No, Mr. Blumenthal, Republicans are not Complicit in any of the Nation’s Mass Shootings ⋆ Politicrossing
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No, Mr. Blumenthal, Republicans are not Complicit in any of the Nation’s Mass Shootings

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Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) recently blamed Republicans for the tragic mass shootings that have taken place in the country. As reported by Breitbart, Blumenthal stated that “Republican lawmakers were ‘complicit’ in all the mass shootings that take place in the United States, given their opposition to gun legislation.” While Blumenthal’s finger-pointing is consistent with the left’s playbook, it is also wrong, illogical, and fails to address the root of the problem.

Each and every mass-shooting is tragic. The recent mass shooting in Colorado is no exception. However, the fact that such events are tragic and the fact that they involve guns/firearms does not necessarily mean that guns/firearms are to blame, nor does it mean that Republicans are complicit because they allegedly oppose the left’s proposed gun legislation.

Democrats in Congress have a long track record of blaming everyone and anyone other than the perpetrator for such tragedies.

For example, immediately after the horrific shootings in El Paso, Texas and in Dayton, Ohio, some Democrats blamed President Trump. Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) stated, “Let’s be very clear about what is causing this and who the president is. He is an open avowed racist and encouraging more racism in this country.” As reported by Politico, other Democrats also placed the blame on President Trump. Additional comments blaming Trump for the El Paso shooting can be found here.

Liberal groups, such as Bend the Arc, also blamed President Trump and Republicans after the tragic shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. This group was not alone in blaming President Trump. As set forth in The Hill:

“Famed economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman tweeted a link to the story with the caption, ‘but none of the white supremacist terrorism has anything to do with Trump, oh no.’ The Washington Post featured an op-ed on its homepage asking ‘How much responsibility does Trump bear for the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh?’ The author of that piece, GQ’s Julia Ioffe, tweeted ‘a word to [her] fellow American Jews: This president makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there, where you don’t live was worth it.’”

Finally, Democrats also blamed Republicans after the devastating and tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Blumenthal and many of his colleagues on the left are way off-base by placing blame for such tragedies on their Republican colleagues. For starters, this position is nonsensical. Simply stated, a gun/firearm, which is an inanimate object, does not wake up one morning and decide to commit a mass-casualty event. Rather, this decision is made solely by the individual who ultimately commits such a heinous act. Republicans do not put the gun in the shooter’s hands, do not make it easier to obtain a firearm, and play no role whatsoever in such tragedies.

By placing the blame on guns and/or Republicans, Blumenthal and many of his colleagues on the left are ignoring the root of the problem, which includes personal accountability and mental health. They believe that more stringent gun control laws like the ones recently proposed and passed by the House of Representatives (i.e. expanding background checks and extending the review period for such checks) will help to prevent such tragedies in the future.

While background checks should be encouraged by Republicans and Democrats alike, it is not clear how more expansive checks would prevent such tragedies. For example, if more stringent background checks are required, how will they prevent people who are willing to commit such acts from obtaining a weapon illegally? More generally, how will stricter gun laws specifically address/deter those who intend to commit such acts from executing them? After all, Colorado has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Will a system that mandates more thorough background checks serve to stop/prevent such tragedies? Finally, and most importantly, why would law-abiding American citizens jeopardize their Second Amendment rights when doing so is unlikely to prevent many mass-shootings? As reported by Politico:

While the House bills have Republican cosponsors and won a handful of GOP votes, most Republicans voted against them. During the floor debate, Republicans argued that the background checks would not stop most mass shootings and would mistakenly prevent some lawful gun owners from purchasing firearms.

Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry said the bill would lead to more crime because there would be “less people out there defending themselves.”

Blumenthal’s attempt to blame Republicans (to any extent) for the nation’s mass-shootings is out of line and lacks any causal connection. Both Republicans and Democrats want to make the nation safer and want to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again. Towards this end, some type of gun reform could very well be appropriate and necessary. However, Republicans have legitimate concerns with the left’s gun-control proposals and have clearly and publicly expressed those concerns. Moreover, short of potentially infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of lawful gun owners in the United States, there is serious doubt as to whether the left’s proposals will accomplish the desired goal(s).

Finally, many Democrats in Congress allege that their proposed gun-reform bills are needed to  make America “safer.” At the same time, however, they openly support other policies that potentially jeopardize American lives, such as opening the nation’s borders, weakening America’s immigration policies, and defunding the nation’s police. How can Democrats reconcile these inconsistent positions?

Clearly, something must be done to curb the nation’s gun violence. However, to assert that Republicans are complicit in the nation’s mass shootings because they don’t agree with the Democrats’ proposed bills/reforms is an enormous and unsubstantiated leap. As such, it should be disregarded in its entirety.

Mr. Hakim is a political writer and commentator and an attorney.  His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Greatness, The Algemeiner, The Western Journal, American Thinker and other online publications. 

https://thoughtfullyconservative.wordpress.com   

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Education

Make Universities Accountable for Predatory Student Loan Abuse

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The Biden administration is still talking about delivering on the President’s promise to relieve student loan debt for many Americans. There is continuing discussion on how much debt should be forgiven, how to pay for it, and whether it is fair to all those who have diligently and painfully worked to already pay off their own student loans. After all, if you’re going to eliminate student debt to buy votes, why just limit it to student debt?

Unfortunately for Biden, according to numerous sources including National Review, the executive branch has no generalized power to forgive any amount of student debt. Even Nancy Pelosi confirmed simply that “the president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.” The Department of Education came to the same verdict, determining that the executive branch “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”

Of course, even if he had the authority, forgiving student debt doesn’t make the debt go away. Reality has a way of breaking into such “freeloading” dreams. It’s pay me now, or somebody else pay me later. But why should some future taxpayer pay off anyone else’s student debt?

Whatever happened to wise warnings of “student beware.” When you get an education and agree to pay the tuition, you ought to realize that you must at some point pay for that education. You signed on the bottom line. Face your real-world responsibilities. Hopefully, you picked a degree major that will ensure a career capable of paying off your loans. Students clearly have some responsibility, but what about the universities that took advantage of the money coming from those loans?

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Tucker: This is a coordinated attack on the family

After all, there is ample evidence that student tuitions exploded far faster than inflation when government funds became readily available for student loans. Complaints of excessive tuition increases by students trapped in their programs tended to be met with a less than caring response—pound sand!

Since 2008, the tuition cost or a four-year college degree has increased nearly 25%. In that same period, student debt has doubled, increasing by 107%. 2015 study found that a dollar of subsidized student loans results in a published tuition increase of 58 cents at a typical university, An NBER paper suggests that changes to federal student loans are more than sufficient to explain tuition increases at private nonprofit colleges. And a 2014 study found that for-profit colleges eligible for federal student aid charged tuition 78% higher than that of similar but aid-ineligible institutions.

In short, there is no doubt that tuition was rising faster than the inflation level. Evidence has been clear for decades. In 1987, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett argued that “increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities to raise their tuition, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”

Bennett pointed out in 1987 that federal student aid had risen 57 percent since 1980, while inflation had been 26 percent. A 2020 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office brought the numbers up to date: “Between 1995 and 2017, the balance of outstanding federal student loan debt increased more than sevenfold, from $187 billion to $1.4 trillion (in 2017 dollars).” What is the lesson? The more federal aid to students is available colleges raise tuition more. Salaries rise and bureaucracies expand. There are more courses, more dorms, dining halls, lavish recreational centers, and more money for endowments.

Far too many students find that once they begin their education, their schools raise the tuition at such a high rate that their debt explodes. The university builds their endowment, and the “trapped” student is compelled to finish what they started at a cost they did not expect to have to pay. In such a situation, should not the university be responsible for any increased cost above the increase in cost of living during the same time? It’s time for universities to take responsibility for their share of student debt.

The universities that benefited from these loans should have a part in footing the bill. That means universities that raked in millions to inflate endowments should be holding the bag for those who can’t afford to pay their loans. With universities holding hundreds of billions of dollars in tax-free endowments, any government program to relieve student debt should be completely dependent on taxing those university endowments.

It’s time to counter the Democrats’ vote-buying scheme by making lasting changes to the student loan process. That means putting universities on the hook for their predatory behavior. That will go much further than a temporary payoff that does nothing to solve what is causing the problem.

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Tucker: Why are they so angry?

There’s no Constitutional requirement to have respect for anybody in the US government. In fact, in a free country you are encouraged to disagree. You are a citizen, you have that inherent right. But, no more.

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Tucker gives an extended list of several people who were arrested or had their homes raided, without explanation, for no crime. Highlights include:

“Why have a political debate when you can just arrest people who disagree with you? And that has happened, far below the media radar since the day Joe Biden was elected, and tonight we want to show you … a litany, a list of Americans who have been arrested, detained by federal law enforcement on the orders of the Biden administration, not because they committed recognizable crimes but because they disagreed with the political aims of the Biden administration.”

“Ooh, Trumps a fascist, remember that? Did Trump’s DOJ raid the homes of a lot of journalists who embarrassed his children? No, you don’t remember that, because it didn’t happen. But Joe Biden’s justice department has done that, and then they kept going.”

“We don’t arrest people for ignoring congressional subpoenas, especially when they cite executive privilege, a principal that has a long history in American history, so no, we’ve never done that, but we can do it now because it was ‘an insurrection’, an insurrection that wasn’t armed, wasn’t planned, it didn’t actually insurrect anything, but it was still an insurrection. Now you’re beginning to see why it’s been so important from the very first day for the media to describe what happened on January 6 not as a riot, but as an insurrection, because if it’s an insurrection, they can violate your civil rights.”

“So, a decade ago the Obama administration was caught sending automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels and Congress wanted to know more about this. Eric Holder, then the attorney general, had a key role in this, ‘operation fast and furious’, you may remember it. So, they subpoena’d him, and he ignored the subpoena, and the media applauded, he was taking a noble position. But when Steve Bannon or Peter Navarro tried to do something like that, they went to jail. Again, we had this exact same thing happen in public ten years ago. A federal judge ruled that Holder’s privilege claim was not legitimate, and he was still never arrested, but the rules have changed. Why is that?”

“There’s no Constitutional requirement to have respect for anybody in the US government. In fact, in a free country you are encouraged to disagree. You are a citizen, you have that inherent right. But, no more. The media think you should be sent to jail if you show disrespect, and so of course, with no media to push back against unconstitutional overreach, the justice department kept going.”

Watch the video below and feel free to exercise your right to free speech in the comments.

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