Taking a Shot at Guns

Photo Courtesy of: theodysseyonline.com

Photo Courtesy of: theodysseyonline.com

Anthony Garcia, Managing Editor

  President Obama used an executive order on Jan 5, 2016, to target mass shootings and force what he thinks is the correct solution on what to do about guns in America. With mass shootings occurring at a staggering pace in America, Obama believes now is the time for action.

    His new plan highlighted how he would like to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining weapons. It also requires the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to demand that any business that does engage in the sale of firearms should obtain a federal license to sell weapons. Additionally, it will require any gun purchaser to have a background check. Failing to obtain a license could put someone in jail for up to five years or even force someone to pay a $250,000 fee.

    Most opposition against Obama’s gun laws are people who believe that it will affect the 2nd amendment, right to bear arms. In some small communities guns hold a symbolic role. In some cases they have been carried down as tradition for generations and hold a deeper significance in culture. Many people hunt for sport or keep weapons for fun and for protection.

    Junior John Krejic and his family own guns.

    “I use guns for hunting, personal protection and a little fun,” said Krejic.

    Regardless of the laws that Obama puts in place, many like John believe that people who want guns, like criminals will find a way to get guns anyways.

    “I believe that no matter how hard guns are to get, criminals will always find a way to get them,” said Krejic.

    School shootings have continued to rise in the past years and this is where there is a lot of the controversy on guns. Shootings like Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, and other cities  have been devastating to the whole nation. CNN reported that after the Newtown shootings, that 90 percent of Americans wanted universal background checks in 2012.

    “On the topic of school shootings, it is not the guns fault, it is the person behind the gun. A gun is a weapon and obviously it can kill, but it is about the education that the person has been given and the safety guidelines they follow,” said Krejic.

     John also believes you should be 18 to purchase a weapon legally.

    “If you can fight and die for your country with a gun in war, then you should be able to buy one,” said Krejic.

     Mr. Obama cited polls that find, “The majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws”.

    Another recent poll says a ban on assault weapons is supported by 70 percent of Democrats but only 48 percent of Republicans.

    Police officer John Spicer has been School Resource Officer (SRO) for two years. He believes that appropriate measures to take on gun laws is to not restrict or make it harder for citizens to purchase legal firearms.

    “Everyone should have a right to own a gun, it is what our founding fathers intended, it is in our constitution,” said Spicer.  

    Spicer is one of many officers that agreed that the people who commit violent crimes are a small percentage of gun owners.

    “Most people have weapons for sporting, collection, as safety, or hobby,” said Spicer,

    The weapons that are used in mass shootings are already normally restricted, in Obama’s new executive order he will likely be making it harder for lawful gun owners from purchase weapons.  

    Officer Spicer does not really think that mass shootings will be less likely after these laws go into effect.

    “The citizens will obey the new laws, it’s that the criminals will find a way,” said Spicer

    One in every twenty people (4.8 percent) approximately 11,113,013 citizens have concealed and carry permits according to crimeresearch.org.

    “With home safety people have to be cautious, a rifle can shoot long distance and can go through walls, you don’t want to hurt a neighbor or someone not involved. Pistols and shotguns have less range so they have a better chance getting less people involved.” Spicer argued.

    The future will be able to give us the best answer when it comes to new laws and regulations. Only time will tell if the laws put in place will be effective. Regulated or not, it’s obvious that this issue will be huge in the coming years and in the 2016 election. We know while Obama hopes to make a positive impact on guns in the United States, Americans love their second amendment, so it is a difficult topic.