CRUD Debate: References for Concealed Carry

As promised, here is a list of references we’ve used for the debate on the topic of concealed carry.

Facts & References 

57% of criminals in a DoJ sponsored study in 1981 say that they fear armed citizens more than armed police (Rossi & Wright 1986)

Convictions of CHL holders

Of 63,000 convictions in Texas in 2011, 120 CHL holders were convicted. Less than .2% of convictions in Texas were of CHL holders. (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/reports/convrates.htm)

Number of young people with CHLs

In 2011 6637 out of 143,725 total granted were granted to 24 and younger, that’s 4.6%. In 2011 3978 people in Travis County were granted CHLs. If 4.6% of those were granted to 24 and younger, we’re looking at 183 people, but UT only makes up 5% of Travis County’s population, thus only an estimated 9 students have CHL at UT. So it’s not like there are going to be vigilantes running through campus or that all of our students will be armed. (I know this number is speculation, but it’s food for thought. We can at least point out the fact that only 4.6% of people receiving CHLs are 24 or younger.) (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/reports/demoreportscy11.htm)

Murder rates in TX since CHL Law

Murder rate in Texas has decreased from 11.0 per 100,000 in 1994 to 4.2 per 100,000 in 2011 CHL law took effect in 1995. And rates were even higher prior to the CHL law.

(http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/pages/crimestatistics.htm)

Numbers at a glance (some nice charts included) http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

In 2004, U.S. National Academy of Sciences released its evaluation from review of 253 articles, 99 books, and 43 government publications failed to identify any gun control measures that reduced violent crimes, suicide, and gun accidents

2003 Center for Disease and Control concluded similarly

Underlying socio-economic and social factors are at play, not the mechanism for murder; Russia, Belarus, and Luxembourg have banned gun ownership yet have higher murder rates (Don Kates & Gary Mauser)

Scholars like Gary Kleck (University of Florida, a registered Democrat, ACLU member), James Wright (University of Massachusetts), John Lott, David Mustard (University of Georgia), and Peter Rossi have all changed their opinions from being anti-gun to more pro-concealed carry over the last couple of decades as new empirical data overwhelmingly show that gun control do not work

Arguments that Danny Zeng has made before online, including citing Gary Kleck’s study on his personal blog that raised the point about simply switching guns for more rounds, if magazines were to be limited, provided that major shooters had multiple guns on them – which was mostly the case for mass shooters in the last two decades 

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Things to Think About Re: Immigration for Tonight

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Danny Zeng | March 5, 2013

There are about 11-12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., including hundreds of undocumented students attending the University of Texas at Austin. What drives immigration? What are some of the struggles that immigrants face on a daily basis? What is the political solution to this issue? What kind of discourse should we have to ensure that America continues to stand for opportunity and freedom? Join us tonight in GAR 0.102 from 6 to 8pm to explore these points with some of the distinguished scholars on this issue. Immigration reform has been on the back burner for policy makers of all stripes for a very long time now. Our nation needs to rethink how we go about managing the flow of immigrants and emigrants in an increasingly globalized world. We don’t agree too much with our friends from University Democrats, but we do agree on the need to take action on this issue. Instead of providing an exhaustive list of points to consider, I offer you the following less-emphasized points to think about on this issue that I personally find quite interesting:

  • Citizenship through marriage has provided thousands of foreign nationals a path to become U.S. citizens. This is under the “nationality through naturalization” part of the Immigration and Nationality Act. However, currently U.S citizens with gay and lesbian partners cannot successfully petition for their foreign spouses to become naturalized citizens because their civil union is not recognized by the U.S government. Specifically, the law states that the foreign spouse has to have been continuously “living in marital union with the citizen spouse” [emphasis mine] for three years prior to applying for naturalization. Not only this, same-sex foreign spouses cannot even be petitioned for green cards. These hurdles have caused some gay and lesbian Americans to immigrate to other countries to live with their foreign spouses. Regardless of your position on marriage equality, this is an incidence of legal discrimination against one group of Americans, pushing them away from homeland; such anathema should be considered for amendment.
  • The visa geared toward highly skilled workers, H1-B visas, had a cap at 85,000 in 2012. U.S. firms hit the cap as early as June of last year, causing many companies to lose qualified candidates who could greatly contribute to our economy, including graduate students working in American research universities. The cap needs to be enlarged or lifted to allow for a more dynamic movement of skilled labor and talents into the U.S. This will ensure our competitiveness in the global economy. Is the U.S. experiencing a labor shortage? Who are the winners and losers for allowing more foreign skilled workers to come to the U.S?
  • Some in the debate focus heavily on the terms “path to citizenship” versus “path to permanent residency.” In actuality, they are much the same for many immigrants, as many Latino immigrants stop short of becoming naturalized by maintaining their green card status instead. For Mexican immigrants, their naturalization rate is at mere 36%, lower than 61% for Latino immigrants overall, according to research by Pew Hispanic Center. Many choose not to naturalize for personal and administrative reasons i.e. need to learn English and cost of application is too high. How can we get people more involved on this issue in politics? In fact, net migration from Mexico was reported to be zero in 2012. Note this does not mean there were not people coming from Mexico, but simply that as many people are going from the U.S. to Mexico as well. Data also indicates that immigration from Mexico is at all-time low.
  • Asian Americans have become the fastest growing racial group in the United States, according to Pew Research Center. Though ethnically diverse within this larger racial construct, Asian Americans as a whole earn more money (median salary at $66,000)  and are better educated (49%  have at least bachelor degree). The group has grown 46% since 2000 – Texas being the second-largest growth state for Asian Americans. Today, Asians constitute 4.4% of population in Texas (Census data). However, looking through Asian American history, Asians had faced legal immigration barriers for ages  i.e. Chinese Exclusion Acts, Immigration Act of 1917, Cable Act, Nationality Act of 1940. The Asian population  especially Chinese Americans, have had a history of “illegal” immigration. A present influx of illegal immigrants from Asia persist today. How can we reconcile the relative affluence and talents of this group with components of illegal immigration? More bluntly, do economic demands trump legality?

Congress is projected to tackle immigration this year, as early as late March. And just yesterday, Secretary Napolitano called immigration her “No.1” priority. The political climate is ripe for immigration reform, if not at least major changes to existing immigration system. The challenges and opportunities facing immigration are rooted in politics, history, and law.

College Republicans are honored to co-host this immigration policy forum with our friends from University Democrats tonight here on campus. We’ve assembled some of UT’s top faculty in this field to join us for the dialogue. Join us for a lively conversation on this issue! #UTimmigration

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

Courtesy of Washington Post

Courtesy of Washington Post | Jonathan Ernst / AP

College Republicans at Texas | January 21, 2013

“That while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth…That is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values — of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness — real for every American.” – President Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address

The President and the Vice President were sworn in yesterday for their second terms per constitutional stipulation. As the inaugural ceremony today coincides with MLK Day celebration nationwide, it is worthy to reflect on our country’s future and how far we have come. The legacy of Dr. King roots in civil disobedience, protests, and active participation as means to pursue alternative policies. For young people like ourselves, we are much hopeful and optimistic, despite current economic forces at play that hinder our economic opportunities and social mobility.

Economic freedom is percursor to a free society, and what is Freedom if there is no sight of Opportunity? At the onset of Mr. Obama’s second term, we challenge the President to work toward creating this kind of society in which all people who choose to make something of themselves would have the chance to do so for them and their families.  This means fixing the complex and outdated tax code so they expand opportunity and not restrict it, reforming our nation’s broken entitlement system to ensure that Government lives up to its promises to its people, and further encouraging and cultivating an entrepreneurial culture, by lowering barriers against self-employment and innovation, and indeed invigorating new intellectual life into our nation’s institutions of higher education.

Looking ahead, College Republicans are optimistic about our future. We have faith in our peers. We have faith in the American people. And we have faith in our nation’s dogged pursuit for freedom and liberty that characterize who we are as Americans. As students of Dr. King, someone who challenged the status quo of his days, we, too, at the beginning of the President’s new term, challenge the prevalent governing philosophy of those in power that has increasingly become more expansive and intrusive. We accept the President’s challenge to shape our own debates:

“You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals”

It is necessary to note that it’s Opportunity that invigorates the soul of every man and woman to excel in his/her own right; without which, the drive to pursue human excellence and progress would be all together obliterated. Once we take away the possibility of improvement, we then condemn ourselves down a path of mediocrity and stagnancy. That is the broad thesis upon which we wage this War of Ideas against the Liberal establishment.

Today we celebrate the endurance of our founding as we usher in another term of constitutional stability. We wish the President all the luck in the world for his Second Term. At the same time, we are ever more cognizant of the fact that Freedom, as an idea, had yet to fail the hopes of aspirant people throughout the history of mankind; and that the restriction of Liberty, economic or otherwise, had yet to be shown as a viable path to prosperity and stability.

On this occasion, we pray for our President, our Congress, and our nation. And may God continue to bless America and all freedom lovers around the world.

Half of the Youth Vote Left Untapped: Potential Game Changer for 2016?

 

Let’s look at the numbers from the election in an attempt to make some sense out of it. In 2012, Romney won Texas with 57.2% of the vote versus Obama’s 41.4%, close to 1.3 million more votes than the President, that is a 15.84% margin. This is not surprising, considering that last time Texas went for a Democratic nominee was in 1976 – Jimmy Carter.  Close to eight million Texans casted a ballot in this election. Republicans have gained a two-percentage lead in the state from 2008.

Now looking at Travis County: 385,081 voted in Travis County this year in the presidential race, 60.1% went for Obama and 36.2% for Romney. There are 635,300 registered voters in Travis County, bringing this year’s countywide turnout to 61.3%.

Back in 2008, the President won Travis County 63.5-34.3. Over the last four years, the President’s advantage eroded more than three percentage points. [Interesting Side Note: My native Harris County in Houston was split down the middle, essentially tied, with the President edging a win with a mere +585 margin. Jefferson County is another close win for the President, 50.4% over 48.8%. Texas is all red except Travis County, Dallas County, Harris County, Bexar County, counties in the Valley, and a few counties in West Texas]

The youth vote (19-29) went to Obama 60-36 in this election. That is a 24-percentage point gap that Republicans need to close in coming years. However, this can be viewed as improvement from the 66-31 ratio in 2008. Nationally, the Obama coalition lost five percentage points in youth vote. This has to be one of the most under reported statistics from this election (all we hear about is that Latinos overwhelmingly voted for Obama). Obviously, the Republican Party can do more to include young voters into its fold.

To provide you with an idea of how important – or rather, how underrated – the youth vote is to this year’s election: according to CIRCLE, “In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, if Romney had won half the youth vote, or if young people had stayed home all together, he would have won those key battleground states.  A switch of those 80 electoral votes would have also changed the presidency, electing Romney as president.” 

This speaks to the strength of the youth vote in the years to come, particularly in the next presidential election. 23 million young voters turned out to vote in this election, which is only one half of eligible young voters, meaning the other half is left untapped by political organizations. In toss-up, or leaning states, youth turnout was as high as 55-58%. There are 3.7 million youth voters in Texas. That is 23% of the state’s eligible voters. Turnout is under 40%, so more than 2 million young people do not turn out to vote. If 60% of them do turnout and vote Democrats in future elections, Texas might become a blue state. That is how big of a deal young voters are to the future political landscape.

Who are the young voters? Well 1 out of 11 youth voters self identify as LGBTQ, that is more than double the proportion of the electorate as a whole. 1 out of 10 youth voters are Hispanic young men. About half of the youth voters (44%) are Hispanics, Blacks, or LGBTQ, groups that voted overwhelmingly for the President. 90% of youth have family income at or below $50k. The youth vote has gained 17 million new members since 2008. While fewer young voters identified themselves as Democrats this election, almost none moved into the GOP rank – more identified as “independents.”

A particular stab at young Republicans’ failure in messaging this past election: overwhelming proportion of youth (67%) blamed the economy on George W. Bush. Young minority women voted overwhelmingly for the President, with young black females voting 98% for the President. Not all youth groups supported the President though; young white males and young white females supported GOP by a slim margin. Young females have a slight better turnout than young males. Mobilizing young males to go to the polls may help Republicans in the future. Also, the GOP needs to do more to explain the role of government to non-whites. There is a 20-point gap between non-White young males and white young males on their view of the role of government. 66% of youth with college experienced turned out to vote, versus 35% of youth without college experience. GOP needs to do a better job reaching out to youth without college experience. That requires a new way of thinking about social media outreach and campaigning beyond mere college campuses, as college aged (18-24) young voters make up only about one-fourth of the youth vote.

Sources: CIRCLE, Travis County Clerk, Politico Election Results, Dave Leip’s Atlas Election Results

Yes, We CAN Believe in America: Vote for Real Change

Governor Romney has been performing well in the polls leading up to the Election Day on Tuesday.  The Gallup poll last week from 10/22-10/28 had Romney leading Obama by five points! Governor Romney is up in Florida by 6 points according to a latest poll in the state. Romney is up slightly in Virginia. Rasmussen reports on 11/1 that Romney is tied in Ohio and Wisconsin. Rasmussen also reports a Romney lead in Colorado by 3 percentage points and Iowa by one percentage point. The latest poll in New Hampshire has Romney tied with Obama.

For more than a year and a half, young Republicans like myself have grown accustomed to hearing the inevitability of Obama winning re-election here on the UT campus. Not long ago, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi came out and smugly dismissed the chance of Mitt Romney ever winning the White House.  Well, good thing we know the former speaker doesn’t really have a track record of reading the public mood. This narrowing down in the polls speaks more to the will of the American people who are disillusioned with what they were sold in 2008 and are ready for real change.

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