In wake of recent mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas, the national debate over gun control has been reignited.
“I believe that gun control is a huge issue mainly because I see new gun incidents every week on the news,” said freshman Laurent Ludwig. “Many small ones occur every day that us citizens don’t hear or know about.”
Ludwig’s family has also known individuals who have been personally affected by shootings.
“My mom is a doctor and she has patients who have been affected by gun [violence],” she said. “One guy was shot in the abdomen as a teenager and can’t walk any more.”
Thus, Ludwig believes that America should look to other countries for examples of effective gun control legislation.
“In France, citizens can only buy hunting rifles that have very low ammo per clip,” she said. “These are designed for hunting game. Thus, harder to use to murder a mass number of people. In addition, to own such a hunting rifle, one must have a hunting license which takes quite a while. All of these steps can dramatically reduce mass shootings.”
At the same time, freshman Mia Carracedo has family and friends who own guns for the purpose of protection and recreation.
“It’s really a question of people’s thoughts versus what the law says”
“My own family owns guns for protection, but most of the people I know use guns for recreational purposes inside of a shooting range,” she said. “This is my personal experience, but I also know of people that do just carry around guns because it’s seen to be a street cred type of situation.”
Although Carracedo knows gun owners, she doesn’t agree that they should be allowed to carry their guns.
“Guns kill people. People are being allowed to carry around things that can kill people,” she said. “See anything wrong with the picture?”
America has had a long and challenging history regarding gun control. The Second Amendment states, “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.” Many people are divided on where to draw the line.
Government and Economics teacher Kevin Nelson shares his views.
“The intent [of the Second Amendment] was to create a protection of rights of individuals to defend themselves,” he said. “It’s really a question of people’s thoughts versus what the law says. Most people who don’t understand what it says have different opinions on it because of what they want.”
Back in 2016, California politicians pushed through Proposition 63, which required background checks for ammunition sales and banned the sale of magazines that can store more than 10 rounds.
However, on May 17, the California Rifle and Pistol Association and five residents living in San Diego County filed a lawsuit against General Xavier Beccaria, arguing that Proposition 63 is a violation of the Second Amendment.
U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez has implemented a temporary ban on this and says Proposition 63’s section on large-capacity magazines is likely unconstitutional because it “burdens the core of the Second Amendment by criminalizing the mere possession of these magazines that are commonly held by law-abiding citizens for defense of self, home, and state.”
“California is pretty anti-gun,” Nelson said. “However, there are people who are pro-gun democrats.”
He discusses why Proposition 63 may not work out as planned even though the majority voted in its favor.
“People keep deflecting the main issue. They keep saying blame the shooter don’t blame the gun”
“The majority of the people cannot take rights away from the minority,” Nelson said. “People can’t mandate that against people who do want it.”
The focus of this debate is not always clear.
“People keep deflecting the main issue,” Nelson said. “They keep saying blame the shooter don’t blame the gun. We aren’t having a real discussion on this. Congress has blocked this issue for a long time.”