How Far Will Government Go to Try to Reduce Gun Violence?

By Casey Ward | United States

These days there are more states than ever adopting arbitrary gun laws. Essentially, these only make people feel better, rather than actually saving any lives. Amidst all the discussion, one thing is missing. How far are gun control advocates willing to go to enforce these laws?

To fuel the discussion with those willing to create more legislation:

  1. Do you support gun control and how much?
  2. What is the purpose of gun control?
  3. How do you think that those weapons would be confiscated?
  4. How many out of the 55,000,000 gun owners are you willing to kill in order to enforce these laws? 

When answering the first question, most will say assault weapons are bad without even defining what an assault weapon is. The problem here is that when given vague wording, it is on purpose to slip in more restrictions without contest. The average restrictions supporter would describe an assault weapon as “full auto” even though full auto is next to impossible to get right now, so unless you have $10,000+ just for stamps and other legal fees.

The next most common restriction is bump stocks.  Then, there are mental health and the terror watch-list restrictions. In both of these, many harmless individuals are listed due to a false positive in the system. It is also worth noting that poor mental health does not mean someone is violent. Depression and anxiety are the two largest mental illnesses in America, yet seldom cause violence towards others. Still further are laws regarding those with restraining orders Mental health, the terror watch list, and restraining orders completely violate due process, effectively making them guilty until proven innocent.

In response to the second, question gun control advocates will likely claim restrictions are to reduce gun violence. Along with all of the school shootings in today’s media, there is also some conjured up belief that banning guns will magically make kids stop killing each other. This simple is not the case. Using Australia as a counterexample, it is clear that violent crime does not fall when the state creates more laws. 

Typically, the proposed method to confiscate these guns is through some sort of voluntary buy-back. However, if it fails, policemen with guns will have to fill the role of enforcer. People will not just hand over their weapons, as proven in New Jersey, Denver, and Massachusetts. Sending the police to someone’s home is considered attempted murder, but where is the line? Is it only attempted murder when kids online do it Does it count when adults proclaim something illegal and beg armed killers to do their dirty work?

Surely, many are willing to use gun violence to stop gun violence. Thus, the veracity of trying to stop gun violence goes out the window. Though this is perhaps the most ironic instance of police coercion, it is far from the only one. Every new law requires an increase in coercion to enforce it. Ask these questions and see, is it really worth the lives that will inevitably be lost?


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The American Government is a Terrorist Organization

By Austin Anderholt | United States

Ever since 9/11, the American public can’t stop talking about terrorism. According to a gallup poll, 58% of Americans were somewhat or very worried that them or their family might become a victim of terrorism. this is astoundingly high considering the fact that the average american has  a 1 in 3.8 billion chance of being a victim of foreign terrorism. Americans, rather than being afraid of highly improbable threats, should be worried about a newer, much more dangerous terrorist organization: their own government.

Read this excerpt from an article published on Telesurtv.net :

So far, the conflict in Afghanistan has resulted in between 106,000-170,000 civilian casualties, according to the March 2015 report “Body Count.” The report, authored by a group of doctors and medical experts, estimates the total death toll of the broader U.S. War on Terror as over 1.3 million. The report only focused on deaths in conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and excluded U.S.-led military operations in countries such as Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The report’s estimate puts the death toll of the War on Terror at well over 300 times the number of dead from the initial September 11 attacks.”

Think about that. Name one terrorist organization that has killed 1.3 million people. The American government has killed well over 300 times as many civilians trying to avenge a terrorist attack than in the initial attack, and people only care about the initial terrorist attack. Why? Because to the American public, terrorism only matters if the government isn’t behind it.

Take the Oklahoma city bombing, for example. This attack killed 168 people and was labeled as domestic terrorism. Ironically, this attack (while totally wrong) was in response to another terrorist attack, which occurred a year earlier: The siege of the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas, which also killed hundreds. So why is it, that only one is seen as domestic terrorism and another is pushed away and lesser known, especially as an act of terrorism? Again, because of the false notion that governments can’t be terrorists, especially the American government.

One may claim that governments are incapable of committing such actions.

We must remind ourselves of what a government simply is. A government is nothing but a group of coercive individuals with the ability to “legally” plunder and abduct. Just because we live in democratic mob rule doesn’t mean we don’t live under tyrannical rule. The government doesn’t have any excuses for why they kill innocent people.

I’m sure that at least some of the 1.3 million civilian casualties from the war on terror were on purpose, but let’s pretend they were all on accident. If a civilian commit 1.3 million counts of involuntary manslaughter, don’t you think that they would be punished? For some reason, government isn’t.

Government is also the master at fooling it’s citizens into obeying genocides. Ever wonder why citizens go berserk when a terrorist attack happens but when governments kill millions and millions in genocides, such as the holocaust, gulags, and other events, it seems like no one is fazed.

Furthermore, the American government has killed and imprisoned an astounding number of peaceful, innocent individuals. 86% of the 2012 federal prison population was in there for victimless crime. I again ask you. What would happen if a citizen started locking people in cages for doing something that said citizen disagreed with? That would be lunacy! Why does the state get away with it?

The September 11th attacks was the most violent terrorist incident in recorded history, killing almost 3,000 people. Governments consistently systematically kill more people, be it through wars, genocide, or “law enforcement”. The American government in particular consistently murders millions of innocent people. It should not be pledged to by our youth. It should not be loved. It is a terrorist organization and should be treated as such.


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The Top 5 Reasons Not to Go to War with Syria

I found Trump Version 20.17 to be a pleasant surprise. He stuck to many of the promises I had hoped he would keep (like nominating textualist justices, taking a hatchet to the administrative state, and cutting the corporate tax rate) while not doing anything too drastic regarding the promises I hoped he wouldn’t keep (like going over the top on immigration or starting trade wars).

Trump Version 20.18, however, is turning out to be an absolute disaster. This is largely due to his signing of an obscene omnibus spending bill, starting a trade war with China, and beginning to fill the foreign policy wing of the executive branch with neocons.

Just as John Bolton, who is essentially a caricature of a belligerent American war hawk, enters his role as Trump’s national security advisor, reports of a chemical attack in Syria have surfaced. The attack is being blamed on President Bashar al Assad, and Trump has tweeted a warning to the Syrian dictator, Vladimir Putin, and Iran.

It seems as though the US is on the verge of yet another attempt at regime change in the Middle East. The mainstream media and establishment wings of each major party are fanning the flames of war, and I would wager that our presence and involvement in Syria is fit to escalate soon.

I do not think the United States should get any more involved in the Syrian conflict than it already has and, in an ideal world, would like all US forces in Syria to return home immediately.

Here are five of the main reasons I believe we should stay out of the Syrian conflict:

  1. It’s complicated

The Syrian Civil War is complex and impossible to fully understand. There are many factors that make this so. The simplest is that this is not a battle between two opposing factions, but a proxy war with at least four direct participants.

Bashar al Assad, protected by the Syrian Armed Forces, is trying to maintain control over the nation. “The rebels” are his primary opposition, and they would like to see Assad removed from power altogether.

To me, this is already reason enough for the US to stay out. While I believe in the right of a people to secede from a government they find intolerable and would not be so squeamish about the US assisting a population in declaring their independence, I generally do not support revolutions that disenfranchise those who are loyal to an established government, and certainly do not believe the US has any business getting involved in conflicts of this nature, especially when they are contained within a single country.

Other opponents of Assad include ISIS and more undoubtedly terroristic organizations. Since fighting against Assad, as bad as he may be, is effectively fighting alongside ISIS, it seems like the best bet is to let the monsters settle their own scores.

The fourth major faction in the Syrian conflict is the Kurds. This ethnically-bound group occupies portions of both Syria and Iraq and have their sights set on founding a nation of their own. The Kurds are generally too busy fighting ISIS and other enemies to be in armed conflict with Assad.

Several months ago, when it felt like the Syrian Civil War was finally beginning to wind down, certain pro-government social media outlets I had been following were settling into victory. To my surprise, they quickly began espousing hostile rhetoric about the Kurds. To me, this suggested that Assad and his backers had no interest in allowing the Kurds their independence, which further illustrated how complex the situation is.

Keep in mind that what I have attempted to explain thus far is only the direct participation in the war. The proxy-component takes the situation to a new level. Assad is backed by Iran and Russia among other nations, the rebels are backed by most of the west, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, ISIS is backed by terrorist outfits across the Middle East (and indirectly backed by supporters of the rebels), and the Kurds are supported by the US (though the feds did not back their independence referendum), but brutally opposed by Turkey, Iraq, and Assad.

And that’s not all. We must also be aware (or aware that we are not aware) of the linguistic, ethnic, religious, and cultural divides across the diverse population of Syria. There are at least 16 ethnoreligious groups residing in Syria, and no one is capable of possessing the knowledge required to accommodate even a fraction of them. This challenge is Syria’s, not America’s.

  1. The evidence leaves much to be desired

The most recent “gas attack” continues the cliché of incidents that are blamed on Assad without verification. Aid groups on the ground tend to be the primary sources for the UN and the US federal government, and videos documenting the aftermath always accompany the reports.

The problem with all of this is that hard evidence is never presented to the public. Perhaps the government has evidence that it refuses to release, but as far as anyone can tell, hard evidence does not exist.

Just two months ago, Defense Secretary James Mattis publicly stated that the US is still looking for proof that Assad is the culprit in previous gas attack allegations. Per ZeroHedge:

“I don’t have the evidence,” Mattis said. “What I am saying is that other groups on the ground – NGOs, fighters on the ground – have said that sarin has been used, so we are looking for evidence.”

While it is silly to use President Trump’s Twitter handle as a source of factual information, the president seems to have admitted that he has no evidence the latest gas attack is Assad’s doing either:

If the area in question is “inaccessible to the outside world,” and it needs to be opened up for “verification,” it is obviously not confirmed that Assad launched the chemical attack.

As I outlined in my latest blog post, applying Occam’s razor to the situation makes it hard to imagine that Assad is the culprit. Why would Assad, on the verge of victory and fully aware that the bulk of the Western world is seething for a reason to remove him from power, commit a strategically and economically idiotic war crime that makes it impossible for the US to exit? Why would he do this on the heels of Trump saying that the US would be exiting Syria very soon? Could any remotely rational human being be so evil that he puts everything he has spent most of the past decade fighting for on the line just to murder a few civilians?

It is true that logic may not be the best means of understanding Middle Eastern conflicts. But I still find the possibility that Assad was framed by his enemies to be far more persuasive than Assad effectively committing suicide.

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  1. Regime change does not work

Let’s give two huge benefits of the doubt and assume that 1) we know who the good guys are in Syria and 2) we can verify that Assad is intentionally engaging in something akin to genocide.

Even under these circumstances, contemporary history teaches us that toppling dictators and installing democracies is a futile effort. Iraq and Libya remain failed states years and year after their autocrats fell. There are probably many reasons for this, but I will extrapolate on two.

First, I believe, as Andrew Breitbart famously stated, politics is downstream from culture. Unlike many radical leftists, I generally do not believe in social constructionism in which oppressive systems are put in place and dictate the way society turns out. Instead, I believe people get the governments they deserve. In other words, Saddam Hussein was a result of Iraqi history, values, and living conditions, not the other way around. If I am right, removing the system will not lead to sustained improvements in the way a people do politics. They will resort to their old ways quickly, and the effort will be all for naught. The people must change before the way they are governed can.

Secondly, Jeffersonian Democracy is not for everyone. While I am only in favor of government if its purpose is to protect natural, individual human rights, other people may have other preferences. You cannot force a form of government on people who do not understand it and do not want it.

  1. Trump is president

Here’s a brief list of accusations that have been hurled at Trump over the past few years:

  • Idiot
  • Liar
  • Conman
  • Racist
  • White Supremacist
  • Nazi
  • Fascist
  • Homophobe
  • Xenophobe
  • Misogynist
  • Rapist
  • Thief
  • Russian agent
  • Corrupt
  • Lunatic
  • Mentally ill
  • Reckless
  • Immature
  • Ignorant
  • Illiterate
  • Vengeful
  • Narcissistic

I’m not going to say which ones I think are accurate and which ones I think are off base. But if a handful of these are true, anyone that would follow Trump into war is a complete and utter dotard. Since there is a common hawkishness among many of Trump’s most fervent critics, they must not believe what they say about Trump or are miles past sensibility in their stubborn desire for war.

  1. We are $21 trillion in debt

Last but not least, war has costs. The most horrific tragedies of war are the lives lost, both military and civilian. Injuries are suffered, homes and livelihoods are destroyed, and relationships are torn to shreds in all armed conflicts.

With that being said, I understand that war is sometimes the best option, and that the costs of not going to war can vastly outweigh the costs of participating.

But based on the complexity of the situation in Syria, the unproven nature of the claims that would justify intervention, America’s recent history of failure in armed conflict, and the lack of competence in the White House, this is not one of those times.

Since intervention remains unwarranted, exhausting more US resources as a trillion-dollar surplus looms would be beyond the pale. As Pre-President Trump tweeted way back in 2013:

Let’s hope the new Trump channels the old Trump before we get ourselves in another mess.

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Maryland Shooting Proves Necessity of Armed Security

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.