Reformer
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Reformer

The Rise of a Third Party Can Solve the US Gun Debate

How re-framing the conversation can lead to salvation

Recent Mass Shootings

The most recent incidence of a mass shooting occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School on 14 February 2018 which resulted in the death of 17 students. The gunman was an 18-year-old Florida resident. As horrific as this incident was, it is not the only one.

Main US Political Parties’ Views

The Democrats take a more liberal position on various issues and policy matters. When it pertains to gun control, the Democratic view holds to allow for Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights to bear arms. However, the Democratic Platform for America in 2004 says that assault weapons should be banned. Most recently, Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island introduced an assault weapons ban mirroring the same ban that was introduced during Bill Clinton’s presidency in 1994. The ’94 ban was for a period of 10 years, so it expired in 2004 during the George W. Bush presidency.

Prominent Third Political Party

The US political setup remains a two-party system. Of course, there are other smaller parties like the Libertarian party or the Greens. Neither of these two parties hold any elected seat or ever held the Presidency or a congressional majority. The 2016 Presidential elections showed the Libertarian party did quite well by gaining 4,489,235 votes or about 3.27% of the electorate — In 2012, the Libertarian party gained 1,275,923 votes. The 3.2 million increase in votes may have contributed to Hillary Clinton’s electoral defeat.

NRA’s Views

Generally, the NRA is pro-gun and advocates gun ownership for all American citizens according to the Second Amendment. To advance their pro-gun agenda, they have made campaign contributions to the Republican party’s candidates to increase the candidates’ chances of a successful campaign. In 2016, the NRA contributed $1.1 million and so far in 2018 they have contributed $350.7k. Recent events may have altered the traditional way the NRA funds candidates.

US President’s View

The current US President, Donald Trump, has changed his stance on gun control by first advocating gun control with more background checks and the ban of bump stock sales then easing that view. At the same time, President Trump has also called for teachers to bear arms in specific situations to protect students. The suggestion for teachers to bear arms may create a slippery slope for teachers and the education sector — are teachers security guards or teachers?

US Mid-Term Elections 2018

In parallel of this gun control debate falls the upcoming US mid-term elections where seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs. Some may choose not to seek re-election as is the case with Paul Ryan. Others may face fierce re-election bids at a time of heightened political scrutiny across the United States. Deep inside that political scrutiny lies gun control.

Misleading Gun Control Manifesto

After each successive gun shooting whether it be at a school, night club, hotel, university, or another public venue where people are injured or killed, the US President addressed the nation and expressed his grief. He may even go to visit the shooting location. During that Presidential address or acknowledgement of the incident, national protests take place and advocate for stiffer gun laws to encourage the Government to take some action. However, nothing has changed and here’s why: neither political party captivates the will of the people.

  1. Background check — state and national level
  2. Convicted felon’s database
  3. Mandatory gun tests
  4. Etc…

Final Thoughts

Gun control remains a highly political issue that divides the American public. Many high-profile shootings have shed light on the desperate need to change the current situation. The two political parties in power have failed to gain any traction in a long-term solution.

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Adam E. Badenhorst

Writer. Into politics, heritage, environment and crypto/future. Love a tough debate and intellectual discussions.