There's a destructive campaign underway to encourage government confiscation of patents from pharmaceutical…
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Image of the Day: Private Pharma Investment Dwarfs Federal NIH Funding

There's a destructive campaign underway to encourage government confiscation of patents from pharmaceutical innovators and dictate the price for Remdesivir and other drugs.  That's a terrible and counterproductive policy under any circumstance, but particularly now that private drug innovators are already hacking away at the coronavirus.  In that vein, this helpful image illustrates the vast disparity between private investment and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding that some seem to think justifies patent confiscation, price controls or other big-government schemes:

 

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="964"] Private Investment Dwarfs NIH Funding[/caption]…[more]

June 01, 2020 • 10:24 AM

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Inconvenient Truths Undermine Gun Controllers' Myths Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 16 2016
[T]o paraphrase Al Gore, the inconvenient truths of the gun control debate flatly refute restrictionists' lazy preconceptions.

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." 

So said Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama's Chief of Staff, in February 2009. 

In so doing, Emanuel signaled an Obama Administration modus operandi of exploiting tragedies for partisan gain that has not abated in nearly eight years since. 

This week's massacre in Orlando, Florida by a deranged ISIS-inspired terrorist merely offered the latest tawdry example. 

In his Sunday response before the dead had even been identified (but notably, after the murderer's ISIS sympathies had been confirmed), Obama took to the airwaves to scapegoat firearms and blame American society.  His political minions reacted in kind, expressing more anger toward firearms and the Second Amendment than toward the killer himself. 

To them, the massacre almost appeared to be a welcome opportunity to intensify their ongoing cultural war and demonize fellow Americans, rather than mourn the dead or address the real problem.  Congressional Democrats even shouted and marched out of a moment of silence honoring the victims, transparently demanding new firearms laws. 

In addition to the unseemliness of it all, there's another problem.  Namely, the facts simply don't support their claims or agenda. 

First, let's start with such people's most frequent agenda item - that so-called "assault weapons" be outlawed.  In addition to the well-established fact that "assault weapon" is impossible to categorize with any accuracy or practicality, they forget that we already tried federal "assault weapon" legislation between 1994 and 2004.  And guess what?  After it expired in 2004, the U.S. murder rate continued to decline. 

Second, and interrelated with the first point, the simple fact is that murder by "assault weapon" in the U.S. is exceedingly rare.  According to the FBI itself, rifles of any type (of which "assault rifles" are a small subcategory) accounted for less than 3% of U.S. murders in 2014.  That was half the number of murders using hands or feet (6%), and far fewer than the number of murders committed using knives (13%). 

Third, let's dispense with the myth that the U.S. suffers a high murder rate compared to other countries, including the many that flatly prohibit firearm possession.  According to the latest figures, the U.S. suffers approximately 4.5 murders per 100,000 people, far below the worldwide average of approximately 11 per 100,000 people.  Although Second Amendment antagonists deceptively compare the U.S. rate to European counterparts, that's like saying that someone is twice as likely to die of a lightning strike in Minnesota as in Montana.  In other words, it's extraordinarily rare in either case, not to mention the fact that murders in cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., or Detroit that restrict gun possession account for an enormous portion of overall U.S. murders. 

Fourth, the U.S. murder rate has plummeted by 50% since 1990, during the same period in which the number of firearms in the U.S. has skyrocketed, as did the number of individual states relaxing their firearms possession restrictions.  That inconvenient fact was perhaps best summarized by a headline from the left-leaning Pew Research Center entitled, "Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak, Public Unaware." 

Fifth, claims from Obama or other leftists that the U.S. suffers the world's highest mass shooting rate - their attempt to isolate "assault weapons" in particular - are also false.  Among the 18 nations of Europe and North America, the U.S. is actually 12th, behind France, Norway, Switzerland, Finland and other supposedly more "enlightened" nations. 

Sixth, more than twice as many people were murdered in last November's Paris attacks by an "assault weapon" than the number killed in Orlando, even though France officially prohibits their possession.  The same is true of Norway, where Anders Breivik methodically slaughtered 77 people using a firearm prohibited under its laws. 

Accordingly, to paraphrase Al Gore, the inconvenient truths of the gun control debate flatly refute restrictionists' lazy preconceptions. 

In a free society, particularly one whose Constitution explicitly protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms, the burden of proof remains upon those who seek to run other people's lives, restrict their choices or infringe upon their right to defend themselves and their families as they choose. 

And in this debate, those who seek to restrict Second Amendment rights haven't come anywhere close to meeting that burden of proof. 

Question of the Week   
The largest-ever helicopter evacuation took place during which of the following conflicts?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Law enforcement is a vital response to any riotous uprising. Indeed, I believe the failure to enforce the laws without apology from the start of the upheaval last week has fueled its ferocity. It would be naive to claim that much of the violence, which is being incited and coordinated by radical groups, might not have happened anyway -- these groups are always on a hair-trigger, pouncing on any opportunity…[more]
 
 
—Andrew C. McCarthy, Legal Commentator, Terrorism Expert and Former Federal Prosecutor
— Andrew C. McCarthy, Legal Commentator, Terrorism Expert and Former Federal Prosecutor
 
Liberty Poll   

Until this week, the U.S. House has required Members to be physically present to vote. Due to coronavirus, "proxy voting," allowing Members to cast votes for absent colleagues, is now being used. Should "proxy voting" be allowed to continue?