Want to get rid of half of gun violence?

In the wake of the tragic attack in Orlando, anyone on social media will see statistics about how much worse gun violence is in the USA than in other places in the world. By one measure, the US has almost 6x more deaths from gun violence as our northern neighbor, Canada and many other developed countries. So how can we solve this problem?

Many advocate for tougher restrictions on the purchase of guns. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that these policies will have a large impact on gun violence in the US. The US has a world-leading 112.6 guns per 100 people. That puts us about 4x higher than the next closest developed countries, Sweden, Norway, France and Canada, which are hovering at just above 31 firearms per 100 people. Even if we were to ban the sale of all guns altogether in the USA, it’d still take us decades to get down to 31 firearms per 100 people. But a firearms sale ban isn’t even on the table, let alone a government seizure of weapons from those who already have them. What’s on the table right now are a ban on assault weapons, universal background checks and waiting periods for gun purchases. Continue reading

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Vote for Third Party Candidates. Or at Least Tell Pollsters You Will

To my parents, voting for a third party candidate is basically like voting for Hillary Clinton. To my liberal peers, voting for a third party candidate is like voting for Trump. I’m told by everyone I talk to that I shouldn’t “waste” my vote by selecting a third party candidate. Yet as someone who feels completely alienated by both parties, I feel that I’m not only left without another choice, but also that my vote counts substantially more than the votes of those who select a Republican or Democrat. Here’s why. Continue reading

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Trump makes me terrified of Sanders

With a string of Super Tuesday victories and a nearly insurmountable delegate lead, Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president, putting him even closer to holding the highest office in the land and being the leader of the free world.

If you’re like me, this is terrifying. If you’re not like me, it’s probably also terrifying.

More terrifying than that, however, is the popularity of Bernie Sanders’ campaign for big government on the other side of the aisle in concert with Trump’s bid for presidency. Trump’s success should be the greatest argument against growing the government the way Sanders wants to. Continue reading

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It would be incredibly disrespectful to the legacy of Scalia, the intellectual anchor of originalism, to delay a Supreme Court nomination until the next presidency. It could not have possibly been the will of the founders to have a vacancy in the high court for eleven months to advance political ends.

Scalia

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Healthcare can never be a right

Disclaimer: This article argues for an important semantic difference. It makes no claims about the merits or faults of healthcare policy.

Healthcare as a right has been a rallying cry for liberal America for some time. It makes sense. Anyone with a conscience finds it difficult to be a part of a society that allows people to be priced out of cures for curable diseases or mired in debt after an emergency room visit. Pricing people out of care is becoming an increasingly unacceptable to society, so the solution liberal America is advocating for is to treat healthcare like a right.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. When our country was created, the definition of a right was a novel idea. Previously, to paraphrase Senator Ben Sasse, your rights came from the king. That which was not mandatory was forbidden and exceptions were granted on a case by case basis. If you wanted to open a store, you needed special permission. Traveling from one place to another was even subject to scrutiny. The king was the only one who was free. Therefore, anything you did was possibly cause for punishment at his sole, arbitrary discretion. Continue reading

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Winners and Losers from Iowa

Iowa is all about defying expectations to gain momentum. By this measure, Rubio had the best night of any nominee with Cruz and Sanders tied for second. Trump had a bad night and Hillary finds herself somewhere in the middle. She didn’t have a great night, but she avoided the embarrassing 3rd place finish that she suffered in 2008. 

The RealClearPolitics polling average had Rubio coming in at just over 16%. Rubio outperformed these expectations by 7%, coming in at 23%. This is significant not just because it builds momentum for Rubio. Because his uptick came right before the caucus, it’s safe to say (and polling confirms this) that Rubio scored the vast majority of voters who were undecided. This solidifies the argument that Rubio is the most electable candidate in the GOP field. Continue reading

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