Maybe it’s not the guns

The incident in San Bernardino, California, yesterday adds to a recent wave of shootings has sparked the leftist dialog demanding more gun control. Liberal thinkers everywhere fall into the lemming-like line of thought stating more gun laws will somehow stop this madness. The story line is increasing in volume and frequency that America is a dangerous place with all of those guns out there. And President Obama and Hillary Clinton lead the charge in demanding something be done about it. But do what? Impose more laws in a state like…

Sen. Lyle Hillyard: Tis the Season to be Jolly

As we are getting ready to announce the revenue figures, which will guide our budget work this upcoming session, a familiar poem came to my mind: T’was the night before Christmas (revenue announcements) and all through the House (and Senate as well), Not a creature was stirring except for a mouse (aka Fiscal Analyst). The stockings (budget requests) were all hung by the chimney (EAC chairs offices) with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. It is our plan to announce the new revenue figures on December…

Blind Spot: The exaggerated risks of and solutions to mass shooting

Whenever there’s a high-profile mass shooting, there is no shortage of people demanding that we “do something.” While these demands are well-intentioned, they’re also equally ill-informed and ill-conceived. One of the immediate problems comes in the risk assessment. If you are overestimating the likelihood or severity of a given scenario, the prescribed solution is almost guaranteed to be a gross overreaction. FiveThirtyEight has done a great job at breaking down the numbers on this. Their conclusion? However mass shootings are defined, the deaths they cause represent a small proportion of…

Iowa, the irrelevant

“Is this heaven?” “It’s Iowa.” “Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.” —from the film “Field of Dreams” I thought about how many people I have personally known that have hailed from the state of Iowa. Six. As best as I can recollect I have known six people from Iowa. Having previously worked in the hospitality business, I might have met a few hundred more people from the Hawkeye state. Unless my memory is failing me as I scribe this column, I have nary a bad word to say about…