Rights vs. Riots: The Debate over Gun Control

Rebecca Smith, Opinion Editor

Rights

Hundreds of years ago, when the Constitution was written, the Founding Fathers didn’t know what risks and dangers the future would bring. During that time, guns were needed to protect themselves from the dangers of British invaders. Today, they are a necessitate for a similar reason: protection.

From burglars to bears, you never know what will threaten your property and possibly your life.

It doesn’t matter if guns are outlawed or greater restrictions are placed on who can own a firearm, criminals will find a way to have one, and for that reason, innocent Americans deserve the right to be prepared.

“I think the current system isn’t as broken as people say it is. When you look at a lot of cases in which people like to point out how this is the flaw of people owning guns, it’s usually someone’s either found a loophole or has just bought the guns illegally, and I’m all for closing those loopholes and making the process more difficult, but if someone has the drive to acquire a gun, they’re going to whether it’s legal or not.” said senior Declan Hogan
The process a gun owner must go through to be able to legally purchase a gun consists of an intense background check, you must be at least 18 years old to buy a rifle or shotgun, and you must bring a valid driver’s license or identification card issued by the DMV.

There is a ten day waiting period. During that time, the government can decide whether or not to issue a firearm to that person. This process is to protect Americans from having weapons fall into the wrong hands.

“I think that if people just followed the laws we already have then you’re not really going to have that big of an issue with gun control because for the most part when people argue about gun control you have people that haven’t bought a gun and don’t know the process you actually have to go through for you to buy a gun arguing against people that have guns or own guns, so I feel like people who own guns are more knowledgeable about the process you have to go through.” said senior Edward Malloy.

Even if someone legally purchases a gun, it can be stolen by someone who shouldn’t be allowed to have a firearm, so Americans need to be able to protect themselves from people who can illegally possess a gun.

“It all comes down to people’s right to self preservation and it isn’t necessarily ‘I want to own a gun because it’s big and manly’. I think most people say I’ll own a gun and it’s only for me to protect my family and it’s unfair for someone to come and take that right away.” said Hogan.

Hunting has been a pastime in America since the beginning of time. With proper licensing and the right timing, Americans have the right to hunt.

If gun laws become more restricted, Americans are being deprived of their basic rights.

The Second Amendment was written for a purpose, and that purpose is more important now than ever before. The amount of illegal guns in circulation creates a serious danger to the safety of innocent people and families.

“I think it is a personal choice to own a gun. If you don’t like guns, it’s your right to not own one, but if someone else wants to own one, that’s their right.” said Hogan.

Riots

In 2012, the shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school started the debate on gun control that continues to this day.

On December 14, 2012 20 children were shot dead, and since then there have been 1,518 acts of gun violence, which is nearly one incident per day. More than 1,754 people have been killed and Congress has done nothing to prevent this number from growing.

Innocent people will continue to become victims of gun violence until something is done to stop it.

Australia had one mass shooting and immediately outlawed guns. This new law has prevented any other mass shooting since then.

The United States is much larger than Australia and has a greater population, but Australia is a good example that sometimes taking extreme measures is the only answer.

As of right now, guns can be sold privately in public places. A recent video emerged of a man selling guns in an airport. Laws have outlawed too many ounces of shampoo on an airplane, but apparently selling firearms is perfectly within the realm of possibilities.

Purchasing a gun has become too accessible. Federally licensed gun sellers are required to run background checks, but not all sellers are required to be licensed. Some of those unlicensed sellers sell at gun shows.

“Anyone can go get a gun, even I can go get a gun without any questions, and that’s not okay and I shouldn’t be allowed to do that.” said sophomore Zoe Murray.

Another argument for gun control is that there is no reason to possess a gun. Every argument can be refuted with a stronger argument for gun control.

For example: shops should be made that rent out guns to hunters just like there are fishing shops that provide equipment. This would eliminate the need for guns to hunt.

If a gun is needed to protect your property, then there should be a restriction on the type of gun that is available for purchase. A machine gun will never be necessary unless you are a member of the military.

Gun collectors should be limited on the amount of guns they can own or at least restrict the amount of ammunition someone can possess.

Some people can legally own guns, but family members or other people that have access to the firearm can illegally use it and create havoc. The Sandy Hook shooter stole his family’s gun which was legally purchased.

The point is, people aren’t necessarily the problem, guns themselves are a danger just because they exist for the sole purpose to kill or cause damage to another being.

Firearms are even more dangerous when they fall into the hands of someone who is mentally ill. People with mental illnesses are 3 times more likely than those who are not to commit violent acts against themselves or others.

“Not to say that mentally ill people aren’t people,but they aren’t as stable” said junior Katherine Shved. “I don’t even think people without mental illnesses should have guns.” said junior Katherine Shved.

Guns kill people and people kill people, without one, the other wouldn’t be as dangerous, but since we can’t get rid of all the bad people in the world, guns have got to go.

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