Editorial: 18-year-olds shouldn’t have the right to buy guns

For most purposes — signing contracts, entering the military, marrying without parental permission and living independently — an American is legally an adult at age 18. But a panel of federal appellate judges erred last week in deciding that this also should extend to the purchase of handguns.

Editorial: It’s time to get tough on COVID vaccine evaders

Last summer, when a new, deadly wave of COVID-19 infections gripped the nation, the only solace during that dark time was that a vaccine seemed possible, if not probable, within the year. It was the light in the proverbial tunnel, as distant and weak as it may have appeared at the moment.

Editorial: The case for vaccine mandates

In much of America, vaccine hesitancy has turned into vaccine defiance. Several states have banned or are considering banning demands by businesses that people show proof of vaccination. Tennessee — where only 38% of adults are fully inoculated and the COVID-19 caseload is growing fast — has gone so far as to cancel public schools’ efforts to encourage eligible children to get their shots (including flu shots). For good measure, the state has fired its medical director for vaccine programs.

Editorial: Billionaires — in outer space

The richest man on Earth briefly lost that title Tuesday morning, but only because for a few floaty minutes he was no longer on Earth. Jeff Bezos has spent two decades using his Amazon wealth to underwrite a rocket venture, Blue Origin. On Tuesday the company launched its first manned flight to space, with Mr. Bezos strapped on board the capsule.

Commentary: Want to reduce overdose rates? Treat poverty first

Overdose rates are higher in areas where people live in poverty and even higher among people of color living in poverty. In the last decade in Maryland, the proportion of opioid-overdose deaths involving Black people has continually risen, while the proportion involving white people has declined, mirroring nationwide trends. This past year, the disparity has worsened.

Commentary: Afghan women and girls at risk as US forces draw down

As U.S. and coalition forces withdraw from Afghanistan and the Taliban militia gains more territory, women and girls who resisted gender-based violence and fled to protective shelters, or even jails, risk being sent back to their families where they face further abuse including death.

Editorial: Is the US finally taking cyberattacks seriously?

We’re barely a month out from the Colonial Pipeline hacking, perpetrated by the Russian-speaking hacking group DarkSide, which left thousands of Americans without gas, preventing many from accessing food or medicine. Not long after that was the attack on JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier, which shut down multiple processing plants, perpetrated by Russian cybercriminal group REvil.

Commentary: Do we all have Alzheimer’s? Drug makers might want you to think so

This month, the Food and Drug Administration changed the label for the recently approved Alzheimer’s treatment aducanumab — sold under the brand name “Aduhelm” — to specify that the controversial drug made by U.S. biotech company Biogen should be used only by patients with mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment. This should be no bar to widespread use, however, as recent efforts indicate that Biogen may be trying to persuade adults who occasionally misplace their keys that they not only have Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), but that MCI is an early form of Alzheimer’s disease.

Editorial: Cuba’s protesters deserve American support

The unrest on Cuba’s streets is the biggest challenge to the country’s communist government in decades. And it poses a dilemma for the Biden administration, which previously said it wants to ease U.S. sanctions against the Cuban regime. President Biden needs a way to maintain pressure on the government while moderating penalties that have unavoidably worsened the economic plight of ordinary Cubans. This will require something of a balancing act.

Commentary: Biden’s speech on voting rights was a sermon, not a battle plan

In his speech about voting rights on Tuesday, President Joe Biden told the audience at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia that he wasn’t “preaching to you.” But that was false humility. Biden’s speech was very much a sermon, and an effective one, about the importance of defeating an assault on democracy.

Editorial: The US military needs a lot more recruits

The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan signals the end of a war that involved close to 800,000 American service members. Defending against new threats will require the U.S. to replenish its all-volunteer force with fresh recruits — a task made harder by the dwindling number of Americans willing and able to serve.