This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
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Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

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NPR Admits: More Guns, Less Crime Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 26 2013
Unfortunately, the Obama Administration isn’t paying attention to NPR or that worldwide data.

When even people like John Kerry and Barack Obama pay no attention to National Public Radio (NPR), must taxpayers be forced to continue subsidizing it? 

To its credit, this week NPR ran the following bombshell headline:  “The U.S. Has More Guns, but Russia Has More Murders.” 

In other words, paraphrasing Dr. John Lott, Jr.:  more guns, less crime.  Welcome aboard, NPR. 

What prompted NPR’s report was the familiar recent exchange of insults between Russian and American leaders.  First Vladimir Putin humiliated Obama in a New York Times commentary, then John McCain responded with a Pravda piece entitled “Russia Deserves Better than Putin” and then Russian Foreign Affairs Chairman Alexei Pushkov sarcastically and callously labeled last week’s Navy Yard shootings in Washington, D.C. “confirmation of American exceptionalism.” 

Which prompted NPR to ask, “while Pushkov sneers at U.S. gun laws, how do the stats look in Russia?”  Not very good, it discovered: 

“Russians have far fewer guns than Americans – and far more homicides.  There are fewer than 13 million firearms in circulation in Russia, compared with an estimated 300 million in the United States.  That works out to about 9 guns per 100 people in Russia, and close to 100 guns per 100 people in America.  The most recent homicide statistics for Russia show that there were 21,603 killings in 2009.  According to the FBI, the United States had 13,636 homicides in 2009, with a population that is more than twice as large.” 

Surprisingly, and again to its credit, NPR emphasized that weak firearms laws are not to blame: 

“Russia has tough gun laws on the books.  It’s illegal for Russian citizens to own automatic and semi-automatic guns.  It’s possible to apply for a handgun or shotgun license, though citizens are required to provide reasons such as hunting or target shooting.  Applicants face strict background checks, including criminal history, a full psychological evaluation and a medical exam.  They must pass a test on firearm laws and safety.  Each weapon is then registered by the police during a home visit.  Police take bullet patterns, test bullets and cartridges so bullets can be matched if the gun is used in a crime.  A license lasts five years, after which applicants must go through the whole process again.” 

Accordingly, Russia constitutes a gun control extremist’s paradise.  The predictable result is far fewer guns, but far higher crime. 

Moreover, that reality is not limited to the U.S. and Russia.  It’s a worldwide truth. 

In 2012, the American murder rate was just 4.8 per 100,000 people.  To put that into perspective, Honduras suffers the world’s highest murder rate at 91.6 per 100,000, with El Salvador second at 69.2.  Venezuela, with its strict gun prohibitions, suffers 45.1 murders per 100,000, as do other countries with notoriously tough restrictions.  Gun-banning Mexico’s murder rate stands at 22.7 per 100,000, Brazil’s at 21.0, Costa Rica’s at 10.0 and police state North Korea’s at 15.2.  Several European nations also exceed the U.S. rate, including Greenland (19.2), Lithuania (6.6), Estonia (5.2) and Ukraine (5.2).  Many Asian nations also exceed the U.S. rate, such as Thailand (4.8) and Indonesia (8.1).  In fact, the U.S. murder rate is all the way down at 104th in the world. 

In contrast, European nations with the highest gun possession rates enjoy some of the world’s lowest crime and murder rates.  Switzerland, Finland, Sweden and Norway are among the top ten countries in worldwide gun possession after the U.S., but are among the safest nations on the planet.  Countries like Germany, Italy and Britain have lower gun possession rates, but higher murder rates. 

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration isn’t paying attention to NPR or that worldwide data. 

At the United Nations General Assembly session this week, Secretary of State John Kerry curiously announced that he will sign a U.N. treaty regulating private gun ownership and trade worldwide.  Under the treaty’s provisions, participating nations must “maintain a national control list” of firearms, and also engage in registration, licensing and restriction of transfer of guns. 

In other words, to do what Russia does with disastrous results. 

Fortunately, ratification requires a 2/3 Senate majority, and over 130 members of Congress have already gone on the record expressing their opposition. 

Which raises another irony. 

Namely, throughout this week, liberals and their Republican enablers have excoriated Senator Ted Cruz for what they labeled a futile gesture in opposition to ObamaCare.  Yet here was the Obama Administration preening about signing an international agreement that stands zero chance of ratification. 

If taxpayers are going to be forced to subsidize NPR, the least the Obama Administration could do is peruse its headlines more regularly. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following individuals laid the ‘Golden Spike’ joining the Eastern and Western U.S. railroad lines to create the Transcontinental Railway?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"President Trump's recent executive order laying out his 'America-First Healthcare Plan' makes clear his continued commitment to the long-standing, bipartisan consensus that we should protect people with preexisting conditions. Unfortunately, the previous administration's attempt to make good on that consensus -- Obamacare -- has failed to deliver on its promises.Contrary to the prevailing media narrative…[more]
 
 
—Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
— Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
 
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