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Condoleezza Rice says US needs to consider Second Amendment’s place in ‘modern world’

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This month’s massacre in Parkland, Fla., seems like a key moment in the nation’s ongoing debate about the Second Amendment, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during a radio interview Friday.

“I think it is time to have a conversation about what the right to bear arms means in the modern world,” Rice told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday. “I don’t understand why civilians need to have access to military weapons. We wouldn’t say you can go out and buy a tank.”

More specifically, Rice said weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, used to kill 17 students and teachers Feb. 14, shouldn’t be available to civilians, the Washington Times reported.

NIKOLAS CRUZ CHARGED IN FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING

But Rice, who served under President George W. Bush, made clear that she remains a believer in the Second Amendment.

“We can’t throw away the Second Amendment and keep the First,” she said, adding that she considers the first two amendments to the Constitution to be “indivisible.”

“We can’t throw away the Second Amendment and keep the First.”

– Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state

Hewitt then asked if Rice — being an educator herself as a political science professor at Stanford University — supports the idea of teachers carrying guns as a deterrent to potential campus shootings.

Rice said she doesn’t think that is “going to be the answer,” the Washington Times reported.

“I don’t really like the idea, frankly, of a gun in my classroom,” she said.

Rather, she supports looking to law enforcement and guards as ways for protection.

Rice, 63, was exposed to senseless violence at an early age, having grown up in Birmingham, Ala., where the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 resulted in the deaths of four young girls. She has written and spoken frequently about the impression the horrific event made on her.

She told Hewitt that despite her reservations about weapons in the classroom, the proposal merited a serious discussion.

“Look, if people need to train people to protect our schools, and perhaps even communities want to consider whether or not they need guards to protect the schools, it’s a sad thing to think that we might, then that’s something that we should look at,” Rice said.

She told Hewitt that talking across “our differences is extremely important” and that communities have to “pull together.”

“We have to start listening to each other, first and foremost,” Rice said of the people from all sides of the debate on gun control.

Click here for Hugh Hewitt’s full interview with Condoleezza Rice.

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On immigration, the confusion is coming from inside the White House

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President Joe Biden appears to be confounded by the substance and politics of immigration.

The latest evidence of that is Friday’s laughable-if-it-wasn’t-so-serious White House backtrack of Biden’s walk-back on refugee policy. After promising to raise President Donald Trump’s annual cap on refugee admissions from 15,000 to 62,500, Biden balked on Friday morning. Then, under heavy pressure from fellow Democrats — many of whom had described Trump’s policy as racist, xenophobic and un-American — Biden decided on Friday afternoon to increase the number of refugees admitted into the country.

How many? “His initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement issued late Friday. The policy, she said, “has been the subject of some confusion.”

That confusion is coming from inside the White House.

It is the result of a much larger conundrum for Biden: finding the safe harbor spot on immigration that satisfies his base and doesn’t alienate centrist voters. He’ll never win over hard-line conservatives whose views are represented by a new Anglo-Saxon caucus in the House or more temperate conservatives who prioritize restrictive immigration policies.

But even if he doesn’t seek re-election in 2024, he needs both wings of his own coalition to move his agenda and keep Congress in Democratic hands in next year’s midterm elections.

So far, Biden is not just failing to please everyone; he’s having a hard time pleasing anyone. Less than a quarter of adults approve of his handling of immigration, according to an AP-NORC poll released last week, and the share of Democrats who view illegal immigration as “a major problem” has spiked from 15 percent to 29 percent in the last year, according to the Pew Research Center.

“It’s easy to promise a quick fix in a campaign, but the reality of the situation is it’s a mess and they don’t know how to address it,” a senior Senate Republican aide said of the broader issue. The back-and-forth over the refugee cap “is less an indictment of policy and more a highlight of how complex and difficult this issue is,” the aide added.

While the refugee policy limits legal rather than illegal immigration, Democratic lawmakers and immigrant-rights advocates are eager to see changes across the board after Trump cracked down on both forms of migration.

Biden’s stumbles on the issue come at a time when a surge of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border has forced officials to house children in overcrowded facilities and forced Biden to reconsider his vow to allow asylum-seekers to await adjudication of their cases in the U.S.

Given that Biden’s overall approval ratings remain squarely on positive turf — roughly between 54 percent and 59 percent, depending on the poll — sentiments on his handling of immigration could be insignificant to his standing or a harbinger of trouble ahead. His skittish approach to the issue suggests more concern about the latter than confidence about the former.

Before taking office, Biden said he wanted to reverse Trump’s immigration policies but would set up “guardrails” to ensure that he didn’t act rashly in a way that “complicates what we’re trying to do.” He issued an executive order creating a review of Trump’s policies shortly after being sworn in, but has thus far left many of them in place.

Until Friday, Biden’s Democratic allies had been reserved in their criticism of his moves, hopeful that he will ultimately implement an immigration agenda that more closely approximates campaign-trail rhetoric envisioning “an immigration system that powers our economy and reflects our values.” Then the dam broke with news of his initial decision to leave the Trump refugee cap in place.

“Say it ain’t so, President Joe,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said in a statement. “This Biden Administration refugee admissions target is unacceptable.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a leader of House progressives, accused Biden of having “broken his promise to restore our humanity” and called the 15,000 cap “harmful, xenophobic and racist.”

One Latino-rights advocate who has been in discussions with White House officials on immigration policy told NBC News last month that the administration did not appear to have a plan on the issue. The advocate spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering allies in the White House. But activists have had to lean on their faith in Biden’s intent to reverse Trump’s policies as they wait for action.

Democratic officials’ response to the initial refugee cap decision is a sign that their patience is fleeting.

“We can’t allow refugees and asylum-seekers to sit and suffer because of Washington politics,” Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro said. “I’m glad the administration has reversed course on lifting the refugee cap. It should be done immediately and up to the target promised.”

Biden’s timidity reflects confusion over how to line up his stated policy goals with his political interests.



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Tories braced for loss of 550 council seats at 'Super Thursday' local elections

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SENIOR Tories are braced for a loss of 550 council seats at the “Super Thursday” local elections next month.

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End reliance on EU! UK must become self-reliant to avoid being at bloc's mercy on vaccines

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THE recent vaccine wrangle underlines why the UK must also end its reliance on goods imported from the EU, Brexiteer Jayne Adye has said.

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