GUN CONTROL 12
Theunprecedented rise in gun violence cases in the United States hasresulted in a widespread debate on how to implement checks andcontrols regarding the use of guns, especially in schools. Both thefederal government and various states have attempted to createdifferent forms of legislations aimed at addressing this problem.However, the existing Constitutional provisions have been used topostulate and advance contradicting positions(McGinty et al. 2014).Americans who support the anti-gun control stance, for example, arguethat gun ownership is a Constitutional right that is guaranteed toall based on the Second Amendment. Proponents of these laws statethat possession of a firearm should be permitted to ensure theprotection of its owner (Pew Research Center, 2016). A contraryopinion is held by the pro-gun control group which holds the beliefthat guns are the foundation of violent altercations in theeducational institution and contributes immensely to the increase incrime. Furthermore, they believe that gun control laws go a long wayin reducing the number of illegal firearms available on the streetand away from the hands of people who may be of unsound mind and notauthorized to use them (Rotherham, 2016). This essay discusses guncontrol and its application in the running of the nation by payingparticular attention to students. The paper also discusses why thetopic is newsworthy and provides my perspective concerning the saidsubject. The presentation argues that although gun control isformidable, it should be implemented using workable legislations
TheIssue of and Why It Applies to Students
Therecent school shootings and upsurge in cases of violence in Americanschools prompted President Obama to propose comprehensive firearmlegislation. These regulations, consisting of an Executive Order andlegislative proposals, were meant to limit the number of citizens whomet the legal threshold as concerns buying and possession of guns.The directive also specified the type of rifles that can be availedfor purchasing (Seaman, 2017). President Obama proposed to Congress aset of stringent laws aimed at implementing strict controls on thepossession, use, and purchase of guns. In fact, many believe thatthese laws, if passed, could have been the most thorough since thoseenacted after the assassination Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ThroughCongress, the anti-gun control activists opposed many of therecommendations brought forth thereby, stalling the implementation ofthe said laws. It follows that the federal government could notmarshal necessary support in Congress to pass these important laws.The Senate also rejected critical elements of the proposed federallegislation(McGinty, Webster, Jarlenski, & Barry, 2014).These rules included the provisions for background checks, a ban onrapid-firing assault weapons and limiting the size of ammunitionclips.
Thelack of effective gun control laws has made the topic one of the mostcontroversial political subjects. Thousands of people die due touncontrolled gun violence (Seaman, 2017). There have been severalattempts to put in place several gun control legislations in thecountry. Sadly, none of these have achieved the desired impactthereby failing to arrest the situation. Statists disclose that closeto thirty thousand Americans, for example, died in the year 2000 dueto uncontrolled gun violence. Of more concern was the fact thatschools have not been spared from the negative impact of gun violenceand shootings. A prime example of this is the 2007 Virginia TechUniversity which to date remains the deadliest on campus gun violencerecorded in United States history (Rotherham, 2016).
Someof these shootings have compelled states to enact stringent lawsconcerning gun possession. Some states are in the process alsoconsidering reasons why they should pass legislation to allow guns oncampuses. The major question that arises is whether having guns oncampuses will help to protect students and faculty members across thecountry. The different states have demonstrated varying positionsconcerning legislations on guns. Some like Kansas and Arkansas applythe law that carrying a concealed weapon is perfectly reasonable andallowed on campuses. Seventeen other states have similar legislations(Pew Research Center, 2016). In addition to this, twenty-three stateshave toyed with the decision whether to either permit or reject lawsconcerns weapons. The decision to authorize or scrap concealedfirearms and other weapons on campuses is the prerogative of anindividual college or university. The management is, therefore,liable for any security breaches that may occur within theinstitution. Some of these states include Maine, Kentucky, Arizona,Rhode Island, Washington, and Virginia just to name a few.Conversely, states like Connecticut that recently witnessed anincident of a school shooting have passed stringent state legislationaimed at gun control (Seaman, 2017). These provisions are in essenceconsidered to be the toughest in the country and include theestablishment of a statewide dangerous weapon offender registry,banning the sale of large-capacity magazines, a ban on assaultweapons, and universal background checks on gun sales.
Thesestringent provisions are designed to resolve the problem and to putin place gun control measures that will protect students on campusesand other educational facilities. It further expounds the point thatgun control laws do not necessarily apply to both arms of government.Different levels of administration use varying forms of legislationin matters concerning weapons. The regulation indicates thatparticular guns cannot be made available and that while purchasingone, the need for background checks is necessary. Additionally, therewould be restrictions on who is permitted in the acquisition of a gunbecause some individuals may not be in their right state of mind. Guncontrol laws are in essence meant to ensure that guns or otherweapons do not land in the hands of people of unsound mind.Permitting mentally unstable individuals to possess and bear arms isdisastrous, especially in campuses holding huge student populations(Seaman, 2017). A vivid picture of what would happen if a facultymember in possession of a gun runs amok and starts shootingindiscriminately and aimlessly. Such a scenario is hard tocomprehend. Safety is, therefore, essential and necessary forstudents on campus in addition to other areas in their lives,including their homes. Guns on campus compromise their security andsafety. This is evident with danger not only exposed to the onehandling the gun, but also to those in proximity to the saidindividual. The security threat may also affect all people present atthe facility.
Schoolsand colleges have always been considered as safe havens. However,when shootings take place in these facilities, many get concerned. A2006 joint report by the U.S. Justice Department and EducationDepartment found that at least fifteen times as many murders of youngAmericans, aged between five and eighteen years happened away fromschools (Rotherham, 2016). Therefore, schools and campuses are safehavens that should not permit the possession of guns. This emphasizesthe point that gun control laws are not only important but relevantto all Americans. The report further states that schools continue towitness low homicide and suicide rates compared to campuses. One mayattribute this trend to the legal provisions that exist in differentstates. As noted above, all states have laws that allow concealedweapons on campuses. Again, eight states have provisions thatauthorize the carrying of weapons on public post high schoolcampuses.
Backedby the different court decisions, the ban on carrying concealedrifles has been lifted in state colleges and university campuses(Seaman, 2017). For example, the Supreme Court in Colorado stated ina 2012 ruling that the university’s policy of prohibiting guns onits campus violated Colorado’s laws on concealed carryinglegislation. Additionally, the Court of Appeal in Oregon overruledthat the system used by Oregon University to place a ban on weaponson its campuses violated various statutes. The court argued that thestate’s Higher Education Board permitted institutions to establishtheir policies, including whether to sanction or allow the possessionof concealed weapons on their facilities. Imperatively, these rulingsreveal that state and federal legislatures have the power to controlthe sale, and ownership of weapons (Rotherham, 2016). The courts werecategorical that the universities and their systems had overstretchedtheir authority in enacting the bans. Therefore, these state rulingsand legislations prove that gun control laws and rights remain someof the most divisive homeland security issues for both state andfederal governments.
Gunrights and gun control lobbyists in the country have requested theCongress to create legislations that favor each side of theirarguments. Furthermore, these laws govern all the three arms of thegovernment. In most instances, various stakeholders on the matterhave not agreed on the kind of legal frameworks that must beestablished to deal with the issue (Rotherham, 2016). For example,between 2008 and 2010, gun control issue reached the highest court inthe country and resulted in landmark rulings that have continued todefine the direction that the debate takes. In 2008, the SupremeCourt, in the case of District of Columbiav. Heller,held that the Constitution protects one’s right to own a gun forpersonal use. However, the 5-4 decision only made reference to thefederal laws and failed to address how states and local governmentscan deal with the issue(Doherty, 2017).Therefore, in a ruling declared in 2010, the court indicated that thefederal right to own arms applies to the state and local level. TheNational Rifle Association as the lobby group, hailed the ruling as abreakthrough because the decision did not specify the kind of weaponthat one can own as stipulated in the Second Amendment (Doherty,2017).In my opinion, what arises from these verdicts is that the nation isafflicted by the differing sides of the debate. It is, however,imperative to understand that gun control is an essential nationalissue that affects millions of Americans, especially those attendingcolleges and universities.
Itis factual that over thirty thousand Americans die annually due togun- related violence and crime. Therefore, having stringent guncontrol laws can help in saving lives, especially young lives lost inon- campus shootings in different colleges and universities acrossthe country. Gun control laws have been viewed as a politicallydivisive issue for both proponents and the opposing camp. It sufficesto note that such legislations may not serve the interests of theentire country but a section of the society (Pew Research Center,2016). I believe that gun control laws are an essential component toreducing the overall rate of crime and providing an opportunity tothe law enforcement agents to carry out their duties without anyfear.
Whythe issue of is Newsworthy
My perception of any information that is categorized as news is thatit is aimed at creating public awareness concerning matters thataffect the society. I, therefore, believe that gun control isnewsworthy. We cannot deny the fact that many people die each year asa result of gun-related violence. It is evident that the number ofguns in public hands instigates security threats to both users andnon-users. Illuminating the subject of gun control, therefore, seeksto enlighten the society about the need to monitor the possession offirearms, an issue that significantly affects the security of thestudents and the citizens in the entire nation. Consequently, it canbe stated that gun control is a subject that deserves more attention.
Guncontrol is also a newsworthy topic because it has raised numerouslegislative contentions. As noted earlier, controversies have emergedconcerning whether to control the possession of rifles. A section ofthe society and congressional officials believe that gun controlshould be implemented while another contends this view. The back andforth bickering concerning legislation in Washington and at statelevel implies that gun control will be an incessant debate in thesociety. I believe that it is vital to have stringent rules or tohave regulations that prohibit firearms on campuses. The SupremeCourt rulings and other judicial verdicts have always offeredcontradictory opinions on the topic. Furthermore, when ExecutiveOrders and proposals fail to go through Congressional approval, thenthose in the media need to provide a forum for all to participate andoffer their honest opinions. Gun control laws should not be enactedfor a particular group alone. Therefore, organizations like theNational Rifle Association must ensure that their lobbying is meantto protect an American citizen and not to make them have a market forguns that threaten lives of millions (Jacque, 2017).
Gunviolence is on the rise, particularly in schools. This makes theissues of gun control to be a matter that should capture theattention of the public. I reckon that a good system is one thatasks how to efficiently deal with the problem of gun-based violence,crime, and other outcomes from the sale, possession, and use offirearms. When legislators call such rulings as groundbreaking, theyignore the impact of gun violence on the victims and studentsecurity. Furthermore, such flexible laws do not offer practicalremedies to a grave concern, and as such, the gun control issueremains essential to news. It is a broadcast topic meant to informAmericans of the need to understand existing gun laws at state andfederal level and also help them dissect opinions from interestgroups.
MyPerceptive about the Topic
My opinion about the subject is that many people have not understoodwhat gun control means. Although we have witnessed shootings evenamong students, the issue continues to be politicized instead offinding workable solutions to deal with the problem. I think thatmany individuals in our society including legislative officials havenot agreed on the actual meaning of gun control. As, a result, it ischallenging to resolve a problem that is not well understood. It isdifficult to discern whether gun control is about controllingpeople’s behavior or monitoring the possession and use of arms. Forinstance, if a student carries a gun to school and goes ahead to killother scholars, a question can be asked. Is it the possession of theweapon that is wrong or is it the behavior of the student that shouldbe investigated. I believe that the subject of gun control canefficiently be implemented if the politicians and the rest of thepublic fathom what the topic of gun control is all about.
I believe that the right to own a gun is the constitutional right ofevery individual who has attained the legal age and is in a properstate of mind. I support owning the rifle because it aidsself-protection, it safeguards one from tyranny, and it can protectthe community. The fact that I support owning a gun does not meanthat students should have guns. I think that this exposes you peopleto violence. Consequently, I believe that more security checks shouldbe implemented in learning institutions to ensure that students aresafe. As noted earlier, schools and campuses are safe havens thatshould not permit the possession of guns. This therefore implies thatgun control laws are not only important but relevant to allAmericans.
Theabove discussion underscores the fact that gun control is acomplicated debate in our society. It also discloses that thepossession of weapons has significantly affected students due to theincreased number of shootings that have occurred in learninginstitutions in the recent years. Also, the paper takes note of thefact that legislations in existence have not been effective inguaranteeing that gun violence is put to an end. The existing lawsat both the state and federal levels show that gun control measurescannot have a uniform approval across the board. This presentationpropagates that gun control laws must attempt to consolidate theimportant aspects identified at these two jurisdictions and createregulations that are in the best interest of all Americans. Myopinion is that the media should continue focusing on the topicbecause of its importance to the American nation. Gun control isindeed a newsworthy subject. In addition, I believe that studentsshould not carry guns to school. If every learner had a gun, then itcan be argued that the institution no longer serves its purpose. Onecan perceive Universities as military training venues instead oflearning institutes. It is, therefore, imperative for legislators andother stakeholders to acknowledge that control of gun possession isessential. If the laws are efficiently implemented, then I believethat the nation can combat the problem of gun violence.
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