John Lott, our favorite economist at least in the arena of criminology and Second Amendment scholarship…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Stat of the Day: Everywhere Guns Are Banned, Murder Rates Increase

John Lott, our favorite economist at least in the arena of criminology and Second Amendment scholarship, cogently summarizes the actual, real-world, data-based sociological effect of "gun control" laws:

. While gun bans (either a ban on all guns or on all handguns) have been imposed in many places, every time guns have been banned, murder rates have gone up.

One would think that one time, just out of simple randomness, murder rates would have gone down or at least stayed the same.  Yet in every single case for which we have crime data both before and after the ban, murder rates have gone up, often by huge amounts."

. It's almost as if more guns mean less crime.…[more]

October 20, 2017 • 11:58 am

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
On Russia Hacks, It's Jump-To-Conclusions vs. Wait-And-See Print
By Byron York
Wednesday, January 04 2017
[W]hen it comes to solid information on precisely what was done, and on evidence of motives, many Hill Republicans are mostly in the dark - because the intelligence community has kept them there.

President-elect Trump stirred yet more controversy Saturday night when, as he entered his New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago, he said he is not convinced the intelligence community is sure about allegations Russian hackers sought to influence the election.

"I just want them to be sure, because it's a pretty serious charge," Trump told reporters, "and I want them to be sure."

The next morning, Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, scoffed at Trump's statement. "This is the overwhelming judgment of the intelligence community and, frankly, all of the members of the intelligence committees in Congress, Democrats and Republicans," Schiff said on ABC Sunday. "None of us have any question about this. The only one who does apparently is Donald Trump."

That is not the case. There are, in fact, members of the intelligence committees who do have questions about this. Yes, many Republicans believe Russian hackers tried to mess with the U.S. presidential campaign in some way, mostly because they believe Russian hackers are always trying to mess with U.S. systems and institutions. But when it comes to solid information on precisely what was done, and on evidence of motives, many Hill Republicans are mostly in the dark  because the intelligence community has kept them there.

Remember that before Christmas the intelligence community refused to brief the House Intelligence Committee, telling lawmakers they can wait until intel officials finish the investigation ordered by President Obama. In response, House committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes argued that the Director of National Intelligence was "obligated to comply" with a House request, and that the committee was "deeply concerned" by the DNI's "intransigence."

The intelligence community's response: Fuhgeddaboudit.

So the wait to learn more goes on. Meanwhile, a number of Democrats are arguing that the evidence is so overwhelming that Congress must establish a special investigating committee, even though there will already be multiple investigations of the Russia matter in the standing committees of Congress.

"Elections and the peaceful transfer of power are the foundational elements of our democracy," said Sen. Ben Cardin, ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "They have been attacked and undermined by the world's most destabilizing major power."

"An attack against our election system is an attack on our very way of life and must not go unchallenged," added Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The argument is taking place in the context of deep distrust of the intelligence community among some Republicans. Some GOP lawmakers believe the IC has been  to put it diplomatically  less than forthcoming about Benghazi, intelligence concerning the Islamic State, and intel concerning Osama bin Laden. Already wary, they became more so when the IC refused to brief the House about the Russia affair.

There's a greater context, as well. Many times during the campaign, Trump declared the Iraq War a "big, fat mistake." At Mar-a-Lago, Trump referenced the intelligence debacle that led to the war. "If you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong," Trump said. "And so I want them to be sure."

Now, some of the same people who in 2002 and 2003 pushed for war based on erroneous intelligence  Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham are two  are pushing to take a hard line on Russia. It's no surprise that some Republicans  lawmakers who have no illusions about Russia and its hacking in the past  want to see more evidence before going all-in on the new allegations. At the very least, they want to know what the intelligence community knows before signing off on a special congressional investigation of the hacking.

Trump is scheduled to meet with members of the Hill intelligence committees this week. "The president-elect needs to sit down with the heads of the intelligence communities ... and get a full briefing on what they knew, why they knew it, whether or not the Obama administration's response was in proportion to the actions taken," spokesman Sean Spicer said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Trump himself is signaling there's more to the story that he knows but the public doesn't. "I know a lot about hacking," he said Saturday night. "And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don't know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.
COPYRIGHT 2017 BYRON YORK

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following battles effectively ended the American Revolutionary War?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"History will record that the Islamic State caliphate -- a bizarre pseudo-state founded on illusory goals, created by a global horde of jihadis, and enforced with perverted viciousness -- survived for three years, three months and some eighteen days. The fall of Raqqa, the nominal ISIS capital, was proclaimed on Tuesday by the U.S.-backed militia that spearheaded the offensive, a coalition of Kurdish…[more]
 
 
—Robin Wright, Newyorker.com Contributing Writer
— Robin Wright, Newyorker.com Contributing Writer
 
Liberty Poll   

What is your family’s reaction to this week’s statement that the NFL would like for players to stand for the national anthem, but will not force them to do so?