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The War on Weapons

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The War on Weapons

Gun control is a rising issue in our society.
(Zitlaly Gonzalez / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

Gun control is a rising issue in our society. (Zitlaly Gonzalez / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

Gun control is a rising issue in our society. (Zitlaly Gonzalez / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

Gun control is a rising issue in our society. (Zitlaly Gonzalez / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

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With 19 people dead due to the recent shootings people are becoming more and more worried about their safety. Gun control has been an issue that has flown under the radar of the public eye. But with the recent events it is seeing the attention it deserves whether it be the countless school walkouts or anti-gun protests.

The reason that guns are becoming a controversy in the U.S isn’t just the matter of whether or not the average person should be allowed to own them it is also how strict the laws regarding them should be. Thanks to a survey we conducted at Lincoln High School we were able to see shocking results. We saw that many students do not know the legal age to purchase weapons. Almost half the surveys participants thought that the legal age to purchase rifles was 21 however, the actual age to purchase is 18.

One controversial aspect of guns in the U.S is background checks while background checks are something believed to be mandatory when buying guns they in fact only take place in Federal licensed dealers transactions. Background checks are not required when purchasing from a private dealer, for example, someone selling at a gun show or buying on the internet. Another grey area in gun laws is state vs federal laws. For example 45 states under federal law allow for open carry while 5 prohibit this thanks to state laws.

In many places around the U.S. there are people who are against any changes in gun laws. To change anything would be a very complex process because many gun owners and gun enthusiast won’t allow it. Not being able to own a gun violates a person’s second Amendment, the right to bear arms.

In response to Governor Scott’s gun control proposal on how we should raise the age to purchase guns, from 18 to 21, Eric Oyola says “I think the laws that we have in place right now are good enough to prevent any crime”. Oyola, an AR-15 dealer, would reject any plans that would target those types of guns. Many gun owners would agree with what he’s said and wouldn’t support any new gun control proposals. Oyola also states, “If you fight for your country, come home and not be able to have an AR-15 or even buy a rifle, I think it’s not fair”.

Many people who own guns keep the guns at home and mostly buy them for protection. There are others who buy guns to use for hunting. Besides people calling for gun regulations it would be hard to pass any legislation in Congress. The National Rifle Association would oppose any changes. Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who has deep ties to the NRA explained his opposition to raising the age limit. People have given many proposals on guns, raising the age limit, having background checks for anyone who buys a gun, and even banning guns all together. Of course there would be huge debate going on and there is.

On the other side of the issue there are many people who demand more control on guns. People are left outraged at the fact that federal laws do not restrict the age to carry firearms. Many are shocked to find out how background checks can be avoided just by buying from a private seller. Learning that the U.S has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among the world’s most developed nations has shocked many that nothing has been done to prevent gun violence.

According to the U.S. gun policy of global comparisons, “As of 2017, there was no federal laws banning semi-automatic assault weapons, military-style .50 caliber rifles, handguns, or large-capacity magazines.” This is a huge problem because it is the people’s right to own a gun… but gladly that right is not unlimited. There are background checks for unlicensed people purchasing a firearm. In an article by CNN Politics, it is said that there are some who even oppose the system for background checks because they say it is ineffective and that’s why they don’t want to expand it. Furthermore, the person purchasing a firearm could be 18 years of age, and research done by the University of Rochester Medical Center says that “The rationals part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.” That means that most 18 year olds aren’t fully mature yet, yet they are being allowed to purchase guns.

Another thing people were debating about, was the president’s call to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons at school. In Pew Research Center it was said that it was narrowly opposed to allow teachers to carry guns. Many Democrats and Republicans had different opinions on this, some were considering it.

It’s up to the public to make sure that the war on guns is resolved in a way that benefits everyone. Like Bob Barr said “It’s not a gun control problem; it’s a cultural control problem”.

Sources:

Wheeler, Lydia. “What Are the Legal Ages for Buying Guns?” TheHill, 23 Feb. 2018, thehill.com/homenews/politics-101/375154-what-are-the-current-age-restrictions-on-guns.

Rosales, Isabel. “Florida Gun Owners React to Governor Scott’s Gun Control Proposal.” WFTS, 26 Feb. 2018, www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-tampa/gunowners-react-to-governors-gun-control-proposal.

“Understanding the Teen Brain .” Understanding the Teen Brain – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center, www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051.

“Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/who-can-have-a-gun/minimum-age/.

Jones, Corinne. “Background Checks on Gun Sales: How Do They Work? – CNNPolitics.” CNN, Cable News Network, 10 Apr. 2013, www.cnn.com/2013/04/10/politics/background-checks-explainer/index.html.

“U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons.” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, www.cfr.org/backgrounder/us-gun-policy-global-comparisons.

Stolberg, Sheryl Gay, et al. “Is This the Moment for Gun Control? A Gridlocked Congress Is Under Pressure.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/25/us/politics/gun-control-congress-governors.html.

“Incident.” Gun Violence Archive, www.gunviolencearchive.org/incident/1049217.

Horowitz, Juliana Menasce. “In 2017, Americans Narrowly Opposed Allowing Teachers and School Officials to Carry Guns.” Pew Research Center, 23 Feb. 2018, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/02/23/in-2017-americans-narrowly-opposed-allowing-teachers-and-school-officials-to-carry-guns/.

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The War on Weapons