Happy New Year!
This cartoon's gag is kind of obvious, but it made me laugh, especially after seeing Kevin Moore's art on it. The "ye-e-es" dude in panel three especially cracks me up. (The "ye-e-es!" was entirely Kevin's idea, btw. I find it hilarious, but I wouldn't have thought of myself.)
"Go And Wipe Out Freedom Immediately" might be a good title for a future cartoon collection.
* * *
Casey Michel, writing on the lack of relationship between gun ownership and freedom, provides this graph, charting gun ownership rates against "democratization data from Freedom House." What it shows is... a complete lack of any strong relationship between guns and democracy, one way or the other.
From Michel's article:
The data shows no significant correlation between high civilian gun ownership rates and countries that have improved their democracy scores over the past decade. Nor is there a significant correlation between countries with low civilian gun ownership rates and those that have seen democratic backsliding.
The findings back up previous studies on the supposed link between civilian arms and democratic freedoms. As Jan Amo Hessbruegge, who works for the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, wrote in 2017, “Research does not establish a clear correlation between private gun ownership levels and the relative political freedom of a particular country.”
And in looking at data from 2013, The Atlantic found that the relationship between democracy and civilian gun ownership rates was “observable, but minor.” One analyst called the link “baloney.”
* * *
I wish I could tell you what my plans are for 2022, but I don't know. I've pitched a large-scale project to a publisher, and what this year looks like depends a lot on if they say yes or not.
For me, this sort of thing is the major advantage of having a "pay per cartoon" model, rather than a monthly subscription. If I get less productive for some reason, y'all will automatically be charged less (or not charged at all, if I don't produce any new policartoons - but I don't anticipate that happening).
I am definitely planning a new cartoon collection paperback in 2022. As for the rest... I'll tell you once I know.
In the meanwhile, thank you all so much for continuing to support these cartoons. I'm blown away at having an income from writing and drawing policartoons about whatever I want, and it wouldn't be possible without you folks believing this work is worth supporting. I'm extraordinarily lucky and grateful.
You're all getting to see this cartoon at least a month before I share it in public. But if you're supporting at the $5 level or above, feel free to show it to folks without waiting.
* * *
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows two people - The President of the United States and an assistant of some sort - in the oval office. The angles chosen for each shot makes it impossible to see the President's face: We can make out that he's a white male with brown hair, but that's it. In other words, he's a generic white male President.
The assistant is wearing a blue suit with a red tie. He's balding on top and has neatly combed salt-and-pepper hair on the sides.
In the foreground, we see the President's hand and arm; he's sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office. The assistant stand in front of the desk, talking to the President; he is grinning and doing a fist-pump with one hand, and holding a folder in the other.
PRESIDENT: We've had enough freedom! It's tyranny time in America! How many soldiers do we have?
ASSISTANT: Yes sir, Mr President! We've got over a million troops.
A similar angle shows the President's hand and shoulder. The assistant is holding up a forefinger, listing things off, and looks very smug.
PRESIDENT: Excellent. And how about firepower?
ASSISTANT: We have six thousand tanks, thirteen thousand aircraft, forty thousand armored vehicles and almost four thousand nukes, Mr President.
In the foreground, we can see the President pointing in a dramatic "go make it happen!" gesture. The drama is heightened by the extreme foreshortening on the arm, making the pointing hand look huge.
In the background, the assistant looks so thrilled that it's frankly a bit disturbing; he's pumping both his fists, grinning hugely, has huge wide eyes, and is hissing "ye-e-es!" Also, his folder has disappeared. Did he drop it? Maybe I'll get in touch with Kevin and ask him to add a folder tucked under an arm to this panel.
PRESIDENT: Send them in and wipe out freedom immediately!
The assistant is talking to the President, but now he looks very worried, wringing his hands with sweat flying off his forehead. In the foreground, we can see enough of the president to know that he's also sweating, and has clasped his hands to his head, mussing his hair.
CAPTION: A few hours later
ASSISTANT: Mr President, the army has encountered some civilians armed with rifles and handguns.
PRESIDENT: Oh no! My evil plot is doomed! Abort! ABORT!
CAPTION AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CARTOON: How The Second Amendment Saves Us From Tyranny