By: Ambrose Smith, MC Germantown student
Conservatives are demonized by the media. We are viewed as the gun-toting racists who hate the environment because we drive around in massive gas-guzzling trucks. We are also viewed as women hating because we are against abortion. This is completely ridiculous.
We believe that guns keep you safe. We are not racists; we just don’t support illegal immigration. We do not hate the environment. We oppose any legislation that increases the government’s control over the citizens of the United States. And as conservatives, we look for three features in a presidential candidate: tax reform, the support of the second amendment, and the halting of the support for illegal immigrants.
Taxes: Taxes are one of the main issues facing the conservatives today. Taxes are too high. And they have been for years. So much of the money we work hard to make is taken away to fund projects and systems that never actually work. For example, take the welfare system. I will admit that some people need help, especially as we are recovering from the recent recession. But the current welfare system is a money drain. In almost forty states, the welfare system pays more than an eight-dollar-an-hour job (“Welfare Statistics”). Allow me to put that in perspective for you. Currently, the minimum wage in Maryland is $8.00 an hour. That means in almost forty states, welfare pays more than a minimum-wage job does in Maryland. That is outrageous. In addition, the government’s plan of spending to recover from this economy is illogical. How can we spend money we don’t have?
We need to slow down, cut taxes, especially corporate taxes, so that corporations will return to prosperity, bringing with them valuable jobs to help our economy recover.
Gun Control: The old joke that gun control means hitting your target may seem a little childish, but is true. The second amendment of the constitution gives us, American citizens, the right to “keep and bear arms” (Brands, et al. A-9).
By limiting that right, the government violates the Constitution. We are guaranteed the right to bear arms to protect ourselves — whether this be from a home invader or a foreign invader. Let’s look at the home invader scenario.
A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 3.5% of households had members who had used a gun ‘for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere. (Agresti)
Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 1,029,615 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.” That means that over a million possible crimes were prevented by someone owning a gun and using it to protect him or herself.
If that was not enough to convince you, according to a 1982 survey of 11 state prisons: “40% [of the felons] had decided not to commit a crime because they ‘knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun’” (Agresti).
Owning guns as a deterrent to crime really works, hence my point that gun control does not work. Now, I know people are going to get angry when reading this, so let me bring up the following scenario to illustrate my point. Say you take guns away from all honest, law-abiding citizens.
That just leaves guns in the hands of the criminals because they don’t follow the law. If they did obey the law, they wouldn’t be criminals, now would they? This would mean the only people with guns would be the police and the criminals. The police are slow in responding, sometimes to the point where you could order a pizza and have it delivered before the police would show up.
The criminal would have plenty of time to do whatever he or she intended to do and get out of the area before the police arrive. I have one last point to make before I end this discussion. Many people in the United States do not enlist or join the military because of a fear of death; they don’t want to die. So, how many of those same people would rob a house knowing that the owner may shoot them dead? I am willing to bet that 99% would not rob that house.
Immigration: Conservatives have no problem with legal immigration. And by legal, I mean the person waits in his or her country until a visa is received and, afterwards, comes to this country legally. Then, he or she leaves when the visa expires or renews the visa. What conservatives have a problem with is illegal immigration. And we have a problem with the government making it beneficial to be illegal in this country. Hard to believe? Let’s look at the facts. One, the Maryland Dream Act. According to the Montgomery College Website:
The Maryland Dream Act became law on December 6, 2012, and applies to all future semesters, starting with the 2013 winter session and beyond.
The law allows Maryland high school graduates who are undocumented immigrants the opportunity to qualify for the lowest tuition rates at their public colleges and universities upon meeting certain eligibility requirements and submitting required documentation.
This entitles people who aren’t even citizens of the United States to in-state tuition in the state of Maryland. This is unbelievable. A legal citizen of the United States from Georgia who wants to attend a college in Maryland must pay more money than an illegal immigrant who happened to graduate from a Maryland high school. Your tax money goes to help the state pay the schools to give resources to the students attending them.
So, you are paying for illegal immigrants to attend these schools. I also want to point out that by being illegal immigrants, they will not pay taxes. By passing this act, we are going to pay for it, literally. Enough is enough. Why should we support citizens of another country? We can’t even pay our own national debts. Illegal immigrants do not pay taxes, and they often use resources that could benefit American citizens.
I believe, as most —if not all— conservatives believe, that before we can help anyone outside the United States, we should help our own people. What does this mean? It should mean that illegal immigrants should not benefit from the US government. As they do not legally belong to our country, it should not be our fiscal responsibility to help them. They should return to their own country, which should legally help them, and wait like many other people around the globe, to become American citizens.
Only then should they be allowed to enter the country. Why should illegal immigrants benefit from us while waiting to become citizens?
These are the issues we conservatives feel strongly about. You may not feel strongly about these, or you may feel strongly about these because you are on the other side of the political spectrum. However, now you know our side of the story. We aren’t the world-hating, truck-driving, racist gun-nuts people make us out to be; we are simply Americans believing in what we feel is best for this country, and trying to make America great again.
The Globe invites opinion essays from MC-Germantown students on the topic of their choosing. Students also are invited to respond to this essay.