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Taking a Shot at Gun Control

The Editors

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Gun control, or the lack of gun control, is a very touchy subject to talk about based on strong opinions on both sides of the controversy. In our view, the ability to obtain a gun is too easy; lax regulations make it far too simple to buy a gun today in United States. We dislike the idea of big companies, such as Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, selling guns, and we approve of the decision these two companies have recently made to stop their sale of guns.

It seems, to us, that there should be more tests to qualify for a license to purchase a gun, and there should be stricter regulations to comply with for both buyers and sellers. While the legal age to obtain a gun differs from state to state, it’s clear that the ability to purchase guns at relatively young ages is a problem.

Recently, CNN reported on a 13-year-old boy who went into many stores and tried to buy alcohol and cigarettes. In each case, he was turned down immediately. When he walked into a gun show, however, he was able to buy a gun at the age of 13 because of the so-called “gun show loophole.” This is absolutely insane; a 13-year-old who cannot even drive a car legally should not be able to buy a gun for him or herself. The gun laws already in place clearly need to updated. Licensing, background checks, and mental health checks should occur before a person is able to buy a gun anywhere — gun show or otherwise. Lawmakers should consider passing new legislation that will make purchasing a gun more difficult and hold people who sell guns accountable for selling to minors or people with clear histories of domestic violence or mental health issues.

We are also skeptical of the suggestion that guns should be more present in everyday life, and that this would somehow limit gun violence. For example, there has been a suggestion since the most recent school shooting that teachers should be trained to use guns and have them in their classrooms. There is absolutely no need for teachers to be trained and armed with guns; we already have resource officers present in school who are armed. We all agree that the increased presence of guns in school could lead incidents where teachers used guns against students wrongfully, or against other teachers. It’s not worth the risk.

While we all agree that guns are a problem our society must deal with, our staff did differ on what new gun legislation should look like. We agree that we want the government to have more control of the buying, selling, manufacturing, possession, modification, and use of guns in the United States. We’re not sure, however, what the government should do to achieve that goal. Some of us said that every single gun that exists in the United States should be registered, and some people said that there is no need for semiautomatic guns and they should thus be illegal. 

With the recent Parkland and Las Vegas shooting, we join with people around the United States who have become newly aware of the issues surrounding guns in our country, and we are supportive of any moves to consider new gun control measures.

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Taking a Shot at Gun Control