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Columns

Putting Gun Deaths in Context

People Holding Flag For Gun Control

Liberal voices in politics and media react to well-publicized murders by blaming firearms and arguing that gun control could reduce rates of violence. But they never put gun deaths in context, or acknowledge that murder rates have been going down, not up—cut in half over 30 years. Moreover, much of this improvement occurred together with rising gun ownership: Gallup says 34 percent of households owned firearms in 1999 and 42 percent in 2014. Second, liberals conceal the fact that most gun deaths in America are...

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The Ugly Truth about Homeless Vets

Homeless alcoholic drinking beer

Activists portray homeless people as innocent victims of our economic system, with no responsibility for their sad condition. Homeless veterans are cited as classic examples, but a new study by the Department of Veterans Affairs shows as many as 43% of homeless vets were dishonorably discharged for serious misconduct, including criminality or chronic addiction. The study also showed no clear link between combat exposure and homelessness, with a full 15% of homeless veterans engaging in military misconduct so...

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Political Malpractice

Rand Paul answers a question in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The GOP is currently divided—with a narrow faction arguing that we should abolish birthright citizenship, even though real-world chances of achieving this proposed change register at close to zero. Some legal scholars may challenge the common understanding that the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., but the Supreme Court has affirmed that principle in a string of cases going back 117 years. Considering the court’s makeup now or in the foreseeable future, no majority of justices will...

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Personally Cruel and Idiotic as Policy

Patriotic holiday  child with American flag running.

Some Republican politicians now say they want to change the Constitution, or challenge the Supreme Court, to begin denying citizenship to children born on American soil to parents who are undocumented immigrants. But they can’t answer the question of how to classify such American-born kids if you don’t count them as citizens. If they’re not citizens, would they count as illegal aliens like their parents? If so, they couldn’t ever gain legal status—since the same hard-liners who want to change birthright...

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Rank Hypocrisy on Birtherism

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump quiets a reporter during a news conference before a campaign town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire August 19, 2015.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Four years ago, when Donald Trump briefly campaigned for president before quitting the race, he focused on the issue of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, claiming to possess evidence that the president was born abroad and therefore ineligible for his office. But this year, Trump respects the candidacy of Ted Cruz, and approvingly re-tweeted a suggestion for a Trump-Cruz ticket—despite the fact that Cruz acknowledges he was born in Canada (and thus, by Trump’s standard, ineligible). Of course, Senator Cruz is...

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Complainers vs. Planners

Republican 2016 presidential candidates (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Ohio Governor John Kasich pose at the start of the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015.  REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

In the wake of the Republican presidential debate, the Wall Street Journal observed that GOP candidates are now trying to win support as either “fighters” or “statesmen.” The fighters concentrate on battling against forces that they fear and resent, while the statesmen promise to build consensus for a reform agenda. Actually, conservatives demand both: a willingness to fight for principle, and a vision to fix what’s wrong. Another way of contrasting political approaches would be distinguishing between...

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The Question Trump Can’t Answer

Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump reacts near the end of the debate   in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

In the GOP debate, Donald Trump said he couldn’t commit to support the ultimate nominee, and refused to rule out a third party run, but he never faced the obvious follow-up question. If he really cares about the conservative principles he now espouses, why wouldn’t he promise to support the Republican nominee? Does he think that there is any chance that Hillary Clinton would come closer to representing a conservative agenda than any conceivable GOP candidate? Trump’s position on this issue exposes the...

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How to Beat Planned Parenthood

A Planned Parenthood clinic is seen in Vista, California, August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

To win the battle over funds for Planned Parenthood, conservatives must make clear that we’re trying to end government sponsorship, not destroy the organization. Federal money provides only a third of the Planned Parenthood operating budget: the rest comes from donations and fees for services. Those who admire the organization could increase those donations to replace governmental support—a total of $528 million, when state contributions are included. Even though Planned Parenthood insists that these funds...

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Real Lessons from “Jewish Terror”

People take part in a rally to condemn an attack on the annual Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem August 1, 2015. REUTERS/Ronen ZvulunPeople take part in a rally to condemn an attack on the annual Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem August 1, 2015. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

A fanatic attacked a Jerusalem gay pride parade and a militant group firebombed a Palestinian home, killing a toddler. Critics of Israel point to such incidents to assert moral equivalence: there are Jewish terrorists and Arab terrorists, so neither side deserves sympathy or support. But incidents of Jewish violence remain rare and isolated, earning universal condemnation. The attacker at the gay pride parade had just been released after serving ten years for a similar attack; now he should spend the rest of his...

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Score Card from the Big Debates

Ten Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Ohio Governor John Kasich, debate at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

All Republicans should feel relieved, if not jubilant. Lots of winners who helped themselves, and no disastrous losers. Major gains for Marco Rubio who was lucid, passionate, self-assured, Kennedyesque – cementing his status as everyone’s second choice, which may win him the nomination, ultimately. John Kasich also moved his campaign forward: starting in tenth place (according to the polls) he looked and sounded like a folksy, credible, mainstream contender. Jeb Bush, who had to overcome a recent...

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