The Right to Bear Arms

   Bullet. Blood. Death. Gun control and gun violence have been issues that capture a lot of the public’s attention, especially after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

   “I do think something should be done to prevent tragedies like Connecticut, but I want to guard against an infringement on our right to defend ourselves,” said Ms. Bowling, a Psychology and Economics teacher at Dublin High. “Legislation can’t prevent these tragedies entirely.”

   It’s interesting to see how far our country has come in terms of following the law of the land and how it was originally written. Interestingly enough, the idea of the right to bear arms has been twisted, so much so that this concept may be hidden in the public’s eyes. But this debate over gun legislation is necessary and especially important to be taken care of before tragedy could possibly happen again.

   Senior Alex Bolagner said he believes that people who wish to obtain guns should first be sent through a psychological evaluation.

   “I believe that we should restrict the sale of automatic and semi-automatic weaponry to law enforcement and military personnel,” said Bolagner. “In my opinion, they are the only ones with the training in these kinds of weapons and the only ones who have could possibly have a legit reason to own one.”

   Bolagner adds that average civilians shouldn’t be allowed to own weapons of this degree due to their high danger; they should only have access to weapons that can be used at most for self-defense.

   “Gun ownership is a wonderful right and in the right hands they can be safe; remember that guns don’t kill people, people do,” stated Bolagner.

   Just recently, major components of President Obama’s proposals failed to win Senate’s approval. Although polls show that most Americans support expanded gun background checks, Senate rejected barriers to gun ownership. Supporters of new gun legislation blame such a defeat on the influence of the NRA over Congress.

   Civics, AP Government and Politics, and Yearbook teacher Ms. McCort said she believes that while the Constitution does protect our rights to own guns, she doesn’t feel it’s necessary for military style assault weapons to be available for purchase.

   “I also am in favor of background checks,” said McCort. “Many states have systems for background checks in place, but many do not and that is why I feel there should be federal guidelines.”

   McCort adds that in order for background checks to be effective, they need to be applied universally.

   “Just like other areas of public safety, I feel in certain instances the rights of society need to outweigh the rights of the individual,” stated McCort. “Gun violence will not stop overnight and gun legislation is not the only answer, but legislation in coordination with education, better mental health resources, and increased awareness I believe can reduce instances of gun violence.”