Gun control discussion heats up among readers

Dec 31, 2012

In the aftermath of the school shooting in Connecticut, the debate about gun control laws has become even more heated with some people calling for stronger laws while others say the laws already in place should be abolished.

The Mountaineer recently asked its readers to comment on the legislative talks regarding new laws on guns and assault weapons and what changes, if any, they think should be made to laws concerning guns in schools. Just as in the political arena, people expressed strong opinions from both sides of this issue.

Some argued in favor of eliminating the law banning guns in schools.

John Meyers said he wants to see an “immediate nullification of the gun free school zones act and (a) preemptive effort passed by the state legislature nullifying all future gun control efforts.”

Some readers commented that since the president and members of Congress are given armed guards, children should be offered the same protection in school.

“I think we should have armed guards in our school. That’s better than a teacher having (a gun) and maybe a student wants (to) get a hold of the gun when they get mad at a teacher,” commented Lura West.

Other readers pointed out that in several other school and mass shootings, there were armed guards present, but it still didn’t prevent the tragedies that occurred.

“Columbine had an armed guard. Virginia Tech had a whole police force and Ft. Hood was an Army base,” said Chase Smith. “Having more guns is not the solution.”

As in any debate about gun laws, the second Amendment came up several times in readers’ comments. Some quoted it in support of loosening gun control laws while others said the Amendment doesn’t mean anyone can have a gun.

“The purpose of our second Amendment was and always (will) be the ability of the people to defend their rights if and when their government becomes too grasping and overreaching,” said Shanon Rowland. “The second Amendment gives us, as a people, the ability and the arms to retake our country if need be. Our founding fathers fore saw a time when that might happen and planned accordingly.”

“The second Amendment calls for a ‘well-regulated militia,’ so regulate it,” Smith added to his other comment.

“The right to bear arms comes with responsibility,” agreed Bill Lawrence.

Some commentary debated the purpose of creating laws that only law-abiding citizens would follow. They argued that stricter laws on everyone would result in criminals still obtaining and using guns, while others are left without personal protection.

“When you strip the citizens of the means to defend themselves, their home and their property, you leave them open to the wolves of society,” said Shannon Harris.

Regardless of where people stood on the issue, Lara Volio Caldwell Ernest cautioned against a “knee-jerk reaction.”

“This will neither create, nor solve the problem because there are so many variables,” she said. “Changing policies to prevent defenseless sitting ducks will help one variable, but with every policy, there are pros and cons. We need to evaluate those pros and cons with honesty and thoughtfulness …”

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