SLA Weighs in on Gun Control: Are We For It or Against It?

Subsequently after the unfortunate loss of many young students at a rampaged school shooting in Newtown, establishing gun control laws have been a strong debate among many U.S citizens. This year, Obama went forth with it himself, without the opinion of Congress members. Most of us have been provided with the knowledge of the basic updates to this new law: buying military armory has now become illegal, but you can still own a hand gun or a rifle in your home. However, it’s much more complex than the limitations we’re familiar with. According to The New York Times the President has recommended that Congress pass these laws:

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

  • Requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, including those by private sellers that currently are exempt.
  • Reinstating and strengthening the ban on assault weapons that was in place from 1994 to 2004.
  • Limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.
  • Banning the possession of armor-piercing bullets by anyone other than members of the military and law enforcement.
  • Increasing criminal penalties for “straw purchasers,” people who pass the required background check to buy a gun on behalf of someone else.
  • Acting on a $4 billion administration proposal to help keep 15,000 police officers on the street.
  • Confirming President Obama’s nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
  • Eliminating a restriction that requires the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to allow the importation of weapons that are more than 50 years old.
  • Financing programs to train more police officers, first responders and school officials on how to respond to active armed attacks.
  • Provide additional $20 million to help expand the a system that tracks violent deaths across the nation from 18 states to 50 states.
  • Providing $30 million in grants to states to help schools develop emergency response plans.
  • Providing financing to expand mental health programs for young people.

Executive Actions: In addition to these recommendations the President has passed these laws without the approval of Congress granted under the executive action clause in the Constitution.

  • Issuing a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
  • Addressing unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
  • Improving incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
  • Directing the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
  • Proposing a rule making to give law enforcement authorities the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
  • Publishing a letter from the A.T.F. to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
  • Starting a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
  • Reviewing safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
  • Issuing a presidential memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
  • Releasing a report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and making it widely available to law enforcement authorities.
  • Nominating an A.T.F. director.
  • Providing law enforcement authorities, first responders and school officials with proper training for armed attacks situations.
  • Maximizing enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
  • Issuing a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research gun violence.
  • Directing the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenging the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
  • Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
  • Releasing a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
  • Providing incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
  • Developing model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
  • Releasing a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
  • Finalizing regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within insurance exchanges.
  • Committing to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
  • Starting a national dialogue on mental health led by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, and Arne Duncan, the secretary of education.

The topic was reached in SLA’s history class, and most students are highly opinionated on the issue. Some of them were asked to share their thoughts.

Junior Brandon Beneche replied, “I think it’s good to limit the types of guns that everyday people can purchase. I don’t think guns should be banned completely though. That could lead to some dangerous scenario.”

“I absolutely think there should be gun control.” SLA English teacher, Mr. Fellows told SLA Pioneer. I don’t think there’s any justification for assault weapons. I’m not against hunters owning guns, I think that’s good for our ecosystem. But these gamers being allowed to own assault weapons and realicize what they do in videogames isn’t okay. It’s not cool to take life.”

An anonymous source also gave their opinion, “First of all, I think the laws shouldn’t be pointed at just gun control. Everyone thats gone on a rampage has been mental. Putting down laws isn’t going to stop crimes since criminals will illegally find their way to guns either way. Therefore, I don’t really agree with gun control.”

Another annonymous source responded, “I think we should have laws, but not strict ones. I don’t think the bullets should be controlled, but the shootings lately have been ridiculous.”



Posted on January 24, 2013, in News, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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