This is it — the waiting is over! As we ring in the new year, we take our final look back at 2015 with the most-read posts at Hot Air. It starts with a terrorist attack, and ends with a sharp rebuttal to disarming Americans in the wake of another. France took things more seriously in the wake of that attack, but it doesn’t appear that the US has.
By the way, two out of three choosy Hollywood celebrities choose the Hot Air Top Ten of 2015 …
- #10: Breaking: Multiple deaths in Paris amid reports of shootings, explosion; Update: Six gunmen? Update: France closes borders; Update: “I am from ISIS”; Update: Reports of 100 dead in concert hall, 158 total; Update: Gunmen still at large? (117,475 page views) – ISIS infiltrators perpetrated a Mumbai-style attack on Paris. Paris responded by treating it as an act of war and started going after other potential infiltrators. They didn’t act quickly enough to grab everyone involved, but they did kill one of the ringleaders in a subsequent raid. Thankfully, police learned a lesson from previous incidents like Beslan and intervened quickly in the concert hall before the terrorists could kill everyone in the place.
- #9: Sadly, Deven Guilford probably got exactly what he deserved (119,628) – In yet another case where body cams and microphones came in handy for the police, a teenager managed to turn a routine traffic stop into a deadly encounter. Jazz concludes that Guilford brought in on himself; a civil court will eventually have to make that determination, as the parents are suing the police over Guilford’s death. Basically, though, this 17-year-old is dead from terminal stupidity.
- #8: Angelina Jolie’s daughter is “gender assigned” at 8 years old (149,129) – Old and busted: Pigeonholing little kids with traditional gender roles. New hotness: Pigeonholing little kids with nontraditional gender roles.
- #7: The truth about gun deaths: numbers and actual solutions (181,855) – Jazz went behind the media and White House sloganeering and took a look at the actual statistics involved in gun deaths. Not surprisingly, the former turned out to be massively inflated, while the latter much more nuanced. But then again, we’ve known these facts for a very long time. Perhaps the media might catch up to the facts at some point, but I’m betting it won’t be in 2016.
- #6: North Carolina voluntary gun surrender event produces big results (192,660) – It’s like a Martin O’Malley rally! The media reported that “almost 1,000 people” showed up for the Pledge of Non-Violence rally in Greensboro that featured a voluntary gun surrender station. However, only two weapons got surrendered — and neither of them was a firearm, in the strict sense; one was a knife, and the other a pellet gun, presumably air-fired. The real lesson? Law abiding citizens have no reason to want to disarm themselves … and criminals won’t.
- #5:Breaking: Report of up to 20 people shot in San Bernardino; Update: Up to 14 dead; Update: Dispute at party? Update: Man and woman suspects; Update: Suspect ID’d? (199,268) – The hot takes on this terrorist attack included references to its proximity to a Planned Parenthood clinic (more than a mile away!), Christian extremism, workplace violence, and of course gun control. In the end, it turned out to be an ISIS-inspired act of terrorism, but the White House chose to keep pushing gun control anyway … which inspired two of the next four posts.
- #4: Get ready for the blacklisting of Vince Vaughn (213,392) – This goes all the back to February, making Vaughn the first Hollywood celebrity in 2015 to out himself as “a gun-loving libertarian.” He won’t be the last on this list, either. Also, Jazz gave a nice shout-out to our friend Adam Baldwin, who has been publicly advocating for the right to effective self-defense for years.
- #3: Jake Brewer, RIP; Update: Memorial educational fund launched (230,239) – Without a doubt, the saddest post I ever had to write. Mary Katharine has begun to get back into the social-media swing on Instagram and Twitter, featuring pictures of two beautiful daughters she and Jake have. Generous readers and viewers have already maxed out the GoFundMe project to cover the girls’ education, but Jake’s favorite charity, the Travis Manion Foundation, can always use more help.
- #2: While we fight over Trump, France closes 3 mosques, finds hundreds of weapons (341,885) – France imposed emergency rule in Paris following the terrorist attacks there, allowing them more latitude in raids, searches, and seizures. A similar effort would be very problematic here in the US without establishing just cause and getting search warrants, but it’s not impossible to do within the confines of the law. The issue is whether the authorities have the will for that kind of effort, as well as whether it’s necessary. Jazz touches on all of these issues in his must-read and second-most-read post of 2015.
And the most-read post of 2015 was ….
- #1: Kurt Russell blasts gun control push: “I think it’s absolutely insane” (354,344) – This post is only three weeks old, but it got a big push from our friends at the Drudge Report. Our post has about 50% more views than the video itself, interestingly:
- “If you think gun control is going to change the terrorists’ point of view, I think you’re, like, out of your mind,” Russell told Jeffrey Wells, after the reporter suggested that gun rights are “a metaphor that disenfranchised white guys need.” At one point, the star of the new film The Hateful 8 laughs out loud at Wells’ arguments, especially about the no-fly list — which, by the way, has no relation to any of the terrorist shootings in the US anyway. Russell has long been known to be libertarian, but his pushback against those pushing an irrelevant narrative of gun control came at a perfect time — and topped our list for 2015.
Thanks for all your readership in 2015. Let’s look forward to an even better 2016!