OPINION: It’s time to revisit US firearm laws
Column Divided: From the right
Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 16:01
Debate about gun laws in the United States is exploding following the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last month. Perhaps the reason the discussion has become so publicized is the fact that the attack took place at an elementary school, with most of the victims being children. No one likes to hear news like this. The tragedy impacted our entire country.
For roughly the last month since the Newtown massacre, political pundits and journalists have had their focus on the gun laws in our country, with many of them calling for much stricter gun control. The reasoning behind this is that guns are seen by many as the offender. I don’t agree with that assessment. I believe that offender is the person that did the shooting.
I am a strong supporter of the rights given by the Second Amendment in the United States Constitution, which gives law-abiding Americans the right to “keep and bear Arms.” I do not and will not support future measures taken by our government to take that right away from its law-abiding citizens.
It’s not realistic to assume that tragedies like this won’t occur in the future, but there are a few things that might go a long way in helping prevent them, including:
First, we must fully limit the ability for mentally unstable people to access any type of weapon. There have been far too many instances of mentally unstable people having the ability to access weapons. I believe more regulation and oversight is needed in this area.
Second, we need to take better precautions to protect school children. We have armed guards at banks, malls, upper-level government buildings and countless other settings but not in a majority of schools. In-house police officers may be one solution, or training and arming certain teachers and staff may be another option. Many people scream at this idea, but why? Children are certainly worth protecting, and I don’t think our priorities are quite right if worldly possessions are given more protection than children.
Third, let’s increase the thoroughness of background checks for those who apply for a concealed carry permit.
Currently assault weapons are the target of much discussion. It seems each person has a different interpretation of what an assault weapon actually is. Is there room for discussion with the types of guns available to people and gun magazine capacity? I think there is.
I don’t blame people who call for stricter gun control following tragedies like the one in Newtown. Emotions run high at times like these, and people want to see an immediate solution to the problem. The problem is that there isn’t an immediate solution. There will always be evil people who will do evil things. Evil people will get their hands on weapons one way or the other. I’m certain, however, that we can take steps to hedge against evil people without taking away the rights of law-abiding Americans.
– Casey Saxton, a sophomore majoring in business administration, is the president of the USU College Republicans. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.