Virginia Tech, Columbine and Newtown: a bleak record of gun violence at the college, high school and elementary level.
Now I know there are many other elements to the shootings that tragically took place inside these educational systems, but these incidents in particular perpetuate a heated debate on gun control.
The Founding Fathers saw fit to protect the people’s right to bear and keep arms right after they were free to speak their mind about their government and worship whichever god they choose. Today, these two amendments seem to oppose each other instead of lining up in the neat equation that the early patriots inscribed to give our country a fair and balanced future.
On a talk radio show, an avid National Rifle Association member compared his reaction to the recent tightening of gun control in certain states to “a liberals outrage if their freedom of speech was ever threatened.”
Well perhaps I am un-American, because this comparison is ineffective to describe the current situation between lawmakers, gun violence victims and NRA enthusiasts.
In the Midwest, gun laws fit the popular pastime of hunting. In Minnesota, people are allowed to purchase handguns with a permit after taking a course. In North Dakota, people are able to purchase handguns or rifles without a permit. Although all gun owners must complete a background check. No felons are allowed to purchase or have a gun in any state. No one is allowed to carry guns in or near schools.
President Obama is currently rallying for stricter regulations such as “limiting access to guns and certain types of ammunition.” The president also seeks to make mental-healthcare more attainable and increase federal funds for both research and law enforcement. The president believes this plan will “help prevent mass shootings while reducing the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country.”
Now, to me, these restrictions are perfectly reasonable. Unfortunately, I don’t understand why anyone would need a large powerful weapon just for sport? I think Nerf guns would be just as enjoyable.
But I must admit I may have some biases. I grew up in a small rural community in South Dakota where half the boys in school would be gone during opening weekend to hunt deer. However, I have never gone hunting or even shot a gun in my entire life. The only gun my father owned was the one his father left him, an old-double barrel shotgun, that he would shoot into the air if a coyote got too close to our front yard on the farm.
My lack of knowledge of the hunting sport or any other shooting hobby may render my opinion useless on this particular topic. But the sheer violence we experience from day-to-day due to disagreements or disturbed individuals is staggering. Having easy access to guns only increases danger in our unstable world.
Sporting fanatics and hunters alike can keep their guns, provided they are approved and certified to have them.
For more information, check out this infograph on gun legislation in the US: http://gu.com/p/3d43m
BY APRIL KNUTSON