By Brenda Acuna |Staff Writer|
Now more than ever, the issue of gun control has become a controversial topic of national conversation.
In the aftermath of the tragedy that struck Newtown, Connecticut claiming the lives of 20 children and six elementary school employees and the Aurora Colorado massacre, it’s not hard to see that the issue of gun control can no longer be ignored.
There needs to be a common ground between public safety and gun control.
Personally, the belief that increasing gun control is the solution to gun violence is just as short-sighted as believing that there is one universal cure for cancer; death has always been natural to human beings.
Keeping Americans from purchasing firearms is not going to eliminate violence. This does little from refraining the mentally ill or criminals from purchasing them illegally.
Instead, measures for stricter gun trafficking laws should be initiated to prevent individuals from purchasing firearms from the black market. These regulations are necessary to prevent criminals and those with mental illnesses from possessing a firearm illegally.
For me, the right to bear arms is a liberty given to every American; however it is our civic duty to exercise this right responsibly.
A press conference aired last Wednesday unveiling President Obama’s new policies aimed at limiting gun violence.
“While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely…if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try it,” said Obama.
If by increasing gun control we aim to increase our relative safety, the only individuals more likely to be affected are those who possess firearms as a means of recreation or self-defense.
While it seems that people across the nation are in a paranoid panic over the recent increase in shooting incidents, the problem is not the weapons or tools used for murder. The problem is the person who has the tool at their disposal.
Fellow CSUSB student Mario Hernandez shares similar feelings. “I think guns are needed, but we need to oversee who gets them.”
We don’t necessarily need rules to make it harder for people to get them, but we do need to keep them away from criminals and those who are mentally ill.
Upon tackling this issue, I went to Turner’s Outdoorsman, a local gun store located on West Orange Show Rd. in San Bernardino to familiarize myself on how to obtain a hand gun.
In California, a valid California identification card, a second proof of residence and a basic safety test must be taken in order to purchase a hand gun.
The serial number on the hand gun must be registered and the purchaser must be free of restraining orders, free of felonies and cannot be a present or former mental patient.
While the National Rifle Association (NRA) claims that increased security is necessary in schools to protect children, schools should not have to be armed fortresses. Keeping guns out of the wrong hands is the best way to control and prevent gun violence.
The truth of the matter is, we can never eliminate violence. But gun ownership and public safety need to coexist.