Topic of the week: Gun control
Four Daily Wildcat columnists talk about gun control and the Las Vegas shooting.
Now, we need solidarity, not arguments
It’s still too early to jump into a polarized conversation about gun rights. I can call for ending the sale of assault rifles, but that would counter my purpose right now. The sadness those close to me feel is for the people — not the politics in this situation. We all watched videos of thousands of people struggling to escape the rain of gunfire. We knew that in that crowd, close to 60 people were killed; they had probably been excited to go to the concert for weeks.
This news hurt everyone I know, whether it directly affected them or not, whether Republican or Democrat and whether a gun rights supporter or not. Right now, I need to stay open and approachable for all of those close to me, so we can cry together and heal together. Just for a moment, we need prayers and not argument; solidarity and not activism.
By Toni Marcheva
Bring back Federal Assault Weapon Ban
The tragedy suffered in Las Vegas seems to be a part of a reoccurring national nightmare that we have seen over and over again at Sandy Hook, Orlando, Charleston and many other cities across the country. We are left in shock both at the brutality of the violence but also at the seemingly inescapable thought that another shooting is right around the corner. And while we search desperately for answers, the answer can’t be a complete ban on guns, but instead a rededication to the Federal Assault Weapon Ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004, which saw the deaths by mass shootings decline, only to see it return to tragic heights once it was phased out. This tactical ban on assault weapons will both save lives and protect the rights of sensible and experienced citizens to own firearms.
Any attempt to outright eliminate gun ownership will alienate and ignore the many citizens who are concerned about gun safety but worry that their constitutional rights will be trampled. Our nation’s dedication to gun rights must be tempered by a dedication to gun safety and responsibility, but we can’t forget and abandon the liberties enshrined in the constitution. We must instead adapt and grow with the times, no matter how frightening the future may seem.
By Alec Scott
De-arm the police not the people
In light of the recent Las Vegas Shooting, the topic of gun control was bound to come up. No, we should not put more laws into place regarding gun control. The problem is not the guns themselves, and it’s not the laws put into place by the United States government. The problem is the mentally ill, anti-depressant fueled American people and the mainstream media giving incidents like this the time of day. Media publicity of criminal activity will give them an easy claim to fame.
The fun part of all this is that we are in a country contemplating militarizing the deadliest police force in the world and de-arming the public. The harsh reality is we have had 760 people die from mass shootings since 1982 compared to 2,902 police related firearm deaths since the death of Michael Brown in 2014.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” reads the Constitution. Guns are not going away even if they are taken away from the common man. They will always be around in the hands of the government, the government’s goons and criminals. Go ahead, have the media make you feel unsafe and give the government a path to further regulate the purchasing of firearms and violate your rights.
Time for hard decisions on gun control
An informed and responsible society does not affect change by emotional response alone. The shooting in Las Vegas this past Sunday, in which 59 concert-goers were killed, is a clear and visible reminder that this nation struggles with its own brand of home-grown terror. To assert that access to firearms is not a factor in these types of situations is unrealistic at best. It is only a matter of time until municipalities, the various states and possibly the federal government account for this bout of mass killings by passing legislation which attempts to alter the processes associated with purchasing and operating firearms for certain individuals.
Nevertheless, sweeping firearm acquisition laws are not likely on the horizon; as is fair and expected. Let this be made very clear: it's not the place of any American government to dictate absolute prohibition on firearms. Restricting access to firearms for responsible gun-owners in the wake of actions committed by a handful of individuals may be a pertinent political move, albeit, an unpopular and unrealistic one. It is not unreasonable to fault extremists, their actions and even the availability of the weapons they wield. It is unreasonable to expect, or find merit with, actions which would constitute the seizure of the citizens’ right to firearms which we derive from the law of the land.
However, there is a clear disparity here. This is the time for hard decisions. This is not the time to anticipate a major shift in American attitudes towards firearms. The tragic reality of our situation is that the victims of mass shootings rest in unwarranted graves. Their memory ought not be taken lightly or cast aside. For the sake of our neighbors and families we must come to terms with our unfortunate times, get tough, get going and get legislation passed.
By Eric Roshak