A Very Low Burden Of Proof

Last night’s New Yorker hit job was a poorly sourced, very bad piece of journalism.

The allegations from the first accuser Christine Blasey Ford lack any credible substance, and all of her named witnesses (under threat of perjury) don’t even support her claims. The threshold of proof here is so weak, to move forward like this would be devastating for any case, in any court of the land.

It’s now all out media and political warfare on SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And with each passing day comes a slew of ridiculous new allegations, all of which (so far) don’t hold up to the highest legal benchmarks of ‘burden of proof’.

As frivolous allegations of wrongdoing build, the pressure is on to delay the vote for Kavanaugh and ultimately derail his nomination. This is a big mindgame, and the order of the day is to destroy a man’s reputation.

Thursday’s Senate hearing is not a trial, but (if it really happens at this point) it is a forum where evidence will seen and heard, and Senators will critically look at the facts before them to determine if Kavanaugh is fit to serve on the Supreme Court.

I’m skeptical the first accuser Ford will even show up to the hearing Thursday, and betting odds have her showing up at 10% or less now. But if she does show, in the end, Senators will vote with their conscience, based on the evidence presented. And, if Ford is a no show, her credibility will be destroyed.

At a top government level, the highest benchmark for burden of proof should be weighed. This requires any evidence submitted to be:

– Clear and Convincing
– Proves Guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

It is unfortunate that the media is no longer skilled to discern credible vs. uncredible evidence, but in America’s legal system, ‘burden of proof’ is still king.

Guns in America: A Reality Check

America once again finds itself in a fierce national debate over guns. For politicians, gun policy ‘talking points’ are often moving goalposts, as after any mass shooting that shocks the national conscience, the partisan lines are deep and angry.

A significant mass shooting now happens in America about 2x to 4x a year, and the debate lasts for a few days to weeks until all legislative options are exhausted, and the news cycle moves on to the next thing.

Gun control activists will push for whatever legislation is on the table during the most recent mass shooting cycle, and gun rights’ supporters are reluctant to pass new laws, as both sides never see eye to eye.

What’s missing from the gun debate is a dose of reality:

– Guns (handguns, pistols, revolvers), rifles, and modern sporting rifles are not only legal in America, but part of a 200+ year national heritage.

There are about 120 million gun owners (near 40% of the U.S. Population), 400 million guns, and $2 trillion rounds of ammunition in America.

– New laws guns are extremely difficult to pass on the Federal level. This is mainly because of ‘Congressional Voting Districts’, and constituents who simply don’t want to pass new gun laws. America is a Constitutional Republic of 50 states, and each state can pass their own gun laws, if they have the votes.

– To ban guns in America is going to be very, very difficult, and even if in 100 years guns were somehow banned, or the Supreme Court wiped out the Second Amendment, confiscating 400 million guns in a Republic that once repealed prohibition is going to be near impossible.

This is a difficult, emotional debate, and politicians and pundits who can talk about guns in a rational, insightful way, while helping Americans understand policy and reality can craft a media expert niche to discuss gun safety, law, tradition, and policy reality.