Kyle Kashuv Buries Anti-Gun Publication After Bizarre Romaine Lettuce/Gun Piece Goes Viral


Depending on how often you’ve been on social media these past week or so, let me be the first or 412th person to regale you with a “Now the CDC says romaine lettuce is unhealthier than <insert your favorite immoderately processed snack food and/or lard-laden Thanksgiving dessert here>. I’ve been telling people this for years!” joke.

It’s not really that much of a joking matter when you consider that over a dozen people have been hospitalized with the E. coli virus, according to Fox News.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention goes as far as to say that “(c)onsumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick” and the salad staple is taken off of store shelves, that’s, well — short of that time the followers of pseudo-mystic Osho poisoned salad bars in Oregon in the weirdest bioterror attack ever, I don’t remember us ever having a reason to be this scared of lettuce.

But that’s how we deal with things like this in the United States — schadenfreude. We joke because getting ourselves worked up over a minor blip in our food supply isn’t going to do anything. Instead, we make that joke about how we always knew prime rib was healthier than romaine lettuce, put it in Impact font on top of a big hunk of beef and post it to our Twitter account. That’s the American way.

Let me clarify, actually: That’s the healthy American way to deal with things like this. There’s also good ol’ opportunism. This approach is especially common if a) your social media feed features at least 80 percent links to political articles appended with po-faced comments like “This is unacceptable” or “How can this be happening in 2018?” or b) you write those political articles.

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Under section b), I present to you liberal thought-hovel ThinkProgress at its ThinkProgressiest, not letting any crisis — no matter how unconnected to the political issue at hand it might be — go to waste:

I understand that headlining, even for snootfests like The New York Times or Washington Post, is the dark art of catching the reader’s attention in as few words as possible. The New York Post — a paper beloved by Gotham’s conservatives — once (in)famously led with the front page “Headless Body in Topless Bar.” I also understand the pressure, at openly partisan publications, to take what the drones on the 5 p.m. local news obsess over and somehow connect it to one of the bees you’ve collected in your ideological bonnet.

However, a lot of people were wondering in what universe lettuce recalls and gun control dovetail — or even in what universe a writer and editor, in concert with each other, might imagine these issues dovetail. Also matters of curiosity: Where are these 24-hour gun stores and how do they make firearms easier to buy than vegetables?

Parkland survivor and conservative activist Kyle Kashuv may have had the best dismissal of this story we’ve seen on social media thus far:

Obviously, he wasn’t alone.

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The last one is definitely true, at least when it comes to your blood pressure in social situations. I’ve known plenty of gun owners, and we’ve had excellent discussions about topics that have ranged far and wide: the designated hitter, Malcolm X’s departure from the Nation of Islam, our families, fishing on Lake George, what it’s like being a cop in a major city, why “House of Leaves” is pseudo-existential postmodern nonsense, how the TurboGrafx-16 is the most underrated video game system of all time, marriage, religion, life — those sorts of things.

You know what I’ve talked about when thrown together with vegans in a social situation? Their veganism. And let me avouch to you, this wasn’t for lack of trying to talk about pretty much anything else, up to and including whether or not they had any pictures of their grandkids they’d like to spend an hour showing me. (“Oh, you’re only 25? Well, gee, uh …”)

Just in case you were curious, the article doesn’t get much better upon actually reading it, although I suppose anything would beat the headline. It’s basically a recitation of random acts of violence across America and how these acts of violence would in no way have happened if firearms were illegal. I’m not going to excerpt much of it because you’ve read this bosh before and there isn’t much of an argument, speaking in terms of formal logic, that doesn’t fall under the appeal to emotion fallacy. The rest disregards pretty much every piece of extant Second Amendment case law in favor of what the author feels should be true; this is someone who clearly hasn’t even heard of, much less read, District of Columbia v. Heller.

Do you think romaine lettuce should be banned?

However, I will give an award to anyone who reads this paragraph and doesn’t burst out laughing: “While firearm ownership within the context of a well-regulated militia is protected by the Constitution’s Second Amendment and there is no constitutional protection for any vegetable, much less lettuce, the Bill of Rights was written when slow-loading muskets made the idea of a mass shooting an improbable nightmare. The technological upgrades in the almost 250 years since then have allowed carnage to unfold in emergency rooms across the country.”

“Carnage” is not a statistic, of course, and gun violence has been on the decline for quite some time now, which means even the hyperbole isn’t describing an actual trend. E. coli poisoning, meanwhile, is way up in the case of romaine lettuce, and the founders in no way pictured a time in which harried corporate types would be picking up pre-made romaine salads from Panera on their lunch breaks. The author admits that “there is no constitutional protection for any vegetable, much less lettuce.” Ergo, it’s our duty to ban romaine lettuce, which the food supply clearly cannot be trusted to handle safely.

Does that argument make any sense? No. But neither does ThinkProgress’ article, and the only actual value added to the Second Amendment debate is a few very unintentional laughs.

It’s funnier than those “it’s official, pie is healthier than lettuce” jokes, I’ll give you that. It’s a bit less funny when you consider people actually believe in the connection — or, at least, will tell you that they do with the kind of wolfish opportunism that seems to permeate the other side of the Second Amendment debate.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture