OpEd: Gun Control

We Need It – Sean Ryan ’18, Junior Politics/Opinions Editor

In light of the most recent tragic events having to do with gun violence, the conversation on gun control has come up once again. This conversation has come up at an opportune time as well, given the early developments of the 2016 presidential election.

As a liberal, I am all for stricter gun control. In my opinion, this includes background checks, mental illness screenings, and regulations on the types of guns sold in stores. If guns weren’t an integral part of people’s daily lives in rural areas, or if they weren’t a lucrative form of American sport, I would be in favor of outlawing them completely.

From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Charleston, South Carolina, these tragic incidences are occurring more and more frequently. The flurry of mass shootings and gun violence in relation to race, discrimination, and just overall mental illness is tragic and disheartening and there is no excuse as to why it keeps happening.

I understand the politics behind the situation. I understand the NRA’s hold on the Tea Party and other GOP camps. I also understand the interests of those on a farm in Montana whose intentions with their guns are nothing but safe and pure, and who aim to carry out their daily lives with no malicious activity. But at some point, politics needs to go out the window, and human lives need to matter more.

I’m very aware and very informed of the “#BlackLivesMatter” debate as a result of police brutality against AfricanAmericans, but in relation to gun control and overall human well-being in this country, how about we make it an “#AllLivesMatter” debate? We should get rid of these weapons that have ended countless numbers of innocent lives. Whether it is a complete abolishment of them, or a tighter hold on their sales, something must be done for the sake of innocent people all across the United States.

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We don’t need it – Jordon Lee ’16, Junior Politics/Opinions Editor

There are dangerous people in this world that have bad intentions. While most people agree this is true, it has been difficult for Congress to decide whether or not to develop and pass a bi-partisan and comprehensive gun control bill. In this short op-ed, I will be arguing in favor for not having any comprehensive gun control laws.

There are hundreds of thousands of guns in this country. Some are still in the stores, some are floating around the worst neighborhoods, and some people are using guns to defend themselves from dangerous people. Many have heard the phrase, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” and this argument has to be analyzed before a comprehensive approach to gun reform is finalized.

The government wants to get guns off the streets and away from criminals, but this pursuit will also crackdown on the sale of firearms whether legally or illegally. The government may be able to identify and possibly confiscate certain types of legal firearms bought in stores, but it would be an expensive and dangerous challenge to seize all of the guns bought illegally across this country. There are so many guns everywhere that it would be impossible to regulate them all.

Secondly, some members of Congress have stated that it should be mandatory to reveal personal medical records while applying for a firearm application. What mental illnesses disqualify you from having a gun? What degree of mental illness disqualifies you from having a gun? There might be cases of discrimination in this issue. Is it considered discrimination not allowing a person who has an illness not to have a gun? Do they not have the right to protect themselves? Are people who have had counseling after a divorce considered mentally unstable and not allowed to have guns? Is someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD not allowed to have a gun or is someone who takes pills for depression not allowed to have a gun? Don’t all people have the right to protect themselves?

The main concern is the clarity on which mental illnesses disqualify a person from having a gun without cases of discrimination, and it needs to be ensured that violence isn’t committed. From having a gun without cases of discrimination, and it needs to be ensured that violence isn’t committed.

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