In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina…
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Members of Congress Stand Up for Property Rights

In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina) and Representatives Ben Cline (R - Virginia), Theodore Deutch (D - Florida), Martha Roby (R - Alabama) and Harley Rouda (D – California) have just taken a firm stand protecting property rights – copyrights specifically – and merit our praise.

As we’ve long highlighted, property rights constitute a central pillar of “American Exceptionalism,” and that includes intellectual property (IP) rights – copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.   Our Founding Fathers considered IP so important that they deliberately and explicitly singled it out for protection in the text of the Constitution.  As a direct result, we’ve become the most innovative and prosperous nation…[more]

December 06, 2019 • 02:15 pm

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2nd Amendment Restrictionists Don’t Possess the Moral High Ground Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, February 21 2019
Beyond their false smugness, however, it doesn’t help that Second Amendment opponents get almost all of the relevant facts in the debate flatly wrong.

Of all the defective characteristics that define Second Amendment restrictionists, the most detestable might be their false sense of moral superiority. 

In their minds, those who defend the right to keep and bear arms must be selfish, bloodthirsty brutes, whereas they presume to claim the righteous high ground. 

But quite the contrary, their crusade is the immoral one, not to mention the intellectually groundless one. 

That’s because human beings possess a natural, inherent right of self-defense, whether against common criminal assault or tyrannical government.  Our Founding Fathers drafted and ratified the Second Amendment precisely for that reason, and gun control advocates seek to curtail that natural right. 

Examining the relevant numbers places this debate in its proper perspective.  Each year in America, firearms are used for defensive purposes between 500,000 and 3 million times.  Those aren’t numbers concocted by Second Amendment advocates.  That’s according to the federal government’s own Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which in 2012 commenced a review on gun violence at the direction of Barack Obama.  He probably didn’t like what they found: 

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies…  Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.” 

So even accepting the lowest estimate for purposes of argument, that means 500,000 defensive uses per year on average.  By comparison, approximately 11,000 murders by firearm occur in the United States each year. 

Accordingly, even by the most conservative official estimates, firearms are used for defensive purposes at least fifty times more often than they’re used to commit homicide. 

Second Amendment opponents would reduce Americans’ ability to use firearms for defensive purposes, which hardly constitutes a righteous cause. 

Beyond their false smugness, however, it doesn’t help that Second Amendment opponents get almost all of the relevant facts in the debate flatly wrong. 

Start with their false perspective of gun violence in America.  Even to the extent that gun control advocates acknowledge that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, their ignorant presumption is that the result has been a comparatively high murder rate in America. 

But that’s simply false. 

The worldwide murder rate stands at approximately 11 homicides per 100,000 people.  The U.S. rate stands far below that number, at approximately 4 per 100,000, or one-third the global rate.  Our rate approximates the European and Canadian average of between 2 and 4 per 100,000 people, which is very low compared to the rest of the world. 

But let’s examine the murder rate in nations that prohibit firearm possession, which anti-gun extremists seek to emulate.  Brazil, Mexico and Russia provide examples of nations with large populations that ban legal gun ownership, and they suffer murder rates of 26 per 100,000, 24 per 100,000 and 14 per 100,000, respectively.  All are far higher than the U.S. 

In contrast, Switzerland maintains the world’s second-highest gun possession rate behind the U.S., and its murder rate is almost nonexistent. 

Moreover, stark numbers over the past two decades in the U.S. refute the lazy myth that the prevalence of guns in America leads to a higher homicide rate.  In 1993, there were approximately 0.94 guns per person in the U.S., according to the CDC and Congressional Research Service.  Twenty years later, that number rose to 1.45 per person in 2014, a 56% increase. 

But during that same period, the U.S. gun homicide rate plummeted from 7.0 per 100,000 to 3.6 per 100,000, a decrease of 50%. 

Accordingly, the straightforward, official government data presents an irrefutable picture. 

The U.S. murder rate has been cut in half even while the rate of gun possession has increased by over half, and firearms are used for defensive purposes at least fifty times more often than they are to commit homicide.  Additionally, the U.S. experiences a low murder rate compared with the rest of the world, not a comparatively high one. 

Those who would restrict firearms possession would thereby curtail Americans’ inherent, natural right to defend themselves and their property.  For that reason alone, they cannot be allowed to claim the moral high ground that they seem to think is theirs. 

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