Argument By Jazmynn Meaux
The right to own firearms is a highly discussed and debated topic that has ripped through the country and has torn many people apart. Many controversial facts and figures, like the second amendment and stories of heroism through use of guns, are used as evidence by those who argue in favor of keeping the deadly weapons openly available to the public, but is a remote opportunity for heroism worth the lives of hundreds of innocent people?
The second amendment is one of the most commonly used arguments in the fight for guns. Most firearm supporters love to read and quote this amendment; well, only the part that supports their argument. The second amendment, in full, states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The excerpt that most pull out of this is “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” However, the beginning of the amendment clearly points out the need for a well-regulated militia, which the United States already has. The United States military is our well-regulated militia and does protect us, with trained fighters.
One argument used by many is that if guns were restricted, violence would drastically increase due to the fact that no one can defend themselves. However, Australia is a perfect example as to why this argument is simply not true. Since the strict policies on gun control in Australia arose, the firearm homicide rate dropped drastically by 59% and the suicide rate by firearm fell by 65%. This contradicts the argument that violence by guns would increase at all, and supports the argument that casualties from firearms would decrease greatly in the U.S. just as it has in Australia.
Not only is it dangerous for Americans to be able to easily buy and sell guns, the advanced and terrifyingly powerful guns being sold to citizens are extremely dangerous. Recently, upon entering a gun store, I was shocked to see such powerful guns being sold to the general public. A certain firearm captured my eye, a kel tec 12 gauge shotgun- powerful enough to shoot someone’s entire hand off. The only requirements to purchase such a deadly weapon is meeting the age requirement and a quick background check. Anybody twenty one and older with a somewhat clear background can be trusted with such a deadly machine.
This could be the reason for such high death rates due to guns in the United States. From 1966 to 2012, nearly one third of the World’s mass shootings took place in America. With America being only five percent of the World’s population, having 31% of gun deaths take place right in our backyard is ridiculous. One third of gun deaths in America, a monumental 12,000 per year, are due to homicides. If less access to such advanced and lethal weapons were granted to the public, the number of these would greatly decrease. 1,700 women are killed in homicides each year with guns, mostly in domestic violence situations. These numbers are outrageous and have become a crisis, it is urgent that we find a solution to protect our fellow Americans from being murdered with the pull of a trigger.
Many argue that guns don’t kill people, people do. Even though this statement is correct, a gun’s only purpose is to allow the user access to kill another being. This is the sole purpose of the mechanism, as opposed to other items people could use for murder. If the general population has complete access to weapons of warfare, they have an easier time killing, whether it be intentional or accidental. When you are in possession of a firearm, executing someone is as easy as aiming and flexing a single finger.
Even the recreational use of firearms can be highly dangerous. Shooting in the woods in dry climates has caused numerous forest fires, resulting in the evacuation of thousands. Such a dangerous hobby can not be taken lightly. They have even happened in our very own state of Utah- one fire cause by the shooting of a firearm burnt over nine square miles south of Salt Lake city. Not only did this wreak havoc on the wildlife, but also caused over 2,000 people to evacuate their homes. These are not some rare and improbable events, there have been many reports in the state of Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, and Nevada of wildfires caused from recreational shooting.
The death rates due to guns in America are appalling to say the least. This is not some debate to converse about when bored, this is a serious crisis- putting an end to more lives everyday. Access to murder weapons can not be trusted in the hands of those with no experience, or qualifications. A change must be made to end the gun violence in our homeland and to save the lives of thousands of Americans.
Argument By Jess Carmody
Growing up in a small town in Wyoming and in a family that had been hunting since the dawn of time, rearms were commonplace in our home. My fondest memories of my stepdad and brothers were when we hunted together.
Hunting also gave me a sense of nature and how I t into the universe. Later when working on a ranch I was encouraged to carry a rearm to keep varmints under control. In college as a single parent living in low–income housing, I hunted to help feed my kids.
I tell you this so you have a perspective as to my background with rearms. A pistol clipped on a belt is no di erent to me than a cell phone. It is a tool.
The Second Amendment was extremely important to our founding fathers to protect their freedom. Let me also point out the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It is so the citizens of this country are protected from our government.
Some say the Second Amendment was for muskets. I would rather take a couple rounds from any assault ri e than get hit with a musket ball that removes half of your organs and leaves
a grapefruit-size exit wound.
Our forefathers did not survive a musket ball to the body, and if they were hit in a limb, the eld surgeon cut o what was left. Being shot with today’s rearms is much more survivable.
We are experiencing a surge of gun violence in the United States with crimes of horrific carnage. As a response, we are also seeing a surge in concealed carry permits. In 1999 there were roughly 2.7 million permit holders. In 2007 permit holders were up to 4.6 million. “During President Obama’s administration the number of concealed handgun permits has soared to over 14.5 million – a 215% increase since 2007.” (Washington Examiner, August 10, 2016). In ten states over 10% of the population has carry permits. Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas each have over 1,000,000 permit holders. In August of 2016 Utah reached over 660,000 concealed weapons permits (Washington Examiner, August 10, 2016, and Standard Examiner, August 21, 2016).
Remember, not everyone is eligible to have a concealed weapons permit. An FBI background check is required and thousands of permits are denied every year.
The increase in concealed weapons permits is a direct response not only to attacks on the Second Amendment, but also to the massacres against our fellow citizens. Our veterans do not sit idly by while people are being accosted and robbed. Type the words “veteran stops robbery” into a Google search. Look at the results and read the stories. Our veterans will not stand down and neither should we, the people of the Unites States of America.
Kaepernick is showing disrespect
By Enoch Eller
Colin Kaepernick is protesting for “Black Lives Matters,” by sitting or kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. Obviously this is a very serious matter (Black Lives Matter) throughout our Country right now. Let me be the first one to say, Mr. Kaepernick has every right to protest in this manner, but is it bringing the results he wanted?
From a Veteran’s perspective, who has served twenty years defending this Country, it only brings a response of disgust for this individual. Growing up in a time where I watched my friends and my buddy’s being brought home in body bags, I for one cannot accept this type of disrespect. Too many of my family members have served in the military and on a police force. I have three of my children still serving. Yes, this topic is a very sensitive topic to me, and I’m very biased.
I can understand both sides to this argument, also being trained and serving seven years on a sheriff’s department, I understand the frustration of the disadvantaged citizens within their communities. First understand this, law enforcement officers are trained to protect and serve. This is the most important part of their job, and part of that protection is for themselves and other officers. When you approach anyone, you never know what they are going to do. When officers instruct someone to do something, and they do not follow what that officer is telling them, then the officer goes into a defensive mode. Which in most cases, someone is going to get hurt in some way or another. Yes, officers want to go home every night just like everyone else. Believe me when I tell you, no one will ever get over taking another person’s life. It is the last thing any human being once to do.
Now, is this protest getting the best results for Mr. Kaepernick, and is it the only way to gain attention to his cause? Several other National Football League (NFL) teams have joined in on this protest, but they have chosen a different method of protesting. Most of them stand as a team, some join arms in a silent protest. One such team is the Seattle Sea Hawks. They too want to bring attention to this cause. Richard Sherman, a Seahawk, in last week’s interview session with the press, stated, “Some fans are obsessing about whether players should take a knee, raise a fist or lock arms during the National Anthem before games. But what they should be focusing on is why they are doing it.” He also stated, “When a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it. You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honoring the flag, and I’m doing none of those thing.” He just wants to bring this matter the attention it needs among the public, and do something about it.
Mr. Kaepernick quit bringing negative reactions to your cause. It’s helping no one. Stand up for both. Honor this country by paying respect to those who offer up their lives every day to protect and serve this Country, and bring not only attention, but results for your cause. Do this by getting involved. Help our communities build better relations between law enforcement officers and those who choose not to listen. I agree, things must change in this country, but deciding to create more dissention is not going to help anyone.
Kaepernick has every right
By Aejia Keothammakhoun
Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49er’s, has been peacefully protesting. Rather than standing for the national anthem, he kneels down. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an interview after a game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Kaepernick’s actions have caused a great deal of controversy.
There are those who believe that what Kaepernick is doing is disrespectful, and there may be some merit in that, but wouldn’t it be a sign of disrespect if he didn’t stand up for what he believed in, which is the right of individuals to live lives where they have access to safety and rights. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of protest. Radical protest, fighting for civil rights is one of the very things that America was founded on. The United States originated because we the people don’t take no for an answer. We live in a nation where if people don’t like something, they are allowed to express their opinions, and that is what Kaepernick is doing. He is offering his opinion.
Some claim that Kaepernick is disrespecting the military and those who fought for the flag. The military fights to protect the rights that allow him to act, not just the flag. Even if it was disrespectful to the flag, does that mean that the flag only represents people in the military? If that is the case, what does that mean for the minorities in the military? Kaepernick has said he is standing up for people of color in the United States by taking a knee. Another issue to take into consideration about “being disrespectful towards military” are the nearly 50,000 homeless veterans, people who served in the military, fought for our country, but have found no place in its commerce. Shouldn’t we all take a knee until those brave men and women are taken care of?
A citizen of this nation can still love and respect their country but have high standards for how it treats its citizens. Presidential candidate Donald Trump said in an interview with KIRO radio that Kaepernick should find a country that works better for him. To accept wrongdoings rather than criticize and fix them is an outdated way of thinking. Someone cannot just brush issues under a rug.
Kaepernick is receiving more hatred for what he has done as opposed to other players in the NFL, such as rapists, abusers, drunk drivers, murderers, Tony Romo, and drug users just for peacefully protesting. Having hate towards Kaepernick for peacefully protesting instead of the rest of the issues in the NFL, truly shows where society’s priorities are.
It is not surprising at all that someone of African American descent does not want to stand for the national anthem, or nation that treats some of its own people like second class citizens. Francis Scott Key, the writer of the national anthem, was a slave owner. An omitted stanza from the song is about celebrating the deaths of runaway slaves says, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” How could one expect any African American to stand for a song that celebrates their murder?
In times like this, it is important to have someone in a position of power speak out. That is exactly what Kaepernick is doing, using his voice and position to the fullest. He is getting national coverage. He protested in the best way he could, not only peacefully but where it counts. Kaepernick is making people think critically for a second about the issues in this country. It is a good idea to have more light brought to a situation. It is important to note that Kaepernick did this in a peaceful manner, by kneeling down in silence. Ever since protests in August of 2015 for Mike Brown’s death, people having been asking for peaceful protests, which is exactly what Kaepernick is doing. So why are they still mad?