In today’s America, mass shootings are a very unfortunate reality. Each event a tragic stain on our history, it can be difficult to fathom exactly how to solve the problem. A pattern follows, and the country begins a discussion of solutions involving gun control, which some empirical data suggests will not work. Even then, however, we’re missing a critical cause of American deaths that kills even more people than mass shootings do: police brutality.
By Ian Brzeski | United States
Post Malone is a rapper, singer, and songwriter who recently blew up in the past few years. His song “Rockstar,” released in 2017, marked his first number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. The song is considered his most successful song, but he also has numerous other songs that have been just as successful, such as “Congratulations” or “Psycho.” The album which “Rockstar” featured in, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” broke several records on its way to the Billboard 200 and went platinum in just four days after the album’s release which is a massive achievement in the world of music.
Despite Post Malone being on record that he supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, the gun-loving government skeptic makes it reasonably safe to say that he is a libertarian. During his time in Canada, he sat down for an interview. The interview was light-hearted in the sense that the questions were about his favorite video games or his plans for the future. However, when asked about what the biggest lie in the world was he said, “The biggest lie in the world the U.S. government.” He does not believe that the government is the same as it used to be in the sense that it is not about freedom anymore and that it has become some massive reality show. The questioning of the government in the way portrayed by Post Malone here really encapsulates the libertarian view on the role of government.
He also believes that the United States government killed president John F. Kennedy for telling the truth. He reasons that just days before Kennedy died, Kennedy had a grand speech explaining how our government focuses solely on being corrupt instead of going around trying to find the truth in all things. Post, who has a JFK tattoo on his arm, is a big fan of his and states that he was “the only President to speak out against the crazy corruption stuff that’s going on in our government nowadays.”
Although he says how the United States government is practically a giant screw-up, he has not once said where he exactly falls on the political spectrum. He did go on to say that he did support Bernie Sanders for president as he was “the realest one.” It is interesting that a man with such a distrust of the United States government would be an advocate for Bernie, as his policies suggest a stronger and more powerful government. One could infer that the reason as to why he would support Bernie is not because of his policies but because he believed that he cared about the country and wanted the best for the people of the United States, unlike Trump and Clinton.
In another interview after the election, he stated that he would not mind performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration for a fixed amount of money despite not supporting Trump and not voting in the election at all. Because he said this, he got much hate from the fans and later said that he was kidding. However, he still didn’t understand why he got so much stick for saying that. He feels that at the end of the day he would just be doing the same job he has always been doing regardless of he was to perform at Trump’s inauguration or any other venue or concert.
“If I do his show, does that mean I’m a supporter of him?” -Post Malone
To answer the question as to why he did not vote in the presidential election is that he feels our votes do not count and are just suggestions to the electoral college. According to Malone, the Electoral College could practically vote for whomever they want, and there is nothing that we [the people] can do about it. It is unclear to say if Post would have voted for Bernie if Bernie did win the primary, but it is safe to say that he would have supported and backed him throughout the entirety of the election process.
On the issue of guns, Post Malone is entirely pro 2nd amendment. He believes that it is an American’s right to own a gun and he is indeed taking advantage of that right. He owns:
- an M14 – used by the Navy SEALs
- “James Bond’s gun.”
- a .44 Desert Eagle hand cannon
- an M1911 pistol
- two gold-plated Glocks -used for decoration, not for shooting
- a Cobalt AR-15 -modified to pass California regulations, his most prized possession
- a pump-action Mossberg shotgun -“great for home defense.”
- an FN Five-Seven pistol with a laser sight -to disorient home invaders
- a Glock 19
He has these because “They’re fun, they’re practical, and bad sh*t happens. If you hurt me, I’m gonna hurt you back.” He has a lot of valuable items, and he wants to protect those along with his friends and family. He acknowledges that it is dreadful that people have to be fearful of going to a concert, but he maintains that there will always be sick people, and if they want to go shoot-up a concert, then they will get the weapons necessary to shoot-up that concert no matter what. He also admits that he does not have all the solutions went it comes to these horrible mass shootings, but that he just believes in what he thinks is right.
“The world is going to shit. They’re taking away a lot of our rights.” -Post Malone
This quote suggests that Post believes we are continuously falling deeper into a tyrannical state, which is another reason as to why he maintains the right to bear arms is just as a necessity now as it ever was. He does not believe that Trump is solely the reason as to why we are going deeper into a tyrannical state, but that there is a much bigger problem going on behind the scenes of our government. Post thinks that the worst of the United States government is yet to come and that it is going to arise after Trump.
From his extensive gun collection to his complete and intrinsic distrust of the government, Post Malone could be a man easily converted to the libertarian movement.
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By Clint Sharp | United States
On February 14, 2018, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. In only a few short minutes, the young man killed 17 people and injured 17 others with an AR-15 style rifle before being apprehended by police.
This horrid act sparked outrage across the nation. For months, gun control was the main topic of conversation across the nation with walk-outs, protests, debates, and gun bills popping up around every corner. Television, newspapers, and social media outlets streamed nonstop updates on the mass shooting and followed all of the controversy surrounding it. Although many believed that this shooting meant the end of our 2nd Amendment rights, it soon faded from headlines, leaving behind a trail of people still fighting to remove the rights of individuals.
Fast forward to May 18 of the same year, and a very different story is told. 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis killed 10 people and wounded 13 others at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. Armed with a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun and a .38 revolver, the student walked into the school’s art complex and began shooting at approximately 7:40 AM before being brought into custody. Explosives were found at the scene but were unused.
Although this shooting was reported on major news outlets, it was very quickly passed off as old news within a couple of days. So why did a shooting like the one that happened at Stoneman Douglas cause such a national stir while the shooting at Santa Fe was only mentioned in passing? Simply put, it did not match the agenda of the left-wing activists and politicians.
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was exactly what the left had hoped for. A young man with known mental issues and of legal age to purchase a gun obtained an assault-style rifle with multiple high-capacity magazines and shot up a school in a conservative state (according to 2016 poll results).
Truly a perfect storm.
From this, they could argue that it was too easy for Cruz to obtain an assault-style rifle. They could argue that he was mentally ill, yet still managed to purchase a firearm due to his age and lack of criminal record. They could argue the purpose of high capacity magazines and assault-style rifles in the hands of non-military personnel and whether they were protected under the 2nd Amendment. The left could appeal to the emotions of the entire nation, after all, is the individual’s freedom worth forfeiting the safety of our children?
Santa Fe on the other hand, while still a tragedy, is the antithesis of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. A minor stole a legally obtained pump action shotgun, perhaps the most common long gun in the United States, and a 6-shot revolver from his father. He saws the barrel of the shotgun off, an illegal action, and carries the two guns to school to commit his heinous actions.
This proves that the type of gun, the capacity of the firearm, the age of the shooter, and the means by which the weapons are obtained are mostly arbitrary to the amount of damage that can be caused by an evil individual, thus rendering the left’s points null and void.
It is for this reason that the Santa Fe shooting was swept under the rug. It proved that shootings and mass violence are not caused by assault-style rifles, high capacity magazines, lax gun laws, and the 2nd Amendment, but rather by evil and twisted individuals who desire to be nothing more than the genesis of grief for people all over the nation. It didn’t fit the agenda of the overwhelmingly liberal media so it was only mentioned, not covered.
The act of ignoring this tragic loss of human life brings to question what other things remain hidden in the dark shroud outside of party and ideological agendas, on both the right and the left.
How many people have been murdered silently due to apathy? How many bills have been passed without question because the public did not know?
Until agendas are put aside for the sake of information, more and more will remain hidden from the public and more and more will happen without anyone’s knowledge otherwise.
By James Sweet | United States
Dear Young Gun Control “Activists”,
Congratulations! You have successfully re-ignited a debate over guns, declaring yourselves the leaders of this debate! While I strongly disagree with your policies, it is nice to see a change in the political climate. You are being hailed as warriors by the mainstream media, with politicians and Hollywood elitists supporting you with strong words, as well as with Federal Reserve Notes. What a wonderful time to be alive, right?
No. You’re not special, and you have shown that you have no idea what you believe in, nor do you know what you’re talking about.
“Stop complaining, they don’t want to take our guns!” Uh, yes, they do, you’re just ignorant enough to ignore the consequences of the actions that many want to be enacted. Let’s look at Cameron Kasky, the founder of March For Our Lives (which should have been called March Against Our Rights). Cameron has a Twitter, like many activists do. Now, for someone who supposedly doesn’t want to take our guns away, he has a blatant disregard for the Second Amendment.
The second amendment was written when African Americans were still considered 3/5ths of a person…
As a matter of fact, if you read it, it didn’t even call them African Americans; it called them “Other Persons”
I really don’t want to listen to 200 years ago for EVERYTHING
There’s one large problem in the logic of this tweet: if we shouldn’t listen to the government that saw African Americans as 3/5ths of a person, why should we allow them to restrict our God-given right to bear arms? The best way to resist unjust treatment that sees certain humans as a fraction of another is through the armed resistance by the people, for the people.
By calling the right to bear arms a God-given right, I am not specifically referencing to the Christian God, but merely the supreme creator of the human race, allowing this to be applied to any religion. One can even say it’s a right from the Gods for the polytheistic religions, or a higher power for an atheistic religion or lack of religion. The United States Constitution is based on the idea of Natural Rights, championed by men like John Locke. The United States Constitution is the legal support for the right to bear arms, but not the moral justification. Morally, whether the constitution had the Second Amendment or not, it would be justified for one to own a firearm for the purpose of defense of one’s life, liberty, and property.
There are some in the nation that would base their justification merely on the Constitution, meaning they would hand over their guns in a heartbeat if Big Brother told them to. The ideas of the people that you (the gun control advocates) follow are based merely that all will hand over their guns, as the law is the final say. To some, including me, my morals are separate from the law, and the principles that I stand upon shall be the final say.
You may believe in the gun control argument based around Australia, except the facts are twisted up by the mainstream narrative.
Also, to those of you that participated in the walkouts, but stayed where your school told you to stay: you did nothing. The walkouts were a protests AGAINST the government’s inaction towards gun violence. So, by following the government’s orders, you did the exact opposite, and showed that you are just kids trying to get on your local news in an attempt to be part of a “movement”. To those students that actually went against what their school’s said: while I disagree with gun control (but also dislike gun violence), I applaud you actually going against what the government said.
The flaws of your little “movement” are evident. Gun control advocates at the March for our Lives were protected by cops and guards.
ARMED cops and guards.
They were protected by guns.
I hope the hypocrisy is evident.
Your “movement” is spoon fed by the media, and you are following what your peers are pressuring to do.
Focus on the facts, and think for yourself.
A Liberty Loving Teenager
By Ryan Lau | Maryland
After the Parkland high school shooting left 17 students and teachers dead, America demanded change. All sides of the political spectrum gave their ideas as to how to protect our country and stop mass shootings. Generally, people made one, or both, of two main arguments. First, that the United States should implement stricter gun control in order to cut down on the number of shootings. Second, many suggested arming school staff so they can protect students in the event of an emergency.
This proposal, which President Trump endorses, has drawn a lot of backlash from the Democratic Party. Many Democrats oppose the very idea of putting guns in the same building as kids, for fear of more violence. “I disagree vehemently with putting guns with children”, said Florida State Rep. Evan Jenne of Hollywood. Many across the nation feel this same sentiment, fearing an unsafe environment. But this Tuesday, the concept of arming school employees proved to be critical in saving a number of lives.
Tuesday morning, an armed student entered Great Mills High School in Maryland. Before classes began, the student fired his weapon down a hall, hitting a girl and a boy, both students. Yet, immediately after, a School Resource Officer went after and killed the shooter. Simply put, this would not have been possible if that guard was not carrying a gun. Clearly, having armed security guards in the building has the potential to save lives.
Without a doubt, the presence of that armed guard saved the lives of several other students. As the shooting occurred before class, the hallways were full of students. In such a crowded environment, these students, without a form of defense, are sitting ducks. When only one student has a gun, and a clear mental issue, defense is necessary. Without a form of defense, more tragedies are inevitable.
During the armed guard’s pursuit of the shooter, a shootout ensued. Though police do not yet know exactly how many bullets the gunman fired, they are certain it was multiple. In fact, they are unsure which bullet struck and killed the gunman. The guard, who left the incident unharmed, became the new target for the shooter. He may have otherwise used some or all of them against his fellow students, teachers, or other staff.
Nobody can say for sure exactly what would have happened in this incident without the heroic actions of the guard. One thing is certain, however, and that is that in this case, a gun in a school saved lives. We must recognize that the safety of America’s children is on the line. Our future generation’s lives are on the line.
Of course, placing guns into American schools is not an easy concept to grasp. A mere twenty years ago, the idea would have been laughable. However, our society is changing very quickly. Though media does admittedly sensationalize some aspects of our mass shooting problem, there absolutely is a problem. One mass shooting or one school shooting is one too many.
Clearly, this solution will work. It worked today in Maryland. The similar concept of armed defense worked to prevent deaths in the recent Texas church shooting. We must recognize this truth, and not shy away from it any longer. Students are dying, and one is too many. Despite this, two injuries is a much more favorable outcome than the deaths that would have otherwise occurred. We must immediately, for the sake of American children, ensure more schools are armed with highly trained and armed guards.