
Last week, the US Attorney’s office announced a $5 million settlement with Justice’s companies. No rats were alleged to have been involved in the settlement. Further, there have been no reports of either adults or children trekking or migrating to West Virginia in search of more promising pastures or coal mines. Neither Justice nor Falwell has announced future plans for a piping duet or dueling pipes.