August 10, 2022

Point/Counterpoint: Gun control in America


This archived article was written by: Kevin van der Spek and Frank Saccomanno

Stop the gun control myths


America needs to protect the right to live before anyone else dies. The only way to do that is to debunk myths about control and see that preventing guns from getting into schools should not only be bipartisan, but also the only way to effectually save people’s lives. Adding guns to school only adds to the problem. America needs to asks itself how many more children need to die before we do something about this?
During a PBS News Hour in 2016, Barack Obama was holding a town-hall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana. After it was over, he took questions from the audience. A local gun shop owner, by the name of Doug Rhude, asked the president to speak on what he called “common sense gun laws.” He wanted to know why Obama wanted to control gun production and selling instead of treating gun laws like America treats drinking and driving laws, holding guilty people responsible. I believe the main focus of the question is to point out that not all gun-owners are bad.
Obama debunked the myth that gun control means taking guns away from people. He said the NRA uses this myth to gain support among people, and what he really wanted was common-sense gun laws. Also, Obama was in a meeting in the situation room, where they talked about people in America that are known ISIS sympathizers and that there was nothing they could do to make sure these people did not get guns. Obama also said the NRA rhetoric that makes people think we are going to take away guns is not true.
Andrew Pollack is the Father of a victim of the Florida school shooting, where seventeen people here killed and fifteen injured. He told President Trump that these school shootings should have been solved. Thanks to the mispresenting of gun laws pushed by the NRA and other conservative bodies, Pollack will be going to a cemetery to visit his child for her birthday and holidays. Pollack raises a very good question, “How many children have to get shot?”
How many more Sandy Hooks, Vegas massacres, Florida school shootings have to happen before the NRA realizes that gun control is a bipartisan issue? How many more graves need to be dug before people see the real impact weapons like the AR-15 cause on society? Effective gun control is a necessity, before the next shooting happens.
People are saying we should arm teachers to protect children. To this, I say no. That is adding more variables to an already unpredictable situation. The only way to be able to reach the best outcome is to gain control, which is impossible by adding variables. As an example, where would the guns be kept that students cannot reach them? Will a gun be in every class room? What if a fire alarm is pulled before the shooting starts? Will there be gun in the hallways? What if the shooter knows where the guns are and kills the teachers before they to get to them? There are so many more questions that would have to be answered before the debate on effective teach gun relationships can be brought to the table that the inviable outcome is many people dying before teachers are made aware there is a shooting.
Since these questions are impossible to answer, the only answer to school shootings is to prevent them through effective gun control that is being blocked by the NRA.
Also, giving teachers guns is a reaction-based suggestion. This means, that for a teacher to feel it is needed for them to pull out a gun, people need to die. People who advocate for reaction based policy are saying that their right to own an AR-15 is more important than these children’s right to live.

Arm yourself against evil


In light of the recent Florida shooting and the shooting in Las Vegas, the left is pushing an agenda of extreme gun control. Since the Florida school shooting, democratic law-makers further pushed the ban of “military style” semiautomatic assault weapons. Democrats and the left blame the easy accessibility that citizens have to assault weapons, in particular the AR-15, to the mass shootings that recently happened. Many gun control advocates believe these types of weapons should not be in the hands of the average citizen.
However, there is one side of the argument that is not as glorified in the media as gun control, the idea that the Second Amendment can stop mass shootings.
In 1982, the city council of Kennesaw, Georgia passed a mandate requiring every household to own at least one firearm. Nelson, Georgia, and Nucla, Colorado recently passed similar laws. While, yes, these towns are small in population and everyone being mandated to own a gun is a bit extreme, it brings a new idea on gun control into the debate.
Donald Trump recently held a discussion allowing victims and their families to speak freely to him about the issue of gun control. During this discussion, many were pushing for gun control. On Feb. 22, Trump released a statement discussing the idea of giving teachers a bonus for carrying a concealed weapon during school.
Trump said, “We could give teachers a 20 percent, 30 percent, or even a 40 percent bonus if they chose to carry a concealed weapon.” He expressed that it is unreasonable to have security guards in schools because too many would be needed in schools with multiple buildings like the one in Florida.
The issue shouldn’t be “how do we take guns from the hands of criminals,” but instead “how do we put guns in the hands of law abiding citizens and train them to use them properly?” Some argue this point, however, saying “We do not need schools and institutions to be armed because it doesn’t make us safer.” If this were true the White House wouldn’t be armed.
The world is full of armed aggressors and disarmed victims, and if you don’t want to be a disarmed victim, you at least have to be an armed defender. This sounds unsympathetic, but when it comes down to it, there is evil in the world and you can either hide behind laws and policies, or arm yourself against it.

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