“Nobody knows who threw the first punch, but it’s rumored that she did, and she said she did,” said Ms. Cannistraci, an owner of the Village lesbian bar Henrietta Hudson. “She told me she did.”
Ms. DeLarverie was a member of the Stonewall Veterans Association and a regular at the pride parade, but she rarely dwelled on her actions that night. Her role in the movement lasted long after 1969. For decades she was a self-appointed guardian of lesbians in the Village.
Tall, androgynous and armed — she held a state gun permit — Ms. DeLarverie roamed lower Seventh and Eighth Avenues and points between into her 80s, patrolling the sidewalks and checking in at lesbian bars. She was on the lookout for what she called “ugliness”: any form of intolerance, bullying or abuse of her “baby girls.”
It may be that a broader cultural shift—or at least a strategic one—is stirring within the gun lobby. In its statement on Friday, the NRA also cracked open the door to so-called “smart guns,” which aim to improve safety through innovative technological features. Historically the NRA has vigorously opposed them as yet another catalyst for dubious government overreach, but now says: “In principle, the idea would seem to have merit, at least in some circumstances.” That pivot comes not long after a businesswoman in California and a gun dealer in Maryland spoke out about harassment and death threats for trying to sell the cutting-edge weapons.
The NRA has also backtracked recently from its long-held stance against laws meant to disarm domestic abusers—a major factor in gun violence against women—by quietly supporting recent such legislation in states including Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Talking Points Memo: Why Is Capital So Much Stronger Than Labor?
Surely part of solving the inequality problem will require reducing the outsized political power of those with the most resources (and to be clear, I’m arguing that their usual dominance is highly amplified and uniquely unopposed in our current politics). If I’m right about the role of economics today in supporting capital and opposing labor, then part of winning that fight requires a new economics that encompasses a much broader scope of human and societal well-being, that more readily sees market failures, more accurately gauges and fairly judges reactions to policy changes, and places a much heavier weight on shared prosperity, and not solely through redistribution, but through market outcomes.
As another Thomas—Pynchon—said: “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” Progressives have all kinds of ideas to shape a more equitable primary distribution. But those ideas will never get much oxygen if we remain voluntary trapped in the cramped debate of a short-sighted economics.