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Another Shooting in a “Gun Free” Zone »

The tragic shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport on January 6 occurred in a “gun-free” zone. Florida is one of six states that make it illegal for individuals—even those who have concealed carry permits—to carry guns in any part of an airport terminal. The killer’s motive is at this point undetermined, but he did...
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How Rage Fuels the Incarceration State »

Brock Turner, the Stanford University student convicted of sexual assault last summer, left jail after serving three months of his six month sentence, setting off a firestorm of outrage and protest in the popular media over his light sentence. Amidst the rage, no one seems to be asking the more important and fundamental question:...
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Big Government, Racial Violence, and the Police »

In August 1965, the streets of Los Angeles erupted in fire, as black rioters burned hundreds of stores and ill-equipped police withdrew from the violent scene. Initiated by a minor altercation with a police officer, Watts was followed by worse riots, often sparked by encounters with police, turning cities like Detroit into burnt-over districts....
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Adversarial Justice and Police Misconduct »

We all know from the TV series Law and Order that, “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders.” Day in and day out, these two groups work shoulder-to-shoulder for a common cause....
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Vanderbilt, Stanford Rape Cases Show Need for New Approach to Campus Sexual Assault »

On June 20, 2016, a jury convicted Vanderbilt University football player Brandon Vandenburg of rape after just 4 1/2 hours. He was found guilty on eight counts, meaning he could get 15-20 years in prison. Many are comparing the Vanderbilt case to the Stanford University rape case, where former collegiate swimmer Brock Turner was...
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Should People Be Allowed to Reveal What Their Government Is Doing to Them? »

If the government does something to you, should they also have the power to require you not to tell anyone? That’s the issue in a lawsuit Microsoft is bringing against the federal government. Microsoft claims that over the past 18 months it has had 2,576 orders from the federal government to turn over customer...
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Apple vs. the FBI: Three Reasons to Side with Apple »

When the story about the FBI wanting Apple to provide it with software to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino killers came out, I considered blogging about it but decided against it. The case was too clearly in Apple’s favor, I thought. Nobody would side with the government. But now I see that...
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US Drug Laws Destabilize Other Nations »

This article in USA Today is headlined, “El Salvador: World’s New Murder Capital.” El Salvador’s murder rate is 104 per 100,000 population, and as the article notes, this is a national average. “If you start looking at where the pockets of violence are, it’s shocking.” Why are things so bad in El Salvador? The...
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Police Take More Property from People than Burglars »

Most readers of The Beacon are probably familiar with the rise in civil asset forfeiture, which gives police the power to seize property they claim was used in criminal activity, often without accusing the property owner of a crime. They don’t have to. It’s up to property owners to prove they are innocent to...
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Right Problem; Wrong Solution. Obama’s Push for Reduced Prison Sentences »

President Obama is pushing for reductions in prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders. As this article notes, the federal prison population is more than eight times higher today than in 1980, before the Reagan administration’s War on Drugs. The United States has a larger share of its population behind bars than any other nation...
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