The Lakeland Mirror

Point Counterpoint – Should there be stricter gun control laws?

Signs+like+these+can+be+seen+all+around+campus+reminding+visitors+that+weapons+are+prohibited+from+the+area.
Signs like these can be seen all around campus reminding visitors that weapons are prohibited from the area.

Signs like these can be seen all around campus reminding visitors that weapons are prohibited from the area.

Heather Ross

Heather Ross

Signs like these can be seen all around campus reminding visitors that weapons are prohibited from the area.

Karalee Manis and Heather Ross

 

In light of the recent rash of mass shootings, gun control restrictions have again come into question. Some wonder about access regarding who should be able to have them and where they should be allowed. Our reporters argue the issue in this special edition of the Point Counterpoint argument.

 

Karalee Manis

It’s no secret that there has been an alarming amount of gun violence this year, most especially in the form of mass shootings.

A variation of the following questions is subsequently on a lot of minds when these events occur: How could this have happened and how did these people obtain access to these guns?

A typical, though ultimately unrealistic, response by most is to want to ban guns outright.

The polar opposite response tends to fall along the lines of one of the possible preventative solutions, in hindsight, that was given after the incident at Sandy Hook happened, in which an elementary school was the sight of a mass shooting in Dec. 2012: If the teacher’s had guns, this would have/could have been prevented.

Neither opposing thought is really the answer, if there even is one.

For these types of tragedies to be prevented, yes, there should be harsher restrictions for those seeking to obtain firearms.

In my mind, there is no logical reason for an average citizen to own a semi-automatic gun. Why would one need such a powerful weapon? Certainly not for ‘home protection’ does one need an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the same gun used in both the Sandy Hook and recent San Bernardino mass shootings.

This country is never going to outlaw guns and even if it tried, there are far too many circulating around for such an undertaking to ever really work.

The only solution has to be regulation. No, it’s not perfect, and yes, it will still be wrought with flaws and will not always succeed.

But we have to do something so that people cannot obtain these weapons as easily as they have.

We can’t just allow anyone to have a gun and hope that this will work as a deterrent and act of protection for when that crazed person with a gun comes to the building in which they happen to be, fully expecting it to happen. This doesn’t address the problem; it only submits to it and goes the path of reaction not prevention.

There is a clear logic here and it does not involve the ludicrous idea that more people should have guns. If we want less shootings, we need less guns; it’s as simple (and complicated) as that.

 

Heather Ross

Another shooting of innocents, slaughtered, like lambs in a fold when attacked by wild beasts.

Politicians and others cry for gun control. Others call for denying other civil liberties to certain groups based on the demographic of the most recent killer(s).

Yet an interesting fact remains. Most of these vile events take place in areas where the murder weapon wasn’t ‘allowed’ to be: school zones, cities or states with tight gun control laws and now a developmental disabilities facility.

It is obvious that the perpetrators aren’t respecting the laws against bringing a gun into these places.

So, what to do, we wonder, as we wring our hands, cry and pray?

I find myself wondering when will the people of this country wake up to their individual responsibilities to be prepared to defend themselves, their loved ones and the helpless among us?

Our founding fathers recognized both the need and the right of each citizen to be prepared to fight in defense of home and country. Recognizing that along with the right to own property came the right to defend that property, the right to bear arms was included in the U.S. Constitution.

Just as, except in cases of severe hardship or disability, it is up to each individual to procure sustenance for himself, it is also up to each individual to know how to defend himself and his home.

The police, limited in number, are not able to be everywhere. It takes a minimum of several minutes, usually quite a bit more, for law enforcement to get to any given location.

A lot of damage can be done to the people inside a building during the lag time between first encounter and police arrival. It really is important that each one of us have the means and the skills to protect and defend ourselves from attack.

Yet laws, rather than supporting our rights to self-preservation, are keeping us from being able to defend ourselves on campus, in schools, in malls, in courthouses, etc.

Where is the uproar? Why do the citizens of this country not demand that those charged with the care of our most vulnerable – children, students, the elderly and disabled – be prepared to protect those under their care?

Instead, we create “gun free zones,” which are doing nothing but keeping the law-abiding from being able to provide first-responder defense.

As we repeatedly witness, those whose intent is to kill others will not be stopped by any such zones, especially when they know they may now walk into a room full of the unarmed but law-abiding.

We know from sad experience that teachers will sacrifice their lives in an effort to save the children. Would they be equally willing to sacrifice their unrealistic anti-gun bias?

At the very least, teachers, caregivers and judges should be given the opportunity to be armed and trained to protect themselves and the people under their stewardship.

This would help even the playing field and protect the most vulnerable among us.

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Point Counterpoint – Should there be stricter gun control laws?