Tag: Parkland

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

Morality Should Not Determine Legality

By Ian Brzeski | United States

For many people, morality is relatively subjective. To some, sex before marriage is a sin, and to others, it is perfectly reasonable. Some people love taking drugs, and others are appalled by them. People of all kinds differ in their values on these issues and on many others such as access to guns, homosexuality, and prostitution. Whether or not committing a particular act falls under someone’s values, everyone should realize that committing victimless “crimes” should not be punished by the state.

What are Victimless Crimes?

In essence, a victimless crime is a “crime” under the law where there is no identifiable victim. It is performed when no other person or party is involved in the action taking place beside the perpetrator or consenting adults. Consuming drugs is a prime example of a victimless crime. The only party that person would potentially be harming in that act alone would be himself. He or she willingly chose to engage in this act; thus, there is no victim. The same goes for that person when they engage in obtaining the drugs through consensual means. These means include joining into a contract with his “dealer.” The two adults here both agree on terms in this exchange. The dealer provides the drugs, and the consumer provides a means of exchange for his desired goods, presumably money.

Freedom of Choice

Locking people up like caged animals for committing victimless, nonviolent crime is complete nonsense. It does not matter what a person’s morality says about drugs. One could think that they are awful and downright immoral, but that does not change the fact people can do as they please as long as no other person is harmed or brought into unwanted affairs. Those people, out of their own free will, chose to engage in that exchange and then go on with their lives as they please. Nobody was hurt, and everything was purely consensual. Fundamentally, it is not that much different than going out and buying groceries.

If you do not like drugs, don’t do them. Nobody forces you to take them, and if somebody does force you, then that is a crime in itself as it takes away your freedom to make those decisions for yourself. Just as people want the freedom to decide to say no to drugs, others should also have the freedom to take drugs without fear of being imprisoned by the state. It is inconceivable to think that drug abusers belong in a prison cell. Drug abusers need help, not prison time.

While incredible amounts of funding have gone towards decreasing drug use, the drug addiction rate is the same as it was about 40-50 years ago. Instead of spending over a trillion dollars in incarcerating these people, spending should be focused on helping these addicts. Portugal decided to do this about 17 years ago, decriminalizing all drug use and focused their spending on rehabilitation for drug users. At one point, about 1% of Portugal’s population were drug abusers, and now that number has been halved.

The same decriminalization practices should be used for prostitution, pornography, owning guns, and any other victimless crime. If you do not like any of these things, then don’t partake in them- it’s as simple as that. Not to mention that decriminalizing and accepting all of these would make them safer. No more back alley pimps who abuse and drug their prostitutes to make a quick buck. No more sketchy and untrusting drug dealers who may lace their products. No more massive cartels as the majority of their products would be legally imported in the country; thus, losing the majority of their funding. Everything listed here would run as a legitimate business which would then promote competition, naturally making these businesses safer. Interdiction on all of these things is no different from the prohibition of alcohol, and we all know how well that went.

Legalization in Amsterdam

I recently went to Amsterdam where marijuana, certain psychedelic drugs, and prostitution are all legal. The prostitution is all kept in one sector of the city, known as the Red Light District. The Red Light District was bustling with people and seemed as if it were just another business center. These businesses are basically “forced” to care for the health of their laborers as they would have an incentive to because it would be horrible for business if one of their workers had some disease such as an STD. One could find drugs anywhere, but nobody is forcing others to take them. If you want to smoke a blunt, then you can, and if you do not want to, then you do not have to.

The overall cleanliness of the city was surprising. One would think that by allowing drug use and prostitution, the city would be pretty dirty, but that is not true in the slightest. Homeless people and garbage on the streets were not to be found, at least from my experience. Amsterdam has experimented with decriminalizing some of these victimless crimes, and it seems to be going pretty well for them.

Victimless crimes are not real crimes. People should not be punished for doing things that do not harm others or their property, and we must put an end to decades of government control over people’s choice of how they treat their bodies.


Get awesome merchandise and help end the media duopoly by donating to 71 Republic on Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source

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?


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

Featured Image Source.

We Can Protect Schoolchildren AND Our Right to Bear Arms

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

School shootings are events that no one wishes to occur. Yet, we are facing a tragedy, and need a solution. However, the weeks of media coverage only bring incessant gun control rhetoric. Even before all of the facts and details of the case are investigated and released by authorities, supporters of both stances on the issue pounce upon the story and exploit it for political gain. Prime-time news coverage is filled with leftists who openly advocate for infringements upon our inalienable right to own and use firearms.

Even worse, however, are the never-ending calls for large scale gun confiscation and bans on assault weapons. These claims contradict clear evidence that shows how the programs have not worked in other countries.

Proponents of gun control measures often point to Australia’s National Firearms Agreement of 1996 as a model for US policy. The act increased control of semi and fully automatic weapons, making it so only licensed people could use them for a short list of purposes. Personal protection did not make the list. The act also included a gun buyback program. The graph below shows the rates of various violent crimes between 1996 and 2010. Since the legislation was enacted, only one of five categories, robbery, has fallen. On the contrary, assault has risen dramatically.

(More on Australia’s National Firearms Agreement of 1996 is available here.)

The data clearly indicates that the goal of the policy instituted was not met. So, why would it work in a country with greater levels of gang violence and organized crime?

The issue with large scale gun confiscation is more than just a pragmatic one. The restricting of someone’s right to bear arms limits their ability to defend their own life. It is our natural right to defend ourselves against aggressors, and when the state makes it more difficult to do so, they are infringing upon natural rights.

So, how do we protect those the most vulnerable and defenseless, young children in schools without infringing upon natural rights? The solution is to allow school districts to hire private, armed security to stand guard at schools.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas recently unveiled his plan to address school safety, which would include hiring and arming veterans to guard schools from active shooters. The Governor’s plan is a step in the right direction, as it recognizes that criminals will get their hands on guns and commit horrible crimes, no matter what laws are in place. However, increasing the amount of armed, trained officials within schools decreases the response time to an active shooter situation. A plan such as this may have saved lives in Parkland, where police took several crucial minutes too arrive at and act on the scene.

Reducing the decision to hire armed private security to defend schools down to the local level allows the community to come together and decide if that is something they are comfortable with having within their schools. Many parents and students may have strong feelings either way about the proposal, and they should be given the chance to have their opinions heard. The community must also decide if it is something they are willing to fund, as it would take significant cash to be able to finance such a plan.

Hiring private security to defend schools against active shooter threats is the most logical way to protect the most vulnerable, our young children, while also not infringing upon our natural right to bear arms.


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

Featured Image Source.