Jon Sanders

Dramatists often lighten an exceptionally tragic act with humor, sometimes referred to as "comic relief." Whether or not you believe in a Grand Dramatist, this week the news has been our own comic relief.

An inevitable aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre was media talking heads promoting gun control, a position not even adopted by the Democrat leadership. But this week, Miss America 1944 – Venus Ramey, who is now 82 years old – faced an intruder on her Kentucky property in her barn, where farm equipment had been stolen before. The Associated Press reported that Ramey, balancing on her walker, used her snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun to shoot out the tires of the would-be thieves' getaway vehicle and held them at bay till the cops showed up.

"I didn't even think twice. I just went and did it," Ramey told the AP. "If they'd even dared come close to me, they'd be six feet under by now."

An inevitable aftermath of that story is not media talking heads saying that maybe there is something to that Second Amendment after all, if an 82-year-old woman on a walker is able to fend off thieves on her property.

More hilarious than Walker Woman, Kentucky Ranger, was that a member of the Holy Warming Church finally found a ritual that sounded ridiculous to fellow acolytes. What was it?

It wasn't banning incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs. That idea, adopted in Canada and Australia and on the legislative agendas in California and North Carolina, among others, doesn't seem to concern global warming disciples, even though no one can demonstrate how banning incandescent light bulbs would actually stop or ameliorate global warming. The fact that compact fluorescent light bulbs contain trace amounts of mercury, which environmentalists normally decry as deadly, doesn't bother them in the least.

Nor was it San Francisco's recent ban on plastic grocery bags. After years and years of environmental true believers demonstrating their fealty to Mother Gaia by answering "Plastic or paper?" with the proud declaration "Plastic!" – because producing paper bags requires tree corpses, emits more air pollution and waste than plastic bags, and uses more energy, too – now they shift answers because plastic bags are petroleum products. They make this shift as quickly and as unquestionably as Oceania switching from always being at war with Eastasia to always being at war with Eurasia. And they don't even seem to regret the "lost years."

Jon Sanders

Jon Sanders is associate director of research at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C.