Gun control has become one of the preeminent battles of 2013. During a press conference last month, in which he was surrounded by children, President Obama urged Congress to ban assault (semiautomatic) weapons, limit magazines to 10 bullets, and introduce universal background checks for all firearm buyers. And last night, Mr. Obama again called for this regulation in his State of the Union address. Naming those affected by gun violence, he asserted to a cheering, standing crowd: They deserve a vote.
Across the country, Americans are debating the effectiveness of Obamas gun-control proposals. Commentators on the left argue that semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines arent necessary for home defense or hunting. On the right, the presidents critics say limiting guns wont end violence and point out that no matter what laws Congress passes, criminals will still find ways to be well armed. The proposed legislation, they contend, simply would put law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage.
|William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of the Independent Institute book, Reclaiming the American Revolution. He received his J.D. cum laude from the University of South Carolina School of Law and is a former law clerk to Judge William B. Traxler, Jr. of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.|
PATENT TROLLS: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation
Using overbroad patents based on dated technology, patent trolls are stifling innovation by bringing infringement suits against inventors. Trolls typically do not produce products or services, but are in the business of litigation. They lie in wait for someone to create a process or product that has some relationship to the patent held by the troll, and then they pounce with threats and lawsuits.