Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience: A high-profile shooting, like the June 17 crime that left dead nine members of a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, is typically followed by calls for greater gun control, along with counter arguments that the best way to stop gun crimes is with more guns. A new study, however, throws cold water on the idea that a well-armed populace deters criminals or prevents murders. Instead, higher ownership of guns in a state is linked to more firearm robberies, more firearm assaults and more homicide in general. read more
Perhaps more than any other presidential candidate, Sen. Lindsey Graham enjoys telling people to vote for somebody else.
"Radical Islam is not going to be compromised with. They are religious Nazis. Somebody better go over there and hit them before they hit us," Graham said Wednesday. "There is no alternative to going in on the ground and pulling the caliphate up by the roots. If that scares you, don't vote for me." read more
Campbell Robertson, New York Times: In a much-discussed dissent from the Supreme Court's ruling on lethal injection last week, Justice Stephen G. Breyer laid out the problems, as he saw them, with the death penalty. Among them was "arbitrariness in application," including how simple geography can determine whether someone convicted of murder would be sentenced to death. "Between 2004 and 2009," Justice Breyer wrote, "just 29 counties (fewer than 1 percent of counties in the country) accounted for approximately half of all death sentences imposed nationwide." Caddo Parish [in Louisiana] ... is one of these counties. Within Louisiana, where capital punishment has declined steeply, Caddo has become an outlier, accounting for fewer than 5 percent of the state's death sentences in the early 1980s but nearly half over the past five years. read more