It seems nearly inevitable that the next president of the United States is going to be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. But as an electorate in a free society it is important that we stay as informed and educated as possible so that when election day comes we know exactly how to vote in order to represent how we believe our country should be run. Since we’ve already covered the major party candidates, it only seemed right that we do a quick run down on the third (and fourth) party candidates that have any sort of chance of appearing on the ballot in November.
Regardless of how you feel about the Libertarians, Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld have it right when it comes to gun rights. At their town hall on CNN, a guest questioner at the event asked a rather uninformed question about semi-automatic weapons. Johnson, rather than merely using the opportunity to give a prepared soundbyte, took the time to educate the audience about the meaning of “semi-automatic.” Sure, it created a rather dead moment on air, but it showed that Johnson was a rational and educated supporter of gun rights who would be able to debate the topic and perhaps change minds. Later, when a survivor of the Orlando shooting asked another question on gun control, Johnson again showed that he not only understood where the other side was coming from, but also that he was able to disagree in a way that didn’t raise tensions or create hostility.
He has received criticism for using restrained language, many interpreting this as a sign that he may be in favor of harsher measures. If you look at his rhetoric, however, he is not only in favor of gun rights, but believes the current system isn’t working for anybody and does nothing for public safety. The current laws are ineffective and only serve to harm law-abiding gun owners.
Whenever the Green Party’s Jill Stein begins speaking about gun control, there are always a few moments where I find myself nodding my head and appreciating what things take a sharp turn.Stein is interesting in that she focuses on how issues of mental health and drug addiction affect gun violence and often she focuses on ways to treat these problems on a local level. But almost without fail she then proceeds to start talking about “closing the gun show loophole” and the need to further restrict the second amendment. She once even criticized Obama for not going far enough on calling for firearm restrictions. Needless to say, Stein is not gun friendly.