We take no position in the ongoing Taylor Swift versus Kanye West divide.  But as perhaps surprisingly…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Taylor Swift: Intellectual Property and Anti-Counterfeiting Champion

We take no position in the ongoing Taylor Swift versus Kanye West divide.  But as perhaps surprisingly featured in a Wall Street Journal opinion this week, we do applaud her strong stance in defense of intellectual property (IP) and against the scourge of counterfeiting:

Pop star Taylor Swift has been feuding in recent days with rapper Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian.  The details of the drama are lurid and complicated, but young aficionados of Snapchat and Instagram have been following it all intently.  If only the same were true for other Taylor Swift feuds that have received less attention.  Namely, those the 26-year-old songstress has fought in defense of a principle often scorned by fellow celebrities and the social-media generation generally:  the value of intellectual…[more]

July 22, 2016 • 01:09 pm

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.
Who Needs High-Capacity Magazines? Even Police Only Hit 1 in 5 Shots Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, February 07 2013
As police become even less able to protect citizens, Second Amendment safeguards become even more critical.

Here’s a statistic likely to surprise most Americans:  Police officers’ hit ratio, meaning the percentage of shots fired that meet the intended target, is approximately 20%. 

In other words, even those whose very profession demands accuracy and constant preparation only hit 1 out of 5 shots when the situation requires it.  Some 80% of shots thus miss their target. 

A 2010 NYPD estimate is even lower, suggesting a hit ratio of just 11% to 17%. 

This constitutes a critical fact in the ongoing debate over Americans’ Second Amendment rights. 

Specifically, prohibitionists reflexively seek magazine capacity limits as a first step in their incremental restrictionist agenda.  Defenders of the Second Amendment correctly respond that limiting magazine capacity does nothing to actually reduce crime, as decades of crime data show.  Unfortunately, we haven’t always done an effective job of affirmatively explaining to the public why higher capacities are important, even life-saving. 

Police repeatedly undergo training so that firing situations will be less disorienting and chaotic.  Average members of the public, however, suddenly awakened by middle-of-the-night violent aggressors, do not.  Accordingly, a higher-capacity magazine may prove the difference between life and death for themselves and their families.  That is particularly true when multiple attackers are involved. 

Defensive use of firearms by law-abiding citizens in America occurs far more often than highly-publicized mass murders by deranged gunmen, and such magazines naturally increase the effectiveness in such scenarios. 

Meanwhile, south of our border, Mexican citizens are discovering the value of the right to keep and bear arms. 

That nation continues its descent into lawlessness and violence, with police increasingly corrupt or incapable of stopping crime.  Running out of options, as detailed in a front-page report this week by The Wall Street Journal, law-abiding citizens “have risen up in armed revolt against local drug traffickers that have terrorized the region and a government that residents say is incapable of protecting them from organized crime.” 

Through the actions of “ordinary farmers and businessmen,” we witness how “life is getting back to normal here after years of insecurity”: 

“Crime is way down – for the moment, at least.  Residents say kidnapping ceased when the militias took charge, as did the extortions that had become the scourge of businessmen and farmers alike.  The leader of one militia group, who uses the code name G-1 but was identified by his compatriots as Gonzalo Torres, puts it this way:  ‘We brought order back to a place where there had been chaos.  We were able to do in 15 days what the government was not able to do in years.’” 

As cogently summarized by Bruno Placido, a leader of one militia, “We have shown the power armed people have over organized crime groups.” 

But what’s happening in Mexico could never happen here in America, right? 

In some ways, it already is happening. 

In Chicago, where some of the nation’s most infamous Second Amendment restrictions prevail, the murder rate is rising at an alarming rate.  Last month became the deadliest January since 2002, and last year’s 506 murders set a five-year high even as the nation’s overall rate continues its decline. 

Amid that increasing lawlessness, the Chicago Police Department announced this week that it has stopped physically responding to many 911 calls.  Henceforth, crimes falling outside the vague definition of “imminent danger” will be routed to desk officers who will simply fill out reports via phone. 

Disturbingly, what officials have labeled “simple assaults” fall outside that definition of imminent danger, even though such crimes often escalate to mortal events.  Scott Waguespack, a city alderman, admitted that “it looks pretty bad,” and worried that the police retreat signals “an open house for burglars.” 

As police become even less able to protect citizens, Second Amendment safeguards become even more critical. 

America is not on the brink of Hobbesian lawlessness, but events in Chicago just this week demonstrate that the danger is never as distant as we might wish to believe.  Even the safest societies are not immune, and there is no right more fundamental than the natural, inalienable right to self-defense. 

And as Second Amendment restrictionists propose new knee-jerk legislation, we must repel measures that dangerously affect that right. 

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years was Secret Service protection afforded to major candidates for President and Vice President of the United States?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Disruptive. That's a good word to describe Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, and to describe the sometimes ramshackle Republican National Convention his campaign more or less superintended in Cleveland this past week. ...Over history America has mostly been built by disruption. ... Maybe some disruption from a candidate who says he has 'no tolerance for government incompetence' is in order."…[more]
 
 
—Michael Barone, Principal Co-Author, The Almanac of American Politics and Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst
— Michael Barone, Principal Co-Author, The Almanac of American Politics and Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst
 
Liberty Poll   

Following the Republican National Convention, how do you now rate Donald Trump’s chances of winning the presidency?