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Column

“Guns have evolved significantly, the rules governing them need to evolve as well.” —Jessica Fisher, Science teacher

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Play staff members discuss

Enough is enough

Story by Casey Loving f you have opened Facebook, turned on the television or stepped outside in the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard some of the same arguments against gun control you’ve heard a thousand times. And, to make a long story short, I am sick of it. I’m sick of hearing excuses for why these shootings keep happening. I’m sick of hearing about thoughts and prayers. I’m sick of having shootings be the new norm, like they should be something that we just need to get used to. I’m sick of having the same conversations go around over and over again in circles with no real progress. I’m sick of guns. Before I get into my greater points, I would like to address first and foremost that I am not calling for a gun ban. You can put your second amendment arguments back in your holster, because I believe in the Bill of Rights just as much as the next guy. I’m a journalist. That’s my bread and butter. I do, however, believe that it would be irresponsible for anyone to see the current situation and say that gun control isn’t something that should be discussed. You can say the same excuses I’ve heard a thousand times all that you want, but the biggest outlier you’ll find with what’s happening here and what’s not happening in other countries is a lack of regulation. It seems like some people will try to blame anything other than a gun for the shootings recently. I’m sure everybody has heard someone blame bullying, mental illness or violent movies and video games for the state we’re in. All of these are used as scapegoats rather

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Caught in than blame falling on any true causes to the problem, but they don’t hold up in the slightest. Go look at the movies on my shelf and ask me how many guns I own. I’m sure most of us have been bullied at one point or another, but how many of us think of taking another student’s life? And I might not be mentally ill, but why should someone with a mental illness get their hands on an AR-15 so easily in the first place. Another common defense I hear for guns is that without them we won’t have anything to defend ourselves with, as criminals would still get weapons. I get it, anyone who brings a loaded weapon to school probably isn’t too concerned with following the law in the first place. But that doesn’t mean we should make it easy for them. Just because you think you’re going to lose a race doesn’t mean you should run it on crutches. In fact, you really shouldn’t need a weapon as dangerous as an AR-15 for self defense. It’s not like we’re doing much defense now anyway. Perhaps the dumbest argument I hear against gun control is that cars kill a lot more people than guns, and we don’t regulate them. I don’t know if anyone who’s made this selective point has ever bought a car, but if they did they would know that we regulate them plenty. If guns were regulated nearly as much as cars, it’d be a massive step in the right direction. Now, onto the point that haunts every gun-control activist’s dreams and Facebook pages. “Guns don’t kill people, PEOPLE do!” A gun is a weapon designed to harm. Sure some people use them for sport,

but there is no argument against the fact that a gun was made to hurt. Of course it’s the shooters fault for wanting to use the weapon in such a way, but there’s no reason for us to hand them the tools. There are plenty of countries that have better gun control than America, and I’m sure none of them have this conversation day in and day out. In Japan, you must go through rigorous tests and procedures to own a gun, and even then very few are allowed. We don’t see them blaming “Grand Theft Auto” for weekly shootings, because weekly shootings aren’t a thing there. The bravery of these kids coming out of Parkland is astounding. To speak with such passion, to not be bullied by the media or authority figures, to stare down one of the greatest debates in our country and say it’s wrong is inspiring to me and something I could only hope to do. They’re standing up for what they believe in, regardless of consequences, as I plan to do with the upcoming national walkouts for gun control. I don’t know that I could put my name on this story if I weren’t willing to face those consequences for what I believe in. I’m well aware that there is nothing I can say to sway some people to my side. If you like guns, chances are I can’t convince you to make them harder to get. With students getting shot at their own schools and shootings becoming little more than a common occurrence, I have to ask: When does it stop being worth it? When do you forget about your hobby and acknowledge that something has to change, even if you don’t like it? I’m sorry, but right now “thoughts and prayers” aren’t enough. So let’s stop just thinking and praying. Let’s do something.n

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March 2018  

March 2018  

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