By Saeed Villanueva |Staff Writer|
People are split on the issue of gun control in California after the recent shooting at North Park elementary.
The recent school shooting in which a teacher and an 8-year-old child lost their lives is just another incident in which gun violence has affected the community.
The perpetrator, Cedric Charles Anderson, used a high caliber revolver and had a history of domestic abuse, weapons arrest, and drug possession, according to police reports.
According to state law, any person who has had a prior misdemeanor charge receives a 10-year ban from purchasing a gun and a lifetime ban for convicted felons.
California is one of the more strict states when it comes to gun laws and has been a heavily discussed topic of debate.
State law only allows licensed California firearms dealers who possess a valid Certificate of Eligibility to sell firearms as well as requiring a 10 day waiting period to obtain their gun.
During the 10 day waiting period, an eligibility background check is conducted to make sure that the purchaser is not prohibited from lawfully possessing firearms.
This raises questions on how a person who had a criminal history had a gun at his disposal.
“Criminals don’t follow laws. If someone wants to do something they are going to find a way to do it no matter what,” said Peter, a local gun shop owner, who requested that his identity remains undisclosed.
Gun shop owners in the area believe it is unfair that we have these rigorous laws, despite the ongoing firearm violence in the city.
They often see the violence as a product of culture rather than what the laws are.
“Too strict, why can’t I have the same laws as everyone else? You should be able to have the right to protect yourself, look at Chicago they have some of the biggest gun related deaths yet they have strict laws too,” said Peter.
Owners who feel like California laws are too strict often point to other states as examples of how the rules should be here.
One example is Arizona, one of the most lenient states when it comes to gun laws. There is no waiting period, background check or license required to purchase a gun.
“It’s way too strict here, look at how quick it is in Arizona, there are no loops or boundaries. It shouldn’t be this difficult to purchase a weapon,” said George, a gun salesman from a local outdoors store, who requested his identity remain undisclosed.
Advocates for stricter laws feels the issue go beyond what the current laws are.
“I believe the media tends to bring up the issue only when tragedies happen yet every other day they fail to address the topic at all,” said student Connie Meija.
“It only leaves us to think that perhaps the only way the government will ever do something to enforce stricter restrictions is if massively destructive were to occur,” continued Meija.
It’s a tricky subject because gun violence does not always correlate with the laws in a particular state.
The ongoing debate will continue on whether the state is doing enough to prevent tragic events from happening to the community.