Category: Opinions

Donald Trump: The Wild Card

Of the 15 other GOP politicians running for President during the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump was the clear wild card. Formerly a New York liberal, Donald Trump decided to change parties and run as a Republican. With his official declaration to run for President of the United States, pundits here and aboard were skeptical of his chances, with many saying he’d be the first to drop out, thinking he had only done this for attention.

Clearly, they failed to see was how effective his rhetoric was. He was not speaking like a groomed politician, but rather an angry American would who was tired of the “swamp” in Washington D.C.  This is how precisely how he garnered so much support.  His speeches hit home to many Republican voters, as he ran off his future “conservative” agenda. For this reason, many conservatives, like myself, bought into what he was saying. After all, he wasn’t a career politician, just a T.V. host, and businessman. Other conservatives simply didn’t buy into the Trump way, citing character concerns and inexperience as reasons to not support him. This raises an interesting talking point; by not voting for Donald Trump, were you abandoning the Republican party, and could you be a conservative and still vote for Trump?

When Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for president, many on the right and left were frightened. A career plagued by shoddy practices and corruption surely spelled disaster if she made it to the primaries. Those who supported her were captivated by the idea of the first women president, and rightfully so. Those, mostly on the right, her harshest critics, couldn’t bear to imagine a Hillary Clinton presidency, so they decided to vote for whatever Republican won the primary.

This idea remained true for conservatives, even though no one truly knew if Trump was conservative. When Trump secured the nomination and started going on rallies, it became clearer that he wasn’t a conservative. He had some conservative ideas but often sided more with the left on things like DACA. But as the polls started coming in, Republican voters started to worry; as they slowly realized that Hillary Clinton could smell the finish line. So, Republicans from across the board ultimately decided to give their support to Donald Trump, even though they might not agree with everything he says. Conservative stalwarts like Senator Ted Cruz and Mark Levin even hopped on the Trump train, but their decision for doing so does not disqualify them from conservative thought.

While many dislike Cruz and Levin, their careers are not permanently blemished by voting for Trump in 2016. To most, if not all on the right, Hillary Clinton was the single worst candidate for president, as many called her the most morally bankrupt politician in modern American history. By voting for Donald Trump, conservatives were not abandoning their strong fiscal ideas, but merely seeing this situation as lesser of two evils in some respects. Personally, I am a constitutional conservative, and I willfully voted for Trump. I understood that a Hillary Clinton presidency could have a plethora of negative effects on our country, and I had some faith that Trump could create more positives than negatives, but I knew that he wasn’t a solid conservative like Ted Cruz or Ben Carson. However, the promises he made during his campaign were appealing to me. Ultimately, conservatives should not be ashamed that they voted for Trump, but instead, hold him accountable when he does harm, and praise him when he does well.

Not voting for Donald Trump was not an abandonment of the GOP. As I stated above, concerns about his past doings and the overall character were enough to cause some GOP voters to shy away. Take Ben Shapiro for example, maybe the most prominent conservative in America. Ben didn’t vote for Trump, as he went on to explain, he said that Trump did not meet his personal qualifications to be president, so he simply left the line blank.  Shapiro, a Ted Cruz supporter, didn’t completely disassociate himself from the GOP. He was merely saying what I mentioned above, to praise Trump when he does well, and to criticize when he does poorly.

In short, no single candidate will appeal to everyone in their party, so us as the voters will have to pick and choose who we think is best fit for office. Even though many called Hillary Clinton the worst politician of all time, no one was required to vote for her opponent if they didn’t support his ideas.

In America, and in our republic, our citizens have a right to vote for who they want. No matter the circumstances, every American who is legally allowed to vote can find the candidate who best suits their personal interests.

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Why Gun Control Won’t Work

By Lacey Jackson

During the last few years, the government and the citizenry have been battling about extending gun laws to make it more difficult to buy or own a gun. Ever since the Parkland shooting, the topic has blown up, so much so that there was a nationwide march promoting gun control. However, the people pushing for gun control don’t understand that it won’t work.

Criminals will always be criminals. Gun Control is not going to stop someone from getting a gun. On March 20th, a 17 year old opened fire in a school. A 17 year old can’t legally buy any kind of gun. He found loopholes & got the gun. Illegally.

Murder is illegal. Rape is illegal. Burglary is illegal. Making something illegal will not stop it. Taking away someone’s rights does not stop crime.

In today’s world, there are more guns than people. Even if everyone did follow the rules, someone can easily purchase a gun off of the black market. The only way to stop illegal gun purchases would be to take all guns away, and that won’t happen.

The 2nd Amendment of the American Constitution gives the right to bear arms. Taking all guns from the people, or limiting people from having them is unconstitutional.

What I can understand is gun reform: making it more difficult for people who shouldn’t get guns to get them. Things like background checks and mandatory safety classes could help ensure that guns only get into the right hands. This could limit illegal gun use but also keep them in the hands of law abiding citizens, therefor not infringing on 2nd Amendment rights. The government & the people both need to pay more attention to mental illness, such as Nicholas Cruz in the Parkland shooting. The government ignored the tips & offenses of Cruz. Most mass shooters have criminal activity or mental health issues that are commonly ignored. (sources under 2) A background check would help a bit, but not much, because you can’t see future offenses in a background check.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. It’s not a gun problem, it’s a people problem. Mental health is ignored in this country (example A: Nicholas Cruz). A criminal will find anything to kill someone with, whether it’s a knife, bomb, or hammer.

Chicago, Illinois has the strictest gun laws in the US, yet they also have the highest gun violence rate. Once again, it’s not a gun problem, it’s a people problem. It’s a hate problem. On April 3rd, a women open fired at Youtube headquarters in California. She was using a legal gun, but still committed a mass shooting. People who have the intent to kill, will figure out a way to kill. Eliminating a constitutional right is not the way to go.

A California School Shooting with a “Weapon of War”

Six years ago today there was a school shooting at Oikos University in California that led to the deaths of seven people, also injuring three. What was the weapon used in this school shooting? A .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) handgun that would be deemed a “weapon of war” to most people, since this handgun is also used in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Continue reading “A California School Shooting with a “Weapon of War””

Sheriff Scott Israel Needs To Step Down

It saddens me to say this, but we continue to witness mass shooting after mass shooting. Schools should be places where innocent children should be able to walk freely down the halls from classroom to classroom, without the fear of getting shot at or killed.

Unfortunately, not having a fear of getting shot in school is no longer an option for thousands of children in this country who have had to experience such a tragedy. The children, teachers, adults and faculty members who have had to endure such pain have to live with this fear, in part, because of the changing moral landscape in this country.

Continue reading “Sheriff Scott Israel Needs To Step Down”

What Trump does, doesn’t and partially deserves credit for in the economy

The economy is complex: however, if there’s one thing that’s certain about it, it’s that politics often lead to people oversimplifying it. Gallup polls show that when Trump was inaugurated, Republican’s confidence in the economy skyrocketed, while Democrat’s faltered. This is despite there not being a huge difference between the economy under Obama’s last few months, and Trump’s inauguration day. It seems clear that both parties generally aren’t doing much thinking when it comes to analyzing the economy.

Continue reading “What Trump does, doesn’t and partially deserves credit for in the economy”

Stop Using Tragedy to Push Your Political Agenda

On Wednesday, February 14th, 2018, the United States witnessed one of the worst school shootings in our nation’s history. 17 innocent people had their lives cut short by a heinous, senseless act of violence. Their names and memories will never be forgotten.

Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) took to the Senate floor to push reform, while the scene was still active. At the time, there had been no information released about the shooter, the investigation, or the number of lives lost. However, Murphy wasted no time in using this tragedy to push his political agenda. In doing so, he made baseless claims, cited false statistics, and made assumptions that have now been proven to be false.

As did Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and many others (politicians, celebrities, and average citizens alike).

I want to be very clear when I say this: Using the slaughter of innocent children to push your political agenda is despicable, reprehensible, inhumane, and immoral.

 

Here’s the truth of the matter:

 

Sen. Murphy claimed that, “this happens no-where else other than the United States of America,” as did others.

According to The Crime Prevention Research Center, that is not correct. The United States is not ranked among the top 10 countries in terms of death rate and frequency, in regards to mass shootings.

The Annual Death Rate from Mass-Public Shootings (per million people) comparing the U.S. to European countries from 2009 to 2015 are (in order of rank): Norway, Serbia, France, Macedonia, Albania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium, Czech Republic, and then the United States. The U.S. is ranked 11th amongst this list.

Also, the Frequency of Mass Public Shootings (per million people) comparing the U.S. to European countries from January 2009 to December of 2015 are (in order of rank): Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Switzerland, Norway, Slovakia, Finland, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, France and then the United States. The U.S. is ranked 12th amongst this list.

These statistics compare the death rate and frequency of mass shootings on a per capita basis, which accounts for the typically erroneously cited disproportion.

Also on a global spectrum, all but 2 of the 25 worst mass public shootings in history have happened outside of the U.S., per The Crime Prevention Research Center.

 

Sen. Murphy and others also cited a statistic claiming that this was the 18th school shooting in the U.S. in 2018.

This claim was also found to be incorrect and incredibly misleading. According to The Washington Post, “no, there haven’t been 18 school shootings in 2018. That number is flat wrong.”

Only 5 of the reported 18 “school shootings” listed as the basis for this claim resulted in physical injury. The other reported “school shootings,” were similar in nature to the case of the third grader who accidentally pulled the trigger of a police officer’s holstered pistol, firing a round into the floor, where no one was injured (this was also cited in the report).

 

Also, the claim was made by Sen. Murphy and others that the cause of this shooting was the inaction of Congress.

This was also proven to be incorrect. Those at fault for the shooting were the shooter himself and the government agencies that failed to stop him.

The negligence of various government agencies and the failure to follow basic protocol cost these 17 innocent children their lives.

The FBI received two reports on the shooter, prior to the shooting.

The first coming from a YouTuber who reported last fall that someone had left a comment on his video under the shooter’s name that stated that the shooter wanted to be “a professional school shooter.”

The second report coming from a direct call to the FBI on January 5th of this year in which the caller detailed, “the shooter’s gun ownership, his desire to kill people, his erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.” The FBI stated that this information should have been assessed as a potential threat to human life and as a result should have been investigated. But, they didn’t… and 17 innocent people lost their lives as a result.

So, in summation, if you want to have a discussion on gun control policy, that’s perfectly fine. Present your solution, and allow us all to have a rational, political conversation on your proposed solution. But, do not use the murder of 17 innocent children to push your political agenda. That is unjust and immoral.

 

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Cover photo courtesy of Hannah Hutson.

 

I’m Done Being a Disarmed Student

When I drive to class every day, I have to leave my firearm in my vehicle. I have taken the class required of me, passed the tests, passed my background check, and have my handgun carry permit. However, I continuously have my rights stripped from me every day I go to class. Why is that? My university is a gun free zone.

Being a gun free zone also means that my university is also a target zone. Because I am unable to protect myself, I am a walking target in today’s world. After the evil we have seen in this country, it still amazes me that I am not allowed to protect myself where I go to class. What is even more of a shocker is that if I were 21 and had my carry permit, I wouldn’t be allowed to have a firearm where I go to sleep at night on campus which is even more frightening to me.

When we see the evil of these shootings, whether it be Sandy Hook or Stoneman Douglass, the country quickly turns to taking away firearms or making it harder to obtain them instead of asking the question why no one at that school was able to defend themselves. If the law was unable to stop a 19-year-old from obtaining a firearm, what makes people think that more laws would block more evil? It won’t.

Evil will persist no matter what kind of restrictions we as a country attempt to place on this evil. Making it harder for law-abiding citizens to obtain a firearm isn’t the answer.

You say you only want to ban AR-15’s? Why would anyone need this type of firearm? Well, an AR-15 is a type of a semi-automatic. For those of you who don’t know what that is, that is the same type of firearm that most citizens carry for their protection. My personal firearm, Glock 27, is a semi-automatic firearm. Therefore, if I allow for legislators to take away this style of semi-automatic what is to keep them from banning all semi-automatic firearms including my pistol?

There is a bigger picture that people in this country are failing to see.

This debate shouldn’t be about how can we take firearms away from more people, it should be about why our agencies are failing to pick up the signs of people who wish harm onto someone else. When the FBI fails to follow a lead on an individual who has firearms and wishes to do harm to a school, that should be what the discussion is about. The discussion shouldn’t be about restricting my rights as a law-abiding citizen, but rather taking away the rights of those who choose to break the law like these shooters do.

Energy is being wasted over pressuring legislators to make it harder to purchase firearms, that energy should be targeted towards agencies who are allowing these individuals who are reported to fall through the cracks.

Instead of students pushing for gun control, why aren’t they pushing for their right to carry and protect themselves? I’m not here to play the “what if” game, I’m here to fight for my well-being in a world filled with evil. I am one of those students pushing for the removal of gun-free zones that place a target on my back because of my inability to defend myself.