Comprehensive Gun Control: Just An Illusion?

When gun control laws come to my mind I think about school shootings like Sandy Hook or Columbine, about the gang shootings that occurred not too long ago outside of a church during a funeral or about the long list of mothers that come on the news what seems like everyday telling their story of losing their child to gun violence and begging for stricter gun control laws.

After seeing or even thinking about what the families are going through it makes me wonder what the government is waiting for. But logically thinking it’s not that easy to pass comprehensive gun control laws.

When our president is sworn in he swears to protect the Constitution of the United States which includes protecting the Second Amendment that give us the right to keep and bear arms.

Because of the recent mass shootings, gun control is an issue that is quickly escalating, but how many of us have ever really considered how many people in the United States own guns and how many people actually die from them?

According to the Congressional Research there were around 310 million guns including handguns, rifles, or shotguns. In the census also revealed that 8,583 people were killed from a firearm in 2011.

Barbara Cascio, or as many of us know her, “Officer Friendly,” is now retired, but was an officer for the Franklin Park Police Department for 30 years. As an officer she did everything from serving as a patrol officer, to a detective, to a liaison officer here at East Leyden until she finally retired as a Deputy Chief in 2010.

During her long police career, she encountered guns on a daily basis. For an officer a gun is not only seen a protection but also as a defense tool that helps reinforce their authority.

In 1986 she was shot at while in a residential area, yet despite some close calls, she said she’s not as worried about the number of guns currently on the streets as she is with how easy it is for people to acquire guns.

Making it illegal to have a firearm sounds like a good idea to those of us who live in the suburbs because we can just go to our local grocery get buy a fresh cut steak and such. But we never stop to think that there are people that hunt for a living or in order to provide for their families. Making guns illegal would leave them without a job and in some instances, food for their families.

”I believe, that for people who use weapons to hunt for food, it is completely acceptable to use guns because it becomes an occupation and the weapon is seen more like a tool than an actual weapon,” senior Brandon Ortiz said.

Another thing that not many us think about is what owners of a shooting range or gun shop would do if a law was passed making it illegal to sell firearms. They would have no business and we would have no means of protection. I’m not saying we should have the right to pull out a gun and shoot someone the second we get into an argument. But what about if someone breaks into your house? I wouldn’t just want to stand there and watch my family be killed when I have the opportunity to do something and protect the ones I love. Like the recent ad that targeted the president’s daughters. Why should they be allowed to have secret service that carries firearms, yet a father or a single mother would be denied that right to protect their child?

“It is strictly my belief that guns should only be allowed to be carried by law enforcement and military personnel with the possible exception with allowing people to properly possess a gun in one’s own home,” Cascio said.

So what does the perfect gun control law include?

“I am a proponent of much stricter gun laws: I believe that if you posses a gun illegally it should be mandatory jail time,” retired police officer Cascio said. “I also believe the backround checks are not sufficient in regards to people purchasing guns.”

Of course depending on who you talk to you’ll always get a different response about what a gun control law should include. From a former police officer you could predict that they want stricter gun control laws because of what they encounter while on duty.

When talking to someone that doesn’t encounter those situations, their thoughts are completely different.

“All gun control laws across the nation should be completely the same to ensure secured constitutional rights for all Americans; although, sales of automatics should be made illegal because they are unnecessary and reckless,” Ortiz said.

I believe that we have a constitutional right to have and keep guns and it shouldn’t be taken away,” he added.

I believe that there is no perfect gun control law because we can’t make one law without affecting someone in a negative way. After hearing from both sides I am still very indecisive of what should be done about gun control.

I can understand now that it’s not that simple to make guns illegal although those heart breaking stories do leave an emptiness in my heart every time I see them on T.V.

I now take into consideration the people that make a living off guns and the officers that need them to keep us safe.

Therefore, I think that lawmakers should take everything into consideration and work to create gun control laws that take into consideration people’s varying living conditions.

Which gun control law would you support?

  • Stricter background checks (31%, 11 Votes)
  • Making the requirements to own a gun stricter (31%, 11 Votes)
  • Guns only being available to law enforcement (14%, 5 Votes)
  • Different restrictions depending on where you live (14%, 5 Votes)
  • Making guns illegal (11%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 36

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