Gun control has once again been pushed to the forefront of national politics with the recent Sandy Hook incident in Newtown, Ct. There are many different viewpoints on how the U.S. should address gun control, or if they should address it all.
On Monday, Feb. 25, the Shippensburg University History Club (SUHC) hosted a discussion on gun control. Many students in attendance shared their thoughts on the issue.
Those who do not favor gun control will first cite the Second Amendment, which states all citizens have the right to bear arms.
However, a different approach is that handguns provide the owner with protection in case of home invasion. This is related to the CASTLE law, which stipulates that the persons occupying the house may use deadly force, including handguns and other weapons, to defend themselves.
The argument, then, is that if handguns are banned, defending one’s home becomes a lot more difficult.
With any debate comes opposing views, and there were students who believed that stricter regulations toward gun control would benefit the nation and its citizens. For these students, assault weapons were the main point of contention.
Merriam-Webster defines assault weapons as “any form of automatic or semiautomatic firearm; especially assault rifles.”
Assault rifles are particularly dangerous, and many students felt as though there should be stricter regulations in order to prevent incidents such as Aurora, where people were shot in a movie theater in Colorado, or the more recent Newtown shootings.
However, there was one point on which all students present agreed: education.
“There should be more information available on gun control, guns and assault as well as more constructive outlets for children to let out their pent–up anger and frustration,” SU junior Krista Williams said.
Williams’s views were seconded by other students who suggested that state or even national governments should set up gun education programs.
The main take-away from the SUHC debate is that American society needs to change in its perceptions of guns, gun violence and gun control.
Currently the federal and state governments are debating how to proceed, if at all, with gun control legislation.
Gun control will always be a point of contention, but students were able to voice their opinions in a welcoming environment, regardless of whether those opinions were shared.