The debate over gun control is a hot topic these days in the wake of the numerous shootings that seem to happen every time you turn on the news in this country. KnightNews.com sought out different opinions on the subject from students who all shared their views.

Melissa Colon:

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Gun control will not lead to a decrease in murders. Instead it will tighten the noose that the government already has tied around us. Just as the so-called war on drugs has not minimized drug usage, but has cost taxpayers over $1 billion annually to imprison pot offenders while our government hands over guns to Mexican cartels. A war declared by Reagan despite his approval to use drug traffickers to transport illegal arms into Nicaragua that resulted in an increase in the cocaine trade in California. The belief that gun control will stop mass murder, is just as naïve as believing that banning abortion will stop the practice of abortions.

While many will choose to point fingers only at the Obama administration, or the Bush administration, the media and the government have succeeded in dividing us into left and right- literally. To believe that gun rights are our only rights being stripped away, we have failed to look closely at laws being passed or that have passed under the guise to protect our freedom. When organizing a protest gets you listed as a domestic terrorist, such as the case of Occupy Wall Street organizer Shannon McLeish from Daytona Beach, Florida, you should stop and wonder if gun rights are the only issue we should be worried about.

Lastly, we have become so distracted that we fail to notice how the shooters become celebrities. Our fascination with stardom feeds another fame-starved individual who watches, plots, and relies on the media to make them a star. Just as reality television stars are overnight celebrities, so is the shooter. Suddenly, everyone is in shock and affected by the death of innocent school children. While each shooting is a tragedy, many have forgotten that it is happening everyday at our expense like the $3 trillion that American taxpayers give to Israel annually to supply them with weapons to shoot Palestinian children throwing rocks. Somewhere along the way we are taught that we can justify and differentiate the act of killing another human even if it is someone else pulling the trigger.

Evan Gregory:

My response to the proposed gun control plan goes as follows: banning guns such as the AR-15 on the basis of name or design will only lead to gun manufacturers designing different guns. Not only that, but this does not account for the fact that there are millions of guns of those types in circulation and are readily accessible if you have the money. The most annoying thing on this list of proposed measures has to be reducing clip size to a ten-bullet maximum. Do legislatures not realize that reloading a gun however many more times will not stop anybody from shooting anything up once they’ve decided that they are going to go through with it? I think hiking the price on ammunition would do a lot more help then adjusting the capacity at which you could carry it.

I believe it is integral for everyone in America to own some kind of weapon in this day and age for his or her own protection. Regardless of whether you’re for or against any kind of gun legislature, the 10 minutes you spend waiting for the police to respond to your 911 call when 3 armed men barge into your house with illegally obtained weapons could mean life or death for your family. When the forefathers drafted the constitution, I’m sure they didn’t intend every single citizen to have rocket propelled grenades in their closets waiting to blow up anything in their way, but they did realize that at the end of the day, in the face of tyrannical government, it was the people’s responsibility to join in arms against the types of government that existed in the Revolution that brought about this country. I can guarantee that nobody thought in a million years that Caesar would march his armies over the Rhine to become the sole leader of Rome in 49 BCE, but there was no one to stop him once he did.

Take a country like Switzerland for example that despite two world wars and many sweeping religious changes has maintained its sovereignty with such volatile neighbors as Spain, France, and Italy. Despite the Russians and Nazi’s sweeping through Europe in the 30’s and 40’s it’s not certain to many people why they didn’t get swept up in the campaign trail during World War II. This is because their militia involves every man in the country and the citizens are armed and trained to defend the homeland on a second’s notice. The problem with our second amendment isn’t the fact that it allows everyone to own any kind of weapon they can buy; the problem exists because we only follow the guidelines of this to a point, highlighting only the final sentence of the second most important amendment of them all, the amendment that makes sure the government will continue to honor our first.

So to those of you blaming Sandy Hook on the fact that Adam Lanza was able to get his hands on an AR-15 and impose his will on those children need to realize that it is his mom’s fault for not properly storing her firearm to NRA guidelines. Stop blaming society; stop blaming the media, start realizing that it is the individual that decides to make these rash decisions, him and him only. He could have ran in with a hammer, he could have ran in with a cigarette and killed them with second hand smoke (both of which contribute to more deaths than guns by astronomical numbers in the US every year) but unfortunately for many gun owners like me, he knew the combination to his mom’s gun safe and had to ruin it for all of America’s gun owners.

Nolan Thompson:

A person who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders.” – Larry Elder.

Throughout history weapons have always played a vital role in society. Without weapons we would not have been able to hunt as efficiently and evolve to where we are today. Weapons have been responsible for the destruction and creation of civilizations. When tragedy strikes, our immediate reaction is to make a law that takes away another freedom. The Patriot Act is an example of this.

Mahatma Ghandi said, “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”

I think it would be hypocritical for a governing body that uses billions of individual tax dollars to fund its military, to decide if those same individuals should have guns or what types of guns to have.

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms, disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.” -Andrew Jackson

I think guns should be regulated to an extent that all law abiding citizens that have passed a background check and safety course can own a gun. It’s important for each individual to remember that a gun is a violent tool that can cause unprecedented  social consequences. A gun is a tool that should only be used for food and the protection of freedom as a last line of defense.

Jake Rakoci:

If there is anything we can do as a nation to quell gun violence, by all means we should take steps in the direction to do that. I feel like the biggest fallacy to the entire gun control argument is the idea that fewer guns means fewer crimes.

When you look at the numbers, the United States, despite having the highest gun ownership rate in the world, is 28th in the world in gun violence per 100,000 people. Our friends over in Great Britain, a country that bans guns and has an extremely low gun violence rate would be a good model to how we should regulate guns, right? Not necessarily, the UK has the fourth highest robbery rate and the second highest overall crime rate in the EU.

On Jan. 16 President Obama proposed his Gun Control bill to Congress in a time where the political environment for gun control is more favorable than it has been in a long time. I can agree with President Obama on the fact that the AR-15 and other assault style weapons really have no practical use, but I can’t see how taking the drastic step to ban them would be beneficial. I agree 100 percent with Obama saying that “if there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”

I believe that obligation would be to tighten firearm regulations such as stricter background checks, not banning them. Even then, just like getting a drivers license, it does not mean that person will abide by the rules of the road. A properly educated and sane citizen in the United States should be able to own as many weapons they choose, no questions asked.

I will end on this, if we are proposing legislation to save lives by banning guns, how many lives are we putting in danger by giving the assailant the upper hand? Even though we are divided as a nation on this issue, we can all agree that even though you may not see this on national news, if guns were banned things may have gone a lot differently.


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