Republican Debate

I began the evening of January 14th by grabbing a ceramic bowl and filling it with my favorite brand of almonds. From there, I filled up a coffee mug with orange juice and went to my basement, where no one in my house could hear me, should I happen to scream at the TV. The Republican debate featured Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and of course Donald Trump.

The debate mainly consisted of a discussion on gun-control. Christie spoke loud and proud about New Jersey’s resistance to background checks and the ban on automatic weapons. Governor Bush attacked President Obama and Hillary Clinton about their views regarding the issue. Donald Trump, a huge Second Amendment supporter, argued that guns protect people. Trump said that if Parisians were carrying guns the night of the Paris attacks, fewer people would be dead.

Marco Rubio’s perspective was, “The Second Amendment is not an option; it is not a suggestion; it is a Constitutional right of every American to be able to protect themselves and their families.” Rubio failed to address the counterargument that the Second Amendment was put into place in the eighteenth century so civilians could keep guns in their homes, ensuring that if ever called again to serve in their state’s militia, they would be prepared to do so. Senator Rubio continued, stating that the guns involved in crimes were stolen, not bought at gun shows.  However, according to the Frontline article “Hot Guns,” stolen guns account for only about 10% to 15% of guns used in crimes.  Additionally, the website explains how every day, 88 people are killed by guns in non-terrorist encounters. Finally, according to NBC news, over 80% of the guns used in mass shootings over the last three decades were obtained legally, and the shooters passed basic background tests.

After speaking on gun-control, Trump made several rash statements, one being, “Police officers are the most mistreated people in America!” I agree with Trump that police officers face incredible brutality, but I don’t agree that they are the most mistreated people in America. What about the families coming to America who are torn apart because of our immigration policy, or Eric Garner who was strangled to death, after repeatedly saying “I cannot breathe,” or the women who are sold into the sex trade every day on American soil, or the Muslims who face discrimination for their religious beliefs? Are they not mistreated? He continued by stating “Muslims should not be allowed in the United States!” He backed up this statement with, “I have some Muslims friends who agree with me and thank me all the time for bringing this issue to light.”

There were several quotes from the debate that made me throw my almonds at the screen.  Rubio declared that “Barack Obama believes America is an arrogant global power that needs to be cut down in size.” Additionally, he said that he is “convinced that if our president could confiscate every gun in America, he would.” Trump declared:  “People come in. They live. They Shoot” and Christie expanded on Trump’s idea about banning Muslims, saying “You can’t ban all Muslims.  Just the radical ones.” As the program came to an end, I was out of almonds, out of orange juice, and out of patience.