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Opposing View Points: Gun Control

March 15, 2018

Gun Control: We the People

Baillee Hern

Photo by Photo Courtesy of Reed's Portraits

Baillee Hern

Right now, there is a lot of debate on gun control. Whether you’re for it or against it, a lot of different opinions are being brought to the table.

I think gun control is necessary. But, I think that it should be to a certain extent. I don’t think we need to make it any harder than what it is already. We already have thorough background checks on people who want to purchase a weapon. For background checks, there’s a statics on the NCIS background checks and how many have been processed. In the statistic, it shows a huge increase in the background checks that are being done than in the recent years by the hundreds. In those background checks, you are required to have an NCIS Transaction number, your updated name, most recent address, and an on document fingerprint. Any of those fingerprints can be taken by your local law enforcement agency for proof needed in an investigation relating to firearms.

If you walk into a licensed gun store, you have a set of questions to answer relating to your criminal history whether or not you do have one. They can withdraw the purchase if you have a military discharge, mental issues, drug or alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, and sometimes depending on the database the owner uses to research your records, it can take a longer time before you’re able to fully own the firearm.

There have been shootings recently and obviously, Democrats and Republicans have different standpoints on it. Democrats think gun control should be even more strict. They could argue that the reason why these shootings are happening is because people can purchase a weapon and high capacity magazines. Now, with that being said, I don’t think we should have any stricter laws, but people should have the right to have an option to carry a firearm if they wish to.

The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, only used 10 round capacity magazines. Banning larger magazines won’t do anything like they’re trying to do because they’re bigger so you have to transport them almost visually unlike smaller magazines. From being around officers and family who conceal carry, I have seen that it is easier to carry a smaller magazine and switch it out in a faster time rate than it is to have these bigger magazines. And most criminals don’t actually buy guns legally; they buy them from the black market or steal them from others.

Another topic is gun free zones. What good do they actually do? They don’t do as much good as you think. Most gun shootings happen in gun free zones like concerts, schools, government regulated buildings, theaters, etc. Do you really think that a bad guy who is wanting to kill someone is going to see the gun free zone sign and think, “Oh, I can’t shoot there. I’ll go somewhere else.”? No, they don’t. They see that as an opportunity to shoot easy targets because they can’t defend themselves.

If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to research mass shootings in gun free zones. The only thing gun free zones do is have a bad outcome for innocent people. The law-abiding, good people don’t carry there so it’s a good way for the bad guy to do more damage.

If gun control is such a good thing, then why did Adolf Hitler use this tactic? It says he wanted everyone to register their guns and then he used that to his advantage and took away the innocent, law-abiding peoples, guns. That resulted in him taking his troops and storming into peoples houses to force them into labor camps.

I’m not really saying that everyone who wants gun control is trying to accomplish that same thing, but it’s another good reason why guns should not be controlled more. Everyone can see how Chicago has a horribly bad crime rate. In the United States, they rank as the 8th strongest gun laws in America.

In Chicago, IL, it states that it’s against the law to possess and manufacture any use of a metal piercing, dragon’s breath shotgun shell, bolo shell, flechette shell, or explosive bullet. It also says that it’s unlawful to possess suppressors. Now, suppressors aren’t anything like what the media tells you. They think that if you own a silencer, you won’t be able to hear the gunshot when in reality it’s over 100 decibels still. To have gun control is just crazy to me because it’s been proven that it’s not helping as much as it would continue to have guns.

Guns aren’t the problem. It’s the people’s mental state. Everyone who has participated in a shooting has some type of mental damage in them if they want to kill someone. The CDC recently did a report study on the people’s mental state. In the report, it states that an average of 24.3% of the 1,430,693 violent crimes, including, murder, aggravated assault, rape, and robbery, that were committed America, in 1999, were committed with a gun. It also says that as a result of a firearm ban laws have increased the crime rate. In that report, it also talks about how it’s more related to mentality than it is the actual weapon. A weapon isn’t just going to fire off whenever it wants to; it’s just a basic weapon with no brain-therefore cannot make decisions like that to fire off with no one near it. Someone has to physically pull the trigger for it to fire off.

In a video, the man who lived in Canada for a long time, which his country has large ban laws, came over to America, and his thought process changed once he actually did research of his own on firearms and bought one. He asked people to change his mind and he presented nothing but facts about the media being skewed on firearm statistics.

There’s a standard we use which is supposed to be 4+ deaths and that’s considered a mass shooting. The numbers are correct, but they’re using a 6+ death’s statistic which is giving them different amounts of deaths a year. In another report and news article, it says that guns are more to protect victims than criminals are to use them. In a poll, 60% of felons agree that they’re more afraid of running into a victim with a gun on them and 57% of them says they’re more afraid of running into a victim with a firearm than they are with the police.

Killing is a sin, and already against the law, but guns aren’t. The right to protect yourself is a God-given right. When you see all of these celebrities protesting and screaming their opinions, what you don’t see is that most of the time they only care about the attention, or pushing a political agenda. They live in gated communities with private security protecting them. A majority of the time they have officers and security surrounding them. What do us citizens have? We have the police, but in reality, they aren’t going to be there in time to stop the criminal. You don’t just bring a knife to a gunfight, that makes no logical sense. That is why we need to arm ourselves to protect not only yourself but for all the innocent people.

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Take Precautions to Save Lives

Brennan McGraw

Photo by Photo Courtesy of Reed's Portraits

Brennan McGraw

This has been an emotional past few weeks, with the Parkland, Florida shooting where seventeen people were killed and fourteen people were injured. We embrace tragedies like this with sadness and grief which then turns into rage and indignation. This anger inescapably gets directed towards the NRA, gun rights activists, and politicians who continue to do nothing time and time again as countless children are murdered because of the simplicity to buy a gun.

When you look at a country like Japan, you can see a lot of differences in the laws and the deaths due to gun violence of guns. In 2014, Japan had 6 reported gun deaths, compared to the 33,599 of the United States. In Japan, to own a gun, you have to attend an all-day class, pass a written test and score a 95% accuracy in a shooting test. Then, you have to pass a mental health test which takes place at a hospital and pass a background check in which the government looks into your criminal record and interviews your friends and family. Shotguns and air-rifles are allowed, and citizen you have to go back and retake the class and the exam every three years.

Japan has also grasped the idea that fewer guns in circulation will amount to fewer deaths. Each prefecture, ranging in size from half a million to 12 million in Tokyo, can operate a maximum of three gun shops. New magazines can only be purchased by trading in old ones. And when gun owners die, their relatives must surrender the deceased member’s firearms.

If we were able to implement at least some of these regulations in the United States, we would see change. There would be no walking into Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shop and buying a military grade assault weapon within minutes and taking it to a school to massacre more children.

But, if we really want to try making a difference, we need to come together, respect each other and our values and compromise on what we think is best. The divisiveness of this country is concerning and needs to be fixed. If we can come together, we can do something that everyone wants, such as not taking all of the guns, but just making it harder for people to get them and not allowing military grade weapons.

By saying that nothing can be done because people will always be able to get guns is foolish. If these such regulations have worked in other countries then why not just try here, what could it hurt? It’s a better solution than sending thoughts and prayers. And, if it shows to have no effect, then we can all reconvene and explore other prevention options. But, sitting around taking no action is not the way to see change.

Walmart and Dicks Sporting Goods have taken a step in the right direction, stating that neither stores will sell firearms to anyone under the age of 21 and Dicks will not sell any assault-style weapons. These are examples of a good way to make change and compromise.

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