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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Are guns the problem?

Written by: Communicator StaffNovember 18, 2017

By: Ben Bailey

Two of the the country’s largest mass shootings, including the single deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, took place in the past two months.

On Oct. 1, Stephen Paddock opened fire from his inside his room in the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas.

Paddock targeted innocent spectators watching a nearby country music concert.

Before the situation ended when Paddock shot himself as police stormed his room, he had killed 58 people and injured over 500 others.

The Las Vegas shooting replaced the June 12, 2016, Pulse nightclub attack as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Additionally, on
Nov. 5, Devin Patrick Kelley entered First Baptist Church in Southerland Springs, Texas, and opened fire on those in attendance.

Kelley, who police say was shot by an armed civilian before he fatally shot himself, killed 26 people and injured 20 more.

As a result of the recent shootings, gun control has become one of the most hotly debated political topics for legislators.

Political elites such as Hillary Clinton, President Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have all recently made comments regarding policy decisions on gun control.

Some have argued that the best way to prevent future mass shootings is to create stricter legislation that would limit accessibility to certain types of firearms.

Others have argued that no new laws will solve the problem, and that more emphasis needs to be put on the mental health issues for those who may seek to commit mass shootings.

While legislators debate different methods to prevent future mass shootings, IPFW students share their perspectives on gun control, and what the real problem is behind mass shootings.

“I don’t think guns are the problem I think people are the problem. I think if you take away guns, criminals are still going to have them. Just because guns are illegal doesn’t mean that a criminal is suddenly not going to have them. I believe everyone should have one probably. I just think it’s a big people issue.” Mallory Nahrwold — freshman, elementary education

“I think guns are 100% the problem. I think there needs to be a lot stricter regulations on gun control. At this point, almost anyone can go out and buy a gun. … Background checks don’t cover every basis. There are some mental health issues that go unnoticed and we need to to find a way to deal with these things.”

Jenna Cavacini — senior, chemistry

“I don’t think guns are the problem. I think the people who use the guns are the problem. We’ve seen in many places where gun laws are very strict. But whether it’s legal or not isn’t going to stop people from using them. It’s just like drugs or human trafficking or driving drunk or any other illegal activities. Laws aren’t going to stop people who really want to do something that is illegal.”

Jackson Walker  – sophomore, mechanical engineering

“I don’t think it’s the guns because the guns aren’t what fires at the people it’s the people behind the guns that do. I think they need to have higher regulations on who can obtain a gun. Not just background checks on people with criminal records. Someone could be mentally unstable but not have a criminal record.”

Alicia Griffin — sophomore, biology

“I’m not entirely sure that guns themselves are the problem. I think it’s the access to guns that a lot of people have. Obviously we’ve seen a lot of people who are mentally ill who have access to firearms which, in my opinion isn’t something that they should have access to. … I think the general understanding is that no one wants to see any more lives lost, it’s just that we keep having this debate back and forth about whether we need more guns in churches or other areas or whether we need to have more intense gun legislation put in place.”

Brandon Blumenhers — freshman, political science/biology