Tag: gun confiscation

Marco Rubio Proves Politicians Will Do Anything for Votes

Indri Schaelicke | United States

In January of 2016, speaking at a New Hampshire campaign event, Republican Presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio reaffirmed his pro-gun right stance. “I believe that every single American has a Constitution—and therefore God-given right—to defend themselves and their families,” Rubio said. The statements he made at this rally were clearly politically motivated- he was attempting to build a base of voters in a state with a strong commitment to gun rights, especially among Republicans. And it sort of worked- he received 10% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary and came away with 2 delegate votes.

Yet just a few years later, it seems like Rubio has forgotten those closely held principles. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Marco Rubio is planning to introduce a red flag gun bill. This law, if passed, would encourage states to pass and implement laws that allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from their owners if they show any signs of aggression. The process begins when law enforcement, concerned family and friends, or mental health professionals petition a court for a court-ordered confiscation of guns from the person in question’s home. A troubling problem with red flag gun confiscation laws, however, is that the citizen whose right to defend themselves by owning firearms is being stripped away is not given an opportunity to represent themselves in court and prevent the confiscation.

How could a politician go from believing every person has the right to protect themselves and the people they love, to leaving this right up to the whims of a judicial system that can be easily biased into stripping this right from a person? Let’s examine what has caused Rubio to shed his principles with such ease.

The Parkland School Shooting

On February 14, 2018, gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and killed seventeen students and staff members and injured a further seventeen others. This school shooting sparked a national debate on America’s gun laws and the constitutionally protected right of the people to keep and bear arms. The survivors of the shooting were understandably severely anti-gun after the events they had witnessed, and many of them started a movement known as the March for Our Lives. This movement organized marches and rallies across the US, and demanded tougher restrictions on the ownership of guns, with some even calling for the complete banning of assault rifles.

Being one of two senators from the state of Florida, Marco Rubio was forced to make a statement about the shooting and demonstrate to his constituents that he would do what he could to prevent another tragedy like this from happening. At a widely seen CNN Town Hall event, Rubio spoke with survivors of the shooting and came under fire from outraged parents of fallen students and shooting survivors. Question after question about what he would do to prevent similar shootings from happening came at Rubio, who did his best to stay true to his principles in the face of a hostile crowd. However, he soon cracked, and after the event announced that he would be introducing a Gun Violence Restraining Order Bill, also known as a Red Flag bill, in the US Senate. During the town hall, Rubio also stated support for four different proposals that would aim to limit the risk that a deranged individual could harm so many defenseless children.

These proposals include strengthening background checks, banning bump stocks, increasing the age limit to buy rifles from 18, and potentially limiting magazine sizes. On the issue of the legal age to purchase rifles, Rubio said: “I absolutely believe that in this country if you are 18 years of age, you should not be able to buy a rifle, and I will support a law that takes that right away”. In just two short years, Marco Rubio has gone from believing that everyone has the right to protect themselves to supporting “a law that will take that right away”. He also indicated that he is reconsidering his stance on limiting magazine sizes. “I traditionally have not supported looking at magazine clip size, and after this and some of the details I learned about it, I’m reconsidering that position,” Rubio said.

Political Posturing

This strategic positioning on the issues suggests that Senator Rubio is attempting to put himself in good standing with his constituents to ensure his reelection bid is successful. Rubio’s next run will come in 2022, just three years away. The survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, as well as thousands of other teens concerned with the safety of their schools and communities, will range from 18 to 22. With almost 70% of teens surveyed in a SurveyMonkey poll saying that a federal ban on assault weapons would make the US a safer place, it is clear that the newest members of Rubio’s electorate are in favor of gun control. The Senator is ensuring that he can count on GenZ votes in his 2022 election run. If he does not secure this demographic’s support he will find it incredibly difficult to win reelection.

Rubio is walking an incredibly thin line. He must maintain his base of Republican support by not compromising his beliefs on gun rights, while also attracting more moderate voters who are more likely to support some sort of gun control measure. Florida is infamous for being a swing state in Presidential elections, as 27% of their electorate is not party affiliated. This massive demographic has the potential to decide close races, and Rubio must win their support by becoming more moderate. His red flag bill will allow him to achieve both of these goals, as both groups are likely to agree with the necessity of this law. It looks like yet another politician has decided it is worth shedding their principles to ensure reelection.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

Featured Image Source

Advertisements

Governor Jerry Brown’s New Gun Control Laws Are Foolish

By Teagan Fair | United States

On Friday, Jerry Brown, Governor of California, signed bills advancing gun control within the state. A notable piece of this is a law that will raise the minimum age for buying rifles and shotguns from 18 years old to 21 years old.

It is a bit over seven months since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 14 students and 3 teachers, injuring 17 others, using a Smith & Wesson M&P15, which is an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. This event launched the left into a full out attack on the second amendment and gun rights. Three weeks after the shooting in Parkland, California passed laws that raised the legal age to purchase a gun, banned bump stocks and allowed police to bar a mentally ill person from owning guns for up to a year if judged to be mentally ill by a court.

Seven months later, California has passed laws that will be put into place on January 1st. The minimum age to buy a rifle or a shotgun will be 21 years of age. These laws also ban firearms for those convicted of serious domestic violence and those who have been hospitalized due to their mental health more than once in a year. Another bill governor signed by the governor will make it easier for both family members and police to seize guns and ammunition from those who are ‘threatening and potentially violent’.

Like all of these proposed gun control laws, raising the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 is ridiculous. Of course, you can join the military at 18 and kill people for the government. You can invade countries, attack people you’ve never met and destroy or take lives of innocent people if it’s in the name of the government, but you cannot defend yourself from people trying to attack you unless you are three years older than the minimum age to do previously mentioned activities. If it’s not in the name of the government, of course, it’s sinister now. You can vote for who will represent you at 18, but owning a tool used to defend from criminals, private or government, is somehow malicious. More people are killed by cars than guns each year, yet you can drive at 16 years old.

Not to mention the fact that putting a law on it will likely prove useless, as is true for most gun control arguments. For this particular case, if someone has their mind fixed on committing murders, they will 1. Do so whenever possible, whether that time is when they are 16, 18, 21, etc. and/or 2. Kill by any means necessary, whether that is doing so by gun, knife, car, chemicals, a bat, a sharp stick, jabbing a spoon into someone’s throat, etc. Additionally,  if someone is actually fully willing to commit mass murder,  they will not be scared of the fact that they are not allowed to buy a gun, considering the fact that it’s incredibly easy to purchase guns illegally, and no law will change that. It’s pretty hard to imagine a mass murderer thinking, ‘Man, I really want to go into a vulnerable area and kill as many defenseless children as I can in cold blood, but apparently I’m not allowed to go and buy a gun. Wouldn’t want to do anything illegal, because it’s not like I’m prepared to kill vulnerable teenagers!’ Obviously, if one does not fear mass murder, they will not fear buying a firearm illegally.

This rule can go for most legislation, including all of the previously stated laws coming into place starting in January. People convicted previously of domestic violence, will obviously not be afraid to illegally obtain a firearm if it supports the much worse crime they are already planning and not afraid to commit. Any future mass murder does not fear gun control laws. Yes, Governor Brown, even if they are mentally ill. Law abiding citizens, on the other hand, who have no interest in murder, hence why they are considered law-abiding citizens, are the only ones who will likely be affected by such laws, leaving them defenseless and in a worse state than before.

Governor Brown’s laws are foolish, both morally and practically. There is no excuse for us to sit and watch as our rights are gradually taken away. I advocate for those who wish for these rights to be protected to stand up to those enforcing these laws on law-abiding citizens so that we can attempt to protect our liberty.


Get awesome merchandise. Help 71 Republic end the media oligarchy. Donate today to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source

Oklahoma Gubernatorial Candidate Hopes To Shut Down Jeff Sessions’s Influence

By John Keller | United States
Rex Lawhorn is a small business manager that is seeking the Libertarian nomination for governor of Oklahoma, where he hopes to bring about reform to restore liberty in Oklahoma, and hopefully be a part of the movement to restore freedom in America.
Keller: You are running for governor of Oklahoma. What inspired you to pursue a career in politics and seek this office?
Lawhorn: I never aspired to be a politician.  I’ve been interested in the process my whole life, and my proclivity toward economics makes public policy a natural area of interest, but as far as being in the spotlight?  No, that was never my intent.  However, Oklahoma has a relatively young party, and there were no voices standing up.  This is a ballot access race for us, so the Live Free team felt compelled to recruit someone. 
I, more or less, fit the profile of a politician, and I have an exceptional grasp on policy and libertarian principles, so they recruited me.
We never expected this to be a winnable race, but we’ve been surprised at the amazing reception we’ve received from Oklahomans.  It only took us three months to dive into this, full-time, and try to turn Oklahoma gold.  That 2.5% goal became 30% overnight.
Keller: You are running as a libertarian. There are many misconceptions about what a libertarian is, as people from anarchist Adam Kokesh to neo-conservative John Bolton have called themselves a libertarian. What is a libertarian and what attracted you to its message?
Lawhorn: I’m going to change the wording of the question a little bit. I am a libertarian, as opposed to running as one, and that’s an important distinction. Oklahoma has the same issue, where many people call themselves Libertarian but don’t actually grasp the meaning.
Most people take their own rights into primary consideration, not recognizing that giving the state the authority to oppress anyone gives them license to oppress everyone – and the state takes every opportunity to do so. A libertarian recognizes that basic truth and advocates for all rights for all people, all the time.
A libertarian candidate of any color should be advocating for the absolute minimum governmental restrictions on an individual’s day-to-day life, so long as no one else is harmed in the process.
Keller: Why is the time now for a libertarian governor in Oklahoma?
Lawhorn: Because though both the old parties are recognized in Oklahoma, we really only had one until the LP gained recognition. Very few will argue that both parties are the same old tax and spend, throw water into a leaky bucket, don’t ever fix anything, don’t care about the people conglomerates that have no interest in maximizing individual opportunity.
It’s been bad enough for long enough, that record numbers of citizens here have become engaged in the process, and on top of that, they are looking for someone to break the stranglehold the legislature has placed on the economy and the lives of Oklahomans. I’ve not seen a climate so ripe for liberty as Oklahoma is right now in the 20 years I’ve followed policy closely.
Keller: Important to voters is where candidates stand on key issues. What are the three most important policies to you that define your platform?
Lawhorn: The three main areas I focus on are educational opportunity, economic diversification, and criminal justice reform. Those don’t just define my platform but are the largest issues our state faces. We have close to the worst education system in the country, despite spending near the median in per-pupil spending. It’s an antiquated industrial model that is failing all of our students, and they don’t have options, primarily due to legal restrictions.
Add into that the state formula crippling private school growth and opportunity, and we have what most anti-choice advocates fear – a system that bleeds the poor to provide luxury to the wealthy. My plan fixes this, pays our teachers a good wage, and provides exceptional options for every student, no matter their socioeconomic class. Next, our economy is highly invested in oil and gas and energy, in general, and they ignore the wealth of other natural resources.
That’s led to an economic climate of dependence on the price per barrel of oil, and it has bankrupted us. Our tax structure needs to make sure that every industry has equal treatment under the tax code and that Oklahoma is developing the employees and infrastructure to grow into a healthy economy. Finally, CJR is a hot-button issue in Oklahoma, as we incarcerate more than any other state.
It’s been a perennial issue for us, and we have learned that throwing addicts, mentally ill, and cannabis users in jail doesn’t help anything. 52% of our prison population has never committed an actual crime against any other citizen or property.
As much as 65% of our prisoner-citizens have a mental illness they’re being treated for. Jail isn’t the place for people like this. The state is just wasting money to feed taxpayer dollars to their friends in the private prison industry. There is no impetus to solve the issue until someone sits in the capital to make it a priority. That’s my job.
Keller: Recently there has been an increase in political dialogue over gun control. What do you have to contribute to this national dialogue?
Lawhorn: I have nothing more to contribute that hasn’t been said a million times already. The two most important things to remember is that gun control doesn’t reduce violence and those words “shall not be infringed”.
If they come to me with a proposal that addresses the real causes of the increase in violence, we can start a conversation. Until then, I’m unwilling to engage in even peripheral conversations about restricting the right of self-defense from anyone.
Keller: The Trump Administration has spent increasing effort to expand the power of the national government while weakening state authority. How do you plan to balance serving the people of Oklahoma with mandates from the Trump Administration?
Lawhorn: By utilizing 10th Amendment protections guaranteeing state authority over powers not enumerated in the Constitution. I plan to mostly ignore mandates coming from Washington DC unless they are returning plundered dollars back to the people that paid them.
It’s very difficult, as most of the federal overreach doesn’t come through the state, but rather bypasses the state and directly attacks the people. The only way that most of the problem can be ameliorated is through secession, and that’s a call that needs to come from the people.
That being said, my initial campaign promise was to be the shield for the people of the state from a government that has stepped way out of line. I intend to have an entire staff centered on making sure that I use every opportunity available to achieve that goal.
Keller: A key issue in the balance of power is the Drug War. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has increased the government “clamp down” on states with legal marijuana, whether recreational or medical. What do you believe is the solution to this growing issue?
Lawhorn: That’s an area that a governor can have a strong effect. With the cooperation of the sheriff departments in each county, we can prohibit federal legal activity from pursuing and prosecuting any victimless crime. I’ll ask them nicely to refrain because Oklahoma opts out.
If they don’t stop, I will tell them forcefully to back off. If they still don’t stop, I will activate the National Guard, and I will forcibly remove them. It’s a personal invasion of the people of the state that is preventable, and I’m fairly sure that not even Jeff Sessions is willing to do war over a plant.
Keller: If someone was interested in getting involved with your campaign, how would they go about getting involved?
Lawhorn: Stop by the web page, rexforgovernor2018.com and hit that volunteer button! While you’re at it give the ‘donate’ button a push and give whatever you can. This process isn’t cheap until a Libertarian can get in office and make the changes necessary. If I get into office, I will work as hard as I can to ensure no politician ever asks you to press a donate button, ever again! You can also come by my Facebook page, facebook.com/rexforgovernor2018, and participate in the debate, follow me on the campaign trail, hear and read my interviews, and even participate in one of my monthly live events, where I talk directly to anyone who wishes to show up and answer any question you like.
Keller: Do you have any final remarks to give to the readers?
Lawhorn: We are at a turning point in American politics, and never before has liberty had such a large and wide audience listening very close to see what we offer. Some people of our party are actively using that to promote their own self-interests and others are using it to spew hate and bile.
We can’t let this opportunity slip away from us. Educate yourself on the issues, and engage in meaningful, productive, and, most importantly, persuasive discussions about how liberty makes a difference! Be the change, and don’t waste your minutes in frustration and anger.
Use them to alleviate the frustration and anger that the uninitiated have which makes them hostile to us. Not since 1774 has the US felt more frustrated with the failures of government, and it’s time for them to have a real option. We are not the 3rd party. We are THE party, and it’s time we started acting like it and getting things done.
I would like to thank Rex Lawhorn for his time. Be sure to visit his website and follow him on Twitter and Facebook for all updates!

Interview With Britton Wolf: SC House District 71 Candidate

By John Keller | South Carolina

Britton Wolf is in the Republican Liberty Caucus and is running for the South Carolina State House of Representatives in the 71st District to limit government intrusion upon the people of South Carolina. He is self-described on his website:

“My name is Britton Wolf. I am a Christian, a Conservative Activist, an Ecclesiastical Leader, a Mentor, a High School Lacrosse Coach, and an Eagle Scout. I am a legacy member of Young Americans for Liberty; I am also a trained Conservative Activist by the Leadership Institute and the Foundation of Applied Conservative Leadership.”
Keller: What inspired you to pursue a career in politics?
Wolf: My family and I are originally from California and we are first-hand witnesses of the destructive nature of big government policies. More than anything I am just tired of the State that I love becoming more like the State that I escaped from.

August of 2017, I read an article about the abandonment of the V.C. Summer Project, a project to construct two nuclear power plants in South Carolina. This failed $9-billion project resulted in the loss of 5,000 jobs. I began researching more about this issue and learned about the Base Load Review Act (BLRA) which was the legislation that led up to this nuclear fiasco in my State.

After looking up the voting record of my current Representative, I found out that he voted for the BLRA. January 31st he had the opportunity to vote for a full repeal but instead he chose to abstain from voting for or against the repeal. Someone needed to step up to run against him and I answered the call.

Keller: What, to you, is libertarianism? What attracted you, and what do you think will attract voters, to its message?
Wolf: As a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, I believe that liberty extremely important, bringing liberty to South Carolina is the purpose of my campaign. The term “Liberty” is something that I have studied for the past three years of my life. I’ve read the writings of free-market economists: Frederic Bastiat, Ludwig Von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard and F. A. Hayek. The definition of liberty that I have discovered is: Liberty is that condition of man, where coercion by some over others is reduced as much as possible in society. In other words, liberty is the condition of reducing man’s ability to wield political power to coerce or force human action.
Ronald Reagan said: “If you analyze it, I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” I’ve found that voters want to be left alone but more importantly, they want to keep their hard-earned money. As a legislator, I would fight to protect our economic freedom and civil liberties. I don’t believe that there is anything moral or honorable about spending other people’s money.
Keller: You are running for your state house. What is the “State of the State” and why is there a need for change?

Wolf: Right now, South Carolina residents pay the highest electric rates of any state in the nation, the average ratepayer pays $400 more per year than the national average. This has to do with legislation passed in 2007 called the Base Load Review Act (BLRA) which charges ratepayers for the construction of two nuclear power plants and permitted the utility providers of South Carolina to pass rate hikes. In the past decade companies like SCE&G have raised rates nine times and the project to construct the nuclear power plants was abandoned in 2017. The vilest part of this legislation is that the law leaves ratepayers on the hook for paying for the $9-billion project “upon completion or abandonment,” in other words we’re still on the hook for this.

My opponent voted for the BLRA in 2007 and abstained from voting for or against amendment 2 of H. 4375, which would have resulted in a full repeal of the BLRA and gotten ratepayers off the hook for continuing to pay for the abandoned nuclear reactors.

My solution to this issue would be to sponsor legislation for a full repeal of the BLRA to get ratepayers off the hook for paying for the abandoned reactors. Then to pass legislation that would free ratepayers from the territorial monopolies held by the utility providers of my State. South Carolina needs to open up for a free market by allowing for ratepayers to pick and choose which utility providers they want to purchase electricity from. This would create competition and drive down costs for electricity.

Keller: The gun debate is gaining intense traction in American politics as a result of the tragedy in Florida. What is your stance on this policy issue?

Wolf: The gun debate is certainly a hot topic right now and my heart goes out to the victims of the events that occurred in Florida. My concern with the recent gun discussions is, the demand for legislation to protect us from those that would prey on innocent citizens of society, such laws won’t protect us but would instead treat law abiding citizens as criminals.

I believe that we have a fundamental right to protection and that the most effective means of protection is through gun ownership. I have made a promise to my supporters that as a future legislator; I would defend their right to protect their lives, families, and possessions, and I would oppose all legislation that would infringe upon their ability to possess firearms.

Keller: The Drug War has been going on for over thirty years with no end in sight. What role do you want to play in the Drug War in the South Carolina, and how will you work with state policy and federal mandates? In other words, where do you stand on medical cannabis?
Wolf: I support the legalization of medical cannabis, right now there is a proposed bill in my State called the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act (H. 3541/S. 212). This legislation would allow for qualifying patients with debilitating medical conditions and a written recommendation from a physician, access to medical cannabis to treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease and more life-altering diseases. I believe that patients should have access to or the ability to consult with a medical professional about medicine that could help alleviate their suffering.
Recently, the SC House leadership blocked the SC Compassionate Care Act from coming up for a vote because this session falls upon an election year. To me, it’s a tragedy that my State’s elected representatives would play these political games, over granting suffering patients access to medicine. If elected, I will work with Rep. Jonathan Hill, Rep. Josiah Magnuson, and other sitting House members to help alleviate human suffering!
Keller: What do you hope to accomplish once elected? In other words, what three policies and stances define your campaign?
Wolf: Once elected I would like to focus my efforts on three issues:
  1. Repealing the Base Load Review Act; this would get ratepayers off the hook for paying for abandoned $9 dollar nuclear reactors. Sponsor legislation to remove the utility providers monopoly so that ratepayers can pick which provider to purchase electricity from, this competition would cause electric rates to decrease.
  2. Tax reform; I want to cut the State sales tax in half from 6% to 3%. Last year, the Republicans in my state voted to raise the State gas tax from 12.75 cents/gallon to 28.75 cents/gallon. If throwing more money at the problem solved problems then
  3.  Constitutional Carry; I believe that we have a God-given right to be able to bear arms, I don’t support licensing to exercise rights.
Keller: Do you have any concluding remarks for the readers and voters?

Wolf: If I were to say anything to readers or voters it would be that South Carolina is prime for liberty; and if elected, I will stand as a principled statesman like Rep. Jonathon Hill and Sen. Tom Davis. Liberty is the goal and we need more advocates for liberty to infiltrate our State legislature.

I would like to thank Britton Wolf for his time in conducting this interview. For more information visit his Facebook page and be sure to donate! His campaign is only $2,000 of the quarterly fundraising goal with YAL.

The Failed Disruption of the Student Walkout

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

A wave of activism has taken hold of the high school students of this country. Youth political activity is now in, but it is merely another iteration of teens attempting to make an emotionally-charged change in a way that is good for PR, but bad for the world.

The student-led walkout on Wednesday consisted of high school students exiting the school and standing outside for 17 minutes. The intention was to raise awareness for gun violence, and although they will rarely admit it, it has the political intention of moving towards gun control.

If you don’t see it this way, come on. The celebrated results have been increased gun restrictions in multiple states, and the movement is the clear precursor to the March 24 “March For Our Lives,” a march with a clear gun control agenda. Stop beating around the bush, if you are walking out, chances are you want gun control. This is no innocent apolitical movement.

The obvious intention is to raise awareness of gun violence so that we may solve what we are now aware of. The mainstream method to do such a thing is to implement gun control on any level and of any kind. This is not going to work, though, for multiple reasons.

The most popular gun control example, Australia, has time and time again been revealed to be a faulty model for gun control. The statistics show the country was experiencing a downward trend before and after the buyback. Japan as an example has its flaws because Japan’s lack of gun violence stems primarily from its collectivist culture. The U.S. has a culture of gun ownership, meaning there would be substantial pushback to restrictions on any similar level within the country.

The resulting pushback shows the clear counter-productivity of trying to reduce violence through gun control. Who is controlling? The violent hands of the state would be the ones grabbing the weaponry. An institution of violence working to take the weapons from a gun-loving populace is in for a fight. The only result would be more violence.

Walking out to restrict gun rights should not be our goal. Rather, we should be what many are calling walking up. Like many of the ailments in modern society, deranged psychopathy that causes such tragedies as those of Parkland and Columbine stems from social isolation and lack of a father figure. The only thing that can fix this downward spiral is more human connection, and those responsible for this increase in connection are those that read this piece, along with everyone else.

Become the friend of the one who sits alone. Become the father-figure for the one who is growing up fatherless.

It requires personal work and sacrifice to make a change like the one we all want to see, and walking outside of your school for 17 minutes is flat out lazy. Broken boys and girls sit next to you in class every single day. Put in some work and make a real difference.


Featured image source.