Mountain View High School Student Newspaper

The gun control debate should not be a debate

The gun control debate should not be a debate

Jun 1, 2014

 Warning: the following article may be considered offensive and/or impertinent to gun activists and/or those who sanction the heinous assassinations towards youth innocents by a shooter victim to the sexual misogyny and double standard of feminism.

 

Nearly 100,000 people will be shot this year, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 17,000 will be younger than 9 years old. More children today die of gun violence than of cancer. (USA Today)

 

On the night of May 23, a crazed man diagnosed with mental illness, Elliot Roger (22), allegedly stabbed and gunned down six people near the campus of the University of California Santa Barbara. Roger admitted to the act, stating that he did it because women refused to have sex with him.

It’s a tragic story that’s tragically not a rare one.

Common sense would contend that the mentally ill, the reckless, the emotionally distressed, etc. should not have basic access to guns. It is indisputable that too many people who should not own guns, unfortunately, do.

 

It is a measure of a uniquely American insanity that truths so obvious and inarguable are regarded as controversial by many people in this country. For example, Georgia recently enacted a law allowing guns in churches, school zones, bars, government buildings, and even parts of airports.

If the public cannot distinguish between literal and ultimate implications of personal safety that the Second Amendment tries to protect, then the only way to prevent gun-related deaths (manslaughter or malicious) is to stop guns from reaching the wrong hands. The least the public can do is to unanimously come to a middle ground and agree that restrictions are needed, in the interests of innocent noncombatants. Perhaps regulating who has the right to these firearms. De-romanticizing the misinterpreted Second Amendment, maybe. Ignoring NRA or GOA battle cries of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.

 

People with more guns tend to kill more people—with guns. The states with the highest gun ownership rates have a gun murder rate 114% higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates. (Harvard School of Public Health). A hard aluminum machine, yes, cannot consciously end someone’s life. But a person with a gun can, intentionally or accidentally, more often and more efficiently than people without guns.

 

California has the strictest gun control laws in the country, according to the Los Angeles Times. Last December, the state of California had received an A- grade in a state-by-state analysis by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

 

Unfortunately, these laws proved to be no impediment to Elliot Roger, who had legally purchased multiple handguns, several low-capacity magazines, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition legally in advance of his horrific attacks in Isla Vista, California that left six dead and thirteen wounded.

So… how do we stop the next Roger? Do we continue to ignore this issue? How do we react to the next “inevitable” mass shooting? When do we start preventing the next Tuscon shooting? Virginia Tech? The Navy Yard in Washington, the movie theater in Colorado, Sandy Hook Elementary?

How many more kids have to die?

Yujin Chong

Yujin Chong

When Yujin’s not experiencing senioritis, she’s writing for the Oracle. She’s fond of online shopping, traveling, teaching multiculturalism, sipping herbal teas, and daydreaming.

12 comments

  1. MDmom /

    Absolutely right! Thank you for treading where others fear to go.

  2. Anonymous /

    I am very disappointed by the quality of this piece. For one, it is not much of an argument at all– Yujin simply states “It is indisputable that too many people who should not own guns, unfortunately, do” and that it is “insanity” to allow guns in places like airports and government buildings, but she offers no shred of evidence to explain why this is an indisputable insanity.

    Not only does this piece not offer any convincing points, there is a lot of reason to believe that it is simply wrong. For instance, this article (http://stanfordreview.org/article/why-college-campuses-should-allow-concealed-carry/) makes a strong argument against your opinion.

    Yujin– if you feel strongly about an issue, please do your research rather than adding hot air to the conversation. Your writing flows very nicely, but it doesn’t actually say anything.

  3. MrApple /

    She asks, “How many more kids have to die?” I ask how many more laws would have stopped a man, a mentally challenged man, from his killing spree? 10 more? 100 more? 1000 more? This man went through three background checks in one of the most gun unfriendly states in the US. He used CA approved 10 round magazines instead of the “obviously ultra evil high capacity” magazines. I get people’s knee jerk reaction to get rid of the tool used but why is it always firearms that get the one sided treatment? When someone drives drunk and kills, where is the call to ban alcohol or ban vehicles? If someone burns down a house where is the call to ban matches and lighters? Just last week in CA a woman assaulted an elementary school aged child with a hammer. Where is the outrage and the call to “do it for the children” for hammer control? I realize that people want “something done” but why doesn’t it ever get through to the “we need more laws” crowd that laws are for the law abiding and not for the nut-jobs that disregard those laws and go on killing sprees. Furthermore I won’t even get started on the author’s choice at rather understated bias in this article and its focus on the firearms used with just a quick glance at the knife used to kill half of the deceased.

  4. Publius /

    Let’s go through your article paragraph by paragraph and
    pick apart the inaccuracies, shall we?

    “It is indisputable that too many people who should not own
    guns, unfortunately, do. It is a measure of a uniquely American insanity that
    truths so obvious and inarguable are regarded as controversial by many people
    in this country”

    See, the problem with this point is that restricting the
    rights of the many in order to stop a few killings that are a statistical anomaly
    is illogical. Besides, these killers having guns is better than the alternative.
    It’s a good thing we have Hollywood to glorify the firearm as an instrument of
    death, otherwise people would realize that you can kill a whole lot more people
    in less time(and be more likely to escape in order to kill again) if you use
    explosives. Powerful explosives can be constructing using nothing more than
    fertilizer and model airplane fuel. It is a fact that the most deadly school
    slaying was committed with explosives(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster);
    columbine was originally supposed to be a bombing, with the two gunmen shooting
    students fleeing from the wreckage. It is estimated that the death toll at
    columbine would have been larger by as much as 200, had the killers constructed
    their fuses properly.

    “The least the public can do is to unanimously come to a
    middle ground and agree that restrictions are needed, in the interests of
    innocent noncombatants.”

    Once again, restricting the rights of the many for the lives
    of the, almost statistically irrelevant I might add, few is not an idea that
    sits well with the American public.

    “De-romanticizing the misinterpreted Second Amendment”

    Do you know the reason for which the Second Amendment was added?
    I would direct you to Federalist Papers No. 28 and No. 29, in which Alexander
    Hamilton explains the reasons for an armed populace to give you an idea of the
    rationale behind constitutionally recognizing the right of the populace to be
    armed.

    “The states with the highest gun ownership rates have a gun
    murder rate 114% higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates.”

    Let’s not make misleading statements here, what we really
    want to address is murders. I don’t imagine a murder victim would care about what
    implement was used to kill them, it would be more intellectually honest to
    death with total murder statistics. This claim also ignores the fact the people
    living in high crime areas tend to buy guns to protect themselves, so areas
    with lots of crime tend to have quite a few gun owners who own guns solely to
    protect themselves and their families.

    “California has the strictest gun control laws in the
    country, according to the Los Angeles Times. Last December, the state of
    California had received an A- grade in a state-by-state analysis by the Law
    Center to Prevent Gun Violence.”

    So California, one of the most anti-gun states in the union,
    got a high rating by an organization with an anti-gun agenda? What are you
    trying to prove here?

    “Unfortunately, these laws proved to be no impediment to
    Elliot Roger, who had legally purchased multiple handguns, several low-capacity
    magazines, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition legally in advance of his
    horrific attacks in Isla Vista, California that left six dead and thirteen
    wounded.”

    Thus exemplifying the ease by which one can buy a gun even in
    a very anti-gun state. This whole point is moot anyways, since it is very easy
    to build guns from scratch. Just look at Australia, they have a large problem
    with biker gangs who have been armed with garage made submachine guns, even
    though it is incredibly difficult to legally purchase a gun there. Here’s a
    video of the Australian police test firing one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxEHXlYckTY.
    Once you ban guns, all you do is create demand for black market guns, demand
    which can be quickly met by basically anyone with a computer and a drill. Don’t
    believe me? Take a look at some of the plans for yourself: http://thehomegunsmith.com/

  5. Chris /

    Your right …. but for the wrong reasons. It is not a debate. It is a constitutionally protected right held in high regard among millions upon millions of citizens. Proposing to punish tens of millions of citizens for the actions of a few deranged murderers is not fair or just.

    The actions of these murderers causes the crime not the gun. Blaming the NRA or gun owners is ridiculous position. It defies logic and points to political posturing. It does not address the problem. In every case you mention above it ended only after someone with a gun showed up to stop the murderer. A good guy with a gun.

  6. How about starting by limiting the amount of gun free zones. In the military we call places with enmass potential targets with minimal resistance target rich environments. Police response times are not going to improve without massive funding that is not available. The mas murderer in Isla Vista chose his taget locations by a lack of police presence and the fact that anyone in the area posed a minimal threat. He admitted this in his manifesto. Chicago has the highest murder rate in the country and is a perpetual gun free zone. The Aurora CO shooter had 6 theaters within 20 milea of his house yet chose the only one with a posted no firearms policy. The Washington NavalYard is a gun free zone as well. That is how managed to do so much damage with only a shotgun. When you create target rich environments with minimal on site resistance you create a catalyst for anyone wanting to do others indiscriminate harm. Why does no one ask why Shannon Watts and Mike Bloomberg have a full compliment of armed security at all times if their goal is to eliminate people’s ability to defend themselves. Why does the Department of Education have a multi million dollar firearms and ammunition budget but schools are gun free zones. Stop calling for legislation when the current rules arn’t ENFORCED properly.

  7. yardbird1947 /

    Somebody invite this young lady to go to the range.

  8. disqus_iulM4CIA78 /

    We need to look past the guns and look at the root cause of these incidents. Violence.
    As you stated California has magazine limits, waiting periods, “assault weapon” bans, universal background checks, etc. and that did not stop him. We need to focus on the societal issues behind these acts of violence.

    You also forgot to cite that gun ownership is at an all time high and the crime rate is at historic lows.

  9. TexTopCat /

    “Common sense would contend that the mentally ill, the reckless, the emotionally distressed, etc. should not have basic access to guns. It is indisputable that too many people who should not own guns, unfortunately, do.” OK, so do these people have no right to self protection?
    SInce police have no duty to provide protection to any individual and you want to remove the tools most effective for self defense, who will be responsible for their defense?
    If a person is too dangerous to be allowed to own a gun, then why are they not in a prison or mental facility? They should not be on the street.
    Also, we should be spending much more effort in seeing that citizens are trained and armed so that violent crimes can be STOPPED prior to large body counts. NGZ cause many more innocent victims to be killed.

  10. TexTopCat /

    “People with more guns tend to kill more people—with guns. The states with the highest gun ownership rates have a gun murder rate 114% higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates. (Harvard School of Public Health).” – apples and oranges statement.,

    Here is another Harvard study that comes to a vastly different conclusion:
    http://theacru.org/acru/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counterproductive/

  11. TexTopCat /

    “How many more kids have to die?” – good question. As long as we send our kids to areas where there is no protection from violent criminals probably many more. If the staff was armed at Sandy Hook, there was more than ample time and opportunity to stop Adam Lanza before any child was hurt.

    Here is an example of a school that CARES about students:
    http://bulletsfirst.net/2013/10/15/not-gun-free-and-proud-of-it-texas-school-puts-up-best-sign-ever/

  12. Proud Freshman Parent /

    As a newcomer to the US, and having my daughter attending high school here, gun control has never left my mind.
    Saying that *guns don’t kill people* was never a valid statement. You could as easily say “grenades/tanks/bazookas/bombs don’t kill people” and you’d instantly realize the flaw in this logic.
    The point is, every nation has to draw a line on what is reasonable to have as a personal defense weapon. Gradually disarming is the only feasible path to minimize the damage; limiting the number of guns each person can have could be the next step.
    This will not make us 100% safe instantly but at least we will have less casualties from year to year. And that means progress; slowly but still.

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