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Submission: Prop. 47 risks safety of Californians

By Alex Rhim

Oct. 14, 2014 12:00 a.m.

Proposition 47, which has been adamantly opposed by every major law enforcement agency in California, aims to change the classifications and reduce the punishment sentences for many current felonies. Bruin Republicans stands firmly with our state’s law enforcement agencies and with the principle of adherence to the law.

Proposition 47 extends beyond reform and reaches into the realm of introducing danger to the citizens of California. Under this proposed reform, the theft of any firearm valued under $950 would be classified as a misdemeanor for first-time offenders. Other crimes, including the possession of predatory “date-rape” drugs and corporate fraud and forgery, would also be minimized in seriousness to misdemeanors. This so-called “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools” reform subjects the residents of our state to increased gun violence, sexual assault and fraud.

There is an expansive, diverse set of views within the Republican Party when it comes to the topic of criminal justice reform. There are many, myself included, who support reform of our system and a more fiscally responsible and judicious approach to criminal sentences. Sen. Rand Paul, a favorite among young conservatives, describes mandatory minimum sentences as a “major culprit in our unbalanced and often unjust drug laws.” The time has come for a review of criminal justice systems all across the nation. Despite our hopes to reduce unnecessary spending on the incarceration of certain nonviolent criminals, we cannot support the blatantly deficient text of Proposition 47.

Bruin Republicans and responsible citizens across California will not stand for the destruction of our safety. We will not stand for allowing gun thieves and potential sexual predators to walk away with a slap on the wrist. We must stand together in defense of our laws, our liberty and our safety.

Rhim is a second-year mathematics student and the internal vice president of Bruin Republicans.

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