Libertarian VP Candidate: Let Illegal Immigrants Have Guns

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Spike Cohen supports the Second Amendment.

The self-described anarchist and vice-presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party sees himself as more pro-gun than the Republican Party. It’s a point he emphasized during a three-hour appearance on Boston Common during which he spoke with about 20 people.

He criticized Republicans for supporting Red Flag gun laws, and President Donald Trump for banning bump stocks. He also took issue with Republicans supporting gun rights — yet excluding illegal immigrants from the opportunity. 

Cohen told a New Boston Post reporter at the event that he disagreed with Republicans who don’t think illegal immigrants should own guns.

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms was not limited to citizens or legal status,” Cohen said.

Additionally, Cohen spoke positively about gun ownership and said that the way to stop mass shootings from happening is not only allowing people to carry firearms to more locations but also getting people to take advantage of their Second Amendment rights.

For example, when speaking about age-of-consent laws and pedophilia, Cohen said he thinks increased gun ownership would decrease the number of pedophilic sex crimes.

“I think there’s going to be a lot less people victimizing kids if they know there’s even more armed people around them,” Cohen said.

That response came two questions after a New Boston Post reporter asked Cohen for his opinion of age-of-consent laws, an issue over which there is disagreement within the Libertarian Party. For example, Larry Sharpe, who ran for governor of New York in 2018 as the Libertarian Party nominee, is in favor of them while Arvin Vohra, the former vice-chairman of the party, wants to abolish them, according to Reason.

Cohen took a different approach from those of Sharpe and Vohra. He didn’t say exactly what he thought the solution should be — but offered critiques of the law.

“It’s not a federal issue,” Cohen said. “I think it should be left up to the states and communities. I also think that woodchippers are a great place for pedophiles. But when it comes to the age of consent, different states have different laws.

“What could be perfectly legal in one state could get you thrown in jail 10 miles down the road. It’s very arbitrary. We all agree that a 40-year-old and a 3-year-old is wrong, and a 30-year-old and a six-year-old, I hope. If you don’t agree, I’d encourage you to not say anything right now. A 25-year-old and a 10-year-old is wrong. A 20-year-old and a 14-year-old, most of us probably have a problem with that. A 19-year-old and a 16-year-old, most of us probably wouldn’t have a problem with that. A 20-year-old and a 16-year-old? A 21-year-old and a 17-year-old? This is the gray area where it gets weird. Should it be legal, is it a crime? That should be left as locally as an issue as possible. If we’re talking pedophilia, it’s not nearly as punished as I think it should be.”

In the United States, age of consent laws set at the state level vary from 16 to 18 years old. In Massachusetts, the age is 16.

In 2016, the Libertarian Party presidential ticket drew 3.3 percent of the vote nationally, according to Ballotopedia, which was a record for the party.

This time around, Cohen, 38, is the running mate of Libertarian Party presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen. She and Cohen drew 2 percent in a Monmouth poll released Monday, September 28. That’s the same day Cohen appeared in Boston.

Initially, Cohen scheduled the event to take place in the Parkman Bandstand, but there was a group playing music there when he arrived, so he settled for a spot underneath the trees a couple of hundred feet away. About an hour into the event, the group migrated up a hill several hundred feet away for a quieter space to talk.

Additionally, Cohen sold signed pins for five dollars apiece. Several of his supporters purchased them, and most of them bought multiple pins.