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Things aren’t getting worse, they’re getting more obvious

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On nearly every statistical measure, human society has improved dramatically over the last few decades. War, famine, disease, poverty, infant mortality are all down globally. Violent crime, cancer, teen pregnancy, abortion, drug use are all down nationally. Some of these truths come as a shock to people for one reason: media.

We have 24-hour news networks and social media that act like megaphones for tragedy. Every time someone gets shot, especially when multiple people do, it’s a breaking news event. And every time it’s tragic. But it’s not more common.

Gun deaths have been declining since the early 1990s. Mass shootings, depending on how they’re defined, are even more rare, though by definition prone to spikes.

Unfortunately this year might prove to break the trend on one unfortunate statistic: police gun deaths. Due mostly to the recent massacres in Dallas and Baton Rouge, on-duty police deaths are up nearly to their full-year level last year. Overall, cop assassinations have been on the decline for some time, so hopefully this horrific year will prove to be just an outlier and not the start of a reversing trend.

TX senators propose dueling bills that move justice reform backward

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Texas, the land of liberty, proud former republic, happy to be left alone to grill meat and eat tacos until the end of the earth, is supposed to take care of its own and not demand federal government interference, even when times get tough. But that’s exactly what two bills just introduced by the Lone Star State’s senators do. Neither is necessary or advisable, especially in light of justice reform efforts that do the opposite.

After the horrific police massacre in Dallas last weekend, John Cornyn has introduced a bill to make killing law enforcement officers and other public officials a federal crime with a new mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years and option for the death penalty. While a reaction of this magnitude is understandable after Dallas and other recent attacks on police, in reality it’s much more of an overreaction.

Killing a police officer is already a capital offense in almost every state that has the death penalty, including Texas. The country is currently debating whether the states and federal government should have the death penalty at all; adding new qualifications for it should be out of the question, especially when states are handling it just fine on their own.

Never means never

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There was a glowing, arrogant consensus among smug Trump supporters yesterday, after RNC delegates officially nominated him to be president. #NeverTrump, the movement among conservatives and libertarians who vowed to never support the candidate, for many, varied, and sundry reasons, was through.

Wow wrong. Someone needs to be reminded what the word “never” means.

never

Never. Not ever. Not even once.

#NeverTrump began in the Republican primary as an effort to deny Trump the nomination, once it became apparent that the polls were right and he was cruising toward it. It was by definition not designed to end there.

Many Trump opponents during primary season have since surrendered and endorsed or vowed to at least vote for him reluctantly. These people weren’t really #NeverTrump. The rest of us still are. And never means never.


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