The hammer is cocked: the debate on gun control

Sandy Hook. Columbine. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. All mass shootings that have taken place in the last twenty years, the most recent at a church in Sutherland Springs, TX (a town near San Antonio) this past Sunday. Mass shootings like these draw gun control to the forefront of public debate.

Gun control can be broadly defined as the law regarding the possession and purchasing of firearms by civilians. Opinions vary from one extreme (confiscate all guns from civilians) to the other (every non-felon, non-mentally ill person should have one), and often along party and regional lines.

How should we approach this issue? Approach something that is so often emotional and polarizing? With logic and reason, humility and realism.

As prohibition in the 1930s sparked thriving black markets, smuggling cartels and moon-shining efforts, so it is likely that the attempt to confiscate guns would spark black markets, smuggling and alternative gun making efforts (3D printers anyone?). At the end of the day, the oft-repeated phrase that the “bad guys” will find ways to get guns is true.

And what if it’s not? What if somehow all guns were truly confiscated? What then? People are still selfish, angry, disillusioned, ill. People kill people - a gun is merely a tool, a means to an end. A more effective means than most, but nevertheless a means. Whether someone dies by gunshot, knife wound or brute bludgeoning, they are still dead, a precious human life is still lost.

I digress.

I have great respect for the police, they do a difficult job well – yet they cannot be everywhere immediately; there will be a delay between an incident beginning and the police arriving. When a gun is needed to stop a gun, as it so often is, I would rather there be armed citizens engaging the perpetrator from the beginning than wait minutes for the police to arrive.

Take CBC for example. Were there to be an active shooter on campus, I would feel safer if there were concealed handgun carry license (CHCL) holding teachers on campus equipped to defend themselves and their students immediately when the police are minutes away. I would even support CHCL students being allowed to carry on campus.

Now, I wouldn’t mind if active shooter specific training was required to allow this right – I am all in favor of more training and instruction. In fact, I believe increased training and instruction in the safe handling of firearms and their use in self-defense to be greatly beneficial both for potential CHCL carriers on campus and for all.

This brings us to another matter – a sign posted prohibiting guns will not prevent anyone with nefarious intent from bringing a gun anywhere. Only law-abiding citizens are stopped by such signs, and other similar measures, – and these are the ones who pose no threat to the safety of others but instead could help promote it.

In all this, I believe the gun control solution lies not in taking away guns, but in promoting well-informed gun use by responsible, law-abiding citizens.

Personally I see this topic in multiple different ways and two key parts I believe are who is buying the gun, and for what reason. By answering these two questions I feel like in some way we will be able to limit the negative outcomes.

~ Junior Olivia Stokes

The basis for most gun control advocates is the idea that it'll prevent future violent crimes from occurring; though, they make a solid argument if the perpetrators of such crimes are obviously criminals. If you knew someone had a gun, are you going to commit a crime against them or others near them? No, of course not! To disarm law-abiding citizens is not only violating their 2nd Amendment rights, but making them more prone to becoming victims of such crimes and atrocities.

~ Sophomore Alejandro Mendoza

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