Load up, lock up, and own up to state gun control laws

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Load up, lock up, and own up to state gun control laws

A gun firers at the words of its opposers. The debate is how far the government should be allowed to limit citizens rights.

A gun firers at the words of its opposers. The debate is how far the government should be allowed to limit citizens rights.

Photo by: Carter Scruggs

A gun firers at the words of its opposers. The debate is how far the government should be allowed to limit citizens rights.

Photo by: Carter Scruggs

Photo by: Carter Scruggs

A gun firers at the words of its opposers. The debate is how far the government should be allowed to limit citizens rights.

Lauren Joy, Dispatch Reporter

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The discussion of gun control has been one of the biggest arguments in the United States for the past decade. In the United States alone, 36,000 Americans are shot and killed each year, that’s an average of 100 per day. Clearly this is a huge issue. Recently the majority of people side with the idea of making gun control laws more strict. Specifically 53 percent of Americans believe gun laws should become more strict. But, the issue with making them more strict is taking away part of someone’s freedom as an American citizen and more importantly, taking away something that can be used to protect you, rather than hurt.

Being someone who stands in the middle ground, not fully being pro or anti-gun, I feel that some people would never give up the right to own a gun. I agree that gun violence and mass shootings will always be prominent all around the world no matter what laws would be created. With 72 percent of Americans already owning guns, I doubt that they will all just give them all up easily. Criminals getting their hands on guns would still be an issue. 83 percent of Americans believe that criminals will get guns regardless of what the law says. But, on the anti-gun side, It is horrifying that you can walk into a gun show and buy guns with just showing a piece of paperwork. With Texas having 10 of the deadliest shootings in modern American, this is a reality that can terrify students.

In April 1999, a mass shooting took place at Columbine High School. Twelve students and one teacher were killed, along with injuring 23 other students. Almost 15 years later, most gun control laws have stayed the same. I shouldn’t be scared to go to school because of the possibility of being shot by one of my own classmates. If anything, school should be a safe place. A 2004 report by the US secret service and the department of education found that over two-thirds of students who used guns in violent acts got those guns from their own home or that of a relative. This information should make you think twice about gun control and how we should view Americans’ use of guns. With this issue growing and the government barely changing any laws that could change this, the issue is only getting worse. Clearly, something needs to be done.  What can we do?

I’m not saying the government should eliminate firearm use completely because like I said before, not everyone is going to give up that right easily and guns can be used to protect. I believe that before getting the right to use a gun you should have to go through more than just straight-up buying one. People should be required to take a class or at least get a background check. When people want to get their driver’s license, they have to take a class, drive for a certain amount of hours, and get permission from a few facilities and people. This is how getting the right to owning a gun should be. If people really feel the need to have one to keep themselves safe, they need to know the right ways to protect themselves with a gun. The more effort it takes to get the right to own a gun, the fewer people will own guns, and eventually, the less mass shootings there will be. Right now, 2,900 children from age 0-9 are shot and killed every year, and 33,100 from ages 9 and up. These numbers need to decrease.

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